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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Suspense Technique #1

Suspense Technique #1 of 7

I begin with a golden oldie, tried-and-true, and probably already familiar to you:
MYSTERY
This type of hook has been around since the dawn of fiction, but if anything, it has only become a more potent force with age. Mystery simply means to show the reader a glimpse of something enticing, but not tell them what it is…yet.

Mystery fiction and thriller fiction often begin with a crime: a theft, a kidnapping, a murder. There are interesting clues left at the scene (or no clues), but the case is as of yet unsolved by the detective/ protagonist--and especially not by the reader!

But to employ this technique, you don't need to be writing a traditional detective story within the mystery genre. You can hook the reader with mystery in any genre you write. Just begin the story with something that is unknown to the reader and make it as alluring as possible. And try to do this right at the beginning of your tale. Here are some examples of how mystery might be employed in the opening lines:

1. The voice on the other end of the phone was frantic, breathless…urgent. "Go! Go now!" he said. "It's locker 44 in the basement of the train station."
"I don't understand," Margaret said. "How does this involve me--?"
"Shut up!" said the voice. "There's no time. Go now. If the others find out you have the key, they'll do anything to stop you."
"I'm calling the police," Margaret said, wiping tears away. "I'll give them the key."
"I wouldn't blame you," said the voice. "But if the police go to that locker, they won't find what you can find if you go RIGHT NOW. Margaret, I'm begging you. Go to the locker now. If you don't, you'll miss the one chance to change the way you are. You know what I'm talking about…don't you, Margaret?"

Okay, so here we have mystery on several levels: a) what in the world is in the locker? b) who is this person on the other end of the line? c) Who else is after the key? d) What is it about herself that Margaret wants desperately to change? e) And finally, how will whatever is in the locker help Margaret change?

Here's another:

2. Zach knew better than to upset his grandfather. The guy was pushing seventy, but he still had broad shoulders and those ridiculously swollen forearms from thirty some-odd years working as a blacksmith. His temper, like the hot coals in his forge, was not to be trifled with. Still Zach wanted to know, and for the first time in a hundred visits to Grandpa's house, the old man had left the storm doors unlocked.

A little more subtle here. a) Zach knew better--how? b) What did Zach want to know? c) Why had Zach's grandfather kept the storm doors locked? d) And what is down in the storm cellar?

Last one:

3. "Get him out of here!" commanded Nazlund, pointing through the window at the approaching shadow of Lysander on the front walk. For a moment, Isabelle thought Nazlund might conjure a lightning bolt, but thankfully, the guards ran to the door and intercepted Lysander.
"Troublemaker," Nazlund muttered.
Isabelle nodded. That's exactly what Lysander was. The nerve of that old wizard scaring me like that. "Beware of the child you carry," he says. How dare he--"Oh, OH!! It's happening. Ah, the pain! Help me!"
Nursemaids flew into action, and Nazlund stepped aside to let them work. "Bear down, m'lady," said one of the maids.
"Here it comes," said the other.
Isabelle grunted and pushed with all her might. She could feel the pressure, and then…a sudden release. The room went silent. The nursemaids stared. Even Nazlund backed away.
"What?" Isabelle cried. "What's wrong with my child?"

Yike, every mother's nightmare. The mystery here includes: 1) What does Lysander the wizard know about Isabelle's child? 2) Is Nazlund the one Isabelle should be listening to? 3) And of course, what is wrong with Isabelle's child?

Feel like you've got the hang of the Mystery Suspense Technique?

Now, it's your turn. Write an opening line, paragraph or two that
will really hook us using mystery. Post it here.

Once I have twenty or thirty of them, I'll have my veteran Quality Fiction Team {ie: my lovely wife and me} select a winner who will receive a signed copy of Isle of Swords OR
The Door Within Paperback with "Lost Chapters!"

Only two entries per person, so get crafting and submit them when they are ready!

60 comments:

Amy said...

Kendall clutched Elliot's hand just as he lost his footing. With a stab of panic she felt her palm start to sweat and Elliot's hand slightly slip. Rocks and pebbles began to slide beneath her tennis shoes and onto Elliot's arm and head. A terrified, pleading expression masked his usually handsome features. Kendall knew if she couldn't figure out a way to pull Elliot back onto the path, he would meet the same fate as the rest of their classmates.

