Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy

E - Everyone

Cursed world: Prologue

by Alchemist


Word count: 1.102

Sunset came, and his work was finally over. The plants, even though there were so few of them, required constant treatment in this sick air. His eldest son will take care of it for this night. He will finally get some sleep for himself.

He stretched on the sunbed and watched the stars blinking in the nightsky. He never had the time to do it; last time his eyes had watched the stars carefully was when he was a kid. He enjoyed the moment, with sigh.

The large bonefire was lit on the beach. Those young ones are celebrating something tonight, he didn't even know what. They would always find some reason for celebration.

He almost fell asleep, when he heard the hurried footsteps getting nearer.

"Dad! Dad!", it was the voice of his youngest son. Aleron was his name. "There is someone in the sea!"

"What?" he seemed stunned. "In the sea? You are seeing things again, Aleron", he brushed off angrily.

"No dad, the others have seen it too! Brother and his friends are already trying to help him!", Aleron was excited. "Come, come!", kid yelled and ran into the night.

Fat man stood up and waddled, obviously tired. Curse that kid, he will never leave me to rest. But the man at the sea? If the others had seen it too... He hurried, ignoring the pain stretching through his spine.

The large bonefire on the beach reflected its light over the sea, so he was able to see the man clearly. He was standing on the boat, watching them. He had a fire on his own there, swinging on the end of a long stick, on his shoulder. "Impossible", the old man mumbled. It really was a man at the sea. "How many boats do we have ready?" he approached to the busy people, yelling.

"Four, dad", a slim boy answered. He seemed to be in charge, but now his father was here. Mostly the boys were the ones working.

"Four...he is pretty far away. I don't think we can reach him with four", he replied. "Anyway, find the first beacon!"

The boy nodded and ran off. The rest of the village, namely elders and children gathered at the coast. Everyone was as stunned as he was, looking towards the stranger in disbelief. An old man stepped next to him: "Jared, maybe we shouldn't save that man."

"Are you insane, Tom?" he replied. "He is at the sea! No one had come from the sea, ever! We must learn from that man, whatever we can."

"We know nothing about him. Maybe we should keep living our peacefull lives. Let him die", Tom continued. He sounded cold and convinced.

Annoyed, Jared moved away from him. He was the chief, it was his decision, after all. He will save that man, and then, who knows what he could learn. A man came from the sea!

"We found the beacon, dad! The boys and boats are ready too."

"Good", Jared said. "You should take the first boat, son", he said, proudly. He put his hand on the boy's shoulder.

"Really? You think I can?" his son seemed so excited. After his father nodded, he ran off.

There was a place for a torch at the bow of the boat, and it was placed there. The boat was also chained to the coast. Everyone gathered and pushed the boat into the water. From there, his son had to pull the boat using the thin chain that was tied a somewhere in the water.

"I'm at the beacon!" he shouted, when he stopped about a minute later. The second boat set off, another boy doing just the same.

We have about ten minutes.

"Dad, how can that man be out in the sea?" the kid, Aleron, asked him.

"I don't know", Jared seemed annoyed. He pushed his son away and kept watching, carefully. His older son hurled another chain and threw it into the water.

Good, he caught second beacon from the first try.

Few mintues after, the four boats were all in water, chained together.

"Damn!", Jared cursed. If they only had one more, they could reach that man. One more boat!

His son seemed to have noticed the same. They couldn't reach him.

"Dad..." he yelled from afar. "I'm going in!"

"No!" Jared answered scolding him, but it was all too late. Despair flashed over his face, watching his son with the chain in his mouth, jumping into the water.

What have I done... I should have been there. I should have known he would do something so reckless. Jared's legs betrayed him, and he crashed to his knees.

His son was swimming and crying in pain, but he reached the stranger at the sea, and connected the last chain. Everyone watched astonished, the young man sacrificing his life to bring them that man, a small light of hope.

"Pull!" Jared screamed, and caught the chain himself. Each of the boys in the boats pulled their chains towards eachother too. Jared's son, with the last glimpse of strength climbed out of the water and into the stranger's boat, but the man kept being still, watching everyone at the shore.

Meanwhile, the first boat sank, only the chain being left behind him. Second and third boat connected in the process, and the second boy abandoned it to safety. Few mintues later, when all the boys were at the coast, and second boat also at the bottom of the ocean, stranger reached the soil. His boat looked like a slightly curved plate made of metal, nothing more.

The wood of the third boat was almost completely corroded. The boys reached out to Jared's son, and pulled him to the ground. He was already dead; his skin was completely washed off his body.

"Who-" Jared was stunned, and crushed. "Who are you?" He didn't dare to look at his son, watching the stranger right into the eyes instead.

