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 Ch.1 The Spellbook

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Wyatt
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PostSubject: Ch.1 The Spellbook   Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:25 am

The Spellbook

The sun was peeking out over the Tindrael Mountains, the range that arcs around the Levant valley in which the little farming community of Aldevar was located. The sons of the farmer Det, who lived on the west end of town, were up early, before the gold-white orb rose into view in the East. They went out the front door quietly, trying to make it squeak as little as possible so as not to wake their parents. They sprinted across the dirt path towards the back end of their father’s property.

The brothers stopped to breathe at the barn, halfway to the woods behind the fields. Sabrus, the elder, smiled with excitement at his brother. “We made it!” he said between gasps of air. Jodhud smiled in return, and shuffled his leather shoes in the dry dust of the path. After sweeping back his long, light brown hair behind his tall ears, Sabrus darted off down the road. Jodhud mimicked his brother, sweeping his black mane behind, and then did his best to catch up.

Down the shallow hill the two went, past rows and rows of a strange, purple crop. The leaves on the trees had already mostly fallen off, blanketing the ground in brown and red. The air was beginning to bite with the chill of autumn.

The two sons of Det were fast; and they covered the ground quickly on their thin, long legs. Sabrus had begun to enter his growth spurt, and he stretched his stride as far as it could go, not waiting up for his brother. Jodhud stared straight ahead at his brother’s back, willing himself faster, pumping his arms furiously. The boys did not tire from running easily, fuelled by the energy of their youth.

They flashed down the road and over the old wooden bridge, crossing the creek that splits their property, and soon they came to the end of the road, a circular turnaround where the woods drew close and the grass, tall brown and wild, the kind that leaves stickers and burs in your clothing, grew thick. Into the brush they went, wading through the grass as smoothly as fawns.

The brush gave way to the young forest, filled with hard wood trees; thick branches elevating towards the sky. A deer trail cleared a way through the undergrowth, leading back into the still-dusky wood, lit faintly by the autumn colors. The brothers walked along the trail now, eyes scanning the trees and gaps of the forest, until they came upon some stone steps and a pair of old wooded doors leading into the ground.

“Dad’s gonna know, he’ll catch us.” Jodhud said quietly. The wind breathed in and out through the trees, and a cardinal sang somewhere nearby.

“I went in last night, and he hasn’t done anything yet. His back is sore, and he’ll probably sleep late.” Sabrus replied, stepped up the two crumbling stairs, and opened the doors. The screeching rusty hinges sent some nesting crows nearby into the air cawing loudly and complaining at the disturbance of the quiet forest. The boys cringed, frozen in place, until the echoes in the valley died down.

“We’re too far away, he wouldn’t hear…” Sabrus hoped. They crept into the basement.

The storm shelter had been there for years, before the family had moved there. The boys had lived on this land their whole lives, and had explored every tree and branch for several miles around, including the shelter. However, their father had forbidden them to enter it. Not until the night before had Sabrus first dared to disobey, and venture into the dark, man-made cave.

“See? At first I thought there was nothing special here.” Sabrus whispered, while swatting at cobwebs hanging from the low ceiling.
Jodhud waited at the entrance, only a foot or two inside. “Okay, then let’s go! Dad doesn’t want us to be here!”

Sabrus ignored him. “Look!” He had disappeared into the darkness, and the sound of him shuffling through the darkness echoed through the cellar. Suddenly, a thin stream of faint, flickering light appeared, along with the sound of grinding stone. Sabrus could be seen dragging a large stone door that had originally meshed with the wall.

Jodhud’s jaw dropped slightly, and he quickly ran over to help move the heavy door the rest of the way. As soon as the gap was big enough, they slipped inside.

There was a short hallway sloping sharply downward, made of hardened earth instead of stone. The room beyond was roughly the same size as the shelter before, but it was free of any dust or insects, and four torches were lit at each corner of the room. At the back wall, a large book rested on a low table, along with a small leather pouch. The rest of the room was bare, except for a simple woven mat in the middle of the floor.

