Hey there everyone. I have been working very hard to reproduce Terracewood in novel form, and on this website I placed the first 5 chapters. Enjoy.
It was a starry night, and the moon shined so bright it was like a spotlight through my windows. I stared at my clock and realized how late it was. It was 12:36, especially on a school night. I panicked for a moment, and turned off the TV and got under the covers. Every sound made me worry for some reason. I felt like any second my mom would barge in and yell at me for staying up so late. I closed my eyes and was just about to fall asleep when- It happened. The ground began rumbling, and the glass of my window broke. It was an earthquake. I stood up, and tired walking to my parent’s room, but the ground was shaking so hard I wasn’t able to stand. I fell down and twisted my ankle, regretting I stood up. Oh, sorry. I should have introduced myself. My name is Ryan. I am 13 years old, and I live in Londonderry, in Pinear, in North America. Never heard of Pinear? It is a very small island country between America and Canada. It became a country after world war three when the east coast was demolished from nuclear war. I stopped thinking and realized the earthquake is over. Stood up, and my foot hurt badly. My Mom came through the door and seemed relived when she saw me.
“Ryan! Thank god you’re okay!” She came over and hugged me.
“I am not really that okay…” when I pointed to my foot.
“Oh that’s nothing.” She said. “We’ll just put some ice on it and you will be fine.”
I hoped I would be. I walked to the kitchen and got some ice out of the freezer, and put it on my foot. It felt better almost instantly. I grabbed my favorite hoodie and stepped outside our condo. There were at least fifty people out there freaking out over the earthquake. Over a few houses I saw blue and red flashing over the houses. The police were there. Something bad had happened. I was suddenly tapped on the shoulder and almost had a heart attack. I turned around, and saw my best friend Sean, but he liked to be called Slingshot for some reason. He was dressed as he usually was, white jacket and a blue shirt with jeans.
“What happened!?” I said a little too loud.
“Dunno. It’ll be awesome if this gets school cancelled tomorrow though.” He replied. “C’mon, let’s check it out! I bet it is something like a robbery, or even better, aliens!”
He was obsessed with aliens for some reason. I never understood why.
“Dude, there is like a million police cars there! We will never be able to see!” I said with my teeth clenched. Even though he was my best friend since we were little, he was sometimes ridiculous.
“No, look.” He pointed at the lights over the houses. “That’s the abandoned factory. I know a ton of ways in there. Remember when we played hide and seek, and you could never find me?”
It was a faint memory, but I remember. I would always find him in places I checked in a million times, and saying he came here from his “Secret” hiding spot. Well I just found out what it was.
“Yep. I know a tunnel through the sewer to get in. Follow me!”
Yes, I know he said sewer. If I didn’t know Slingshot, I definitely would’ve said no. But I have known him forever, and I have been in the sewers with him before. It was not as bad as you think. You can get by the smell in a few minutes, and the rats were sleeping during the day. But this was night. I was scared, but I decided to go anyways, and picked up the grate and jumped in.
We wandered around for a few minutes, shining the flashlight around looking for a specific ladder Sling said was just around here. After about 5 minutes of walking, we found the ladder. It was rusty, and had a green mark with WASTE DUCT stenciled on it. We climbed up into a kitchen that has probably not used in ten years. I placed the grate on the floor beneath the sink, and looked around. It was nasty. The walls were peeling, and the room still smelled like all kinds of foods that were burned. Feeling kind of thirsty, I turned the faucet on the sink. Nasty brown slime blasted out and I quickly shut the faucet off. I turned around to see Slingshot with his finger on his lips telling me that I should be quiet. I nodded and put my finger on my lips telling him that I know I should be quiet. He creeped towards the kitchen door with the foggy glass window were you could see the chefs cooking. I tip-toed towards and I saw the weirdest thing.
Some middle aged guy, was surrounded by miners with dirty faces as if they have been digging for hours. The middle aged guy had some weird smirk on his face as he held up some wooden plank he had. I quickly realized it was a mask, with different colors panted on it and glowing eyes. He took off his latex gloves covered in coal and slowly touched the mask to his face. He started thrashing around on the ground, and then got up and took the mask off. He took a deep breath, as if he just inhaled a drug or something. I looked back at Sling and he was staring in disbelief. Sling did the “Be quiet” sign again and opened the door a crack. Are you crazy! I thought, my heart pounding out of my chest. We could now hear what the strange man and all of the miners were saying.
