#Excerpt week finale – SPRITE NIGHT by Deborah Jay #UrbanFantasy #ecology #fracking

Sprite Night Complete

Here is my last contribution to excerpt week – and a fun and informative week it has been 😀

This little offering is from a short story that has not yet been released – maybe next month if I can find the time, once I have the anthology (excerpt here) all sorted.

Back to Urban Fantasy today, and a bit more of Cassie, the Caledonian Sprite, who has a tendency to get tangled up in ecological issues, seeing as they have potentially devastating implications for her element.

This story takes place just after DESPRITE MEASURES, (excerpts here and here), and finds our sassy sprite involved in a fracking protest near Stirling, Scotland.

NOTE: there are live links scattered throughout the Caledonian Sprite stories, taking readers who choose to follow them to informative pages and photographs of all things quintessentially Scottish. My stab at a (slightly) interactive experience.

Excerpt from SPRITE NIGHT

The inn was typical of its type; old, creaky and in need of renovation, but warm with hospitality and a reputation for excellent food and choice of single malts. It’s one of the more frustrating aspects of my human body that consuming food or alcohol is a futile exercise; I can eat, but solid food needs disposing of—let’s not go there—and alcohol, whilst I can take pleasure in the taste, has no affect on me.

Companionship though—that I can, and do, enjoy.

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and harvesting more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater, with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench.

Never one to stand on ceremony, I sauntered across the room and put a hand on the chair facing him. A pleasant waft of pine aftershave tickled my nose, evoking images of wide open spaces and forest, meeting my approval. He nodded in response to my raised eyebrow, and I pulled the chair out, dragging it across the bare wooden floorboards with a squeal.

He winced. “Dear God, lass, d’ye like to torture your men even before ye’ve been introduced?”

Laughter burst from my mouth, and after so much seriousness, it felt good.

“Nae, fine sir. And if you think that’s torture, perhaps I’ve chosen unwisely.”

He twinkled at me, and waved a hand at the chair.

“Sit, please. We can debate the merits of wisdom over a drink. What’s your poison?”

“Shale gas,” I replied without thought.

His eyes turned wary and his body rocked almost imperceptibly away from me.

“I’m so sorry!” I blurted. What must he think—that I was one of those travelling militant campaigners? I might be passionate about this cause, but I didn’t want to frighten him off.

“Really, it’s just what everyone around here is talking about these days. Whisky, please; I like a nice single malt.”

He relaxed, no longer ready to run for the hills.

“Any malt in particular? They have a good range here.”

Better. By the shine in those china blue eyes, I’d made the right choice. “Laphroaig, I think; I fancy something smoky tonight.”

“Good choice. I have the feeling that discussion on wisdom may prove fascinating.”

He rose and mooched over to the bar to order our drinks, bringing another smile to my lips as I admired his neat butt and long, lean legs encased in denim.

He opted for a 15-year old Jura for himself; clearly a man of impeccable taste.

The Laphroaig slipped down my throat with ease, leaving its characteristic aftertaste of smoke and peat plastered across my taste buds. I might be unable to get drunk, but I can savour the finer things in life.

“Duncan McIntyre,” said my new drinking buddy, sticking out a hand for me to shake.

“Cassiopeia Lake. My friends call me Cassie.”

“And am I a friend?”

“From the moment you offered me a dram.”

“Cheap at the price,” he said with an appreciative glance, and then blanched. “Not that I meant you’re cheap, only that the price of the malt was worth every penny.” He paused, and shook his head. “I’m digging myself in further by the minute, aren’t I?”

“Most certainly, but please, don’t stop there; I plan on enjoying every moment of watching you extricate yourself.”

8 thoughts on “#Excerpt week finale – SPRITE NIGHT by Deborah Jay #UrbanFantasy #ecology #fracking

  1. Like this back and forth banter very much, Debby. And the local color and dialect is exactly right. I have a friend from Arbroath, and though I suspect it’s not close to where your story takes place, still I can hear her voice in this. The best accent in the whole, wide world! Someday, I’m going to Scotland! Reading this makes me want to go NOW.

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      • No wonder he sounded so familiar to me. 🙂 Kate and I met through a Last of the Mohicans group, believe it or not, that I used to enjoy. We went to the mountains every summer and visited all sorts of film locations, and some of the actors from the movie came to our “gatherings.” Fans of the movie came from all over the world, and Kate showed up the first year I went. After that, she came to my house every year, a week early, and we’d drive up together. We had a ton of fun, and I really enjoyed her. We’ve sort of lost touch over the years now, after she went back to work, and she was going to be my “guide,” being a big history buff. We had all sorts of plans back then, but it might not ever happen now. 😦 I have a long standing desire to see some standing stones, pun intended, and I’m really sorry the opportunity might be gone. But who knows? Stranger things have happened. I may get there, yet.

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        • Ah, that’s a shame when you lose touch with a good friend – so easy to do. I did a similar thing to you – last year I went to NZ and did the Lord of the Rings film tour, sounds just like your Last of the Mohicans experience. I’m not ashamed to admit to being a LOTR geek!
          And I just heard today of a lady in South Africa who went sky diving this week to celebrate her 100th birthday! Never say never!

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          • I don’t blame you for going to New Zealand for the LOTR thingie. First…NEW ZEALAND! Wow! Then add the fun of a film tour, and what’s not to love? The Mohicans thing started because of a fan in NC who wrote a guide book to all of the film’s locations. The NC mountains are breathtaking, and the film is visually just beautiful. A lot of folks began posting on this fan’s bulletin board, and eventually, we all wanted to meet. We ended up getting guided tours to many of the film locations, but also, had French & Indian War re-enactors who started coming, doing demonstrations of firing their muskets, etc, and then we invited actors each year, and they started coming. (Though we never managed to lure Daniel Day-Lewis there, sadly. I probably wouldn’t have survived the experience of seeing Hawkeye in the flesh! Hahaha.) Anyway, it grew and grew, and they are still doing it. I went six years in a row, I think, and look back on it as one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had.

            Hey, when I’m 100, I’m going to think of something very cool to do…but I can tell you now, it will NOT be jumping out of a perfectly fine, properly functioning airplane to plummet through the air, screaming “I’m going to DIIIIIIEEEE!” Nuh-uh. Nope. Not gonna happen. 😀

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            • LOL, you had me nearly dead of laughter at that image 😀 Not something I will be doing, either.
              The LOTR tour came about in a similar way, just that the family who set it up turned it into a really profitable business. NZ is awesome anyway, but with 2 weeks touring film sites its just the most incredible experience. I recorded it on my blog – listed under categories – if you want to see some of the pics. I so want to go again, but it’ll be a few years before I can afford it!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I will definitely be checking out your NZ posts and photos. Oh, how I love that scenery! I can just imagine how much fun you must have had! I’ve had so many fun experiences come out of my online groups and friendships. WAY more positive things than negative. So far. 😀

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  2. Pingback: Wrapping up #EXCERPT WEEK on THE WRITE STUFF #readers #books | deborahjay

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