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 Shadowlight prologue

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Posts : 654
Join date : 2009-04-27
Age : 33
Location : Hogwarts

PostSubject: Shadowlight prologue   Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:00 am

Hey all! I just finished the second draft of my 6th novel Shadowlight and thought I'd post the prologue just for kicks and giggles. Lemme know whatchoo guys think! I'm open to criticism. I figured the prologue would be the best place to start since any other part of the story you'd probably have no idea what was going on. Oh, and just a note, the main character's name is Hebrew. So it's pronounced AH-mee-khai with the kh being that phlegmy sound in the back of your throat. Anyhoo...


Blood dripped from the walls as she entered. Two figures lay in the crimson mess, one of them only the shredded remains of what should have been a person, the other a thin fourteen year-old boy who should, by the looks of things, be dead. Sharon Caruso was silent, her throat tightening as she stepped closer to the grizzly scene before her. The man’s face was only barely clinging to the cracked skull that shone white and pink in the low light, beneath a torn layer of sinew. The lightbulb buzzed above them, still swinging as though whatever creature had attacked had only just fled minutes before. Sharon clapped a hand over her mouth. She could feel the rising in her clenched throat and the taste of bile already creeping across her palate.

It was like a train wreck. She couldn’t take her eyes off of the corpse at her feet, taking in the ruined face, the arm that only barely clung to the body by threaded muscles and thin ribbons of skin. Where the eyes should have been on the melted remains of the face, only two deep sockets filled with a kind of crimson jelly leaked even more into the pools of deep vermillion. The image sank deep into her mind and Sharon finally forced herself to turn away, ripping her eyes from it just as her dinner finally ejected from her body, splashing against the already stained and wet floor. Coughing and spitting, she grabbed for a towel and quickly folded it over to wipe her mouth and turned back to the scene around her.

The walls looked like they had been painted by a very angry artist with only buckets of red paint. The floors were slippery, the dark pool thickest around the man’s corpse. Clearly whatever had attacked had been vicious and violent. Blood was splattered over the entirety of the room, sliding down the walls like some deathly stream and pooling over the old, peeling linoleum. It was only then, when Sharon had nothing else in her stomach vomit, that her senses even vaguely returned. She immediately rushed to the child’s side, dropping beside him and pausing. She knew better than to immediately move him, even though he had to be dead given the state of the room. Still, it was difficult to tell at first. The boy’s skin had always been unnaturally pale– not the sallow look of malnutrition nor the vein-covered pallidness of an albino– but rather a near flawless white like the first snow accidentally caught at midnight.

For a moment, her hands merely hovered over him, inspecting the deep scratch on his face, the bruises over his closed eyes, the trickle of blood from his nose and lips. The back of his shirt had been shredded so that the thin, meager cloth hung from his lanky frame. What was left of the threadbare white shirt had been stained a deep, dark crimson. The blood had soaked through and stuck to his porcelain skin. Gritting her teeth and taking a deep breath, Sharon bent over to inspect the wounds only to find nothing but two angry-looking scars across his shoulder blades, a faint dribble of blood still slowly trickling from them.

Furrowing her brows, the social worker laid a gentle hand on his arm to tilt him over and get a better look. It was then that she paused, her brown eyes going wide. His skin was warm, his muscles limp but soft. Pressing two fingers into his neck, Sharon felt the clear pattering of a distressed but otherwise healthy heartbeat. Her own heart leapt as she inspected him, finding only flesh wounds. His chest rose and fell in a broken and shallow rhythm, but it was there. Her heart pounding, Sharon finally gave him a gentle shake.

“Amichai!” she called urgently, leaning over his face, watching his still eyelids for any response. “Amichai! Can you hear me? Wake up!” Now her hands began to shake as she dug into her pocket and fumbled for her phone. Glancing back and forth between the phone and the limp form before her, she quickly managed to hit the speed dial for 9-1-1.

“Hello?” she gasped when the operator picked up, knowing full well this was unnecessary, “I need an ambulance!” she finally said, unable to keep the tremble out of her voice. Her body shook with both shock and urgency as she balanced the phone between her shoulder and her head, somehow managing to answer the operator’s questions. In the meantime, she slid her arms gently underneath the boy’s body, feeling the hot sting of his blood as it soaked out onto her skin and trickled onto her pants.

Scooping him over, she held him in her arms, supporting his head as it lulled against her elbow. His eyes remained shut, his lips just barely parted, stained bright red from the gash that still bled freely.

“Dammit Amichai,” she whispered, tilting her head up from the phone, “why does this keep happening to you?”
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