What's that, you say? You really need something exciting to brighten your gloomy Monday up?
Something never before seen on the internet?
Something exclusive to this blog?
Well, maybe today is your lucky day after all! Because today I bring you a tiny teaser from Big Secret Project. I hope you like it - tell me what you think!
“What’s that?” Kylar asked.
"Part of my costume,” I said.
"It’s her mega-ultra-samurai sword!” Jack said, doing jazz hands. “I can’t believe I forgot. It’s like, a thousand year old family heirloom.”
“A real samurai sword? Oh my God, I have to see this,” one of the other girls said. “Come on, get it out!”
“I...I can’t,” I stammered. The loose, relaxed feeling turned to anxiety as I saw the number of eyes fixed on me. “It’s dangerous.
“She’s right. If you want to see it you need to get back and give her some room,” Jack said bossily.
I know she thought she was being helpful, but honestly? I could have brained her with Shinobu just then. Everyone scrambled back and the next thing I knew there were twice as many people staring, all trying to figure out what was going on. Someone snapped on the overhead light, making us all blink.
Just flash them the sword and get it over with. What’s the big deal?
Sick, irrational panic churned in my stomach, but I forced myself to get up and pull Shinobu out of the shinai carrier. The light flashed over the brilliant shine of the black lacquer and the gold flowers on the saya. The music was too loud for me to hear an ooooh, but I could sense it.
A sneaking feeling of pride helped to soothe my uneasiness, and slowly I drew Shinobu from the sheath. Light flashed along the curve of the blade like the sharp white smile of the crescent moon.
“Holy crap,” someone said.
“You are so hot right now,” Kylar said, moving a little closer. “Angelina Jolie hot.”
Jack snorted. “Dude, that’s not a compliment.”
“Anyway,” a boy called Simon interrupted, “she looks more like that girl from that vampire film, you know the one who had the leather pants.”
“That was Angelina Jolie,” Kylar said, annoyed.
Sarah from my tutor group shook her head. “No, it wasn’t. He’s talking about the one who was in the lipstick adverts. She’s Bulgarian, I think.”
Okay, well, that was less dramatic than I’d been bracing myself for.
I slid Shinobu back into his saya and the saya back into the shinai carrier, then settled him onto his place on my shoulder again. By the time I looked up, everyone was so busy trying to work out the name of the girl from the lipstick ads that they all seemed to have forgotten Shinobu completely. I was relieved, and then irritated at myself for being relieved. Why was I being so freakish tonight?
I turned to Jack to suggest more drinks – and saw the shadow coming out of the wall.
A dark stain unfurled against the bright terracotta wallpaper, tendrils whipping from the centre and hardening into claws as it dragged itself through the bricks, into the room. I gagged on the stink of it, wet animal, greasy fur, something long dead and rotting.
The seething mass dilated like the pupil of an eye, spreading up onto the ceiling, clawing across the plaster, leaving black streaks wherever it touched. Thick, glistening globs of liquid, like half congealed blood, dripped down onto the people below, staining their hair and clothes and spreading across their skin. No one seemed to notice.
The thing twisted, and suddenly – horribly – I could see a face in the black. A face that could have been human, except for the eyes. Yellow, cat eyes, with vertical pupils.
The thing blinked slowly, searching. Its gaze fixed on me.
It surged across the ceiling towards me.
P.S. Two very interesting links for you to check out.
First: I was interviewed by the lovely Clover at Fluttering Butterflies for her Awesome Women feature. How cool is that?
Also immensely cool - favourite writer Jaclyn Dolomore, author of Magic Under Glass, read and reviewed Shadows on the Moon! Whoot!