Ever since she’d captured him, Morgan had been paying Airk daily visits in the dungeon to have “a bit of fun,” as she called it. Today it was knives.
She sliced into Airk’s flesh, smiling as his blood flowed out sluggishly. Morgan bent and licked his blood away, trailing her tongue over his arm, lapping up the chill sweat that coated him. Airk shuddered and shook, past endurance, past thought, past hope. He felt like an empty husk: hollow, echoing and utterly alone.
She stared up at him, fluttering her lashes. “My poor pet, I’ve been unkind to you.” Morgan cut him, making a neat row of red stripes. She gave Airk a flirtatious smile, mocking him, goading him as if he could still be bothered to care. Morgan leaned towards him, smelling of blood and dead meat, her stench mingling in a grotesque bouquet with her cloying perfume.
Airk recoiled as the foul odor scraped at his nostrils. "Whoa," he said, still defiant despite the wounds, "you ever thought about Listerine?"
"Dammit, Foster!" Ingle threw his hands up in despair. "When you said you'd got a famous director for our new ad campaign, you could have told us it was Wes Craven."
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: ril
'Ain't I just the sexiest zombie you ever seen?' she said, rolling gnarled flaps of muscle round her hollow orbits, suggestively.
Airk gulped and backed off as far as the chains would permit. 'I...I guess so.'
'So tell me,' she said, as the skin slipped from her face like a pair of silk knickers, 'does my epidermis go with this dress?'
'I guess so. It's the same shade of black.'
She ran a fingernail slowly down the centre of his muscular chest till it snagged in his pubic hair and wrenched her hand from her wrist with a slurp.
'Yeeeeeeeeeees,' she purred, tossing her head back till her neck snapped above the shoulder. 'Undress me nice and slowly...'
As there is only one female present, there's no need to use her name once we know it. "She" is fine. You don't want to start every sentence with "she," but combining sentences or rearranging the words would do the trick:
She sliced into Airk’s flesh, smiling as his blood flowed out sluggishly, then bent and licked...
Mocking him, goading him as if he could still be bothered to care, she leaned toward him, smelling of blood...
Even a cold, stark report can use a bit of sentence variety.
Besides being creeped out, I'm having a problem with POV. Whose are we in, or is it omniscient?
In Iron Sunrise, Charles Stross takes the entire first chapter to describe the death throes of a star going supernova and how the resultant blast of radiation destroys the planets and observatories. Considering Earth is only 8 or 9 minutes from the sun at the speed of light, it's an amazingly depressing and stunning chapter. Planets fry. Oceans boil. People irradiate and burn. Nasty stuff.
Then he spends the rest of the novel on a teenage girl and how she helps thwart this from happening again. And she has to do this without violating causality and creating paradox.
My point - All of the climax is in the first chapter and nothing in the rest of the book ever reaches that supernova for excitement.
This is so violent an opening, I'd worry about reading farther just in case you actually can top this bloody torture.
I've got no problem with a bloody opening (ahem), but this one seems just gross out. Maybe that's your point, but I'm reminded of Stephen King's comment: "If you can't legitimately scare them, go for the gross out." Not sure you want to lead with that.
I've also got a POV issue. Most of the focus is on Morgan, yet you've given us Airk's empty husk. You might pull off more terror and hopelessness if you opened this more in Airk's POV.
I think I'm in love with ril...
If the POV can be fixed, I actually like this start.
This is endearingly gruesome, and if it continues like this, and you don't shoot your bolt early on, I'd read on.
I concur that the POV isn't watertight.
Don't think you need "He felt..alone" and "her stench...perfume" - reads like overkill and reduces impact. Use them later, perhaps?
Actually, this opening sounds like it would fit right in to one of the Darkyn, Black Dagger Brotherhood or other paranormal vampire series--assuming our tortured hero gets rescued or gets away shortly. I think it was well written and I liked the style of it. It's really not that gross compared to blood-spewing horror novels I've read and promptly put down.
And Whirlochre, you are a sick, sick puppy. I was eating when I read your continuation. My bad!
Writtenwyrd - I was eating when I wrote it...
WO, I will never let you cook for me. ;)
A single cut is more suspenseful than a neat row of slices. After a row of slices, the victim is not going to be paying attention to what's said while he's writhing, whereas after just one cut, the victim (and the reader) will be all tensed up waiting for the next pass.
Moderation is good, even in torture.
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