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Chapter 2 of 'Jadeland'

by Hijinks

I ambled carelessly down the dirt path that led to N'ohia, the forest I called home. Birds chirped in trees along the roadside, and the sun streamed down in a dreamlike haze. I caught a glimpse of a rabbit disappearing into a bush. What a cutie!

I crooned to it, "Here bunny! Here sweetie!"

Of course, it scampered away to the safety of the grassy meadows, and I was alone again. I began to hum a cheerful tune. "My mother told-a your mother that-a you caught me a-snooping in your notebooks!" the chorus sang.

A few minutes later N'ohia came into view. Almost there, I thought to myself.

I heard a twig crack, and thought maybe the rabbit was back. "Here cutie!" I said in a calming voice. What a mistake!

One lady, probably thirty, appeared from behind the bush.

"I wouldn't recommend calling me a 'cutie' in the future," she said, her voice crisp and business like.

What the heck? My brain tried to process her.

"Surround her!" she called out.

From everywhere and nowhere, people clothed in one-piece camouflage suit surrounded me. I stared at them all, bewildered. "Wh-wh-what do you want?" I asked, backing against a tree.

"Are you Yasmine Tersdotter? Daughter of Amelia Tersdotter and Charles Wannick?"

I nervously twirled my dark brown, almost black hair between my fingers - chimney sweeps hair, as my mother used to say.

"Why should I tell you?" I asked. To myself I thought franticly, how do they know that?

"And why should I tell you that?" the lady who I thought to be the leader, retorted.

"Maybe I am."

"Seize her!" cried an old man who was using a walking stick that looked awfully sharp on the end. It reminded me, even in the state I was in, of a bee stinger, enlarged and unattached from the bee.

"Why?" I repeated dumbly to myself as they tied my hands and feet, a larger one slinging me over his shoulder. "No! Stop!" I screamed, struggling to no avail.

"Mind yer manners, missy, or ye'll be much worse then ye're," the man carrying me said.  

They turned off the path and, hidden cleverly few feet away, was a small carriage. They had hid it in a circle of bushes, and the wood of the carriage blended in to the surroundings. Had it been any bigger, the small opening between two of the bushes would have been to small to fit the carriage through.

Two of them pulled the carriage back onto the road, and I noticed two other children in there - a boy, younger than me with tuffled, chocolate brown hair, and an older girl who was so skinny I could see her ribs.

"In yer go!" the man who was carrying me said. He dropped me onto a ripped and patched leather seat, next to the girl. As I took in my surroundings, I noticed a theme - lots of patched fabric, replacement parts, new wood next to rotting wood, and a pillow with a tea stain.

"What are we doing here?" I whispered to the girl as the man wandered to the opening between the two bushes, a few feet away from us, and stood guard.

"I think they plan on selling us to the Scareymons or whatever you call them."

"Why - you're Mambrian!" was my first response. She pronounced all her 'e's like 'a's.

"So what?" she asked, scornfully. "Anyways, I'm fifteen and I'm called Tamara. What about you?"

"Yasmine. Yasmine Tersdotter. I'm thirteen." I answered, quietly. "How do you know they plan on selling us?"

"I overheard them, that's what."

"Oh." All this was too much for me to take in. "Why do they want to - ?" I left the last part unspoken.

"Well, my ma fought fiercely in the JAK, so that's why I think they hate me.'

"You mean they're sympathizers?" I knew JAK was the Jadian Army, but I wasn't quite sure what the K stood for. Maybe the 'Jadian Army of Knights'? Yes, that sounds right.

"Shush!" Tamara said, her voice full of anger. Not at me, I hoped. "They can hear you if you talk that loud!"

After that she left me to my thoughts. Maybe, if I could somehow distract them ... no, I'm tied up ... Or! What was that 'untie' spell? Oh, darn it! I don't know!

So by the time the carriage started to move joltingly, I still didn't have a clue how to escape.

"Where do you think we're going? To Wellmeve, then to Scareymon? Or to Pesise, then to Port Princip in New Jadeland, then to Binster?" I asked, thinking aloud.

"No talking back there!" the driver yelled.

"Sorry," I whispered forlornly to no one in particular. This'll be a long drive, I mused. I mean, From Culmary to Wellmeve or Pesise is at least five hours, and then a boat ride across the Strait Of Princip to New Jadeland is an hour, or from Pesise across the Nemesis Strait to Scareymon is two hours to Fort Fel, or one and a half to Sooton Point.

