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16+ Violence

The Blood of the Martyrs- Chapter 2: The Encounter

by TheMaieuticMesmerist


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

Chapter 2: The Encounter

Now, remember what I taught you, and you won’t get caught. Understood?’

Yes Father.’

Good. Now be off and bring back anything that can be sold at a decent price.’

The father lightly pushed his child into the bustling crowd before disappearing into a nearby alley where the snow still lay undisturbed.

The child briefly looked confused before joining the continuous flow of people in the market. Seeming like a normal peasant buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something else: a target.

The thief stole petty things from various individuals. Necklaces, rings, a loaf of bread, all of these were easy targets.

The clock in the town hall sounded midday when the thief spotted a prime target. A teenage noble carrying a large money purse, to be precise. The pickpocket inspected every detail of this potential target; from the way he walked to his auburn hair, as well as his silver coloured eyes which were filled with curiosity.

The pickpocket stalked this target for some time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. There were many guards patrolling the markets at this time of day, and the thief was wary of being noticed.

Calm yourself, you’ve done this many times before.

Then, as the town criers came out to recite the latest news, the thief saw an opportunity. The noble had stopped to drink water from the fountain at the centre of the market, leaving the purse hanging loosely beside his hip. The cutpurse didn’t hesitate to move in and snatch the purse.

However, just as the felon made to escape, the noble turned around and grabbed the thief’s arm.

I belie...’ the noble started before staring in disbelief, ‘You’re a girl?!’

The girl broke free from the noble’s grip and ran into the crowd, easily dodging crate carriers and market stalls, knocking over fruit carts to create obstacles for any pursuers.

But instead of calling the guards, the noble started in pursuit. He too was light-footed and could manoeuvre his way easily through the market, only shoving a few drunkards out of the way.

How could I have been so reckless? The girl reprimanded herself, What’s Father going to say when he finds out about this?

As she reached the edge of the marketplace, she allowed herself a brief glance back to see if the noble was still pursuing her. Not seeing him, she slipped into the shadows of an alley between a florist shop and an abandoned storehouse to catch her breath.

At least I wasn’t caught, she thought as she looked at the finely decorated purse still clutched in her left hand.

Having caught her breath, she started walking down the alley. But as she turned her back on the market she was pulled into the side doorway of the abandoned storehouse. When she looked up, she saw it was the teenage noble. She struggled against his grasp, but he held her pinned firmly against the door.

Did you think you get away that easily?’ the noble said, ‘I couldn’t let you run free with my fifty francs just like that.’

Then the girl had a brilliant idea. She brought her leg up into the noble’s groin, making him stagger backwards, giving her a chance to try to escape. The noble however grabbed her right heel and tripped her, and almost instantaneously restrained her, this time on the ground.

You’re one tough girl, aren't you?’ he said, smiling, ‘You almost bested me too.’

At that moment the thief spun the both of them around, making him lay on the ground.

Not “almost”, but “did”,’ she said, her emerald green eyes revealing a inner grin.

That, I am obliged to say, is true,’ the noble said, ‘but can you please get off of me and remove your blade from my throat.'

The girl got up and helped the noble up before straightening her long, dark brown hair and putting away her pocket knife. The noble dusted the dirt off his clothes before holding out his hand.

Viscount Abelard von Duren, my lady,’ he said as they shook hands, ‘It’s a pleasure to make your acuaintance.’

The pleasure is mine,’ the thief said, eyeing Abelard suspiciously.

You can keep the money,’ Abelard said, pointing to the purse on the ground, ‘I was just curious to see who stole from me.’

He bent down and picked up the purse. When he came upright, their faces were merely inches from each other's.

‘Here you go,’ he said as they both stepped back uncomfortably.

'What are you playing at?' the girl said.

'Nothing. But I can see that you need the money more than I do.'

'No one's ever been this kind to me before.'

'Well, I shall say to them that they are fools, because kindness is something you should show to everyone, no matter how rich they are.'

'You are one strange noble, Abelard von Duren, but I thank you,' the girl said as she hesitantly took the purse, 'I must get going. My father will start getting worried.'

As she walked away, Abelard called after her. ‘Wait! You didn’t tell me your name.’

She turned around, smiling. ‘It’s Sarah,’ she said before disappearing into the shadow of the alleys.


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101 Reviews


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Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:23 am
MysteryMe wrote a review...



Hey there, it's MysteryMe, here for a quick review!!! Thanks for the PM, btw. I'm glad to know that you value my opinion :). Hopefully I can help you out with this.

For starters, let me just say that I think you did a very good job with this chapter. I remember the first chapter had a few repeated mistakes (missed punctuation, winding sentences, things like that) but you seem to have completely gotten those under control, now. I also found this new chapter to be a considerably more interesting read, which is great. Obviously, boredom is not something you want your readers to be feeling, and you did a nice job avoiding that.

In terms of characterization, I also thought you did fairly well. You didn't describe much, and you left us with a lot of questions (why does Sarah's father force her to steal in the marketplace, for example) but I did get a good idea of her personality just by her actions, and I thought you did the whole 'show, don't tell' aspect of writing very well.

The only thing I was a little bit unsure about was the bit at the end with Sarah and Abelard looking into each other's eyes. Their meeting was very sweet and cute, but it was a bit of a 'love at first sight' kind of thing, which can come off as sort of cheesy. Still, this advice comes from someone whose very picky about romance, so if you like it that way, then keep it. This is your story, after all!

Now, time for a few nitpicks:

"Seeming like a normal peasant teenager buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something: a target."

This sentence sounds a bit awkward, to me. Try not to use 'teenager' twice in a sentence, since it gets repetitive. Consider changing it to "Seeming like a normal peasant buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something: a target."

...

"The thief stalked this target for some time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike."

