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Lasers > Teeth
I’m Connor Robinson, but the friends call me Conbo. I’m a high-school student and aspiring fantasy author, and I decided recently that I was going to start that journey midway through my senior year. Hell, Chris Paolini wrote Eragon when he was 15, and look at him. I figured that the sooner I start, the faster I’ll find myself as a writer, and the faster I’ll start producing things that people like.
Pretty basic, no?
See, my entire life, I’ve been a storyteller. As a child I was always playing with fibs, seeing what I could get away with before people realized I was making the entire thing up. I could get pretty damn creative, and I wound up being a terror for my older siblings, as I could make them look like super villains whenever I wanted. Soon I began babysitting, and realized exactly what it was that my brother and sister had to deal with.
Little kids suck. Go ahead, spend more than four hours with just one and see how long it takes for you to start employing the fastest (and meanest) method of shutting little Timmy the hell up.
And I had to babysit twins.
But I digress.
Anyways, I began to value the sound of silence, especially around 9 o’clock at night. But wrangling the kids only made things louder and they wouldn’t stay in their beds.
Then the magic of bedtime stories presented itself to me, I forget how but it was awesome. I was able to use my craft to simultaneously silence the kids, AND make them like me more with each story. Of course each tale was BS off the top of my head based on their favorite TV show (usually Pokemon), but it was good BS, and they loved me for it. Then they would go to sleep, and for that, I learned to love them too.
I spent 7 years babysitting and telling kids stories, getting more into it with each tale. Soon I was learning the mechanics of what makes a good character and an enthralling plot.
Now I feel like I am ready to show the world what I can do with a full-length chapter book. I’ve always wanted to but never had the courage to let people, age 16 or older, read my writing. Now I’m well into writing my first book, and I think I’ll start sharing it for some peer editing.
I will be posting Part 1 of my first book, chapter by chapter, one chapter every one to two weeks.
So enjoy my tale, again, it is fantasy, and it sort of starts with two plot lines running parallel to each other, but I will never jump POV in the middle of a chapter. Please, if things are confusing to you, or if you find blatant grammar issues that interfere with your reading, then tell me so I can make that change.
Quick FYI, some of the paragraphing and line spacing gets messed up on the transfer from my word document to the blog, so if that’s what’s messing you up, then that’s why. If it really bothers you, then go ahead and Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for now. I’m probably going to make another email account devoted solely to the book, but I’ll post when that happens.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy my work.
“That was a disaster.”
The two thieves step into the abandoned fort. A large collection of boulders, dust, and cobwebs; it smells as though whatever is still holding the structure together is rotting. The stench is abrasive upon entering.
“It doesn’t matter, we’re alive aren’t we? Open the satchel, I have to see it.”
“You’re the one who grabbed this thing, you need to see it again?”
“If this is a fake, then this entire mission is for naught. Let me see it.”
The satchel is opened and passed.
“There’s no way we’re staying here, it smells awful, and there is nothing to sleep in. How are the others supposed to find us?”
The other, still focused on the satchel’s contents, “Fenleron is a tracking expert and this is the only fort in the area that still holds against the elements, you can figure out the rest.”
“Well if it’s that easy, then how do we know that it’s Fenleron who’s going to find us?”
“I doubt they would have dared to chase us,” still focused “we killed at least fifteen of them, and we were the ones being ambushed. I doubt they want to find out what would happen if it were the other way around.”
“They killed over half of us, not counting how many of us got bitten by the spiders! How the hell are you so relaxed about this? It’s a miracle we- would you quit looking at that thing!?”
He is ignored. A silence ensues, the first awaiting the other’s response.
“Excellent, we can continue tomorrow.”
He closes the satchel, stands and places it where he was sitting, and moves to one of the crude stone windows.
“Continue, with six people? What part of ‘we lost half of our men’ did you not understand?”
“We didn’t lose anybody important, just some hired muscle. We still have what’s necessary to finish this.” Never once looking at whom he’s talking to, but out the window instead “Damn, where are they?”
“I told you this fort was too out-of-the-way.”
Annoyed with repeating himself, “Fenleron can track anything, no matter how out-of-the-way it is.” Another brief silence.
“Maybe he got poisoned.”
The other furls his eyebrows, “I was certain they didn’t bite him.” He steps back from the window. “Yes I’m certain, he’s fine. What concerns me is that the others don’t have very long if they were bitten.” A drip of water falls in front of him. Both heads tilt to the ceiling.
“And now it’s raining, this entire place is going to be soaked soon.”
“If you’re so worried, you won’t mind checking the cellar for some dry space to rest.”
A dry glare, then movement towards the staircase leading to the cellar, “So what you’re saying is that you’re not worried about our situation, that nothing is wrong, and that we can carry on with this mission as such?”
“I never said that I’m not concerned, I am confident that we are still on course for success.”
As though they were responding to a queue, four bodies slump in front of the fort door, some muttering, followed by two loud knocks and a scrape.
