Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alrighty, is a short excerpt from the end of the fourth chapter in my OYAN novel, Escape into Darkness. I've tried to include enough to where it will make sense, so I hope this will do.
The beginning of the the first chapter is posted here, if you want to check that out, too. (The part that is posted is a previous "draft" of the chapter, so it is not quite up to speed with the current version.)
So, any comments? Does this short portion invoke any emotions in you? If so, what? Also, are there any extra, uneeded words that hinder the flow of the action (I can be wordy sometimes...) or distract from the impact of the scene?
Thanks! :)

”Oh, Ry! Look! Over there on that tree.” I motioned with my hand, pointing toward the familiar landmark. Though long twisting vines had mostly covered it, I could still make out the edges of the sunburst carved into the wide tree trunk. Even if the image wasn’t there, I would have recognized the tree anywhere.

“What am I looking for?” Rylen asked, leaning to get a closer look. I moved to the tree and pulled away some of the vines. The circle, with its jagged edges became clearer, and I could now read the inscription. The name of my home village, ‘San-Drae’ carved into the middle and the ten smaller bursts, more like stars, encircling it.

“See?” I said. I couldn’t keep the grin off of my face.

He nodded. “So, where do we go from here?”

I planted my hands on my hips and stepped back out into the middle of the road. I turned in a slow circle, trying to remember the way to the monastery. “The road will continued on in that direction—“ I pointed to the south, “for about another mile until it reaches San-Drae. We need to follow it half that far, then go east off the path and traipse through the woods for a little while. I’m not positive on directions after that, but I’ll recognize where we need to be. It’s hidden way back in an area with a bunch of hills and valleys, all clumped together. Parts of it are even underground.”

Rylen left the tree and continued down the path. “All right. But, didn’t you want to go to the village first?”

My heart fluttered. “No…” I said, falling back in step with him. “I don’t think so. There probably isn’t anything left, anyway. The raiders burned pretty much everything, I think. Because it was such a small place, they probably took everyone. No one would have been left to rebuild it.”

Rylen made a small sound of understanding, but didn’t say anything. And that’s all right, I thought. I'd rather not think about it, anyway.

The rest of the walk went by quickly. Once we’d turned off the path, I took the lead and went by instinct. I just let my feet and my subconscious mind direct me. When the hillock appeared in front of us after we’d exited a small clearing, I took off running, for a reason even I didn’t know. Cresting the hill, I knew exactly where I was.

I beamed and stumbled down the opposite side of the mound, then burst into the thin band of trees that would open into the valley. I glanced over my shoulder. Rylen ran also, a look of both amusement and bewilderment plastered on his face. I laughed and ran faster.

The last few trees. Around the little stone altar. The last tree ahead of me, once I passed it, then I’d see it.


“No!” I slid to a halt and grabbed onto the tree for balance. Another cry flew from my lips, unbidden. “No! Oh, please, no!” I collapsed to my knees in shock. My lips trembled, and my chest heaved, half from running, but mostly from the sobs that threatened. “Oh…” I moaned, leaning my head against the tree and squeezing my eyes shut tight.

“Keilah!” Rylen called from behind me as his feet crunched over the ground. “What is it?”

I tried to reply, but all that came was a choking splutter.

The footsteps stopped. “Oh, dear,” he whispered.

[this excerpt © MacKenzie Pauline 2010]


Jason said...

Now I'm ready to read...

MacKenzie Pauline said...

Thanks, Dad :)

MacKenzie Pauline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.