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A New Story

9 Months Ago

Hi guys,

I'm sure you all know how exciting it is starting out on a new story. I've recently started on called 'Finding Volaris' and I was wondering what you thought of my first chapter. It has been inspired by the storytelling style of The Name of the Wind. Any comments or reviews will be returned. 

 “I hear you have something I’m interested in.” 

 The man was older, older than the man across the counter, at least, although to call either of them old would be a great disservice to their character. He was taller than most, and carried himself in a way that told the other man he must have been near the top of the social paradigm of whatever school he had attended. For this man had certainly attended school, and just by the smarmy swagger it was clear- he had been at the top of the paradigm not through popularity, but through nous of speech. He had put himself there. No one particularly wanted him there, but no one could reason him away.  The man behind the counter was Renn. He looked in the dawn of his thirties, but had his smooth chin had been allowed to grow, it could have put any number of years on his appearance. And his popularity was of a different kind. A quiet kind. Like the man facing him, he had put himself amongst the highest people he could find, but it was his reluctance to draw attention to himself that had kept him there. This man listened rather than spoke. He recognised immediately the tone of the stranger’s voice, and he knew instinctively he did not like him.  

 “Do not insult my intelligence by asking me to guess what you might be interested in.”  
 “And in turn do not insult mine by pretending you don’t know what I’m here for.”  Renn did not move, and he did not speak, for in the silence spoke authority, in the silence spoke trepidation. In the silence, his turn of conversation was passed.

 “How much?” the stranger asked finally.

 Renn’s eyebrows lifted as to say ‘Go on…’. The stranger laughed under his breath, as though not quite believing how obstreperous the man was behaving.  

 “Don’t play games with me,” the stranger muttered. “I know you know where it is, and do you know how I know? I-”  Renn saw the lights of the stranger’s eyes light up. He had been on a journey to find this information. No. Half a journey. He had stumbled upon the trail, and once on the trail he had decided to follow it, and it had led him here. Nevertheless, he was proud of his journey, and he was about to gloat a boastful retelling.  

 “I have no interest in your story.” The voice was high, and sharp, as though spoken by a third man in the room, and it was this abrupt change of tone that not only stopped the stranger mid-sentence, but could have taken a breath of dust off the antiques on the shelves. “You want to know where it is?” he continued, his voice returning to an even, yet mildly contemptuous tone. “It will cost you. Cost you more than you have to give.” 

 “Try me,” he smiled smugly, one hand already counting the coin in his pocket.  

 “A single leaf from the Century Tree. If I can take one, so may you.” 

 The stranger stopped. “That’s no currency.”

 “That’s what it will cost you.” 

 “It’s halfway to Ribben.”  

 “I can wait. I can wait eight days. In eight days, the shop will close, and you will never see me again.”  

 “But… but how? Why?”  

 “My friend,” Renn said with the afore-spoken sharpness that made it clear that the stranger was not his friend, “I have named my price. Some things here you can beat me down for, but this is not a matter of negotiations or primitive haggling.”  

 It was the stranger’s turn to speak with silence now, although it was interpreted by Renn’s ability to read the silence than the stranger’s desire to divulge it. His shell had been broken, his slippery surface polished away. He thought Renn was being unreasonable. He thought Renn was mad.  He sighed, and let out another half-laugh of bemusement. He thought for a moment. But in the end he straightened up, and looked a hard, smileless look at Renn. If this was the man he had heard so much about, he really shouldn’t have expected anything less. 

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