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The Charm of Deception, excerpt

by ShadowVyper

Note: Jayk is an outlaw, Drayan is his brother. They're bandits who 'kidnapped' a girl. It is from her POV that this is written. It's just a small scene that I had an idea for.

Jayk was standing over me, getting more frustrated by the moment. I was sitting behind a small table, watching him carefully, stubbornly refusing to cooperate with his plans. He sighed, rubbing his forehead, before stating firmly. "You're going back."

We'd been arguing for well over three quarters of an hour already. "I'm not."

"You are."


"The devil take you!" Jayk slammed his fist down on the table, glaring at me. "You're going back, and that's final."

"I won't." I crossed my arms, leaning further into my seat, glaring back into his eyes. "And you can't make me."

"You wanna bet on that?" He lifted his eyebrows.

I felt a pang of fear run through me. No. I don't want to bet. And I don't want to fight with you...but I'm not getting back into that carriage with Father. I glanced away from his eyes, to gather my courage."I would, but you've already stolen all of my gold."

He growled in frustration, jerking his fingers through his hair, storming a few steps away from me before turning and stalking back toward me. He paced angrily for a long moment, his agitation seeming to build with each step, until Drayan stepped forward cautiously. Jayk's eyes locked on his face a moment, before he waved in my direction, refusing to even glance at me. "Drayan. You talk to her."

Drayan glanced over Jayk's shoulder at me, before looking back to his face. "Calm--"

"No. Don't. Just talk to her." Jayk cut him off briskly. "I can't handle her anymore...the foolhardy ...bullheaded...insufferable...little..."

"Don't forget satirical." I added, as I stood up and stepped around the table.

"Satirical?" Jayk snapped, whirling around to glare at me. "Try abrasive. Rude. Caustic...acerbic."

"Loveable?" I offered.

"Talk to her!" Jayk ordered, pointing at me angrily, refusing to look at me again. "Or the gods help me, I will..."

I was starting to wonder how far I'd be able to push it, before he completely snapped on me. I probably shouldn't push it much further... I couldn't stop myself. "You will...?"

"Take a deep breath, and let me handle this." Drayan said quickly, as he briskly stepped between Jayk and I. Jayk crossed his arms and turned his back on us. I crossed my arms too, and leaned against the table as Drayan approached me. He stopped just in front of me, and stared at me a long moment, before sighing. "Why can't you just be nice?"

"I was being nice." I retorted.

"Was...but now?"

"Now he is trying to kick me out." I jerked my head at Jayk resentfully, sticking my chin out slightly, pouting.

"He's trying to reunite you with your Pap."

"Maybe I don't want to be reunited with him."

"Maybe you don't have a choice." Jayk interrupted, turning to glare at me.

"We'll see." I answered challengingly.

He grit his teeth, glaring at me.

"Children." Drayan said warningly, glancing between us.

"She's the one being a child." Jayk said resentfully.

"You're a child." I snapped.

"Stop." Drayan commanded, in a voice that finally made me shut up. He hesitated a long moment, glancing between Jayk and I, before sighing and continuing. "'s try to figure out a peaceable way to work this out."

"That's easy. Just let me go back with you all. You're going to Algnes anyway."

"It's not safe." Jayk argued.

"Because it is so much safer for me in the carriage."

"As a matter of fact..."

"Oh, you're right. I see your point. I'd never get kidnapped if I were in my carriage." I answered sarcastically, rolling my eyes.

"If you'd have just stayed in your carriage, and not tried to play hero..." Jayk turned back toward me, glaring as he walked toward me.

"If you'd have just left my party alone, and let us go on our merry way..." I took a step toward him, unwilling to back down.

"If your father would've just handed over the gold--"

"If you hadn't threatened to kidnap me--"

"Then you never would've--"

"Been here in the first bloody place!" I shouted at him, as he tried his best to loom over me. He was far too close for my comfort. I felt my heart racing. We fell silent a long moment, both of us breathing heavily, as we glared at each other. I felt like I should back down; like I should apologize, before he lost control of himself and ran a sword through my middle.

"I intend to rectify that fact." He said icily. "And return you to that godsforsaken carriage."

"It's too late for that."

"Nope." He grabbed my elbow. "It's not too late."

