Winnie and the Book of Odin by Melissa Manuel

What’s up reader?

How are you?

Have you been taking care of yourself?

I hope so.

Now, I’m just apologizing for my late entrance this week. Life stuff gets in the way all the time, and doesn’t let me be punctual. Life stuff is always so rude. Anyway, here is this little excerpt of a thing I wanted to make into more than an excerpt. Winnie is one of my all-time favorite characters I’ve ever made.  She needs work though. I’m posting this blurb of a thing for hope of comments and feedback on what I should turn this into: a short story, a novel, a play, a low-res claymation video?

Tell me in the comments if you want to.

Memento mori,

Melissa


The most annoying this was the hafgufa had gotten her entire gown soaking wet. Winnie had barely managed to get on land before the raging sea serpent could get a sampling of some sweet Winnie Flesh.

Now Winnie was stuck squeezing the seawater out of her gown onto the cobblestone ground of what she is hoping is Portsmouth.

From the privacy of her current spot in a narrow alley Winnie could hear the bustling sea town awaken. Obviously it thrived off the ocean for its economy, and she observed the countless burly, sunburnt men make their ways to the docks.

Winnie, although not feeling particularly dry, straightened her long black coat and reached a hand inside pulling out an extravagant dark green velvet hat topped with an elegant arrangement of feathers. Tucking her damp curls into the hat Winnie ignored the headache beginning to grow in intensity behind her eyes.

She now slid out of her hiding place, all poise and grace as she moved against the wave of workers. Several of them let loose several whistles and made jeers at her, but she merely kept her eyes hidden and sent coy smiles in their direction.

Finally she emerged onto the main street where horse-drawn carriages clopped steadily past the colorful shops that lined the street. Blending into the thick crowds of the morning rush of the city folk Winnie made her way towards the train station. When it came into view and the smell of ocean finally began to leave the air something caught her eye. A tall figure that had been several paces behind her since she left the dock was still there.

Abruptly she turned left into the first shop she could enter. It was a store brimmed from ceiling to floor with all sorts of fabrics. Smiling at the plump woman behind the incredibly cluttered counter before beginning to inspect the silk ribbons lining one of the walls. She didn’t turn when she heard a new customer enter the store. Unsurprisingly it was her pursuer.

Winnie made a quick head count, including herself and the owner, there were seven people in the store. She strode deeper into the shop finding herself cornered by towers of vibrant fabrics.

“I never thought you’d come back,” Winnie turned slowly keeping her head low at the thick honey-like voice. “I thought I’d never have to look at that face again.”

A smile crept up her lips as she looked up at her old friend Dorian. “Darling, your words hurt me deeply.”

Winnie now rose her head up to take in his aristocratic face, those caramel eyes a hurricane of emotion. She continued smiling up at him, maintaining an air of innocence. Then before she could protest Dorian swept her into a tight embrace and she squirmed uncomfortably. Her cheek was pressed against the smooth linen of his shirt and she felt his laugh rumble through him. She pushed herself away, now scowling.

“Dorian please-” But she was cut off as he tilted her head up and pressed his mouth against hers. She found it hard to resist. It had been too long since she’d kissed this man and for a moment her knees shook.

Dorian pulled back smiling down at her, “And I never thought I’d be able to do that again.” He looked at her with such passion that suddenly she felt fear grip her heart and she pushed away more forcibly.

“Enough with that,” Winnie felt trapped by the linens. “It’s been charming Dorian, but I’m just passing through.”
Something dark passed through Dorian’s eyes, “You’re leaving.” He said flatly.

Winnie nodded, “I am on a very important business endeavour.”

Dorian simply stared at Winnie and she began to really see his elvish features, the pupils in his eyes became more like slits. “For who.”

Winnie could tell he was angry and she chose her words carefully, “For our old friends the Ciardhas. Mr. Ciardha has asked me to retrieve something for him.” Dorian ran his hand through his hair frustrated.

“Why do you do this to yourself? To me?” Winnie merely crossed her arms and scowled.

“I made myself very clear last time darling. I don’t tie myself down. I really must be going.” She tried to walk past him but he gripped her arm and she glared at him as she felt him use just a little elven magic to keep her still.

“I’m coming with you.” She rolled her eyes exasperated, but he kept going pulling her closer. “No. I’m not letting you run off again.” Winnie looked at his face feeling an odd blend of fear and excitement as his face seemed to be set in stone with determination.

Sighing she replies, “I mean if you insist…” In a moment his face melted into a lopsided grin and his magic fell off her as he pulled her into another embrace.

“But I need you to behave yourself. I’ve been chasing this object down for several months and I think I’m getting close, I won’t stop for anything Dorian.” Winnie made him meet her eyes and she put a certain level of intensity in them. If there was anything Winnie was honest about it was her work, it was dangerous and more than often than not done through illegal means.

Dorian let her go then offered her his arm, “I know. But I rather die by your side than grow old here knowing I never helped protect you.” Winnie couldn’t help the flutter in her chest at his words as she looped her arm through his.

“Oh my dear you have protected me. This coat you enchanted is better than any armor in the nine worlds.” She was not exaggerating, the enchanted coat had an endless depth. Winnie had more objects hidden in this coat then most people could ever fathom. It was her most prized possession and she never removed it.

And as they walked toward the train station Dorian smiled, “I’m happy to hear that.”

They walked towards the ticket booth and Winnie purchased two tickets heading towards New York. She had business there and Dorian could help her make the connection there. She also needed to get rid of him. He was getting too attached and Winnie didn’t like having baggage, so she would have to push him away before it could hurt her in any way.

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