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How Paths Cross Chapter 1 [NEW]

by Amabilia

There may not be italics where there are thoughts, sorry. I'm copying this from google docs.


Young laughter rippled through the forest.

“Wick!” a small girl, about five, called out. “Where are you?” she giggled, her laugh was as clear as crystal as it echoed in the trees.

“The last place you’d guess,” a boy’s voice called from above. The girl looked up as her friend jumped down from the trees overhead.

A voice belonging to the little boy’s mother called out to him from their camp, “Wickaninnish, it’s time to help with the chores.” He quickly hugged his friend goodbye.

“I’ll see you later, Buggy,” Wick said waving and starting to walk away.

“Wick?” the mother called again, then spoke her native tongue, to which Wick responded likewise as he started running over the ground with incredible grace.

Chapter One

Allie Hemsworth shut her trunk and clasped it. Her family was going to the Colonies for the year, a place she hadn’t been to since she was a child. Her family had often gone to stay with her uncle, William Howe, but one year he told them they couldn’t stay with him anymore and provided no reason.

“Elspet is here to say goodbye,” Allie’s mother, Felicity, called from downstairs, snapping Allie back into reality. She quickly smoothed out her traveling dress and walked downstairs. Elspet was always fussy about her best friend’s appearance, though Allie would rather wear trousers and a tunic. As she reached the bottom of the steps, she rushed forward and embraced her friend.

“Elspet!” Allie exclaimed as Felicity stepped out of the house to watch for the buggy.

“Careful!” Elspet cried, backing away, “You’ll wrinkle my new dress!” The eighteen-year old’s brow scrunched as she slowly smoothed her summer gown. Allie patiently waited, used to this behavior. It was several long moments before Elspet looked up. “I still can’t believe you’re going to the Colonies. I’m going to be all alone with Mark,” she pouted as they started to walk outside. It was obvious to them that their childhood friend was looking for a further relationship with Elspet, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. Elspet had already found a partner and was happily engaged to Harry Houston. She seemed to be always nagging at Allie for not finding a man when they were younger.

“It’s only for a year, and besides, you have plenty of other people you can spend your time with. You do have eight siblings and a fiance after all,” Allie consoled as she brushed a loose strand of her curly blond hair behind her ear. Elspet opened her mouth to protest, but before she could, they heard the sound of a carriage pulling up.

“Allie, the buggy is here,” her mother called, signaling that Elspet would have to leave.

“Goodbye,” Allie said as, despite her friend’s protests, pulled her into one last hug. Elspet walked away, grumbling about having to iron her dress again. Allie’s mood dampened as she realized the other girl hadn’t even muttered a “goodbye,” but she soon forgot as her father came outside.

“Child!” her father, Chandler, said as he walked her trunk down the stairs with the help of their neighbor. “I didn’t know that you had a collection of bricks!” he gasped. Allie chuckled as the driver opened the door to the buggy. Her mother climbed in.

“It’s not that heavy, father. I bet yours is even heavier with all your ‘hunting tools,’” she teased, as it was expected for her to have this opinion, and climbed into the buggy. Chandler laughed his deep, full laugh as he secured her trunk to the back of the wagon. They hurriedly grabbed the other items and before she knew it, they were waving goodbye to her neighbor as the buggy pulled away.

“I’ll miss Henry,” Allie stated as they traveled out of town and onto the bumpy dirt roads. Henry was the small family’s tom cat. They had dropped him off at Elspet’s house the day before, but he had been Allie’s only companion in her younger years. She would come home from the market with her mother and Henry would always be sitting there, waiting for her. They would go out back and play together, although he was much too old for that now.

“I’m sure Elspet will take wonderful care of him,” Felicity comforted, as mothers often do. Chandler was reading the paper for the day and had thumbed to the jobs section. Allie’s father had been out of work for a few weeks now and was no closer to finding another source of income. He used most of their money for the trip across the pacific. The man thought that they might use their inherited house in hopes of finding another job there, for there were so many in the colonies, but Allie wished not. She would hate to have to move away from Elspet and her home.

“This one says they need a delivery man for a general store,” he read.

“No,” his wife said thoughtfully, “The hours would be horrible on our schedule.” Chandler rolled his eyes. He didn’t care about the hours, just the pay, but he kept his mouth shut. Her parents kept droning on in this manner for quite a while. Allie looked out the window and surveyed the landscape. Her eyes drooped from a restless sleep the previous night and, before long, she was asleep.


“Allie,” her mother woke her. “We’re at the dock, you must wake up now.” Allie groaned with protest as she found she was very stiff from the long ride. Climbing out of the buggy, she noticed that, although they had left in the morning, the sun was already setting. She looked up at the ships and, pulling her cardigan closer to fend off the crisp March air, tried to read the names in the dim light. Draper, John, Cleveland, she read. Allie walked down the dock until she came to a large cargo ship. Carolina was the name of the vessel.

“That’s it,” Felicity said as she walked up to her daughter.


“That’s the ship we’re taking to the Colonies,” her mother stated. Allie studied the ship again. It wasn’t much to look at and there were far too many people already on board.

