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Wool of the Prince-- Chapter 14

by fortis


Chapter 14

~932 words

Jay had been asking how they were going to deal with the hostility between the two sheep when the door was flung open. Fleta and the trolls stepped into the room laughing, but any light-heartedness died out with the sight of the bloody sheep on the floor and Shep’s grave expression.

“Oh my…” Fleta started, but quickly seemed to lose her ability to speak. After a moment of stunned silence, she tried again. “What happened?” Her face showed an expression of the utmost horror.

Shep sighed and stood to lead Fleta to the edge of the bed so she could sit down. “Tart was being his usual nasty self, but this time it led to severe injury. He was trying to gain the throne by killing the king—or what used to be the king. He doesn’t understand that to restore everyone to their proper place, everyone, including the king, needs to be alive and intact.”

“Is he going to live?” Fleta asked from behind a hand that seemed to be holding back all her emotions. Tears sparkled in her eyes, but did not fall. Gilfred and Godfrey wore similar expressions.

“I wasn’t so sure an hour or two ago, but now I think it is likely that he will. And Jay, any ideas on how to keep these two apart would be greatly appreciated.” 

Silence fell in the room again. Jay could hear the sheep’s heavy breathing. Shep had told him that it was a good thing he could hear the breathing; if he couldn’t, there wasn’t enough oxygen going to the sheep’s brain.

“If someone could take one and watch it,” Jay started.

“No,” Shep cut in, “It’s best to keep them all together with me. That way I know where they are. And who would even look after them? You don’t know the first thing about taking care of sheep, Jay. No offense.” 

Jay nodded. It was true; he didn’t.

“But I do,” said Fleta in a quiet voice. “I’ve been with you for a few years. I’ve seen you watch over the sheep.” Fleta stuck out her chin. “I could do it.”

Shep considered this. “But what if it gets sick? And which sheep would you take, the one with a gash in its neck, or the one prone to trouble? What would happen if you need me and I’m half a continent away?”

Fleta’s eyes blazed. “I can take care of all that.”

It was decided that Fleta would stay on the island with Reyus while the rest of the group traveled on. Shep admitted that Reyus wasn’t really fit to travel anyway, and that Tart would only go after the king because he was the first in line for the throne.

“Try not to go anywhere too fun without me,” Fleta said as the group was preparing to head off again.

“No promises!” Shep called back. They were going to travel by boat across the sea and down a river to the capitol.

As the boat pulled away from the beautiful island, Fleta stood on the shore waving goodbye. Jay waved back until he couldn’t see the island any more.

The trip was long and tiring. Jay made sure to stay far away from any shipmate whose smile was too bright. They spent four days aboard the ship, and on the fifth, Jay woke up to a sky filled with towering buildings. The ship docked, and Shep, Jay, and the trolls—who had decided that they liked exciting adventures—stepped off the gangway. 

So the sky wasn’t filled with buildings in the sense that there were skyscrapers: the tallest building in the city was probably only six stories high. But the city had been built in a valley, and the buildings trailed all the way up the hills on all sides. To put it simply, the place was huge. 

Jay had only a minute to take it in before Shep hurried him along. “This part of town isn’t the safest. It’s prone to thieves who steal goods off of boats and gold out of pockets.”

Shep led Gilfred, Godfrey, and Jay down cobblestone streets filled with all sorts of pedestrians. Every now and then they’d spot a road troll or two, and Godfrey would call them by name while Gilfred waved.

After a while of scurrying down the crowded streets, Shep stopped outside a shop with purple and orange banners hanging from the glassless windows. The banners seemed to be celebrating some kind of holiday, but Jay had no idea which one. “This looks like a fine place to eat,” said Shep, pushing through the door. 

The smell that hit Jay reminded him of his favorite restaurant at home.It was one of those old-style restaurants that smelled like fresh-baking bread, and rich soups. Jay sighed, thinking of the things he had left home. They weren't great, but there were a few things he really liked about home.