“The power… I have it” The man said, grinning manically.
“Well, was it worth it?” A miner said sarcastically like he felt this whole thing was a waste of time. The middle aged man frowned, and stepped towards the miner slowly. The man suddenly began smiling again, like a shark. I could tell the miner was cared out of his wits, like he did not know what he is dealing with. The man rolled up his sleeves.
“I’ll let you find out.”” he said. The man took out a gun and shot the miner in the foot. The miner yelped and fell to the ground, moaning with pain. Slingshot must’ve got scared, and he screamed when the bullet was shot. The middle aged man turned around and saw us. It was over. We were dead.
“GET THEM!!!” The middle aged man yelled, as all of the other miners ran after us as he stayed behind to torture the miner he shot. I tried to pry open the grate below the sink, but the weird slime glued it shut. I ran through the other door in the kitchen hoping to find an exit. We ran into this strange small area, with wood as the floor. Slingshot ran onto it. I knew I was screwed. The old wood snapped because of our weights combined and we were left hanging over a balcony. I looked down where Slingshot dropped the flashlight and saw the old assembly room. If we fell, we would break a leg if we were lucky. I knew this was the end. I tensed, and knew this was my time. I stared at Slingshot, and said,
“We drop on three.”
I closed my eyes and let go of the balcony, falling forward the floor.
I opened my eyes, in an area next to Slingshot that looked like Londonderry before the war. It was extremely green, and not a single crater in the hills the apartments were on. I stepped forwards, trying to see if it was real.
“Well well well, look who got saved. I turned around to see an old man resting in a chair. He had a raspy dry voice that sounded like a snake, hissing as he spoke. I blinked to see if this was real life, and sure enough it was.
“What the heck?” Slingshot said in disbelief. He was blinking too; to try and make sure he wasn’t imagining this.
“I am Izod, protector of the mask of love.”
“So… What is this place?”
“It is the land of the first memory, Nevertheless. What do you see?”
“I see the beach I was with my grandfather at.” Slingshot blurted out. He told me this a million times. His first memory was him playing on the beach with his grandfather.
“I see… Old Londonderry” I said, not sure of what I am doing.
“Those are interesting memories.” Izod said. “You are lucky I saved you.”
“You… Saved us?” Slingshot said.
“Yes, you should be dead after falling off that balcony. I only saved you because I saw potential. You know that man with the mask you ran from?”
“Yes…” I said, still nervous.
“He was taking what was rightfully mine. Say, have you ever heard the tale of The Three Masks?”
Of course I have. The story was hundreds of years ago when Pinear was first settled, an explorer married a woman who was accused of witch trials. They had three kids who were… different. They had masks glued to their heads, right when they were born, and nobody had any clue why they had the masks at birth. So the explorer released his children into the wild and never saw them again. But this story wasn’t real. Or was it?
“Are… you one of the strange children?” Slingshot said like he was scared.
“Yes Sean. I am the protector of the mask of love. I can easily get any woman or man I want to marry and he or she will love me forever.” Izod said. Slingshot seemed kind of annoyed that Izod didn’t call him by his nickname, but Izod didn’t care. “I want you to get my mask back from that man. His ambition is to get the three masks: The mask of love, the mask of truth, and the mask of life and death. He will use the power of all three masks combined to do anything for his selfish, evil needs.”
“Sir… I will do this for you. Where is he?” Slingshot said, trying to be respectful to Izod in some way. Izod was now choking. I took another long look at him and he was only skin and bones. I ran up, scared. I didn’t want Izod to die!
“The man… is… in… Elleaf…” Izod said, now barely breathing. I started to have tears running down my cheeks.
“Don’t die Izod!” I said, without breath.
“Don’t worry… I-I will be reincarnated…” Izod said, now basically a skeleton. “Goodbye… And I gave you magic… I will tell you when you need it…” Izod turned into dust and I had my arm on his shoulder. I blinked, and I wasn’t in Nevertheless anymore. I was back in the kitchen, with my hand on the faucet. Light showed through the foggy window we watched the man shoot his miner through.
“Whoa.” Slingshot said, with his eyes wide open. “Did that just happen?”
“Yeah. We need to get down to Elleaf. This guy must be stopped.” I replied. We walked down into the square room where the miners where digging. We saw holes everywhere, and trucks. This is the room they shipped stuff out of the factory I supposed. We found the one miner who was shot on the ground, his leg soaked with dried blood. We approached him.
