This is for all my new followers. I don’t normally post twice in one day (or at least not very often), but I’ll make an exception.
I was scrolling through a favourite site of mine earlier. If you get the chance, check out Holly Lisle’s tips for writers – she’s a gem. One of her new projects is something called the World Clinic – a beta test for all writers (for world builders, as she refers to them). I had a scan through and took part in the exercise. I can’t really explain it without giving the game away (which is annoying I know). But, needless to say, I wrote a first chapter (a prologue) from the questions she posed.
I’ve decided to post it on here for free, and will add to it whenever I can. I must warn you, it may go nowhere. I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew over the past few weeks – co-hosting a blog, taking the opportunity to become a guest blogger, all whilst editing my novel, caring for two girls and fitting work into the mix . And yes, I can hear a symphony of violins (even the worlds smallest violins can make a racket when played together!). But, I digress (what’s new?) (I really must stop with all the brackets).
Whatever happens, I promise to try and let the story develop. It will be similar to what Laura and I are doing on the co-hosted blog, except that the only contributions will be from me. Unless you feel like adding your ‘two-penneth’ to the tale. You can contact me if that’s the case and I’ll work it in.
Anyway, if you want to check out Holly’s site, here’s the link – http://hollylisle.com/
I’ve posted the prologue below, and will also assign a page for future add-ins.
I knew what I would find before the lights came on. I could hear the sinister buzz – it vibrated along every nerve ending in my body. Its very presence in fact, pushed towards me, like a giant-sized nightmare come to life.
That’s what it was, my biggest fear and, ultimately, my biggest weakness.
They’d shoved me in the room blindfolded. But it wouldn’t have made a difference; the darkness was oppressive. That too added to the clawing need to escape, to be out of this box and free from the nightmare it contained.
When the light came on I left my blindfold where it was. I know it’s irrational. But I didn’t want to see it. Hearing it was enough to amp up the volume on my fear; by then I was all but singing with tension.
It was big, my tormentor. It was no ordinary nightmare. It was a mutant, a genetically produced replica of what it had once been. All in an effort to defeat me.
We all balk at tests from time to time, but this, I think I would have done anything to avoid this particular battle.
I wondered, manically, if they were somehow controlling it. It hadn’t made its move after all, and I was easy pickings. I was vulnerable and exposed and its prime objective was surely to attack. How else was I to prove myself?
That’s when I knew. The biggest obstacle, the thing that would seal my fate, was allowing the fear to consume me. To drive me mad, push me to turn and pound on the door. To beg for my release.
Clearly I couldn’t do that. This was only the first of my trials; a series of assessments that would tell them if I was worthy of the prize.
They hadn’t sent me in empty-handed. I was allowed my weapon of choice. Since I didn’t know then what was waiting for me, I’d chosen the sword. And what’s mightier – right?
I knew the moment it chose to attack; the subtle movement in the air, the threatening sound that preceded it.
Somehow I was ready. I swung the sword through the air, using every sense at my command to measure the depth and height of the blade and brought it home.
A deathly thud, followed by another was like sweet music to my ears. I could still hear the buzzing, but I knew that was merely an echo. I could hear it in my dreams, even when it wasn’t there.
Now, I removed my blindfold and looked down at the creature at my feet; its body in two clean halves and oddly symmetrical.
At its original size it would have been nothing but an annoying insect, dangerous to me but nevertheless, hardly worthy of my earlier distress.
It made me wonder why they’d modified it at all. If they’d put me in a room with a swarm of the things, I’d have been toast. Granted, they probably didn’t want me dead.
I’m allergic to wasps you see. Not in the normal sense. I cannot be killed except for the venom contained in these predatory insects. This little loophole was genetically predetermined. A scientist’s idea of a sick joke perhaps, or their way of keeping me on a leash.
When the door opened behind me, I was ready. Ready for the next of my challenges, and for whatever they threw in my path.
I gave the creature one last pitying glance before I stepped out; one genetic mutation to another. We were both screwed.
I hope you enjoyed the read.
Until next time.