In Terminus, author Paul Melhuish introduces us to monstrous beasts, grotesque parodies of nature. The anti-hero of the book’s title has to confront many of these terrifying creatures, but I think the one being who terrifies him most is a human woman, called Naomi. He doesn’t fear that she will suck his blood out or paralyse him and lay her eggs inside his living flesh. No, there’s something about her that scares him more than that…
Here’s an extract from the novel…
Without thinking he took her hand and they dashed down the slope toward the building, a small grass-house used by mammal farmers for grass storage. The storm roared above and Terminus felt every strand on his head become inflamed with power as a huge crackle of lightning bounced across the underside of the clouds. The rain began to fall. Heavy drops of warm water lashed them, soaking them in moments.
They burst through the wooden door of the grass-house, and threw themselves into the dry interior. Naomi started laughing, Terminus frowned but then saw how soaked she was and he started laughing too. They were still both laughing as they tried to wring their robes out. It was futile. Still laughing, she faced him and ran her fingers through his wet hair playfully.
‘In the Creator’s name, you’re soaked!’
‘Well, so are you. Your strands are wringing!’ He ran his fingers through her wet hair, and then realized that she was standing very close. As he continued to wring her long hair, her hand moved down to his face. She wasn’t laughing now; she was scanning his gaze. Terminus knew what this meant. He’d been in moments like this before, but never with a girl who had occupied his mind so much. She moved closer to him. Outside the lightning cracked again. Simultaneously their lips touched and for a few brief seconds Terminus was lost in her kiss, his mind silenced.
The second book of the Skyfire Chronicles, Unauthorized Contact, will be launched at Fantasycon 2012