Prey – A Writing Sample

Hey, y’all!

This is Harry. I’m here with yet another writing sample. If you’d like to see more, don’t forget to drop by my writing sample page. There you’ll find a collection of all my samples on this blog.

Now onto this one! This one is pretty old, and with a tad bit of editing, you have the final product. I’m open to critiquing! Enjoy.

Darkness.

An unpredictable ally. Useful for those in need of stealth, but a curse for those who have need of spectacles.

Thankfully, the lone, four-armed cloaked figure on the back of his dragon has the advantage of keen vision. And stealth is definitely what he needs. He prods his soaring steed forward with the leather heel of his boot, then pats the rough scales with his plated hand. He mutters a few words in a strange language, then steers the dragon to port.

The creature sours closer to jaunty old tower. A cloud of bats fly from inside the tower and across the moon, veiled in mist. The massive spire looms in the distance, the large four-faced clock glowing from the torchlight within, the hands just striking twelve. It chimes thunderously, the whole land hearing its deep, drumming ring. The clock is not his target. It is what lies above it, in the old attic within the roof. There is his prize.

The rider fingers his baggy black sleeve. Inside, he knows he has another leather sleeve holding poisoned darts that with a flick of his wrist, he could summon to his clicking hand. Inside his cloak and boots are daggers, and slung on his back are two katanas. He has a quiver of arrows hanging on his belt, but no bow. He would have to get one from one of the Elves.

He prods the dragon to land on the shingled roof of the tower, being careful not to be too loud. Thankfully, his dragon is the quietist breed. A draegrath. Made for stealth. He had to pay a great fortune to get it. That Vrain vendor was stubborn. At least he got all his money back, not to mention more, when he slaughtered the scum.

The assassin leaps off the saddle and onto the roof. He lands evenly on his feet, his exoskeleton tapping on the hard material. He clicks his mandibles, then feels around the roof with his lower left arm, feeling for rot. He can’t have himself falling through. Such an action could bring attention to external Elven forces, as if the tower wasn’t guarded well enough already.

He clicks his mandibles once more, signaling the dragon to take flight. The light reptile extends its wings then flies off, leaving its master behind.

Vere crathda.

It is time.

The insect-like creature steals across the roof like a spider, looking for the hidden trapdoor. The spies had said it is near impossible to tell from the rest of the roof, but they didn’t leave him clueless. “Look for the shingle sticking straight up, the chief spy had said. “Three feet to the left of it is a bit of rot. Reach in. Inside is the handle.

I hope he was right, the cloaked creature thinks in his own language. Too many Scorp lives were lost to gain this information. We can’t afford casualties now. The Scorp finds the straight shingle. But soon we will.

The masked Scorp’s compound eyes trace an invisible line on the roof three feet to the left of the odd angled hunk. Sure enough, there was a small rotting hole. The creature lifts up his upper left arm, plated with bone, then reaches it in.

At first, nothing. Empty air. Then a latch. The scaly hand reaches around it and pulls. A previously unseen trapdoor opens, not close by but on the complete other side of the conical roof.

The Scorp does the closest thing to a smile under the folds of his hood. He does a quick check to make sure that all of his weapons are ready. Then he spins around the roof and leaps through.

A cloud of dust rises from the old, decomposing wood as he hits the ground. The floorboards creak as the strong insect feet strike them. The Scorp assassin spins around quickly to get his bearings and check for resistance. Nothing. The only light is from a bare candle on an old crate. Full of gunpowder. I must be careful.

Then there’s the sound. A baby cry. The creature stands upright, grabs his daggers and stalks over. A cradle. Inside a baby. Still bald from new birth, but chubby already. A humane person would refrain from killing such an infant. But not this Scorp. He is a ruthless mercenary, and he was paid a lot of gold to get this job done. He raises his blades, all four arms holding a weapon. He counts down in his head as he always does before sleighing a creature. Craw…shecc…dvas…nnil…

An arrow whizzes past the Scorp’s ear. He spins around and flicks a poisoned dart into the darkness. A breath later, an Elf soldier slumps down to the floor, limp from death.

Three more arrows. Each dodged by the Scorp. A dagger flies from his hand then kills another, then another. Before ten seconds pass, the entire room is filled with a host of Elven elite guards, the murderer surrounded. Each bone-plated arm drops the remaining knives and flick the darts, the shards themselves puncturing necks, chests, and any other unarmored sections. The Scorp crouches low, spinning on his legs, his cape swirling around and sending up a spray of dust. A katana is drawn from his back, then the assassin leaps up once again.

The next five arrows are severed midair. The Elves are closing in, but their numbers dwindling. Still, the Scorp is better in one-to-one fights. One against a whole squad is too much of a strain. He needs a plan.

He spies a loose floorboard in front of a pair of meddlesome Elves. He dispatches both, then leaps on the plank. It cracks, and the Scorp falls through.

A moment later he’s in the middle of thousands of churning gears. He’s in the clock room. The staircase leading down from the above story is blocked off with crates and raw materials. The only way through is from the new hole.

The first Elf leaps through. A dart in his abdomen in a few seconds. He drops his bow. The Scorp thanks his false gods, then sends a strand of taut spider silk from his wrist. He pulls back, and the bow lands in one of his scaly hands. By the time the next Elf comes through, he has an arrow sailing at his neck. It pierces through the skin and he and falls limp. Elf after Elf comes through, only to be killed. They’re are all coming to their deaths, the Scorp exults. As long as they come one at a time, I am safe.

The door at the staircase starts starts shaking. The stream of soldiers coming through the hole ends. For a moment, complete silence.

Then the axe falls.

The door busts open, and a new torrent of men come through, pushing the wood boxes aside. The first few get arrows in their stomachs. Gut wounds. But the next carry shields and get dangerously close to the Scorp. The closest gets kicked and falls in the gears. His torso gets ripped in two, and rest gets squashed in between the teeth. The next falls from a dart in the head.

Vraethca.

Too many.

Before he knows what he’s doing, he’s wasting more precious silk from his wrists, creating a rope to the hole above. He pulls himself back to the attic once again, the Elves below. A few arrows shoot up from the hole, puncturing the roof, but that is all. The Scorp blocks the stair door with a few crates, then uses a bit more silk to hold them tight. With that stuff, no one can get through. The Elves are doomed to starve…or burn when the whole spire gets destroyed by the Scorp.

The Scorp walks back to the cradle. No more counting down. The dagger sails down, inches from the orphan’s chest…

But it stops.

The Scorp looks down. He sees the flash of a gleaming sword just before he sees no more.

Then he drops dead.

The new murderer steps on the lifeless carcass, the body crunching.

He drops his bloodied sword and grabs a new jagged katana from the dead Scorp’s back.

“This is not your prey.”

Last post’s riddle solution: “You will kill me with a spear.” If you don’t get it, think about it. If the natives kill him with a spear, the statement would be true, so they would have to kill him with an axe. Then the statement would be false, so they would have to kill him with a spear. True? True.

This post’s riddle: A man and his son were sledding one day when, they had ran into a tree. The dad had died but the son was severely injured. They rushed him to the hospital to have him operated on. When the doctor came in and saw him they said “I cannot operate on him, he’s my son.” How is this possible? Leave your answers below. Solution coming next post.

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