*Please note that the 3D render of the cover is not to scale, this is only a short story of approx. 37 pages. This story is exclusive to the ‘Blood Rage Series’ boxed set.
Here is the next instalment of my posts, sharing samples of my work. This is an excerpt from my short story titled ‘Blood and Fear’. I hope you enjoy this Glimpse into the beginnings of the Blood Rage series.
Blood and Fear
by Allan Walsh
“The sword came down on his arm, hacking deep into his flesh. He cried out in pain… ” Siobhan crossed to the window—a small square hole in the wall—and leant on the sill to watch the sun go down behind the mountains.
“What happened next?” Caitlin asked.
Siobhan spun around, teeth bared, hands held high with fingers clawed. “Rarrr… the rage took him. His body bubbled and bulged—”
“Siobhan! What are you doing? You’re going to give her nightmares again,” her ma said.
“What? She knows krags aren’t real.”
“They are so, your grandpa saw one once, The Goddess rest his soul. Said it were a huge monster, ugly as sin with muscles of rock, but that’s not the point. You’re scaring your sister.”
“Sorry, I was just telling her a story,” she turned back to the window; the reddish-orange glow beyond lighting up the thatched roofs of the little round huts, making them look like a cluster of giant embers.
“I know, love. But next time make it a nice one about the fairy folk. Now into bed with you.”
Siobhan sighed and climbed under the covers. Her mother kissed her on the forehead.
“Sleep well love. And as for you, little one,” she said, turning towards Caitlin. “You’d better sleep in my bed tonight.”
“Yay!” Caitlin said. She threw her arms around Siobhan and hugged her. “Night, Shonny,”
Siobhan kissed her sister on the cheek. “Night, Caitlin.”
The thick woollen curtain fell across the doorway as her mother and sister left the room. She let out a yawn, pulled up the cover and drifted off to sleep.
It seemed like only moments later when a shrill scream woke her. Siobhan leapt out of bed and rushed to the window, drawn by the yells and the screams and the crash of things breaking. Dark shapes ran about, silhouetted against the glow of fire that lit the village behind. Something crashed inside the hut and Siobhan jolted around. She ran to the doorway and peeked through the gap beside the curtain. Her eyes widened. The door to the hut hung from one hinge, hot coals from the fire pit scattered all around, kindling fiery life into the hides that covered the floor. A huge muscle-bound creature held her mother’s limp body in the air, one giant hand wrapped around her neck, while his massive foot pounded down upon her father’s head. Her little sister lay broken on the ground beside their father. Siobhan slapped her hand over her open mouth and yanked the gap in the curtain closed.
What? A Krag! It can’t… Caitlin… Mum… Dad. They’re all dead.
She stumbled backwards, her head jerking left and right, searching for somewhere, anywhere to hide. She cast her eyes down to the floor. The darkness beneath her bed beckoned to her.
Siobhan hid beneath the bed, trembling, eyes wide open, her heart thumping in her chest. She stared at the curtain hanging across the doorway, tears welling as she watched the orange glow of flames lap at the gap below. She clamped her hands against her ears, desperate to dampen the shouts and screams from all around. Smoke wafted in under the curtain, filled the room with an acrid smell. It stung her eyes and she wiped away the tears streaming down her cheeks. The curtain began to smoulder and she heard the crackle of burning wood beyond. A cough escaped her lips and she covered her mouth to stifle the noise, praying the monster wouldn’t find her.
A crash came from behind the curtain and Siobhan jumped, banging her head on the bottom of the bed. A corn dolly fell from above and landed beside her.
I’m going to die if I stay here… I need to go.
She slid out from under the bed; pain flashed through her scalp as her hair caught on the rough-hewn wood. Siobhan gritted her teeth and jerked free, long red strands left dangling from the timber frame. Smoke chafed the back of her throat as she scrambled to her feet, coughing into the crook of her arm, grabbing at the sill with her free hand. She hauled herself up to the window, head sticking out into the night air beyond, body wriggling, leaning forward, slumping to the dirt below.
Her bare feet dug at the frost-covered ground as she sprang up, head jolting this way and that, searching for an escape. She turned to run and a massive hand clamped around her throat, throwing her to the ground. A hulking mass bore down on her, ripping the linen gown from her body in one powerful yank. Siobhan tried to scream, but no sound escaped her mouth. Her eyes bulged as she struggled, clawing at his huge fingers. The creature looked down at her, fire in his eyes, as cries and screams pierced the air around him. He licked his lips and grinned.
Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here
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