With Caution And Care, A Prologue
Adding a prologue to Ranger of Path was a tough decision. I worried it would distract readers and add complexity that would hinder immersion. I also didn’t want anything told through the prologue that would be better done with later chapters.
Like adverbs, filtering language, and bracketing scenes with sleep, I’ve heard prologues should be avoided if possible.
Ranger of Path is a story that needed this prologue.
It’s a short prologue, starting from the point of view of a squirrel and then a tiny creature called a brownie. It offers readers vital context to an event that orients the main characters of Ranger of Path and it’s sequel, Valkyrie of Desire.
Here it is, as added to Ranger of Path:
A boy is caught pulling the legs off a cricket.
“Don’t do that. How do you think it feels?”
The boy chews on his lip and says, “Unhoppy?”
—Ishkur Inshushinak Ishtaran
A squirrel pokes its head out of a hole in an old fir tree. On a moss covered rock below, a man little bigger than it trills and waves an acorn with a right arm that’s shorter than his other by a third.
With greenish skin and limbs thin as twigs, he is a brownie, a fae friend of the forest and no danger. The squirrel scurries down and snatches the nut.
The brownie smiles and trills a bird’s song as he lies on the moss.
A hint of smoke stings the squirrel’s nose, and it rears up with whiskers twitching. The acorn falls, and the tiny animal bounds away, chittering a warning.