As requested by Joyce. I’m not sure how to classify this book. Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror? The beta readers may have to inform me. I don’t want to give too much away but this gives you an idea what direction the book is taking.
Uncle had a habit of producing unexpected items from his loose clothing, so David had no idea how he intended to start a fire. He wouldn’t have been surprised if he produced a cheap plastic lighter.
David watched him prepare a fire, quite a small one, although longer along one direction instead of round. He took a small stick and made repeated cuts in it until it resembled a small carving of a pine tree. Uncle left an opening in the stacked wood and held the little starter piece down by that hole. Instead of producing a lighter or any other method Davis had ever heard of he sat very still and looked at the carved stick steadily. David was starting to wonder if he was changing his mind or having some sort of a seizure. Then the curled up slivers of wood started turning brown. David suddenly had trouble sucking in his next breath, and the hair stood up on the back of his neck…
The wood got darker steadily and then started to smoke. It all burst into flame at once instead of starting at a point and spreading. Uncle thrust it in the opening where it would catch the fuel above it on fire and stepped back.
David was so sure of his own sanity he never considered it was a hallucination. Neither did he think it was any trick, a magician’s sleight of hand. But the look on his face had to be addressed, even if he didn’t say anything.
“It is a small skill, but often handy. More frequently useful than… bigger things,” Uncle said a bit sheepish, as if it embarrassed him to jolt David so. “I’ll teach you, but we need some things still to start, and I think it will be at least another day’s journey before we can find them.”