PDA

View Full Version : Un-named Title (Prologue I-II and Chapter 1)(Mild Language).



Juganhuy
July 16th, 2012, 04:10 PM
First off, let me thank you ahead of time for any advice.

Secondly, sorry if it is rough I have not did to much editing. or revisions.

I am aiming for young adults.

The first prologue definatly needs work, but I want to set some framework for the rest of the story. I am debating on removing the selection process for something else. It has only one or two small effective roles within the story so maybe it is best to remove it all together or adjust it to something else.

Posted here is about 4,800 words. As of now I have 28,000 words written.

If you cannot follow the first prologue, please skip to the second prologue and Chapter 1 and let me know.

Thanks!

Prologue
Renatus Times: June 29th: 70 Years of Peace: Remembering Our Mistakes
Seventy-Seven years ago our people became selfish. They rose together to topple the government that protected them. They wanted cheaper gas, more food, free health care, more jobs, free education, and to pay less taxes. They wanted everything given to them for free. This greed became blinding anger. The people took up arms and began to organize. Within a year they had formed an army that matched the governments. With weapons of mass destruction and weapons obtained by government defectors, the battle lasted five bloody years.

The people prevailed but it did not matter. They soon realized that their lives were ruined. What they were fighting for was now gone. No more gas was left. The farmland was almost gone. There was no more government to give them healthcare. Schools were burned to the ground. Without the government, money was useless. Those who had skills were the only ones who had jobs, and without currency, they were working for food and other necessities.

But the worse was not over. The now weakened country was now left defenseless against its enemies. They marched onto our land, forcing us into the mountains of the east. For eighty years we have been struggling to keep our borders secure and guarantee our future.

With our population dwindling, the new Renatus government formed to take control of the crisis. The people vowed never to be greedy again and to obey the government.

Among the first laws was the Quinque Puer Law which states that in order for our population to regain its strength, each female must bear and raise five children until adulthood. If a female cannot bear a child, then she will be granted orphans on a yearly basis. At first it was a requirement for all females to bear children, however it was later revised to cover a certain portion of the female population as we grow stronger. Other females are required to have two children along with their selected duties. The exception to this law is women who are enrolled as Honor Guards.

The children will undergo a selection process when they are fifteen where they will be tested on their skill sets. They will be placed into one of two tiers: Sustain Tier and Protect Tier. The most honored position for both male and female is the Honor Guards. Honor Guards are the ones who continuously protect our borders to the west from the invaders.

This is a lesson that we must not forget. Trust your government, because they know best. We are here because our ancestor’s selfish ways and now we all pay for their mistakes.


Prologue II
I wish I could let my family that I was sorry for leaving them. I wish I could have told my friends that their family was taken away as well. I wish I were stronger and braver. I wish I could have saved everyone. I wish my friends can get away. I wish that I could have spent more time with you. I wish I had more time.
All these things I wish and know I will never have the chance to fulfill.

I dropped to my knees and my eyes closed. The rocky terrain dug into my flesh but the pain did not matter. I was about to die and I have not accomplished anything.

Both helicopters started to close in on me. I was too tired to run or feel scared. I just wanted it to end.

I heard the machine guns begin to turn and I held my breath.

I hope they make it.













CHAPTER 1
“Let’s go!” a squeaky voiced boy called to me. “I do not want to be late for detention!”

I pulled on my green combat shorts and headed to the window.

Even after being friends for our whole fourteen years of existence, I can never get over how his voice never matched his appearance.

Casey stood below in his school uniform consisting of black combat boots, green combat shorts, and a dark green T-Shirt. He was about five foot ten and built like a football player. He had light brown hair and a darker completion. His bright green eyes seemed to pop out in contrast to his dark skin. He looked like he was much older than he really was, but I knew better.

When we were younger, Casey was extremely skinny and had a deep voice. Then within a month last year he hit a growth spurt or something and now he is god’s gift to the world.

I am not jealous, really, we are friends right? Who cares if the girls love him and I am now his wingman? I like my privacy and I do not have girl troubles so I am fine. I just have to build up the courage to actually…..never mind.

“I am coming!” I shouted down to him.

“Shut up Dalyn, the rest of us don’t have to suffer because you have to go to school on a Sunday.” Grumbled my older brother Steve.

“Sorry.” I whispered as shut the windowed and squeezed through door into the narrow hallway.
I slipped into the door directly next to my room and looked into the bathroom mirror. My hair was longer than what it was suppose to I know, but my hair grew so fast and I HATED when Pan, my sister, cuts my hair.

