Lara of the Xzelo Tribe: Chapter 1

Lara of the Xlelo Tribe: Prologue

Lara Twine got out of her soft quilted bed and yawned. Another night ended and a new day’s begun. She thought to herself as she pulled her clothes on. Lara stared around her wooden-walled bedroom. Shards of sunlight were streaming through the small window and illuminating her large, comfy bed in the corner. A smallish ash-brown wardrobe stood proudly in the opposite corner, with a rectangular mirror attached to the front. Lara walked over and gazed at her reflection. She was a twelve year old girl with vivid blue eyes and wavy chocolate-brown hair that reached down to her waist. She pulled herself away from the mirror and marched out the room. As she clomped down the stairs, her mother called, “Hurry up, Lara, I need to go and get some more water from the well!”
“Coming, mum!” Lara exclaimed.

When she got downstairs she found her mother preparing a juicy fruit salad for her neighbour.
“Take this to Ebenezer, so I can fetch the water,” her mum ordered her.
“Ok,” Lara mumbled, gloomily.
“What’s up?”
“Well, he’s always so spooky, and he carries on saying that I’m special in ways that I wouldn’t understand!”
“You are special! Well, at least, to me you are!”
“And then, when I ask what he means, he just says: you’re time will come, and then you will see!” Lara carried on.
“He’s an old man, what do you expect?”
“Someone old and dusty, who can’t hear what you say even when you shout it,” Lara murmured.
Her mother glared at her.
“Take this to him,” Mum sighed, holding out a wicker basket containing the salad.
“No buts, just do it.”
“Fine!” yelled Lara, snatching the basket out of her mother’s hand and stomping out of the front door.

Lara squelched across the mud track, and forcefully knocked on Old Ebenezer’s wooden door, hoping that he wasn’t in. Unfortunately for her, he answered the creaky door.
“Hello, Lara, how are you today?”
“Fine,” Lara answered, moodily.
“Good, good…”
There was a moments silence.
“So, what did you want?” Ebenezer asked.
“I was sent to deliver this,” Lara explained, holding out the basket.
Ebenezer examined the contents, and said in a whispery voice:
“Oh, yummy! I do love salad.”
“Glad you like it,” Lara mumbled, without any real delight. There was silence for a few seconds, then:
“I suppose you would like to come in?”
“I don’t think I-”
“Nonsense, nonsense, of course you can!” and he grabbed her shoulder and steered her into the hut.

Lara had a surprisingly nice time, sitting in front of the warm fire in a cosy armchair, occasionally being offered a chocolate biscuit, and when it was finally time for her to leave, she didn’t want to go, but it was getting close to lunchtime and her mother would be wondering where she was.
“Bye, Ebenezer!” Lara called as she let herself out. She had just closed the door behind her and squidged back across the track, when something made her turn around. There was a tall girl with startlingly bright orange hair knocking on the old man’s door. She looked as though she had run for miles, and her skin was all scratched and bruised.

Lara ran into her home and watched from the window as Old Ebenezer answered the door with a surprised look on his face, and let her in.

What seemed like hours later, the girl came out (looking considerably neater) staring at a piece of ancient, worn paper, looking very confused. Then, suddenly, she looked straight at Lara, with the same confused expression on her face. She looked down at the paper again, then marched over to Lara’s front door and knocked. Lara jumped off the heavy metal chest she was kneeling on, and hurried over to the door and answered it. The girl looked down at her, smiled and said:
“Hello, my name is Stella Ekelzur, and you are the second Hope of the Xzelo tribe.”

Comments that people have made about this blog post

Comment 1 Comment by Mr Herring on 29 Mar 12 at 7:07am | Quote this comment
Ever since you released the prologue for your story I have been eagerly anticipating this opening chapter... and it doesn't disappoint! You have introduced the main character (as well as further characters) superbly and created a chapter ending that only makes we want to read on... absolutely fantastic Sarah!

I particularly like the way you use varied and interesting vocabularly (e.g. mumbled, murmered, sighed, ordered) to really help me understand the way the characters were feeling. Brilliantly engaging! I have a vivid picture in my head of the scene, and that is all due to your great writing. Well done!

The question is - have you got any idea when chapter 2 will be ready?!
Comment 2 Comment by Mr Ryan on 29 Mar 12 at 9:30am | Quote this comment
Sarah, a nice change of pace from the Prologue - I really enjoyed it. Fluent use of speech and a real cliffhanger in that last line which is making me hold my breath in anticipation. I'm already thinking about Ebenezer and what role he is to play - he clearly isn't just some old man. I wonder how his character will develop? I wonder what happened to Stella, and what her relationship to Ebenezer is?

Keep dropping the clues in about the characters' actions, behaviours and appearances so that we continue to build a picture in our minds of these people... and also the setting. Where are they living? What season are they in? What would our senses pick up on if we were placed in the same environment as the characters? All of these clues will pull us in deeper into the heart of the story and make the 'experience' fuller as the reader.

Will we be blessed with a Chapter 2 over the Easter period? I hope so...

[Esther, if you're reading this then we're also eagerly awaiting Chapter 5!]
Comment 3 Comment by Sarah L on 29 Mar 12 at 3:52pm | Quote this comment
Thanks, I'm not sure when chapter two will come out, but hopefully it will some time in the Easter holidays!

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