[I wanted to share a small section of Gingerbread Wolves, just to prove that I really am working on it.]
What do think about this? I asked Catskinner in my head.
For answer he used my mouth to speak out loud.
‟you will have your war, sister.”
‟Not my war, brother,” Agony said sharply. ‟The war is not my choice, but it will come at a time and a place of my choosing.”
‟you have called down deep heaven on your head,” Catskinner countered.
‟Deep heaven must fall with or without me. Earth must not belong to the gods,” Agony’s voice was resolute.
‟must it belong to you instead?” Catskinner asked.
‟To us, brother,” Agony smiled warmly, ‟And only for a time. One mortal lifetime in our hands against the breaking of the chains that bind her.”
‟should we survive, of course,” I could feel Catskinner’s feral grin on my face, ‟the legions of the vasty night are arrayed against you.”
‟I’ve legions of my own,” Agony was still smiling.
Catskinner didn’t seem to have anything to say to that. I did, so I took my voice back.
‟This is all just a big game to you, isn’t it?” I asked.
She took the question seriously. ‟Of course it’s a game, James. A game I intend to win. Why does that bother you?”
‟Because you’re playing with people’s lives!” I tried not to get angry with Agony, because it didn’t do any good. Sometimes I couldn’t help it, though.
She still looked more amused than offended. ‟Yes, James, that’s how this game is played, with lives. Don’t think that means that I don’t value them. This game began long before you and I were born. The human race has been playing since it became truly human—playing without understanding the rules or appreciating the stakes.”
She folded her hands and managed to look serious for a moment. ‟I can see the game board and I understand the rules. I have had… glimpses of our opponents. I know exactly what is at stake. I have analyzed the moves and I believe that I can finish the long game—and win it.”
Then her serious expression broke into a grin. ‟I know you find it difficult to believe, but I am playing on the side of the human race. I won’t pretend that I have any higher motivation—I want to win and I intend to claim all of the pieces for myself. However, I have seen the alternative, and I am by far the least of the available evils.”