Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Awen: Book One of the Sacred Oak Series (Chapter 3, Part 1)

If you haven't read the synopsis, beginning prophesy, the prologue and Chapters 1 and 2, you may want to scroll down and read it first to have context for what you are about to partake of. The following is Chapter Three Part One, which I'm releasing for feedback. I hope you enjoy ~ Rebecca
CHAPTER THREE:  The Crescent of Power

The boys burst out of the classroom ready to carry out the plan that had been percolating during lessons with such abandon that they were like two overgrown Labrador puppies bumbling their way towards a body of water--tumbling and tangling their legs as they thundered down the long hallway from their classroom and then down the back flight of stairs to the exit closest to the woods. Before they fought their way out the door, they both grabbed the bundles they had left leaning in the corner before school.

Ian’s mom poked her head out of the room where she was ironing and urged the boys to “slow down” and “mind the pictures on the wall.” Before she could stop them though, the boys were outside and had already transformed into Bran the Blessed and the great King Arthur.

“To the fort! Defend the fort!” King Arthur, who looked a lot like Reese, shouted.

“Argh!” added Bran the Blessed, who happened to look just like Ian.

The boys zipped into the woods full throttle, knowing that they had a whole arsenal of weapons awaiting them. They had piles of rocks for launching, crudely hand-carved swords and other make-shift weaponry collected in the previous weeks. Their prized possessions were, however, carefully wrapped for safety and hanging over their shoulders.

During lessons, Mr. McBee had taught them to make what had quickly become their prized possessions: Welsh longbows, formed in the way of their ancestors that had lived hundreds and hundreds of years before them. The boys learned to fashion the weapons from Yew trees they had personally chosen, cut down and soaked until the wood was limber enough to be shaped. The final touch to their artistic masterpiece was whittled knots on the face of their bows that interlocked in never-ending symmetry--a Celtic knot.

The woods grew thicker and the area slightly darker as the two boys trudged deeper into it. The boys took a wide, arcing path to their destination, avoiding a bizarre clearing in the woods of Winter Haven that some of the townsfolk called the “Ring of Power.” Also known as the “Crescent of Power,” the area was a semicircle surrounded by huge oak trees. According to the endless stories told by locals about the mysterious area, the center was flat and covered in a matt of thick grass.

“It’s too bad we aren’t allowed to go play in there,” Ian said with jagged breath from running.

“My dad would tan both our hides if he ever found out you were thinking that. You know that,” Reese snorted.

“I’m just saying…” Ian started.

“And besides, you should know better than anyone that it’s haunted. Your own ancestor Ifan Jones disappeared from that very spot never to be seen again,” Reese interrupted with a note of authority.

“No one knows for sure, Reese. Trees and open spaces can’t be haunted,” spat Ian, not liking how his friend recited the local folklore as though it were a proven fact.

The two boys stopped running to catch their breath and walked toward their fort a bit further into the woods.

“You know the stories--everyone does. All the druids, bards and other folks with all sorts of magical powers and the supernatural creatures of the wooded world met here because it was a special place of power. It’s connected to the otherworld,” Reese sniffed and raised his chin in typical Williams fashion, as though he knew exactly what he was talking about and had been there firsthand.

Ian decided that Reese never knew when enough was enough or how close he was to getting a good nose bleed from Bran the Blessed, who was feeling more like “Bran the Bullied.”

 Next time... to be continued Chapter 3 Part 2.

Rebecca Dunning is an award winning writer who lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and three children. She not only loves to read and write but also enjoys hiking, climbing mountains 14,000 feet or higher, traveling the world and about anything else out-of-doors. Rebecca is the author of two children's books:The Real-Life Princess and Beetle Hunter.

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