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Castor's Tale Chapter 4 Part 1 - Running To Check On Kalan

by Messenger

Miles was just stepping out of the inn, when he saw the horse trot down the street. Castor was walking by, and she quickly hurried past it and around the side of a building. Miles walked down to street, stepping out of the way of riders and busy townsfolk, making his way to the horse.

"That looks like Kalan’s father’s horse. I thought Kalan just left town on it not too long ago?" he spoke to himself.

Miles stopped dead in his tracks. Castor!

Mister Greene (Kalan’s father) stepped out of the stable where the horse now pranced back and forth nervously, riderless. The saddle looked slightly tilted, like it had been jerked at. Miles ran up to the skittish horse.

“Where’s Kalan?” Mister Greene said, running a massive hand through his unruly hair. “Where’s my son?” he asked, turning on Miles.

“I don’t know sir?” Miles said, stepping back a pace or two. “I haven’t seen him since he rode out of the village!”

Greene grabbed the horses reins and patted its side till it calmed down, all the why getting more agitated. “Where’s my son!”

Miles shifted his feet. “I . . . I don’t know sir.”

“Well call th’marshall!” Greene roared.

Miles mumbled something quickly and hurried farther down the dusty street, heading for the biggest building in the small village. It was pointy-roofed with red shingles and shutters. Miles stepped up the big stone steps and pulled open the double doors. "What did you do Castor?" he mumbled.

Light poured in from two open windows, and splashed around, soaking everything in the golden warmth. In the center of the fifteen-by-twenty foot room sat a desk, at which was Marshall Deston. Behind him were two cells, both empty, save for the bucket and cot in each.

Deston looked up as Miles entered. As the doors clanged shut he stood. He stuck out a big hand. Miles took it.

“Hello Miles, what can I do for you?” he asked.

“I’m afraid the blacksmith apprentice, Kalan, has gone missing, Marshall. He left not an hour ago, and his horse returned by itself. Mister Greene is very upset.”

“Which way was he headed?”

Miles shrugged. “I don’t know Marshall. He left on the main road, but of course he could have taken plenty of side trails to get wherever he was going. Mister Greene would know.”

Deston reacted quickly, grabbing his cone-shaped helmet on his desk, and leading Miles out the door. They quickly reached the stable where Mister Greene was already mounted on his horse, which had finally settled, and stood still. Beside him stood another horse, an ebony black mare owned by the marshall, saddled and bridled, ready to ride.

“Marshall Deston, I be needin’ yer help. My son is gone missin’. I’d go after him m’self, but I figured that if he’s been ‘ttacked, I might need someone else to help me.” Mister Greene said.

Deston nodded. “Of course. A wise decision. I’ll call two of my guards to come with us.”

Miles stepped forward. “Could I come along? I’d like to see if Kalan is alright.”

Mister Greene looked at him from his heightened position, and Miles felt awkward, and just a little bit intimidated. But thankfully Mister Greene responded quickly. “It’s fine with me, long as the Marshall’s fine with it.”

“Well there could be danger ahead Miles. Are you sure you want to?”

There probably isn’t. If Castor has anything to do with it. “Yes, Marshall, I do.”

“Then get your horse and let’s move out.”

“I don’t have a horse Marshall, but I can run alongside.” Miles said.

“Very good.”

Deston quickly rounded up two guards, clad in leather armor, cone-shaped leather helmets, and red-and-white tunics with a black stallion, the coat-of-arms of the village, on them. Miles stood to one side as they spurred their horses forward. He then began to jog, easily keeping up with the pace.

He had been running since he was eight, and now could go for several miles at a good speed. He stayed about twenty feet behind the horses, that way the dust had some time to settle down before he ran through.

He had to admit that keeping up with horses was harder than just jogging at his normal pace, but he was conditioned. Running involves techniques, just like other things do, and he had had seven years of practicing. A lot of it involved breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Deep breaths. Keep calm. Stay in sync.

He hurried down the path, thankful for the trees the shaded it from the direct blaze of the sun. Even so, within ten minutes he had worked up a sweat that soaked through his clothes. He would have liked to change into his pair of clothes he had for running and working out, but this could be an emergency, and he didn’t want to lose valuable time.

