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A Day Off Part 2

by HarryHardy


The four of them made their way across the lake and made their way to the pathway that led to the forest. The path was made of rock, carved into the mountain itself, angling downwards at a precarious angle.

“So what exactly are we going to be doing in this forest?” asked James.

“Walking,” replied Harry.

“Yeah but what are we doing?” asked James.

“Just walking,” said Stean.

“Like literally just walking?” said James, raising his eyebrows.

“Just walking,” said Harry and Stean.

"Sounds boring," said James.

"Boring is a good break, don't you think?" asked Stean, "considering how its been and all."

"Can't argue with that logic there," said Vankous, nodding, "a little bit of boring is always a good idea."

"Okay this conversation is becoming boring," said Harry, "let's talk about something else."

"How about...DUCK!" said Vankous.

"Duck is not very easy to talk about," said James, scratching his chin, "maybe Peking Du..." 

'SMACK!' A tall branch smashed into James' face right across his forehead.

"Dude, you seriously thought he was talking about a duck duck?" asked Stean, facepalming.

"Unfortunately, yes," said James, rubbing his forehead, "luckily I wasn't running or that would have left a mark."

"Or you could have just looked where you were going," pointed out Stean.

"That too," said Vankous.

"Anyway, we're here now," said Harry, pointing at the vast forest in front of them. Massive trees, each one easily several hundred feet tall and with trunks that were at least six feet in diameter, covered the land as far as the eye could see. The rough rock was covered in bright blue grass, glinting in the evening sun from the dew that had fallen moments ago. As the sun sank lower in the sky, it gentle blue glue was slowly giving away to a eerie purplish light.

"So I guess we walk," said James.

"Yup, let's see what we find," said Harry, taking the first steps past the tree. The bag of potato chips was still held tightly in his hand.

"Hopefully not a monster," said Stean, "we've had enough of those to last a lifetime."

"Several lifetimes," said Vankous, nodding in agreement.

"Well..." began Harry.

"Okay, Mr. I'm Immortal, you don't have to say it," said Vankous, hands on his hips.

"What?" said Harry, turning around, looking confused.

"Really, now you're going to pretend like you didn't hear," said Vankous.

"I have no idea what you are talking about, I was about to mention that thing," he said pointing at something in the distance.

"What thing?" asked Vankous, stepping forward, closely followed by the other two.

"Ohh..." said Stean, trailing off.

"You just had to say it didn't you," said James, turning to Stean.

"Well I was stating a fact," said Stean, shrugging, "not like I summoned it here."

"I still don't see it," said Vankous, "what are you guys going on about?"

"See that reddish brown thing there, near that roni tree, and those long thin things moving up and down," said Harry.

"That's a...HOLY MOTHER OF FLYING PIGS!" said Vankous, shaking his hands.

Several crashing sounds could be heard as a monster approached, only a few feet away. It was a gigantic millipede, about the size of an average train. The trees shook, several smaller plants being flattened as it smashed its way through, lumbering along at a speed impressive for its size. Its mouth was open revealing rows upon rows of razor sharp teeth.

"Umm...ideas?" asked Stean.

"Draw it out towards the lake," said Harry.

"Dude can't you just vaporize it?" asked James, gesturing at Harry.

"Too messy, come on we need to give it some bait," said Harry, gesturing for them to all get behind the tree that James had run into.

"Like a giant leaf or something?" suggested James once they were behind the tree and hidden from its view.

"No," said Harry, smirking, "you're going to be the bait."

"What? Why me?" said James, frowning.

"Because I must protect the chips," said Harry, doing his best to sound official.

"And I don't run," declared Vankous.

"And I want a break from monster fighting," said Stean, giving James a small smile.

"That is horribly unfair," said James.

"Its life my friend, besides nothing is going to happen to you," said Harry, patting him on the shoulder and stepping away.

"I don't have super speed," said James.

The tree they were standing in front of shook with the impact of something massive. A small crack appeared in front of them. The branch that James had run into fell to the ground. Another resounding thud and the crack widened.

"I think you should probably start running now," said Harry.

"But..." he protested.

Another massive thud and the tree began to split at the base, tilting towards the forest. James took off like a rocket, headed up the mountain. The monster smashed its way through on the next attempt, the massive tree starting to fall to the ground.

