Child of War-Rising Son for Sweet Saturday Samples
Hi there! Welcome to my little offering for this week’s
Sweet Saturday Samples
My excerpt is from my upcoming novel….
Child of War-Rising Son
Book #3 in the OF WAR Series
As always, my excerpt is PG-13 (or below). The novel and series, however, are written for ADULTS. As such, they are not recommended for the faint of heart.
With the way between himself and the Walls of Dis clear, Raven walked at a slow pace trying to conserve his strength and his water. Every step closer to the canyon containing the blazing river was torture. The air grew thicker, oilier, as though he were trying to breathe water. It clung to his esophagus as it singed his lungs making them feel heavy with hot ash.
On stumbling legs, he arrived at the edge of a crevice so deep and so wide it made the Grand Canyon look like a crack in a sidewalk. The river flowing within bubbled and rolled with blood as it streamed flames high into the air. Peering over the edge, stretching out his sore back and trying to find the oxygen in the thick air, he gazed into the abyss to see more Flaming Shades down there but these had no bodies only skeletons armed with flaming swords. He didn’t see a cage. Forcing himself erect, he drew the wineskin from inside his vest and took a long drink. He squeezed until his fingers met, released to draw air into the sack and began to clamp down again but stopped and capped the skin. Instead of water, he grabbed a slab of jerky from his pack and bit down on it, letting the salty taste of the dried meat drive the horrid bitter taste from the back of his throat while it energized his tiring body.
Chewing the last bit of jerky, he looked across the canyon to the closed city walls wondering how he was going to get across. Looking left and then right, the canyon didn’t narrow and it was far too wide to jump. Another deep breath of disgusting air and a short drink of water later, Raven walked the short distance to stand directly in front of the gates. When they gave out a loud ca-chunk and began lowering, he felt his heart drop. “I am not damned,” he muttered watching the gate fall into position at his feet, welcoming him home as though he were an old friend.
The first thing to hit him was the stench. Not just thick or oily or even smoky, it was vile. Putrid with the reek of rotting flesh, brimstone, and despair, it blew through the open gate and hit him full in the face blowing back his hair as it went rushing past. Raven’s stomach heaved and threatened to toss up the precious water and bit of meat, he had to swallow against the reflex.
Through the wide-open gate and a heavy fog of smoke and ever-falling hot ash, Raven got his first look at the desolate City of the Dead, the eternal resting place of the wickedest of the wicked. In there, behind the choking smoke, he saw buildings that may have once been grand but were nothing but ruins of crumbling rock, actively disintegrating on their foundations before his bewildered eyes.
More skeletal Flaming Shades armed with swords ran around inside the walls. They were standing guard and bullying the tortured souls of the Damned herding them away from the walls and back to their eternal torture. In various degrees of decay, from mildly rotted flesh, to skin hanging off the bone in long maggoty pus-oozing sheets, the Eternally Damned moaned and screeched in an ongoing refrain of anguish, dragging around heavy boulders chained to their necks or ankles. They stumbled along aimlessly, bony arms outstretched, like blind zombies. Others hung from necks, arms, feet, and the remnants of private areas from great long beams. Beneath them fires burned and sharp stakes jabbed upward to puncture dead flesh. Still more stood in stocks that stretched as far as his eyes could see, they were whipped endlessly with blazing lashes. Others sat in gigantic metal pots of oil or tar settled upon the hot embers of a blazing fire, eternally cooking to death, the release they craved and wanted forever out of reach, replaced with endless torture and pain. All of it looking as though it came out of some bad horror flick.
Not wanting to venture further but knowing he’d past the Point of No Return, Raven put his foot on the old charred wood of the open gate and wished he’d followed his Father’s advice where shoes were concerned. Not only was it blistering hot it was covered in sharp metal studs from which clung bits of decayed flesh, bone, and the errant skull. Careful to avoid them but trying to stay swift Raven crossed the gate with the scent of his own burning flesh rising to his nose. He picked up the pace, jumping over and past the closely clustered spikes until he reached the threshold where he stopped for just half a second to read the advice on the massive gold plague hanging over the entrance; Enkataleípste Elpída.
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