FYI, please remember this is part of a rough draft. There is very minor editing done.
Power of the Stars is a YA fantasy work in progress (currently at 34 chapters, about 50,900 words). It’s written in 3rd person POV but each chapter focuses on a different character and what they’re going through.
Ten would arrive
Young and spry
Power inherited by their stars
Will take them near and far
Betrayed by one
Yet sacrifice none
Forever their lives will change
Blood and tears will soak the land
When victory is at hand
Should they choose wrong
History will make a song
Of the day the Tenma died
It was supposed to be a day escaping the summer heat; a day for two councilors and eight young campers to explore the caves of Jenny Jump State Park. No one expected the field trip to land them in the strange world of Tenma, where their arrival had been prophesied. Not only were they expected, but they learn that they possess powers based on their zodiac sign; powers that will be used to save or break the land.
Scratching his head, Kevin looked around for something familiar. The flowers were too bright, the grass too green, the sky too blue. Birds were singing in perfect harmony. Kevin only knew that because he had perfect pitch. He looked to his partner Marissa who shrugged her shoulders.
“Where are we?” she asked him.
“Certainly not Jenny Jump,” he said. She shook her head in disbelief.
“Could we have come out on the other side of the mountain? That would make sense, right?”
“I suppose it’s possible, but I don’t think so. This doesn’t look like Jersey to me.” Marissa raised her eyebrows and nodded in agreement.
Kevin looked over at their councilors. He could see that they realized something was wrong as well. He beckoned Marissa to follow as he made his way over to the two older kids.
“So, now what?” Kevin asked them. Wren and Noah looked at each other.
“We try to find the path back?” Noah asked Wren. Kevin peered around them.
“Yeah? How do you propose we get back into the cave since the entrance has disappeared?” he asked them. They both turned to find that he was right. Kevin saw Wren’s shoulders sag in a defeatist position.
“How is that possible?” Noah muttered.
“What the hell is going on here?” Wren asked no one in particular while turning to look over their small crowd. The rest of the kids were looking a bit panicked. Kevin rolled his eyes. Panic won’t fix things. These stupid kids had to keep calm and rational. He perked up as he heard sounds coming from the woods around them. It sounded as if someone or something was headed their way.
“I hate to interrupt your disbelief and all, but something is coming at us,” he said to the councilors quietly. Wren heard the sounds before Noah did. She raced to the head of the group and tried to herd the rest of the kids back to the now solid rock wall behind them. She stood in front of them with her arms spread, as if she could protect them all. Kevin was touched by her self sacrificing nature, but he wasn’t about to let some girl be eaten or attacked by whatever was going to come out of the woods. Both he and Noah joined her at the front of the pack, the two of them effectively sheltering her from initial harm. She tried to protest and push Kevin behind her, but he just shooshed her and stood his ground.
The sound grew louder as the thing got closer. It seemed to be going at a fairly slow pace. Kevin strained to hear the sounds, to see if he could figure out whether it was something on two feet or four. He thought he heard whistling, but dismissed it as the birds. He saw Noah glance around, probably looking for something to use as a weapon. Unfortunately there wasn’t even a downed branch to pick up. The place was pristine. Kevin suddenly realized what he could use as a weapon.
“Give me your flashlight,” he hissed to Wren.
“My flashlight? Why?”
“Because it’s made of heavy metal and I can totally knock something out with it.” He saw the light go on when she realized what he was saying and quickly handed over the heavy cylindrical object. Noah followed his lead and palmed his flashlight as well. They both tensed up, preparing to attack.
Suddenly they heard a commotion and a large black shape came flailing out of the brush. Kevin and Noah both jumped in and beat at it repeatedly with their heavy flashlights.
“STOP!,” Aura and Zeph said in unison. Calder raced up and grabbed Kevin’s arms while Wren and Marissa grabbed Noah. Both boys were breathing hard, staring down at the crumpled mess at their feet. It trembled and moaned.
Aura came over, looking reluctant, her brother on her heels, and pulled back the black fabric. She uncovered a teenaged boy with hair so blond it was almost white. He raised his hands, whether in defense or to block out the bright sun, Kevin didn’t know. The twins crouched down to look at the boy.
“Are you alright?” Zeph asked him. The boy didn’t answer but slowly pulled himself into a sitting position. His bright blue eyes were wide, taking in the people standing around him. His brow furrowed as he turned his gaze from person to person.
