No’va was originally changed to reflect the main character in the title a few months ago. Now it’s called Onyx.
Due to the current Mierna series, I’ve put the novel on hold for the time being to focus on getting the second illustrated book out first. Then I’ll go back and work some more on the ending o the novel. Last I wrote, the second part was complete. I read through the first half of the book and it sounded amazing. Now I need to reread through the other half and make sure it’s on the right track.
Started painting in Mierna, the last main character character for the cover. This is definitely a rare sight to have more than one character on paper. A few minor corrections to make on the background details and I think this is nearly complete!
The book is far from complete, though. There’s still the ending to write and several more illustrations to do before I can head into formatting everything. But it’s coming!!
From “Mierna & the Keeper of Nightmares” – Book II
A hallway of tall mirrors reflected the purple lighting between them. Each at been arranged to guide a person through a narrow maze, which Mierna followed when there was no way to get around to the other rooms. Bizarre patterns along the floor tricked her eyes into believing she was misstepping around a corner. She caught herself in time before bumping one of the mirrors and reached out to steady herself. In astonishment, her hand passed over a painting that created the illusion of something standing in front of her. Several times she got turned around because of these illusions. In outrage, she began dragging her fingers across their smooth surfaces, letting touch guide her instead.
I don’t have time for this! Her thoughts were bitter with worry. All she could think about was finding Vlanders. She was not even sure if this was where he was located. All she knew was where the spirit had pointed, and she had followed. She felt terrible leaving Bashton behind, but with the boards behaving the way they did and the snapping tentacles from above, there was little choice.
It was no surprise when she came out the other side to find several colorful rotating tunnels. At least they looked like they were moving with the way the complimentary colors made the spirals dance before her eyes. A hint of dizziness washed over her, causing her to shut her eyes and fumble her way through that section.
“Shall we?” Vlanders’ steps livened, seeming to tiptoe on air. He spun into a gracious bow, sweeping a hand low in a quick-changing transformation to human. As he straightened, an opened V-neck top and black pants adorned his lean form. Not his normal color choice, Mierna soon saw why when Talia turned about with a matching dress.
Mierna’s jaw must have dropped when the two came together in an impressive but aggressive style of spicy salsa. She eyed the half-cut dress draping over one leg that lifted alongside his thigh. A firm grip allowed him to slide her along the floor, then turn abruptly and catch her from tipping the other way. They were fast. High heels thrust between his legs while he grape-vined around her in a tango combination. To help create a beat, the faeries started thumping the stone floor but gradually picked up the tempo.
Soon, Mierna began to realize the reason behind their dancing. She picked up on movements that were meant to throw the partner off-beat. First it was Vlanders out-stepping Talia, then the other way around. In all, the two seemed perfect in their performance. They clutched and spun, swayed and twirled, each trying to out-perform the other. At last, Vlanders spun Talia out but caught her hand to change direction back toward him. A heel slipped, and for a brief moment Vlanders reveled in silent victory as she fell.
Mierna clutched at her necklace while the rest of the faeries scattered around the room. Some of them already lay lifeless, a mere shell of their former selves. The glow of energy pulsed within these mouths until they closed tightly to contain their catches, retracting back to the head somewhere within the mess of tangled arms. It grew larger, cracking the glass along the sphere. At least, it shattered beneath the weight.
Vlanders dashed in front of Mierna and Wexel to shield them from the explosion of tiny fragments. The chamber was a mess of scrambling bugs and broken glass. Even the chamber’s floor, reinforced with metal over stone, groaned beneath the mound of pressure continuing to expand. Little by little, the three were forced to keep their distance in the remaining, untouched space.
“How in the world..?” Mierna could scarcely believe how large it grew in just a few minutes. It did not even resemble the creature she remember seeing at the circus. That, at least, seemed more like a living thing. This one appeared to be a fungus that took over everything it touched. She turned toward the sound of door sliding shut. The same was done on the other side of the room. Those still trapped took to the air, only to be slapped back down by a whipping tentacle. Terrified, Mierna cringed at their screeching cries when hitting forges or ripping wings across jagged stalagmites in the room’s corners. “Vlanders, how do we do this?”
“We?” Vlanders’s hushpuppy eyebrows lowered in a look that read, You know how this works. As the creature continued expanding along the floor and upper walls, the púca gave a weary sigh and noticed her fingers clamping around the necklace.
“It’s all going to come to me, isn’t it?” Mierna started to tear up, but a hand over hers seemed to draw back the seeping fear.
“Your particular magic is one that no one can take away, not even Nightmare Incubus.” Vlanders comforted her with a gentle smile and tapped a finger over her charm. It glowed a brief moment. “No matter what happens, I shall be with you… always.”
He held both hands out as he backed away with that jester-like grin never diminishing. As she and Wexel watched, he gracefully turned to face their arch nemesis.
“Come to dance for me, my little púca?” the voice of Bashton taunted.
“Indeed, I shall!” He took an excited bow. “But first, to business!”
Mierna could not understand the words that followed, nor could Wexel decipher any of it. Whatever exchanged between the two was meant for their ears only. However, he made sure to flash her a warm smile while continuing to elude capture by stepping in beat with several flicks of the slithering arms. He moved with ease, almost reflecting a style of ballet while the massive body moved in around him. For the next few moments, it seemed the creature enjoyed his little performance. It was only as he slowed did several tentacles block Mierna’s view.
That familiar glow from those Venus-fly-trap mouths caused alarm, though she could not be sure until they pulled aside to confirm her worse fear.
Created using Blender 3.0 – looking gorgeous! I could just finish it off by illustrating the rest of the details. I’m just experimenting at the moment and seeing how far I can take this. Started to place down grass particles… I just tried it on a small patch first.. would need adjusting.. but then again not everything would be grass… there’s supposed to be a circular driveway and stone wall surrounding the property as well.