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August: Prologue

by AutumnKayArden


Part 1

The day my mother pushed me off the edge over a fifteen-foot drop was the best day of my life. Well, the drop itself wasn't what was so great. It was what happened during the fall that amazed me. At a certain age, a brood mother is supposed to push her children out of the nest to get them flying. Almost all of her children had flown so my mother had no worries.

I was examining the edge of out finely woven nest when my mother acted. It was a swift thought process of, "Are they old enough? Yes," and then her large snout shoved me roughly overboard. There was no warning or discussion of expectation, just that. I panicked, trying to grab onto thin branches during my descent but they all came off in my claws. Man, it had to be one of the scariest moments of my life.

I didn't blame my mother for her decision. It was her duty, after all. Plus, she did not care much for our emotional health, just our actual health, safety, education, and eventual absence once we have reached the right age. She was more of a mother or guardian than an actual "mom."

As I fell to what I though was my death, my wings happened to catch the air at the right angle and I glided for a moment. Unfortunately, it was at an odd angle so I collided with a tree and fell to the ground. Thank goodness it was a lot closer to the ground than the original fall.

I collapsed in a heap to the ground, dizzy, scared, and in shock over the amazing feeling of flying. The experience can be simply put as marvelous. It was beautiful to experience, but probably not to watch.

Speaking of watching, my mother hadn't been, so she didn't see my flight. She peered over the edge and saw me in a heap. She quickly threw the others out of the nest and watched as they all flew. I suppose they had seen me get thrown out and knew somewhat the task at hand. It was after they had all touched down on the ground a lot more gracefully did I realize that I was about to lose any chance of flying.

Part 2

When a brood mother discovers that one of her dragonets cannot fly, she eats his or her wings. It's rather traumatizing for the dragonet but it's for their good. The dragonet does not need his or her wings and they weigh a lot. No point in having them if they don't do anything, right? I'm sure that the dragonet could find a use, but the mother does not care at that point. Plus, I hear that they are highly nutritious.

My own mother came crashing down in a dive from the nest at me. I knew what was on her mind so I turned and ran as quickly as I could. I zipped through the forest with my mother hot in pursuit. She couldn't fly without getting her wings hurt, so she chased on foot.

Over a stream, through a tunnel, across a short rocky terrain, and into a grassy field we ran. The field was open enough for my mother to spread her wings so she nearly overcame me. I took a sharp turn into a thicket running parallel to the field before she caught me.

I hid in the thicket but not too deeply into it so I could find my way out. My mother did not fit. She growled at me, clearly irritated. I stayed silently where I was. Her grabbing claw shot into the small area that I barely had fit into. Her claw grazed my leg but I moved out of her reach.

Just then, a sharp, piercing scream, clearly a dragonet's, erupted from afar. My mother perked up, recognizing her child's scream and shot off to rescue him or her. I sighed. Two super scary experiences in a row are not healthy. The stress and exertion hit me like a rock and I passed out.

Part 3

I awoke with the moon shining gently down into my eyes. It was very beautiful. I loved to watch the moon from the nest every night, but my mother would always block it out with her wings when we lay down to sleep. I greeted the kind light with a smile and stretched. Holy crow, I was stiff from the run. I enjoyed the exercise immensely. I shook of the heavy feeling in my joints and poked my head out of the thicket. The coast was clear, so I exited my hideout.

I gazed up at the stars. Where will I go next? I had been kicked out of the only place I knew. I didn't even know how to hunt! I watch as a shooting star blinked in and out of my view. It had to be a sign. I smiled again, knowing that everything would be okay. I suppose that I was very positive then, and I still may be now.

It has been two years since that incident. My wings have still been developing so I have tried to fly, but no success yet. Of course, the other dragonets can fly because their mothers fed them the correct nourishment for their wings to develop quickly. I learned to scavenge whatever I could. I was shunned by the other mothers because they thought that I had simply strayed too far from home and my mother would collect me at any minute.

I do not live in a permanent home. I travel a lot. I hope to one day exit the dragon territory someday soon so that I can continue my travels without being so shunned, but I do not know much about what is out there. I can only hope that whoever is out there is less stiff and strict to the rules and more approachable.

Part 4

The moon greeted me well that night. I opened my eyes to see it full and as beautiful as always. I smiled up at it and nodded as I always had. I travel at night because the moon is the kindest thing I know. There is only shuns from the day creatures and burns from the sun during day.

I stood up, brushing the leaves that were piled around me away. What a lovely night, I thought. I stood up and started walking. I sniffed. Is there food nearby? I spotted a large grub inching up the trunk of a tree. It was the length of my snout. I seized it in my teeth, chewing it thoroughly before swallowing. It was nasty and bitter, but at least it filled my belly somewhat.

