Okay… I’ve been so bad lately about updating. I looked at my blog calendar today and realize I didn’t do my review of Unearthly yesterday. Yeah. I suck. I’m not going to bother with it today, but I’ll try to get to it tomorrow. Yeah… I’m still sucking. I almost forgot to post my excerpt. Okay I did forget, but I’m doing it now. If you didn’t read the first scene from Stray Cat, which I’ve now renamed Chasing Shadows, have at it here. And remember, this is rather raw… still needs to go through the editing process and all.
Chapter 1 Scene 2
Consciousness filtered into the void, creating a muddled awareness, and with it…pain. Excruciating pain. A throbbing ache in his skull which pulsating with every heart beat. Mujur fought the grogginess, even as the pounding in his head persisted.
“Wake him.” A gruff voice seeped through his clouded mind.
Cold liquid splashed Mujur’s face and yanked him out of his fogged existence. He lifted his leaden hand to wipe his face. His arm jerked to a stop, captured by bindings cutting into his wrist. With heavy lids, he struggled to blink the fluid out of his eyes and make sense of the shadows.
The sting of a slap across his face brought him fully awake. Where was he?
The world around him slowly solidified in his right eye, though his vision in his left remained a blur, the swollen lid only allowing him to squint. Strapped to a cold slab of rock, he took in his surroundings. Outside the familiar wehr-tiger village, a multitude of faces looked on him, each twisted in an expression of disgust, hatred, or fear.
“Wha?” His tongue, thick, failed to function correctly and the words stuck in his dry throat. He licked his puffy lips, distended to the point of bursting and swallowed, moistening his mouth with the little wetness he could scrounge. “What’s happening?”
The corpulent man, Gemuk, the one who’d captured him planted a beefy palm near Mujur’s head and leaned close. His thick brow protruded over dull orange eyes which mocked, while his lips lifted in a disdainful smirk. He grabbed a handful of Mujur’s hair and wrenched it back.
Shards of pain pricked Mujur’s scalp, replacing the previous ache with the intensity, and he fought to stifle a moan through clenched teeth.
The man’s breath wafted over him like rotted meat. “You thought you’d get away with it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Mujur said.
The man bent closer, hot moist air filled Mujur’s ear as he exhaled. “You think anyone believes a word you say?”
The man straightened and sent his backhand flying across the side of Mujur’s throbbing face.
Nausea threatened to overcome Mujur as pain reverberated through his skull.
The man glared at him as he took a few steps back. “Kasut, cane him.”
“Why? I didn’t do anything.” He looked at the straps holding him, his wrists raw and ragged as he tugged. “Let me go.”
The crowd drew away from him as another man entered the clearing. Dark lowlights streaked his reddish-brown mop of hair in a disorganized pattern. He carried a thick rattan cane which he slapped across the palm of his hand repeatedly.
Mujur increased his struggles, cringing as the rough rope bit into his ankles. “Wait! Don’t do this. Please!”
“Your sins will be a brand on you into the next life.” The man with the cane shook his head, his expression one of disappointment and regret.
Mujur sought the eyes of the bystanders. “Help me.”
One by one, they turned away abandoning him to his fate. All but one girl, who looked no older than ten or eleven, her brownish-green eyes red rimmed and filled with sadness—a younger face of the dead woman—only she met his eyes as she hid behind a nearby tree.
“Please,” he called to her.
The cane whipped through the air and his entire body tensed as the stinging rattan met his flesh, cutting into his chest. Whistling, it sliced down again and again, ricocheting off his body. Mujur fought to hold down the bile which rose in his throat as the pain consumed him.