Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Writers Retreat - 6

Here's the latest installment of Scorpius' back story.

For the Weekend Writer's Retreat, I'm following the boyhood back story of an adult character I'm writing for a dark fantasy.

You can follow the progress of this story arc by clicking on the Works in Progress link just under the blog header.

Scene 6

Striking out for the pillar rock, Scorpius’ ears strained for telltale signs but heard nothing. There was only the shoosh-shoosh of his steps through the grass and the persistent breeze whistling through branches.

A snap and crack from the trees to his left stopped him in his tracks. A rolling pebble from the boulders to his right made him whirl, pulse quickening. He burst into a run, putting some distance between himself and whatever it was, for how could he know whether it was Richolf?

The pillar rock beckoned in the distance, its tip visible over the hunched trees stunted by wind. Golden morning light taunted as Scorpius felt eyes upon him, and not just the gaze of his master who’d sent him out in order to track him.

It was Scorpius’ task to locate his master before he made it to the pillar, but Scorpius knew he was being hunted by something else. Stopping once again to scan the forest lurking over his shoulder, he saw nothing but heard groaning trees rub and sway, which made the hair rise on the back of his neck.

Don’t be a baby, he told himself, forcing his body to face the pillar. His heavy steps made enough noise for an entire hunting party. A drunk one, at that.

Smiling to himself at the thought, Scorpius almost didn’t hear the subtle flapping overhead. But the smell of it was on the wind, a smell that never really left him. He looked up.

It had already banked and was receding over the treetops.

Scorpius’ blood ran cold. He froze for a split second, unable to breathe.

As though trapped in a dream, he turned from the trees with their tempting shelter. He would be fleeing toward an inferno if the great creature opened its mouth and roared out its pleasure. He raced instead for the outcroppings among the rocky crag just ahead.

He ran without seeing, his ragged breath jabbing his chest. He dove beneath a rough ledge as though an unseen hand pulled him beneath it. Scorpius skidded into the shadows, only to hear a grunt as he slammed into a body.

© - Julia Smith, 2010

Ann (bunnygirl) says Don't tell me we won't get more for an entire week.

Julie says The hairs on my neck were standing to attention.

Janet says You know I've been waiting for this and you didn't disappoint :)


Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Oh, wow. This is a twist. Don't tell me we won't get more for an entire week.

Julie said...

Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire! This is incredibly atmospheric, Julia. The hairs on my neck were standing to attention, too.

Janet said...

Caught up with last week's. I'm glad you had Scorpius' scurry back to the cottage to await his fate (and stew all day about that fate). And I love Richolf - cool, laid back, yet commanding respect.

Now this scene - where we again are reminded of the beast from the beginning (I had forgotten). And the real terror for Scorpius. I wonder if it is Richolf Scorpius has 'bumped' into?

Great job, Julia - you know I've been waiting for this and you didn't disappoint :)

linda said...

What a great hook, Julia! You captured Scorpius' fear so well. Very chilling. Excellent work!

Nikita Banerjee said...

Now this is great piece of writing! :)

Travis Cody said...

Great suspense!

Alice Audrey said...

I thought you weren't going to post this week because when I swung by earlier it wasn't up yet. Silly me.

Dragons? Cool! I want more. Like, to know who he slammed into.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Like Julie said: frying pan. Fire. Wow. This poor tortured soul isn't having an easy life, is he?

Grandma said...

I raced through this one. And then you left me hanging. I've been catching up with the last few installments and I'm really glad that I don't have to wait to find out what happens next.

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