Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by Taylor0401

Somewhere nearby, a woman's voice yelped loudly.  I never found out who it was, but I promise it wasn't me.  I stumbled backward, tripped over my own feet, and fell into a puddle of what was all-too-recently a raging barbarian.  The Giant's eyes were huge, and he was watching me apprehensively.  Certainly, I was about to find out where the soul of the warrior whose ichor I was covered in had gone.  My attempts to regain my footing and run ended miserably.  Who knew entrails were so slippery?  Following my latest failure, my breathing was labored, and I had decided to crawl back to the ground.  

My astonishment that I was still alive was matched only by my determination to remain that way.  Sure that hours instead of seconds had passed since I had begun crawling, I finally reached the edge of the Giant's body.  A quick, brave look over my shoulder told me that the Giant was still watching me, but hadn't chosen the manner of my death yet.  I wasn’t in the mood to wait around and find out what he would decide to do with me, so I scrambled down his tunic to the crater floor.  The ground trembled, forcing me to stabilize myself for a moment against a rock.

"Wait."

No way.  He's talking to me?!

I was too stunned to do anything other than stare open mouthed at the Giant's prone form.  His breathing was louder now, and ragged.  It sounded as if a flurry of wind ripped apart a small cottage every time he inhaled.  

"You... You are... Human?"

Feeling a little better about the Giant being willing to communicate, I stood up straight and answered, "Yes.  I’m a Human.  A Sonomancer."  I hoped that my voice wasn't as shaky as it sounded to me.

He either didn't notice or didn't care, because he sounded confused, "Sono... mancer?”  He shook his head, apparently he didn’t care what a Sonomancer was.  “Help me.  Please."

Well.  That, I was not expecting.  In his defense, he hadn't done anything that implied he was going to kill and/or eat me.  And now that I thought about it, none of this had been his fault.  He was the attacked, not the attacker.  Could it be that such a dangerous creature wasn't threatening?  I had to hope so.

"I don’t know how I can help.  I don’t even know who you are, or what just happened!  What was that thing?"

The huge eyes closed tightly and his face contorted with pain.  It was several seconds before he could speak again.  “No time... to- aargh... explain.  Please.”

He was right.  Even I could see that his condition was urgent.  “What can I do?”

"I... I can not move."

It dawned on me that he really hadn't moved since he had fallen.  Assuming he wasn't lying about being injured, that probably wasn't a good sign.  

"I'm a Sonomancer, not a doctor.  Although, I don't know what I could do even if I were.  Our doctors don't often have patients of your... stature."  I wanted to help him, but without my Voice I felt useless.  Not that it would have helped me much right then.

The Giant let out an enormous sigh.  “Anything.  Please.”  

"There's nothing I can do for you, Giant.  But I know people who might be able to.  I’ll do what I can to convince them to aid you."  I turned and started climbing out of the crater.

"Hurry, Human.  Not safe here.”

Those words coming from a creature that had just smashed a ravenous monster to a bloody pulp sent ice to my core.  I nodded hurriedly and scrambled up and out of the crater.

As I crested the bowl, there were several cries of “David!” and “There he is!”

“Did nobody obey me when I said to stay put?”

Each pair of eyes was pointed directly at the owner’s feet.  “Please don’ be mad, David!  We’s just curious.”

“I’m not mad, but your parents are going to hear about this.  You can’t break the rules just because you’re curious about something.”  I did a quick head count to make sure nobody had wandered off, and was relieved to find them all accounted for.

“All here, Mister David!”

“Good.  We have to hurry home now.  The big guy down there is hurt, and I have to get him some help.  We’re going to walk in a line so I can make sure that nobody gets lost, okay?”

They milled about for a few seconds, confused about how to form a line when they all wanted to be in front.  I put a stop to that, and had them formed up in short order.

“All right, kids.  Let’s go!”

I walked at the back of the line, making sure that everyone kept up.  The kids were in a hurry to get home and tell their parents what they had seen, so there was no need to urge them faster.  It wouldn’t be long before we covered the few miles back to the village.  


By the time we emerged from the treeline onto the road, I was so sick of hearing the story that I briefly considered waiting to go to the Academy until tomorrow.  I felt bad for the parents.  They were going to have to deal with this for the next few weeks at least.  Lucky for me, one of the parents was outside as we walked up.

