So yesterday I started getting through ancient sketches on my laptop and resuscitating or deleting them.
This was a messy doodle that I cleaned up last night.
I figure I’ll either throw out or transform all my icky, boring half-sketches, and then my laptop will be organized and not so haphazard.
I like how this one turned out, anyway! And now, here is what Diana does next:
Stuart sobbed like a man unobserved, following Diana and wiping his face with the motion of a devastated child. If Diana had not been so curious about what he would say and do next, she might have been tempted to say something along the lines of, ‘Just kidding!’, or ‘Have a hug, you pathetic, adorable noodle.’
However, as she was highly invested in finding out what Stuart was like when he thought he was alone, she held her tongue and kept walking in the direction of her old house, which she hoped would be mostly undisturbed.
Diana really wanted to change her clothes, and she was looking forward to using her own shampoo in a nice, cold shower. To her surprise, Diana had rather gotten used to frigid water, and was almost thinking about continuing to take cold showers in the future when she got her life back.
Diana had come to the conclusion, after Stuart had revealed that he’d been in an experimental tube for four years when she had only experienced a few weeks, that the aliens were holding a kind of scientific and emotional expedition, and that if she played her cards right and got into their heads, she might be able to negotiate everything going back to the way it had been before the aliens had come.
Diana was pretty sure, based on the aliens’ unwillingness to stand by while Stuart threatened her, that the aliens hadn’t actually killed any humans yet. As far as I know, Diana reflected, they might have done some kind of trick with time, and none of this has actually happened.
When Diana thought this, a strange ripple, like a concentric heat wave, shivered on her right side. She froze and stared at it. Stuart was crying volubly and stopped, too, though he appeared to think she was caught up in making plans instead of reacting to anything in particular.
The concentric heat vanished, and nearly translucent words rose into the air. Diana was sure Stuart could not see them.
Diana Vassel, hold back your development. Finish the term. Make an oath? Human promise. Do that now.
The term of five years, she thought, and Diana looked around the street for a moment and then drew a deep sigh.
“It’s too bad I’m all alone now,” Diana said, her face flushing gently because she felt stupid, and she kept walking. A single word appeared just in front of her, moving as she moved.
The word vanished as Stuart, drawing a ragged breath, began to speak.
You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, the original bodyguard is teaching a large group of people how to protect themselves.