Another update! After having returned to university with a heavy courseload, I finally managed to make significant(ish) writing progress! Chapter Nineteen of The Light of Civilization has been completed (in rough draft form), and with it comes two shifts in the novel – Jak begins to become more independent and self-sufficient, and with this change the writing style also begins to change to a slightly more Lovecraftian feel – but don’t worry, Jak’s sarcastic voice is still very much there! Chapter Nineteen is a vivid description of an out-of-body experience Jak experiences when… well, you’ll find out! As such, I thought the above title was appropriate, especially as this experience is triggered by a drug. An excerpt (not edited at all):
The figure on the far left was a beautiful figure carved almost entirely out of what looked to be jade. It was female, and though I was gay, I could still appreciate the beautiful contours she had – or rather, what few I could see under the thick, voluminous cloak she wore. The cloak was the jade-like substance, and was fringed with what appeared to be gold. Delicate fingers and a stirringly beautiful face, highlighted with sapphire eyes and golden hair, were made out of what looked like marble, thought slightly more uniform and… well, fleshy. She stood calmly, her hands held out open before her. Behind her was a massive bell of bronze, covered in runes – the same kind that seemed to be the glowing symbols all over the room.
The next figure, to the right of her, was one terrible familiar to me. Emerald made up the majority of this statue, and it was very clearly a representation of an entity I was very familiar with: the green-cloaked man, who had helped me in my struggle to overcome Psy. His green cloak was of emerald; his mask, gloves, and boots of obsidian. The three crossbow bolts he held clutched in his right hand, held up at about chest level, was a strange combination of obsidian, iron, and diamond. His whip, held in his left hand, resting naturally by his side, looked to be of pure iron. His eyes were of some yellow gem I could not identify, and glowed with an eerie inner light. Behind with were the carved branches of a disturbing gnarled tree, whose twisted branches were still somehow filled with emerald-green leaves.
Beside him, in the center of the five alcoves, was a figure that towered over even the previous two. This effect was achieved mostly through the presence of a hideous horse of some kind. Of all of the statues, this was the most dazzling: rubies and other fiery gemstones were carved somehow to make flames that came out of the eyes of his nightmarish steed, flowing from the hooves, and consuming its mane and tail. The horse itself was of the darkest black obsidian.
Its rider wore thick armour, coloured in with gold, silver, iron, and platinum. Like his steed, he burned as well, with gemstone flames emerging from the eye-slits in his mighty horned helmet, from his steel gauntlets, and all across the majestic black cape thrown back over his shoulders, frozen while blowing in a silent and ethereal wind. In one hand he clutched the reins of his steed, and in the other he held above his head a terrible and majestic blade of flame, burning with all of the colours of the known spectrum – and some beyond that spectrum as well. The hilt of that blade was of black steel studded with brilliant diamonds, and it seemed almost as alive as the ride and his steed. Behind him was a wall of flame, created through the liberal use of brilliant and fiery gems.
To the left of the flaming rider was the first figure that was not humanoid. It was easily the blandest of the five, yet to me seemed to exude a special malignance, far greater than that any of the other statues emanated save the fifth. The obsidian that made up all of its entirety, save for two rubies that served as slitted eyes, was carved into the shape of a massive, serpentine cloud of smoke, coming out of a hole in the stony ground. The mass widened as it became higher, and I wondered how it was that the statue did not topple. At its widest point were the eyes, glaring down at me with special malevolence, and on either side of this large mass were two arms, topped with vicious talons, formed from the smoke, reaching forward and down at me. The wall behind this grisly horror was bare of any decoration.
The fifth and final figure was unlike any of the other four. It was not even remotely humanoid, yet seemed the most terrible of all. The entire fifth alcove was filled with a perfect diamond, reaching from the floor to the ceiling. From my front-on view, its silhouette took on the shape of a kite, with many faceted surfaces gleaming brilliantly at me, reflecting the light and somehow also causing it to shimmer in a most disturbing and unnatural way.
Surrounding this massive diamond was a ring around its midsection. I counted seven smaller diamonds, identical to the larger one, arranged in a ring around it, evenly space. Between each diamond save two was a connecting bridge, consisting of yet more diamond carved into a curving sheet, enclosing the diamond in a circle save for one spot, between two diamonds, where there was nothing. To my increasing horror, this ring seemed to float in the air, unsupported, with its open side facing me.
Intriguing! On an unrelated note, NaNoWriMo 2010 is coming up, and I have decided that, instead of my original plan to write The Libel of Blood during the month, which would have completed the trilogy, I shall instead right a horror/post-apocalyptic novel I’ve been playing around with in my head entitled People of the Storm. I am going to do my best to finish TLOC – at the very least the rough draft – before November, and then after People of the Storm is done and possibly submitted to a publisher, will begin work on The Libel of Blood, which will detail Jak’s return to human space.