Friday, November 26, 2010

The Mages of Morrow—Prelude: Boy at the Edge of the World

There was an old quarry down by the stream. 
It wasn't a large quarry, but it was large enough for the purpose it served. 
Pure Sagestone, so clear you could almost see through a three-foot brick of it, was mined there. 
It was not mined as a diamond would be, no. Sagestone was useful only to those few who knew how to shape it properly and then call forth images from it. It was not called Sagestone for nothing. 
The elder man in the quarry wasn't known as a Sage. It was a secret he chose to keep. His small dwelling was only a few miles from a powerful Mage, and he did not want that kind of trouble. He had the boy to think about. 
The boy was with him this day. He had not gone to the stream to fish, or to skip rocks on its calm surface, as he normally did when his uncle continued his never-ending search for the perfect seeing-stone. 
Instead he had come to the quarry with his uncle. 
The old man cursed and hauled stone after stone out of the earth and tossed them aside. 
"Ah'll find ye yet," he mumbled irritably. 
The boy picked up first one of the stones his uncle discarded (which he also quickly chucked away) and then another. As he bent over, his shorts rode up his leg and the sunlight shone on what appeared to be an odd-shaped tattoo on the side of his upper right thigh. 
"What you lookin' for, boy?" his uncle asked. 
"A seeing-stone for me," he replied. 
His uncle straightened up and looked curiously at the lad, a sly smile played at the corner of his wrinkled mouth. 
"Aye. Are ye gonna shape and polish it yerself, then?"

"Aye," the boy said simply and hunkered over again to continue his search, digging in some places with his bare hands. 
His uncle watched him for a few minutes, then bent his own back to the pickax again. His thoughts were complicated and troubled. 
Is it time already? he thought to himself. 
He left the quarry that day empty-handed again, but the boy had a prize. His uncle scoffed when he saw it; a clear but imperfect stone with what appeared to be two hollow bubbles of the exact same size in its depths. But the boy was well pleased. After supper, he took the awkward looking rock immediately to the workshop to begin shaping it. 
His uncle came in after a time to watch and advise him. His mind was still wondering. 
He is so small, still. So young. 
"Turn it, like so..." he said, gently taking the boys hand and guiding his efforts. 
So young. But even the smallest stone can cause a mighty ripple in the stream, if it is cast hard enough. 

Click on the text to read the epigraph to Part 1: The Spinnerlands


  1. Sweet! I want a Sagestone! This sounds like it's going to be a really great book, Maria! Good luck with it!

  2. Oooh, this is good! I want a Sagestone too. I'm intrigued about that tattoo...a birthmark perhaps? Please tell me we're going to find out.

  3. Simply superb detail here Maria, especially the bit about the "supposed" tatoo - what is it? I must know more!

    This is going to be one fantastic book, that's easy to see.

  4. I really love the almost fairy tale sense to the writing in this piece. Definitely intrigued by the story :)

  5. Oh I love this! Looking forward to seeing the book once it's finished.

  6. Ramsey;
    Thanks! I know fantasy isn't your thing, so I'm glad you like it. Sagestones are pretty cool. I'd like one myself. There are horror and sci-fi elements in this story as well. These are my opening lines. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck w/your debut!

    Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I guess I'll be posting more excerpts as I go along. I wish I had a Sagestone, too. You never know when you might need to do some divination. ;)

    Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I'll have to post more about this character later. This character is not a focal point for the first half of the book. I just drop teasers about the Prelude and Interlude. I don't even plan on introducing him until toward the end of the book! But he is a KEY figure in the sequels. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

    Thank you! I'm glad you like it. This fairy tale is for grown ups, which is why it's on Risky Fiction. I just posted the relatively harmless opening.

    Thank you! That is the best comment EVAR! I hope you get to see the book. I will be editing it for awhile when it's done.

    Thanks! I'll need it! :)

  7. Well I'd certainly be interested in reading some more!

  8. Thanks, Icy!! I hope to post some more in the future. :)

  9. I like where this is going. My interest is peaked. Good introduction to the MC of the story. Is this your NaNo? I am definately interested in reading more. I want my own Sagestone. Sounds like it would be pretty cool to have!

  10. Thank you, Lara.
    The character introduced here is not the MC of this book, in fact, he only comes in at last third of the book. He will be the MC in both the sequels I have planned, though. My MC in this one is a young girl, a 'crossover' from our world into this one. She will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the other books, though.

    Thanks for reading and I'm glad you want to read more! I will do what I can to keep up my momentum for this book and the following in the series. :)

  11. Hi Maria,

    I like the way it raises lots of questions that will will keep the reader intrigued and enthralled, they won't be able resist reading the next chapter!


    Paul Johnson

  12. I really like the start of this!! More!! More!!

  13. Hi, Paul;
    Thanks for stopping by and reading my excerpt, my friend. I'm glad you liked it!

    Thanks! I'm glad you like it enough to want more of it!

  14. That was really well crafted. I'm wondering what will happen with the boy and his stone now. Intriquing world you've created.

  15. Catherine;

    Thanks! I'm glad you like it! :)