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16+ Violence

Chapter 1

by Draculus


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

"No way you’d be left alone ever again, young lady!"

A woman, laughing and spreading her arms wide, tries to catch a horse by the reins. In the saddle, there’s a little girl, not afraid of height, absolutely excited about being a rebellious rider. The anxious stallion won’t stop jumping and running around, getting fun from playing with the girl’s mother. The woman keeps crying out a name, but her face is lightened up with happiness and joy.

"Annabel! Annabel, if you don’t stop right now, I’ll ask your father to never let you ride a horse anymore! Annabel!"

The woman is tired. She plays a strict mom, but her smile won’t disappear from her lips. The girl understands it: she doesn’t stop, not even for a second, to look around.

"Only to those trees, ma!» she shouts from the horseback, showing a path with her hand. "There and back, I promise!"

The woman sighs, then looks up at her dearest child, and nods at last, not able to fight her girl’s sweet eyes.

The wind, and huge green fields, and small pine forest right there, not far from home – what else does a person need to be absolutely happy? The horse beneath Annabel gets more and more excited by their unexpected trip, it breathes loudly, its head jiggles. Big white Storm has a mood of a real storm. Annabel feels its power and energy, she feels the fresh air on her face and sees a vast emerald meadow spotted by white, blue and pink paints which are jumbled on the canvas of nature. That picture is her joyful and peaceful life, with no problems or griefs, no arguments or wars. And who would say that that is the last picture of its kind Annabel will ever be able to remember?

***

Suddenly a very loud sound broke into Annabel’s head, destroyed the dream she tried to keep in mind, and spread all over the room with terrifying echo. She opened her eyes and stiffened: from behind the vast cracking door came a young boy with a whip in his hand. Right after him entered a man holding a saucepan and something long and shining, as if made of iron. The boy looked cold and tough, had no emotions on his face, but Annabel could feel ruthlessness and strictness in the way he walked and looked down at everybody.

"Wake up, little dopes, the new day has begun!" bawled the boy. His voice was high and icky, but it wasn’t the worst thing, because then the man behind him started beating the saucepan with that long iron tube (or whatever it was), or rather hammering it furiously, for the sound was absolutely unbearable. It pounded against the walls and caused awful pain in Annabel’s ears. She wasn’t the only one suffering – other children around her started to moan and even cry. Annabel sat down on her sheets, scared and not able to sleep anymore, and saw another boy in front of her doing the same. He got very annoyed with the noise that awoken him, so before he could give it a better thought, he muttered, "Put in on your head, moron."

The young boy reacted immediately. He whirled and rose his hand, the whip made a sound like a whistle in the air, and the next instant the kid turned away, covering his cheek with his hand. Annabel could see tears in his eyes. The young boy crouched down before him. "One more word, and you’ll end up in the basement without food and water for three days, and your only listeners will be the rats." He stood up and turned around. "What are you looking at? On your feet! I said, on your feet, you idiots!"

In that moment, Annabel realized the boy was only sixteen or seventeen years old, not much older than the kid he hit. His face was rude. Sometimes you know that people are dangerous from the very first glance; Annabel knew that boy would be their biggest problem. Children were afraid of power he seemed to have over all of them, so they left their hand-made beds and stood straight before the boy’s scary black eyes. He watched them and looked like he was ready to hit anyone else if they violated the discipline.

Annabel was very careful, she tried not to pay his attention and do everything he was saying. When she caught the moment, she looked around and saw approximately thirty kids of different age standing in two long rows. Two things were common for them all: fear and dirty clothes. The young boy with the whip was wearing a good suit, not very expensive, but definitely made only for him. The man with a saucepan disappeared, but the boy didn’t seem to need anyone’s support. He walked along the rows of kids with spine-chilling threat in his gaze. Suddenly, he started to speak.

"Listen to me now, all of you," he said. "My name is Elijah. I am one of the major watchers in this house. I’m here to tell you what to do and how to behave. If you disobey my orders, or try to run, or fail, or try to fool me, – you’ll be punished. Your only task in this place is to do what you’re told. You’re not allowed to ask any questions about your home, family or friends. Right now you’ll go and have your breakfast, after that you’ll get your first job. Before you start, remember that the harder you work and the fairer you are with me and the master, Mr Alferdo Morr, the better for you. Now follow me and keep quiet."

