|[Original Fiction]: YAVNC--First Chapter
||[May. 26th, 2008|06:35 pm]
I've no idea what to call this, but it's the start of my entry for the Young Adult Vampire Novel Challenge.
ETA:For lack of a better title, let's call this "Dermot and Stanislava's Excellent Adventure"
I'm not going to make the full 3500 word count in time, I'm afraid, but this is what there is of it. Well, this and Chapter Two.
ETA:(27 May 2008) And Chapter Three. Which brings us up to 3200 words.
ETA:(30 May 2008) And Chapter Four Which brings us up to 4500 words.
ETA:Chapter Five. Which brings us up to 5500 words.
ETA:Chapter Six. Which brings us up to 6250 words.
ETA: Chapter Seven.
Chapter Fourteen. Which brings us up to 13,020 words in total.
Chapter Fifteen. Bringing us up to 14,300 words. (8 July 2009)
Warnings: Wacky vehicles, SCA references, silliness, UST, teenaged vampires on the way
On a May morning, when soft was the sun, Dermot O'Donovan was awakened from a sound slumber by the noxious ringing of a hand-me-down windup alarm clock in an old baking tin. Cursing at the ugly sound, he fell out of bed and blundered his way to his feet. He stumbled across the room and reached the clock just as it jingled out its last note.
An hour later he was on his way. Out the front door and down the road to school, a tenor banjo in its faded leather-covered case slung over his shoulder. His battered riding boots echoing along the worn boards of the veranda of his family's ancient farmhouse, he trotted off to the side and down the steps before making his way along the gravelled driveway to the road. No bus.
He checked his watch again. It was time. It was more than time. He bent his head to examine the microscopic vehicle tracks in the worn asphault. Only a distant descendent of Irish Travellers, Border Reivers, Lancashire poachers, and Lenape warriors could possibly read such tracks, the ancient innate skills of his ancestors, ground into the genes and the paragenes over thousands of years, turning themselves reliably to the task of reading the rubber leavings of the modern day. There had been no school bus through here since yesterday.
Which meant, in all likelihood, that driver Harrison Bergeron had "forgot" this last loop of his route again. Principal Scarston wouldn't care. To his mind, late was late, especially when the late individual was Dermot O'Donovan.
Would he take a horse? Either Garvey or Rosemont, the stolid old retired cowponies his mother kept for pets, would get him there in time, and care for himself in the school grounds with minimal fuss until the day was over. Would he try to fire up the ancient and unreliable Duvalier steam car his father hadn't taken to work today? Would he use the secret magical high speed running skills of his First Nations ancestors?
Well, he wouldn't do the last, because he couldn't. He was still weighing the other possibilities in his mind when a piercing whistle cut the air.
"Dermot! Get in, you eejit!" his childhood friend Stanislava Morrison called. She pulled the steam-whistle lever once again. One branch of her family had run paddlewheel steamers up and down the Mississippi for nearly a hundred years. This had left a permanent mark on their concept of automotive design. Even Stani's father's brand new Lexus sported red and green running lights.
"Who else, your Great-Aunt Muriel? Mam let me have the car today. Now get up with you before you make us both late."
"I'm coming, I'm coming." He rounded the front of his friend's formidable ancient vehicle, one of only two surviving road-worthy Garmlander Gryphons on the entire planet, patting the crouching gryphon hood ornament in passing, took hold of the handle at the front edge of the passenger-side door, which was hinged at the sternward edge, put his foot on the running board, three feet up from the ground, and swung himself aboard. His leather knapsack he slung before him on the wooden deck; the banjo he rested between his knees.
"Put on your seatbelt, all right? I don't want us getting a ticket."
"Love you too, Stani. And of course I'll belt in–wouldn't want to rattle off the ceiling when you take her round the corners, would I?" He reached for the complex of canvas webbing and leather straps that made up the h-belt restraints. They might have been originals to the vehicle, built by Stanislava's great-grandmother in 1929 as the prototype for her fledgeling company's line of luxury road-cruisers, or they might have been taken from a German Ju-88 bomber and brought back as war souvenirs by her grandfather.
Stanislava snorted derisively and levered the car into gear. With a roar of eighty-year-old Diesels and a puff of canola-scented smoke, they clattered down the road.
"So," she said, "looks like old man Bergeron's memory's going away altogether. What is this, the second time this week?"
"Something like that. But I don't think it's his memory–Ford said he was at the last open mike at the Black Adder and recited ‘The Eye of Argon' all through without dropping a single word."
"I know, I know, you're convinced he doesn't like us. But he's a nice old man, Dermot. He gave Mam a whole pin of homemade scrumpy just last week."
"Would you drink old man Bergeron's homemade scrumpy, Stani?"
"Well, no, but the ducks love it. And it makes them so much more flavourful."
"Not to mention so mad-drunk for a week that they nearly ate those Mormon missionaries. And what would they have tasted like after a belly-full of Mormon? You would've had to make duck andouille of them. Maybe the red pepper would've covered up the taste."
"But they didn't even draw one drop of blood!"
"Only because your uncle Osis decided to hold fight practice in the pasture that week."
"Well, they–Jesu Christus, what is that?" Stanislava stomped on the brakes. A winged reindeer trotted across the road and leapt into majestic flight.
"It's too warm for reindeer," was all Dermot could think to say.