The old Soulcaster stood on the forest edge waiting for the tiny hamlet’s lights to fade. He stepped out of his sandals and kneaded the damp grass and soil with his toes. Through the soles of his arthritic feet he could feel the life charge of each blade of grass. The roots spread for hundreds of yards, binding with the roots of the nearby bushes and trees, forming a living web. With a thought he grasped tightly to the web and began to pull. The grass beneath his feet withered and died. Life energy coursed up his left leg as he spewed his own death energy out his right. After a century of practice and experimentation the old Soulcaster found this to be the most efficient means of life transfer. A ring of death spilled outward devouring more of the underbrush, reaching for the closest trees.
I havent really decided what this is yet. It feels like a novel to me. I have 4000 words down so far.
I liked this better than the other fragment you recently posted, it is more original and more relaxed.
The "arthritic" in the third sentence suggests that the second sentence should read "painfully kneaded".
The "in the left leg, out the right" is cute, but doesn't really work for me. Too inorganic, like electricity. I think you need an organic image, like breathing in and out. Breathe in the life, breathe out the death.
I appreciate the feedback. Rick, it's funny that you compared it to electricity. Im an engineer by trade and used electricity and computer networking as a model for the energy transfer system. I do see your point about it being inorganic. In fact, that gives me an idea about the philosophical differences that may occur between practictioners of this "magic." Is life energy a gift from nature or a resource?
[This message has been edited by trailmix (edited March 23, 2008).]
Another point of feedback - most grass roots don't spread for "hundreds of yards" - they do spread a little bit, but measured in inches and feet, not yards. Prairie grasses have very very very very deep roots, some native (I'm in the midwest, prairie land) plants in my area have been measured to have roots as deep as 75 feet (they stopped digging then, could have been longer, I believe.) For most of the sedges and grasses of my area, you can expect that they have roots at least as deep as they grow tall. A 3 food tall prairie dropseed grass would have about a 3 foot root, at least. I think it was compass plant that I read about having a 75 foot root trail.
Anyway, probably more than you wanted to know, but the word grass generally means lawn grass to most modern readers. If you want to evoke a different plant that has a web-like spread, you could use a shallow-rooted tree (Norwegian Maples have a massive network of very fine surface roots, to the point where almost nothing grows under them because the roots take up all the water and choke out other living things.) You could also use a tree like a Bald Cypress that grows these nobby knees up out of the ground around the tree, mostly by rivers.
Or you could make up something, and use more words to describe the grass so it's clear it's not just kentucky bluegrass.
Point well taken. That could use a bit of re-wording. I didn't mean to imply that the roots themselves were hundreds of yards but that the web they created was, not to say that all of these roots are inter-connected but are touching.
Thanks. The info you provided will be helpful moving forward.
[This message has been edited by trailmix (edited March 26, 2008).]