Wednesday, May 10, 2006

WIP (work in progress) excerpt #1

For the last couple of years, I've been working on this little side-project which started out as a way for me to get my little brother to like reading. Some of you have been asking for a sneak peek for a while so here 'tis. Needless to say, feedback is welcome.

She felt so alone, then, kneeling in a dark corner of the cellar as she quietly sobbed, unfazed by the occasional rat that scurried by. While she hated the place, she also knew it was home- straw and twigs roughly strewn together to form a makeshift bed.

The weird, love-hate relationship played out day after day as she found herself in the exact same place as the night before. Marya was young & beautiful but you'd never know it from looking at her. More importantly, she didn't know it. The years of labor under such a fiendish master were most physically evident on her small but heavily calloused hands. Hands too rough to wipe away the tears which flowed. But while they were tears of sadness, of longing to know another life, they were also tears of strength, fortifying her resolve. Each day that passed, her nightly sorrow was less about sad and more about self...preservation. Only recently had she even begun to have visions of what life might be like outside of her world, the only world she'd ever known. Long hours of heavy labor under the sun were followed by cooking and cleaning duties. Keeping her master happy when it came to this was no easy chore- especially where his smithing workshop was involved. She had been punished the most, by far, because of some mistake she'd made in that wretched place. Her master never knew that she spat on its floor every time she stepped on it. If she had to be imprisoned, she preferred being outdoors.

Back-breaking work, she took it all in stride, searching for a positive outlook where there wasn't one to be found. Whether tending to the vast garden's assortment of fruits and vegetables or carrying large, wooden pails filled with water, she revelled in it. Not only was she away from her master but she'd even accidentally found ways to make her tasks easier, completely unaware she possessed a gift. So while she was alone and her situation was bleak, she would not be defeated. That's why she loved her quiet, damp corner in the cellar. It was her lone place of solace. The lone place where she could release her feelings without fear of repercussion. She'd shown weakness in front of the master in the past but like a stalking wolf, smelling fear only drove him into more of a maniacal frenzy. She wiped away the tears with her still muddy forearms, accidentally smudging her cheeks with earth she'd tilled that day. At that very moment, as if strengthened by salty tears and dirt, she quietly vowed to herself that she'd never show weakness again. An insignificant event in a vast world, little did Marya know her fate was slowly...changing.
-Untitled (excerpt), M. H. Morales

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