“He-help me” The miner said pointing at his foot. Slingshot took off the miner’s boot and sock and he saw the bullet stuck in his foot. Slingshot took a roll of gauze from his first aid kit and wrapped the miner’s foot with it.
“Who was that middle aged man?” I asked as Slingshot was wrapping the miner’s foot.
“Orrville Numbrus, code named Zero. What was he looking for here?” The miner said, suddenly feeling as if he was better.
“A mask. He can take over the world with it, and he needs to be stopped. Oh, and what is your name?” Slingshot said.
“My name is Atom. A-T-O-M Atom.” The miner said, as he slid his foot back on and brushed off his pants. “I work at the local convenience store in Londonderry, The Corner Store. I couldn’t refuse Orrville’s offer to mine here. He said he would give me five grand, and it was a deal. Now I regret ever seeing him.” We began walking to the door and Atom was limping. I opened the door and I was blinded by the light of the sun. The police were still there, and they spotted us as soon as we opened the door. The tallest officer approached us and was angry with a red face. He pushed Slingshot and I against a wall.
“YOU!” The police officer said. “YOU PUNKS BETTER BE SORRY! I WAS UP ALL NIGHT BECAUSE OF YOU!”
“It… wasn’t us!” Slingshot said.
“It wasn’t them.” Atom said, as the police officer shoved Sling and I to the ground. Sling and I quickly rushed away as the police officer started arguing with Atom. When we began walking through the woods and then onto a different street, I took one last look at my apartment. I closed my eyes and silently prayed that this will not be the last time I see it, and then walked towards the bus stop with change in my pocket, ready to go.
The bus ride was pretty short, considering Elleaf wasn’t that far away from Londonderry. The second we arrived I knew this was a trashy city. It had garbage all over the ground, and a newspaper was at my feet. I picked it up and saw the front headline:
Earthquake Hits Londonderry
Last night, citizens of Londonderry felt a high magnitude tremor at about 1:25 am. Go to page E6 for more info.
I just stuffed the newspaper into my pocket. Sling and I began searching around the city for a guy who matched Orrville Numbrus’s details. Finally, we came across a cemetery across the town. It was barren, with one boy in it. The boy was dressed in expensive clothes, a brown shirt with a plaid vest. The only non fancy part about him was his jeans, with holes so you could see his knees. I walked closer, and the boy turned and I saw tears running down his face. Slingshot and I walked closer and we saw the grave.
A LOVING MOTHER
The dates were etched off, and the boy seemed upset.
“Is that your mom?” Slingshot said. The boy nodded and sat back down against the grave again. We walked closer and the boy finally spoke.
“She always was the best. She always will be.” The boy said.
“How long has she been dead?” I said, nervous like he was going to kill me.
“Five years. Sadly I had to witness it.” The boy replied. “My name is Sully. Nice to meet you.”
“I am Ryan” I said. What was he trying to do?
“You can call me Slingshot.” Sling said.
“The police left me with my dad, the mayor of this town. I had to deal with him for years now, and I am done.” Sully said, angrily. I noticed he had a can of soda next to him and he crushed it, throwing it over the graveyard fence. “You guys have to help me. You’re the only ones that care.” I stared at Slingshot, and he nodded.
“Let’s go.” I said, ready to take something down.
We arrived at Sully’s house, and stood in front of it. Sully took a bat out of his bag and handed it to Slingshot.
“You look strong. Break the door.” Sully said. Slingshot stopped for a second, then shrugged. Sully was the owner of this house technically, and Slingshot just got his permission. Slingshot took the bat and smashed the door until fell off its hinges. All three of us walked in and saw the beauty of the house.
“Grab anything. This guy needs payback.”
Slingshot rushed into the kitchen and started breaking drawers and taking pots and pans. I ran upstairs and grabbed some backpacks and stuffed them with clothes. Sure, it felt wrong, but we got permission. Plus nobody knew who we were in this town. I slung a backpack onto my back and rushed downstairs. I saw Sully in the living room grabbing strange weapons in a glass container.
