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A Sentence of a New Life - Chapter 4

by Boni_Bee


For the moment, I'll post the story here, but when Nate gets back, I'll get him to move the whole story to the 'Romantic' section.

This chapter is just about what Thomas is doing at the moment.

******************************************************

Chapter 4

“You lazy scoundrel, I’m firing you from the regiment. My commanding officor needs me who will stand for the country, and don't mope around getting in our way. There is no use in keeping you on!” decided the officer of Thomas’s troop. Thomas was standing in front of the officer’s desk, his head hanging low, and he nodded.

What have I gotten myself into? My father isn’t going to be happy about this...I’ll probably lose my share of the estate.

These thoughts were going through Thomas’ head as he waited for the officer to hand him the papers he was shuffling.

“There, now good riddance!” Puffed the officer, slamming the papers down in front of Thomas, and throwing his hands in the air with an exaggerated sigh of impatience. Thomas bowed stiffly, and then quickly left the office, before his temper overcame his better judgment.

As he passed a fire just outside the office door, he threw the papers into it and watched them burn, the fire reflecting off his tired eyes. When the last sheet had disintegrated to mere ash, he turned on his heel, and without a backward glance, left the regiment for good.

A couple of young soldiers jeered at him loudly “Wot a lark! The old stodger can’t bear the discipline!” The ringleader remarked, jabbing with his thumb at the departing ex-soldier’s back. The rest of the group slapped their legs and howled with laughter.

Thomas clenched his jaw, and put his shoulders back resolutely as he went out the gate and onto the main road.

So preoccupied was he, with his head bent and his thoughts far away from the present, that he barely noticed a large carriage bearing down on him, until a wave of mud from the wheels of the splashed his suit, and an angry lash from the carriage drivers whip made him start violently, and he made a flying leap out of the way, and almost knocked down an old lady, who started protesting that he was trying to rob her. Mumbling an apology, Thomas raced down the sidewalk, and dashed into a quiet street nearby. With a sigh of relief, he leant against a signpost, and grimaced as he noticed his now rather crumpled and stained suit.

“Well, where do I go now? My parents won’t want me home yet” Thomas said out loud, resting his head against the sign post. A plump, middle aged woman in a calico bonnet and an overflowing grocery basket on her arm was coming up the lane. Thomas nodded at her absentmindedly, and continued to stare into the gutter, barely noticing his surroundings. The woman stopped, and put her hand on his elbow

"What is a young like you doin' out 'ear...I'd like to know...don't seem right..." she said, shaking her head bemusedly

"I don't know what I am doing here...and I don't know where I'm going, either" he replied, smiling ruefully down at her

“Young man, I have some rooms to let, if you would like a bed and board”, she said cheerfully, peering up into his surprised face.

“Why...thank you ma’m, but I don’t want to bother you” he stammered, tipping his hat to her.

“Oh, its no bother, and you can call me Ann. Oh bother, it will take a lot of scrubbing to get that out” she scolded good-naturedly, brushing busily at his muddy attire as she talked. Taking him by the elbow, she propelled him down the lane. He didn’t resist, but meekly followed her.

They stopped out the front of a small, but neat cottage, with a basket of flowers hanging in the front window. Ann unlocked the door, and went in. Thomas shrugged his shoulders, and stooped slightly, but not far enough, and nocked his head against the doorsill. He rubbed his head and gingerly sat on the edge of a rough but sturdy wooden chair.

Ann bustled around the kitchen, preparing dinner, while Thomas tried to read last weeks newspaper, and struggled vainly to forget Emily.

I wonder what she’s feeling now. How can I possibly get another letter to her? I wonder if she even received the first one I sent. I’d like her to know that her parents are well though...

Thomas sighed, rather loudly, and Ann looked up from the potatoes she was peeling.

“Wots the matter, young man? Missing your g.irl? I’m sure she’ll be alright” she said firmly, little knowing what affect those words had on the sad young man.

“No, she’s not! She’s on her way to Australia, and I can’t do anything about it!” He said fiercely, slamming his fist on the table, and making the cutlery dance.

“Oh, I’m sorry...Me old mind isn’t the best.” said Ann, looking ashamed.

“Never mind...I shouldn’t have yelled...it’s not your fault” he said, then abruptly got up and went outside to pace in the garden, until the dusk came, when he ate a silent supper before departing to bed, for a sleepless night.


