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Betrayal

by Deadman


It was in the darkness of the night when the feeling hit me. That feeling of being alone, but yet there was the feeling that I was being watched with it. What could it have been? I was looking all around me, but I could not see anything or anyone. The forest was slightly illuminated by the glow of the full moon. The pond next to me showed the reflection of the night sky. It was all just so beautiful, but I couldn’t shake this feeling.

The fighting had stopped more than three months ago, but I still get the feeling that neither side had truly won or lost. I had managed to avoid the last battle by coming to this exact spot. I had all the reason to suspect that someone was watching me. Already today I had stumbled upon three search parties trying to find and kill me for treason.

However I couldn’t go on like this. The constant fear of being found, and the fact that all of my old friends were either dead or hated me. Infact the entire nation hated me now. I was the nation’s greatest fighter, and it’s no secret that I hadn’t appeared on the field of battle when I was needed most. Instead of a crushing victory over the enemy our army had nearly been destroyed. However the other nation did not fare well either and their army was nearly destroyed too. Now there has been a treaty between the two and I am being hunted by my own nation.

Today marks the second year since that horrible day when the war started. Since that day I was truly lonely, no matter how many friends I had no one could fill the void. On this day two years ago our nation was attacked, and I was nothing but a simple farmer. I had just recently been married to a beautiful woman named Maria. Of course my farm was on the border to the other nation and when the war started we were first to get hit.

I had been in the fields at the time of the attack, and I had arrived only to watch as my place burned and see my wifes bloody corpse on the ground outside the door. In a fit of rage I had taken my scythe and decapitated some of the soldiers and retrieved their swords and began to fight the raiding party. By the time I had decimated that last of the bastards my nations army had arrived. I remember spitting at the commander and telling him what a lousy army he had. Instead of getting punished I was asked to join the army and was put on the frontlines for the rest of the war.

The bushes next to me began to shake and from them came a division of heavily armored soldiers. One of them stepped forward, his armor was covered in green and red paint meaning this was the royal guard and he was the captain. “You Sir Vaughn Lichtenstein, are under arrest for treason to the nation. You have the option to come quietly or we can take you by force.” When the captain stopped his voice seemed a little shaky.

“You’ll have to take me by force then. I know the second I arrive at the palace I will be put in a court and sentenced to death anyway.” With that I drew my sword from it’s sheath knowing this would probably be the last time. I was way outnumbered and these men were wearing full suits of armor.

Soon they were charging me and my sword began to dance through the cluster of metal. I paused every time my sword connected with metal, and grimaced when I felt my sword plunge into flesh. The clang of metal on metal rang out in the night followed by the clangs of metal, and undertone of moans could be heard from the wounded. Sweat began to pour down my face and into my eyes. Suddenly my breath escaped me, I had been bashed by a shield in the side. I staggered and fell to the ground and before I could get back up I felt a sharp pain across my chest, followed by a warm feeling. I looked up to see a crimson liquid pooling up on my chest. Blood, my blood it had started of slow and then began to roar out of the gap in my chest. My breath was becoming shorter with each gasp. My vision began to blur, but I could see the Captain standing above me with his sword pointed at my throat. I managed to say, “I’m coming home Maria.” There was a flash of steel and then all was black.


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10 Reviews


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Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:37 pm
Rainheart wrote a review...



I agree with Loose. This is more of a prologue than a short story! Most short stories don't spend half as much time explaining a back story as you did. They usually stick to the point and don't dwell on too much that has already past.

So my advice is to either rewrite this in a proper short story way, or rewrite it and make it a prologue to a novel ^_^

I really liked this, though. Your descriptions and emotions were very well done, and I felt as though I knew your character, thanks to the background you gave ;)

Very well done. But keep in mind what I said :)




Deadman says...


Thank you.



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Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:10 pm
Loose wrote a review...



I'll be honest with you, for a short story, this read much more like an epilogue to something much greater. Not much is really explained, and it feels more like an ending than a stand-alone piece. If you want to make it stand alone, you're going to have to make it much more absorbing and, as the case may be, longer!

