In 2018, I began posting essays on my AboutSusanMarcus blog. In addition to my published short stories (some are easy to find if you google me) and blogposts, I have completed, in paperback and eBook, two novels of a trilogy called the Malevir Series. They take place in Dragonwolder, a fantasy world I created in 2015. The latest volume, Where Dragons Follow has a few 5-star reviews, for which I am grateful. Here is an excerpt from the first novel, Malevir: Dragons Return.
From Chapter 48: Nnylf, one of the adolescent protagonists of the novel, has entered a ruined castle tower during a raging storm. His dragon, off to battle, has left him there, hoping his rider will find shelter.
With each cautious footstep, Nnylf felt the stair treads bounce and sag. He slid one hand along a gritty wall to steady himself. When he reached the bottom step, he stopped. He pressed one hand to his chest; his rapidly beating heart pounded in his ears. An arm’s length in front of him stretched a dark curtain. As Nnylf touched it with a shaking finger, it crumbled, and a coat of fine black dust covered the floor in front of him. Beyond lay a broad chamber.
The light that had guided him down the stairway began to fade. Nnylf held his breath. Deepening shadows in each corner of the chamber were moving. They glided toward him, and he felt enveloped by a growing chill penetrating his armor and seeping into his bones. Unable to step backward, he closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around his torso. A loud and persistent sound of scratching came from one corner. He peeked in that direction with one eye but could see nothing. Did Draako send me here to die? he panicked, as his shaking hands lost their grip around his arms.
In the gloom, Nnylf could barely see his icy feet. The shadows had encircled his ankles and were creeping up his numbing legs. He slapped and brushed at the slithering darkness and thought: When the shadows reach my heart, I really will die! They continued to slide over his knees and up his thighs.
“Stop!” he mouthed, then cleared his throat. “Stop, whatever you are! Draako, my dragon sent me here.”
At those words, the scratching sound ceased, and a tall figure approached him from one corner of the room. It wore a long, ash-gray cape wrapping a thin body. One corner of the cape hid all but one half-closed eye.
“Who is this Draako dragon you dare to name?” A man’s voice echoed in the high-ceilinged room. Nnylf could see more of the room’s features for the strange light that had illuminated the stairway returned to spread throughout the chamber.
The chilling shadows tightened around Nnylf’s legs and he felt faint. The man drew closer and leaned forward to look into his face as Nnylf whispered, “Draako, son of Anadraka and Lugent, Silver prince of the Orferans clan. I am his rider.”