Last time, I presented a first draft cut of a scene. This time, I bring you the same moment in the story, but with somewhat revised imagery. I mentioned before I was riffing on Cthulu… the other thing you need to know is why the change. It’s a matter of context. The scene is a dream sequence of sorts, so the tentacles do tie in to what’s going on to the character… problem with the first draft version is that he’s not actually anywhere near water. I thought it was cool when I wrote it (still do, which is why I put it up here a couple of weeks ago), but as the water sequence was a disconnect from the rest of the story, here is how I revised it to better fit in context.
The air was crisp. He was standing in a clearing surrounded by cypress, maple and poplar trees. There appeared to be a path leading out of the small field. He began walking, admiring the variety of colors on the leaves. A gust of wind blew dust into his eyes. When he was able to look again, the path had become covered with leaves. He continued walking, kicking leaves aside trying to find the trail. There was a stabbing pain on his legs which forced him to collapse into the leaves. He looked around, feeling around his legs. There were tentacles, long, sinewy members that reached for him, from something under the leaves. He kicked himself free and began to run. The cool air filled his lungs, biting them as he gasped, before the pain found his legs again.
He was tripped up again; his legs strained to kick loose. He looked back at the tentacles, the long, dark figures reaching for him. Tree roots were reaching for him; a weeping willow was rising up, towering over him. His arms stung as new tentacles groped for them. He was being pulled higher. Above the base of the tentacles he could make out a pair of dark eyes staring out from the trunk of the tree. In the center of the tentacles he could see a large blackness, something he was sure he wanted to avoid.
He struggled against the tentacles; the more he fought the tighter they became. They were lifting him higher, carrying him towards the blackness. With no other options, he lowered his head, attempting to bite one of the things from his arm. His arm had become covered in some thick material – It looked like hair, but it could have been something from the tentacles. He wasn’t sure. His chest tightened. He looked down, and could barely see the forest floor. He pulled his right arm to his face, craned his neck to get a good angle. He sunk his teeth into the soft tissue of the tentacle on his arm. He felt the thing tense then loosen as his jaw clamped tighter. He felt like a dog playing with a rope toy. The tastes of bile and blood and dirt filled his mouth. He bit at several other tendrils until they finally let go. He was falling, the willow creature now gone, crashing to the forest floor. He lay there, crumpled, watching beams of light dancing on the leaves.