NaNoWriMo: An excerpt

Writing is, strictly speaking, a craft. This blog is meant to showcase my crafts. Thus, an excerpt from my novel this year, which is currently sitting pretty at just over 33,000 words.

This particular scene is about halfway through what I have so far. Two main characters are rival mercenaries/assassins, and one has been sent after the other. In answer, Kami’s boss calls her in to discuss the contract on her head. Then she goes out on the town. There are absolutely no spoilers in this excerpt.

——–

Kami was displeased. She had never been one to appreciate being called in, like a dog. Her boss had her number; why couldn’t he just call her with information? Instead she would get some cryptic message and have to drive to the city just to be given a name and general location. All of that could be done in five minutes over the phone.

She stopped the bike in front of the headquarters of the Inagawa-kai and glowered at the door for a moment. Her approach to the door was without pomp, but the guards showed her reverence anyway. She gave them a sarcastic salute and entered, making a bee line for the staircase, ignoring the secretaries who tittered at her.

She took the steps two at a time, stopping at the door at the top. She popped her neck a few times, pushed it open and walked in, “Sunny day today.”

Her boss looked up from the desk and the quiet conversation he was having. He wasn’t happy with Kami’s general disposition, but he had grown accustomed to it. The man speaking with him was obviously unfamiliar with Kami, however, because he stood abruptly and turned, “Who do you think you are?”

Kami arched a brow and watched him approach.

Answer me!”

Kami smiled and tilted her head, glancing over at her boss. He stood calmly and sighed, “Hanaka-san, please-”

You do not barge in on private meetings. Someone must teach you a lesson, clearly,” he raised his hand to strike, and Kami almost laughed. This clearly only angered him more, but the retort was cut off when Kami grabbed his arm, roughly pushing it back and stepping around him. When she had his arm pinned behind him, she turned him around to face her boss, “Clearly.”

Ishii-san sighed, “Kami. Let him go.”

The man tried to peer over his shoulder, fear obvious on his features, “Kami? Kami Mitsuko…”

Kami smiled and let go of his arm, “You didn’t know. I realize,” she looked over his shoulder, “You called me here.”

Ishii-san nodded, “Yes. Hanaka-san, you may go. Kami, please come in.”

The man stepped away, bowed, and then walked out, giving Kami a wide berth. She took a seat across from her boss and waited.

Are you aware, Kami, that the Yamaguchi-gumi have put a contract on you?”

Kami looked over the desk, scanning for anything of interest. She saw nothing that caught her eye, “Of course.”

The man sat in his chair and leaned on the desk before him. He looked across at Kami, fingers crossed in front of him, “Are you planning to do anything about it?”

She considered this for a moment, “No.”

He sighed, dropping his head, “I thought that might be your answer. This doesn’t bother you at all? You have no concerns?”

I am not concerned, no. But it does bother me…in the way that a fly being in my house bothers me.”

Ishii-san sighed, “I will trust your judgment for now, but if things continue to progress, I will have to send you out in retaliation.”

Kami nodded, chewing her lip for a moment, “Okay. Why couldn’t we do this over the phone?”

He smiled, “You know I don’t like doing business that way.”

Yeah,” she stood with a sigh, “I’m really not worried. I’ve met the guy they sent after me, and he’s not going to do it.”

And when they take him off and put someone else on it?”

She shrugged, making her way to the door, “I’ll deal with that if it happens. I’m sure the Yamaguchi-gumi will get over it, right? The guy was a fat pimp. He probably was more trouble for them than anything, and as soon as they realize it…and that their number one assassin can’t even take me in, well, they’ll get over it,” and she walked out.

Waste of a drive, she thought, but I might as well take advantage.

She waved to the guards as she mounted her bike and took off down the street. She felt confident she could find at least one good bar in the area. She had agreed to meet with Mary Elizabeth in the morning, so a crazy night was probably out of the question, but what could happen?

*          *           *

The impact was perhaps more than she had anticipated; the wall creaked behind the weight of her hitting it. She slid down the wall and took a moment to catch her breath before standing again, using the wall as a support. She shook her head free of the fog that was creeping up on her.

That…all you got?”

*        *        *

The sun made red streaks flash across her eyelids, and she groaned. She searched her memory for what woke her – oh, yes, knocking. There it was again. She pushed herself up slowly, still unwilling to open her eyes to face the sun. Based on what was under her fingers and the position of the sun, she placed herself on her couch. She shuffled to the door, still working on the details of how she got home, and opened it, “Yes?”