Well, because I’m not busy enough, editing my Irish manuscript and writing a Vermont novel based on my family, I had also started a young adult novel called “Smidge” a few months back. Yesterday, tired of struggling with that blasted epic, tired and a bit uninspired with the Vermont story, I decided to revisit “Smidge.”
And boy am I glad I did. What a blast. I love this story! How did I get so good? The characters flash off the page, the protagonist sparkles and the writing? Snappy and fun.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but still, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the document and got swept up in the story (see Dave’s new post – he wrote about the same thing happening). So, I thought I’d get a reading from you, both literal and figurative and share a snippet. This is a fantasy, mind you, and came from a dream, so yes, it’s not set in our world, at least as we know it. So? Here it goes… and please, let me know what you think.
He’d done a fine job, a damn good job. Liam stood on the hillock and surveyed his handiwork that spread across the horizon. Enough, he hoped, to guarantee a successful match with the woman in his dreams. Still, he thought and put his hands on his hips, there could always be more.
A gust of wind tousled jet black hair worn far too long for his parent’s liking. He smiled at that. Rogue, scamp, purveyor of dreams; he’d been called them all. A mischievous twinkle appeared in the cobalt blue eyes that beheld his patch of sky. He’d taken it way beyond what custom would allow; created a bold pattern of blues, russets and gold when he was only given permission for one color.
He sensed his friend approaching from behind, though he was in full-on stealth mode.
Shamus popped up and smacked him on the back. “Hey, bro!”
Liam stifled a curse. “Go away, Shay, I’ve work to do.”
“Well now, let’s give it a good look.” He studied the sky with an intensity that only Liam would know to be false. “Ah, see what a fine job you’ve already done.” He also ignored the heated glance and draped his arm around his friend’s shoulder. “Though in truth, you’ve taken a bit of indulgence with your palette. I wonder; would your Mum approve?”
Liam shrugged the arm off. “I doubt she’d approve of anything I do.”
“And this is why you’ve chosen to break the codes.”
He met the curious, taunting gaze. “Well and I don’t see yours looking any finer. I don’t, in fact, see anything at all.”
Shamus chuckled. “I’ve been saving my dust, so.”
“For the Fairless,” he whispered with an impish grin.
Let the Fairless take his friend, Liam would have none of the talk. This was for her.
“Do you even know her name?”
Shamus looked surprised. “Her song then, you know her music to find her by?”
Liam returned the stare. “Nothing, Shamus, my parent’s have told me nothing.”
An impending sunset deepened the colors of Liam’s sky, emboldening them to hues unseen throughout the land. Outrageous, he could hear his mother shriek.
“Your mum’s gonna throw a fit.”
Liam released a breath. She would be worth it, though. The woman who accepted this sky would match its beauty. Her song would stir the wind and paint a kaleidoscope across the horizon. With her, Liam knew he’d find that intangible, the magic that would last a lifetime.
“You’ve done a fine job, my friend.” Shamus watched the colors deepen with awe. “Perhaps too good.”
“I have.” He knew the trouble that waited when he returned to his family’s lodge, the hell he’d pay for creating something so daring, brazen and so illegal.
“She’d better be worth it. And you’d better find her soon.”
That’s when the worry began. Like a seed taking root somewhere within Liam’s mind. Doubt was an insidious worm that threatened his bold resolve. He straightened. He was eighteen, he’d created his sky. His marker stretched from horizon to horizon to beckon the one and he was damned if he would tone it down or wash any of it away.
“To hell with the rules.”
Shamus’ laughter rang out. “I’m so glad I’m not you, Liam Brian Fitzgerald.”