“Hey there, David!  Back already, huh?”

I nodded, “Something’s happened, Camdil.  The kids will tell you all about it, I’m sure. Can you take care of them for me?  I need to get to the Academy, Tort needs to know about this right away.”

He pushed his broad-brimmed straw hat up so he could scratch his forehead, “That big of a deal, huh?  Well, don’t let me keep ya.  Go on now.”

I was off running through the town as he got bombarded with a dozen different tellings of the story at once.  The village itself wasn’t much to speak of.  It had everything you might expect from any normal town: a butcher, a blacksmith, a tanner, and of course an inn.  I ran past each of these places on my way to the one building that set our village apart from almost all the others.  The Academy’s structure was at a stark contrast to the rest of the town.  Everything else was built with wooden boards and logs, while the Academy consisted entirely of smooth, yellow, stone blocks.  Even the doors were made of the strange stone, but they moved as easily and silently as curtains in the wind.  It was a wide, squat building with many arched windows but few doors.  The main door was where I was headed, and my mood brightened as I neared the guard post just outside.

Students were given the job of greeting the school’s visitors, and making sure they were properly taken care of.  I had heard that if someone who wasn’t invited tried entering the school something would stop them, but that may have just been a story to keep people out.  Regardless, having to guard the door was something we all had to endure, and Lyv was doing it now.

“Hey Lyv!” I grinned at her as I stopped.  She stepped out of the little guard hut wearing her Academy coat, and carrying her small wooden harp.  Her chestnut hair lit up brilliantly in the sunlight, framing her face as it cascaded down past her shoulders.  When she smiled back at me her eyes came alive with an inner sparkle that always seemed to take my breath away.  Today was no different.

“Well hello there, David.  You’re back pretty early.  Whatcha doin’?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I laughed.  “And I will, but later.  Right now I-”

“Of course I’d believe you, silly.  Don’t be ridiculous.  What happened?”

I put my hand on her arm, and looked into her deep emerald eyes.  It wasn’t easy to keep myself from getting lost in them, “Lyv, really.  I’ll tell you later.  Right now I have to find Tort.  Do you know if he’s here?”

“I’m sure he’s here somewhere,” she sounded slightly cross.  “Probably lecturing some poor kid about how perfect they’re not.”

That sounded like Tort to me, nothing was ever good enough for him.  “Thanks a lot.  Come find me tonight and I’ll tell you everything.”

“Mmmhmm.”  She sounded unconvinced, but I didn’t have time to stay and humor her.  Off I went through the silent stone door into the Academy.


The interior of the Academy was a labyrinth one could get lost in if they didn’t know the layout.  It had taken me a term or two to get to the point where I wasn’t in danger of getting lost.  I was fairly certain I knew where Tort would be; the Sounding Room.  

The Sounding Room was used for training and located near the center of the complex, so as not to let any residual Sound outside.  It didn’t take me long to reach it, since I had been there hundreds of times before.  I reached out, grasped the ivory handle on the door, and sent a faint sonic vibration down to my fingertips.  The handle took on a crimson hue to tell me someone was inside.  I knew that whoever was inside had been signaled to my presence as well.

After a few moments, the handle flashed green before returning to its natural color.  I pulled the door open and stepped inside, allowing it to close behind me.  Tort stood on the far end of the room.  He was a solid-looking man probably in his early forties, and he never acknowledged being shorter than most everyone else.  The graphite-gray jerkin he wore as a symbol of his status as Musica stood out starkly in the all white room.  His dark hair was disheveled as he placed his hands on his hips, looking only slightly surprised to see me.  

“David.  I expect ya have a good reason for being back sa soon.  What is it?”

“Something unbelievable has happened at the tower, Musica.  There was a Giant and some-”

“A Giant?  Are ya fooling wit’ me, boy?”

“No, Musica.  I give you my word.  A Giant came through the woods and attempted to climb the old tower.  Some sort of raving creature, like an enormous man gone mad, attacked him and now he’s injured asking for our help.  I don’t believe he’s a threat, or that he can survive without us.”

Tort’s stare went straight into me, making me feel very vulnerable.  I wasn’t too bothered though, he did that all the time.  Besides, this time I hadn’t done anything wrong.  He gave a satisfied grunt and started toward the door.

