Announcement! My short story “Time” is on now on sale for the Amazon Kindle. It is only $.99 and it is free for Amazon Prime members. If you do not have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app to your iPhone or iPad and purchase “Time.” The link to the short story is below:
Ok, now let’s move on. The next excerpt from Identified: The Maya Price Story is for all of you sports lovers. You see, when I start writing a book, I have a general, blurry idea of how the story will start and how it will end. However, most of the middle, meaty parts pretty much just come to me at random, either while I’m writing or, say, when I’m driving to work.
For example, as I was writing Identified, I thought: “Ok, these kids have a lot of drama going on, but they need some down time, too. I mean, come on. They can’t be at war all the time. What do people this age do? Besides make out and tweet? (Just kidding!) What can they do in their down time?” And a sport was born.
Being that most of them are fairly athletic (unlike me) ,the young shifters like to engage in physical activity when they have some free time. In this excerpt from Identified, I describe the sport the shifters like to play.
“The young trainees tried to keep their minds off the fact that there were small skirmishes and battles going on all around them and that they could be called on to fight at any moment. During their free time and on the weekends, Maya’s team (sans Nathaniel) often hung out in the open meadow where they trained for element manipulation. In the meadow, many shifters would swim and play soccer. Others would participate in a strange game that Maya assumed had evolved from years of shifters being stuck at training camp, waiting to be given an assignment or to be sent on some sort of mission. The nature of the game was somewhat dangerous and Maya was hesitant to participate. The element of danger did not so much sway her as did her competitive nature. Basically, she did not want to look like a fool. As she observed, she noticed that the players would start with four balls. One looked like a regular basketball, but the others were extraordinary. The ugliest ball looked like a misshapen head that was composed of dirt. Tiny worms crawled in and out of the holes in the mass of dirt clods. Another was a glass sphere filled with what Maya thought was probably water. Unlike water, the liquid in the sphere was a turquoise blue. The fourth ball fascinated Maya the most: it was a rotating circle of fire, almost like miniature sun in someone’s hand. The players would form a circle and the four movers with the different balls would toss them into the air. This was where the strength in element manipulation came into play; the movers would use their varying abilities to try and draw the balls toward them and then send them to a small circle drawn in the middle of the circle of shifters. This was much harder than it looked because there were several shifters with same level of ability vying to steal the ball from the others and, for the duration of the game, the balls stayed in the air. The players also tried thwart their competitors by destroying the ball composed of a particular element. For example, the petite female mover that usually won was particularly adept with oxygen manipulation. In all of the games that Maya observed, she could simultaneously control the globe that looked like a basketball and, cause a cyclone of air to decimate the ball composed of earth, shatter the globe of water and cause the ball of fire to explode into sparks and turn to ash. She would then lower her ball safely into the circle. Each time a player scored by sending a ball into the circle, he or she could choose a player to leave the circle. The player left standing alone was the winner and the petite blonde was usually the winner.”
In order to play this sport, the shifters have to be talented at element manipulation. The “petite blonde” described above is very talented at controlling the element “air,” and, therefore, can control not only the ball filled with oxygen, but those filled with earth, fire and water. Since there is oxygen in both water and soil, and fire needs an oxidizing agent to ignite, this shifter is able to control all four of the balls with more ease than the others. For that reason, shifters with this ability would probably be more likely to win the game. Just as a basketball team with tall, agile players would be more likely to win that one with short, slow players.
Yet, that may not always be the case.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.