This being my first novel, I am doing my best to take everything in stride and continue pressing on towards finishing the book. I don't know if a free-writing period will always be a part of my process, as a young writer, I'm not even sure if I have a process yet. But one thing I'm sure of, is that it is being developed and perhaps after 10,000 hours of practice I will be blessed enough to become a master at it.
Here is a sneak preview of the novel, please read the prologue. I would very much appreciate your thoughts. Don't worry, it doesn't give too much away.
A long, winding path twisted through the forest, leading to the gates of The Groves. Most travelers venturing down that road barely make it halfway before they decide to turn back. They conclude they must have made a wrong turn or that they have been misled entirely. This explains the unusually low number of visitors the citizens of The Groves receive each year. Because of this lack of visitation, they were a people keeping pretty much to themselves, a peaceful existence of small gatherings for large families. It was not uncommon for there two be three or four generations living right next to each other on the same street. That is until the day Jovah Pree made the journey all the way to the end of path, and found himself at the foot of the skyscraping gates.
Jovah pulled his hood over his head more tightly, hoping to hide the blood the was dripping slowly from his temple, then he turned his eyes to the guard in the tower to his left.
The guard was so shocked to see a visitor, especially in the middle of the Festival, that he let Jovah in right away, completely forgetting to check his tags. This small oversight caused Jovah Pree to be invisible that day. Without his tags being checked, he might as well have not been there at all as far as the citizens of The Groves were concerned. But nevertheless, into the gates he went, and the large, gothic looking gates swung shut with a clang behind him.
Jovah was not a large man, although he carried himself as such. In a crowd however, you would not be able to distinguish him from any other citizen. Jovah had the quiet attitude that was common in The Groves society, he walked like these people, and if the situation should arise, he could even talk like these people. The one thing that separated Jovah from the citizens of The Groves, the reason for his large hood, was his eyes. Jovah’s eyes were a rich golden brown, as was common of all men from The Hill. This coloration was nowhere to be found in The Groves, however, they were a strictly blue-eyed people. As he made his way through the quiet, early morning streets, Jovah knew his visit had to be swift, without any contact with villagers.
He made his way as a swift shadow through the cold early morning breeze down the streets of The Groves, always keeping his gaze to the right. He had little interest in the left side of the street on this visit, he was busy looking for number 316, his target destination. All the homes in The Groves had their own type of character, there was not one house that looked the same as the one next to it, each was it’s own unique dwelling. Any citizen of this borough would clearly recognize the inhabitants of a certain house simply by the exterior. But Jovah was looking for a house he had never seen before, he only knew the number, 316!
There it was, on the corner, situated in such a place that it seemed somehow distant from the other houses that were so huddled together. Jovah peered at the house with a focused curiosity. There appeared to be no activity inside, and he began searching for his point of entry. After only a moment, Jovah realized that the smokeless chimney would be his only chance at getting side.
Within moments, the hooded visitor was scaling the vines that ran along the side of house number 316. Jovah was a good climber, he was extremely fit, as was the custom with all men of the Hill. Where Jovah came from, every boy was trained from a young age to be as physically and mentally strong as possible. They were the best of the best, the top performers, and nothing less.
When he reached the roof and had shimmied his way to the mouth of the chimney, he barely took a preperationship breath before he hurled his body inside of the stone tube and began lowering himself into the living room of the lone house on the corner.
Once inside the house, Jovah couldn’t help but wonder if The Assembly had been somehow mistaken. The house, and the entire village of The Groves for that matter could not have been more ordinary. Everything in the house looked as though it had been made by it’s residents, and had been used for years without replacement. There was no sign of wealth or treasure, only a dull, earthy aura that seemed to cover the whole house. Was it even possible that something so extra ordinary could be kept here? Jovah had been raised to believe that nothing special ever came from The Groves, or any of the other boroughs for that matter. But he had to put those thoughts aside for the time being to go out in search for the two things that he came for. He knew where he could find the first, there was only one place to keep it, the second, however, could be anywhere.
Jovah set off down the dim hallway that most likely led to the bedrooms of the house. At the end of the hall he found two doors. One lay open to reveal a small bedroom that matched the drab mood of the house perfectly. A man and a woman lay in the bed together in an obvious deep sleep. After quietly closing the door to the first room Jovah turned to the second door, which was left barely ajar, and slowly and silently eased it open. A warmth immediately spread over Jovah’s body that he had not felt in the rest of the house. He looked around, surveying the room and his eyes feel on a crib over in the corner. Inside lay the first thing that Jovah had come for, a small child, barely a week old. The child lay sleeping on it’s back with only a small semblance of brown hair on his head.
As Jovah stared at the tiny baby, he noticed something that he had not expected, lying at the end of the crib, by the baby’s feet, was a tiny chest, his second object. A brown chest with hand crafted detailing around the lock system that could easily fit in any human hand. It stuck out in the dreary house like a sore thumb. Jovah only needed to stare for a moment for any doubt he had had about the legitimacy of the rumors to completely melt away. He had found what he had come for, and what he had just fought so hard to get.
Jovah began busying himself to get out of the house as fast as he could. He loosened the straps on his knapsack and slipped it off over his shoulders, placing the baby and the chest inside. He then carefully slid open a window and climbed out, landing the garden of number 316. With quiet speediness he made his way to the wall at the sound end of the village where he had been instructed to go. As he drew near there, he saw another hooded figure appear as if out of this air. When he had reached this evaporating man, Jovah quickly showed him the contents of his pack. The man, seeming satisfied with what Jovah had shared with him, placed one hand of Jovah’s shoulder and lifted the other out in front of him with his palm facing the sky. There was a flash of blue light, and then both Jovah and the man were gone as quickly as they had come, almost as though through thin air. The streets of The Groves lay quiet again, and no one knew that Jovah Pree had visited that day. They only knew of an unnamed visitor who had gone through the gates without having his tags checks and then who seemed to disappear into thin air carrying a dark green knapsack, and a five thousand year old treasure.