Hey everyone – it was a busy first week back teaching so instead of a normal Saturday blog post this week I wanted to just leave you with the first two pages of my novel that I finished last year. I am in the editing and refining phase, but it was an incredible feeling to finally finish that first draft. If you have any interest in reading more or supporting me on my journey to get published, feel free to message me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend, and hope you enjoy!
Prologue – The Cave
The light in the mouth of the cave faded while an old man moved about and cast dark shadows on the walls as he gathered small sticks to start a fire. His wispy, white hair and veiny, slender limbs alluded to a man of many years, but his hands had the dexterity and skill of a warrior in his prime. He had done this chore so often that he could do it in the dark. In a matter of minutes, a fresh fire crackled and popped to life and shed light on his surroundings. Tall smooth walls of stone encompassed the old man’s makeshift living space. Ancient runes and hieroglyphics speckled the otherwise plain limestone–pictures that consisted of animals, trees, and constellations. A hammock was strung from the ceiling, elevated away from any wanderer that may attempt to find shelter in this cave. This precaution was irrelevant, for the beasts and creatures of the nearby hills did their best to avoid this valley. They feared what lurked in the shadows. A mysterious aura that prevented even the birds from singing.
The old man hobbled toward a small freshwater stream that flowed within the cave and selected one of the copper kettles strung on a wire overhead to position on a mesh grate over the flames. He reached into the sackcloth on his back and slid out a fat brown rabbit covered in blood from a gash in its neck. Using a knife he wore on a leather belt around his waist, he hastily skinned and gutted the animal and dropped the meat into the now sizzling pot. Rabbit stew was his favorite, and he looked forward to the savory treat. But suddenly, the old man went still. He had heard a noise, a soft humming sound. A sound he had heard before but seemed to be from another life.
“It can’t be–it’s too soon,” the man thought. He scurried across the cavern and sifted through scattered newspapers on the floor in search of a date.
“1877, 1912, 1942 … it seems just yesterday I read these. Time eludes me. There is only one way to be sure.”
The old man grabbed a torch and wove his way deeper within the cave as he squeezed through tight places and dodged stalagmites with ease. The humming grew louder. Beads of sweat formed on the old man’s forehead and neck as he turned the corner near the sound’s source. He reached to his right and removed a large heavy stone from the jagged walls and set it on the ground by his feet. The stone was slick with the cave’s perspiration and chilled by the constant darkness. He took a moment to mount his torch on the wall before he reached inside the carved out chunk of the cave and pulled out a dark, wooden chest. The chest was ancient and worn, with ornate carvings on all sides and a small keyhole near the center. The humming caused the box to vibrate in the man’s hands. Knowing what must be done, he reached towards his throat. His fingers grasped a metal chain around his neck, and he pulled from beneath his shirt a small bronze key. His heart pounded within his chest, but his hand remained steady. He slid the key into the lock… and turned.
“It is time,” he said under his breath as the lid opened and – with a flash – the entire cave flooded with light.