Naturally Supernatural is a young-adult novel by Sarra Burns that is set in an alternate world where supernatural beings are considered “normal” while mortals are considered outcasts. Burns informs us that this is a project that she has been working on the last year or so. She tells us that developed this concept for a story as she had never before seen this tale told. “Other novels about “supernatural” characters, such as vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, and such, all have one thing in common; that the supernatural beings are “outcasts” who are hidden from society in some way and they often keep themselves distant from mortals who rule the planet. My story is about how everyone is born immortals and is “naturally supernatural” (hence the title).”
In Burns’ tale, mortals exist as a result of a powerful magic cast centuries before. They are a minority culture within the world and are the lowest class of citizen. Her story centers on one mortal in particular, named Lynnly, and Lynnly’s quest to attain immortality. Within the story there is much action, adventure, romance, drama, comedy, lies, betrayal, secrets, and a strong message about racism vs. tolerance, as well as believing in oneself, and what it means to be “special.” According to Burns, this is the kind of novel that you could read for fun or could be taught in schools as a lesson in acceptance of oneself and of others. “I hope that you can help support this project as it means a great deal to me and feels like a story that must be told.”
The funds she raises here will go towards publishing and distribution of the novel. The novel itself will be published in hardcover, softcover, and digital format for Kindle and iTunes Books.
Below, is a sample of the book from Chapter 2:
Lynnly: a teenage mortal girl who lives in a wealthy neighborhood only because her father is a Wizard’s assistant. She attends the mortal school and hates being a mortal more than anything.
Dula Maple: a beautiful teenage witch with green eyes, red hair and a dark personality. Dula is particularly cruel to Lynnly because Dula feels Lynnly’s family doesn’t belong in her neighborhood; she wants Lynnly to move to a mortal neighborhood where she belongs.
Scene: Lynnly is walking home from school when she is ambushed by her nemesis Dula Maple and her friends. Dula decides to torture Lynnly...simply because Lynnly is a mortal and she knows no one is going to stop her. Dula tells Lynnly that if she kills her, no one would care so Lynnly asks Dula if she’s going to kill her.
“I’m not going to kill you,” she repeated, “but I am going to give you something you’ll never forget.” With that, Dula flicked her wrist upward and Lynnly’s legs were swept up into the sky, as if an invisible rope had been tethered around them and yanked up to the sky. With her world view literally turned upside down, Lynnly was low on options. She could not break free of Dula’s spell, but she could resist. So Lynnly began to thrash back and forth, twisting and turning hoping beyond hope to overcome the magic. Unfortunately, a mortal versus a Witch’s wand was a battle already lost. Dula flicked her wrist again and sent Lynnly still hanging upside down in the air over the railing. The dry, wooden planks of the bridge vanished from Lynnly’s sight and were replaced by the icy, coursing water of the river. As she floated, Lynnly turned her head enough to see some of the houses down the street. She began to shout for help...yelling as loudly as her Alluvial lungs would allow. ‘Please, someone,’ she thought, ‘stop this.’ But no one came out. No one cared. Lynnly was just a mortal and if she died, no one would care. But Lynnly continued to writhe and fight; clawing at her legs as though trying to untie the rope around her calves that was not there and shouting for someone to save her. She could hear Dula and her friends laughing maniacally on the bridge. She hated those Witches with such a passion that it brought tears to her eyes. She wished with every impractical thought she were a Witch too; that she could return the curse and bring down her wrath upon Dula and her friends. In practicality, however, it would have been enough for Lynnly just to be free of Dula’s spell at all.
Suddenly, a shout from down the road caused Dula to turn her head for the briefest of moments; unfortunately, a moment was all it took. Lynnly got part of her wish. The curse was broken, Lynnly was free and for a few seconds her feelings turned from hatred to gratefulness…until she plunged head first into the bitter waters below.
The current rushed swiftly above her head as she tumbled toward the bed of the river. A giant vortex of both waves and foam sucked her straight down to the bottom. She could feel the pressure increasing with every inch. The river was much deeper than she had imagined and soon she lost sight of the sky. There was no rock or weed to grab hold of; she was relegated to letting the water crush her. Her lungs were beginning to give out as she tried to hold in her breath as long as possible but she knew sooner or later she would be out of air. The water spun faster and she felt the sides of her head pressing together as if sandwiched between two steel plates. Her reflex to take a breath was beginning to overwhelm her. Shortly she would lose her will and involuntarily suck in the liquid around her; she would surely drown. She suddenly began to wish that she would pass out before she got to that point. Going like that seemed such a horrible way to die and she hoped she would not be conscious to experience it. Her heart began to race, pounding louder and faster than it had during any encounter with Dula or any inspection by the B.A.R. She would have gladly traded drowning for a hundred B.A.R inspections…anything to alleviate the pain of feeling her lungs collapsing inside her chest. Many similar thoughts coursed through her head in those few moments, flashes of her life as it had been. She thought of her mother singing her to sleep at night, her voice so beautiful that you knew she was descended from Sirens; her father, with his strong but skinny arms, wrapping her up and giving her a hug all those other times she had been tortured by Dula or some other immortal. She would have given anything to have those moments back. She began to feel the paralysis coming on. Her eyes began to close, her willpower failed, her mouth opened, her lungs began filling with water, her head stopped spinning and thinking of escape and just accepted the inevitable. Then everything went black and Lynnly saw no more.
The main complication that Burns could face with completing the book would be to not meet her deadline of December 2015. She has planned to write as often as possible to be able to meet that deadline and complete the novel by that time. However, life sometimes gets in the way and makes setting aside writing time difficult. Therefore, to give herself breathing room she has made the deadline December of 2015 instead of her original plan of 2014. she have already completed 50 of the 250 pages so meeting this deadline should not be a problem.
This project will only be funded if at least $5,000 is pledged by Wed, Mar 12 2014.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.