I recently finished the second draft of a story I’m working on, and I decided to share it online. I’m sharing one chapter at a time, and the story is about 487,000 words right now (roughly 5 paperback novels in length, give or take), so this will take awhile.
I estimate that 2nd draft is about 80% of the way there, story-wise; but 80% is not 100%. This chapter might show up in the final story completely unchanged. It might show up with minor changes, or heavy revisions; or might be cut from the final draft completely. If it does remain, it might be in a new place in the story or the same place.
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The pain forced Illidrea’s eyes open.
Pain like whip lines along her back, pain like a red-hot bar of iron had been pressed into her skin. She cried out and jerked away….
And almost crashed into the narrow black iron bars of her cell in front of her. She turned her head, twisting so she hit the bars with her arms.
Hellfire scorched her arms where they touched the bars, and she screamed. Screamed like her throat was on fire, screamed the same agonized screams as a hundred other people nearby.
And Illidrea knew. Knew, from those screams torn from the throats of the others.
She didn’t know how she had died. The pain lanced through her, not leaving room for conscious thought. She jerked back from the iron bars in front of her, but then she fell back into more bars a bare handspan behind her, lit almost red-hot, that screamed through her back like her very bones were on fire. That made her scream anew, that emptied her mind of conscious thought.
Still, in the back of her mind, somewhere beyond the pain, Illidrea knew where she was.
She was in the Hellscape.
That one thought–that she was in the Hellscape, that she was dead, that she would have to endure this unending agony every moment of every minute of every day for the next ten thousand years–shattered her completely.
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