Ellen Stuttle Posted December 21, 2005 Share Posted December 21, 2005 Excerpt from Titus Groan, first volume in the Gormenghast series. Steerpike is headed toward performing a dastardly deed.---Chapter: Thirty-EightSteerpike's return to the castle's heart was rapid and purposeful.A pale sun like a ball of pollen was hung aloft an empty and fadedsky, and as he sped below it his shadow sped with him, rippling overthe cobbles of great squares, or cruising alongside, upright, whereat his elbow the lit and attentuate walls threw back the pallid light.For all that within its boundaries, this shadow held nothing but theuniform blackness of its tone, yet it seemed every whit as predatoryand meaningful as the body that cast it - the body that with so manyaids to expressiveness within the moving outline, from the pallorof the young man and the dark red colour of his eyes, to the indefinableexpressions of lip and eye, was drawing nearer at ever step to a trystof his own making.The sun was blocked away. For a few minutes the shadow disappearedlike the evil dream of some sleeper who on waking finds the substanceof his nightmare standing beside his bed - for *Steerpike* was there,turning the corners, threading the masses, gliding down slopes of stoneor flights of rotten wood. And yet it was strange that with all thevibrancy that lay packed within the margins of his frame, yet his shadowwhen it reappeared reaffirmed its self-sufficiency and richness as ascabbard for malignity. Why should this be - why with certain slenderproportions and certain tricks of movement should a sense of darknessbe evoked? Shadows more terrible and grotesque than Steerpike's gaveno such feeling. They moved across their walls bloated or spidery witha comparative innocence. It was as though a shadow had a heart - a heartwhere blood was drawn from the margins of a world of less substance thanair. A world of darkness whose very existence depended upon its enemy,the light.And there it was, there it slid, this particular shadow - from wall towall, from floor to floor, the shoulders a little high, but not unduly,the head cocked, not to one or other side, but forward. In an open spaceit paled as it moved over dried earth, for the sun weakened - and then itfainted away altogether as the fringe of a cloud half the size of the skymoved over the sun.___ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now