Notte Snippet: The Conscience Blooms

From my current WIP, Notte. As usual, it’s unedited, so read at your own risk. 🙂

For context: this is the first time this character has been capable of such realization.


So this was the world. I’d been too grief-filled to see, to hear. Suddenly, I realized just how much talking everybody did, all the time. It had meant nothing to me before, simply noise, the same as wind in the trees or the babble of streams. Now, everything was different, because this noise meant things.

Family and finance, food sources, rumors of war, fears of weather-change and the encroach of neighbors, the difficulty of arable land, the expense of animals, nonsense about whether the roads were better as they were, or if someone should be paid to fix them, whispered wonder about the royal city to the south and the wonderful lives the wealthy must live there.

Plus sex. An awful, terrible, disturbing amount of sex.

It was all wondrous to me.

People suddenly seemed alive, doing, growing, thriving, becoming, and it was as I listened to two old men in the bath beside me discussing their fears of greedy heirs and too few chickens that I realized: when they died, it mattered.

When I killed them, it mattered.

When my Beast took full sway and I destroyed as much as I fed, it mattered.

Their lives would stop. Their growth would stop. Their meaning, purpose, existence… would stop.

I cried out, suddenly frantic, suddenly overwhelmed with the weight of the thousands I had slaughtered, unknowing and uncaring, as Asellus desperately tried to keep me from running away.

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