Sneak Peak: A Hero’s Secret

I’ve been slacking on the creative writing portion of my blog, so I thought I’d give a little bit of a preview into my story I’m currently working on.

This one will be the first that I’ll try to publish, whether it’ll be the first I publish, I guess we’ll have to wait and see!


Chapter One

This town was smaller than the others. It sat along a river that emptied into a round lake, but it was the mass of oak, pine, and birch trees covering the area that drew Dray Dinley in.

The amount of pictures Dray could take was endless and her blog would be rich of various posts, each exploring a different side of the same place. Unlike her last residence, a cramped studio apartment a few blocks from the beach, she didn’t see repetition being a problem. The warmth from the sun on her skin and the soft sand between her toes had been her favorite part of any day, but only so many shots could come from a short stretch of sand.

Dray was glad to move on. She had spent too much time there and her blog desperately need a change. A change in life was much past due, too. Plus, she was grateful for the chance to save some money. The several thousand resident town of Hero had proved to have the most affordable rent in the area, for a photography blogger’s salary that it.

Dray sat in her kitchen and fiddled with the corner of a pamphlet she had picked up earlier at the local gas station. She learned Hero was named after a self-absorbed, money-scheming maniac named Alexander Hero. Not quite the man to look up to, but as far as she could tell, the town was quiet and didn’t follow his evil ways.

The paper was waxy between her fingers and didn’t crumple in her grasp, so she folded it in half and flung it over by a stack of empty boxes that got ruined during the move.

Stacks of untouched boxes sat next to that garbage pile. The necessities were out for the most part and she only needed to dig through boxes maybe once a day, but as it stood, Dray had been there almost a week and had yet to fully unpack.

She decided to stretch that out a little longer.

Pushing the stood back from the kitchen counter, it was quite a lovely breakfast bar, Dray stood up and grabbed her camera. There was much more to explore and the itch to do it tingled through her fingertips.

Her cozy two bedroom house lived in the trees and was surrounded by twisting trails. She could see miles of the forest that expanded across the road from the wall of sinews in the living area. It did little for her motivation to unpack.

Outside, the sun shone bright, peeking through the leaves. Dray inhaled the fresh air. It flowed through her body and a small smile rose to her face. The noisy crow pecking on her lawn didn’t even bother her. With her head up to the sky, she bounced down her front steps.

Today, she went straight. Going back into town would take her right by the lake, which was a lovely place to shoot, but she had done that already, and straight into downtown. Instead, she crossed the street and found a trail a little less traveled to start her journey. It zigzagged back and forth through the forest, but in time found itself parallel to a river.

Dray took photos every couple of steps, getting low to the ground or stretching high on her toes to frame the perfect shot. It went on like this for a while. Dray could get completely lost with her photography. She enjoyed making ordinary things come to life in various ways and she challenged herself to create as many of those variations as she could.

She had just finished taking a close up of a pretty yellow flower when she noticed it. It was huge, much larger than the others, and wide with long branches that twisted into each other. The odd tree was one of a kind and it took Dray’s breath away.

She grinned and inched towards it, ideas whirling around in her mind of shots she could take. It began just a few feet from the tree. The click of the shutter was on full blast. Dray didn’t waste time and moved gracefully around the front side of the tree.

A few step closer to the river, making sure not to fall down the small bank, she had a sparkling view of the water. The sun glistened off the water, contrasting with the odd tree’s worn and washed out bark. Dray needed to freeze it in time.

The camera pressed against her face, the shutter going off a few times, before a resounding crack hit her ears. She dropped her camera, feeling mist from the splash in the water graze her skin. The strap rubbed raw against the back of her neck as the camera bounced against her chest.

The tree looked no different from before. Dray pushed her hair back with a furrowed brow and skimmed against the bark, careful to keep distance from the water, and peeked around to the back side of the tree.

A thick branch, towering over her, had completely broken off. What remained was splintered, leaving shards and slivers sticking out in blunt angles.

Dray shrugged. Storms have that effect. There must have been a rough one before she moved in and gravity finally caught up.

She hugged the trunk of the tree and swiveled her way back around. In all reality, she had enough pictures. A sneaky indecisiveness rooted in how many pictures she took—the more there was, the harder it was to choose.

Though the photography part was done, Dray decided to mosey a little farther out beyond the tree. She held off on going too far. There was no doubt she’d start shooting again and there were already hundreds of pictures waiting patiently for her approval.

Speaking of those photos, Dray’s patience was wearing thin. She picked up the camera and started looking. The sun shone a bit bright to see all the details, but she wanted to get the gist of them. Her steps slowed as her attention was on the small screen and not the path.

She scrolled through, at first too fast to really notice anything and then a little slower, smiling at the shots she knew would be gold. Pride swelled in the pit of her stomach from the success found on her short trip, specifically the stunning shots of that odd tree.

Dray marveled at how strange it looked in the photos and how mysterious and beautiful they would look in black and white. Her heartbeat picked up, a giddiness in her step, as she neared the last shot of the sun glinting off the water.

She stopped walking.

Her camera dropped from her frozen hands and thumped against her chest, like before, but this time her heart thumped with it.

The picture was there. The tree sat just off center, the water filling in the right side. It was everything she envisioned and a whole lot more. Dray froze in time the exact moment the branch broke off and attached to it was a body with bright blonde hair and a rope around its neck.


dun, dun, dun!

This isn’t actually the entire first chapter. The rest is a couple of character intros and basically Dray running back to her house as fast as she can.

This is the second “serious” draft, so there is still much work to be done. I’m about half way done with the draft (needing to add about 20,000 words as I go) and once completed, I’m sending out to beta readers (aka friends and family, as of now!). Hopefully they’ll like it!

Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think!

One Reply to “Sneak Peak: A Hero’s Secret”

  1. […] tonight, I got off (technically I got on) my lazy ass and put some quality time into my book, A Hero’s Secret. I grabbed my headphones and instead of going to my dedicated Spotify playlist for writing, I typed […]

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