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Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:04 am
Boni_Bee says...



Thanks Sam :D

He is staying at Ann's house...you might want to read the story again :wink: He is out of that regiment for ever (unless he goes to another shire), and so he's not going back...

He had is supper at Ann's house....

yes, he is flustered! lol




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Sat Jan 07, 2006 6:16 am
Sam wrote a review...



'“Well, where do I go now? My parents won’t want me home yet” Thomas said out loud, resting his head against the sign post.'

Argh...I hate it when writers do this...they are always having their characters saying things to themselves, and in reality, in times like this, your mind would be in a flurry of thoughts and you wouldn't be able to focus on anything, let alone form complete sentences. :P

'until the dusk came, when he ate a silent supper before departing to bed, for a sleepless night.'

Okay, so where is he staying? I thought he had a fall out with the local elderly mad...and you don't mention him going back to where ever he's supposed to be in the army. And why, all of a sudden, is this food magically appeared? It's downright freaky.

The air of this section that you get is that he's flustered over nothing. Don't get me wrong, you have him flustered about nothing with style, but still. It's not beneficial to the story in anyway.




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Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:04 pm
Boni_Bee says...



Thanks Niobe and Amice. I fixed up the gramma errors....


I'll try to make the next chapters better :D




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Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:38 am
Nis wrote a review...



I'd have to agree with Amice, I did suggest doing research into the Victorian Era so then it'll be easier to write.

"Whots the matter, young man?....I'm sure she'll be ok" -- What or wot? I don't think 'ok' woul have been used you should change it to 'alright'. It seems the woman uses what is known as 'common speech' which is how the lower class spoke.

I'm a little confused about Tom's departure. Where is he stationed? He should have a longer conversation with Ann before she offers him a place and he accepts. A little rushed and this didn't really keep me interested.




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Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:03 pm
Amice wrote a review...



Without getting too detailed, I'll give you a couple of my first thoughts.

(1) The whole thing is rushed. I know you probably write it and put it on the forum without spending lots of time polishing it, but if you're seriously wanting to make it a novel, go back to the very beginning and take your time. This may have been one of the reasons that
(2) I didn't find the story line or characters very interesting. Too many loose ends (as several critics mentioned) and simple, clichéd monologue/dialogue. I suggest taking the first chapter to set up the characters and their backgrounds better. Use a thesaurus as often as possible to get newer and more descriptive/appropriate adjectives and verbs.

Romance Novels, in one way, are easy to write in that there are not too many different plots to choose from, and they (mostly) always have a happy ending. On the other hand, if you want to do it right, it takes a lot of time, effort, and research (on nautical information, perhaps, or Australia, in this case).

I hope this was somewhat helpful. Don't give up easily Boni Bee! Take good advice from others here, but remember, not too many are professionals and everyone has their own style.


-Amice-




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Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:01 am
Micah says...



yea, I know, but I mean we can't really use it becuz it's not much part of our language today. Unless ur writing sounds like Dickens. ;)




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Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:38 am
Boni_Bee says...



Thanks, Micah! :D The story is in the 1800's....not the 21st Century!!! lol...but I get what you mean...




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Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:28 am
Micah wrote a review...



Lol. :p

I sort of liked this section, because even though I haven't read the other chapters I know what's happening. At least the story told me that!!

Watch the words you use. Don't put too many 'and's or any words too often. I noticed that you wrote 'bother' twice in one sentence.
And yeah, like Misty said, 'mere' doesn't fit in that well with your story. Words can actually go with a story type. 'Mere' is an intellectual word, used alot in older stories like Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, just all the stories written in the 1800s and stuff. That was part of their language back then. not really now.

But anyways, keep going hard with your writing. ;)




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Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:31 am
Boni_Bee says...



thanks, I feel very encouraged now :? :roll: ^_^




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Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:57 pm
Misty says...



P.S.

Fill in sections tend to be crap. It's the stuff the reader doesn't usually want to read. Try to exnay all of your fill-in sections, and replace them w/ the real stuff the reader wants.




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Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:53 pm
Misty says...



ah, i missed that. :O




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Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:40 pm
Boni_Bee says...



The old lady 'was coming up the lane when she heard him'......she was there...
Well, thanks for your critique, but this was only a fill-in chapter, so I can move on with Emily now...I couldn't leave him at the barracks the whole time...




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Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:32 pm
Misty wrote a review...



