Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

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Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

Post by Moshda on Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:09 am

Ok here's part 2:
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Soft sunshine warmed her back and lights flickered on her eyelids. She felt smooth dirt under her cheek and palms. Lavender wrinkled her eyebrows and slowly, carefully, opened her eyes. She was lying face down on the edge of a dirt road in the middle of a forest and sunshine was filtering through wide green leaves far above her head. She looked around cautiously and found a huge tree almost directly in front of her. She remembered being on her way to school with Mary, Ella, Sarah and Junie. She remembered getting hit by a car and blacking out. She gasped and clapped a hand over her mouth. Was she dead? Was she a ghost? She had never pictured Heaven this way… so forest-y and quiet.

She carefully pushed herself up, expecting to be overwhelmed with pain, but was shocked to find she didn’t hurt anywhere. The ground felt solid enough… Lavender’s eyes wandered and again they lit upon a huge tree. Her eyes followed its rough-barked trunk skyward, surprised at how huge it was. The top of it was so tall that it disappeared, hidden by the foliage of its neighbors.
“That’s definitely taller than a redwood!” she muttered to herself in astonishment. Lavender went up to it and put her hand on the craggy bark. Since her hand didn’t go through the tree, she felt it was safe to assume that she wasn’t a ghost. She stretched her hands way out and hugged the tree. It would take about four people to hug all the way around it.
“I guess it trumps the redwoods for height, but not diameter,” Lavender said. She stepped away from the tree and pinched herself on the fleshy inside part of her arm.
“Ow! I guess I’m not dead, then,” she decided. Her family’s pastor had assured her that nobody felt pain in Heaven… oh, but what if this was—no! She’d never done anything that bad!

She surveyed her surroundings again and noticed for the first time the pleasant temperature, the chirping of birds, the way the leaves on the trees were such a brilliant green. Having nothing better to do and feeling immensely curious about the place which she found herself in, Lavender started walking down the road. It was comfortably warm, so she took off her sweater vest, tucked it into her schoolbag, and unbuttoned the top three buttons of her shirt. She didn’t know why she picked which direction to go, and she didn’t have any way of tracking how much time had passed since she’d woken up. She didn’t bother wondering how long she’d been unconscious.

Lavender walked for a long time, and the ground was very flat, the road twisted and curved gently. She went slowly, so her legs wouldn’t grow tired, and she found that the air was cleaner and more oxygenated than she was used to, making her mind alert.

After walking for what must have been hours, Lavender grew bored with the unchanging landscape and began to wonder what she would do when she got hungry or when it got too dark to keep walking. The foliage hid the sky, so she couldn’t even begin to guess if it was still morning or already afternoon. Her mouth was beginning to get dry and her feet started to feel heavy and still she saw no evidence of other people, besides the road.
Just when the cold hand of despair was beginning to grip her heart, Lavender heard the soft clop, clop of horses’ hooves. Having grown up in the city, it took her several moments to pinpoint the sound; but then the image of mounted police in Central Park popped into her head. The sound seemed to be coming from behind, so she turned to face the sound. The trees were evenly spaced with little other than sparse ferns growing between them, so she could catch glimpses of the on comers when they went around a curve in the road. After a minute, she saw two of the strangest creatures she’d ever laid eyes on in her life, coming around the last bend of the road into full view. They had the round, short-snouted faces of alpaca, the knobby legs and two-toed feet of camels, and the short wiggling tails of sheep, but the glossy hides of horses. They were a dusty yellow-tan, the color of the sand in pictures Lavender had seen of the Sahara Desert, with large, gentle black eyes and soft-looking noses. The animals were about the size of large horses, and they were pulling a wagon—much like the ones Lavender had seen in museums—behind them.

Two men were sitting on the wagon seat; they looked like brothers. The one holding the reins clucked to the animals as they drew nearer to Lavender, and the wagon creaked to a stop. The other man jumped down and trotted over. In the back of the wagon, Lavender saw a bunch of scruffy, dirty, malnourished people with their hands tied behind their backs. They were sitting I rows facing each other, leaning their backs against the sides of the wagon. A post stuck up from the middle of the wagon bed with a metal ring attached to it horizontally. Ropes around the people’s necks were fastened to the ring.

The man walked up to Lavender, drawing her gaze back to him. He was easily in his forties, with the beginnings of a beer-belly like Lavender’s Uncle Tim, and the stubble of a new beard at least a month old. He smiled strangely at her and began saying something in gibberish with a sig-song kind of cadence. He seemed to be asking questions. Lavender could only look at him in amazed puzzlement. At one point, he waved a hand as if to indicate her aloneness, but Lavender continued to stare at him wide-eyed. After a while, he seemed to notice she didn’t comprehend a word of what he was saying, and he took in her strange apparel with interest. He wore dusty breeches, knee boots, and an odd blue sash wrapped around his waist many times, and a shirt that looked like it was straight from the 1800s. The buttons at the top were undone to reveal a grotesquely hairy chest. He reached out and plucked the cuff of Lavender’s short-sleeved shirt with curiosity. She flinched away automatically. Suddenly, the man grinned, a feral light flashing in his eyes. He grabbed her by the arms, spun her around and kicked her in the back of the knees, knocking her feet out from beneath her. The other man had jumped down and was running over. The people in the wagon were screaming something that sounded like “Werra! Werra!” Lavender tried to stand, to run away, but the man shoved her down and sat on her back. Lavender bucked and squirmed, but to no avail. Within moments, her hands were tied behind her back and the man who’d been speaking to her was dragging her towards the back of the wagon by a rope tied around her neck.

He dropped the gate on the wagon down, grabbed Lavender around her middle and tossed her into the wagon like a sack of potatoes. She landed on the end of one of the benches with a painful “oof!” and the man tied the other end of the rope around her neck to the ring on the post. He threw her bag in at her unbound feet, slammed the gate back up, and stalked around to take his place on the seat with his brother. The wagon jerked a few times, then rattled forward on its way again.

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MOSHDA: obsessive hugger since 2003
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Re: Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

Post by Moshda on Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:06 pm

Wow, I'm really surprised that nobody's commented on this in months... rest assured that I did write more of the story, but I'm not going to post any of it until somebody tells me what they think of this chapter! >:3

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Re: Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

Post by Zach S on Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:47 am

COMMENT xD
I thought it was rlly good moshda
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Re: Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

Post by Lillie on Fri May 27, 2011 3:43 pm

The ground felt solid enough… Lavender’s eyes wandered and again they lit upon a huge tree.
You've made the distinction between spirit and body. Her spirit has been summoned. How do the things on her body come with her spirit?

Is this the same tree you mentioned before? If it is you should say 'the' not 'a'.

Since her hand didn’t go through the tree, she felt it was safe to assume that she wasn’t a ghost.

What about the dirt she felt under her hands and face, and that she can walk on the ground, does that not count?

Having nothing better to do and feeling immensely curious about the place which she found herself in, Lavender started walking down the road.

'the place which she found herself in' sounds overly wordy. Just taking out 'which' helps alot.

She didn’t know why she picked which direction to go, and she didn’t have any way of tracking how much time had passed since she’d woken up. She didn’t bother wondering how long she’d been unconscious.

Her watch is...what?

Lavender walked for a long time, and the ground was very flat, the road twisted and curved gently.

The 'and' should be after the second comma.

The sound seemed to be coming from behind, so she turned to face the sound.

'turned to face it' saying the sound twice in the same sentence is unnecessary.

After a while, he seemed to notice she didn’t comprehend a word of what he was saying, and he took in her strange apparel with interest.

How does it take him awhile to notice her clothes?

He threw her bag in at her unbound feet, slammed the gate back up, and stalked around to take his place on the seat with his brother.

He captures her, ties her up, and... gives her her stuff. How does he know she doesn't have a knife or something to cut/brake the rope with?

I think is a good story idea that could do with a little tweaking.
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Re: Stranger Lands - Chapter 1 part 2

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