A short preview from my work-in-progress novel, Brichstopia: Rebirth. Every twenty pages I'll give y'all another preview. Trying to hype things up so when I get it published I'll get lots of buyers.
Jack Buckland, as all who knew him knew well, was a flippant, shallow, arrogant man, quick to give either a biting retort or a fistful of knuckles to anyone who dared cross him. He was scarcely past his mid-twenties, but the wit in his head and the fire in his soul belied years of experience in an unrelenting world of hard men and hard business. Despite his intellect, he was an unkempt-looking sort of fellow, with a mop of brown hair tucked behind his ears, whiskers on his jaw, a roving scar on his forehead and a sloping brow. His eyes were incapable of displaying any sort of emotion; whether purposely so or not, none knew—Jack Buckland was a man hard to read.
His height was contorted by bad posture; hunched back and drooping shoulders showed a man beaten into submission, and yet, the way he held his jaw—jutting out in an unabashed display of resolution—showed a deep cockiness that was intensified by his sharp wit. If anyone dared challenge Jack Buckland with a smart remark, they were in for a verbal thrashing of incomparable proportions.
However, after the agonizing three-hour patrol with Poncho LeRoy that morning, the fast-talking captain had nothing to say. As soon as he and the little corporal had entered Camp Wasteland, Jack had escaped to the tent he shared with Brégan Hũndersen and hadn't come out since. The bulk of his time was spent under the ever-present influence of camp-stilled whiskey and leftover hotcakes. This in turn resulted in a very drunk and very loud Captain Jack Buckland.
The sun was sinking to the western horizon, and Jack was sprawled out over his cot with a whiskey bottle in one hand and a chunk of a leftover hotcake in the other when Brégan Hũndersen entered the tent. A concerned look covered the highlander's face as he added several chunks of wood to the little stove in the middle of the room. With naught but a glance at his inebriated drinking buddy, he maneuvered himself around their inconveniently placed but fiercely loved and protected whiskey still, and knelt down at the foot of his cot, opening a large wooden sea chest. Jack noticed this through his stupor and gave what looked like a herculean effort to get up. Instead, he rolled bodily off the bed with a loud belch, hitting the floor hard and spilling some whiskey in the process. He lapped it up like a dog.
“Wha's up, eh,” he slurred, “y'ain't looked in tha' chest in months.” Without a word, Brégan slapped the chest shut. Jack pulled his blanket off the bed and onto himself with a snort.
“There's a bloody big storm on the horizon, mate,” Brégan said.
“Don't change the subjec', boy,” Jack replied, stabbing an accusatory finger at Brégan; he suddenly appeared very sober. “You were out agin las' night, weren't you.” He stuck his lip out defiantly. Bregan looked down at the floor in steely silence for a moment, then looked up at Jack with leveled eyes.
“Aye, ah was at tha'. An' I ain't afeared of sayin' it.”
“How many were there,” Jack demanded.
“I saw three of 'em,” Brégan replied, his eyes fiery.
“... Killed?” Jack prodded.
“Sure as all hell I killed 'em. Slashed each one of 'em open wyde. Tied rocks aroond their necks an' throo 'em off the cliffs an' intae the river the liddle twits. Prood to say it.”
Awkward silence fell fast and heavy. The wind began to howl outside, sending the tent canvas flapping noisily. Cold seeped in through every crack as white flurries drifted from the upset sky. Ragged clouds chased each other across the horizon, shrieking and wailing like lost souls from the very pit of hell. Crackling fingers of lightning ripped through the sky and receded with thunderous crashes, sending shivers down Jack's spine. He took several sips of whiskey, then broke the silence:
“We're goin' out. Tonight. I'm bringin' Pulcher an' Jackal. I've let you 'ave all the fun for too long, an' I won't let you go out alone agin, understood?” Brégan looked up and grinned broadly.
“We'll 'ave a right ol' killin' spree tonight mate,” Jack remarked, “we'll go as far as it takes to find as many o' the bloody meatbags as we can, an' then we'll kill the lo' of them.” Jack paused. “But only after this 'angover is done squishin' me brains.”
He fell back with a thud, muffling the thunder with his snores.Cheers lads!