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Open Roads *Chapter One*

by JackpotJohnson


Open Roads

Chapter One

*1*

I walked slowly towards the train station. It led off of the island to the main land. This would be a start. The only thing on this wretched island, was that horrible Orphanage. I couldn't even think about it right now, it pained me to much to think about my boring past. I had reached the train station. I had a boarding pass that the Orphanage had given me, so I guess I should make the most of it. Walking up to the train guard, he scanned it and let me pass. I had five uses total. I had about five minutes to think about what I could do. I wasn't very good at thinking. I got side tracked to easily. For the first three minutes of the ride I thought of my life, and past. I pondered on the fact, that I actually had gained positive characteristics from that place. May be the place wasn't so bad. I kept thinking about what I had gained. However I had no time to loose. I guess I had thought more than I thought. For the train had halted, and opened its large doors. Walking off, I took a deep breath. I walked a few paces, and walked back again. I did this for about two full minutes. I kept thinking that I had taken my first full steps of freedom, of actual life! It suddenly came to my attention, I knew exactly where I was. I was in the large, grand village of Sky Town, North Carolina. It was the biggest town on the coast. The only reason how I knew where I was is because, of the giant map in the Orphanage Dining hall. Town Hall was just west of the train station, so I proceeded on in that direction.

It felt so good to be free. To be able to walk freely, with no bells, or whistles. Walking in the city was great. People bustling around, and cars making there daily commutes. I walked slow for I was in no rush. I passed stores, and restaurants, just begging you to come in. The smell of fish and shrimp was so inviting! But I could eat and shop later. I had more pressing issues to attend to.

While walking I noticed a person who had followed me this far. I had noticed this particular being on the train as well, staring at me.I also noticed that the particular being looked familiar, like I had met them at the orphanage. I walked and best decided that I should pretend not to notice. Upon reaching town square I took a detour. Making a short trip down an abandoned alley. I knew they wanted to talk to me. I was not afraid. Casey Johnson was never afraid. I had been through to much to ever be afraid. That was not the reason I was afraid though. I was six feet, three inches, and I weighed around 200 pounds. I could take care of my self. I waited behind a dumpster. I knew they would wait, to avoid suspicion. They walked down to the dumpster and uncloaked themselves. It was a woman. The way she was standing, made me think that she didn't pose a threat. However, I should not be to trusting. Just because I was big, doesn't mean I could defend myself. Really, what did I have to loose?


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Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:52 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

I walked slowly towards the train station. It led off of the island to the main land. This would be a start. The only thing on this wretched island, was that horrible Orphanage. I couldn't even think about it right now, it pained me to much to think about my boring past. I had reached the train station. I had a boarding pass that the Orphanage had given me, so I guess I should make the most of it. Walking up to the train guard, he scanned it and let me pass. I had five uses total. I had about five minutes to think about what I could do. I wasn't very good at thinking. I got side tracked to easily. For the first three minutes of the ride I thought of my life, and past. I pondered on the fact, that I actually had gained positive characteristics from that place. May be the place wasn't so bad. I kept thinking about what I had gained. However I had no time to loose. I guess I had thought more than I thought. For the train had halted, and opened its large doors. Walking off, I took a deep breath. I walked a few paces, and walked back again. I did this for about two full minutes. I kept thinking that I had taken my first full steps of freedom, of actual life! It suddenly came to my attention, I knew exactly where I was. I was in the large, grand village of Sky Town, North Carolina. It was the biggest town on the coast. The only reason how I knew where I was is because, of the giant map in the Orphanage Dining hall. Town Hall was just west of the train station, so I proceeded on in that direction.


Hmm...this is an intriguing start to proceedings here. Its not quite as streamlined as it perhaps should be for the starting piece of a novel, but it does its job fairly well despite that. The idea of this orphanage and the thoughts that you manage to tap into there at the very start of this piece are very powerful...but I feel like the kind of wonky pace of the part to follow where you ramble off slightly on a mild tangent ends up making things a little less solid, so on the whole a decent start here, but one that needs a little bit of improvement I think.

It felt so good to be free. To be able to walk freely, with no bells, or whistles. Walking in the city was great. People bustling around, and cars making there daily commutes. I walked slow for I was in no rush. I passed stores, and restaurants, just begging you to come in. The smell of fish and shrimp was so inviting! But I could eat and shop later. I had more pressing issues to attend to.

While walking I noticed a person who had followed me this far. I had noticed this particular being on the train as well, staring at me.I also noticed that the particular being looked familiar, like I had met them at the orphanage. I walked and best decided that I should pretend not to notice. Upon reaching town square I took a detour. Making a short trip down an abandoned alley. I knew they wanted to talk to me. I was not afraid. Casey Johnson was never afraid. I had been through to much to ever be afraid. That was not the reason I was afraid though. I was six feet, three inches, and I weighed around 200 pounds. I could take care of my self. I waited behind a dumpster. I knew they would wait, to avoid suspicion. They walked down to the dumpster and uncloaked themselves. It was a woman. The way she was standing, made me think that she didn't pose a threat. However, I should not be to trusting. Just because I was big, doesn't mean I could defend myself. Really, what did I have to loose?


Well, that certainly makes for a pretty intriguing place to end chapter one on. Even though this is rather short to be a first chapter, I think you manage to do a surprisingly effective job of building up a decent sense of this world and creating a lovely cliffhanger to end on. The way that you introduce this new problem for our protagonist to handle is pretty neat and that combines well with those thoughts to create a decent scene. Things feel a bit more stagnant than they perhaps should and I am not honestly certain why...but overall, for the most part, this is a decent first chapter.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:34 pm
borntobeawriter wrote a review...



Hey there Jackpot, Tanya here for your first review!

Well. Interesting. BUT you need a little help. You character's 'voice' is too formal. I assume that if he's no longer at the orphanage, he just turned 18? Do you know many 18 year olds who speak this way?

The flow is a little erratic. 'I walk this, I thought this, I paid this, I remembered this.' There's no interaction, just monologue and that is frankly hard to follow.

I picked my self up from the ground. I had finished the bread loaf the Orphanage had given me. I rejoice, for no longer was I captive of the Lindenburg Orphanage
if you're speaking in past tense, stick with it. 'rejoiced'. Also, why couldn't he eat the bread inside? Was it a departing gift? And he ate it already?

However, I shouldn't have been so happy. Where would I go? What could, and would I do? Who could, and would help me. How should I spend the rest of my life? I was dumbfounded. I had no one, not a single soul. I couldn't go anywhere, let alone stay somewhere. I had to think of a plan, and fast.
Are you trying to tell me that he's lived all these years at the orphanage without wondering what he'd do when he got out? No plans? He had not thought ahead at all? I find this very difficult to believe. After all, if his past was that awful, he would have been looking forward to the day that he'd move on in life.

I couldn't even think about it right now, it pained me to much to think about my dull past
too. And I don't really like this sentence. Actually, I don't like the word 'dull'. It implies 'boring' but why would he be so pained by his boring life? Had he been bullied (difficult to believe since you described him as big) or tortured or raped or was he simply bored? This needs to be specified.

A thought struck me, just then and there. I knew exactly where I was. I was in the large, grand ole' town of Sky Town, North Carolina. It was the biggest town on the coast. The only reason how I knew where I was is because, of the giant map in the Orphanage Dining hall. Town Hall was just west of the train station, so I proceeded on in that direction
Huh? What? Out of the blue, he knew where he was? After all that thought and pondering, that's what he comes up with? No way. Maybe you could say, "That it suddenly came to him that he was in .... He never thought of it because he was in the Orphanage and that seemed like a State of its own. But where we he go from there?' or something to that effect. So now he's headed for Town hall. He never got on the train? Or he did? Well, he had to because there was supposedly nothing on the island but the orphanage. Very confusing, please reread.

While walking I noticed a person who had followed me this far. I had noticed this particular being on the train as well, staring at me. I walked and best decided that I should pretend not to notice.
Oh wow, okay. You have to understand something; you can't just spring something like this on a reader and don't expect to tick them off. You have to say why Casey noticed this person at the train station. Maybe this person reminded him of one of his teachers, or the orphanage owner and that he was afraid there'd been a mistake and they were coming to retrieve them. WHY did this person stick out for him????

She didn't pose a threat, but that's probably what she wanted me to think!
How could he know she didn't pose a threat? Because he was big? Meh! She could be carrying knives or a gun somewhere. She could be lethal at martial arts. So, this actually brings around another line of questioning: if he's so big and tough, he COULDN'T have gotten bullied at the orphanage, unless he got so big once he decided that he'd have enough of it.

Anyway, there's a lot missing here but the story still interests me. If you keep the formal tone with this MC, make sure he keeps it at all times, even during dialogue and interaction. A little more background would be appreciated and actually needed for us to feel something for this MC.

Please PM me for the next chapter, D'd like to see where this is going
Tanya :D





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The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
— Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians