From Curse of the Black Swan:
The Dark scratched at the worn, dusty boards. Long, chipped nails. It wanted out. It always wanted out. I kept that damned door in my head locked and chained but that wasnt much of a comforting thought. The Dark navigated every labyrinth I threw at it, every obstacle that I could to keep it away. No matter how far I ran, it was always there. A robber wanting to hijack the train. I had finally come to accept that the only thing stopping it were those meager locks and that old warped door.
Now, with my head lolling on my shoulders, I smelled the foul breath of the Dark. I could say that it smelled like death, but death had so many smells. There was the smell when a body swelled in the sun like an oversized sausage, waiting for the time when it would split along a seam, entrails streaming from the body in a cascade of offal. Or the smell at the moment of passing; the death-crap the nurse maids called it. The bowels released, a foulness imprisoned for an entire lifetime spewed in a brown slop.
The Dark smelt more like after-death. Not yet bloated, but more than recently deceased. When I was four, just around the time when memories ripened and became permanent, I was locked in the shed with the corpses. A lesson, they had told me. Some lesson. That smell it soaked into the wood, the rugs, my clothing. Even my pores. Took weeks to rid myself of it. Except it was always there with me in my memories. Never able to forget it. Kind of like the Dark. I actually wondered if maybe the Dark took that smell because of the power it had over me. The wash of emotions, the jumble of memories of the slaughter.
The twisted nails clicked at the locks. Wondered if the locks were strong enough. On bad days, I sometimes forgot to lock all of them. The Dark liked those days, playing around the edges, touching, caressing, teasing. Today, despite my beating, the locks were fastened. I knew all I had to do was unlock the door. Let the Dark roam free. Let it into the world and the Pariahs would be gone. Wiped away.
Open the door, it said. The Dark didnt have a mouth. Didnt have eyes either, but that didnt prevent it from staring directly through me. It was just there, pulsing with its malevolence like a spiders sac of eggs. Ready to burst.
The Pariahs didnt understand. How could they? All they knew was that someone had tried to cross them. Someone had tried to steal five crates of DragonRoot.
Get away, I slurred. There was a bag over my head. I saw silhouettes floating around me and I worried that they might crack me across the back of the head again. Worried that if they did that, the Dark would break down the door. Or worse, that I would unlock it. The last time that had happened well, I didnt want to dwell on that.
Open the door, it said again.
Leave me alone. I wasnt sure if I thought the words or if they slipped from my mouth.
Hes coming to. A real voice.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
I focused on the physical sensations. The real sensations. My legs, unable to move. My feet, dragging behind me. I tried pulling them up under me but they slid away as if I were a newborn calf. Hands under my arm pits. The clack of footfalls on stone.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
I pulled against my captors but their grip was too strong. My weakness, however, mustve been brought on by more than just a sap to the back of the head. Drugged.
Let me out! the Dark yelled.
I winced. I didnt like when the Dark yelled. Fists pounded against the boards, dirt bouncing.
Hit him again, the voice said. Calm. Efficient. No emotion. Had to be wary of that one.
A crunch. Realized it was the back of my skull that made that terrible sound. Theyve crushed it. Broken my head. Worse, it was the sound of the door breaking. The Dark was there. Slathering. Roaring at me.
No! A silent scream. I met the Dark in the recesses of my mind. Couldnt let it out. This wasnt Cresek-Tawn and I wasnt about to let that happen again. But the Pariahs were weakening me.
Hes still awake.
Of course he is. You hit him too high. Down here. Lower.
I felt my brains leak along my shoulders.
The second time, my assailant got it right, hitting me along the base of the neck. There was no crunch or explosion of lights. Only black.