“It’s time to go girls!” Chandler called from the ship. He must have loaded the trunks while she was asleep. Allie looked at the seemingly gangway she would have to cross to get onto the ship.


“It’ll be fine. Plenty of people have crossed over that to get onto the ship. Your father even walked across it with our trunks, you will be fine,” Felicity tried to soothe her. Allie warily stepped closer to the board and remembered that terrifying day at the beach when she was seven.

Elspet, Allie, and their mothers had all decided to go down to the beach. Suddenly when they were swimming, a riptide grabbed a hold of her and pulled her far from the shore. She screamed as she went under and heard Felicity yelling to her, but couldn’t move out of shock. The chaotic water had pushed and pulled her. Allie lost all sense of direction. After that she never went into the ocean again. She had been avoiding the thought of boarding for as long as she could.

Chandler finally seemed to notice that Allie was starting to panic. He ran back across the gangway and grabbed his daughter’s arm. “I won’t let you fall,” he reassured her. She looked at him and shakily nodded. Allie took a step towards the board. Chandler kept walking her forward with Felicity following close behind. Step by careful step they went, each one closer to the relative safety of the ship. She finally stepped onboard and hurried over to the middle of the ship, where it would be harder to fall off.

She leaned against a wooden crate with her eyes closed and tried to stop her uncontrollable shaking. “Ya’ okay, lass?” a voice said in a thick norwegian accent. Allie opened her eyes and looked at the older man in front of her. She nodded as Felicity and Chandler walked over to her.

“She’s afraid of the water,” Felicity explained to the man. He nodded with understanding.

“My vife’s yust t’e same. Always naggin’ to me about bein’ a sailor. My name’s Njål by t’e vay.”

“Chandler Hemsworth,” they shook hands. “This is my wife, Felicity, and my daughter, Allie.”

“Nice to meet ya,” he said with a smile.

“Njål!” a voice cried from behind them, “Get on with your job.”

“Yes, sir,” the man responded. He shot Allie another smile before resuming his work.

“Come on, girls,” Chandler said, “Our spot is over here.”

“Spot? Don’t we have cabins, father?” Allie asked. In all of the books she had read the ships always had cabins.

“No, child. this is a cargo ship. We didn’t have enough money for a passenger ship after I lost my job. We simply have a spot assigned to us.” They walked up to a small lean-too with their luggage by it. There was a small sheet spread on the ground and not much else. A few packs of clothes were in the corner.

“I guess this is our home for the next two and a half months,” Allie said as she settled in for the boring trip. “Perhaps there will be an adventure.” After all, didn’t the classics always have ships?

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35 Reviews

Points: 816
Reviews: 35

Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:56 pm
Birdman wrote a review...

Hey there Amabilia.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the awkwardness within how this chapter is split up. I know that your prologue is rather short and I can see combining it with the first chapter, but you might want to keep it more separate, even on yws. Prologues are meant to be just that quick glimpse into the past that will give information necessary to the plot, and this is just a quick glimpse. I didn't get very much from the beginning snippet of this story, so if you want, it might be better to expand upon this section for more of a clue to the story and more emphasis.

The prologue does do a good job of introducing some of the important characters, with that first name basis and then the further extension. The move from the prologue to the beginning of the chapter is bothering me on another level because there doesn't seem to be a relation between the two events, yet. I'm sure that they connect further on down the line but for now it's just adding another level of confusion for the readers.

Confusion describes the state of mind I had for most of this chapter, which was bouncing around too much to develop a solid basis. And then a majority of the content ends up being dialogue with the descriptions that are sort of existing around it. Another note for the descriptions existing around the dialogue is that you do need to split them up a bit more because dialogue lines need to be separated from those descriptors.

Which then brings me back to how it feels like so little was accomplished? I could not remain focused long enough to think about really connecting with the story. I skipped down to the bottom with just a bit of skimming in the middle for a look at the final line, which really needs to draw as much attention as the opening line. It feels a bit stiff at the end and even with what I missed in the middle, I know that I wouldn't be a carry over to the next chapter.

That's all the critique I have for today.
Happy revmo.

User avatar
57 Reviews

Points: 548
Reviews: 57

Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:53 pm
1nspire wrote a review...

This is a really great start to the story. I really liked the plot and the way that each character has a distinct personality. It was also really cool that you included a little bit of a backstory on Allie, which added to the emotion when she was saying goodbye to her friend.

Now onto the review:

"her joy like crystal" I didn't really understand what you were trying to say here. How was the joy like crystal?

There was one line that seemed a little strange to me, "Allie Hemsworth shut her trunk and clasped it shut." Using shut twice in the same sentence just sounded a little awkward.

Aside from those two things, the story was great. I'm really excited to see where you take it! Hope you have a great day!

Amabilia says...

Thank you for these tips, I didn't even realize that I used shut twice.

"For a short space of time I remained at the window watching the pallid lightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening to the rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noise way beneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to my too keen sensations; when I placed my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion."
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein