I’ve decided to press on in turning my Seventh Circle comic concept into a novel as a writing exercise, starting with this short prologue:
Dirk sat at his regular table, just like he had done almost every night since he first came to the city over twenty years ago. Except tonight, there was to be no talk of revenge or discussions about who was murdering who. He was saying goodbye for what might be the last time, and if he was going to place the care of his bloody crusade into the hands of the woman sitting in front of him, he had to be sure she was worthy, and that she understood what the stakes were
“I remember everything that happened that day clearly”, said Dirk as he loaded up the chamber of his revolver. “Even now, after everything we’ve been through I can still recall the terror I felt when I first woke as a dead man. You never forget something like that and the feeling of dread burrowing in the pit of my stomach has stayed with me for ever since. It’s that same surge of fear, that punch to the soul we all feel whenever we reach the conclusion that one day, all of us, will die”.
“Why are you telling me this?” replied the woman, leaning forward with wide, frightened eyes.
“So that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. I need to be sure you understand what I’ve done before I can show you the things I’ve seen. To do that I need to go back to the day our revolution started. New year’s day”.
“What exactly did you see?” she asked meekly, eyes glazing over as the realisation that something was dreadfully wrong began to sink in.
“I’ve seen the land beyond,” Dirk replied as he slammed the chamber of his gun into place with purpose, “and what I saw was beautiful”.
“Please don’t do this. I need you. We all need you”.
“If you’re lucky, maybe I’ll take you there”.
He began to recount the events of his time in the city. Both strange and dark it was a hotbed of misery and injustice, but if a person was strong enough – if she was strong enough – it could become a place free of fear. Dirk’s story contradicted all sense of reason and plausibility, but unknown to the woman a war was set into motion and the outcome ended with her. She’d have to bear the safety of The Fallen on her shoulders or risk becoming yet another wayward soul. Their fate was now in her hands and hers alone.
Because as soon as Dirk’s story was finished, he was going to leave the room calmly and walk to his death for a third time. It wouldn’t be the last time either but she didn’t know that. She couldn’t