I have been in and out with my regular posting due to work, other projects and continuing to work on my novel. It can be maddening to not have enough time for writing and editing except in snippets of time. Still I persist with this story I feel must be told. It is fiction and yet it is everyone’s story in many ways.
While I am not sharing it all here on the blog, I have shared a chapter before and would like to share another with you now. If you are so inclined and would take time to read and let me know what you think, I appreciate you!
I hope you are all having a beautiful weekend. Hugs!
This scene takes place after a happy event among the main characters who must soon begin a journey into the dark and unknown lands of Domhan in search of something precious and very necessary for its survival.
From Forever Never/Dreams and Nightmares
There was so much laughter and singing among them, the lovers too wrapped up in each other to see It there, inching Its way between the rocks to get a closer look, to get close enough to have Its way.
Someone turned to look! It froze where it stood, half hidden, half exposed. Its body was so gnarled and hunched it resembled a rock in the pale light of the moon. Hueco sensed something was with them that shouldn’t be, but he ignored it. He had too much on his mind as he sat apart from the others, wanting no part of the reveling and wishing they had been on their way to the dark mountains days ago. His best friend went missing up there and he wanted to know what became of him. He shivered as the wind whipped across his face and braced himself against it, wondering how much colder it would be in that terrible place that ate up Hunters or spat them back out like gnawed bones so that they couldn’t remember themselves. The angry Horseman paid no mind to the scratchy shuffling behind him as It darted across to stand behind the stack of branches and debris set aside for keeping the fire alive. He didn’t care about the shadow that fell across the glittering sand that he drew angry circles in with a stick as It ran past him toward the children splashing in the quiet surf. He didn’t hear Its labored breathing over the crashing waves and the angry voice in his head. He didn’t notice the bitter stench as it scurried by him like a giant bug toward those laughing jewels. It was in the heartbeat it took for the loathsome beast to reach them that Hueco saw its hideous face, the moon lighting up every oily wrinkle and bristly hair on Its cracked hide. It looked back at him for the briefest moment to grin, showing teeth like sharpened knives, as foamy saliva spilled over the gray, cracked lips that curled back onto its face. Soulless eyes glared at Hueco, but the glee in them glinted like the edge of a sword as It reached out and grabbed Agean, jerking him out of the water. The boy was so shocked he opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out when he looked into those dead eyes. If not for the greed in the beast’s soul, that night could have replaced Domhan’s worst night for the newly paired lovers, stained with fresh anguish and loss.
One weakness in Darkness and Fear is the need for more. More love, more power, more attention. In that moment, the beast had to have both children, although the dark God only commanded It take the son of the Witch. It thought the Master would be so pleased if It brought back another of the Light Ones’ offspring and hoped that a pair of prizes would give It a warm place inside the caves instead of sleeping out with the Howlers at night, always with one eye open and Its knife in hand. Maybe the Master would really let him kill them, something It had wanted to do every moment it had to live with a child around. (Such happy sounds, such opportunity, even when kept a prisoner in a cave.)
It was when It’s gnarled hand reached out to grab Saol that Hueco found his voice, that his legs moved and he ran towards them, shouting, “The children!! Laoch! Eolas! It’s taking the children! Maravilla, Ella, stop It!”
Saol just escaped the clawed hand reaching for her shoulder, its long nails scraping across her delicate skin with precision. “No!!” She screamed and stepped back, falling into the shallow waves. Tiny bright red droplets dotted her soft skin. “Ouch!” She cried as the salt water washed over it. Her heart was screaming at the sight of Agean dangling precariously from Its other hand, those nails so close to his beautiful face. His face…Saol was amazed at Agean’s face. There was no fear there. He looked defiant and began wriggling to free himself as he kicked wildly at the beast, much to its surprise and delight. It always appreciated a fighter.
Standing near the fire, Naofa looked up when she heard Hueco; and although she didn’t hear a word he said, she knew there was something terribly wrong. Her eyes sought the Warrior who had already reached his bow and quiver and looked for her. Without another thought she stepped to the blazing fire, reached into the flames with her bare hands and mumbled a few words before scooping out a spinning ball of yellow and orange. Her hands spun the ball as she made eye contact with Laoch who already had his arrow in place. He pointed it directly at the Sorceress as she blew across the fiery ball and flung it with automatic precision at the Warrior. A quick tilt of the bow and it was caught, the end of his arrow was lit and he turned toward the beast, too absorbed in Its brief victory to notice; but it was more difficult not to notice the fiery ball flying with lightening speed towards Its head. With no time to make a good decision It tried to run for freedom.. but It wasn’t leaving without its prize. With the extra weight of Agean and Its feet too large, its heart too heavy, its body too hunched, the clumsy beast stood no chance. Before it took a step out of the muck and sand, the arrow struck its right temple.
For a moment, it thought things would be okay. It pulled one flat foot from the sand and looked up towards the rocks where it had descended. Maybe It could get there after all. That was when its head caught fire and the world split in two. The wriggling child found his voice and wailed for his Mother as the beast lost control of Its body altogether and losing its grip, dropping Agean into the waves. It turned back for a moment to see a blur of moving bodies rushing towards it, waving and shouting, pointing. Not that It could hear anything but the sound of certain fiery death roaring in its head. It turned from the madness and tried to run, making it only a few weak steps before the fire raced down the hair on its back and enveloped Its body. It tried to scream. They all saw it, but its mouth seemed empty somehow. Nothing came out but a raspy gurgling sound. It turned for one last look at its Master’s enemies. Now they stood still, staring at the pitiful creature. Some looked at It with hatred. The softer ones had something else in their eyes. What was that look? It thudded to the sand and watched the stars fade into nothing as the fire above it licked the wind.
To be continued…..