The excerpt of the day is from The More Plausible Evil, which is still very much a work in progress–I haven’t finished my second draft, which is undergoing expansion before I send it to the publisher for editing. I’m posting at the urging of Jamie Sullivan, another talented author to check out!
This means the manuscript is likely to change quite a bit between now and the final draft! Even this excerpt is unlikely to remain untouched. Even the blurb will most definitely be transformed! And I don’t have a cover for you, but I do have a summary. The More Plausible Evil will be released some time next year, to be determined.
- “During his confession pending the night before Evan’s execution, he reveals the details of a lifetime’s worth of killings that shed light on his motives, and brings forward the curious short-lived claim that a vampire is at the heart of his salvation.”
“Are you even sure it’s Rafe?” Evan clenched his hands into fists as he looked through the windshield. His jaw was tight. He was beginning to doubt the necessity of frequent abandonments of everything they had, since he hadn’t seen so much as a golden hair from Rafe since he was a child.
“It’s always Rafe,” Alastair replied tensely, gloved hands taut on the wheel of his fast, expensive car. He pushed the accelerator and shot them forward at even greater speed. “I know the signs by now, pet; he’s only been catching my trail and dogging it for the past two centuries or so.”
“Why does he want to find you so badly? What’s he hoping to accomplish?” Evan pulled in a huff of breath, expelling it in a brief, angry noise. “My laptop … all my notes on the study of criminal psychology … not to mention, I liked the set of clothes I have now.” He folded his arms and looked out the side window into the darkness that wrapped around the car. He wasn’t going to mention that he’d lost certain gifts that Alastair had gotten him, small keepsakes but important to him because they’d come from Alastair, and he’d never get those back now. Even if Alastair was to re-purchase anything—and one ancient dagger, at least, had been one of a kind—the sentiment connecting Evan to the object would be gone, lost with the original.
“All of your things can be replaced.”
“Maybe I wanted for us not to have to, for a change! Even my cell phone …”
“You’d need a new one anyhow,” Alastair reminded him. “We always change numbers when we move. New place, new phone. No bridges left behind.”
“Right.” Evan set his jaw again. He’d noticed Alastair dodged the question of Rafe, and he was too proud to revisit the topic in an attempt to drag some answers out of him.
“I need to keep you safe, my pet. Things can be replaced. You know that. And I am … sorry … that we must do it so often, but better to ensure you’re still alive and beside me than lost forever.”
Evan couldn’t reply to that. He was still too angry, slumped in the passenger’s seat and stinging over the loss. Instead, he attacked the choice of words. “I’m not your pet. I’m a person. Or is that really all I am to you?”
The aggressive statement was answered with long silence. The only sound in the car was the hum of the engine and the distant throb of the wheels hitting irregular patches of highway.
“Vampires become fixated on those things, places, or people that are most important to them.” Alastair spoke up at length, his voice almost lower than the engine noise that filtered through to the cabin. “Rafe is obsessed with the idea of me. And I … I have that capacity for attachment as well. Once an attachment is formed, it becomes more important to us than almost any other thing beyond survival. And with mine, the two are intertwined.”
Evan settled on his side, finding a more or less comfortable position for his head, and didn’t know how to respond. Instead, he pretended to sleep.
The next city they settled in was more than halfway across the nation. It was of a sizeable population; that was always Alastair’s first criteria, a place with sufficient urban density to support good schools and high enough crime rates so that he could prey unnoticed.
They went through the familiar, well-oiled mechanism of re-establishing their lives again. Alastair took him on a lavish spending spree, but Evan was listless through most of it. He had the latest, best laptop on the market. He had the newest model of smart phone. He had a newly refurbished library of books and graphic novels, and a brand new room. Instead of being excited over the fresh reinvention, as Alastair billed it with each move, Evan found himself thinking of the things he’d left behind.
They were at the mall, finishing up their last purchases, and Alastair slid out of the dressing room in a brand new pair of jeans and a finely tailored cashmere blazer that made his tall, lean form elegant. One thing that constantly rendered anonymity more difficult was Alastair’s looks; he was gaunt and striking, his high-cheekboned face turning heads wherever they went. His black hair had been styled into an impeccable coif resembling a pompadour. As always, he had remodeled himself more thoroughly than their latest apartment.
“Ta-da,” Alastair trilled, skidding to a halt in front of Evan.
Evan looked up from the browser on his phone to survey Alastair with critical eyes. “Fantastic,” he said in an unenthusiastic tone. “Acid washed jeans went out about thirty years ago.”
Alastair’s expectant face fell. “Yes, but … it’s back in style again. So they tell me. And I know when it was in style—I was there.”
Evan shrugged. “I wasn’t, but I’ve seen pictures of the eighties, and they want your jeans back.”
“I think it looks good.”
“So buy it,” Evan replied. “Not like my opinion matters.” He turned his attention back to his phone’s display and swiped a finger, switching applications and calling up a game he’d been playing when Alastair had gone into the dressing room with a pile of clothes in his arms.
Alastair turned and vanished.
In his wake, Evan regretted the harsh words but was still too choked with frustration he couldn’t voice to make any attempt to take them back. He was deprived of a choice, of any say in how they did things, and he wasn’t an equal. He was a pet, and no matter how fond Alastair was of him, he would always be a pet to him.