Stories and Fantasies
May 12, 2021 at 7:36 pm #133891
*is startled by the sudden number of emails in my inbox in the space of like 3 min.* (XD)
Okay, great! (I’ve been basically haunting this topic for like a week, so yeah :D)
Hwæt! Wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum, pēod-cyninga, prym gefrūnon, hū õā æpelingas ellen fremedon!May 12, 2021 at 7:41 pm #133892
Lolol yea XD
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottMay 12, 2021 at 10:15 pm #133914
Esthelle’s Story as promised, snippet 9
The throne room was large. It was magnificent. The train of carpet down the center was a royal purple. Marble pillars lined the way, and gold and silver accents were everywhere.
Many people stared at Esthelle as she walked down the center of the room. Lords and nobles and other officials.
The king watched as she walked closer with each step. He was more royal looking now. He was wearing fine robes and a crown. He frowned. Esthelle was sure that this man wasn’t the same man from the interview earlier that day. This man scared her from his perch on his throne.
The silence was deafening.
As soon as she was as close to him as she dared, she bowed low before him.
If he didn’t reach out the scepter to her, she would be killed. Her heart pounded.
It seemed like many minutes passed before the king did anything.
But he reached the scepter out towards her, “You may rise..”
His voice was kind and relief flooded through her.
She reached a shaky hand up and placed it on the scepter, fully standing.
Their eyes met. His eyes were soft and understanding.
She removed her hand from the scepter, and he set it beside him.
“Come closer, dear.” He murmured.
She did so. They were less than an arms length away from each other now.
“Why do you come?” He murmured.
“I must speak to you..” her eyes darted around the room, and all the people.
He nodded understandingly and stood, offering an arm to her.
Esthelle silently took it and he led her out a side door, and down a hall.
He was silent for a good portion of the walk. “I guess you were surprised when you were told.” He finally said.
“Quite.” Esthelle replied.
He was silent again for a few seconds before asking, “You will marry me, won’t you?” He opened a door and they entered a small sitting room.
Esthelle pulled away from his arm and they sat down. “I will on certain terms.”
“Name the terms.”
“My cousin, Mrodi, who has been my guardian, is part of the royal guard. I think it’s about time for her to be promoted to your guard specifically.”
The king nodded, “that can be arranged.”
Esthelle smiled slightly and continued, “one of the girls in my group would have a better life here, if she and her little boy could move into the castle she could be a companion to me.”
He nodded again. “If your friend would like it, she may.”
“And the third is that my cousin stands in my father’s place at our wedding.”
“I was going to suggest that myself.”
“Thank you.” Esthelle paused. “What am I expected to do as queen?”
The king thought for a moment, “On some days you can do what you like. You will have an entire wing of the palace to yourself. It will be expected for you to join me on some days in the throne room.”
“We will marry in six months. You will spend four of those months at a nearby school to prepare you in the ways of royalty.”
She nodded again.
“It will be expected for us to be together on our wedding night, however I assume you’d like your own room in your wing.”
“You’re kind, sir.” Esthelle murmured.
“Call me Luke.” He smiled, “please.”
She nodded. “My cousin calls me Essie.” She replied.
“And I may too?”
“Thank you..” He smiled, “Essie.”
Esthelle smiled. “Luke… I must be getting back. I want to tell Myla before she leaves. Thank you for understanding..”
He smiled and nodded, “May I escort you back, Essie.”
Esthelle smiled, he must like the nickname.
“Of course. If you’re not needed elsewhere.”
They stood, and he offered his arm. She accepted it, and he led her through the halls once again.
Silence reigned for a while, but Esthelle broke it, “Why did you choose me?”
Luke was silent for a long moment, “You’re different. You didn’t dress up for me, you figured out who I was and still fussed at me. You came to the throne room without an invitation, and risked your life.” He paused, “the others would never have done that.”
Esthelle frowned and stared at the marble floor.
Just as they reached the door, Mrodi was leaving. She looked up and saw Esthelle and the king and her eyes widened. She bowed.
Esthelle didn’t want her cousin to bow, so she pulled away from Luke, and hugged Mrodi. Her cousin hugged her back.
Esthelle pulled away and reached a hand out to Luke, who took it, “Mrodi, this is King Lukas.” She turned to him, “Luke, this is Mrodi, my cousin.”
Luke smiled, “Hello.”
Mrodi nodded, staring at both of them in turn. “Hello..”
