Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Step

So, I finished Chapter 7 yesterday and I'm feeling very good about it. I mean, I still have to go through and do some editing, make sure it flows well, etc... But I think It went very smoothly. As a matter of fact, it was going so well that I did well beyond my normal word count just so I could finish the chapter.

It was the first battle sequence I've ever really written, but I think it reads well. I'll probably post some of it on here eventually, who knows?

Otherwise, things are going well :) Relationship stuff seems to be going very well, which makes everything else seem better.

I actually don't have much to say, so I'll post an excerpt from Chapter 2 for you to read :) Again, please forgive the formatting

It had been a week since his thirteenth birthday, which marked the beginning of manhood for a boy in The City. Jonathan and his mother, Eliza, were finishing the after dinner chores, as his father sat in front of the fireplace, stoking the logs for the evening’s fire. As always, he held the long wooden pipe to his lips as he worked, making the house smell of sweet weed and smoke.
When the knock came, no one knew who it would be so late in the day. It was an ominous knock for his parents, but to a young man like Jonathan, anything new or different was bound to be exciting. He bolted to the door, his eyes wide in anticipation, and his mother barely had time to think before he had it opened and was greeting the men at the door.
“Hello sirs,” his head drooped a bit at the sight of the visitors, “my dad is by the fireplace.” He opened the door full and gestured to his father as Abel made his way to the door. “Dad, it’s some old guys for you.”
Abel pulled the pipe from his lips, ready to greet the visitors, when he noticed who they were. Three of the “old guys” his son was talking about were members of The City’s council. The fourth was Imlay. He was the Magician of Third Chapel, and his presence was not a good sign for the father of a young man.
“Hello, Abel.” Imlay greeted the boy’s father warmly.
“Hello,” said Abel, hesitantly beckoning them inside, “what can I do for you gentlemen?”
The man Abel knew as Elder Danes stepped forward with a great smile on his face, “We’ve come to talk to you about some wonderful things your boy has in store for him.”
Elder Danes continued inside as the rest of the men followed. Danes and the Magician were the only ones Abel knew by name, but he had seen the other two at council meetings. Elder Danes walked buoyantly through the house, and with the sense of someone bringing a winter fowl to a hungry family.
Abel was incredulous as the men seated themselves around the table. “Would anyone like a drink?”
“No, no, no,” Elder Danes replied excitedly, “we have far too many things to speak with you about, and far too little time I’m afraid.”
Abel sat, putting his pipe back to his lips, happy to make the men wait on him in his house. As he took the first few pulls from the warm sweet weed, he looked at each of the men in turn, trying to weigh their reason for being there. When he reached the Magician’s face, it was somber. Abel had never taken the Magician’s post too seriously, but he was happy to see at least this man had the common sense to know that a father wasn’t going to take this news lightly.
As he released the smoke from his lungs in slow, amber rings, Abel asked, “So what is it you gentlemen want with my boy?”
“Ah, right to the point! Good man.” Danes’ face lit up excitedly as he continued to act as spokesman for the group. “No point dilly dallying around when there is such exciting news for a young man to be shared.” He pointed happily at Abel, “And you, believe me when I say, ‘It is such an honor for his family as well.’”
Just then, the young Jonathan came bounding into the room from the kitchen smiling, until he noticed the look on his father’s face. “What’s wrong, dad?”
Abel looked at his son, then, and tried to relieve some of the tension is his demeanor. “Don’t you worry about it, son. This is a conversation for adults, you go finish helping you mother for now.”
“Nonsense!” to Abel’s consternation, Elder Danes’ voice was once again booming through his house. “Of course he’s welcome for this. It’s his life we’ll be talking about. And such exciting news for the young man!”
Young Jonathan halted in his tracks as the men contradicted each other. He looked from his dad’s face, which was now crimson as he gnawed on the end of his pipe, to the old politician’s face, glowing with enthusiasm and completely oblivious to the raging man across the table, just waiting to explode. He took his cue from the anger in his father’s scowl and stuffed his questions back down his throat before they had a chance to escape his lips. Slowly, he made his way back to the kitchen with his mother, hoping to hear bits of the conversation which was apparently, after all, about him.
“Elder Danes,” Imlay spoke up, hoping to diffuse the situation, “we are in Abel’s home. If he wishes the conversation to be private, I think it best we follow his decision.”
Confused by the boy’s disappearance, Danes turned back to the table. “What’s gotten into him?” As his eyes reached the fuming Abel, the old man’s face shot through with white. “Oh yes… quite right.” He stammered timidly, “Sorry about that, Abel. I guess it’s hard to contain my excitement, is all.”
Taking one more long pull from his pipe to calm himself, Abel was glad to see that his reaction had changed the mood of the meeting so quickly. It felt good for him to have the power in this group of politicians. “Now, tell me straight. What is it you want from my boy?”
Still reeling from his host’s reaction, Elder Danes turned to Imlay to provide the answer.
“In time, we hope that you will see the reason for our excitement, Abel.” The Magician looked thoughtfully at the younger man, and continued, “It has been over three decades since we’ve found a suitor for the Magician’s apprenticeship, and this is an amazing day for us.”
Standing now, Abel somehow stopped his voice from rising, but the anger was obvious, “My son will be staying here with his family. He has his future set out as a working man, not some soft politician or librarian.”
“There was a time, Abel,” Imlay answered him now, “when we could find magic in half the boys of Third Chapel. Back then, we had the luxury of only bringing in boys who were willing, with families that had no arguments. That, I’m sorry to say, is no longer the case.”
Abel had had enough. Screaming now, “You think you can come in here and talk to me like I don’t have a say in what my son does with his life?”
Without raising his voice, Imlay stood. His full height casting a huge shadow from the light of the fireplace was very intimidating. “The role the boy will play, in the years to come, is far more important than some idle resentment you hold for Magic users and politicians.”
Not willing to be put down by the other man’s stature in his own home, Abel railed on, “IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!”
“But daddy.” It was an insignificant sound compared to the men’s argument, but it brought all eyes to the small hallway by the kitchen.
“But daddy,” young Jonathan spoke up softly, “I want to go.”

-posted by Ken Lindsey 2-2-2010

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