Here’s a first look at the prologue for a fantasy novel I’ve tentatively titled, Ancient Syracuse :
I’m three and a half years old. We’re standing in the street. My parents are looking at a garden, but I can’t see past the trees. So I look up at the sky. It’s funny looking. It doesn’t look blue like it’s supposed to. It looks purple. I don’t know why; it’s not dark yet. Oh, who cares? I can see the castle. I want to see inside it. But we’re not moving. My parents are talking. I don’t care what they’re saying. I want to see the castle. I tug my mother’s hand.
“Stop it,” she says.
“I wanna see the castle.”
“In a minute.”
I want to cry, but I have to be good. Mommy wants me to be good. But I can see the castle. It’s right there in front of us. It’s so tall against the sky.
What are they talking about? Daddy sounds mad. Mommy is trying to calm him down. Other people are passing us. They’re going to the castle. Why can’t we?
I feel cold. The wind is blowing. Mommy has my sweater. She’s wearing white pants and her green sweater. Daddy’s not though. He’s wearing a dark blue T-shirt and white shorts. I want to be like him. I don’t want my sweater. But I’m a little cold.
I look down at my feet. I hate sandals. They hurt my big toe. I wiggle my toes. Why can’t we go now?
“I wanna go to castle.”
“All right,” Daddy says.
We walk down the street. The castle is in front of us. It’s white and blue. And it’s so big. I can see windows in the towers. I want to know what’s inside. I want to see the inside. I want to climb stairs. I like to climb. I want to explore. Play hide and seek. I want to know if it’s like in the fairy tales. Mommy reads me fairy tales at night. There are always castles in them. I wonder if this is one of them.
I climb the steps to the drawbridge. It’s like walking up a steep hill. The drawbridge is flat on the ground. Ahead is the entrance. It’s big and rounded and like a cave.
“What’s that?” I point.
“A porticullis,” my Daddy says.
“A portilcollice,” I try to repeat.
It looks dark inside. I don’t like the dark. But I want to see. I want to be inside. We’re just standing here. Daddy’s looking toward Main Street. Mommy’s buttoning her sweater.
Finally we enter. We’re in the castle! I want to jump up and down. I’m so happy. We’re in a big hall. There must be stairs. And doors. I want to go upstairs. Or downstairs. I want to see the dungeon.
We pass by windows. They’re in the stone. But they don’t look outside. They have things inside them. Daddy says they’re “on display.”
There aren’t many of them. But I don’t really care. I can see light ahead. There is a huge exit. I can see buildings beyond. But I want to see more of the castle. The exit gets closer. I don’t see any stairs. Daddy says the doors don’t lead anywhere. I think he’s lying. There must be an upstairs. There must be a dungeon.
We passed through the castle, but there was nothing! No stairs, no rooms, no secret passages. Just a large, stupid hall with dumb windows!
Mommy and Daddy are looking at a map. They’re talking about where to go next. It’s not fair! I stamp my foot on the ground. Just like Rumpelstiltskin. I want to throw a “tantrum.” There was nothing inside. Just an empty castle!
I look behind me. I look up at the castle. The sky looks darker, grayer. There are all these clouds. I feel hot and sticky. It looks like it wants to rain. No one seems to notice. They’re too busy having fun. I want it to pour. I want thunder and lightning. Why should anyone else have fun? I didn’t get to see my fairy tale castle!
Light flashes across the sky…
Stay tuned for more about Ancient Syracuse and my fantasy novel series.
This prologue excerpt is copyrighted material. Please do not reproduce or use without prior permission from the author.