I have written 2,084 words today which seemed surprisingly easy, but I think that was due to my enthusiasm. I’m waiting for the novelty to wear off. Quote of the day came from my NaNo pep talk email: “As we write our novels this month, join me in taking complete omnipotent ownership of our novel-worlds, where we, the writers, reign supreme and unopposed.” I love it! I can’t wait to continue my adventure tomorrow. But, seeing as how I got so much finished today I decided to post a bit (my prologue) on here and see what people think. Some of you read the original short story and this is clearly altered as I am trying DESPERATELY not to tell how the characters are feeling, but to show it. For example, when the boy falls on the floor gasping for air, I think it’s safe to say that he’s upset. But you really don’t know how hard it was for me to not tell you (the reader) that he was upset! This will be an interesting and handy skill should I refine it 😉 I have found, much to my delight and surprise, that several of my Ohio friends have joined in the WriMo fun. I’m so excited that I’ll actually have writing buddies this year! Now onward! I hope you all appreciate the true word “petrifaction” and that I did so much research on the subject just to use the one word 😉 As always I’d love to hear what you think, so be not afraid to leave a comment! In the next post, I’ll post some of the pictures I’m using for inspiration…
When he entered the forest, he did not immediately notice the silence. He walked briskly, head down, mind on other matters. He knew his path well, dodging trees and bushes without looking up. As he jumped over the little creek his head cam up and he saw the wood for the first time. Nothing moved. Not a limb or a leaf. No breeze stirred the ancient trees, no chipmunk chattered from a branch. The only sound was the water trickling by, but even that seemed muted somehow.
“Eila?” He called out. Hearing no reply he picked up his pace. “Eila!” He called again. He started running, feet pounding the forest floor.
“Eila…” he trailed off as he reached the clearing where a large oak stood. He sensed that something was wrong and tentatively walked up to the tree. He reached out, laying his hand gently on the trunk.
“What’s wron-” he gasped and pulled his hand back. His breath became choppy and shortly he fell to the ground, fighting for air. The trees all around bent in toward him and began whispering.
“We tried to call for you…”
“Too far away…”
“Where were you, princeling?”
“The mage…the Council…you must stop them…”
Soon he sat up, taking deep breaths, regaining the color that had fled his cheeks earlier.
“What happened to her?” he whispered, tears in his eyes.
“Petrifaction.” The musical lilt came from behind him and he turned to see a young dryad standing there. She was somber and her skin was unusually gray. “They turned her to stone.”
“Your skin…” he trailed off, unable to continue.
“Yes.” She replied. “We are dying. Without the Great One to support our life, we cannot continue here. My family is moving to the next Tree, the Elm. We will flourish under his branches for now.”
The boy nodded and turned back to Eila. “You said she was petrified?”
“By the Council.”
“You can’t know that.”
“It was their mage, and their guards. They sent her because they feared her. Now they must fear you.”
“I am nothing to be feared.” He stated quietly. “I never completed the training. I never will. I am not a leader.” The last sentence was said forcefully, as though reminding himself, as well as those around him.
“Yes, you are.” The dryad responded. “And I pray that one day you see it, or all my kind is doomed.” With that, she drifted away.
“I can’t do anything.”
“You are the only one who can.”
“No.” He whispered. “I…I…have to get out of here.” He backed away from the stone tree. “Goodbye Eila.” A single tear dripped down his cheek. Then he turned and fled.
As he ran he heard the trees cry out to him.
“You leave us to our deaths!”