“I must go.” He bowed to Mrodi, “I’m glad to have met you.” He turned to Esthelle, “I’ll call on you tomorrow.”
Esthelle smiled slightly, “Alright…”
He smiled and squeezed her hand before turning and walking out of sight.
Mrodi stared at him, then turned to Esthelle, “I told you that you’d be chosen!” She smiled and hugged her, “Congratulations, Essie.”
“Thank you, cousin.” She smiled shakily, “I must face the girls now.”
Mrodi nodded, “and I have a post.”
With one last embrace, they parted, and Esthelle entered the room.
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottMay 19, 2021 at 7:21 pm #134241
*reads snippet* *smiles*
Kaleiva was up with the sun — the rays were bright enough that she simply couldn’t sleep any longer.
Enara had lost consciousness again when she awakened, and realizing that the little girl’s condition was worsening, Kaleiva continued on at once, not bothering to search for breakfast.
She’d been to her grandmother’s house a few times before, so that was some help, but she still didn’t know where, precisely, she was. She soon found the location generally enough, however, that she was able to reason that she was still a few hours’ walk from the town.
Her feet ached from the journeying of the night before, but Kaleiva didn’t care.
Enara was all that she had left. If she died, she didn’t know what she would do.
The remaining time passed quicker than Kaleiva had expected, and before long, she could see the cluster of buildings that was Ardov, large in comparison to her village, drawing nearer.
As she left the trees, the town ahead grew larger still, no longer obscured by the great oaks, elms, and pines.
Kaleiva stumbled into Ardov, and felt Enara shift in her arms. She felt as though it was only a matter of time until she collapsed, and knew that it likely was.
Townspeople emerged from their houses, and stopped to stare at the filthy girl carrying the small child.
Kaleiva knew that she was a mess; her hair was tangled, and stuck with leaves and twigs. Enara had burns splotching her smooth skin, some of them growing infected.
One cut on the bottom of her right foot was swelling angrily.
“Please. . .” Kaleiva said hoarsely, her fatigue threatening to overwhelm her. “Please. . . where does. . . Ara Nurys live?” She wavered, realizing that she could remain on her feet no longer, and fell, barely managing to twist in midair so that Enara was on top of her rather than beneath her. Her vision blurred, clouded, then blackened as she slipped from consciousness.
When Kaleiva awakened, she was lying in a soft bed, a cool rag lying upon her forehead. Her filthy clothing from earlier was gone, replaced by a clean linen girls’ tunic.
She was clean, and her blistered feet were wrapped in more linen, likely with some kind of ointment having been applied, which made them feel cool, though they still ached unavoidably.
Kaleiva let out a soft groan, then put a hand to her forehead. What. . . what happened? Where am I?
Her head throbbed with what was probably the worst headache she’d ever had.
A cool hand, wrinkled but soft, rested upon her right arm. “It’s all right, Kaleiva. You’re fine. One of the neighbors brought you here after you passed out.”
Kaleiva looked to the voice, and saw an elderly woman whom she recognized as Grandmother Nurys, her mother’s mother. Those blue eyes, kind, and unusual for anyone living anywhere but Chivall or Silvun, couldn’t possibly belong to anyone else.
“We got news of the village too late to be of any help,” Grandmother Nurys went on, sadness filling her eyes. “When you and Enara came, you can’t imagine how relieved we were that at least some of you had escaped.”
Kaleiva lay back down, rubbing her temples. What. . .
Then it all came back.
The raiders. Culvin. Enara. The Gryphonrider and his spear.
Kaleiva sat back up. “Enara!”
Grandmother Nurys gently made her lie back down. “It’s all right, child,” she said. “Enara’s alive. The healer is seeing her as we speak. She’s going to be fine.”
Kaleiva let out a sigh of relief. “Oh. . . oh. . . thank goodness.” She closed her eyes, and for several minutes, neither she nor her grandmother spoke.
Then, at last, Grandmother Nurys said, “I know. So many gone. . .”
Kaleiva rolled over onto her other side, and began to weep quietly. What started as only a few tears quickly grew into a torrent, and she vaguely wondered through her grief how she’d managed to keep it back this long.
I suppose, she thought, sniffling, it was desperation that gave me the strength.
Hardly had fifteen minutes passed, however, when, as the grief slowly but surely began to subside, Kaleiva felt it replaced by a new, smoldering emotion.