"Catch him!" Tom's voice was heard from behind. "Jared is not able to lead us in this condition."

The men of the village moved towards the newcomer, but he rose his right arm, holding a long, steel rod. On top of it, lantern was swinging, connected with two large rings. Strange, red fire danced in it.

The flames burst from the bonefire and started crawling across the ground, like a spilled water, separating him from the rest of the people. Blinded by the fire and fear, all the man who previously wanted to imprison him, stepped away.

Holding his lantern high in the air, with threatening voice, he finally said something.

"I'm here for the boy named Aleron."


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



Random avatar

Points: 346
Reviews: 31

Donate
Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:40 pm
GeoCha wrote a review...



Wow! I'm new to your stories so I decided to follow it from the beginning. I absolutely love it, so I will follow you. There was one part that confused me though.
"Fat man stood up and waddled, obviously tired. Curse that kid, he will never leave me to rest. But the man at the sea? If the others had seen it too... He hurried, ignoring the pain stretching through his spine."
I think you meant "The man," instead of "fat man."
But back to the story, wow, it's really descriptive and I love how you let the plot unfold. I will definitely read your other stories, you totally have me as a fan. The only thing is the son who died. That was messed up and it had me like what the heck is wrong with everyone. Ha.

"The wood of the third boat was almost completely corroded. The boys reached out to Jared's son, and pulled him to the ground. He was already dead; his skin was completely washed off his body."
That was graphic, poor kid, he only wanted to make his dad happy. But this mysterious guy in the sea, I'm interested to see how he will act later in your story. I wonder what's Aleron importance too. I'm definitely going to the next chapter. Thanks for the good read.




Alchemist says...


Thank you for your review! :)



User avatar
1634 Reviews


Points: 67548
Reviews: 1634

Donate
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:52 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hey Alchemist!

I'm Deanie and I've adopted your novel for the time being :) I am looking forwards to reading the chapters you've already posted and then hanging around to read the new ones as well! This sounds like a pretty interesting story already, simply from the beginning. You've already got a lot of action and suspense in there, and that cliffhanger ending is the best <3 I can't wait to read the next chapter, and endings like that is what is going to keep the reader wanting to turn that page, which is important to any story.

I have so little to say because you've had some awesome reviewers before me, and I apologise if I repeat things mentioned because I don't have enough time to scan all the previous reviews, like I sometimes do. Anyways, here we go!

Four...he


This is a little pet peeve of mine, but there really needs to be a space after the ellipsis. The thing is, if you don't have that space after the three dots, that means those two words are technically connected and should be read as one. Which, doesn't make any sense. So make sure you've got that all important space after the three dots!

Also, at some point you refer to the dad as 'fat man'. In my opinion that doesn't really create a very good visual image, even if he is fat! There are other ways to go around mentioning this. You say old man later on, which is one I would prefer to see pop up once again instead. But fat man wasn't flattering at all.

At the beginning of the story, you mention how it is difficult to grow crops in the sick air. Also, because of the sea, I believe this could be a vital part to the story. So take some time to elaborate here and describe certain things as well. How do they know it's sick air. Is it in the thickness when you breathe it in, the taste, the smell? Does it feel heavier, as if a weight is on their shoulders? Let me know what it feels like! Or how they know, and if it's in the look of it, how it looks! I noticed that they all didn't seem too panicked about breathing in this contaminated air themselves. Maybe it's worth mentioning something along the lines of how the air has been this way since they all can remember, and that it either does or doesn't affect them, but they can't do anything about it so they learn to deal with it.

Likewise as I mentioned with the sick air above, I want to know more about this water. How do they all know it's corrosive? Also, has it always been this way? Is there anything different in its appearance or feel because it is so corrosive? I am curious and want to know these details! Little details like this really sink that hook into the reader and makes them want more. :)

The last thing I wanted to mention was the fact that the stranger has also just hauled themselves out of the sea, well, at least other people did it for them. Seeing as the son was in the water for a much shorter time period and managed to die, I want to know how he survived seeing as he was in there for longer. I also want to see some of his injuries from this harmful water. In my opinion, he shouldn't be upright and standing, threatening and making demands. He could be lying on a stretcher and grabbing somebody's hand and begging to see Aleron, or something. But make sure you show how he is injured. Make it nasty and gory to show how cruel and fearsome the water actually is, which also shows how brave his son must've been to jump in like that.

I am going to read the next chapter! This was a good beginning, and I can't wait to get to more :3

Image

Deanie x




User avatar
301 Reviews


Points: 20262
Reviews: 301

Donate
Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:01 am
Snowery wrote a review...



