So I realized that I haven’t posted in awhile about my own book. Muh b’.
As some of you may know, I have written a book, and I am making my way along the long, dreary road to publication. Needless to say, it’s a process. A very long process. In order to get published a reputable publishing agency, a writer needs to first find a literary agent that will represent them. Otherwise, a publisher wont even look twice at you. I’m at this stage.
After editing Children of Earth at least 20 times, and even putting the second book on the backburner, Ii feel like it’s ready for Literary Agents to take a peek. And to even get them to look at it, I need to write one helluva query and build a platform. Building a platform entails getting hundreds of followers on multiple social media websites (at least if you haven’t been published before). I haven’t been published before, I have nearly 600 followers on Pinterest, nearly 200 on my Book page on facebook, and only 4 on tumblr. Poor tumblr probably feels neglected.
So as I wait to potentially get published, I have decided to offer you faithful followers a small peek at Children of Earth.
It was a busy day in the temple. Hundreds of voices echoed about the catacombs. Mothers, fathers, lovers, sons and daughters, family members old and small came in today to make a light for their loved ones. So many people came in that Lyon worried that they wouldn’t have enough lights soon enough and they would have to send an envoy to collect more from the Braust, but they had so few warriors left, it seemed they would have to wait until after the War.
Lyon muttered under his breath, and began taking notes.
Only one light per family.
It seemed cruel but it was quickly becoming a necessity. So many families had sent out more than one son or daughter to fight in the War. Lyon’s own sister was out fighting the War to avenge Zara, their elder sister.
Thinking of Zara brought tears to his eyes, and he brushed them away impatiently.
He looked up in annoyance as the people grew too unruly in the sacred temple. The Temple was a quiet place for worshippers, not hacklers. He looked up and asked the Gods for patience. His eyes caught the vivid scene of the Gods first creating Elandria. The six Gods – Rashed, Organa, Yler, Claygor, Juliun, and Serenia – came to the land of Elandria and painted the people and places that now stood, much in the same way the paintings were done on the walls.
Everything they drew came to life, both good and bad, and from there they gave the people the Gifts. Serenia, the goddess of strength and resilience, carried boulders over her tiny frame, dropping them at Juliun’s feet. The handsomest and the most thoughtful of the Gods, Juliun sat on one of the boulders, head in his hands as he watched his brothers Yler and Claygor, patience and curiosity, form the world in their hands. Rashed watched from the shadows, a dark specter and Organa grew the Aroule Tree. The drawings were both simple and elegant, laid down thousands of years before Lyon’s time in simple shades of brown paint.
A baby’s cry drew Lyon’s attention from the drawings and he sighed.
The day was still young and there was much to do. Lyon strode over to the families collecting lights, and was about to make an announcement, when all the air in the room seemed to still, catching his tongue.
Everything in the atmosphere seemed to shift, as if making room for more. Lyon felt his heart begin to tremble as the world shifted underneath his feet. Screams resonated throughout the temple as everyone felt the ground tug and tear beneath them. Through the glass ceiling of the temple, the clouds dissipated and the sky turned a dark purple, plunging everyone into darkness. The screams around the temple heightened, and Lyon threw himself against a pillar to steady himself. The earth in the middle of the temple opened up, revealing a large gaping hole. Lyon cried out as those too close to the hole were swallowed up into its depths. The glass ceiling above them cracked and the glass gave way, crashing down upon the worshipers of his temple.
The cries turned to those of pain, and people began screaming impossibly louder.
What have we done? Lyon fell to his knees. What could they have possibly done to earn such retribution from the Gods?
The room came to abrupt standstill, and a moment of stunned silence passed before people began to wail. Lyon felt a cut on his forehead begin to flow with blood. He looked around in wonder. The elaborate paintings on the wall had shifted and changed, in no way that could have been done simply by a quake. The Gods’ forms had shifted, revealing six different forms.
Lyon gasped. This could only mean one thing. The long prophesized Children of Earth had come.
The smell of smoke woke Evie. Warm grass tickled her nose, and a cool breeze teased her hair. Her clothes were still soaked through from the night before but the sun beat down upon her relentlessly, and warmed her through. Another whiff of smoke urged Evie to her feet on unsteady legs and she got a good look at her surroundings.
She was in a field, lined with strange trees that seemed to touch the clouds. They were remarkably tall, with long, thick limbs that curled, dipped and dove, and were lined with huge leaves that were big enough for her to wrap around herself. It was oddly sunny, compared to the onslaught of rain from the day before. It felt strange to her, closer than it should have been but Evie gladly soaked in some Vitamin D while she continued to look around her, trying to figure out where that smoky smell was coming from.
A foggy darkness covered one half of the field, presumably the smoke. The grass around her was thick and tall, with Evie’s head barely cresting the top of the large leaves. The leaves were soft and fuzzy, and they rubbed soothingly against Evie’s skin. Dreamily, she reached out and held one of the leaves between a thumb and forefinger, rubbing it gently. It began to secrete a sour scent and Evie immediately let go, startled.
A scream from the distance broke through Evie’s hazy reverie. The man! The stones! Neither was in sight.
Another scream rang from the distance, followed by the sound of horns and clamoring steel. She remembered Sybil screaming before everything went black the night before. Where were the others? Evie spun in a circle, searching the grass around her, but they weren’t in sight. Another scream ripped through the air and Evie’s face broke into a determined scowl.
Evie rushed toward the sound, running across the field at a breakneck pace. She vaulted through the trees at the edge of the field, and the smell of smoke grew thicker. Soon she found it hard to breathe. Evie slowed to a stop, and she heard the sounds of multiple screams, both male and female, and they grew louder.
