Tar – Exceprt #2

Here’s another piece of Tar, the novella I’m working on. This section here is actually the first scene I wrote in the entire story. It was supposed to be a quick free write, but I ended up building around it.  But you could consider this short piece the basis for the entire book, I guess.

“I want to change my Decision.”

Torrent stared at me.

“You what?” he said, slowly.

I shuffled my feet on the dusty ground. “I don’t know… I just… this isn’t for me.”

“You can’t change your Decision, Tar.”

I didn’t respond for a second.

Torrent and I stood on the empty road that led back to the city. A line of mountains stood in front of us, along side the road. A couple of clouds flowed over their top.

He was right, of course. Changing your Decision wasn’t something that was done. I’d never heard of it, at least.

I sighed.

“I think I’m in the wrong division, Torrent.”

Torrent grabbed me by my arm and dragged me forward down the road. “Oh, come on. You’re just second guessing yourself again. You’ll be fine.”

Torrent chuckled, and I allowed myself to be pulled into stride beside him. “Besides,” he said. “You’ve already had a year’s training in Potency. Where else would you go and still have a chance? You know?”

He was looking at me, expecting a response. I hesitated. “Yeah, I guess your right,” I forced myself to say. “Don’t know what I was thinking.”

He smiled. “That’s the spirit.”

Tar – Excerpt #1

This is a short excerpt from something I’m working on. Not quite sure what I think of it at this point, but we’ll see. This is not edited in any way, but here you go. Thoughts?

————-

Darts.

I held three of these in my hand. Each one was laced with a lethal dose of poison.

I stood upon bare sand—sand packed down so firmly that it hardly gave way as I took a step forward.

I had to be careful.

Before me, three large pillars rose from the ground. Hanging from each of these pillars were chains. They swung eerily in the slight breeze.

It was dark. Night had come early this day, and neither of the two moons lit the sky, leaving only the stars to shed light upon the world. They did a pitiful job.

I moved forward, cautiously, ears alert.

Passing the pillars, my uncovered feet soon met with grass. Soft, moist, and cold. I liked the way grass felt at night.

I soon reached a small, low standing building—more like a large shed than anything. Stepping around the corner, I felt along the wall for where I knew a door would be. When I found it, I turned the handle and pushed slowly forward. The door opened easily, hardly making a sound.

I had done this many time before, and yet, still my heart raced.

I’d never been caught before, I told myself. I wouldn’t be caught this time.

Inside the building it was darker than it had been outside, if that was even possible.

I paused for a second, gathering my bearings.

I knew this place like the back of my hand.

Three steps forward. Five to the right.

Pocketing the darts, I reached out my hands.

Cages.

I lifted three of them from their place on the shelf, grasping them firmly by their tops.

Rrrrr….” The yotels hummed softly inside, and I moved steadily as I turned to back out of the building.

These cages were not empty. And I couldn’t afford to arouse the yotels. Not yet. They might make too much noise.

Once outside again, I moved back towards the pillars.

“This time, I’ll get them all,” I whispered to myself as I walked. My words were barely audible, even to my own ears. “This time, I get them all.”

Sand again, my feet announced as I reached the packed earth. I stopped beneath the first of the pillars.

Lowering two of the cages, I grabbed the chain that hung down, and attached the third cage to its end, leaving it rocking as I moved on.

I did the same to the other two cages, attaching them to the remaining pillars.

Then I turned from them. Thirty five feet away, directly across from the pillars, a small contraption rose from the ground. I walked over to it, retrieving the darts from my pocket as I did so. This was it. I was going do it this time.

“This time I get them all.”

The contraption was box shaped, and coming out of its top was a single lever. Most of its mechanisms probably took place underground. I didn’t know that much about it. All I knew was it worked.

With my back to the pillars, I took a deep breath, and placed a hand on hand on the lever.

I gave it a three count.

Then pulled.

Swirling, my eyes locked on to the cages as the chains released them, letting them fall. They hit the ground with a crash, breaking open.

SSAAAAYYYYYKKKKKKKKK” the yotels screamed as their peaceful sanctums shattered around them. Their prisons no longer kept them in.

Immediately, the yotels took flight wings flapping furiously. They were barely visible black splotches rising towards the sky.

I wasted no time.

I drilled the first one with a dart within the first two seconds, brining it immediately back down to the ground.

