Origin of Shadow covers the same time period as Genesis of Light,
but from the perspective of Vincent Wilder. Vincent is the leader of
the Brotherood of Shadow and this novella tells his beginnings in the
seedy underworld of crime.
Creativia (my publisher) has accepted the manuscript and it is now going through final editing, with a view to being released later this year.
I can’t reveal the cover design just yet, as it is still being finalised. However, here is a sneak peek at some of the first art draft (credit again to Irina French).
Origin of Shadow Extract
The ticking of the clock was far louder than it should have been. Every innocuous click of the hands seemed to reverberate around the room, intensifying the tension that hung in the air. Vincent Wilder stood perfectly still, making sure his chin was raised and his expression stony. He tried to hide the fact that his fingers twitched nervously behind his back. He had to concentrate. He had to ensure that this went off without a hitch. He made an effort to narrow his eyes and puff out his chest, hoping his frame was imposing, threatening even.
A single drop of sweat trickled its way down his forehead, running a sticky trail down his skin. He wanted to reach up and wipe it away but didn’t dare draw attention to the fact that he was perspiring. Sure, it meant he was hot, but would they take it as a sign of weakness? Would it be too obvious that he was nervous? So, he did nothing, and let the salty drop work its way down his forehead and into his dark eyes. He blinked to clear the drop, but his vision merely blurred and itched. He could hold off no longer and was forced to swipe at his eyes with a hurried hand.
His eyesight cleared and he took the opportunity to glance down at the table before him and the people sat around it. A couple in their early forties sat on one side of the small metal table, close together, huddling for comfort. But their eyes were strong and defiant, the woman’s in particular. Her hands were flat on the table top and she spoke with determination, leaning forwards, as if to stress the importance of her words.
The man beside her was silent and although a stony expression was plastered across his face, Vincent was sure he could see the man’s hands trembling.
Across from them sat Franco Wilder, Vincent’s father. Once, he had had a thick shock of dark hair, long and wild, draped across his shoulders. That was how Vincent always saw his father in his mind, but the figure that sat before him had changed drastically in the past few years. Once Franco’s hair had started thinning, he had shaved the lot, and the bald head somehow made the most terrifying man Vincent had ever met even more intimidating.
Franco’s posture was rigid and unmoving, a coiled snake waiting to lunge. The dark eyes that had silently chastised Vincent since childhood were now solidly locked onto the couple before him. His father’s fingers were locked together tightly, but Vincent knew that it would only take a split-second for him to wrench the knife from its concealed pouch on his thigh. Vincent’s muscles were primed, tightened and ready to leap into a fight. He had learnt never to relax around his father.