Young Writers Society

September 2018 Review Month

914 of 1250

Last Review by Anniepoo103. You go Anniepoo103!
Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy

E - Everyone

The Hippocampus: Chapter 1.2 - A Hat, A Bird, & A Curious Character

by Featherstone


Unsurprisingly, her bird well enough ignored her as they continued the journey onwards towards the nearest civilization across what felt like miles upon miles of cool, coastal sand supplemented by the screaming of seagulls fighting over fish and whatnot. Jay might’ve been thankful that Mags hadn’t decided to go and join them (as she was wont to do, and had, on previous occasions) but, at the moment, she was too sick and hungover to care. The sand was bright and the birds were loud and everything else could go burn in hell as far as she was concerned, so long as she could get some peace and quiet.

But Mags, the faithful companion that she was, wouldn’t let her, and so they walked. “We’re next t’ an ocean ‘n we ain’t even got nothin’ t’ drink!” Jay complained loudly to the avian on her shoulder, “‘n we’re in nice soft sand ‘ it’s pretty out ‘n ya ain’t lettin’ me nap ‘n enjoy it!”

When the avian didn’t reply she took it upon herself to keep the rather one-sided conversation going. “Oh, ya know what, fine, I don’ care if it ain’t yer fault I was drunk ‘n all, yer the one who got me up this mornin’! Ain’t matterin’ if it was fer me own good ‘r not!”

They continued on like this for the better part of an hour as they persevered across the shore before the ocean’s hush finally began to register with Jay through her hangover and she fell silent to listen to it. The more she walked, the better she felt, and the less she found the need to argue with her pet as a distraction. he’d always loved the water. It didn’t matter where, or when, she would always swim and play in the rivers, lakes, and streams. But never before had she ever seen the sea, even if only parts were visible. She wondered what it looked like without mist clouding her vision. SHe’d heard stories that it went as far as the eye could see, and when the sun set over the top if it it lit the sky a million vibrant colors that reflected off the water itself. The most entrancing story she’d heard about it, however, was from a fisherman who’d she’d met several towns back. He was an old man and no longer went on the sea-faring vessels that carried him to deeper depths, instead preferring to ply his trade closer to the shore where the fish were smaller and the travel less taxing.

He’d told her that he’d always lived by the sea and that his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, and every father before him was an angler. In the ocean, he said, there dwelled creatures of massive proportions — behemoths, so gargantuan they dwarfed his ship. They came to the surface to breathe like dolphins and slipped back under with a slow, soulful majesty that emanated from them so powerfully one only had to be in the vicinity to feel it.

One day he’d been out on the water and there was an eerie yet beautiful song coming from all around him: some clicks, but mostly a long, haunting melody. At first he’d thought it was a siren’s song, for it was so enchanting, but before he could cover his ears and slip belowdecks the largest of the beasts he’d ever seen breached the surface and spouted water into the air before diving back under, all the white singing. But the noise was everywhere, and it couldn’t just be the one, and so he turned to see one, two, three more tails disappearing beneath the waves. There’d been no fewer than eight that day, he told her, and he’d proceeded to talk to her about how to catch sharks.

That one stuck with her. Something about the enchantment of the ocean was reflected in those nameless royals of the vast, blue waters. Something magical. Something that made her want to get a ship, go to sea, and never come back.

So that was her plan: find a ship, get on a ship, and stay on the ship. She didn’t know what ship, or where she’d get one, or how she’d learn to sail, but she was never one for a plan and she’d always managed to come out alright in the end, so she wasn’t concerned about it. After all, why worry when one didn’t have to?

Thuki had always argued that she needed a plan or else she’d end up in a ditch someplace because her quick wits failed her, but Jay wasn’t dead yet and so far she’d had nothing but adventures that she never regretted. She always learned something and she was light and swift enough on her feet that she never found herself unable to wiggle her way out of one issue or another. At the very least it gave her a story to tell.

If she was perfectly honest she wasn’t sure how she got there, but after another half hour of dragging her sorry hide through the sand she found herself stumbling up a winding trail of sand and rock towards the rickety outskirts of a town. It wasn’t altogether dilapidated or rundown, just generally small and a bit rough around the edges, but she didn’t mind; it was better than the last town she went through. There she couldn’t find a single place to stay without it being covered in rats, cockroaches, and fog getting in through numerous holes in the walls.

Welcome to Drake’s Eyrie, the sign read, followed by a large picture of a drake on its nest for those who were less literate than she. Beneath it, it had directions pointing her to take a left for the tavern and a right for the port. Certainly went to show the values of this town, didn’t it?

