Dare to Read

The Revenge of the Wolf King

They talk in whispers around me as we do around the dead, out of respect, I guess, or out of fear that our words would bring them back. But I’m not dead. I hear them and could, if I so choose, answer the ladies’ questions and join them among the living. Instead, I block their voices and retreat inside my mind, to Father’s room, to the moment I first saw Mother’s broken body lying still against the wall, and the King’s guards, dragging Nowan away.

“He killed the queen,” Father says.

His laborious breathing is in my ear, his hands heavy on my arms, restraining me as if he fears that, left unchecked, I would run to him, to the boy who just killed Mother. But his fears are unfounded. I will not protect Nowan. Not after what happened this morning, not after I learned his love for me was but a lie.

I follow Nowan with my eyes. There’s blood on his white shirt, blood on his hands, and a stream of blood runs from his nose, but there is no hate in his eyes now, no will to kill, only despair.

I tear my eyes from him and run towards the hearth, towards the place where Mother lies, calling her name.

“I should have killed him,” Father says, his voice hoarse with hate. “I should have killed him long ago, the day he first defied me.”

I hold Mother’s body in my arms, so foreign already in the stillness of death, and wish he had.


  1. This is certainly engaging!

    First-person present tense is an alien viewpoint to me in some ways. My own writing style adheres comfortably to third-person or first-person past tense. But in the real world our lives are acted out in the Now. Especially from the first-person vantage point, there is a level of tension attained in present tense story telling that cannot be matched in the more common past tense approach; if a person is remembering what happened, readers naturally assume the narrator lived through those events.

    I’ll stick with the tenses I already wield for the time being. My work-in-progress is a film-noir style private eye yarn; the protagonist is supposed to make it to the end (everybody else, fair game). However, you and others have started me wondering.

    After all, which tense am I writing in right now?

    Comment by doombirdsaerie — June 17, 2011 @ 10:50 am | Reply

    • Hi Doombird,

      First person present tense is also new for me. I only used it in this story in one chapter.

      I’m glad to hear you like it.

      Good luck with your writing.

      Comment by carmenferreiroesteban — June 17, 2011 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  2. I absolutely love first person! I’ve just started writing myself and its whats easiest/most comfortable for the moment with me.

    And The Revenge of the Wolf King excerpt sounds awesome! Is it YA or adult fiction? Either way it sounds great!

    Comment by Katey — August 10, 2011 @ 2:38 am | Reply

    • Hi Katey,

      I agree. First person gets me in the mind of the protagonist and so it’s easier to write from his or her point of view.

      The Revenge of the Wolf King is YA.

      Good luck with your writing.

      Comment by carmenferreiroesteban — August 10, 2011 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  3. […] You may read the first page of  The Revenge of the Wold King here: https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/carmens/requiem-for-a-king/ […]

    Pingback by The Revenge of the Wolf King « Dare to Read — October 30, 2011 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

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