Yet Another Book Excerpt for the Story With No Name

Post: Chapter 12.

Reasoning: I’m alone and I’m bored.

Hey, so…That excerpt I posted on New Year’s Eve? This won’t make much sense if you haven’t read it. Actually, this is a while later in the story and a lot of things have happened that I’m not going to even begin trying to explain.

Long story short, though, all you need to know to read this is the information from “Second Book Excerpt! (Untitled)” and a few things I’ll go through very quickly.

  1. The general lied to Cowen when he asked him about his real name, telling him it was Taylor
  2. Ms. Stone is a woman who runs the orphanage Cowen spent most of his life at. It’s called Stone Family Orphanage; I know, I’m very creative.
  3. General Gonosz went to that orphanage early on in the story to get some information on Cowen, but he didn’t really find anything important except for his birth date and little things like that.
  4. In addition, I’m a teenager trying to write in the point of view of a full grown man, and I don’t know how that’s going for me.

I guess I’m just putting this up because I had fun with this chapter, and also, I don’t have much to do at the moment. Here it is-ta-dah.

After the past few days, Gonosz felt the need to just go take a walk. He wanted to clear his head. Once he got outside, the fresh air greeted him, rolling by him and instantly making him feel better. He looked over to the nearby village, and figured he had time to go into town. The general really had to get away from the place.

Where he walked, everyone’s heads turned. All of the villagers did their best to put as much distance in between them and Gonosz as possible. Some people went into buildings and shut the doors, others made sure to take wide detours around him, and many adults shielded their children behind themselves. In addition, Gonosz felt as if the town had become much more silent after his arrival. Not very calming in the least bit.

Gonosz slipped into an alley. He wasn’t going to be able to go through with all of this, not if he was walking through town to take his mind off of things. After a few moments of hesitance, Gonosz took off his mask, and slipped it into his inside jacket pocket. He checked his clothes; average enough. There was a lump where the wooden mask stuck through but no one would suspect what it actually was.

The general went out of the alley and looked around. The villagers were still a little on edge, looking around as if wondering where the dreaded General Gonosz had gone, but none of them paid any attention to Gonosz himself. With a small smile tugging at his lips, Gonosz walked around the village like a normal person with the wind blowing in his face like it hadn’t for years.

For the most part, Gonosz glanced into the windows of all the shops to keep occupied and occasionally rolled his eyes at the daily tasks of the townspeople. Everything seemed to be going fine and then suddenly a woman shot out of a building and randomly grabbed his wrist.

“Please, sir, I’m in dire need of assistance!” she yelped, pulling him inside. Gonosz stumbled through the doorway, looking around. A sense of familiarity settled over him. He was in the Stone Family Orphanage and, yes, there was Ms. Stone in the flesh beside him.

The caretaker winced. “I’m so sorry to bother you, sir, but there are too many of them and none of the other staff are here and-”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Gonosz said, holding up his hands, still disoriented. “Slow down. Too many of who?”

“Children! I can’t handle them all on my own. Please, sir, please look after some of the kids for a moment and I promise I will pay you afterwards.”

Gonosz paled. This was what he got for strolling around without his warrior mask. Out of all the people in town, he happened to be the one walking outside of the orphanage when Ms. Stone rushed outside. The atmosphere there still bothered him, and it seemed to be closing in on him. Gonosz took a few steps back towards the door.

“Miss, I’m afraid I am the wrong person for the job,” he told Ms. Stone, reaching blindly for the handle. “I don’t really do children.”

“They’re no trouble at all, it will only take a second of your time,” Ms. Stone rambled.

“You’d really trust to put a bunch of kids in the hands of a stranger you picked up off of the street?”

Ms. Stone hesitated, then smiled weakly. “Well, I mean, you can’t be worse than a palace soldier, right?”

“Ha. Right.”

There was a sound like something smashing in the back room, causing both Gonosz and Ms. Stone to jump. Ms. Stone was obviously desperate. She turned back to Gonosz and clasped his hands, looking at him pleadingly.

“I really need help. Please, sir. All you need to do is watch them until I find some of the little rascals that have run off. Please?”

Gonosz opened his mouth, about a hundred replies racing through his brain. Most of them weren’t very kind. The one that ended up coming out, though, wasn’t rude and wasn’t one he had been expecting.

“Alright,” he said to Ms. Stone. She beamed at him and led him through another door before he had time to change his mind. Gonosz found himself in a room full of children from ages five to about sixteen. Ms. Stone clapped her hands, and soon all eyes were on the general.

“Everyone,” Ms. Stone said with a warm smile. “This is…”

“Taylor,” Gonosz supplied. If it worked with Cowen, it would work then, too.

“Taylor. He’ll be watching you while I go get Tina, Carter, and Ally. Be good, okay?”

“Yes, Ms. Stone,” the kids chorused.

Ms. Stone turned to leave, smiling at Gonosz and mouthing, Thank you. Soon enough, Gonosz was alone with approximately thirty children, all of them still staring at him. Gonosz straightened his shoulders, sat on a seat in the room, and stared back. No way he was going to let a bunch of little tikes bother him.

Slowly, some of the older kids peeled their eyes off of him and continued chatting with each other over several varying topics. The younger ones sat down on the carpeted floor with their eyes riveted on him. Gonosz cleared his throat, giving them pointed looks that in his opinion were quite clear: Go back to what you were doing or else there is a spanking in your future.

This didn’t have quite the effect he wanted, though, so he chose to directly speak to them. “Is there something you lot need?”

“I’ve never seen you in town before,” a nine year old said.