I noticed something. The trees were becoming further apart and fewer in number around the area that I was walking through. Maybe there's a clearing ahead, I hoped, grinning at the possibility of fruit trees ahead. I hurried as quickly as I could. A clearing appeared.

I shot out of the forest and nearly off the edge of a cliff. I stopped short before going over. I glanced around and realized that not only had I found a treeless spot, I had exited the forest itself. I smiled and crowed in triumph. The dragons were all behind me now!

I smell wafted into my nose. Was it the scent of freedom? I sniffed. No, it was some form of food! I leaped off the ledge and dove towards the rocks below. Just before I collided, I twisted myself around and caught ahold of the rock. I quickly climbed down and followed my nose more.

Part 5

I tracked the delicious perfume to an odd structure hidden by a rock. It appeared to be made of large, red rocks and some mixture of a once-liquid substance. The structure was erected in a square-ish figure and a long protrusion stuck up from the top. Flat plates lined and covered the other parts of the top of the building.

The scent wafted from the tall protrusion. It would be tricky, but I think I could manage to climb it. I glanced back at my wings. Maybe they could help? I spread them out and flapped them twice, thinking of nothing but following the luscious smell to its source. The flapping lifted me once and upended me the second time. Well, that went well. I resorted to my good 'ole fashioned claws.

The climb itself was tricky. The red rocks were tough to find purchase on and the flatter squares were just out of my reach. I barely managed to reach the top by first climbing atop an oddly neat stack of logs and leaping up to grip the odd metal rim on the edge of the top. I pulled myself up and had to use my claws to climb as well because of the slope the top was at.

I inspected the tall protrusion. It had a tunnel in it that went directly downward and the scent grew stronger within. My stomach grumbled and my mouth watered. I had to reach the source. I positioned my paws pushing on the sides of the square tunnel from the inside to keep me from dropping down. I lowered myself in that way and began my descent.

Part 6

Robin was an ordinary girl. Well, at least, she had always thought so. She lived in Utah and came to visit her grandma every summer with her younger sister, Cardinal. Granny lived on the edge of a creepy forest. Her small home rested in a spot that was blocked from the sun by a large boulder.

Last fall, Robin had been enrolled in a baking class. She wasn't top-of-class, but she was up there still. She had learned a few nifty tricks from her mother and had eventually developed a secret recipe of her own. She called her new creations "Muckies" because they were a combination of cookies and muffins. She hadn't shared her treats with anyone yet so no one else knew they existed. She had planned to surprise Granny and Cardin with a delicious breakfast of muckies. She had to bake them at night so that they had sufficient cool time.

The muckies were in the oven. It was roughly four in the morning. Robin had dozed off while she was waiting for her treats to finish. She was jolted awake by a random noise. It sounded like scratching... Robin checked the oven and saw that the muckies still weren't done. She closed the baking oven and latched it again. An odd sizzling noise came from the oven after a few minutes. Robin opened the oven and inspected for the source of the sound.

Nothing odd was to be found except that one of the muckies had finished cooking. How odd... The others were still the same, so Robin used the cooking tongs to remove the finished muckie. It looked a little bit off from the others, but still very good.

Robin's stomach gurgled. There were still very many other muckies, so Robin calmed her upset innards with her finished muckie. It'd be stale by morning anyway... This muckie tasted fantastic! It was so much better than all the others that Robin had made which were all above average anyway. It made Robin smile as she finished it. She licked her fingers and was a little saddened that there wasn't any more of that exact muckie.

Part 7

The tunnel had become increasingly hot as I descended. If I could sweat, I would have. Instead, I panted. Funny thing was that the more dehydrated I should have been, the more my mouth filled with drool. I believe that a few missed droplets fell into the scented depths below.

I was so close to the scent's owner that I refused to turn back. I don't care how hot it was, I was hungry! I became itchy from the heat. I bet the mites on me couldn't take the heat and abandoned ship. Probably to their own deaths. I used on of my back paws to scratch the constant itch on the left side of my neck. Some of my scaly skin broke free and drifted down into the tunnel. I squinted my eyes to see what was down there. It looked like a fire of some sort...

My claws slipped suddenly and I hurtled towards the heated glow. I barely caught myself before the tunnel widened. A metal rack stood above the source of heat. Upon it rested an odd plate of metal with dips in them. Each dip had a curious creation in it that appeared to be giving of the original smell. If only I could reach them...

One of the walls adjacent to the rack opened up and two metal sticks appeared. They pinched one of the treats between them and lifted it out. The wall closed again and the heat began to build once more. I decided to hurry and retrieve the food before I melted.

Both of my front paws were occupied with supporting my body, so I resorted to my tongue. I stretched the long, slender muscle out as far as I could and poked one of the treats. It tasted wonderful, but hot! I tried to wrap my tongue around one and lift it, but the metal plate underneath burned my tongue. I stabbed the pointed tip of my tongue through the treat and lifted it to my mouth.

The treat was a little weak in structure, but I managed to remove it. It was so much tastier in my mouth. I wished that I could have savored the treat but it scorched my mouth and I swallowed it instinctively. I burped and my stomach cooled the heated treat. It was lovely. I stretched my tongue out once again and reached for another treat.

Part 8

Robin was startled by another odd noise. It sounded like it was coming from the oven. Could it be her muckies? Robin whipped open the door and gasped in surprise. A red, pointed worm reached towards the muckies. One other than the one she had taken out was missing. How did that thing get down through the chimney?

Robin used the tongs to stop the thin thief. She pinched the worm hard on the middle of its body, well, what was visible. An audible choking sound could be heard. Did the worm have vocal cords? Robin tugged on the worm but it tugged back. She felt that she had the upper hand, though and pulled harder. The lower part of the worm squirmed and coiled. Oddly flexible for a worm...

The worm slowly began to slip from the tongs throughout the tug-o-war. The pinched areas on the tough worm were whitened from the lack of blood. Robin steeled herself, determined not to lose to a simple bug. Well, a very strong, simple bug for that matter. She abandoned all precaution to keep a broken worm out of her muckies and pulled with all her might.

Crumbling noises came from in the chimney. Scratching was heard and suddenly the worm had an owner. It was actually a tongue. An odd-looking dog appeared and Robin realized she was pulling on its tongue. How on Earth had that dog...?

My claws slipped on the bricks and I crashed head-over-paws into the room through the furnace. The treats were knocked out with my fall and my paws were scorched by the heat in the oven. I yelped out in pain and Robin gasped.


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269 Reviews


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Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:59 am
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Gravity wrote a review...



I really enjoyed this chapter. I thought the idea of your novel was a very creative one and I thought it was also very cute! However, it was also incredibly long and looked intimidating. I think it would benefit you to split this chapter into individual posts/parts. I see you did that with subtitles, but I believe separate works would be more ideal. Anyhow, onward with the review!

I awoke with the moon shining gently down into my eyes. It was very beautiful.
I think you should consider combining these sentences so it isn't as awkward. Make it something like "I awoke with the beautiful moon shining gently down into my eyes."

I watch as a shooting star blinked in and out of my view

Don't change the tense mid sentence. "blinked" should be "blinks"

I hope to one day exit the dragon territory someday soon so that I can continue my travels without being so shunned

I think the use of the word "shunned" here is a bit weird sounding and I didn't like it. I think instead you should something like "excluded".

There is only shuns from the day creatures and burns from the sun during day.
This sentence read a little odd. I think it would sound better like this: "There is only exclusion and burns from the sun and creatures that inhabit the daytime". Also, here you COMPLETELY change the tense. The chapter goes from present tense to past tense. That's a serious mistake that needs to be fixed.

I noticed something. The trees were becoming further apart and fewer in number around the area that I was walking through. Maybe there's a clearing ahead, I hoped, grinning at the possibility of fruit trees ahead. I hurried as quickly as I could. A clearing appeared.

I shot out of the forest and nearly off the edge of a cliff. I stopped short before going over. I glanced around and realized that not only had I found a treeless spot, I had exited the forest itself. I smiled and crowed in triumph. The dragons were all behind me now!


Here you do something called grocery listing. This whole section is made up of things like "I did this, I did that" and it becomes dull to read. I love the actions the dragon is completing, I think you should just use more imagery. Maybe do something like this:

"I noticed how the trees were becoming fewer and farther in between. With my hopes high, my legs urged themselves toward what I thought may be a clearing and suddenly, it appeared.

I shot out of the forest and only just managed to keep myself from going over a cliff that lay directly in front of me. My snout split into a grin as I realized that I had exited the forest and all the other dragons were now behind me."

I'm just going to be honest here. Your piece was incredibly long. Please don't take this personally. I'm extremely tired or I would take the time to read it all. I definitely thing this chapter is long enough to split into parts, if not separate chapters. However, I need to mention the simply wonderful things you included in this piece.

I loved to watch the moon from the nest every night, but my mother would always block it out with her wings when we lay down to sleep.


This part of the writing was amazing and I could completely relate to your main character. Oftentimes I feel like my mother blocks out some of the more beautiful aspects of the world in her attempt to protect me. I loved this line and if you changed it I would probably cry myself to sleep ;) :)

When a brood mother discovers that one of her dragonets cannot fly, she eats his or her wings. It's rather traumatizing for the dragonet but it's for their good.


