Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inferno - Prologue

So a while ago Dennis came to me with the idea of creating a steam punk version of Dante's inferno and it's an idea I really gravitated towards. I'm a huge fan of the genre and immediately started to write out some primary drafts of the story which I'm now sharing with you now.
This was the original prologue designed to set the mood for the novel. In a good prologue you introduce the tone, the character and the main themes of the book. Or at least you should. I think I was fairly successful in this. Thinking I'll keep writing it as time goes on and try to make something cohesive and delightfully twisted.

Inferno : Prologue by Matti McLean

He closed his eyes as the distant screams whipped past his ears. Smoke billowed through the darkness that clouded his dream as he fell through black storm clouds. Tumbling like a rag doll through smokey billows as skeletal beasts flew past on wings of bone and burnt flesh. The sound of clockwork echoing through their empty skulls. Above him a thousand dark creatures swirled as if preparing to attack the prey. One beast lunged a fanged tangle of teeth towards him missing him by inches. Thousands more seemed to appear and lunge at him as he passed by them, and they'd cackle as if he was another piece of meat for them to consume.

The ground below him burnt. The remnants of a city long burnt and still smouldering were splayed out below him. Long trenches stretched out as the dark landscape seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Tall towers that must have one been proud symbols of technology and progress stretched thousands of feet into the air. A giant clock tower, now decrepit and crumbling stretched out below him, but was rising quickly.

He fell, passing through the burnt sky and between the giant buildings that thrust into the sky. As he fell at speeds he could hardly comprehend; hurtling towards the street he could feel the air grow thick with heat as breath after breath thick with ash rushed into the burnt, scarring remains of his lungs. Two thousand feet, one thousand feet, a hundred feet- all flew by faster then he could recognize. As he was about to find himself a stain on the ground, the earth itself opened up in a giant mouth revealing miles and miles of dark cliff that stretched into a churning lake of fire. Bodies rolled in the flames and the sound of a million screams of terror burst from the ground and threatened to rip him apart. A thousand burnt fingers reached out to him as if pleading him for some form of relief; as if he and he alone could bring them relief. He tried desperately to do anything else, but he continued to fall helplessly, being drawn into the fiery, molten mass below him. The heat radiated at such a heat it almost burst his skin from his body. He screamed as the ground above swallowed him whole and the fire burned on.

So yeah, that's Dante's Prologue. Let me know what you think!
As a note, the artwork is not mine but perfectly emulates the mood I was going for so I had to use it. My thanks to Chenzan

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