SAMPLE CHAPTERS & ARTWORK UPDATES

Archive for the ‘Story Snippets’ Category

New Short Story – Snippet

Short story I’m currently writing, which would take place after the defeat of the Dark Horn….

*****

A Chance to Represent

Nina watched the men from deck toss thick ropes down to the docks. It was fascinating how quickly they secured the ship. She heard the scrape of metal plank settling against the wooden docks as they prepared to disembark. Journey across the Sea of Sages was just the beginning. Looking beyond to the misty mountains filled her imagination with this strange new world… and questions.

The port itself peaked her curiosity with its many merchants and wares lined down the streets, and packed with travelers going either direction. There was already a line forming to board arriving ships – those of well-dressed quality, and all human. That much she could tell.

“They’re not accustomed to your kind yet,” she said to the robed figure standing close by. “Not even a harpy in sight.”

Those white-tufted ears slightly laid back at her words. A sapphire gaze glanced her way. If the ears did not give away his identity, the jeweled eyes would. Although his albino appearance amidst everything else usually turned heads in any new city. He gave her a warm smile.

“You wouldn’t here. And Healers generally don’t deal with non-magic destinations,” was his reply. “Normally, I wouldn’t myself. But this new role requires passage through all types of locations. Astra just so happens to be the central point for the next meeting.”

“And everyone who is magic will be there.” Nina turned to her second companion, a fiery-haired girl with gold streaks curled down around her face. The young Ember Mage smirked. “Except I’ve heard rumors that they’ve started checking for Dark Magic here.” Her gaze trailed past Nina to the prince. “So how are you planning to get her in, Embassador?”

“Wisdom doesn’t have to do anything,” Nina replied calmly. “He’s done enough to get this far. I can sense things, remember? I’ll know if someone’s coming.” With a sigh, she returned to staring out toward the mountains again. It helped calm her acute awareness of rushing crowds below. Control. Being a Dark One was all about control. She had learned that as a child. Now in her late teens, she felt compelled to accompany the prince and early Ember Mage appentrentice. The disturbance in Magic was stronger here than expected, as though a whole slew of people were about to experience Change.

She must have had that blank stare too long, for the she felt the prince’s hand on her shoulder. Nina turned her opal gaze to find the prince motioning to someone below.

“Our guide has arrived,” he said.”

“Will she accept Nina?”

“There’s no negative feelings yet, Kendra.”

The girl folded her hands in a huff. “Yes, but does this guide know that you’re here with us?”

“I did mention it to Kris once,” Wisdom said. “Should be fine. She’s not unaccomstomed to Dark One’s appearances.”

To be continued…

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Chapter Snippet

She raised herself to full height and peered down the gap of missing grass. What evening light remained had all but diminished as the young Black Wing continued to follow the open road. Why the plants had retracted was beyond her comprehension. But if it led her to a better food source, she was willing to take it. The rest of the field was untouched, with grassy stalks towering well above her head if she kept to all fours. Walking on two, however, required some extra balance.

With her maple-brown and black wings slightly spread, they acted as counterweights to her slight wobble. With a little practice, her gate evened. Soon, she was able to rely less on the wings and concentrate more on listening for movement. A petite body made for a nimble pounce, unusual for any Black Wing, and yet just as strong. Powerful hind quarters her into a lengthy leap, prolonging the distance with extended wings. A field mouse scurrying across the road was an easy catch and was swallowed whole in seconds. The feel of a still-warm morsel sliding down into her gullet was a delightful sensation. Small meals came easy. It was the larger ones that she felt cheated from.

A slight twitch came from the muscles across her right shoulder and down the back. With a sigh, she hoisted up that wing as though lifting a heavy sack and preened through some of the longer feathers. The quick jump had strained the muscle more than she liked. It was a frequent problem that caused rejection as a fledgling, and meals that could have gained her a better size. As the twitching slowly subsided, she could not help but remember those first few moments of disappointment from her guardian parent. The pride of any Wing were the wings themselves. To have a defect, even the slightest, lessened all chances of survival.

She let out a scolding hiss.

Chapter 5 Snippet – No’va

“Keep up!” Providence darted overhead as a dark gray and tan mocking bird. That striking blotch of white along the underside of the wings flashed with each stroke, almost mocking in itself while Jenario and companions struggled to keep pace. The several mile hike to the base of a mountain slope had been easy. Now as they climbed, gradual slant turned into an uphill trudge of gripping tree limbs and roots to help pull themselves along.

“Easy for you to say.” Shafari offered dirty looks between Thomas Gracie and Jenario. Nathan, however, seemed to enjoy the challenge.

“‘Bout time we get out of that place!” the Trapper called from way ahead. “Small chat ain’t my thing!”

“Thought you might enjoy the outing.” Thomas Gracie said.

“Be better on the hunt!”

“Well, while you’re at it, care to share some of that energy?” Jenario paused to catch his breath and received an overhead cackle from Providence.

“I promise the view is worth the effort!”

*****
Now we’re starting to hit some of the juicy parts. After the companions get situated in Healer territory, it’s time to go exploring. At present, Providence is leader of his people and has agreed to give them a tour. Perfect! We’ll get a chance to view some of the key areas that will soon become home to humans.

Keep in mind, there are still Black Wings lurking about, Moss Dragons, and probably a whole slew of other issues that have yet to be identified. But one thing’s for certain, we’re one chapter away from Jenario receiving his first favor from the unicorn!

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