As you will see from the widget on the homepage I’ve made a fair amount of progress on my novel since my previous post two days ago, but I’m still behind and today has been a waste. I’ve only managed five hundred words and I’m almost certain they’re not going to survive long enough to make the second draft. At least my stats page now predicts my novel (or the first 50k) will still be completed this year, which gives me hope, kind off.
Sadly, I’ll also be missing tomorrow’s Writing Marathon as I’m again attending a workshop, this time in counselling traumatised children. Maybe I’ll grab a six pack of Red Bull on the way home and join the marathon in the virtual sphere as it starts in the US. I’ll see.
I know I’ve been neglecting the blog as well, not delivering the stellar content that you, my dear readers, have grown used to. Deal with it. I’m writing a novel here. However, I will give you a little something to make up for it: an extract from my brand new novel. Keep in mind, it’s only a first draft, so it still needs a lot of work. You can also read a brief synopsis of the novel if you visit my NaNo author page. Then come back here and tell me what you think of the story.
The Legend of the Ghost of the Magoebaskloof
“Once, many years ago, there lived an old woodcutter in this very cabin with his daughter, Katy, and his son, Danny-boy.”
“Hey, that’s my name!”
“No it isn’t. Your name’s Daniel.”
“Dad calls me Danny-boy sometimes.”
“Shut up, twerp. I’m trying to tell a scary story here.”
“Whatever. Now, where was I? The woodcutter…”
“What was his name?”
“I don’t know what he was called, okay? I didn’t make up this story.”
As a matter of fact, she did, but she knew ghost stories were always scarier if the listeners believed they were true.
“The three of them lived here very happily. The woodcutter would cut down trees and sell the wood in town so they could buy what they needed. Katy would cook and clean the house and Danny-boy would hunt small animals they could eat with his slingshot.”
“What types of animals?”
“Rabbits, birds, sometimes giant rats.”
“Everything went well, until one day, Danny-boy never returned from the hunt. When he wasn’t back by sunset, the woodcutter took up his axe and went out to look for his son. He told Katy to bar the door and not to open it for anyone before the sun was up again.
“Katy sat up all night at the kitchen table. She must have fallen asleep at one point, cause when she woke up the candle was burned down to a stub. The wind was blowing fiercely outside and she thought she heard someone calling her name from very far away.”
Outside, the wind began to blow, sending a chill down Cat’s spine. Don’t be silly, you idiot, she told herself. The wind always blows at night up here.
“Then what happened?”
Daniel spoke in a whisper. He had pulled the covers up to his face again and was watching her with wide eyes.
“Katy thought her father might have fallen off a cliff and was calling out for help. Ignoring his warnings about staying inside, she wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, took a poker from the fireplace, and went out the front door.
“The moon was full, so she could see just fine, but the wind threatened to tear her blanket from her hands and she had to strain to walk against it. She disappeared into the forest, calling out for her father and brother.
“The next day, some people from town came to the cabin to make sure the woodcutter and his children were okay after the previous night’s storm. They arrived to find the front door open and the cabin deserted. They searched the mountains for days, but the woodcutter and his children were never seen again.”
Cat leaned closer, causing Daniel to sink back into his pillows.
“They say that, on windy nights like this, you can sometimes hear the woodcutter and his daughter calling out for each other in the night, searching for each other and Danny-boy in the dark. Sometimes, you might hear them call your own name. When that happens, whatever you do, don’t open the door until sunrise, or they will lure you out into the dark to search the mountain with them forever.”
Copyright © 2013 Herman Kok