As promised, here's Chapter 1 of my WIP, Three Dogs, which is a follow up to my YA Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entry, Four Dogs.
It's a lot rougher than the excerpt for Split Ends, and I've only done two chapters thus far, though I've already plotted most of the book through the major conflicts and ending.
Anyway, your thoughts, and especially compared to my adult project, and the market are appreciated.
Paul Douglass stood at the edge of the clearing, smiling. They had come, just as the master said they would. As he watched them step through the clearing and into what had once been a fort he and his friends had built, he marveled at how smart the master was. From the moment he’d met Batu Chinua, everything had gone according to plan.
Well, nearly everything.
The master hadn’t planned on J.J.
And where was the master now for that mistake?
Paul smiled again.
He had figured out a way to outwit J.J. when the master hadn’t. He had played the game.
The three boys climbed up into the fort and disappeared. Paul sniffed at the air, his senses more keen when he took this shape. But he couldn’t stay this way for too long. He let out a brief howl, enough to frighten the boys, but not scare them off and ran through the woods toward the cabin he had built in case the master returned.
As he walked through the cabin door, he retook his human shape.
His mind raced with his power.
“You were never this powerful at my age,” he said.
The empty room absorbed the sound.
He licked his lips and tasted blood; a taste he imagined he’d never grow tired of. It would be dark soon. He had to head back to his home, fall back in line with J.J. and the others. They couldn’t know what he had become.
The master would return—if he could—and Paul would be needed in both worlds. The thought of pretending to be like one of them made him want to throw up.
“If I have to do this on my own, Master, I will. I will continue what you couldn’t.”
A charged ripped through him like a bolt of lightning. He crashed to the floor, writhing, unable to control the spasms that coursed through his flesh.
Thoughts, images, words surrounded him, through him, in him, like a fog of sound, consuming him but without mass. It was like he been punched in the chest by a thousand pounds of pressure.
He saw the knife on the table.
“Master. No. Please.”
“Don’t ever question me,” a voice said.
“I’m sorry, Master.”
Paul grabbed the knife, raised it into the air and brought it down with all his power. The pain was unbearable.
“You are nothing without me,” the voice said.
When the darkness came, Paul embraced it, hoping it would stop the pain.