Last year, I published a sneak peak of my novel on my original personal blog, Babe in Armor. To celebrate this year’s NaNoWriMo, I have decided to republish it on this blog. This novel will be completed, just not this month! This year, I go a completely different direction: into the realm of Historical Supernatural Horror.
Under the Mountain
An indeterminate amount of time passed. Derwynn felt tired and sore. Suddenly, the Ghoul stopped and crouched. She pulled Derwynn down by the sleeve.
“What-” he was cut off by her hiss. It was a short, silencing sound.
There was a clicking coming from somewhere to their right. He was sure of it. Then it sounded from behind them. She leaned close to him.
“You hear it?”
It switched back and forth from right to rear, never sounding as if it got closer, or farther away. “Never from the left,” she hissed, then nodded her head. He inclined his. “Count to three,” she said, then tamped out the torch. A whirring had begun as he counted in his head. As it crested behind them he turned and ran to the left as fast as he could.
Arms outstretched, he felt wildly for anything in the darkness. Just as his fingers grazed something, it occurred to him that there could be a drop off anywhere. He had never been this deep in the mountain. No one had. Except whatever built this: bjergtrolde or giant.
He found a wall and crouched against it. The Ghoul groped for him in the darkness, and crouched beside him. The whirring got louder, and then there was air pattering against his face. Soft, at first. The force multiplied.
Dozens of little claws and leathery wings and teeth found them. They beat against them, paused, alighting on the pair where they could, then scraped their way upward and elsewhere. At some point, Derwynn found he was screaming. Yelling against the torrent of creatures.
Then it was over. The air left behind fluttered. Soft currents swirled above them. He closed his mouth. The Ghoul heaved breath next to him. The stone was still cold.
Somewhere far away, there was the sound of stone scraping against stone. And then silence.
King Under the Mountain excerpt
J.M. Yales, 2014.