Friday, January 28, 2011

"No Fear" Blogfest Entry

Dominic over at Writes of Passage is hosting the "No Fear Blogfest" from Jan. 28-30,  in which you showcase your main character showing of his or her bravery. We all want brave characters, right? Here's my entry, from A Ranger's Tale (available now at Melange Books).

 *Edit--I'm expanding the beginning here a bit and giving a little backstory. This is a scene during which Galadin (told in his POV here) is on the run with Caliphany from her father, the wizard Sirius Aranea. He's training her to be a ranger, and the mayor of a faerie village in the Eastwood mountains has asked them to clear out some goblins from an old temple. Let's just say things don't go as smoothly as they planned:




      Cali stood and flung her bow over her shoulder.

      I waved my hands at her. “Cali, I think you should stay here in the camp.”

     “I will do no such thing.”

     “The goblins aren’t to be taken lightly. They can swarm on you in an instant.”

     “Which is all the more reason I should go along to help.”

     There was no arguing with her, not with that stubborn set of her chin and those flashing blue eyes. Damn, she was beautiful when she set her mind to do something.

     “All right, then, let’s go, but we have to be careful.”

      We climbed the narrow path up the cliff side to the ancient temple. Bastivar was a crumbling, pillared fortress carved into the mountainside in honor of the goddess Innessa. Worshippers had long since vanished, and as long as anyone could remember, the only current inhabitants were goblins.

      “Hidari mi compli,” we chanted, and sneaked inside. Our eyes adjusted to the dim light in the entryway.
 
      “I’ll draw some of them out,” I whispered. “Stay concealed, and when you see one coming, shoot it.”

       Down one corridor, a group of three goblins came toward me. I aimed and shot one, then ran back when the other two charged. Cali’s first arrow barely missed my head, but she got one. I shot the last one as she readied another arrow.

      “Nicely done,” I whispered. “Now, we—”

      “Achoo! Cali couldn’t stop her sneeze in time. She whispered, “I’m sorry.”

      A great snarling ensued from within the main corridor. A horde of beady, yellow eyes came toward us.

       “Cali, run!”

     She fled, and we ran down the cliff side as fast as we could without falling off. We reached the forest floor, and I looked back. Goblins streamed out of the ruins, so many that some fell off the cliff. There had never been this many before. It must have been a long while since anyone had cleared them out. We sped through the underbrush. Thorns scratched our skin and snagged our leathers, but they were gaining on us.
    We reached the main path, and I grabbed Cali. “Give me my father’s sword.”
     She unsheathed it and handed it to me. “Galadin, there’s too many. We’ll never fight them off.”
     “Conceal yourself and run. Now!”
     She clutched my sleeve. “I won’t leave you here!”
     For the brief moment while the goblins closed in, I met her panic-stricken eyes. I’d never met a woman I would die for, until then. “Go!”
     I pushed her on, and she turned to run. Goblins burst through the bush, and I readied my sword. Right and left, I swung, impaling and kicking them off the blade, chopping off spindly gray limbs, a head when I could aim just right. Jerking bodies began to pile at my feet. The onslaught lessened, but before I could catch my breath, another wave of them burst forth.
     One of them latched onto my arm, its jagged teeth sinking in through the leather. I cried out. Then, an arrow sank into its ugly body. Cali had come back, her next arrow nocked and ready. I shook the goblin off my arm. Still, they came, yet another wave.
     She threw down her bow and ran to my side. “Galadin, get back!”
     “What? No, I told you to run!”
     “No time.”
     She pulled me back, stepped in front of me, and held out her hands. Blue fire burst from her palms, like flaming blasts of lightning, but continuous, and dreadfully hot. I had to back away from the intensity of the heat. The inferno charred the goblins, turning them from gray, to black, to piles of ashes before my eyes. The fire consumed every bush and weed, everything in its path, until the goblins in the rear decided they were outmatched. Shrieking, they turned and hightailed it back up the cliff and into Bastivar.
     Cali stared at her smoking hands. I ran to her, relieved to see that she wasn’t burned. But, she was weakened. I embraced her, letting her catch her breath, her head on my shoulder. I ran my fingers along her braid.
    “I didn’t know you could do that,” I said.
     She raised her head and peered into my eyes. “I didn’t either.”
     Then, our lips met, and nothing else mattered.

16 comments:

  1. You know what I loved most of all? you said "Cali stared at her smoking hands". You kept it real even within your fictional world. :)
    thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks. I try to make my characters as "real" as possible, even in the midst of fantasy and magic.

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  3. Mysti, not only were your characters real, the action was riveting. Great job, Roland

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  4. Hi,

    Amazing snippet and great descriptive action! Nicely done. ;)

    best
    F

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  5. NICE!!! Exiting, suprising, riveting.... lots of good -ings, lol

    I like your style, too. Really pulled me in.

    ALSO....nice to meet you! And I'm following, too. : P

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  6. Ooo...I was gripped from the first line and that last line was just perfect! An excellent piece of writing.

    No Fear Blogfest

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  7. A very intense and exciting scene. Well done!

    Michael

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  8. Short but still action packed. I loved it and she was really brave too.

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  9. I want more! That was a wonderful piece, I was there in an instant and could smell the smoke from her hands - gripping!

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  10. I really enjoyed this story. Both the characters showed their bravery, one by fighting them off with a sword and the other by facing them with her hands of fire when she didn't know she could do that.

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  11. "Right and left, I swung, impaling and kicking them off the blade, chopping off spindly gray limbs, a head when I could aim just right." Wow! That was an action-packed piece of writing. There was plenty of bravery and enough goblins that they fell from the cliff ;)

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  12. Hi there! Nice to meet and follow someone new! I like this excerpt. Was great to read and a worthy entry in the bravery stakes!

    Denise :)

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  13. Thanks everyone! I expanded the beginning a bit to give more of an idea of what led up to this :)

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  14. Exciting stuff and lots of bravery going on here!

    The piece was gripping and leaves us wanting more.

    Well done and thanks for entering my blogfest :)

    :Dom

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  15. “I didn’t either.” I'm so glad I didn't have a drink in my hand when I read that :D

    Nice action!

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