Friday, November 19, 2010

The 10K Excerpt

Alrighty, lovely people! I hit 13K last night, yippie!

Yes, yes, I realize I'm behind schedule. But that shall not be a true statement for long, I tell you!

I'm so breathless, just watching my story unfold beneath my pen... it's so wow.

I think that's an original saying of mine: It's so wow.

Ha. I love it.

Okay, can I tell you how much I love Britt Nicole? Listening to "The Lost Get Found" right now, and then "Walk On Water" is coming up next *big smile.*

Abby, that's real nice, but can we just read the excerpt?

I think I made my molar loose yesterday... some food got caught in my braces and I think my attempts to get it out made my tooth loose. Whoops.

Anyway, I'm sure you didn't come over here to hear me blabber about my day.

Yeah, we really didn't. When are you going to get to that excerpt?

Well, even though I'm sure you didn't want to hear about my school life either, I have a math test and a science test to take. Whoopie?


Okay okay, here it is:

Actually, hold on.


Yeah yeah, I know, just chill for a sec, okay? Thanks. Um... I was debating whether to have this excerpt continue where the last one left off, but I don't think I want to be nice to you guys. This excerpt is many many pages after the last one. So, I'm sorry, you don't get to find out what was in the box. Not yet, anyway. Possibly after November is over...

*laughs evilly at your distress*

All you need to know: Chance's best friend's name is Devin, Dev for short. Dev's little sister was really sick, so the family had left for the nearest town in search of a doctor.

Okay, here you go:

