Novel Excerpt – Monsters in My Mind (Chapter 9)

An excerpt of my current WIP, Monsters in My Mind.  This excerpt is from chapter 9, from the beginning of it to about halfway in.  I chose this excerpt because I think it’s one of the more interesting parts of the story I’ve written so far without a whole lot of previous context needed.

Please note this is an unedited rough draft.

You’re back here again. You’re in danger, you know. She’s going to find you and she’s going to do terrible things to you. Things you couldn’t imagine.

Rebecca was lying on her back, breathing shakily as she gazed up into the darkness of the room she was in. It was a small, narrow room, almost like a holding cell, or even just a closet. She couldn’t move her body at all, couldn’t find the will or strength to try and get out.

Don’t you want to be free of her for good? You’ve been in this situation so many times before, but guess what? This time she has you and she won’t be letting you go. You won’t be able to escape her again like you’ve done in the past. Not without my help.

Who are you?” Rebecca whispered. “How are you going to help me?”

Just leave that part to me. All I need you to do is say yes. I can’t help unless you ask me to, that’s just how it works here. So please, for your own sake, ask for my help. I can free you.

Rebecca closed her eyes again, breathing out deeply and shifting her weight slightly. It felt like she was lying in a nest of blankets and pillows. It was comfortable and she didn’t particularly want to move now that she had figured it out. “Am I going to die if you don’t?”

Most likely. Don’t you remember what happened all those years ago? The first time you encountered the witch. Don’t deny it. You definitely remember. That dream. I was there then, too. I saved you back then.

A shudder went through Rebecca as she recalled what had happened. She had been kidnapped and taken to a strange place. She had no idea what was happening, but she couldn’t move and somehow she just knew that there was a witch around and the witch was intent on taking Rebecca’s soul, which would be destroyed in a spell. The thought of it now terrified her, even if it was only a dream.

She remembered now, though, that she had been saved by someone. There was a voice speaking to her then as there was now. Asking if she wanted help, if she wanted to be saved. She said yes. Then a girl appeared and freed her, but the witch appeared then, too. She remembered the girl facing off against the witch, but what happened after that was all a blank. She had probably woken up then.

Well? Do you want my help or not?

I… is she really here? Is she going to try to take my soul again?”

I’m not sure what her exact intentions are, but we need to move quickly. I don’t want her discovering my presence. If she finds out I’ve freed you before you wake up, things could get ugly.

Couldn’t you just wake me up instead?” Rebecca asked. “If this is a dream, I mean…”

I don’t have any control over that, I’m afraid. You have to wake up on your own, but you’re more likely to do that if I can free you. Now hurry, before it’s too late.

Rebecca took a few deep breaths, then after a moment she whispered, “Okay. Please, help me.”

The door to the room she was in suddenly opened, spilling light inside. Rebecca squinted as the figure of a person came into view. The person reached down and grabbed Rebecca’s hand, pulling her up to her feet and leading her out. Rebecca stumbled along behind, still feeling weary, but her legs obeyed as they went.

Once they got into the light, she could see the person more clearly. It was a girl who looked a little older than she did, wearing all black with short blue hair. Rebecca blinked at the girl as they went, then she said, “You never told me who you were.”

The girl glanced back at her, and she had these deep icy blue eyes that matched the color of her hair. “Sariff,” she said, before turning back and moving quicker with Rebecca down a hall.

They stopped suddenly and Sariff grabbed Rebecca, pressing both of them back against a wall. Rebecca held her breath for a moment and heard footsteps coming down a hall ahead of them. Then they heard voices.

That other one is here, I can sense her,” a woman’s voice said. “I knew she must have been the one. This is perfect. We can finally move to the next phase.”

What’s that?” a male voice said.

Drawing her out, of course. I want what’s mine, and she’s going to give it to me one way or another. It seems we were incredibly lucky that things turned out the way they did. I had a feeling they would, though. Tenma tend to go after children who sense they have… other problems.”

The two figures walked off down the hall, their footsteps fading away. Sariff inhaled before murmuring, “This was a trap, I knew it. We need to get you out.”

What’s going on?” Rebecca whispered. “Were they talking about you?”

Yes, they were.” Sariff gripped Rebecca’s hand and ran with her down the other hall, opposite of where those two had gone. “I stole something from that witch back when I saved you that first time. She’s been looking for me because she wants it back.”

Rebecca’s eyes grew wide as she stared at the back of Sariff’s head. “What did you steal from her?”

Sariff was silent for a moment as they ran, then she turned to look at Rebecca with a wide smile on her face. “I stole a piece of her soul when she tried to take yours. A piece of her power. She didn’t take too kindly to that.”

Rebecca stared at her, breathing a little shallowly. “What? You stole… her soul?”

A piece of it. For a witch, that just means I took some of her powers. I have them now. She can’t really do much against me since I can use her own power against her. Still, I’d rather not fight her right at the moment. I still need to prepare.”

Just what the hell is going on around here anyway?” Rebecca asked, staring at Sariff with a dumbfounded look on her face. Sariff kept them going for a few moments more before stopping and turning back to her.

I’m afraid this is all my fault, but… well, I can’t reveal everything to you right now. It might be dangerous.”

Rebecca grit her teeth a little. “That’s exactly what Fawkes said. Does he have anything to do with this?”

Sariff tilted her head to the side, quirking an eyebrow. “I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about. Now you have to wake up as soon as possible. I have other business to attend to, and I can’t do that until you wake up.”

How am I supposed to wake up?” Rebecca asked.

Sariff let out a deep breath then murmured, “Apologies in advance, but this is the only thing I can think of at the moment.” She pressed her hand against Rebecca and shoved her back through a door. Rebecca fell, but she didn’t hit the floor. There was no floor. She just kept falling. She cried out in fear as the rushing sensation overtook her entire being.

With a gasp, Rebecca opened her eyes and found herself back in her bed. Her heart was racing and for a few moments her body was still tingling with the falling sensation, but she soon found herself feeling the bed beneath her, feeling how solid it was. She shuddered a little and hugged her stuffed panther tightly to her chest, breathing out deeply.

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