Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yikes! It's fight scene day!

Thanks to my friend Amalia T., who always updates me on these exciting and wondrous days, I discovered just before the end of it that today is Fight Scene Day. So, I decided to pick out one of the fight scenes in my WIP...one that was there from the first ideas that were laid out in this never-ending piece of work.

You know, I really do have trouble with fight scenes. And now that I'm thinking of it, this book is full of them. So totally let me know if something is off.

Yay for themed days! I hope you get some enjoyment out of it...


“What is it, Sallie?” Amity asked, and Sallie could hear the nervousness in her voice.

She couldn’t explain it, but she knew it was true: “Something’s wrong,” Sallie said. She glanced down at Amity.

“What do you mean?” Amity asked, her eyes round. This unnerved Sallie. She didn’t know how she knew—she could feel it, across her neck and back and shoulders. She noticed Amity tensed, and pulled out a knife.

Evan stopped walking, and he put his hand on the hilt of his dagger.

They all glanced around. Sallie awkwardly pulled her leg over Ramey’s back and slid down, falling onto the ground. The horse whinnied, this time, nervously, and she thought of the vines from the day before. She looked up at the trees, but they didn’t look or sound like the trees from the day before.

And then suddenly, a large creature leapt out of the darkness in front of them. It was blacker than the sky and tall as a tree. It was covered in fur, thick as a building, and blacker than its black eyes. She was reminded of a bear…but something about its head didn’t seem right, to be a bear…

Ramey screamed and cantered back, and they all traveled with him, yelling and screaming as well.

The thing raised its arm and lumbered forward toward Sallie, and she watched, helpless, as its arm descended toward her. She felt a tugging at the back of her trousers, and moved backward as Amity pulled her behind a large boulder.

The thing moved toward Amity, faster than its size showed. “Watch out!” Sallie cried, but Amity already had hurled her knife at it.

The knife stuck fast in its side, and it roared, and swiped at them with long claws.

Evan leaped in front of them, his dagger out and in his hand. “You two stay back,” Evan yelled over his shoulder to the girls.

“And let you get killed?” Amity yelled. She grabbed a stick the size of a bat and ran toward the creature.

“Amity, get out of here!” Evan yelled. He ran after her. Amity glanced back, and swung with her whole body. The stick connected with its arm and broke in two. The creature hardly seemed to notice, but Sallie held her breath.

Amity ran back and clutched her hand, but now that she was safe, Sallie wasn’t paying any attention to her. She watched as Evan thrust and parried with the short blade.

The creature grunted, and raised its hand to swipe at Evan. He deflected it with his dagger, and it roared and reared, dripping tar.

“Stay focused!” Amity called. Her voice was shrill in Sallie’s ear. “He might hit you!”

“Oh, yes, I’m trying to get killed,” Evan shouted back, all attention on the beast. “Thanks for that!”

The beast snarled and advanced.

“Quick, get something to throw at it,” Amity said, and she released Sallie’s hand and scrabbled around on the ground.

Sallie fell to the dirt and ducked behind a boulder, trying to think around her headache. Trying to come up with something, to think of something she could do.

Her hands fell upon a thick and heavy branch, and she lifted it and threw it as far as possible. It just missed Evan, to which he swore, and bounced against the thing. It snarled and rumbled as a much more effective barrage of pebbles assaulted it from Amity’s cover.

“Great, guys, make it mad,” Evan said.

“It’s already mad,” Amity yelled. “You’re the one with the dagger, you get rid of it!”

“I’m working on it!” Sallie watched in horror as he flung a rock into the creature’s face. The thing reared, and Evan rushed forward, his dagger extended, but it easily knocked Evan out of the way with one balled-up fist. Out of the corner of her eye, Sallie saw Amity leave her and race forward.

He tried to stand, but tripped, but then Amity was there, and she grabbed his dagger and heaved it at the thing, already covered with sticky black.

She could hear Evan yelling something, but her mind was too numb to understand.

