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The Legacy of the Divine Scroll prologue

by nyckiban 

Posted: 19 January 2006
Word Count: 683

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Circa 1200 BC, Egypt.
Nefertari left the harem, frantic, running blindly impervious to the distraught calls of the other women. Clutched to her bosom was her dead baby; feelings of failing him rendered her inconsolable. Copious tears left damp tracks on her striking face and her grief was interspersed with moments of anger, how…how dare the guardian of the Divine Scroll kill her child. Clutching the lifeless newly born infant close to her, she pressed her face against his, and felt his waning warmth. Releasing a huge sob she ran out of the palace into the grounds, tearing ahead, paying no regard to her flight or destination. Quietly praying to him ‘Lord Lucifer, forgive me, forgive me….my Lord, I have failed you.’ Running on and on, unfaltering in her steps and sometimes not even feeling the ground beneath her feet, relentlessly and never tiring. At times she moved on the earth and desert sand, and other times she unconsciously employed the wind to lift her and take her in its lofty embrace, gathering her up gently and transporting her and the dead infant through the sky. Although, unaware of the time and distance in fleeting seconds of lucidity it seemed like hours, and at times it felt like days. Suddenly she sensed him in her mind, his soothing tones eased her, she spoke in mind speak forgive me….forgive my failure, my Lord. I beg of you forgive me…. letting out a great heaving sob, she was still. Not of her own accord, but he had brought her to a standstill, she looked up through her tears and recognized her temple at Abu Simbel. Finally, the trauma and exertion caught up to her and resulted in her collapse to the temple floor, still clutching the dead newborn to her. Closing her eyes, she wept uncontrollably, despair permeated her entire being making her feel as though her body and spirit were being torn in two, her heart was heavy and her chest felt constricted, it hurt to breathe. Sleep now my Queen, his voice in her mind instructed, sleep and all will be resolved. Gradually she cried herself to sleep, not for a minute allowing the child’s lifeless body to leave her arms. Her sleep persisted for seven days and he came to her in her dreams, assuaging her distress and suffering. He told her that all hope was not lost and that there was another way, their son would be reborn, but first she had a prophecy to write and a sisterhood to form. Her dreams were reassuring and explicit in their detailing of what she must do, following which would begin her long sleep, an extended sleep which would allow her to live again in another time and era. When the instance arose, and she was awoken, their child, the dark one would walk the earth, ready to wield the Divine Scroll, to fulfil the prophecy that was to be written, and to begin the unmaking of humankind. On awaking she found herself being administered to by the priestesses of her temple. They had bathed and washed her, and she was on a makeshift bed in a small room off the temple that wasn’t recognized, it hadn’t been part of the temple as far as she could recollect. She surfaced a new woman; the body of her dead child had been removed and within her burgeoning, was a new found determination and strength which was unexpected and welcome, desirable to the unbearable despair of before. Over the following weeks all her Lord’s wishes were overseen and when finally she had completed her tasks she was interred in the small room she had awoken in. Climbing into her sarcophagus and with the help of her high priestess, spells were employed to invoke her deep slumber and hide her presence from all. The sarcophagus was closed and the room sealed. She slept a profound sleep full of nebulous dreams and notions. A sleep that would last for over 3000 years, she lay dormant waiting for her dead son to be reborn, to awaken her.

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Comments by other Members

Jekyll&Hyde at 15:57 on 19 January 2006  Report this post

This reads much better, and I can tell you've taken out a lot of she's in the text.

It's a very rich and vivid piece of writing and not many writers could pull the scope of such a thing off. You clearly have a good grasp of what you've written. It shows.

How do you feel about the piece now? Are you happy with it?


Katerina at 16:27 on 19 January 2006  Report this post
Wow, for a moment I thought I was playing a playstation game!

This is very good, and looks like it's going to be a really interesting story. I take it 'he' is the devil?

You have a great stle of writing too, and I dont think there are too many he or she's.

Not sure about it being a prologue though, it might be better as the first chapter because the opening paragraph is great and really grabs and captures the readers attention.

I'm not a fan of prologues, they're not needed if you have a strong enough first chapter, which you would have if you used this for it.

You certainly know how to write!


nyckiban at 18:11 on 20 January 2006  Report this post

Thank you both for your nice comments. I am happy with it now Ste, finally. I have actually started another edit of the entire novel checking for over usuage of pronouns etc.

The story starts off in modern day, and the prologue was written in present tense, so I thought if I put it in as a glimpse of the past, it will encourage people to read on.

Terry Edge at 13:25 on 23 January 2006  Report this post

It's a little difficult to comment on this since it's a prologue and you don't say what to. It could be, for instance, the prologue to a fantasy novel, a mythology-based story, possibly a romance, maybe even a literary story (with a fancy underpinning).

With that caveat, I found this to be fairly consistent in tone, which is near-allegorical and probably what you need in a prologue (as opposed to realism). It has a dream-like quality to it, especially the running section, with her being carried by the wind, etc.

Just a thought, but a little actual dialogue between her and her Lord might give us more emotional insight into their relationship and allow us to infer more of his real intentions (which we don't get at the moment).

I assume you'll explain at some stage, but at the moment there are quite a few details which are missing or obscure, e.g. –

What's her name?
What's a Guardian?
Where in the world is this taking place?
Do you mean Lucifer as in the Christian devil?
When is this taking place?
Who's the child's father?

Your writing is pacy and spare; however, it's also rather jerky in places, mainly due to you using the wrong punctuation at times, faulty sentence structure and so on. I can't go through the whole piece in detail but below are some comments on the first paragraph, to give you an idea of what I mean:

She left the harem, frantic, running blindly not seeing the other women or hearing their distraught calls. Clutched to her bosom was her dead baby, she had failed him. Tears coursed down her cheeks, rendering her inconsolable, her grief was interspersed with moments of anger, how dare….the Guardian, how dare she kill her child.

You don't need 'running blindly' and 'not seeing' since they mean the same thing.

Second sentence – it's not her tears that are rendering her inconsolable: they're a result of her inconsolability.

Also, try not to mix action which Shows with too many statements that Tell. The Tells here are 'failed', 'frantic', 'inconsolable', 'grief ... anger'. Given that this an action-based scene, you don't need to interject commentary on all her feelings/states of mind. You can include one or two but best to do so by showing us what she's feeling - e.g. you could say 'feeling that she'd failed him' – rather than making a statement from the author about her state of mind.

The grammar is a little shaky here, too. Should be a semi-colon after 'dead baby' and the same or a full stop after 'inconsolable'. Should be a colon or dash after the first 'how dare' and the three full stops should come after 'the Guardian' or instead, 'how dare ... how dare the Guardian kill her child'.

Hope some of this helps.



nyckiban at 14:32 on 04 February 2006  Report this post

Thank you the better the criticism the better, I have ammeded the writing with what you have said Terry and it works much better, now just for the other 80 odd chapters.


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