Brett said...

The threatening growl of thunder echoed through the hospital corridor as Ethan bolted around the corner. He didn't have much time. He careened past the nurses and doctors and slid into Room 415.
"Looking for someone?" hissed a gravelly voice from behind. Ethan whirled wiith clenched fists.
"What have you done with my dad?!" he hollered to the dark form before him.
An evil laugh ripped through the air, sending needle-like pricks up the teen's arms.
The being stepped into the light. Ethan backed away and rammed into the wall, gasping for breath.
He could see him. Those eyes. They were staring at him....through him....engulfing him in hate, rage, and malice.
In them burned a liquid fire.
"Nooo!" Ethan screamed.
He was too late. The enemy had invested itself within his father. He was now the spirit of evil personified. Ethan's father was lost, unless the teen found some way to free him from his bond with darkness.

everlastingscribe said...

Very nice Amy! And also, very nice Brett! I can see m'lord Batson and m'lady Batson are going to have a rough time picking winners. :-D Glad I don't have to.

Brett said...

My second entry :)
Brianna gazed silently into the chilly night. Her breath, forming clouds on the frosty air, floated away without a sound. The darkness of evening covered her, and she was grateful. Her purpose here was to be swift and cautious. 'Get the job done'.
That was her mission. Her silky black hair carried lightly on the brisk wind. Suddenly she sensed movement behind her. Before she could turn about a strong, muscular arm wrapped around her throat.
"I have you now, traitor!" a hoarse voice growled. Brianna struggled, but her captor held tight. Her vision fading, she let out a heart-wrenching scream into the night.

Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

The boy struggled against the restraints that bound him to the gurney, his moans and groans like the calls of a jungle animal. Several medical attendants rushed him through the gray halls, pushing the gurney through a set of double doors into a large room filled with small and large medical instruments. A cabal of doctors awaited him. Their faces were hidden by white cloth masks. When they approached him, their shoes made loud noises on the hard floor.

“Easy, son,” one of them spoke through his mask, “You’ll be fine soon.”

The boy’s voice was mixed with fright and fight. “What are you going to do to me?”

“You won’t feel a thing,” a second, shorter doctor said reassuringly.

The boy jerked his head left and right to get a good look at his surroundings, but all he saw were doctors, nurses...and him.

Him!

The tall man standing behind a sheet of thick glass, in a nearby observation room. He was tall, with white hair and a cybernetic eye that replaced his organic one. The gleam of metal under his sleeve gave away his mechanical right arm. The man looked like a human dynamo, with a gaze that could crush steel.

All of a sudden, a different voice erupted from the boy, one much louder...and crueler. “Let me out of this thing! Let me out now!”

Amy said...

Thanks Scribe! Your encouragement is much appreciated. :)

WayneThomasBatson said...

C'mon, Scribe...

Methinks you must do more than cheer on those who dared to enter this tilt. Unleash something sharp and pointed. We are waiting...

;-)

everlastingscribe said...

I am right behind her as she crosses the parking lot, her form flicking in and out of the bright halos cast by the security lights. I can smell the perfume she uses, the fainter scent of deodorant, and beneath it the salt and stink that every human possesses. Noxious creatures, these humans.

*there* :-D Now, is that a pass and a miss, or a hit?

Dona W. said...

OK, I usually lurk here, but I'll give it a try...

Moltanion brooded in the dim light. The setting sun played shadows on the walls of the throne room as he contemplated the situation. The incompetence of his spies enraged him. They should have brought him good news, yet they were returning again empty-handed.

The Seeker must be found! Moltanion pounded the arm of his throne in disgust. Prophecy foretold the Seeker would find the Lightstone and Moltanion lusted after it with a vengeance.

How'd I do?

Amy said...

