An excerpt from the first novel in the Legend of Rhyme series, Elora of Stone
With one grimy green hand, Grimblerod reaches up into the thin white roots of the plants above. His other hand steadies the candle near eye level. The roots are twisted in knots, curling into each other, clinging to the dirt like tiny gnarled fists. Grimblerod pinches two long dirty fingers around a juicy grub.
Bringing his fingers to his face, Grimblerod studies the grub more closely in the candlelight. Satisfied with his prize, he pulls a leather drawstring pouch from the pocket of his tattered trousers and plops the grub inside.
Grimblerod’s stomach twists with hunger, but he has work to do. His candle is close to burning out, and beads of melted wax drip onto his hand leaving bumpy yellow trails along his skin. He has just enough light to get to the opening in the tree.
He grunts as he trudges along, piercing the deafening silence with snorts and other impolite sounds. Once he reaches the opening, Grimblerod blows out his candle and sets it down. He then shimmies his fat little body up a slender brown root into the fresh night air.
After surfacing, Grimblerod shields his eyes against the light of the full moon. Instinctively, he checks his feet, ensuring that he is still in goblin form.
The sound of crickets drowns out his rumbling stomach, and the glow of the moon guides him through the dark.
A thick, white mist creeps along, hiding him from sight. A gentle breeze rustles the leaves on the giant tree making them tremble in the night.
As he waddles along, an owl cries out in the dark. One might say it was a warning to the villagers of Rhyme of the evil acts about to occur.
It is the type of setting the best nightmares start with, and tonight, a mother’s most unspeakable dream will come true.