Hellbound Volume I: Homeless (excerpt)

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Camp Nano is almost here and, as a result, here’s the project I’ll be working on. It’s the first novel in a five-novel YA fantasy series named Hellbound, in which the main character is mad.

That man… he made the taints worse. One of them was constantly telling Iriae to kill him, while the other told her to stay her hand. With hesitant steps, she approached him. The smell of sulfur hit her nose and Iriae almost gagged. “You are a sinner,” she stated.

He looked at her, examining her from head to toe. Iriae noticed he was very handsome, but in a slightly disturbing way. She guessed it was his eyes, which were of an unnatural red and with black slits for pupils. After a while, he furrowed his dark brows and said, “I am. And you… you are something else. You are a sinner and yet…”

“I’m also a fallen.”

He raised the glass of ale in a salute before bringing it to his lips. “Then you are something special.”

“I’m cursed, that’s what I am.”

“Maybe.” He raised a brow. “What’s your name?”

“Iriae.”

“Well then, little Iriae… While I’m debating whether or not I want to kill you – because, as you know, it’s in my blood to want to kill fallen…”

“It’s also in your blood to help sinners,” Iriae completed.

“Which is why we’re at an impasse; I want to gut you and, at the same time, I don’t. Regardless… why have you approached me?”

“You are a sinner and yet, you’re here.”

“I’m a high ranking sinner. I can walk beyond the border between worlds.”

“The border… Enoch?”

“Yes. Have you ever been there, Iriae?”

She shook her head. “My parents always kept me away from places too close to Hell. They said…” She inhaled deeply through her nose. “They said such places would tear my soul apart.”

He creased his nose. “I’m guessing you have both taints in you?”

“I do. They’re in my head, speaking, right now.”

“You are cursed indeed,” said the sinner. “But wait, you said your parents kept you away from such places? Kept?”

“They are in Hell right now – which is why I wanted to ask you something.”

She didn’t even need to say it. “You want to go there,” the sinner steadily declared. Iriae nodded, determined. “I want to find my parents,” she said. “Whatever they’re going through right now, it’s my fault. I want to break them free.”

For the very first time since their conversation had begun, the sinner looked at Iriae in the eye. She straightened her spine and, despite her instincts, bore his gaze without shuddering. “You are… young. Physically, I mean,” the sinner said after some time.

“I’m sixteen,” said Iriae.

“And you want to go to Hell. At sixteen.”

“I have to do it,” the young girl determinedly said. “My parents are there and I… I can’t stand that they’ve sacrificed so much because of me.”

“That sounds… so not fallen. Or sinner,” the sinner said. His red eyes went back to scrutinizing Iriae’s face. “But you are both… and you are neither, so, it makes sense, in a way.”

 

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