My second entry:

Each carefully placed step Alanna took on the forest floor, crackled and crunched almost deafeningly through the still midnight air. She must not wake the others in the camp, she knew to do so would mean her death. King Haldor had made sure to send his best warriors to deliver her safely this time. The few glowing embers of the long-dead fire cast low shadows over each tent as she passed. Alanna held her breath as she delicately made her way past the Captain's tent. He would not soon forget their last meeting and how her escape had humiliated the King's most respected war hero. Her sympathy toward the enemy could've cost the King his throne. This was the Captain's final chance to remain in the King's favor; dead or alive, he must retrieve the King's most treasured possession: his daughter, Princess Alanna.

WayneThomasBatson said...

COOL stuff! I'm trying hard not to form judgments yet, since all entries are not in. These are very suspenseful openings to be sure. Keep it up!

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MichaelBashaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MichaelBashaw said...

Hello Mr. Batson! I don't know if you remember me, I emailed you once. Anyway here's my attempt.

__________________________________

The jungle at night was very dark. Marcus was all alone, and he could hardly see two feet in front of him without his flashlight.
"Why did I ever convince myself to get into this?" Marcus muttered, swatting a mosquito.
A hideous shriek let loose nearby. Marcus started, and tripped over an overgrown root protruding from the ground.
"What was that?" he thought, his whole head throbbing.
He fumbled for his flashlight, and as he switched it back on, the fluorescent light illuminated a rock in front of him. His head swimming, he leaned forward and saw that there was a carving of a sun on it.
Marcus gasped. "Could it be? Is this the final clue?"
Marcus grabbed the stone and turned it over. But before he could decrypt what was carved on the back a harsh voice sounded behind him.
"I'll take that."
Marcus wheeled around just in time to see a gun barrel pointing at his head. Then there was a brilliant flash of light.

___________________________________

I wrote that assuming it to be years before the real story happened. Kind of like a prologue...

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey, Michael

Good to hear from you again. Glad you could drop by and enter.

Brett said...

Oopsie....'careened' means "to lean to one side"....like a CAR careened around a corner....I guess boys who are losing their father to evil forces cannot careen :(
LOL!!

Josh said...

well i don't think it sounds to bad and it works fine in the manner you used it. because he could have leaned to the side dodgeing the doctors and nurses. ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

I agree with Josh, I know that if I were losing *my* loving father to evil forces, I know that I would definately be careening. It works for me.

And wow, now I really REALLY am glad that I don't have to make the decision here. :-D Really cool stuff everybody!

Anyone going to turn the ''hooks'' here into a real story? One I might be able to read someday? :-D

Valerie Comer said...

Here you go: opening lines from the tenth revision at least!
---------

Taifa stopped heaving burlap sacks long enough to re-tie the band holding her hair and wipe her face with hands raw from the coarse weave. If only there were somebody she could trust to deliver the bags for her without asking questions.

She flexed her aching shoulder muscles. There was no one she could be sure of. Not here, in the capital city. Not in Majai's stronghold.

"Just a few more, missie," the grizzled sailor called from the wooden wharf beside the gondola. "Ready?"

Taifa nodded. Gulls dove for fish or debris in the waters around her. The scent of herbs from the cargo barely obscured the stench of the sea. Fishermen shouted to one another from nearby trawlers. She was ready for the peace of her stall in the marketplace.

Valerie Comer said...

Here's the opening to my Nano '06:

Mama and Papa were of two minds about the dance, which is why I went. Besides, everyone who mattered would be there and even though I can't dance worth a seashell, I couldn't very well skip it, could I?

"Krin..." Chade, already at my elbow, breathing my name?

I tried to summon a smile, but Chade does not bring out the best in me.

Josh said...

