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Beware of the Light (Prologue)

by Moonglade


Drip. Drip. Drip. The water cried out as it hit the floor, hardly wetting the knobbly, white walls. He stared at the dripping drops of water watching as they fell silently through the air. A silent, painful echo resounded through his skull each time they finally hit the ground. He stared at the bright white light that hung above him encircling him in the middle of the bed. A burning red hatred rose from the tips of his toes and through his chest. His throat tightened as it rose to his head. His chest heaved slowly up and down as he took deep, angry breaths. He clenched his toes and bent his knees. Readying himself. He jumped up in an explosion of hatred. An unexplainable, uncontrollable hatred. His legs flung in the air as he grabbed for the light viciously. Trying to tear it out and kill it. Make it pain and make it bleed. So he could do a wild animal dance above its lifeless corpse. He sprung up again, his long fingernails scratching the thin glass of the lightbulb. The light sparked out as the bulb shattered, spraying glass all around him. He heard feet running through the hallway outside. Coming closer and closer to his cell. They ran past the door and stood on the other side of the blurred window. He made out the three black shadows with their burning red eyes peering in. Looking for him. Was this another nightmare? They said to ignore them. Forget about them. But they hurt him. And scared him. The shadows moved closer. Trying to find him in the pitch-black room. One of his dirty hands wrapped around his arm and his long fingernails dug deeply into his skin. Pressing and squeezing harder and harder. He moaned and groaned softly, enjoying the feeling of his self inflicted pain. His head thudded as he tried to remember if he knew whoever was out there. He could hear them talking outside. Saying something he couldn’t hear. All of a sudden an absolute quiet descended upon the hallway. “Where is he?” 

The thin, childish voice repeated in his head as his ears rang shrilly. “Where is he?” 

The voice was now deep and unnatural. Unsettling. Maybe even spine chilling. The shadows squirmed. Their black forms writhing silently. “Where is he!” 

Their squeaky wails filled the room. It felt like a hot iron was laminating the skin on his ear. Melting his eardrums into a hot, stinging wax. Clumps of hair came out in his hands. His eyes teared up from the pain. Through the salty tears, he could see an orange glow. A red, hot flame spread across the wall. Its fiery tongues licking the grey concrete bricks. They blackened and burned. Crumbling to the ground in a grey, dusty soot that spread across the room in a dirty fog. His loose hair slipped from his hands and swirled into the storm of debris as he fell to the ground. His body bounced across the floor limply. Gliding along the cold, smooth tiles. His numb, paralysed body finally stopped as his head banged painfully into a fallen brick. He clamped his eyes shut. His body screamed in unbelievable pain. A white light flashed in front of his lidded eyes. “No,” he screamed, “No, no, no!”

He wanted to claw out his eyes and watch as they rolled along the floor. A red nerve sticking out behind them like a tail. The dazzling light disappeared and he opened his eyes. The only sound he could hear was the crackle of a burning fire. He choked on the dirty air as he tucked his shirt over his mouth and nose. And as he lay on the ground struggling to breathe one of the shadows walked through the flames and into the room. It was a boy with dark black hair and a thin, starved body. Their eyes met and the boy walked towards him. The fire followed him. Almost as if he was guiding it. “No! No, no, no!” 

The boy continued walking toward him, ignoring his desperate cries. He tried to move, but it felt like someone was holding him down. “Welcome this mercy,” said the boy in a deep voice that seemed too mature for his size. He watched as the flame smouldered. “Join me in heaven.” Spraying glowing ash as he continued to walk towards him. “Come to the flames.”

“No, no, no! You’re not real! You’re not real!” 

The orange and yellow flames jumped through the air. Striking the roof with their shimmering arms. He watched as the boy walked still closer towards him. The flames collided with his body in a fiery mirage. He opened his dry, red eyes. He could see a golden shining forest in which the trees had bright, glowing shadows. And upon their boughs were balls of fire sitting upon the branches like bright red apples. A golden shining forest in which his body burned. The boy spun around to face him. A black cold darkness surrounded the boy. Blocking out the trees’ burning shadows. The darkness closed around him as the boy’s gaunt body wrapped around him. He tried to speak, but his throat felt like it was alight. The boy’s face lifted in an almost invisible smile. “It’s so good to see you-” 

He felt the hands wrapped around his back start to loosen. He watched as his body fell through the boy’s arms and into a deep, dark void. A deep, dark, empty void. He couldn’t see anything. Not the twinkle of a star. Not a light at the top. There was nothing around him just never-ending, perpetual darkness. He couldn’t feel his own body. There was no sensation of falling. But he knew he was falling. He couldn’t explain how, but he knew. Maybe it was just a voice. The voice of a boy too slim and small to fit. “Come back! Come back, please! Hold my hand! I’ll pull you back!” He shut his eyes hoping he would just wake up.


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Fri May 13, 2022 11:48 am
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PaigeFantasy wrote a review...



hi, this story seems intriguing! i love the personification, it’s a nice touch to it. and i LOVE the feels i get from this.
i feel bad for him though. the pain and anger he seems to be going through. wanting to claw at his eyes, his head banging into a brick, etc. what’s happened to make him like this?
and the personification kind of adds to the creepy feels. as soon as the story began we were greeted with a personification. i like that!
good job with this prologue, and i’m definitely reading more soon. :)




Moonglade says...


Thank you so much Paige

I couldn%u2019t really tell you what happened because this is a sneak peek to what happens after everything in the book. I%u2019m really happy you enjoyed it!



PaigeFantasy says...


oh alright!



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Tue Mar 29, 2022 12:45 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

This was certainly a very interesting prologue to a novel. I liked how you maintained a certain amount of vagueness about the character, plot and setting of the story.

This prologue served to create the atmosphere and set the tone of the story pretty well. It's of course on e of the main duties of a prologue. As it seems to me, the atmosphere is kind of going to be very dark. I didn't get one single bit of happiness out there. And if I am not very wrong, the character is afraid of light because light shows that someone is coming and he doesn't like that.

I do wonder a bit about what really happened in this prologue. Like somehow it didn't seem real to me, it didn't seem like it was happening in real time. The trees casting burning shadows and all... I of course do understand that a fictional story can have supernatural and magical things happening but somehow it gave me a feeling as if the MC was dreaming. And the last line indeed adds to that. But I don't know how a person can know that they are dreaming when they are dreaming. Don't know if my assumption is correct though, we will see.

There's one thing which caught my eye right away— the length of the paragraphs. I would say to shorten the length of the paragraphs. They kind of appear to be extra long to me. Short paragraphs are easier to read.

Overall, I think this was a pretty good prologue that can intrigue the reader to read the first chapter. I will get to the first chapter very soon.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever




Moonglade says...


Thank you for taking the time to review, Forever

Small spoiler alert (But it will help you understand what is going on):
Spoiler! :
The main character John is an undiagnosed Schizophrenic caused by trauma experienced at a young age. I think the whole point of the book is to turn the horror genre on its head and say that in the dark even my own desk chair can be a monster but in the light, everything is so real, everything so horrible.





I will certainly be shortening the paragraphs, my plan for the next draft plus major revisions to include my research as some of the concepts need a working knowledge behind them.

Have a fantastic day
Lehmanf





You're welcome!

And I guess I will not read the spoiler, it's fun to discover things while reading the story :)



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Wed Mar 02, 2022 6:05 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi lehmanf,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you, I'm just working through my list of texts I still want to read and review.

So let's start with the review. At first glance, something catches my eye very well; that is the atmosphere. You manage really well to give a certain but also vague mood and I find that really fitting for the prologue. You build up questions and a certain basic mood and thus awaken an extraordinary tension in the reader.

Above all, I like how you manage to make everything "more colourful" with vivid and detailed descriptions, which creates a real and clear picture in the mind.

There is one thing I am divided about: your sentence structure alternates between long and short. On the one hand, I like it a lot because it's a very good way of building tension, but at the same time I'm not so happy about it because it's a very frequently used device and I think maybe I should just rewrite it a little bit to convey tension in a different way than through the short sentences. That's where I would advise you to maybe continue to be vague in order to maintain a certain level of rigour without the story, as you've built it, falling out of the basic framework.

Another thing that comes to me from the structure is your sections. I would make those a little smaller, or split them, because they're a little too big. Other than that, though, everything seems pretty solid!

