Yes, dear reader, it’s that time of the month again: the return of the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums’ Blog Chain. Thus, there won’t be an Absurd Fable today but an other tasty treat.
This month, the theme was suggested by CScottMorris. He asked us to present the antagonist of our WIP (Work In Progress) under a positive light. Now that, I must say, is a problem for me.
I obviously cannot use the antagonist of Unforeseen Dives: revealing the baddy of a mystery would ruin the whole thing. At first, I didn’t want to use The Old Souls Series either as I don’t have much of the antagonist written. Well… I changed my mind; jumping without a chute sounds like fun. 😉
I recently presented, in my How I Write series, the process I used to outline The Old Souls Series. You can follow the link if you want additional context for this blog chain.
The only thing you really need to know is that the last book of the series is going to be narrated by the antagonist. In my never-ending quest for emotionally complex moments (I should probably talk about that someday but not now), I think it would be a nice challenge, and an awesome storytelling opportunity.
Hence, what I’m presenting you today is a first draft of a scene from a book I have yet to work my way up to. Or, more accurately, a concentrated taste of what the book is about. I’m currently working on The One Who Sees (which I posted scenes from in the last blog chain) and it’s Book 1. The antagonist’s book, The One Who Feeds, is outlined to be the 6th.
Okay, now you’ve got context. And a bunch of shameless plugs useful links. Let’s move on to the actual entertaining part.
The One Who Feeds
One liner: There are two possible ends to the reincarnation cycle: a well-deserved place in paradise and me.
I sipped the last drop of the man’s soul and the dead body hit the ground. I was satiated for a few days, physically at least. No amount of purity and strength quenched the black hole in my chest or lightened up my mood.
“It’s a form of freedom,” I chided myself. “Not the one souls strive to achieve but ultimate death has a way of freeing people, doesn’t it?” My voice reverberated on the buildings bordering the empty street. For a fleeting moment, I felt like I wasn’t abandoned in an endless night.
Even as a toddler, as humans would call it, I knew something was wrong with me. The souls told me as I ingested them. It wasn’t right. I wasn’t natural. I was the unfortunate by-product of a crazy experiment. Not that the first souls I fed on said it so clearly; most of them were too young to know.
As a newborn, if ever a full-grown, artificially-conceived being can be considered as such, my survival required very little amount of food. I contented myself with plants. I learned later, by travelling the human world that flora’s souls were vastly unacknowledged. Some vegetarians based they’re whole beliefs around the concept that beings with a soul shouldn’t be consumed. Luckily, their ignorance only included animals in that category. They’d probably starve to death if they learned the truth.
That amused me. Eating a living thing shouldn’t weigh down on humans since souls dying by any other hand than mine went on their merry way to reincarnation.
While most plants bore souls on their first incarnation, some of them hosted more mature souls such as mortals who screwed up badly on their previous life. In my early years, these were too rich for my system. As centuries went by, I ate them and moved on to bigger game. Complex flora’s souls, insects, small animals and larger beasts succeeded to one another until I craved humans. Problems started then.
Once consumed, souls live within me for quite some time. Plants and animals are too simple to be talkative. I can’t say the same for the mature human souls.
At first, I suffered from it so much that I tried to kill myself. Nothing would do. I guess it’s impossible to kill death. Vampires laughed at my vain attempts, thinking me utterly mad to beat myself up so much over food.
I always found vampires distasteful; they have no more manner than they have a soul.
When all else failed, I fasted. I went years without a soul, insolated in the middle of Antarctica. My skin parched. My muscles disintegrated. I walked a skeleton, and yet my body wouldn’t lay down and die. I pooled my will to keep myself from seeking food.
One day, I faltered.
I consumed a hundred people’s souls in three days times, which was more than I would have needed had I not developed an eating disorder. It was actually more than I could hold down at the time. I spurted most of them out, but it was too late for them to reach paradise. Such a waste.
My stubbornness caused me to make the mistake three times before I decided that a bulimic soul eater was a lot worst than accepting and controlling my soul consumption.
I looked down at the man who satisfied my hunger tonight. His voice spiraled in my head. Thankfully, I mastered the way to shut them up a long time ago. This man was an old soul. After this life, if he had played his cards right, he would have moved on to the ultimate light, the positive end of reincarnation. paradise.
Instead, he died to feed me.
He was a rare treat, the most mature soul one could hunt on Earth. His energy would sustain me for a week or so, then I would need another.
These days, when I fell asleep, I couldn’t help but feel scared for all the souls in the world. I required top quality now. What would happen if I outgrew that too?
Here is the complete list of the AW July Blog Chain participants:
CScottMorris: http://cscottmorrisbooks.com/ and direct link to his post
Aheïla (That’s me so I guess you don’t need the link. 😉 )
bri ness: http://briallison.blogspot.com/
M.R.J. Le Blanc: http://libraryofandunien.blogspot.com/
Lyra Jean: http://lyratorres.wordpress.com/
Fokker Aeroplanbau: http://rightfarright.blogspot.com/
Alpha Echo: http://writersramblings81.blogspot.com/