After a round of weird bad luck, slicing my finger and getting five stitches, a sick husband (twice), and a flurry of competitions for rhythmic gymnastics (my daughter, not me), I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for Dark World III. With just a few thousand words to go, and a lot of twists and turns not even I saw coming, the characters of Myth are finally coming full circle.
With fingers crossed (not the one with stitches) I hope to get Myth out by the end of May. I thank you so very much for your continuing patience. I know I take a long time to write, but I've become a bit of an obsessive perfectionist with writing and want to make sure its perfect for you. :)
I'd love to hear your comments below and any guesses on what you think might happen in this next installment of Dark World.
Writing is frustrating. Some days my fingers fly around the keyboard like wildfire, unable to keep up with the story unfolding inside my head. Other days, like these past few, every word is like trying to pry gemstones from solid ice. I wonder why my muse picks and chooses to come and go as she pleases? I wonder why the story, after moving so swiftly through my imagination, has chosen to pause itself? Perhaps it is my human limitations that hinder progress?
It seems, occasionally, that when my writing goes into creative hibernation, that my reading becomes voracious; as though it's the one that's been starving and now needs immediate sustenance. It is difficult, however, to find the right foods to feed the need. Not all books are created equal. I often pick up three or four from the library only to return all of them unread but for a few chapters. Why is this? I'm picky. Very, very picky. I hate wasting precious time and energy on a book that I feel will not quench my creative thirst.
The books I read have to have certain qualities, such as beautiful writing. You know the kind, the prose that flows like verbal silk, words wound together as though angels have inspired them. Second, a lovely cover. Yes, I know, that's a bit shallow, but it's true. I feel that the package should entice me, seducing me to peek between its pages. And lastly, a different story. Something unique, odd even. So often I find the same stories retold, rehashed and milked for every ounce it's worth. Example: Vampires. Need I say more?
So as I wait out yet another writing hiatus, I fill my head with the words and stories of those who inspire me. Perhaps they are my muses, or my own muse has flitted off to inspire another in order to feed my future literary addictions?
The monster wandered the shadowy
realm, his new home whether he liked it or not. Thick, hot, oppressive air held
his lungs captive as blistering crimson sands branded the soles of his naked
feet. Subterranean springs intermittently discharged scorching waters into the atmosphere
whilst angry volcanoes raged endlessly in the distance, their garnet
tributaries bleeding from earthly wounds that seemingly never healed.
This world, this dark land,
seemed to embrace all things malignant, all things evil. What trace of humanity
he had left lingering inside recoiled in fear and confusion, terrified of what might
be waiting for him around every shadow-cloaked corner, but the dark passenger
that now occupied the greater part his soul was elated, grinning, and pleased
to be home again. This new malevolence twisted and crawled through the
blackened web-like veins spread all over his body, owning him as though
possessed. Relentless hunger pulled at his innards, thirst for blood clawed at
his throat. Despite his weary, every creature he’d happened upon inevitably
lost the battle, becoming his next meal. This thing inside of him, this beast,
could lash out, summon any strengths needed when the time arose. In those
moments, he’d become powerful, god-like—indestructible. He’d torn at their
flesh with his teeth, greedily, uncontrollably, but never was he rewarded
satiation or reprieve from the inhuman suffering. The hunger always remained. Always
tormenting him, always controlling him.
Nevertheless, there was
something else lurking amid the dark corners of his newfound Hell. Something
stronger than the blood lust. Something that diluted the poison inside:
He vowed to find his way
back from this dark world. He would make them pay for this. He would find the
ones responsible and show them what true pain was.
But for now, he had to find
food, had to feed this unappeasable monster within, had to silence the demons
screaming inside. Then, he would search for the one he sensed nearby. The one
he’d hurt first.
So it happens on occasion where an author names their book with all the love and affection of a newborn baby. But, as it turns out, sometimes the book decides to switch personalities halfway through. This is what happened to Dark World II. I'd wanted to call it Ever, as it was supposed to be mostly about her, but as usual the characters decided how the book was going to go, hence I was forced to find a new name for the book. To my surprise, however, the new name, The Devil Inside, seems to encompass the story far better than the previous name.
So here's so my new, adopted child: Dark World II: The Devil Inside.
After supper, Kane and Fate left the
castle for a walk. The balmy evening was filled with promise, and maybe even a
bit of romance.
Fate cast her gaze upward, the ceiling
of rock snarled down at her like a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. Blood-red
mist hovered amidst the fangs, giving the illusion that it had just devoured a
fresh meal. She shuddered and forced her sight away.
How she missed the sky. Sometimes it
felt like she’d never really known the baby blue air overhead with its hot
sphere of gold, or the pitch of night enlightened by an ancient moon and a
billion stars. Had it all been a dream, this other life as Scarlet Prince? Had
she really existed on the Surface? It didn’t feel real anymore. She was Fate
now, some inhuman creature with silver hair, magical powers, and an
unquenchable lust for souls.
The latter would have been nothing
more than fantasy on the Surface, a tale woven by fanciful writers, but it was
reality that didn’t resonate with her any longer.
Still, a sliver of her former self
lingered within. A spark of what was once Scarlet still flickered deep inside.
It was her family and Shelby that kept the fire alive. The part of her that was
still Scarlet held hope that she might see her loved ones again.
She sometimes envied Vale and Sybil.
Despite the circumstances, that they had been torn from their lives on the
Surface by Malus’s minions, they still had one another. Even though Vale had
searched for Sybil for one hundred years in the underworld, time had not made
their hearts forgetful. They held each other as dear as they did on the
Surface, if not more.
“I wonder where Sybil was tonight,”
Fate pondered as she and Kane walked hand in hand through the streets of
Necrosia. She wasn’t sure why, but she kept glancing around, expecting to see judgment
in the eyes of the citizens. But everyone just smiled at them, accepted them.
It was a place where all races were welcome: shades, necromancers, and anyone
else who joined their community. It was a rare and beautiful place.
“The Oracle? I don’t know,” he
replied nonchalant. “Why?” He looked down at her with a soft stare that made
her heart quicken.
She shrugged and looked away. “I just
wanted to ask her something.”
“About what?” he asked as he led her
to the left, towards a jewelry vendor. Earrings and necklaces made of bones,
animal scales, and precious gems hung from the makeshift store walls. Some very
beautiful, some macabre.
“Nothing, really,” Fate said, then
asked, changing the subject, “Have you and Vrill decided what you’ll do to find
the scroll on the Surface?”
He shook his head as he leaned over a
small box on the vendor’s table, blocking Fate’s view with his muscular arm.
“No, we also must speak with the Oracle. She might be able to see its
Fate nodded, frowning as she rose
onto to her tippy toes to see over his shoulder. “What are you looking at?”
He was silent for a moment, ignoring
her. Then, after handing something to the vendor, he turned to her with a shy
smile. “Close your eyes,” he ordered softly.
Her brows pulled together in
confusion, but she complied, shutting her eyes.
She felt his body draw closer, his
warm breath feathering over her face. Her head swam at his nearness, her senses
blurred. His scent was more than intoxicating, it was alluring, seductive. It
confounded her how just being close to him could completely throw her off her
game. But instead of analyzing it, she just let it happen, falling back into
He then took her hand into his,
heating it with his hot demon skin, and she felt him slide something onto her
She gasped, her eyes opening with a
start. Kane lifted her hand, kissing the back of it before allowing her to see
what he’d given her.
“But...” she sputtered.
Kane leaned into her, pushed her
silver-white hair from her ear and after kissing her earlobe, whispered in Attra,
Dark World’s native tongue, “Vosira mea anima.”