Welcome to Fiction Forge Indy! We are a group of four writers in Indianapolis that love to talk about anything that has to do with writing. We all met at the Indiana Writers Center and come from four very different backgrounds with interests in Fantasy, Mystery, Humor, Romance, and Historical Fiction. Prepare to be informed and entertained! Oh --and by the way, we hope you share your thoughts on the craft of writing, too.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Tonight, dear readers, I would like to present to you another installment from version 1.0. Now in this version, poor Darby was simply lost in a foreign land and wanted to get home. I was told that that wasn't enough impetus to sustain the novel, by many members of the "No Name" critiquig group. As I have mentioned before, I generally didn't change things unless there was a consensus among the group members about any one given thing. This was one of those things. As such, I have changed the plot of version 2 such that it does not rely just on Darby's will to get home.
Now this bit comes from Chapter 8, which is prior to my last posting, but I don't think that matters much at the moment. Please enjoy.
His eyes became accustomed to the sulphurous glow that suffused the space beneath the
canopy of the great tree. He took another step forward and his sight was
consumed by the massive presence of the trunk of the tree. Great flying
buttresses of roots sailed from the body of the trunk outward keeling their way
into the ground. His eyes followed the graceful line of one of these buttresses
upwards until he lost sight of it in the darker regions beyond the influence of
the light. The bark was smooth and grey – seamless as if it were the skin of a
great beast. A second root arced opposite the first enclosing the area before
him into a living grotto. He craned his neck upwards staring into the shadows
until he imagined that he could see the faint outlines of the massive limbs
which supported the canopy. As he stared, lightning bugs began to flicker in
the darkness as they drifted in their unmistakable flight.
slightly – fireflies – something he recognized.
A soft clearing
of a throat and a rustle of clothing shot his gaze back downward. Caben met his
gaze. His face was solemn, nearly stoic, as he held Darby’s gaze. Darby
suddenly felt uneasy again. He had heard Ladra’s translation of Caben’s speech,
but being here alone beneath this monument of a tree left him feeling less than
confident. His nervousness overwhelmed him and he looked away. When he did, he
noticed that Caben was not the only person before him. Three other men were
arranged to Caben’s right. He glanced to the other side and found three women
forming the other half of the semi circle.
He could see now
that they were seated in chairs of agapnathe
vine grown in one sinuous continuance that formed the semi circle before him. A
circular stone cradle sat in the intervening space between them on which rested
a large sphere. Broader than a man could reach and capped with a wooden lid, it
appeared to be made of glass. The glass was clear, but glazed in such a way
that the individual imperfections created prisms which refracted and reflected
the mephitic glow which emanated from within. The result was an uneven aura
which suffused the air around the globe which illuminated the faces of the men
and women behind it. Their brown faces made macabre by the shadows cast across
their angular features. They sat silently watching him with dark and shadowed
eyes as he took another step forward. Taking the cuff of his sleeve between his
fingers and palm, he rubbed at his nose. Squinting, he tried to peer into the
sphere. Barely a pace away, he stopped.
The dull ache he
felt upon entering the canopy still sounded within him, but the object before
him pulled his attention as if enchanted. He reached out with his free hand,
letting his sleeve fall loose. Without a thought, his hand spread flat against
It was cool to
A moment passed
before this realization settled on him. He blinked. Nearly unconscious in his
movements, he leaned closer to the globe. There was a portion of the glass
clearer than most just to the left of his hand. He leaned inward from his waist
until the fog from his breath began to cloud his view. With a frown, he swiped
at the glass with his sleeve clearing the mist away. He leaned in again, though
not as close this time, peering through the clear glass. Tilting his head to be
able to see through with both eyes, he saw a portion of agapnathe vine. The large waxy leaves were unfurled as the vine
curled its way upward from the bottom of the sphere. The brightness of the
light made it impossible for him to make out more than the silhouette of the
plant, yet it was not enough to hurt his eyes. Something on the
Darby started in
surprise, pulling away slightly. A moment passed, but his eyes never strayed
from the narrow portal. As he watched, something moved along the edge of the agapanthe leaf. It was no more than the
length of his thumb and nearly as wide. Identical in color to the leaf, the
creature rippled upward along the leaf edge held deftly in place by a multitude
of stubbed legs. A black opalescent head crowned one end with no other apparent
intent than to consume the leaf. Two parallel lines of anthers protruded from
the creature’s back moving in rhythm to the rippling of its body. It was from
the ends of these that the phosphorescent yellow light radiated.
essence of the vine makes them glow.”
started at the sound of the voice. It was halting and thick with an accent
which made him think of the swamp. He stepped back from the globe hurriedly,
blinking as he tried to adjust his sight to the lesser light. When his eyes had
readjusted, he found Caben opposite him. He was standing on the opposite side
of the sphere from Darby. He was not looking at him, but rather staring into
the globe. One of his hands rested on the wooden cap while the other held the
staff Darby had seen him carry earlier.
many are there?” was all he could think to say.
smiled slightly. “Seven,” he replied turning his gaze towards Darby. “One for
each Elder here.” He gestured slightly to his left and to his right with his
suddenly felt overwhelmed. As if the knowledge of these creatures within the
globe were the final grain of sand spinning down out of the spent end of an
hourglass, the overwhelming realization collapsed him onto the dirt floor. He
landed with an absence of grace, such that Caben and the people around him
started towards him in alarm. Darby sat where he fell, clutching Moya’s pouch
to his chest. He heard the rustle of robes and the shift of sandaled feet, but
nothing truly registered in his mind.
He was stranded in Ail na
He was powerless and all but helpless in a foreign land.
else was there to do but to sit there in the dirt and let the world happen to