The Preface

The Introduction

In Which One Character is Named and the Premise of the Tale is Introduced

The flesh was slightly crisp and the flavour tart. That first bite was always underwhelming, but the second, oh the second. The crispness would vanish in an instant and be replaced by thick, sweet juice. Nectar, almost. Honey-like. The initial sourness would melt into something not quite sugary. The scent would envelope the devourer, floral and citrusy and overpowering. It was the second bite that made vision blur, the mind drift, and in many cases, the devourer sink to their knees.

Peregrine Lamont’s experience was typical of first-time users.

His vision returned slowly, in patches. He saw his own pale hand holding the fruit, viscous orange juice dripping down and coiling around his wrist like a tiny, translucent snake. He felt himself smiling as the orange coil opened two tiny eyes and hissed at him. It dropped to the ground. Peregrine shook himself sleepily and looked around. There were still gaps in his vision, warm, fuzzy black patches around the edges of everything he saw, but they were thinning out. He was standing on a perfectly manicured lawn, and the sky was blue and seemed bigger than he was used to. The orange juice-snake was sunning itself on the grass, and as Peregrine took a step towards it, it began to bubble. It elongated, and widened out, and flattened itself, and became a cobblestone path winding across the vast lawn. Peregrine understood, and stepped off the grass and onto the orange path. With a vague grin, he began to walk along the path in the general direction of the house he had only just spied. House? He thought to himself. Manor, more like. Is that a turret? A castle. How did I miss that before? Are those gates closed? No… the gates parted and dissolved into the stone arch that housed them. Peregrine continued to shuffle towards the grey walls of the castle, still sluggish like he’d only just woken up. As the rest of the blackness faded from his vision, he saw the building fully. Close to fully. The uppermost turrets were consumed by clouds, tall enough that looking up at them hurt Peregrine’s neck and made him dizzy. He reached the front door, a strangely understated wooden rectangle, and knocked.

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One Response to “The Preface”

  1. Jim April 30, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    cool

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