Friday, May 13, 2011

Prologue of 'Shadows' End'

Here's the beginning of a story idea I've been toying with on and off. It will most likely end up as a prologue, maybe a flashback. Anyway, the kid, Roan, is about seven years old, maybe eight. If anyone's up to commenting, I have a few main questions, aside from just the general "does anything seem weird to you?" one:

From this beginning do you have a decent idea of where you think these people are and who they are? What are your impressions of these things?

What is your impression of Morika? Roan?

Did this create emotion in you? What emotions?

And, would you keep reading?


  Roan crouched down by the pile of brush in the corner of the hut and traced a finger along the baby’s cheek. “I’m sorry, Maia,” he whispered.
 “Come, boy.” A rough hand seized Roan’s arm and jerked him up, away from his sister. “We have to go, now.”
“No!” Roan wrenched away and dropped again by Maia’s makeshift bed. “Not unless she comes too.”
“I have told you already, she cannot,” the man spat in the rapid native language.
 “But you cannot leave her here alone!” Roan objected, crying back in the man’s tongue. He grabbed her little hand and she wound her fingers tightly around one of his.
 Don’t go, Roan, her eyes seemed to beg. I need you! He stared into her brown irises, nearly dominated by the black of her pupils. They gazed at him, wide, unblinking, and shining in the moonlight that streamed through the tiny window of the hut. He stroked her skin, shades browner than his own, stretched taut across the visible ridges of her bones from lack of food, dry and dehydrated from lack of water. He wouldn’t leave her...he couldn’t. She would die without him! 
The tall man bent over and grabbed Roan around the waist. He hauled the small boy up over his shoulder.
 “No!” Roan screeched. He thrashed and wriggled, kicking against his captor and beating his back with clenched fists. “No, no! Maia! Let me free!”
 The grip around his waist and legs tightened and the man pushed aside the reed mat that served as a door for the hut. The bright moon threw its light about, washing the tiny clearing in an unearthly glow.
Roan wailed, tears pouring down his cheeks, and continued to beat. “Please, let me go! I’ll stay with her, I don’t have to come with you! You can leave without me, I won’t follow, I’d stay here with her and not go anywhere, I promise. They wouldn’t find you! We’d be quiet. They wouldn’t track you! Please!” He ached to touch her, to hold her close and feel the curl of her soft black hair against his cheek, to hold her and let her know that she was safe.
 The man did not answer him.
As they drew further away from the opposite end of the clearing, nearing the jungle tree line, a soft cry rose from the hut. Whimpering at first, it rose in a growing crescendo, finally becoming a steady, mournful wail.
 The man swore in his language and began to run, jostling Roan about like a wild antelope being brought home from a kill.
 A kill. Dead. Roan felt dead. He fell silent, stopped kicking, knowing that there was nothing left he could do. He knew Morika would not give in. That he was too concerned about what lay ahead. That the only thing behind that mattered to him was when the baby would please stop her crying so there would be no sounds or hints for the wicked men to follow them by.

1 comment:

  1. You have my attention! =) Sounds like you have the beginnings of a great story!!

    Now to answer your questions...
    I would think the story is taking place somewhere in Africa, maybe during some kind of civil war... Morika? Either desperate or wicked!! Roan? Kind, loving, and also desperate to stay with Maia! Yes, it created emotion... a little anger and a little helplessness toward the end... And YES, I would keep reading! I'm proud of you, friend!! =) Keep up the good work!