Snippet #1

The following is the start of a fight from chapter 3.  The scene is not final but it will be mostly the same in the end.

“I’d just like to say, I’m sorry in advance if this doesn’t end well for you.” He then turned back to the crate and kicked it again. “Get up, already,” he said flatly.

The contents rattled again, heavier this time. Something that sounded like dry-heaving came from inside as well and before Grimluk could ask what was going on, the crate’s lid burst off, splintering at the point of impact. It ripped off, flying a few feet in the air and landed with a thick but dull thud. The crate tipped forward and landed open-face out.

A body stepped forward, planting a heavy-booted foot down, the dry-heaving sound emanated from it, louder now that it had exited the box. It turned slowly towards the hunter. He could feel the thing’s eyes on him, its coat and clothes covered in dirt. Pebbles of debris rolled from the thing’s crushed hat. Selbie walked up to stand next to it.

Grimluk’s lips curled into a snarl. The man before him, once a pale Elf, glared at him from a rotting shell. Most of his flesh was missing but appeared to be knitting itself back in all the important places. Bones, both broken and whole, poked out of some places and shown clearly in others. The dead Elf’s eyes shown as vividly as they had in life, though now tarnished by rage and hatred. And he stank.

A ghoul.

“Ald’n,” Selbie called. The ghoul turned to him and growled.

“Thech!” More of the dry-heaving sound followed the Elf’s attempt to speak. He hacked and choked before hurling a wad of black phlegm from this throat. “Thhhhe fuck…do you want…old man?” The voice that issued forth from the dead Elf’s mouth sounded like gravel scraping flesh. “Why…am I…alive again?”

“It’s very simple,” the mayor said as he stepped in front of the man. “You failed to help this town and now you’re going to make up for it. You’re going to do your best to kill this Orc.”

Grimluk huffed to himself, looking completely unsurprised. He was surprised to see a talking ghoul though.

“And what…if I…kill you…instead?”

“Oh, you’re free to try but you’re very much a dog on a short leash, so you’ll be doing this thing for me whether you want to or not. And I don’t honestly care what you want.”

The dead-Elf snarled and swung a tattered arm at the mayor’s head with the same force that had blown the crate’s lid off. It did not connect. His arm hung in the air, the once decaying, mostly skeletal fist shaking several inches from the mayor’s face. The mayor smiled.

“I hope you feel better. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to step back and you’re going to try to kill the hunter behind me. Do I make myself clear?”

The Elf’s fist fell back to his side. He made no visible reply. The mayor nodded and stepped away from the two would-be adversaries. Grimluk moved without warning.

His fist slammed into the Elf’s head like a boulder. Grimluk put the full force of his weight behind the punch. The sound of a thick, crunchy snap echoed before being swallowed by a great gasp from their audience. The dead Elf’s head had snapped back completely and dangled from a strand of nerves and flesh. The townsfolk murmured in surprise. Grimluk shook his fist out and looked at the mayor.

“That it?”

“My boy, you’re hardly done yet,” the mayor replied, continuing to walk away.

The hunter returned his gaze to the still standing body. The Elf’s corpse swayed drunkenly for a moment before reaching back and grabbing its dangling head. Grimluk watched as it pulled its head back into a vertical position. The muscle and bone began knitting itself back together. The Elf let go of his head and glared at the Orc. Grimluk saw then that the Elf’s whole body was repairing itself. Holes mended, bones reset, and rot disappeared. Definitely not your average ghoul.

Keepin this train movin

This week has been an interesting one.  Let’s take a walk through, shall we?

  • Sunday saw me come up with an idea for A Demon in the Desert that adds a nice new layer to the World.  That idea is included in the previous post.
  • Tuesday saw my facebook likes jump.  That in itself isn’t so strange considering there are two or three social media threads on goodreads.  The big event was Stan Nicholls both liking my page and even commenting on a post.  For those who don’t know, Stan Nicholls is the first name that comes up if you search “orcs” on Amazon.  Back around 99/2000, he put out a trilogy about a band of Orcs and their evil Queen.  I still haven’t read them yet but even still, that’s one hell of an ego boost.
  • Tuesday also marked one year since I started writing Demon, which started off as a half-formed idea built entirely around the concept of Grimluk after talking with a friend one night about an idea I was having that was overshadowing the Orc-swashbuckler story I had tentatively begun.  I may eventually go back to that.
  • Wednesday saw my likes shoot up some more and there have been silly twitter shenanigans all week.
  • Yesterday only really has personal news in two areas.  The first is that a doctor visit got my lovely partner some meds she was in need of.  Which puts my mind more at ease in the “stress of life” arena.  The second was that I weighed myself while there and over the past year and a half, I have lost a total of 83 pounds.  That is its own story and I may post about it at some point but the ultimate point of it is that I lost the weight because I righted something else wrong with my health.  I’m still a fat guy but most of my fat was a symptom, not a cause.
  • Overall, while I didn’t get as much work done this week as I’d have liked, I still got work done and I got my manuscript back up over the 38K word mark.  I suspect I’ll end up somewhere between 50K and 70K total, which does make me feel good but the only real goal for word count is 40K as that’s the minimum viewed for most of the awards.  I’m still making good progress.

I had semi-planned on doing a Throwback Thursday post yesterday and then thought I’d do a Follow Friday today but I will do those next week.  I felt this was more important today.  Also important, at the beginning of March, I’ll be posting some snippets of the book.  If there’s anything you’d like to see that’s not in the first chapter, which is up for your viewing pleasure in my Works section, give me a shout.  I’ve had a request for a fight scene and I’ll be happy to post one.  Anything else is a welcome suggestion.

That’s all for now, folks.  Remember, Orcs are friends, not cannon fodder.

My zombies are different

I got a great idea for the use of zombies in the book. I’ve been using “ghoul” instead, and I’ll continue to. I just don’t want to use zombie. So I decided to look up ghouls again and then zombies and read through. Boom, light bulb.

This idea lets me do three things. First, it gives me a great set up for Grimluk’s experiences. How? By using the original usage of ghoul or most of it anyways. Originally, they’re jinni that inhabit graveyards and “uninhabited places” (according to wikipedia). If you’ve read the first chapter, you know I had him talk about how tedious ghouls are. Why? Because in this context they’re super weak demons that inhabit corpses.

So, secondly, it lets me have zombies with a theme. Ghouls are weak demons, all they can do is shamble and bite. The demons might be smart but they’re operating busted vehicles. Bites don’t spread. They just kill and devour a body and if another demon gets to the body fast enough, it can reanimate and continue on. And there’s usually a group of them, so they can potentially spread quickly. The presence of a demon also gives the eyes a green glow.

Thirdly, it lets me potentially have deadites later on. Or at least something similar. That would involve either another, more powerful demon, and/or a powerful necromancy or lich. Good times.

Excited about this little detail. It cements my ghouls more and gives them a nice flavor of old and new.