View Full Version : Opening Scene, Pine Marten

04-26-2007, 08:25 PM
The young boy’s realm was the deep shadows of the thick forest where he spent his days scrounging for food and listening—his nights, surviving. To see him, you’d know he wasn’t an Indian, but only because his dark brown hair wasn’t black; he wore no clothes, his immature body marred by open sores and livid scratches. One place in particular vexed him, twin puncture wounds on his right arm where something with sharp fangs had resisted his efforts to kill it; steel against claw, his desperate need for food against the animal’s overpowering will to live.

His hide-away was a wide, shallow cave. One wall and part of the floor were strangely warm, the naked granite radiating heat from within. The source of the warmth was neither questioned nor fully appreciated; the boy simply sensed that without the shelter, death would come to him with the cold and dark. The hole in the unyielding rock had been a sanctuary since one terrible night when escape meant running. Into the darkness he’d fled, screaming, as his tormented brain purged itself of a terrible scene that had played out in the stuttering light of an oil lamp. He’d plunged blindly into the forest without sense of direction or time. So long ago.

Fretful. He stirred in the dark, gripped his knife tighter, and shrank deeper into the stained and tattered cloth covering the forest debris that was his bed. Even in the pitch black he was afraid to open his eyes, because he knew another pair would be waiting for him, looking back, unblinking; blank, dead, accusing eyes. Only the daylight could set him free, and the darkness would hold sway for many more hours.

He knew when something cold stole silently across the face of the night, searching, and felt the shock when the dank form located his hiding place. And now the threat waited outside. The trembling boy in the cave had never seen what lurked just beyond the narrow opening, but many times before he had sensed the intruder, and as before, he knew to be deathly afraid of the lurcher that came in the dark.

Closer now. Any second, the rattle of labored breath would come, and then the smell—ripe with rot, oily—would foul the still air. A whimper formed in the boy’s throat and as it tore free, the sound of it struck terror deep in his heart.

Closer still, the power of the menace outside stole the air from the cave, and once more the trembling soul trapped inside lost sight of the last feeble ember of hope, to sink through the final shade of black, and into the emptiness of total defeat.


04-26-2007, 10:08 PM
Lure of intrigue, to be certain.

07-11-2007, 12:27 PM
I agree with Bard,intriguing..makes me wonder about all sorts of things.Any chance you might share more excerpts with us?