Nunc Incipitur

Nunc Incipitur is Latin for ‘now it begins’. It is also happens to be the prologue to book 2 of the Vokhtah cycle. πŸ™‚

I have been struggling with book 2 because I spent too long away from the story, and because I already knew what book 2 would be about. There were no surprises, or so I thought. I am pleased to say I was wrong, and now I have my excitement back.

I wrote Nunc Incipitur just this morning and I rather like it. I’d really appreciate your feedback.

Nunc Incipitur
[now it begins]

The Female endured the healers’ ministrations in silence, but her anger was as loud as a shout. She still hated them as much as she ever had, and still longed to tear them to pieces – that had not changed – but since her recovery she had learned to fear their power. That was new.

During the mating she had fought the Seven without fear because death was the natural ending to every life. However there had been nothing natural about the way the healers had foughtΒ her. Even now, whenever they touched her head, her whole body would tense up, fearing the moment of blackness, of nothingness.

They called it sleep, but it was more like a small death from which she would awake, moments or hours later, with no sense of time having passed. And yet she knew time must have passed because things would be different when she awoke, she would be different.

The first time the healers used their power on her had been during a feed. The healer offering her the tukti had been afraid, and the scent of its fear had ignited her blood lust. She had lunged for it, ready to tear its hearts out. A moment later she had awoken to find her hands empty, as empty as her spirit. The bloodlust was gone, snuffed out as if it had never been.

The healers had done the same thing to her many times before she had finally understood that they were the ones stealing time from her life. And that was when the fear had begun. And the despair.

But she had been too strong for them. Instead of continuing her futile attempts to kill them, she had focused her hatred inwards, tirelessly searching shared memories for a way out. And she had found it.

Buried in the memories of a long dead Sage she had found a curiosity ignored by most Vokh. It was a way to cross the void to a place as different to Vokhtah as day was to night.

The Sage who found this strange place had only managed to force a sharing with one of the inhabitants for a very short time. Nonetheless, even that brief sharing had been hellish, revealing a world bathed in shades of black and grey. Little wonder the Sage had not experimented further.

But she had. Every night for the last ti’m’akh, she had honed her skills until she too could make the leap across the void, and she had discovered the world had a daytime face as well. The light was always as bright as when Takh was alone in the sky, however the colours had been all wrong, with none of the soft purples of Vokhtah. The smells had been strange too, but for all its strangeness, the world had teemed with life…

The soft thud of the door closing brought the Female back to the present, and a thrill of excitement made her cilia writhe. By the time the healers returned at first-light they would find nothing but a cold, dead husk! The part of her that mattered would be gone, treading the paths of that eerie blue world in a new body. Β She would have to learn how to hunt in a body without wings or fangs, but she was a hunter, and hunters always triumphed.

Taking a deep breath, the Female focused her talent into a bright, hard point, and threw her awareness out into the void.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “Nunc Incipitur

  • Christie Meierz

    I just finished reading Vokhtah, so this tidbit was a delicious little tease.

    Nice world-building. I was fairly lost in the first couple of chapters, and I still don’t have a clear picture in my head of what the Vokh and iVohk *look* like (I’ve got a strange mental image of a cross between a bird, a balloon, and an Ood), but once I got used to the strange terms, I could see the level of thought that had gone into it.

    And boy, do I ever hear you about needing those little boosts to keep going! I almost didn’t publish The Marann because I got so little feedback from the people I allowed to read it. It was so discouraging. I would love to know the secret to finding beta readers with good critical reading skills who actually have time to get back to you in a reasonable length of time. That would be golden!


    • acflory

      Thanks Christie – I feel honoured that you’ve read Vokhtah. πŸ™‚

      I apologize for dumping readers in at the deep end, but there was just no way of cushioning the blow. Not having the human perspective was my choice, and I stick by it but…

      Re the feedback, I was incredibly fortunate to have writer friends as beta readers for the final product, however it was The Daughter who was my very first reader. Her comments actually changed the focus of the story entirely.

      I’ve read both The Marann and Into Tolari Space and, although I quite enjoyed the romantic aspects, it was definitely the world, and your world building I enjoyed the most.

      If you ever need a beta for that side of things I’d love to help. πŸ™‚


  • Candy Korman

    Allow yourself to deviate from your plan. My characters often surprise me and take the story in unexpected directions. Your very dynamic creatures have minds of their own. Let them take the story a little off your planned path.

    Just a thought. I works for me. I might work for you.


    • acflory

      lol – yes I’ve found that too. ‘They’ get to objective X eventually, but hardly ever the way I thought they would. I’m just so glad they finally decided to speak up. πŸ™‚


  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    I know what you mean. I struggled with Book Three of my trilogy because it was ‘old’ in my head. But I am 2/3 finished now and it is surprising me as well. My critique partner assures me it is every bit as exciting as the others. When we are too close to something sometimes we don’t see the trees for the forest. (yes I said it backwards deliberately) πŸ™‚


    • acflory

      ‘trees for the forest’… I like that! It describes exactly how I was feeling. Having another, in some ways easier story vying for my attention didn’t help either. It is amazing how liberating a radical chop can be though. πŸ™‚


  • lorddavidprosser

    What can I say? As exciting as Vokhtah, it certainly sounds it and it’s totally alien in culture. You have a wonderful talent with words and I’m so glad you’re applying it to the books that I hope many people will have the chance to enjoy. .xx Hugs xx


  • metan

    Oooh! I like!!! πŸ˜€


  • EllaDee

    Wonderful. I am so glad I’m reading Vokhtah and this has relevance to me… I am 70% through it and although I need to work to get my head around it as it is so different to anything I’ve read or had exposure to, I’m really enjoying the writing and the characters, so I’m happy to hear you are working on somethng else I can read πŸ™‚


    • acflory

      Thanks Ella. Every time someone tells me they’re reading my book it gives me a boost to keep on going. After book 2 though, I really do have to get back to Innerscape and some humans. πŸ˜‰


  • jenniferscoullar

    Stunning writing! … and I know what you mean about no surprises. If I plot a story too carefully, I’m too bored to write it.


    • acflory

      Exactly! And thank you. Until yesterday, book 2 was largely written, but I was bored with it. Now I’ve chopped it in half and I think it will flow a great deal better. Of course I’ve now got to /write/ the half I chopped out but hey… πŸ™‚


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