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A Fight for Survival ~ Darkness Approaches Chapter 9

by FlamingPhoenix


His body was pressed low to the ground as Viper slunk through the grass his body tense and ready to pounce at any moment. Nuddia was right next to him, her eyes fixed on the target.

Viper’s eyes moved left and right, keeping an eye out for any Doomtors that may have not gone to sleep yet, but there was no sign of any, so he kept on stalking through the long grass the long green strands stroking against his underbelly.

Suddenly Nuddia stopped next to him, her body going tense as she slowly lifted one talon after another, not making a single sound as she moved at a painfully slow pace.

Moving his head in the direction Nuddia was looking in he saw a small shadow perched on one of the branches of a tree nearby. Knowing what he needed to do, he slowly walked up behind Nuddia into the pushed so he could sneak up on the bird from behind.

A rush of adrenally shot through Viper’s body as the instinct to hunt kicked in, he silently walked through the undergrowth, his steps light. He couldn’t help the small twitch in his tail as he got closer to his victim.

All the worry about the mission and the Doomtors in the wood washed away as he began to climb up the tree trying to keep as quiet as possible, one small noise and the bird will fly off. Digging his talons into the bark he hung there as he looked for Nuddia waiting to see if she was in position. His eyes saw a small flick of a tail in the grass and he grinned to himself knowing it was time.

Like a cat he crept onto the thick branch the bird was sitting on, he could feel his heart pounding, not out of fright, but excitement. He crouched there getting ready to pounce, he could feel Nuddia’s orbs on him as she waited. With one swift move he gave a swipe at the small animal, letting out a squeak of fright, it fell off the branch towards Nuddia. But before the dragoness could clamp her jaws around the feathery creature it opened its wings and began to fly away.

Without even thinking Viper leaped off the branch and into the air flying after his pray, his nose leading him as he swerved around trees trying to keep up with the fast-moving bird. He saw Nuddia fly past him and into another dark part of the forest. Knowing what he needed to do he turned a right so he could go around the bird.

It only took him a little while to catch up with the colorful bird, staying in the dark he kept at its pace hoping it would slow down then he could swoop in and catch it. He saw Nuddia on the other side of the clearing her eyes watching the pray fly by, she landed on one of the branches curing her tail around it to keep herself staple.

Viper grind to himself when he got the message, bursting out of the trees he dived towards the small animal, startling it, it dashed towards where Nuddia was waiting.

Quickly she jumped off the tree and snatched up the bird in her talons, it let out squawks of panic and fear as the two dragons loomed over it.

Placing her talons in just the right place Nuddia quickly snapped the bird’s neck, silencing it. She looked up at Viper and gave him a satisfied grin, “That went a little better than I thought it would!” She said looking down at the now dead bird in her talon.

Viper nodded, he could feel the hunger that now tugged at him at the smell of fresh kill, but he knew there wasn’t enough for both of them to have.

Without letting her half the meal he said, “You have it.”

Nuddia looked up at him with a questioning look, “What, why?” She asked sitting down in the grass, her tail wrapping around her talons.

Letting out a sigh Viper began to explain. “There isn’t enough for both of us. There isn’t even enough for you, it’s mostly feathers.”

Nuddia glanced down at the bird in her talons. “I guess you’re right, but we can try and catch another one.” she placed the meat down on the grass.

Again Viper shook his head. “We will only be wasting energy, and we won’t be getting it back either.”

Nuddia growled under her breath, her eyes narrowed. Viper new she knew he was right, but she was only being stubborn like normal.

“Besides we don’t know how long we have until the Doomtor’s smell us, and that will only be more harm than good.” Viper told her, flicking her food towards her. “I’ll hunt for something when I get the chance.”

Letting out a long sigh Nuddia finally nodded. “Fine.” She groaned out before leaning over to pluck the feathers from her food.

Turning away from her, Viper looked out into the dark abyss, the long shadows stretching out along the sun-filled clearing towards him. The long strands of grass dancing in the morning breeze that whisked through the air. Closing his eyes he sighed in the fresh air, the smell of flowers blooming filled his nose as he stood their, relaxed.

“You ready to go?” Nuddia asked from behind him, as she licked her jaws, the last of her meal now gone.

Nodding his head quickly Viper spread his wings, having to beat them once against the air he shot into the sky, fanning his wings out he leveled out with Nuddia beside him. The two flew in silence their eyes glued to the horizon ahead, its dark shadows creeping over the woods.

Casting one last glance at the ground Viper saw the trees move in all directions as the high chatters of animals on the hunt filled the air. Letting out a sigh Viper looked to words the mountains in the distance. ‘They must have smelt the kill.’ He thought to himself as he beat his wings a few times.

