Surprise Teaser: The Debut of Darwin

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Really couldn’t resist this.  I wrote my very first Darwin scene yesterday and it was a little nerve-wracking.  He’s even more different than my previous heroes than I expected.  It’s going to take a while for me to get into the full groove because I haven’t tested him in action scenes yet.  Still, this might be a good start.

“How and why, Darwin?”

“I wanted to help pick the apples.”

“They finished three days ago.”

“But they left some.”

“I think those are for animals.”

“Oh . . . Can you help me down, Arlinger?”

“Where’s the ladder?”

“Mr. Casmar took it while I was up here.”

“You didn’t stop him?”

“I didn’t want to get in trouble.”

“Give me a minute.”

Clinging to the apple oak’s trunk, Darwin watches his cousin run for a nearby shed and slow down at the fence. Leaves are stuck in his unkempt, brown hair, but he is too scared to release his hold and remove them. He bites his lower lip and whimpers at the sensation of having to go to the bathroom, which has gotten stronger over the last fifteen minutes. The chubby halfling is about to move out of sight and try to go from a branch, but freezes when he spots villagers working in a nearby field. Darwin is about to yell a greeting to them, but stops when he thinks they will tell Mr. Casmar about him trespassing in the orchard. He nearly cries at the memories of being yelled at by his parents, the guards, and many other people for his failed attempts to help. Reaching into his back pocket, the halfling pulls out a scrap of kelly-green fabric and grips it tightly to remain calm. It is enough to stop his tears, but he repeatedly rises onto his toes and lowers himself back onto the branch.

Going back to his original position, Darwin’s sky-blue eyes search for Arlinger and he begins to worry he has been abandoned. Bobbing up and down with more energy, the front of his white shirt becomes covered in bits of bark, which come off from his increasingly frantic movements. He relaxes when his blond-haired cousin come out of the shed with a ladder and stops to lock the door behind him. It is difficult to keep an eye on the thinner halfling due to his dark green clothes helping him blend in with the cornstalks. Wanting to be the lookout, Darwin stares at the farm and watches for signs that Mr. Casmar is about to leave the house. His attention locks on a fluffy dog, which runs into the yard to chase the chickens until it becomes lost in the cloud of dust the animals kick up. Worried that the pet is in danger, the halfling is about to shout for someone to help when an acorn gently hits him in the chin.

“Get down, Darwin, before they see us,” Arlinger whispers from below. Holding the ladder steady, he waits for his cousin to get down before grabbing his wrist and running away from the farm. “You need to be more careful. I can’t always be around to keep you out of trouble. Why are you bouncing on one foot?”

“I have to pee!” Darwin cries as he frees his hand. Rushing into a patch of bushes, he makes sure only his head is showing before dropping his pants. “See, I learned to watch for witnesses first. I’m sorry I made a mess. Everybody forgets to let me help, so I have to find my own way to lend a hand. My parents don’t like me hanging around the house, which means I have to be useful to the village. Can’t spend the rest of my life galivanting with Arlinger as my dad says when he thinks I’m not listening. What does galivanting mean? Is it a bad thing? I’m sorry if that’s mean to you.”

“You don’t have to apologize since you don’t know any better,” the other halfling says while his back is turned to his cousin. His sandy brown eyes focus on the distance where a thatched dome can be seen on the central hill. “Goldmeadow is fairly boring. Not close enough to the coast for pirates or the big Yagervan camps for thieves. All there is to do here is farm and sleep. That’s why they don’t understand us. We crave excitement and a life outside of the village where we can be ourselves.”

Pulling up his pants, Darwin wipes his hands on the leaves, which cover his skin in a sweet sap. “Aren’t there hooded lions and trolls out there? Guess those would be exciting too. If you think we’d be happier outside of the village then why are you still here? Wait, I remember the answer. You don’t have capital or any resources to travel. Also, you don’t want to leave me behind since I keep getting into trouble. Arlinger, you really don’t have to worry about me. You should live your life.”

“Says someone who just got stuck in an apple oak,” his cousin softly jokes. Hearing a shuddering sigh, he turns around and gives the other halfling a hug. “You know I’m only having fun and don’t regret saving you. It isn’t like you don’t return the favor. My adventures always get us in trouble, but you’re the one who helps get us smaller punishments. Remember when we went to steal knives from Ms. Terria for me to practice throwing? I would have been put in jail for a week if you hadn’t told the mayor I wanted to be a guard and those were my weapon of choice. As you said, I couldn’t afford to buy the right knives, so . . . Why are you scrunching your face?”

“I thought they were nicer because I was crying.”

“There was that.”

“Nobody could understand what I was saying.”

“I knew what you were trying to tell them.”

“Is that why you spoke for me?”

“As you said, nobody understood you.”

“How was it being a guard for a week?”

“Let’s race to the fountain.”

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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16 Responses to Surprise Teaser: The Debut of Darwin

  1. Now THAT’s a character who is different from your usual, Charles, it’ll be interesting to see how he grows 👍😃


  2. Victoria Zigler says:

    Definitely different from your usual characters, but I’m curious to see how he grows. And, for the record, would have definitely kept reading if there was more, since I’m already wondering what kind of trouble these halflings will find next.


  3. A super character, Charles. Darwin has great potential for the long run.


  4. I think Darwin has a lot of potential. Thanks for giving us a peek.


  5. In the second long paragraph, you need to put an s on come where it talks about his Blonde haired cousin. And in general though I find the story engaging, it uses too many ing words and has too much telling and not enough showing. For an example in the last paragraph instead of saying Why are you scrunching your face? you could say Why is your face scrunched? Ed words are more powerful than ing words. In the first paragraph,, Darwin clings to the apple oak’s trunk and watches his cousin run. He needs to go to the bathroom. The uncomfortable sensation causes him to whimper and bit his lower lip. He freezes when he sees villagers work in a nearby field. He reaches into his back pocket….etc.


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