Young Writers Society

Home » Read / Write » Short Stories » Fantasy Short Stories

What I would die for.



User avatar
16 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1335
Reviews: 16
Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:46 pm
BerlynnRae says...



The witch queen sneered. "Tell me!" she yelled from a few feet away. Her long black hair swayed as she stepped forward. She nodded to the knight behind me. My head immediately plunged into cold water. My mouth opened attempting to breathe. I felt the back of my head held tightly by a fist. My arms reached out and touched the bottom of the large bucket. I pushed off of my hands and my head craned up for air. I coughed just as the knight ripped at my tunic and pushed me down into the water. I shook my head attempting to loosen the knights hold. I heard a low mumble and the knight pulled me out, his grip still tight. I coughed and sputtered water as the queen smiled down at me.

"Are you ready to talk now?" she grinned. I glared and spat at her feet.

"You'll never find the key." I whispered confidently, "I know of the tricks you play and I would rather die than give you more to fuel your twisted imagination."

"Kill you? No, you're going to have a long life. If you get sick, we'll heal you. If you get injured, we'll cure you. And then we'll continue torturing you. And this bucket of water? That's only the beginning. You saw what happened to the late Queen Kyraa and King Tobin." She laughed loudly, "Ah, such fun." She stepped forward and caressed my face. "No, brave knight you'll be cursed with longevity."

I turned my head to bite her and she pulled her hand away. "Rowin," She turned to the man behind me, "Where is it?"

"We know it's here, on this wing of the castle M'Lady." I froze. How would they know such a thing? They couldn't have known where the key was. Only Queen Kyraa had informed me. Unless...

"It's not here." I stated firmly looking into her eyes, black as coal. "They aren't even in the castle."

She laughed, "You're a liar" she looked out the open window, "and I’m not patient with liars. We know it's here. I can feel it's energy." She looked down at me again, the smile still prominent. "You know what I want, you know I won’t stop looking," she shook her head sympathetically, "why stand in my way?" this time I laughed,

"I don’t need to stand to be in your way," I glanced down at my knees and the ropes that held me on the ground in the first place. She glared and the knight dunked me into the cold water. This time I didn’t resist. I just held still. Counting the seconds in my head. The cold stung my cheeks and lips. My chest expanded with oxygen. I felt the knight let go of my tunic. He knew I wasn’t going to fight him for air. Then something penetrated my stomach. It felt like a fist, round and hard. My mouth opened in pain and the bubbles floated to the top, tickling my face as they went. Replacing it was water; it swam down my throat and started filling my lungs. I heaved and thrashed. The knight crushed my neck into the wooden edge of the bucket. It closed my windpipe causing me from breathing. My hands swung behind me as I grabbed his skin and dug my nails into him. He cried out and momentarily let go of me. I jerked my head back and faced the queen again.

"I really don't like the idea of putting you through this. Why do you force me to continue? I want to help you; but I can't until you tell me what I need to know. Then I can end this torturer and we can have things back to the way it was."

"Even you witch can't change that. You will be stopped. This country does not belong to you and it never will."

"This is your last chance knight" she said looking at me, more hostile this time. My countries golden crest beaming from my torso as I straitened my back; I wanted her to know that the emblem is what I would die for.

She snorted, "You think you will save your kingdom by doing this, you think you are brave. You are more foolish than brave." She stepped forward as light from dawn swept into the room and rested on her deep violet dress. She looked out and gasped. Out the window was the morning sun peeking over the mountains and just ahead was an army. She was too late. They were coming to stop her, and she had no where to hide. Her eyes widened as the realization hit her to.
"You’re out of time." I whispered. She grinned a final time. "As are you." Then my head plummeted into the water.
Last edited by BerlynnRae on Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  





User avatar
862 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Male
Points: 2146
Reviews: 862
Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:15 pm
Griffinkeeper says...



