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Unorthodox Thieves (Chap. 25): Back We Go

by EnderFlash


The walk back was more awkward than the one after meeting Chris. That was saying something. Lucius pushed down some gnawing emotions that most definitely were not guilt or doubt. Fear, he decided, was what kept him at Mikhail’s side and what fueled the constant glances at Wila. It was a little off from before, but he must have been right, because there were no emotions that felt as heavy as fear did.

There was a brief second of nothing beneath his foot, tensing his entire body, and his heel plunged into a crumbling hole. Brain blanking out for a second, Lucius lifted his shoe back out. He had to pay more attention to where he was going.

“Lucius?” Mikhail studied Lucius’s face with an inviting tilt, ghostly-white hair dropping in front of his eyes like a shower curtain. “Are you okay to go? W-Wila’s not stopping…”

“Of course she wouldn’t,” Lucius muttered. He set his foot on flat ground and did an experimental stretch. He had been through worse. “It’s fine. Let’s keep on walking.”

A quick nod was the reply. Mikhail resumed walking, hands intertwined behind his back. His head was down and eyes on the ground, likely searching for any more indents hidden beneath the carpet of dry grass. Lucius wished him luck.

Lolling his head back, Lucius rubbed his arms and realized that he didn’t feel cold anymore. Whether that was because of the rising sun, or that they had switched biomes, he didn’t know. As he recounted the events in the past twenty minutes, he even felt a little too warm. Especially his face. He reached up to rub his cheek.

“I think we should hurry a bit,” Mikhail said. He pointed to where Wila was speed-walking into the distance. “She’s going awfully fast…”

“Ah, right!” Lucius didn’t want Wila to reach the camp before them. Who knew how she might distort the truth? Then, the sinking sensation in his gut returned. It looked like Wila hadn’t wanted to bring up the subject at all with Claud and Reyna. He might be able to trust her on that, at least. “Then again,” he whispered to himself, “That could be a lie, too.” A headache was returning.

“Huh?” The younger boy poked him in the arm. Concern wrinkled his forehead. “What was that?”

“Nothing.” To avoid further conversation, Lucius broke into a jog. He wasn’t too surprised when Mikhail kept pace with him, but it made him wonder exactly how Mikhail’s physique was. The boy was able to nimbly climb trees and run as fast as a man at least five years older him.

Now that they were running, the white-yellow fields seemed to shrink. The ground flew by beneath their shoes and the gray waters of the ocean peeked from behind approaching boulders. Wila must have scurried down the rocks a while ago, because she was nowhere in sight. Stopping at the edge, where the blades of grass sank into the sand, Lucius stepped onto a rock and scanned the empty beach. She had gotten to the overhang quickly, then. He made his way down with careful shuffles and lots of sitting down. He shot an envious glare was shot at Mikhail, who hopped down, gave Lucius a shrug, and ran for the base. It was halfway down the rock pile that Lucius gave up on caution and stood up, jumping down like Mikhail. A loose stone nearly had him hugging a giant, mossy boulder, but he mentally kicked himself and leaped onto the sand. “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Running in the sand was pain. The shifty ground swallowed his soles and made him wish he could levitate. Unfortunately, supernatural abilities did not exist, outside of the weird magical exchanging in the arena, and so he was panting by the time he was able to lean against the overhang. He found a section relatively free of lichen and took a couple deep breaths.

“Lucius?” Wila stepped into view from around the rock barrier, having spotted his shoulder or something. There was no accusation on her face, but a suspicious relief. Not from seeing him though; it looked more like a feeling carried over some a recent event. “Oh, come on!” Just like that, her expression morphed into worry. “Reyna’s been hurt!”

The heavy stone in his stomach reappeared, this time with its denser friends. “What?”

“Stop gawking and get over here!” Wila grabbed Lucius’s wrist and pulled him away from his resting spot. It wasn’t until they were a couple feet away from the wooden planks that Lucius, teeth gritted, looked around Wila. It also occurred to him that he was hiding behind a girl that he had been afraid of not ten minutes ago.

Lucius blinked several times. “Oh.”


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Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:44 am
Aley wrote a review...



Hey, I really appreciate the length of this. It made it easier to review more in depth because I didn't have to shuffle through an entire huge chapter to get out everything I want to say.

