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Unascended Preview

Of course someone picked Unascended! jetnova16 asked for a preview of Unascended.

Ok -- I literally wrote this three days ago. This is not polished. This is very, very first draft. But since I said pick anything, Unascended was fair. This is from the first chapter.



She lay in the tall grass, feeling it itch along her skin, and she opened her eyes. Shadow. She lay face down, her head pillowed on her arm, and turned her head. She lay in a field of flowers. Golden stars surrounded her, deep in the tall grass, while above the largest stalks great pink flowers raised their heads to the sun, their centers black with seeds. They were no flowers she knew, nothing she had a name for. The sun was warm on her back and she lay in a field of flowers.

The sun was warm. Where had she been that it was so cold? Why couldn't she remember? Perhaps it didn't matter much.

There were the sounds of voices, children's voices raised in song, the deeper voices of adults. They sounded happy. That was good. It was good for people to be happy on such a lovely day.

There were the sounds of running feet, and then they stopped. A child's voice sang out very close at hand. "Gran! Gran, come quick! There's a naked lady here!"

More footsteps. A woman's voice. "Kyan, get back. Go to your father."

A hand touched her neck from behind, careful fingers gentle as they felt her throat. Checking for a pulse. She knew that gesture, and she opened her hand against the earth.

"Ah." A woman's voice, then a man further away.

"Kyan, come here."

"She's alive," the woman said.

She wanted to answer, but the words stuck in her throat.

Careful hands lifted her, turning her over, the sun unbearably bright on her face. "Can you hear me?" the woman asked.

A shadow, the man bending over. 'I don't see any blood. Is she hurt?"

Something touched her shoulders, a cape of soft feathers. She opened her eyes.

An old woman bent over her, concerned brown eyes peering at her face. "Can you speak?"

"I…think so." Her voice was hoarse, as if from disuse.

The cape settled around her, bright green feathers smelling like sunshine and some deeper scent of resin, covering her nearly to the knees.

The man held a little boy by the hand, the boy watching her curiously. Behind were other people, a three wheeled cart pulled by a pair of large dogs halted. Their heads were shaved except for the child, each carrying packs or bundles. "Where did you come from?" the man asked.

"Child, can you stand?" the old woman asked.

She took the offered hand, getting slowly to her feet. All around them stretched a plain of wild grass, a prairie filled with wildflowers. "Where am I?"

"Along the route to Iaxila," the man said. "Were you lost from a caravan?" He looked at the old woman worriedly. "There haven't been bandits on this route for a long time, but…."

The old woman held her hand gently. "You've fallen in among honest people. We won't hurt you, I promise. The Ancestors charge us to treat the stranger as our own. What terrible thing happened to you?"

She stood in the bright sun, her hand in the old woman's, looking across the grass from horizon to horizon, and no words came. No thoughts. They ran away like water, any moment before this. "I don't remember," she said.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
angelsallfire
Nov. 13th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is just perfect. Perfect.
jo_graham
Nov. 13th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you like it!
mysra
Nov. 13th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, I so can't wait for the book to be published. Please hurry, pleeeaassseee.
jo_graham
Nov. 14th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
It's going to be a while! But I'm glad this looks good to you!
jetnova16
Nov. 14th, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
I like it and find it intriguing how its a first draft, it's perfect!
Can't wait till the book is out; any ideas on when it might be released?
jo_graham
Nov. 14th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it. I generally do pretty clean first drafts, except of action scenes. Those are always the hardest for me, keeping track of where everyone is and who can see what and who's shooting at what!

We've got a long way to go yet. It's due to Fandemonium on March 1. Then Sally will do her edits and send it back. We'll make changes based on her edits and send it back to her. Then if she approves it, she'll send it on to MGM. MGM will make their edits and send it back. We'll make changes based on those edits. Then it goes back to MGM for final approval. Then it's proofread and put into galleys. Then we go over the galleys for typos and formatting problems. Then it's set and formatted the final time! So! A long time yet! I would guess next fall.
rodneyfan
Nov. 16th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful to read. If this is a first draft than I couldn't possibly imagine how it could be better.
jo_graham
Nov. 16th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very, very much! :D
ssagey
Nov. 25th, 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
after reading that little bit of wonderful I am so looking forward to the rest of the book..
hugs
jo_graham
Nov. 26th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I hope so much you enjoy it!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )