Riding the storm.

Posted: February 22, 2016 in Horror, Literature
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been busy drafting the final act of my novel, (we’re well over 60,000 words now!) but I thought I’d take a break from squeezing the creative juices out of my brain to offer you a taste of what’s in store. Tragedy is a common theme shared by all the characters in the book, but the one that breaks my heart the most while writing has to be the love affair between the wolf and the bat, two quarters of the quadrangle who make up the betrayed. They are my take on the Shakespearean trope of the star-crossed lovers, and I hope you’ll enjoy a smattering of their sorrow.

Stay scary my darklings.

 

Nearly fifty years had passed since the dread lord freed them from Alcide’s shackles and replaced the old with new, and no matter how far they fled the pale gaze of the moon followed them. As the blood wolf’s curse spread the hunters came, some with ambitious dreams of slaying the fell beasts that plagued the land for fortune and fame, and others with vengeance poisoning their hearts. No matter their cause they all came armed with silver, and their numbers swelled as the country fell to darkness.

There were a precious few who held compassion for the dread lord’s damned children, a hierarchy of holy men and women known as the Order of the Dragon. Some within their sect were monsters like themselves, refuges in search of sanctuary and a desire to end his tyranny, none more so than the son he’d cast aside.

Sebastian and the order aided them as the hunters presence cinched around their throats like a noose, and procured safe passage to a coastal town east of Norwich. Yarmouth was still in its infancy when Thomas and Morrigan built their home there next to its crashing shores, a small timber cabin blessed by the salt of the sea. 

Yarmouth was a haven for their kind, but despite its quaint allure Thomas suspected it was just another pen, a secluded seaside prison away from the lives they may endanger. At least there was freedom in this newfound captivity, but the world would always see him as an animal best kept behind bars, and that knowledge aggrieved his heart. 

Morrigan helped him lug the galley to shore. The full moon was fast approaching, its ginger stare already creeping across the blackening surface of the ocean. There was a bite to the air, and the cold surf caressed their shins as they hauled the boat into the water and the undertow nipped at their ankles.

The sea was angry, and Thomas sensed the coming of a storm.

“How many nights have we done this,” he held out his hand and Morrigan took it as she climbed inside the tottering galley, “How many more must we endure?”

He followed her into the boat and it rocked as it took on his weight. When it settled he grabbed an oar and pushed its tip into the silt below until the galley set adrift.

The coastline faded as the waves carried them out to sea.

Thomas stared at their cabin atop the hillside, and followed the smoke billowing from its chimney up to the dark clouds congregating in the sky. He had a penchant for getting lost up there, the only place in the world where he was free from the chains that bound him. Up there he was still a little boy gazing through the stars in search of his father, wondering if he was out there somewhere looking for him as well.

“A great many less than before,” Morrigan said and removed him from his thoughts. She polished the gem beneath his neck with her thumb, and gazed into his silver hemmed eyes, “the beast only awakens once a cycle now, a small burden in light of the alternative.”

“It should not fall on you to bear,” Thomas snarled; the beast already peering through his skin.

“The things we do for love,” she said, words stolen from the dread lord’s lips; like suicide. She placed her hand on the scruff of his chin and shifted her violet eyes toward the setting sun behind him, now a tiny sliver of dying orange light along the undulating horizon. 

Hunter checked their distance from the shore, and when he was certain the wolf could not survive the swim back he grabbed the stone anchor next to this feet and tossed it overboard. The hemp rope attached to it hissed and snapped against the starboard gunwale as the heavy stone sunk into the murky water beneath them. 

“Don’t you grow weary of this existence, of wading into the silence of the water and being warden to the beast,” he said and found the only stars in his life that mattered were the ones resting upon her face. He wanted nothing more than to not see himself as an encumbrance within their reflection, but he could not.

“I mourn only for the plight it brings you, and my inability to help you escape its crushing weight,” her saddened face glistened beneath the moon’s brightening light like an alabaster angel wrapped in a cascade of fire. He’d never thought her more beautiful than he did just then, riding the ocean waves in the path of the oncoming storm. 

“He loves you, you know. I’ve seen it in the way he looks at you,” Thomas’ stomach filled with poison, and he clenched his abs to hinder the monster gestating within.

“So let him look,” she smiled. It was a harmless thing, like a childless woman admiring another’s newborn, “My eyes see only you.”

Thomas’ ribs quaked, and a fire coursed through his flesh that livened the hairs covering his body. Bones cracked beneath his skin, and his joints unhinged with a sickening pop. His hands bore down on the gunwales of the galley as his body turned to splinters. Water spilled over its bow as the wind picked up and the waves engorged, and cold saltwater doused his scorching cheeks. His mouth extended with a meaty snap, and the shedding teeth inside piled atop his tongue. Silver crescents peeked from the void beyond his jaws, and his neck vibrated as a sonorous growl filled the space within it.

“Hold me,” he choked, and she did, even when his flesh turned to a blanket in her arms she held him close to her heart. 

 

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Comments
  1. Your imagination is beyond unreal Dean Sexton! The excerpt from Riding the Storm is amazing! The way you described Thomas’ transformation into the lycanthrope was so convincing & believable!!!! I can’t wait to see this in bound printed form……I will definitely be purchasing a copy!

    Like

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