:P
that was something...I'm not in love with it, particularly the first paragraph. I don't like how his problem w/ room and board is immediately solved. :P people shouldn't have their problems solved immediately in stories, also you never mention the old lady is even on the road, so how would she hear him, and only crazy ppls talk to themselves. I like some of the description, but some I don't like, such as the word "mere" in front of ash. I don't like the way he is fired, it sounds rather....I don't know...poorly written. I don't understand your character Thomas, I don't really like him which is probably why I didn't like this section.

I think you have a lot of potential for this, but this segment wasn't my favorite.




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Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:13 pm
Boni_Bee says...



Thanks, sliver*glitter!!! :D I'm glad you like it. Thanks for pointing those out, I'll fix them as soon as I can. With the g.irl thing, I have to put the dot there, because otherwise my computer will take the word out....its rather annoying, so any words with a dot in them, its just to stop that.... :?

Thanks again, I appreciate the help :)




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Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:04 pm
mystical*dragons wrote a review...



“You lazy scoundrel, I’m firing you from the regiment. You’ve been so mopey (There’s no such word as mopey, I would suggest you use broody or sulky instead) and disobedient that there is no use in keeping you on!” decided the officer of Thomas’s troop. Thomas was standing in front of the officer’s desk, his head hanging low, and he nodded.
What have I gotten myself into? My father isn’t going to be happy about this...I’ll probably lose my share of the estate.
These thoughts were going through Thomas’ head as he waited for the officer to hand him the papers he was shuffling.

“There, now good riddance!” Puffed the officer, slamming the papers down in front of Thomas, and throwing his hands in the air with an exaggerated sigh of impatience. Thomas bowed stiffly, and then quickly left the office, before his temper overcame his better judgment.

As he passed a fire just outside the office door, he threw the papers into it and watched them burn, the fire reflecting off his tired eyes (shouldn’t this be “…the fire reflecting in his eyes”). When the last sheet had disintegrated to mere ash, he turned on his heel, and without a backward glance, left the regiment for good.

A couple of young soldiers jeered at him loudly “Wot a lark! The old stodger(stodgier) can’t bear the discipline!” The ringleader remarked, jabbing with his thumb at the departing ex-soldier’s back. The rest of the group slapped their legs and howled with laughter.
Thomas clenched his jaw, and put his shoulders back resolutely as he went out the gate and onto the main road.

So preoccupied was he, with his head bent and his thoughts far away from the present, that he barely noticed a large carriage bearing down on him, until a wave of mud (I like your description here) from the wheels of the splashed his suit, and an angry lash from the carriage drivers whip made him start violently, and he made a flying leap out of the way, and almost knocked down an old lady, who started protesting that he was trying to rob her. Mumbling an apology, Thomas raced down the sidewalk, and dashed into a quiet street nearby. With a sigh of relief, he leant against a signpost, and grimaced as he noticed his now rather crumpled and stained suit.

They stopped out the front of a small, but neat cottage, with a basket of flowers hanging in the front window. Ann unlocked the door, and went in. Thomas shrugged his shoulders, and stooped slightly, but not far enough, and nocked (knocked) his head against the doorsill. He rubbed his head and gingerly sat on the edge of a rough but sturdy wooden chair.
Ann bustled around the kitchen, preparing dinner, while Thomas tried to read last weeks newspaper, and struggled vainly to forget Emily.

I wonder what she’s feeling now. How can I possibly get another letter to her? I wonder if she even received the first one I sent. I’d like her to know that her parents are well though...
Thomas sighed, rather loudly, and Ann looked up from the potatoes she was peeling.
“Whots the matter, young man? Missing your g.irl? (girl) I’m sure she’ll be ok” she said firmly, little knowing what affect those words had on the sad young man.
“No, she’s not! She’s on her way to Australia, and I can’t do anything about it!” He said fiercely, slamming his fist on the table, and making the cutlery dance (I love this description).
“Oh, I’m sorry...Me old mind isn’t the best.” said Ann, looking ashamed.
“Never mind...I shouldn’t have yelled...it’s not your fault” he said, then abruptly got up and went outside to pace in the garden, until the dusk came, when he ate a silent supper before departing to bed, for a sleepless night.

Okay, I really like your writing style. There were a few typos, which I pointed out. I feel sorry for poor Thomas. But I like where this story’s going. I want more now! :D
I’m afraid I don’t have much more to critique in this chapter. Good job.





When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.
— Euripides