Alchemist bro! I'm finally here to review your works! :D

Main Points

The large bonefire on the beach reflected its light over the sea,


Lovely bit of imagery :D

Fat man stood up and waddled,


There are a couple of recurring technical issues here and one of them is a problem with articles. Remember when you're referring to someone or something you have to say "a" blah blah or "the" blah blah. Here there should have been a "the" before "Fat man". If you read through this you'll find a couple of instances where this applies.

He will finally get some sleep for himself.


Your tenses are generally really good! There's just one thing that I've noticed recurring throughout the piece and it's that you constantly use "will" instead of "would". I can see why you would use 'will", because you're indicating a something to be done in the future but here because you're writing in the past tense you have to use "would" instead. They both function in the same way for the same purposes but for different tenses, so just remember to look out for that in your edits and future chapters. :D

Okay, so overall comments. Wow, like everyone said this was pretty brilliantly written and the build up of suspense and tension was just wonderful. I also like how I was able to picture everything that was going on in the midst of all the rush and action.
Another thing that you did well here in the prologue was laying the foundations of your "world". World building is an important aspect of fantasy and it's important to lay the ground work right from the beginning to avoid info dumping and confusion later. So what I've learnt from your prologue about your world:
-The air is sickly, this has resulted in a difficulty for plants to grow and be maintained (so possible issues with feeding the community?)
-The water is corrosive, one does not simply swim in it.
-No one ever comes b from the sea, probably because of the fact that the water is so dangerous and corrosive.
This all leads me to wonder if that's the meaning of your title? That this is a cursed world, because of the fact hat everything is so sickly and dangerous? So what other horrors and secrets does this "cursed world" hold for us?

I can't wait to find out why that man wants Aleron. Is he good or bad? Does he want to help or hinder? I shall find out soon when I read the next chapter! :D Keep u the awesome work and happy writing! :) :)

Silverlock




Alchemist says...


Ahh, the god damn arcticles, I think I've given up on them. They just make no sense to me. I will get a friend who's studying english to edit my grammar. xD Though thanks to the nitpicks, I will be able to do some of it myself. :P

I'm glad you connected the "worldbuild" with the title. It's pretty obvious, and not meant to be sneaky, but no one really pointed it out before so I wondered if it needs a stronger outline. :P

Thanks for reviewing, you're awesome! :D



User avatar
130 Reviews


Points: 2109
Reviews: 130

Donate
Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:37 pm
ScarletDreams14 wrote a review...



One word, Wow.
I thought at first that it might be boring. Not at all! Once I got into the book I was on the edge of my seat hanging on to every word, every sentence.

I gasped when that boy leapt into the sea, I sensed the danger, the worry and despair his father felt. Every word after the first three paragraphs was grappling. You know how rare that is? I can't even get my book that interesting, even though I've written four chapters! I envy you, I'll be following you, also I will be looking at some of your other chapters as well. You are a quality writer and I will be looking to your work for tips how to write my book! Keep up the good work.

Sincerely, @ScarletDreams14

Writer, Artist, Student, and Reader




Alchemist says...


Hey, thanks for reading it, I'm glad you liked it!



User avatar
1416 Reviews


Points: 3633
Reviews: 1416

Donate
Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:11 pm
Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

Wow, talk about suspense! What a way to end the prologue. Here you were building up the suspense throughout and then bam we're hit with that ending. What exactly does this man want with Aleron? And why is he there in the first place? What kind of place is this they live in where they haven't met strangers? These are all rhetorical questions of course, I know I'll get my answers soon enough.

So the thing I like about this chapter is the suspense. Yeah, I already mentioned this, but I'm going to go into more detail here. This is a prologue. (duh, of course you know that) And in prologues it's important to set the scene, so to say, of the novel. What other job does a prologue have? No other job than that. And that's exactly what you've got here. I know absolutely nothing about this world except for the fact that no one has ever come to them from the sea. That in itself really builds the suspense. At first I was wondering why this man was such a big deal. Then I learned that no one had ever come from the sea and that's when the suspense kicked in. I knew that he was going to be someone bad. Not necessarily evil, but someone who would mess up the system they've got going on in this world. And boy was I right. And the whole time that they're trying to reach him out in the sea I'm just sitting here like, freaking out. Literally. I'm telling myself that they're not going to bring him in, that they should just leave him out there to die.

One thing I was a bit confused about though, is how the one son died. I know that he swam through the water which peeled his skin off, but how exactly did that happen? Is there some sort of chemical in the water that ruined his skin? I feel like you could describe that a bit more.

Overall I really enjoyed his prologue. It was written well and you definitely pulled me into the story. I didn't find any grammar or spelling mistakes so good job with that. I can't wait to check out the first chapter!

