Monday, November 15, 2010
NaNoWriMo: Day Fifteen
Welcome to the halfway point of NaNoWriMo 2010. While I was not able to write much yesterday, I'll be past the 25k point later in the day. On that note, I'd like to congratulate Dawn Embers for reaching a whopping 50,000 words. She has another fifteen days to reach her goal of 100,000 words. Keep up the fantastic work, Dawn!
Here's your excerpt for the day. Enjoy and I wish continued success to you all through November.
Peace and Writing Love,
* * *
The Shattered Darkness
Chapter 7 excerpt
“So, why is it called the Crystal Pool?”
“Do not reach for the water in the well. It will tease you with beautiful things that seem so near, but it is only a vision.”
Eris mulled all of Phinella’s warnings about the Pool and would wait for the next sun. She turned to the mistress, who was already examining her as she thought. “Can you teach me before sunrise?”
Eris rolled in her bed that night, the sheets twisting around her legs and body. She kept her arms up, folded beneath the pillow and aching.
Her eyes were hot and heavy, begging to close after the hours of quick and hard training Phinella had given her. The mistress said she had not taught a student in years and hoped she had done it right. While Eris had all her faith in Phinella, such confidence did not keep her awake. Weariness folded over her eyes and she was taken to sleep.
At mid sun the next day, she arrived at the Crystal Pool, whose surrounding grounds seemed strangely attended. Phinella was true as to the Pool’s beauty and all of Eris’ rapture of being given yet another way to locate Valence forced her to run to it. She leaned over the well. Roots along its lip raised like a dome over it. The stones forming the well were a soft gray, more pristine in appearance than the welcoming grounds. All around the inside of the dome, brass bowls had been fastened to it, each bearing a small flame cuddled in the Elf brand embers.
She held her hand over the water and a ripple went across it a moment later. The ring began at the center and pushed out, an image forming over the soft wakes as they moved. Valence appeared on the surface, sending looks left and right as if watching for something. The scene surrounding him focused next, familiar buildings and hatched roofs at his back. He stood under a bare tree with nearly no color. Eris waited for him steadfast, before he looked directly at her. She turned around, sure he might have been looking around her, but when she turned back, he nodded and smiled.
He mouthed words, but there was no voice to them. She waited before he seemed to repeat himself. “Where are you,” he was saying.
“I’m with the Elves,” she said aloud. “I’ve been looking for you. I need you.”
He mouthed, “Come home.”
“I can’t, I—” She paused and looked around. “I’m a week away.”
“Please,” he said. The water rippled again, now more violent. It sloshed against the well walls and splashed onto the edge.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“It’s mom and dad.”
Eris reeled back, Valence’s face contorted as something pulled him away from the water. A shadow dashed in front of the Pool and a bullet of water shot up from it. It drenched the roots and stone, but Eris sat a foot away, reclining on her arms and watching it. It was not long before she scrambled up, all of Phinella’s warnings forgotten in her greed. She crawled for the
Pool and put her head through the water, allowing her body to fall in after. She twirled, legs over body, before the wash and push of the water spit he out onto hard ground of dirt and pebbles. A woman screamed in the distance and she pulled her chin up to glance level at the ground. She breathed at the dirt and watched feet scamper by her eyes.
She was yanked to stand by a two-handed grip on her cloak and thrown into a choke. The arm beneath her throat was black-skinned, minute prickly hairs lining its arm like razors.
“Pretend to be dead, girl?” the thing at her back asked. It growled hunger and hissed in her ear. A worm-like tongue slid down her lobe and she shied away from it.
Eris thrashed, a well-placed heel to the creature’s leg and the thing released her. She spun around, the creature whirling back to face her just as her saber met its neck. Its head plopped off and bobbled across the ground. After the creature’s body dropped, she looked at the head. Its face was pulled up in a snout, the nose two swine-like slits for breathing. Beady dark eyes sat above high boned cheeks, almost hidden, and they gleamed like obsidian in death.