Thanks Joleen for doing an article on your blog and showing the following excerpt from my book:-
A small boy moaned in a dark damp cave, deep in the Ginnung mid-mountains. It was not his imminent death that he feared, though that would be a relief. It was that Morte-Bielz was not to end the agonising torment he was afflicting, not even in death could he escape this evil monshaad. The Emperor had threatened to continue his persecution long after Raphael’s death, upon his mortal soul. For a long time Raphael had endured the continual loud screeching that bounded around the walls of the cave, echoing down the passageways and never ceasing. His eyes and ears bled with the pressure that Morte-Bielz inflicted on him with the Mindtalk. His bones ached; his muscles had stiffened and throbbed with pain. His body felt raw, with no skin for protection. Hunger had ceased long ago but his dry cracked lips bled with pain as he pleaded for water. He had stopped drinking from the small pool that he had managed to crawl to, it was nothing but salted water, which made him crave a drink even more. The twisted torment did not end at the physical pain. The emperor had filled Raphael’s young mind with his own twisted hatred for humankind. He had graphically described the slow deaths he was going to inflict on human villages when he, once again, would be upon the Light Lands. He told him of cruel events gone by and worse yet to come.
For a short while, the emperor was quiet as if relishing his thoughts. On the rare moments that the monshaad creature was not present in his mind, he tried to sleep; this was a means of escaping the reality of his world.
Again, the tormenting words began.
Did you know boy, that it was I who killed your mother?
Raphael hated this foul creature. How could he know of his mother? What mischief was he up to now?
She would not let me have your soul when I entered into her mind. Oh Yesss, I entered her mind because she was ill with fever from your body feeding off her like a leach. She was a fool to refuse me. No one refuses my orders; I poisoned her blood and twisted your bones. She died in agony fearing for the innocent little child in her womb. I told her that I would ensure her child did not live long. Ohhh how she wept. Once I was in her mind I simply would not let go.
Raphael listened to the horrific laughing of the foul creature. He did not feel saddened. He would not let this entity take over his mind. He must stay strong for as long as he could hold out.
She disobeyed me and I could not get to her soul. You see it is her fault that you are so ill. She selfishly passed on to the Realm of the Dead so I punished you instead and twisted your spine.
The boy could only cry dry tears. He had no strength. He tried to fight death because this would not end the suffering. The emperor had threatened that his soul would be imprisoned for all eternity in the Dark Lands or until the monshaad Lords fed upon him. He did not want to think of his mother and the agony she must have gone through before her death.
I have news for you boy. Again a short silence whilst he thought he could hear the emperor breathing heavily. The humans will soon have a new king.
During the silence that followed this news, Raphael could not understand what the monshaad had meant. His thoughts were confused and he could only conclude that his father’s illness had become worse.
Your father will soon be dead and I will devour his soul. Am I not kind to make your brother a king? Now it is also time for you to face the final moments of your paltry life.
The emperor spoke no more. Raphael felt his pained body being dragged along the hardened floor to the centre of the cave. His skin shredded until he bled, leaving a trail on the rough rocks. For a moment, the pulling motion ceased and then his legs shot violently up into the air. Left there to dangle, his feet were dragged higher and his head swayed close to the hard ground. Blood pumped rapidly through the veins in his head, pounding with a soft rhythm in his eardrums, his stomach heaved as he felt bile slither into his throat. He coughed up blood and spat it to the dusty floor. His limbs ached with the agonising position as he dangled in mid air. His arms fell downwards; he knew he was weakening to the point of no return. It was strange that the emperor had left him alone in his last moments. At least he could pass from life peacefully.
He wasn’t sure how long he had been unconscious because the emperor hadn’t returned yet. A faint hissing sounded very near by, he tried to open his puffy eyes. Something was entering the cave, he could just make out a long dark shape, like a giant snake, slithering towards him. Raphael did not care if the snake poisoned his body; there would be less for Morte-Bielz when he returned.
The snake swiftly coiled itself around the little human body in slow gentle movements.
‘You can only kill me snake, ‘Raphael croaked a whisper from his throat. ‘Get on with it. Are you not hungry? You are welcome to feast on me but I am wasted bones and will not fill the likes of you.’
The snake had all but covered Raphael’s bony body and the boy waited for the crushing, fearing no pain.