Other points I noticed while reading:

He stared at the dripping drops of water watching as they fell silently through the air.

You have a very powerful beginning with your first section and I think that comes mainly from the atmosphere you create. I just think that with "dripping drops" you bend this dark atmosphere a bit. I would recommend that you just write "falling drops" to keep the drama.

So he could do a wild animal dance above its lifeless corpse.

Again, the problem is a bit like before. But of course it's just my opinion, but with the "wild animal dance" it makes me smile a little. At least I smiled there. :D I would maybe remove the "dance" and just write that he prances around the lifeless body like a wild animal.

“Where is he!” 

Just a tiny typo. Do you need a ?? We got some, here you go. (?)

In summary, you create a really good atmosphere with the prologue. You leave the reader with some questions and bring us into the middle of the action. Oh, and I would advise you to maybe at least give your stories an age rating so it's filed correctly. :D

Have fun writing!

Mailice




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Sat Jan 22, 2022 9:06 pm
MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Hey, Andrew here with your harsh review!
First impression:
The metaphorical language is strong here, and the prologue reads like some strange fever dream (either to your advantage or disadvantage) it has some quite horrifying imagery, and I'm not entirely sure if that's to its advantage.
In my opinion, I think you are overusing horror and (all be it well written) pain to substitute for interest. The nightmarish quality of this chapter doesn't particularly interest me, nor make me want to read on, but that might just be me!
The grammar is a bit messy, and I would advise editing that, and overall, this chapter is so confusing. It actually does little to communicate anything about our characters or our worlds, besides that horror should be expected, and this seems to be a concerning place to live

Into specifics

Drip. Drip. Drip. The water cried out as it hit the floor, hardly wetting the knobbly, white walls.

You would be quoting the water, so I think it would make the most sense to put it in some form of quotation marks, and this period should be a comma to make "The water cried out" Grammatically correct, something to the effect of
"Drip, drip drip," the water cried out

As far as an opening paragraph goes, it's well written.
He stared at the bright white light that hung above him, encircling him in the middle of the bed

An example of the grammar again, this should be split into two sentences or a comma added where the bold comma is.


A burning red hatred rose from the tips of his toes and through his chest. His throat tightened as it rose to his head. His chest heaved slowly up and down as he took deep, angry breaths.[/b]
An evocative description of anger.
Pressing and squeezing harder and harder. He moaned and groaned softly, enjoying the feeling of his self-inflicted pain.

This sentence kinda pushes it over the edge, I'd advise making this chapter have an age warning of at least 12, cuz this is some pretty dark stuff.
But, I have no idea why I'm reading this. Generally, I read stories because I like the characters, want to see them through, or I'm interested in the premise.
At this point, there is no characters we like, or premise presented, or even a hint of light. I see no reason as a reader to endure this darkness and pain, besides the interest factor - which I have found runs out rather quickly in the uncaring reader. There are a lot of good books out there, why read one which is painful and gives no immediate suggestion of relief or interest?

The voice was now deep and unnatural. Unsettling. Maybe even spine chilling. The shadows squirmed. Their black forms writhing silently. “Where is he!
This should be a question mark, even if it is yelled, it is still a question.

Overall, I'd say upon finishing the chapter I still don't know why I *should* care, I am guessing this is some type of delusion or dream, if so, none of this information is to be trusted. It seems the main purpose of this chapter seems to be to communicate that our main character is in PAIN, which I think can be done without going through such pains (hehe)on the writers or the readers part.
But that's just my two cents!
As I said, well-done prose needs a bit of grammar editing, but there's definitely potential. I would say I might consider dropping the prologue as a whole since it doesn't seem to do much.
Thanks, and keep writing,
Andrew




Moonglade says...


Hello Andrew,

Doing my best to take it with a pinch of salt so I really hope I'm not being rude.

This chapter as you said is a vision. (Spoilers included.)

Spoiler! :
The prologue was written to be purposefully vague. All I can say is that he's started having visions, later he goes mad and the visions get worse. I almost didn't mean to reveal anything about the characters. It is pretty hard to convey the feelings of an insane person, not really knowing what happens in their brain. He has a big problem with light after his ordeal, he's highly unstable and is, unfortunately, using self-harm as a coping method.


