'Divinity' Extract

10:00 am

Image Credit: @tidesinourveins

She raised her hand to cover her brow as she looked out across the violet landscape, a veil of pink shimmering in the sky to the tune of the chants that echoed in the valley. Leaning into her side was the shoulder of the cohort she had in tow, his hand gripping into the top of her bare foot as he tried to keep his balance. The ground was dust, glowing orange with the light reflected from the spectrum glittering above. It was getting into his joints and making things more difficult than they needed to be, but she would strike him down with a glare if he tried to get to his feet. They needed this image as their cover if they wanted to get across the desert alive. He depended on her to get through this, and she depended on him, however much she resented admitting it.

It was night-time, but you wouldn’t guess from the brightness that surrounded the woman and her motorised companion, dragging his knees down the dune-side as he clung into the straps of her haulage sack. The indigo skin covering his knuckles had started to crack and flake, revealing the intricate map of nerves and wires that lay beneath to the frozen sun above. The chants grew louder as they usually did as night moved onwards, reverberating off the dust below until the entire valley was singing.

‘How long until extraction?’. He peered up, squinting through a dust cloud to get a good look at the woman’s face. She was notoriously hard to read, a permanent grimace across her dimpled skin, not much her own fault, but that of a lifetime of bounty hunting and finding herself on the wrong side of a lot of people. Her eyes flickered down and scanned his face, sensing his tiredness.

‘Too long.’ She eventually responded. A sigh, not at anything in particular, certainly not at him. Just a sigh. ‘We can rest now.’ She dropped her sack onto the floor, which he took as an indication he could finally let go of her, rubbing his knuckles with the palm of his hand. He hated to see himself fall into this state of disrepair. Really, he had never been in this bad a state, but there was little he could do about it now. Complaining to her never got him anywhere, so he silently continued to investigate the damage as she unpacked the shelter, piece by piece. She laid various joints and bolts into a circle in the dust, occasionally adjusting slightly until evenly spread. He was used to her idiosyncrasies by now, but she was taking a little too long for his liking. Eventually, with a click of her fingers and her tongue sticking out the corner of her mouth, the shelter sprang up, fully-formed and airy, ochre to match the desert floor.

'Home, sweet home.'

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Thank you to my friend Oli for creating this lovely art to accompany the extract! You can read my interview with Oli here where you'll find links to more of his work.

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Like what you've read so far? If you support me on Patreon, you could get your hands on an ebook of Divinity as soon as it's released! Find out more here. No idea what Divinity is? Let me tell you...

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