My novel, Underworld

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My novel, Underworld Empty My novel, Underworld

Post  stargatemaster on Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:50 pm

By: Zachary Goodwin


She was out by dusk. As usual. She sent out her echoes. Flaring her large ears, she waited for them to return. They did. She saw everything with immense clarity. The veins on the leaves, the grooves in the tree bark, and the moths. There were literally thousands of them that night. Good thing to, as she needed to eat. She wasn’t that hungry, but she had to get fat for the upcoming migration. She wasn’t the greatest flyer. Her wings were long and narrow, making her feel clumsy in the forest. Zara was indeed weird looking.
She had large orange yellow ears, a large nose leaf that ended in a blade like structure, and two foot long orange wings. Or she would when she was grown up, like her mother. Her fur was a deep gray color that ended with a silver tip. She hoped that she was going to be that big, but she knew it was close to impossible. She was a runt, though only she and her parents knew that. For now, anyways. Nobody was sure she would survive, but she endured. Upon drinking her mother’s milk, she grew stronger. A week ago she took her first flight around The Cavern.
She saw a clearwing moth hanging on a branch not to far away. Swooping down upon it, she caught it with ease. She thought it funny, how she was a runt, yet a good hunter and flyer. Her ears picked up a familiar sound. It was a moth. But the largest moth she’d ever seen! It was brown with other colours mixed in. She saw the big fat red body. She dove, and again caught it with ease. This one had a strange taste on it. More so than the mosquitoes.
She soon decided that is was time to rest. She saw a spruce tree nearby. Planting both of her rear claws into the soft bark, she swung upside down. Her keen nose picked up the familiar sent of her sister, Deruma. They were twins, but Deruma was the more popular of the two of them. They were both only seconds older then each other, though it scarcely felt like it. She wrapped her yellow wings around her body, and shivered slightly. It wasn’t a nice feeling, but it passed, as usual. She saw a slight mist forming around her tree. Good! she thought. She liked the sent of the mist. She looked to her left, and saw that a leaf had some dewdrops on it. She crawled over, and lapped them up thirstily.
“ Why don’t you drink from the stream?” asked Deruma, curiously.
“ You don’t know what’s underneath the surface!”
“ Sure you do, fish!”
“ Whatever!” she replied, rolling her eyes in the other direction.
“ What’s wrong with the stream, Zara? Nobody ever got swallowed by a fish, so why worry?” said Deruma.
“ It could happen, you know!” said Zara, flapping her wings impatiently.
“ I don’t see it happening, we’re way bigger than they are! And besides, there are some bats that eat the fish!” Deruma said.
Zara snorted “ Yeah, right! They’re way to big!”
“ You know what, I’m not going to argue with you!”
With that, Deruma flew off. Probably looking for Orion, Zara thought ruefully. She didn’t like him; she thought he was way to bossy.
“ She needs to relax more!” said a voice behind Zara.
Zara looked behind her and saw Thane flying in. She shuffled over to make room for him. He landed, and swinging upside down, joined her on the branch.
“ I have news on your mother’s health!” he said.
“ How is she?” Zara asked anxiously.
“ She’s dead! I’m sorry!” he said. He looked away, as though ashamed.
“Does Deruma know?” asked Zara.
Thane nodded. Zara could feel the hot tears falling down her face, matting her fur.
“ Are you gonna be ok?” asked Thane, nuzzling her check.
Zara nodded, but she felt ashamed. She never cried before. Not even when her father died. His name was Rowan. He got eaten by the owls, who had a fierce reputation for eating bats. Her mother’s name was Nova. The colony was grouped around The Cavern as a harem, where there was only a handful of males and a lot of females. When they grew up, some of the males would stay behind, while most of them would go out and start harems of their own. But during the migration, they all came together, and flew, as a mass of thousands, south. Then, during the migration back north, they split up again.
For all Zara knew, her mother had eaten a beetle last night. And it turned out to be poisonous. Nova didn’t stand a chance. The beetle it’s self was black with three red dots on it’s back. She said was fine this dusk, but Zara had a feeling that Nova knew what was going to happen. She started to sob uncontrollably. Thane patted her gently with his right wing tip. Zara liked the comfort. She liked Thane. More so than any of the other newborns. He looked at her and nodded.
“Should we go back to The Cavern?” he asked her solemnly.
Zara nodded, and they flew back, never straying far from each other.

She awoke to find her mother awake beside her. Something was troubling her, but Zara couldn’t guess what it could be.
“Are you ok mom?” she asked. She knew her mother might die, but the thought of death terrified her. There was a strong bond between them that couldn’t be broken. Not even by death.
Her mother nodded. “I’m fine, Zara!” she whispered, barely audible.
“ Please don’t die mom!” she said to Nova, voice rising. She looked away, feeling childish. She always had trouble holding her tongue.
“I’ll be fine, Zara! And please don’t yell, or you’ll wake Deruma!”
“It’s too late for that!” Deruma said, rustling her wings.
“Well, now that you two are awake, there is something that I need to discuss with the two of you!”
“Are we in trouble?”
“No, I just want to talk, now silence, Zara, or you’ll wake the entire harem!”
“Ok, sorry mom.”
“You must prepare yourselves for my death! I want-”
“You said you weren’t gonna die!” said Deruma.
“Shush, Deruma!”
“Don’t you tell me to shush, Zara. Only mom can do that!” said Deruma.
“She can, Deruma! If and when I die, as she is the oldest, she’s in charge!” Nova looked at Zara. “ There is nothing to smirk about! It’s a big responsibility. That means not only taking care of Deruma, but also our part of the harem.”
“What?” asked Zara, she heard what Nova said perfectly, but it was all new to her. All of this responsibility. She wasn’t ready for it. She knew what she had to do.
“ I don’t want this, Deruma could have it.”
“I’m not ready for it! I’m just a newborn!”
“I’m sorry, Zara. But it’s the way it’s always been, the way of the harem! As chief elder of the harem, I must appoint a successor, my eldest child. And that’s you!”

Zara woke up with a start. She was breathing heavily, fur beaded with sweat. She looked over at Deruma. She was awake, staring at her.
“Dreaming about mom?”
Zara nodded. She didn’t know if she could fall asleep again, but within the hour, sleep finally came.