“It will be best for us to fly through the night, we’ll get to Onyx Valley faster that way,” Nuddia said her eyes looking towards the dark mountains in the distance. Her black horns shining in the mid afternoon sun.

She knew what they had to do just as much as Viper did, he only hoped they would pull through. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t take his mind off of the many outcomes their mission could have. He just hoped later on that won’t get him into any trouble.


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Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:55 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey FlamingPhoenix! I'll be stopping by for a review today!

I haven't read any of the previous chapters, so I apologise if that interferes with anything I say! Please ignore any comments I make that would be clarified had I done so :)


His body was pressed low to the ground as Viper slunk through the grass his body tense and ready to pounce at any moment. Nuddia was right next to him, her eyes fixed on the target.


Okay, so first off! Since I'm assuming the "his" that is mentioned at the very beginning is Viper, you'll want to switch Viper's name and the "his" around. Generally, whenever you start a new chapter or scene, you'll want to use names before pronouns, to re-establish pov!
Also, since you're starting a new chapter, mentioning who/what the target is wouldn't hurt the prose at all. It's not necessary, but until it (I hope) gets mentioned later, it has to hang there in a sort of suspension in your readers' mind while they also try to continue forward. Unless there's an express purpose for not naming it (and maybe there is!), I would go ahead and say what it is!
(Upon further reading, it seems they are hunting a bird, yes? So, perhaps something like "her eyes fixed on their target, a lone bird perched in a nearby tree." ? It's ultimately up to you though)

so he kept on stalking through the long grass the long green strands stroking against his underbelly.


You'll want to avoid repetition in prose like this! In fact, I would veto the first mention of the grass altogether and blend it into something more like "so he kept stalking forward, tall strands of grass grazing the length of his underbelly."
(as a side note, and I noticed this in the first paragraph as well, but even if this were a complete sentence, you'd be missing a comma. So, technically, it would be "stalking through the long grass, the long green strands", but if you blended the description of the grass together, it doesn't matter. In the first sentence, it's "slunk through the grass, his body tense and ready to pounce")

Suddenly Nuddia stopped next to him, her body going tense as she slowly2 lifted one talon after another, not making a single sound as she moved a painfully slow2 pace.


Okay so, multiple things. Number one, I'm going to bring up the repetition again. "her body going tense" is incredibly similar to "his body tense", which was only two paragraphs ago, as well as "slow/slowly". Repetition ends up dulling your prose, and can even become distracting to your reader if they're reading the same thing multiple times! (While you'll want to avoid using synonyms to sound Fancy, thesaurus.com is you friend in situations like this when you're trying to avoid repetition!)
Next, you describe Nuddia stopping, but then she's still moving the next time you say what she's doing. So, did she stop? Did she just slow down? This is contradictory.

Moving his head in the direction Nuddia was looking in he saw a small shadow perched on one of the branches of a tree nearby. Knowing what he needed to do, he slowly walked up behind Nuddia into the pushed so he could sneak up on the bird from behind.


This makes it sound like they didn't know what they were hunting, which doesn't match up with what was going on in the beginning? If he decides to change their strategy and sneak up on the bird from behind, just say he does that, so that it doesn't sound like they only now saw the bird and started hunting.

he silently walked through the undergrowth, his steps light.


"his steps light" is ultimately unnecessary. If he's walking silently, that implies his steps are light. You can't stomp silently.

All the worry about the mission and the Doomtors in the wood washed away as he began to climb up the tree trying to keep as quiet as possible, one small noise and the bird will fly off.


Once again, I'm going to be picking at multiple things here. Let's start with the word I've got bolded. This is a tense change. You've been writing in past tense "s/he said, s/he did that", but with "will" in this sentence, you flipped to present tense, "s/he says, s/he does this". I know that I'm terrible at switching tenses when I'm writing, so while it's not a huge issue right now, you'll want to watch for it!
Then I'm going to go back to structure. This sentence would benefit greatly if it was broken up more. "All the worry about the mission and the Doomtors washed away as he began to climb the tree. He maneuvered carefully. Any small noise, and the bird would fly away." See? That reads through smoother. Your readers need breaks in sentences sometimes! It's like doing a speech, or singing! You need to take breaths when you're doing both of those activities. It's like that for your readers too. (Reading your prose aloud can be super helpful in being able to tell what sounds natural/flows well and what is too long-winded or even too short and stiff!)

His eyes saw a small flick of a tail


well thank god that he sees through his eyes.

(snark aside, I'd nix "his eyes saw" because duh it's his eyes. Don't pad this, just "He glanced over to see a small flick of her tail in the grass." works perfectly)

he could feel Nuddia's orbs on him as she waited.


they're eyes. Please, please call them eyes. While I pulled this sentence because of "orbs", I'm actually going to bring attention to "he could feel" because it's telling instead of showing! Any time you write "feel/ing" in prose, it's almost always telling. Of course they can feel it, or you wouldn't be describing it. Describe how it feels instead. (example: "He crouched there, getting ready to pounce. Nuddia's gaze prickled at the back of his neck." <-- see how that gives the reader a much more visceral description/experience? Now you know what it feels like for the character, rather than throwing something like "he felt cold", because again, you want to show, not tell!)


