Snippets from Novelette: The Hunter’s Son

Hello hello, everyone!! I hope you’re all having a delightfully exquisite day!

As some of you may know from my last newsletter (follow my email list to receive that if you are not yet following!!) I wrote a short fantasy adventure novelette in early August just for fun and to stretch my writing muscles.

Well it may be rough around the edges, I think there are a few snippets that you would find enjoyable. So today I’m going to share with you three snippets from The Hunter’s Son, along with some info and a mock cover!

Genre: Middle-Grade Medieval Fantasy

Status: First Draft

Words: 18,358

Snippet #1: A Trap

Out from the trees, Travis ran. A leaf whipped his forehead when he left, but the sting didn’t even register in his mind. His eyes remained trained on the house. Then…what was that?

He spotted a flicker of movement from the corner of his eye. Movement…a person…his prey was escaping him!

Altering direction almost immediately, Travis spotted a large figure dashing from the back of the house and heading for the woods, opposite from the way Travis had come.

Thighs burning now from exertion, Travis pressed onward. No hesitation in his mind called out for him to slow down, to consider his options. His prey was getting away, directly in front of him. All that mattered was to catch up and secure the opponent.

The man was already crashing through the first cluster of bushes, and Travis was still yards from the clearing’s end. He put on an extra burst of speed, then it happened.

In the time it took to blink, Travis heard a slight thud behind him, then a hiss like a cornered snake. A rope tightened about his ankle and he was thrown up, feet first, into the air. Travis recovered from his shock and the rush of blood that pooled in his head, to realize he had been caught in one of the simplest traps ever created—a rope laid on the ground just waiting to snag a victim. A whisper in the foliage alerted Travis that his opponent was making his way back toward him. Tucking in his arms and twisting his body, Travis spun from the rope that held him dangling from a tree until he faced the man.

“You failed. Again.” Travis’s father folded his muscle-corded arms over his broad chest and raised his bushy eyebrows. “Is this the third time?”

Travis hesitated, then nodded and shrugged in defeat. “Yeah. Third time.”

The Hunter nodded slowly, then moved forward to free his son from the rope trap.

Snippet #2: Antique Information

After finishing his hearty breakfast, Travis left the restaurant and headed down the street. After perhaps a half-hour of searching and many directions from civilians, Travis found the antique store he was looking for and walked in. The place was cool and dim inside, and Travis was immediately greeted by rows and rows of fascinating items.

“Hello, young sir,” an old man walked around the counter in the back, swift and light on his feet. His eyes glinted with light. “Welcome to Miller’s Antiques and Trinkets! Anything you want is found in this store, but absolutely nothing you need! Would you care for a tour, or would you prefer to browse on your very own?”

Travis smiled slightly. “I’m sorry, I’m not exactly here to buy anything—I’m actually looking for information.”

The light in the man’s eyes dimmed ever so slightly. “Oh, aye?”

“Yes, on a thief—Hanson Colloway. I was told that he actually robbed th—”

The light returned as quickly as it had laughed. “Oy, Hanson Colloway?” The old man’s voice dropped to a raspy whisper. “The Owl Thief himself? Aye, aye, aye, he robbed my store not long ago! I tried to stop him, but he was fast and powerful. Stole a few precious items, he did! And bam, vanished without a trace!”

The man continued to talk without a hint of stopping for quite some time, and though Travis tried to be patient, he, at last, tried to interrupt the fellow. “Yes, but do you know much about Hanson? Do you know where he goes with his stolen items? Does he sell it after he steals it?”

Miller shrugged his rounded-in shoulders. “I’m not entirely sure! But I do know one thing, I does! He lives in Ridgewood forest! Or that’s where I thinks he at least has his hideout. He’s been spotted in there multiple times, and I swears that’s where he headed after he slipped out this very door!”

Travis straightened. “Ridgewood forest? Isn’t that the border from Lord Ragssa’s land to another?”

Miller nodded. “Aye, that it is, that it is! And it’s just North of Sawyertown! Not far away, in fact—there’s a path that runs across the remainder of the marsh and up into the forest. Ya can’t miss it if you follow the path! And I also hears that he’s been seen by huntsmen collecting water from Ridgewood lake—just a few minutes deeper into the forest. I thoughts it was rather odd, seeing a criminal as frightening as the Owl Thief collecting water from a lake…but he’s human too, I supposes, and needs his grub and drink like everyone else to live!”

Travis had heard enough. He was already striding toward the door. “Thank you so much, sir! Maybe I’ll return to buy something—you were most helpful. I have to go now!”

“But don’t you want to hear the story of how I stood up to the Owl Thief in this very store with nothin but a mere fork in my hands?” Miller called after him.

Travis didn’t reply. He was Northbound, holding onto the straps of his pack tightly in both hands. Next destination, Ridgewood forest.

Snippet #3: Lost at Dusk

With nothing but grave defeat weighing down his heart, Travis slowly made his way back through the forest, headed for Sawyertown. It was only now that he realized the sun had set faster than he had thought, and the forest was even darker than before. He retraced his steps with a frantic urgency. Darker and more foreboding grew Ridgewood, and Travis began to feel despair creeping throughout his body. If he didn’t make it out of the forest soon, he may grow lost, and have to endure the entire night out here.

I don’t even know what lives in this forest! Wolves? Benbarni lizards? Will I be able to survive the night? Travis broke out into a full run now. The trees seemed to blend in with everything else—a blanket of midnight black.

A root reached up and caught Travis’s boot. He fell hard, his face running into the soft dirt. He pulled himself up, but now tears were blurring his vision too. He let out another sob and rubbed his eyes with his shirt sleeve. It came away wet with tears and muddy with filth.

With his eyes cleared, Travis looked up one more time and saw something. It was…light?

The trees of Ridgewood appeared silhouetted against a brighter background.

It looks like mist…the end of the forest! It’s the marsh! Travis drew in a deep breath of relief and pulled himself to his feet. He ran a second time, oblivious to the branches and leaves that whipped his face and arms as he went.

He broke through the tree line and was nearly blinded by the sudden light that met his eyes. Of course! The trees darkened any of the remaining light. As soon as he was out, he realized the sun had not quite set. There was still hope!

Now reckless with desperation and an odd sense of confidence, Travis traversed the thin marsh path as quickly as he could, slipping and stumbling over the weeds and slimy muck.

Sawyertown grew in the distance, first a grey outline in the thick fog, but as Travis grew closer, it began to form into the complete village.

There you go! I hope you enjoyed that info and snippets, it was such a fun story to write!

What was your favorite snippet? Is this a story you’d like to read? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll talk to you next week!

Until later,

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