I wet my hands and tried to slick my dark brown hair down but it just bushed back up. My skin was tanned with a reddish tint from being out in the sun every morning. I hated my brown eyes since I was the only one in our family did not have blue eyes. I washed my face and shook my hands to dry them.
I tip toed down the hallway past two more rooms. As I came up the last room on the left before the stairs I took a deep breath and walked in.

No matter how late I was, I can never leave without saying bye to Mom. There was a bed on the right corner of the tiny room supported by bricks that Steve and I scrounged up. It used to be Moms but she gave it up to an orphan that was forced upon her by the state. Now she lies on an old egg crate mattress on the floor.

I leaned over and gave her a kiss and placed a fresh wet rag over her head.

She has been sick for over a year. It has been a never ending fever that has drained of all her strength. She lies in her room all day. None of us hold it against her. We know how hard she has tried. Because of the population shortage after the Uprising and the Invasion from the west, the remaining population was forced to undertake the task of rebuilding the population.

In order for a mother to be eligible for retirement, they must have and raise five children to adulthood. It is a horrible law. Besides the brutality of it, it is unfair. If a mother has a miscarriage or is the child dies before eighteen then it does not count, yet if you have twins or triplets then you are in luck because it counts.

Mom had four children and a few miscarriages before she became infertile. Steve is the oldest at fifteen (Almost 16) and is excellent with his hands. Then there is me, fourteen and talentless, unless getting into trouble is a talent. Pan is one of my younger sisters, and even though she is twelve she thinks she is twenty. Beyond her HUGE ego she has stepped up and has been more of a mother figure to our youngest sister and “adopted” brother which I am proud of. Then there is Lesley, who is five, and is a little devil who is always in some sort of trouble, and unlike me she gets away with everything.

The orphan, Cray, was about 3 years old and arrived two months ago. There was a knock at the door and a fat man with a curly mustache that poked strait out demanded that he speak with my mother. As I lead him to my mom’s room, I could not help but admire the aroma of meat and sweets that he gave off. He must have been rich to afford stuff like that. Mom was lying on the bed like usual, barely able to hold up her head. I stood outside listening as the man told my mom that she was selected to host an orphan boy and that she was expected to treat him better than she treats herself.

That’s when mom’s health got worse. She gave up her bed to Cray and was forced to sleep on the drafty floor. We were able to find some foam egg crates that would make it a bit more comfortable. We tried to get her to sleep on one of our beds but she refuses. See, if we were inspected and if they caught her sleeping on a bed while a child goes without a bed, then she would be punished for abuse of her children. Our rations, what little we had to support a family of five, now had to be split between six mouths. Mom refused to take away from our rations and gave her already tiny portion to Cray.

My dad was is an Honor Guard Elite who only came back for only two weeks a year. Steve said that he just comes home to get mom pregnant and leaves. Mom always told us otherwise. She said they fell in love at school and he choose her out of any girl in the state. He was some sort of big shot in school and choose to be in the Honor Guards instead of something a bit safer. Mom said he did it because it would give him the right to pick her as his wife and that she would be taken care of by the state. Besides that, he would frequently write us or send some sugar treats. He feels more like a friend off on an adventure than a dad.

I kind of resent him for not being here, but I know he had good intentions in the start. I know it is just a dream, but I still wish he was here with mom. She was always so happy the weeks before he would come. Sadly, we have not seen or heard from him in almost five years; right after mom had her Lesley and became infertile. Steve says he has no use of her anymore, or maybe he is even dead. I use to refuse to believe it, but as the years go by I am starting to lose hope.

I walked over to Cray, whose feet were sticking through two holes in the blanket, making it look like a giant dress. I pulled off the blanket and wrapped him in it. He woke up and looked at me with his dirty face and big blue eyes and smiled like he just woke from a wonderful dream.

“Play ball?” Cray croaked.

“Maybe later buddy” I whispered, “I got to go to school.”

“Bye Bye” he yawned as he rolled over and placed his face on the wall.

I closed the door slowly and walked down the stairwell, making sure to walk on the right most part of the stairs so the boards would not squeak. This was very tricky since the railings are loose and will not support any weight. Imagine walking on a tight rope except with stairs and you would know what I am talking about. I concentrated on placing my feet in just the right spots to avoid and noise and to keep my balance.

About a quarter of the way down I started t get sharp pains shooting through my brain like someone was threading a needle into my skull rapidly then tightening the string onto my brain. I stopped for a second until the pain went away and continued with a bit less care.

For as long as I can remember when I concentrate or get stressed I would always get this searing pain in my head. What makes it more painful is when it begins to hurt it feels like time goes by so slow. What may be a few seconds seems like a minute of pain. I blame my less than stellar grades on this issue. I cannot look at a book or pay attention in class unless I am partially preoccupied to sort of balance it out. No one knows about this accept Casey. Having mind pains is not something you go around talking about.

Two things usually happen if you start having reoccurring brain pains. You either die a painful death, or the government will come take you away for “rehabilitation”. Those who die are the ones who live with it and do not let anyone know. I do not know exactly about all of the details but you hear about people going mad with trying to suppress the pain or screaming until they die from pain. Those who are taken away for “rehabilitation” are never seen again and whenever families and friends ask how they are doing, it’s always the same answer, “He is in rehabilitation and will return home once he is deemed safe.” The government claims that it is a side effect from the biochemical weapons used against us during the war and that it can be passed on to others through contact. Sometimes whole families disappear.

I reached the bottom and bolted out the door, taking care not to slam the door and make sure it was locked. Only a person that lives at the house or a government official can unlock the door. Each person has a chip embedded in their hand that contains all their information as well as what door they passed through and at what time.

The morning was the best we have seen for months. The gray smog had several breaks allowing a rare glimpse of the bright blue sky. The air was...fresh? I don't know, it seemed cleaner than normal since fresh air is something of a myth.

“Oh my god dude,” Casey huffed “I should have just gone on without you. What were you doing? Telling a story? Jeez, let’s go.”

“Oh, hey, how are you doing? How is the family? Nice weather we are having.” I spat sarcastically.

“We would be free to enjoy the weather today if you did not get us in trouble AGAIN,” he squeaked.
I laughed because it was really hard to take him seriously with a voice like that.

We had not done anything too serious. We have to run laps for an hour everyday at school while Coach Roach (I am not kidding, this guy was old and a survivor so he deserves his name) takes a nap on a pile of dead leaves. Hanging out of his pocket is a crank stop watch that rings after the hour is up. Well last week I had a great idea. What if we could sneak over and “speed up time” a bit? Simple concept, Coach Roach is sleeping after all, how hard could it be?

Well, it would have been easy if it was not for his dog, Shredder Jr. Shredder Jr. does not look like a shredder. It looks like an innocent forty pound puppy that would lick you to death. Leave a shoe sitting around and he would shred that for sure. We knew better though. Roach had a huge dog before that he trained to attack students that were not running. Last year we saw him in action. He had leaped on Matt, who was unnaturally chubby considering our circumstances. Apparently Matt had collapsed from exhaustion. When he saw the dog running at him he attempted to run but it was no use. The dog’s huge mouth closed in over Matt’s face ripping it right off.

When we and finished that lap and were coming up on Matt’s body, we noticed that the dogs body lay dead on the ground with a large metal pipe in its back. Coach Roach was wailing that he would kill us all, which I am certain he meant and everyone believed. Later we found out that the top student in our class, Donald, had attempted to save Matt and rammed the dog with a pole, then fled into the woods never to be seen again. Brave guy, I give him props, he must have known he would have been executed in the square for what he had done. I do not know if I would have attempted to survive out in the mountains on my own though.

Anyways, Shredder Jr. has the reputation of latching on to ankles, hands, and wobbly part when it feels inclined for a motivational push.

My idea was simple. I would toss a small plastic sac full of crushed dried peppers and poison ivy leaves that I soaked in some goat blood to the dog. While he enjoys his surprise and hopefully preoccupied with finding a drink I would walk over casually to Roach and turn the clock. We had plenty of crushed peppers in our rations and no one ate them so it was perfect. We could do it for weeks.

My idea went as planned. I tossed the pouch to Shredder Jr. he ate it, went into a jumping fit like he was having a seizure, licked his nose which probably did not help, and ran off. I walked over, changed the time so we would only have five more minutes left, and went back to my jog. After the run we all went into a class room where we would be preparing for our selection exam. The teacher, Miss Curtiss was never there early so we never had to worry about getting caught showing up early. In fact she would be late almost every time (Not that I am complaining). Naturally, we were about 30min early so the room was all to ourselves.

At first everyone was fine with it. As the day four crept up some were getting apprehensive and wanted me to stop. I should have listened, but hey, why stop what is working? Well, yesterday it was normal routine, run, feed dog peppers (Dumb dog never learned), Coach Roach tells us to screw off and goes looking for his dog, and we all walked into the classroom…where Miss Curtiss was sitting.