Annabel heard the whip crack as it was tightened in Elijah’s hands, and her heart pounded deep inside her chest. That voice, that motion, that dreadful glance… She wanted to cry, she couldn’t bear the thought she’d been left with this monster, and she didn’t want to believe he was just a teenager. What was that place where children acted like beasts, and where you weren’t allowed to speak about your family? What was that place they’d brought her to? Was she dreaming?

Annabel hoped she was. For nothing could change so fast and become so unexpectedly awful. Could it?


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Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:38 pm
Hkumar wrote a review...



Hi Draculus!

Hkumar here for a short review. It was a very interesting first chapter. The beginning part showed the actual happy life of Annabel, living with full freedom and enthusiasm. Then you take us to the second half where there's a drastic change in the environment as well as her life.
I must say you did a good job in bringing the true nature of Annabel in the beginning, the description was good. It was really important in order to set a contrast with what followed next in her life. It showed how this girl was free from all bounds and was living to her fullest. The small interaction that we had with her mother added more weight to this fact.
Then the sudden jump in the story was quite interesting. You have aroused a lot of questions in the mind of your readers. What brought Annabel into such a dreadful place? It all looks like she has been pushed into this forced child slavery. BUt I don't think she is weak, her character appears quite smart and mature. I hope she knows how to handle the tough situations that are going to come next.This boy Elijah seems to be a big trouble here and I hope our MC stays safe from him.
Overall, It was a nice first chapter and I will surely be moving on to read more of your story.
Great work and keep writing :)

- Heir of Salazar Slytherin


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Draculus says...


Thank you very much for such a good comment) Hope you'd like to read the next chapters.



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Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:53 pm
Honora wrote a review...



Hello Drac! Hope you are doing well today! I am here to leave you a quick review! :D

I don’t think I have ever reviewed anything of yours before so I just want to let you know that anything I say isn’t meant as an offence...at all. I am here with good intentions to try help you improve your writings skills! :D of course, feel free to disregard anything that you don’t agree with!

Ok now to get started. I have two main concerns about this piece that I will be focusing this review on.

1) When writing dialogue, I find it easier and smoother to read if it is given its own paragraph. In quite a few spots, you have them speaking at the end of a paragraph that was just describing what was around them or happening. It’s a habit very easy to slip into but one that we should try to avoid.

2) I found that often enough you would be switching tenses. This is also something that is incredibly hard not to do but again, we have to avoid. There’s really no advice I can give but to just watch for that. Reread before you post and see if you can catch it ;)

There was some confusion about the time and how old they all were etc...but I see the two reviews below already touched on that so I will leave it be! No need repeating it for the third time!

Anyways, overall it is a very good piece of work. Very enthralling and enticing. I really like how it started out with a serene, peaceful feel with a mother and daughter and turns into a dreadful setting. It really gave me a feel for the book. Made me go, wait what? (In a good way :-P).
You’ve left me with a lot of questions and I look forward to figuring out the answers in the future chapters!

Keep up the good work!

Honora




Draculus says...


Thank you for the review! Yeah, I know that sometimes I mix up the entire English grammar, I confess) I try to do better with each chapter. Hope you'll enjoy the future story!



Honora says...


I%u2019m sure I will!! :D



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Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:55 pm
tgirly wrote a review...



Hello!

This is a really compelling first chapter! I thought the switch from the really happy, peaceful dream/memory to this new, really harsh reality worked incredibly well. I also loved the way you set up that opening dream scene. The details you include are really well-chosen, and the way you describe the mother's emotions gives so much insight into her character and relationship with her daughter. It's really quite beautiful

And who would say that that is the last picture of its kind Annabel will ever be able to remember?
This sentence is an especially important one, because it's what makes the switch from the idyllic past to the terrifying present. Therefore, I think it's an especially important sentence to nail, not only for passing on meaning, but also its flow. The double "that" feels a little clunky and makes it a bit harder to follow the meaning, which can take away some of the power of that abrupt change in environment that you've so expertly crafted. I'd take another look at this sentence and see if there's anything you can do to make it flow better and more clearly.

One problem I have with the scene of her waking up, is it's confusing why all of this is so new to her. She seems to be noticing the environment, such as the number of children in the room, for the first time, which makes me wonder about how she got there, how she didn't notice these things at a glance before she fell asleep.

It also is a little confusing that Elijah is described as a boy for awhile, since that's such an ambiguous term. Later, she realizes he's sixteen or seventeen, like herself, which made me wonder about how much time had passed before that first scene, where she's described as a little girl, which sounds much younger than a teenager.