Her pupils dilated, adjusting to the darkness. Her mind wondered. She choked on stale air as she breathed. They probably weren’t even looking for her, no one knew. She felt the ropes constricting her wrists and ankles tighten and she smelled death. The old wooden caller door cracked and a shrill screech echoed off the fractured concrete walls. Her heart jumped and sped faster than the last time. She could hear his callous decent into the darkness. Her sounds were muffled, restricted and sheltered by the bind around her dry chapped lips. He laughed and she heard his hands grasp the light switch. He pulled. Light flooded her eyes and she winced. She let her head hang low, not even bothering to open her eyes. His rough hand clutched her jaw with an immense force. “Say it.” His voice was no longer dry and raspy. She shook her head. “Say it or I’ll kill her!” Somewhere, some one in the room tightened and went stiff. Cary knew she was risking both their lives. The man untied her mouth and she forced in the scream.
“Mr. Nine, he’s all mine, Mr. Nine he’s so f..f..Fine.” She shuttered and forced out the last words. His hand ran through her hair and she knew what was coming next. Loud strong footsteps and then she screamed. Muffled and smothered it came and went just like last time.


hope you like it ^_^

Josh said...

oop i spelled cellar wrong sorry miss typed lol

sarmjornn said...

The large group of scribes turned as a young woman stepped in carrying with her two small scrolls in her arms. They watched as she slowly placed them on the table before them and then backed away as they revealed themselves to the group. Shouts came up from the men as the words were exposed on the piece of parchment. They turned to ask of their meaning but she only smiled at them from across the table. “The One has given a gift to one you yet not know she will come forward and reveal herself to you.”
Before they could speak she spun flames growing around her and they covered their eyes against the bright flash. As it died they turned back to where she stood but the prophetess was gone. The scrolls remained where she had laid them the mark still mocking them. They knew Narammara would return with one who would over turn the ancient writings.

everlastingscribe said...

That's okay Josh, not only do I have trouble with spelling I have trouble with using the *right* word. Thrown, throne ;) getting into print is going to be some kind of miracle. Too being a roving storyteller is no longer a job-option.

Josh said...

lol tanks scribe that makes me feel better because i do that stuff all the time. ooo and i love your entry your word choice is awesome

everlastingscribe said...

*ahem* too bad. I meant too bad.

Josh said...

yeah i thought thats what you meant lol ^_^ and the other day i asked my freind how to spell spinned and he said S-P-E-N-D and im like no spinned. He said Josh , THATS NOT A WORD!!!! and im like ooooo yeah its spun. i must say spinned did sound better though .

sarmjornn said...

And this is my second . . . .

The soldiers paraded around the walls, a soldier every six lengths. But if that troubled the black shadows that approached, it did not show. With such quickness that they seemed to have almost inhuman speed, they climbed it one by one dropping to the other side just as the guard started to turn around. The last over grunted as he landed and with a nod they stole across the grounds. Reaching the doors to the palace they quickly did away with the guards before entering.
As the dawn broke across the eastern sky they entered the throne room. Three figures –a man in his middle fourties, another a young man and the last a young woman both of these short of the coming age of twenty- looked up as the doors were shut. The four shadows appraoached, dark silhouetes against the suns pure rays, one drew his sword . . . .

Margaret said...

Valerie Comer sent me here because she says my son will love your book. So here's my first attempt from a YA novel I wrote for NaNo 2005:

The kitchen door stood propped open to let in the clean summer air and Shadon lingered over his porridge, watching birds flutter down to steal crumbs. Every time Becka snapped the master's tablecloth, the birds scattered, but then dove again to find any morsels.

"You think the sun's going to freeze in the sky while you daydream, boy?" Mrs. Drantor said, coming up behind him. "Eat up quick now. You've the library windows to wash, top to bottom before midday."

Shadon stifled his sigh and scraped the last of his food onto the wooden spoon. Before placing it against his tongue, he turned to face the housekeeper. "Does it have to be the library?" he asked, even knowing she would not change her mind once it was made up.

Margaret said...

And my second, also a NaNo but from 2006:

"He has better things to do than play with his toy."

Hiba rose from her crouch and straightened the veils around her, trying to keep her hands from trembling. She should never have asked Almas what was keeping their father, the king. But he was so late.

Almas stretched on her garden divan and ran a hand through her deep, black curls. "Oh go on, little castoff. Go have yourself a cry. It's about time you learned there was more to life than your wishes."

Tears sprung up in Hiba's eyes as if by command, but she turned away before her half-sister could see them. Almas would never understand that their father loved Hiba and wanted to be with her. Almas would never understand anything as strong or as painful as love.

Sarmjornn said...