The riders slowly pulled farther ahead of Miles, as two miles dragged into a third. They reached a fork and pulled up to a stop. He quickly made up the distance. When he reached them he slowed down to a walk, and breathed in deeply. His chest wasn’t burning, but he definitely could use the breather.

He took long breaths, filling his lungs with air. He wiped his forehead, and listened as the Marshall spoke.

“Which way would he have gone from here, Mister Greene?”

Mister Greene pointed to the left fork. “That’s the way to the McTacosh farm.”

The party of four turned, and once again spurred their horses. Miles followed again. His mind was racing over the possibilities. He liked to talk things out to himself, but that would make running mroe difficult. Kalan could have been attacked by thugs, but why did Castor run into town just a few minutes before the horse did? Why did she run away when she saw it, as well? But she said she was doing laundry. Could I be over-thinking this? But if Castor didn’t do something, then someone else did!

And if someone else did, that very likely meant bad things for Kalan. Miles picked up his pace, ignoring the small cramp that was sliding into his ribcage. He was getting panicky he realized, and wasn’t breathing efficiently for running. He came to a stop and gathered himself. After a one-minute breather he resumed, this time at a pace that he could keep up with, and soon he saw the Marshall, the two guards, and Mister Greene up ahead.

They were reining to a halt. Miles didn’t see a fork up ahead, which meant that they must have encountered something, or someone. He put some extra energy into his effort and reached them within twenty seconds.

Everyone was dismounting. He pushed past the guards to the front of the group, ignoring the need to take a moment to regain his breathe. There, in the middle of the road, swaying like a reed in a storm, stumbled Kalan. Tears streamed down his face, which was smeared with dirt, his shirt and pants were torn, and his right arm looked twisted at an awkward angle.

Miles gulped in fresh air. "What happened to him?"

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1007 Reviews

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Sun May 25, 2014 9:27 pm
TimmyJake wrote a review...

Timmy here again for a review. I just skipped by the last one because of the reason I mentioned, but I will go back and review it if need be. :D


Mister Greene (Kalan’s father) stepped out of the stable where the horse now pranced back and forth

An example of telling there... Why don't you have someone call him by his name instead of telling us what his name is? Perhaps someone merely saying hello? Or Miles saying hello?

“I don’t know sir?” Miles said

Number one, there should be a comma after "know". And why is it labeled as a question? Is he not sure?

all the why getting more agitated. “Where’s my son!”

I think you mean, "all the while" :D

As the doors clanged shut he stood

Comma after "shut"

"What did you do Castor?" he mumbled

Comma after "do"

“Well there could be danger ahead Miles

Comma after "ahead"

He was getting panicky he realized

I think it would read better as, "he realized that he was getting panicky"

Comments and whatnot

Oh. My. Gosh.


Now that I am over that, I can comment on the story. :D

This one was just as good as the others, if not better. They just become smoother and more enjoyable to read as I go further into them! Your characters don't just act, I have realized, they think. In younger writers, like myself, that seems to be something that constantly lacks. Its like we don't realize that we think way more than we move. You have captured that perfectly. :D

I am very curious as to what happened to Kalan . EXTREMELY curious. It doesn't seem like blind chance for him to be standing in the middle of the road, looking like a mob of angry tigers descended on him.
I want answers, and I shall receive them next chapter. :D
~Darth Timmyjake

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212 Reviews

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Mon May 12, 2014 11:43 pm
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TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...

Hi love!

Aurora here for a long-due review!!!

So to begin with, lets go over the technicalities, shall we?

Well, look at that... there aren't any! Or if there are, I'm not going to take the time to hunt them all down.

I wanted to mention, before I moved on or forgot:
the small cramp that was sliding into his ribcage.

I love the way you mention this!

Now just one plot hole that I feel that I just have to address before moving on...
There, in the middle of the road, swaying like a reed in a storm, stumbled Kalan. Tears streamed down his face, which was smeared with dirt, his shirt and pants were torn, and his right arm looked twisted at an awkward angle.