That being said, I really like your style. You're a good writer, you just have to wrap this up really. There are a few things you could add, like emotional content. I think you're sort of lacking in that, but I love how active your voice is.

That was saying something.


I feel like if that was supposed to be saying something, we'd already know that because we're 25 chapters in, but if you want to exaggerate that point, then use a different phrase so that it's more interesting and worth reading that sentence. Try something like "During the walk there we'd run into a couple of pigs trying to continue the species and had to listen to them for five miles, and this was worse."

If you even made it a metaphor about how awkward it was, that would be better and more supplemental to the story at large.

Lucius pushed down some gnawing emotions that most definitely were not guilt or doubt.


Okay, if Lucius was pushing down some gnawing emotion, then describe the emotion for us. This might not be a poem, but it is a piece of fiction, so give us the physical sensations he's dismissing. Explore the description of fear as heavy sooner.


He wasn’t too surprised when Mikhail kept pace with him, but it made him wonder exactly how Mikhail’s physique was.


This line is awkward because of the use of physique instead of fitness which is really what he's wondering. The two words have different environments they show up in so it's throwing me off. I keep expecting it to be physical.

Now that they were running, the white-yellow fields seemed to shrink. The ground flew by beneath their shoes and the gray waters of the ocean peeked from behind approaching boulders.


Good lord! How far away did this woman get? That's a lot of description for just catching up to someone they were just seeing.

He shot an envious glare was shot at Mikhail, who hopped down, gave Lucius a shrug, and ran for the base.


You stopped writing this in the middle and messed up the sentence. It's either "He shot an envious glare at Mikhail" OR "An envious glare was shot at Mikhail"

Personally I think shooting things at people shouldn't really be done. It's more active voice to just say "He glared enviously at" than all those extra words.

Overall this is really well written. I like your style, Just cut out the extraneous things. Maybe try to infuse some emotion when you re-read and edit this. Just add in more gripping lines that focus on the emotional struggles this person's going through. That's really really up to you though.

HAPPY REVIEW DAY!




EnderFlash says...


Oh jeez, sorry for this two-day late reply. Thanks for your review, and I'll definitely clean this up now that I no longer have to update it every week. (I've been told I need to edit a lot. I should... really start xD)



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Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:29 pm
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there, EnderFlash. Niteowl here to review this fine Review Day.

First off, sorry I didn't get to this sooner, although this looks like the only new chapter you've posted since last Review Day.

My main question is why Lucius is going so slow. Was the falling into a hole supposed to be a significant injury, or did something happen in previous chapters that I'm not remembering?

“Are you fine to go? W-Wila’s not stopping…”


I would normally say "Are you good to go?"

Lolling his head back, Lucius rubbed his arms and realized that he didn’t feel cold anymore.


Is "lolling" supposed to be "rolling"?

An envious glare was shot at Mikhail, who pranced down, gave Lucius a shrug, and ran for the base.


The passive voice makes this sentence awkward. I would rewrite as "Lucius shot an envious glare at Mikhail, who shrugged and ran towards the base." (I took out "prance" because that is such a weird and kind of feminine movement in my mind).


Yes, he was hiding behind a girl who he still thought could kill him. Do not judge.


So all of a sudden, you're speaking to the reader? That's called "breaking the fourth wall" and could work in some circumstances, but you haven't done it up to this point that I can recall. It feels strange. I would consider another way to highlight the absurdity of this. Perhaps "Despite himself, Lucius tried not to laugh at how he was hiding behind a girl who could probably kill him."

Lastly, way to leave us on a cliffhanger there. I understand life gets in the way and stuff, but I really want to know what happened to Reyna! And my previous comments about what's up with the arena and the mysterious voice and all the things I want to know still stand. Let me know when you post more chapters! And of course, keep writing! :D




EnderFlash says...


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(~._.)~

Hello there! I'm glad for another review from you, as they're always helpful andouchmyoverinflatedego! I'm afraid things are progressing a little slowly, as I'm having more fun with the humans than the otherwise, but I promise I'll do what I can to actually kick the plot into a steady trot.




I see no reason to celebrate the random timing of natural events by eating poison and singing.
— Dilbert