This week I’m featuring a brief glimpse into my work in progress, Into the Shadow Wood. Watch for my cover reveal in June, and an announcement with the final release date.
Interested in having your book featured here on Sneak Peek Friday? I’m always happy to support my fellow authors. Just contact me through my blog or my author Facebook page.
Surrounding the central room were darkened cells secured with iron bars and locks. We could not yet tell if anyone was inside, but there was no sound or movement save our own footfalls and rapid breaths. My commander brought his torch over to one of the cells so that he could peer in. The first was empty. There were no comforts to be found. Just a hard, cold stone floor scattered with dirty straw, a small basin for water, and chains firmly anchored into the wall. I shuddered at the thought of being kept prisoner in such a place.
We checked the next cell, ready to liberate any unfortunate soul we might find. But what the next cell contained made us quickly step back. Lying on the floor was something the size of a man, yet it was not a man. It had sickly blotched skin and a strange mark branded onto its forehead. I instantly recognized it as the beast I had mistaken Alaric for the night he wandered away from our camp. How had my mind conjured up the image of such a beast I never could have imagined on my own? This one was apparently dead. Its large red eyes were opened and vacant. The smell coming from within the cell left us gagging and gasping for air. I had to cover my face with my sleeve just to bear it.
But someone had been working on the beast, either before or after it died. Its body sported multiple bandages and one arm was immobilized against a wooden splint.
“Why would one bother to bandage the dead?” Alaric asked.
“More importantly, why would one keep a dead body shut away in a locked cell?” our commander asked.
“Because according to his journals, this necromancer has found a way to resurrect the dead,” I said. I did not doubt that it was true. Though the beast gave off a rank odor, it was not the smell of decaying flesh, nor did the body seem to be decomposing.
We stepped back from the cell. Clearly there was no need for a rescue attempt.