For this week’s WIP Wednesday, no long introduction.
Last week I shared a small sample of “Blooded,” my short story for the upcoming Dryden Nightmares anthology. Here’s another sample from the draft….
The pile he’d landed on was composed of a disgusting palette of refuse and morbid waste, huddled somewhere along a vast plain of lifeless dirt. As he shifted to gain his footing, Samartin pushed aside shredded pieces of decaying wood, torn bits of cloth stained a rusty red, and what he belatedly recognized as a collapsed rib cage with a patchy covering of gore attached. He saw more of the debris when he stood, in particular a remarkably intact ship’s wheel made of oak, a long beam that he suspected had once been a mast, and several lengths of rope, some held together with intricate knots. He’d managed to fall into the remains of a large ship, including its former crew and cargo. He couldn’t imagine how it got there, but that seemed rather inconsequential given his current location.
Low fires burned all across the terrain, sending up indiscriminate exhalations of black smoke. He watched the dark clouds rise and disperse, seeing their dissolution as they broke up a fair distance from where he stood at the zenith of the wreckage. The climb down was ripe for catastrophe, more likely fatal than not. He followed the movements of wispy trash flying everywhere, gusts of burnt air sweeping by to disturb the heap’s outermost layer. Standing had taken a significant push from his legs, which meant gravity would surely hasten any fall and deposit him in the middle of whatever unknown circumstance awaited.
All he could discern for sure was the steady presence of a steel wall, reaching as far as the horizon in either direction.