Sunday, November 8, 2009


I'm not participating in NaNo.

Firstly, I feel that writing 50,000 words in a month is asking for error, I've achieved similar goals, but the quality of my work was lacking. I like to focus on having well crafted writing, so that I can avoid spending hours rewriting and working on something I've already written. I dislike rewriting and editing, so, the less I can do, the better off I'll be.

Second, with the way I'm working now, I can't commit to it, because it just won't happen. I'm focusing on The Darkling Legacy, at the moment. As it holds the most promise as far as publication might be concerned. But, what I'm doing with it doesn't exactly jive with writing 50,000 words. Why? Because I'm Editing.... 6 chapters and roughly 10,000 words of gloriously misstyled writing lies in the pages of my book. Misstyled in that TDL is essentially a speculative/sci-fi work, which calls for a certain tone of writing, which is different from the tone that a romance novel requires, or a fantasy novel. So, first, my tone was, not wrong, but not right, it worked, but not all the time, so I'm updating that. 

And my skill level has increased, so I want that to be contiguous through the whole thing so that I have to do less drastic editing later on. 

I'm also trying something new, a style of writing that dives into Donovan's head far more than before, creating entirely new passages, and presenting the setting, and him, in an interesting way.

oh, and picking out stupid mistakes.

So, all of that is a fair amount of work to do, and I go slowly (evil, vile, me), I can edit for hours, once I get going, but it's that initial start that hinders me. I'm getting better about it, though, and I've done quite a bit, but I'm working on what will be close to 4000 words of the 10,000, so I have much more to do. It's not conducive to voluminous amounts of writing, because I'm not producing anything new. 

When I'm done with it, I will start writing Chapter 7, and the story will start picking up, and we get taken off on an adventure with Donovan and Cory, but it's a long road to get there.

maybe someday I'll do NaNo, but not this year.

Robert W. Nance

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on the road of writing

I haven't posted here since March, for that, I offer no apology, I have had nothing written that I felt good about posting for all to see on the Internet. And so, there have been no posts, but I don't think I have any readers to begin with.

Anyhow, I'm back, but not with any new writing, I'm changing up the way I use this blog, I think I'll start posting about how my writing is moving along, and from time to time post an excerpt.

A good friend of mine, RS Hawley, has linked to this site, so I figure I better start using it.

RS Hawley has been published, her first book, entitled A Vengeance, was released at the beginning of September. It is a very good story, epic and enchanting. The characters drew me in shortly after their introductions, and I jumped back to the book at every opportunity to read.

Anyway, on to what this site shall be.

My last post was the second part of the opening of a brand new, untitled, fantasy story. It is still untitled, but now it's more of a project. Character and world development has lead this from a one book story, to a multi book saga. I've scrapped the opening I posted, and I've started over, working with a concept that introduces the whole storyline better

Heath is a man for hire, sort of. He works for kings and lords all across the world, but with the stipulation that his work be in opposition to the Lord of the north, Legionarior. So when the alliance of free peoples receive word of a plot most foul being prepared by the Lord of the North, Heath jumps at the chance to help prevent it, but the alliance has other plans, in the form of Elven Maiden, Donava Neverwood...

That's the first book's teaser. I'm enjoying the process of writing it, I haven't done much in the fantasy genre for several years, and I'm learning that it really is the most open ended I've worked with, so much possibility.

My other project is The Darkling Legacy, the first draft of the first chapter was posted here when I first conceived the story. It's by far my favorite story I've ever come up with. It deals with Donovan Nevil, and his search for some sort of treasure left behind by his best friend just before the world fell to pieces under a barrage of chemical bombs. It's been 28 years since that day, by Donovan's count, and he lives alone in a barren, dangerous land, scraping out a living as best he can, half-heartedly searching for this mysterious object. But it's not until the arrival of a strange young man with a connection to his past that Donovan takes impetus and sets out in earnest, and discovers along the way that his long dead best friend's treasure may very well be the darkling salvation of humanity.

I'm working on editing what I have of this one to a standard and style on par with what I'll be finishing it with, and I need to get myself really motivated to do that! it's difficult to do.

That's it for now, I might be back in a couple of days to give you all a look at my two main characters, Heath and Donovan.

Until then,

Robert W. Nance

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Heath's continuing adventure

If you're in the writer's guild, go no further, I plan on reading this Saturday night. This is a direct follow up to the previous post, so read that first.

