OK, so every day this week I’m going to run a cheeky wee extract from Smokeheads. If you like what you read, feel free to spread the word. And you can always buy the damn thing here.
First up is the very short prologue.
Smokeheads, extract #1
Blood roared in his ears and his heart thudded as he scrambled across the ice.
Behind him, thousands of heavy shapes filled the night sky and covered the frozen loch, panicked birds creating a mayhem of flapping and crying. From somewhere amongst them a flare sent fingers of violet light searching across the land. He ran on, desperate to escape the nightmare chasing him.
He looked ahead for his friends, but there wasn’t enough light to make anything out. He struggled to breathe as panic forced him onwards, his legs aching and head pounding.
There was a low, heavy creak and the ice split up ahead, slivers of black reaching towards his feet. The ice gave way under him and he plunged into freezing water, the breath hammered out of his body.
He grabbed and scratched at broken shards of ice as he went down, the shock of the cold tensing his muscles and sending spasms through him. His head went under and his face burned.
Thrashing his way to the surface with stiff arms, he tried to call out, but his lungs were empty. He sank, gulping water as he went.
His body jerked as he tried to resurface. His chest was ready to burst as he flailed and thrashed through jagged chunks of ice. His head cleared the water and he thought he saw a hand held out towards him.
He tried to reach for it but missed. He felt his body being dragged back under, the cold sucking the life from him and setting his nerves on fire.
Steeling himself for one last effort, he thrust his body upwards, hoping the hand was still there, hoping someone would save him, hoping there was a way out of this.
He pushed for a final time with every inch of effort he had left, stretching his hands up and out of the water, searching for something to hold on to.