Unspent Time Launch Party
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The tentacles hovered in the air for only an instant, then came crashing down again, straight at her. She could only stare at them in fear; there was no time to react. And yet, they missed again. Only by millimeters, but they missed. However, she felt pain all over her body. Her back and head throbbed as if she'd been beaten.
Then the tentacles withdrew. They disappeared behind the precipice silently. That's when Kiala realized she was lying on her back, several meters inland from the jetty.
"That was close," said a breathy voice.
Kiala whirled round to find a boy standing behind her. He was tall and slender, handsome in a mysteriously odd kind of way, with pale skin that was close to translucent and eyes that were bright and piercing. As she struggled to get up, she felt the boy's gaze move right through her. The boy's eyes were also red-rimmed with deep, dark rings around them.
Truth be told, he looked a bit sickly.
"Are you alright?" Kiala blurted out.
"Me?" The boy caught his breath. He brushed some imaginary dust and some very real tentacle slime from his cape and said, "I just saved your life. I should be asking you that question."
"I know," Kiala said. "And I can't thank you enough for what you just did, but, well." She gave him a sympathetic smile. "You look awfully pale, as if you might collapse at any moment. "
The boy snorted. He made his cape catch an invisible breeze so it wrapped around him dramatically. "Are you kidding me?" He lowered his voice to a menacing whisper. "I'm Waywick III of the flying cannibal clan of the lost city of Vark. I'm a creature of dusk and twilight. I'm an unholy spirit of death!"
"No, you're not," Kiala said. She rubbed at her back, where he'd apparently dragged her over some pretty pointy rocks.
"Excuse me?" Waywick gave her a baffled look. "Of course I am!"
Kiala rolled her eyes at him. "Well, you don't look all that dead and unholy to me. You just look a bit pale, that's all."
"I never said I was dead," Waywick bristled. "I just said I was a flying cannibal and an unholy spirit of death. That doesn't mean that I am dead." He shook his head at her. "It just means that I'm very, very dangerous."
"Sure," Kiala said. "Again, though, you don't look all that dangerous."
Waywick opened his cape wide and puffed out his chest. "Then perhaps you should take a closer look."
Kiala decided not to, instead she searched for her rod. She'd dropped it during the attacks. It lay wedged between two boulders a few meters away.
"I don't know," she told Waywick. "Anyone can look pale, thin, and sickly, that doesn't automatically mean that they're dangerous." She checked the rod for surface damage and was relieved to find it in good condition. "In fact," she continued, "it usually means exactly the opposite."
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Sound bites from Unspent Time:
“I'm looking into my past lives. I'm convinced some of them still owe me money.”
“I'm very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences.”
“I didn’t actually want to do it,” Kiala told the boy.
“The universe just kind of conspired to force me to make a fool of myself. It does that quite a lot, actually.”
“Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.”
Here's what reviewers had to say:
"A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!" -- Reader Views
"An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers' film in book form." -- BookReview.com
“Extremely witty and clever writing.” -- California Chronicle
"A Party for your Brain!" -- Warren Baxter Bio: