Update/ A bit of holiday cheer

SO, I have been absent. I realize this. There are a few reasons. One, my job is terrible and it is taking everything for me to stay there and concentrate on this tedious annoyance.

Two, I am line editing my novel right now. I would like to send it off to editors by the end of the year. So, I am hoping for some success.

Moreover, although last year I boycotted NANOWRIMO, this year I attempted it, but then I got very sick during November. I did not get to finish off the story. However, I will leave you all, my enduring readers with a glimpse of story that I have written. In hopes you will not leave me forever.

_______________________________________________

Prologue

                It was a clear night to begin. Neverland had been quiet a long time. Ever since Peter’s marvelous defeat of Captain James Hook, there was just the usual adventures. Pirates chasing lost boys, boys chasing pirates, and Indians chasing the lot of them. Then there were the beast who liked to scare them all when they felt up to it.

There had been no other children to visit the Neverland since the Darling children. Tinkerbell was content with this, since she was not fond of Wendy what so ever. Peter would not say, but he missed their presence. He loved the stories Wendy had told, and his adventures with Michael and John. The lost boys had no feelings either was as presently, they had no recollection of the events. Seeing as they were an entirely new set of boys who had not been around when the defeat of Hook had taken place. As stories do over many years, the embellishments grow. Therefore, the boys thought the Darling children must have been rather magnificent and courageous, as it had been told to them.

It began as a whisper among the mermaids. Then shadows crept through the fairy glen. By the time Tips, a rather stout but friendly boy, and Riddle, a tall, thin, bespectacled boy caught wind of the news; they were shaking in their bear skins. The fairies darted back and forth jingling in their language. It was apparent that they were frantic. Tips looked at Riddle wide eyed and together they burst toward the hideout.

At this time Peter was sitting on his throne as he does, playing his games. Tips and Riddle slid inside startling Sprout, Dusty, and Dandy who had been crouching low pretending to be Peter’s captives. Tips and Riddle stood at attention and stared their captain straight in the eye. Which is when he knew it was grave business.

“Boys?”

Tips spoke still shaking, “The pirates have a new leader.”

Riddle added, “They say he’s more fearsome then Cap’n Hook.”

Peter’s eyes widened in excitement.

Clouds rolled into Neverland and darkness settled across the island. Captain Samuel Black stood on the deck of a decrepit ship which flew a black flag with skull and cross bones proudly in the wind. Carved port side were the words “The Burning Dawn”. At the helm a crewman, whom there seemed something odd, but it was hard to put a finger on it just yet, stood directing the ship toward the island of Neverland. The Burning Dawn currently hovered above. Captain Black turned to Grail a short statured pirate at his side, “Yes, the undoing of Neverland should fit nicely on my shelf,” He cackled.  Static of magic emitted from him sending bolts of energy into the air causing a storm over the Neverland.

Chapter 1

A girl argued with her mother loudly. Hopefully you would never yell the obscenities she did towards a parent. They were foul and loathsome, so it will do no good to include any in the narrative. They stood there in the kitchen for a good ten minutes in this manner. Neighbors began to peek their heads out windows and doors wondering what the ruckus was about. Finally, the girl’s mother just said, “ENOUGH!” It was the end of the argument. “You are going to see your father and his family. There are no options.”

The girl’s face fell. She ran to a small room at the end of the hall. Though it had walls, the colors were not distinguishable because of the many posters that papered this room. There were boys with names like, One Direction and Justin Bieber, bands such as R5, and girls called Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Demi Lavato that stared down in every direction. The girl plopped down on her hot pink bed spread distraught at the news. A bright blue iPhone lay on her bedside table which she picked up and proceeded to text all of her closest friends the terrible news.

The girl, who consequently was called Annie Darling, had brown waves of hair falling to her shoulders and stood about five feet tall. Annie was the kind of girl that was not afraid to tell her mom that she did not want to spend the summer in London, England with her father’s family. She knew just whose fault it was too, her step-father.

Last spring, her mother had re-married. Now, they want to have their own time. Every other summer Annie had stayed with her mother and they went to Disneyland or the zoo. Most of all, Annie had time with her friends which is how she preferred it. Annie’s father came to visit the last two weeks of summer. It seemed that now her mother had found a replacement for Annie, and she was being shoveled off to another country.

On the way to the airport, Annie argued. Her step-father tried to calm her down, but that made it worse. Her mother promised her a new tablet at the end of the summer when she returned from London. Annie turned up her nose. She wanted to stay in Los Angeles with her friends.

Annie refused to speak to her mother and step-father as they said their goodbyes at the curb leaving her with a flight attendant to walk her to security. Her mother hugged Annie, but she remained limp, earbuds blasting in her ears. Annie cracked her gum and nodded at them. Annie’s mother teared up and got back in the passenger seat. Her step-father just shook his head and put his arm around her as they drove away leaving Annie on her own.

After security and an hour of waiting, Annie was settled on the plane. Headphones were still jammed in her ears and she was trying to out run some large monster in Temple Run on her tablet.

A woman seated next to Annie leaned over and tapped her. This woman was the type that Annie might have wished at one point to be her mother. She was plump, wispy hair in a bun, and holding her crochet.

Annie, who did not like to be bothered, whipped an earbud out, sneering at the lady.

“Pilot says to put all electronic devices aside for takeoff,” the lady said kindly. Annie pressed a few buttons on the technology factory in front of her then stored everything in the seat. The lady’s needles continued to tap together unaffected. The lady continued to speak to her. “Such a little girl to be traveling a long way on your own,” she smiled.

