Pleased I am that Derek, project developer and one of the floundering fathers of A Word with You Press has submitted a little something for our contest: Once Upon a Time.
The plan of our contest is to give you an appropriate size crow-bar to pry that damned writer’s block off your keyboard and get you to write that novel!
But if you have already written that novel, we would like to help you promote it. Won’t be eligible for the competition (prizes for all semi-finalists with a $250 cash prize or a date –dutch–with the editor-in-chief at the McDonald’s of his choice in Moscow, Idaho, for the winner) but we WILL post your prologue and first two chapters with a link to your website or Amazon. Have a friend who has a published novel? Sendum this link. Or enter the contest yourself for a chance to win stuff and impress personages of your favorite gender!
Derek is a man of colour, because those damned Brits don’t know how to spell color! That kind of mis-spelling riddles the prologue to his novel Covenant, which can be purchased here: viewBook.at/Covenant
Forgive his spelling, and if you feel you need to correct his spelling, scold him on his website here: http://alongthewritelines.blogspot.com/.
And here is his prologue to
By Derek Thompson
For an hour Errmoyne had sat, facing the altar where the stone Tablet rested. His patience was at an end; he traced the grooves of the pentagram with his index finger, moving it purposefully to focus his intent. If the Guardian wouldn’t come to him then he would cross the boundary by force of will and face it in its own domain. His mouth dried at the prospect and his own dread mocked him – the very thing that he sought above all else was that which terrified him most: communion. He lifted his hand free and turned to each of the five candles that encompassed him within a ring of sacred fire. Then he took a final glance at the Tablet and treasured the image for fear that he might not live to see another. His breathing came under practiced control, narrowing his awareness, and the world around him faded like a memory.
Pressure. So much pressure at his temples – a crushing darkness that propels him across the divide. There is no time or distance, only levels of consciousness traversed.
In the stillness that follows, patterns of reality shift to frame this higher world, colouring the terrain in muted shades of indigo and purple. A wall appears, the seamless stones defining the Guardian’s domain on this plane of reality. And, as Errmoyne’s awareness stabilizes, a rainbow-arched gate emerges from the mist.
“Hosanna!” he cries, making a sign of invocation.
“Who calls me from the Realm of Shadows?”
“It is I, Errmoyne – Keeper of the Tablet.”
The Guardian approaches, magnificent and terrible. Swathes of energy shimmer behind it like heroic wings; yet whether it is more angel or demon, Errmoyne cannot tell.
“Why have you come here, Keeper?”
He bows low. “For months now I have sought to be your servant, but you have denied me. Am I unrighteous? Have I lost my way?”
“The Way is as it has always been,” the Guardian proclaims, dulling its emanations for his benefit. “The Way is Sarrell and the path is founded upon sacrifice.”
“Yes, Master,” he trembles.
A gate opens and the Guardian bids him enter. Errmoyne crosses the threshold, gazing in wonder as exotic trees and fleeting, morphic creatures burst into colour and form. The Guardian leads him silently, allowing him to glimpse what he will.
They move to an ancient well, where the deep, dark waters touch some hidden part of the physical world, so that Errmoyne may discern the path that awaits him. At first all he sees is his own reflection, for the Gods are content to hide truth in the simplest of guises. Then he stares harder into those limpid eyes and a vision takes hold.
The Guardian stirs and myriad flickers of light bustle around it like attendant flames. They are the slumbering souls of the lost, trapped in this realm – awaiting the second death to another level of existence or rebirth to the one they left behind – as yet denied entry to the Holy City of Sarrell.
“The Enemy knows of my existence,” Errmoyne reveals with tempered conceit.
“You see clearly, Keeper. You must leave the life you have known.”
“And the Tablet?” he wavers, clinging to his role as if it alone sustains him.
“A successor will be chosen. So it has been, so shall it be again, until one who is righteous claims the Tablet and reveals its wisdom.”
Errmoyne kneels before the Guardian and confronts its hollow eyes in realisation. There is no room for compromise in the pattern of perfection. “So shall it be,” he defers, humbled by a terrible acceptance. His awareness retreats, cascading back through levels of consciousness, crushed finally into the fragile form that he calls ‘life’.