Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knights of Avalon: Prologue

I'm leaning heavily towards dropping the prologue. I like it, and lots of people have told me they like it too, but in relation to the rest of the manuscript, it's fast becoming superfluous.


He had told her not to run from them. Now Gwen was running for her life. She kicked off her heels and raced down the street. There’d be people there, even at this time of night.

As she ran past shuttered shops, she screamed for help, her voice echoing off the empty buildings. There wasn’t anyone here. It was only 11 o’clock. Why wasn’t anyone here?

She stopped in front of a diner, an unplugged neon sign advertising it was open 24 hours. Gwen tugged at the doors, pounded on the windows. The diner was dark, plates full of food left sitting on the counter in front of empty chairs.

Gwen tossed a glance behind her. They were coming. They had never hurt her before, but now she wasn’t so sure. They could see her. They were hunting her.

She fumbled for her cell phone. “Come on, come on.” No signal. “Come on!” It had to be them. This always happened when they were near.

So get away. Gwen ducked into an alley and hit send the moment her phone came to life. She scaled a low brick wall as the phone rang. If he wasn’t there, she’d try Justine.

She counted the rings. One, two, three. On the third, he picked up.

“Tejaun!” Even Gwen was surprised by how desperate she sounded. “I’m in Stone Harbor, off 96th Street. The shadows, they’re hunting me!”

She never got to hear his response. The phone died again. The shadows floated through the air, trailing after her.

Then before her, salvation, and stylish salvation at that. A man getting into a green Porsche. Gwen waved her arms, calling for help.

Her knight in shining armor, the man ran to her aid, meeting her half way. He was tall and handsome, with green eyes, a dark beard, and as it turned out, a British accent. Tejaun would have been jealous.

“Please! Help! Someone just tried to mug me!” Gwen lied. It was more believable than the truth. Ordinary people couldn’t see the shadows. She looked over her shoulder, they had stopped their approach. That was the good news. The bad was that they were taking on a solid form. She had never seen that before. They stood in a semi-circle at a distance, silently watching. Gwen fought off a wave of panic.

Her rescuer glanced at the shadows and smiled. “We’re so happy to have you back, Lady Guinevere.”

Before the shock could even register, the man grabbed hold of her and dragged her back to the car. Gwen jabbed the man in the solar plexus with her elbow and twisted her body to make him lose his grip.

The man chuckled with amusement, not even flinching. “You’ve gotten bold after all these years, m’lady.”

Gwen felt tears run down her cheeks as she continued to struggle. It wasn’t any use but she had to try. The parking lot was empty. Even if Tejaun had gotten her message, he couldn’t get here in time. Her hand slid down to her phone again, this time trying to dial 911 if she could get a signal. Maybe the police wouldn’t be able to see the shadows, but they’d certainly be able to see her kidnapper.

Her would-be rescuer spun her around to face him and snatched the phone out of her hands. “Come now, m’lady,” he said, throwing Gwen’s last hope for escape against the pavement, the cell phone shattering into pieces.

He shoved her into the car, binding her hands behind her. “Don’t be afraid. I have no doubt some knight will come to your rescue very soon. In fact, we’re counting on it.”

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