NaNoWriMo Stats, etc

NaNoWriMo is underway and only two days in, I’m already behind. Not much mind you, only 36 words, but behind is behind. Am I right? I won’t get up from this desk today, unless the situation becomes emergent, until I reach and pass my goal of 2,000 words. Here’s where I stand so far:

How about a (very) rough excerpt to hopefully whet your appetites?

After the spider attack, two days passed before Paul could make the journey back out to the site. They made their way to the camp of the old Bedouin and once again hired his horses and donkey and along with the young boy they made their way back out to Capitolas.

Neither man harbored any illusions that the spiders are the only problem they will face getting to the artifact. Both are hoping though, that no more insects will be in their future. The day is hot; more than 35 degrees Celsius. The sun is so hot that it seems to have even burnt most of the blue color from the sky.

The trek up the hillside to the cistern is slow and difficult and made even more so by Paul’s weakened condition. Both men fall silent as they climb over the hot rocks and loose gravel. When they finally make their way to the cistern Nader becomes alarmed.

“Paul, someone has been here since we left.”

“How do you know that?”

Paul pointed to the cistern’s cover.

“Just before we left, I wedged a small black stone between the cover and the rim of the cistern. It’s not there anymore.”

For a moment, both of them stared at the cistern wordlessly. Obviously, it wasn’t the boy, or if it was he hadn’t found what he was looking for. There was no doubt in either of their minds that the boy was only assigned by his grandfather to accompany them to see what they were after and whether they found it. Was someone else observing them? Who could it be, and why were they watching?

No answers would be forthcoming at the moment, so best to set about the task at hand and get out of this part of the country. It seemed to be growing more hostile every day. The two men worked together and got their wedging bars under the cover and lifted it over the side.

Paul gasped and fell to the side, grasping the side of the cistern. His mind was whirling and he couldn’t seem to form a recognizable thought. He attempted to speak as he reached for Nader’s arm.

“Paul! Paul! Are you bitten again? Where is the pain? Point to the pain if you can’t speak!”

His grasp on Nader’s forearm was vice-like, but yet he could feel the rapid thrum of Paul’s trembling. With his free hand, he cupped Paul’s face and pushed his own face close, forcing him to focus only on his eyes.

“What is it Paul? Tell me where the pain is!”

At last Paul found his voice.

“I’m not bitten. It’s not pain. There’s a dead body at the bottom of the cistern. Most of his face has been eaten away! There’s a scorpion the size of a German Shepherd still eating him!”

They had both expected to meet such creatures. Mustafa had told them they should expect enchanted creatures to be guarding the artifact. Having regained his wits, Paul looked around for the Bedouin boy.

“Abdullah! Where are you boy? Wow, I guess he had a peek down cistern! Look at him go! He’s got that little donkey running as fast as he can!”

 

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