Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Something old, something new, something borrowed...nah, just something old.
Please read and comment:

P r o l o g u e

PĂ©rigueux, France 1765

The blood dipped into the hollow of his throat, spilling along his chest so that the ruffle torn from his collar look like a tulip— red bleeding from the center onto the white tips. He could smell the bitter stench, the curdled thickness of his own blood drying on his cooling skin, his breath fading into shallow pants. It would soon end, he knew that, felt it as surely as the cool air whipping through the stone windows and fractured crevices of the castle. Yet his path was certain, his intent sure. He must protect the final Seal, settle his secret, keep it secluded.

He reached the Keep and fell to his knees in front of the statue, its looming height wide and penetrating in white marble. Diana stared down at him, frozen in a cast of etched perfection, as though she knew he were the prey in an unmatched hunt. His eyes lifted through the arch of the windows, toward the horizon and he garnered no joy from the waning moon, no comfort from the dead stillness of the night. He knew his pursuers were close. He could hear the clamor of their voices lifted in anger, rage.

“I smell him,” he heard, the voice thick in its French inflection, drawing nearer. He heard their thunderous approach and he managed to overcome his pain, his impending end, long enough to crawl closer to Diana’s stone feet. His fingers slid across the granite mount and he felt the burning trickle of power, of anointed blessing, shifting through his knuckles.

“So that they never know,” he said, recalling the incantation his mother taught him when he was nothing more than an impressionable child. He watched the blue light encircle the mount, flickering so that the stone melted like wax, the Seal within glowed like tallow ignited in wick and flame. He pressed his bloodied palm against its surface, his pledge preventing approach to its power. “So it remains balanced.”

He allowed himself one small smile only when the soft stone fused and the surface became solid once more. His head pulsed with pain and a small fleck of gray crowded across his vision, unfocused and blurred, jumping like a louse. He smelt them, could taste the sweat from their bodies as they approached, their pallid faces staring down at him, the stern edges of their features exaggerated by their fury. He heard their voices, the bickering internal strife, as conscious thought became dim, as the sounds of the castle beneath him dulled to muffled hums. Just as he lost all notion of thought, all impression of awareness, her narrowed eyes entered his vision. She was beautiful. Beautiful and treacherous and he closed his eyes against the sight of her. He laughed at her anger. He felt the dent of his dimple in his left cheek at his smile as she crouched on top of him, the tip of her tongue a breath from his wet skin.

“Enough,” he heard. The man’s familiar tone almost unrecognizable; it was the sound of friendship, of salvation. “Leave him be.” The words echoed in his mind, cementing into his fading consciousness. He carried them through time, through departure, into infinity.


Les Edgerton said...

Poetry. This rocks!

TS Tate said...

Well thanks, Les. That's sweet! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the intensity of this prose - but this is my favorite line:

"His head pulsed with pain and a small fleck of gray crowded across his vision, unfocused and blurred, jumping like a louse."

Can't wait to see more :)

TS Tate said...

Thanks, Madison. Glad you liked it. :)

Judy the Lovely said...

Liked this very much! Look forward to more. I so enjoy your writing.

TS Tate said...

Aw, thank you, Judy. :)

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