Alright. How long has it been since Castor hurt Kalan and his horse was spooked and he fell? If Castor managed to make it back right before the horse, I'd say it was around 20-40 minutes. An hour, tops, form the time his . I've been in my fair share of fights and dislocated a shoulder before. Let me tell you something. If you don't get it set right away, your shoulder swells and becomes more painful. If Kalan isn't a hardened criminal or used to a lot of pain, he should be sitting in the middle of the bloody road. Crying. You got the crying part down.. maybe do a little research on injuries and treatments :)
I've also been thrown from a horse. Every part of me ached for about a half and hour. Hint hint.
Another plot hole: Umm... Miles is jogging 200 feet behind the horses? I'm not sure if the dust would settle by then or be in his face... I'm not too sure about this, so don't take my word on it though :)

Overall, I must say that it is a very well written story. I like your descriptions that you included so far, but I also think you could afford to go further with your descriptive language. Ar the roads red? Is it afternoon, twilight, or just barely dark yet?

Your pacing was also good, and I like how you wrote it from Miles's perspective!

Overall, awesome work, love!!!

Best of luck to you for TLMSC!


Messenger says...

Thanks Aurora! I didn't go into a ton of detail of Kalan, but I assure you his whole body is in shambles right now :P ?If you read the other chapters in a row, you might remember that it's mid-afternoon. But I should probably make it clearer.


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419 Reviews

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Mon May 12, 2014 9:42 pm
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Wolfical wrote a review...

Great chapter!!! The length was perfect and the storyline was engaging. I'm happy that we got to know Miles a bit better. However, there were a lot of comma and sentence structure mistakes. I'm pretty confident that you know a nitpick when you see one, so just read through your chapter again to fix all those little mistakes.
For example,

Miles was just stepping out of the inn, when he saw the horse trot down the street.

No comma. Also, why exactly was Miles stepping out of the inn? It would be nice if you could explain that a little. Did he need a break? Fresh air? Did he need to check on Castor?
I'll point out a few more errors...
I thought Kalan just left town on it not too long ago?

No quotation mark here. And the owner's horse would probably call the horse "he" or "she." Refrain from "it" in this instance.
Mister Greene (Kalan’s father)

Using parenthesis is a lazy way of writing. Either mention his name earlier or use commas.
Greene grabbed the horses reins

So... there are a lot of errors such as these that you need to comb through and correct. I'd rather read a flawless chapter and wait longer. On the other hand, you did very well with the chapter in general. I'm happy we get to return to Castor, Kalan, and Miles. Good luck on Chapter 4 Part 2! Remember to take your time and read through your chapter before publishing it.
Run those miles, Miles! :D

Messenger says...

yes, this was done in wordwars, so it was written very fast. I'm going to thoroughly go through part 2!

Wolfical says...

What's wordwars?

Messenger says...

you write as much as you can in 15 minutes!

Wolfical says...

Dang! Don't tell me you wrote that whole chapter in fifteen minutes.....

Messenger says...

no, haha. It took 4 word wars.

Wolfical says...

That's still impressive ! :)

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Mon May 12, 2014 5:59 pm
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Deanie wrote a review...

Heyo Messenger. It's me.

Miles could run for miles? Geddit? :P

Anyways, on to the chapter! I have to say, this was interesting. We're getting to see a lot more of Miles as well as knowing he is considering that Castor had something to do about it. That does make sense, seeing as Castor returned shortly after the trouble began. I think Miles is someone with a head on his shoulders, and I hope they can help Kalan out. (Okay, honestly I thought Kalan might turn out to be dead if he had fallen badly on his head. But then again... maybe it is good that he isn't!) I'm now wondering if they will find out Castor was involved or not... hm, this shall be interesting!

You said you fixed all the typos! But I found quite a lot hm... *shakes head* (no nodding this time!)

Miles was just stepping out of the inn, when he saw the horse trot down the steet.

Street, not steet :D

The saddle looked slightly titled

I think you mean tilted instead.

all the why getting more agitated.

All the while getting more agitated, is correct.

but that would make running mroe difficult.

I don't need to explain this one! ^.^

ignoring the need to take a moment to regain his breathe.

I think you breath.

Other than the typos, there is barely anything amiss with the chapter. Miles sure does use Marshall a lot when he speaks. This seemed sort of unnatural to me. Although, when you do talk to higher authority you tend to use their name more, don't overuse it. I felt he kept mentioning it every time he talked to him! So tone it down a little bit there. Also, express Kalan's fathers anger in his actions as well. Have him stomping around, throwing things here and there, roaring so loudly that people start peeking out their windows to see who/what is causing the scene this time! I felt like a bit more detail could've been picked up on there.

