First stab at my first rewrite of the intro.
A low rasping moan echoed through the dank dark entombed ruins causing sleeping bat wings to flutter as well as small rodents and thousand-footed insects to scatter back into holes for safety. No light had reached this place in a millennium and no living soul had entered in at least a quarter as many years. And yet, as frequently happened, the rhythmic sound of shambling footsteps paired with the dragging of wood on stone began to rise in the darkness. Even though the cave dwellers that lived in the pitch black of the ruins could not see, they recognized the smell of death and could hear it’s scuffling progression as it passed them by in their hidden burrows.
They waited, as those that survived over the years had learned to do, until the sounds faded into the distance until even the occasional rasping moan could not be heard. Only then did the normal sounds of the underground return.
One small rodent scampered out to sniff out the path of the creature in search of any morsels to eat. In a short time, it finally patted out far enough to discover a bit of dried flesh. If anyone could have seen in the darkness, it was obvious that with a twitch of its nose and a turn of it’s head, the discovery was not pleasant at all. It scampered a good distance away from the droppings and came to a quick stop.
The rodent lifted his chin up and it’s ears rotated hearing something unusual. Quickly, it scampered away as part of the ceiling collapsed with a cascade of water, rain, dirt, rocks, wood, and a body that was screaming as it fell some twenty feet down into the ruins. The screaming stopped as it hit the ground with a muffled thud.
“Kaelyn! Are you okay? Hold on, cousin! I’m coming down,” a panicked voice called down from a gaping hole where the first light in ages came flooding down onto Kaelyn’s motionless body.
Copy © 2015-2016 by Eric Huber
Artwork by Sean Wong