We passed through many different towns, some which I was able to identify. We crossed the Scove River over a long bridge, we went through Gina Town where we bought some supplies - me and the girl, Tamara, stayed in the carriage, but the boy was allowed out. "I think he's the son of one of these people," Tamara confided to me.

I fell into a restless sleep, jolted into a half-awake state now and then by the carriage. I lost track of time, but it was evening when Tamara shook me a awake. "We're boarding a ship now," she whispered. "We've gotta get into trunks - with air holes in them, 'course. C'mon!"

"What if we don't?"

"We die."

"How, exactly, do you know that?" I asked, confused. She seemed scared, and a girl like Tamara, in my experience, doesn't get scared easily.


As it seemed I wasn't getting an answer soon, I had no choice but to crawl into the trunk. I felt like I was climbing into my coffin, gloomy and dark. The atmosphere was that of a place where someone had died. I was almost surprised when I didn't here the clunk of dirt bouncing off of my trunk. Enough of your imagination! I scolded myself.

"Don't make a peep!" someone whispered at me before locking my trunk. I was stuck.

I wanted so bad to yell 'help!', but I had a feeling the ... slave traders? ... wouldn't hesitate to slit the throat of whoever heard and then proceed to slit my own throat.

Someone asked what was in the trunk.

"We're using it for our dog - it's got air holes, see? Don't jolt it too much!" came the clever reply from the young lady whom earlier I had presumed the leader of the group of slave traders.

It soon got stuffy and cramped in the coffin-like trunk. I rolled about, trying to get comfortable and miserably failing.

As the steamer got closer and closer to it's destination, wherever that might have been, I wondered to myself, what would mother and father think?

Is this a review?



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104 Reviews

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Reviews: 104

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:12 am
Danni88 wrote a review...

Hi, I'm back!

So, I'll start with the nitpicks, of which there is only one:

"No! StopI" I screamed, struggling to no avail.

The I should be an exclamation mark.

That's it for the nitpicks, really!

"Are you Yasmine Tersdotter? Daughter of Amelia Tersdotter and Charles Wannick?"

This bit interests me. It means that the kidnappers know who she is, and they know who her parents are too.

Tamara is also mysterious. I'd like to know more about her, as she clearly has a part to play.

I also want to compliment you on your endings. You write really gripping, suspense-filled endings that leave the reader wanting for more.

Finally, I love your names of places! N'ohia, Sooton Point, Binster, Wellmeve - these are all brilliant names!

I can't wait for the next!

Danni x

Hijinks says...

Thank you again! I can't believe you wrote a review for each of my chapters ... perhaps I will return the favour!
I'll edit the typo :)
Haha a mix of imagination and google translate come in handy for names. When I was younger every single name was from my imagination ... *stares embarrassed at shoes* ... but now a fair share come from mangled google translate. I suppose I should revert back to my old ways :D

Danni88 says...

Don't be embarrassed, one of my first story characters was called Mary Oinegh. I have no idea where I got that from!

Hijinks says...


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Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:41 am
Mea wrote a review...

Hey there! Thought I'd drop by for what will unfortunately be a quick review since I'm short on time.

I like Tamara - she was my favorite part about this chapter, because it was interesting to have Yasmine have a fellow prisoner to talk to. I also thought her accent was interesting (though I wouldn't write it out phonetically as that would be confusing), and I'm interested to know why they kidnapped a Mambrian, and how far away Mambria is, and if Tamara lives there or just has the accent.

The main criticism I have is that at times this feels rather sudden or disjointed. The biggest time I noticed it was at the beginning when Yasmine was happily skipping along, then all of a sudden she was surrounded and taken in just a paragraph or so. I feel like it would feel less abrupt if you built up the tension more slowly, maybe having her at first notice just one or two people closing in, or feel like something's not quite right as she walks through the forest. I also thought that you could extend the part where she's tied up and led to the carriage - I'll explain why in the next paragraph.

The reason why I say to extend it is because of the other major problem: Yasmine does not feel nearly as scared as she should be, considering she's been kidnapped and is going to be sold to these Scareymonish. You mention a couple of times the "state that she's in," implying that she's frightened, but this should really be shown, not just told, and one of the major ways people react to fear is that time seems to slow down. So at the moment of her greatest fear - when she's initially being tied and led away - her time perception should be the slowest, and so you should spend more time on that scene.

I hope this helped a bit! This is a really interesting idea, and I hope you continue it! Good luck, and keep writing!

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Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:34 am
Evander wrote a review...

Hey! I'm back for a quick review. I'll be adding in the little nitpicks that I see along the way. Let's get started.

