The following is the new prologue to my book, The Art of Defense, first published in 2003. I'm rewriting it because the initial contract has expired and I'm marketing it again. I would love for any and all comments to help me make it better! Thank you!
The slave camp was buzzing with nervous anxiety. A scared mother held her child desperately, clinging to every last chance that her offspring would not end up a slave like she was. Despite the fact that she already knew the answer to it all…that her child was being taken away from her, she fought back her tears and her fear.
“Not my baby,” she breathed.
Her husband, still in Lord Serpent’s mines, was no help at this time. Even if he had been with her, he would have been powerless to stop The Hoard. Those ghastly, ruthless henchmen would stop at nothing in their quest for the newest harvest of slave labor. She knew that, and her neighbors knew that. There was no hope. She would have to suffer through the reality she was about to face.
A banging sound at the door to her meager living quarters…it was time. She jumped at the pounding on the door post and grabbed her child closer still to her side. Her mind raced through options, including everything from running out the back window to trying to hid the child under the rotten floorboards. It didn’t matter. The Hoard could smell a child that was no longer innocent. They would tear the simple little shack apart to find him. Yet as the banging grew louder, her mind spun with any possible action remaining.
Suddenly, the door caved in and three members of the Hoard burst through, throwing the door aside as they stomped into the shack, their heavy boots smashing onto the floor as they instinctively marched toward her as she desperately tried to become smaller.
One of them ripped her son from her arms, tearing one of her shoulders from the socket in the process. He quickly tossed the child to a waiting Hoard member and snorted as he turned to leave. The third member walked up to her and snorted also, staring deep into her soul, reminding her that she was still a slave of the Empire, and that they could do whatever they wanted. Then he growled and stormed out of the shack as violently as he and his comrades had entered.
The mother, cold and hurting, slumped further into the floor, knowing that all was lost. Yet she also knew that she would be back in the cold, dark mines tomorrow. Was there no rescue?