The Death of the Servant Nissen: Excerpt from Quellseek

@Dundanim - Fotolia

@Dundanim – Fotolia

Quellseek is the novel I’m working on for NaNoWriMo. The following is from the opening of the novel.

For three horrible days and nights, they watched as Nissen died, lingering in agony and screaming for all the gods and devils that ever were to end his torture, despite the extremely high dosages of opiate he was given…every hour it seemed…until exhaustion from the screaming and straining against the straps which held him down gave way to uneasy and fidgety slumber.

For three horrible days and nights during his un-peaceful bouts of sleep, everyone in the keep prayed to all those unmerciful gods and devils to hear him and grant him a reprieve from this world, which was too much a burden, on him and everyone…selfish as that may sound; it is no easy thing to listen to the torments of a man in the throes of a death such as his.

And through it all, yes, through the most wrenching screams that set ones teeth on edge, though the episodes of blood and bits of internal flesh spewing through his mouth and nose, growing so frequent now that one had to wonder how there was anything left inside him, let alone how he was able to continue to draw breath; through it all, it was Bona Marta who remained at his side.

Nissen was a stubborn man, though, and he continued to cling to life by the tips of his fingernails, which had all turned a blue-black shade, no doubt due to the pseudo-toxins which continued their slow course through his pain-wracked body.

Finally, on the dawn of the fourth day, Bon Pelees paid a visit, and everyone knew then that Nissen was dead. Bona Marta pulled the sweat-soaked sheet over his stilled face, which had purpled almost as much his fingertips in the last hour of his torment.

Bon Pelees sat bowed and huddled, shivering at the side of the deathbed, while Marta hurried to get the servants to wash and prepare the body before disintegration set in.

Pelees opened his weary eyes. His face was gray and taut; he’d fought his own struggles, and they’d left him wearied and palsied.

“He shall have to be on the bier tonight,” Corman spoke from his seat far in the corner by the fire. He’d arrived with the Bon, having stayed by his master’s side during the poisoned illness. “No part of him can be left for the spies of Brax to find.”

Pelees nodded, slowly. “He was a brave man. But then again they all are. Where will I find another like him?”

Corman snorted. “Haverton, of course, unless the Order refuses you. And who could blame them? The Good Seekers go through priests and priestesses at a fearsome rate.”

Pelees lifted his head and favored Corman with a angry look. “I did not mean that. He will be replaced. And it has been a year, Corman. A whole year. Since the last.”

“True enough. Either your enemies love you better than they do your father and mother, or they find it more difficult to try and kill you…or…” Corman cut himself off suddenly, and blushed, as if he’d said too much…

from “The Death of the Servant Nissen,” Chapter 1 of “Quellseek: Army of Empaths”

Cover of “Quellseek: Army of Empaths.”

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