Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Pants

Okay, so this is from my Throwdown novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER. (Throwdown novel is a technical term, just so you know.)

See, there's this girl--her name is Gabby. And she can control fire. But see, in her world, only boys can control fire, so she's a genetic abnormality. So she got blamed for this fire that killed a bunch of people. So she ran away and assumed the male identity of Gabe. Then she met Adam--who can control air--and he figured out that she's a girl. But now they've teamed up with Josh--who is Unmanifested--and he doesn't know Gabby's a girl. And they're on their way to the bathing pool.

Yeah, I still need to write the query. If someone asks me what my novel is about, this is the spiel they get. Well, not really, but this is enough to get you to this part of the story.

Secretly, I was glad Adam had come. Josh didn’t seem stupid, and there was plenty he’d notice at the pool that would blow my cover.

After ten minutes, Josh stopped. He pointed down a well-worn trail. “Down there, a couple hundred feet. You can wash the clothes you’re wearing and change into your dry ones.” He looked at me, then Adam. “Do you have dry clothes?”

“Adam has some,” I said. “I’ve got some tops—um, shirts—but no jeans.”

“I can loan you some of mine,” Josh said. “I’ll be—”

“No, it’s okay,” I said. “They’re not that dirty.” When I looked at my jeans, I cringed. Not only were they crusty with dirt and mud and snow, bloodstains trailed down one leg. The right pant leg was ripped and burned from where the fire had exploded out.

“You’ll need shoes, too,” Josh said. “I can’t wait to hear the story of how you lost that one.” He grinned at my bare right foot, and then at me. “C’mon, Adam. We’ll be back in a couple of minutes, Gabe.” He walked off, Adam right behind him.

I watched them go, my mind racing. Twenty minutes. Ten there, ten back. I had no clean pants. Panic built up at the back of my throat.

A breeze wafted over my face. “Just go, I’ll help you,” it whispered, sounding very much like Adam.

I took a deep breath and walked down the trail. Steps had been cut into the slope, reinforced with branches and rocks. At the foot of the staircase lay a pool of clear water. Brown and white stones littered the bottom, and a slight ripple disturbed the surface.

I plunged both hands into the pool, finding it like liquid ice. My breath came in ragged gasps as I forced the fire into the water.

A mist arose as the hot water steamed in the frigid February air. Perfect cover. I undressed quickly, tossing my clothes into the pool. The hot water unknotted my muscles as the steam cleared my head. I only allowed myself a short minute of relief. Then I scrubbed my skin and my clothes with the soap Josh had given me. It smelled faintly of ashes and pine needles—a soft, soothing smell. I wrung my clothes out and laid them on some nearby rocks to dry. Just as I was rinsing my hair, I heard Adam talking much too loud.

“…take them down. Gabe sorta has a temper…don’t want to interrupt him. You stay here.”

I smiled. His last three words sounded like a command. My smile vanished as I remembered how clear the water was.

“Stop!” I cried out. The scuffling of Adam’s steps stopped.

“Gabe?” Josh called.

I groaned inwardly. “I’m fine,” I called back. “Just gimme a minute. Adam,” I added as an afterthought.

I got out of the pool and wrapped the towel around myself. “Okay,” I whispered and Adam immediately started down the steps again. He appeared only a few seconds later. He kept his eyes on mine, holding the clean pair of pants in front of him like a shield. It might have been funny if I wasn’t naked beneath the thin towel.


And tease...out. Did you see the shield part? Yeah, that comes from my writing rut. Oh well. I like it here.

One more thing: It's my boy kidlet's birthday! He's 11. Only two more years until the teen years. *shudders*

28 comments:

Scott said...

In a world where only men have the ability to control the elements . . .enter Gaby, a girl able to control fire.

Like the concept and the writing. Want. To. Read. More!

S

Lisa and Laura said...

Fab! As always. When does this book start the query rounds? I love the concept and the voice.

JStantonChandler said...

I really like this! Great teaser. Very interesting concept and I'm excited to read more. Happy 11th to your young man!

~Jen

Lizzy said...

You have quite the imagination, Miss Elana! Thanks for posting this--I love it!

And happy bday kidlet! :)

Andrea Cremer said...

Can't wait to see more. Happy B-day to boy kidlet!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ooooo, love this concept and your writing. The scene is set well--good description of her jeans and the trail to the pool. Nice combo of a moment of relief in midst of tenstion.

christine said...

I love this story...but you knew that :D

Tell the kidlet "happy 11th" - and don't worry, teen years aren't that bad - really...

Marybeth Poppins said...

Sounds incredibly intriguing! Sorry about being so close to the teen years...I have about 5 years left myself. Sigh...

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

This sounds like my kind of book! Happy birthday to the kidlet! Enjoy the day!

Abby said...

I love this premise! And, as always, love your writing! Great job! I want to know what happens between Gabby and Josh, or was I misinterpreting the tension there?

Happy birthday to your boy kidlet! Mine just turned 11 a couple of months ago. So scared for the teen years. Bonus: No more pack night. :D

Mandy said...

Woohoo! LOVE it!!! When can I read the whole thing??

Jenna said...

Ooh, I love it! Can't wait to read more. :) Thanks for sharing!

And a big happy birthday to the boy kidlet! I love birthdays.

WindyA said...

I'm with Mandy! Sounds great, as usual!

And happy birthday to the kidlet.

Katie Ganshert said...

Wow - that was really good, Elana. You have a great voice. I like how you describe the ice liquid. I could totally put myself in the character's spot right htere - cold water totally takes your breath away. Happy bday to your son!!

Lazy Writer said...

Awesome! And tell boy kidlet happy b-day! My son is eleven also.

Aaron Polson said...

Ah, the teen years loom in real life and not just a fictional world. Happy birthday kidlet, and nice tease.

Annie Louden said...

I was reading this all slouchy and sleepy-eyed in my chair, and by the end of it, I was sitting up and reading faster.

It really flows.

ali said...

I'm ROFL at the memories of crit group over this one. It's a wonder one of us hasn't spewed our beverage yet.

This is awesome. EH is awesome. YOU. Are Awesome.

I bow down to your greatness. :D

And Happy B-Day to the pre-teen GUY at your house. Fun times.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great teaser! I like the whole concept of the story. Is it done?

L.T. Elliot said...

I want to read more too! Have you finished this?

"The Beast Master" said...

wow, i love your writing style, i wish i had more time to keep reading! i've read a couple of your posts...you're so entertaining!

Jessica said...

Oooh, I love girl masquerading as boy stories! :-) You may be in a rut but your writing isn't. :-)

Happy birthday to the pre-teen!

Danyelle said...

You are totally made of awesome!

Ryan said...

Really enjoyed the section and it sounds similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender and King's Firestarter. It also sounds a bit like Mulan. I think I'll enjoy it when it comes out:)

The only question I had that wasn't answered in the segment was about the guy who could control air. Is it the women in your world that could control the air is it like Scott said and only men have tk control over the air?

B.J. Anderson said...

I really like it! :) And Happy Birthday to your kidlet.

Sarah said...

I loved this! The voice is great and the idea sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read more!

Sun Up said...

One thing I really love about your writing is that the voice comes out with seeming NO effort. And I don't really read YA, but I find myself really wanting to keep reading. I love the concept. I love how she is pretending to be a boy. Weird things like that really get me into a book. Hell, my two main characters are in love with one another and find out that they are sister and brother (or at least they think they are).

I think any agent with half a brain would take this on.

Melanie Avila said...

I love this! I want to read more. :)

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