Please read the newest chapter of my Fantasy Novel and provide me with feedback.
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Finn hit the floor with a thud. A cloud of dust rose around him. A groan escaped from his lips, followed by a short fit of coughing.
“The landings get easier.” Valentina appeared several feet above the ground, and gracefully landed next to Finn. Her heavy boots barely making a sound as they hit the wood floor.
Finn rose to his feet, and dusted himself off. “It would have, if you hadn’t shoved me.”
“Get over it. You never would have jumped.” Valentina slid her bag off her shoulder and threw it on the table.
Finn walked around the cabin, which was slightly larger than the shanty they had just left. A plain wooden table for eight was centered in the room. Old papers and maps were held in place by rusted daggers stabbed into each corner. Finn's eyes lingered on the maps. “Where are we?”
“We are a few miles inside the eastern edge of the Elderwood. Father built this place so that he had a safe place to jump.” Valentina sat in one of the dusty chairs and plopped her feet on top of the table and closed her eyes. “We leave at sun-up. I suggest you get some rest.”
Finn circled the table, passed cabinets and a wood stove, to the only moderately comfortable place to sleep, a mattress with hay and leaves protruding from the numerous holes and tears. He laid his head on his arm and fell into a deep sleep, not realizing how tiring the events from the day had been.
Finn woke to the sight of Valentina’s boot headed straight for his gut. “I’m awake.”
Her boot stopped just short. “Good, I was about to wake you.”
Finn yawned wide and rolled off the mattress. He was still tired and longed for his bed back home. The sunlight filtered through the forest canopy as it bathed the cabin in a greenish light.
“Let's go.” Valentina tossed Finns bag to him. “Change your clothes first you need to blend in. There should be some in the armoire.”
“Do you mind?”
“Sorry.” Valentina looked away as Finn changed into clothes that smelled strongly of mildew
“What about breakfast?” Finn opened his bag and pulled out the loaf of pumpkin bread his Gran made. His mind wandered back to his grandparents and he wondered how they were doing.
“No time. You’ll have to walk and eat.” Valentina rolled her eyes and walked out the door. Finn tore off a piece of bread and returned the loaf to his bag and started towards the door. He remembered the map on the table. He grabbed it, rolled it up and shoved it in his bag before heading out the door.
Finn stepped outside and the bright morning sun blinded him. As he regained his sight he spun on the spot and gazed in awe at the forest. Towering trees of all species, at least twice as massive as Earth trees, stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction. All of his senses heightened, this world was more vibrant in every way. Telrus made living on Earth seem like living in a black and white silent movie.
“Are you done?” asked Valentina. Finn came to his senses.
“This place is amazing!”
“Yep, amazing.” Valentina maintained her expressionless glare.
“What happened to the cabin?” Finn glanced behind him and saw the cabin completely covered in moss, the roof caved in and a tree growing out of the hole.
“It’s a concealment spell, to keep people from using it.” Valentina continued through the trees. “Honestly Finn, if you are going to fit in here you must stop acting like you have never seen magic.”
“I haven’t.” Finn quickened his pace to catch up with Valentina. “Where are we going again?”
“How far is it?”
“Seven days on foot.”
“The quicker we get there the sooner I can leave. Enough questions.”
They walked along in silence while Finn attempted to memorize their path. Everything looked the same to him, but Valentina seemed to know where she was going. There was one thing he noticed that was a bit peculiar. A thick layer of grass covered the forest floor, there were no leaves on the ground. It seemed as if the trees never lost their leaves, or if they had someone or something picked them up. Finn, lost in thought, barely noticed when they came to the edge of the forest. The trees ended abruptly as if there was an invisible wall blocking their way.
“We rest here. Five minutes, and then we keep moving.” Valentina sat on the soft ground, her back against a tree root and shut her eyes.
Finn just stood there staring at the vastly different landscape ahead. Dark green patches of foliage and the occasional lone conifer were scattered across reddish brown rolling hills. Deep blue streams snaked between them and ponds with water of every hue spotted the valleys. Finn was awestruck by the color palette displayed before him, never had he seen such naturally beauty.
Finn, after ensuring he absorbed every detail of the land, sat upon the grass and pulled the map from his bag. The map was not drawn on paper, but rather on a very thin sheet of wood, and for that matter the map was not drawn, it was burned into the wood. There were no names or labels anywhere on the map, only the outline of landmasses and six symbols. Finn stopped halfway through rolling up the map. One of the symbols caught his eye, it seemed familiar. His mind flashed back to the wax seal on the letter from his mother. He pulled it from his bag. Identical.
Let me know what you think and what needs work. I feel that I did too much telling and not enough showing, especially with the landscape descriptions. Thanks