Although I’ve not finished the current draft of my novel, I believe I have worked out all the things I want to change about the characters and story. The bits I rushed through before I now know what I want to happen in them, and so I’ll make all those changes and then maybe a couple drafts refining them.
What I’m saying, I think I can now write a summary of everything that happens and it’s more than just ‘we’re screwed’. And maybe I will because then I will have an actual plan to work to and I can show it to people who don’t mind all those spoilers.
Reminds me though I was uploading the current draft to a password blog for some folks here on Tumblr, but I’ve been forgetting. I’ve got to go and babysit right now, but I’ll start uploading again later.
The kids went to sleep, and while I was keeping an eye on them I started writing the whole outline. Below the break will be a two thousand word summary of Act 1. Actually 2,351 words apparently. It’s a blow by blow account of everything that happens without any embellishment, and there are only slight changes in this section from the drafts I’ve already shown people (most of the changes I’ll be making in the next are just some scenes, like when Kaya goes to the nightclub, are a bit rushed):
Two girls, Kaya Cade and Jennifer Airhart, are dancing
around a fairy circle at sunset. Jennifer it transpires was hoping to capture
proof of the fairy realm on her high speed camera, having brought with her a
book of Fairy Tales, but alas she finds nothing. This doesn’t bother her as she
knows there are many other mysteries in the universe to explore, but now it’s
past their home-time and they need to get back before their parents worry.
They are about to leave when Jennifer senses a presence
watching them from the trees. That’s not friendly and no way for any sapient
presence to behave, so armed only with a torch and her backpack she decides to
go and investigate. Part way into the forest the ground collapses under her and
she falls. She comes to in a cave, unharmed. She knew there were lots of caves
and old mines around town so reasons she must have fallen into one of those.
Kaya calls after her then, before Jen can stop her, decides to slide down the
hole as well. Jen is furious as the hole could have been the only way to get
out – now they’re both trapped and have no choice but to search for another
exit. Kaya cuts herself on a small stone which Jennifer suggests might be a
They discover a cavern filled with luminescent mushrooms and
toadstools and spiders made of glass, although they seem harmless. But then flames
begin to consume the strange forest and the girls run – Jen noticing that her
book of Fairy Tales has disappeared – but they run into a man wearing a silver
Shortly after the girls are outside in a tent being checked
by doctors. Jen’s father arrives and expresses concern and disappointment in
the girls, but is happy they’re safe. He hides one of the blood samples taken
from the girls and explains there was a breach at his company, Stag Corp, but
that it was under control. He then takes them home.
Later that night, Jennifer is woken by nightmares about running
through a forest surrounded by frightening shadow creatures and goes to her
father in his study for comfort. She asks him what his work involves and he
explains that he turns dreams into reality, but Jennifer reminds him that some
dreams are nightmares.
Ten-or-so years later another young girl, Tenley Tych is
playing at home in her room. Her play is interrupted by the return home of her
strict and abusive mother. Her mother complains over dinner (which Tenley had
dutifully prepared for her) that someone is trying to force them to sell their
home. When Tenley suggest that a move might not be so bad, her mother flies
into a rage and drags her to the cellar where she is forced to spar. Of course
the young girl is no match for the grown woman, but her mother eventually does
show some pity and regrets that this is necessary (although she doesn’t explain
why she believes it is). Her mother leaves her hurt and confused and when
Tenley eventually leaves the cellar as well she finds her mother passed out,
likely having been drinking. Tenley covers her and goes to bed herself, using
the music box with the dancing blue fairy (that she believes her father left
her) to lull herself to sleep.
She is later woken by a horn and glaring headlights through
her window. Tenley looks out to see a group of strangers standing outside
calling to them. Mother staggers out. Tenley doesn’t hear much of what is said,
but her mother ends up fighting them, and does fairly well until one of the men
gets up and stabs her in the back. Tenley is in shock as the gang storms the cottage.