You might read the first chapter, which isn't perfect, but it might give you a sense of what this is. Rather than being a prologue that answers all your questions I want this prologue to make you ask questions. One of my favourite series, when I was a little younger, was the Middle School series. James Patterson would open the book with a prologue about zombies trying to break in and get the character in his Australian book for example. I would be hooked and find out later it was just a crowd of people and the main character had made a lot of nonsense. I'll reread and edit the prologue once I have the time, but thank you for your review.



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Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:55 pm
StormyZSnifter wrote a review...



Hi! Wow! This is really impressive. I especially love the use of figurative language in this prologue, and how it is displayed from the get-go regarding the drop of water. The words and vocabulary are extraordinarily effective, and do a great job of setting the dark, abysmal mood. The descriptions and the dialogue are well executed as well, particularly regarding the main character's pain. This is extremely well-written!




Moonglade says...


Thank you so much, Stormy!



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Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:30 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This was a really powerful little scene here and I think it does its job as a prologue really well here. It managed to hook me quite early on and then kept me hooked until the very end not to mention, there are just so many questions you end up asking here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Drip. Drip. Drip. The water cried out as it hit the floor, hardly wetting the knobbly, white walls. He stared at the dripping drops of water watching as they fell silently through the air. A silent, painful echo resounded through his skull each time they finally hit the ground. He stared at the bright white light that hung above him encircling him in the middle of the bed. A burning red hatred rose from the tips of his toes and through his chest. His throat tightened as it rose to his head. His chest heaved slowly up and down as he took deep, angry breaths. He clenched his toes and bent his knees. Readying himself. He jumped up in an explosion of hatred. An unexplainable, uncontrollable hatred. His legs flung in the air as he grabbed for the light viciously. Trying to tear it out and kill it. Make it pain and make it bleed. So he could do a wild animal dance above its lifeless corpse. He sprung up again, his long fingernails scratching the thin glass of the lightbulb. The light sparked out as the bulb shattered, spraying glass all around him. He heard feet running through the hallway outside. Coming closer and closer to his cell. They ran past the door and stood on the other side of the blurred window. He made out the three black shadows with their burning red eyes peering in. Looking for him. Was this another nightmare? They said to ignore them. Forget about them. But they hurt him. And scared him. The shadows moved closer. Trying to find him in the pitch-black room. One of his dirty hands wrapped around his arm and his long fingernails dug deeply into his skin. Pressing and squeezing harder and harder. He moaned and groaned softly, enjoying the feeling of his self inflicted pain. His head thudded as he tried to remember if he knew whoever was out there. He could hear them talking outside. Saying something he couldn’t hear. All of a sudden an absolute quiet descended upon the hallway. “Where is he?”


Well this is quite a dramatic start here. I don't believe I've run into something quite like this one before. We've got ourselves a very intriguing setting being built up here with this description and then the lightest sense of mystery being ever so slowly introduced there. You're doing a really good of building that whole situation up here.

The thin, childish voice repeated in his head as his ears rang shrilly. “Where is he?”

The voice was now deep and unnatural. Unsettling. Maybe even spine chilling. The shadows squirmed. Their black forms writhing silently. “Where is he!”

Their squeaky wails filled the room. It felt like a hot iron was laminating the skin on his ear. Melting his eardrums into a hot, stinging wax. Clumps of hair came out in his hands. His eyes teared up from the pain. Through the salty tears, he could see an orange glow. A red, hot flame spread across the wall. Its fiery tongues licking the grey concrete bricks. They blackened and burned. Crumbling to the ground in a grey, dusty soot that spread across the room in a dirty fog. His loose hair slipped from his hands and swirled into the storm of debris as he fell to the ground. His body bounced across the floor limply. Gliding along the cold, smooth tiles. His numb, paralysed body finally stopped as his head banged painfully into a fallen brick. He clamped his eyes shut. His body screamed in unbelievable pain. A white light flashed in front of his lidded eyes. “No,” he screamed, “No, no, no!”


Well the excitement is certainly only going up with each passing moment here. The description of that voice adds an extra creepy quality to that whole situation, and that coupled with the description of pain that follows makes for a truly powerful scene here and as a reader I'm pretty much on the edge of my seat here as this continues.

He wanted to claw out his eyes and watch as they rolled along the floor. A red nerve sticking out behind them like a tail. The dazzling light disappeared and he opened his eyes. The only sound he could hear was the crackle of a burning fire. He choked on the dirty air as he tucked his shirt over his mouth and nose. And as he lay on the ground struggling to breathe one of the shadows walked through the flames and into the room. It was a boy with dark black hair and a thin, starved body. Their eyes met and the boy walked towards him. The fire followed him. Almost as if he was guiding it. “No! No, no, no!”

The boy continued walking toward him, ignoring his desperate cries. He tried to move, but it felt like someone was holding him down. “Welcome this mercy,” said the boy in a deep voice that seemed too mature for his size. He watched as the flame smouldered. “Join me in heaven.” Spraying glowing ash as he continued to walk towards him. “Come to the flames.”

“No, no, no! You’re not real! You’re not real!”


Oooh well things are certainly getting very interesting here with this particular turn of events. It is hard to judge exactly what is happening because there is a slight lack of context, but I think that works almost in this story's favor as it now introduces and even more powerful sense of mystery into the situation making this scene even more powerful than just those emotions and pure pain on display.

The orange and yellow flames jumped through the air. Striking the roof with their shimmering arms. He watched as the boy walked still closer towards him. The flames collided with his body in a fiery mirage. He opened his dry, red eyes. He could see a golden shining forest in which the trees had bright, glowing shadows. And upon their boughs were balls of fire sitting upon the branches like bright red apples. A golden shining forest in which his body burned. The boy spun around to face him. A black cold darkness surrounded the boy. Blocking out the trees’ burning shadows. The darkness closed around him as the boy’s gaunt body wrapped around him. He tried to speak, but his throat felt like it was alight. The boy’s face lifted in an almost invisible smile. “It’s so good to see you-”

He felt the hands wrapped around his back start to loosen. He watched as his body fell through the boy’s arms and into a deep, dark void. A deep, dark, empty void. He couldn’t see anything. Not the twinkle of a star. Not a light at the top. There was nothing around him just never-ending, perpetual darkness. He couldn’t feel his own body. There was no sensation of falling. But he knew he was falling. He couldn’t explain how, but he knew. Maybe it was just a voice. The voice of a boy too slim and small to fit. “Come back! Come back, please! Hold my hand! I’ll pull you back!” He shut his eyes hoping he would just wake up.


Well that is quite some ending there. I think it works out pretty well with the idea of this being a prologue here. Its got more than enough there not just to pull a reader in but also leave enough questions within the reader's mind to make the reader want to read on and find out more.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think we've got a really well executed prologue right here. It certainly makes you want to read more of this piece and it in itself was quite the experience to read here.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Moonglade says...


Thank you so much for your review, Harry! It really means a lot to me and I%u2019m so excited you like it!



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! :D



Moonglade says...


Hi Harry,

Can I ask you about one of my worries? Do you think my prologue is too long?



HarryHardy says...


Heyy,

Uhh...I don't think so. I've definitely seen much longer prologues. If you feel like maybe you have too much information or something like that, maybe it could be shorter, but I don't get any sense that it goes on for too long.



Moonglade says...


Thank you, Harry. I just wanted an opinion as a lot of books have very small prologues.



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!

Ahh...honestly most books I tend to read have massive prologues, but I know what you mean.



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Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:51 am
YP@17 says...



Hi,
It is great prologue,
great start mysterical, descriptive as well.
It is immersive as well.
I am not reviewer but as a reader I really liked it.
.I am quite interested in reading the next chapter.
so, let me know when you post another chapter.
Best of luck, as well.




Moonglade says...


Hello YP@17,

Thank you for the great comment. It really boosts my confidence. I%u2019ve had my parents and grandparents read and a few schoolmates, then my English teacher. Later someone who had a chat with me about authors and books and lastly a Dutch pen pal. They all said that it was good or that I have to keep writing and finish it. But, I%u2019m so happy that someone I don%u2019t know who had no need to congratulate me and had every right to send me back to the drawing board actually liked it.

Grateful thanks,
Frances




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