Tag Archives: Excerpt

Buck- Chapter 3 Excerpt

Written by: Aaron B.

Coming home from school, Bobby hung his bag up. The nightmares of Daisy ’s death had not gone away. Hanging his hoodie up and ruffling his short hair, he sat at the kitchen table to begin his homework. The sound of his cellphone got him out of the math mode he was in, lifting his phone, he saw a name he hoped to never see again.

From: Marco Payne <Hey Bobby! Wanna go hunting again? Been a while! Me and my pals are gonna spend a weekend up in the mountains. Maybe I’ll let ya shoot a furry!>

 

Of course, he didn’t want too, but instead of answering, he put his phone in his pocket. Instead of getting back to the work at hand, he stared into the various numbers. His mind wondered. Ever since Daisy, he had vowed to not go hunting again. The night he got home from that terrible day, he tossed his hunting gear into the trash and did nothing but cry in bed for hours. The weeks after, he grew a distain for the woods. Which was difficult being that he lived in the woods.

After telling his parents, taking him to a therapist helped a bit. As often as the doctor told him not to blame himself and to remember that furries aren’t as smart as humans, he did blame himself. He should have shoved Marco or broken the rifle in half. He had this suspicion that furries were so much more than just toys. He found some of the species even beautiful.

The work he did with Connie helped. The fact she welcomed him into her life was unexpected and heartwarming. He thought she’d turn him away and call him a ‘gross human’. He had to remember that not every furry and not every human thought either species was low and deserved death. He just wished more people felt like that. He was just about to get up and nap, try to calm his brain and maybe get some work done, but a hard knock at the door erased that idea for now.

Walking across his small living room, he opened it a crack, enough to see the most muscular, tall furry he had ever seen. He opened the door a bit wider. He had to crane his neck all the way to see the behemoth. “C-can I help you?”

“I need to talk to you about my daughter, and the man who took her life.” The buck spoke, eyeing the teenager. Darkness flooded Bobby’s soul as he went wide eyed in terror. Taking a deep breath, he slammed the door into the deer’s face, locked it and ran in the opposite direction. Time moved in slow motion for Bobby, not paying attention to his footing he tripped over his backpack. It was too late to catch his balance, he fell face first into the kitchen floor. This gave Stetson enough time to peer into the window beside the front door. With adrenaline going through him, he wrapped his hand around the door knob and with a single twist, broke it. He then used the toe of his boot to open the door, Bobby stood up at this point. The deer looked even scarier in shadow. His footsteps huge as he walked into the home, he knew he had a pistol and a hunting knife close by him. However, it seemed to him the teen was scared enough. Stetson truthfully only wished to talk and was only persistent because what Bobby held was beyond vital information.

“Kid. Settle down.”

“Settle down?! You broke into my house!”

“I need to know something.” Before the deer could speak again, Bobby charged at the buck, not with rage, but with pure terror. He cried heavily as he pummeled his muscular stomach with his fists, which apart from being annoying, meant nothing. “Get out! RIGHT now! I’ll call the cops!”

Stetson held both his wrists as he attempted to keep hitting. He wanted to yell at the hysterical teen, but he knew it wouldn’t help. He then shoved his knee into Bobby’s stomach, sending him crashing onto his back. He whined loudly as the deer then knelt to him, grasping him harshly by his t-shirt. “Did you kill my daughter?” His tone ice cold. This was a dreaded day for Bobby. As if the nightmares and self-loathing wasn’t enough. Here was her dad, facing the teen head on. “No! No!” Tears streamed down his face as he relaxed, showing Stetson a complete form of submission. Even if Bobby wanted to hurt him, the deer could split him in half with one hand.

Pinning the teen down with one hand, he reached into his vest and fetched the silver bracelet. “Connie, your friend told me you gave this too her. Where the hell did you get this?” Bobby took deep breaths, he remembered giving it too her. “I found it—in the dirt. Near my house.” He read the teen’s terror and wide eyes. He wouldn’t lie. Not now. Not while his life was on the line. Stetson knew liars. “When did you find it? Last week? Last month?”

“No! Last year—shortly after the incident.” Stetson’s tone remained monotone, he paused to think of Bobby’s words. “What incident?”

