Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy All Hallows Eve

I'm way behind in my reading pile, I meant to get some more book reviews up but its gotta wait for November now.

But here is a quick snippet of a tale (I'm still polishing) from my forthcoming The Mad Song and other tales of Sword & Sorcery...


Stygian Black


Miles into the trackless wastes of the Arabian Desert and just as the horned moon rose above the dunes in a darkening azure sky, the raiders fell upon the unholy caravan as wolves upon tainted sheep. Half of the hired swords fled when they guessed the identity of the laughing bandit chieftain and even the vexing fear of their master, the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, could not grant them sand enough to face the Lion of Palestine, Avi Ben-Kenaz.
The city-born sell-swords and cowardly veterans of decadent civilization were no match for the hard-bitten nomads, and with but a few strokes of steel all of Alhazred’s men fell before the raiders. These Judean raiders lived by their blades edge alone—not just the prospect and bravado of danger. Out here in the desolate wilderness, if you did not shed blood freely, your own would soon bleach upon the sands.
Alhazred dusted himself off after having been tossed from his seat by one of the raiders. He was lucky not to have been beheaded like so many others, but had been recognized as the caravan master early on and therefore perhaps worthy of sparing and of course, ransom.
One of the raiders shouted to his chieftain, “The wagons are empty!”
“All of them?”
The raider nodded to Avi and shoved Alhazred to the ground once again.
Avi, a pantherish man with a face of red-brown stubble and a reckless smile asked, “Who are you and what did you formerly carry within these wagons that needed such pathetic protection?”
“I am Abdul Alhazred, seeker of eldritch knowledge. I know of you Avi, and would ask that we make a sacred pact.”
Avi scrutinized the thin bearded man who was almost engulfed by both his dark turban and cloak. Alhazred’s sallow face, shrunken cheeks and baggy eyes belied a man who knew little sleep and even less toil.

“Speak Magi.”

7 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Cool!

David J. West said...

Thanks Paul!

Keith West said...

You, sir, are not nice. This is the literary equivalent of "Here, kid. Your first sample is free."

When will this book be available?

Charles Gramlich said...

Love this. I was just talking about poetical prose on my blog

David J. West said...

I'm shooting for the end of the month Keith.

Thanks Charles

Keith West said...

Cool. I'll be on the lookout for it.

David J. West said...

Thanks Keith!!!