I’m once again working on my WIP Death’s Lover. It took me a bit to work through the first chapters. My once-upon-a-time first four chapters are now chapters four through eight and I’m going back to insert chapters 1 through 3. As I have very little to say today, I thought a teaser from the manuscript would be fun. Enjoy.
by Stephannie Beman
Stepping over the woman’s body, he moved swiftly through the fire blackened village, searching for the souls of the dead. Only he found nothing. Not a single soul remained.
Usually he found them sitting beside their bodies in a state of confusion as they tried to piece together what had happened and what they were to do next. Sometimes larger groups huddled together, a form of comfort from their mortal lives. They sought the familiar.
But there were no souls here for him to collect, only the ghosts of memories burned into the very ground he walked. Images that haunted his vision. Children playing in the streets, chasing each other and shouting their victory. The giggling groups of young women watching the young men strut and demonstrate their prowess as providers. The stolen kisses of soon-to-be lovers. Mothers cuddling their babes, smiling at the antics of the young. The elders reminiscing of their youth, when everything was different and life was better. There was even the occasional tender moment between mates who’d aged together, loved and bore the hardships of life. The celebration of the tribe with the birth of a child and the group mourning at the passing of a loved one.
These people were farmers, tilling the ground for food and raising wild beasts for meat. They weren’t warriors. They had no weapons to defend themselves except the knives they butchered their livestock with and the scythe they used to cut their harvest. They hadn’t a chance against the force that sweep through their village.
He witnessed the tortures of the men sliced to pieces and the raping of the women until the fight left their eyes. He watched the killers bathe in the blood of the dead and dying. He watched them perform unspeakable acts upon their victims that would probably impress the ever bloodthirsty Furies and his daughters, the Keres.
He became their witness.
And when the killers finally met him, he would make sure there was special place in Tartarus waiting. They would soon know the pain and suffering they inflicted upon others. They would understand fear.