RW Nance

The Dragunhawk set down in the windless valley of Dauc Mareau, and Heath slid from its back, running quickly through the shadowed dead grasses to the tower Dar Nord.
 The tower was just that, a tower on a hill, one of four around the valley, and by far the best of them. It was bleak, blasted smooth on the side facing the valley and the chasm therein. The sense of foreboding that covered the tower pervaded the valley as well, emanating from the black, scar-like, chasm from which the valley took its name.
 Auburn clouds hung overhead, as they did at all times, hiding the valley from the sight of the sky. The wind never blew here, not a breath of stirring air. Gloom hung on the place like a blanket, but Heath preferred his abode in the tower, far from any kingdom, or, indeed, any land men dared tread.
 He mounted the stone steps past the empty rooms all the way up the tower until he reached the uppermost. The one window in the room faced to the west, letting in a shaft of light into the dusty chamber. A trapdoor was fixed into the ceiling, allowing access to the lookout, a place Heath rarely went, and his bed looked as though no one had slept there for weeks. It was, in fact, so, Heath hadn’t been here in weeks, and so he slumped onto his bed without removing his cloak.
 Drifting in and out of a semi consciousness, the man rested as best he could. He was awoken by a loud squawk after a few minutes. Looking up at the desk below his window, Heath’s gaze rested on a hideous bird-like beast. Only at the very last moment did he remember not to meet its eyes.
 “What do you want?” he asked the bird.
 “Greetings, Sadlin-al-emre-yiterra,” is said with a slight whistling accent, “I bear a letter for you.”
 “A letter from who?” Heath asked, staring at the desktop.
 “Cudro.” it stated.
 Heath sighed, “Leave it on the desk, and go, so I can read it without turning to stone.”
 The bird thing cackled, and jumped off the desk, waddling into the room, “Cudro asked that I watch to you read it. He said it was rather important.”
 Heath growled, and pulled out the chair at his desk, removing his hood and face covering as he sat. The bird thing coughed, with a sort of disgusted tone, as he did this, and Heath made himself not turn around.
 Dear Sadlin,
 A dinner of state has arisen, the king of the Wood Elves, and the Grey Sprite chief have forgone their fears, and come to our palace to talk of an alliance in the waning days of peace. 
 Legionarior, as you of all peoples should know, has gained massive holdings in the North, and has once again pressed South.
 The king and the chief would take kindly to your presence, It would give them a sense of ease among our people, and you have no dearth of experience with the so-called dark lord.
~ Cudro

 Heath set the letter on the desk, “There’s more. Isn’t there?”
 “Of course,” The bird thing gagged, “Cudro wouldn’t put it in a letter, though, you know that.”
 Frowning, Heath pulled his face mask back up, “Go tell Cudro I read the letter, and that I’ll be there tomorrow.”
 The bird thing hopped back up on the desk, and out the narrow window without a word.
 The man didn’t watch it go, stupid creature, he thought to himself as he took a long, pink, silk scarf out of a chest, and bound it around his eyes. He stood at the door, and swept over the room, leaving it much as he’d found it less than an hour earlier. 
 Pulling his hood up, he passed under the doorway inscribed Dar Nord, and strode through the hip-high listless grasses away to the southwest.
 Once the sight of his tower home was gone, the clouds dissipated, exposing him to the sun, and the harsh winds that ripped across these plain. A Dragunhawk alighted silently behind him, and again in a language unintelligible, comprised more of growls and clicks than of syllables, spoke to him.
 “I would have need of you to bear me.” Heath explained to the beast, “If I were going anywhere you would bear me.”
 The Dragunhawk tilted its head to the side, and gave a small growl.
 “Am I right in remembering that you and your kin have no dealings with the Gorgons?”
 The Dragunhawk gave what seemed to be a frown, and a growl.
 Heath bowed his head for a moment, “Then I’m afraid you may only bear me to the farmhouse 4 miles ahead, though I think it best that you not, the farmer is not used to the sight of you.”
 The beast nodded, and took to the sky, driving itself beyond Heath’s sight. Heath, however, continued plodding along at his brisk, tireless pace. Until at last he came to the farmhouse as the sun began its hiding.
 The farmer stepped out onto the porch of his small cottage-like home, an axe held slack in one hand, “What’s yer biznis here?” he asked.
 “Horse, Eatel, I need my horse.”
 “Heath?” the farmer asked.
 Heath nodded in reply as he stood at the foot of the bottom step.
 “You ass.” the farmer continued, “I’m not watching yer horse fer free.”
 Heath didn’t answer, but threw a small sack at the farmer’s face, “That should more than cover it, now, where’s my horse?”
 The farmer’s eyes grew as he emptied the sack, several gold coins and diamonds fell into his hand, “This way.”
 The enamored farmer led Heath around to his stable, where two horses stood under a small overhang. Heath nodded to the farmer, and stepped up to the darker of the two. He caressed its face, speaking to it in a slow-syllabled tongue. Mounting bareback, Heath kicked open the gate, walked his horse up to the farmer, and kicked him in the face.
 “You take care of him next time.”
 The farmer nodded from the ground, stunned, and bleeding, and watched Heath gallop off into the south.
  * * *

 Riding all night was not Heath’s idea of restful, nor of enjoyment, but it had to be done. He entered Gorgon lands with the rising sun, and left his horse at the border.
 “You don’t know enough to survive here.” He told it, before letting it loose, and turning towards some distant spires.
 Scrub brush adorned this countryside, dotted about with stone figures, here a weathered elf, or a lion-like form. Some so old they were little but a mound of rock under a bush.
 Heath shuddered, he despised this part of the journey, every step reminding him that his friends the Gorgons were far from safe, and one movement in error could cost him his very soul.
 Two of the snake-headed peoples stood at the gate as Heath walked up, making no attempt to not meet his gaze. The man, however, refused to meet theirs, even with his silken scarf tied across his eyes.
 “What brings you here, man?” they asked in unison.
 “The Lord Cudro has summoned me.”
 “Your name?”
 “Your people call me Sadlin.”
 At the name they both stiffened, and signaled the gate to be opened. Heath walked through, he knew the power this name had over the Gorgons, but he hadn’t a clue what the influence was about, or why it worked on them like it did.
 The buildings beyond the gate were magnificent, arches abounded among the various multitude of colors. The people, however, were, at least to Heath, hideous, their skin was graying from a bronze color like a sailor, to a sickly paleness. Most stood at his height, and their flattened noses gave them a more rounded head. But the most prominent feature was their hair, comprised entirely of snakes, hissing and snapping. Snakes of all variety and color, Heath kept his distance from the people, and avoided meeting any gaze, he was still distrusting of his only shield.
 There was no one to guide the man through the dizzying and deadly streets, but from the few times he’d been here he remembered how to find Cudro’s home.
 It too was gated, a spacious mansion, built more into the air than across the ground. Heath called at the gate, and was allowed in, led by a thin Gorgon who acted as Cudro’s servant.
 The servant announced the man, and he was shown to Cudro’s office, a curious room, full of stone figures, again Heath shuddered.
 “Thank you for coming, Sadlin.” Cudro said, “How have you been?”
 Heath stood for a moment, “I’ve been well, not gotten much rest.”
 “Busy…” Cudro mused, “What have you been doing?”
 “I tracked Legionarior to the desert temple, he had the Cedrin Rammor, but I stole it from him and destroyed it.”
 Cudro’s face bore a shocked expression for a moment, not that Heath saw, “You destroyed the Cedrin Rammor?”
 “Yes, Cudro, I did, burnt it to ashes and left it to be buried with the temple.”
 The Gorgon closed his eyes for a moment, and Heath chanced a look, “Sadlin, that was a powerful book, and many secrets lived in its pages. But now…”
 “For the best, I stopped Legionarior from getting those secrets.”
 “Sadlin…” the Gorgon started, his voice thick with anger, and a hint of lust.
 “What does it mean?” Heath asked, “Sadlin-al-emre-yiterra.”
 “That too was in the book.”
 Heath glared at the wall beside Cudro’s head, “What does it mean?”
 Cudro sat quietly for a moment, “You’ll find out soon enough.”
 “Where may I rest?” Heath asked, straining his words to show his unhappiness.
 “My servant will show you the way.”
 As though beckoned, the servant entered the room, and Heath followed him, at a distance, out. Up to a small room, where the man locked the door from the inside, and, without removing a thing, collapsed onto the bed.

