In ‘Fleshing out my Protagonist for NaNoWriMo’ the first draft was pretty dire. I had written their names lots of times, and there were certain things which just didn’t make sense.
I also said that I was going to use this is as practice for revising drafts.
Please, let me know what you think.
“Yaaaaargh!” Rinn threw himself onto Bedwyr, knocking him onto his back and pinning him down. “Ha ha! I rule, I rule!” he said while pointing into Bedwyr’s slightly pained face.
“Do you have to do that?” Bedwyr wheezed.
“Well I wouldn’t, if it didn’t work every time.” Rinn got up and offered a hand out. Bedwyr pulled himself up and tucked a lock of brown hair behind his ear. “You’re an ass.”
“Some women have made such comparisons before” he grinned, and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Bedwyr smiled and sighed then started walking back towards the large wooden gates of the village.
“Wait!” Rinn grabbed Bedwyr by the shoulder. “Let’s not go back yet, let’s have a look around.”
“A look around what?”
“I dunno. We don’t get out of the village much, and once we get back we’re looking at more training, more tests.” Rinn performed a theatrical yawn.
“Maybe we could head to the beach and look for ‘wash-up’. If we go now we might find something interesting before everyone else shows up.”
“Excellent idea, friend.”
The village walls were fifteen foot high, and constructed of tree trunks. Any outsiders would have no idea what the village was like. The only clues visible from the outside are a number of smoke plumes billowing out from above the wall, and the sound of people.
It took around half an hour for them to walk round the outside of the village. They could have walked through the village; it’s only a five-minute walk but they knew they would have been set back to work, or encouraged to continue their training as soon as they set foot in the village.
The sun was starting to rise. Fresh light shone over the orange sand, and the tide licked at the shore. A lone crab staggered over a rock; the beach freshly decorated with bits of wood and seaweed.
Rinn pointed off into the distance. “Bed? Looks like we may have something.” Bedwyr followed his finger, it pointed down the beach to what looked like a bundle of purple clothes.
“Race you!” Bedwyr called and sprinted off towards the heap.
“Naxit!” said Rinn as he chased off after him
As they ran down the beach and got closer towards the bundle, it began to take form. It was somebody lying down. No wait, they were dead.
They both stood there looking at the body. His pallid, milky eyes staring back at them. The man was dressed in a tattered and sun-bleached purple robe. The gold cord around his waist matted with seaweed.
Bed and Rinn didn’t say anything. Seconds passed while they stared at him, occasionally looking at each other.
“Who is he?” said Bedwyr eventually.
“Don’t know. I don’t think he’s from the village.” Rinn scratched at his neck.
“Not with those clothes. He must be from beyond the forest.”
“Yeah. You should check him.”
“For what? I’m pretty sure he’s dead.”
Rinn rolled his eyes. “No, you should see if he’s got anything on him.”
“Why don’t you do it?”
Rinn took a step back “Because you’re closer.”
“Fine. Pass me that stick.”
Bedwyr poked at the corpse. It wasn’t until his stick got caught on the robe that they noticed a soaked leather satchel underneath his tunic, tied around the man’s neck.
Kneeling down on the sand, Bedwyr reached inside the cold and damp tunic, fumbling with the clasp. He kept his eyes fixed on the man’s face.
Bedwyr undid the clasp and slowly removed the satchel, still staring at the corpse.
Bedwyr jumped up, and yelped; the satchel flew off behind him.
Rinn laughed. “I got you again. Boy you are just too easy.”
“For nax sake! You could have killed me.” Bedwyr bent down and breathed slowly, grabbing a handful of sand. With no warning he leapt up and threw the sand right in Rinn’s mouth. He spluttered and choked as he spat out gobbets of sandy-spit.
“Ok, I probably deserved that.” said Rinn.
“I’ll go get the satchel.” Bedwyr grabbed the satchel and returned to Rinn.
“Ok, you can first.” Rinn gestured towards Bedwyr.
Closing his eyes he reached into the satchel. His hands brushed past several thing, wet cloth, smooth and cold, sharp, woolly. His grabbed something that felt like a leather pouch. “This one.” Bedwyr said. He opened his eyes and looked at the object.
“What’s in it?” Rinn asked “Herbs? Food? Stones?”
Bedwyr reached into the pouch and grabbed the contents. “No it’s not any of those.” Bedwyr was visibly disappointed. “Just a load of metal disks with someone’s face on them.”
“Oh it must be some kind of game. We don’t need a kids game.”
“No we don’t. Well, that was my turn wasted.” Bedwyr sighed and threw the pouch over his shoulder; the disks scattered over the beach and sparkled. “Your turn.”
Rinn closed his eyes and ruffled through the bag.
“I’ll have… this.” Rinn opened his eyes and looked at what he’d picked. It was a small metal knife with a lion’s head on the pommel. “Nice.” Rinn ran his thumb over the blade to check the blade. “It’s a little blunt, but Jesse should be able to sharpen that up. That’s a good find.”
“Aw, that is so unfair. I get a bag full of useless disks and you get a knife.”
“Ha ha. Maybe it’s the moon-wolf telling you you’re not ready for a man’s weapon yet.”
“That’s quite a small knife, you sure he’s not trying to tell you something else?” they smiled at each other. “I got to get something better this time.” Bedwyr shut his eyes once more and reached into the satchel.
“Tada!” Bedwyr opened his eyes and saw that he was holding a small toy human. It wore an old ragged dress and had one button eye.
“Excellent, choice.” Rinn gloated sarcastically.
“Let’s just move on shall we. You’ve got the last thing.” Bedwyr threw the toy to his side, where it remained facedown in the sand.
They both looked down at the final item. It was small vial of yellow liquid.
“What is it?” Bedwyr asked.
“Don’t know.” Rinn uncorked the bottle and held it under his nose. “It smells like Pinefruit.” He brought the bottle to his lips.
Bedwyr reached out and grabbed Rinn’s wrist. “Are you crazy? You can’t just drink something you found on a corpse. You don’t know what it is.”
Rinn wrestled his wrist from Bedwyr’s grasp “Well, I’m not going to know what it is unless I drink it.” He swigged at the bottle.
Rinn gulped down the liquid and burped. “That’s tasty. It reminds me of the stuff I used to drink as a cub.”
Bedwyr eyed his friend up cautiously. Did Rinn look different all of a sudden? His eyes seemed to shine.
“You ok?” Bedwyr asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t feel so good.” Rinn’s eyes were now bright yellow.
Rinn stood up, his head back and his eyes pointing towards the sky. As he opened his mouth to scream, a solid beam of bright light shot out and into the sky. His eyes glowed magically and light seemed to pour from every orifice.
The light became brighter. In fact, within seconds the light was so bright that Bedwyr could no longer look directly at him.
Seconds passed and neither boy could see anything. As the light dissipated, Rinn dropped to the floor exhausted.
“Rinn! Rinn?” Bedwyr leaned over him. “Are you ok?””
Rinn blinked a couple of times. “Yeah, I’m good.”
Bedwyr helped his friend up and batted the sand off him.
Rinn rubbed his eyes. “That was… fun.”
“Sunshine in a bottle.”
“I’m just glad it wore off.”
“Yeah, let’s just head back to the village.” Rinn turned round and wearily started to walk back to the village. Bedwyr grabbed the leather satchel from the sand and caught up with him.
Rinn gave a weakened smile “Not a great day for us.”
“No. I’ve got a new bag I suppose”
“Aye, and I’ve got that knife.”
“Yeah, at least we now know one thing.”
“That the sun really does shine out of your…”
“Don’t! Just… don’t.”