2nd edit for The Cursed Torch
Prologue, a fantasy novel I have been working on for a while but put on the shelf for some reason. I think I will
start working more on it though as I am becoming bored with my other projects and think it prudent to take a break from them. As always criticism is
more than welcome. Let me know what you all think and thanks for reading!
* * * * *
He awoke with the warm irony taste of blood still lingering in his bone dry mouth. Slowly he pushed himself to his feet, brushing off the growing
sheen of frost, not truly realizing how groggy he was until he was standing fully erect. His head spinning, he surveyed the carnage around him; a
battlefield it seemed. The carnage displayed here was immaculate. Impaled corpses lay strewn about the sparkling ground, blood freezing in pools. The
ravens had clearly been at these poor men. Many lacked the eyes they had been born with, others had had the flesh torn from the softest parts of their
faces, noses, ears, lips; all food for the carrion birds.
“How long have I been out here?” He croaked raspingly. At his feet lay what appeared to be the burnt out remains of an old torch and beside that a
dagger half pulled from a sheath inlaid with gold and a few shabby, chipped gems, two garnets and an opal at its hilt. “What the hell happened
here” he wondered, still taking in the violence and gore that surrounded him at every turn of his throbbing head.
Then, like a thin velvet whisper, “pick them up.”
Startled, the man says, “Who’s there?” Trying his best to sound brave and alert, the polar opposite of how he was feeling, but no one is there
to answer. “What happened here? Who am I? Answer me dammit!” He screams at the top of his lungs, making a show of his frustration.
Again, “Pick them up.”
“Pick what up? Who are you, forget that, where are you? Am I dead? What the hell is going on here? Please answer me!”
“Pick them up.”
Bending down, the man picks up both the torch and the dagger.
“Now, that’s much better, did you really have to wait so long? I mean, what else have you got to do?”
This startled the man. The voice was like none he had ever heard, much because he was not, in fact, hearing it. The voice was like a veiled whisper
swimming in his aching head. Spinning full circle, scanning his surroundings, he queries gallantly, “Where are you speaker? Show yourself!”
“Now, now, Greyven. Do not be so hasty, my friend. What if I had an arrow trained on the back of your head? I could let fly this moment and you
would never know what happened. Alas I cannot do that. You see, Greyven, the beautiful dagger you hold, that’s me.”
At this revelation the man known as Greyven dropped the dagger, as soon as the weapon hit the frosted ground with a dusty dry thud, the whisper.
“Pick it up.”
Not sure what else to do, Greyven picks up the dagger and immediately the voice fills his head.
“What are you some kind of bloody imbecile? Have you gone mad Greyven? Just listen to me, for once Greyven, just listen. Can you manage such a
daring feat? Can you listen? Just stand there and bloody listen? Please, it would make this much easier for the both of us.”
Confused but not sure what else he can say he replies, “Yes, of course. Please, speaker, tell me what has happened here.”
The speaker made a sound most closely related to a sigh. “Right, I will tell you, it’s not like I have a choice to begin with. If you haven’t
noticed I’m a thrice damned bloody dagger! Well, I’m not a dagger so much as my life force has been trapped in here by… never mind. What we have
to do is get off this battlefield before the Mercy Men get here. Do you still have your compass Greyven? You keep it on your belt.” As Greyven was
moving his hand to his belt he caught the slightest glimpse of what seemed to be the silhouette of a group of men moving beyond the horizon.
“The Mercy Men,” intoned the dagger, “we need to get moving, Greyven. Now.”