Yesterday was the first (and last) time I’ll be asking Cousin Rupert to write a guest post. Some of you thought that was pretty funny. The rest of you know Cousin Rupert is a very sick man. While he’s getting the help he needs, I’m here to share another sneak peak at my unedited first draft of my first short story in a series on Zoltan (!) Hungarian Demon Hunter.
If you haven’t been reading along so far. You can catch up here:
Enjoy, Legions of Fans.
“As the Father wills it!” said the congregation, their voices joined as one.
“So shall it be done,” said the starry mask.
The starry mask went on talking but Richard could not hear her. His darted his eyes madly. Sweat was pouring out of his bare skin, but his throat was dry. His mouth felt gummy. His tongue was thick and stupid. Then the creature or whatever it was resumed its animalistic scuttling and scratching. This was too much for Richard. He began struggling against his bonds with ferocious energy. Richard’s efforts were futile. The woman in the starry mask was unperturbed by the display and continued as if he wasn’t there.
When the sermon was over, Richard gave up his feeble efforts with a defeated sob. The congregation drew closer and the chanting began again. Dozens of white, ghastly masks made a ring around Richard. What he saw next snapped his mind in two.
At the foot of the stone table, the creature with the scrabbling claws rose. Its hooded robe was blood red. Its ancient face was covered in green scales and bony ridges. The thing’s head was like a man’s in size but had an elongated snout reminiscent of a komodo dragon Richard had seen on a school trip once. Unlike the subdued lizard at the zoo, the creature’s eyes were yellow and fiercely intelligent. The hunched, impossible form drew itself up to its full height and raised its claws above its head. The fingers were longer and more powerful than a human. Each one ended in a long black talon. I bet they’re hell on the furniture, thought Richard. The claws met above the creature’s head to make a perfect triangle and dropped down to its sides.
It was too much for poor Richard, but he wasn’t long for the world of the living. While the creature occupied his attention, the woman in the starry mask drew a curved knife from her robes. It was a technique she and the creature had worked out over the centuries. With her other hand, she gently drew Richard’s head back to expose his neck. His eyes refocused on the starry mask. A sweet aroma reached his nostrils.
“It’s you,” Richard said
“It’s me,” the starry mask agreed. In a fluid motion, the knife slid across Richard’s throat and released the hot pulsing blood from his body.
The woman behind the starry mask watched intently as the crimson spilled out onto the marble table. As the blood reached the black veins in the rock it was rapidly absorbed. She placed her hand on the polished stone and felt its unnatural heat. The table was reverberating with power. Her knees weakened a little as the heat crept up her arm and spread from her head to her toes. Behind the mask, her face was flushed with new life and power. She felt frown lines disappear. Safe again, she thought.
What happens next? Buy my unfinished story and publish it in your stupid magazine to find out.