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Shadows in the Woods

by Jerikas


Sorry about the spacing of this but I'm not quite sure how to fix it.

____________________________

Regan lay on the mossy ground watching the grey clouds pass over her. She lay in the same position that she had been for hours.

A rough crashing came from the tree line to her left just as a huge wolf pounced out onto her, she rolled over onto her side and the wolf fell to the ground where she had been lying.

“Wolf! Where is Ma,” Regan said cocking her head to one side and lifting her left hand.

The wolf gave a quiet yelp and looked behind him at the tree line, there stood Doe, the beautiful white she wolf and her cubs. Doe never went anywhere without Ma and her cubs never went anywhere without Doe.

“Ma?” Regan stood and walked slowly to the edge of the tree line, “Ma?” she asked again looking for any sign of her.

“MA!” Regan called louder and more urgently.

Wolf yipped for her to be quiet but Regan was panicking now, she had never gone more than a day without Ma, she could find food well enough for herself but never enough and what she did get was usually just berries and nuts she found.

Regan yelled at the top of her voice but to no avail, Ma wasn’t there and it was unlikely she ever would be again.

Find food. The first thing that came to Regan’s mind, it was what Ma had always told her to do if she didn’t come back. Regan never thought she would have to follow her mother’s orders.

She made her way slowly into the woods, as the darkness closed around her she shivered; she had never been into the woods without mother before. At least she had Wolf and Doe and the cubs.

The small group made their way further into the woods in search of food. Regan saw many deer and rabbits were still plentiful but she had no means to catch them, that had been Ma’s job.

It took nearly two days for Regan to find the white food cloth her mother always carried; it still held much of the food although the pack had clearly been found by several other creatures.

Regan opened the pack and removed the crushed food, a old flat bread sat at the bottom of the pack. Regan ate the flat bread, too hungry to notice how stale it was. Next she removed a leather pocket full of roots which she ate.

Still hungry she reached into the pack once more when Wolf growled.

Regan looked up at a boy, roughly her own age standing in the clearing beside a stream that Regan hadn’t noticed.

“Hungry?” he asked. Regan didn’t answer but studied the boys bow slung loosely over his shoulder, on the other side of the river a young deer lay dead, two arrow wounds in its chest.

“You shouldn’t eat that, it’s been there for days,” he said, tempting her to reply.

“Where is my Ma?” Regan finally asked.

“Who?”

“My Ma, she went to look for food and she never came back,” Regan said with growing confidence.

“Your Ma got short hair?” he boy asked.

“Yeah and green eyes and… and three fingers on her left hand and…” Regan stopped, she cold see where is was leading, “She’s dead, isn’t she?”

“Sorry,” he boy paused then continued, “we found her, under that tree, it was a bear that killed her”

Regan hung her head.

“You can come back to my camp if you want, we can give you some food and a place to sleep,” the boy offered, “I’m Ruck.”

Regan could tell that he was only offering out of pity for her but she needed the food and a place to sleep in safety would be nice.

“Ok,” she said finally, “I’m Regan”

The camp was huge, tents surrounded a blazing fire in the middle. People worked around the fire making furs for the coming winter and making spears for the fishermen down by the river.

Regan stood and watched a sheer aw as the piles of fish were strung u for smoking and the deer Ruck had caught was taken off to be skinned by on of the people around the fire.

“Come with me, I need to introduce you to my father, and be nice cause he’s the chief,” Ruck said pulling Regan by the arm away from the bustling fireplace.

“Father,” Ruck called into one of the many tents around the campground.

“Ruck? You caught something good?” a booming voice replied fro the dark depths of the tent.

“Not caught so much as found,” Ruck called back.

From the darkness of the tent a looming figure appeared. Regan pulled back away from the entrance.

“What you found then?” the man asked.

“A girl,” Ruck replied.

Regan looked at the dust ground around her feet; she noticed how red the earth was here.

“Hmmm, she speak?” the man asked

“Yeah,” Ruck replied looking at Regan, “Say something at least Regan,” he said under his breath.

Regan looked up at the hulking man above her, “H-hello?” she said feebly.

“So she does speak!” the man said again.

The man stepped a bit closer to her, from the tree line Wolf appeared ready to attack. The man looked at him and reached for the bow around his shoulder.

“NO,” Regan yelled and ran to Wolf, “He’s safe, he’s with me,” she said pleading with the man.

He gave her a sideways glance before slinging the bow back over his shoulder.

Regan saw that Doe and the cubs were behind her now too.

“A merry little bunch you bought back today then Ruck,” the man said, “You actually have time to catch anything?”

“I got a deer,” Ruck replied s if Regan had disappeared.

The two went inside the tent, Regan followed with Wolf, Doe and the cubs. It was so dark in the tent Regan tripped over a chair which in turn fell loudly to the ground.

“Oh yes you’ll be wanting a place to sleep and some food I imagine” the man said.

“Yes please Mister… Sir” Regan replied picking up the chair.

“Ruck if you go and show Regan your tent and you’ll sleep outside, just a temporary arrangement and then if you get some food.”

“Ruck looked quite annoyed at being forced out of his tent by the girl he had saved from the woods.

“If it’s ok I would rather sleep outside, Mister Chief,” Regan asked.

“Well if that’s what you want” the chief replied.

“Thanks,” Ruck said quietly as they left the tent to find some food.


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Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:47 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Hi! I'm Knight Hardy here on a mission to ensure that all works on YWS has at least two reviews. You will probably never see this but....Imma do this anyway.

First Impression: It sounds like a pretty interesting piece. Not too much meaning to be taken from it but as a small story it does a decent job. The pacing was a little abrupt there and the flow was slightly broken up in areas but the overall idea works okay. Let me get a bit more specific here.

Let's get right to it,

Regan lay on the mossy ground watching the grey clouds pass over her. She lay in the same position that she had been for hours.


Fairly neutral start....with a little bit of intrigue with the whole why is she laying there for so long?

The wolf gave a quiet yelp and looked behind him at the tree line, there stood Doe, the beautiful white she wolf and her cubs. Doe never went anywhere without Ma and her cubs never went anywhere without Doe.


That last bit sounds like a bit of unnecessary exposition. Not needed for the rest of the story in anyway nor does it help us understand anything so I'm not sure why that's there. This would all be totally fine without it.

Wolf yipped for her to be quiet but Regan was panicking now, she had never gone more than a day without Ma, she could find food well enough for herself but never enough and what she did get was usually just berries and nuts she found.


This also took me a couple of reads to figure out that Regan is a human....could be me just being dumb but maybe it a little clearer at the start that this is in fact an actual human.

Regan yelled at the top of her voice but to no avail, Ma wasn’t there and it was unlikely she ever would be again.


Jumping to conclusions there. How does she come up with that straightaway?

It took nearly two days for Regan to find the white food cloth her mother always carried; it still held much of the food although the pack had clearly been found by several other creatures.


Bit of an abrupt fast forward there. I think you'd be better off if you used a scene break for it or it just comes outta nowhere.

Still hungry she reached into the pack once more when Wolf growled.

“Yeah and green eyes and… and three fingers on her left hand and…” Regan stopped, she cold see where is was leading, “She’s dead, isn’t she?”


Again jumping to conclusions. She might have just wandered into their camp or something not necessarily found dead.

Regan could tell that he was only offering out of pity for her but she needed the food and a place to sleep in safety would be nice.


This is true.

The camp was huge, tents surrounded a blazing fire in the middle. People worked around the fire making furs for the coming winter and making spears for the fishermen down by the river.


This sounds like a bit rushed there. Either elaborate or bit or just stick to describing the father and that general area instead of quickly jotting down a couple of lines for the whole camp.

Regan looked up at the hulking man above her, “H-hello?” she said feebly.


Sudden fear of this man is sudden. Maybe it show it come over her gradually to make it sound better.

“I got a deer,” Ruck replied s if Regan had disappeared.


I think you mean that he ignored her but the way you phrase it doesn't make too much sense so maybe consider a rephrase there.

“Ruck looked quite annoyed at being forced out of his tent by the girl he had saved from the woods.


'Tis the price of being nice Ruck.

Aaand that's about it.

Overall: The whole death scene was not as emotional as you'd expect it to be. She was only sad for like a second. That doesn't seem very likely so I think you could do soo much more and convey just a bunch more emotion through this and make this just a lot more effective than it currently is. But overall it flowed pretty well except for that one sudden scene change. The language was good. Overall pretty decent job.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




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Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:33 pm
~Megan~ says...



You need to add a lot more description. It is really fast paced. You should slow it down and describe what is happening the different characters, such as Wolf and Doe. That would help alot.




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Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:52 am
Jerikas says...



Thanks, I see what you mean, fallingstar, about Wolf being pushed out a bit and I'm going to try and add him in a bit more. I also see Adam's point about the 'and then...' kind of thing which I will hopefully change when I edit next.




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Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:16 am
Swires says...



This story is intriguing but I found it a bit "And then..." sort of style add some sensory description to add depth to the piece.




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Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:36 am
_fallingstar_ wrote a review...



This story is very interesting... but confusing. It took Regan two days to find clues about her mother? What happened in those two days? The way the action flows (using the word 'action' to refer to 'storyine'), it seems like it would be better if you cut it down to just one day. Also, Wolf seemed to have a big part in the beginning, but got sort of pushed to one side as the action progressed. Feel free to ignore me if this all becomes apparent in later chapters, but the confusion makes it difficult to read. Other than that, this is a very original peice and I'm interested to see where it will go.





We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot