An Excerpt from ‘Kid’


Here is an excerpt from the novel I was writing for NaNoWriMo, and am now writing for fame and glory. Here’s hoping you like it.

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Broken down, spilled into the street like so many refugees and shot to bloody death by the scream, Kid’s dreams poured out of his ear and onto his pillow. He shot up, the scream echoed again, in the distance.

His room was dark, and writhing with shadows and bogeymen. It is in the nature of the most mundane object, as boring as it could be in the light, to take on a starkly sinister life of its own as soon as the sun marries the horizon.

To jump out of bed, or not? The creatures of shadow hissed, picking at the corners of his vision like so many vultures. He trembled, and gathered his covers around him. The scream rang out again, the potted plants on the sill hissed like snakes.

With a pop, Kid’s window vibrated. He jumped, but only a little. Crossing himself silently, he mustered up his courage, and used it to fuel his journey across the dark sea of legos and toys. He growled as he stepped on something sharp and tugged his window up.

Scarcely did he whisk up the pane that a rock hit his brow.
“Ow!” he squealed, clutching at the wound.

“Sorry!” Yelled Lemming, from down below.

“Awh! What- what are you doing?!” screamed Kid, then quieted himself, and subsequently his sallow, rock-lobbing idiot friend below. Lemming was as diminutive as he was cowardly, and looked particularly like a rat tonight. The plastic toy helmet on his head caught no light.

“Sorry! There’s a Battle on!”

“A battle?”

“No, a Battle!” Lemming corrected. You could hear the capital ‘B’.

“But I’m just a new kid. Crowe doesn’t need me out there, screwing things up” Kid said, indignation gilding his voice.

“Crowe wants all hands on deck! Even new kids!”

With a mixture of glee, excitement, and still a bit of hurt at the fact that Crowe hadn’t requested his presence specifically, Kid dove back in his room and began to throw his things together.

Another rock rocketed off one of his mother’s plants, breaking it.

Kid sprang to the window again.

“What the hell!?”

“… hurry” was Lemming’s weak reply. He was shaking despite the summer night’s gentle warmth.

Promising himself that he’d step all over Lemming’s sand castle next chance he would get, Kid fastened his cloak with a safety pin, donned his helm, and, cursing at the lack of pages and squires to help him with the rest of his armor, grabbed the sword Crowe had given him from the corner.

It was a shoddily made thing, cracked already, obviously not meant to be very sturdy. One nail was obviously not enough to hold together two fat fence posts, but that’s what he got for being a novice. He was determined to do the best he could with what he had.

It was probably some sort of test, anyway.

With a whip of rippling rope that was probably all in his head, Kid flung Mom’s clothesline out the window and rappelled down it like a spelunker, clothespins flying like bullets.

He hit the ground hard and followed Lemming between the darkened houses, red blanket flapping in the wind.

The motion-activated garage lights glanced at them as they passed, lighting up suburbia like flames. Off in the distance, the sounds of the Battle could already be heard. The cries quickened Kid’s pulse and his step, and he drew level with Lemming, who, for his decidedly unathletic demeanor, was threading a respectably rapid clip.

“What are these like?” he asked.

Lemming passed him a look, and his eyes betrayed his fear.

“It’s a battle…” he quivered. “You ever heard of that word?”

“Yeah, I’ve seen pictures” replied Kid. “And I’ve played enough video games. But you’ve done this before. What happens?”

“We fight” Lemming replied, and shut up. The lack of further dialogue said more to Kid than any words could have.

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