After they had ordered, Jay asked, “So where do you think the sheep is?”

“Oh I’ve no clue. I just figured one might be in a city somewhere, and where better than the largest city in the county? There are a million places you could hide a sheep in this city.” 

“Then how do you expect to find one?” Jay asked.

“With the help of a few old friends.” Shep grinned.

Suddenly, the door creaked open, and a shadowy figure stepped into the restaurant. It was about twice the size of a normal man in every dimension you can think of, and it was staring right at Jay.


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Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:23 am
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TimmyJake wrote a review...



Timmy here!

So here we have a chapter which probably has the most emotion displayed of all your chapters so far. I honestly felt something when you were going through the entire sheep deal, and it seemed weird because of the fact that it sure looks like a sheep, but the way everything played brought a lot of the emotion into focus.

There were a few small things I noticed as we go through, and I will just talk 'bout them as I go through:

Fleta started, but quickly seemed to lose her ability to speak.


This could have several meanings, but when I read it I got the visual of more like a lump in the throat, queasiness over the sight of so much blood.

After a moment of stunned silence, she tried again


Okay, now she is stunned, astonished--etc...

Her face showed an expression of the utmost horror.


And now she is horrified.

Tears sparkled in her eyes, but did not fall.


And now she is displaying sadness.


Of all of these emotions she is displaying--one right after the other--which is the one she truly feels? It seems almost contradictory for you to state so many emotions going through her, almost like we are flipping pages of a illustrated book, and she is wearing a different face each time. I think she should start off with the same emotion she ends with, only at the end it becoming amplified. So, like a ladder, almost, and climbing it. You are still climbing the same ladder as you go up (same emotion), but you are at a different climbing point each time you take a step. I hope that analogy made sense. Not sure if it makes sense to me.

Gilfred and Godfrey wore similar expressions.


I am not sure about these trolls, or rather, not sure about what purpose these creatures serve in the story. In all stories, there must be a character arc to your, ah, characters in order for it to be called a story, and not just a compilation of words in a pretty order. So far, I haven't seen much from them, and no emotion. Besides being occasionally goofy, I don't know their emotions, I don't know what kind of beings they are (kind, generous, quick to anger, et...), and I don't know what purpose they serve. And that troubles me. Every other character has become so vast (not their bodies of course. That is reserves for Stoick only.) in personality and character, and we have drawn closer to them. I feel as though I actually know them. But with the trolls, I feel as though they are something that has just been crammed into the story at an impossible angle, not really fitting in. And really, most of the time I forget they are even there because you don't actually mention them very often. It's almost like its the pet that you never see. You mention them once or twice in the beginning of this chapter (although I am pretty sure only once) and then you mention them one more time towards the end. All the while, they are there. Every time you talk about the characters, the trolls are there. But you never mention them. They never say anything, or do anything. They seem... empty and shallow--without character, and its' because you never show it. When you say, who had decided that they liked exciting adventures I got the impression that you were starting to build their character, but then you stopped. That seemed like such an opportunity to make them hugish and bring them closer to us! Maybe you could even just show us what they seem like from Jay's perspective. What he sees of them. Even if he only sees silly trolls without a real goal in life, that would still be a good character sketch. We would still know who they are. As of now, they seem rather vague and I don't have anything to really pinpoint on them and say: That is who they are.

I hope that made any sense.

the tallest building in the city was probably only six stories high. But the city had been built in a valley, and the buildings trailed all the way up the hills on all sides. To put it simply, the place was huge.


