A Character’s Death (Excerpt)

This is an excerpt from a future novel in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. It wandered into my head tonight and I just had to get it written.

Flares continued to explode overhead, flashing white against the black of night. Fires burned in every corner of the fort, the result of powder magazines struck by explosive rounds or incendiary shells gone awry. Spouts of fire and smoke erupted from cannons and muskets all around him.

 The smell of blood and burnt flesh was thick in [Name Redacted]’s nostrils. The air was hot, despite the late hour, and heavy with salt from the sea. Acrid gray smoke hung in rolling clouds and stung his nose; black pillars rose from the fires.

He could taste blood as well, from where the rifle butt had split his lip. The dry, bitter taste of gunpowder and the sweet salt of his own sweat were on the tip of his tongue.

Through the ringing, he heard the crackle of musket fire, the booming rhythm of artillery batteries lobbing rounds across the battlefield, the screams of the dying and shouted commands on all sides.

And as he stared down the barrel of the smoothbore cannon, his men skidding to a halt behind him, [Name Redacted] felt nothing.

The ten pound cannon had been rolled down from its place on a small ramp and turned inward, toward the attackers that had breached the clay walls. The gun sergeant stared at him with cold green eyes, lanyard pulled taught and gripped in a gloved hand. The gun’s officer was shouting commands, but not even his crew could hear him through the roar of battle.

[Name Redacted]’s heart beat twice, and then the sergeant yanked on the lanyard

What do you think?

About Joshua K Johnson

Josh is the author of The Cerberus Rebellion and The Hydra Offensive, Gunpowder Fantasy novels set in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. He is currently working on a new novel set in the same world as well as The Centaur Incursion, Book 3 in the Ansgari Rebellion Series and Loyalty Betrayed, Book 1 in the Liberty Forged Series. He currently works full-time and has an 8-year old and a 4-year old to keep him busy.

Posted on June 6, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Blown away by a cannon – very intense. Grim imagery; I like it a lot.

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