Reality: Part 1 of Mental Damnation by @konnl is a Snuggle Up event pick #darkfantasy #giveaway
Reality: Part 1 of Mental Damnation
Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence where the infected guardians are hunting her, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?
Thick red liquid oozed down the grey, mangy fur of a wolf. The animal lay on its side against a moss-covered tree, eyes glazed over and ears lowered. Flies began to swarm around its body. Each irregular breath it took was followed by a wheezing noise as blood pumped from the torn flesh around its neck. There were bite marks around the animal’s throat—clear indicators of an attack by another beast.
Whether the animal had engaged in combat with another wolf, or possibly a larger predator, was not important to the father and daughter who had discovered the dying creature and now stood mere meters from it. No, unfortunately the fate of the wolf had been sealed and now the question remained: What does one do with a dying animal?
“Killing and death are common things, my Krista,” the father said, looking down at his daughter through the slim pupils of his yellow eyes. He got down on one knee, extending his brown, scaly claw to stroke the top of her head, which was covered densely in long, thin, black and navy feathers. “Both in the animal kingdom and in ours.”
“But you always say killing is a wicked deed, Father. So all animals are wicked?” The little girl blinked a couple of times, staring at her father’s large, crested head.
“Yes, I did say that. The animal world is different than ours, their intentions less sinister. Killing is a regular part of our lives for the wrong reasons.”
“Because of the humans?”
The father nodded, his small nostrils flaring. “Yes. Because of the humans.” He got up to his feet and pulled out a dagger that was sheathed in his belt. “Animals understand the natural balance of our world … unlike those who are deemed ‘civilized’. Come now, we must offer this animal mercy.”
“How?” the girl asked, following her father as he approached the whimpering wolf. “You’re not going to kill the poor thing?” She stopped in her tracks, grabbing hold of the tip of her thin brown tail.
“I must, Krista. There are only a few scenarios when you will find yourself in need of killing.”
The wolf’s eyes looked over to the approaching reptilian and snarled weakly, exposing its teeth. It didn’t even have the strength to lift its head. The wolf’s breathing rapidly increased, and it coughed with the effort.
“Either as a favour to end one’s suffering…”
The father moved swiftly, dashing on all fours, dagger in hand. His long tail swayed side to side, aiding in his movement. He skidded on his knees before coming to a stop and plunging the dagger up into the animal’s skull from the lower jaw. The wolf gurgled once and twitched before the body relaxed and all movements stopped. Blood seeped down the dagger onto the reptilian’s hand.
“…or in self-defence.” He looked over to his daughter. Some of his scalp-feathers had been displaced by his quick movements and he brushed them back with his free hand. “Remember that.”
Krista nodded and stared at the wolf’s corpse while her father pulled the knife from its skull. She felt her heart sink, knowing that the animal was now gone forever. Her father was right, but she had a hard time grasping the concept of taking another’s life. Removing a living being from the world seemed like too much power. A horrific act. “Yes, father,” she replied.
He stood and wiped the blood off the blade against his knee-length green trousers. “Ideally, save your claws for self-defence. Use a weapon for more accurate execution when ending one’s suffering.” Pointing at the ground beside Krista, he added, “Pick up the berries. Your mother will need them for dinner.”
The little girl’s eyes widened. She had completely forgotten about the woven basket filled with berries that they had harvested! She snatched up the basket by its arched handle. The fruits were native to the pine forest: sweet, purple, and covered in lumps.
“Come now.” Krista’s father extended his hand, and Krista grabbed it.
The two walked slowly past the corpse of the wolf and back onto the rough dirt footpath. “Father, what if I don’t want to kill?”
Her father let out a hearty chuckle. “There will come a point in time when you will have to.”
“What if I don’t kill in self-defence or helping a suffering one?”
“I pray to the spirits you do not have to. However, I will never lie to you.” He looked down at her and smiled, tight-lipped.
“Do you think I will have to kill the humans?”
“Humans are a much younger race than us vazeleads, aging quickly and processing the world at a rapid rate. It causes them to think drastically, jumping to conclusions. Thinking at this speed worked as an advantage to defeat the draconem.”
“I don’t understand why they hate us so much.”
“The humans? I don’t think it is so much hate as it is fear. Their paranoia turned them into the very thing that they opposed after they ended the Drac Age.”
Krista frowned. She found it baffling that there were such terrible things in the world; she only wanted everyone to get along. As far as she was concerned, the world had plenty of space for everyone. “I wish we could all live together.”
“The humans see us as a threat. They think we are allied with the draconem, hence their paranoia.”
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November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
For this year I’m quite thankful for moving out west to Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and looking forward to new writing inspiration.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
Reality is the first book to a four-part series of dark fantasy, so there is lots to binge read. It takes readers into an epic world of fallen gods, ghouls, draconem, and paladins. The series follows the reptilian girl named Krista who struggles to find her place in the world while others have their own agenda for her. It’s good for anyone who enjoys fantasy with horror elements.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible. Open internationally.
Runs November 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on December 1.
Konn Lavery is a Canadian author whose work has been recognized by Edmonton’s top five bestseller charts and by reviewers such as Readers’ Favorite, Literary Titan, and by award programs such as indieBRAG, The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Literary Titan, and Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards. His work has also been curated into the Edmonton Public Library’s Capital Press collection.
He started writing stories at a young age while being homeschooled. After graduating from graphic design college, he began professionally pursuing his writing with his first release, Reality. He continues to write in the thriller, horror, and fantasy genres.
His literary work is balanced alongside his graphic design and website development business. Konn’s visual communication skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications, supporting his transmedia storytelling fascination. The previous works have also included musical scores primarily composed by Konn with occasional collaborators, also found within his audiobooks.
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