Chapter 2- Exile and Death Throes

Zara was flying through the forest, with Thane at her side. Just weeks ago, she had given birth to twins. Thane was now a proud father. She had a son, and named him Viren. Her daughter she called Nova, after her mother. Thane approved of both names, and was a good mate. As far as she knew, her species mated for life. Her younger sister, Deruma, who also had a son, (his name was Rowan after their father), was keeping a careful eye over them as she and Thane went out to hunt.
She knew that they were old enough to hunt on their own, however their hunting skills needed some work. That much was obvious. As the chief elder of the harem, she had to make some difficult choices. The most difficult being whether or not to migrate this year. She chose not to, so the harem stayed. The weather was warm, and the food was plentiful. So, why not, she asked herself.
“ Race you to the stream!” Thane called out behind him.
“You’re on!”
Zara was lucky, she knew a short cut. She flew by him, gaining speed. She had time, so she plucked up a few insects flying around the base of a redwood tree nearby. She roosted, and fell asleep. She awoke hours later. It was dawn.
“Well, look who’s awake!” said Thane, as he nuzzled her. “ Ready to go back?”
Zara nodded, and they flew back to The Cavern.
She wondered how long she was asleep, and she asked her mate.
“Not long, only a couple of hours.”
When they got there, there was a flurry of wings, as Nova and Viren greeted their mother and father. During the day, they roosted side by side. It was just then that Zara noticed a problem with her daughter. Her fur was white, not gray. She had pink eyes, ears, nose and wings. A true albino. She was worried, she might get shunned. Then she noticed another difference. A big difference. She had a band. Barely noticeable against her pure white fur, the band shone its silvery sheen on her mother’s face. She woke Nova.
“ Where did you get the band?’ she asked sternly.
“ I was out hunting by the river and humans caught me in a net. I tried to fight, but they banded me, and let me go. Why?” she was worried. She had every right to be.
“ The bands are cursed.” Zara whispered.
“What?” Nova shrieked, waking up half of the harem.
“Nova, shush! You’re waking everyone up!”
“How can I be cursed. It’s just a piece of metal!” she yelled.
Suddenly, a large shadow overcome them. With a whooshing sound, three females landed beside her. Zara gave Nova a stern look.
“What is the meaning of this?” asked one of them.
“She just got banded!”
“Are you trying to poison this harem? The bands are cursed! If you weren’t the chief elder, Zara, your daughter would be exiled!”
Nova noticed this female had different fur. It was gray, not white, like hers.
“Stop staring!” whispered Zara.
The other females stopped their whispering.
“ I, Aresca, exile Nova, as so not to poison this colony!”
“What? She’ll never survive!”
“So be it!” with that, Aresca and the other two females flew off, leaving a large male to drive Nova away.
A month later, and still no word of her daughter. She didn’t know if she was alive or dead. That night she had nightmares. In her dreams, she saw her daughter being eaten alive. Eaten alive by some giant species of bat. She woke suddenly, and somehow she knew. Nova was dead.
Four days later, and she still didn’t hunt. She just didn’t have the appetite. She could feel herself getting weaker, sicker. She would only drink water that Thane brought in puddles on a large leaf. She cried herself to sleep at dawn, and wanted no company. Not even her mate and son. During the night, she could only think. Reflect on what her life was like. Depression and sickness had finally taken its toll on Zara. She went to sleep that dawn, huddling with her family, and closed her eyes for the last time.
Thane immediately noticed something was wrong. It was twilight, and Zara still didn’t wake. She was usually up by now. She started to smell, too. She was usually very clean. He nudged her head with his wingtip, causing her claws to release, and her to plummet to the ground. The impact sounded as a thump. Dust clouded as Thane lit, trying to land beside her. It was near impossible, but he could tell from this angle that she was dead. It was impossible. She was there during all of his young life. She was his friend, his mate. And now she was gone, forever. He could not bare it, to see his mate in this condition. It was just too much. He didn’t know what he would do without her. He knew what he had to do. Go and get her. Deeper into the cave, there was a tunnel, just big enough for a bat. He knew by instinct where it lead. The underworld. What would he tell Viren. The upcoming conversation between him and his son was too much to bear. He had nightmares that night of his daughter’s death. That must’ve caused her depression! he thought gloomily. It would’ve been depressing to anyone. But for her to take it seriously? It wasn’t her personality to do so. He wouldn’t find another mate. He was only loyal to Zara. And Deruma didn’t know. Not yet, anyways. What should he tell her?
Zara woke to find herself in an unfamiliar place. She was frightened. Disoriented, she lit from the cave in which she was roosting. She circled, still confused. Who was she? She saw immediately that she was in a lush forest. She noticed a familiar bat following her. She looked just like her, but smaller. Her fur was pure white; she had pink eyes, ears and wings. And she had a band. She was an albino.
“What’s wrong with your fur?” she asked the other bat.
“ I dunno, just different, I guess.” She answered, shrugging.
“What’s that on your forearm?”
“It’s a band. You don’t remember anything?”
Zara shook her head, not knowing who this other bat was, she didn’t even know who she was. It was very confusing, very fast.
“My name is Nova. I’m your daughter.”
“I don’t have a daughter!” Zara said, almost yelling.
“Yes, you do. You named me after my grandmother, Nova. She’s down here, mom.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are.” Said Zara, incredulous.
“Yes! You do!” said Nova. Zara looked at her face, and she saw tears matting her fur.
She walked over, and patted her gently with her wing tip. Nova shuddered, as though it was surreal. Zara could feel it too. She was supposed to know her, but didn’t. she didn’t even know who she was. It was strange to her, but at the same time, completely normal. She never knew who here mother was.
“I’ll take you to grandma.” Said Nova, sniffling.
Zara nodded. Together they flew. For over an hour, they flew through the lightening sky. Dawn. They must roost soon.
“Almost there.” shouted Nova from ahead.
Strange though it was, this place felt like home. It truly did. But Zara knew it was a lie. She was dead, and nothing could change that. She roosted beside Nova.
“Wait here.”
Nova flew off into the distance. Zara felt a pang of longing as her daughter flew. Wait, she didn’t have a daughter. Did she? Before long, she saw images flash before her in her mind’s eye.
First: the harem, roosting in a large cavern.
Second: another familiar bat- Thane.
Third: Her own mother dying.
Fourth: Giving birth to twins. She did have a daughter. And a son.
Nova returned. With her own mother. Zara’s face lit with her return. Without restraining herself, she flew towards her mother.
“Zara?” asked her mother.
“Yes mother, it is me.” She looked at the younger Nova. “Thank you Nova. For helping me remember!”
She saw her mother’s face soften. With relief, hers did to. Her mother nuzzled her gently. It was the same affection she remembered giving Nova. She was a bit to hard on Viren, but that seemed like a lifetime ago. She wanted to go back, and life again, if that were possible.

