Today I have been able to work on my novel, “The Immortal Curse” again and it feels so good! When I’m unable to write creatively for a while, it builds up inside of me and spills over into my dreams and I know its been way too long since I have written anything. Today is like a release for me, a breath of fresh air. I know I will sleep well tonight.
I’m near the end of my novel and it just gets harder and harder to write. The whole thing has been building up to this point and I want to make sure it is a worthy ending. Too many times have I read an amazing book only for it to fall flat at the most important moments.
My past novels have been series, so they never truly ‘ended’. I knew I still had two books to go before the climax, so I just made sure the whole book was awesome and left the reader wanting more (possibly wanting to murder me for leaving the books where I do). I can’t do that with this one though because it’s a stand alone. The end is the end. And that’s slightly terrifying.
Wish me luck! In the mean time I will post a short excerpt from the current chapter I am writing below.
Excerpt from The Immortal Curse:
We ride up silently, side-by-side to the open gate. The horse’s hooves echo over the wood as we cross the bridge and enter the city. Above us I see guards wearing black and silver tabards, watching us suspiciously but they don’t move to stop us. I look to Adrian whose jaw is clenched.
“They will not harm us.” Adrian says sensing my uneasiness. “They know who I am, and they don’t need to see your eyes to guess who I have brought with me.”
I glance back up at the wall where the guards stand, then quickly avert my eyes to the street in front of me. The street is paved with cobblestone. As soon as we walk in, there is a barracks to our right and a smith to our left. After that, small buildings and vending carts line the street. The narrow path widens into what must be the main square of the city.
As we travel farther into the city, the buildings get bigger and fancier. People are going about their business buying and selling things. Looking at them, you wouldn’t think they have been under a curse for hundreds of years.
People peer at us but look away quickly as soon as I return the look. The people start to notice us more and whispers start spreading across the crowd that is starting to gather. They part for us no longer hiding their steady gazes. I receive looks of pity, and of fright.
“Bless you, kind Lady.” An old woman stumbles forward and grabs my ankle in my stirrup. I’m startled and jump, worried she was going to try and hurt me.
“Back!” Adrian commands, and the woman quickly huddle’s away.
“Do not worry.” Adrian says, so that only I can hear. “No one will hurt you.”
“Right.” I say looking from face to face. “They all think I’m coming to die anyway.”
Adrian’s eyes flicker. “Right.”
We are forced to walk our horses slowly as the crowd thickens and people leave their houses to watch us pass. A hush is over the crowd and the weight of the burden they all have been carrying with the immortal curse is very real to me. I swallow trying to keep my emotions in check and my face void of the terror and sadness I was feeling overwhelmed with.
I see the palace looming up ahead. Something catches my eye and I stop my horse just in time so I don’t run over a little girl. Her hair is dark blond and she clasps a small yellow flower in her hands as she peers up at me with more knowledgeable eyes then anyone her age should ever have.
She raises the flower towards me and I bend over accepting it. I hold the flower in my hand as the girl silently steps out of my path.
“This way.” Adrian beckons softly.
Sparing one final glance at the little girl, I push forward taking the final steps to the palace gates. Four guardsmen come forward and Adrian slides off his horse and I follow suit.
“King Casimir has been expecting you.” The head guard says. He glances at me. Even his eyes look at me with sadness. “I will take you to him.”
The horses are taken away and we follow the guardsman through the gate. I turn around and all the people stand outside of it watching me, a spark of hope in each one of their eyes. Hope that this nightmare will be over. Hope that life will be normal again and the curse will be lifted. One man bows his head to me and stares at the ground, then slowly like a wave all the rest of the people bow their heads.
I look to Adrian who looks over the crowd with his lips pressed together and pain in his eyes.
“They appreciate your sacrifice.” He says next to me.
“I’m pretty sure they have been through worse.” I reply, before turning away and following after the guardsmen up the stairs into the entrance hall.
The ceiling is high and chandeliers sparkle overhead. A long hallway stretches down the middle of the palace. It has marble flooring and a black and silver embroidered carpet leads to a grand staircase leading to another floor. Guardsmen stand at the ready at the entrance and on either side of the stairs.
Our footsteps make light padding sounds as they tap the marble staircase. At the top are endless hallways, leading to more doors and hallways I can’t see down, but we continue going straight until we come to two double doors. Giant brass handles that look big enough for a giant to use, hang from each door. The head guard pushes on one of the handles making the door swing open.
The room in front of me looks almost identical to the room I faced Casimir when we were in the Cavern of Sanctums. The familiar floor to ceiling windows line both the east and west walls. Sunlight filters in and splashes down on the cold floor. A black and silver throne sits empty on the far side of the room. The only difference is there is no giant dining table like during the test. I feel a shiver run down my spine at the familiarity of it.
“King Casimir will be joining you soon. Please stay here.” The guardsman says. He spins on his heel and exits the room, the double doors slamming shut behind him leaving Adrian and me alone in the great room.
Adrian looks at me and I return the look.
“I promised myself I would never take you here.” Adrian says, shaking his head. “I’m so sorry, Violet.”
I slowly walk next to Adrian and I pick up his hand in both of mine. I memorize it before lightly kissing the back of his hand and looking up into his eyes.
“Adrian,” I begin. “I don’t regret a single moment I have spent with you. No matter what happens here today. I want you to know that.”
Adrian’s eyes rove my face, not missing a single feature.
“I’m going to stick to my plan.” He says his voice breaking.
I feel my stomach drop. I know Adrian would do anything for me. I know he plans on dying before he see’s me die. That’s something I cannot let happen. Adrian can’t interfere. I can’t let on though, so I simply nod and Adrian pulls me into a hug. I relish the feeling of his strong arms wrapped tightly around me and I breathe in his warm woodsy smell that I will forever associate with him.
The entrance doors swing open and we step away from each other. We both stand facing the entrance with unwavering determination. Adrian’s hand rests on his hilt and I feel my magic rumbling under the surface.
Casimir glides into the room, his hands behind his back and a pleased smile spreads across his face.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this.” He says, looking me up and down.
“Don’t you want me here to kill me?” I say, trying to keep my voice from shaking.
“Yes.” He says slowly.
“Then kill me.”