"It is." I struggled to regain a minimal sense of dignity, as he half-dragged half-pushed me toward the edge of the clearing. "You can't take me back there."

"Watch me."

"If you do...then your reputation is ruined."

He was ignoring me.

"I can guarantee you that."

"That doesn't scare me." He said gruffly, as he grabbed a lantern from a nearby table and continued forcing my toward my Father's encampment.

"It should." I threatened. "I have a lot of contacts. I can rip your reputation to shreds."

"I'm sure I've had worse said of me."

"Most certainly. I'd simply tell everyone that I know how sweet and caring you are...and how you returned me to my father, without even getting a ransom."

He stopped short, and turned on me. "What?"

"You heard me." I jerked my arm free, taking a step backward so that I could glare at him better. "I would tell everyone how sweet you and your men are, and your facade of being a fearsome bandit will be gone."

"You wouldn't."

"Try me."

He glared at me a long moment, gaping slightly, before growling in frustration and storming away from me. "Fine! Do whatever you please."

I will.

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35 Reviews

Points: 2333
Reviews: 35

Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:07 pm
Calvinn wrote a review...

Hi Shady, Calvinn to review.

First off, I apologise for giving you 'the cruel treatment' but I just want to lay it all out.

So, from your introductory note, I kept in mind three things - firstly, there were 2 bandits and a girl. Secondly, the girl had been captured by the bandits and finally, that the story was being told by her point of view.

I know you stated this is an excerpt you cobbled together, probably to polish and embellish later on, but it definitely needs work!

First off, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine Jayk and Drayan as bandits. The dialogue, if anything, implies that these 2 are the elder brothers of the girl, not thieves! They are constantly bickering over her well-being. Maybe it's just me, but somehow I doubt bandits would take into consideration your feelings and interest if they capture you, and this leads me to another point - FOR RANSOM. That is the main reason for which little girls are kidnapped - money! And Jayk wants to liberate her? Cockamany. He's certainly got the characteristics of a benevolent and caring sibling, but a bandit? Not in a thousand years.

Now we come to the dialogue. It felt drawn out, and I really do not want to say this or make you blush, but it felt like you looked up certain words in the dictionary just to make your characters seem more educated (again, in which universe do bandits use words like, 'acerbic', 'insufferable' or 'foolhardy'? Unfortunately, I do not know how old you are, so if you are still too young to throw in a few harsh insults in there, my apologies.

And why does she not want to go back to her father? You made it abundantly clear that both bandits want her gone - back to where she came from, but the girl wants to stay. Why? With bandits for company? If I was a little girl, I'd be sobbing and crying my heart out, begging the nasty brats who kidnapped me to let me go back to my parents.

One final point which has been already brought up - why are Jayk and Drakan so insistent on having a reputation for thieving? Robin Hood comes to mind here - it's like they're stealing children of the poor, giving them money and returning them to their parents - it would certainly make this excert a more plausible piece.

Lose the threat. From Jayk's perspective, if a kidnapped child dared be defiant, I'd slap her. Hard. To make sure I raise lots of bruises. He can do as he damn well pleases, and no flimsy little ragdoll is going to stop him.

NOW, I want to mention the positive side to this excerpt. The reason I went all bananas with the review is because I really did enjoy reading this, so well done! You have to elaborate, polish, scrub away the rough edges. You have to SELL your story. Right now, all you have is the gatherings, the making of a great read, but to have to mould it all up.

Well done, keep me updated :)

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1634 Reviews

Points: 67548
Reviews: 1634

Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:45 am
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Deanie wrote a review...

Hi there Shady,

I saw the title and flew by to see what has been written. It's very good, with interesting dialogue and idea. I was left with a lot of questions though. Why was she kidnapped in particular? And why do these guys want to be seen as bandits so badly?

I know it was only an excerpt, but it would've been nice to have a little bit more detail on those parts. I felt kind of lost. Like I knew what they were saying, got the gist of what happened... but I didn't really know what any of them were actually like, what their surroundings were and reasons behind what they were doing. What was so bad that the girl didn't want to go back? And does this girl have a name?

All in all though, it was very well written. I'm wondering why you just had this excerpt here though, which would be something interesting to know. This has been a short review, but looking forwards to hearing more of the charm of deception soon.