Seems like I have spelling problems to. Knowing some others have had the same problem makes me feel better though. Pardon the misspelled words Mr. Batson :).

everlastingscribe said...

*brrr* Josh, that second one has the hair on my arms standing on end. :-D Don't think I'd want to read that one.

Josh said...

that was only my first

everlastingscribe said...

Welcome NANO vets! My hat ( or helmet) is off to you both! I've a friend who joins in your NANO insanity every year. So far, I have refused to be swept into that kind of committment. ;)

everlastingscribe said...

LOL okay, I was never good at counting either.

Brett said...

I actually took that from the books I'm writing. Visit www.freewebs.com/4eversaved.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Okay, this is the English Teacher of 16 years talking, as well as the author of {ahem} 3. Don't sweat the small stuff in the invention stage. I speaketh from experience. A plague upon the spelling error that quenches creativity!!

Write on! Hone your skills and hook me! And besides, I teach 6th graders. How bad can your mistake be? ;-)

And Valerie, help a brutha out. What is NaNo? Sound like something small or mechanized...but no clue. Or are you just…trying to keep me in supense? LOL

And welcome SarmJornn and Margaret!

Cool stuff from all. Keep them coming. I have also posted a contest for the 2nd suspense technique. I think I will for all of them.

Brett :) said...

This is extremely interesting!! You're all so awesome! Though one or two of these gave me quite the shudder :)
I write all the time....esp. at work *mwa ha ha* I just have to jot things down. I'll pick someone at work and write about them that night, or who they would be in my stories. So much fun!!!!!

Josh said...

this is my second entry

Kayla slumped against the cold brick wall. She could hear the screams and cries from outside. With all her energy gone she crashed to the floor and let tears pour down her face. On this vile day she wept for family and friends. Van put his arm around her. He ushered the hopeless thought, "everything is going to be fine." Yet Kayla new it was far from the truth.

^_^ tell me if you like it, not quite as dark as the first one lol don't worry im sure i made plenty of mistakes

everlastingscribe said...

:-D I think the first one *yes the first one* is the stronger of the two. I like em both, but I reacted to the first one. :-D And that's what you want.

Valerie Comer said...

**shocked look!!!!**

You don't know what a nano is?

http://www.nanowrimo.org -- a place where many thousands of people devote the month of November to National Novel Writing Month. The goal is 50K in November alone. It's great fun, great competition, and great camraderie. And just a *wee* tiny bit crazy.

Margaret said...

Thanks for the welcome :). And ignore Valerie. There's at least...umm...3 people who have never heard of NaNo ;).

Cheers,
Margaret

P.S. Thanks for the fun contest. It's reminded me of some of the cool stories I have lined up to edit...when I get through the rest on my plate.

Cecilia said...

Is it too late to submit an entry? If not, here is mine:

"Shh, the movie's starting!" the little gril said as she settled down on the living room couch.
"I'll be right there," said Carmen, the older one of the two. Carmen waited a moment, and glanced out the rain-streaked window. The sky was darkening, but not because it was late. The ominous black clouds on the
horizon gave her chills, but she tried to push it out of her mind as she sat on the couch. She did not want to worry her sister.
"Want me to make some popcorn, Sarah?" asked Carmen, but the young girl seemed content to stare at the TV. Eventually both girls were silently watching the movie. It was Sarah who heard the noise first.
"Is there a train going by?" the child asked. Carmen bit her lip and looked out the window.
"I'll go see, you just watch the movie," she said as she walked
quickly into the kitchen.
"I can't, the power just went out!" Sarah yelled. "Is there any
popcorn?"
Carmen ran into the room and grabbed her sister's hand.
"We need to go to the basement!" she said urgently. As they sat on the cold stone floor, Carmen shivered. She saw the image as if it was burned into her mind. There was a massive funnel forming on the horizon, and it was in the direction of the small town where her parents worked.
"When will mommy and daddy be home?" Sarah asked, fidgeting with her shoe lace. Carmen sighed in a shaky voice.
"I don't know," Carmen said. Suddenly, a deafening roar blocked out all their thoughts, and they covered their heads awaiting what would come next.

everlastingscribe said...

oooh nice one Cecilia! And I'm pretty sure that you've plenty of time for this entry :)

Aravis said...