The thing seemed to grow as it swept its hand across the way, and it hit both Amity and Evan. Evan fell to the ground and stayed there. Amity and the dagger flew across the clearing and into a clump of trees, then fell to the ground. Sallie could hear the sickening thunk from her spot behind the boulder.

“No!” Sallie screamed. And she didn’t think, this time, but barreled forward, her bare hands extended.

The creature, bellowing in pain, reached out and suddenly she was plowing through the dirt. She slowed to a stop in a clump of trees, and rolled over. The trees began to make the hissing, slithering noises she knew all too well, now, and she felt the beginnings of vines as they crawled up her legs. She stared at the thing, her mind somehow clear through the pounding in her head and in her chest.

It came closer, huffing heavily as it approached.

And then, the creature’s rumble began to make sense. “Sah…llleee…”

Sallie felt all the blood drain from her face. “Evan…” she whispered, rooted to her spot.

The sun was glinting off the tarry muck that was the creature, and her head felt like it might explode…

It was reaching for her, and she could smell its disgusting smell, could feel the tar burning her skin…she clenched her teeth at the hurt…

She was sitting by a river. The trees moved gently in time to the soft wind that came across the body of water in the summer. The gentle breeze played with her hair, gently moving it, whispering secrets she couldn’t quite hear. Sallie giggled, dipping her feet into the water. The wind caressed some flowers near her, and their sweet scents rose into the air. The wind continued in its journey, rustling the leaves on the trees around her.

She didn’t even notice it, at first.

Then the wind howled around Sallie, tearing the chains of brown vine from her body. The trees bent in the fierce gale, and their tendrils wrapped around the thing. It was leaking a darker tar, and she watched as the branches tore at its breast, ripped it open, and smoky tendrils of black tore away from its body.

The wind tore clumps of dust from the ground and buffeted the trees and the creature. It roared, ripping at the branches that surrounded it, but the wind was relentless.

Sallie was standing tall in the fierce wind. Now, she stepped toward the beast. She was in charge, now. The wind blew harder, ruffling the entire Forest. She wanted to kill this beast, she wanted the wind to kill this thing, and she watched as it fell onto his back and began to dissolve into a tarry smoke, carried away in the wind. In the meantime, the broken brown vines were snatched about and torn apart, breaking into stunted sticks. She was focused, unmoving…

“Sallie!” Evan shouted. He was beside her, bent against the gale, his short hair flying in the wind, but his eyes focused and golden and burning.

“Your ankle,” she said.

“It’s fine,” he assured her. He was staring at her.

The wind blew, but she did not feel its force, and yet, she was too tired to understand, too suddenly exhausted. “Where’s Amity?”

Behind them, Ramey whinnied. Amity was sitting up near the horse, leaning against a rock, gingerly reaching toward her leg. The air swirled around them, swirled vines and smoke and dirt and dust.

“I can’t stand,” Amity said, looking up at them. Evan hurried to her side, limping slightly. He looked worried.

“We have to get out of here,” Sallie said. The wind faltered.

“We have to get out of here now,” Evan agreed. He picked up Amity carefully and stood.

Sallie moved forward, and her foot connected with something hard. It was Evan’s dagger, covered in tarry guck. She picked it up.

Then together, they stepped through the stubs that had been vines, through the flattened trees, out of the clearing and into the thick of the forest. Writhing, withering trees formed a dark, cloudy wave outside her vision, and she closed her eyes as they left the clearing in the dark forest behind them.


Amalia T. said...

I totally understand your fight scene pain. Whhhhyy are they so hard to write?!

I wish I could crowd all the words together to make them read simultaneously, sometimes! I'm so glad you participated in fight scene day, Sarah! Yay!

Just Another Sarah said...

Yay, yourself! I'm so glad you are blogging so steadily about these days!

Laura Canon said...

You write very well. I don't totally understand what is going on here, but I'll put it down to the reader possibly being confused at this point as well (which is OK.) And I definitely want to read more.

Just Another Sarah said...

Laura Canon: Aw! Thanks! I'm especially glad you want to read more! :) Thanks for the feedback.

By the way, I LOVE your name.