Another Hump Day to get up and over. Today’s #1lineWed theme is **INNOCENT or INNOCENCE**. I found one instance of those words in my current Penumbra Papers WIP. I keep vacillating on the title. I’m currently toying with ECHOES AMONG THE STONES. Anyway, this is Roman’s story. For those unfamiliar, Roman is the gargoyle Sentinel who acted as Sade’s bodyguard when she was a child. Now he is the Legate of New Orleans, a neutral authority in a city wide-open to Magicks and Mundanes alike. Here is the opening salvo of the book:
Destinies are a dime a dozen and Fate is the biggest bitch of all. The thought drummed against Roman’s psyche like the rain tapping against the striped awning above his head. He toed a chunk of what appeared to be granite lying next to the curb, blocking the water running along the edge of the street. Two feet away, a stone head appeared to be crying as raindrops stained the face.
Roman, a gargoyle Sentinel and the Legate of New Orleans shoved his hands deep into his pockets to keep from wrapping them around the neck of the human who stood, quaking in his boots, before him. The young man opened his mouth to speak but one withering look shut him up again.
The sound of leather slapping against humid air wasn’t enough to distract Roman from his perusal of what appeared to be a shattered statue, nor did he look at the gargoyle who settled onto the sidewalk nearby.
“Roman.” Crevan, leader of the Sentinels stepped up beside him.
“I don’t recognize him, Le Vieil.” That bothered Roman on a deep, visceral level. There was a time when he’d known all of his brothers.
“He was young, barely out of the Refuge.”
“Why was he in my city?”
Crevan turned steely eyes on Roman. “Your city?”
“Yes, Le Vieil.” Roman used Crevan’s title but his tone was so dry dust should have puffed from between his lips. “New Orleans is mine.”
The unfortunate human chose that moment to pipe up. “Please, sir,” the kid whined. “I don’t know nuthin’ about this. I’m innocent. It wasn’t my idea.”
“There is no innocence, not even in death.” The words were out before Roman could stop them. He shackled his anger. Truly, it wasn’t the human’s fault. He stared at the broken remains of what had once been a gargoyle—one comparable to the mental age of the cowering youth in front of him.
Crevan cupped the human’s face in his huge hands and held the kid’s gaze. Silence slithered around them, along pewter tendrils of magic. “There,” Crevan eventually said. “It is done. He’ll take no memory with him and I have what he once knew.” His craggy face, when he turned to face Roman, was drenched with grief.
Roman instinctively knew the verdict. “We have to hunt.”
Do any of you have any innocent words to share? A character still cloaked in innocence? SHARE!!!