Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Writerly things.

Head is clearing now, but you know when you get that feeling of 'can't be arsed'? Well I have that now.

So instead, in response to the wonderful review left by J. D. McCoy, the answer is yes. There is a sequel, completed, but it's first-draft and not nearly ready to send. Bearing in mind the first-draftiness of it, here's a clip from the tunnel beneath the house...

They continued in silence, lighting candles as they passed. Once Elaine looked back; the flickering illumination gave the narrow tunnel an ethereal appearance, a straight tube of light through utter darkness. Ahead, everything was black beyond the range of Rhian's lantern.

"How much further?" Angie's bitter voice snapped the silence.

"We're over halfway, I'd guess." Stan said, glancing over his shoulder at the row of candles behind them.

"How would you know, smartass?" Angie's nose wrinkled as she scowled. "You don't even know where we're going."

"We're heading for the statue. Stan and I have been down here before." Norman's eyes were fixed ahead, his voice hushed. "It's where we found you. Rescued you." The look on his face hinted he half-wished they hadn't bothered. "Just keep quiet, and keep moving. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can all get out of here."

Get out of here.

The whisper sounded like an echo of Norman's words. Elaine put her hand to her chest, afraid her heart may have stopped. She took a deep breath, stepped forward and nearly collided with Rhian. Everyone stood motionless, listening.

No way out of here.

The echo again, but this time nobody had spoken. Elaine wished she'd brought a flashlight so she could see ahead, but Romulus had taken the only working one when he'd gone into the garden. Concern furrowed her brow for a moment. What had he found out there?

Go back.

Norman leaned close to her. "What is it?" he whispered. Elaine shook her head. She could see nothing, not even movement.

"Lost souls." Rhian's voice was low. She turned her face to Elaine. "Can you see them? Do you have the Sight?"

"No. Romulus could, if he were here, but I've never been able to."

Rhian sighed, long and slow. "Then it's up to me. There are nine or ten of them. They can't harm us but they will try to drive us back. We must stay calm, show no emotion. They feed on fear, it makes them stronger."

You cannot pass.

Eliane jumped. The whisper had come from somewhere very close. Her hand shook, sending drips of hot wax onto her wrist. Rhian was still speaking.

"They will try to scare you, they want you to fear them. If you do, they will gain enough force to stop us. Walk through them, unafraid, and they can do nothing."

"Walk through ghosts?" Angie's shrill exclamation filled the tunnel. "No way. No bloody way. I'm going back." She started moving, pulling at Stan. "I'm getting out of here, now, and Stan's coming with me." Hysteria broke her voice.

She fears. So should you all.

Stan resisted Angie's tugging. "There's no other way. We have to go forward."

Fear us. Turn back, while you can.

Elaine bit into her lip, fighting terrors of her own. Angie was shrieking now, the sound amplified by the walls, biting into Elaine's mind. She barely heard Norman's muttered curse as he rushed to help Stan.

You cannot pass. Those who try, die.

The whisper was stronger, deeper, louder.

"Calm her down." Rhian pushed Elaine's shoulder, causing her to stagger a few steps before she froze, fear rising despite her attempts to quell it. Elaine gasped, her eyes now fixed on Angie and the two men trying to hold her as she fought them in panic.

"Shut her up. She's feeding them." The voice came from the darkness ahead. Angie stopped struggling, Elaine turned to peer into the gloom. That hadn't sounded like a ghostly voice. Elaine's breath left her, she sagged against the wall and gaped as a huge spider scuttled into Rhian's lamplight. Except it wasn't a spider, it was a human-like head on spider legs. Elaine knew at once what it was, she'd read its description enough times. The hideous face was puckered in fury, the little arms that sprouted beneath its ears ended in clenched fists. Angie screamed once, then fainted.

"That's better." Bifrons winked at Elaine. "She's a noisy one, isn't she? I bet she wakes the neighbours."


View from the Solent said...

My copy of Jessica arrived an hour ago. I shall wait until nightfall before starting on it.

Chief_Sceptic said...

I'm in the middle of it ...

The 'Chapter division' (Kindle edition) is missing - no new page or large \ bold heading ...

View from the Solent said...

Kindle? Isn't that what you start a fire with?
Mine's the non-virtual version.

James Higham said...

Romulus, Romulus, wherefore art thou, Romulus?

Leg-iron said...

Chief Sceptic - I've Emailed the publisher about that. I've no idea how Kindle formatting works but I hope it's fixable.

VftS - The electronic version is 'Kindle'. The paper version is 'Kindling'.

James - What's in a name? A grouch by any other name would still be a git ;) In fact, he's such a git he published a book before I did. And I made him up!

Giolla said...

Just got my copy, I know what I'll be doing this evening now - and I do believe I've a rather nice drinking whiskey to go with it.

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