I have fallen under the wheels of a very large bandwagon.
I donâ€™t know all of the bandwagonees, but I found through Phoebe North and the forums on Absolute Write that thereâ€™s a loosely-knit (and easily unraveled?) group of writers who post teasers of their work on their blogs every Tuesday.Â Granted, I think I found the Absolute Write post years after it was established, so Iâ€™m not sure that the urge for sharing is still followed religiously.
And so I embark upon the path that many have tread before me.
NaNoRevisMo is all about GODâ€™S TEETH.Â Iâ€™ve found that in getting myself revved up to perform revisionistic surgery on my novel, I also need to learn to love it again.Â Not just love the idea â€“ although thatâ€™s a large part of it â€“ but love what Iâ€™ve already written.Â If nothing else, selecting a teaser means finding a part of what Iâ€™ve written that I love enough to share.
Of course, since this is the first teaser, Iâ€™ll just start with the beginning.
Darren was in the midst of the first real kiss of his life when the star fell, and so, in surprise, accidentally bit the tongue of the girl he was kissing, her yelp bringing him back to the task at hand and away from the burning piece of sky crossing the horizon.Â He tried to apologize, but Capricia wouldnâ€™t let his mouth go long enough for him to get in a word.
Earlier that night, Capricia had snuck into Mikalâ€™s show after her familyâ€™s acrobat tent had closed.Â People paid to enter Gatrindorâ€™s Panoply of Wonders to be awed, and Darren admitted that Mikalâ€™s divining of a farmerâ€™s noble ancestry was quite the trick, but after seeing the act hundreds upon hundreds of times he was more than a little disenchanted.Â Capricia was apparently also unimpressed, since she had spent the entire performance watching Darren.
In the smoky-light that filled their tent, Darren had watched the crowd and felt a stirring in his chest at their slack-jawed expressions.Â Something like pity filled him at their unabashed awe, because he knew some of Mikalâ€™s secrets. Â But the other emotion that rose in him was envy at the reaction Mikal commanded.Â He stood to the side of the stage that was nothing more than a wall of their wagon lowered to rest on dirt-filled barrels, and tried to empty his mind of these feelings he didnâ€™t want.Â No wonder, then, that he fixated on the beautiful girl staring at him, Capricia, and realized that there was some benefit to being a wizardâ€™s apprentice after all.
Now, in the darkness on the edge of the village, hidden further from the light by the abandoned barn they leaned against, he saw only shades of Capriciaâ€™s beauty.Â He knew she had eyes the color of bluebonnets, fair skin dusted with freckles, and a tomboyish body belied by full breasts, but in the darkness her eyes were a simple grey and her skin another, lighter gray. Â His awareness of her breasts was nothing compared to the feel of her strong arms wrapping his torso.
â€œAre you sure we should be doing this?â€ he asked, and immediately knew he shouldnâ€™t have spoken.Â Just like that, the mood was broken.
â€œWe can stop if you want to,â€ she said, but made no effort to let him go.Â She smiled.Â â€œIs it my family?Â Are you afraid?â€
It wasnâ€™t that Darren was afraid, although he knew that her brothers and sisters wouldnâ€™t take kindly to thisâ€¦ whatever it was.Â The problem was just that this was all happening too fast.Â They were friends, and friends, as far as he knew, didnâ€™t kiss.Â Unfortunately, Darren didnâ€™t know how to say this without sounding like a fool.Â Also, he was pretty sure he didnâ€™t want to stop.
After a moment of silence, Capricia pressed her body back into his, pushing them both through the door of the barn and onto the straw-laden ground.Â The dust from their falling rose into a shroud and coated their clothes and skin.Â Her mouth tasted like animal musk and dirt.
Darren was blinded by the sudden lamplight filling the barn.Â Both Darren and Capricia froze, and she hid her face in his chest.Â Over her shoulder he saw Uri standing in the barnâ€™s entrance, his wide shoulders filling it from edge to edge. Â His flat face was expressionless.Â The captain of the carnivalâ€™s guard set down his lamp and walked over to Darren.Â The manâ€™s huge hands picked Darren up by the shoulders and deposited him on his feet, tumbling Capricia to the floor in the process.
â€œSorry, kids, timeâ€™s up. Â You need to get back to the wagons, Darren.â€ He turned to Capricia.Â â€œAnd you need to get back to your family.Â The carnivalâ€™s packing up.â€
Uri dragged Darren off, and the young man looked over his shoulder at Capricia.Â She gathered herself up with dignity, and treated Uriâ€™s back to a burning glare.
â€œYouâ€™re lucky I found you before her family did,â€ Uri said.
Darren said nothing.Â The fallen star still glowed over the horizon, but faded to darkness long before they reached the carnival.