For your reading enjoyment, I have included the second chapter of The Necromancer's Scroll. I hope it catches your interest and that you leave me a short note in my guest book, tell everyone about it, and go out and buy my books! :)
The Necromancer's Scroll - chapter 2
The girls were brimming with questions. Did Carry know about this? Should they show it to someone? Should they tell their parents? Should they show a museum? Should they keep their mouths shut? Quynn had immediately thought of her other love, her love of all things Medieval. She enjoyed role-playing games, fantasy novels, and the art and history of the time. Could these words be what she thought they might be? Quynn shook her head. I’ve been reading too much, she thought.
When Carry at last decided the tack room was usable again, she thanked Quynn and Kaysie and told the girls that she would continue cleaning. Soon, their mothers drove up the long dusty road to the stable, and the two girls ran to beg them before either of the women could get out of their respective vehicles to let them spend the night together. Fortunately, it was a Saturday, so it didn't arouse any suspicions. They always begged to sleep over on the weekends.
"Thanks, Mom! You’re the best!" Quynn said, giving her mother a tight hug and prompting the older woman to roll her eyes and smile.
"Thank you, Mrs. Dornoch!" Kaysie looked so grateful that Quynn’s mother gave her daughter’s long time best friend a curious glance, but it ended in an amused smile.
Quynn and Kaysie got out of the old truck and ran to Quynn's room in a flurry of red and brown hair and dirty blue jeans. "You’re welcome," came the reply, after a decisive thud of the door slamming shut rang throughout the old farmhouse.
Fantasy novels and thick books on medieval history and art lined Quynn’s bookshelves. Knights and dragons flew on her walls around long State Fair ribbons and trophies won from past horse shows. Detailed wooden horses stood among pewter dragons and painted figurines of elves, dwarves, and human mages. A small teddy bear sat on her bed, the little stars on its black robe glowing faintly in the shade next to another bear wrapped in a white velvet cloak with silver runes stitched all over the cloth. She had painted a castle above her bed, gray stones climbing upwards to the ceiling, flags floating in an imaginary breeze.
The girls practically flew to Quynn's heavy wooden desk and unrolled the leather-bound paper. The symbols and strange words hadn't changed. The intricate ink drawing of a tower along the left side and the stone balcony that seemed to draw your eye towards it still looked as if the ink hadn’t quite dried. Other strange symbols were drawn around the paper, with delicate thick and thin strokes making the design and words look like an ancient illumination that the scribe never colored. Kaysie decided to try and pronounce the words. Sometimes things made more sense if you read them aloud, she reasoned. "’Shieer-ak, tenkits, um, drades kelmond, shehanu, jeras, lefvax.’ No, that made no more sense that it did earlier today. That tower sure is pretty, though. I'd love to be able to draw like that."
"Me, too," said Quynn appreciatively, as she looked at the words over Kaysie's shoulder. Slowly, she mouthed them until she had a good idea on how they were pronounced. Out loud, she tried, "Shirak tenkets drades kelmund sh’kanu jeeras--"
A strange tingling sensation waved over Quynn’s body, a feeling of power and energy. It felt right, somehow. Suddenly, there was a knock on Quynn's bedroom door. The two startled and pushed their treasure under a pile of school papers and sketches just as the door flung open. The feeling passed, like a sudden downpour ending as quickly as it started. It was Carry. She looked as if she had spent more time in the old tack room than Kaysie and Quynn. Her brown hair flew in every direction as if she had been in a windstorm, and dust covered her jeans and old t-shirt, giving the whole ensemble a brown tint. Carry's black boots were looking a bit grayer, though they left no trail from the front door to Quynn's bedroom. The girls tried to look like they were talking about the muscular men displayed in one of Kaysie’s teen magazines that was on top of the pile of stuff on Quynn's desk. "What's up? Justin is cuter," Kaysie said, giving Carry a quick wave.
"Hi, Carry. No, Kevin is hotter," Quynn countered.
"Did you find anything unusual while you were cleaning?" Carry interrupted, trying to hide the urgency in her voice.
Quynn shrugged. "I think I may have found some new spider species fossilized in the dust," she said helpfully, "And a good science experiment on fuzzy mold and hay."
Carry forced a smile. "Nothing overly important-looking?"
"I didn't throw away any of the saddles or bridles or halters, if that’s what you mean. I figured maybe some could be salvageable for a museum or something," Quynn said innocently.
Quynn knew Carry was hiding something. She felt it in her gut. She was pretty sure Carry knew something of the scroll, but for now, Quynn was determined to keep her mouth shut about their find. Kaysie scooted back onto the desk, trying innocently to cover up any leather corners that may have been trying to peak out from under the pile of papers. Carry saw her move out of the corner of her eye, but pretended not to care. "Girls! Dinner's ready!"
Kaysie sighed inwardly. Mrs. Dornoch to the rescue, and she didn't even know it. "I'll see you two tomorrow," Carry said, trying not to sound annoyed.
The next day, the two were scheduled for a long trail ride, a six-mile horseback ride around the stable's forested acres of dirt paths. Early in the morning, the two slid into old riding boots, jeans, and old dark t-shirts, eager to get started, despite the late-night gossip-feast. The scroll had not been mentioned, as if talking about it would make the paper disappear or lose its mystery.
Kaysie packed a small backpack with some snacks, bottled water, and a couple of apples for the horses. Kaysie barely remembered to stuff the scroll into the bottom of the backpack before she ran downstairs to leave. Mrs. Dornoch was leaning on the front door, her right foot barely touching the ground, twirling her keys. Quynn was draped backwards over the arm of the couch, feet hanging loosely in the air, and looking questionably comfortable. Her green eyes were completely shut. "Time to go!" her mom said cheerfully, in the direction of her daughter.
"Unnghh," she said, rolling over on the cushions and burying her head.
Kaysie laughed, grabbed her best friend by the hands, and pulled. Kaysie actually went to the gym to work out, unlike Quynn, who just took along a book. Kaysie’s muscles barely strained as Quynn went flying towards the door. "Augh!" she laughed, "I’m coming! I’m coming!"
Mrs. Dornoch only laughed as her daughter whined all the way to the old truck.
Kaysie loved the trip to the stables. The country calmed her. Every turn and twist of the kudzu covered the trees like waves on the sand. Trees that were thick and sturdy with age fawned over each other and over the fencing protecting the trails, as if the fences were keeping the trees upright. Birds floated in and out from between the branches, and deer tugged at small morsels under the foliage. Nestled among the unspoiled nature was the stable. The buildings were rumored to be centuries old. The wooden planks had weathered to a light shade of gray, starkly contrasting with the newer brown-stained additions to the stables. The ground was mostly dirt, and horses and people and barn cats continually trampled the earth. Grass reigned supreme only in the rings and paddock, where although continually attacked by hungry horses, it continued to grow long and thick and green.
The air was warm, and the leaves gracefully floated on the branches and through the summer breeze. Kaysie couldn't wait to get back on her horse and just enjoy the sun. Quynn was still ready for a nap and claimed she didn't care if her horse decided to go off and eat grass. They said goodbye to Mrs. Dornoch and promised to be back at three that afternoon. Kaysie cheerfully saddled and bridled her black quarter horse gelding and practically flew onto his back once outside. Quynn plodded out a few minutes later on her dapple-gray Clydesdale. When they were out of sight of the stables, Kaysie said in a voice just above a whisper, "I brought the scroll."
Quynn nodded, strangely worried and excited at the prospect of the scroll. "The leaves aren't bugged," she said, then added as she flattened a horse fly the size of a half dollar, "Never mind."
Kaysie chuckled. "Why don't we take another look at it in the next clearing?"
The two 15-year-olds knew these trails like they were their own. Both knew that there were thick long-branched pines covering the next clearing that the two could hide underneath and still have a place to sit under the needles and examine the scroll. The horses could be allowed to eat the long grass on the other side of the trail. They were still wary of Carry's presence. They had not noticed her at the stables while they were getting their horses ready for the long ride.
The girls unrolled the parchment from its leather binding and looked over the letters once again. As they silently poured over the intricate drawings on the scroll, the two heard hoofbeats gradually coming closer and froze. Carry astride a palomino horse came into view from behind the curve in the trail behind them. The horse was going at a nice canter, catching up to the girls in their hiding place in quite a hurry. With a brief thought to the Medieval fantasy books that she loved and wondering if the strange words truly were a spell of some sort, Quynn exclaimed in a sure, strong voice, "Shirak tenkets drades kelmund sh’kanu jeeras LEVAX!"
Carry stopped her horse near the grove of trees, flew off the left side, and ran towards the girls. "NO! You don't understand the powers- !"
They heard no more of Carry's warning. The girls disappeared.