“The first time I saw a furry die in front of me. The doe.  My friend drove me home that night. I—I found it after he left. You see, her body. Her body was tied to the top of his truck.” Stetson shivered. The thought of Daisy ’s bloody corpse on top of some hunter’s truck was enough to make him want to snap the first neck he saw. Sadly, it would have been Bobby.

The deer went closer to the human, his muzzle nearly touching the teen’s nose. “You didn’t pull the trigger, did you? You didn’t want to see my little girl die.” Bobby shook his head ‘no.’ His face pale. “No sir. Please don’t kill me.” He cried again. Deep in thought, Stetson re-positioned himself. Now sitting cross-legged on the floor right by the teen. Bobby was about to get up until the deer shoved him back down with one hand, then with the other, he pulled out his hunting knife, playing with it between his hands once he knew he’d stay lying down.

Bobby whimpered softly. “So, you didn’t kill her. I believe you. You’re not the type. Who is the type though? Who do you hang out with?” Bobby’s crying wasn’t as obvious, now that he knew Stetson wasn’t some mindless killer. He had motive.

For so long, Bobby felt trapped by the hunter. “M-Marco Payne. He’s the one. He’s crazy!” Stetson’s ear flicked, he still played with the knife, keeping his gaze on Bobby, lying on his back and craning his neck to meet his eye.

“Marco Payne, huh? If you’re so against hunting furries, why do you hang out with him?”

“I-I’m afraid of him, sir. He’s a family friend. He s-said he’d get pissed if he couldn’t teach me how to hunt. He wants me t-to join him. I hate him, and I hate what he does.” Putting his knife away, Stetson stood up and reached his hand out to Bobby and hoists him up quickly.

Bobby stepped away from the giant deer, his breathing heavy as he whipped access tears away. “You tell me where he hangs out, and you’ll never have to worry about him again.” Bobby went from fear, to absolute relief.

Maybe Stetson wasn’t a demon, but an avenging angel. “Fincher’s Bar and Grill. It’s an hour from here. H-he and some hunting guys go there.” The two exchange phone numbers, at this point Bobby felt this guy was trust worthy. How odd was that? Usually the teen was quite private, but maybe having someone as big and strong as Stetson by his side wouldn’t be a horrible fate. “Send me the directions. Get a new hobby.” Feeling dizzy, Bobby nodded. “You aren’t going to kill me? For being involved?”

“You’re not the evil one, kid.” He gently pat Bobby’s shoulder before heading out. The teen quickly texts him the directions along with two of his friends who frequent the bar and who he’s met on occasion, Patch and Baldy. He watched the deer drive off. That was his first real encounter with a furry, he couldn’t help but think of his life. He thought he’d die today, but he didn’t. Maybe it was time to do new things. Darkness slowly took his heart-he met the father of the girl he let die. He watched Marco shoot a fawn. He didn’t do anything to stop it.

Going back inside, the teenager lied on the couch, closing his eyes he saw what he had so long ago. The fawn flopping to the grass, covered in blood. The more this image cropped up, the more he felt Stetson’s intervention was a good thing.

 

“Forlorn-Excerpt

The following is an unedited excerpt from a book I plan on self publishing.

He felt he was going downhill, further and further until the passageway barely gave off any outer light, but he would not lead a lantern to light the rest of the way as he saw a large hole straight ahead. Glowing with golden light, presumably lit by fire. The sound of the wind became less prominent as he went through the oddly placed gap.

The room is warm, below his feet is a ground of soft sand. Tyler slowly drew his sword, feeling the presence of something bigger than him in the room. He took a few more steps into the place. Seeing a lot of oddly placed items such as a large golden table, a few golden chalices. Keeping his footsteps as quiet as possible, he approached a few of these items. Dragons were known for hording treasure. It seemed he had found his. It all seemed surreal, his father had killed so many dragons and this one might be Tyler’s first. Perhaps he was more oblivious then his dad, for he had no idea the creature eyed him from a deep, dark corner of the room.

The dragon eyed Tyler’s back from where he stood. At nine feet tall, it wasn’t easy to hide, but in his own home he knew where all the secret passageways were. The fire barely illuminated his glowing yellow eyes. He kept his long tail and broad wings as silent as possible. Roasting him would be easy if that’s what needed to be done, truth be told though he was quite lonely. Thanks to dragon fighters around the kingdom, they were quickly revered, so he kept his distance from Nafton unlike the dragons that came before him.