Copyright © 2009 Robert W. A. Nance
All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meet Heath

Meet Heath, I had a dream the other night, and this guy was in it, and yes his name is most assuradly and unchangably 'Heath'. So, anyhow, I've been trying to figure out who he is for a while, and I think I finally got some of it, so, my new piece:

Chapter 1

 The wind swept across the desert sand dunes with an incessant fury. Inexplicably, the wind bent itself full force on a large temple, wrought of stone, laying forgotten in the vast waste of Garaning.
 Inexplicably, that is, to anyone who may have stumbled upon the lonely place, but to the 2 men within, the fury of the wind was easily explained. One, a towering dark, lordly, man, whose face was adorned with tribal markings from the far north, bore a red leather bound book under his right arm, and a long black sword in the other. The other man was tightly hooded and cloaked, his eyes alone visible in the narrow opening of his hood, blocked the way of the tall one, sword held ready in his gloved right hand.
 “You fool!” shouted the tall man, “This temple is coming down on us, we’ll be buried alive by the desert!”
 “That’s the price to be paid for taking the book.” The cloaked man calmly replied.
 “Move!” the tall one screamed, “Or you’ll perish with me!”
 “You may have found, Legionarior, I’m difficult to kill.”
 “I dare say you are, like a swarm of gnats, I cannot fully crush you. So, if you won’t move…” Legionarior sprung forward, shielding the book from possible damage.
 The sound of steel filled the hall, drowning out the roaring wind outside, but not the buckling temple. On a level field Legionarior could have overcome his adversary, albeit with great effort, but here, fear was visible in his eyes, as they darted around the crumbling hall. Visible in the hooded eyes was but determination, to rid Legionarior of the book. 
 Dexterous hands wielded the blades, and negated each other, and neither point met it’s mark. Legionarior made an attempt to circle around the cloaked man, to make an attempt at escape. It seemed as though he succeeded, coming at last between the hooded man and the door, but, as he turned to take flight, the book was dislodged from his hold. The Hooded man laughed, spitted on his sword was the book, “Take flight, it’s your life, or the secrets in the book, Lord Legionarior.”
 Legionarior paused for a moment, as if in thought of going back for the book, but as the ceiling buckled yet again, he fled into the sandstorm, “**** you, Heath!”
 Heath watched him go, before turning to the book. He drew his nondescript blade from it, and slid it into the jeweled scabbard beneath his thick, dark cloak. He held the book in front of his grey eyes for a moment, studying the gilded text on the cover. He could make no sense of it, except one word, ‘Farsight’ that’s what the Gorgons called him, he thought.
 But the book itself, He had stopped Legionarior, and to finish the job, Heath removed his left glove, allowing flames to leap suddenly from his fingertips, licking at the pages, and at length, devouring the book. He threw it on the floor, pulled his glove back on, and walked away as the desert wind razed the temple to the ground.
 Outside there was not a trace of Legionarior, which was to be expected, he was far from here by now, and Heath was glad of it. He reached down to his belt, and caught up a small horn from it. Giving a blast on it summoned a great Dragunhawk, leathery and feathered, to the sands beside him.
 “Where to, my lord?” it asked in a language unintelligible, as Heath climbed up on its back.
 “Dar Nord, my friend, take me to Dar Nord.”

Copyright © 2009 Robert W. A. Nance
All rights reserved

Friday, November 14, 2008

Donovan Nevil's last post

You read correctly, Chapter 1 is done. And so are the posts here, as far as Donovan's story goes. Sorry, for the unresolved questions, but that's how it goes, I can't put the whole thing on here. So, from now to completion it goes to a private proofreader. Enjoy, and post a comment. Look foreward to whatever I find to put up on here next.


Ice burnt their skin like an unquenchable fire, clinging to and stabbing every nerve. Even above the overpowering screech of the wind Donovan's trained ear could hear the muffled groans of pain from Lydia and her brother, the poor wretches. Not often in his 28 years of semi-solitude had any of the struggling travelers woken such compassion in him, and to Donovan it was an odd feeling, one that disturbed him slightly, and unseated his ideas about who he was.

 The wind grew stiff, like a solid punch, and ever the snow fell harder. There was naught to be seen but a thick white haze.

 "Mr. Nevil!" cried the girl, "How much farther?"

 "The vines, Lydia." He roared over the wind, "We need to be at least a mile away, even more in this weather."

 Donovan could hear the exhaustion in her voice, the girl wasn't built for this, but to cut short their journey could be fatal.

 "I can't…" she struggled from beneath the makeshift cloak, the burden of her brother becoming more than what she could bear.

 The beast of a man sighed, this was more than he would do for most. All the same, he slung the now frozen carcass over his shoulders and scooped up the children in his arms and continued trudging away from the death sentence of the vines.

 Shadows darted through his sight, in the sky, or at least what he thought was the sky, and on what seemed to be the ground. Donovan's face numbed, and his eyes squinted, struggling to see in the failing light. Night fell, though it's only distinction was the lessening whiteness and gathering gray, sliding towards utter darkness.

 Lost without sight, a terrible position, Donovan struggled, his many burdens weighed him down, and the wind held him off. Hope and heart were failing, he knew full well there no way they could survive any longer, but they had barely attained ¾ of a mile. The bundle in his arms shivered, uncontrollably, and his mind set on the only option, shelter.

 Shuffling through the snow Donovan found a mailbox post, with a sigh of relief. They weren't far enough, but could go no further, the only alternative was this.

 The heavy front door trembled under Donovan's heavy boots. Another blast of his monstrous leg burst the door inward. Sweeping into the house he laid the brother and sister down, pulling from his shoulder the inhumanly sized gun.

 Unfeeling cheek to the stock he moved through the house, room to room, making a check of the dusty abode, ensuring their solitary inhabitation of the place. Satisfied at the results he returned to the children. 

 Donovan bolted the door back shut, and pulled the young travelers into the front room. Ice coated to the blanket he pulled from around them, Lydia's golden hair fell over her thawing face as she was laid back beside her brother. Both fell to sleep as Donovan brought another blanket from a bedroom of the house.

 Once stripped of his snow crusted coat Donovan pulled a large container from the bottom of his pack, and poured it out on the kitchen floor. Forming the mound of dirt on the cracked and faded linoleum he piled tinder atop and set his flint to it. Flame leapt up the sticks, and took to the logs he added as time went by.

 The fire burning, Donovan turned his attention to the frozen deer he had killed but a few hours before. The hide, osteodermic, was of great value to a sometimes fighter as Donovan, and so he generally would remove it, but now he could not, frozen as it was to the carcass.

 The beast of a man struggled to pry the skin up, even so much as to put the blade of his knife between. With an exasperated gasp he gave up, let go the hide. He was beyond his limits, unable to process his kill. So he did what he could, procuring food for the two travelers sleeping in the front room.

 Lifting up one of the hind legs he managed to cut three frozen strips of meat from the exposed inner part of the quarter. Donovan laid them with care beside the fire before he stood up and seized the carcass again.

 Pulling his hood up, Donovan pulled the deer to the back door, and out into the stabbing blizzard. In an instant his thawed beard refroze, solid as ever. The icy wind tore at his fingers, clawed at his face.

 Blinded, Donovan dropped the corpse in the snow, and went about covering it and filling it with the loose sheets of ice. He stumbled back to the door, the utter darkness lending itself only to his confusion.

 Finding the door at last, Donovan let himself in, and shook the snow from his coat. He sat at the fire and turned the strips over it, watching them thaw and cook.

 Resting his head in his hands he let out a sorrowful sigh, and ran his fingers through his unkempt hair. The twining flames calmed him, took down his guard, and his despair settled on his heart.

Flames played out scenes from his mind, unbidden they recalled from the depths of his mind shadows of his memories. And to these memories he fell asleep, dreaming of pain, and of old love.

Copyright © 2008-2009 Robert W. A. Nance
All rights reserved

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Donovan Nevil, Chapter 1 part 2

I didn't finish chapter one, and I'm still not done with it.... I've been sidetracked over the last week or two, and I have been writing sparsley through the busyness and stress, and here we go, part 2 of chapter 1, there's no set amount of parts, but please, comment, and read part 1 of chapter 1 first.


*                                             *                                 *

Donovan struggled elbow deep in a pool of blood, he couldn't see what he was reaching for, but he could feel it. The venous surface met his fingertips in the dark cavern, and he breathed a sigh of relief. It had been more than three months since he had successfully recovered the heart of any of his deer, and he was now glad that the deer had attacked him so.

 He wrapped his ironbound fingers around the unbeating heart and pulled. Connective tissues gave way inch by inch, until at last Donovan Nevil pulled forth the heart of his foe.

 Donovan turned to the pond beside him and dipped the heart in, sliding it back and forth beneath the waters, cleaning the blood from it. Satisfied with his work he removed his massive hand from the water and raised the heart to eye level, this was always the hardest part, but the part that he needed to do.

