Just thought I’d share the VERY rough draft of the first couple of chapters from Soul Reapers (sequel to Organ Reapers). Enjoy!!!
He cradled the unconscious body of the little girl against his chest as he made his way through the crack in the rock, the roughness of the sandstone scraping against the flesh on his shoulders. The faint smell of rotting flesh tickled his nose. The man smiles, breathing deeply of the intoxicating scent. He turns sideways as the path narrows, taking a deep breath and exhaling all the air out, squeezing his body the last few feet.
The passage opens into a large cave, devoid of light. It doesn’t matter. The man can see in darkness almost as good as he can see during the light of day. He stands for a moment, gazing at his handiwork.
The desiccated corpses of two boys were laid out on the floor, head touching the wall of the cave. He quivered in excitement. It won’t be long now. The project was taking longer to complete than he anticipated. A growl escaped his clenched throat.
He took a deep breath; frustration would serve no purpose. There was work to do and his strength was waning quickly. He laid the girl close to one of a young boy, her head touching the wall of the cave, feet pointing to the center.
The man rocked back on his heels, eyes closing. He stilled his breathing and focused his thoughts, hoping his strength wouldn’t fail before he completed the ritual. I must not let that happen.
He opened his eyes, staring at the girl in front of him. Her tiny chest rose and fell with each shallow breath, a spot of blood on the side of her head where he had struck to silence her. He preferred to bring them to the cave mostly conscious, but this little one had fought with a fierceness that had taken him by surprise. It was either silence her or be caught. It was easier to steal their souls when they were awake as he could feed off their energy rather than relying solely on his own. Retrieving her soul would be problematic, but he had no choice; the soul had to be extracted in a matter of hours or he would lose the opportunity altogether.
The man grabbed the knife from a rickety wooden table against the wall of the cave. As he chanted, he moved the blade back and forth over the body. His skin pebbled in goose pimples when he sensed the energy from the girl’s soul. He ached to take that energy into himself right then, but he resisted the temptation. That was the reason his Master chose him for this mission. Of all the soldiers, he was the one with the most self-control.
When he sensed the moment was right, he grabbed a wooden bowl from the same table that held the knife and placed it under the girl’s left wrist. With an expert slice, he opened a vein, and continued the chant as her life force collected in the bowl. Wispy tendrils of ethereal blue light wafted upward. He leaned forward, mouth open, ready to receive this ultimate gift. As he breathed deeply, he felt the power like a deep rumble in his chest, as though the very earth were shaking in excitement. It won’t be long now.
The girl’s blood eventually stopped flowing. The man cleaned the blade on her clothing and placed it back on the table. He held the still warm bowl of her blood close to the ground, head bent in supplication, offering thanks for the gift of her soul. He brought the bowl to his lips and drank the contents, eyes closed in ecstasy.
The ritual now complete, the man stood on shaky legs. The ritual was becoming easier as he devoured the souls of more children. Soon he would be the strongest of his master’s soldiers.
He emerged from the cave, stumbling through the crack, hoping he would have enough strength to make it back to the city. As long as my lair remains a secret, I can pass out and awaken anywhere.
The man smiled as he made his way through the darkness.