I’ve done a little bit of sketching recently. Snatching a moment here and there to explore my story worlds through the visual medium. One of my attempts is below Odez: The Wingless. I started as I usually do, pencil on paper then scanned into the computer, added a texture, then painted in Photoshop Elements. Easy-peasy… no not really. It took me ages!
I’m mostly happy with it, so ended up using a larger version as a banner for my Author’s Website. The symbol upon the picture is actually one I adapted from the symbols for Mercury and Neptune’s Trident. I redesigned it and it became the symbol for Uriel/ Uzual, who is a character referenced in many of my longer works. He is my common thread, a muse of sorts, knitting my story-worlds together.
In recent days I’ve really been digging into some Novel edits for Once Were Angels (formally named Severed Wings/Neon Dreams.) I’ve been having fun with it (not normally a common experience for me during revisions).
There’s a excerpt below if you are intrigued. (Warning neither of my MC’s are on their best behaviour in this scene.)
The transition wasn’t what she expected. Not an immersion in a sea of blinding black, but a flash, brilliant, searingly so. Sam jolted upright as her foot hit the ground on the other side. Soft uneven ground that gave a little under-foot. Once through she blinked at the landscape, stunned for a moment. Eyes not believing, needing to be convinced. A far away banished sun was shackled by thick spiraling clouds. It’s meek light travelling an undulating sea of sand. Beyond the desert were the outline of mountains, faraway, jutting black, misted darkly by distance.
Sam heard a faint pop and Odez materialized behind her. There was an immediate vulnerability about him.
The shopkeeper had said something to him before he came through, she guessed. More secrets.
His expression quickly changed and he had the nerve to give her a grin. She wouldn’t smile back, couldn’t.
This fake-ass angel didn’t deserve it.
“Not exactly the type of place you’d build a holiday home.” Sam observed dryly, scanning the desert ahead. He marched past, feet sliding as he strode giant steps down the sand dune they had arrived on.
“Come on. I have to show you something.”
“Will this something give me some answers? Because you’ve been as transparent as Emperor Putin’s curtains so far.”
He cast a half-glance back, dismissive. It pissed her off.
“You’ll understand everything soon enough.” She wasn’t sure why, but even though it didn’t smell like one, it certainly seemed like a lie.
Sam loped after him, the strength in her long legs returning slowly. “Where are we exactly?”
“This is the desert of reflection, one part of the larger realm that is Omega.”
“So what is Omega?”
“It is the place where everything began.” Odez replied, infuriatingly cryptic.
“What? Like the Garden of Eden?” She scoffed.
“No, not like the Garden of Eden.” He returned with no small amount of snark as if he were talking to a stupid child.
Fuck you, Angel.
Sam huffed,“So you stab me to death. And when I miraculously wake up some ghoul has taken a liking to my self-aware corpse. I’m assuming that’s what I am right? Some undead freak— a dead-woman-walking? Now under the guise of rescuing me, you bring me here, a desert! You better not be planning to wing off and leave me. Some deluded plan where you think making me wander for 40 days will turn me into Zombie-Jesus.” She stabbed a finger at his departing back. “If you do something like that, do you know what will happen, Boyo? If I survive, first thing I’ll do is hunt your shitty ass down and tear your fucking wings off— believe me like I’m God, that’s what will happen.”
“That would be impossible.”
“What the leaving me part? Or the idea of me going feral on your feathery ass?”
“In case you hadn’t noticed I don’t have any wings.”
“For all I knew they were invisible. Anyway, what sort of angel doesn’t have any wings?” All she got in return was a stony silence. She narrowed her eyes at his back, a flat man-like back with a hefty broadness round his shoulders. “So you lost them?”
More silence but she knew she was on the right track. She could smell it — like a shark scenting blood in the water. It was time for those teeth. “Ho, right, so no wings. I guess that’s gotta be hard— like a man with no dick. There will be no drilling those soft ass clouds now, huh?”
He turned his head, revealing a tell-tale twitch in his cheek. Sam silently congratulated herself. She had found his soft squishy bits, maybe time it was time to give them a little squeeze. She stopped in her tracks, her feet subsiding in the sand, grounding her. “I think I need some answers then. For all I know you’re the Devil in a mighty sweet disguise.” Did she just say that out loud? She continued anyway. “What’s your deal then wingless? What do you get out of bringing me here?”
Odez kept stubbornly on for a few more steps before slamming to an ill-tempered stop. “I want my wings back.” Just like that. His voice flat, obviously an attempt to appear emotionless and detached, but she already knew he was no automaton. The man was complicated and complicated people were often dangerous people. ”So I’m guessing this heritage you mentioned makes me some kind of prize pony. Do you intend to ride me on up to heaven in the hope that they will reward you with a holy fucking-wing-jacket ehh?”
His jaw flexed, biting down, keeping silent.
“So why am I special, Wingless? What exactly am I?”
He strode on, apparently not wanting to talk any more. Shut up tighter than a snitch at an organised crime convention.
“Well, that guy back at the Cigar Shop, Farid, he seemed to think I was something special.”
“He did, did he?”
Passive aggressive, surly fucking featherless bastard