Chapter 1 ~ A Project
Fire. Thats all that was in her field of vision as the horse under her shrieked and stamped. The young elf fought to control her mount as she squinted into the fiery gloom. All around her were shouts and screams, but she couldn't see anyone.
"Momma!" She cried. "Papa!"
There was a crash above her and her horse finally bolted. All she could do was hold on tightly as the gelding raced off into the night. Tears stung her burning eyes, weather the tears were from the smoke or that her parents hadn't joined her outside she didn't know. Her steed smelled like smoke as he ran, even as heavy drops of rain came and started to drench her and her beloved hometown of Dalstoke.
She soon sat up and started fighting to regain control of her mount. The horse protested, but eventually settled, though clearly still titchy. She looked back as she heard a bone chilling wail.
Now that she was out of the glaring light of the burning town, She could see what caused the fire. Large, lumpy skinned ogres with severe underbites raged through the town while holding large torches. And Most of the screaming were wails from wispy looking banshees.
"No..." The girl cried, tears flowing down her cheeks. "NO!"
She turned at the sound of the voice only to see the ugly face of an Ogre as it roared at her.
David jumped as his named was called. He blinked and looked around his room. It was a simple room, his bed under a large curtained window and his desk was warm under his desk light. He sighed and covered his face. He loved it when his story seemed to start coming to life around him, but not in such a fighting way.
A knock came to his door and it opened to reveal his mother, Vivian Webber. Most kids usually took more out of one of their parents when they're born, but people would tell David he took after both his parents equally; His moms Dusty blonde hair, nose and chin, then his dads jaws and grey eyes.
"David, what are you still doing in your pajamas?" Vivian asked. "You'll be late for college."
Davids heart skipped a beat as he looked at the clock. It was 7:30 already and first class was at 8:00. He swore as he leaped from his chair, sending it spinning into his desk as he rushed to pack his school things.
"David you know how I feel about such language." Vivian scolded.
"Sorry mom!" David said as he started to gather fresh clothes. "I got lost in my assignment! The story was just flowing."
His mother sighed. "I'll get your lunch together while you jump in the shower." She said.
"You're a saint!" David called as his mom rolled her eyes and started down the hall to the stairs.
"Tell me something I don't know," She said with a light laugh.
David rushed through his shower and got dressed in surprisingly good time. However, that time was stunted as he raced down the stairs and ended up sliding down on his heels and landing on his rear.
"I'm okay!" David called before his mother could ask.
She shook his head as he came into the room in a white t-shirt, blue jeans and one and a half shoes on. He was tugging his other shoe on as he hopped on one foot over to his mom and grabbed a piece of toast and some bacon.
As he grabbed his hasty breakfast, Vivian held up a brown paper bag which he took as he kissed her cheek. "Thanks mom."
"You're welcome you goof ball." Vivian said as she started washing the dishes. "Now you better hurry before you're really late."
"I'm gone!" David called as he ran for the door, grabbing his backpack from the kitchen chair. "Love you and see you after college!"
Vivian rolled her eyes with a laugh. "Love you too!" She called right before the front door was heard being shut.
* * *
David raced down the streets of San Fransisco, deciding it was too late to grab his bike, and strait up the stairs to the university. Once inside, he paused only a moment to try and catch his breath and get some water. 8:10 am.... He was late.
He groaned and made his way to the lecture hall where the Advanced Creative Writing class was in session. He peeked in, taking note that though Mr. Wallace was writing on the board while the rest of the class was taking notes or working on their extra credit assignment.
David bit his lip as he carefully opened the door and slipped in, closing the door again as quietly as he could. So far so good; Mr. Wallace still had his back to the class. David carefully started towards his seat, begging the other students to be silent. They grinned and watched Mr. Wallace, there was always a sort of thrill when a Student was late.
"Mr. Webber." Mr. Wallace said, making David freeze and the room go silent. "I do hope you have a perfect reason as for why you are late." Mr. Wallace continued, turning to face the paled David.
"I-I do sir." David said. "I was inspired this morning and had to write it for the extra circular assignment."
Mr. Wallace watched David for a long moment. "And I take it you got lost in your own story?"
"Yes, sir." David admitted.
Another silence. "Then perhaps I should send you home with a tether to pull you out of you're daydreaming. I'm eager to read what you have for the assignment, but it should not take prejudice over your regular schooling, am I clear?"
"Yes, Sir..." David said, blushing as the other students started to snigger.
"However," Mr. Wallace said. "You did entertain everyone with your, ahem, ninja-like entry. So I will let the tardiness slide this time."
