Wednesday, February 21, 2007

*SAMPLES: A WORLD WITHIN*--PART I




A WORLD WITHIN: this is the new young adult fantasy that I'm working on currently. This scene is where Daniel first finds himself in the Living Land with its strange inhabitants...just prior to an attack by Spider Elves! (part 2 of this sample coming soon...spider elves attack!)

Daniel lay on the ice, his face numb from the cold. He was aware of his clothes being wet across his front as he lay facedown on the pond. He wasn’t sure if he had his eyes open or not, but he only saw black. The air was strangely warm and smelled of grass and flowers; more like spring than winter. And there was a definite rustling, like wind forcing its way through the full foliage of tall trees.
He felt a poke at his body, Derek finishing his job, no doubt. Then, he felt it again; two pokes to his ribs this time. Daniel might have laughed at the ticklish sensation if his head wasn’t throbbing so badly. Then, the finger poked at his head and he heard the distinct sound of someone close to his face, biting into something like a piece of fruit and the juice squirted onto his cheek.
Daniel winced and opened his eyes, expecting to find his bullies, but instead there was a thing staring at him and it spoke with fruit juice dribbling down its furry chin.
“What are you then, big nose?” said the creature.
Daniel screamed and his head throbbed hard, turning screaming to wincing.
“Well, I’m not that ugly,” said the creature, placing his curled little hands on his hips, a piece of half eaten fruit in one of them.
Daniel was amazed and suddenly realized his jaw must be dangling open well below his face. The creature was sitting on his haunches, but wouldn’t have been more than four feet tall on his tip-toes. He had a lemur like face, but long ears like a rabbit that fell back behind his head like a ponytail. His short silver fur covered most of his body and his hands and feet were ape-like and appeared good for climbing things.
“What are you?” asked Daniel, bewildered.
“I asked you first, big nose,” said the creature gruffly.
Daniel was suddenly aware that he had been insulted. “I’m Daniel and I haven’t got a big nose.”
“Well, it’s bigger than mine,” said the creature. “I’m Meineke.”
“Are you a monkey, Mr. Meineke?” asked Daniel innocently.
“Look, if you don’t want me calling you big nose then don’t call me a blooming monkey! I’m a Wil, of the noble family too.”
“A Wil, what’s that?”
“What’s a Wil? Aye, you’re not from around here are you?” said Meineke.
“Oh yes, I am. This is my family—” and suddenly Daniel realized that the world around him had changed. The frozen pond was the same, but everything beyond its edge had changed dramatically. No more was there a wide clearing sparsely populated by trees near the water’s edge—this had been replaced by a thickly planted forest of trees that looked centuries old and twisted malevolently by time.
Their bark was gunmetal gray spotted with black and the trunks of the trees were monstrous in width. The branches looked like grisly claws raking the sky in opposition to the sun and great roots covered the entire forest floor like a nest of snakes within the crag of a rock. The dark clouds above seemed married to the treetops and wisps of fog created a murky veil that made it impossible to see what lay in the distance.
“Where am I?” asked Daniel as he surveyed his new surroundings with a mixture of fear and awe.
Meineke continued chewing on his fruit, speaking with his mouth open. “Why, you’re right there,” he said, pointing a finger at him matter-of-factly.
Daniel blinked slowly, becoming exasperated with the little creature’s literality. “I mean, what is this place?”
Meineke stood up and spread his arms to the forest around them. “This awful place is Parengore Forest. It’s the home of the Spider Elves; scary huh?”
Daniel kept his eyes searching the various layers of the forest, expecting something terrible to erupt from the murk at any moment. “It’s not so bad,” he lied.
“Yeah, right,” said Meineke sarcastically. “Well, I normally wouldn’t be caught dead around here if it weren’t for the Wielder.”
“How did I get here? Last thing I remember, I was getting beat up by Derek Wentworth.”
“I haven’t a clue,” said Meineke. “I left my companion to find a place to conduct nature’s business and you were lying here, gone to the world.”
Daniel racked his brain. None of this made any sense: the Wil, this forest, Spider Elves, and his house no longer anywhere in sight. Perhaps, I’m dreaming. “Who is this Wielder person you said you were with?” asked Daniel curiously. If he was dreaming, then he might as well find out what the dream was all about.
“Oh, I’m not traveling with him, me and my companion are looking for—” Meineke paused, listening. His ears twitched and perked up over his head.
“What is it?”
“Shush!” hissed Meineke. He bent his head low, allowing his ears to pick up the vibrations traveling through the ground. Suddenly his eyes widened and he straightened quickly. “Come on, they’re coming!”
“Who?!” asked Daniel, confused.
“The Spider Elves—run!” And with that, Meineke bounded away from Daniel and the approaching rumble. Daniel watched the Wil running away and wasn’t sure what to do. Was this real? He took another fraction of a second to consider it. Whatever a Spider Elf is, I don’t think I want to meet one!

3 comments:

chrisd said...

Sounds very interesting!

James Somers said...

Thanks Chris, the next sample will complete this scene where the Spider Elves Attack!

Eve Nielsen said...

Thanks for the sample and the link(to me at Quest Writer). I've posted my first chapter of an unnamed book there as well.
Eve