"Stean, keep an eye on James, Vankous catch the tree," said Harry, sidestepping the monster that immediately locked onto James and charged after him.

Stean took off after the monster, jogging as he stayed beside it. Vankous thrust out his hands and concentrated. The tree began to slow down as he got a hold of it telekinetically. Once it came to a complete stop, he slowly began to move it back into position. Once it had reached its original position, he held it in place and turned to Harry.

"Are you gonna repair that or do I have to?" asked Vankous.

"Efcorkra," said Harry, rolling his eyes. Faint greenish blue letters appeared on the tree trunk, barely visible. The fibers started of the tree started to grow out towards each other, meeting at the center and stitching itself back together until the tree looked exactly as it had a minute ago.

Harry looked towards the pond. James had made it to the top and was charging for the ice, the monster hot on his tail. He had only a few feet left to run but the monster was starting to gain on him. It had been an even race with the slope of the path slowing it down but as it reached the flat top, it was becoming rapidly in favor of the creature. Stean was now running alongside its mouth, keeping a close eye on the distance separating the monster and James.

Harry nodded towards the two of them. Vankous shrugged and turned, vanishing in a flash of green light. Harry rolled his eyes and shook his head, a smile on his face. Typical Vankous. He took off towards the lake, easily passing the monster and sliding to a stop on the ice seconds later.

Vankous was already standing there, a smug look on his face.

"Guess teleportation is faster," he said, tapping his glasses with a whispered spell and converting them into shades.

"You just haven't seen me run at top speed my friend."

"Can ...you ta..two settle the...that some other ta..time?" panted James, finally reaching the ice,," kinda of bi..bi...busy here." He was dripping with sweat.

"That sounds like great advice," said Stean, also sliding to a stop next to the three of them. Stean on the other hand, looked just as he had moments ago, not even his hair had been messed up. 

The monster stopped right at the edge of the lake. It raised its head and let out a ear shattering screech, echoing over the mountains. The woods began to shake in the distance. Several shapes could be seen coming up the mountain.

"I guess it called for reinforcements," said Stean. His hands started to glow a bright emerald green.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," said Vankous, returning his glasses to their normal shade. Purple light swirled around him.

"This is not going to end well," said James. He reached into his trouser and brought out a handle. He pressed the button at the top, griping it tightly as it expanded into a small pistol. He turned off the safety and cocked his weapon.

Three more giants emerged from the forest, these three completely ripping apart the tree that they had carefully put back together. They raced up the mountainside. The sky began to darken, and the temperature seemed to drop several degrees.

Electricity crackled as blueish green veins all along Harry's arms and face, started to glow. The monsters joined their comrade and the four creatures screeched in unison.

James gripped his pistol with both hands, focused on the creatures in front of him. Vankous stood up straight, the safety goggles on his head falling into place. Stean lowered into a crouch, glowing hands outstretched.

"Let's get this party started," said Harry, eyes starting to glow a blueish green as he opened his arms, a smile forming on his face.


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Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:52 am
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi Harry! Back again for the second review ^^

Wow, okay, so this part was significantly more intense than the first! Not gonna lie, giant millipedes with rows and rows of sharp teeth sound like something straight out of a nightmare, so you've definitely mastered the art of coming up with monsters - which is a good thing, especially when writing fantasy novels / short stories :D

I also love how casually the characters talk about their insane magical abilities - like transportation vs superspeed? Oh, yeah, that's a normal competition. And like I said about your previous part, the dialogue, and the dynamic amongst the friends, is definitely one of my favourite parts of this story. And from what I've read, James seems kind of like the little brother of the group, while Vankous and Stean and Harry are the older brothers who all like to get him to do their dirty work. (In this case, luring a disgusting millipede monster to a lake.)

My main critique is, again, that the first chunk of this part is quite dialogue-heavy. It's not a huge deal, but I do think it'd make the writing even stronger if you interspersed the dialogue with descriptions (and vice versa).

The being said, the pacing of this part is great! I'm liking the descriptions of the millipede-caused destruction, it feels very horror-movie-ish.

Alright, now for smaller comments -

“So what exactly are we going to be doing in this forest?” asked James.

