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Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/6/2017 1:35:28 AM
I was doing my 1k warmup this morning and I don't know why, but I felt like this one was worth sharing. Any feedback would be appreciated, it's an idea I wouldn't mind expanding if there's interest. :)



The long dirt road at last brought the travelers in sight of their destination. The hooded couple in the coarse and shapeless habits of an Order associated with vows of poverty and the forsaking of worldly pleasures, and the small girl leading their knobby-kneed mule had spent fourteen days choking on dust, their mouths set in grim, weary lines. But as they crested the hill to view the village laid out below, the man lowered his hood to reveal blue eyes twinkling from a sun-browned and exceedingly hairy face, and cracked a grin. “There’s the church, there’s the inn and the mayor’s...and if I remember Klein, he was never one to do without his comforts. His will be the big house. Hah! I’ll be happy to see that old bastard again, everything else aside.”

“Somehow I doubt he’ll be happy to see us, given the news we bring,” the woman remarked. Narrow-shouldered and tall, with something...indefinite about her features, perhaps brought on by the play of shadow beneath her hood. Her voice was strained. “And may I remind you Ky, that ‘everything else’ can hardly be put aside. We’re not finished yet. Not even close. We must move on tomorrow, with or without the boy.”

“Jialu, when all this is over, remind me to never go on a journey with you again,” Ky grumbled good naturedly, then coughed and rubbed at his red-rimmed eyes. “Too much dust for a wet blanket. And here I thought your folk were supposed to be the merry ones…”

“Will there be fresh bread and milk?” the girl wanted to know, a note of wistfulness in her voice. Her face was thin and pale, and she sounded exhausted. “I’m so tired of hard biscuits.

“Aye little one, we’ll find you some better fare before this slave driver pushes us on,” Ky promised, offering her a swig of sour wine from the sheep bladder he carried. “So chin up, Lidna. A good meal and a bed of cozy straw waits for you and Pokey both,” he said, reaching over to give the old mule and affectionate pat.

Jialu had already started on without them, apparently not in the mood for Ky’s sudden bout of good humor.



*****



Michael sneezed at the dust. Great clouds of it flew up as Mrs. Goodrich savagely beat the large braided rug hanging over the fence. As the maid of the only dwelling in town with wooden floors, it was a matter of pride to her that the front room of the house always be graced by a clean covering.

“I can’t breathe!” Michael complained. “Then go find somewhere else to be,” the stout housemaid answered with a snort, brandishing her broomstick. “Or better yet, find something to do. A boy your age, standing around idle? I’ve never seen the like! Sir Klein should whip your backside raw.”

“Pfft. Come now Goodie, I’m no common village boy.” At fourteen, the sandy-haired, freckle-faced ward of the old knight had picked up a habit of taking on airs that made any adult standing nearby want to knock him silly with a wooden block.

The good woman fortunately had the temptation removed by Mrs. Roland, the lady of the house, appearing at the back door to call out, “Michael, we...have visitors.” From her tone of voice it seemed they may be visitors she didn’t entirely approve of, and that she might like to say more, but from behind her came a stranger’s loud, boisterous voice, mingled with warm welcomes from Sir Klein, so she only continued with, “Fetch Mr. Roland, will you? But first bring a pair of chickens in.”

Any pause the oddness of her tone might have given him flew from the boy’s head immediately at the last command. Tonight they would have chicken! Abandoning Goodie to her rugs, he raced to the hen house, sending the hens indignantly squawking this way and that in his excitement. Selecting a fat pullet, he tucked it under his left arm and with a sharp movement of his right hand broke its neck and twisted the head clean off, then repeated the process with another. Depositing the headless fowl in a pot of hot water inside for Mrs. Roland or Goodie to defeather, he was shooed away from the kitchen door before he could get a peek at the strangers, and went trotting off to complete the second part of his task. Mrs. Roland’s husband Sorey was currently out checking up on the field hands, and it was a short while before the farmer could return to the house with the impatient youth.

When Michael pushed his way through the back door, he could sense immediately the mood had changed. He could hear a strange and somewhat cold-voiced woman speaking from the front room. “Whether he comes with us or not, this won’t remain a safe hiding spot for much longer. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t deny we speak the truth. You should start making plans to flee now, and if I were you I would not wait out the week here. Irongreer’s spies are everywhere, and speed their news along in ways mortal men can’t comprehend.”

Confused now, but not liking the sound of any of that, he stepped into the main room, determined to see these visitors for himself, and heedless of any reprimands awaiting for his interruption. Strangers were a rarity at this time of year, and these seemed strange indeed.

Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago

Pffh, would've been funnier if you just typed one really shit line and then asked for what you did wrong and a shit ton of praise for what you did right.

Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago
Funny? I have no idea what you're referring to.

Also, I take writing seriously, thank you, so why would I do that? Seems lazy, and twatty.

Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago
Alright, since this is your writing, the descriptions were deftly sculpted, no surprises there.

It's the names that get me, the names in the first half seem very different from the second half. For a moment I thought these were two different stories, I don't picture Goodrich being a common name in olden times.

There wasn't a consistent plotline, and it felt like it ended abruptly, though that is easily forgiven considering this is probably a stream-of-consciousness thing.

I'll be honest, fantasy in general doesn't appeal to me much anymore, and another tale about another mysterious Order and another murderous faction doesn't inspire me, though a more grounded story about the life and times in that era definitely would. The first half somehow felt more interesting except for the last paragraph of the second.

Given that this was for all purposes an effortless script, this was a nice read, but not perhaps a strong one. My apologies for being a bit less encouraging than I'd liked to have been, but such are my honest thoughts.

Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago
Well it wasn't intended to be a complete story, it's a 1k word intro. I put 'snippet' in the title, though I guess I could have made it clearer in the post itself.

The name Goodrich comes from Goderiche or Godric, and both seemed kind of exotic for a middle-aged 'motherly' house servant. Meanwhile Jialu, Lidna and Ky are travelers from another kingdom, so I gave them 'fantasy' style names while everyone else was more mundane.

If I do continue this I was leaning towards turning it into a sort of coming of age story involving an attempt to overthrow a king corrupted by demonic forces. (Yes I know that's pretty cliche but I feel like I can make it work.)

More information about who the strangers are and what their purpose is and how it all relates to Michael, I'd have liked to include but I was only writing a thousand words to start this one off, it'd have been difficult to get into while also introducing the setting without going the pure infodump route.


Snippet from a fantasy story

17 days ago

Interesting start, and very intriguing! I'd like to see this continued.

Although, I can't help but notice some names that are either the same as or similar to ones in my story... It's probably unintentional, though.

On the whole, I think it's good!

So long Blue

17 days ago
Oh I guess I really do have to continue this now.

Future updates will be dedicated to AzureChevalier/BlueSabere/Blackhawke/ChickenStew23/ChickenNotStew/Justtellmewhoyouare/Chickenstew2300/
Stopitmods/Torinator/Torinator2/Grants/RedSabre/GreenSabre/GreenSabere/Nohate/RedSaberee/TFWQ/
BlackHawk/Seriously/UserName2/Answers2000/Fallure/Life/EndHatesMe/YupIKnow/WishIDidntHaveToSpam/
StayingAwayFromForum/INeverSaidThat/EndLetMeTalkItOut/StopBanning/LemonJuice/PmedMizalProofAskHer/
ImInnocent/AskMizalForProof/ImDesperate/ReadForProof/FinalPost/DontBanMakingStory/REALfinalPost/
TheTypist/iAMthatDENSE.

RIP

So long Blue

16 days ago
Sorry guys, removed one post too high! (Oops)