The Grasping Wastes

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

The Grasping Wastes is the world of the Homunculi, mutant creatures born from the carcass of a dead god. In this world, Names are powerful and magical. A human, named Rachel, suddenly finds herself transported to this world. With an unknown voice narrating everything happening around her and factions of Homunculi trying to capture her, Rachel must find a way to survive in this world and escape back to her home.

Warning: Blood, gore, and profanity.

Table of Contents

Prologue

Upon the shifting skin of the long dead god, the homunculi made their homes.   They remember not the gaping, bleed... Read Chapter

1

The human awakes slowly. Eyes blinking rapidly against the stark yellow sky above. “Hello?”  She rises, still ... Read Chapter

2

Kestrel stares down at the homunculus groveling before her. The homunculus is prostrate, arching their spiny back and pressing their thre... Read Chapter

3

  From behind a marrow-tree, the human-  “J-”  She lowers her voice to a whisper.  “Jesus… yo... Read Chapter

4

“Your Majesty, the commoners are in an uproar.”  The attendant, a furry and weasel like homunculi, keeps his head down as he... Read Chapter

5

Rachel sits on a lopsided ivory stool, surrounded on all sides by crooked walls made of a contorted rib cage.  “Finally, you... Read Chapter

6

Kestrel paces outside of Dust’s office, annoyed at her recent summons.  “Not now… by the Primordial’s Name I swear if yo... Read Chapter

7

Rachel prepares herself for her first contact with both the homunculi and their cities.  “Great, you’re back. Quick question... Read Chapter

8

Kestrel leaves the fruit stall, suspecting nothing of the human nearby.  “What!?”  She swerves around, scanning eac... Read Chapter

9

Rachel adjusts the beak of the costume she just transmuted and hurries out of the alley way.  “Would have been real nice to ha... Read Chapter

10

Kestrel clutches at her throat as she chokes. Thick smoke spills out of her nostrils and beak, a fog of ash stinging her eyes and suffoca... Read Chapter

11

Rachel pokes the glass jar. The eye side does not blink, as it has no eyelids, but the pupil narrows. Whether it is intrigued or annoyed ... Read Chapter

12

Kestrel glares at the human, waiting. The sound of her breath. Every motion she makes. Every heartbeat. Kestrel analyzes everything. ... Read Chapter

Recent Comments

llywrch

This is truly an unusual & gripping way to tell a story: the narration actively interacts with the character(s). (I won't say unique: there are countless examples of characters in comics who break the "fourth wall" to talk with the narrator.) Of course, this raises the issue whether this can not only be convincingly maintained, but explained. I admit I read ahead to see whether you could pull this off, & glad to see that you have.

There is some limitations to having the narrator as a character here, but I'm saving my comments on that for a later chapter.

Another challenge with any fantasy story, IMHO, is whether the world created is consistent & enables the reader to suspend disbelief with a minimum of effort. I'm glad to say from what I've read you're passing that test.

As for profanity & blood... Well, the blood/gross part doesn't bother me -- & I admit I can be squeamish at times -- probably because it's all presented in a manner that the grossness quickly becomes mundane. The character's profanity does get annoying, but considering she's been thrown into an unfamiliar dimension/universe with no warning, it is understandable.

In short, this has definitely grabbed my attention & pulled me into the story. For more reasons than to see if you could pull off a literary trick.

Mon, January 10th, 2022 7:33am

Author
Reply

Thank you, unusual and gripping is definitely what I was trying for. Unfortunately, I will probably not pick this story back up for a while, as the more chapters I wrote the less and less well I thought I was handling the characters (and I felt like my pace was slowing considerably, yet somehow still felt a bit rushed. Still trying to figure out the elements I feel cheapen the story).
This story was an experiment, not only through how I handled the narrator, but also an experiment to see how quickly I could write chapters (I set to write a chapter a day, at least 1500 words each; fairly short but it was a goal). While it worked for the first few chapters, I think, I'm not certain about the last couple, and I've decided not to pick up this story until I am more certain of where I want to take the plot and if I want to backtrack and rewrite any chapters.
If you decide to keep reading, please let me know what you think. It doesn't have to be a Review Chain formula review, but I'd love to know what elements were most liked/disliked about the story as it progresses.

Mon, January 10th, 2022 2:18pm

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