The two looked at each other with excitement, Sabrus appreciating the wonder in his brother’s face. He and Jodhud walked in, looking around at the strange room. First, Jodhud tried to open the small bag, but the draw-strings wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard they pulled. Words in a strange language were seared into the side. “Last time, I didn’t get to the book, Mom called for supper…” Jodhud thought of the loud hinges and squinted his eyes in suspicion at his curious brother. Sabrus approached the great old tome and laid a hand gently on the ornate cover.

At once, the lamps flickered as his fingers brushed the book. A ring of multi-colored jewels encircled more ancient symbols on the books cover, and a cloudy white jewel burst into light, shedding white illumination on Sabrus’s shocked expression. After a moment, the light faded to a pale glow, and the lamps returned to normal. Sabrus fell backwards suddenly, as if he had been pulling away from the book but had been stuck. Jodhud crouched in the back of the room, and they both looked with wide eyes at each other and the strange book on the table.

Sabrus started to laugh, slowly at first, but then more naturally. He stood up and grinned, “That was fun!” He stood back up, rubbed his hands together, and touched the book again. “Sabrus don’t!” Jodhud yelled, almost tripping himself trying to stop him. It was too late, however, and the elder brother planted his hand firmly on the cover.

But this time, there was no strange energy that filled the room, the white orb only glowed faintly again. Sabrus picked up the book then, heaving it with both arms, and turned to his brother. “Do you know what this is?” he whispered, his voice quivering and low, “It’s a spell book!” At once he opened it, and began to walk out of the room. Jodhud followed, incredulous. His brother was going too far.

“Sabrus, cut it out! You’re not supposed to do that!” Jodhud yelled as he emerged from the storm shelter, hoping his dad would wake up. He ran at Sabrus, who held the book open in his arms, and grabbed at his shirt. “Put it back!”
Sabrus pushed him back and ran through the woods back towards the farm. “Shut up, Jod! Nothing is gonna happen!” he yelled, annoyed with his brother. Jodhud fell, but got up quickly and chased after him.

Even sprinting his hardest, Jodhud was no match for his brother’s speed. He could see his brown hair bobbing wildly between the trees. He even had the spell book open, reading as he went with the wind fluttering the pages! Gritting his teeth in frustration, he pushed himself harder. Still, Sabrus got farther away, and when Jodhud made it to the field, his brother was standing on the dirt road ahead with his back turned to him. The sky was blue with the morning daylight now, and the old noisy crows rustled in the surrounding trees like an audience. The wind sighed, and Jodhud panted up to his brother’s side.

“Sabrus…” Jodhud had his hands on his knees, breathing heavily. The crows gawked unblinking at the scene. His brother held the book in one hand, and his other hand was raised straight up in the air, grasping for something. His lips moved rapidly, repeating silent words caught in the wind. “Sabrus!”

Out to the west, the trees started to shake and creak, and in the field, the wind dipped and sliced into the grass and crop, causing it to bow and reach for the sky in alternation. The crows suddenly cried out in panic, and practically fell out of their perches, rushing to the east as fast as their wings could carry them. Then the wind was upon the brothers.

Jodhud dove to the side of the road and looked up at his brother who continued to stand with his arm raised, and the wind circled around him like the eye of a storm. The furious gale swirled round and round, until suddenly, Sabrus’s grasping hand seemed to catch on to something. Stunned, he tried to struggle away from the invisible grip on him, and dropped the book to the ground. All the wild pressure suddenly shot upwards and Sabrus was borne up into the air. The only thing Jodhud could see was his brother’s wriggling form high in the sky.

Jodhud thought with fear as he looked up to his brother, that Sabrus must be as high as the barn, no, higher! The tallest tree in the North woods maybe. His small body dangled from his suspended arms, where he was supported by an invisible embrace. His wild hair flipped and fluttered strangely from the whirling, curling breaths of wind. It whipped all around him, tugging and prodding his clothing and swaying him back and forth. Sometimes it was as if he was being cradled like a baby, others like he was caught roughly only seconds from hitting the solid ground.

The birds nearby were startled, cawing and chirping frantically from the deep branches of the nearby trees in fear of the surreal activity. And all Jodhud could hear apart from this, more worrisome than even the fact that his brother was so high in the air, were the whispers. They hissed, sighed, and laughed with the cycling currents of air, and invaded Jodhud’s ears. The language was unintelligible, but surely a language, hushing softly, always on the fringe of being truly heard. Jodhud wasn’t quite sure whether or not he was imagining it all.

