I've done it!!!!! Camp NaNoWriMo/the June Crusade is behind me, and I have at last reached the golden shores of victory!!!!!!!!
Wow... fifty thousand words was a lot to write!
But, it's done!
And guess what? I'm not fed up with words yet! I could write a thousand more today!
Well, maybe not today. How about Monday?
And a further note: my novel isn't done yet.
Yes, it's true, Children of a Legend went through NaNoWriMo in April of this year and again in June, it sports 101,111 words, but the story's far from done. Very far. How far? About as far as New York is from Detroit.
And yes, I know you all long to read my work (I can imagine you want to, right? It's good for inspiration...), but I cannot disclose the entire story. Not yet. For now, please content yourselves with these snippets:
Brice and Grant took their stances in the fighting circle, each pretending to be oblivious to the other, each examining their staffs and flexing their muscles. When at length, the crowd grew restless with their antics and called for the fight to begin, they acknowledged their opponents and crouched on the edge of the circle.
“You'll have to go easy on me, rat,” Brice called. “I may be a bit rusty as I haven't picked up one of these in about three years.”
“Oh, I'll go easy on you, city boy.”
Brice made the first move, darting forward with his staff lowered. Grant easily blocked the lunge with his own weapon, and the men watching roared.
Davin, jostled on either side by cheering spectators, watched on helplessly. As the fight drew on, Brice seemed to be in a bad position. He felt the power beneath most of Grant's blows, and there were few in equal quality that he could return.
Grant, noting that Brice was weakening, pressed his advantage. Using his body weight to reinforce the potency he threw into his staff, he began raining blows on Brice, moving the staff with such speed that it was only a blur to Davin. Brice fell to one knee and did his best to defend himself from the storm.
The onlookers groaned. It looked as if their anticipation of a long fight would be quelled. Grumblings arose from those who had bet on Brice being the winner. But then, in one moment, all conversation and noises ceased as their attention was drawn back to the circle.
With a flick of his wrist, Brice snapped his staff out under Grant's. The thick stick caught Grant's ankle and knocked it out from beneath him. Grant, dropping his staff in a failing effort to catch himself, yelped once and toppled to the ground.
Brice, wincing, stood up and offered his opponent a hand. “Sorry about that, rat. Guess I don't know that much about sparring as you do.”
Grant took his hand and got to his feet. “Well, if you could stand to learn a little more about sparring...” he gestured toward his staff.
“It would be my pleasure.” Brice picked up the weapon and with a flourish handed it to Grant. And then, the fight began again.
It was all Davin could do to stay where he was. Grant was forcing Brice back, and although Brice put up a good defense and managed to touch his opponent a few times, Grant was obviously the better fighter and logically the better choice of the two to win. The crowd alternately booed and cheered as the fighter they bet on was hit or landed a hit.
Suddenly, Grant was on the ground again. Brice's staff had caught him in the shoulder that time, driven with a crack through a offensive maze of attacks.
“My apologies, rat.” Brice leaned over the fallen man. “If you could trouble yourself to get up, we could try a third round.”
Grant didn't answer but picked himself back up and dramatically dusted his tunic off. This time he didn't wait for Brice to begin the attack. Releasing a roaring battle cry, he charged straight at Brice as if he intended to stab him like a piece of meat on his staff.
Brice merely stepped sideways and out of the way of the staff. As Grant's lunge threw him past his opponent, Brice swung his staff, tucking the end of it in his elbow and putting the other end between Grant's legs. Then in a motion that Davin didn't even believe possible, he leaned on the weapon and succeeded in flipping Grant completely head over heels in the air.
When Grant finally landed on the ground with a thud and amid a cloud of dust, silence pervaded the barracks. The men there had never seen a move like that executed before. The fighting they were used to was rough and tough physical combat. Strategy and cunning were nearly nonexistent between contestants.
Finally, one man licked his lips and broke the silence. “I ain't seen nuttin' like that in my whole born days.”
A small, wrinkled man in a fraying black robe scribbled onto a pile of papers and didn't look up at Davin's entrance. His head was completely bald, and all of his hair was concentrated on the lower part of his face, forming into a beard that flowed downward over his stomach, swept over his knees, and fell into a cumulation of white tangles on his feet.
