Well...here is the prologue of DAMNED. I hope you enjoy it!
I run through the night like all of hell is chasing me. The harsh glare from the street lamps blinds me and I slip and slide on the watery surface of the pavement. It is as if I am running on the surface of an ice rink. My hair distorts my vision, whipping in front of my face with each step and my grotty, rundown trainers fail to stop me from falling. They are practically coming loose at every seam. The inevitable happens.
I fall down...hard.
Just before I hit the ground, a sound whizzes close past my ear - the kind of sound a boomerang makes. Much to my horror, I realise that this object is far from the usual, fun toy. As I slightly turn my head, I notice that the weapon is long and lethal, with two sharp, silver scythes at each end. It has been thrown with deadly precision. The blades flash in the harsh rays of moonlight, emphasising their lethal intent. In this fleeting time, I observe that they are marked with symbols. I shudder on realising what the symbols are. They are skulls. A steady humming can be heard.
It’s almost as if the blades are singing a deadly anthem.
As I try and stumble to my feet, the serrated edges fly over my head yet again quicker than blinking, before returning to the furious hand of my assailant. Unfortunately, I'm not out of the woods yet. With a harsh cry of pain and horror, my ankle gives way. I slam into the pavement - face first this time. My nose crunches horribly and blood splatters across my face. I think I’ve broken it. My scream rips through the blackness, although the wind seems to whip it away at the last moment. Through the agonising throbbing of my nose, it takes me a few moments to stumble back onto my feet.
I don’t have the luxury of wallowing in self-pity.
As I do, I realise that they aren't the only injuries I have sustained. I have lost a couple of teeth. They lie in the dirt, chipped and looking like small, deformed pebbles. My arms and legs are also hideously marred where the skin has been ripped loose during my free-sliding episode. The pieces of flesh now hang off my body in bloody patches. I whimper, noticing how the blood oozes from these in thick globs, mingling with the filth from the ground.
That was the word the attacker had used to describe me – a word that is currently imprinted in my mind. I see it swirling before my eyes, like a blazing inferno.
The actual words my assailant had used were: "A filthy stain in ancient history that needed to be removed for good."
Clearly, this person doesn’t see much of the fun side of life.
Thinking about it, I suppose I could have been called worse. I know some people who have been in my position, or at least in a similar position, have had a far shoddier deal. At least my attacker was kind enough not to corrupt my innocent mind with the variety of curses that seem to be flung about in this day and age. Such thoughts do nothing to calm the aching feeling that I am no better than the dirt that lines the pavement.
I certainly feel filthy right now.
Why my attacker said such a thing I don't know.
I didn't hang around long enough to ask.
I sob at the memory of when my assailant had first made their entrance and turned my seemingly perfect life upside-down. I try my best to blink back my tears, dragging my injured self towards the only haven I can think of - the local police station.
Surely they could offer me some protection?
My father and I had been huddled together. We had been watching an old Disney movie – ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to be exact. My father had turned to me during the movie, with skin wrinkled with age and a soft, gentle light in his golden eyes. His hair, once a striking blond, was now lined with wisps of grey.
He swallowed the popcorn he had been eating, before smiling.
"You will always be Beauty to me, for you are both strong, wise and beautiful in every sense." He had told me, taking my chin in his rough hand and kissing my forehead. "Never forget that, no matter what life throws at you."
At hearing his words, I had laughed. A blush had crept into my cheeks. After a few, short moments and a mouthful of popcorn, I had meant to ask him who would play the Beast. At the end of the day, the scene when Belle and the Beast were dancing in the ballroom had just appeared on the screen. It was my favourite. I had always wanted to be Belle growing up, forever surrounded by books and loved by a man who appreciates me for my strength of character – just like I had always tried to do.
That had never happened.
When I had looked back, a white light consumed my vision – so radiant that it had nearly crippled me, causing me to cry out. It had filled the room in a matter of seconds, leaving no corner and person unscathed. Accompanying the light had been a flurry of silver sparkles and streaks, fluttering briefly in the air like glorious fairies.
The darkness that followed had been absolute.
When my eyes had adjusted to their surroundings, the scream that had then left my lips had been loud enough to rouse the dead. I had struggled to find my breath, my airways constricting violently. I began to hyperventilate. My father's head had been laying in his lap.
His mouth had been hanging open and his eyes wide in surprise. Where his head had been, a bloody stump had held my attention. The end of my father’s spine stuck out and had been encompassed by muscle, tendon and goodness knows what else.
It hadn’t taken me long to be sick.
Puke stained the carpet, as I had leapt to my feet. The rancid smell that accompanied such a violent episode had singed my nostrils. I had watched my father’s blood flow down the sofa and begin to form a river on the carpet. That was when my father’s murderer had burst through the window.
The rest, really, is history.
Somehow, I had managed to get away from the attacker by dashing out of the back door. I had left a pile of objects in my wake to slow them down.
Unfortunately, my plan had failed.
Turning the last corner, I notice the police station in the near distance. It is separated by a bridge, which overlooks a steady river. I stumble up to the bridge, fumbling against the stonework for support. The blow to the back of my head sends me sprawling. My vision swirls and my hair now covers my face in sticky strands.
I realise it is all over.
“You can’t run forever!” My attacker says, mocking my unfavourable position. I can’t work out if they are a girl or a boy. Their tone is muffled by the hood that they seemed to have wrapped around their face and they wear a thick cloak, which fails to highlight any hint of physique at all. The cloak is the colour of the night, rendering them practically invisible.
As my attacker makes their way stealthily towards me, until they loom over my trembling figure, I observe that their eyes are the colour of flames.
They burn with a hatred and chaos I never knew existed.
“Fate always catches up to you in the end.” They add. “It was only a matter of time. In your case, fate so happens to be in the form of me!”
I barely have time to process these words, let alone scream. My assailant raises their weapon up high in a pose that leaves nothing to the imagination. The harsh tone of my attacker’s laughter grates on me. They go onto to say further words. I can’t make them out over the ringing of my ears and the rushing of my blood. I just about register my name. The agony I feel sticks in my mind – like a splinter that is impossible to remove. It’s as if my very soul is being ripped in two. My world turns a rich red – the colour of a dying sun.
Then, it ends in blackness.
So here it is. Here is a sneak peek of my latest novel told from the main character's perspective! Did you like it? Did it intrigue you enough to want to get your hands on a copy? Well...hopefully it answered both of those questions in a positive sense and, as a result, you will be pleased to hear that DAMNED will be available to purchase/download on 26TH JULY 2018! If that is too long a wait though, it is currently available to pre-order on Amazon! Finally, if you weren't aware before, you should also know that I am entering this novel into the Kindle Storyteller Award (see link below for more information) so any reviews when it is released would be much appreciated!
Kindle Storyteller Award link -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=12061299031