12 October, 2011

The Rule of Three Blogfest: Second Renaissance Story

Read my first entry HERE.

   I expected him to ask how many soldiers there were.
   But instead he looked behind me.
   “Yes?” I shifted, impatient to get to Renaissance.
   “Hope you don’t mind imbrangilae. Because one’s flying toward us.”
   I whirled and spotted the descending black form.
   “Oh no,” I whispered.
   I ran down the path, toward the boy—who just stood as the rhythmic beat of wings grew deafening.
   “Get out of the way!” I shouted.
   “I told you! I can ride the imbrangilae!”
   “Don’t be idiotic!”
   I grabbed him and tried to drag him away, but he was too strong.
   The imbrangilae landed on the path, cold air blowing past as it exhaled, and I pulled close to the boy.
   Hoping, by some miracle, he really could handle the thing.
   It was a hideous creature. Mismatched eyes, bulbous skin, wings like they’d been chewed by rats and mended by spiders.
   The boy grinned.
   “Nabil,” he said.
   I sucked in a breath as the creature extended its head, leaning close.
   And closer, until I thought my spine would crack with not moving.
   It nudged him, blasting more chill as it snorted.
   The boy shook free of my grip and walked around the imbrangilae, stroking its hide. Then he climbed, using its joints to hoist himself up just in front of the wings.
   I expected the creature to buck. But it didn’t—it sat there, cleaning its face.
   “How many soldiers are there?” he called.
   “Around two thousand.”
   “Renaissance has 333 people.”
   “So precise?”
   “My father’s chronic about it.”
   “Your father?”
   “He’s, um, one of the councilpersons.”
   I stared at him.
   “You’re not Corey Pendergraft, are you?”
   His head flew up.
   “How’d you know?”
   “I’m Alejandra Digiovanni. From the Espadon River clan?”
   His face turned guilty. “I know I disappeared when you visited Renaissance before, but—“
   “You were supposed to marry me!”
   “Does it matter to you?”
   “No. But . . .”
   I sighed. “Every suitor I see tells me I’m ugly. You didn’t even bother.”
   “You’re not ugly. You’re—pretty. Beautiful, I—“
   “Just tell me how to get to the council.”
   “Get up here.”
   I violently shook my head.
   “Why not?”
   “For one, I can’t just leave Broman—“
   “He seems like a smart horse. And imbrangilae will be faster.”
   “You won’t fall.”
   “I’m not worried about falling—“
   An arrow whipped past and hit the side of the imbrangilae—it bounced right off the skin—making it scream like metal on stone.
   Other arrows hit the dirt and a nearby tree, just missing Corey.
   I spun around, searching frantically, but couldn’t see anyone.
   Then a woman jumped down from a branch overhead, arrow nocked.
   I gasped, recognizing the symbol on her shoulder: Chiavona Desert Clan.
   She circled me as four others landed on the path, swords out and flashing.
   The imbrangilae roared, an angry, dangerous sound.
   The snipers paused and it whipped its tail, slamming a man into a rock. A concentrated gust of freezing air turned a second of the five into an icicle, and she collapsed.
   Corey unsheathed his sword and hit two of the snipers on the head with the hilt. I grabbed a knife in my boot, throwing it at the nearest attacker.
   It cut her shoulder and she staggered, but she lunged with a dagger and nearly stabbed me. The imbrangilae screamed again and struck her with a claw.
   “Get up here!” Corey shouted.
   I grabbed one of the imbrangilae’s knobbles, climbing up and sliding in behind him.
   “Up, Nabil!”
   “Are you sure about this—“
   “To Renaissance!” he cried.

(599 words. Yes, I know I slid this just under the wire.)

This week's prompts were:

  • Someone is killed or almost killed. (check)
  • One of the characters is revealed to be not who he or she is. (check)
  • A relationship becomes complicated. (check)
  • A character lies to another on an important matter.

  • **********

    A. What is the Rule of Three?

    The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia

    B. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?

    The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays or Thursdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday/Thursday posting you’ll have the culminating scene.

    C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? Welcome to Renaissance

    Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
       The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.
    At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.

    Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.


    What do you think of this installment?

    -----The Golden Eagle


    li said...

    Exciting :-) (I think I would have climbed aboard after the first arrow.)

    Elaine AM Smith said...

    I love the name Nabil - for the creature, and the description: "wings like they’d been chewed by rats and mended by spiders"
    I loved this.

    Richard said...

    I enjoyed the fight scene and the plot complication.

    Tony Storm said...

    now this is more like it

    Old Kitty said...

    Blimey! :-)

    Take care

    Sarah Pearson said...

    Oh yes, it's hotting up nicely :-)

    Mark Noce said...

    Wow, great dialogue! It reminds me almost of a play. Very cool:)

    David Powers King said...

    Good gravity that was good! Very effective dialogue and short sentences made the read exciting for me. Great job! :)

    Simon Kewin said...

    Exciting stuff and very nicely done. An intriguing blogfest!

    Carrie Butler said...

    Nice work, Eagle! :)

    J. A. Bennett said...

    Great story! This is exactly the kind of thing I love to read :)

    E.D. said...

    Nice! It has a good sense of urgency!
    Good job.

    J.C. Martin said...

