Guess what? I am stuck. Again. I seem to be doing this quite a bit recently. So I’ve decided to post the prologue of volume two (working title: Watchlings).
I know, I know, volume one (working title: Cyrion) isn’t even out yet. But I am stuck in Watchlings. Maybe seeing a snippet of it in a different context will help me become unstuck.
What can I say? I’m an optimist. A desperate optimist. A desperate optimist of the worst kind – one with a word processor.
Fair warning: The following is a first draft that has never felt the keen blades of any editing process. Kindly forgive the quality of the prose.
So (keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, knees and elbows crossed), here goes nothing.
He stood at the very edge of the precipice. He was human, for the moment. It was always his preferred form. His natural form was too big. Too bulky. Except when he wanted the freedom of the open sky. But for most other things, the human form suited him just fine.
He was a creature of pure magic. Of old magic. The time bubble he created, one he’d been living in for he’d forgotten how long, was sustained by the very air he exhaled. It would also pop out of existence the moment he chose to leap.
He stepped closer to the precipice, bare feet now curled right over the edge, and felt the grit of sand and crumbling earth between his toes. He looked down and felt an overwhelming sense of vertigo. Odd for someone born to rule the skies. But then, he’d always been the odd one.
He wondered what lay below. What would happen if he leapt without Shifting into his natural form? Would all sensations cease? Would he no longer feel the warmth of the sun on his face? Or the caressing breeze riffling through his unruly black curls? Would all thought and memory cease?
He hoped so. He’d buried so many loved ones. Too many. Or would it be a new experience entirely? One his kind had never known or spoken about?
Curiosity, anticipation and resignation battled within. He tensed his muscles. They felt like cords of silk in his human form. In his mind’s eye, he saw it all. Multiple realities, multiple worlds. Glowing, iridescent blue-white pearls on an infinite string, set against the absolute dark of oblivion. He longed for that oblivion. He’s lost so many loves to the void.
And then he heard the scream.
That voice, so familiar. One of his own. How long had he been in this bubble? How long had he left them? Left her? His wild silver-eyed child, in that blue-white world.
He looked up and saw eclipses of iridescent green butterflies fill the horizon. She’s in trouble. Serious trouble. He stepped back from the edge, allowing the butterflies to envelop him.
There she is.
He raised his hand and ordered them back to her. His beloved. The only one he had left.
His little Anya.