I decided to share with In Genre the intro to a long-suffering (as in neglected and unfinished) fantasy novel I started long ago.
It should give everyone something to read. And I so rarely share my writing with people it’d be nice for the feedback.
The novel has no title, and who knows if I’ll ever finish it, but this is the beginning as it stands now -
Prologue: Shadows Yearning Light
How long had it been since she had last fed? Days, weeks, months . . . years? Fasting dulled her senses, slowed her thoughts, to the point that she lost any concept of the passage of time. She willed herself to resist the urge to eat, but her body’s cravings, her curse, would win out anytime something edible grew near. The longer she went the easier the hibernation became, but the stronger the pull when food came closer.
Eventually, she hoped, if enough time passed she would starve to death. Once she even believed that the end had almost come before a feast presented itself. Damn all people and their never-ending insistence on finding her.
And now she felt it again. So strong, so unstoppable . . . the craving, the longing, the need to feed. Someone approached her place of refuge. More than one someone. The fools.
Being hidden far beneath the surface and deep inside an inaccessible mountain chain, she had chosen this cavern for its absolute seclusion. As ever it mattered little for some persistent, mad fool always discovered where she had crawled away to. It was inevitable, her fate, and as much as she hated it, fought against it, in the end she always served it.
A ray of light broke the perfection of the absolute darkness. Something had caused a hole to appear in one of the cavern’s walls. She instinctively recoiled from the luminance, her cursed nature compelling her to shun the very brilliance she most deeply desired.
Beyond the opening, behind the light and now casting shadows in the patch of brightness, were creatures. Humans. She sensed their energy, their warmth, and the dreadful pangs threatened to overwhelm her reason. Who could have found her? This could be no accidental occurrence, no chance discovery . . . she had chosen her seclusion well this time. Whomever approached, she could hear the footfalls on the stone now, had come specifically to find her.
To what end she could only guess, though her slaughter seemed most likely. To her it would be most desirable as well. She held, however, no delusions that such would happen.
Wrenching, throbbing spasms tore through her emaciated innards. She knew it to be too late, that now the urge to feed would compel her to drain these intruders dry. She could make out voices now, at least two distinct ones.
A shiver of fear coursed through her. Something horrible loomed in that deceptively pure light, as hidden yet menacingly present as the man-shaped shadows that grew larger as the people approached. When had she last been afraid?
A man appeared at the rend in the wall, light glaring around his shadowed form. The nimbus caused him to seem much larger than his four and a half foot height, and something inside the human caused her more dread than a lanky, stooped person should.
“The creature is in here, my lord. Take care . . . the hunger it feels is palpable.”
After speaking the initial figure stepped cautiously aside, keeping his gaze upon she who now clawed at the back wall. Shadows hid each from being clearly seen by the other, yet somehow two sets of eyes met and a struggle of wills began. Another form moved into the aperture; this one stood taller, more than a foot so, and more physically powerful.
Little remained of her coherent thoughts. The urge to drain the life from the intruders overwhelmed her reasoning, perverting her into a ravenous beast. But she did not charge and slaughter the men. Something about the smaller one held her in check. She braced on the edge of assault, her murderous desires thwarted for the first time ever and by the sheer will of one being, a human no less. It enraged the bestial nature that controlled her.
The second intruder paused only briefly at the crude entrance before taking a tentative yet bold step towards her. One dark shrouded arm reached out slowly, longingly.
“It is her then?” the larger man asked, his voice both quiet and strong with special emphasis on the word ‘her.’
“Yes, my lord. Do not approach yet. The creature has not fed in a very long time.”
Some spark of her intelligence flared. Not only did they know where to find her, they knew of the urgings which consumed her. The thought confused her and, combined with the power of the little man, she found herself losing consciousness.
“She will soon have more food than even she can eat,” the quiet voice intoned.