"You're too young to know what love is. You don't love me. You're infatuated with me." -- Sir Aric, The Prince's Knight

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blood Rage Excerpt

I just realized today that Tuesday came and went without me even realizing it. In my defense, my schedule at work has been crazy this last week, so I completely forgot about everything else, even when I meant to post a new entry. I really wanted to share an excerpt from Thief in the Night, which is the story I'm currently focusing most of my energy on. But the thing has taken on a life of its own, growing bigger than I'd originally envisioned, and there are more rewrites in store for it, this I know. So I thought I'd share the first half of Chapter 1 of Immortal Book One: Blood Rage, since I think the first chapter is sitting in a pretty good spot right now. This is an unedited excerpt, meaning only that it hasn't been touched by an actual editor, but I've proofed and revised so there shouldn't be any errors anyway. Enjoy and feel free to let me know what you think.

Immortal Book One
Blood Rage
Chapter 1

I knew my name long before I remembered who I was.

Elliot. My name is Elliot.

The thought circled in my head, but it refused to summon any more memories. Just that. A name. But who is Elliot? A featureless wall encircled my brain, locking away all traces of memory. Probing at it only drew frustration.

I am Elliot. My name is Elliot.

I was so thirsty. My throat screamed for liquid, until it was all I could think about. It felt like shards of glass embedded themselves in my throat. I needed something…

It was then I realized I wasn’t breathing. I hadn’t even noticed in my state of confusion and overwhelming thirst.

I am Elliot.

Breathing was important. I remembered that much.

Starting to panic, I drew in a great lungful of air. It burned going down and I choked on it, expelling it with a hacking cough that raised me from my prone position. The next breath hurt just as much, so I gave up, but my body didn’t protest. My lungs didn’t scream for air when I quit my labored attempt to breathe. My body no longer needed oxygen, though it had at some point. Some point in the not-too-distant past, I thought.

I stared down at myself, fascinated by the fact that my chest didn’t rise and fall. What had happened to me? Where was I? And the most troubling question of all. Was I dead?

I lay in an unfamiliar place—not a morgue as I half expected, but someplace much warmer. It was dark and no hint of light showed around the edges of the curtains, yet I found I could see everything. The draperies were a dark red, as were the pair of sofas in the middle of the room, but everything else was brown in varying shades—the carpeting, the other furnishings, the walls.

I swung my legs over the edge of the furniture I lay on. It took me a moment to come up with the words to describe it. A chaise lounge. Not sure if I’d ever seen one before. It wasn’t very comfortable, that was for sure. A stiff neck could attest to that fact, but within moments of noticing it, the stiffness disappeared as if it had never been.

My clothing was wrinkled, making me think I’d slept for far too long. Slept or been unconscious—I wasn’t sure which.

The label inside the suit jacket read Armani. High-end stuff. The white shirt felt like silk, but no tie hung around my neck and the first two buttons of the shirt were undone. Was this my idea of casual? Or my idea of dressing up? What had I been doing? Where was I? And most importantly: Why couldn’t I remember anything?

The slacks were gray to match the jacket, but interestingly enough I wore no socks or shoes. The plush carpeting felt good on my feet and I lingered for a moment, not sure what to expect in this dark place, knowing only my name and my taste for fashion.

Checking every pocket revealed no wallet, no ID of any kind. Just Elliot then. I couldn’t even remember my last name. I discovered a watch weighting down my left wrist, expensive, tasteful. It displayed the date in tiny black letters. November 3rd, 2009. The date meant nothing to me.

Blinking at the surroundings, I forced myself to my feet, trying to keep panic at bay. What good would it do me? I needed to take a look at the facts. First, I’d awoken in a strange place…


How did I know it was a strange place? Maybe I lived here. Taking a closer look at the room didn’t help. I didn’t know this place, even if it was mine.

Second, I had amnesia. I knew just enough about the disease to know my memory could gradually come back, or might never return. What did I do until then?

I’d found a cell phone in an inner pocket of the jacket I wore, but trying to turn it on met with no success. Dead battery. Completely useless. I couldn’t even call anyone I supposedly knew to get a better idea of what I’d gotten into.

The third, and most important, fact I forced myself to take a look at. I wasn’t breathing. That was, admittedly, bad. I’d already patted myself down. I felt solid enough, so I didn’t think I was a ghost, but then again, how could I be sure? Ghosts didn’t always know they were dead, did they?

God, did I even believe in ghosts? A hiccupping laugh escaped me. Without air it was difficult to even make the sound. I frowned. Also bad. People needed air to speak. I couldn’t speak without breathing. Another glance around showed I was alone though. Who was I going to speak to?

Good point. I forced myself to focus on finding something for my feet. A short hunt turned up shoes and socks. They fit and I felt a little better once properly clothed. Now I just needed to find out where I was. This room held no clues, and nothing jogged my memory. I needed to proceed with caution, in case I truly wasn’t dead. Waking up on a strange chaise with amnesia and an inability to breathe didn’t strike me as a good position to be in. I didn’t know if I’d brought this on myself, or if there might be a perfectly innocent explanation for my state.

But how did I explain the ability to see in the dark? Maybe I really was a ghost…

Then she entered the room and my thoughts ground to a halt.

“My little pet’s finally awake,” she purred.