My first piece of advice to you would be to expand on your main character. From what I can gather, all we know about them is that they're the best fighter in the nation. But who are they? Where do their loyalties lie? What about their moral compass? Any injuries? Any emotion? Hair colour? Anything! At this point, they're far too vacant. And what we do know about them, I'll cover in my next point. But, as for this, I would definitely recommend spending a bit of time really customising your character within this piece. Around about the forth paragraph, you seemed to be opening up to the idea of introducing a memory, but then you never actually commit. So, I'd recommend trying that. Perhaps give us a memory that justifies why this war is so bad? Or, even better, give us a memory that proves how special this Maria is. As it is, I really didn't feel anything regarding this romantic element, and that's not great. So, how about slipping in a bit about when they first met? Something like:

"... woman named Maria. She was my greatest love. The first time I saw her, I knew I was in love. The softness of her skin, the shapely curve of her lips, her delicate laugh... We had been at a (insert event here.) when I saw her. I was pulled in by her radiance....(something something). When I lost her, it ripped my world apart."

It gives you a trace of emotional depth that will work wonders for your story. Make us feel the pain of having lost Maria.

My second point is be wary of Mary Sues! There's a great test you can find online in which you can fill in a character's profile and find out whether or not they're an MS (which means they're perfect and, therefore, bland). One thing you need to consider, though (and this is where your writing talent comes in), is that even if the character doesn't register as a Mary Sue in the test, you need to be sure you don't write them as a Mary Sue.

That's to say, you know this main character better than anyone. You know when they wake up, when they go to bed, what they eat and drink and what they like and what enrages them more than anything. All we know is what you write in your piece. And, honestly, all I can remember about your character from this story is that they're the greatest fighter in the nation (eep, a little too perfect) and they lost their wife. Tragedy is a powerful plot tool, but it's not a guarantee for sufficient character development. Let's see some flaws! Why would a simple farmer join the war so willingly? Was he (I assume the MC is a he) so riddled with rage and a need for justice that he joined up? Or, was he so emotionally wrecked that he was subject to any propaganda thrown his way? You can flesh out this character so much more just by pulling at that thread.

In a nutshell, I'd say you have a good start here. But, it's just that. A start. It has a little way to go. But, it has some depth and you seem to have an understanding of the subject matter, so I have a great deal of faith that you can polish this up and make it sing.

Good luck!




Deadman says...


Thank you for the advice!



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Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:50 pm
Caesar wrote a review...



decent beginning, bad development, horrible ending.

Your character is lifeless, emotion less. You state the fact there was a war which he did not attend blandly, as if the knight was detached and didn't care. I'm sure he's emotionally invested in the fact, so show us his emotions. You also don't shed enough light on the backstory. There are too many questions left unanswered. They lead me to wonder why you wrote this short in the first place. Is it connected to a longer, complete saga?

It's very bare when it comes to details, too, description wise, however, I can skip over that, clearly description would have bogged down the narration. However, this was -- at least, I think -- meant to be an introspective piece, reflecting on the knight's thoughts and emotions as he abandoned battle. And yet, you don't mention any of this, which, again, makes me wonder why you wrote this. It lacks purpose, direction and message.

Your ending needs much improvement: you repeat 'metal' too much. Find synonyms. The battle is not detailed, but not epic. It just fails, and flops awkwardly. Either go for details or go for epicness, but go for one of the two.

The death was also laughably pathetic. We can't connect with the character because we aren't emotionally attached to him. Who the hell is Maria, anyways? Why should we care? This just doesn't work. It's flat, bland, and cliche. Rewrite this, but only after you know exactly where and why you're going with this, and how.


Hope I could help
~Ita




Deadman says...


I'll be honest, I didn't know where I was going with it either. I got into one of those fits of writing, and they always turn out bad. However I posted it up here wondering if someone would throw their two cents in. Seeing as you did, I will rewrite it. I thank you for your reviews, including the ones in the past. I'll take this all into consideration. Thanks Ita!




Defeat has its lessons as well as victory.
— Pat Buchanan