Okay, so, hailing back to those last to sentences, I'm going to throw in a little thing about telling vs. showing! Anything you write that saws "they saw/heard/felt/smelled/tasted" is generally telling.
Using the example I mentioned before, "He saw a small flick of a tail". Of course he's seeing it, this is his pov. Describe the action, the how, rather than saying "he saw this". Just as another example, "she smelled rosemary." Well, obviously she's the one smelling it, instead, it could be "The room smelled of rosemary." Maybe this hypothetical character is allergic to rosemary, or finds it irritating. Describe how it irritates her nose then. Then the reader will be able to deepen themselves into the story!
Hopefully that makes sense haha.


With one swift move he gave a swipe at the small animal, letting out a squeak of fright, it fell off the branch towards Nuddia.


Again, this sentence doesn't flow well. In part because you're missing punctuation, but also because this leads to some confusion. The way it's written makes it sound like Viper is the one to let out squeak of fright, which doesn't add up. Again, if it were broken up, it would work much better! As well as this, you've used a lot of padding. "he gave a swipe" What's wrong with just "he swiped"? That reads so much cleaner. "letting out a squeak of fright" why not "it squeaked in fright"? Sometimes this works, but more often than not, it just reads as extra filling and distracts from the flow of the prose.
"With one swift move, he swiped at the small animal. The bird squeaked in fright and fell off the branch towards Nuddia."

He saw Nuddia on the other side of the clearing her eyes watching the pray fly by,


Again, unless what you're describing sees blatantly different than everything else, don't add in "her eyes watching". If she's watching with her mouth, that's obviously something you want to point out, but as a general rule, eyes are used for watching. And I'll also mention "He saw", but I won't bore you to death by beating this explanation to the ground :)
(Also, "pray" is the way it's spelled for a prayer. "Prey" is the one you're looking for)

she landed on one of the branches curing her tail around it to keep herself staple.


This sentence should be separate from the last one, and there should be a comma between "branches" and "curling" (which is presently "curing", but I believe it's meant to be "curling"). And finally, "staple" should be "stable"!

Viper grind to himself when he got the message


...grind to himself?

it let out squawks of panic and fear


This'll be the last time I point out something padded like this, because I don't want to repeat myself too much, but I'll bring it up once more! Just watch out for things like this, because it disrupts the flow of your story!

gave him a satisfied grin, "That went a little better than I thought it would!" She said


The comma after "grin" should be a period, since it isn't a dialogue tag leading into the dialogue, as well as "She said" should be "she said", since that is a dialogue tag following dialogue. This happens again with:

Nuddia looked up at him with a questioning look, "What, why?" She asked


Viper new she knew he was right,


"knew"

that will only be more harm than good." Viper told her


A little different, but since there's a dialogue tag following this dialogue, the period after "good" should be a comma. This is a good thread about dialogue punctuation, which is super helpful!

Closing his eyes he sighed in the fresh air, the smell of flowers bloom filled his nose as he stood their, relaxed,


Yes!!! This is good description and I really like it!!

There's a few grammar mistakes (there should be a comma after "eyes" and "their" should be "there"), but honestly, they are just little technical things. The description is still lovely <3

Viper looked to words the mountains


"towards"

'They must have smelt the kill.' He thought to himself


"Smelt" is when you apply heat to an ore to extract a base metal. It's also a type of fish. "Smelled" is what you're looking for here! Also, I'd get rid of "he thought to himself" because it's 1) telling, and 2) again, of course he's thinking to himself, unless dragons are telepathic. You don't think to someone else.


You have a really interesting story concept here! I'm curious to know about this mission they're on, and what the Doomtors are? Sounds spooky! Of course, I'd probably know if I had read earlier chapters, but here we are anyway haha.

There's a lot of visual descriptions in this chapter, but what about the other senses? I know you add it in at the end, but what does the forest smell like? What can be heard? Are there leaves rustling? Trees creaking? You also describe what the characters can see relative to their hunt, but what about the forest around them? Perhaps you already described it in the previous chapter, in which case ignore that.


I think that's about all I have for today! I hope this was helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

I hope you have a fantastic day, and Happy RevMo!

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Thanks for the review. I will used this for my future chapters! :D



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Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:46 am
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shieldmaiden wrote a review...



Ha ha! I love how stubborn Nuddia is. And Viper appears to know her pretty well, considering he knew what to say to convince her to eat the kill. Or else that bird would have been left to waste with neither of them eating it. I love your description in this chapter. They sound like part bird/part cat in this chapter, with the way they are all ready to pounce from their perches in the trees. I really love this quote though. "Her black horns shining in the mid afternoon sun." For some reason I imagined moonlight instead. But that's just because I love that phrase and love the romantic moonbeams. So pretty!

Keep Writing!!!
-Shieldmaiden






Thanks for the review Shield! It really did make my day! :D



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Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:21 pm
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Awru wrote a review...



Haalluu!! I finally got the time to rescue my little dragon frens. I must say spot on hunting scene,there was a lot of suspense and tension in it which basically ehat hunting scenes are about. I am glad they got off safe from the doomtors. I am really excited about the onyx valley too. So lets get into my usual reviewing stuff.

His body was pressed low to the ground as Viper slunk through the grass his body tense and ready to pounce at any moment.

Bit of a suggestion about this line
Viper's body was pressed low to the ground as he slunk through the tall grass,his body tense and ready to pounce at any moment.
Viper’s eyes moved left and right, keeping an eye out for any Doomtors that may have not gone to sleep yet,

We don't see eye to eye on this one. I think replace the second eye. Repetitive words can legit throw off the readers. How bout:
Keeping a look out for any Doomtors
so he kept on stalking through the long grass the long green strands stroking against his underbelly.

Again repetition of similar words.
Moving his head in the direction Nuddia was looking in he saw a small shadow perched on one of the branches of a tree nearby. Knowing what he needed to do, he slowly walked up behind Nuddia into the pushed[b] so he could sneak up on the bird from behind.

1) In is not necessary here
2)I think you missed sth here
He couldn’t help the small twitch in his tail as he got closer to [b]his victim.

Maybe replaced the bolded word with the. Repetitive pronouns can be dangerous too.
Like a cat he crept onto the thick branch the bird was sitting on,

You don't need to tell us every single detail. We readers can figure out things by ourselves too. We know the bird was sitting on the branch.[/quote]
flying after his pray,

The same mistake as in the previous chap. The animal which is being hunted is spelled as prey. Pray is sth entirely different.
only took him a little while to catch up with the colorful bird,

I think you should have described the bird how colourful it was and stuff. Since you r introducing new creatures and places to the readers. You should try hard with descriptions and put in subtle details. Because you know description do significantly contribute in enhancing the beauty of a story.
Without letting her half the meal he said, “You have it.”

This line is confusing,structure seems a bit off
Aww!! Viper is such a gentledragon. Not only this you did a great job adding this line sice it emphasizes the fact that Viper is a year older so its natural of him to behave in this way.
but she was only being stubborn like normal.

How bout:
but she was only being typical stubborn Nuddia. Nice work on showing her childish side.
Nodding his head quickly Viper spread his wings

Viper quickly spread kinda sounds better.
as he beat his wings a few times.

Beated
He just hoped later on that won’t get him into any trouble.

This line slightly confused me. Exactly what is that.
Also thought i would point that Viper and Nuddia seem to sigh alot Lol






Thanks again for the review, I will go through this when I have the chance and fix everything up, I do agree with you, I do say some of the same things to much, I'll try and bring across what you have said here into my next chapter. :D Thanks for the review!



Awru says...


:D



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Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:25 pm
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @FlamingPhoenix I am here to do a quick but nice review on your great work. So lets get right into it shell we.
So I really feel like you had a great start to the chapter. The description is great. I really like how you have just put this bit in with Nuddia and Viper trying to pin down a meal. its pretty cool.

A rush of adrenally shot through Viper’s body as the instinct to hunt kicked in, he silently walked through the undergrowth,p
So this line is very good I just think that you miss spelt adernally. so lets get to that.

adernally>adrenaline

Okay so that is all in involving this line the rest I really like.

The I really like how Viper is so carom and peasant for his food. It just a really good chapter. There are so many image that fly in and out of my head its just like. Wow your better then I'll ever be at writing. okay anyways.

All the worry about the mission and the Doomtors in the wood washed away as he began to climb up the tree trying to keep as quiet as possible, one small noise and the bird will fly off.

The mention of Doomtors is just like. Hew that is scary, and how did you come up with that name, kind of thing you no. I love this description. Viper seams very good at hunting this to eat. Well I guess he has to be.

So that is all that I can really say. If I was being to harsh then I am really sorry pleas forgive me. So keep up the great work. Your writings great. I loved this chapter and I look forward to the next one.

So I Hope You Have A Great Day/Night :D

@Dossereana Out In The Sky Of Reviews






Thanks for the review Doss. And that's for pointing out the mistake I'll fix it when I get the chance.



Dossereana says...


Your welcome. :) it was not a big mistake so don't worry to much.




Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
— Madeleine L'Engle, Author