A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's have a bit of fun today. Shall we?

Here's a little teaser that I wrote back in 2004 for a prompting exercise where you are given a line to begin and you take it from there. This particular story seems to fit the season, so what I'd like you to do is finish it. The best ending will receive a free download of Skhye Moncrief's, He of the Fiery Sword! Now that's a prize worth writing for:) Thank you, Skhye for donating such an enticing prize.

This contest will run through the end of the month, winner to be announced on October 31st under the 'October Events Update' section of this blog.

Here you go. Have fun!

"Three days passed before they found the body..."of water described by the old Indian woman. The morning was crisp and a dense fog floated eerily above the flat surface of the small pond. Wispy fingers of ghostly white stretched into the surrounding trees obscuring visibility past twenty feet of the surrounding area. A frigid burst of air lifted Dina’s coattails and a tremble of gooseflesh spread over her arms, fear spiked a cold trail up her spine.

“Do you think this is the place?” She turned to find Vince several feet away examining some artifact lying on the ground at his feet. “What’s that?”

He bent to retrieve the object. “It’s a broken tooth. I think canine, maybe a wolf or coyote. As far as being the place, it meets the description. See the tree over there?” He pointed to a split pine to the left. “It’s been struck by lightning and looks exactly as the woman described.”

Vince walked over to the pine with Dina close behind. She watched as he rooted through the brush behind the tree. “Be careful. You don’t know what’s hiding in those bushes,” she warned.

The eerie feeling she’d had before returned. She shivered but not from the cold dampness that surrounded them this time. Something was making her increasingly edgy. She remembered the old woman’s warning.

‘Beware the guardian of the ancient pine.’ She’d crooned but, gave no explanation.

“What exactly are you looking for, Vince?”

“A cairn. It’s an Indian burial marker sort of the equivalent of our tombstones. According to my great-grandfather’s journal something of great value was buried within the cairn of Chief Spotted Wing, a distant relative. It’s something that will make a major difference in the historic information regarding the Blackfoot Tribe.”

He moved a few feet to the right of the pine and stepped behind a large holly bush. “Dina! I think I’ve found it.”

That was the last thing she heard before her world shattered into a multitude of lights and pain then, everything went black.


  1. Hey, I'm either part Blackfoot or Fox! That's the perfect excerpt. ;) Well, aside from the intriguing aspect of it...

  2. Interesting prompt... I'm thinking...

  3. I just thinks it's cool that there is someone named Dina in the book and that's my name too. :)

  4. What an intriguing sounding book

  5. ... When Dina came to again, she was laying on the ground with leaves tickling her nose. Slowly she moved to get up and that’s when pain struck her. Dina hissed in a breathe at the throbbing pains racing along one side of her body.

    The sound seemed to wake her all the way up. To catch that chill at her back. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. Someone or something was watching her.

    Dina stilled and in a soft trembling voice called out tentatively "Vince?" No answer.

    A sound of movement behind her instinctively had Dina bolt to her feet and turn around with a hand flattened at her side when muscles protested. But running wouldn’t help. The towering Native American warrior behind here was so close he could have reached out and grabbed her. His eyes held her in a snare as power breathed through them. Without a touch he held her in place.

    ‘Why are you here?’

    The words were his but whispered in her head, voiceless yet loud and unmistakably threatening. Dina wanted to step back away from the Warrior but couldn’t seem to move her limbs.

    “W-we came to find artifacts. To find a cairn we were told about.” Dina whispered.

    The warrior shifted in his stance, his lean body glittering in a kind of twilight lighting. Dina couldn’t help noticing he was extremely handsome even if he was glowering in her direction.

    ‘Some things are not meant to be known.’ The warrior’s voice came to her. ‘Promise to leave here and not return and I will allow you to go.’

    Dina tried to sidetrack him so she wouldn’t have to promise. After all, the hunt for and study of Native American artifacts was her life’s work. “What about Vince? What did you do to him?”

    ‘His fate is in your hands.’ The Warrior answered. ‘Now answer me or I will act as I will.’

    Dina had no choice but to give in. “We will go.”

    ‘Your word on it? Never to return.’

    “You have my word.” Dina answered.

    The warrior stepped back from Dina and she could suddenly breathe easier and her body worked again. The urge to run was on her but Vince was still here. She had to locate him before she left.

    ‘You have given your word and I accept.’ The Warrior said as he raised an arm and thrust a spear toward the heavens. ‘Now leave this place and never return. If you dare to trespass again, I will keep you here forever.’

    There was a blinding light that flashed down toward the Warrior and filled Dina’s vision. She was forced to close her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, time had been rewound and Vince was back to looking around by the bush. Dina grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

    “What’s wrong?” Vince asked looking at her.

    “We should go.” Dina told him. “I don’t want to be here.”

    “It’s just nerves…” Vince began.

    “No.” Dina interrupted. “I want to leave NOW!”

    She had never before backed out of an artifact hunt and so Vince was looking at her curiously. But Dina didn’t care. It was a small price to pay to leave with their lives.

    “If it means that much to you, then I’ll pack up and we’ll leave.” Vince finally said.

    Later when they were back at the main base camp Dina made sure to torch the map and coordinates to the cairn’s location. Vince was furious but Dina didn’t mind taking the heat if it saved her best friend’s life.

    Dina went to bed early that night. Thoughts of her experience that morning still running through her head. As she lifted her shirt to change into bedclothes, she found her fingers running over light ridges in her skin. A glance at a mirror showed her a tattoo inked into her side. The image of a pine tree with lightning bolts around it. She had been marked. A scary thought. But was that the end of it? Only time would tell.

  6. Excellent, Lady Vamp!

    Any challengers out there. You've got until the end of the month to mull over an ending for this prompt. I will choose the best 'finish' on Halloween and announce on this blog under the "Events Update" section.

    Let your imaginations go wild and have a good time while you're at it.


  7. when she came round she was in a diffrent place altogether, she didnt know what was diffrent, every thing looked the same but it felt wrong, it was as if it she was in a diffrent dimention

  8. Hello, Skhye,

    Wonderful excerpt and an intriguing cliffhanger!

    When "the body 'of what?'" reveals itself to me, I will give it a go.

    Have a wonderful Autumn day,

    Blessings, Laura

  9. “Three days passed before they found the body of my youngest brother, Mr. Bueckner. That’s after I’d been notified by a messenger with the telegram that disappeared for a good month’s time.”

    “Miss Parisi,” She did have the kind of face that could get him into more trouble than he needed right now, but she was also the only meal ticket Max had booked of late. And his coffers and last bottle of Jack were about to run dry.

    “Actually it’s Ms. Parisi,” the woman said as she reached into the large straw bag hanging from a beaded strap on her shoulder. She pulled out a nautical chart, rolled up and secured with a thick rubber band, “and I want your help locating the wreck of The Voodoo.

    Max patted down the front and back pockets of his well-worn khakis and bellowed in half a laugh, "Did you bring a can opener with that?"

    "A wha— What?"

    "A can opener. You know. For that can of worms you're gonna loose on an unsuspecting world."

    "Oh please! You're not the least bit curious?"

    "Curiosity's one thing, Lady. And it’s Captain. Not Mr."

    Max wiped the grease from his hands onto an old t-shirt while giving her a once over. Yes. He definitely wouldn't mind showering off the sweat for her. "What I am is not the least bit interested in cleaning up after someone else's stupidity.” And, though he truly wanted a look at that chart he said, “Sometimes you gotta just let sleeping dogs lie.”

    "Fine!" Her right hand rose up quick to wave him off.

    Did she just dismiss me?

    "I'll find better boat. And likely a more capable captain as well."

    "You do that, Honey!" Damn! I didn’t just say that.

    "You advertised this as a seafaring vessel. You don't consider that a misnomer?"

    Though it didn't take long for her to piss him off, and he had every right to defend The Shelby, Max had to swallow his pride and admit, “I need the money, Ms. Parisi.”

    “And I need to know why my brother didn’t come home, Captain Bueckner.”

    He wasn’t ready to share how his own brother hadn’t come home after that voyage either. But he did know how to find out, and it’s a shame it took a woman’s courage to make him do so. There were reasons no one looked for The Voodoo. And Max harbored a healthy respect for both the living and dead who sailed her.

  10. Congratulations Ladyvampire2u!!!!