Another strength of this piece is that you do an amazing job of weaving Annabel's thoughts in with the actions of the story, to increase the tension of the events with her own confusion, such as in the end where you talk about her reaction to Elijah's whip crack and voice. Keep up the good work on that.




Draculus says...


Thank you very much for a review and for your advices! I'm grateful for that you got interested in this chapter and spent your time on the comment)



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:25 pm
Cloudthing says...



Hi! It was really interesting! I'm really curious what's going to happen from now on.
I don't know a lot, but here are some thoughts:
In the beginning, the word "anxious" for the horse didn't really seem to fit because as far as I understood it was really excited and not anxious. Maybe a different word choice would be better?
Also, her mother crying out to her felt too real to later be dissmissed with a smile. Either she's honestly worried about her daughter (and she should be! A horses can kill you if you fall off and it stomps on you by accident) or she is just trying to calm things down and isn't that serious. That part confused me a bit.
Another tiny thing is that, in the later part, everyone is described as "boys" so I'd imagined children, around the age of 7 maybe. When it later said 17 I was super surprised! Maybe another word to describe them could do the trick.
All in all I thought this was really cool! Keep it up!




Draculus says...


Thanks for your opinion! Yeah, I know I have a bad habit of mixing up some English words, and I am definitely in need of an editor. I hope you'll enjoy the next chapters. Unfortunately, I can't publish it here now, but seven written chapters are on Wattpad, waiting for somebody to at last like them) And... Sorry for those stupid mistakes, I'm not a native English speaker)



Cloudthing says...


I'm so sorry for the message being sent so many times! I don't know why that happened or how to delete it. Sorry! Also, just so you know - I'm not a native English speaker either! Even if we need to work twice as hard, it's also really rewarding to write in a universal language. I hope you get to post them some time! I'd like to read it



Draculus says...


Ah, don't mind it, it's website lagging, I think.
You're right about writing in a foreign language. It might be extremely complicated and irritating sometimes, but it's worth it.



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:25 pm
Cloudthing says...



Hi! It was really interesting! I'm really curious what's going to happen from now on.
I don't know a lot, but here are some thoughts:
In the beginning, the word "anxious" for the horse didn't really seem to fit because as far as I understood it was really excited and not anxious. Maybe a different word choice would be better?
Also, her mother crying out to her felt too real to later be dissmissed with a smile. Either she's honestly worried about her daughter (and she should be! A horses can kill you if you fall off and it stomps on you by accident) or she is just trying to calm things down and isn't that serious. That part confused me a bit.
Another tiny thing is that, in the later part, everyone is described as "boys" so I'd imagined children, around the age of 7 maybe. When it later said 17 I was super surprised! Maybe another word to describe them could do the trick.
All in all I thought this was really cool! Keep it up!




User avatar
5 Reviews


Points: 155
Reviews: 5

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Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:25 pm
Cloudthing wrote a review...



Hi! It was really interesting! I'm really curious what's going to happen from now on.
I don't know a lot, but here are some thoughts:
In the beginning, the word "anxious" for the horse didn't really seem to fit because as far as I understood it was really excited and not anxious. Maybe a different word choice would be better?
Also, her mother crying out to her felt too real to later be dissmissed with a smile. Either she's honestly worried about her daughter (and she should be! A horses can kill you if you fall off and it stomps on you by accident) or she is just trying to calm things down and isn't that serious. That part confused me a bit.
Another tiny thing is that, in the later part, everyone is described as "boys" so I'd imagined children, around the age of 7 maybe. When it later said 17 I was super surprised! Maybe another word to describe them could do the trick.
All in all I thought this was really cool! Keep it up!




User avatar
5 Reviews


Points: 155
Reviews: 5

Donate
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:24 pm
Cloudthing says...



Hi! It was really interesting! I'm really curious what's going to happen from now on.
I don't know a lot, but here are some thoughts:
In the beginning, the word "anxious" for the horse didn't really seem to fit because as far as I understood it was really excited and not anxious. Maybe a different word choice would be better?
Also, her mother crying out to her felt too real to later be dissmissed with a smile. Either she's honestly worried about her daughter (and she should be! A horses can kill you if you fall off and it stomps on you by accident) or she is just trying to calm things down and isn't that serious. That part confused me a bit.
Another tiny thing is that, in the later part, everyone is described as "boys" so I'd imagined children, around the age of 7 maybe. When it later said 17 I was super surprised! Maybe another word to describe them could do the trick.
All in all I thought this was really cool! Keep it up!





We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.
— Mark Twain