#SampleSunday – Work In Progress

I’m working on a sword-and-sorcery short story set in the world of my forthcoming fantasy trilogy, SAGE. Here’s the first bit of the rough draft:

Kinnan who called himself the son of Ada stumbled in the darkness and fell forward. He had wit enough to shield his face with his left arm, but the jagged rocks of the Dragon’s Claws jabbed and cut or bruised him from chest to ankle.

He cursed the rocks, cursed the darkness, cursed Landry, the usurper who had driven him into exile — even cursed his supporters for not being where he wanted them to be.

“We’ll meet you between the northernmost Dragon’s Claw and the next, ten nights after the coming full moon.”

But where between the claws? And what time of night?

Such vague appointments were common among insurgents, but the last bout of violence had left him wounded, and his tumble onto the rocky ground had started his gashes bleeding again. Finding the other rebels had gone from being imperative to being urgent.

He pushed to his knees, then back on his heels, waiting for his head to stop spinning before he levered himself to his feet.

His fall had lost the high, rocky outcropping — the “claw” — he had been following, and all he could see was starlight on rough ground and rope-like weeds. He stood, satisfying himself that his sword and knife were secure. If he followed the incline of the land upwards, he would reach the tree line or, at worst, the cliff. That would give him sufficient shelter from any possible pursuit until it was light enough for him to find his way into cover.

Wearily, he put one boot in front of the other, as he’d done in many another weary state.

He froze, startled, as white forms appeared above and ahead. A moment’s scrutiny and reason told him he was seeing mist racing from between the trees. Heartened in spite of the eeriness of the sight, he hurried to take cover in the mist and the woods.

One thread of mist reached him before the others. It seemed to wrap itself around him, cloaking him in a welcome invisibility.

With one arm up to guard his face and the other sweeping from side to side, he shuffled up the slope and between the trees. All was silent, but for the whispering of a breeze in the upper leaves and the hiss of gathered mist forming drops and falling in an arboreal drizzle.

“This way.”

Kinnan stopped, uncertain if he had heard a woman’s voice speaking or had made the words out of layered sounds and imagination.

Am I getting it? Sword-y enough? Sorcery-y enough? It gets swordier and sorcerier as it goes.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a paragraph or two with the weather-type atmosphere part of the narrative atmosphere.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “#SampleSunday – Work In Progress

  1. Marion Driessen

    December 11, 2012 at 2:08am

    Don’t know if it’s sword-y and sorcery-y enough – you haven’t waved it around yet 😉 – but I want to read on!
    A tendril of mist wrapping itself around him is spooky, and you describe the dark atmosphere well. So a big YES from me!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 11, 2012 at 8:41am

      Marion, as a D&D expert, please advise me: How soon does the sword have to start waving around? Should I start with a battle?

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  2. Marion Driessen

    December 11, 2012 at 2:16pm

    Well, I would immediately draw my sword if I (thought I) heard a voice in a hostile and unknown environment.
    And no, you don’t have to start with a battle, hehehe. Build up the suspense and then start waving! 😉 But you know far better than I do, dear Marian!!!
    @Marian Allen

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