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Attack on Home Base

by Banana25

The black mass in the distance was getting closer and closer in the setting sun. Squinting, Erika could just make out the glinting of sun on metal. She, and everyone else in armor, knew who they were. The Barren had come at last. Come to take what was rightfully theirs. Erika knew the truth.

The rolling green hills of Kvia were stolen from King Corenth almost one hundred years ago by none other than High King Pyrrhus, making it part of his empire. Pyrrhus took the throne and had ruled Kvia for the past one hundred years. Erika wasn’t sure if that was quite possible but she, along with everyone else, had come to the conclusion that Pyrrhus was immortal.

Erika shifted her sheath strap so it wasn’t chafing her waist. The mass was even closer than before, generating restless movement throughout the ranks. Scanning the crowd, she could make out a few descendants of the Barren. Most of them were driven out, but peaceful ones were allowed to stay and make a home under Pyrrhus’ watchful eye. They stood out like blood against snow, their tan skin and dark hair standing out against the fair skinned Kvians. Who was she to talk, she was one of them.

A shoulder nudged Erika and she turned her focus to the boy next to her.

“You’ve got that look again, Erika. Don’t tell me you’re thinking about that.”

“I could tell you no, Liam, but you know me better than that.” Erika said, knowing exactly what that he was talking about.

He shook his head. “I think I should put a leash on you. I’d rather not you try to run away again.”

“I won’t, I know who I’m fighting for now.”

She looked over at the quickly approaching army. Did she though? As much as she loved being part Kvian and living here, her Barren side was tugging her the other way. She’d tried to follow the tugging once and got caught. She vowed never to pull something like that again. She couldn’t just abandon her family. Besides, it would break Liam’s heart.

“Sure you do. Next time you plan to make a run for it, tell me. I’ll come too.”

Erika studied him closely. This boy, no more than 17, who loved Kvia with all his heart, was willing to leave just like that. For her. Erika remembered just the other day when he gushed about the future. He wanted to be a general. Protect his beloved country and maybe even start a family. Warmth spread through Erikka’s chest. Liam would drop everything, his hopes and dreams, to leave with her.

Erika shook her head sadly. “I can’t ask you to do that.”

“I know. But it’s not your decision if I go or stay.”

“Alright, let’s make a deal.” Erika said as the army started to march into action. She nodded toward the oncoming mass. “This battle will be tough. No guarantee we both get out alive. But if we do, we’ll leave. Go wherever our hearts lead us. Follow the tugging. We’ll go anywhere...together.”

Liam beamed at Erika and took her hand, despite the oncoming soldiers.


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54 Reviews

Points: 3205
Reviews: 54

Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:24 pm
shaniac wrote a review...

Hello, shaniac here to review your piece!

I like the vagueness at the beginning of this short story. It kind of shapes out the story better than I thought it might've and it does bring into the light of what the black mass may be. Though, while the characters know what the black mass is, I kind of would like at least a bit of background on why they are fighting it. Is the Barren some sort of soul-sucking creature that is invading the countryside? I think the description is key in these sorts of things and starting off with the main problem is a bit rough without it. Along with description, what does Erika look like? You may explain this later on in different short stories (I'm thinking that this could actually be a good novel idea), but if you were to put it in the first part, you could grab the reader's imagination.

The one thing I'm noticing with the beginning is that you don't give much of a background of the story. With a background, whoever will be reading this can easily put the thing in place and as for the writer, it may help with later chapters. I have a feeling, though, from reading some other works on here, that you will add it after this. I do think that if you added a bit of background before all of this happened, it will strengthen the story a bit.

They stood out like blood against snow, their tan skin and dark hair standing out against the fair skinned Kvians.

This can be placed into two different sentences because the first part has a subject and then the second part also has a subject. Also, fair skinned is one word.

I want some more emotion coming between Erika and Liam. Their dialogue could use some descriptions to describe their mood. How do they feel ready to fight the beast? Maybe even clue in whoever is reading this on why they are fighting the Barren. Without much action, there wouldn't be a consequence to the characters. I learned in English class that you should have a problem for every character, and I realize that this is a short story, but I mentioned it before. I think that you could expand this into a chapter or something.

Now, I like the chemistry between Liam and Erika. Though I do think, they should slowly get into love. Have Erika realize her feelings halfway through battle or Liam realizing he loves Erika after something big happens. Other than that, I think they are both wonderful characters from this idea.

To cap, I like the main idea of this short story. It is making me wonder, though, what the black blob might be and why they are fighting it. Another thing I'd like to suggest is hinting at why Erika wants to leave and why Liam wants to follow after her. I can't wait to see what you come up with next! Have a good day/night and if you have any questions, let me know!

Banana25 says...

Thanks you so much for the review! Very helpful! I may decide to add on and I will certainly take your advice on dialogue and interactions between Liam and Erika. Thanks again for taking the time to critique!

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Points: 100
Reviews: 1

Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:15 pm
figooza990 wrote a review...

I really enjoyed this, particularly the characters! Erika and Liam have a very robust relationship, and you were able to show that in very few words, which is a very difficult feat. The only thing I felt this really lacked was cohesion. From the first part of the story, I was expecting a political and action adventure, but the ending feels much more like a character-driven road trip is being set up.

This honestly feels like the setup for a longer piece, but there is still quite a sense of finality at the ending. I'm not sure if I should be expecting more or not, and if it is a set up for something larger, I don't know if it will lean more on the political and war aspect of the plot or on the two characters introduced here. (edit: I just realized it says short story at the top, so excuse this part. I'm quite new to this site! XD)

Either way, the characters and world setup in this is engaging and very well written. You were able to convey a lot about both in a very short amount of time and that makes for a very engaging read.

Banana25 says...

Thanks for the review! I haven't decided if I want to add on yet or just keep it a short story. If I continue, I was thinking it may, as you put it, turn out to be a character-driven road trip. Thanks again for taking the time to review my work!

All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe