Today, Ben and I finished the end of the twelfth chapter which ended Part One of the novel (which will be Three parts long) !!!
We printed it and, in A5, it would be about the size of Harry Potter One! And that's only the first part! This is going to be a heavy book at this rate!
I actually can't believe that we have managed to get this far!!!
I printed it all out because I find it easier to edit that way.
Yep, that's right! I'm now going to go through the whole thing and edit it!
So when it's done, I will be showing it to some friends and family.
When J.K. Rowling was writing the first Harry Potter, she only ever showed it to her sister. Her Mum never even knew she was writing it and she died before J.K. had even finished it.
I don't want a friend or a member of the family to miss that opportunity. I don't want my grandparents to never know my novel writing endeavours.
So that is why I have been telling everyone.
In celebration, I have done no work on it tonight and I will now give you the third chapter! :D x
Here it is!!!
A face with a long nose, two thin, moon-white eyes, and giant pointy ears stared down at Malina. The creature’s sweeping, silver hair rested on her chest. Staring directly at the tip of an arrow, she jumped in fright! Alarmed, the strange creature before her leaped backwards, but kept its guard. She was sitting against a tree, staring into the face of what looked like a human stick insect carrying a bow and a set of arrows. It wore a camouflaged toga reaching just above its knees... its skin seemed to shimmer in the sunlight shining through the trees...
Suddenly she was alert. Where was she? Who...what... was she looking at? What had happened? She had so many questions, she began to feel dizzy!
“Hello, I’m Morlen.” It said, with a slight accent.
Malina stared at it in shock. It could speak her language? It held its head sideways to the left as it watched her.
“I can help you. Come with me.”
But Malina just stared.
“If you come with me, I can take you to safety.”
In a swift movement, it cocked its head to the right.
“Suit yourself” it smirked. The creature lifted her to her feet, one arm behind her back, the other holding her left elbow, and held her steady. It was surprisingly strong, despite its skinny build. “Walk beside me.”
Malina obeyed. Her head span in all directions. If the creature hadn’t been holding her up, she would have fallen to the ground.
After a few minutes of silence, walking further into the woods, Malina found her voice.
“Who are you?” She croaked.
She looked up into the strange, shimmering face. It had white eyes and beautifully smooth skin.
“I told you. Morlen.”
“Uhh...what are you?” Morlen looked slightly offended at this question as if the answer was meant to be obvious. He sighed.
“I am a member of the mountain dwellers. I am a Boroughgrove.”
“What happened to me?”
“You tell me!” he burst out. “I was out here, hunting for woodlanders when I saw you lying face down on the floor. I propped you against the tree and a few minutes later, you woke up” he said, ducking them both under a low-lying branch. His voice was kind. It seemed as light as his body. It was as if it drifted into Malina’s ear through the wind.
“What’s a woodlander?”
“Edible animals of the forest. Birds, deer, grobblers, squeezles...”
Malina stared at the creature, utterly bewildered and perplexed. He must be dangerous, she decided. He was ensnaring her with a friendly manner. Perhaps she was what he called ‘a woodlander’.
“Looks like you came from Shalo, am I correct?” He asked.
Malina tried to think back. Yes, he was correct. She nodded in reply.
“Where are you taking me?” She asked, warily.
“You can’t! You can’t! I can’t go home!” She let go of his arm and tried to make a run for it. In a flash, he had caught her again.
“No, no! My home!” he chuckled, grabbing her round the waist in a strong grip. She wasn’t sure whether to trust him or not, but somehow she felt safer, knowing she wasn’t going back to Shalo.
A few minutes of silence followed while they made their way through the thick woodland. Malina was the first to break the silence.
“Where is your home?” She asked, desperate to find her moment to escape, hoping she’d be able to stay on her feet.
“The mountain caves, of course.”
“There are mountains here? Where are they?”
Morlen stopped and gave her an expression of disbelief as if this was obvious. He mumbled something unintelligible about Shalolians then took them further on their way.
“Are you going to tell me why you’re here?” he asked then paused. “Do you know why you’re here?”
Malina suddenly remembered the events which had led her so deep into the forest. She choked at the memory and tripped on a fallen branch. Morlen stopped her from falling, with a worried look, but wasn’t given a reply.
“Well, no doubt the chief will want to know where you came from, so I guess I’ll find out then. Here we are.”
A huge cliff face could be seen through the trees, a deep cave at its base. A wide path had been cleared of rocks for people to come in and out with ease. They walked into the cave, Morlen still holding her upright. Inside were more of these strange creatures, though Morlen was definitely skinnier than most. He had a taller build as well.
They were walking through domed caves with flickering torches hung at intervals on the walls. Each step Malina took seemed to reverberate through the tunnel, while everyone else’s were silent as snow. Each of them murmured quietly to each other, creating an odd hum of sound.
“Mahn atsa lle deloth eller!”* Said a man with white messy hair and a white beard. To Malina, this sounded like nonsense words, but they seemed to mean something to each other.
“Narlle!”* chuckled Morlen in reply.
Whatever they were saying, it didn’t sound too friendly. She was definitely some sort of prey, Malina decided.
“Sorry about that – he likes to speak in our ancient tongue.”
Malina raised her eyebrows in surprise but said nothing. She felt like she had been pulled into an entirely new world!
“So all of you are...outlaws?” she asked him.
“Outlaws? No, we are Boroughgroves.” He corrected.
“I didn’t know there was such a thing as a...a Boroughgrove...”
“Of course you didn’t.” He spat. “Shalolians know nothing beyond their county.”
Malina ignored this insult.
Abruptly, he stopped outside large oak doors, engraved all over with odd symbols. He turned to her and held her shoulders, and with a serious expression and tone of voice, he said,
“Now, you’re about to meet the chief. You are polite and good to him or he will not accept you. If I bring in a rude Shalolian, I’ll be in The Ruff.”
He sighed in exasperation. “Big trouble. Got it?”
Malina nodded. He squeezed her shoulders in an attempt to be reassuring and heaved open the entrance to an enormous cave, warmed by the biggest stove Malina had ever set her eyes upon!
The room was brilliantly lit - lined with candles on ever surface – and smelt like a large cathedral. It was a mixture of candle wax and extinguished flame.
“Morlen, what brings you here today? Asked a gruff voice. Malina frantically looked around but could not find the source of the voice.
“Chief Baeron, I found a Shalolian lying in the forests on my hunt. She doesn’t look too good; I wondered whether we could house her for a bit.” Said Morlen, seemingly staring up at the ceiling.
“A Shalolian? Why would you want to help one of those?” The chief spat.
Morlen walked forward, still keeping Malina upright. Malina shook from head to toe. At last, she had found the source of the voice. He sat on a disconcertingly high chair, made of beautifully carved wood. The chief had long braided silver hair, reaching his ankles. His silver beard reached his chest and almost sparkled in the light from the candles. On his face could be seen hundreds of little scars, cutting through the beautiful skin. He wore green robes which trailed onto the floor behind him, making a slight rustling sound as he walked.
He climbed down a ladder on the side of his thrown and came to inspect the girl.
“You say you’re a Shalolian?” he ran a suspicious and malicious gaze over her. His eyes were harsh and dark.
“Uhh... yeah, I am... or was...” Malina mumbled.
“So you are no longer a member of the County of Shalo?” he interrogated.
“I guess not...” She replied, a very worried tone appearing in her voice.
She bit back a tear and tried to return his accusing stare.
Out of the blue, a surprisingly kind smile transformed his face. She didn’t know what to make of the chief. One moment he despised her, and the next he was welcoming her in with open arms!
“Sit down, dear, sit down” the chief growled, pointing to a set of large armchairs. Morlen set her down on one of these chairs and sat on the one next to it. The chief sat in front. To Malina’s right was a roaring fire in a large stove, set into the stone wall. It was as hot as if she was in it!
“Now, tell me how you got here.” said the chief.
Malina struggled to remember, but at last it came. He held back for a bit, unsure as to whether she should open up to the man. To tell the truth, he terrified her. He held a sense of dominance over everything in the room.
He insisted she tell him so she decided she had no choice.
She told him what it had been like for her in Shalo and told him of the disastrous events that had led up to where she was now.
“This is an interesting story you have to tell.” He exclaimed. “Do you have proof? How do I know you are not just a spy?”
“I have my outlaw scar.”
“Outlaws don’t have scars. They are branded.”
“So I’m not an outlaw?”
“I cannot be sure until I see your mark.”
Malina pulled her sleeve up above her shoulder, revealing her name, etched into her skin. The letters were small but still readable. Whoever had written it on her must have had incredible skill with a knife.
