Character Intro: Patrick Hood

Published June 26, 2016 by nruhwald

Here’s the first sneak peak at my upcoming novel, The King’s Children. This is the introduction scene for one of my two main characters. This section and others can be found on my Sneak Peeks page.

 

Patrick Hood leapt over mossy rocks and fallen trees as he sprinted through the moonlit forest. The silver bells on his sleeves and the hem of his long coat followed him with ringing music. Behind him, the hunting party shouted and cursed as they tripped and stumbled in the dark, crashing through the underbrush. Rifle shot smacked into a branch several yards to his left.

Not their worst shot, which said more about the marksmanship of the would-be heroes of Hawestone Village than it did about his ability to evade them.

He stopped, crouching in a patch of tall ferns growing beneath an ancient oak. The bells fell silent as the strangeling hid motionless in the dark, watching his pursuers. All of Caladavan might seek to punish him for being half-faerie, but his heritage had its benefits as well. His vision at night, as well as his hearing, was as good as any wild animal.

The hunters stopped, panting, to listen for him.

“You can’t hide from us, strangeling,” their leader shouted into the night.

On the contrary, Patrick could have escaped them easily enough. He knew his eyes would light up green with reflected light from their torches and he waited for them to see it.

They stomped around in the leaf litter, huffing like a herd of confused bulls. Perhaps he overestimated their powers of observation. He waved an arm, and the resulting jingle drew their attention.

The pack resumed their chase with a blood-thirsty howl.

Patrick darted out of the ferns, his coat ringing merrily.

Oh what they would do to him if they ever caught him. He could almost smell their murderous intent.

He caught a long willow branch, and used it to swing over a perfectly ordinary clearing in the woods.

When he landed, he jogged a short distance away and waited. Presently he was rewarded by the sound of cracking branches and profuse swearing.

Two days ago, the men had carefully dug a deep pit in the forest, and smoothed the sides to make climbing out next to impossible. They painstakingly laid long, interlaced branches over the top, and covered it with leaves to render the trap invisible. Patrick had watched them from the forest canopy, nodding appreciatively at their ingenuity.

Apparently they hadn’t recognized their own handiwork in the dark, and the trap they had so carefully created snared only themselves.

 

Thanks for reading. This section and others will be permanently available to read in a Work in Progress page on my blog. Part 2 of this excerpt is available here.

The King’s Children will be released, completely free for your favorite ereader, in the summer of 2018.

 

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9 comments on “Character Intro: Patrick Hood

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