When it comes to the writing itself, there are portions I'm loving and other portions that rouse the vicious self-doubt monster. There's nothing worse than trying to keep yourself going when that mocking little voice in your head says, "This stinks! You think you're a writer?"
At any rate, I'm avoiding reading the bulk of the work because my NaNoWriMo motto can basically be boiled down to this: Just Keep Going. No matter what happens, no matter how many typos I know I've made, no matter how much I hate the particular section I'm writing, Just Keep Going.
As with last week, this is completely raw, so there are likely some typos and random weirdness that may make little sense. Consider yourself forewarned! ;)
As the world went black, Jess’s face once more appeared to him, but this time she was around ten years old, and her eyes flashed in challenge. Tanvir lurked nearby, but he’d already been disqualified from this particular challenge, due to his age.
“Your age must have two digits; otherwise, you’re too much of a baby to participate,” Jess told him loftily. “Shall I explain that to you?”
“I know what two digits means!” Tanvir squeaked, his seven-year-old voice high with indignation.
“Watch and learn, children,” Dev’s cocky, twelve-year-old self called out.
“Dev, I don’t know if this is a good idea. That tree is really high, and if you jump—” Tanvir protested.
“Keep your lessons to yourself,” Dev instructed, rolling his eyes. “I’m not your tutor, so you won’t score any bonus points with me for cleverness.”
“Well, you’re certainly good at earning high marks for stupidity,” Tanvir snapped back.
“Or are you just trying to conceal the fact that your brother is more courageous than you?” Jess challenged.
“You’re both stupid, and I’ll have no part of this.” Tanvir stamped his foot and ran off, heading back toward the castle.
“If you’re going to do it, best do it now, before your brother has a chance to tattle,” Jess said.
“Right you are.”
Extending his arms in the air, fingers pointed, as he’d once seen an acrobat do, Dev launched himself from the branch on which he’d perched, feelings a rush of exhilaration as he flew through the air. His confidence was high, his fingers steady. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d catch the next branch, and so it came as a very rude surprise when only the tips of his fingers smacked into the branch, and he felt his hands clawing futilely at the air.
As he plummeted toward the earth, he heard Jess’s scream of horror and he couldn’t help but smile at the knowledge that he had managed to ruffle the seemingly unflappable princess. His body striking the ground wiped the smile right off his face. Fortunately for him, he landed rear first, which cushioned the impact. Still, he fell back, his head striking the ground, causing his teeth to snap together. Blood and grit filled his mouth and he felt dizzy.
“Dev! Dev! Are you okay?” Jess cried, suddenly appearing at his side.
Disoriented, he looked up at her and gave her a smile, some blood dribbling out of the corner of his mouth. “Are you an angel?” he asked, before he lost consciousness.
There was no forgetting the aftermath of that little episode. It had caused some tension between King Amin and King Adar, both of whom knew they had impetuous and sometimes foolhardy children, but who both, in their distress, wanted to blame the other. Dev had earned a sever concussion for his trouble, and he spent days in bed while he recovered, his head pounding, vision swimming all the while. The boredom was almost more of a torment than the physical pain. Eventually, his mother’s fears that he had permanently addled his brain were laid to rest, but there was no repairing the chip to the tooth on the top right side of his mouth. As it was right next to his front tooth, it became a prominent part of his smile. The truth was, he would have leapt from that branch again, because he had never forgotten how lovely Jess looked as she hovered over him, fearful for his well-being.