The piece was well written. I didn't find the torture aspects to be very impressive. When you are interrogating someone; the last thing you want to do is to kill them; or even threaten to kill them (even if you intend to kill them after they confess.) The message that torture sends a prisoner is this: we will keep hurting you until you tell us what we want to know. Once you tell us; the pain will stop.

If they say "I'd rather die than give you what you want to know," then the interrogator can say "Kill you? No, you're going to have a long life. If you get sick, we'll heal you. If you get injured, we'll cure you. And then we'll continue torturing you. And this bucket of water? That's only the beginning. We have a whole dungeon of terrible devices down there that will make the bucket seem like a picnic." That message loses it's power when there is an army invading, but they don't know that until the very end.

A final word on interrogators. They need to come across as being sincere people. "I really don't like the idea of putting you through this. Why do you force me to continue? I want to help you; but I can't until you tell me what I need to know. Then I can end the torture and we can become friends once more." That sort of sincerity lends humanity to the interrogator; even if he isn't. Wicked Queens make terrible interrogators.
Moderator Emeritus (frozen in carbonite.)
  





User avatar
862 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Male
Points: 2146
Reviews: 862
Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:05 pm
Griffinkeeper says...



Reviewing the edit!

I like that you took my advice. There are a few additional points I'd like to make.

"I really don't like the idea of putting you through this. Why do you force me to continue? I want to help you; but I can't until you tell me what I need to know. Then I can end this torturer and we can have things back to the way it was."


"Kill you? No, you're going to have a long life. If you get sick, we'll heal you. If you get injured, we'll cure you. And then we'll continue torturing you. And this bucket of water? That's only the beginning. You saw what happened to the late Queen Kyraa and King Tobin." She laughed loudly, "Ah, such fun." She stepped forward and caressed my face. "No, brave knight you'll be cursed with longevity."


These two quotes caught my attention because I saw where you copy-pasted my words. Perhaps a reader that didn't read my first review wouldn't notice it; but I did. When I mentioned those words originally; I meant them to give you an idea as to how they would approach interrogating this knight. I didn't mean for you to use them directly; the dialogue has to match the character. So when I saw my words being used as dialogue, it didn't sound like they were in character for the people saying it.

It wasn't completely wrong though; because you added little touches to my words to make it slightly different. I thought the way the Evil Queen's remembered the late rulers was particularly awesome. So what I recommend is you translate what I said into what your character would say; and then go from there.

The next thing I want to mention is the portrayal of the other characters. You did a good job with the knight; it's the queen and the other guy that concern me still. At the moment this interrogation is going on; both of these characters are making calculations. The queen is thinking about how to get the information from the knight as quickly as possible. So is the interrogator.

When they hear of the approaching army; that dynamic changes. The Queen will have to switch from thinking of the key to thinking of fighting the invading army; or possibly of fleeing the city, with or without the key. The interrogator on the other hand, may now be thinking of his family and their safety. If he is cruel to this prisoner; he may very well doom his family to the sword if the invaders succeed. If he isn't though and the invaders fail, then he's in the same predicament. So he may be looking for actions that don't offend either side; until he has a clearer idea about who is going to win.

The dynamic can change still further. The Knight is only useful to the Queen if she can get the information she wants from him. If the invaders get their hands on him; he'll tell them where the key is and then they'll retrieve it. So where before it was important to keep the knight alive, it may now be in her interests to have him killed to prevent his knowledge from joining with her enemy. If she believes she can defeat the invaders; then she will keep him alive and imprisoned. If not; then she may very well ask the interrogator to kill the knight. Which would force the interrogator to make a choice.

The point of this isn't to tell you what should happen next; but rather to point out that each of these players should be plotted for, not just the knight. When they are plotted for in this way; they gain an extra dimension to them that elevates them beyond a normal background character. Rather than being scenery or expendable tools, they become players, if only briefly, in the story.
Moderator Emeritus (frozen in carbonite.)
  








Have a biscuit, Potter.
— Professor McGonagall