A Diamond in the Rough

Something special for my lovelies.

I found this little gem going through my files to find anything I have already written for the prequel to Blood for Honor. I quickly realized I do not have much other than what is currently stored away in my head, but I’m proud of this. It was written in a short session sometime last year and hasn’t had any editing other than the little I did as I reread it today. And just so you know, it was not written for the Blood for Honor world. It just came out one night as I was pondering another story idea I haven’t done anything with. I’m proud of this piece, and it really shows how I have grown as a writer. This is the edition you guys will get for now because I really feel it is probably the Prologue to The Wild Assault (B4H prequel). It just needs some tweaking to fit what I already have growing in my mind. Enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments.

CONTENT WARNING: Blood, gore, and horror.

Crashes of lightning and peels of thunder amass in the night sky, a swirling of black clouds and acid green light leaping from cloud to cloud.

“Where do they come from?” a little girl asks, terrified ochre eyes glowing in the rolling lights in the sky as she stares wide-eyed into the abyss.

The middle-aged man next to her looks down at the ebony-haired child kneeling next to him in the tall grass of the field surrounding them. His chocolate eyes are dark with worry. “The rain brings them,” he says.

The girl swallows back bile, face strained. “But they won’t be able to find us, right? The grass is too tall?”

The man cannot lie. “It depends on how close they get.”

“Should we run?” she asks, voice squeaking in terror.

He shakes his head, looking forlornly down at the little girl. “We probably won’t make it, but listen to me,” he says, grabbing her by the shoulder to turn her to face him. “We stay here, but if I say run, don’t hesitate. Hesitation gets you killed. Can you do that, baby girl?”

The girl nods with a sniffle and trembling lower lip. “Yes, daddy.”

Her father searches the eyes so similar to his late wife’s that it makes his heart ache. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, no matter what it takes. “Good girl, now lay down and hush. They’re coming.”

The duo hunkers down in the grass on their bellies to wait. A slow rhythmic beat pulses through the ground, sending shockwaves of fear through both man and girl. Heavy rain begins to fall in large drops as the squelching of pine trees snapping fills the air. Bright blue lights shine from the creaking forest, large shadows following closely behind, pushing trees out of the way like mere twigs.

The pulse vibrating through the earth gets stronger the closer the lights get to the field, and the thundering of heavy footfalls joins the thunder in an ominous drumline.

“They’re coming right for us,” the man whispers, stricken with fear he tries to hide from his daughter.

“Do we run?” she asks in a voice barely audible.

“Not yet.”

Trees fall over, jutting outwards from the forest into the field, revealing the shadowy mass following the light that floats in the air in front of it. The girl inhales a sharp breath as the visage before her unfolds from the shadows to reveal itself. A horrendous mix of flesh and machine with glowing red eyes and bloody drool raises itself on its hind legs, rivaling the height of the surviving trees around it. The beast sniffs the air with a sinister-looking snout like a wolf’s, turning its nightmarish face in the direction of the pair hidden in the grass. A deep howl breaks forth from its mouth, canine yet robotic in its cadence.

“Now?” the little girl whimpers.


The beast falls back onto all fours, hair rising on its hackles as it narrows its blood-red eyes, eerily real despite the unnatural glow of synthetic light shining from inside of its skull through the pupils. Its lips curl up into a snarl, revealing shining metal teeth over one foot long. It sinks back onto its haunches, preparing to spring.


Only needing to hear the word once, the little girl bolts from her position on the ground, darting for the closest section of forest. She can hear nothing except the pounding of her own heart in her ears, and she doesn’t stop until she reaches the tree line. She looks around frantically for her father.

He is much further away than anticipated.

He has not moved but rather stands his ground, facing down the snarling beast. The man stands as a wall between the beast and his only daughter. The last person he has left. And he will not let them have her.

“Don’t stop running!” he cries out. He doesn’t look at her, but she knows he is speaking to her. She should listen.

The beast leaps forward, and her father disappears into the grass under massive, clawed paws. “Daddy!” Her screams are drowned out by the beast snarling and high-pitched preening of pain as teeth rip flesh. Blood sprays into the air, cutting the cries of pain off short.

The girl stumbles backward, hand over her mouth and tears streaming down her face. The creature looks up, flesh hanging in ribbons from its teeth, dripping rivers of blood onto the ground beneath it. It snarls once more as the girl makes eye contact with it. Her feet come alive, and she begins to run, disappearing into the trees as the beast lunges.

She blindly crashes through the forest, tears blurring her vision. She trips over briars, and vines catch at her ankles with needle teeth. The beast is too big to move freely through the close-growing trees, and soon the pounding footsteps begin to fade.

And still, she keeps running.

Chest on fire, she runs until she can run no more and collapses to the ground, choking for air through her tears.

Silence. Not even the sound of rain has followed her, and the silence is deafening. She weakly crawls under a dense bush at the base of a nearby tree, and unconsciousness takes her.

Copyright © Emma Lee Joy


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