After waiting what must have been a full five minutes, Davin cleared his throat. The aged man's quill never stopped as he responded, “Young man, I am in the middle of a very important paper. Surely your problems cannot be as important as my finishing this. You can wait.”
The speech hit Davin hard. He hadn't been prepared for a welcome like that. But, with the master still scribbling away and making no move yet to receive his visitor, Davin had no choice but to wait.
The scritch, scritch of the pen scratched at Davin's nerves. He looked for a seat, but the bench behind him against the wall that he supposed was normally meant for chair use for the office personnel was covered in books and papers and simply unable to be sat upon. So, Davin stood. And waited.
When at length, Davin thought he could bear it no more, the old master sighed, set aside his quill, folded his long, knobby fingers together, and looked up at his visitor expectantly.
“My...” Davin's voice had laid dormant for so long while in the office that on the first attempt to speak, his voice caught and he was reduced to a slight coughing fit to gain it back. “My name is Davin, and I am here to seek information.”
The man's eyebrows went up, multiplying the wrinkles on his forehead. “Ah, then you have come to the right place. Stylo is only the best university in Libstotten. We pride ourselves on our academic achievement and scholarly excellence. What would you wish to learn? Are you a boy looking for instruction of the arts? Or language?”
“No,” Davin hastened to say. “I'm sorry if I misled you on that account, but the information I seek is not related to studies. There is a certain person I am desirous to meet, and I believe that person may be here.”
“A person?” The master tapped his fingers on the desktop. “How droll. Books are much more interesting than people.”
“Is it that important that you find your missing sibling soon?” Ahmis asked, his eyes serious.
Davin acknowledged his question with a positive jerk of his head. “Our mission relies on speed. If we do not find all of my siblings soon, I fear that it will jeopardize our quest.”
“Jeopardize?” Adorna echoed. “In what way?”
“The passes in the Ice Mountain will close off before winter, and if we have not found all of my siblings and have gone through them to the north, we will be unable to meet with the dragons.” Davin spoke this, he hoped, calmly. The matter had been preying on his mind for the last week, ever since Rodnal had mentioned it in passing to him on the way to Libstotten.
Rayne gasped. “Truly, Davin?”
Davin didn't like to do it, but he nodded sadly. “And if we must wait until next spring, it may be too late to act against Vernd.”
“Yeah, and then that gives 'ole Vernd more time to find and kill us all.” Grant observed in a not so cheerful attitude.
“Kill?” Adorna's delicate hands went to her white throat.
Davin turned his attention to the gray landscape. The mist hung over the ground thickly, accounting for the wet dew drenching his blanket. The early morning chill went straight through the thin fibers of the cloth, and Davin shivered.
Muted noises of someone stirring caught his attention. On the other side of camp, Davin could see Rodnal leaning over Brice, arranging the blankets that he had thrown off in his delirium and checking his forehead for signs of fever. By the expression on his face as he drew his hand back, Davin knew that Brice's fever had not yet broken.
Essore moaned, stretching his wings and acting restless. The strange feelings of sorrow were greater now coming from the dragon than they had been the previous night. The sensation bewildered Davin, and the strength of the sorrow brought unbidden tears to his eyes. He wiped them and wiped them again when the tears refused to stop. What was the dragon feeling?
Davin started up but froze when Essore released a roar that shook the earth. Grant and Ahmis were shaken out of their blankets, and Rayne woke with a gasp. The entire company looked up as one to see the black dragon spread his wings and leap into the air.
“Essore! Stop!” Rodnal's cry was instantly echoed by the the four siblings.
But the dragon took no heed of them. He continued on without ever once hesitating. Davin felt certain that the strong feelings of remorse emitting from the dragon were clouding his reason. He was driven on, a slave of whatever drew him away. The calls from the group left behind were blatantly ignored.
Davin's hands dropped senselessly and hopelessly to his sides as he watched Essore Midnight soar back to the quiet, but dangerous, town of West Delt.
All snippets taken from Children of a Legend.