This, quite simply, is just a start of a description of this city. This gave me a very vague picture of the city, and one that I couldn't really see, quite honestly. What is there was good, very good. I could tell that the buildings weren't that tall from what you said, and that they went up the side of the valley--although you didn't tell us how big this valley was. Another thing that puzzled me: If this is built in a valley, the "definition" of a valley is just a flat area with mountains on all sides, right? I live in one, a rather big one, and there are mountains stretching in a complete circle around me. Now, if that is true, then the sea coming up to that wouldn't really work, I think. I am not certain of that, but if there are mountains on all sides, then wouldn't the ocean come up to the mountains--but no over to the other side? Now, saying this, I am still not certain if a valley is a flat area with mountains on all sides, but the only valleys I have seen have been like that. I hope I am wrong, but I still figured it was a big enough thing to mention. Just in case.

...And I went off track. Again.

Godfrey, and Jay down cobblestone streets filled with all sorts of pedestrians.


I think this would have been a good chance to do some descriptions. Show the claustrophobic feeling. Make him rub shoulders with odd travelers, gypsies, flowery people wearing strange clothes--whatever would fit into this new town. But make sure we have a clear picture of the surrounding city. If its truly full of people, then make us feel closed in and tight as well as Jay. Reaching out to your reader is a necessity.

As the boat pulled away from the beautiful island, Fleta stood on the shore waving goodbye. Jay waved back until he couldn’t see the island any more.


Going through this chapter, I didn't feel rushed except for this part. It was almost as if you wanted to make it as small and insignificant of a scene as possible, even though to me it would be very emotional and powerful. I mean, sure, there isn't any romantic ties between these to people (yet, hehehe), but I think that the goodbye would have been stretched out just a little bit. Perhaps an awkward hug between the two, and then a red-faced Jay getting into the boat to leave. I definitely think that Shep and Fleta would have hugged, and I think its a big enough part to really want it in there. Because, so far in this book, I haven't seen much love or attachment from these people. I know you must have told us the relation between Shep and Fleta earlier in the book, but since you don't ever mention it, I don't remember. Whatever the case, I think you need to expand on that part and make sure the reader feels their emotions. Especially Fleta. Think about it: She is being left all alone on a deserted island, tending to a kind disguised as a sheep. Meanwhile, all of her friends are leaving to go to a foreign place--and they are together. Probably going to be happy, even if they miss her. And girls don't generally like long periods of solitude, right?

Suddenly, the door creaked open, and a shadowy figure stepped into the restaurant.


You are so mean, you know that? I was reading through this quite pleasantly, and then boom!--you dropped the cliffhanger thing. Us writers are so mean [insert evil laughter here] and its awesome. You did an excellent job with this chapter, and the ending was pure genius. What a way to get me to the next chapter! Now I am curious as to who this person is, and wondering if its possibly the same villain that Jay was kidnapped by a few chapters ago, or if he is one of his minions. Perhaps he is a different person altogether! I dunno. Asks a tons of questions. :D

Keep me updated! Well, when I catch up all the way. ;)
~Darth Timmyjake




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Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:20 am
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Wolfical wrote a review...



Another Review Week review for Team Pen!

“Tart was being his usual nasty self, but this time it led to severe injury.

"It led to a serious injury."
his favorite restaurant at home.It was one of those old-style restaurants

Don't forget that little space in between sentences.

This chapter was short but pivotal because we left Fleta behind. Hopefully we'll see her again soon! That darn little Tart; I wasn't aware that his little battle with the king would cause this. Not that the battle was "little," of course! If it weren't for Shep's sheep doctoring skills, Reyus might be in serious trouble, but I think that he'll be fine.

I had forgotten that all the sheep need to be alive and well for the curse thingy to be undone, so I'm glad that you reminded us of that!

I like how you initially described the restaurant, but it wasn't really anything more then a sentence. This chapter is on the shorter side, so you could really expand its size by describing things like the restaurant more. This is, remember, a world that is still mostly alien to your readers. How is this restaurant different than the one Jay loved on Earth?

Nice job on that cliffhanger! I'm very interested to see who this guy is, and why he was staring right at Jay!




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Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:01 am
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Deanie wrote a review...



Hey Fortis!