 He shut his eyes, and took a large bite of the raw heart, chewing thoroughly before taking another. He tried not to taste, but as the rare nutrients in the heart began to work he didn't bother. They invigorated him, coursing extra strength through his massive body almost within an instant.

 Donovan knew he could live without them, but in his world, it was best to have as much endurance as possible. 

 He wiped his mouth clear of the bloody water that had gathered on his half-trimmed beard, and slung his gun over his shoulder. Donovan stooped to the ground and took a hold on the back leg of his kill, the coarse hair stabbing into every inch of his calloused hands. 

 Pocketing the empty shell larger than his knife handle he began dragging the disemboweled carcass to his current residence. He left a stripe of blood across both lanes the old 96 highway, empty as could ever be, and walked through a decrepit neighborhood development.

 Dozens of old duplexes barely stood against the biting wind. The overcast sky menaced what little it could, casting a pall over the late afternoon sun. The poor lighting served only as a damper to Donovan's already poor perception of this neighborhood, and it's sheer venerability. He would never stay there, he thought, not even if the rest of the homes in the small town were destroyed.

 At the next major road, only half a mile from the highway, he knelt down, and seized his kill by all four limbs, and heaved the body over this shoulders. He had to get the animal off the ground, it's blood trail would only lead other, more foul creatures to his door.

 He jogged the next quarter mile back to the house he was staying at. Long, thick vines covered the surface of the building, and Donovan let out a sigh, he could not stay here tonight. He laid the carcass on the street and took double strides to the front door.

 He threw open the door, startling the young woman sitting on the worn couch in the corner. She came to her feet in a heartbeat, and the book she had been reading fell to the carpeted floor.

 "Mr. Nevil," she cried, shuddering as his steely eyes fell on her, "Did you get food?"

 Donovan almost smiled at her delusion of simplicity, "Yes," his out of use voice growled, "It's outside, we cannot stay here tonight, gather your things, and your brother."

 She opened her mouth, Donovan presumed so that she could ask why, but a look of fear came over her face and she nodded. Donovan watched her walk into a room at the back of the hall before he went to the closet of his own room. Nothing hung on the racks, nothing lay on the shelves.

 He scooped up the hiker's pack on the floor, one could only guess at the contents of the bulging faded fabric stretched over a frequently repaired frame. With a cursory glance over the room Donovan left it as it was.

 He walked back into the living room, and stared out the broad picture window. Weeds grew out of what he remembered as a well kept lawn, the street was cracked wild flowers grew in the pits. He let a sigh from his mouth, and ran his calloused fingers through his less than kempt hair. Eyes closed he envisioned the world of old… but yet again his musings cut short.

 "Mr. Nevil." The girl's soft voice cut through his thoughts as a razor, "We're all ready to go."

 Donovan opened his eyes, and turned to the young woman. He brother, little older than 4 years, clung to her, laying his head on her shoulder. She carried their possessions in a small tattered pack on her opposite shoulder. 

 Donovan sighed looking upon the 2 so ill prepared. He silently walked past them and pulled a heavy woolen blanket from a closet in the hall. Taking extra care to cover the child completely, Donovan wrapped the traveler in the folds of the blanket.

 Her expression was halfway quizzical as Donovan finished his task.

 "It's cold," he said, answering her question before she asked, "Keep it wrapped tight, Lydia, now, let's go."

 Having let down the shade over the picture window he opened the door, to be hit by a blast of biting cold wind.

Tiny bits of ice were falling from the sky, driving themselves against exposed skin. Donovan had seen worse, but the situation was deteriorating faster than he expected. Although it was barely October sheets of ice and snow blocked everything from sight.

But Donovan continued, the scared Lydia closely in tow.

Copyright © 2008-2009 Robert W. A. Nance
All rights reserved

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Tale of Donovan Nevil

OK, so, the title sucks, yes I know... I'll fix that sooner or later...

I haven't posted in quite some time, remedied here. This is my latest concept, and one of my very favorites. Please comment and answer my questions at the end.

Chapter 1

Sweat dripped from his furrowed brow, running a course into his clenched right eye. The wooden stock of his gun stood resolute under the vise grip of this beast of a man.

