The inspiration I get for writing comes and goes, but the ideas for major projects like novels often come much less often then the ones for poems or short dabbles. If I get an idea for a novel that I really think I can carry out, I get really excited and work on it for hours upon hours for that small window of inspiration. I must get it all out before it goes away.
Last August, or (maybe it was June I’m not sure) I decided to reread The Chronicles of Narnia. I only reread the first two books before I was much too inspired to keep reading. That’s the thing about writers. Reading often pokes at our itch to write. I liked the idea of a faun as a main character, and from there my story blossomed into a complex story told from three different perspectives.
I have about 52 pages in google drive, and it’s my goal to get to at least two or three hundred by the end of this year.
Here’s a rough excerpt:
The elves rushed over, leaving the sack on the ground for only a moment. The faun felt himself being released in a way, so he gave one gigantic push of his head and tore the bag with his fingers. He emerged from the bag, panting, and then slipped out of the room before they could notice his absence.
He made his way through the hallway, and down the stairs, but he stopped. There was a very strong sense in the place. There was someone here. Someone angry, someone ready to defend themselves. And then he heard it. A blood curdling scream, and then the sound of heavy footsteps. He ducked behind a chair and poked his head out slightly. The other group of elves were running down the stairs, exiting the castle. They looked completely terrified, pushing past each other in order to get out the quickest. The faun was filled with a sudden curiosity. He sniffed the air, feeling the presence of the creature. He wanted to see what exactly it was. Quietly getting up from his hiding place, he left the chamber and descended to the other side of the palace. Here he could see the door they had run from, flung wide open. He should have gotten out while he had the chance, but of course fauns are curious, timid little creatures that could be so easily distracted. The room was quiet, and it held a winding staircase that led up to a tower. Although going against his better knowledge and strong instincts, he made his way up the stairs. There was something at the top. Step after step he went, checking behind him every few minutes to make sure Amos was not sneaking along with him. He would be able to smell him, anyhow. He didn’t smell him, so he was probably panicking over his disappearance somewhere else or looting some other room.
When he finally reached the top, he found himself in a circular room that looked out above the world. It was a high tower, with windows at every side of the circle letting in streams of golden sunlight. They cascaded over the stony floor, and over a hooded figure that now stood in front of him. He jumped slightly, backing up and pressing against the wall as it came to inspect him. His bare back touched the cold stone, and he held his breath hoping this being would have mercy on him.
“I-I’m not with those men. The ones who ran out. They captured me.” He stuttered. The cloaked figure cocked its head slightly, and came face to face with him. The hood covered its face, so he still could not see what he was dealing with.
“I’m sorry for intruding, really I’ll leave your castle right now if you wish-”
Suddenly it reached out to touch him, running what he realized were very slender, tapered creamy brown fingers along his antlers.
It smoothed its fingertips all along them, and he could feel its excitement. Was it a trapper as well? Was it waiting out here for rare creatures to lure in and kill? He shivered at the touch. He knew it was not a ghost, or a shadow, because the smell was so there. It was a beautiful, lively smell. It smelled like the forest and the the honey combs that hid inside the angry beehives. It smelled sweet, feminine, flowery, with a touch of fire. It was an overwhelming scent, and he closed his eyes as it gently traced the tips of his antlers. He breathed so quietly and kept his body still.
“You’re a faun.” The figure suddenly whispered. It drew back, and he opened his eyes. “Yeah. I’m a faun,” he sighed. It was such unfortunate luck to be born that way, as a creature the world now used for sport.
“You’re a faun!” It exclaimed again, this time more excitedly.
“What are you?” He dared to ask. It laughed, and he knew now that whatever it was, it was a girl. He could tell by her voice, her sense.
“Wait. They’re coming. Stand back.”
She pushed him to the side, concealing him with a tarp. He lay crumpled on the ground, but he peered out from the edge of the cloth. Amos and Dragon were coming up the stairs, cursing about the stupid faun and their prize catch.
“What we really should have done was knocked the thing out. A good whack to the head would’ve done it,” Dragon said.
“Don’t be stupid. Poison would have worked better.”
“Wouldn’t poison have killed it?”
“Not that kind of poison. A sleeping liquid made to paralyze.”
“Oh. I’m dumb.”
The two elves entered the room, the figure standing out to greet them. Their eyes grew wide with alarm for a second, but Amos regained himself.
“Excuse me, have you seen a faun wandering about?” He said it so charmingly, and so politely, any female would have fallen for him. It did not work for the cloaked mystery girl, because suddenly she drew out a great sword. It was a marvelous piece of art, with a great sharp tip that extended out four feet in length. It was ebony, dark but shiny with reflective qualities. There seemed to be specs of silver in it that were only noticeable when the light hit it just right. The handle curled in elegant spirals around her tapered fingers. She held it out, letting the sun shine through it. Shadows and dark shapes started to emerge from the blade, howling and hooting with an eeriness that is indescribable with common words. The faun felt his stomach drop. Who was this girl?
The elves froze as the shadows surrounded them. The cloaked girl spun her sword around.
“Hunters are you? In search of a faun you say?” She growled.
“N-not if it makes you angry,” Dragon stuttered, falling down to the floor with fear. Amos looked uncomfortable, but definitely not frightened enough to give up. He took out his spear and let it clatter to the floor, raising his hands in submission.
“We mean you no harm, wise and powerful lady. We are simply searching for a faun that left our group a little while ago.”
“You’re intruders. This is my castle, my tower, my kingdom!” She shrieked, raising her hand. The dark shapes grew in closer at her command, holding what appeared to be swords to their necks.
“We will leave you,” Amos said, gripping Dragon by his collar and pushing him towards the stairwell. The girl dropped her sword, and the shadows disappeared. She turned to the faun, her back turned to the elves. In that quick moment, Amos turned around and made a great lunge for her, knocking her down and causing her cloak to fall off. She jumped to her hooves, standing up on furry, deer legs. Dragon grinned.
“A female.” He murmured. She scowled and reached for her sword, but both of them overpowered her. The faun saw what was happening and sped into action, charging from his hiding spot and ramming his head into the men. This gave the girl a chance to spring forward and grab her sword before promptly holding it to Dragon’s throat. She was breathing heavy, her tiny torso caving in and pushing out roughly. She held the sword closer, threatening Amos.
“Leave or he dies. Both of you leave. All of you, and never come back.” She hissed.
“Swear it.” She drew the sword even closer, nicking yellowish skin. Dragon inhaled deeply, waiting for Amos to set him free. The faun stood by her side, staring angrily at both of them. They deserved this.
“I swear,” Amos mumbled.
“Swear it on the blood of all your future children! Swear it on your family name!” She was fuming, animating with her hands and face.
“I swear on the blood of all my descendants and the family of Warlick that I will never return.”
The female faun smiled and drew back her sword. The elves scampered away, leaving the castle and joining up later with the other team that had fled.
The two fauns were alone in the tower, illuminated by sun.