Here is a brief preview of an older draft of part of a chapter of one of the books I am working on. Let me know what you think, although be warned it’s already slightly different. But even so, feedback is great!
It was the smell of blood that told me there was a problem. Horay for hackneyed and cliché opening lines, right? But if I’m going to put this down in writing, I’m going to do it in my own damned way, and sometimes clichés are clichés for a reason. This was one of those times.
The smell was noticeable to me from halfway to the elevator, and it only got stronger the closer I drew to Clarine’s apartment. Thus, it was not a surprise when I nudged open the broken-latched door and saw her body in a large pool of her own blood. My eyes closed for the briefest of moments, and then I stepped inside.
As I gazed down at her mangled body, a rage began to build in me the likes of which I had not experienced in such a long time I had forgotten what that kind of anger felt like. The signs were unmistakable: claws had disemboweled her, and she had nearly bled to death before a muzzle with sharp canines had torn out her throat. Either Cujo was loose downtown, or . . .
“Unnecessary,” I am uncertain if I said the word aloud, but the sentiment was the same either way: this was a waste. Even the very hungriest, near-death maran didn’t need all of the blood of a full-sized adult human, and the disemboweling thing . . . It was either a message or torture for fun.
The thought that it might actually be a message gave me pause, and I kept my position by the door as I racked my mind for who might hate me enough to do this. The idea that this abomination was directed at Clarine never even occurred to me. She was far too young to have generated this kind of enemy.
From my position by the door, I looked around carefully. Nothing was written on the walls or floor in her blood. There was nothing out of the ordinary visible other than her corpse: no items that did not belong to Clarine, no dire prophesies of doom or ‘I’m coming for you’s. And the smell that wasn’t hers was vaguely familiar, in that way that you can visually recognize a human as such without thinking about it. I crouched by down beside her, and looked at her hands. She had little bits of flesh and blood under her nails.
“Good girl,” I muttered softly to myself, and then I expressed a little bloodhound. The smell of her became four times as sharp, and I almost cried from the future knowledge of a loss that wasn’t yet ‘real’ to me. I was in shock still.