Ok, so I’m back to writing. I’ve neglected it for months again. I just get so disheartened and lose all my self confidence. I need a mantra of sorts “you are not a mong, you are not crap, you can finish this.” Or words to that effect maybe …
I thought I’d pop a small taster up – my **UNEDITED** first chapter. Please note UNEDITED. I have not gone through and slashed out boring bits or added more.
Let me know what you think – be honest, any criticism is good. Ideally, message me your thoughts – don’t post on here or FB wall, text or FB message is fine!
Chaeli tempered her breathing and gulped silently. Her heart was beating so fast she could’ve sworn
that the thing out there could hear it.
“You can’t hide for ever you know” Came the cold sneer “When I find you, you’ll be praying to Metlina to show mercy to your friend”.
The words hung in the air thick with meaning with the obvious unveiled threat, Metlina was the Goddess of pain. She was not known for her compassion.
Chaeli shifted her weight slightly to the left, wincing slightly and almost gasping out aloud in pain. She had to bite down hard on her lip to prevent the cry from leaving her. Her cramped frame was beginning to ache as she contorted her body to fit into the small space.
It was stifling in the cupboard and she was having difficulty breathing properly.
Glancing down she could see the blood oozing out from the deep slash in her thigh, forming small puddles on the cupboard floor. The silence from out there was deafening but the cold voice was silent, Chaeli strained to hear a noise, a movement, anything to give away his location. But there was nothing.
Her mind floated absently to her friend and brother, where were they? Had they made it out alive? She kept thinking back for any clue that would have warned her about the events that had unfolded.
“Chaeli Chaeli Chaeli” came the soft jeer from the cold voice . “Come and see what I’ve got for you”. The words broke the silence and forced Chaeli back to the present. On the end of his taunt she heard a high pitched scream that sounded familiar …
… No! She though, No please Gods … not Niamh,
“Chaeli please! Oh God s no… don’t …. CHAELI!” She heard Niamh begging and crying, her pleas muffled by her sobs.
“ That’s right Chaeli .. don’t … let me end it for her” The cold voice had lowered and was almost a whisper “Let me end her pain, I can smell her fear”.
She couldn’t gauge how near or far the voice was, if she left the cupboard, would he be there waiting for her? The fear was rising again, bile forcing its way up her stomach, she was having difficulty holding onto her composure now. These creatures were not meant to be real. They were not meant to exist in their world. It must have been waiting for me thought Chaeli, he must have spied on me and seen me come home. No-one else knows I am here. She wanted to cry, How could this be happening?
“CHAELI!!!!” Niamh screamed her name, just once but it cut through her like a knife.
Shifting the weight again and blocking out the pain, Chaeli pushed open the cupboard door and rolled her body out onto the dusty floor.
As her body unfolded, the pain seared through her leg and she cursed loudly, all pretence and element of surprise gone.
Angry with herself Chaeli scrambled to her feet, her left side sagging slightly at having to support her weight. The room was dark and musty, her eyes were taking longer than she wanted to adjust; angrily gripping the side of the cupboard she took several deep breaths. She could hear movement in the room opposite, the bangs and short breaths seemed to be getting closer.
Please Elek please, help me, she silently begged to the God of Chance. It’s not my time .. not yet .. please, she repeated her pleas over and over again.
Nothing. There was no reply from the Gods.
Her strength and resistance ebbed away. There was no help on its way. She was going to die at the hands of that monster.
Standing up straight and breathing steadily she moved towards the doorway, her line of sight was clear. With each step her leg tried to buckle. Thoughts and memories flooded her consciousness … Her parents, her friends Niamh and Liber, oh Gods … where was Liber, where was he? Did he make it away? All she could remember was a flash and a scream from her brother.
Panic and love contracted in her heart; Liber …
She entered the doorway resolutely, making no attempt to hide her form or to run.
“Where are you?” She called out clearly, surprised that her voice did not waver. “Show yourself then! I’m not hiding!”
