I know I said I was going to kill the project, and I did, for a bit, but then I started working on other things and got myself through a few other books, but eventually circled back around. After I killed the project, I started thinking of what might bring it back. I assumed that it might be a complete re-write, but that wasn’t necessary. What I did instead was add another concept into the pile. A trickster. After listening to Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, it became clear that a trickster character of some sort would go a long way in being the agent of change necessary to move the characters and story forward. Anyhow, I did come up with something and wrote a tiny prologue, almost so short you couldn’t call it a prologue. Here it is:
Under the gloom of a sky that seemed to know only two tricks, both involving heavy cloud cover, an errant swirl of air beat it’s way around the edges of a lake so dead and clear, every rock and muck covered log could be seen upon it’s bed. The spinning current of air slowed then suddenly intensified, picking up sticks and stones and all manner of leaf litter in an eddy that coalesced them into the figure of a man. It paced the shore for a moment and flung an arm out over the water. A stone separated from the figure and skipped across the glass-like surface raising ripples from a dozen impact points. The ripples spread out, joining together and by degrees, the image of a woman formed on the lake, as if it were a mirror.
If the swirling mass of man-shaped forest debris could properly smile, it would have. A voice made from the rustling of leaves and creaking of limbs poured into the gnarled glade. “Your time is near, dear jailer. What fun we will have when you can no longer keep me pinned in this forsaken lifeless valley.”
The ripples on the lake calmed, returning to a state of glass-like stillness, and the forest debris dropped to the ground, leaving the disturbed bit of air to once again worry around the shores of the lake.