“Well, what are ya waitin’ for?  We have ta tell the others.”

Excitement flowing through me, I ran down the hall after him.


I took the time we were walking to explain to Tort the details of my encounter with the Giant.  As usual, his face belied no emotion, but I could definitely sense a pensiveness there that let me know he was listening.  When we reached the Musicas’ living quarters, Tort gave the young guard an order to rouse them.  Such an unusual order didn’t take long to cause a stir, and soon they were all staring impatiently at me.  Even Tort.

Here goes nothing, I thought, before launching into my speech.  I told them everything that had happened from the moment that the Giant’s head appeared to the time I brought the kids back.  There were several snide remarks, and not-so-subtle derisive laughter when I told of the Giant.  It seemed to me that most weren’t taking me seriously.  A few heads were nodding along with my words, and I saw a couple here and there who actually might have believed me.  When I finished, the room was abuzz with chatting instructors.

At first I thought my tale had sparked discussion and action.  It wasn’t long before I realized the ones who were talking about the Giant were laughing at the idea, and the rest were complaining at having been summoned away from their business in the first place.

Tort looked annoyed, “Ahem!  Am I the only one who was listenin’ to David’s story?  Somethin’ has ta be done about this.”

One of the other Musicas, Josser, looked over, “You can’t be serious, Tort.  Giants and monsters are exactly that.  Stories.  Everyone knows that.  The boy is obviously just looking for another way to get attention.”  He looked directly at me now, “As if setting buildings on fire wasn’t attention enough.”

I colored at the remark, but didn’t look away.  I’m in the right this time.  Damn it, but I am.  They have to see that!

“With all due respect, Musicas, your distrust of me is misplaced.  It’s true that I’ve done a couple things I’m not proud of, but I’ve always borne my penance without complaint.  All I’m asking is that you come see if I’m telling the truth.  If I’m not, then you can continue to scorn me as you have, and know that you’re right to do so.  But I swear to you, this is not the case.  There is a Giant lying injured and begging for our help.  Please help him.”

The looks of surprise around the room were expected.  It wasn’t exactly common for an Apprentice to speak to his superiors so frankly.  But they were being thick, and being indirect was a luxury we couldn’t afford right now.  I frowned angrily, and started to say something I would definitely have regretted.

Tort’s gruff voice spoke up again, “He’s right.  We don’t lose anythin’ by checkin’ out his story.  I say we go.”

His opinion was met with mocking snorts and turned backs.  Most of them walked back to whatever they’d been doing before.  Josser and a couple others stayed back.  “You’re being ridiculous, Tort.  Putting your trust in a screw-up kid like David.  If you go with him, you’ll look as much a fool as he does.  Giants.  It’s preposterous.”  He shook his head as he turned to leave.

Tort looked at me and shrugged his shoulders, “Well that’s that.  Looks like et’s just us.  Ya ready, boy?”

“I- what?  We’re still going?”

His eyebrow raised, “Ya serious?  Of course we’re still goin’.  Jus’ because they don’t hear the truth when et’s hangin’ plain in their face doesn’t mean I don’t.  There’s a Giant that needs helpin’.  Let’s go do what we can do.”

To be honest, I hadn’t expected everyone to believe me, but I surely didn’t expect to be laughed at.  Their disbelief had made me feel so angry and alone.  Somehow though, Tort’s faith in me gave me more than I had dared hope for.  I knew what we were doing was the right thing, and I was proud to be a part of it.

Just then, Lyv stepped around the corner.  She was stunning as always, and it took a few seconds for me to react.  “Um... hey!  What are you doing here?  I thought you were on post out front.”

Her laugh was the most musical sound I’d ever heard, and I’m a freaking Sonomancer.  “I convinced one of the new kids to stand in for me.”  She pulled her harp from its place at her side and smiled, “Can we go already?”

I gave her my most incredulous look, and was shocked to hear Tort say, “My thoughts exactly.  I had thought you’d try an’ sneak behind us the whole way there.  You’re not as quiet as ya think ya are, lass.”

Her eyes twinkled, “It wasn’t you I was hiding from, Musica.”