She stood up, not looking all that surprised to see us. She was tall, about thirty years old, and had signs up being pretty if it was not for her honeycomb hair, spectacles and cake of makeup. It looks like she is trying to fill the stereotypical teacher. We do not know much about her. We know she got transferred here last January and she has no husband or kids which is extremely rare. We all assume that she must be infertile or something. She just tells us to read and she sits and stairs at us. We get a paper every once in a while to write. It is not demanding but it is boring and pointless. My lack of focus does not help me here. I know I will be at the bottom tear during the selection tests. For someone trying so hard to look like a teacher she sure does not act like a teacher.

I would like to say I had some clever excuse, but I did not. Miss Curtiss stood up glaring at us and demanded why we were there so early. We all stood there motionless and speechless when Coach Roach came running down the corridor and stood directly in the middle of the room screaming at the top of his lungs.

“Who fed my dog peppers!?” Coach Roach blasted.

He held out his hands and a reddish brown goop incased his hands.

“That can’t be what I think it is…” I mumbled to Casey.

“He threw this up and I KNOW it was one of you.” He circled the room, looking each person in the face.

“Tell me who or you will all come in an hour early and run laps…with Shredder Jr. chasing you!”

“It was Dalyn sir.” A boy next to Casey blurted out, “He fed your dogs peppers and changed your clock. We told him to stop but…”

WHAM!

The boy gasped and collapsed over a desk. Casey had nailed him right in the stomach.

“You sell out! I did not hear YOU complain!” Casey tried to man up his voice.

Coach Roach lunged at me with vomit cover hands and I back up just as he stumbled over the desk and planted his face on the floor.

I am so dead, I thought. There is no way I would survive this. Poisoned a dog, tapered with school property, and now the assault of a teacher (I knew that’s what it would be labeled as even though I never touched the guy).

“MR. ROACH” Miss Curtiss interrupted my thoughts, “You must be mistaken, it is now 8am, the exact time they are suppose to be here.”

She held out a pocket watch that oddly enough displayed 8:02.

The class was silent for a moment. I could not even tell you what was going through my mind at that moment. Why was she defending me? How is it 8am? Did Roach actually pick up Rippers puke?

Abigail, a drop dead gorgeous girl, knelt over and helped Coach Roach to his feet.

She has long, strait, black hair. Hazel eyes with big black pupils. Her skin was flawless and looked like a balloon. Okay, bad comparison. I mean her skin was a healthy bronze that was tight and shimmered in the light. It looked so smooth, like a balloon…

“Get off me girl!” He shouted and glared towards Miss Curtiss’s watch.

“That can’t be, mine says…” He looked down at his watch and his face got pale. “….8:03…”

“Roach, you really should stop drinking in the morning,” Miss Curtiss appeared to be gloating. “Now if you could please leave my class room and go….do whatever you do. Go play fetch or something.”

“But he said…” Pointing down to the kid still sprawled on the floor still gasping for air.

“Peter has a bad case of not telling the truth under pressure.” Miss Curtiss said confidently. “He will be punished along with Casey for hitting him. Dalyn can join them if it makes you feel better.”

“But,….” I started to defend myself like I had done nothing wrong when I remember that I actually did and should accept this minor punishment.

Coach Roach, still in disbelief, thought for a second and determined to get the last word. He shot his finger towards Abigail “FINE! But this girl too! She touched a school official in inappropriate places!”

He turned towards Abigail and shouted, “You are lucky I do not have you beaten or something.”

“Yes sir, thank you.” Abigail smiled and tilted her head in respect. Her long black hair started to fall over her shoulder.

Roach stormed red faced out of the office giving me a stare that meant he would get his own payback.

“Peter, Casey, Dalyn, Abigail, I will see you on Sunday. I guess no day off this week for any of us.” She appeared to be more amused than angry, which is odd since she never showed any emotion.

And now here we are, walking to school on our day off to spend the day doing god knows what. Besides, I had some motivation to go to detention this time. Abigail will be there.

“So what do you think we will have to do today? I mean, it is a bit odd that we have detention on a Sunday.” Casey wondered.

“Ahh, I don’t know. As long as we do not have to run I am game for anything.” I said.

“I bet you are, you know, to impress Abigail with your skill of mumbling.” He grinned with a hint of challenge.

See, we both liked Abigail from the moment that she showed up last year. I could never make it five feet from her before I felt like I was going to throw up or getting brain pains while I concentrated NOT to screw up. A few weeks after she arrived, Casey had the privilege of being her partner when we had a training exercise in the mountains. I had actually drew her name could not stomach the thought of being so close and doing something stupid around her so I traded slips of paper with Casey. I ended up with Peter. That day was full of oddities.

