Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Just to prove I haven’t totally abandoned Jason Cosmo to make a career of flogging Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter, here is the most current version of the opening lines of NOBLE CAUSE. That said, I’ve revisited Chapter 1 dozens of times, so this could all change before publication, and probably will!
The big warrior twirled a battle ax around his head like it was a fly swatter—and me the fly. His long red hair was done in Malravian war braids, knotted around bits of metal and bone. This was the new fashion among Carathan street brawlers. Equally trendy was his brass-studded red and black designer cuirass from the Militas Pro collection. My own helm and coat of mail were no-brand hand-me-downs, as was my sword, but they served me well enough.
“Jason Cosmo, you die this day or my name is not Kyril the Red!” bellowed the ax-wielding fashion plate. His lovingly oiled biceps glistened in the morning sun.
“And if I refuse to die?” said I. “What then is your name?”
“Er, I think it would still be Kyril, wouldn’t it?”
“You tell me. But get back on line, Kyril, or not Kyril, or whatever you decide. We start at seven, no sooner.”
The other waiting killers laughed. Kyril sputtered. His face went as red as his armor. But he lowered his weapon.
“This is madness,” said Mercury Boltblaster. “I’m called reckless, but to invite your own murder? You’ve lost your mind.”
“I don’t invite my murder,” I said, clapping my friend on the shoulder. “I only try to make it less inconvenient for all concerned.”
“Thoughtful of you,” said the dusky-skinned wizard. “But your courtesy is misdirected. This is a gruesome lot.”
Mercury slid his mirrored sunshades down his nose and cast a gimlet eye over the gallery of rogues gathered at the dueling field near the duck pond in Pantheon Park. Each of them was eager to spill my blood.
The rogues, not the ducks.
“I find a bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way,” I said. “They’re going to try and kill me whether I cooperate or not. This way, they know where and when to find me, I know where and when the attack is coming, we don’t bother other people, and we can all better plan our day.”
With HERO WANTED, I was only touching up an opening scene I wrote 20 years prior. This is all new and I want to start NOBLE CAUSE with a bang. Does this grab you? Does it make you want to read on? (If so, read part 2 now!)