Here’s a scene from my work in progress: Knightfall
The clock had always just struck thirteen in the realm of Tenebris. The fateful hour’s knell hanging suspended over the frozen wasteland in an ever-discordant chime. It was the type of sound that reverberated through a body, setting the teeth on edge before the blissful relief of the next note.
But that note had been stolen, along with the next heartbeat, the next breath, the very next moment. Unfortunate timing, really. The realm could have frozen mid-hour on a beautiful spring day instead of mid-chime on a winter’s night.
But just this once, perhaps the punishment fit the crime.
The only movement in the realm was the rustle of shadows returning to the palace. An ancient building forever caught in the act of turning to rubble. Spikes of flame that failed to flicker erupted from holes blasted from the fortress walls. Jagged pieces of stone hung just above the ground; suspended dust sparkled in the sky. Amidst the destruction, Queen Gethen had managed to carve out luxurious quarters for herself and her three remaining Grieves—four now.
Only the Grieve, Korova, awoke when Celeste Knight entered the human city of Befort, carrying with her a delicious slew of pain, sadness, fear, anger, and desperation so intense that it pierced the fog between realms for entire seconds before it blinked out, cloaked and shielded with an inelegant hand.
Korova closed his eyes, casting out his awareness to search the shadow realm for his fellow Grieves, but they were of course all present and seemed blissfully unaware of this latest development.
The Grieve’s too-pale lips stretched into a disturbingly wide grin as he pondered the amateurish shield crafted around the girl. “Interesting.”
When Celeste’s feelings pierced the realm again, Korova hastily crafted a shield of his own to cover the human town.
“Two can play this game.” The Grieve pushed himself off the bed, sheets undisturbed for now and all eternity.
His awareness of Celeste blinked in with a wash of anger, but Korova was ready. He moved through the room, hand caressing a mirror that reflected the terrified face of a woman long since reduced to shadow, before shifting through the walls, moving toward her presence in a burst of unnatural speed.
Celeste blinked out.
Korova’s mouth stretched in a too-wide grin as he settled in to wait.