Going on all fours, he decided to see what this knight was up to. Yes, to slay him was the obvious, but why not talk to someone? A rare opportunity had presented itself.  Tyler let out a large gasp as he felt a very large, clawed hand reach around his throat. Feeling his heart sink to the pit of his stomach, he knew this was the end. He had failed in his task already. A deep, booming voice came from behind him, not a yell, far from it. More stern.

“Drop your sword.” His soul filling with fear but also agitation as he did want to slay him. He had no way of attacking his opponent now. He was tricked and now had nothing else to do but listen. A bit of sweat wet down his forehead as he let go of the one thing that may keep him from life or death.

“It is surreal to be here with such a creature of legend.”

The red scaled, tall monster gently sniffed Tyler, getting a sense of who he is. Hearing his heart rate, which was erratic. Fearlessly, he let go of Tyler’s throat and backed away.

“A legend? I thought you people thought of my kind as things that need to be destroyed.”

Tyler knew he could take this opportunity to maybe better his opponent. Picking his sword up and charged at the beast, perhaps the dragon was slightly outsmarted as the knight seemed to skittish at first, the sword didn’t hit the dragon’s chest, it wouldn’t have time. Standing on his two hind legs, he shoved the knight to the ground, lying on top of him. Pinning him and gripping his wrist which held the sword like a vice. Tyler grunted as he took his other hand, reached into his boot and pulled out a secret dagger. He slammed the metal end into the creature’s chest. It snapped upon impact into his hard shell of a chest. His father had not lied in his journals. Dragon’s had that outer shell for protection.

His underbelly a golden color, went well as upper body was a nice red color which shined due to the scales. He kept himself quite clean even though he hadn’t seen another individual for a few years.

“You are persistent. However, I sense you’re an amateur.” Trying to keep a stern, heroic face Tyler retorted. “Do not judge me, beast.” The dragon growled low and nearly went nose-to-nose with him.

“You wouldn’t call a human just ‘human’. Orpheus is what you’ll call me. I might as well die with one person knowing who I am.” Orpheus couldn’t have had that much of a death wish. Maybe he was egging Tyler on? Maybe he wanted to kill a knight? Is that what most dragons did? Was he following what so many of his kind had done?

He got up from on top of the knight, standing on back legs. Towering over him and eyeing his body. He looked quite unique. How human he looked, but all his features reptilian and dragon-like. Their eyes met, standing up Tyler thought he would have an opportunity to fight this beast. Something stopped him. The dragon stepped closer, maybe giving Tyler a shot? “Will you strike me like others have for so long?” Getting to his feet, the young knight picked his sword up. He could attack him, but his heart told him not to. He was here, all the preparation, the reading, the practicing. All led to this. Nothing but words exchanged. Tyler put his sword in its sheath.

“Orpheus, I maybe a knight who is an adequate fighter. Maybe I’m noble, though I doubt it. Unless you strike first, I won’t kill you or attempt to kill you.” The beast cocked his head, his eyes narrow slowly as he crossed his arms. His broad shoulders relaxed.

Truth be told, it wasn’t how intimidating he was. Tyler knew Orpheus wouldn’t be small. Something else was there, something Tyler didn’t think he’d see. A soul. Behind his yellow glowing eyes and buff exterior, a voice full of emotion. If he could emote, that meant he could feel. Could he kill someone who was so intelligent and didn’t want to hurt him back? Sighing, Tyler sat on a near by rock, Orpheus sat a few feet across from him, crossing his legs.

“I’ll give you this. You’re different from every other knight who has come through here.”

Tyler took a sip from his water jug, his deep, authoritative voice bounces in his brain. Something about the dragon is so appealing and so mysterious. Beautiful even.

Never taking his eye off Orpheus, he looked straight into the beasts’ eyes. “I’m not risking my life to show a bunch of townspeople that I can slay an individual who didn’t strike first. That would make me a coward. If I am a true knight, I’m sworn to valor and virtue and upholding the weak. That is what my heart says as well.” Orpheus looked to the ground. “So, this is goodbye?” Tyler stood up, collecting his sword and checking his mild wounds from the short scuffle. “I assumed you wouldn’t want to see me traversing here again.” Standing up, Orpheus’ tone went low.  “I was hoping you would. Come back.” Tyler’s face turned red for an instant. “I can. Yes.”

The dragon smiled slightly. “You live within Forlorn, correct?” Tyler nods. “If so, you should get going before nightfall.”