Archive for the ‘ Writing Samples ’ Category

#TeaserTuesday: Theron’s Folly, Part Two

A late #teasertuesday post, continuing off from a previous Tuesday, which can be found here.


Dragging the ladder sideways was easy. As soon as it hit the hook, she started to lift again. She strained until she could not lift any more and then let it drop. With the odd sound of wood hitting metal, the second rung struck the hook. Just as she hoped, it held; the ladder stayed suspended a foot off the ground.

After that it was simple: lift, pause, lift, pause. The hook held each time she needed to rest. As she finally got the bottom of the ladder onto the outcropping, she heard the tower door slam open.

They were in the final stretch, but so was she.

Quickly shoving the ladder against the back wall, she checked to make certain it would not slide and then scrambled upwards. It was not until she reached the top that she realized her mistake.

She had placed the ladder in line with the hook, not her original position. In between those two places was a large gap where the wall had crumbled. She let out a word that would have gotten her scolded until sundown had any of the village women heard it.

There was a loud call from across the gap. Theron looked up to see Nereus waving at her, one hand firmly on Damon’s Pole. His tunic had been half tugged out from his belt, obviously by someone seeking to hold him back, and sweat plastered his dark hair to his forehead, but he wore a bright grin on his face.

The rest of the group caught up with him, panting in exertion.

“Nice plan!” Nereus called. Theron scowled at her twin brother and resisted the urge to make a rude hand gesture.

She had failed. She was going to become a woman, busy with marriage and motherhood, without any last childhood victory.

It was only after starting to plan her revenge that she realized that she was on a part of the wall none of the other children had ever been able to reach. The revelation instantly made up for losing the race. Looking behind her, she saw it stretch towards one of the sheer rock faces that arose on either side of the ruins. Though there was nothing immediately interesting in sight, it was hers to explore.

Advertisements

#TeaserTuesday: Theron’s Folly

Theron’s Folly is a short story that may end up becoming the beginning of a novel. “May” as in I have two pages and about fifty-five note cards on said novel already, not counting this short. I obviously have a hard time sticking to a single project; I always need at least two going at once, because my mind likes to have things to flip between.

I’m just posting the very beginning to test the waters, especially as it hasn’t gone through rigorous editing yet, but please tell me what you think!

*
(Updated August 17, 2010 for edits.)

Theron could hear peels of laughter from the tower, wafting out of the arrow slots as the boys raced each other to the top. There were a few cries of protest, and she knew that someone had attempted to push their competitors out of the way. There was more laughter; no doubt the pusher had been the one sent rolling back to the last landing.

From the sounds of it, they were only halfway up the spiraling stairs. She still had time.

The heavy oak ladder had not been made to be lifted by a fourteen-year-old girl, much less hauled up half the length of a fortress wall. All of her strength only lifted it a few inches from the dirt ground below. Once it was up that far, she was forced to let it fall back down, again and again. Still determined, despite her already tired muscles, she gripped the top run and tried again. It was the only ladder on the staggered wall, and without it her plan would fail.

The base of the ladder hit the ground with another thunk. Exhaling in a puff of frustration, she tried to think of an alternative. She had to win this time around. There would not be any more chances. Even now her husband-to-be traveled over the far fields from the hills beyond, bringing her closer to adulthood with ever step of his horse.

She was a half-step up the fortress wall, standing on a small outcropping that, as far as she could tell, had once been built for soldiers fleeing enemies on the ground. They could scale the ladder, and, if they were in luck, pull it up after them to leave their pursuers on the ground. .

The boys’ voices were getting clearer. They were nearing the top of the tower.

Theron looked at the ancient banner pole that sat, rusty and unused, on the top of the great stone wall. What banner had once flown from it none of them knew, but they had given it a name of their own: Damon’s Climb, after the first child who managed to shimmy his way to the top of it. She was so close to getting up there. All she had to do was get the ladder to cooperate.

Putting her hands on her hips, she cast her eyes downwards, prepared to give it a glare like it had never known before. She was distracted by the sight of an old hook, still firmly attached to the stone. Obviously it was meant to hang some flag or shield off of, though any decoration was long gone by now.

Whatever its original purpose, it solved her problem.