“Curious. Very strange...” He remarked. His eyes indicated his mind drifting to a faraway place that neither Morlen or Malina would ever see into.
Malina’s eyes had not yet become used to the strange light in the caves and her forehead was badly bruised. She closed her eyes, trying to stop the dizziness.
“You see, my dear, outlaws can be identified by looking at the branding on their arms. It is a tradition for them to burn the chosen name into the child’s arm, but not cut it. It seems -though do not stand by my words - it seems that your parents tried to brand you in the same way, but, perhaps, without heat. This was done by a blade, not a branding tool.” He paused, thinking. “Well, since you are clearly not a Shalolian by birth, I am willing to help you, even if it is just to spite those good for nothing creatures.”
“Help me with what? I don’t want to live there.”
“No, I would never take you back there! What a crime that would be!” He cried, outraged by the thought. “No, no, no! I know of what they do to outlaws there and of what they do to their belongings. They will burn everything you’ve ever owned if we don’t get there soon enough. You will have your rest, and then we shall devise a plan to retrieve anything you need before it is too late.”
“I have all I need with me.” She said.
“What about your Aunt and Uncle?”
“They can’t burn them! That’s murder!” She shouted angrily without thinking.
“No, no, child. They will imprison them. And in return for your contribution in and around the caves, we will save them.”
Malina stared at the chief in confusion. How did he think that would work?
“Thank you for your understanding, chief.” Morlen said, answering for her.
“It is no matter. I have done many a dangerous thing in my time. Besides, this rescue mission will be an adventure! I would like to join you, just to see in to the Shalo City.”
“Well, I don’t live in the city itself. I have to climb the walls to get in. I live in the tree houses on the outskirts.” Malina mumbled.
“Fascinating! Tree houses! It’s a trip I look forward to. Now, Morlen, she can stay with Elayna.” He gestured with his hand towards the door. “Show her to her room” he said with a stern, direct voice.
Morlen nodded, rose and offered Malina his hand, which she gratefully took. He the bowed and made his way out of the doors, pulling Malina with him.
She followed Morlen down a long stone corridor. He then knocked on a wooden door, set within the stone and waiting for it to open.
The occasional swear-word could be heard from inside.
A woman with short, silver, spiky hair answered the door. She wore a thin green shirt and a long dark brown skirt which touched the floor.
“Elayna, Malina is to stay with you for a few days. Chief’s orders” Morlen said.
“Malina? Right. Great. Someone to help wash up his dinners!” She said enthusiastically, looking Malina up and down with an interested expression.
Morlen chuckled as Elayna beckoned Malina into her room.
“Lucky timing, really. Bono only just moved to the north of the cave. They were going to take the extra bed away today.”
Malina smiled. Elayna seemed friendly enough.
“You’ll probably want some sleep after such an exhausting day” Morlen said, glancing meaningfully at Elayna.
“Well, Malina, tell me your story whenever you like. Seeing as you’re staying a few days, I’m guessing the chief is up to something. That means I’m in on it, so there’s no need to hide anything from me!” She exclaimed, nodding defiantly on her last word and giggling.
“Laynie, let her sleep.” Morlen said, with a forceful tone.
“Of course. Right, Malina, we will be in the room round the corner to the right if you need us. There are some oat biscuits somewhere and mugs are by the sink.”
Malina nodded as the two disappeared down the corridor. She closed the door and stood staring at the stone wall opposite her. Her head swam in confusion and fatigue.
She lay herself down on one of the beds and tried to sleep, but the harder she tried, the more she had to think about!
How had she managed to land herself in such a strange situation? How come she’d never heard of these people before? Why did everyone in Shalo think she was an outlaw? Was she an outlaw? Was it good or bad to be an outlaw? And most importantly, how had she done that magic? Or perhaps it hadn’t been her? Just someone hiding in the shadows, making it look like it was her. But she knew it was her. She has felt something unusual flowing out of her hands. So how had she done it? How was it possible that in one moment, she was a normal girl, and in the next, she was a fugitive? She didn’t really know how to react – everything had happened so quickly!
As she puzzled over these unanswerable questions, sleep finally came to her, drowning out her thoughts.
Hope you liked it!
P.S. Read this!!! http://www.wattpad.com/story/2020176 :D x