His heart quickened as the light brown fur of his prey slipped into sight from the very corner of his ever watching eye. He turned ever so slowly to the edge of the tree row where the deer had just appeared, and bore down his sights upon the animal's breast.

Oh, how they had changed from the elder days, he thought, when a .30-06 could pierce their hides. When they were still creatures of beauty, in the long forgotten days of his youth, when his long dead father had taught him to hunt. In the days when the deer had eaten…

His thoughts were interrupted by the solitary sound of a twig snapping on the wet ground behind him. It was a fearful sound to any who knew what it meant, and this man knew. No human was large enough to snap a twig, not into the soft ground, something large, swift, and silent had stalked him here.

All this ran through his mind in half a second, there could be but one creature behind him, and he was in a bad position. He tensed, and drew in a deep breath that could be one of the very few remaining to him. His knife was affixed to the end of his gun, as a bayonet, little use to him now, as he could almost feel the hot breath of his stalker on his back.

And with a half prayer to a god he wasn't sure existed anymore Donovan Nevil spun on his heels, standing as he turned, to face the foe. The suddenness of his move saved him, but only for a moment, the deer jumped back, unsure at the reaction of its prey, but only for a moment. It recovered, and snarled at Donovan, beginning to circled the man, it's teeth dripping with a toxic saliva, the very least, however, of Donovan's worries.

It's antlers gleamed in the rising sun, they were broken in several places, only adding to the dastardly demeanor of the hulking brute. Its eyes glowed with the burning desire for the meal that Donovan presented, its fur seemed ripe with mange, and its legs were bent with the power of a hundred forgotten steam trains.

The deer glanced at Donovan's gun with a sort of sentient understanding of its purpose. Donovan held it slack in his hands, he knew well that the deer would be on him in half an instant should he try to raise it.

The deer bolted, charging across the 20 or 30 yards between it and the man, unable to deny its hunger any longer. The damp grass gave way before the juggernaut, but not the man, he planted his feet squarely, and stabbed his gun at the wall of mangy fur headed in his direction.

Both man and fearsome beast crashed together and fell aside, turned by each other's attack. Donovan gave a bestial growl as he came to his feet, aching across the spread of his back. His knife had turned on the iron like hide of the deer, which was back on its feet just as fast as the man.

Donovan raised his gun and, with a forest shattering boom, let loose one round. The massive slug tore at the left shoulder of the raging beast, pulling away pounds of flesh as it passed. However, nothing short of death would stop the monster, now fully in the throes of bloodlust.

Shreds of bloody muscle hanging from the craterous remains of its left shoulder the deer lowered its head and came in again. Donovan's hand flew to the bolt of his gun as he realized his shot had missed its deadly mark, but not even he could be fast enough. He only just managed to catch the spreading tree of bone with his gun, inches before it would have spitted him.

Man and feral brute held each other for a moment, at arms length, matching each other sinew for sinew, but Donovan's boot held not the traction of the iron shod hooves of the deer, and he fell on his back. The deer was upon him in an instant, and it was all the strength he could muster to hold back the gnashing teeth.

The deer bore all its weight down on Donovan, his arms buckled, and the venomous teeth began to snap at the buttons on his shirt. In another instant he would be dead, but Donovan had one more subconscious effort to employ. He lashed out with his heavy boots, and caught the deer precisely in the gut, producing the effect he needed.

The deer rolled to the side at the sudden concussion of its vital organs, and struggled to clamber to its feet. But it was that short period of time that Donovan needed. He picked up his gun from the ground beside him, and with every sinew in his body bristling he pummeled the deer's skull with the brass-plated butt of his gun. Again and again the brass rose and fell, collapsing the skull upon itself.

Heaving for breath Donovan Nevil stood up straight, throbbing pain coursing through his body. He had won this fight, and come up with more meat than he had expected. The travelers would eat well for a while.

In a Bygone age his fruitless heroics and stalwart stubbornness would have been unknown and needless. The great misfortune of Donovan Nevil, however, was having lived through the bygones which were now but memories, and into what the few remaining even hesitated to dub, "The Reconstruction". A grave misnomer, Donovan knew deep in his heart, because no living man possessed the knowledge, much less the will, to rebuild, not even he.

Copyright © 2008-2009 Robert W. A. Nance
All rights reserved


Questions, please answer in your comment.

1. What can you tell about the setting?
2. What can you tell about Donovan?
3. Where would you like to see the story head?
4. What Questions would you like answered?