Deanie x

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42 Reviews

Points: 4169
Reviews: 42

Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:09 am
malachitear wrote a review...

Hey there!

Apple Dumpling Gang here for a review.

Now one thing that I liked here, (and this surprise me, too) is that you used dialogue pretty well. When I say surprised, its because there is quite a lot of dialogue here, and yet it wasn't burdensome, as it sometimes is. You used ample description when it was needed, and I applaud you for that!

I also loved the end of the scene, because it leaves a bit to the imagination, and also adds a bit of emphasis into the chapter.

Grammar and stuff can be fixed by you, so do read through it again!

A few nitpicks:

gaping slightly


turned on me

The first description seems a little awkward where it is, and I think this is because it doesn't really fit the moment. Anger doesn't really come through clearly because of that, and it becomes more of a shallowy sense of irritation.

The second bit, is to do with your sentence structure. There are more bits that need correction, but I'll show you this one example.

The description is a little hasty at areas, and even though i said before that dialogue was used well, I think a good, long description of something to slow the reader down to your pace was quite needed here.

Other than that, I think you need to flesh out the characters a little. No doubt the characterization will come through once you post the rest of this story, but I beleive the characters, at least in this scene, need to show a few more sides to themselves other than their childish sides. Because if that's all they show, then this scene lacks impact on the reader.

Keep Writing~

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8 Reviews

Points: 1025
Reviews: 8

Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:37 am
ShonenChicoBoy wrote a review...

I thought that was going to be really long, but it turned out to be just mostly dialogue, so that was good.

One thing that I didn't like was, as the first reviewer said, there isn't a lot of description. I would like it more if we saw what the world they live in looks like. For example, why is she sitting at a table in the middle of the forest?

Overall, I caught very few mistakes. Except for this here:

"Don't forget satirical"

I think you meant "sarcastic."

I am trying to figure out how her threatening him really worked, exactly. It's confusing and I didn't catch what you meant there. Maybe revise is so it makes more sense. Also, why is Jake spelled Jayk? I don't really like "fantasy" spellings... it seems a little play-actish since those names already exist, why give them different spellings? Plus I kept reading it as "jike" not "jake."

The one thing that I really didn't like about this is that you have a classic fantasy setting, with theives and forests and other stuff like that, but then your characters all talk with modern accents. You don't have to try and sound like Shelley or Dickens, but maybe they don't use the same words we do. Or have a different way of putting things, or unusual phrase order and stuff. Just some thoughts there.

It was an interesting scene though, but I think you should have more action!

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103 Reviews

Points: 747
Reviews: 103

Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:36 am
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anshira wrote a review...

Hello, it is an interesting story you' ve got here. I personally loved the names- they sounded unique. I loved the girl's guts as normally if a girl was kidnapped she would be shivering with fear. I also liked the direct speech used; the conversation of the characters. Though I haven't read any of the chapters before this, I loved it. I didn't find any grammatical errors, so thumbs up for that. I loved the action involved- it wasn't too much. (I am not an action fanatic) As I said this was a fanastic story with loveable characters.

- Anshira; Red Team

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463 Reviews

Points: 12208
Reviews: 463

Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:55 am
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megsug wrote a review...


Hola, amiga. So, I already told you how awesome this was, and I told you I'd give you a review, so I'm going to go ahead with the mean things.

First, I realize this is an excerpt, but there's almost no description here. I mean, you have some rocking dialogue. It's pretty fantastic. I'm a little jealous at your skillz, but a chapter can't live off of that alone. This is probably in between description sections, but, you know, something to break up the large chunks of dialogue you've got there.

"Take a deep breath, and let me handle this."

A little opinionated nitpick, as annoying as those can get, he takes forever to step in. I would describe some action of his while they're having their lovely little sparing of wits, so that it's clear. Like I said though. Nitpick big time.

"If you do...then your reputation is ruined."

I would love to know what's happening in her head right now as she comes up with this reason~
(And it's funny because it's normally the woman who has to worry about her reputation :D)

And I've already told you the fluffy things. Just again, your characters... Just so many <3's and this sparing you've got going on is pretty fantastic.

You know where to find me if you need me,

— SirenCymbaline the Kiwi