The truth hurts (a Dark Claw excerpt)

The old colonial house, a relic from the nineteenth century, creaked when you walked on the floorboards. It creaked when you opened doors and windows. Even walking up the stairs was loud. I hated it when I was a child. Storms turned the house into a creaking and howling entity. I used to hide in the cupboard until the storm was over. Mat, our old gardener, said that the house was haunted, by the many British soldiers slain during the Japanese Occupation. He said it so confidently that I believed him. He was a harimau, a were-tiger. Of course, he knew.

Father strode down the corridor while I followed quietly like the obedient prodigal son I was. Father’s study was on the right, right next to the “war-room” (my term for his meeting room). The door, like all the doors in the house, was a rich mahogany. Father unlocked the door and walked in. I smelled the mustiness of books and other things.

The armchair and desk mirrored the ones he had in his office at Shenton Way, Singapore’s central business district. All old world charm with a hint of power, of intimidation.

And books. Shelves of them. Old leather-bound books. First editions. All in mint condition. Father loved and hoarded books. They smelled of libraries, of Alexandria, of Babylon before it fell. Drakes had ancestral memories. The old myth of dragons hoarding jewels and gold had echoes in the habits of modern drakes.

Father went straight to his desk and lifted out a box, the length of a sword. I stood frozen. I recognized the box with its ornate golden filigree and ancient drakon script etched along the borders. Our family sword. Yet, I hadn’t yet known its name. Father had never told me or Sharon. How he managed to get it pass the strict laws of Singapore was beyond me.

The sword was forged a long time ago, during the First Crusade, when the drake families became involved in the politics of Jerusalem and Western Christendom. About that time, drakes also took human forms and sank their claws into human clans, strengthening their own blood ties and connections. From Father had told me, the taking of human form was a necessary evil, as drakes fought to survive the introduction of a new species: humans. Humans were more fertile, more prolific. They were also creatures prone to posturing and politicking, something that drew drakes to them like moths to a naked flame.

Dark Claw is available at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/441552) and Wattpad (http://www.wattpad.com/12297562-dark-claw).

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. jolantru
    Jun 06, 2014 @ 05:27:46

    Reblogged this on A Wolf's Tale and commented:

    Boosting this up!

    Reply

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