Here, I proudly show off my WIP for the second instalment of my HECCTROSSIPY series, which, I know a good majority of you are not familiar with…
This chapter is nearer to the end of HECCTROSSIPY book 2 The Will of the Dark Creator, but I chose this one to let you have a sneak peak at, because it doesn’t mention anything about past events in book 1 that would be spoilers to those who haven’t read it yet. Also, this is one of the chapters I had the most fun writing, so I hope it’s just as fun for you to read. This is only the rough draft version. If it’s full of punctuation and sentence structure mistakes, I guarantee it won’t look like this for the final copy.
NOTE: This story takes place on a different planet called Velva Leena. Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM is much too long to be a blog post itself, at 5,075 words. So I divided it into three excerpts.
Before you read, here is a short list of brief story facts to help you not feel totally lost.
1. Burjiss is Artheena’s dad, and Tabatha is Artheena’s mom. So Burjiss and dad, and Tabatha and mom are the same people.
2. Olzenbeth is a minor character who made a brief appearance in book 1.
3. Jumellica is kind of like the Velva Leenan version of God, and Jyoseppy is kind of like their version of Satan. (Their beliefs are explained in book 1)
4. Vervetts, grungols, and Guardians are the three types of people who inhabit this planet. (also explained in book 1)
Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM (excerpt 1)
Burjiss and Olzenbeth were linked on either side of Artheena. Since she already had the lamp, she took the job of holding it. Fighting against the winds, they headed down the front walking path, and turned down the garden path nearest to the house.
Just stepping out beneath the summer storm’s black sky and aggressive winds, made Artheena feel so small and vulnerable. As though she was a mere ant who could get crushed and swallowed up in the violence and darkness, at any moment. The wind was bone-chillingly cold, but then a gust of warmth blew over them, like the breath of a monstrous creature. Artheena’s pulse quickened as her fear rose. Imbalanced winds were a sign that this storm was about to raise some detrimental havoc.
“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” she mentally pleaded, trying her hardest to be brave and selfless for the sake of the missing child.
She couldn’t believe they were on another search again. Like with Last night’s search, she shined the lamp slowly, from side to side, making sure its beam was aimed thoroughly into the darkness of the gardens’ crowded plants and trees. All while the three of them tried their best to call out Adnick’s name over the howls and shrieks of the wind.
Artheena tried hard not to cry, as she was calling him. She was outside in an approaching summer storm, in her nightmare. Now here it was, happening in real life. Her worst fear came true, at last. However, Artheena never would’ve imagine that she’d face this fear willingly. It took all of her inner strength to not just shove the lamp in dad’s hand, and run away back to the safety of the house. It was also hard for her to not hate Adnick, at the moment. Why couldn’t that stupid boy have just waited until after the storm was over, to check on his stupid swillgie trees?
“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.”
Black clouds writhed and whirled, like a violent ocean made of Jyoseppy’s evil. The bioluminescent plant lives among the gardens were intelligent enough to know that this darkness wasn’t nighttime. So they didn’t release their glow. The thrashing trees and plants in the gardens looked like hordes of shadowy monsters dancing in celebration over the evil entity’s wrath. By now, it was almost afternoon, but not having the sun come out prevented the solar powered teppid stone from getting reactivated. The garden paths, and all the teppid stone yard ornaments glowed with less than half the brightness that they did, last night. The dirt, mulch, and leaves that were blown all over the yard, dulled the light even more. If the three vervetts didn’t have Mell May’s lamp with them, they’d be almost surrounded by total darkness. “Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” Artheena kept thinking, as her heart raced like a Hecctrossipy Festival stampede.
Another thing that made summer storms the most terrifying, was how unpredictable they were. Sometimes they progressed at a slow and steady rate. Other times they would strengthen gradually, but then, like an explosion, they’d become violent and deadly within a few short moments. Fear heightened Artheena’s senses, making her as alert as a prey animal who knows it’s being stalked. She kept her eyes on where they were going, and where she was shining the lamp, but she couldn’t help glancing towards the sky, every other blink. Paranoid that, at any moment, a bolt of blue lightning might strike the yard, and set it on fire. Or the wind might suddenly grow to twice its speed, and throw a tree, which they might not see flying towards them, in the dark. Or the thunder might come back and start rising in pitch, and the electrically charged air would smell like metal and ozone. A smell that Artheena deeply despised, because to her, it was the smell of death. NO animal or plant life is safe, once the thunder starts rising in different pitches.
“AAAAD-NICK!!” Burjiss and Artheena called out in unison, at the tops of their voices. The wind was getting too loud for individual voices to carry over it. Three voices in unison would’ve enhanced the volume of their call, even better, but Olzenbeth was too distressed to bother with team work.
