This is a feature that my wife suggested a while ago: Putting up a few random paragraphs from my books once a month or so. She also suggested putting up a poll so readers can choose which book they want to see excerpted. My wife is so smart! Here’s the poll:
The books are tagged (broadly) by genre: “F” for Fantasy, “H” for Horror, and “DF” for Dark Fantasy (essentially fantasy with a strong horror element, or horror with a strong fantasy element). At the end of the month, I will choose a scene at random from the book with the most votes and put it into a post. I won’t choose scenes that give away major plot twists, but other than that, pretty much anything will go.
I’ve decided to start with the prologue from my nowhere-near-finished werewolf novel (unimaginative working title: The Wolf). It’s a very short scene, but I like it.
The wolf runs, because it can.
It remembers the times between, when it cannot run, when it is locked away inside a prison of human meat. Always it strains to be free, working against the flesh, struggling to force the change; but the flesh resists it, and it can only break free at the peak of its strength, when the brightness of the moon inspires it to ultimate heights of frenzy.
These woods are strange to the wolf, new and unknown. It rarely finds itself in the same area two times in a row, and never three. But the wolf doesn’t need familiarity. It easily finds trails through the trees, following the scents of the creatures that move through this forest. They have established their own paths, so the wolf doesn’t have to.
The forest is a riot of odors: Earth and rain, leaf and tree, the scent of a dozen types of animals. Humans frequent this path, their sweat mixing with their perfumes and their deodorants into a cloying, lingering stink. But there will be no humans here, not now, in the night. In the wolf’s world, sight is secondary; smell and hearing are how it knows its surroundings. But the flesh, the human flesh, relies on sight to the near exclusion of all else. In the dark woods, sight fails, and so the humans will stay away.
Knowing this, the wolf runs.
Because it can.