Throughout this entire piece, you used the words 'thief' and 'target' just a bit too much. It gets very repetitive, and even sort of annoying for the reader, so watch out for that. Try using more pronouns or changing it up with some other word choice.

...

" ‘You can keep the money,’ Abelard said, pointing to the purse on the ground, ‘I was just curious to see who stole from me.’ "

Okay, this part was just unbelievable for me. Not that he gave her the money (it's actually good characterization, showing that he's so rich that money barely seems to matter to him) but just the way Sarah reacted to it. All she said was 'thank you.' Don't you think she should be a bit more surprised? A bit more suspicious? A bit more grateful? She's a thief, obviously very poor, and she's probably never experienced someone being this kind to her before... especially a noble like him. You just play this whole scene by so fast, it doesn't seem real. Try to slow it down a little and add more descriptions of emotions. That would be a lot better, in my opinion.

...

Well, like I said, nice job! I wish I could be of more help, but honestly, that's all that I think needs changing. Everything else is great!

Feel free to contact me again when you update. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store ;).






Thank you, very much, MysteryMe! I agree with everything you commented. I went through this chapter again and I must and admit that I was a bit hasty at the part where Abelard gives Sarah the money to him (which is quite strange, as I love being long-winded most of the times). I will take everything you, James and catcha01 commented on to heart and edit this chapter appropriately.
P.S. I am not really the love at first sight person, so I'll tweak that up a bit.
Thanks once again! ;-)



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Sat May 31, 2014 10:33 am
AstralHunter wrote a review...



Greetings, my friend.

Thank you for the private message and the compliment you sent along with it, I do appreciate it. Alright then, on to Chapter Two of this bloody novel (and if it isn't yet, it will be soon...); may it be even better than the last!


The father lightly pushed his child into the bustling crowd before disappearing into a nearby alley where the snow still laid undisturbed.

I am not too sure whether or not this is grammatically incorrect, so I cannot say you must change it. I think lay would be better, though.

Seeming like a normal peasant teenager buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something: a target.

You could have phrased this much better. I understand you want to keep the thief's gender a secret, but you must remember what the lack of pronouns can do to a sentence. I suggest that you rather say: "Seeming like a normal peasant buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something: a target."

Also, if a teenager is looking for food, obviously they are looking for something. I recommend adding an else; thus: "Seeming like a normal peasant buying food for supper, this teenager was looking for something else: a target."

I think the last nine words are unecessary anyway, as one can deduce from the father's words their child is a thief, but we shall leave it at that.

The thief stole petty things from various individuals. Necklaces, rings, a loaf of bread, all of these were easy targets for the thief.

You see? Already the thief has become tired and rather annoying. I suggest varying thief with some of its synonyms, such as pickpocket or cutpurse (I added the latter especially having your style in mind). Not only will this provide much needed variety to the text, it will also indicate you are no "one-trick-pony".

You might also want to avoid saying the thief/pickpocket/cutpurse at all if you can help it, so please, remove the last three words of the sentence - they are redundant anyway, as you have already said the thief at the beginning of the paragraph.

The thief inspected every detail of this potential target; from the way he walked to his auburn hair, as well as his silver coloured eyes which were filled with curiosity.

When one colloquially refers to eyes, one usually means the iris; if one meant the pupil or the white of the eye, that would rather be explicitly stated. I suggest a removal of the underlined.

Calm yourself, the thief thought, you’ve done this many times before.

Keep the thought pure and avoid using the thief too much by excluding the underlined.

The thief broke free from the noble’s grip and ran into the crowd, easily dodging crate carriers and market stalls.

Why?! Why would you continue using the thief when you have just revealed the girl's gender?

He too was light-footed and could manoeuvre his way easily through the market, only shoving a few drunkards out of the way.

Not too many can spell that right. Well done.

How could I have been so reckless? The thief reprimanded herself, What’s Father going to say when he finds out about this?

SHE!!!

At least I wasn’t caught, she thought as she looked at the finely decorated purse still clutched in her left hand.

It took you long enough...

The thief got up and helped the noble up before straightening her long, dark brown hair.

I spoke too soon...

As they both bent to pick it up, their faces came extremely close to each other’s and they looked straight into the other’s eyes. Abelard picked up the purse without breaking his gaze and handed it to her.

Love at first sight, eh?


Other than the frustrating overusage of the thief, I really cannot complain about the quality of your work. Just remember, a good writer knows how to properly apply a word, but a better writer knows how to properly apply that word's synonym as well.

I wish you the best of luck with Chapter Three, and may the intriguing writing never cease!

Rating for this text: four stars (excellent)




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Sat May 31, 2014 1:02 am
catcha01 wrote a review...



Hello TheWanderingWizard,
I am here with a review. First off good story and I can see the potential in this story. the storyline would be wonderful to read and the turmoils that a teenage girl would have to face with growing up while being a thief just sounds like a fun novel to read.
While I was reading I realized that you used ' rather than ". I haven't seen that before, but it looks cool and different. You go being all original!
Nitpicks:
I saw your method throughout the piece trying to give the main character a mystery about her, but using "the thief" all the time will get old quickly. Maybe substituting it for "her" or the aspiring bandit could add a bit of variety making the story more interesting.
Also the meeting between Sarah and her target was a bit to informal to believe, it was also rushed. Personally girl or not if you're trying to steal my mother;s purse it wouldn't go down like you described it. I understand that you are attempting to develop their relationship, but that was way to fast.
Perhaps incorporating a second meeting where this nice exchange could occur would work better. You don't have to fix it, I just felt that as I was reading it was like I was being rushed and that isn't a good feeling.
Beside that I like the piece very much and will be awaiting the next chapter.
Keep Writing!
~Catcha01





The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.
— O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)