Friday, April 12, 2019

Serialization: "The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice" by Roberta Downing: Prologue

The Arcane Warrior’s Apprentice
Novel by Roberta Downing 
Cover artwork designed by Jerry Langdon


A fiery-red headed woman was lying in the grass and her head was on the lap of her love. It was a beautiful spring day; the breeze was gentle and warm and the birds were chirping in the trees. The sky was blue and had white puffy clouds that slowly drifted above. Indeed, Eastland was stunning this time of year.
Bell studied Satyr's face letting her fingers slowly glide over it; memorizing his countenance by sight and touch. She loved his ruggedly handsome features. His chin was slightly squared much like most men who served in the guard or military. She was most captivated by his unique slit lilac eyes that really set off his naturally tan skin. She imagined all of the Desert Sandian people had the same coloring. Though she did not like facial hair, his goatee added a mysterious and sophistication quality that she admired.
The day had turned to overcast skies. The air had become warmer as the breeze began to pick up. She was regretting that she did not bring her sketch pad and pencils with her because this was worth drawing. What kind of bard didn't at least have a damn sketch pad?!
Something caught her attention from her peripheral and she looked toward the lake. Her eyes were slightly blurry but she saw a figure hovering in the water. As she turned her head to look, Satyr naturally turned his as well.
The air filled with the stench of brimstone and it made Bell want to gag. The very air had become extremely hot and filled with invisible fames which made it hard to breathe. The figure suspended on the water was black as midnight, smoke and flames surrounded it. It was glaring directly at Bell.
Fear invaded her every cell and Spyder, her monkey familiar, began chattering and screaming from the branches above. Everything was telling her to run but that thing had done its job; the dark creature had engulfed her in such morbid fear that her feet would not obey her minds command. That thing commanded the very light that surrounded it.
Just when she thought things could not get any worse, it spoke in a voice as deep and loud as thunder. The sound rattled her bones; she could feel the vibrations within her lungs as it echoed in her ears.
It said, "Bell, I will take your family and your friends. I will take everything you hold near and dear to you."
Satyr stood at the ready with swords in hand. He was ready, willing and able to defend the love of his life from this thing.
The thing pointed its finer at Satyr and said, "I will even take him from you." She then realized who and what it was as it vanished back into the lake.

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