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Elements of Genocide - Chapter 5

Elements of Genocide - Chapter 5

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Published by Chantal Boudreau
Chapter 5 of my NaNo dark fantasy/horror novel, see prologue for details.
Chapter 5 of my NaNo dark fantasy/horror novel, see prologue for details.

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Published by: Chantal Boudreau on Nov 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/24/2011

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Chapter 5: AwakeningAndreyelle stirred, barely able to think. When she did finally manage to put together acoherent thought, the first thing that she wondered was: “Why am I not dead? For that matter, if I survived the fall, why don’t I feel like a thousand jagged rocks are trying to pierce their waythrough my flesh?”
 
She had not yet opened her eyes; the pounding in her head too severe. That much wasstill the same. The giant beetle’s leg had struck her and had knocked her off her board andsenseless. She could feel the blood from her head wound trickling down the side of her face andthe cool flat rock where she had landed, but where were the winds that never ceased within the badlands. And again, why was she not dead?Wary about exposing herself to any light, light that might try to work its way with piercing agony to her brain, Andreyelle felt around blindly with her hands. The rock below her was wrong. It did not have the rough natural surface of the striated red rock on the badlandsfloor, but was smooth, polished and patterned. Even if the monster beetle had carried her off inits mandibles to its lair, whatever cave that it lived in would not have a rock floor like this.Someone had constructed this floor with purpose.With this realization in mind, Andreyelle forced her eyes open. She was thankful thatthere was no painful glare that followed, the area that she lay in only dimly lit. It reminded her of the soft glow of twilight. She looked around carefully, for fear of jarring her head any andcausing the throbbing to worsen. She was in some sort of alcove, hewn from dark rock, volcanic perhaps. It was nothing like the dusty red sedimentary rock that surrounded her home.That was when the strange noise started. It reminded her of the sound of a baby cryingcombined with the unusual breathiness of something or someone gasping for air, a high pitchedwhine that hurt her ears. Andreyelle turned to see what was making this noise and finally got a proper look at where she was.It reminded her of pictures she had seen of a courtyard in one of the old castles, castlesthat were located in the spaces beyond the mesas; only this one was enclosed, not exposed toopen air. It had sloping ceilings that arched over the centre of the rounded chamber, where anelaborated fountain could be found. It too was carved from volcanic rock and had a dolphinstatue as its focal point, spouting water from its blowhole.At first glance, Andreyelle did not spy the origin of the irritating whine, but she did seesome movement in the alcove closest to hers. In a flurry of greens and browns, a small womanscrambled to her feet, and rushed towards another alcove on the opposite side of the room. The petite stranger had bad scratches on her arms and face, but seemed more concerned by whatever was making the noise than her own minor injuries. More than a little curious, Andreyelle sat upto get a better view.Her head swam, and the room spun. Andreyelle was forced to brace herself on thestonework floor with her hands or risk toppling over, and nausea attacked, her stomachthreatening to rebel. When everything finally settled, she returned her gaze to the far alcove.The little green woman was tugging on something with fierce determination, trying to pull whatever was making that awful sound towards the fountain at the centre of the room. In
 
the dim lighting, Andreyelle could not make out what it was she was dragging, perceiving only ashapeless blob of blues and purples, but it was larger than the child-like nymph and apparentlyquite heavy. Part of Andreyelle told her that she should approach the other woman and offer her help, but another part of her was much too frightened by the novelty of this entire experience andcautioned her to keep to herself, at least until she had some idea who this stranger was, and whythey were both here.It was a terrible struggle for the tiny woman to drag her burden over to the fountain, butshe continued to work diligently, refusing to give up. The whine had changed to an ugly chokingnoise, one that almost sounded like a real word.“Sor...ga...sor...ga.”There was something about the laboured hissing that made Andreyelle’s skin crawl, andshe shrank away from the green woman and her bluish encumbrance, pressing her back into thealcove wall. The petite stranger fought with great zeal to push her load up and over the lip of thefountain, but her efforts were almost painful to watch. Finally, she managed to get her shoulder under her burden, which Andreyelle could now see was a blue-skinned man, and the small oneshoved him haphazardly over the edge. There was a gentle splash, and the blue man disappearedfrom view, now under the surface of the water.The little green woman paused for a moment, resting against the fountain’s carvedvolcanic stone and trying to catch her breath. As soon as she had recovered somewhat from her struggles, the petite stranger returned her attentions to the man in the water. She seemed to behandling him with great care, making soothing noises like tongue clucking and breathy sounds asshe examined him, and after evaluating him to determine what ailed him, she pulled a pack off her back and began rummaging through it.Andreyelle leaned forward, craning her neck to get a better look. She found the greenwoman’s obvious resolve fascinating and watched as she pulled out several small clay jars fromher bag. She then reached back into the fountain and pulled one of the blue man’s arms up out of the water. Andreyelle could now see that his skin was also brown and white in patches, crackedand oozing in spots with some larger lesions, and literally hanging off his flesh in others. Thegreen woman did not flinch, despite how painful this looked. She began applying a creamy-looking salve to the sores, once again with dogged determination and the utmost of care.After watching the little stranger work for a few moments, and enjoying the fact that thesilence was no longer being broken by that irritating whine, Andreyelle noticed another soundfor the first time, a sound that was much quieter than the ones that the blue man had beenmaking. It was more of a raspy heavy panting and it appeared to be coming from a fourthalcove. Andreyelle raised herself up on her knees and cautiously began to inch her way towardsthe source of the noise.

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I decided to leave the intro chapters public - prologue and 1-5 - if you want to read the full novel as a test reader, you can e-mail me at chantellyb@hotmail.com
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