They argue over what to do with the child until one of them says he will deal
with her out of sight of the others. Tenley doesn’t resist as the man, who has
a gun, tells her to walk deep into the forest and follows just behind.
Eventually Tenley comes to her senses and fakes a fall. When the man tries to
pick her up, she stabs him with a sharp stone then disarms and kicks him. He
recovers quickly and intercepts her before she can reach the weapon.
Then they hear whispering all around, although they can’t
make out any words. The man has his gun pointed at the girl but then is
assaulted by some invisible, but very powerful, assailant that drags him and
breaks his back against the trunk of a tree. A woman appears holding a giant
flower. She has strange skin that is constantly changing pattern and colour.
The woman orders another, ‘normal’ looking woman to finish the man as she makes
herself comfortable sitting on a large rock.
Tenley is suspicious of this stranger and points the gun at
her, but the woman tells her it won’t help. Tenley asks why she should need
help. The woman tells her that she knows about her mother’s murder and says she
can help Tenley get her own revenge, by making her stronger and faster and more
powerful than any human. She then says that her name is Titania and she is
Queen of the Forest.
Cut to Kaya Cade, now an adult and has just been fired from
her job for assaulting a customer. She has also been arrested and is in the
back of a police car, but the cops at least are sympathetic to her in this
case. The man she ‘assaulted’ was causing trouble for another employee, his
girlfriend. Chauncey ‘Chance’ Delainy is able to convince him not to press charges
and releases Kaya, warning her not to go after the man again and to just stay
out of trouble.
But Kaya has nowhere to go. She was recently evicted from
her apartment and has been living out of her car. She tries to call her parents,
but although she is happy talking to her mom, her father infuriates her and the
conversation ends without her admitting the difficulty she’s in. She spends the
rest of the day practicing guitar near the park. A girl watches her and Kaya
tells her that she should be in school and that she’ll miss her childhood when
its gone. The girl asks why she cares and Kaya says because they’re fellow lifeforms.
The girl says that her mother told her to look after herself then implies that
her mother recently passed away, which Kaya says she’s sorry about. The girl tells
her that being sorry doesn’t change anything then leaves. Kaya concludes that
she’s a weird kid, but she’s right – she should do something. She then spots
the man from the store who has left a laptop unattended in his car, which Kaya
deftly unlocks then steals the computer.
The girl was Tenley Tych who approaches a school on the
other side of the park where a group of children awaits her. Like her they have
been changed by Titania, but unlike Tenley they seem to have not retained much
of their original personalities and act like drones. With her newfound powers
Tenley is able to communicate with them by touch, showing them the faces of the
people who murdered her mother then instructing the children to look for them.
She then skips away, but two boys who witnessed the scene follow her, mocking
her and her ‘friends’ for being weird and watching too much sci-fi and fantasy.
The boys are baffled when Tenley shows no fear of them and warns them to back
off. One of them jumps off his bicycle
to try and grab her, but Tenley beats him up very easily then threatens the
other boy to give up his bike.
Later, Kaya Cade goes to visit Stan Greif, a local nightclub
owner and perfectly legitimate businessman. Kaya shows him items she has stolen,
which Stan looks over then offers far less than the items are worth. Kaya
protests but Stan reminds her she has a tab and he’s only offering her anything
because he likes her. He then suggests that if she needs he could offer her
permanent employment working for him, which Kaya politely declines and just
accepts the cash. She then goes to meet with the rest of her band, The Killer Aqua
Bunnies, who are performing at the club later. Candace, the lead singer, makes
a racist joke about the drummer, Sayuri Oshiro. Bass player Ashley does nothing
but chuckle at everything Candy says. Kaya knows she should say something, but she
doesn’t want a fight. She wants to play and just get through the night. Besides,
Candy just doesn’t know what she’s doing.
