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Meltdowns and Musings

I haven’t really been using this blog all that much and I’ve lost my taste for blogging to be fair. I just can’t be bothered and that’s the brutal truth. Maybe, it’s because the small collective of writers I had befriended through this platform and Twitter has since dried up, for various reasons, some of which I’m not entirely sure about. I don’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off and so the blogging has somewhat soured for me anyway.

Monday, I had a bit of a meltdown and it was the support I had from friends and family on Facebook that made me realise that perhaps this platform isn’t the place for me.

I’ll still post updates on my writing and excerpts etc. When I feel it’s pertinent. Hopefully, that will keep a few folks interested in what I’m up to within the world of writing.

Regarding this, here is a small portion from Wolfborn.

A crash ricocheted throughout the wood. The earth moved beneath Norarl’s feet like someone had just flipped the ground like a quilt getting a good airing. The disturbance forced a flock of birds to burst free of the bushes in a flurry of feathers and startled screeches. Idiot pulled his knife from Norarl’s throat as he spun around to see what had caused the ruckus. Norarl clenched his teeth as the blade scoured his skin. Twisting around, Norarl punched Idiot in the side of the head. He rocked sideways from the harsh blow. Apart from that, it didn’t seem to faze him. Idiot turned, baring his teeth and snarling like a rabid animal. He tried to slash Norarl’s face with the rusted knife clenched in his fist. His actions wild, erratic. Norarl easily dodged Idiot’s shorter blade. Struck him again. Idiot’s nose burst like a crushed berry, dripping down his face, turning his dirty shirt a glistening red. Landing another blow, Norarl grimaced as cartilage and bone crunched beneath his fist. Blood dripped freely from Idiot’s nose, but he refused to go down. Yep, not the brightest tool in the box.
‘Don’t,’ Norarl warned, but Idiot’s mind had obviously been scrambled along with his wits. He lumbered closer. Almost caught Norarl with a wild swing. Grabbing a handful of Idiot’s blood-wet shirt, Norarl landed a solid punch. There was a sharp crack and Idiot’s head lolled grotesquely.
Letting Idiot’s corpse fall to the ground, Norarl squatted beside the body and rifled through his pockets. He discarded a rumpled piece of waxed paper with dark stains of Rootworm clinging to the folds, smelling of aniseed and clove. Norarl cursed. Nothing. Not even a bloody brass coin.
Norarl regarded the dead man. Recognition flared. ‘You killed my horse.’ He clenched his fists but pounding a corpse wasn’t as satisfactory as hitting someone who could still feel the blows.
Standing, Norarl brushed dirt from his tunic. The jet-bladed knife in his hand ran a sudden vibration up his arm. Norarl spun around, jet-knife coming short of stabbing Darrin in the eye. The old man didn’t flinch, but his expression was sour like he’d just sucked on a barrel full of lemons. Norarl lowered his weapon, but he didn’t sheath the blade, not yet anyway. He might still need it.
‘Where in Hel’s name have you been?’
‘Having a bloody picnic.’ Darrin rubbed his blood-stained hands down the front of his coat, scowling at the smeared gore on the wool.
‘Problem?’ Norarl asked.
‘Some people think old means feeble.’ Darrin wiped blood off his face with his coat sleeve, but it just soured his mood further. ‘Stupid kid. Wouldn’t stay down. Had to kill him. No choice.’
‘Same,’ Norarl gestured to the corpse nearby.
‘I don’t think that village was all it appeared to be,’ Darrin remarked.
Norarl snorted. ‘What gave it away? The murderous mob or the hunting party?’
‘I was wrong.’ Darrin’s scowl deepened. ‘That’s all I’ll say.’
Norarl shrugged. ‘Fair enough.’
Darrin looked past him. ‘Feel that quake earlier?’
‘Sure, it saved my life.’
‘Reckon the Skratti are awake?’ Darrin tilted his head, his pale stare intense.
‘No-one’s heard anything for years…’ Norarl stopped mid-sentence.
He flicked Darrin a look to which he got a sharp nod of acknowledgement. Norarl adjusted his grip on the dark cloth bindings around the hilt of the knife in his hand. Darrin went for the flint blade at his hip. Paranoia had kept them both alive so far. Except, there was a difference between madness and the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Norarl stared into the shadows filling the spaces between trees and bracken clogging the edges of the clearing and obscuring a clean line of sight. Movement forced Norarl to take a step back as a woman lumbered out of the gloom. Or what was left. Her feet dragged in the dirt. Her dress hung in strips from her shoulders. Black crystals had been imbedded into her flesh. The yellow ooze of infection seeped around crude wire stitches, trickling down her chest and staining her ragged clothing. Norarl pulled away as the woman clicked her metal clawed hands together like the tip-tap of an insect furiously trying to get inside his mind.
Darrin sliced the woman’s arm with his flint knife. She drew back, hissed, spittle flecking her chin, exposing teeth blackened by Rootworm addiction. Darrin caught her again with his blade. She batted him aside like a useless rag and advanced into the space the trader had abruptly vacated.
Lying against the bole of a tree, Darrin wasn’t moving. Norarl’s anger surged, he slammed a fist into the woman’s jaw. She reeled, but it wasn’t enough to stop her. What the Hel is wrong with these damn villagers? Norarl lunged, aiming to put an end to this nightmare. Cold, metallic hands closed around his throat. The woman picked him up off the ground. His feet dangled. Norarl fought for breath. The woman’s grip tightened, talons cutting into his neck. The hint of iron in the steel stung his skin as the hereditary curse inflicted on his family line started to burn like a brand.
Squinting her death-fogged eyes, the woman smiled. A normal expression imprinted upon the features of a warped creature that declined death and the grave. Not by choice, but with magic.
Darkness began to spread at the edges of Norarl’s vision, but still saw the widening of her eyes and felt her sudden intake of breath. Her grip slackened as she abruptly let him go.
Grunting as he struck the ground, his hip took most of the impact. Rolling over, he looked up. The woman drew one of his jet-blades from her body. Length of the weapon covered in dark ichor. She opened her hand. The weapon dropped into a clump of grass. Falling to her knees, she tried to stand, but her limbs refused to obey, and she remained where she was. She tilted her head to look at Norarl with apparent confusion. He had no answers. Only that it made no difference that she’d removed the blade. The damage was already done. Her skin greyed as the The Crystal Wards attached to her body cracked as if they were made of cheap glass. Slumping boneless, she crumpled like a sad, broken toy. Norarl poked her with his finger, and then cautiously pushed her over, taking a moment to glance at her dead and sightless eyes before retrieving his blade. He got to his feet, muttering curses as pain stabbed into his bruised hip. He managed to hobble over to Darrin, who was leant against the tree he’d been thrown at. This time, he didn’t blame the old man for his glare.

This is a small portion of the first chapter.

Copyrighted 2020

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this 🙂

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