“Walking,” replied Harry.

“Yeah but what are we doing?” asked James.

“Just walking,” said Stean.

“Like literally just walking?” said James, raising his eyebrows.

“Just walking,” said Harry and Stean.

"Sounds boring," said James.
Ahaha I love this dialogue - it sounds exactly like something me and my friends would say. I'm also getting the feeling that Stean and Harry tend to team up against James? Poor guy.
A minor critique though is that the dialogue tags do get a tad bit repetitive - they mostly alternate between "said" and "asked", and beyond that there aren't any noticeable descriptions, either. Maybe you could try out some dialogue tags like "muttered", "mumbled", "repeated", "grumbled", "snapped" -> using stronger verbs like those helps to spice things up ;)

"Anyway, we're here now," said Harry, pointing at the vast forest in front of them. Massive trees, each one easily several hundred feet tall and with trunks that were at least six feet in diameter, covered the land as far as the eye could see. The rough rock was covered in bright blue grass, glinting in the evening sun from the dew that had fallen moments ago. As the sun sank lower in the sky, it gentle blue glue was slowly giving away to a eerie purplish light.
Ooh I adore these descriptions! I can picture those huge trees and the rocky landscape so well. And I've noticed that this land - the Omegaverse, if that's what it's called - has some really vibrant colours. Red lakes, blue grass, who knows what'll be next! c:
The last sentence just gets a teensy bit funky; it -> its, glue -> glow (I think that's what you meant?), and a -> an.

"That's a...HOLY MOTHER OF FLYING PIGS!" said Vankous, shaking his hands.
I love that expression... might have to start using it haha.

It was a gigantic millipede, about the size of an average train.
Ewwwww!

"Stean, keep an eye on James, Vankous catch the tree," said Harry, sidestepping the monster that immediately locked onto James and charged after him.
lol I love how casually Harry tells Vankous to catch a six-foot-in-diameter tree.

The fibers started of the tree started to grow out towards each other, meeting at the center and stitching itself back together until the tree looked exactly as it had a minute ago.
Gosh that's some impressive magic. Also, maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not entirely sure why they bothered to put the tree back in place? I'd expect them to be focused on James and Stean, not some tree - especially considering the millipede had already left a huge path of destruction.

James gripped his pistol with both hands, focused on the creatures in front of him. Vankous stood up straight, the safety goggles on his head falling into place. Stean lowered into a crouch, glowing hands outstretched.
Oh my goodness this feels like a scene you'd see on the front of a movie cover xD Picturing this in my mind they look so epic!

All in all, another very strong part. I'm quite curious about how the four of them beat or escape the four millipedes, so I might have to drop by to read part 3! I hope this review is helpful, and if you've got any questions about it feel free to ask.

Thank you for requesting these two reviews - I'm really sorry about the delay, but school + life got pretty hectic :/ But hopefully I'm back in the reviewing business this winter! So if you've got any requests in the future I'll probaby be significantly quicker hehe. <3

Keep writing!

whatcha




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Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:46 pm
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Magebird wrote a review...



Hi again! I'm back to review the second part of your short story. :)

I knew they'd run into some kind of trouble! I wasn't sure what kind of trouble it would be, but giant millipedes certainly classify as trouble. Speaking of the trouble and the calm that came before it: the shift from the pack goofing around to actually fighting felt incredibly natural. I especially love how you have Harry try to bring it up, only for the others to shoot him down because they really wanted to have a break from fighting for once.

I already went over dialogue-related nitpicks in my last review, so I'll avoid going into detail about them here. Just make sure to follow the same rules when revising and you should be all set. :)

I also mentioned how dialogue-heavy your writing was in my previous review. I saw some of the same thing at the beginning of this part, but the fight scene was exactly what I was suggesting in that last review! You did a perfect job mixing action, description and dialogue there. If you added some more of the first two to areas that are overwhelmingly filled with dialogue, your writing would be even more amazing than it already is.