I rolled my eyes, “I get it.  I didn’t know.  You got me.  Ha ha.”  We started down the main hallway out of the Academy.  A jaunty little tune from Lyv’s harp filled me with energy and lent speed to our steps.  I grinned and we sprinted off down the road towards the woods.



© 2013 Taylor0401


My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Having read the first three chapters now, this story has proven itself thoroughly intriguing with each step. The writing style is a good one that employs exemplary technique regarding dialogue, and the plot is paced very well, neither moving too fast for the reader to fully digest or too slow for the reader to maintain interest. One of the strongest aspects of this story, though, would be that the action scenes--a facet of writing with which most writers struggle--are very well-written; it's fairly easy to understand what's happening between the giant and "big person" of chapter one or the combat of the prologue, and that says a lot to the maturity of the author as a writer.

Creativity abounds in this story, and that's one of the main things that holds a reader's attention. One of the most difficult tasks is usually coming up with a unique concept on which to base the story with regard to the universe in which it is set and/or the abilities of the characters therein. At the risk of sounding arrogant, it's a talent I claim, but either way, the point is that I recognize it when I see it. The prime example of this kind of creativity manifests itself in the overall concept of "Sonomancy," which is a nigh irreproachable idea, and it's always my contention that it's best to use concepts of that level of complexity or, at least, distinction because the originality thereof always keeps the reader coming back for more when it's done well, as it is here. You've done an excellent job thinking outside the box.

I would probably echo Writer #00 on the phrase, "had them formed up in short order," because I had the same hesitation. I think the reason we get hung up on that isn't because the phrasing is wrong, given that I've seen it used in this context before, but that the phrase "in short order" is more often used in reference to time, so I assumed you were saying, "I lined them up quickly." We tend to use it in reference to completing a task rapidly as we would the word "posthaste" (e.g. "he rummaged through the cabinet and gathered the scrolls in short order"); however, it's not like that doesn't work well with your context. After all, I assumed it was what you meant simply because David was clearly in a hurry.

I find no real fault in these first three chapters. Anything I could think up at this point would probably be as subjective as the "in short order" issue. This story is very well written, it has excellent dialogue, it's paced well, it's humorous, and its plot is rich. Well done.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Taylor0401

10 Years Ago

Man, that is some great stuff. Thanks so much for all the kind words, really! It means a lot to ha.. read more
Cedric D. Jr.

10 Years Ago

Well, in all honesty, I wasn't likely to mention it until I read the above comment, which caused me .. read more
Taylor0401

10 Years Ago

Haha, excellent. Just to make sure everyone understands... It did mean "posthaste."

.. read more



Reviews

Having read the first three chapters now, this story has proven itself thoroughly intriguing with each step. The writing style is a good one that employs exemplary technique regarding dialogue, and the plot is paced very well, neither moving too fast for the reader to fully digest or too slow for the reader to maintain interest. One of the strongest aspects of this story, though, would be that the action scenes--a facet of writing with which most writers struggle--are very well-written; it's fairly easy to understand what's happening between the giant and "big person" of chapter one or the combat of the prologue, and that says a lot to the maturity of the author as a writer.

Creativity abounds in this story, and that's one of the main things that holds a reader's attention. One of the most difficult tasks is usually coming up with a unique concept on which to base the story with regard to the universe in which it is set and/or the abilities of the characters therein. At the risk of sounding arrogant, it's a talent I claim, but either way, the point is that I recognize it when I see it. The prime example of this kind of creativity manifests itself in the overall concept of "Sonomancy," which is a nigh irreproachable idea, and it's always my contention that it's best to use concepts of that level of complexity or, at least, distinction because the originality thereof always keeps the reader coming back for more when it's done well, as it is here. You've done an excellent job thinking outside the box.

I would probably echo Writer #00 on the phrase, "had them formed up in short order," because I had the same hesitation. I think the reason we get hung up on that isn't because the phrasing is wrong, given that I've seen it used in this context before, but that the phrase "in short order" is more often used in reference to time, so I assumed you were saying, "I lined them up quickly." We tend to use it in reference to completing a task rapidly as we would the word "posthaste" (e.g. "he rummaged through the cabinet and gathered the scrolls in short order"); however, it's not like that doesn't work well with your context. After all, I assumed it was what you meant simply because David was clearly in a hurry.

