I'm putting up the first chapter of The Fall in my blog for the time being. Here it is.

Prologue – The Savage Skies

I heard something in a stand of bushes not ten metres away. I tensed, stopping in my tracks. There was a curious smell drifting almost aimlessly, invading my nostrils. It reminded me of wet fur. My heart started to beat faster. I clenched my hands into fists and mentally berated myself for my carelessness. It’s just been raining. It is wet fur I can smell.
“Felum,” I breathed in terror. I’m frozen to the spot. There is a knife tucked inside the sock on my left foot; there is another in one of the many pockets in my plastic jacket. I’m not sure where my slingshot is; maybe I left it at the trading station, or could it be in another pocket? I can’t seem to think clearly.
There is an ululating, piercing yowl and something leaps out of the bushes at me. It is a tall striking figure wearing old tanned leather clothing and thick boots; black, silky fur lined its face and hands and its face was that of a panther somehow fused with that of a human. Its hands, five fingered, were tapered into sharp ivory white claws, stained with blood. They were going to rip into me, and those sharp teeth were going to devour me and all I could do was stand there and do nothing.
The Felum was mere inches from my face when I whipped my fisted hand out and punched it in the face. It screeched more in surprise than in pain as it flew backwards and landed on a bed of orange flowers. It moved around, dazed, before its angry green eyes turned to look up at me in a sort of wounded wonder.
“Hurt,” the Felum whispered. “Hurt.”
I bent down and pulled the knife out from the sheath strapped to my ankle. It was newly sharpened, the blade glinting wickedly in the bright light of the day. I wanted the Felum to know it wasn’t worth attacking me a second time, that if it did it would end up losing its life. I wasn’t sure I could actually kill it, though, only intimidate. It may only be a Felum but it still looked, more or less, vaguely human.
We continued to stare at each other, the human and the human/cat creature. The Felum appeared to be male, judging by the clothes he was wearing. There was a scar running down his left ear and some sort of golden medallion shaped like a circle hanging from a necklace looped around his furry neck. I was quite fascinated; I had never had the chance at seeing a Felum so close before. I was still scared, still in danger, but somehow I knew I’d survive this experience. The Felum would have killed me by now if it were going to I was sure of it. All it did was crouch there in the flower bed, as equally fascinated with me as I was with him.
The Felum made a strange yip noise and jumped to its feet. I could hear the noise still, like a sort of loud trilling, that emanated from his mouth. The fur on his bare arms was standing on end. Something had frightened it. Was it me? I didn’t think so. I was hardly much of a threat to him.
“See,” said the Felum. He was looking upwards.
The sky was blue like my mother’s eyes, not a cloud in sight. The sun was high, blazing away, even though it was mid-winter and the tips of my fingers and toes were feeling the chill. There wasn’t anything there. There hadn’t been a sighting of the gods in this part of the country for two years, so I knew it couldn’t be that.
I was wrong.
“Hide!” screamed the Felum. “Hide!”
I didn’t know what to do. The Felum still frightened me, it was a savage creature. When I heard a sonic boom almost knock me onto my back I looked my opponent in the eye. He pounced forward again, and I got ready to attack when his body collided with mine. The force of his body pushed us both from the path of a speeding blur that crashed through the trees from the left. A swirl of leaves and grass and branches, even small mammals, were pulled along in its wake like a vacuum, left to tumble to the ground when the forces tugging it left them. I could hear screams of incandescent immortal rage; the sounds of forest animals furious against the destruction of their warm habitats; the deep purr of the Felum as his body pressed against mine, holding me in the dirt so I wouldn’t move and reveal our presence. He had saved my life. A Felum had saved my life.
We looked into each other’s eyes. His breath smelled of something rotting and awful and I couldn’t help but be disgusted. The Felum grunted and got off me, started patting down its leather clothes to get rid of muck and dust. I stood up and did likewise.
We concealed ourselves under the bough of a small silver tree as we listened to the fight that raged on above us. I couldn’t make out much, especially not through the branches of the tree. All I could see was two figures in the sky, punching and kicking each other with such violence that were a normal human to be attacked that way their flesh would be rent apart. These two combatants were far from human, though.
“Gods...” the Felum breathed in awe.
I looked at the humanoid cat and couldn’t help but grin. The Felum were a savage, bloodthirsty race but this one looked as meek as a kitten when faced with something so powerful and eternal.
As quickly as they’d arrived, smashing up the forest and creating permanent paths through the trees, the two fighting titans left the skies above us to continue the battle elsewhere. I was glad. If they’d seen me then surely I would have died...wasnt I like an ant to them?
“You are scared,” said the Felum.
I ignored it, didn’t want to show any weakness.
“I am scared,” the Felum admitted.
I shook as the Felum put its clawed hand on my arm. It gave me a smile, revealing sharp white fangs that could rip me to shreds if it so wanted, then removed its hand and made a sprint for the bushes where it had sprung out from in the first place. As I watched it disappear into the undergrowth I considered myself quite lucky. To escape certain death, twice, within a five minute span was more than lucky; it was a miracle.

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Published on March 11, 2012 07:26 • 341 views
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message 1: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Interesting premise. I really liked the prologue, David. And now I'm curious, which I guess is good for you, lol. Now I want to see what happens next :)

message 2: by C. (new)

C. McKenzie Very intriguing. Thanks for the glimpse of the Felum and very lovely prose.

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