No, you’re not confused; there aren’t two Tuesdays this week. 🙂 I decided to post an extra writing sample, an excerpt from my mini-novel I wrote in 7th grade. I was very much inspired by Brian Jacques at that point, and my plot and animal characters definitely reflected the fact. In case anyone isn’t familiar with Brian Jacques’s work, he is the author of the fantastic fantasy series, Redwall. It’s one of my top favorite series of all time. He originally told the tale of Redwall abbey, which is an abbey inhabited by woodland creatures, to blind children. Because of that, the descriptions are absolutely beautiful and so detailed one can “see” whatever he is describing, and the animals in his stories are incredibly real, wonderfully thought-out characters. Brian Jacques’s work inspired me to write down my own story ideas, to try and populate my own world with true to life characters, and to be more descriptive. Here is a sample from my story, Marian of Roséwood:
In the land of Roséwood, tucked snuggly away in Greenstone forest on a lazy late afternoon, the sun danced off the bright, gray stones of an old manor. The manor was large and rich but plain. Inside the castle, a young squirrelmaid carried many patterns and fabric bolts to the manor’s seamstress. The sound of her footsteps echoed off the great, stone stairs as she hurried to the bottom. The sun warmed her fur and played off the large murals that were painted onto the gray marble. She glanced up at the playful sunrays making designs on her fur, and unknowingly, she tripped on an out-jutting ledge not smoothed into the step. Landing in a tangle of material at the end of the cascading staircase she rubbed her sore ankle and bruised head.
“I bet you never made a silly mistake like that did you?” she inquired of a painting of two heroes. These warriors were her untold idols. In the picture the one hero was dressed in armor and held a glinting broadsword in his paw. He had brown fur with rust patches, and his eyes were kind with a slight twinkle. The other was a fair lady squirrel with pale fur and a beautiful, burnished sword in her light colored paw. Her dress looked to be made of the finest of all cloth. Trimmed in silver it complemented her fur color. The painting seemed to hold a promise saved just for her. She dreamt that she was a Roséwood hero, bringing that fine sword blade shattering into the blade of a nefarious white squirrel, just when an older, graying squirrel broke the dream and brought her crashing back down into reality.
“Marian, Marian! You must learn to be less impatient and less clumsy. You fly into all things without thinking first and trip all over them,” chuckled the older, wiser squirrel.
“I do try, Brother Ross. And I’m much less impatient and clumsy than when I was younger,” sighed Marian, then abruptly rushed into her question. “Why can’t I be like the heroes in the painting, saving Roséwood and fighting off enemies?”
Brother Ross sat down next to Marian with a sigh; he’d had this conversation many times with the headstrong, daydreaming young squirrel. He launched into it again. “These are times of peace, Marian, not war. The time for heroes and warriors is over. Nothing will harm Roséwood now. We Roséwoodlanders fought long and hard for this peace, and we will not break it for anything. The call for heroes is over.” Brother Ross glanced up at the smiling faces of the two heroes in the painting. “And if Sir Fynn and Lady Sandi were here now they would say the same.” Brother Ross stood up. “Now you must get the cloth to the seamstress and I must get back to work!”
Marian watched Brother Ross exit before picking the cloth up and climbing up the next set of stairs. Climbing them nimbly and quickly, she ran down the corridor in the direction of the seamstress. She recalled the odd twist of fate told to her that had apparently brought her here. Marian had been too young to remember for herself. According to Brother Ross she had come to the villa one dark night …
The wind whistled and whipped violently in the trees. It weaved in and out of the seedling’s branches playing games with the leaves. The wind threw rain against the thick manor walls, causing an unreal, almost evil effect. Brother Ross shook his head at the wind. All of Roséwood had never seen a wind this terrifying for as long as he could remember, and he was not a young squirrel. He fervently hoped the creatures in the woods were safe against this relentless wind and rain. His heart skipped a beat when he heard a loud pounding at the manor door. He rushed towards it as fast as he could waddle. When he opened it, the rain drove into his face. An unusually pale squirrel stood in front of him. With the unrelenting rain in his eyes and the shrieking wind in his ears he couldn’t make out who the squirrel was. He barely felt a warm, tiny bundle pushed into his arms. The squirrel spoke, though he could only hear parts of it, “I can’t keep her… name’s Marian… risked my skin for her… take care… for me please.”
A sharp, cruel yowl cut the panicked squirrel short. The scream was cut off a by a long, lithe crack of lighting. The squirrel gave one last tender look at the bundle before vanishing into the storm. Brother Ross stood in the rain for a minute staring after her. Who was she, and who was this baby squirrel?
“Oh, well,” he thought, “better do what I do best. Feed the tiny thing!”
As the tiny thing grew, she became the servant of the Lady Cornya. Marian soon won the trust of the great lady with her faithful, if not graceful service. Marian broke herself free from her revelry as she reached the seamstress’s workshop. Leaning the cloth against her chin, she pushed the door open with her fore paw. Marian walked briskly in, “Hello, seamstress… ” Marian went sprawling over a bolt of fabric on the floor. For the second time that day, no one could tell where Marian started and the cloth ended.
One bolt Marian had brought in landed near the seamstress’s front paw. Cackling as she picked it up, the seamstress stated, “You brought just what I needed, Marian, and in perfect time too. I was just wishing for this particular material.”
Hope you enjoyed!