Evie hesitated, taking a step back. The screams were guttural, and the air was ripe with the scent of blood and smoke. She could hear the clanging of metal on metal, and the gurgled cries of people dying. Evie felt her body begin to shake. What had she run into? She slowly reached forward and tentatively pulled a leaf back just a fraction, and heard herself gasp. Just beyond the tree, men and woman alike were fighting each other, making deadly dances in a glen-like meadow. It was loud and the battle raged across her vision.
Nearest to Evie, two men were battling it out in a deadly dance. One was short of stature with dark skin, shocking white hair and red lines across his face. He was dressed head to foot in dark green leather, that was loose about his joints. The other man was much taller, broader and muscular, with pale skin and short cropped black hair and his skin danced with blue circles. He moved just as quickly as the other man, and both had strange metal blades attached to their forearms.
Their movements were so slow and fluid it seemed like they were underwater. The larger guy was having no trouble keeping up with the smaller man, despite his larger size, and the smaller guy seemed to be barely hanging on, as blood dripped about his ankle from a gash across a thigh. His steps began to falter and the larger man made one fell swoop, slicing the man across the middle. The large man grunted as the smaller man crumpled to the ground.
Evie gasped, and felt her heart begin to hammer against her ribcage. Every ounce of her being screamed at her to run. Evie quickly took a step back, letting the giant leaf fall, blocking her view of the murders, and moved to leave the scene as soon as possible, but not before the small man was thrown through the leaves in front of her.
Evie cried out as his lifeless body hit hers, bringing them both crashing to the ground. Shaking beyond control, Evie pushed the body off of her own, and recoiled as her hands came back warm and sticky, drenched in blood. She heaved herself to her feet and wiped as much of the blood off as possible on one of the giant leaves. Her breath was coming from her in audible sobs, and she couldn’t keep her hands from trembling.
Terror held her still, and soon another woman burst through the leaves, screaming like a banshee, startling Evie to such an extent she fell backwards against the trunk of a tree, crying out. The rough bark scratched at the back of Evie’s calves, but she was transfixed by the strange woman, who was rooted to the spot, staring blankly at the dead man at her feet. The woman was dressed from head to foot in dark green leather, and she had light tan skin and black hair tied in a loose knot at the top of her head and falling from there in a veil around her shoulders. She screamed in agony as she collapsed to her knees, hugging the corpse to her chest.
Evie didn’t know what to do, torn between attempting to comfort the woman or run for her life. The woman crumpled to the ground next to the body and was sobbing into the leather jerkin of the man. Evie took a tentative step back, hoping to go unnoticed, and her instincts urged her to run for her life. Before Evie could get too far, another woman hurtled through the bushes. She was dressed much like the other woman, but on her arms were massive long blades that curled around her fist and back to her elbows. Her face was decorated with swirling red lines that zigzagged. Evie swore she saw them move but blinked away the impossible thought in the next second.
The armed woman unclenched a fist and one of the blades fell from her hand to fall softly on the mossy floor. She stooped to say something to the crying woman; the tone of her voice sounded comforting and sad, but Evie couldn’t make out a single word she was saying, the noises coming out of her mouth sounded like a guttural song.
The woman hesitated, then shot back up, and glared directly at Evie. They stood at an impasse, and the woman slowly reached down to collect her blade again. Evie tensed like a deer in headlights.
The woman screamed a war cry, swinging the blade at Evie’s head, and Evie barely ducked in time, the metal crunching as it embedded itself into the tree. Yelping, Evie made a break for it. She heard the woman screaming at her, but she couldn’t understand her and she didn’t care to. Evie didn’t even know if she was headed in the right direction, her instincts told her to just keep running. Evie hurtled over fallen logs, and around boulders, but she could still hear the woman crashing behind her.
Evie let her instincts guide her and began to push harder, letting the sound of screams and agony fall back behind her, slowly fading away. She darted around trees and through brooks, never looking back.
She was just starting to feel those twinges of relief and exhaustion coursing through her when the ground dropped beneath her feet and she went flailing head first down a hill. She crashed on her belly, knocking the wind out of her, and she began to aimlessly roll down the hill. Her head cracked on a stone, and black spots and stars began to absorb her vision as she tumbled.
Eventually she reached the bottom, and she couldn’t bring herself to move. Everything around her was spinning, her breath escaping from her chest in ragged gasps. Her mind was screaming at her to keep running but the minute Evie heaved herself to her feet, her knees buckled underneath her and she lurched again to the forest floor. Evie knew she had to hide, that the woman would hunt her down no matter how fast Evie had run.
Evie forced her arms to tug her across the mossy ground toward the nearest tree, and curled up underneath its lowest leaves. Wrapping her body around the wide base of the tree, hidden from the outside world by the largest leaves Evie had ever seen, she forced her breathing to slow and quiet. She listened outside for the sounds of her pursuer, but none were forthcoming. After what seemed like hours, Evie finally allowed her mind to wonder where she had gotten herself to. The smoky stench in the air seemed to have vanished; she must be too far away to smell it.
She had been running for a long time before she fell, but for how long exactly? And how far had she gone? Rain began to fall outside her hidden sanctuary and she curled up even tighter, listening intently for footsteps. Evie’s vision began to shake, and she remembered the blow to the head she had received. She reached back to touch the lump forming on the back of her head, and cringed when touching it sent shocks throughout her skull. She lied down on her side, knees pulled up to her chest, and let her head rest against the cool mossy floor.
The mossy floor of the forest was super thick. It cushioned Evie, making her drowsy. She shook herself, trying to stay awake. Sleep tugged at her, and Evie futilely fought against it – she couldn’t let herself lose focus, but it overcame her, dragging her back, and eventually her eyelids slowly closed and she temporarily forgot this new world around her. She fell into a heavy sleep and nothing could budge her, not even the man slowly crawling through the leaves towards her.