Scions of the Storm

By Alan Scott

Fantasy, Horror

Paperback, eBook

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475
1 mins

Prelude - That which lies within

The creature slowly dragged itself out of the cold dark waters where it had hidden for the past two days and nights. Badly hurt, it had needed time to recover and a place to hide from the hunters. The cold water had sapped its strength and drained it of its ability to heal quickly, hence, the now desperate need to gain dry land. Dry land! With the rain falling from black heavy rain clouds, which hid the moon, the land could hardly be called ‘dry’. A gentle smile spread across its lips at the irony.

The creature dragged itself into the cover of sparse trees and collapsed; even its iron will and constitution was starting to give out. “No!” it snarled, it would not lay down and die. It carried on, slowly crawling forward until... yes, there it was, the scent of blood. After a moment’s hesitation, it made its way as fast as it could towards the source of the scent. It desperately needed to feed.

A slow and painful half-an-hour later, it found the torn and mangled body, the man’s useless sword lying next to him. The creature sniffed the air and listened. Just there, hidden in the dark shadows of the trees - two of them, and by their scent, they were young ones newly bonded to this world.

From the gloom, twin shadows emerged and, as they closed on the creature, the blurry shapes turned into the forms of two Dev’ver, low growls coming from their muzzles.

The creature could feel the violence and desire radiating from them; it was intoxicating. A shudder of an almost sexual thrill rippled through him. They wanted the prize. They wanted the glory of taking him down. They wanted his heart.

He reached for the sword and slowly stood up, swaying slightly from side to side. He could see their uncertainty by their slight hesitation. Why had he not changed? He slowly licked his lips. “My, what big eyes you have,” he softly said.

The two Dev’ver growled a low snarling growl and then charged.

***

Lying on the ground, the rain beating a gentle tattoo on his face, the creature looked at the two dead Dev’ver next to him. The fight had been brutal, and his already battered and broken body had taken even more punishment. Huge gouge marks had been ripped into his back and chest, and his right leg was badly broken and mauled. However, a smile of success spread across his face as he raised both of the dead Dev’ver’s hearts in his hands. He quickly wolfed both down. He could feel the strength returning; he could feel his body starting to knit itself back together. Looking up into the storm-darkened night, the creature spoke in a low hushed voice, “I am the Midnight Man and I cometh.”

The Midnight Man smiled as he felt Nathanial’s anger and heard Red Claw’s howls of frustration echo via their linked souls. “Soon my friends, it will be my turn to stay and enter the light for good.” Red Claw’s howls doubled in their ferocity and frustration.


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