Thought I’d post a snippet of what I wrote yesterday. This is Hereafter, the Nano novel. Contains slight spoilers.
Luke awoke to a dimly lit cave, candlelight pulsating on the walls, making odd shapes. Odder thoughts came into his head. He thought of Johanna, who lay sprawled beside him, ghostly pale, her fire-red hair spread out around her like a cloak.
He moved closer to her, putting his hand on her chest. Her heart beat strong against his palm. He couldn’t bear not to touch her, so he ran his hand over her throat – just above her carotid. Someday, he promised himself, he would drink her blood – savor it – be sustained by it – when they were mated, he decided. A definite when. He would not stand for anything less.
Johanna let out a moan, her eyes fluttering open. “Luke?” His name was more an exhalation of breath, but he didn’t care. Hearing her whisper his name gave him goosebumps.
He took her hand in his. “I’m here.”
“Are we there yet?” she asked, sitting up and looking around her. The candlelight bathed her face and hair in eerie golden light.
For some odd reason, that made him chuckle. “Yeah, we’re here. Just relax. We have some time.”
She nodded, shifting as if in pain. “Okay. So what….exactly….is next?” Her words slurred a bit, which was worrisome. She blinked at him. “I feel a little weird. Like, part of me is there while another part is here.”
That did not sound good. He’d never heard of that happening, but Johanna might not be dead, so he figured that had to be it. “Will you be okay?” Dumb, dumb, dumb. His worry was making him act like an idiot.
Johanna shrugged. Her eyes went distant. “I think so….if I focus enough on here, there seems to fade.”
“That’s good,” Luke said. He wasn’t sure he wanted to present his theory to her yet. He grabbed her hand again. “Just hold on to me. I’m real, and I’m here, okay?”
She nodded again, but did not speak.
A flare of light to the side revealed someone standing at a doorway. Well, a doorway without a door. Who seeks to enter the sacred Shrine to What Has Been and What Will Follow? He spoke his language, which was a relief.
Luke made a sweeping bow to the shadow-figure, whose face couldn’t be seen. As was the way of the Hall of Memory. No one’s face could ever be seen.
“I present my – friend – Johanna O’Malley. I am Luke [last name]. I seek to enter the sacred Shrine of What Has Been.”
The man nodded. “Your offering?”
Johanna poked him in the ribs. “What are you saying?”
Luke glanced at Johanna. “I’m trying to get us in. I’ll explain later.” To the shadow-man, he said, “Mine own blood.”
The man nodded, pleased with the offer. Luke held out his hand, the same one that he’d slashed earlier. The shadow-man withdrew a dagger and ran it over his wrist. He put a golden chalice underneath to catch the blood.
Luke saw Johanna watching with fascination and horror. “It’s okay. It’s the best thing to give. The Goddesses here treasure blood like gold.”
“And the lady?” The shadow-man asked, gesturing toward Johanna.
“Um,” Johanna said, biting her lip. “Blood.”
Luke told the shadow-man, and they repeated the procedure for Johanna.
When the chalice was filled, the man said, “Come.”
Hope you like it.