Sayuri appears to just take it all in her stride anyway and
is using a hypnotism CD to stay relaxed – she has a lot for sale in her family store
but no-one’s really buying them. She senses that Kaya is tense and unhappy
though and asks her why. Kaya says that she’s cursed. Sayuri asks her why, and
Kaya explains that she was a very bitter and nasty teen. That she had a good
friend, once, who she abandoned and became a bully to as she fell in with
Candace and Ashley instead and now she feels trapped. She asks Sayuri why she
hangs out with them, but Sayuri dodges the question and stays focused on
helping Kaya overcome her problems.
Amara, an employee at the club, overhears a part of their
conversation that if it’s a curse, maybe Kaya should go see the witch. Kaya asks
what witch and Amara explains that she heard a story from her sibling about a
tower a few miles outside of town that they believe a witch lives in, but
anyone who gets too close is turned away by magic. Kaya dismisses the idea, and
later performs with the band. It goes okay.
Outside the club, Tenley arrives on a bicycle to meet one of
the other children who points out in the queue one of the men who murdered her
mother. Realising she can’t follow him inside, Tenley shoots the man with a
small crossbow. The projectile vanishes the moment it hits, the man seeming to
believe he’d just been stung by something. Inside however, the man finds that
he just can’t stop dancing – his heart won’t slow down and he begins to feel a
pain in his chest unless he keeps moving. With his whole body starting he
leaves, wandering confused until he stumbles into an alley, his joints aching
so much that he simply can’t move any more. He then sees and recognises Tenley
and tries to plead with her, claiming he never wanted to hurt anyone. She tells
him that she never wanted to hurt anyone either, but the universe doesn’t seem
to much care what anyone wants. He then pulls a gun on her but she vanishes.
She appears an instant later next to him then stabs him throw the heart.
Tenley has gotten revenge on the first of her mother’s
murderers but it’s not what she expects. She still hurts as much as she did
before, but she convinces herself that’s because the other killers are still
out there. Someone then spots her standing over the body and runs away. Tenley doesn’t
chase him, as even if she wanted to she doesn’t have to – one of Titania’s
soldiers was watching her and goes after the witness on its own.
It’s starting to rain and Kaya is asleep in her car. She hears
a scream and looks out, spotting someone’s legs lying behind a to let sign. She
decides to go and check on him but finds there is little she can do – the man
has had his eyes removed from their sockets. She runs back to her car and
immediately tries to call for help, but her phone is dead even though she was
sure she’d charged it. She then notices that all the streetlights are out too.
Fearing the killer may be still around she stays still, hoping not to draw attention
to herself. As the rain continues to fall, she sees in her mirror the outline
of a creature appear in the trees. Then it looks at her. Kaya panics and tries
to start the car but gets no response from the ignition. The creature is then
just outside the window and visible, humanoid covered in some of bark-textured
armor. It reaches down and lifts, flipping the car down the hill it’s on. It
lands on it’s wheels, but still unable to start the engine Kaya releases the
brakes so that it slowly rolls forward. The creature jumps into the road in
front of her and Kaya keeps desperately trying to start the engine. Finally it
roars to life and she launches the vehicle straight at the creature. It leaps
over her and Kaya just keeps going. But she hasn’t escaped – she feels the
creature land on top of the car and it begins trying to stab her through the
roof. She tries to shake it off but to no avail. Finally, she deliberately
flips the car over and off the road.
Kaya comes too with the car upside down in a field, some
cows grazing nearby. She crawls out, finding a broken piece of the creature’s
blade, but sees no sign of the creature itself. But then she feels it behind
and tries to punch it, but it swats her fist away and kicks her back across the
field. As it approaches she sees its body is twisted but that it’s pulling
itself back together as it moves toward her. She tries crawling away but it catches
up and pulls her up by the hair. She then stabs it with the blade she found. It
seems surprised so she tackles it and keeps stabbing, over and over until it
finally stops moving. Kaya feels unable to rest, summoning every bit of energy
she has left to run away before any more show up.