I might or might not have mentioned I’m doing NaNoWriMo . . . I did not sign up at the site (antisocial, I am), but doing it I am.
Purposefully, I did not plan the novel, nor even an idea until November 1, around 10pm, when I put down my paint roller (we are repainting a number of rooms) and started writing.
I figure I would share the first 1,377 words (the first chapter), but I’m actually at the 4,897 words mark toward my goal of at least 50,000 words.
This is as raw as you will see one of my pieces; as written, not edited, nothing rewritten, so if you have the urge to yell out “HA-HA!” and point at something wrong, please hold that thought until I finish the novel.
The novel is as yet untitled, but the first chapter title is “Surrender”. Not sure yet about the names; right now I’m just throwing them in there as place-holders.
NaNoWriMo Novel 01 – Untitled
Chapter 1 – Surrender
Copyright 2013, E. J. D’Alise
Walking a step behind Doryn, Riso scanned the lines of soldiers lining the path to the surrender table. He saw no hostility, but plenty of curiosity. He noticed the occasional lecherous look aimed at Princess Doryn. He would have liked to wipe the smirks from their faces, but this was neither the time or place.
“Please, sit.” Having reached the table, the new Planetary Magistrate motioned for Doryn to take the lone chair on one side of the table. The opposite side had five chairs, all occupied by various officials of the invaders.
“You may leave.” The man barely looked at Riso, waving his hand as he spoke. Riso did not move.
The Magistrate started to speak, but stopped, finally focusing on Riso. He saw an unassuming figure clad in what in his world would be classified as peasant cloth. A gray shirt, dark gray pants, black moccasins, and a black belt loosely tied at the waist. The eyes held his attention; never before had he seen such pale blue eyes. Almost white, they were no less commanding, giving dimension and structure to the man before him.
“I said, you may leave”. This time the Magistrate did not turn away, waiting instead for this unassuming man to heed his order.
“I heard you the first time.” The man’s voice was not loud, but deep and rich.
“Riso . . .” Princess Doryn looked up at him from her seated position. There was pleading in her eyes; eyes still showing remnants of the tears she had shed for her parents, killed during the taking of the castle two days earlier.
Riso looked at her, and then back at the Magistrate as he answered her unspoken plea. “My place is at your side.”
The Magistrate regarded Riso for a few moments, before recognition showed in his face. “You are the Soldion.”
Riso did not answer.
“A lot of good it did the Costas having you on their side.” The Magistrate’s words were followed by a smirk accompanied by an amused look in his face. Riso knew immediately when the next thought formed in the Magistrate’s mind.
“Don’t.” As Riso spoke the word, his left hand formed a fist, and a staff grew from both sides of it, as if he had been holding it all along. In response, a number of soldiers behind Riso raised their guns.
The Magistrate, purely by reflex, asked the obvious question. “Don’t what?” his smirk was replaced by something akin to awe. He had heard the tales of magic, and the tales of advanced technology, but until now had dismissed them as products of the exaggeration of fertile minds.
“You have it in mind to test me.” Riso’s other hand closed, and a short blade appeared in it. The blade was hard to focus on, as if made by rippling water.
Riso continued, “Know that at the King’s and Queen’s request I did not partake in their defense. I am, however, sworn to protect the Princess. The next few moments will determine if you and everyone in this hall live or die.”
As he spoke, Riso’s four orbs rose from his belt, forming a square around he and the Princess. Once above his head, beams flashed from the orbs, giving him the location of every person in the room. Fifty six; it would be pushing it, but doable.
The Magistrate, while in awe of the artifacts and actions of the man, was not about to lose face in front of of his men, and certainly not in front of the Princess, for which he had plans of his own.
“You insolent . . . “ He never finished the sentence. The person seated to his left, a soldier by the looks of her uniform, swung her arm, catching the Magistrate in the throat, and knocking him and the chair backwards.
She then stood, raising her arm as she did so. “Lower your weapons!” The order, directed at the soldiers behind Riso, caused some confusion in the ranks. “NOW!” She followed up, her voice filling the room.
As the soldiers complied, she shifted her attention on Riso.
“I’m sorry; the man’s a fool, but he comes from an influential family. I am General Rocca. You may remain; please, let’s continue.”
Riso looked at the woman. There was strength there, in addition to intelligence and, he noticed, she carried herself with confidence. After another scan, his staff and blade faded away. The orbs, however, remained hovering above him.
The Magistrate was helped up by two guards, and struggled to regain his voice as he once again sat at the table.
“. . . Ach . . . Yes, please remain.”
Rubbing his throat, the Magistrate reached for the surrender documents. A formality, but also ensuring the Costas would cease hostilities across the kingdom, and especially the high seas. The signature of the Princess on these papers guaranteed servitude to the new regime in name only; the people would remain loyal to the Princess, and her agreement to submit to Sasson rule would extend to her subjects. Or at least most of the subjects.
The surrender terms were read out load, and as each page was read, the princess affixed her seal to the lower right corner, and the magistrate initialed the lower left corner. An occasional tear fell from the Princess’s cheek, and beaded on the paper before being absorbed, almost like an additional seal.
“No.” Riso’s hand covered the Princess’s as she was about to put her seal on the past page. She had not been listening, but Riso had.
“She will remain at the palace.” Riso looked at the General as he spoke.
The last page contained a provision whereas she would be a permanent guest at the Magistrate’s mansion. Before the Magistrate could object, the general grabbed the ornate pen from the Magistrate, and scratched out that portion of the surrender document, then initialed the change.
The magistrate stood, knocking his chair over. “Fine, you finalize it.” Then he turned and marched off, his personal guards trying to keep up.
Once he was out of the room, General Rocca turned the last sheet facing the Princess, and she put the final seal on the agreement.
The room was quiet as the Princess stood. She did not turn to make her way back out. Instead, she turned toward Riso, and with a sob, hugged him about the waist, burring her face in his chest. Instantly, the four orbs descended, and an opaque shield was formed around them, obscuring them from view of the people in the room.
Riso waited for the sobs to slow, then stop. He gently broke the Princess’s hug, and knelt in front of her. Her sixteen years old face was streaked with tear, her eyes red and swollen with yet more tears, and she looked much younger than her years.
“Princess Doryn . . . “ Words failed him. Until he crash-landed on this world, he had no idea what children were, and he was not equipped to deal with their emotional immaturity, let alone the grief of having lost one’s parents.
“I know,” she said, “I must be strong.” She looked into his eyes, and not for the first time wished she could be as strong, self-assured, and capable as her Riso.
“No,” Riso’s voice was soft, as gentle as she had ever heard it. “Now you grieve; there is plenty of time to be strong later.” He wiped a tear from her cheek as he spoke.
Doryn looked at him, looked at his clear blue eyes, and threw her arms around his neck. As she held him tight, Riso knew his devotion to this child was not one borne of his oath to the deceased King and Queen. He wondered if this how parents felt toward their children. If so, he thought it was something near magical.
It lasted only a minute or so, and then Doryn stepped back, composed and trying to look her station. Riso stood, and the orbs made their way back to his belt, the opaque shield dissolving as they settled into the vacant indents. There were four more orbs spaced around the belt, each a different color; red, blue, green, and white. The returning orbs were all black.
The room was now empty, and only General Rocca remained.