Favorite Scene From the Drawer

This week, we're sharing favorite scenes. I decided to search through archives of past writing for this. Partly because I'm so deep in the world of NEVER SKY that I wanted a wee break, and partly because I remembered writing this short snippet years ago, and really liking it. This comes from a manuscript I was working on before NEVER SKY. It falls squarely into the high-fantasy genre, and it's pretty dark. I guess I like dark. (Maybe some of you know that by now?) Anyway, it's a prologue, which most people will tell you is a no-no but I had fun with it. Hope it doesn't creep you out too much :)

The Cart

Sky and earth tilted to the left, a blur of blue and white, as a shrill whinny broke into the air. Padrig Forester had only time to grasp the pommel as his horse lurched further to the side. The mare’s hooves begged for purchase in great dragging scrapes. He held on, rocking and sinking, until at last she found a foothold and righted with a jolt. Padrig made a low sound to soothe her, a sound made strange by his trembling voice. 
He searched the ground below. White gashes floated inches above the mountain trail, scored by the mare’s shoes. Black ice again, invisible and deadly. Padrig patted her sweat-matted neck. 
“Steady as you go, Ginny,” he murmured. “This will be done with soon.” 
The mare startled under his touch, tossing her head in defiance. She was a good horse, had served him well for near a dozen years, but Padrig knew their bond had been broken that morning. She had smelled the blood early and when it came time to tie the cart’s shafts to her harness she had fought, rearing and bucking like he’d never seen. She had even bitten his shoulder, stamped his skin with a purple imprint of horse teeth that still throbbed. But Padrig couldn’t blame her. Animals had a powerful aversion to death.
Padrig turned around. The cart still crunched along over the snow-patched trail behind him. Dark circles stained the woolen blanket he’d draped over the top. The putrid stench overtook him, nausea striking next, raking claws through his stomach, flooding his mouth with warm saliva. Padrig bit down and pressed a prayer through his lips, pleading to Gepsa for forgiveness. When the sickness finally ebbed away, he vowed not to look at the cart again. Not until he had to give it to the boy.
He lifted his gaze to the crest of Mount Aroe. There, within the icy dome, lay the Cobai city where the boy was said to be. It would be immense work to reach that place—the coming trail would only offer steeper grades and more snow—but that was why he had been chosen to deliver the cart. His reputation as an expert tracker had brought him good coin in the past. This time it was he who’d pay if he failed—with his life.
“Take heart, Ginny.” The mare’s long brown ears flicked back. “At least we’ll learn if the blood of the Lion still lives.”
Padrig found solace in his own words. Since autumn, the question had been in every mind. If the boy truly was Erick of Belfort’s son, then Tarthians could have some hope. If he was the Lion’s son, Padrig would pledge his fealty—his life’s service—in a single breath. 
But how would the boy react? Would he condemn Padrig for what he was doing? Padrig had no choice but to deliver this vile load—would the boy have the wisdom to understand? Padrig leaned aside and spat at the frozen earth. No one should have to do what he was doing.
No one.
Bad as he felt, Padrig knew the boy, Willem Hawk, would feel far worse when he saw what was in the cart.


Very dark! I think NOT knowing what's in the cart is actually worse than knowing. Makes it creepier.

But I still kind of want to know....

Come on! What was in the cart! Tell me, tell me!! That was so good, very tense, foreboding. Love it!


Thanks, Beth and Heather! The contents of the cart are gruesome, and blackmail... and I'll leave it to imagination for now, in case I ever do anything with the rest of the story ; ) Thanks so much for reading and hope you both have a great weekend!

Looking forward to finding out WHAT'S IN THAT CART! Wonderful build in the scene--I definitely want to keep reading!

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