The following is the prologue from my NaNoWriMo novel (currently untitled). It’s the third book The Chronicles of Imaginus, in a series I’ve been working on for the past three years. And for those who wish to know, I reached 50,000 words on November 27. Enjoy.
Maybe it was the sound of a rat scampering across the stone floor. Perhaps it was the eerie cry of an unknown animal. She didn’t know. Whatever it was, it jerked her into the land of consciousness abruptly.
Groaning, the girl squinted and tried to see where she was. That was easier said than done, though, because she was surrounded by darkness on all sides. The only light that filtered in came from a small window up above her, to her right. But even that was hardly light; it was just a hardly perceptible lightening in a dim, foreboding room.
Somewhere in the room was a steady drip of water. Drip, drip, drip. Each drop plodded heavily, followed by a slight splashing sound. She couldn’t see the leak, and she wasn’t sure she was strong enough to get up yet. Every part of her was stiff and sore, and she was shivering. It was cold. Very cold.
Wait. Wait a second. Who was she? Where was she? The girl suddenly realized that she had no idea of who she was—her name, where she was from, what she liked, none of that. It was a strange feeling, like something had been ripped out of her, leaving her defected. Panic began to work its way through her system, but she forced herself to remain calm. A panic attack was the last thing she needed.
Drip, drip, drip. For a few moments, she focused on the constant sound of water splashing, willing her heartbeat to slow down. It was working. She could feel herself calming down.
“Hello?” she said. It was a hoarse, almost unintelligible sound. The girl coughed, then tried again. “Hello?” There. That was better.
Random words floated through her mind. Snowmobiles. Computers. Golf. She had a vague idea of what they were, but nothing concrete. Trying to mentally grasp at each image just caused it to flee, leaving her as helpless as ever. She decided she could work on that later.
A harsh, grating sound caused her to jump. In front of her, a door opened, casting a stream of muddy light into the room. Quickly glancing around, the girl took in her surroundings. In the corners of the room was old, moldy hay that stank, along with a ratty blanket and bucket in the far corner. The square cell itself was maybe twenty or twenty-five feet all around, and nearly ten feet tall. She was sitting almost against the back wall, which was covered in a darkish substance that looked slimy. She shivered.
Standing in the doorway was an alien creature that caused her to gasp. She didn’t know what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t . . . that. It was a grossly hunchbacked creature that formed an almost perfect upside down U, like a horseshoe. It had eight appendages in total—it walked on four of them, two in the front, two in the back, and the other four looked as though they had been sporadically placed on its body, none of them symmetrical to the other. With a body of spiky black hair, a pair of glittering eyes, and a chilling leer, the unearthly creature sent a shivers racing up and down her spine.
“Wh-what are you?” she said, still taking in the strange sight in front of her.
It spat out what the girl could only assume was a laugh, though it didn’t sound friendly. “I do not answer your questions, inferior human. I am here only to bring you your meal.” The creature slid a half-full bowl in her direction.
“Where am I?” she asked, not ready to have him leave without having any answers.
“Now would you not like to know?” it said, still leering. “You shall know everything that you need to know in the due time. Do not get too comfortable, though. Our lord will have need of you soon.”
It nodded once. “Yes. The Adversary. As I said, you will know what you must know when the time is right. Now, be quiet.”
“Wait!” she called out. But the hunchbacked creature had slammed and locked the door shut, plunging her into near-darkness again.
Feeling around as she waited for her eyes to get accustomed to the light, the girl grabbed the bowl and spoon and took a tentative bite. It was a thick, gritty porridge that had little taste. She grimaced, but swallowed a few more spoons.
“Water,” she said out loud. “I need water.” She glanced around the room. Behind her was another bucket that had a small wooden cup floating on top. She grabbed the cup, sniffed the water, and then gulped some down.
Her hunger and thirst gotten out of the way, she leaned against the wall, ignoring the slimy substance. With her eyes closed, she began to try to understand what was going on. Why was she here? Better yet, where was here? What was that creature? And who was the…The Adversary?
But there was one thing she knew: whatever was going on, it wasn’t going to be good.
Drip, drip, drip.