“ADNICK! ADNICK! ADNICK!” she frantically screamed. Her shrill pitch almost blending in with the shrillness of the winds.
They had searched all through the front yard, and found no sign of Adnick. On a normal day, the distance between the edge of the front yard nearest to the street, and the house’s front door was just a vervetts’ short sprint, or a few dozen high leaps away. While trudging through this summer storm, Artheena felt like her house might as well have been on a different continent. She wanted to go home, more than anything. Her heart ached to be back in the cozy, brightly lit kitchen, helping with the breakfast dishes. Or doing puzzles with mom and Willberry, in Willberry’s room. Or relaxing in her own cozy room, and enjoying her new books and goodie baskets. Such longing made her call out Adnick’s name, with louder desperation. Her voice rang out through the wind, getting her hopes up that the boy would hear her, if he was even out there.
As they carefully turned down a path that lead into the yard to the right side of the house, the storm’s shrieks and howls became louder screams of hellish rage. Sounding as though Jyoseppy was getting angry at the three of them, for daring to challenge it. Larger objects were thrown onto the teppid stone paths, like heavy branches, fruits and vegetables, and garden rocks. They had to stop walking, every few steps, to kick obstacles aside. Gusts of dirt, leaves, and other yard debris flew at them, like swarms of stinging insects.
Artheena wished they could just stop now, and whistle for some grungols to take them down to the under-village, and have faith that Adnick had already made it there. All children of Continent 15—vervetts, grungols, and Guardians—are taught the most important, basic skills for surviving through dangerous situations, before the age of ten. Adnick would no longer be considered a defenseless child.
“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.”
Dirt flew into their mouths, when they called Adnick, making them cough and choke. A small piece of bark that was as jagged as a shard of glass, slammed into the back of Artheena’s throat, and came dangerously close to going down her wind pipe. When she coughed it up, she tasted a little bit of blood, and couldn’t stop herself from gagging.
“ARE YOU GOING TO BE OK, ARTHEENA?!” Burjiss could barely shout over the wind.
“I’LL BE FINE!” Artheena shouted back. “I JUST GOT A PIECE OF TREE BARK STUCK IN MY MOUTH, FOR A SPLIT MOMENT!”
“YOU WANT ME TO TAKE THE LAMP?!” dad offered.
“PLEASE DO!” Artheena answered, coughing on more dirt. Maneuvering the bulky lamp against the wind, made her arms burn, and her hands get stiff and spastic. As Burjiss unlooped his arm from Artheena’s, and took the lamp, the wind suddenly slowed down. Its volume lowered to a shushing whisper, revealing that Olzenbeth had stopped calling Adnick’s name, and was now crying.
“don’t give up hope, Olzenbeth,” said Artheena. “We still have three more areas of our yard to search through. So there’s still a chance that we’ll find him.”
“I AM GIVING UP HOPE, IF WE DON’T START MOVING A LITTLE FASTER!” screamed Olzenbeth, sounding on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “We’re going about this too slow!”
“Olzenbeth,” dad said, firmly, stopping and turning towards her. “We had to slow down our pace, so we won’t get hurt. The storm keeps throwing things in our way.”
“Golly gee, you think I didn’t notice that?!” Olzenbeth cried. “We don’t have to walk down each and every garden path, you know! We could leap across the gardens!” She was so on-edge, Artheena could feel her trembling.
“Be reasonable!” said Burjiss, losing patience. “We’re trying to help you! Leaping across the gardens won’t do us any good, once the wind picks up again! You should know better than that! One powerful wind would knock us all flat on our shells! Probably enough to put us in the hospital!”
Olzenbeth let out a scream of frustration and despair, before bursting into sobs.
“Olzenbeth,” Artheena said, calmly. “I’m sorry, but my dad is right. If the wind could get powerful enough to throw a big tree, we vervetts wouldn’t be that much heavier than dead leaves to it. If we got caught in a violent enough gust of wind, while leaping around, it would not only knock us to the ground, it would do some serious damage. These gardens have thorn bushes and jagged rocks, and trees with sharp spikes on their bark, and all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t want to be slammed into at full force. It could happen. You know how unpredictable these storms can get.”
“Aside from that, if we rush things along too much, we could end up walking right past him without even knowing it,” said dad, sounding calm too. “It’s dark as a ground worms’ nest out here, and your uncle is a small boy. We could easily miss sight of him. I know you wish there was a better way to go about this, and so do me and Artheena. We’ll move it along as much as we can, but we have to keep our own safety in…” Before he could finish his sentence, Olzenbeth leapt at Burjiss, yanked the lamp from his grasp, and sprinted away.
To be continued tomorrow…