It’s Friday again, already. The week went by quicker than it felt like, and it’s time to share another Introduction chapter. This time it’s for Lost Dogs #4: Lost Naked Furious, which is probably my favorite book in the series – so far.

Here goes:

Flougmyrr. A large but insignificant corporate state somewhere in the endless swamplands of the mid south. Hundreds of miles of nothing but jungle and standing water. Here and there a lake. Once in a while an island.

Abundant greenery. Trees as tall as mountains. Full of life and colour.

Reeds and thorns and underbrush. Poisonous plants and venomous beasts.

Settlements are few and far between. Ramshackle cities built around slug farms and gas fields. It’s one of the least explored regions of the civilised world, and if it wasn’t for money and desperation, no one would come here at all.

It’s warm and it’s damp and it stinks.

It’s full of things that want to eat you. Snakes and spiders. Crocodiles and piranhas. Sentient fungi and flowers with teeth. More kinds of blood sucking insects than there are stars in the sky. Things live here that not even the elves know about.

There’s life everywhere, and all of it wants to eat you.

If you have to come here, stay in the city where it’s safe. Where all you have to deal with is the safety hazards of the factories, the thugs and the guardsmen, the sweltering heat, and the soul crushing boredom of not having anything to do between shifts but drink yourself into oblivion.

If you have to go into the swamp, don’t.

If you absolutely must, make sure you have a plan. Bring a guide and friends you trust. Gear up and prepare. Bring food and water, map and compass. Emergency flares and radio, first aid kits and anti-venom. Bring a doctor.

Travel by boat, and only by day. Set a double guard at night.

Whatever you do, don’t get separated from the group.

Don’t get lost.

Obviously, the book is about being lost in the jungle. I’m not sure that even needs pointing out, but there it is.

This book was the first one that took an emotional toll on me as I wrote it. Something about Alene’s relationship with her inner beast wore at me in a way I hadn’t experienced before.

In the end, I think the book was better for it. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

For today’s extra content, I’m sharing the third chapter of the book in its entirety (it’s pretty short).

The idea here was to show Alene struggling through the jungle, trying to find her way back to her destination. I wanted to show that it was a tough and difficult experience for her, and I wanted to give the impression that she covered a long distance through hostile land on her own.

It turned out really boring and dull.

To fix that, I cut the entire thing and wrote it as a short poem instead, here (text version available below the picture):

Lost Naked Furious: Chapter 3

A naked young woman in the jungle.

A human mind in a hostile land.

Thorns and brambles. Endless mires.

Mud above her knees.

But she’s tough, and she knows it.

And she’s not lost, not really.

Will of steel. Heart in a cage.

Poison leaves burn dark brown skin. Needles and thorns leave holes dripping blood. Again, and again, and again.

And sure the wounds will heal,

but that don’t mean the pain ain’t real.

Slow. Reluctant. Human.

But she’s tough, and she knows it.

And she’s not lost, but she feels it.

Will of steel. Heart in a cage.

Ponds as black as tar. Water thick as mud. Unseen teeth, bite and nibble at uncertain feet, and she squeals, she flails, she falls.

Headlong into darkness.

Taste sour.

Taste bitter.

Taste rotten.

Worms wriggle through her hair,

and fat black leeches climb her naked thighs.

And she’s tough, and she knows it, but she doesn’t give a shit.

For she’s lost, and she’s lost it,

and won’t somebody please come get her out of this.

Will to the wind. Heart in a race.

Screams for help in a world that doesn’t hear.

Screams with rage in a world that doesn’t care.

Screams in despair at a fate too cruel to bear.

For she’s human and she’s had it. For she’s human and she’s tired. For she’s human and a monster,

abomination, murderer,

freak…

For she is human, and there’s nothing she can do about it.

And the jungle doesn’t care.

And the world doesn’t wait.

And she’s tough, and she hates it.

And she’s lost, but keeps going.

Will of steel. Heart in a cage.

There we go. That’s all for this time. If you’re curious to learn more about the Lost Dogs series, I’d recommend checking the About page, here.

You’ll also find the first Introduction chapter, for Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound, here.

If you’re already sold and just want to start reading, I’d recommend picking up Lost Dogs: Betrayals. It’s an omnibus edition, containing the first five books in the series, and it’s available here.

Finally, if you do check out the book, please leave a review, it’s very much appreciated.

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