If the Duallies thought that they could simply come, kill, or capture her family, including dear Culvin, and sail back home with no consequences whatsoever, then they had another thing coming.
She would show them.
But not like this. That just wasn’t possible.
Kaleiva sat bolt upright, ignoring the protest of her aching muscles. If she intended to do anything about this, do anything to make sure that it never happened to anyone else, then she would need training. Without it, she was nothing more than an exhausted, angry orphan who wanted to do something, but couldn’t.
She turned to face her grandmother. “Grandmother Nurys, I. . .” She paused. Her next words, she knew, would determine the course of the rest of her life. She needed to choose them carefully, make sure that this was truly what she wanted, and not just an emotional whim. At last, Kaleiva met Grandmother Nurys’ eyes. The elderly woman was listening. “I want to go to M’irthen, Grandmother.”
Hwæt! Wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum, pēod-cyninga, prym gefrūnon, hū õā æpelingas ellen fremedon!May 19, 2021 at 7:27 pm #134242
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottMay 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm #134286
One thing I’m noticing is that everyone seems pretty excited to post their story, but not a lot of people are critiquing other stories… Don’t mean to be bossy, but perhaps if you are posting parts of your story, you can make it a point to give feedback on at least one person’s story? 🙂 ‘Cause if hardly anybody’s critiquing, stories go under the radar, then that diminishes the entire purpose of this thread, so… 😉 Again, not trying to be controlling–just brain-storming a solution XD
"I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell."May 21, 2021 at 4:12 pm #134287Skylarynn@skylarynn
I’ve been rather busy of late, but I’ll be sure to critique next time I post.
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleMay 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm #134288
Noticed no one’s really been able to critique your story yet, so Imma jump in and do that 😉
She glanced back at the girl in the water.
Hm… You just described her as a woman, now grown up, when she was startled by her reflection, so maybe saying “at the young woman” would be better than girl 🙂 Just a thought. *shrugs*
Shaking her head, Nayandi rose to her feet and turned back to the fire. Shock raced through her body as she made out the dark, grotesque shapes of about half a dozen Orcs swarming about the camp. An arrow came swiftly to her string as she hurried closer, using the cover of the woods to her advantage as she tried to find out what had happened to Rhea.
It’s hard for me to explain, but something about this paragraph tripped me up. When you transitioned to the “shock/orc part,” I was kinda confused–I think partially because the long-ish sentences are running into each other, and there wasn’t a clear “hey, this is happening now!!” Sorry, I’m being confusing and not explaining this well!!! What I mean is, it might help to break it up. Something more along the lines of this:
Shaking her head, Nayandi rose to her feet and began turning back to the fire. But she froze, eyes wide. The dark, grotesque shapes of about half a dozen orcs swarmed about the camp. Her camp. And then etc., rest of awesome paragraph.
I just think the long sentences bled into each other, and how it jumped from “turning back” to “she’s shocked” tripped me up XD Perhaps it’s just me, tho! Feel free to ignore this 🙂
Suddenly, an arrow thunked into the wrist around Rhea’s neck,
This simply might be clear if yo put “into the orc’s wrist” instead of “the wrist.”
Gtg! Will try to finish critiquing later! (And will try to give the rest of you guys some feedback 😉 )
"I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell."May 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm #134289
Thx! And yes, I get the busy thing. It’s hard for me to remember to jump onto SE anymore.
"I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell."May 24, 2021 at 7:55 pm #134406
I can try. . . I have about zero idea how to critique though xD *decides that I need to learn*
Hwæt! Wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum, pēod-cyninga, prym gefrūnon, hū õā æpelingas ellen fremedon!May 24, 2021 at 10:02 pm #134412Joelle Stone@joelle-stone
Oof, sry for not critiquing! Life has been just about as hectic as it gets. XD And Bekah, I’m SO SO sorry (especially since your story is awesome), but IDT I’ll have the time/mental energy to critique, and since I told Skylarynn I’d critique hers first, I’m gonna go ahead and stick with her. I’m still reading yours though (and desperately wondering what in the world Kaleiva’s thinking)!
