Teaser Tuesday for the Magically Challenged

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Dec 15, 2009 Under writing

Okay, so here’s another scene from The Demon Guard I worked on recently with my fellow AWers in FNW. (*shout out to my FNW peeps*).

The set-up: The MC Summer is in Magics class, where she and Shade are both in the magically-challenged group. She’s a little skeptical of Professor Taggert’s teaching methods. (Oops–should also add–she’s been hearing voices for the past few days.)

Taggert noticed Shade at the same time I did. “Mr. Freemont—that is no way to help yourself tap into your innate abilities. Please, set the pen down and close your eyes.”

Shade capped his pen with a huge flourish and closed his eyes. An instant later, he started humming under his breath. I tried not to snort when I recognized the tune: an old Police song called Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.

“Ms.Chance? The same goes for you.”

I hastily squeezed my own eyes shut.

Taggert’s raspy baritone suddenly turned soft and soothing. “Now, try to envision yourself in the most relaxing place you can imagine. For many it’s water, but some of you with an affinity for other elements might feel drawn to them. Just let your brain take you where it wants to go. Let your muscles relax. Your feet and toes, then your legs—release them. Let them drift away.”

His voiced continued in its mellow pitch, and surprisingly, my body followed his commands. My muscles relaxed and softened into liquid mush at his prompting, like I was lying in the backyard of our old house, soaking up the heat of the sun. A few moments later, and I felt Mom’s presence there, smiling down at me. Relief and happiness crashed over me in tranquil waves. So warm. So peaceful.

“Don’t chase the Magic—let it come to you. Let it slip softly into your mind, filling you up completely. Do you feel it?”

I felt—something. A distant humming, but soothing this time. Warmer.

“Good. Now, gently try to touch the Magic with your mind. Let it lead you to where it wants you to go.”

The humming grew louder. I was still in the backyard, but suddenly, I heard voices. Lots of voices. Some happy, some sad. More and more chimed in, until they filled my brain, expanded it. Too many voices. All shrieking, talking at the same time, commanding me to listen.

The voices intensified even more. They shoved against the inside of my skull, swooping with a crazed frenzy down into the rest of my body, until every inch of me thrummed with electric pain. The pressure—God. It was killing me. It was too loud. Too much.

A gut-wrenching scream stabbed into my head, drowning out the voices entirely. I ricocheted out of my chair and jerked my eyes open. Only to find my hands plastered over my ears, and the entire classroom staring. At me.

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23 Responses to “Teaser Tuesday for the Magically Challenged”

  1. Slushpilehero Says:

    awesome! made me relax then snap out of it at the end. cool!

  2. sue Says:

    I really like this. I love how you go from that lovely snarky humor to a wtf moment in just a few paragraphs. It was like a slap on the face. Excellent stuff. I just love your ‘voice’.

    ‘magically challenged’ hahahahahahaha!!

  3. Lee Says:

    That was awesome!!!! I love the setup…and then the descent into too much. Very well done!

  4. Angie Says:

    Lovely scene set up, straight to the end. I especially like the little thing about the Police song. Great addition.

  5. sunna Says:

    Oooh, I can’t wait to get to THIS part. :D

    I love the concept of a remedial for the “magically challenged”. Hah!

  6. Krista Ashe Says:

    OH MAN! That was intense….I was all set for some beach scene with her putting suntanning oil all over Shade or Cody, and then BAM! Eesh!! Love how you can make hilarious allusions and then scare and freak the shit out of me!

  7. Tracey Says:

    Poor Summer can’t catch a break. Loved the description of what’s going on in her head.

  8. Jamie Says:

    Magically-challenged group. LOL! AND I LOVE Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – prbably my fav Police song!

    This (like your writing always does) totally pulled me in. I was right there with her! Very nice!!

  9. Vero Says:

    This was awesome! I love the roller coaster ride you sent us in in even a small scene like that! Very well done!

  10. Laurie Says:

    Whoa, dude, this was KILLER. First, all the stuff with Shade had me giggling all over myself and then you tap right into Summer’s brain and the voices. Hooked me right in. Love it!

  11. Becca Says:

    I felt so relaxed and then was snapped out of it soon after. Loved this! :)

  12. V Says:

    I loved this when you posted it in FNW, and I love it now. You’re spot on with your descriptions. Also, as usual, I heart Shade. But we’ve established that already.

    I love this line in particular: “Only to find my hands plastered over my ears, and the entire classroom staring. At me.”

  13. Amna Says:

    At the end, I could so put myself into your MC’s shoes.

    Great teaser!

  14. JennW Says:

    This is really good. Your voice is always so good. I really like the way your MC thinks and I find myself wanting to read more and chuckling along. The “hastily” tripped me up. It’s not that I’m anti-adverb but I got stuck on that sentence for some reason.

  15. Kaitlin Says:

    I really enjoy your writing. I get caught up in it. Great teaser!

  16. hope101 Says:

    Hey, I haven’t been here in a while and like the new website. Sweet.

    Also, wonderful excerpt. Very nice reversal of expectation. Methinks the rollercoaster metaphor is apt. :)

  17. DH Kuypers Says:

    Nice! What happened here? I’m curious to know more…

  18. Bee Says:

    Oooh, I love magic! It kinda disappeared from the YA genre since Harry Potter..great to see it here. Want to know where it goes :D

    Fun stuff!

  19. Karla Says:

    Oh wow! I LOVED this! I love what happens toward the end with the voices and you expect her to do something, and I was satisfied with the end even though it must be so embarrassing for her!

  20. Niyrak Says:

    Very descriptive. Good job. I had no problem imagining the sights and feelings she was.

  21. Liz Page Says:

    I love this. I was pulled through the entire thing, all relaxed until the very end. I feel like I’d have problems reaching my magic too, I’ve never been very good at clearing my mind and letting the energy flow. Maybe that’s why I’m so bad at yoga…

    Thanks for the birthday wish!

  22. Kirsten Hubbard Says:

    LOVE it.

  23. Kristin Says:

    WOOT!!! This teaser is made of awesome.

    (And I’m totally developing a crush on Shade. There will be t-shirts and baseball caps and pins that say “Team Shade.” You have been warned.)

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