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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Way of Things: A Dog Story--chapter XXVIII


I am unsatisfied with the following scene, but I suspect it will require weeks before I will be. Though this isn't the end yet, it's close enough for me to say this, "Endings are hard work". Especially in this minimalist storytelling style. I hate sloppy wrap ups so much that I agonize over every word. I'm aware that I need to maintain the tension for longer than I have, but that's what rewrites are for, right? 
XXVIII

The Queen shrieked in fury as the Shepherd sank his teeth into her arms, her talons striking him again and again. They rolled around on the ground together a writhing twist of darkness, the Queen’s blood, and glowing fur.  

The Creepers fell on them en mass attempting to help their Queen and the two were quickly buried beneath the boiling mound of darkness.

Now we will help, the Visitor said. 

The Creepers, distracted by their Queen’s distress, were frantically clawing their way over one another, trying to get to her. They were completely oblivious to the Boy and his shining stick and the little dog.  Together the two sliced through the Creepers like they were chaff, tossing their limp bodies in every direction.

The Queen finally flung the large dog away and attempted to stand, pushing off dead and living Creepers alike. Only half rising from the ground she stared at the Shepherd who was on all fours, his muzzle smeared with her blood, and his jaws parted in a garish grin. He bore not a single wound.

 The Queen saw and understood the truth for probably the only time in her short reign. You’re dead, she hissed.

 Shepherd shook himself off as though all they’d done so far was spar, and almost casually launched himself at the Queen of the Many for the second time since his mother birthed him.

The Queen didn’t even have a chance to scream.

The force of the leap drove them both over backwards, and he grappled for just a second with her limbs, striking her throat with long white canines, twisting, ripping, and ripping again.  She gurgled one last curse and was still.

 The Shepherd stood back and looked at his handiwork as the handful of living creepers fled. He was luminous now, every marking brighter. And now so are you.

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