I find no real fault in these first three chapters. Anything I could think up at this point would probably be as subjective as the "in short order" issue. This story is very well written, it has excellent dialogue, it's paced well, it's humorous, and its plot is rich. Well done.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Taylor0401

10 Years Ago

Man, that is some great stuff. Thanks so much for all the kind words, really! It means a lot to ha.. read more
Cedric D. Jr.

10 Years Ago

Well, in all honesty, I wasn't likely to mention it until I read the above comment, which caused me .. read more
Taylor0401

10 Years Ago

Haha, excellent. Just to make sure everyone understands... It did mean "posthaste."

.. read more
and had them formed up in short order.-->perhaps consider 'height order or in order of their heights'. Something about short-order made me second-guess what you were trying to say...but that's just me, probably.

deep emerald green eyes->comma to separate adjectives--deep, emerald green eyes

“Mmmhmm.”-->This is really a matter of opinion, but Mmmhmm seems more elongate----oh, nevermind, I think I understand how Lyv was 'mmhmm-ing' now. ^^'

The interior of the Academy was a labyrinth one could get lost in if they didn’t know the layout. It had taken me a term or two to get to the point where I wasn’t in danger of getting lost.--> The interior of the Academy was a labyrinth one could get lost in if they didn’t know the layout. It had taken me a term or two to get to the point where I wasn’t in danger of losing my way. (You used lost back-to-back, and though I can't think of a completely different word that would fit the sentence better, redundancy could be cut down on if you change the second 'lost' to something reminiscent of the word.

“You can’t be serious, Tort. Giants and monsters are exactly that. Stories. Everyone knows that. ...-->As it is now, this could be misinterpreted as 'giants and monsters are exactly that. Giants and monsters.' because 'that' is implied to be a pronoun for 'giants and monsters'. You could try: “You can’t be serious, Tort. Giants and other fairytale/legendary/fabled/etc. creatures/monsters/whatever are exactly that. Fairytales/Legends/Fables. Everyone knows that.... (sorry, couldn't think of a way to keep 'stories' using this format, but maybe you can...just a suggestion, anyhow ^^)

"...Jus’ because they don’t hear the truth when et’s hangin’ plain in their face doesn’t mean I don’t..."-->As it is now, your metaphor is inconsistent, beginning with the ear (hear the truth) and finishing with sight (hangin' plain in their face). You could try either: 1) Jus’ because they don’t see the truth when et’s hangin’ plain in their face doesn’t mean I don’t. --or--2) Jus’ because they don’t hear the truth when et’s ringin’ plain in their ears doesn’t mean I don’t.

Really intriguing second chapter, you're moving the story along nicely, with bits of humour, conflict, mystery, and even some suggested romance (David definitely has a thing for Lyv (interesting name, by the way. Lyv. It's creative, how'd you think of it?)). Also, nice twist with the Giant. You portrayed the misinterpretation of ignorance well, having the reader believe the horror and evil-intent of the Giant in the first chapter with the way you described its advancement; then, you put a spin on the cliche 'seemingly unconscious beast dramatically opens eye and sees protagonist' by having the Giant ask for a favor. I'm actually feeling sympathy for the Giant. Well done. I really like your dialogue, it embodies so many different dialects and voices--ages, even. The children all sound cute and awestruck, still learning when to enunciate their words and such, while Tort comes across as having a Southern Irish or Scottish-type accent (I imagine him with an accent from this region). I have learned a lot about expressing emotion and traits through dialogue just from reading half of what you've posted so far, so thanks for that unintended lesson. : )

By the way, the best line in your dialogue so far: "Probably lecturing some kid about how perfect they're not." This made me literally laugh out loud. I shall come back to read more in time, good job so far!



Posted 10 Years Ago


Taylor0401

10 Years Ago

Ah, Writer! You've made my night! These reviews are truly fantastic, and I can't wait to go pickin.. read more

Share This
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

244 Views
2 Reviews
Rating
Added on July 5, 2013
Last Updated on July 31, 2013


Author

Taylor0401
Taylor0401

AZ



About
I've loved writing ever since I was a kid. I haven't had time for it in years, but now I'm making it a regular part of my life and hopefully it will eventually go somewhere. I'd love to publish a no.. more..

Writing
Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Taylor0401


Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Taylor0401


Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by Taylor0401