   Now, a week had passed since Devin and his family had left for the town, and their house was still empty and silent. Thus, it was a slightly troubled Chance that sat at the riverbank that afternoon to watch the other lads play. Whatever could have happened? He fervently hoped that nothing bad had befallen poor sick, little Lindsey.
   Then it happened.
   Every morning before work, Chance would grab a crust of bread or an apple or the like to break his fast, and while nibbling on it he would go down to the river and climb the old oak. For maybe half of an hour, sometimes more, he would sit in the highest branches he could, and watch the sun rise up and join him.
   This particular morning, Chance noticed a funny feeling in his stomach as he headed out of the door.
   “Hello!” he muttered to himself. “I’m not sick, so what is the problem here?” But it lessened as he continued walking, so presently he forgot about it. He clambered nimbly up the oak and upon reaching his favourite branch, leaned his head back against the trunk and closed his eyes, listening to the stillness.
   But though that was what he was expecting to hear, stillness was not what he ended up hearing. It was a distant sound, riding on a breeze from the east, A horrifying, terrible roar. A faint battle cry. Chance felt the trunk of the tree vibrate, and even the leaves rattled. His pulse quickened. Chance knew not what it was nor who, or what, was making it, but he was certain that the voice belonged to a great being. Through the branches and leaves, he peered eastward, from where he supposed the sound came from.
   Then he saw, marring the light of shining jewel rising above the earth, smoke; a large smudge not even far enough to be on the horizon. He heard the great cry again, louder, and the old oak actually shook. Frightened by the strange occurrence, Chance swung quickly down through the branches until he was safely on the ground. He did not see the smoke now, and whatever had made the terrible Noise was silent now.
   Chance ran home.
  William was already working when Chance arrived. “Have you heard any queer noises this morning?" he asked, running into the shop.
   His father gave him an amused look, “Good morning to you too. No, can't say I have. Why?"
   Chance glanced out the small window facing east. “There were some strange roaring noises coming from the east. What with all the stories you've told me, I'd say it was a dragon!”
   Chance didn’t mean it, but at his words William ceased his work and stared at him soberly. “That is not the type of creature to joke about, Chance, and you would do well to remember that. Did it really sound like a dragon?"
   Surprised, Chance shrugged. “I've never heard one for certain, Father. It just sounded... fearsome. And big."
   Brow furrowed, William fell into deep thought and resumed his work.
   That afternoon, Chance heard a hubbub of voices and looked out to see a cart, surrounded by the villagers, roll past the open shop door. He recognized the donkey pulling the cart as belonging to the carpenter, Devin's father. So they were back!
   “Father, that was Master Kieran’s cart that just passed. May I go and say hello to Devin?"
   “Don't take too long."
   Chance ran after the cart with a smile of thanks to his father.
   It was a shocking sight that met his eyes. He saw the cart was stopped in front of the carpenter's home, and the villagers were swarming around. From what he could see, it was terribly damaged, and the wood on one side looked fairly scorched. Heart thumping, Chance realised that there were only two figures in the cart. Walking slowly, each footstep heavy with dread, Chance neared the cart. There was Devin's mother, Eluned, stepping down onto the ground, and she had one of the children in her arms. Young Mark, asleep.
   Where were the others?
   Apparently, someone else was wondering the same thing, because a voice called out, “Where is your family, Eluned?”
   Goodwife Eluned turned weary eyes to the onlookers. “Dead.” The word as so soft that Chance almost didn’t catch it.
   The color drained from his face. Did Eluned just say they were dead?”
   “What happened, Goodwife?” someone else asked.
   Eluned shook her head and hurried into her home, closing the door firmly behind her. The villagers immediately broke out in a flurry of speculation.
   But Chance stood there, not moving, staring blankly at the closed door. He stood there for a long time. When at last the villagers had dispersed and gone back to their business, Chance shook himself, then stepped up to that closed door and timidly knocked. It seemed like an eternity before he heard footsteps approaching from the other side, then the door opened a crack, and Eluned’s face peered out.
   “Oh, Chance, come in. Please.” The lad saw that she had been weeping. Tentatively, he stepped over the threshold. He noted little Mark lying on one of the cots—the larger one, probably for all the children to sleep together in. Now, it seemed sadly empty and desolate with only one child in it.
   Chance looked into Goodwife Eluned’s eyes, trying to judge whether it was safe for him to ask or not.
   “Are they really gone, Goodwife?” he finally asked, in a quiet voice. Poor Eluned started to cry again. She turned her face away, covering her mouth with the back of her hand, tears streaming from her eyes. Chance stood there awkwardly, berating himself. Apparently he had very poor judgment.
   Goodwife Eluned struggled to control herself. After a moment she drew in a long breath and nodded sadly in answer to his question. “All of them. My Kieran, Devin, Lenna, Lindsey….” She wrung her hands, “My little Lindsey died last night in her sleep, poor girl. The doctor tried the whole week to cure her…” Two large tears rolled down her face. “We were preparing to ride home, to bury her and all, this morning, but then, then it—”
   “What happened?” Chance asked gently.
   “Oh, it was horrible! Oh, Chance--!” Eluned broke down once more, and to Chance’s great discomfort, she buried her head in his shoulder. Awkwardly, he patted her back. How strange it was! This woman who had been like a mother to him his whole life, to now cling to him like a child in need of comfort.
   “We h-h-heard rumors from th-the moment we ar-r-rived,” Eluned gasped out between sobs. “W-we sh-should have left earlier, b-before it came.”
   “What came?”
   “A d-d-dragon! It attacked the town in the morning. It was t-t-terrible, Chance! Kieran and Devin joined the men trying to fight it… Lenna died before that. The cart was knocked over, and she was beneath it when it fell. Channery burned, burned to the ground. I found their bodies… Kieran and Dev… we buried them there, Lindsey too. Oh, my poor children!”
   Eluned finally sat down, and wept into her hands. Chance felt hot tears sliding down his face. That morning, when he heard the noise and saw the smoke… Dev had died.
   “There’ll be others that will come here… there were others that survived and fled, before the dragon could come back.”
   “It was not killed?”
   “Good lord, no indeed, Chance. There was no knight at Channery to come to our rescue; only the townsmen. But it flew away when it was finished killing, and there’s no telling where it will strike next. It loved the destruction and the death, good lord, it did!” She wept a little longer, but quieter, now.
   “I’m sorry, Goodwife.” Chance said, and he meant it.
   Eluned looked into his eyes. “Thank you, Chance.” And she meant it, too.
   There was a little moan from the cot where Mark lay, and Eluned went over to tend to him. At the same time there was a knock at the door, and Chance went to answer it. There stood Goodwife Sarah, her concerned eyes peering past Chance. “Eluned? It’s me, Sarah.”
   “Oh, Sarah.” Eluned held Mark so his head rested on her shoulder, and she came to the door and motioned for Sarah to come in. Chance stepped aside to let her pass, and then he left them, closing the door softly behind him. Goodness, he had to tell father now....

Alright. I do hope this one wasn't as cliff-hanger-y as the last one. You know, I hate to make you suffer.

*rolls eyes*

Well anyway, I've gotta go write while I'm still pumped. 

Write on, Wrimos! We can conquer NaNo!

1 comment:

Lainie said...

So proud of you sweetie-- glad you got to 13K+

Keep going! You can do it :D