The wall was fairly unremarkable. It was stone; simple, gray stone. But there was something that the old man was interested in, for he ran his finger down the crack in front of him with a perusing gaze, trying to find something. There was not much to be heard; A mouse here and there, but whoever this man was, he was alone in a rather unsettling, dusty, narrow hallway.

He breathed in through his nose and tilted his back a little, causing his tweed cap to fall over his eyebrows. The man reached into a pocket inside his jacket and pulled out a small blue crystal, and then fitted it into a crack where four stone blocks met.

The crystal started to shine, reacting to the miasma in the air in the hallway, and then burst, breaking down the wall. The man brushed some dust out of his white mustache, and proceeded through.

Beyond the opening was not much, only some old copper pipes in a space the size of a small room. The man wasn’t too happy that he used one of his crystals to only make it to a maintenance room.

“Where are you…” he mumbled to himself, putting his hand to the stubble on his chin. He stood there, contemplating his situation, and then turned his back to explore further down the hall. Once his back was parallel with the wall he had just broken, a rush of air flew past him, with a sound like a giant breathing in. Light, too, drifted past him, and a shadow drifted forth from the room he had just left.

This man knew what was happening, and quickly turned around to see a figure of shadow.

“Johannes W├Ąchter, not this time,” exhaled the figure of shadow, growing ever more solid, but it was still translucent, it was still the thing that Johannes had come here to find: a ghost.

amy said...

Great entry Aravis!

Very "mysterious" and interesting.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Nice chops, Aravis. Seriously, your language has a nice flow to it. The words are stylish and natural, evocative. Welcome to the Fellowship of the Pen!

Gwenne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwenne said...

Annek bolted upright, sweaty, his palms were shaking uncontrollably, Maddie’s silent form stirred, thankfully she hadn’t woken. Annek pulled the blanket off, had it been really a dream? “But how-who was she?” Annek said between breaths.

He had been having the same dream-nightmare every night, it never changed.

He got off of the bed, careful not to wake Maddie; he steadied himself and strolled to the balcony. He walked through the curtains that were floating gently in the evening breeze. His breaths were shallow, he trembled, “Oh dear God, let this stop happening, let me dream in peace, tell me why. Why do I have this horrible dream every night? God, Your ways are strange to man.” But what if it was Pretender? He had never thought of it before. Pretender used earthly things, to make a person fall.
“Dear God lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one.” Annek shrugged, he hated the thought. If his family knew, if Maddie knew, he, he, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself. He sighed discontent.
He jumped and turned when he felt arms around him; he looked back, but then looked back at the stars, Maddie.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Gwenne, interesting piece. You have created mystery well with the dream and its implied guilt for Annek. I'm wondering if there is something to the dream--is there some other issue Annek must face.

I'm also drawn to Annek and Maddie's relationship and fear that it is in jeopardy.

Eve said...

She carefully picked up her great grandmother Meara's flying goggles and scarf, with great amazement. She had only ever seen the goggles and scarf one other time, when she was about five years of age. She had been asked make her parent's bed when she had spied a wooden box under the bed. Upon opening it, she had seen the items and then was promptly caught by Selene, who had ratted on her. Dari had never again glimpsed the box. Her mother must have secreted it into her bundle when her father was not around. He certainly would not have approved.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Eve, definitely some mystery here. Flying goggles and scarf--just what adventure will these seldom seen items lead us on. And more subtle, but cooler in that way, "father wouldn't have approved." Hmmm...I wonder what's up with dad.

Coupla suggestions:

"She carefully picked up her great grandmother Meara's flying goggles and scarf, with great amazement."

"with great amazement" is in an awkward place. Maybe use it as in introductory phrase. Or better yet, show us in her expression rather than telling us.

Also, when doing a flashback, you need only lead the reader in with one or two uses of the helping verb "had." Many authors introduce the flashback using "had" and then come out of the flashback using "had." BUT they use simple past tense verbs throughout the flashback.

Eve said...

How's this, Wayne?