“Please, and you think she can take your lady voice seriously?” I retorted.

“Yeah, I do. That’s all you got against me? My voice? Ha!” He said in a shaky voice and his face turned beet red. I know I struck a nerve because he does not like anyone talking about his voice.

“There was also that time when you found that girly magazine…” I started.

“DON’T YOU DARE MENTION THAT AGAIN? You swore you would never talk about it.” He raised his fist with tears in his eyes.

“I am kidding. Ha-ha. You are still a softy even though you look manly.” I laughed. I honestly did not want him to hit me in the arm because I would probably cry. Last time he play tapped me and my arm was bruised for a month.

“I guess we head towards Miss Curtiss’s room then?” Casey asked.

“Yeah lets go on in and get this over with.” I said lazily.

We walked into the quiet school building, which were more like ruins than anything else. All these years and they could not even build a new school, let alone repair the ones we got? Some walls had temporary fixes. The higher tiered students get the better rooms while the rest get the crappy rooms. I was in a class that had not been divided yet so we got one that was about average (Which means a caving in ceiling).

When we arrived to Miss Curtiss’s room, the door was shut but we could make out shadows moving across the floor like someone was pacing. I heard frantic whispers like someone was trying to play a prank and jump out and shout “SUPRISE!”.

Casey and I looked at each other and Casey nodded.

I mustered up my confidence and said “How bad can it be?”

I knocked. Between the second and third knock the door swung open and I was staring down the barrel of an old looking rifle being held by Miss Curtiss.

bazz cargo
August 31st, 2012, 09:57 PM
Hi Juganhuy,
First off; nice layout. Well presented and easy to read.


Your first prologue reads like an idea of a novel all on its own. The second one is quite a teaser.


“Sorry.” I whispered as I shut the windowed and then squeezed through the door.


Here and there you have a few grammar issues. Your punctuation is good. The premise is interesting. Loved the cliffhanger ending.


I don't have time to run through the entire post and pick out all of the problems, but I will do a few.


He had light brown hair and a darker completion
He had light brown hair and a dark complextion.


He looked like he was much older than he really was,
He looked much older than his age,


“Shut up Dalyn, the rest of us don’t have to suffer because you have to go to school on a Sunday.”
“Shut up Dalyn! Don't make the rest of us suffer just because you have to go to school on a Sunday.”


From the way this reads, I wonder if you are an ESL student? You tell a good story. Sadly a few technical problems hold this back. A small piece of advice you can take or leave; keep on with the novel but try some flash fiction of about two or three hundred words. It is easier to help you with noting errors and you wont feel like your worthy work is getting unfair critiquing.


Nice start. Now the hard work really begins.
Bazz

Juganhuy
September 1st, 2012, 01:55 PM
Actually this was my first stab at the first chapter which I rewrote. I corrected the flow of the chapter along with the grammer since I was just worrying about getting ideas on paper at the time.

The book is in my sig and first chapter of second book is in critique section.

Thanks for the advice, and no - I am not an esl student.

qwertyportne
October 11th, 2012, 02:05 AM
You've probably heard the saying, "Ideas are a dime a dozen whereas good writing is rare." That's how my first YA story began: from an idea. Hence I had the title before the story began unfolding. Some writers say you should know where you are going before you start. If you don't already have an ending in mind you won't be able to "aim" your story at it as you write. If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. But sometimes your characters take off and you just follow them. Have you thought of a title yet? Or is it currently un-named because you want to select one later that more aptly fits the story that develops?

Juganhuy
October 12th, 2012, 07:08 PM
qwerty,

The titale is Sky of Dust: The Last Weapon.

I came up with "The Last Weapon of War" first, when the phrase was used near the end of the book.

When I was editing, my eyes stuck on Sky of Dust during a description, and it pretty much sums up the world.

I combined the two to make the first title in my three part series.

The book has been on sale for over a month now and has been accepted pretty well.

I am still bouncing around the title of the second book that I am half way through. Luckily, the staple "Sky of Dust" will stay.

qwertyportne
October 12th, 2012, 10:51 PM
Ah, good for you. Sometimes I get so hung up on a title I can't let it go, despite realizing that the story I ended up writing (or should I say the story that wrote me!) begs for a much diiferent title. I think titles are really important. They are the first thing a readers sees, and are in fact the first sentence.

--Bill