“I am not little. I am thirteen years old.” Annie said scathingly, her eyebrows rose.

“My my, practically a grown-up already.”

Annie nodded in approval. She had this notion; it must have been from somewhere, a movie or TV show that being grown-up was much better than being a child. That she would be free to make her own choices. Of course, free from being shipped off to another country without her liking.  It must be wonderful. Annie closed her eyes and lay back against the seat as the plane took off; the clicking of the lady’s needles humming in her ears.

The land was dark. Too dark. This had to be a nightmare. No one would come here for fun. This is what Annie’s mind relayed to her as she stood on the edge of a blackened lagoon. Below her feet crunched remains of lush grass now dead, yellowed, and dry as straw. Annie looked closer at what would have been water. Instead it was a thick, black, tar like substance that filled this lagoon. It did not look pleasant to swim in. Grey, ominous clouds blocked Annie’s vision of any other view of wherever she might be.

Eyes shone out of the dark water followed by a head. It was a distorted figure, but discernible because even Annie had seen the Disney movie when she was little. It was some kind of ugly, horrific looking mermaid. The mermaid had slimy, white hair entangled in seaweed. Her eyes were slits of light lit up like beacons. She had pointy teeth that stuck out like fangs. Her hand raised out of the water evidently to beckon Annie toward her and the mermaid had razor sharp nails against pale, cloudy, scaly skin.

Annie just shook her head, “No thanks.” Then the mermaid began to sing. Other’s surfaced and sang with her a raspy, enchanting song.

Come little child

Into the sea

Sing with wind

frolic with me

Come little child

Into the sea

Walk in the water

Frolic with me

Annie’s feet seemed to move of their own accord before she had realized the song’s affects. She screamed. Annie covered her ears, shaking her head, yelling “NO! I WON’T!”

Annie was shaken awake by the lady on the plane. “Young lady, you’re having a nightmare, and scaring half the plane.”

Annie looked around startled. She wondered how much time until they reached London. She did not want to go back to sleep.

Advertisements

No School (Pt. 3)

Here is the next installment in the saga of No School. I am aware the title is still not that great.


Maria Marker and Dom Decimal traveled away from the magic island toward the main land. This time they did not go hungry and they were not thirsty. The goodie basket that Pickle had given them kept the two satisfied on the short journey. On the third day they saw land. The boat hit shore. Maria and Dom dragged it into the sand leaving the basket in the boat. Over the course of the three day journey the two children had discussed Math. They recalled a few problems that they had learned when they were younger. It was not much, but maybe it would be enough to help overcome the evil doings of Sinister Student. Dom had agreed that Maria could hold onto the magic pencil for now.

They left the boat behind and walked into the Wildering Wilds. They had to cross through the Rainbow River where Dom fell all the way in and was wet for the rest of the day. Beyond the river were the Monkey Mountains. It was trick not to disturb the nests of monkeys that thrived in the trees, or if woken- they would steal your hat. It was a great distance to the land of No School which lay at the end of everything and beyond nothing. If you have ever tried to find nothing, it is incredibly hard. Maria and Dom were considering giving up when they were bogged down in the middle of the Dark Desert when things began to disappear. Which was hard to tell anyway, because it was dark as the dead of night.

“I think we’re almost there. To nothing. Beyond that is the land of No School,” said Maria Marker.

Dom looked around and saw that the brush and sand simply was starting to stop and they were walking on what could have been cement from one angle or a line from another. It was hard to tell everything shifted when he turned. “There really is nothing,” he seemed surprised.

Maria charged ahead though she was exhausted she was eager to find No School and Ms. Good Teacher. Dom followed her. They walked for what could have been days maybe weeks, or just an hour. It was hard to tell as there was nothing to see. Finally, Maria and Dom could see a crest of darkness ahead and what looked to be a fire and smoke.

“I think I see it!” cried Dom.

“You’re right. That has to be No School,” said Maria.

They hurried, running toward the darkness. As they approached in the distance they could smell the stench of burning paper. “There!” Maria pointed to the fire off the road down a ways. She could see a huge pile of books burning. “Dom she’s burning books.”

“I know we don’t read much, but it just seems wrong to burn books,” said Dom. They walked silently down the road that had appeared beneath their feet. It was broken bricks thrown down unevenly; on either side of the road was a mixture of dead grass and gravel. To their left scattered in a field were old classroom desks falling apart, upside down, and weathered. To their right was the bonfire they had noticed. Further down the road were some old looking buildings they looked to be the center of this place. Near the buildings was a run-down playground.

When they were close enough to pass the playground, Maria saw that one of the swings was unhooked and rusted in places. The other was actually thrown over the top of the playset. Pieces of the jungle gym were rusty and falling off. The see-saw sat flat on the ground defeating the purpose of the game. And, the monkey bars were upside down.

“That does not look like a fun playground,” Dom pointed out. Maria nodded in agreement.

“Which building do you think Sinister Student is in?” asked Maria.

Dom shrugged, “Could be any of them. I guess we should just pick one.”

Maria lead them toward the center building which agreed with the darkness. It spiraled upward on one side giving it an eerie look, while the other side stretched out long and rectangular. It looked cathedral like. The old rotting letters on the outside read, Forest Hills Elementary, some were blacked out. Maria and Dom could tell that’s what it once said. There were two large oak front doors, where there once had been windows, the glass was shattered. Maria reached forward pulling one open; it creaked. Dom jumped forward right into Maria. She turned and gave a reproachful look.

Cautiously, they waked through the doors.