“Do you understand English?” Kevin thought to ask. Jessica made a rude sound behind him.
“Of course he does,” she said. “Why the hell wouldn’t he?” Kevin threw her a quick dirty look but repeated his question to the strange boy.
“I do…,” the boy said in a surprisingly deep voice. “You’re not…you’re not going to hit me anymore, are you?”
Aura shook her dainty head.
“I think you took our guys here by surprise when you came flailing out of the bushes,” Zeph said. The boy blushed furiously.
“Sorry about that. I was being chased by stingers,” he said.
“Bees?” Wren asked. He gave her a weird look.
“I’m not sure what…bees are. Stingers are large flying insects, almost the size of my hand. They are not deadly, but to be stung by one is very painful and can give you the fever.” Kevin saw Wren and Noah exchange troubled looks. He had a couple questions he wanted to ask this kid, but was afraid of coming off looking like an idiot. Taking another look around their lush surroundings he decided it was worth the humiliation to ask. He took a step forward and got down too look the guy in the eye.
“Where are we? What’s the name of this place?”
“Are you daft Kevin?” Jessica demanded to know.
“Shut up and let him answer,” Kevin said not bothering to even look at her. The guy’s pale brows were furrowed again.
“You’re in Tenma. Where else would you be?” he asked.
“Tenma? Where the hell is Tenma? Is that somewhere in Pennsylvania? Did we cross the river?” Liam asked from the back of the group.
“Pennsylvania? River? I don’t know of these places you’re talking about,” the boy said. Noah came up next to Kevin.
“What’s your name?” Noah asked.
“I’m Jonah, apprentice to the royal seer, Master Warren.”
“Seer? As in someone who sees the future?” Wren asked.
“Screw that part. Royal? Did we fall into some land of kings and queens and dragons?” Jessica asked with a nervous little laugh.
“This is the land of Tenma, under the reign of King Ramous and Queen Jesslyn. Dragons are thought to be extinct, but I’ve always secretly thought they still exist,” Jonah said his eyes suddenly bright with excitement.
Kevin grinned when he heard Jessica sputtering to respond.
“Daft am I?” he said softly winking at Aura who returned his grin. Kevin stood and extended a hand to Jonah. The pale boy grabbed his hand with a surprisingly strong grip and pulled himself up.
“Thank you kindly,” he said before brushing off his cloak. He abruptly stopped what he was doing and stood ramrod straight. “Did you say you…fell from the sky?”
“Well, not literally,” Noah said, “but this is definitely not where we’re from.” Jonah studied the motley group. He looked them up and down before making his way around to check them out from behind.
“It’s true,” he said finally. “You must be them!”
“Them who?” Kevin asked.
“The children of the prophesy!” His choice of words, of course, offended Jessica.
“I’m 14, hardly a child,” she said putting her hands on her hips. Kevin opened his mouth to make a scathing remark, but Jonah interrupted him.
“In Tenma, you are considered a child until you are wed, deflowered or have hit the age of twenty and one years.”
“Deflowered?!” Marissa asked.
“Well yes,” Jonah said blushing again. “It means that your maidenhe-”
“We know what it means!” Wren hurried to say. Jonah seemed thankful he didn’t have to continue to explain the term.
“I must take you to the Master! He’s been expecting you,” Jonah informed them.
“Uhh, how did he know we were coming?” Liam asked.
“We knew when the constellations fell from the sky.”
Kevin saw Wren and Noah exchange another glance. Something was going on with those two. They knew more than they were letting on and it annoyed him.
“We should hurry,” Jonah said to the group.
“Woah. I don’t plan on going anywhere with some strange guy,” Krista said.
“Me either,” said Jessica. “I want to go home. We’re going to miss the bus back to camp.” Jonah’s head snapped back and forth between the girls, a worried look on his face.
“I’m afraid you don’t have much of a choice,” he told them.
“What do you mean we don’t have a choice?” Calder asked. “Are we prisoners?”
“No!” Jonah hurried to say. “It’s just that…Master Warren is probably the only one who could tell you how to get back to your world. Without him, you’ll be stuck here.” Kevin took in the looks of worry and horror on everyone’s face as Jonah’s words sunk in. He took a deep breath and stepped forward.
“Welp, I guess we have no choice then. Take us to your leader.”