This is an excerpt of a novel I was working on once upon a time (and just rediscovered!). It’s a sci-fi/fantasy story set in the modern day.

Prologue

“Boy, are you stupid?!” the voice thundered in his head, but as an increasingly distant echo.

Hadn’t that been said some time ago? Before Colin’s body became cold and heavy? His heart thumped against the bones of his chest at an inconsistent pace. And  he could feel that it was beginning to slow. Beyond the heaviness, he felt his lips part, trying to call out to someone that could help. No sound came. All that was there was the smell of fresh blood.

Something touched his chin, forcing his mouth open wider. Without the ability to protest, he laid there lamely, allowing the intrusion. Soon, warm metallic liquid filled his mouth. His throat denied the wet invader, closing, forcing a cough to rise from his lungs to expel it by force.

“Drink.” a rough voice commanded from above. Colin shuddered as the hot breath danced across his sweat soaked skin. More of the liquid poured into his mouth, however this time, he swallowed.

He gagged on it–-choked on the warm drink as it violated his mouth and throat. The need to purge spasmed his stomach the moment the liquid reached it’s destination. Distantly, Colin heard himself muttering about needing to vomit.

“Take it like a man, kid,” the harsh, feminine voice said with exasperation. “That will teach you not to run when someone yells ‘run.’ Bah.”

He barely made out the last of what was said. His body tensed suddenly, muscles strained to near breaking. Breath hitched in his throat and lungs. It hurt. Every part of him ran hot with fire in his blood. It ripped at the pathways of veins and arteries inside him leaving nothing but pain. The blaze circled and circled as his heart pounded.

Colin wanted to scream, but his throat no longer worked in that capacity. In fact, it had shut tight while his body violently moved against cold cement.

A hot hand pressed his head down. His body arched beneath the neck as he writhed with the waves of heat.

“It’ll be over soon.”

He prayed that was true. Either have it end on its own, or kill him. All he knew was that he wanted the agony to end.

And just as quickly as it began, the pain subsided. His throat opened slowly, allowing breath to rush into him in heaves. Colin’s strained voice box made it nearly impossible to whimper properly as tears flowed from the corners of his eyes.

The pain rested, giving way to wonderful numbness. Underneath that, he felt rejuvenation…an awakinging from a long rest. Despite that, though, he couldn’t begin to move. His body stayed frozen in place as the hand on him gentle caressed his forehead. It eased the weariness he was beginning to feel. Even better, it was comforting

“Alright, let’s get you off the street before another Nightwalker comes,” the unknown person’s voice said with more than a hint of grumpiness. “If I have to slit the other wrist, I’m going to be surly.”

Even with the numbness, he felt his body leave the ground. And then, he was unceremoniously tossed over a shoulder, like a sack. Unable to lift his eyelids, he had no choice but to trust the mystery person.

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