Jay paused, debating whether getting a drink was really a wise idea considering the former night’s escapade. After a few moments she regretfully decided that, for one, she didn’t have enough money, and, for another, she probably shouldn’t get another drink anyways while she was still dealing with a hangover, and so she slipped down the right cobbled, pot-hole-filled road towards the docks in her usual, sauntering gait.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
1057 Reviews


Points: 66840
Reviews: 1057

Donate
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:28 pm
View Likes
Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again! I'm late to get here, but here I am! :)

I like your writing style and the flowy, almost literary feel of the writing. It makes the story easy to read and it all just flows nicely! I also liked that you spiced up what otherwise would have been a boring scene (just her walking from point a to point b) with the interactions with her bird and the context of her family being anglers and her desire to get a boat.

Overall this is a slow-paced opening, which is not necessarily a bad thing! So far, not a whole lot has happened, but it's giving us the opportunity to get to know the MC a little before things really get going. The downside is that as a reader, I keep waiting for something to happen. So far she's just wandering and thinking and talking to her bird, and while I know things will pick up, I'm left wondering when the plot is really going to start.

As we progress and she gets her boat and she starts going on all of her adventures, I might come back to the beginning and give more feedback on whether it could be reworked and how.

I read over your description again in the writer's corner and I'm excited to see how this progresses and for her to get her boat and start the grand adventure! Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




User avatar
102 Reviews


Points: 14843
Reviews: 102

Donate
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:25 am
View Likes
soundofmind wrote a review...



YOOOO FALC, I'M HERE LIKE A WEEK LATE BUT I'M REVIEWING YOUR CHAPTER HIIIIII LOVE U

Jay's great and I love all her squabbling with Mags. That's honestly me with animals but like... most of the time. I don't need to be hungover to blame them for everything and talk to them lol. It's very entertaining and I love it. I also love how she talks like Ari.

Okay so a few little things:

But never before had she ever seen the sea, even if only parts were visible.

This... almost feels like a contradiction? The way it's worded makes it sound like she hasn't seen the sea at all, and then you say - wait, she has seen in, in nits and pieces. So idk if there's a way for you to word this better 'cause I guess I'm not sure if you mean to say she just wants to see more of the ocean or that she hasn't ever gotten a good look at it. Idk!!

The most entrancing story she’d heard about it, however, was from a fisherman who’d she’d met several towns back. He was an old man and no longer went on the sea-faring vessels that carried him to deeper depths, instead preferring to ply his trade closer to the shore where the fish were smaller and the travel less taxing.

Okay so... when you said like "the most entrancing story she'd heard" was from a fisherman, I honestly expected to hear the story right away and not a description of the fisherman. I guess... since he's not even given a name... I wonder if it's necessary to put this description here on the front end? Or maybe you could just shorten it or reword it in a way so it doesn't feel as drawn-out before you actually get to the story? I mean, this is more of an opinion thing, but I feel like it'd make it flow better?? If I'm making sense.

If she was perfectly honest she wasn’t sure how she got there, but after another half hour of dragging her sorry hide through the sand she found herself stumbling up a winding trail of sand and rock towards the rickety outskirts of a town.

This transition here felt awkward and sudden??? I'm wondering if you put something like "then she arrived at a town" at the BEGINNING of this sentence as opposed to the end, if that would work better. I feel like that would make me go less like "wait, where's here? where is she?" at first.

BUT OKAY! Overall, I really liked this part of the chapter! I like what I got to see about Jay and her aspirations to explore the sea and get a ship, and I can totally see how her going to the docks is leading up to that or something like it WINKETY WINK. SO I LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT CHAPTER AND I'M SORRY I DON'T HAVE A WHOLE LOT TO SAY but this is good and I like it and if you have any questions!!! Of course feel free to ask!! <3

-sound




User avatar


Points: 249
Reviews: 1

Donate
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:46 pm
View Likes
Swallowtail wrote a review...



Hey there!

First of all, this is great. I loved your playful writing style and poetic voice. I'm thouroughly looking forward to the rest of the story!

There were a few places where I felt that the wording was a little awkward, but only a few, and a handful of typos that I noticed.

Wording revisions are in blue, typo revisions are in red:

Unsurprisingly, her bird well enough ignored her as they continued their journey onwards towards the the next town, across what felt like miles upon miles of cool, coastal sand supplemented by the screaming of seagulls fighting over fish and whatnot.


so long as she could get some sleep.


They continued on like this for the better part of an hour as they persevered across the shore before the ocean’s hush finally began to register with Jay through her hangover and she fell silent to listen to it.


I struck out the persevered part because we already know she is persevering, and it made the sentence feel a bit cluttered.

She’d always loved the water.


She’d heard stories that it went as far as the eye could see, and when the sun set over the top of it that it lit the sky a million vibrant colors that reflected off the water itself.


After a few moments she regretfully decided that, for one, she didn’t have enough money, and for another, she probably shouldn’t get another drink anyways while she was still dealing with a hangover, and so she slipped down the right cobbled, pot-hole-filled road towards the docks in her usual, sauntering gait.


The comma before sauntering is unnecessary.

Overview:

Enjoyable read, strong descriptions, fun characters, and lovely setting.

Keep up the good work!





He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
— Friedrich Nietzsche