Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Wednesday Snippet - Blood dripped from every body...

So this is where months of reading about Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler starts to pay off...I had a really specific idea in my head for how I wanted the world of Through Fire to look and feel, and you'll start to get a feel for it here. I will say that the snippets are probably going to be spoilery for DARK DAYS from here on out, so proceed with caution! This one isn't tooooo bad.

Gradually, she noticed the landscape start to change. They were heading downhill and, at the very edge of her eyesight, she spied dark, distant shapes. They were still too far away for her to be sure what they were, but anything new, anything different, felt like a good sign. The brilliant sunlight glittered off something that stretched across the horizon, behind the dark cluster. Without being quite sure why, she thought it might be a lake or a river.

Encouraged, she picked up her pace as much as possible. The vulture seemed pleased, croaking urgently at her. It was impossible to do more than a fast walk through the heavy snow, but slowly, slowly, the dark shapes took on definition, and she was sure her instinct about the glittering stretch of land was right. It was a lake. And the shapes...huts, maybe? Maybe tall, dead trees behind the huts?
It wasn't the sparkling, unholy city she'd pictured, but it was a start. Her fears that she would freeze to death before she got anywhere near Tristesse started to fade. 

After what felt like an eternity of walking, she was close enough to see she'd been right. There was a circle of small wooden huts up ahead, at the edge of a great, wide lake. Snow-covered bushes and trees appeared too, invisible from a distance, but plain to see once her eyes had adjusted. They were all dead, of course, but seeing any sign of life – besides her strange guide – was a relief. It couldn't always be winter, after all. Trees were reborn as the seasons turned. It was a sign of hope.

That was what she told herself until she saw what lay beyond the trees, beyond the village, at the very edge of the frozen lake. And then she realised there was no hope here. Not a shred of it.

The thin, dark shapes she'd seen were tall wooden poles, perhaps twice her height, their ends aimed skywards in sharp, vicious points.About halfway down each pole was a circular platform. Most of the poles – stakes, she silently corrected herself as she stared in horror – stood unused.

Some of them did not.

Tristesse had told her once there was nothing impressive about immortality, that it just gave demons more time to be cruel to each other. Lola had imagined cruelty, yes. She'd seen it – it was Tristesse, after all, who'd decapitated Isaiah. But that could not have prepared her for the sight before her now, the men and women impaled on those stakes. There were perhaps a dozen of them, hanging limp and lifeless over the platforms. But they weren't lifeless, and she knew that. Blood dripped from every body, staining the snow crimson. She heard soft, anguished sighs drifting on the wind, heard the creak of bones and the squelch of ruined organs as the demons shifted on the stakes.

No comments:

Post a Comment