Friday, August 12, 2011

I Hate You

Tessa Conte, over at Tessa's Blurb, is hosting a Hatefest today.

The idea is as follows: On August 12th, post a story, an excerpt of your work or a poem you've written that shows HATE of some form or another - your character hates someone, someone hates your character, or maybe you hate someone / something?

So, of course, I've picked a passage from Ghosts of Innocence, because, of course, in a story of tit-for-tat revenge for the toasting of your home planet there's never going to be any kind of hate showing.

Is there?

Here, professional assassin and revenge-seeker, Shayla Carver, has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed public servant, has infiltrated the Imperial Palace, and is face to face with her unsuspecting quarry for the first time.

There were guards at the doors and ranged around the walls. None of them had weapons drawn. The nearest was a good twenty feet away. Shayla stood alone in front of the desk, scant feet from the Emperor himself.

She looked at him with a mixture of loathing and curiosity, carefully masked under an expression of bland obeisance.

I could kill you here and now!

The feeling was overwhelming. It would be so easy. She could end it now, and she didn't care what happened to her afterwards.

But she submerged the burning rage under glacial determination. I don't just want to kill you. I want to destroy you!

Emperor Julian Skamensis leafed unhurriedly through a sheaf of documents floating across the surface of the desk. He spent a few seconds reading each one, scrawled notes on some, signatures on others, oblivious to the simmering hate standing opposite.


In order to calm herself, Shayla forced herself to gaze past the Emperor's shoulder to the tall windows behind him. Fountains played in the courtyard behind. Rose beds formed a blaze of regimented color. The whole effect was more sumptuous and welcoming than the solitary fountain and tired flagstones of the court outside Shayla's window. Her eyes followed the tracery between the window mullions, the high glass panels glowing in afternoon sun depicting scenes of Imperial conquest. She hastily tore her eyes away and instead followed the plush folds of green and gold drapes.

At length, the Emperor looked up from his desk.

Housekeeping note: The timing is a bit awkward for me, but this blogfest was just too interesting to ignore. When this entry gets posted my Internet access is likely to be patchy at best. I will try to get online to visit other participants, but please understand if I don't get around to it for a couple of weeks.


  1. Interesting! Slow-burning hatred is always good stuff, but I wonder if Shayla is going to regret the opportunity to kill him fast.

  2. I liked it. You words flow freely, and I can feel the hate. Hope to hear how she plans to destroy him. Is Shayla the one with the subcutaneous implants? I think you mentioned her name. :)

  3. I'm wondering why Shayla hates him so much-- is he an evil Emperor, or is she on the evil side, herself? Interesting scene!

  4. There's certainly plenty of hatred there, though possibly things could be teased out a little more to match the slow nature of the hatred.

  5. Toasted her planet, did he, the dastardly skum? Sounds like a cool story, and I'm liking Shayla already. Although Julian has style, gotta give him that... ; P

    Don't worry about commenting late, I know I for one love commenst no matter when they come.

    Thanks for taking part,


  6. She really hates him doesn't she? I love the way it seethes beneath every action and that she doesn't act out on impulse but waits.

  7. I hate it! Oh, wait. I was too caught up in the theme. I meant, "I love it!" :) Have a great weekend!

  8. Yikes Ian, I just hate the fact I missed the opportunity to get involved in that hateful 'Hatefest'. Don't you just hate time zones?
    Have a hateful, I mean, happy weekend, eh :)

  9. I'm wondering how exactly she could easily kill the emperor? I can't imagine a ruler who is in the habit of making such enemies allowing anyone wearing weapons near him. Especially not if she impersonating someone newly appointed.

  10. Jen, Shayla is exercising extreme restraint, but he can't die yet. She plans to trick his own fleet into destroying his planet before his eyes. Then he can die.

    Laila, yes, you got it. She's the one with the implants.

    Amalia, he's the one who burned her home planet. I'd consider that a reasonable basis for hate. As to who's the evil one...I try to keep my readers guessing on that point :D

    Stu, you're only seeing one scene (obviously). There's plenty more encounters along the way.

    Diane - exactly!

  11. Tessa, thanks for hosting this. It was fun to take part and I'm looking forward to reading more entries. Taking a break from packing the trailer before we set off so I'll see how far I get.

    Kate, she's done many years of waiting for this opportunity. A little longer won't hurt ;)

    Carrie, thank you, and I hope your weekend is good too.

    Hello Gary, I think your post about that scumbag supervisor would have made a great entry! Shame you posted it on the wrong day.

    Sarah, she is almost more dangerous without a weapon than with. And as to how she managed to get so close, well, I guess that's what the book is all about ;)

  12. Slow-cooking hate...the most poisonous kind.

    Thanks for stopping by my post!

  13. Thanks for sharing in our blogfest! My favorite part was when Shayla decided that a quick death was too good for the Emperor, that she had to take his life apart bit by bit.

    I'll be looking forward to your visit.

    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here:

  14. Ooh, that takes iron willpower, not killing a guy you hate so much! Good stuff!

  15. OK, slipping through the gaps in the patchy wi-fi on this campground.

    Damyanti, real hate takes time to mature properly, doesn't it?

    Kelworthfiles, I'll do my best, but it might take a while :)

    Trisha, Shayla's had most of a lifetime building up to this, she knows patience.

  16. I wouldn't want to be that Emperor. ;) Wish I hadn't missed this blogfest, it sounds fun. My fault for being a bad blogger lately. heh.

  17. Very intriguing story - I've been reading Dune again, so I'm in the mood for some sci-fi :)
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  18. Yes Jean, I'm sure you could have dug up some juicy excerpts for this blogfest :D

    Charmaine, I think Dune is the yardstick by which writers like me aspire to be measured. I haven't read it for years, must dig it out again.


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