Chapter 3-Alone

It felt as though she was being watched. She was alone. All alone, with no mother, father or friends. Stupid piece of metal, she raged. She knew she wouldn’t last long by herself. She had to find another colony, somewhere. Or at least a friend. It was so lonely out here. So quiet. She could hear herself thinking. Her heart thudding.
She didn’t like it. As an albino, she had certain disadvantages, like being unable to camouflage herself. She stood out.
Looking over her shoulder, she saw a large bat looking at her, eying her hungrily. She felt nervous. She looked away, but looked back, the creature was still staring. He looked terribly thin. She heard his wings creaking as he took flight. She took a quick look back and confirmed her fear- he was coming for her. She felt his echoes pierce her fur. In her mind’s eye, she saw twin rows of large teeth closing around her neck.
She flew as fast as she can. He was almost upon her, when a larger bat swooped in between them. His face looked fearsome, lips curled back in a permanent snarl showed teeth more fearsome than the cannibal’s. He nipped the bar’s ear, making him snap back in pain. She looked back again, and saw the bat’s ear had gone. He then flew away.
Relieved, she flew to a tree and roosted, the other bat followed.
“ Thank you!” she said to him, out of breath. The other bat nodded.
“Why are you all alone? What’s your name?”
She looked away.
“My name is Nova. I’m here because I got exiled from being banded.”
The other bat looked at the band with a stern look. He nodded and showed her his left wing. He had a band as well.
“We as well,” he said.
She was surrounded by banded bats. The sight overwhelmed her. A young spotted bat flew to her.
“ Hi, my name is Ura. Welcome to the colony!”
She felt overjoyed. At last she was welcome. At last…………..

She awoke. It was strange, she was right there. As if she lived it again, yet she knew she was dead. She began to cry, but, as she was dead, she had no tear ducts. Her sobs were dry. She flew, away, she had to get away. From the pain, the pain she endured. The night she died still haunted her in her sleep. Though it has been many months since the event, she remembered it like it was yesterday. Each time she pictured it, it was so vivid in her mind’s eye that she believed it true.
She found a place. It was warm, and comfortable. She roosted, it felt like home did. Warm, friendly. And safe. Within the hour, sleep came to her again. it was a restless one. She had the dream…….
She awoke at twilight. It seemed to be her time to become active. She slept beside Ura, and another young bat whose name she had forgotten. His face scared her. His lips were curled back in a permanent snarl, showing fearsome teeth clearly made for ripping flesh. Not bat flesh, but the flesh of fish.
Fish and small rodents. But still, even though they were friends, there was still the chance he could kill her. Nova restlessly rustled her wings. The sound woke the other bat.
“Not much sleep, huh?” he asked her.
Nova shook her head. She seemed delirious. She had to eat something. Something. But what, she knew not. Did she eat fish, like he? No, she felt her tiny teeth with her tongue. No, not fish. A small moth fluttered by. She knew what to do.
She lit, a rush of adrenalin. She shot her hunting echoes at the tiny creature.
She could feel the adrenalin fading, as she became exhausted from the chase. She put off a last minute burst of speed and caught it. She landed beside the other bat. The fish eater. Yes, fish. Not bats. Ok, now she was reassured. But still. There was something about him she found unerving. She did not like that feeling. She needed some water. She needed space!
She suddenly remembered she had the moth trapped in her jaws. She could feel it’s fluttering wings, beating, trying to get free. She crunched down with her jaws, and saw the wings flutter down to the ground. She felt the ecstasy of the taste., the crunch of the body. Moths were the best food she ever had. She snapped back and found she was gaining speed. Too much. Too fast. She saw the tree, and it was over before she knew what had happened.
She awoke, not knowing what had happened. The band on her forearm glistened in the moonlight. In her haste, she tried to bite it off.

Zara saw her daughter try to bite the thing off of her forearm.

“ I don’t think that’s gonna work!” she said, trying to be helpful.

“ Yeah?” said Nova, a hint of attitude in her voice.

“ No, I don’t. I think that if the humans wanted you to take it off, they would’ve put it on looser.”

She saw Nova’s forearm start to bleed. The red liquid started to pour out thick and hot.
“Now see what you have done?” said Zara, matter of factly.

She flew over, and started licking her wound. At that moment, Nova recoiled.

“Mom, I got it!”
With that, Zara sighed and nodded. Her daughter clearly had everything under control.

Last edited by stargatemaster on Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:02 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post  admin on Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:53 pm

1- 10

My vote would be......

20/10 Very very well maybe if you keep on making novels, and people notice you could be a author of this novel. Very Happy
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Post  Funnycrater on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:49 am

Very well written, I haven't got far but will be sure to read more =) keep writing!The only thing is it jumps a bit here and there but still nice job, and you should add your books/novels on this site too.Its a book site so you should get lots of fans like me =).

Good Work~

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Post  jdogg on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:17 pm

thats alot....Good job..

You might even become a writer Very Happy


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Post  admin on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Actually Funnycrater, that is a smart idea I'll make a book/novel later.
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Post  jdogg on Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:29 pm



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