If you read this post, you’ll know that my life was pretty crazy last month due to an almost move, and so I pretty much just gave up on the idea of NaNo this year. BUT, I did write a little of my novel, A Greater Divide(which I will totally keep working on), and I thought I’d let you guys take a peek at Chapter One…
“Sssshhhh! Quiet!” I held a finger up to my pink lips as my cousin, Marius, nearly tripped over his own two feet and bumped into me.
“I know, I know. I’m trying.” He nodded as he whispered hoarsely, “But I am supposed to be in the front anyways, remember?”.
It was true. Marius was the one with all the brains in the operation, as usual, and the only person I suspected in the entire kingdom who knew how to get us out of this wretched place of death and decay. Even in the underground tunnel, the stench of disease surrounded us in a thick fog; filling our heads and lungs like a poisonous fume. The sickness strangely appeared not to be contagious, but broke out in different sectors amongst the young and the old. It seemed to always be creating a battle plan of how to viciously attack the next innocent victim with it’s menacing arrows of terror. Fortunately, neither Marius nor I had yet to come down with The Fever for which no cure had been discovered. We would not let it take control of us as it had so many others. Under the cover of night in hushed tones, everyone had advised against our endeavor to escape. They said it could not be done, naming it utterly and completely impossible. However, we weren’t taking no for an answer. Our families were gone; there was nothing left to keep us here. We would escape…and we intended to survive.
Though confident in my cousin’s knowledge, I must admit that I had never been entirely comfortable with the plan. Marius adamantly refused to expose any information other than the obvious. He said it was safer that way. I chose to trust him-at least this once.
“Yeah.” I sighed. I stood flat against the wall in order to let Marius in front of me. I handed him the candle that flickered in tinsy spews; I frowned as it dared to go out. Marius took it from my steady hand and slowly began to move deeper into the hauntingly dark, narrow tunnel. I trailed close behind him; often too afraid to even breathe for fear that it would echo throughout; alerting the guards that were no doubt patrolling on top of us at this very moment.
“How much farther?” I asked in a voice that was barely audible despite the fact that my mouth was within inches of his ear.
“If my estimates are correct, we should be to the end in about another 47.3 feet.” He replied in an equally quiet voice.
Refraining a snort I whispered sarcastically. “Now how on earth do you calculate that your estimates are that close to being correct?”
Even though I couldn’t see his face I knew he was smiling. “It’s called genius, my cousin, pure genius.”
We continued to tip-toe quietly, and soon reached the end. Shockingly, Marius’ calculations were frighteningly accurate. We pushed the tunnel door open and grimaced as it let out a whining, but fortunately soft, creak. Marius blew out the candle with a silent puff! and placed it back inside the tunnel in an old bucket so that no one would see it right off…if they even found the tunnel, that is.
“We’re heading for the forest.” Marius mouthed and pointed into the distance where it was just barely visible.
“What if someone sees us?” I mouthed back.
“Don’t stop to find out.” Motioning for me to follow him with his hand, he crouched low to the ground and began to maneuver his way as quickly and silently as possible across the field. It seemed to be an ocean’s length between the tunnel overgrown with vines and shrubbery to the dense tree line; with my long legs I managed to stay right at his heels. Aside from the moon peeping out now and then, the night was empty of color, for it appeared that we had by good fortune received cloud coverage. Please, please don’t let anyone see us! I prayed silently. Suddenly, a distant horn sounded behind us and the kingdom walls lit up instantly after; one window at a time. Our escape had been discovered.
Marius pushed me in front of him and yelled in my ear, “To the tree line, hurry!”.
I nodded and began to run faster than I ever had in my life; picking up my long skirts as best as I could so that I wouldn’t trip over them. I soon noticed that my cousin was beginning to trail behind me, for he was on the shorter side and had equally small legs. I could hear the faint shouts of the kingdom’s infantry; the ground began to shake with the sound of hoof beats reverberating across the plain.
“Marius, come on!” I grabbed his hand and we continued to run as quickly as possible. The forest was only a short ways away, but the enemy was gaining ground.
“A little farther!” I pushed with all the energy and vigor I could muster; the first of the trees being just yards away.
As soon as we entered the forest, we continued to run while thankfully being able to avoid most of the tree roots, logs, vines and other hazards that tried to slow us down. Both of us were breathing heavily, and I knew that we couldn’t continue like this for much longer. I now easily heard the shouts between men, and I knew that they were slowly but surely tracking us down.
“We…have…to find…a place….to hide.” Marius managed to say between gasps for air.
“Ye..s…” I managed to respond. My eyes scanned the forest trees; my night vision had kicked in. Specifically, I was looking for a hollow one-one that we could easily slip into while still being big enough to hide two teens.
“There!” Marius pointed; he had apparently had the same idea that I had. Up ahead was a giant oak, and I could slightly make out a hole at the bottom of it. I breathed a sigh of relief-it looked just big enough to crawl through. I was hoping beyond hope that both of us could fit inside.
“Go, get in!” Marius shoved me inside the tree in urgency; he squeezed in directly behind.
The inside of the tree was dry and without a trace of dew or moisture. It was surprisingly much larger than I had thought and the inside was most certainly hollow. The smell of oak was strong enough to make my head ache, and even though I usually enjoy the scent, at the moment the severity of it made it quite atrocious.
“Can you go back any farther?” Marius asked.
“I don’t think so…” I replied. My hands searched in the dark; hoping to meet more space instead of tight walls. We were without any more luck.
“Nope. This is as far I can go.” I scrunched up into a tight ball as Marius squeezed even closer to my side.
“Well,” He sighed. “We should be safe here…at least for now.”
Congrats if you read the entire post(the chapter was about 1,000 words!)! 😛 I hope you all enjoyed, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE critique me! xD Any advice would be much appreciated. 🙂