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The following excerpt is from my fantasy novel, Heartsong, written 8 years ago. Lendour was exiled from his kingdom, cursed to to track down the wayward elfin princess and bring her back home. The elders of his realm erased his memory of his former self, and had transformed him from a centaur to a two-legged being.
Here, he has awakened from his 'deep sleep' of change.
(I wrote this before I knew of adverb no-nos and other such fine-lines, but I hope you enjoy it any way!)
Everything was deep and black. The only sensation he could feel was spinning. Spinning so intense he feared for his life. His arms jerked outward grasping for whatever he could find to hold himself still. Something wet and very, very cold gave way within his frantic grasp.
Suddenly, an excruciating soreness enveloped the entire lower region of his body. He drew in his breath with a rasping wheeze. He quickly turned, heaving whatever contents his stomach contained. An unwelcoming wave of stomach churning slashed through him.
Lendour moaned. His insides feeling as if someone had sliced him open, and poured liquid fire down. His numb hands reflexively covered his throat, and he could feel them freezing upon his prickling skin. What in Gyndour’s name was happening to him? He rolled onto his side, feeling a frigid wetness seep through his clothing. Where was he?
The tormented Sylventuarian dared to open his eyelids as the soft glow of white violated his susceptible eyes. He groaned once more. He lay still, tuning his fine hearing to that of a gentle flapping of material in the biting breeze. What could that be? He tried his sight anew, but this time fully expecting the onslaught of brightness.
His surroundings were a dim blue with white as floating flecks caught in his lengthy lashes and fur-lined hood that covered his throbbing head. The moon was full, like a ghostly disc silently hovering, its pale beams breaking forcefully through snow-engorged clouds that yawned lazily above the horizon.
Lendour staggered to his feet, strangely expecting the feel of overpowering strength and sinew in his legs. But he did not. Rather, they trembled and he tumbled face first into the deepening snow. He wobbled as he strove for balance upon hands and knees. Something was fiercely wrong, but he could not tell what. He cradled his head, accidentally throwing the hood aside. Soft long hair, reflecting the pale blue of the moon, tickled his face. He brushed it aside.
He lifted his chin and noted a towering tent. Haughty and majestic, stabbing the open glen all by its lonesome. A dim light shown through its thick material as a small flag at the very peak waved about.
With curiosity snared, the weary Lendour rose to his feet and clumsily lumbered to the object in focus. Clumsily? He analyzed his precarious position. Why did that seem such a novelty to him? He shook his head. So many bizarre things were occurring to him and he could not quite place it!
With stubborn determination, Lendour brushed aside the haunting threat of the unknown and pressed onward to the extravagant shelter.