Critiques aside, I just can't get over the dynamic this group has. The conversation about boredom and walking made me grin, and I almost laughed at the "Mr. Immortal" dig Vankous threw at Harry. You have a knack for writing natural dialogue. I've only seen this cast of characters together for two thirds of a short story, but I'm already in love with the group. Nothing says friendship like chaotic shenanigans, goofing around, and fighting monsters together. <3

...If asking me to review this was a trick to get me to read the rest of your book, then it definitely worked. :P

Even though I only needed to review the first two parts, I'll finish this review binge up by reviewing the last part as well. I just have to know how this story ends!

As with the last review, let me know if you have any questions - and see you in part three!




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Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:28 pm
BlackThorne wrote a review...



Grammar

1.

"Boring is a good break, don't you think?" asked Stean,

when interspersing a line of dialogue, you end the dialogue tag with the period, not a comma. this is just one example, you seem to do this for all your dialogue

2.
'SMACK!' A tall branch smashed into James' face right across his forehead.

the correct punctuation for this would be:
SMACK (line break) A tall branch smashed into James' face right across his forehead.


3.
As the sun sank lower in the sky, it gentle blue glue was slowly giving away to a eerie purplish light.

a) "it gentle blue" should be "its gentle blue"
b) "glue" should be "glow".
c) "giving away" should be "giving way"
d) "a eerie" should be "an eerie"

4.
"You just haven't seen me run at top speed my friend."

add comma between "speed" and "my"

5.
Stean on the other hand, looked just as he had moments ago, not even his hair had been messed up.

"on the other hand" is usually used when comparing. I would suggest this revision:
Unlike him, Stean looked just as he had moments ago. not even his hair had been messed up.


6.
It raised its head and let out a ear shattering screech, echoing over the mountains.

should be "ear-shattering"

Word Choice and Flow

1.
The four of them made their way across the lake and made their way to the pathway that led to the forest.

you used "made their way" twice too close together. replace one with an equivalent

2.
The path was made of rock, carved into the mountain itself, angling downwards at a precarious angle.

same thing, "angle" and "angling" are too close together

3.
The rough rock was covered in bright blue grass, glinting in the evening sun from the dew that had fallen moments ago.

"dew that had fallen moments ago" is wordy and disrupts the mood. I would suggest "freshly fallen dew" instead

4.
It was a gigantic millipede, about the size of an average train.

making this more concise would make it more effective, like so:
It was a millipede the size of a train.


5.
The fibers started of the tree started to grow out towards each other, meeting at the center and stitching itself back together until the tree looked exactly as it had a minute ago.

"until the tree looked exactly as it had a minute ago" could be omitted.

6.
[quote] The sky began to darken, and the temperature seemed to drop several degrees. [/though]
"several degrees" sounds scientific and disrupts the mood. "temperature seemed to drop" is better on its own

I haven't read the other parts, but I liked this, it made me laugh XD




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Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:55 pm
LordMomo wrote a review...



Momo, here to review!

To start, I love it so much. Part 1 was hilarious and, naturally, Harry is my favorite. This story is so funny! There were just a few things I wanted to point out, so let's get started!

"Boring is a good break, don't you think?" asked Stean, "considering how its been and all."

I think it should be "It's". And "considering" should be capitalized. Both of these things happened again in this passage, so if you want me to point them out, feel free to PM me and I will!

'SMACK!' A tall branch smashed into James' face right across his forehead.

I think it would look better if SMACK was italicized. so, SMACK!

Massive trees, each one easily several hundred feet tall and with trunks that were at least six feet in diameter, covered the land as far as the eye could see.

Six feet in diameter? Makes me think of social distancing...

"You just had to say it didn't you," said James, turning to Stean.

A comma after "it". This happened again in the passage, so... PM me if you want.

Several crashing sounds could be heard as a monster approached, only a few feet away. It was a gigantic millipede, about the size of an average train. The trees shook, several smaller plants being flattened as it smashed its way through, lumbering along at a speed impressive for its size. Its mouth was open revealing rows upon rows of razor sharp teeth.

A millipede? Yesss... You see, this is why I love this so much. <3

panted James, finally reaching the ice,," kinda of bi..bi...busy here."

Only one comma is needed after "ice".

He reached into his trouser and brought out a handle. He pressed the button at the top, griping it tightly as it expanded into a small pistol. He turned off the safety and cocked his weapon.

Um... How?

That's really it. Overall, I LOVED it. Keep writing, and have a happy RevMo!
Momo
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The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
— Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians