Don’t fret if you love great fantasy but you’re not at AussieCon4. Here’s a sneak peek at Perth-based author Bevan McGuiness’s upcoming book, the first in the Eleven Kingdoms trilogy. Bevan is also the author of the Triumvirate trilogy, which began with The Awakening.
He stopped digging.
The only sound he heard was his own laboured breathing; his panting breath disturbed the dirt in front of his face. The darkness was total — he could not see his own hands, or the blood he knew was welling from his torn nails and scraped knuckles. He lifted his head slightly, bumping on the top of the tunnel.
There it was again — that sound. With an effort, he controlled his breathing, trying to listen for whatever it was he’d heard twice now. His heart thumped in his chest, but he managed to quieten its frantic pace with a calming exercise he’d learned. In the silence, he listened again.
Dripping. Was it water? A moment’s fear swept over him. Where was he? Had he gone too far? Was there a river or a lake nearby? His fingers gripped the dirt, feeling the moistness. Had he been wrong to assume the moisture was his blood? In the dark, with the earth all around him, he felt the panic start to take hold. He became aware of the tiny hole he was in, how far beneath the surface he was, how far away from his dank — but safe — cell. Fear shifted to unreason, unreason moved towards panic, and panic looked at terror.
It took a great effort, but he wrested control of his mind and body back from an abyss of terror. Down there he saw his own death awaiting him.