Looks like I have a little bit of catching up to do >.> Getting to it now! Right, as always, you have a brilliant way with your writing. You've kept up this awesome style all the way through, and now we've got a few time jumps and a new location all in one chapter and it went smoothly. Honestly, there was no point where I thought you were going too fast or anything. So congrats to you ;) It was a bit sad seeing Fleta left behind, seeing as she was the only girl and I really liked her character, but it's for the best. Or, more so in Reyus's best interest. One sad thing though, is short chapters call for short reviews seeing as there isn't too much left for me to cover.

Tart was being his usual nasty self


So Tart is usually a nasty sheep then? It would be nice to know a few of the other mischievous things he might've gotten himself into. I know it's a little thing, but it's nice to see some personality from the sheep themselves seeing as they are people too. In fact, it would be nice to know more about the other sheep in more detail. Right now, in my eyes they're nothing but sheep with names, apart from Tart and Reyus now.

He doesn’t understand that to restore everyone to their proper place, everyone, including the king, needs to be alive and intact


My question here is: can the sheep understand English? I think they should be able to, if Tart felt guilty when Shep was scolding him for what he did to Reyus, unless all he was getting from the scolding was the shame. Either way, let us know if they can understand English because they were once human, or not. It just needs a little bit of clarifying.

I felt like the description of this new city was a bit too brief for my liking. Are the buildings made from the same things that they are made of in Jay's old world? Do they not use brick in this world? Also, how does this place compare to the magic of one of the best cities they were just in? It must be a bit of a downgrade from where they were, and a good way to fit in a bit more description would be through comparison. You could even have the trolls commenting on the road conditions for a bit of familiarity there as well.

Otherwise... I really do have nothing else to say! This was a short, but still an top-notch chapter. Keep up this awesome writing. I am going to read the next chapter and get all caught up ^.^

Deanie x




timmyjake says...


hehehehe *likes review*



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Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:38 am
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

Her face showed an expression of the utmost horror.

I don't really like how you say 'her face showed' here. I'd rather see just you describe the look on her face. Take out the word 'showed' and I think this would be perfect.

Jay could hear the sheep’s heavy breathing. Shep had told him that it was a good thing he could hear the breathing; if he couldn’t, there wasn’t enough oxygen going to the sheep’s brain.

Obviously hearing the sheep breathe is a good thing. Otherwise they'd be dead. So maybe focus on the heavy breathing instead? Say something about how Jay was afraid they would end up hyperventilating and fainting or something. Just a reason for Shep to tell him that hearing the sheep breathe was a good thing. In all honesty, it's quite obvious that hearing the sheep breathe is a good thing. Then you know they're still alive.

So now they've decided to split up. Isn't the the one mistake that groups always make in the movies? I sure hope this doesn't end up being the same outcome! ;)

I don't have much to say about this chapter in particular, so I'm going to comment on the novel as a whole up to this point.

Everything is coming together well. We've got our main characters, the thing that is driving them, and the main villain. You've done a great job developing your characters along the way as well. I feel like I've gotten a really good idea of who they all are. If I remember correctly, I mentioned in an earlier review how I wasn't feeling all that attached to Shep, that I couldn't match his actions to his personality. But as I read on, things became clearer and I really started to understand who he was. So it's obvious that you've focused on your characters as you wrote on.

I do wish that we would've seen more of the villain though. We saw him once, that time when he captured Jay and Fleta. But that's it. By now I would've been sure that we'd see more of the villain. For all I know though, you've got more planned out for him later on in the story. As of right now though, it seems like the group is running around searching for these sheep unopposed. It just seems too easy.

Other than the seemingly MIA villain, I think this novel is really coming together. As I read on, I'm starting to look at this as a whole rather than just a chapter each week. And like I said, it's really starting to come together. A lot of the questions I had near the beginning have been answered. So I'm really starting to see the big picture. (that's, what, the fifth time I've said that in this review?? *eye roll*)

Oh, just one more thing. For some reason this has just hit me now. If Shep is searching for the royal family of sheep, who's running things in their place? Obviously someone has to be in charge because there was once a king and queen. I think I remember you mentioning something about a witch changing them into sheep, but I can't remember if you said she took over or someone else did or if you even mentioned it at all. If you haven't mentioned it yet, that would be a nice thing to know.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter! As always, keep me updated when you post!