    Been by to have a read – sorry I can’t say too much while judging! I must say though that I liked how you used predominantly dialogue to move the story along.


    Milo James Fowler said...

    Nice work: you sucked me in right away, and the pacing was breakneck.

    Susan Kane said...

    this was awesome. I really was pulled in by the characters, the creatures, and the action.
    Good atmosphere, dialogue, and conflict.

    M Pax said...

    Cool creature. Loved the upping of drama and conflict. The different clans, etc ... is really interesting. Can't wait for the next episode.

    That 20 Something Virgin. said...

    the dialogue seems really natural/ believable, which can be a challenge sometimes.

    also, when i first clicked on here i thought that crest thingamajig was a ravenclaw crest! haha.

    Kathleen said...

    Very exciting! An army and now a desert clan too? Excited about next week!

    Ciara said...

    So many great things about this. Dialogue, description, plot. I really enjoyed it. Loved the "wings like they'd been chewed by rats and mended by spiders."

    Colleen Chen said...

    I love it! Very exciting and with a hint of romance too.

    Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

    Oh wow! now this was an excellent read!!!! I actually like the creature :D I like your two characters as well!

    Reka Sang said...

    I love the creature you have created and the descriptions. The story was fast paced and exciting leaving me looking for the next page to read...well done.

    Sylvia van Bruggen said...

    Delightful dialogue and the ending made me gasp! I want moooooooooorrrrrrrreeeeeeee!!!

    Donna Hole said...

    Way cool.


    Talli Roland said...

    I really liked this one! Great writing!

    The Golden Eagle said...

    Li: Thank you!

    LOL. I probably would have, too. Even if it was being ridden by a total stranger. :P

    Elaine: I'm glad you liked it! :)

    Richard: Thanks--glad you enjoyed it.

    Tony: Thanks. :D

    Old Kitty: LOL. There's no better response than that from a reader! :)

    Sarah: Thank you!

    Mark: Thanks! I appreciate the comment on the dialogue--I struggle with it.

    David: Thank you so much. :)

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    Simon: Thank you.

    I'm having a lot of fun with this REN3 blogfest.

    Carrie: Thanks! :)

    J. A.: Thank you!

    I love writing it. ;)

    E.D.: Thank you--I had worried about the pacing of the story.

    J.C.: Thanks for coming by. :)

    I used to be the opposite; heavy on the writing, with a lot less dialogue.

    Milo: Thank you! :) I'm so glad you thought the pace was quick; I had been afraid it was slow.

    Susan: Thank you so much!

    M: I'm glad you liked the creature; I'm rather fond of it myself. :)

    That 20 Something Virgin: Thank you!

    LOL. I thought something similar, actually. I remember wondering if REN3 had something to do with Harry Potter.

    Kathleen: Thanks!

    Yup. :)

    Ciara: Thank you. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Colleen: Thanks!

    You caught the romance--there might be things to come with that. ;)

    Ms Saba: Thank you so much. I like the creature, too; I wanted something different from the usual dragons. :)

    Reka: Thank you!

    Sylvia: Be sure to come back next week, then. :D

    Donna: Thanks! :)

    Talli: I'm glad you liked it!

    Thank you.

    BornStoryteller said...

    The stakes just got higher..and I agree with Li..I would have been up the second the second the arrow flew and hit. Adventure fantasy!!

    Looking forward to round three.

    co-host #REN3
    Tale Spinning

    Deniz Bevan said...

    Great stuff! Love the fast pace. Also the "I'm not afraid of *falling*", hee hee!

    Nadja Notariani said...

    Great description. That chill breath is creepy. And how about that twist of him running away and not marrying her....hhhmmm.. Very interesting....

    The Golden Eagle said...

    Stuart: Same here. But that's not her personality . . . ;D

    Deniz: Thank you!

    LOL. More like worried about being eaten by the imbrangilae. :P

    Nadja: Thanks!

    I'm looking forward to writing more about their relationship . . . though it's a bit bumpy right now. :)

    Misha said...

    Cool! Excellent follow-up. Loved the complication. ^_^

    The Golden Eagle said...

    Misha: Thank you! :)

    kelworthfiles said...

    Yay for riding the imbrangilae! Also this:

    “Every suitor I see tells me I’m ugly. You didn’t even bother.”
    “You’re not ugly. You’re—pretty. Beautiful, I—“
    “Just tell me how to get to the council.”

    Which doesn't really answer my question about what Alejandra looks like, but it was fun seeing different attitudes to her appearance, including the fact that she doesn't really seem to care one way or another herself.

    The Golden Eagle said...

    Kelworthfiles: There might be more imbrangilae riding in the next installment. :)

    I don't usually picture my characters clearly, so I'm often light on the physical description of them. Glad you liked that part!

    Unknown said...

    I liked the dive into danger of this part...


    Daina Rustin said...

    I love the conversation between these two, they give character to the whole story :D

    Joshua said...

    I'm still worried about Broman...

    The Golden Eagle said...

    Unknown: Thanks! :)

    Daina: I had fun writing the dialogue between the characters; they're one wild ride!

    Joshua: LOL. He's probably enjoying himself in the woods.

    (Hey, maybe I could use the horse as a plot twist . . .)