“Hey Sully.” I said, about to throw a backpack full of clothes. “Catch.” I threw the backpack and he caught it, beginning to put the weapons into it. I walked into the kitchen and tossed Slingshot the backpack, and he stuffed the pans, knives, and food into his backpack. I went into Sully’s garage, just about to leave, when I saw a big sledgehammer. It was huge, with “OL’ GLORY” carved into it. I picked it up, and then stuffed it into my backpack. I looked back inside and saw Slingshot fix the door back and head toward me. We got outside, with backpacks slung on our backs as we began heading down the street, looking for Orrville Numbrus.
It didn’t take us long to find him. In fact, Orrville Numbrus was right at the town common, making a speech. I thought too many people were there watching him. Sully started getting mad and began charging towards him, and we had to grab his shirt to stop him.
“That is him! That’s the jerk that left me with my dad!” Sully screamed. I had to put my hand over his mouth to make him stop talking. We paused for a moment, completely silent. Orrville was making a strange speech, something we’ve never heard about.
“I will promise to end any war that begins, and that is why you should elect me to be the WWS.” Orrville said, as everybody started cheering like crazy. I looked closer at Orrville and- That dirty cheater. He had the mask of love behind him, and he was obviously forcing these people to like him so they will vote for whatever he is going for.
“What is the WWS?” I said, confused. Slingshot and Sully looked at me like I had three heads.
“You don’t know what that is!?” Sully said in disbelief.
“After world war three, every country in the world decided that there should be a World War Supervisor. Each country will vote for a candidate, and all of the candidates will go to a final election of the century! Honestly, have you been watching the news lately?” Slingshot said, like I was an idiot. I tried to change the subject.
“Look at him. He has the mask of love behind him, and he is forcing them to like him.” I said, sighing. We needed to get that mask back from him. As I turned back around Orrville Numbrus did his last wave and the curtains around the common stage closed. People began to clear away. I tensed, and walked up to the stage with Slingshot and Sully. We walked closer to the curtains and then looked through. There Orrville was, looking at the mask and pouring himself some wine. All three of us hit the floorboards of the stage and Orrville Numbrus turned to us and smiled.
“I thought you idiots were dead.” He said, taking a sip of wine. The wine stained his teeth, and looked like they were regularly red. “Oh, and who is that with you?! Oh, it can’t be… It is! Ha-ha! It is little old Sully!” Orrville stumbled towards Sully, and grabbed his chin. “Nice revenge on you for your dad winning against me isn’t it?” I suddenly hated this person so much.
“What do you even want with theses masks?” I said angrily.
“It’s called power kid. It is just human nature to want it.”
“You can already get the power you want if you just become the WWS!”
“Ha-ha, that’s not what I am looking for.” Orrville put his glass of wine on the mini able next to him and lit a cigarette. “See, I know you found out about the masks. I mean, it is just an inference.”
“Tell me, what are you looking for!” Sully yelled as he flipped the mini table and broke the wine bottle and glass.
“Whoa boy, don’t get so angry” Orrville said as he took the cigarette out his mouth and blew a perfect ring of smoke. “See, I want trust. What I didn’t know is that the mask of love doesn’t do as much power as I thought. It will only technically work well to make the love of your life once, and every other time you try it will only make them sort of- just like you.” Orrville said as he tossed the mask into the puddle of wine. “They won’t really get into effect until you put on all three. So that’s why. Any more stupid questions?”
“Umm… Can we have the mask?” Slingshot said slowly.
“Sure, go ahead.” Orrville said with a toothy wine stained smile. He tossed his lighter into the wine puddle and it immediately caught fire due to the alcohol. “Fetch boy.” I ran forward to get the mask before it lights and was pulled back by an extremely strong guy. I looked up and realized it was one of the miners from the factory.” I began to choke and looked back at Orrville, smiling as he threw the cigarette he had into the growing fire. “Have fun!” Orrville said as he got up and left the burning stage.
Use the magic… Concentrate… A voice said in my head.
Okay? I said back through my mind. I concentrated as hard as I could, and soon I saw the coolest thing. Three spiraling electric lines in the shape of DNA were coming out of my hand and going into the evil miner. He let go of me and fell to the floor. I saw that Slingshot and Sully had miners choking them too, and I yelled, “Slingshot! Concentrate!” Slingshot closed his eyes and the same three beams came out his hand too. Soon, all three miners were paralyzed on the ground, and let go of Slingshot and Sully. I went over to the mask in the fire and grabbed it. I expected it to be searing hot, but it was cold actually. It felt like any kind of cold metal. All three of us jumped off the stage and saw the stage burning down to the ground. It was now midday, and the sun was at full point. A ton of people were watching the fire and crying.