“Come in,” the door opens and they file in, “what kept you?”
“Lars didn’t make it, we were busy trying to revive him. Something tells me he didn’t care to live anymore because I was not getting any help on his end.”
Three men and one woman are all who remain from the disaster’s survivors; they now join the two who had escaped first. They are all particularly thin, save for one of the men who boasts tremendous bulk, and an axe of similar proportions. The tracker is tall, due to his noble posture. The other four are similar in height and weight, the leader with the more masculine of the builds, the woman, obviously, with the more feminine. The remaining two look as though they are towards the end of adolescence, the boy with the more youthful features being the one who arrived first with the leader. The other, has much more defined facial qualities, and is armed to the teeth with small blades, some missing from their sheaths. They are all splotched with blood. The large one speaks first.
“We had no idea what we were getting into, you said we were going to be safe, and it wasn’t goin’ to be anything we can’t handle.”
“That was to boost morale for the less educated members, did you honestly think that stealing from ruins like those was going to be hazard-free?” he looks over the rest of the group, “If you thought you would get out of this whole operation unscathed, especially considering what you were promised upon success, then you were too naive to join in the first place.”
All but the woman cast their eyes downward while she begins.
“Only one of the mercenaries we hired made it out,” the nurse has settled herself and has begun to tend to wounds, speaking through her work, “their deaths must have been unimaginably painful, and considering the function of this poison, some likely haven’t died yet, they’re just being eaten alive.”
The armed boy shudders, “Crypt spider venom is curable, right?”
“Yes, but we’re going to be in pain. By the way,” she turns to the first pair to arrive, “I’ll need to check you two for bites and wounds.”
“Sure, as soon as I clear out this basement, in case you’re wondering what that smell is coming from.” He descends while the large one speaks again.
“I thought Lars had a chance, yeah he got bit a lot, but he was even bigger and tougher than me.”
“This venom makes your blood clot, being larger may actually be worse in this case.”
The leader sits, elbows on his knees, “So we are all going to live, yes?” to the nurse whose face has now degraded to a worked grimace.
“None of this is out of my grasp. Again, anybody who was bitten is going to go through pain. I am expanding your arteries to allow the clots to pass. Assuming all of your bites are on your legs, they should dissolve by the time they reach your brain.”
The dagger boy snaps around, “My back!”
“Which is why I’m treating you first, I have an alternative for you. Everybody else stop moving and relax.”
The youngest returns from the cellar, “There were storm doors down there, and the body was already wrapped in a sheet, not too difficult to drag it out. It was a pretty recent death from the looks of it.”
“I really don’t want to think about dead things right now.” The large one had removed his axe and heavier armor in an effort to relax.
“Fen, you’re awfully quiet,” A slight racial hint in his suspicion, “you aren’t hurt?”
“I was competent enough to cure myself.”
The exchange stung the group; the youngest was quick to interrupt. “We can start moving to the cellar, it’s dry down there, and the smell is already almost gone after I lit those torches. Come o-“
“Put those out!” The leader gives up his composure as he shouts, “If we were followed, you’d give us away!”
The youngest obeys without word, sprinting to snuff the torch. His face reddens while he returns. “I-I’m sorry,” he lets his guilt pass, “but we still should get some rest. If we’re continuing tomorrow, w-we’ll, uh, we’re going to need it.” He swiftly spins to avoid another rebuke from the leader. He nearly trips down the staircase.
Time spent curing goes well into the middle of the night, as the nurse cures members, they descend to sleep off the remaining pain. Fenleron stays at the top and watches the others leave him to his brooding. Mere minutes pass before the leader returns to grab the satchel. As he turns from the chair, Fenleron speaks:
“You don’t trust me”
Caught off-guard, “I trust you to do your job, and so far I’ve been right to do so.”
A frustratingly dissatisfactory answer,
“Who here do you trust if not me?”
“On a personal level? None of you, but that should not count for anything, I didn’t hire any of you for a relationship.” He moves back towards the stairs.
“I’m pointing out how now that you’ve lost your credibility, it could not hurt to be kinder to those of us who still remain by your side. It would be sad if a lack of popularity was what dismantled this mission after the kind of day we’ve had.”
The leader sighs, “It’s sad that you so-called soldiers need this type of sentimental support to get through to the next day.” Another stressed huff to vent frustration, “But thank you, I’ll consider what you’ve said.”
“You’re welcome, sir.”
On his way out, he turns once more
“Know your place, elf. I don’t want my position being challenged when I’m not around, you can advise me and give me warnings when they’re fair, but that’s as much as I’ll tolerate from you.”
“Of course, sir, I’m nothing but a land-tracker who is promised a very large sum to do his job.”
The leader catches the lament in the tracker’s voice, but decides not to address it, closing his mouth and exhaling as he returns to the stairs. Fenleron’s eyes pursue him, then move to the opposite wall, and finally down to his clenched hands, which he releases upon seeing his inward tension. He breathes a deep sigh, as he is alone for the night.