This part provided great shock value. I also liked what it told me about the main character. This particular part told me that the main character believes that for a dragon who cannot fly, wings are a nuisance. However, this MC is just determined to get up in the air and won't let anybody stop him or her. It's also a little comical. A mama dragon chasing a baby dragon through the forest trying to eat it's wings. I'm just visualizing this in my head and it makes me giggle :p

Lastly, I liked this part.
I didn't blame my mother for her decision. It was her duty, after all. Plus, she did not care much for our emotional health, just our actual health, safety, education, and eventual absence once we have reached the right age. She was more of a mother or guardian than an actual "mom."


This part is extremely unique. This is the only point at which you take the time to describe a character, however minor she may be. This summarizes the whole conflict of the first part of your story. It describes the narrator's conflict and lack of love between the mother and the narrator and demonstrates why the narrator is so quick to leave. It also sets your MC apart in that it shows a more personal, emotional side to him/her than the mother.

Things to improve on:
You really need to characterize. Your first chapter should be what's called the "Exposition". I think it would benefit you to check out a plot diagram. Your Exposition is supposed to describe the setting and the characters. Where in the world is this forest? Is it a part of another dimension or in a hidden place on Earth? Do humans exist? What time period is this? What gender is your main character and what does he or she look like? How does their appearance help them survive? These are all things that should be considered when writing the beginning of your story.

Things you did well with:
Putting things into motion immediately. When I started reading this, I wasn't bored. You went straight to the action which is a great way to keep your reader entertained. I also liked some of your descriptions of the moon and the way you hinted at the relationship between the mother and your narrator.

All in all, this could use some improvement but it looks very promising. Happy Review day, and happy writing.






Thank you very much for this wonderful review! I'm new to this site, so I'm still figuring out how to separate it into individual parts. Think you could help with that? :D
I really enjoy writing August. There are quite a few bugs, but I posted it out for review day. Thank you ever so much!





that's good! in order to separate it you should use whats called coding.
Code: Select all
[quote] [/quote]





you do the quote thing in brackets and then put what you want to separate in between the brackets.





Thanks! Will do!



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Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:47 am
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there Autumn and welcome to YWS! Niteowl here to review for the Mystery Machine this fine Review Day!

First things first, I have to say this is a bit long for a typical novel chapter on YWS. I think a typical "chapter" around here is 2,000-2,500 words. Much longer than that and it's harder to review. It's not a big deal, but you may want to keep that in mind for the future.

Now, on to the piece. Overall, I really enjoyed this. August is an interesting character, and I couldn't stop reading. It's been a while since I felt that way about a novel on here.

As for critiques, I don't have much. The only things I can think of:

1) Is the oven actually attached to the chimney? I find it just a little bizarre that a grandmother would let a child just hang out near an open flame in the middle of the night.

2) Okay, this is really teeny, but "razored" could apply to almost any haircut (just cut with razor instead of scissors for a different feel), when what you're describing sounds more like a Skrillex-type thing.

3) The Chapter-5 section in italics is a bit confusing. It seems to be a flashback, but it comes right off of August dreaming, which made me think it was a dream at first.

Overall, this is an entertaining story. I'm curious to see what happens with August and this family. Keep writing! :)






Thank you very much for your review! I'll try to work off of your critique to improve this story!
I'm new to this site, so I don't know how to separate this into multiple parts but keep it together :P



niteowl says...


The easiest way to do that is to make a folder for your story and put all the chapters in it. That way all the chapters will show up on the right hand side under "Related Items".





Ohhhhhh that'll do!
I'll take a bit of this current page down (Not the Prologue), relabel it, and after I earn more points, I'll post more :D
Thanks!



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Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:55 pm
fallenoutofgrace wrote a review...



Hi this is fallen here coming to review. So first on things i liked about your work. I liked how you explained and described the story of the dragon and why he left rather than just throw him into the story. It was like having two stories in one. What i also liked was that you described it like a how to book. step one make sure there the right age. Step two throw them out of nest. Step three eat flightless dragons wings, i found that part extremely funny. As your dialog and grammar i found them both great. Not many can do dialog and sound like how an actual person speaks so good job on that. Now on what i did not like was that your story went into parts then abruptly into chapters. Was the parts the prologue then? or another part of the story? Other than that it was a great story and i can not wait till it starts again.
~Fallen ( August)






Thank you so much! I love writing August and I put a lot of thought into the humorous parts. Yes, the parts are all part of the prologue, but I can't seem to figure out how to separate it all out. Thanks again!




I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.
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