Saturday, 23 February 2013
Book Spotlight: From Man to Man by D.E.M. Emrys
by D.E.M. Emrys
Fantasy Short Story
"I’ve traded my old enemies for just this one…’ The axe thundered home. ‘I miss the old ones.’
Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose.
But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?
‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action. Free ebook
Exclusive preview chapter from ‘It Began With Ashes’.
Excerpt: 'I never meant to let you down.'
Draven lifted a stray curl of his wife's hair from her face. She smiled in her sleep as if knowing he was there. As silently as he could, he leaned over the bed and kissed her softly on the cheek.
'I've tried everything.'
Rising slowly, as quietly as he could on the wooden floorboards, Draven retreated from the bed. By the fractured light from the shutters he made for the bedroom door. The walls of the house were thin and he heard a creak from the neighbouring room.
'Best be off before Kale wakes.'
Reaching for the door behind him, still facing the bed and his sleeping wife, Draven paused. Drawn, painfully drawn like poison from a wound, he found his eyes stray to the chest at the foot of the bed. Shut away from the world under key and lock, he lingered a moment longer.
The chest stared back blankly.
The chest never gave up staring at him.
A stained apron had been discarded atop the chest. He had tried being a server at the tafarn, only to start a bar brawl. A pair of muddy boots sat before the chest. He had tried being a hand at the farm, only to get into a punch-up over accidentally letting the chickens out. A horseshoe, a misshapen pot, a scattering of nails – proof that he had let her down.
The chest never once looked away.
'…I gave you up for her.' Draven looked to his wife, to the chest, to his wife, and back again a hundred times or more. 'I've known your way of living too long, it's time I left it behind.'
Even though he turned his back on both his wife and the chest, Draven had chosen between the two. Trembling, he opened the door. A cold breath greeted him as he stepped from the room. It coiled along his neck, curled at his chin. It bid him to reconsider. He glanced back over his shoulder.
"No," Draven said to the chest.
He snatched the axe from its resting place against the wall and left. This time he did not look back.
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