Endless moments passed, and Sabrus soon stopped writhing away from the grip, and hung there like a ragdoll held by an invisible string. After a few moments, the buffeting wind lowered him gently to the ground, and he landed looking at his feet, ashamed and humbled. Jodhud barely looked over the edge of the road in fear. The wind was still whistling all around, and Sabrus’s hair hung loose about his shoulders; he seemed to be nodding.

Then, as quick as it came, the great wind spiraled off to where it had come from, and it left waves in the air like a great beast through water, until only silence remained.

Sabrus dropped to his knees in the dirt, still stunned. He was quiet.

“Sabrus… are you okay?” Jodhud said warily from the edge of the road. Sabrus looked over at his brother, and spoke shakily, “I tried a spell, I didn’t know what would happen…”

“What was holding you up there?”

“That’s enough.” Someone said gruffly behind them.

Both boys jumped, and followed with their eyes up to his feet the tall shadow of their father. He wore his coat and wide-brim hat, and the shade over his scarred face made him look particularly imposing.

“Jodhud, I want you to go back home. I’ll talk with you later. Sabrus, you come with me. I am very disappointed in both of you, but especially you, Sabrus.” His rough voice spoke calmly, and he glared at them sternly with his one remaining eye. The other was wrapped by a black cloth.

Jodhud ran off towards his home and the rest of the day, but looked back into the light of the rising sun to see his brother and father heading back to the hidden room. As he turned and walked back through the quiet farmland, with the birds beckoning the morning light with song, and a faint whisper of a breeze gracing the fields and trees, he wondered what kind of punishment his brother would get, what his brother would tell him when they lay in their beds that night, and what his mother would make for breakfast. He did not think of the true consequences of the morning’s events, though their lives would be forever changed.


Last edited by Wyatt on Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:19 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Reply   Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:58 pm

Ok, so ya good beginning I think.

# 1 thing: SLOW DOWN!

-take your time in telling the story; duologue was good but add more and maybe describe the characters body languages. As this is the first chapter you definitely want to introduce the characters. tell us a little bit about them.

NOTE: it is fun to learn more about the characters and their personalities as they go along but the reader needs somewhere to start. Also (and I think you have done a good job at this so far) remember to consider character reactions to everything that is happening to them. Be sure to describe fully these reactions

# 2: Describe the Important Things, but Don't Over Do It.

-take time to describe the important things like characters, settings, and objects. So far you have done well in describing whats happening but we need to know what it all looks like. You have done this at some points; Ex:

"The brush gave way to the young forest, filled with hard wood trees; thick branches elevating towards the sky. A deer trail cleared a way through the undergrowth, leading back into the still-dusky wood, lit faintly by the autumn colors. The brothers walked along the trail now, eyes scanning the trees and gaps of the forest, until they came upon some stone steps and a pair of old wooded doors leading into the ground."

Still there is an imbalance of these descriptions.
Also one thing to watch out for is redundancies in your description. In the example above you have described the forest, but the the continuing sentences are cluttered with additional descriptions. Take a sentence or maybe two (more than that might be over doing things) to describe the forest, then cut the forest description. Resume description ONLY when change occurs to the objects being described!

# 3: Bring the audience into whats happening.

-Here I am mainly referring to the event of finding and activating (or whatever it was) the spell book. This event is IMPORTANT so make sure the reader can picture it and follow the progression. (as a thought consider describing the symbols on the book if they are important later) Just take your time with this. Bring the audience to attention; make them focus in and hasten to read what happens.

Think about the movies. In a tense situation where a difficult or big choice needs to be made. Like pressing the button that is going to blow up the ship. Possibly this should be like on of those instances. Is Sabrus really fearless as to this book? Does he not have the slightest bit of hesitation?

The part about Sabrus reading the spell is a similar case. This is an intense moment; write it so.
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Wyatt
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PostSubject: Re: Ch.1 The Spellbook   Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:19 pm

Edited a bit 8/6/10
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