This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)
This is a snippet from my yet-to-be-completed NaNoWriMo story, Black Ink Plague, a fantasy about inkbloods, people who were left at the roots of a magic tree as babies, and can use charcoal from those trees to write and cast spells.
(I’ve moved on to another scene now.) The main character, an inkblood called Liar, who works as hired killer, is out looking to harvest wood to make her ink, and has asked a tree to cut a branch from it, and having thanked the tree, a leaf drops onto her open hand.
Turning the leaf over in her hands, she walked through the forest, stopping to place the leaf at the base of a sapling, and told the little tree, “Grow big and strong.”
Through the long trip back to the city, she couldn’t help but turn over questions she’d worried over many times before. What happened to the babies that vanished or died? No one knew, because any attempt to spy on a baby left on a tree’s roots meant that nothing happened. The trees, however they knew such things, would not tolerate interference.
For a moment, Liar felt hemmed in, surrounded by towering giants that peered down at her with thousands of eyes. The rich smell of loam, the cacophony of forest creatures competing to be heard over each other, the breeze sliding across her skin—she felt cast adrift, floating, and lost.
Something snapped a branch behind her, and she whirled around.
* * *
Black Ink Plague is set in a world similar to ours, with the addition of the Rakau tree, which has magical properties–charcoal or ink from the tree can be used to cast spells. However, only inkbloods, babies who were left overnight at a Rakau tree’s roots on their first full moon, can harvest and use the tree. The price they pay for their magic is that the ink infects them, staining their skin and eventually forming words from the spells they cast on their skin. These words change their lives in unexpected ways.