Picking an Excerpt

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what would be the best excerpt from my novel to post. It’s turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. You don’t want to post too much, but at the same time you don’t want to post too little. You don’t want to post something that will give too much away, but at the same time you want to post something that will be worth reading. I thought about posting the beginning, the prologue, that seemed like a pretty obvious choice, but I wasn’t sure if that was really enough…or maybe it was too much…AHHHH!!

I’ve been wavering back and forth between two different excerpts, one being the prologue (yeah I know…even after the previous internal dilemma) and the other being a small excerpt from the first chapter. I think I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the first chapter. Please bear in mind that this is a work in progress…otherwise I would be self publishing it right now. 😉

This excerpt does not really give you a great feel for the plot of the novel, but it lets you get a glimpse of the writing style I used when developing it. I hope you enjoy.

The dreams always worried him, but his his mother had possessed the ability to ease his mind whenever she was around. That was not the case anymore. What if the figure in his dreams had been accurate about what his role in the world was going to be? Antonia was not going to be around anymore to tell him otherwise. He knew that the figure would visit him again in his dreams that night and he thought then would be the best time to attempt a conversation about his destiny.

A small man walked up timidly from behind him and placed a small hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry son, we need to lower the casket now. Maybe you should go inside and spend some time with the rest of the people that are here. It might make you feel better to talk to people about the good things that happened during your mother’s life.”

“No, there is nothing that could make me feel better right now. This should not be happening. She should still be alive.”

“I’m sorry son, there’s nothing we can do. We are going to have to lower the casket now.”

“No!” Anger started to rise through Antonius like he had never felt before. It started as a mild irritation, but it was not long before he was completely infuriated. Who were all these people? Where had they been all of his life? Where were they all of the times he had spent alone with no company other than the figures in his dreams?

No, none of the people knew him. They all had been people that his mother had met along her many business travels. They were clients, coworkers, and bosses. None of them knew or really even cared about his lot in life. None of them even approached him to express their condolences. They were all there for the perceived obligation that walks hand in hand with the passing of a colleague.

He now knew what his purpose was. Talking to the figures in his dream was going to be a formality. There was no doubt about the way that he felt. Clarity enveloped his mind. He abruptly stood up and pushed the small man to the ground.

The smug looks on the faces of the attendants burned in his mind like a wound being exposed to acrid water. The sudden impact of his head against the hard cobble stone path rendered the small man unconscious. Antonius stepped over the body and began walking towards the dining area. Several of the other workers around the area tried to subdue Antonius, but an unnatural sense of purpose had developed in him. He simply sidestepped them and threw them out of his way.

The chapel dining hall was a shining beacon of everything that the city of Venice had to offer. A large building, it loomed over the rest of the city. One set of doors served as the only means of entering and exiting the building. Modern safety codes had not existed hundreds of years ago when the building had originally been erected. Antonius knew that one fatal flaw of the building all too well.

A single phrase echoed through his mind as he approached the door. “No way out, there will be no way out. There will be no way out. This building shall be cleansed with the fires of righteous damnation. There will be no way out.” No one paid any attention to Antonius as he approached the dining hall. They were all too busy tending to the men already lying unconscious on the ground.

Antonius stood in front of the door and for a brief second an inkling of doubt started to creep through his mind. The entrance was composed of two heavy, white wooden doors. Each door arched upwards and had a small silver cross perched at the upmost tip. There were heavy stone benches and columns with various assortments of flowers on top set to either side of the doors.

The benches and columns had both been brought in for the funeral. They had been placed on rollers so that they could be moved easily. The benches themselves probably weighed several hundred pounds each. Each column weighed close to a hundred pounds. The people inside were completely oblivious to what was going on as he pushed the benches and columns tightly against the doors.

Soon, one of the people in the building realized what was happening. First they gently tried to push the door open. The door grazed against the hard, unrelenting bench, but it did not budge. Casual attempts to open the door turned to a frantic and frenzied ramming of the door. It was not long before other people in the building began to notice what was going on. Mass hysteria spread from person to person.

Every scream, every shout, every pound on the door out of shear desperation made the flame in his eye seem to gleam brighter. A fire doesn’t start without a spark. The spark had been created the moment the figures started talking to him and had grown to a roaring fire inside his soul. There was nothing left for him to do but to release that fire upon the world. Without hesitation, he grabbed a lighter from his pocket, lit the door on fire, and started walking away.

There could be no looking back now. He had made his decision. There could be no changing it. He knew that there would be no going back. There could be no getting out. The world would need to be cleansed by the fires of righteous damnation. He was close to returning to his flat when the sound of sirens became audible throughout the city. He could not help but let a sick, sadistic smile cross his face. Part of him felt horrified while another part of him thought that it was completely and uncontrollably hilarious.

That’s it for now. I plan on posting more excerpts in the future.

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