Feb 152011
 

If you didn’t get an opportunity to read the first two scenes, feel free to have a looksee (Scene 1 and Scene 2). This scene in introduces my heroine to the game. She’s quite young, just 12-13 at the time. Just as a reminder, this is 6 years before the next chapter, so she has a bit of growing up to do. Again, this chapter is raw and less than edited, so don’t be surprised if you find a few mistakes or funky wording. Enjoy

Chasing Shadows

Chapter 1 Scene 3

The transient male cried out, silencing the night sounds of the nocturnal creatures. Kecil shrunk back and covered her ears against his tormented sounds. Still, she couldn’t turn away from his face. Distorted from beatings the males issued before they dragged him through the village and tied him to the rock, his features were unrecognizable as they contorted in pain.
He arched his back as Kasut struck him, though the rattan cords held him spread eagle, preventing him from transforming into a tiger, lest he break his limbs in the process. A pattern formed on his chest, first angry red stripes, crisscrossing, then as the flesh weakened ragged nicks appeared. The cane bit deeper and deeper, cutting into his skin until the soft tissue was raw and bloody, leaving deep grooves which puckered around the gashes.

His struggles grew less frantic until finally he stilled.

Kasut brought the cane down a last time then wiped his brow, his chest heaving.

“What are you doing?” Gemuk strode into the clearing, the weight of his body making his steps audible.

“He passed out.”

“Then wake him again. I’m not finished.” He grabbed the cane and pushed Kasut away. Gemuk weighed the stick in his hands then dipped the rattan in a basket of brine, increasing its flexibility, intensifying the torture.

Kasut worked on rousing the male, slapping his bloated face.

He groaned, his eyes flickering.

A smile formed on Gemuk’s face as he turned to the barely conscious male.

Kecil had seen enough. She walked through the village and passed her mother’s hut, refusing to look inside, the dwelling as lifeless and vacant as… She couldn’t sleep here, not tonight. Increasing her pace, she left the village behind, running from the slap of wood against flesh, from the screams, and from him—her mother’s killer.

She ran deeper into the rainforest, a stitch in her side forming, echoing the pain steadily growing in her heart. Her vision blurred, but the wind dried the tear as fast as they fell, leaving the skin on her cheeks tight and pasting the hairs of her lashes into a fuzzy mass.

She raced. Bounding over a decaying stump, her toe snagged and she fell. Her shoulder scraped along the forest floor as she skidded to a stop. Too exhausted to move, she lay curled on her side and cried… broken and alone.

Feb 082011
 

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.

Chasing Shadows

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.

“Wake up.”

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.

Feb 012011
 

If you’re read Shadow Cat, you’ve heard of Mujur. His book is next, folks. I’m about 20k words into it right now and plan to finish the first draft next month. Over the next few Tuesday, I want to share a some scenes from the first chapter. Keep in mind, this is raw and not all the kinks are worked out, but it’ll give you a taste of what’s to come. Anyway. Chapter 1 Scene 1

Chapter 1

Six years earlier


Blood. So much of it. It coated Mujur’s hands, running through the cracks of his palms. A thick drop fell, splattered on the woman’s cheek, and fanned out resembling the spindly legs of a crimson spider. He wiped his hands along the forest floor, trying to cleanse himself of the glutinous fluid, but only succeeded in making a grimy mess as flakes of decayed leaves and earth stuck to his palms.

Scratches covered her body, deep enough to flay open her skin, but none of them mortal wounds. Only the most recent, a deep gash raked along her side which oozed the dark, red liquid and formed a puddle around her body as it seeped into the ground—that was what ended it all. Her wide glazed, fish-like eyes fixated beyond him. An expression of terror etched on her face for all eternity.

“She was over here last I saw her,” a voice said in the distance.

Mujur jumped to his feet. His heart pounded as he focused on the voices drawing closer. He took one last glance at the mutilated body partially hidden in the bushes and ran. Only a few strides later a man stepped from behind a tree. Driven by momentum, Mujur barreled into him, rebounded, and fell to the ground.

The man, a fellow wehr-tiger, towered over him. One corner of his mouth raised in a sneer revealing dingy teeth stained red from betel nuts. “You’re not going anywhere.”

Mujur scrambled backward.

The man lumbered forward, his corpulent body swaying, and shoved a heavy foot into Mujur’s side.

The air whooshed from Mujur’s lungs with a grunt. He doubled over, gasping for air as he crawled away. A dull thud, then an explosion of pain behind his eyes halted his progress, and he sunk to the ground.

“You find anything, Gemuk?” someone asked.

“Over this way,” the fat wehr-tiger said, his voice barely audible as the haze surrounding Mujur faded to black.

**********************************

Don’t miss out on the story which started it all. Shadow Cat is available on Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobles. Add Shadow Cat to your Goodreads list.

Six years earlier
Blood. So much of it. It coated Mujur’s hands, running through the cracks of his palms. A thick drop fell, splattered on the woman’s cheek, and fanned out resembling the spindly legs of a crimson spider. He wiped his hands along the forest floor, trying to cleanse himself of the glutinous fluid, but only succeeded in making a grimy mess as flakes of decayed leaves and earth stuck to his palms.
Scratches covered her body, deep enough to flay open her skin, but none of them mortal wounds. Only the most recent, a deep gash raked along her side which oozed the dark, red liquid and formed a puddle around her body as it seeped into the ground—that was what ended it all. Her wide glazed, fish-like eyes fixated beyond him. An expression of terror etched on her face for all eternity.
“She was over here last I saw her,” a voice said in the distance.
Mujur jumped to his feet. His heart pounded as he focused on the voices drawing closer. He took one last glance at the mutilated body partially hidden in the bushes and ran. Only a few strides later a man stepped from behind a tree. Driven by momentum, Mujur barreled into him, rebounded, and fell to the ground.
The man, a fellow wehr-tiger, towered over him. One corner of his mouth raised in a sneer revealing dingy teeth stained red from betel nuts. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Mujur scrambled backward.
The man lumbered forward, his corpulent body swaying, and shoved a heavy foot into Mujur’s side.
The air whooshed from Mujur’s lungs with a grunt. He doubled over, gasping for air as he crawled away. A dull thud, then an explosion of pain behind his eyes halted his progress, and he sunk to the ground.
“You find anything, Gemuk?” someone asked.
“Over this way,” the fat wehr-tiger said, his voice barely audible as the haze surrounding Mujur faded to black.
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