I hope all is well in your universe, I know things have been going pretty decent here as I work on my next novel. I know I’ve posted about Horntooth’s Farm before and I think I’ve even made it my Nanowrimo project a couple of times. I feel like in years past it has seemed too daunting of a book to tackle and has been put on the back burner. This year however I’ve had a couple of breakthroughs on it and it has been fleshing out rather well.
I feel like I owe a lot of the momentum to the writing course I began at the beginning of the year. It’s called James Patterson Teaches Writing and it’s hosted by the Masterclass website. It has made me ‘practice’ the technique of writing more and through some of the lesson assignments, I’ve been able to overcome some hurdles that I just couldn’t previously get over.
So now, without making you read too much more, I’ve decided to share a little section of this week’s writing with you. I’m not trying to spoil it for you, but I must warn you that this is an intense scene with some violence and is about a dog attack. Just in case you would rather read about happier things. I’ll try to share more next week.
Excerpt from the chapter “Huntin’ Hounds” from the novel Horntooth’s Farm:
The first dog nipped down on Pete’s right ankle forcing him onto his knees. Then the second dog sprang up onto Pete’s back and latched its jaw down into the meat of Pete’s left shoulder. The two dogs then pulled against each other, spreading Pete out prone onto the ground. He screamed as the last dog caught up to them and began tugging at his right arm. He punched up at the dog on his shoulder, but there was no force to his swing signifying that the tendons in his shoulder had been torn.
At that moment, the horror that I was seeing with my eyes triggered something deep and primal within my mind. Some faculty of reservation which those who are civilized possess broke like a dam giving way. And in its place came some ancient instinctive survival mechanism. It grew quickly inside me, rising like a tornado of violence. It filled my chest until my small body could contain it no longer and it released itself into the open air of that morning in the form of a mighty war cry so guttural and barbaric that it is still to this day a wonder that a sound like that ever came from these lungs.
I picked up a stone from the ground and raced like a lion to Pete’s defense. One of the dogs after hearing my animalistic cries, tucked back in a whimper into a fold of tall grass. The other two let loose from Pete and now growled and snarled at me as I advanced, charging like a lunatic.
The Alpha dog sprang at me, but I swung hard and clobbered it in the head with the stone. It let loose a symphony of pain and landed haphazardly on the ground next to me now stunned and afraid.
The second dog tried to run round me opposite to my strong arm like a boxer circling the ring. It thought it could use its speed to come around and get an attack from behind, but I strafed sideways and turned so as to keep the beast always in view. Finally it sprang from a glancing angle at my rock clutching arm and bit down hard.
I snarled like some rage filled monster as blood formed around the dog’s bite. With my free hand, I punched at the dog’s eyes and ripped at his ears. He then released his pry at my arm and snapped at my free hand. I lunged forward and then dropped on top of the dog and started wrestling the animal across the sandy ground.
Finally, gaining the better hand, I perched myself on top of the dog. It snarled and pressed its legs up against my chest. I struck down hard with both my fists, over and over, punching and clawing, until finally the dog began to panic and wriggled itself out from under me. It then ran back whimpering the way they all had come, and never once slowed or looked back. The alpha dog followed, still stunned and at a slower pace. Lastly, the dog in the grass barked nervously at me and then turned to catch his pack.
As I stood to my feet, I felt like a giant. I breathed in heavy stair-stepped heaves. The whole struggle could not have taken more than a few minutes, but somehow, I felt different, like in those moments I had both forever lost some boyish innocence of my past and at the same time surpassed some threshold into manhood.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. You’ll have to read the completed book later this year to know what happens to Pete and Russ and the rest of the children on Horntooth’s Farm. Until then,