One place where I'm sure you have the description down to point is where Miles is running and you are mentioning his thoughts and him running in general. I loved it. It would be great if he pictured ways Castor could've been involved, but couldn't imagine what she could've done as well. Because when you think of someone doing something they shouldn't be, naturally you go along and imagine how they would've done it as well. It would be nice to see.

I am looking forwards to hearing what Kalan recalls of the ordeal. Had he caught a glimpse of Castor amongst the plants, hiding out? Had anyone seen her? I guess I have to wait for the next chapter to know ;)

Deanie x

marshall marshall in miles speech

Messenger says...

Miles could run for miles? Geddit? :P

It amused me when I wrote it :P

Why thank you for those. I think sometimes why I missed words is because I already know it it is supposed to say, therefore I kind of pass over it. >_> But! Be happy I caught some of them :P

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Mon May 12, 2014 1:40 am
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PeanutPhoebe wrote a review...

Wow! This one was just as interesting as the last. I love that you put more of Miles and his character and personality in there. Also, it's pretty cool that every chapter is from a somewhat different perspective. That's cool! The way you slip in little things like Kinnard's horses (in the last chapter) and Miles running is really good. It so shapes the characters, and can even tell us a lot of things about the setting and time period. (Even the marshall's and his guards' appearance tells us a lot) So, this one had A TON of typos, sorry to say. I'll forgive you though, since you kind of rushed it to get it out today. So, there were a few awkwardly worded sentences, such as the third to last one. I had to read it a couple times to get what you were saying... Anyway, I hope more comes out soon!

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Sun May 11, 2014 11:04 pm
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Ventomology wrote a review...

Yay! Messy, thank you SO much.

So anyways, lots of typos, actually. I expect better from you! I'll let other people go into detail on those though. (The biggest one is where you completely left out the word 'horse'. I mean, really, Mess?)

Now then, this is just a consistency thing, but you seem to be using a lot more direct thoughts than you did in your previous chapters. It's a little weird, honestly, and with third-person-limited, it might be better to just turn a few of them into 'he thought's. They have more oomph if you use direct thoughts sparingly.

Also, I'd like to hear more of what Miles is FEELING. We go through a lot of his logic-ey thoughts, but let's have more action. What does Miles do when he sees Kalan? What does he feel? Does he gasp?

And my plot-related comment... bluntly put, your execution for Kalan's reappearance was not up to snuff. Nothing was exaggerated at all, and you seriously slowed down for the whole 'running with Miles' thing. With the normalcy going on, you needed something really unexpected to balance it out, but what happened to Kalan was so... nothing. He fell off a horse and survived with injuries. No surprises there.

I'm still going to keep with you on this one, Mess, but I feel like you're not trying your best. I know from your previous chapters that you're much better at execution and surprise than you showed here.

growls irritably -Buggie

Messenger says...

Hey Buggie, sorry, this was during those word wars. I'll try to edit typos from now on before posting. Now as for Kalan, this is only part one of the chapter :P It isn't as simple as "he fell off his horse and is bruised up."

I'll definitely take your other thoughts into consideration.

Ventomology says...

I know Kalan's injuries must be bad, but the build-up was what I was focusing on. (Maybe I should work on my ability to communicate ideas better...) Sorry if I was a little mean today...

Messenger says...

not mean :P Do you have any suggestions. I wasn't planning on really "building up on his injuries" it was more focused on Miles and the other characters.

Ventomology says...

Oh no, not building up on Kalan's injuries! I meant like... more suspense and worry over what happened to Kalan. Geez, I'm just sputtering nonsense today.

Messenger says...

haha ok ok that makes sense. A little more on Miles feelings versus thoughts?

Ventomology says...

Yeah. Precisely.

Messenger says...

OK. I shall attempt to. I'm changing Miles so that he talks to himself more then just thinks things, in an attempt to make him more distinct. I think it had plenty of Miles feelings. Were there any specific points where you thought it needed more emotion?

Ventomology says...

Nope, not really.

To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.
— Olin Miller