After much thought, I have decided to post the first chapter of my book, Ari Sylph Valley, which is available for purchase here: http://www.amazon.com/Ari-Sylph-Valley-Juliana-Hayes/dp/1462669123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341013893&sr=8-1&keywords=ari+sylph+valley
Before I post the chapter, here are the words that appear on the back of the book: “Kidnapped from her school by three mysteriously powerful strangers, Ari Thompson soon discovers that she is no ordinary girl. The question is: Will she finally realize her full potential when the time comes for it?”
Here is the first chapter:
“Ari, get up! You’re going to be late for school!” My dad, Jack Thompson, shouted up from downstairs. I sat up, stretched, groaned, and headed for the bathroom.
I’m an only child, so it’s just me and Dad in this place; a huge, pale blue house with six rooms that my grandpa bought in 1969. My mom, Scarlett, passed when I was just two, of cancer, and I don’t remember much about her. Just bits and pieces. I’ve always wanted to know more, but I know Dad doesn’t like to talk about her. He always said I looked exactly like her, and I knew how much it hurt him. My bright blue eyes and caramel brown hair were a constant reminder of her death.
I go to Valley High School, home of the Thunderbirds, in Antelope, California. We only live three blocks away, so I walk to and from school. I’m in my sophomore year, sixteen years old, and I love my high school. We have some groups, but not really cliques. No one goes out of their way to humiliate anyone else, and a lot of the popular kids are friends with the average kids. I believe I fall in the “average” category. I’m not what you would call popular, but definitely not a loser in any case.
I am kind of a dork, though. Sometimes, I say some really stupid things. Of course, I don’t realize what I say until it’s already out there. But I haven’t said anything that’s gotten me into any trouble. Yet.
“Where’s my lunch money?” I asked my dad as I walked through the arched kitchen doorway.
“Well, good morning to you, too,” he said wryly, but then said, “It’s on the counter.”
“Thanks,” I said as I popped two pieces of bread in the toaster and pulled out the butter. “And good morning,” I added with a smile. I buttered the toast and grabbed my lunch money.
“Have a good day,” he said.
“You too!” I said, already halfway out the door.
My dad looks like the kind of guy who may have been good-looking once, but said goodbye to those days long ago. He’s a writer, so he gets to work from home. He writes mainly mystery novels. I’ve read some of his books, but the naivety of some of his characters kind of annoys me. It’s like, come on, people! Of course it was the maid! She was in love with the husband!
Then again, I was always one for the magic stories. Sometimes, I wish I could just jump into a magical story and out of my own boring world.
I rounded the corner and came to my school entrance. I spotted my friend, Ashleigh Mason, running her fingers through her light brown hair.
“Hey,” she said as I walked up. She had deep circles under her hazel eyes and a bright red stain on her shirt.
“Tired?” I asked.
“How’d you guess?” she chuckled sleepily, then yawned. “I was up all night studying for that stupid algebra test.”
“Aw, man I completely forgot!” I complained. But before I could worry any further, our other friend, Brianna Layton, walked up.
“Hey, guys!” she greeted us, flicking back her thick red hair. Her light brown eyes were alive with the start of a new day.
“Ugh, why are you such a morning person?” Ashleigh said irritably.
“It’s a gift.”
“And an annoyance,” Ashleigh muttered under her breath.
“I heard that,” she said, “and I want my shirt back, by the way.” Brianna pointed at Ashleigh’s shirt. “You stained it!” she whined.
“Let’s go,” I said quickly. “We’ll be late for English.” Ashleigh shot me a grateful look. Brianna groaned, but let it go for the moment. The three of us had nearly every class together, except for third period. I had French, Ashleigh had Spanish, and Brianna took A.P. Latin. Ashleigh and I always teased Brianna about being a nerd.
English was boring, as usual. We had a test on The Odyssey. Easy as pie. After it was finally over, we headed for Algebra. I sat next to Ashleigh, but Brianna’s seat was across the room.
“Good luck on the test,” Brianna said on the way to her seat.
“Nerd!” I whispered back. Of course she would ace it.
The test turned out to be a breeze. I don’t know why we were so worried about it.
“A missed night’s sleep, completely wasted,” Ashleigh sighed, shaking her head.
“I’m going to be late for French,” I said, walking away. Not that I really cared about being late for French.
“Bye!” they called back. I waved over my shoulder.
I hate French. I mean, I hate the class. Love the language. In this one class without my friends, I become a quiet, hardworking little student.
Luckily, our teacher announced that there was to be a fire drill during the period, and that we would be going to the football stadium for it. The class cheered, as that meant we would have little class work planned for the day. About fifteen minutes into the class, the drill sounded. We got up and lazily drifted toward the stadium with the rest of the school.
We filed into the stands on the side of the football field facing the street, and settled in to wait for the speaker. Our stadium was high class, with plastic grass and shiny gates and bleachers. Our team doesn’t deserve it, all the times we’ve lost.
As our teacher tried to get us to stop talking, I felt an odd chill sweep through the air. An unnatural breeze. I shivered, but I seemed to be the only one who noticed, so I shrugged the feeling off.
Staring off into space, I noticed three small dots near the edge of the trees just north of where we were sitting. I wrote them off as birds.
How wrong I was.
They were coming closer, and fast. They weren’t quite flying, but…hovering. The sudden silence around me confirmed everyone else was seeing the same thing.
As they neared, they took form. They were people. Not only that, but all three of them looked no older than me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The only girl was on my right; she was wearing all blue clothing. The two boys were on the left; the one in the middle wearing red and the one on the far left was wearing green. Their clothing seemed almost medieval.
They were heading straight toward us.
They were evenly spaced out, and looked impressively choreographed. They landed on the field in front of us, each landing on their right knee.
All three stood up slowly, at precisely the same time. The boy in the middle was very cute, from what I could see. He was facing downward like the others, making his chestnut-colored hair cover most of his face. But my thoughts about his looks were cut off, along with my confusion about what was going on the minute he opened his mouth.
“Ari Thompson?” he chuckled. “Come on down.”
Hungry for more? Click on the link above to buy the rest. The adventure does not stop at the first book, however. I am in the process of writing the second book in this five book series.
Please comment and tell me what you think.