The second one flew in my direction. Fingering the second dart for a moment, I launched it, hitting the creature in its underside. It died without making a sound.

The third yotel hurdled away to my left, almost invisible in my peripheral vision.

I planted my feet, turned, and fired the third dart. I heard it zip through the air.

There was no thud.

The yotel flapped, screeching, growing fainter and smaller as it continued into the distance.

“Curse the wind,” I said, though the wind hadn’t affected my aim.

I had missed. Next time, I’d get them all.

Disappointed, I hurried to gather the dead birds and broken cages from the ground and  I stowed them yards away beneath the roots of a large tree. I didn’t care if anyone found them, but it would be tacky to leave them beneath the pillars—in the training yard.

It was time to leave. Too much noise had been made.

Not far away, I stepped onto a dirt road and began to walk.

I’d made it away unseen. Again. I didn’t know what would happen if anyone found me, but I figured it wouldn’t be good. After all, this life, this training, this area, was forbidden to me.

Poem – Worlds Apart

By now you’ve probably noticed that I’m really bad at blogging. After all, the last time I posted was… a long, long time ago. Hopefully I’ll start doing some more in the near future, but we’ll see. For now, though, to give this post some substance, I’ll post this poem. Because, you know, why not?

Worlds Apart

The clouds are hazy grey in the sky,

And sitting in the car am I,

With the cool air from the air conditioner blowing against my face.

 

Rain patters gently upon the glass,

Across the sky a lightning flash,

And the windshield wipers wipe back and forth, with rythmatic grace.

 

The leaves on the trees hang limply down,

Upon their heads a droplet crown,

Which falls from where it hangs as our car zips past its resting place.

 

As our home and destination near,

The sky itself begins to clear,

As a beautiful world makes way for another, and leaves without a trace

Derailed – Prologue

Sooo… I’ve been bad. Instead of working on the book I’m supposed to be working on, I kinda, sorta started on another. I loved the idea so much, I just couldn’t wait. This is the prologue to the book, which is quite tentatively called Derailed.

~Prologue~

“That’s odd.”

Train conductor Phil Brennan stared through the darkness at the track ahead of him, watching a distant light grow steadily closer.

“Central Station, this is A13, do you copy?” he said, picking up a radio.

“A13, this is Central Station, we read you.”

Brennan considered for a second. “Is there a… junction between A13’s current position and about… two thousand feet off our front?”

There was a pause.

“Negative, A13, you’ve got open track for another thirty-two-hundred. Is there a problem?”

Phil Brennan bit his lip. No junction.

“A13?”

“We might. I’ve got a bogey closing in fast. I’d say it’s at about nineteen hundred out.”

Another pause.

“According to our screens, there’s nothing within a mile of your front.”

“Well then, you better do a double check, because that nothing is coming awful fast.”

A bit of sweat was starting to trickle down Brennan’s face as he slammed his hand down on a large red button. A loud wailing sound proceeded to fill the train.

Lifting a second radio, Phil Brennan spoke through the train’s loud speakers. “Attention all personnel: we’ve got an unidentified coming in. Please strap yourselves into your safety seats and REMAIN THERE until further notice. And Capers, get in here!”

Within seconds, a door was thrown open in the back of the car, and a young apprentice hurried in, his hair a mess, dark circles under his eyes.

“Yes, sir, you called?” his voice was groggy.

“We’ve got a bogey sixteen hundred out. Give ‘em the signals. See if you can’t get a response. Do it!”

Capers quickly sat in a second seat, and began blowing the trains horn in patterned repetition

“Oh, and strap yourself in,” Phil Brennan added through gritted teeth as he reached for the train’s breaks.

Taking a deep breath, he jerked the lever, throwing every movable objection forward—including the ill prepared Capers, who lay sprawled on the floor as the train began slow.

“A13, we have begun contacting every train in the possible vicinity. So far, no response.”

“Yeah, well, you better hurry up with that.”

“We recommend the signals.”

“Trying them.”

“What is the distance of the unidentified?”

Phil Brennan glanced out the window. “A little under twelve hundred, I’d say, and no sign that they’ve seen us.”

The train came to a stop, and Capers regained his seat, recommencing with the horn.

Five seconds passed. Another five.

“Nine hundred away. Blimey, they’re speeding up!”

“A13, what is your situation?”

“A lousy one, that’s what!”

“Please elaborate.”