“I’m new,” Gonosz answered, mildly irritated. “Go play.”

“Where are you from?” asked another kid.

Gonosz chose a kingdom at random. “Teiallha.”

“Where’s that?”

“It’s down south. Is there anything you want to do besides play twenty questions with me?” Gonosz was beginning to wonder if all of the orphans from that place were the same level of annoying.

“What’s your favourite colour?” asked a shy little girl, barely making eye contact. Gonosz groaned internally.

“Twenty questions it is then. For the sake of forwarding this conversation, red, I guess. Anyone else have something they just absolutely need to know?”

Sarcasm was apparently lost on the group. A little boy raised his hand. “Can you tell us a story?” Gonosz paused, frowning.

“A story?”

“Yeah!” The first kid put her chin on her fist. “Pretty please tell us a story.”

Right. A story. Why not? It wasn’t as if he was a cold-blooded general who didn’t specialize in telling fairy-tales to little children. Gonosz looked around as if searching for a way out and his eyes settled on a stuffed dog clutched tightly in the shy girls hands.

“What’s the dog’s name?” Gonosz asked, pointing at the plush toy. The little girl looked startled, lowering her head to study her dog.

“Anna,” she squeaked, holding the stuffed animal up in front of her like she was shielding herself from anyone’s gaze.  

“Anna,” Gonosz repeated, all the while thinking to himself, What the heck do I think I’m doing. “Well, it just so happens that I knew a dog called Anna like yours back in Teiallha.”

His listeners all watched him with wide eyes, excited to hear a story. Gonosz just hoped he could tell a valid one, or at least part of a valid one, before Ms. Stone got back. How long did it take for someone to find three kids in a village that small?

“She lived with her owners; Ben and Sarah. They always took little Anna out on walks around the countryside, letting her run through…Fields. With flowers, and sunshine.”

This is horrible. I can’t believe they’re eating up this garbage, Gonosz thought, amazed.

“Life was good. Anna had everything a pup could ever want. But, one day, when she was exploring out in the woods on her own, something terrible happened.” Gonosz paused for dramatic affect and let his audience gasped. “Anna was chasing a, uh, butterfly or something when she came to a large stream. The water was fast and always moving. Anna thought to herself, I’m a long way from Ben and Sarah and I should get a drink before I go looking for them.

“Anna leaned over to sip some of the water. She was very small, though, and she slipped. Anna fell into the water and got carried away through the forest, away from her owners.”

One of the kids cringed. “Oh no.”

“Was she okay?”

“What happened?!”

Gonosz held up his hands to calm them down. “She found herself far outside of the kingdom. Anna was even more lost than she had been before. She tried howling, barking, and trotting along the edge of the stream to get someone to help or to find her way back, but nothing worked. She was stuck.

“Anna spent the next few days alone, sleeping in the shelter of a small cave and eating whatever food she could find. A little kitten came along and found her-”

“What was the kitten’s name?”

“Bob,” Gonosz said, saying the first name that came to mind. Why did it have to have a name, exactly? Before any more questions could be asked, Gonosz rushed on. “Bob took Anna in, helped her into a nearby village where the kitten’s owners were. She was given proper food and a place to sleep, then the owners of the ca-Bob put up lost dog flyers.

“Ben and Sarah came to find Anna and took her home, and they all lived happily ever after.”

Gonosz cringed at his own storytelling and waited for a booing or rotten tomatoes or something. However, the next thing he knew, the children were clapping their hands enthusiastically and cheering for Anna’s return to Teiallha. They chattered to each other about whether or not all of the stuffed animals had real life counterparts that went on adventures, or why the kitten’s owners chose to name him Bob. The group got into a very detailed conversation about this and Gonosz couldn’t help but shake his head in exasperation.

To his relief, Ms. Stone walked back in along with three more orphans, who were red in the face. The caretaker stared at the kids gathered around Gonosz, while he smiled in relief and got up.

“Glad you found them,” he said, trying to slip out of the room. “I guess I’ll be going now.”

“Bye, Taylor!” exclaimed one of the children, waving to him.

“Thanks for the story!”

  Gonosz frowned in confusion. He brought up his hand and gave a small wave back as Ms. Stone scolded Ally, Carter and Tina, telling them to go to their room. She closed the door to the room Gonosz had been in a second ago, then faced him.

“Thank you so much for watching them. They seemed to like you,” she said, fishing around in a bag for money to pay him with. Ms. Stone brought out some coins but Gonosz shook his head.

“Don’t bother, it was no problem.”

Ms. Stone hesitated, nodding to him. “Thank you again, Taylor. You know…Something about you is familiar. Have I met you before?”

“I don’t think so,” Gonosz lied, opening the front door. “Goodbye and, ah, good luck with those kids.” Ms. Stone chuckled.

“Goodbye,” she echoed, closing the door for Gonosz once he was outside. He studied the orphanage for a moment, then began heading back to the palace, the mask heavy in his pocket.

(Okay, I enjoyed putting Gonosz in that situation far too much. And the dog story is credibly horrible. Yay.)

2 thoughts on “Yet Another Book Excerpt for the Story With No Name”

    1. I don’t know why I’m replying to this since I talk to you on a regular basis, but it makes me feel like I’m getting something accomplished on this blog. Forevermore is so far 46335 words long, with a hundred and nine pages. And I have a good idea of how I’m going to wrap it up. Buuuutttt, I’ve hit a major writer’s block apparently and it doesn’t look like even the first draft of it is going to be done soon. I won’t give up on it, though, I promise.

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