I ambled carelessly down the dirt path that lead to N'ohia,

Wrong tense! Instead of "lead", it should be "led". (Although, confusingly enough, "lead" -- as referring to the metal -- is pronounced as "led". "Lead" -- as in the verb -- is pronounced as "leed". English is terribly confusing.)

and the sun streamed down in a dream like haze.

This would be "dreamlike".

What a cutie! I thought.

Having the thoughts in italics is a great stylistic choice, however it seems a bit redundant to say "I thought" afterwards. The italics already make that clear.

Of course it scampered away, to the safety of the grassy meadows, and I was alone again.

Feel free to stick with what you have, but I will propose a rearranging of commas.
"Of course, it scampered away to the safety of the grassy meadows, and I was alone again."

A few minutes later N'ohia came into view.

Typically, after an adverbial phrase, there is a comma. So I would place a comma after the word "later".

people clothed in one-piece camouflage suit surrounded me.

Are they all wearing the same suit? Haha, put an "s" on the end of the word "suit" to pluralize it.

"Why?" I repeated dumbly to myself [...] "Mind yer manners, missy, or ye'll be much worse then ye're," the man carrying me said.

If a different person starts speaking, then start a new paragraph. It clears up confusing as to who is talking, even with dialogue tags.

They turned off the path and, hidden cleverly a few feet away, was a small carriage.

I'd love to have a little more description in this sentences, perhaps going into how exactly they had cleverly hidden the small carriage and what the carriage looked like in its camouflage. Knowing this allows for better immersion into the story.

lots of patched fabric, replacement parts, new wood next to rotting wood, etc.

I'd remove the "etc" and just end it there; it's unnecessary and doesn't help the reader to envision more of the inside of the carriage. You could also take surroundings and weave them into one solid description, instead of just listing off what Yasmine saw.

Again, while the dialogue here gives a bunch of information, it also sounds disconnected and purely for the reader's instead of for the characters to develop. Hopefully what I said makes sense. Allow me to expand: While dialogue is important for the reader to understand what's going on, it's other purpose is to also connect the characters together and further progress the story in a natural method.

These two girls have been kidnapped and are about to be sold. Would their dialogue really sound as coherent as it is now? If anything, I'd add in more descriptions of how they acted as they spoke.

"Shush!" Tamara said. "They can hear you if you talk that loud!"

Was Tamara fearful when she said this? Was she angry? Did she hiss or whimper? These little tidbits of info are important, especially when figuring out who a new character is and what your perception of them should be.

"What if we don't?"

"We die."

How does Tamara know this info? Has she seen other children killed for refusing to obey orders? Man, I really hope she sticks around as a character so that I can know more about her, haha.

As it seemed I had no choice, I crawled into a trunk. I felt like I was climbing into my coffin.

Ohhh, this is a great section to branch off into more description! Drawing some comparisons from the inside of a trunk to the inside of a coffin would work well here.

The story is really advancing now and I'm excited to see where it goes. Given the fact that Yasmine is in a trunk, it doesn't seem likely that she'll be attending the school that was presented in the first chapter. So this leads me to ponder, who are the Scareymonish and what would they want with Yasmine? From what I gathered earlier (and please correct me if I'm wrong), she's a poor girl from a poor family. Do they want her for being a Jade?

I'm looking forward to reading future chapters. Let me know if there are any aspects of this story that you would like me to focus on in terms of criticism or if there are any areas that you are specifically looking to improve on.

Keep on writing!

Hijinks says...

I changed it a bit - did it help?

Evander says...


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Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:35 pm
midnightdreary wrote a review...

Hi! From even just these first two chapters, I've found your story exciting and your setting creative. Overall, this chapter is strong, there are just some small things I want to point out.

First is that you sometimes unnecessarily repeat things to clarify them. Like with the accent, it might just be better to write how Tamara pronounces things in all her dialogue. When you described her accent the first time, it was a little strange and repetitive. Then another time is when you said "I felt like I was being put into a coffin while I was still alive". You don't need "while I was still alive", as the reader knows that Yasmine is alive.

The second thing is that the way you introduced Yasmine's character was a little awkward. I feel as though the people asking her name would be fine, but her age was a bit strange. You could always have the age introduced when Yasmine is talking to Tamara.

So that's it. I hope this was helpful!

Hijinks says...

I tried changing the things you suggested, so tell me if it helped! Thanks for the advice - I did find it helpful. I'm glad you're enjoying 'Jadeland' :)

midnightdreary says...

Yeah, in my opinion the changes you made totally helped. I can't wait for the next chapter.

Hijinks says...

It's halfway done ;)

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
— Abraham Lincoln