“We’re all going to die! How’s that for elaboration? Capers, forget the signals, start this train in reverse.”

The train slowly began moving backwards along the tracks.

Seven hundred feet.

“We’re dead meat in here.”

“What’s that, A13?”

Five hundred feet.

“Capers, get out!

“Sir?”

“Get out! I’ll be right behind you.”

Capers unstrapped and scrambled out the back of the car.

Three hundred feet.

“Please brace for impact,” said Phil Brennan as he stood to leave, speaking again over the train’s loud speakers.

Hurrying outside the slowly moving train, Brennan found Capers standing on the outside of the car, staring at the ocean passing below.

“We gotta jump,” yelled Brennan.

“What about the others?”

“If they’re back far enough, they may be fine.” Brennan glanced at the oncoming train. It had practically hit them.

“We have to go! NOW!”

Phil Brennan leapt from the train, pulling Capers with him, over the side of the tracks, and down through the air below.

There was a crash.

An explosion.

A flash of red light.

And then a splash as they hit the water below.

NaNoWriMo Has Arrived… For Some

Ahh. NaNoWriMo. It’s here again. Some of you may be wondering, since it’s already November 2nd (Err, 3rd now, since I procrastinated and took so long writing this post), whether or not I’m participating. The answer? Kinda. Sorta. Not really. No.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t decide this until the last second. I wanted to do NaNo. I enjoy doing NaNo. NaNo is fun! And yet, I’m not gonna be doing it. There are certain people who follow my blog who might get all over me for this… this post is for you. I’ll explain myself.

When deciding whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo, I had to evaluate a few things, starting with NaNoWriMo itself. What’s the purpose of NaNoWriMo anyway?

On it’s face, this is fairly obvious. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to help writers write. How? By giving them the goal of writing 50,000 words in a thirty day period. This is pretty grueling. And it works. However, if you look a little deeper, you’ll find that NaNoWriMo isn’t supposed to be the whole deal. You’re not supposed to write 50,000 words in a month and them leave them sitting. NaNoWriMo is supposed to be the first step in a longer process. It’s supposed to help you get words on paper. It’s supposed to be a very rough first draft.

This idea is awesome.

But here’s the deal. I’m already working on a novel. And since I’m in the middle of it, I don’t really want to suddenly switch into NaNoWriMo mode. I’m examining my logic here, and it doesn’t really make any sense, but if I write a NaNoWriMo novel, I want to plan it as a NaNoWriMo novel, start it as a NaNoWriMo novel, and finish it as a NaNoWriMo novel. What I’m writing now… it’s a first draft, obviously… but it’s not a NaNoWriMo first draft… there’s a difference. One is slapped together in a thirty day period, the other… isn’t.

But then here comes the clincher. With all this considered, would NaNoWriMo be worth it? Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve read all the blog posts. All the benefits of NaNoWriMo. I’m aware of them. You know what else, though? I do have a life… that goes on… even in November. Yes, I’ve also read those blog posts, calling people who think they don’t have time for NaNoWriMo wimps and all that. But the real question is this, is writing a 50,000 word novel my number one priority for November? Is that what’s most important to me? It’s awesome and all… but there are other stuff, at this point, that demand higher priority.

Some of you might say, “Oh, come on, you can fit it in! What else are you going to do with that time?”

Um. How about computer programming? Or seriously getting into basketball shape before the new season starts in two weeks? Or researching federal election law for the upcoming debate season? Or other school work? Or sleep? Or… okay, you get it. And I’ll freely admit it. There will be some time that I’m not working… but that’s okay, really, if you think about it. There’s more to life than insanity.

I mentioned it earlier, and I’ll mention it again. I do like NaNoWriMo. It’s amazing. But not this year. It just didn’t fit.

And that is why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo.

With all that said, I will let you know something else. I am kinda doing NaNoWriMo this year. All NaNoWriMo stands for is National Novel Writing Month. And in that sense… I’m gonna continue writing my novel this month. In fact, I’ll even use the NaNoWriMo website to track my progress. But I’m not aiming for 50,000 words. Not this time.

 

About that Last Story…

You guys remember that story I submitted to that contest? You know, the one in the the last post? Well, it turns out that I won the contest. I didn’t get any prizes or anything except for getting my story posted on the blog, but I’m still happy. It wasn’t a big contest or anything, so it’s not super impressive, but, hey, it’s got to count for something, right?