Thx so much for the critique! I appreciate your input. 😉 BTW… are you gonna post your own story any time in the near future?
https://thepeninspired.wordpress.comMay 24, 2021 at 10:12 pm #134413Joelle Stone@joelle-stone
Critiquing time!! Same format as before. 🙂
Unlike the outer masonry of the wall, which had been intentionally made smooth to keep invaders from climbing it unaided, the interior side was formed
of[from] rough-cut stones with large gaps between them. Nadia had little trouble finding hand- and footholds [either hand-and-footholds or handholds and footholds or grips for her hands and feet], and she’d climbed sections of wall before. She would have to be cautious of the sections where weather had worn the rock smooth. (A word of warning: Long sentences can bog the action of your story. (I’m guilty of this too, heh heh. Thwapling called me out on that. XD) So if you intend for a scene to be more intense, try shortening your sentences. Would Nadia notice stuff like this in an adrenaline-rush moment? Or maybe Nadia is just the observative/I’m-calm-in-any-situation type. Your sentence structures sets the heartbeat for the scene. ;))
The gypsy proceeded to scale the wall with ease, glancing up every few minutes to note the progress of her companion. Ada scampered up the wall like a four-legged spider, seemingly without pause to find a path or catch her breath. She was swiftly approaching the overhanging machicolations (again, nice vocabulary!) of the battlements.
Nadia risked a glance downward when she was almost halfway up the wall. Luckily she had a head for heights; otherwise, she may have swooned from vertigo.
Below on the flagstones[On the flagstones below,] the castle’s citizens gathered and churned like a disturbed ant colony, barely the size of insects from this distance. The ground was alarmingly far away. It was almost surreal, how miniscule everything appeared from this height.
Centering herself, the gypsy began her ascent again, perhaps a little slower and with more caution. She could hear shouts from the battlements above as the men struggled to move the wyvern’s corpse. (Maybe add some more action on Nadia’s part here: things like “her fingers were beginning to sweat from nerves.” or “She slipped her [insert shoe type] into a crack, willing her knees to boost her up again, and again, and again, until she finally glanced up just in time…”.) After a few more moments’ climbing Nadia glanced up just in time to see Ada worm her way between two corbels and vanish onto the ramparts.
(Another note: I don’t see a lot of internal character thoughts. I’m not sure if this is because you’re writing in a POV where you don’t see character thoughts or if it just hasn’t occured to you, but those are a great way to get readers to empathize with a character. I haven’t learned much about Nadia yet, since I haven’t been inside her head. Just a thought. 🙂 You’re doing great!)
https://thepeninspired.wordpress.comMay 25, 2021 at 8:24 am #134420Skylarynn@skylarynn
Thanks for critiquing! I probably won’t be able to return the favor – the semester is wrapping up and my teachers saw fit to drown me in projects – but I’ll reply to some of your annotations.
Or maybe Nadia is just the observative/I’m-calm-in-any-situation type.
She is, that’s part of why there’s no frenzied thoughts in this scene. She’s got a knack for distancing herself from her fear and ignoring it, and similarly she can separate herself from her thoughts. Sort of like forcing yourself to be an outside observer of your own mind; it’s a bit tricky and it’s not a common thing many can do, it’s just one of the gifts she was unknowingly born with thanks to the heritage she has no idea about. 🙂
(again, nice vocabulary!)
Thanks, I have meticulously cultivated quite the sesquipedalian vernacular (and I’m sorry if you have to google some of those words). Machicolations are actually vital to this scene because ordinarily if someone climbed the walls they would have to stop when they reached the overhang of the ramparts and there’d be nowhere to go but down. Machicolations are openings in the base of the ramparts, so there is a sort of trapdoor (without the door) kind of space for Ada and Nadia to climb up through onto the battlements.
(Maybe add some more…
I’ll do that when I get the chance, thanks for the advice!
I don’t see a lot of internal character thoughts.
That’s related to what I was saying about Nadia separating herself from her thoughts. It is written in a third person omniscient perspective (sorta), but I handle it differently for different characters (Brendin often has introspective flashbacks, Lady Warin has suspicions she keeps to herself, etc) and in Nadia’s particular case she is often removed from her thoughts when focusing on a task, so Nadia’s thoughts will only be apparent in times where she is more relaxed. I hope that made sense.
Thanks again for the critique, I’ll try to get around to doing more on this thread after I finish all of my projects. 🙂
"Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. HaleMay 25, 2021 at 9:38 am #134421Neasa@irishcelticredflowercrown
Hi everyone, lovely to be here! I’m pretty new here, first writing forum ever! This looks like good fun, I desperately need other writers to critique my work (and also getting to critique other people’s work in the process sounds good too) 🙂May 26, 2021 at 5:52 pm #134463
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