Keep writing!
**Noelle**






I agree with the first nitpick here. how about, 'On her face was an expression of the utmost horror'? Just a suggestion. :)



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Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:38 pm
kayfortnight wrote a review...



Hello! Kayfortnight here to review!

Shep sighed and stood to lead Fleta to the edge of the bed so she could sit down. “Tart was being his usual nasty self, but this time it led to severe injury. He was trying to gain the throne by killing the king—or what used to be the king. He doesn’t understand that to restore everyone to their proper place, everyone, including the king, needs to be alive and intact.”
Okay, so Shep knew Tart had issues. Why does he leave him alone with the other sheep then? It just seems like he should have figured out a solution earlier.

I don't like how Shep is worrying about Fleta's ability to handle this, but I suppose I can understand it, considering it's practically his life's work getting the sheep back.

Also, if the ending was meant to be a cliffhanger to make us worry about Jay's safety, it didn't really work. Sometimes, a few extra details can actually make something like that more worrying.




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Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:37 am
TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...



Hello, love! Aurora here for a quick review. I'm holding down the fort so that no works are left in the green room, you see.

So. That was an awesome cliffhanger you left off with there. I haven't read any of your previous chapters and I still wanted to know what happens next. Very good. You show the signs of a gifted writer.

Hmm... Description. I like it. The places they are in are described well, with lots of detail, but never boring the reader. Thank god. I once wrote an entire three pages describing a sunset before. Utterly worthless. I'm happy I didn't have to struggle through the molasses of writing.

One thing caught my eye, and I face palmed. Here you have an adventurous young female, and yes, okay, she volunteers to take the sheep. Is that really the singular of sheep? Huh. I didn't know that. But she doesn't put up a fight about being left behind? I mean, I know I haven't read the previous chapters, but this still strikes me as odd. Make her reluctant to stay. Make her try to think of a way to avoid it. Anything!

Moving on... Your style fits the piece very well. It's old fashioned yet fantastic, a perfect combination for this book, or so it seems.

Your pacing was a bit fast... At times, I felt like I was reading something that was compressed into less than a thousand words. Describe the expressions of people more. Add more dialogue. Develop characters. I get the sense that this is a filler chapter, mostly, but make it full of characterization and imagery :).

I loved reading this piece, love. I may even go back and read your previous chapters.
Keep persisting, love.
Aurora




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Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:55 am
tgirly wrote a review...



Hello! I'll be reviewing this piece today.
I haven't read any of the other chapters, but from what I gather, you have a really interesting story premise here; really creative idea.
"Fleta’s eyes blazed." It might be just me, but I always think it's a bit cliché and cheesy when someone's eyes blaze, because I can't ever think of a time I've seen someone's eyes blaze in real life.
Maybe you do in other chapters, but I wish you'd describe the island more than saying it's beautiful.
I like that the characters banter back and forth, even through the dire situation. It reveals a bit of their character.
You've definitely got an interesting story, but, despite all the creative plotting you've got going on, you somehow manage to keep it from getting muddled. It's still very clear what is happening. Good job on that.
Something you could probably work on a little bit is pacing. You've got a lot of good details here, but some of the scenes could use a few more, to stretch them out a bit and give more color to the story- not a ton more; you don't want to overdo it (the only person who gets away with that is J.R.R. Tolkien) but a few more so the reader doesn't feel pulled from one setting to another quite so quickly.
Good work here. You've got some great writing here. I hope this review helps you a bit in your writing endeavors.
-tgirly

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"Now I realize that there is no righteous path, it’s just people trying to do their best in a world where it is far too easy to do your worst."
— Castiel