Teaser Tuesday: Artifact Spirit


Here’s another scene from my current WIP.  It’s rough, as it’s my NaNoWriMo novel, but hopefully you’ll still enjoy it.

Mai felt a jolt, then another.  And another.  And she opened her eyes and looked down her body.  There stood Analise, slowly chipping away at Mai’s body with a hammer and chisel.  The bisque–brown, hardened clay–that had surrounded her metal innards, flying in every which direction.
Mai wanted to close her eyes tight against the view, but she was as fascinated as she was horrified.   It did not hurt, what they were doing, but neither did it feel good.  It was, to put it gently, uncomfortable.
The boy that had placed her on the table was working on her arm.  Though his hands and muscles were larger than the woman’s, he was more gentle.  Delicately carving off the bisque, one layer at a time until Mai’s shiny metal bone structure showed.

The sound of her skin cracking was worse than she could possibly imagine.  There was no possible way to describe how much it hurt her.  Not physically.  There was only pressure physically.  But mentally, she was broken by the sound.

They were taking away who she was with their chisels, picks, and hammers.  She’d been special.  Different.  Beautiful.  Now?  She had no clue what she’d look like.  She only knew, if she could weep, she would.

She wanted to yank away, but the straps holding her to the table allowed no movement.  Besides, what was the point of fighting now.  They’d already done their damage.  And she’d been forbidden by the goddess to reveal herself to those not of the

Mai stared up at the ceiling, doing everything she could to block the sound of the cracking from her ears.  Apparently the goddess had been wrong.  It was not more dangerous to reveal herself to people not of the Adair family.  Who knew what other horrors would await her if she did.

After what felt like an eternity later the cracking finally stopped.  Analise stepped back into Mai’s view and she smiled down at her, placing her hand along Mai’s cheek.

“Such a shame about this pretty face, though.” She narrowed her eyes at Mai.  “I wonder if there’s a way to pull this back off without cracking it.”

Mai watched as the woman, grabbed the edge of her face, right under the chin, and tugged lightly.  A smile formed on the woman’s face, then she turned and went to a little work table off to the side and came back with a little machine that had a serrated circle on one end.  On the other was something Mai didn’t know what it was.  But when Analise pressed a lever on the side of the device, it hissed and a cloud of steam billowed from the back of it.

The circle started spinning and Mai whimpered when Analise brought it close to Mai’s neck.  Since the woman didn’t stop, Mai assumed the sound was lost in the whine from the machine.
Analise place the rotating circle right underneath Mai’s jaw, and Mai felt a vibration as the whine from the machine grew louder and a blanket of dust erupted from it.

The vibrating moved up the side of her face, past her eye, at the hairline above her forehead and back down the other side, exactly as she’d come up.
Mai fought to keep her eyes open and unstaring, but she couldn’t help but follow the path Analise took.  However, the woman was so focused on her task, she didn’t seem to notice.

When the woman put the machine down, Mai, closed her eyes briefly.  She knew what was coming and she wasn’t happy about it.

Analise put her hands on either side of Mai’s head and slowly lifted the painted porcelain, that was Mai’s face.  Analise turned it to face her and Mai stared at it.  This would be the last time she saw it.  Something that had been a part of her for a hundred years.  That made her, her was gone.

The woman clicked her tongue, then sighed.  “Don’t worry, sweet thing.” She patted Mai’s metal structure.  “Analise is going to put this in a safe spot for you.”  She smiled down at Mai, then set the porcelain on the desk.  “Now let’s peel back this hair, so we can put that aside as well.  It’s so beautiful.  I think they used real hair.  We’ll have to make sure to do the same with your new ones.  Only the best for you.”

Analise moved behind Mai’s head, and Mai couldn’t see her anymore.  However she did feel the tug and hear the ripping of the cloth that held her elaborate hair style in place as it tore from her metal skull.
The sound echoed through her and she finally just wanted to close her eyes and keep them that way.  However, without her face, there were no lids to keep her from seeing.
But that didn’t matter for long, because Analise reached her suprisingly nimble fingers for those brown colored orbs and pulled them out of the sockets.
Mai didn’t know if it was a curse or a blessing that she couldn’t see the rest of what was happening to her.

4 Responses to “Teaser Tuesday: Artifact Spirit”

  1. Jessie says:

    >OH WOW – totally freaked out for poor Mai.

  2. jasouders says:

    >Yeah. Poor Mai goes through a lot in the first few chapters. And it really only gets worse. 🙁

  3. Liz Czukas says:

    >Wow, when you said you were going dark, you weren't kidding! I really like this!

    – Liz

  4. Heather says:

    >Wow, that was disturbing in a truly wonderful way! I loved it! But then again, I do love the dark…