Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mean minded...

*This is a murderous scene, lifted just after the death of the heroine's betrothed. It was written a couple of years ago, not quite the same voice in which I currently write, but it can't all be pretty...*

Left to run on foot, Djedefre's guard Khalili had not gotten very far away. He had collapsed to cradle his wounded arm, and the sight of him sitting on the edge of the plateau enraged me. He deserved death, and I would bring it to him. Abandoning Djosiah's body, I rose above the sands, a black zephyr of rage, and flew at him like a bird of prey.

He shrieked once as I swooped out of the sky and alighted on his quaking thighs. He fell to pleading and apologizing, but I would hear none of it. I dug my nails into his scalp, so that he could not look away. In a flash, my free hand was around his throat, my fangs out as I growled at him, "Nefertaten made much less noise. Die with a little dignity."

I allowed the knowledge that I had killed his consort to settle on him, and then I sank my fangs so deeply into his neck that his skin was against the roof of my mouth. He yelped in fright as I bit down, severed vessels and rent muscle. I tore out the chunk of flesh and spat it into my palm. Khalili's eyes rolled back into his head but I slapped him, forced his eyes open and made him focus on the mound of meat in my hand.

He looked at me in horror, and I watched his mouth form my name in silence. "That's right," I said, "Ntelicia…" He sat numb and unmoving beneath my feet, until I released my grip on his scalp and drove my fingers into his chest cavity, underneath his ribcage. His body convulsed in pain as I wrenched his heart free. "For Djosiah," I snarled, and then forced the dripping sack into his mouth. His bottom jaw fell open, and blood trickled like drool from his mouth before he slipped into unconsciousness and died.

The guard's blood was sour, spoiled by Djedefre's rule. I refused to drink it, but instead watched as it spurted through the gap I had made with my hand. The blood trickled to a stop, and I let Khalili's body slump to the desert sand, where I left him to the jackals. It was a better end then he deserved.

Swift as the wind on jackal paws I raced for the palace. Rage spurned me on to greater speeds, and near the outskirts of town, I overtook the second guard. I dispatched him in much the same manner as I had Khalili. Three bodies fed the sands of Egypt this night, two of them my prey and I was still on the hunt. With my head titled back I loosed a yowl of vengeance and then dropped my nose to the sands and picked up my half-brother's scent.

Djedefre's trail led straight to the palace gates, where he abandoned his stallion. I had missed him! The horse whistled shrilly, and kicked at me as I circled it; I growled and the hackles on the back of my neck rose. In my rage, I leapt upon the cantankerous beast: I rent open its neck and sent it down onto its side. I sank my fangs into its throat, and eviscerated the horse with my back legs.

I stood then, and stretched my body back to that of my human form. Joints cracked as they turned, and skin tingled as the pelt melted away. For the briefest moment, I resembled Anubis, human body with a jackal's head, but then my return to humanity was complete. I shook off the horse's blood, using it's mane to wipe my face clean. Stupid beast, I thought, I never did like you. I kicked sand up at it and then ran through the doors.


alexandra said...

Hmmm, nasty... but, the first thing I noticed on my initial read was the word 'rage' jumped out at me once too often.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by, I've pretty much nailed the rabbit thing. Merci.

Tsavo Leone said...

Interesting to see the metamorphosis your writing has undergone since this piece was written: much sleeker and more refined now than in this piece.

Nonetheless, this is still powerful, and quite gruesome, imagery (though a mite confusing to begin with: I was uncertain as to whether the protag' was a Blood or a Were until the last paragraph). I'm also curious as to how you would write the same scene now, using your current voice...

H.S. Kinn said...

She definitely reads like a Were to me; I do agree with Tsavo that your writing's a lot smoother and more refined now.

Michele said...

Still a gripping and dark scene.
The price of vengence.
Unseen, coming via stealth and justification, corrupts as it avenges until vengence is equal to the original evil.

Savannah Jordan said...

Alexandra~ Thanks for stopping by!! Glad you got the rabbit down. :) I'll take your comment under advisement.

Tsavo~ Whether intenional or not, you've issued a challenge. I shall rise to it.

HS~ She is kinda Were-ish...

Tsavo, HS~ I take sleaker and refined as big commpliments.

Michele~ Thank you, Sweetness!! Very nice to have someone who's read the entire book comment on the scene. You're my Fangirl!

Bernita said...

Donno, I think the first has a lot to commend it, too, but then I like the raven image.Glad you kept the closing - excellent!
Think it depends a lot on what you wished to emphasize in the piece, like the rage, or whether you want to get on to a more important scene of vengeance and save the detailed wallowing for that.
Fact is, you're good.

Savannah Jordan said...

Thanks, Bernita. Coming from you, good is great!

The scene was supposed to emphasize both the vengenace and the rage.

I'm not sure if I am going to integrate this scene into the novel, though, as that would then call for a complete manu rewrite.