Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Another Wednesday is upon us...

 It's getting harder to find snippets that don't spoil either BLOOD WITCH or Oath Breaker as I get ever closer to finishing the first draft of Oath Breaker, so I don't know if I will keep posting them...At any rate, I advise caution if you haven't read BLOOD WITCH for this snippet!

 Breaking the circle of power around the chest was as simple as stepping through it. She felt a small, angry backlash like a static shock, and an eerie moan as the air magic broke. For a split second, the silence in the attic was deafening.

Then the screaming started.

It was a torrent of abuse, foul curses in a babble of languages. His voice was ragged and broken, packed with misery and hatred. Despite the heavy wooden chest dampening his screams, Isaiah’s voice still rang powerful and strong, bouncing off the sloped ceiling and hitting Lola with a force that had to be magical. Her head started throbbing, ice-pick pains shooting through her skull. She clutched the knife tighter and approached, bracing herself to open the chest. No doubt the effects would be much worse.

She crouched down and popped open the lock, knife held ready in case…Well, just in case.

She counted to three and threw the lid open, screwing her eyes closed. She had no idea what she was going to see, but she was damn sure she didn’t want to see it.

Isaiah’s curses never faltered for a second. “Oath-breaking bitch! Come to torment me again? Have the dogs not sank their fangs into you yet? The Prince will skin you alive, Tristesse. Skin you alive and make you watch him feed your flesh to his underlings. He’ll carve out your heart and force it back down your throat. Lying, deceitful coward…”

Lola’s blood ran cold. She pressed her hands to her ears in a futile attempt to block him out. “Shut up!” 

To her shock, he obeyed, briefly. “Oh, it’s the pet.” His voice dripped with disgust. “Where’s the bitch, little blood witch? Or has she abandoned you too?”

“Shut up,” Lola repeated. Full of dread, she opened her eyes. It was hard to assume a position of authority if you couldn’t even make eye contact. The sight that greeted her was almost too surreal to be frightening. Almost.

Isaiah’s severed head rested on a bed of black velvet, looking more like a B-movie prop than anything else. She saw a crust of dried blood on the velvet, stains of it on his pale throat. His skin was ashen, his eyes bloodshot and sunken. If it wasn’t for his blinking and the way he slowly, carefully licked his cracked lips, he could really be a model, a waxwork. 

But she knew better and she couldn’t stop the flood of questions tumbling through her mind. How did he talk or think or blink? All the muscles and nerves that had connected his head to his body…everything that made his synapses fire and snap, that was all wrecked, ruined, and lost. How could he possibly be? How did the head survive? Did his body still breathe, buried deep in Crown Hill Cemetery? Did his fingers twitch? Did his heart beat? Was he in pain?

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