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




Alchemist says...


Thanks for the read and review Noelle! :)



User avatar
12 Reviews


Points: 622
Reviews: 12

Donate
Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:14 pm
View Likes
MrGreen wrote a review...



This is an intriguing little story which displays great imagination. It draws the reader in almost immediately with its simple and direct prose; something which is essential to all good fantasy and science-fiction. As far as prologues go this is an exceptional attempt, as you have avoided falling into the trap of info-dump, and have instead painted a picture of your world through small hints and suggestion, enabling the reader to form a clear image of your world.
In short, a well-written and imaginative piece of writing. I look forward to seeing how you expand upon this story and setting in the future.




Alchemist says...


I'm really glad you liked it! Since you are also a fantasy writer I will read your story too! And I'm looking forward to see if you will like the rest of it, when I post it. :P



User avatar
86 Reviews


Points: 683
Reviews: 86

Donate
Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:36 pm
View Likes
ConfusedGlasses wrote a review...



Hello there! Confused here for a review!
This is the first time I've read your fiction. I must say that I'm impressed.
There are things and places you could improve in and I wanna try to help you out.
"...required constant treatmant on this sick air..."
What exactly do you mean by "on" the sick air? It doesn't quite make sense. Probably just a typo. Better fix it.
"... Blinded by the fire and fear, all the man who previously wanted to imprison him, stepped away..."
I think the word here is supposed to be men and not man. another typo I guess.
Well, that's all the stuff I thought worth letting you know. Oh and I love how the story picks up pace immediately when it starts. But I think you could add some more description (even though people scream at me for not describing much). Any way, it was a nice read. And I promise you this reader guaranteed. ;)




Alchemist says...


Hi, thanks for review and reading! :)

Was I supposed to say 'in' sick air? Help! xD

Yes, it is supposed to be men, I just make that typo all the time, no idea why. xD

I'm really glad you liked it. I will surely work on this one a little bit more! :)

Also is the rhyme at the end of your review intended? :D





Yeah I think it sounds better if you say IN THE SICK AIR. Oh and I just noticed that you wrote TREATMANT. And no the rhythm was completely unintentional :p



User avatar
212 Reviews


Points: 3486
Reviews: 212

Donate
Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:34 pm
View Likes
TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...



Hello, love! Aurora here for a review!

Well then. This prologue is very prologue-likeish. That's not a bad thing, considering the fact that even the prologues I write myself are mysterious and confusing. I think that's a must-have for prologues. :)

Although it was very mysterious and.... menacing?..., I actually didn't get a headache while reading this! (And that's a compliment)

Technicalities first:
The large bonefire was lit on the beach. Those young ones are celebrating something tonight, he didn't even know what.
The large bonfire is lit on the beach. Those young ones are celebrating something tonight, he didn't even know what.
The large bonefire was lit on the beach. Those young ones were celebrating something tonight, he didn't even know what.
Huh. Didn't know you could build a fire with just bones. Is this magic or what? Also, you switch from past to present tense from the first sentence of this excerpt to the second sentence.

Mostly the boys were the ones working.
Nope. Nada. Not happening. I don't think this is grammatically wrong, but trust me when I say that more than one of your readers will look at this oddly.
"The boys were the ones mostly working"

"Are you insane, Tom?" he replied. "He is at the sea! No one had come from the sea, ever! We must learn from that man, whatever we can."
"Are you insane, Tom?" he replied. "He is at the sea! No one has come from the sea, ever! We must learn from that man, whatever we can."
Uh.. people don't narrate in dialogue as a rule.

The pacing is nice in this, and I like seeing the sea (haha) as a mysterious object.
Keep persisting, love!
Sorry if I came across as unnecessarily harsh, I'm just writing very quickly.






Okay, is it just me or did my eyes auto correct these mistakes? I swear I remember the text exactly as you said it Aurora. Well, I just suggest you go through this once more and everything will be good, eh Alchemist? Yep! Definitely.





Okay, is it just me or did my eyes auto correct these mistakes? I swear I remember the text exactly as you said it Aurora. Well, I just suggest you go through this once more and everything will be good, eh Alchemist? Yep! Definitely.





Haha. Eyes autocorrected, I think :)



Alchemist says...


Thanks for the review... but it was rather confusing, with ConfusedGlasses also postind comment two times...do I see double? :D I really don't mind, but I need you to explain me some things. :(

The last one, about people not narrating in a dialogue, I'm really not sure what you meant with that one...

Also, it is Bonfire, not bonefire, it's a typo!xD

Thanks for the review, I'm glad that you liked it and will edit what you suggested, since I agree with you! :)




"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."
— William Shakespeare