#blogbattle – A Run In The Dark

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I’ve had a few weeks away from Rachael Ritchey’s #blogbattle, so it’s nice to be back. This week the topic is ‘Voice,’ and my entry is an excerpt from Silver and Black, the vampire novel I’ve been working on this month as my Camp NaNoWriMo project (only a few thousand words to go!)

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A Run In The Dark

Let me tell you how it is, to run with a vampire. Both my mother and father have carried me before, especially when I was younger, playing games around the long lawns and rolling fields of our estate. But no one else has, ever. Oh, sure, guards in the past have picked me up when I’ve fallen, taking me to the house and safety in seconds. But never has anyone else taken me for a long run, where you cling close and feel as though you are part of the other person, the wind rushing around you both, cleaving you even closer together.

When my father ran with me, it was part terrifying, part exhilarating, and I used to laugh and scream in turn, tears leaking from my closed eyes. I think it amused him.

When my mother ran with me I felt safe, held in a net of love strong and soft as her long hair, which wrapped tendrils around me as though alive.

But with Kyle, it was different altogether. Of course it was. For despite how stupid I felt, what a disaster the evening had been, he was right. I had enjoyed myself for a while in there. Because of him. And now, with my head pressed against his shoulder, my mouth oh-so-close to his caramel skin, his arms strong around me, I wished the run would last forever, that we could run to the Safe Zone and the distant sea and spend time there together, just the two of us. The night was a blur of velvety dark, stars and moon striping silver around us so it was as if we ran under a giant bowl, the world turning under his feet as he sped me towards the safety of home. I saw the gateposts flash past, darker silhouette of raven statues against the sky, the thud of earth changing to the crunch of gravel as we ran up the long drive towards the main house.

‘Raven claw, blood and stone!’ he called out, as we passed each set of guards stationed at the gate and along the drive, each of them responding in turn with the night’s password. They could see who it was he carried, anyway.

Then it was over. He stopped at the base of the steps, the tall pillars striped paler against the darkness. The front door opened and I could see a faint glow of candlelight, my mother silhouetted against it.

‘Emelia?’

She came down the stairs in a rustle of silk, and I could hear the worry in her voice. I found mine.

‘I’m all right. I was just tired, that’s all.’ I was still clinging to Kyle, but he had moved me slightly away from his body, cool air between us. ‘Uh, sorry. ‘ I let go of his neck, my arm and hand stiff from holding tight, my hair feeling stretched and windblown. I ran my hand through it as Kyle carefully set me down, then staggered. He caught me, his hand against my waist. Then Mother was there, her arms around me, hands stroking my hair.

‘Come, lovely girl. There is tea for you, and you can tell me all about it.’ Then she turned to Kyle. ‘And I have arranged a special meal for you, downstairs.’

He stood to attention, heels together, then bowed. ‘I thank you, my lady.’ Then his glance flicked to me. ‘Sleep well, Emelia.’

‘Thanks.’ But he was gone and I felt all at once cold, despite my mother’s arms around me, as she led me into the warmth of the house.


And that’s all! For more entries, to vote, or add an entry of your own, head over to Rachael’s blog and click the Blog Battle link.

31 thoughts on “#blogbattle – A Run In The Dark

  1. Caught this on Rachael’s blog battle page. Bit of a newbie and she’s trying to get me to have a bash at it…scary thought that 🤔

    Nice excerpt though…that’s why I dropped in to comment….and follow you at the same time…common interest in writing so unlucky 🙃

    1. Hi Gary, nice to meet you! Thanks for dropping in, and also for the follow – I just took a wander over to your blog and returned the favour. After all, common interests and all that 🙂 And do give Rachael’s blog battle a go – she’s so supportive and I’ve met some great bloggers participating. Hope to read an entry of yours soon!

      1. Thanks Helen…still, finding this blogging daunting but the people here are amazing…proper caught me out that did. I struggle with short stories though…I just see large chapters….probably because I ramble and once started stuff just flows. I like Rachael though…had a few conversations with her which is why I started looking at the previous posts and where I came across yours….seems the ideal place to hook up with like minded people 😊 Thanks for following mine too

      2. Yes, I’ve met some wonderful bloggers since starting out. I found it daunting at the start too.
        Rachael’s challenges (and others I’ve done in the blogosphere) are great because they force you to work within a word count, so I found have helped improve my own writing. Hope you give it a go 🙂

      3. Yes, that’s why I’m considering it. Not to necessarily compete as someone to get votes but as a personal challenge to adapt my writing. To improve it as you rightly say. I think, after hearing you, I may give the next one a bash…nothing to lose and everything to gain. Thanks for the encouragement 😊

      1. I did the April A-Z blog challenge, and it was quite a work out posting every day, haha. 🙂 It should be called the Camp NaNo version for blogs, lol. 😀

      2. It should, I think! And I’ve seen your lovely list of posts – I am hopelessly behind on catching up with everyone’s blogs (a NaNo side effect), so will be making my way through your list 🙂 Congrats on making it through the month.

      3. Thank you! I’ve been eating Dove chocolate-covered blueberries and taking time away from the computer to get over the April side effects. 🙂 I can’t imagine what a NaNo side effect would do to me!

  2. Such a interesting excerpt, Helen! I find the whole concept of the girl being carried for these runs intriguing, and who is Kyle to the young woman and her family? 🙂 I hope we get to read the rest of this story!

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