That simply made the other students around David laugh, but he couldn't help but chuckle as well. He could only imagine how silly he looked trying to sneak into class.
"Now, where was I?" Mr. Wallace asked, returning to the board.
"You were explaining a Plot Tree." Said a girl to Davids left named Tessa Morris.
"Ah! Thats right," Mr. Wallace said as he went back to the illustration on the board. It was several circles connected to lines. David Listened and took notes, but his mind kept wandering to his story.
When the semester started, Mr. Wallace had challenged the class to write a novel before Summer Break. That was a month ago, and David was only just starting his story. He was always inspired by nature, and especially liked stories of Elves and what creatures they would or wouldn't interact with.
He Soon started day dreaming about a young elf named Elora, and how she struggles for both a living, and for revenge for her fallen parents. As Mr. Wallace talked, David took out a different notebook and started looking over Elora's outline.
She was a halfling. Her Mother being a healing dryad, and her father being an ex-soldier in the wood elf armies. He met her mother during the Ogre Wars, when he was recovering from an ambush. The two had fallen in love, and when her father was permitted a two-year leave of absence, he married the Dryad.
It wasn't long after that when she gave him the news that she was with child. Her father couldn't have been happier, and was torn when his superiors brought him back to the ranks as another wave of Ogres was advancing, this time with swamp trolls.
Her father fought in the Great Battle of the Woldance Moore's. At least, until the Ogres started pressing towards the Ringlock forests, where her fathers new wife and child were.
With quick thinking, her father lead the armies to the Ringlock Forests to defend them. But in the chaos, he raced to his family and hurried them to safety. From then on he was labeled as a deserter, a coward, to all except his beloved wife, who knew she and little Elora wouldn't have survived that night if he hadn't-
David jumped and looked up at Tessa who had nudged him. She giggled quietly and nodded towards the front where Mr. Wallace was closing the lecture. David noticed this and nodded a thanks to Tessa. If she hadn't pulled him out of his thoughts, he would have been caught day dreaming. He was glad that he wrote down the history of Elora's parents though. That was a fun train of thought.
When the class was done David when to the cafeteria/gardens to finish the thought he had earlier that morning. Tessa sat next to him with two small McDonalds cheeseburger in her hand, offering one to David.
Tessa had been a long time friend of Davids, and the two always looked after each other, or got each other into trouble. Depended on the day.
"All that thinking has got to hurt your brain." Tessa said as David took his burger.
"No," David said after a mouthful. "Just makes me hungry."
"Clearly," Tess said as she bit into her burger. "But, Mr. Wallace is right about you daydreaming. You just might need a rope to pull you back to reality. Once you daze off you're gone."
"I don't mean to." David said. "The story just flows. Like it has a life of its own."
"Really?" Tess asked. "What is your story about anyway?"
David smiled. "Spoilers." He said.
Tessa humphed and scowled at him. "Unless it's the best Doctor Who Fanfiction in the galaxy I'm not amused."
David laughed, having always loved teasing Tess at what a nerd she was. She loved Science Fiction, and had joined the cult that call themselves Whovians ever since she found out about the Time Traveling Doctor.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't resist." David said. "It's about an elf. But I don't want to share too many details. I haven't figured them out yet."
Now it was Tessa's turn to laugh. "An elf? And you call me a nerd! But why won't you tell me more? Whats the plot?"
"Remember last week when Mr. Wallace was talking about free writing?" David asked.
"Yeah, I think I do." Tess said.
"I'm going with that method." David said. "I'm letting the story tell itself."
"So you let the character control the story?" Tess asked.
"In a way, yeah." David answered.
Tessa smiled and shook her head. "Careful you don't get swept away with the story."
"What do you mean?"
"Its something Mr. Wallace said, during that Free Writing Method speech." Tessa explained. "He said that with that method, the characters seem to come to life right in front of you. And if you don't keep to the plot, the story can sweep you away until your characters run off without you."
David looked at her for a long moment. It did feel like when he wrote more of the story, he could almost picture everything happening, smell the food and ale of Wayward Inn where Elora now worked, hear the music that she danced to and the cheering crowds of travelers and peddlers, and even feel the warmth of the Inn around him.
"But with how often you're daydreaming about that story," Tessa said, collecting her things. "I wouldn't mind reading it. I hope to at least read the summery."
"I... haven't written one..." David said bashfully.
Tessa laughed. "Oh you are hopeless!" She said. "I'll catch you later. We have art class."
"Yeah, right." David said, finishing his burger and putting his books in his satchel. "What are you working on for art?"
Tessa smiled at him over her shoulder. "Spoilers." She said before walking away with a teasing swing of her hips.