Saturday, November 2, 2013

New project--Sneak Peek

So I'm starting a new project in between working on Book 4 of Enforcers and Freshmen Blues. It's a bit different than my usual fare, though.

Check out the first 1k below and let me know what you think! Everything is very much up in the air at this point. Do you like the 1st person perspective, or should I stick to 3rd?


The man my master had commanded us to kill stood on the other side of the river, his wagon creaking as the wooden wheels began to roll over the bridge. The man was merely a shadow, even to my enhanced eyesight, silhouetted against the orange harvest moon.
            To my left, another of us chattered her teeth, her fangs emerging from her lips. My own stomach growled at the thought of food, the warm blood that would gush from the man’s veins and feed us. Master never fed us enough.
            Of course he didn’t. If he did, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective. The thought dulled some of my excitement, and I licked my lips, my fangs receding.
            The wagon moved slowly, the horses straining to pull it over the arched bridge. There were two, both with dark colored coats. One wore a frayed blanket, and the other limped as though its shoes fitted improperly. The man was clearly no wealthy merchant.
            One of us hissed, a sibilant, high pitched sound that only ones like us could hear. An answering hiss came from the bushes near the river.
            The lead horse flicked an ear, and the man in the wagonseat shifted his weight.
            As soon as the first horse set foot on the grassy bank, the one to my left attacked. Four others joined her, dark shapes against the light of the moon swarming toward the animals and their pumping, flowing blood.
            I cursed in my mind. I had been turned too recently, and compared to them I was slow. I swallowed saliva, my fangs pricking my lower lip, and leaped forward, dashing through the forest.
            Then light flooded the trees.
            The four who had run ahead first screamed, their hissing drowned out by the sizzling of bodies exposed to solar light. I ducked behind a tree, screwing my eyes shut, the heat of the light prickling on my skin.
            This was no weak man the master had sent me to take revenge on for some social slight. This was a vampire hunter.
            And I was just a thrall.
            The light died, fading to a dull orange glow of the first light over the horizon. A solar flare would work once and couldn’t be used again for at least a day. I knew that, from…somewhere. My life before, I supposed.
            My muscles tensed when the man spoke, a word to his horses or perhaps just to himself. The man was mine. The other thralls were dead. I would kill the hunter, take all his blood for myself, and the master would reward me. Me, his newest servant. The command tightened my muscles further and pounded in my head, my master’s words—Kill.
            I peered out from the edge of the trees, my vision sharpening with bloodlust. The man’s heart beat in a slow, steady rhythm. The light on the wagon made my eyes water, even used up as it was, but it couldn’t hurt me.
            The hunter sat, a gun across his lap. He wore tight leather trousers, and my gaze lingered over his muscular thighs. For a moment I imagined more than just blood.
            The thought died quickly. Since my master had turned me, any lust but lust for blood never lasted.
            The man had light brown hair, though it looked red in the fading light of the solar flare. Dark eyes scanned the forest, and then settled on me.
            I froze, my own thoughts tangled, my body screaming for me to take his blood. His scent, human and sweat mixed with woodsmoke and the bouquet from the village over the river, filled my nostrils.
            He raised the gun. In that moment, I knew I would die.
            My master’s orders still screamed in my brain, in my very being—Kill. I was a thrall. I obeyed. I was a servant, nothing more.
            But I knew I would die if I attacked. And I didn’t want to die.
            His horse snorted. The hunter held his gun trained on my heart. The sharp wooden stake that his gun would fire jutted from the barrel. A thrall like me would never survive it.
            I could attack. I wanted to attack, to try and sink my teeth into his veins, to obey the orders of the one who had made me what I was. My teeth ground against each other, and my fangs drew blood from my lower lip.
            Instead I turned and fled, without truly knowing why. No shot came from the forest.

            The hollowness in my gut was the first thing to break the hunger, and it took me a moment to realize that every other servant was dead.
            I hadn’t known them. It shouldn’t matter. We hadn’t even spoken, only interacting when we fought over the scraps my master gave us. Without them, there would be more for me. I should be glad.
            But happiness, like anything else, faded quickly. I fought to keep running, to ignore the command in my mind that told me to turn back and kill the man I had been ordered to kill. Doing so would be suicide.
            It was only when I entered the castle gates that I wondered if my master would be angry with me.
            The gates soared over my head, carvings of wolves seated atop the iron bars. The castle blocked the view of the mountain that overlooked it and kept it hidden from curious onlookers. Gray stone melded against dead trees.
            Inside, thousands of scents mingled, mold mixing with cold stone and dead leaves and the sharp scent of my master’s dogs. The scent of blood wound through it all, and saliva filled my mouth.
            I followed the scent, my bare feet silent on the cold stones, and found my master where the stone became plush rugs. A woman lay by the door to his room, her body shriveled. A shiver went down my spine, but faded quickly, just like every other emotion or feeling I had. The ever present hunger replaced it.
            “What are you doing here?” My master’s voice chased away everything else.
            The vampire who had made me strode closer. His blond hair was tied back with a blue ribbon, and deep red eyes met mine. He frowned, and I ducked my head, curling in on myself like a cur. I should have attacked the hunter and been done with it.

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