We went into the woods and back into the other side of the town. I was starving. We got the food out of Slingshot’s backpack and ate all of the food. THAT was a bad decision, not knowing that was all we had. Sully said he had enough money, and we didn’t have to worry. I trusted him, and Slingshot did too. We set off downtown and towards the town hall. The bells were ringing, because it was noon.
“What are you doing?” I said, as he began to go up the stairs.
“I am going to tell my dad I am leaving with you guys. Come with me. Even if he does care, I will still go. I just can’t leave without telling him.” Sully said fast, like it was none of our business. Sling and I shrugged, and then head up the stairs.
We came into the office to see a fat balding man with a handlebar mustache and glasses lying in a chair eating a cheeseburger.
“What do you want Paul.” The fat man said angrily.
“I am leaving this place.” Sully said, like he has been rehearsing this for years. Sully’s dad chuckled.
“Oh no you aren’t. You won’t stand a chance three feet from home. You mine as well drown yourself in the bathtub.” Sully’s dad said. I understood why Sully hated him.
“Oh really? Well I will come back and everyone will recognize me as a hero.” Sully said.
“You know what? Go ahead. You were always Mariana’s boy. It would be better because I won’t have to buy you food. Now scram, or I’ll call the cops.” We rushed out of that area in a flash, and Sully was staring down at the ground.
“I hope you understand why I hated Numbrus for leaving me with that jerk.” Sully said looking up to the sky. “My parents were divorced, and I was living with my mom. She was the nicest woman in the world.” Sully had tears in his eyes now “One day we were walking, and a car came right into the crosswalk. She pushed me aside, and took the hit. Numbrus was at the adoption area, and he sent me to my dad instead. I always thought he didn’t know they were divorced, but now I know he did it on purpose.” Sully was bawling. “That is the crosswalk where she died…” He pointed at the crosswalk right next to the town hall. Slingshot seemed upset too, and he took a flower out of the town hall garden, and put it on the crosswalk. Wind blew, and cars drove over the crosswalk like nothing happened.
“I… I feel sorry for you.” I said to Sully.
“Its- Its okay…” Sully responded we walked across the crosswalk into a convenience store. I grabbed a crumpled 5$ bill I found on the street, and grabbed a coke from the freezer. Sully took some money out his backpack and grabbed a bag of Cheez-Itz, and Slingshot picked up a Mountain Dew and went up to the register next to me. I saw the cash register guy, who had scraggily blond hair and braces. I saw his nametag, and it said, HELLO, MY NAME IS TIM on it.
“Will that be all?” Tim said as he dropped the soda and Cheez-Itz into a bag. I have definitely seen this guy before.
“Have you ever been to Londonderry?” I said, as Sully and Slingshot looked at me like an idiot.
“Yes?” Tim said, like I was a weirdo. Slingshot started laughing. He probably found out who it was.
“You- You were that weird kid! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Remember Ryan! He was that guy who was two grades ahead of us, and worked at The Corner Store!” Slingshot said. Tim was embarrassed, and he looked down. I remembered Tim though. One year he just disappeared saying he was looking for “Fairies” everybody thought he was a weirdo.
“Shut up kid, what if I am! I came here to put everything behind me, and I am over it! Now get out!” Sully did not get any of this, because he didn’t know us until today.
“Did… You ever find the fairies?” Sully said. Now Slingshot and I were staring at him like he was an idiot. Tim hesitated.
“Just… Get out.” He had a cold stare, and I could tell he was hiding something from us.
“Let’s… Just go.” I said. We came out of the store, and started eating/drinking our snacks. I took the mask out of my bag, and it looked as if it was wood, but felt like steel. It was shaped like a heart, and colored red green and yellow. I put it back in my bag, and wondered what we are supposed to do now.
“What should we do now?” I said, after I finished my coke.
“Should we set up a tent or something in the woods?” Slingshot said. I thought it was a good idea myself. But the problem was: we had no tent.
“Guys?” Sully said, annoyed we weren’t listening to him.” I have a tree house I built with my mom in the woods. I haven’t been in there for a while, but it would be a great place to spend the night.” All of us thought that was a great idea, so we head down through a trail behind Sully’s house. Then, there it was. A tree house hung high in a tree, with a rope ladder hanging from the door. We climbed up it and sat down by the walls. For the rest of the day we told stories and jokes, and soon fell asleep.