Sneak Peak: The Guardian’s Curse

As promised in my last post, here is a preview of book two The Guardian’s Curse:

Prologue

Jack was a hoodlum.  He had always been a bully – preying on anyone weaker or smaller, terrorizing the hallways at school.  Whether it was stealing other kids’ lunch money or spraying graffiti on the principal’s car, Jack had done it.  He lived for chaos and destruction, and he loved Halloween.  On this one, glorious night of the year, his bullying could rise to a new level – egging houses, draping toilet paper in the trees and stealing candy from the little kids in his neighborhood. 

Out of eggs and the pockets of his hoodie stuffed with his ill-gotten gains, he had saved his favorite activity for last.  It was a few minutes before midnight now and he saw his first target – a nice fat pumpkin, carved with one of those stupid grinning faces that he hated so much.  In a few seconds that grin would be splattered all over Mrs. Johnson’s driveway and his path of destruction would begin as he tried to break last year’s record of twenty pumpkins in one night. 

The leaves crunched under his sneakers as the crisp night air made him shiver.  He slipped up to the porch quietly, trying not to disturb Mrs. Johnson’s hyperactive little terrier, Loki.  Jack hated that dog with a passion – the thing would always yip at him insanely every morning while he was trudging to school.  The dog was quick too, having learned how to dodge the rocks that Jack would hurl at it every morning.

He listened carefully as he approached his prey – not a single bark from Loki yet, which was a good sign.  As he plucked the fat jack-o-lantern from the top step, he noticed something odd.  Instead of the warm yellow glow of a candle, the light from the grinning pumpkin’s face was a deep, fiery red.  Must be one of those new LED lights, he thought.  As he turned the pumpkin over in his hands he grinned at the thought of hurling it against the pavement.  His grin suddenly froze however, as he looked into those burning red eyes.  His body went rigid and he was unable to move as a horrible burning sensation traveled up from his hands, through the rest of his body.  The world around him started to spin as the very essence of his being was drawn out of his body and down towards the evil, grinning face of the pumpkin held tightly in his hands.  In just a few precious moments his spirit was devoured, leaving the husk of his body hovering for just a moment before it crumbled to dust and was blown away on the night breeze.  In the two seconds before the pumpkin tumbled to the sidewalk, its twisted grinning face morphed and contorted into the grimace of Jack, until it shattered when it hit the cold, hard ground. 

###

 A giant red ruby flickered slightly as another pulse of energy from across the Veil was absorbed.  The minion standing watch over the jewel looked closely, tapping the surface of the blood red stone with its branch-like claw.  At seven feet tall it had to stretch downward to check on the crystal’s status – no small feat since thick, blackened timbers were lashed together at its shoulders to help support its back.  Cloaked in rags as black as pitch, it loosely resembled a scarecrow, which was harmless enough on the other side of the Veil.  In this realm however, the form had been used to create a minion of pure evil, binding together the soul of a wizard with the essence of the Shadow. 

The master would be pleased, it thought; the bloodstone had absorbed at least two dozen souls tonight.  Halloween on the other side of the Veil was always a good time to harvest the essence of the mortals.  In a very short time the energy of the bloodstone would be replenished, and the master would rise again.  It struggled to lean forward and inspect the crystal again as another pulse of energy was absorbed.  Although wisps along the wall of the chamber provided a dim light for someone to see, the minion hardly needed it.  As it tapped the crystal one last time a red, flickering light caused the shadows in the room to dance along the walls.  The ghostly reflection of the minion played across the face of the giant ruby, and the gemstone sparkled beneath the burning red gaze of the jack o lantern’s eyes that flickered in the twilight.

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2 Responses to “Sneak Peak: The Guardian’s Curse”

  1. WOW! Awesome and VERY eerie too! Well done indeed. I can hardly wait for the next book. I loved The Guardian’s Apprentice.

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