Her voice didn’t sound like her own. It was strong and seemed to resonate through the room. A sweet intoxicating feeling of sheer … well … sheer luck seemed to run through her veins. She felt empowered and strong. The negative emotions and thoughts pushed themselves to the back of her mind. Elek …
Smiling to herself she called out again “Niamh, Liber, are you there?” Even though she could still sense the fear in her heart, she could feel the power from the God of Chance weaving its way into her being. She felt strong, excited, empowered.
“Chaeli!” The voice hissed into the darkness “I’m here my lady, will I do?”
Spinning around Chaeli faced the voice and gasped.
Limp in the demon’s arms was the body of Niamh, blood oozing from her throat, her eyes were glazed and staring into the distance, glancing at her breast, Chaeli let out a sigh of relief, the shallow rise and fall of her chest was unmistakeable, Niamh was alive, but barely.
“Chaeli, will you come willingly with me? Give your body and soul to the damnable lord?”
She tore her eyes from Niamh’s form and stared into the black eyes belonging to the demon.
Whilst she contemplated her fate, she studied the demons form. Tall and imposing its presence seemed to fill the room. Whilst much like a human in appearance, it’s skin was mottled with a bruised texture. Those eyes were cold and unfathomable. It was hard for her to stand her ground and not feel afraid.
“Chaeli, an answer ..now!” Its voice cut through her soul and reality loomed around her.
“Perhaps my lord, if you released my friend I would be more amiable to your offer” She replied, forcing herself to smile at the creature, who’s mouth contorted itself into a sneer.
“Of course my lady” With this he dropped Niamh to the floor, her skull sounding like an egg smashing when it hit the ground, and her body contorting like a rag doll.
“Are you ready?” The demon held out a hand, his fingers beckoning her forward, she could see long claws unfolding with each movement.
“Where are you taking me? Where is Liber? Who are you?” Chaeli demanded, hoping the waver in her voice would not betray the fear that was starting to envelope her again.
The demon lowered his arm and grimaced “ Do not push me my lady, I have been generous so far”.
“Generous!” She gasped, Her eyes wide, the pain in her leg prevented her from retorting further and risking angering the demon. Perhaps it has been generous she thought. By the Gods I am alive, and not five minutes ago this creature was threatening death, now he is bartering with me.
“Indeed, however I WILL have these questions answered” With these words Chaeli stepped forward towards the demon and knelt on the floor beside Niamh’s motionless form, brushing the hair away from her friend’s face. Her chest was still, and her eyes staring into the distance, unblinking. Niamh was dead.
Chaeli cradled Niamh as best she could on her lap, rocking backwards and forwards tears streaming down her face. The pain in her injuries was no match to the pain in her heart. Her only friend in this world was gone, because of her, the demon had not entered her house for Niamh, it had demanded her.
Staring up at the demon she hissed “I shall have my answers my lord, now!”.
The demon blinked at her unfazed by the sudden edge in her voice. “Perhaps if you were to leave the human and come speak with me, you will understand the sacrifices that need to be made”.
Something inside Chaeli snapped, and she felt afraid once more; she gently placed Niamh back on the floor, kissing her forehead as she went, she could feel the warmth from her veins leaving her body.
As she stood to face the demon, Chaeli felt powerless. She was unnaturally tall for a woman but she didn’t even reach the shoulder height on the demon. Staring upwards at his face she gestured towards the dining area.
“ Lets go”. Stoically she walked towards the large cumbersome hearth that was still crackling. The heat from the flames soothed her anger and she sat at the table, the crockery from their abandoned meal lay there, unfinished.
Staring at the fire she watched the flames dance and lick their way around the logs, the colours shifting as the heat seeped its way through the wood, it was beautiful to look at and Chaeli felt herself drawn to the flames, the dancing and twirling, the way they took no prisoners by destroying everything in their path.
“My lady? Do you still wish to know the answers?” Glancing up Chaeli saw the demon leaning over her, the smell from his body churned her stomach. He smelt of death mingled with the sweet smell of freshly spilt blood.
“Yes” She replied.
The demon moved a chair opposite Chaeli and placed his fingertips together his eyes boring into hers, for a moment he seemed to hesitate, there was a flicker of emotion on his face, apprehension? As though he saw something in her eyes that he was afraid of, but it soon disappeared, and the sneer returned “ So be it” .