She carefully picked up her great grandmother Meara's flying goggles and scarf. Her eyebrows disappeared into her bangs. She had seen the goggles and scarf one other time, when she was about five years of age. She was asked make her parent's bed when she spied a wooden box under the bed. Upon opening it, she saw the items and was promptly caught by Selene, who had ratted on her. Dari had never again glimpsed the box. Her mother must have secreted it into her bundle when her father was not around. He certainly would not have approved.

everlastingscribe said...

Gwenne, now that's some suspense with artful underplayment. Well done, goes to show you don't need 'splosions to get your audience hooked!

everlastingscribe said...

Eve, I really like the hinted conflict between Dari's father and mother you tucked in there. One doesn't approve, the other tucks the items into her bundle, maybe as encouragement for Dari?
And every adventurer needs some encouragement from home! ;)

everlastingscribe said...

Aravis, that is masterfully crafted! I love the use of "miasma" and the crystal too! Well, and I am a sucker for 'splosions. And also, for older characters that deal with unusal situations. ;) Can't wait for more!

Eve said...

Thanks, ES!

Anonymous said...

The boys were the first to see it. They ran, shouting to the village elders. Soon, everyone went outside and looked to the sky in anticipation.

For the first time in a century, it had started to rain.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know if I was too late fore the contest or not, but I just thought I'd post this anyways.
~ElizabethOfMena~

The steel boots echoed off the stone walls as the soldier walked hurriedly toward the double doors at the end of the hall. He hesitated before turning the handle, taking in a deep breathe.
The large door creaked as he pushed it open. A fire crackled in the corner, a regal man sat behind a desk made of oak. The light from the fire flickered over his gaunt face, his straight brown hair fell to his shoulders. In his hand he held a ring that gleamed in the light.
"What?" He growled without looking up.
The soldier hesitated before giving his report. "He's had a son, m'lord."
A snear lifted the man's lip. "Kill them, kill them both." He turned to look at the man before him. "Squash him like I did his father."
"Yes m'king." He turned on his heels and quickly left the chamber.
The king watched as the door closed, before lifting the ring to the light once again. A silver dragon curled around it's golden band. He lifted his other hand, to slip his finger into it. A large snap echoed through the chamber, he pulled his hand back as pain flooded up his hand.
He growled, throwing the ring into a drawer of the desk. He slammed it closed, the key ground in the lock.
"You're lucky you got away before, m'prince," his words dripped with disgust. "But not this time." He stared into the fireplace, the flames engulfed a log as it slid farther into the fire. "No, not this time."

Anonymous said...

Here's my second entry. :)
~ElizabethOfMena~

Tener dove through the row of corn stalks. Dragon wings whistled through the air above. The heart in his chest beat at least twice as fast as his feet hitting the ground, willing them to move faster. The glow of the full moon caused the rows of corn to take on menacing shadows. The dry leaves rustled loudly in his ears, but still he could feel the silent black shapes of the draugr racing swiftly behind him.
Tener ducked under a broken stalk. His hand clenched firmly the key which hung from a chain about his neck. Thoughts buzzed through his mind about the mystery of this object. Only one thing he knew, he must keep it safe, Marreknae must not get it within his hands.
The silhouette of a dragon blocked the bright stars as it swooped from the sky toward the corn. A stream of fire erupted from his mouth. The corn to the right of Tener roared up in flame.
He changed direction slightly to avoid the quickly spreading fire. His breathing came in gasps.
Another dragon swung low, and let fire leap on his breathe to the corn on Tener's other side.
The edges of the key bit into his tightened fist. He leapt over a patch of fire, and ran on.
The dragon made a back pass, setting the coarse leaves and stalks in front of him on fire.
Tener skidded to a halt. The flames lapped at the sky, quickly enveloping more corn in it's inferno. He swung around. The draugr neared slowly, savoring their victory. Their black scale like skin reflected the red glow of the fire. They clicked their long claws, yellowed from use, and the stain of blood together in anticipation of the kill. Their red eyes gleamed with eagerness.
Perspiration dripped down Tener's face and neck. The heat of the fire toasted his skin. His chest heaved as he watched the draugr come steadily closer, the fire quickly closing in about him.