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LoaMR: Ch. II: The Intruder 3 (Reworked)

by MailicedeNamedy


Hidden behind the hills and forests south of Sehlingen, the landscape had changed. Once fields and streams stretching to the horizon, cows and horses that had followed them and wheat, had disappeared. Fields became meadows of tulips, shining in all colours, forming a rainbow that accompanied them to the first farms and houses. Even in Lödingen, tulips could be seen on every street corner, most of the residents lived from selling and exporting them.

Lödingen didn't care about the three of them. Léonard could be free without being stared at by any Sehlingers. They visited Kerner department store and looked uncharitably at the sale. Shop windows dutifully presented their new fashion collection, perfect for the woman from the province. New dresses and hats were appraised by Emma and Martha, while Léonard was more interested in the mannequins. Martha found a muff she would like to have for the coming autumn, but she had no money.

They dined in an inn next to a pharmacy. Léonard had invited them and even bought them a fruit cup with bananas for dessert.

Emma, Martha and Léonard visited the narrow promenade overflowing with tulips. They strolled past more shop windows, a dance hall where Waltz was being played, and a pastry shop that had a gigantic cake on display that must have been for someone important. Since no one had picked it up, the baker was now selling it by the slice to the passers-by, whereupon Léonard also gave them each a piece covered in marzipan.

Not wanting one, he joined them on a bench with a cigarette. But before he let them finish their meal, he parted from them for a moment. His destination was the HePo station. He did not tell Emma and Martha what he was doing there. They realised it must have something to do with the murder because he returned with a grin. He did not let a brief detour to a tobacco shop go unnoticed. It had delighted him as he was visibly more talkative on the subsequent return trip. His interest now turned to Martha and Emma. At some point, they spoke about Regenschloss. When asked if he had ever been there, he replied in the negative.

Around 7 P.M. they returned to Sehlingen.

Martha was pleasantly surprised.

She had imagined him quite differently. He was much more well-groomed and friendly than in her head. He was a nice person and said that the villagers' worries were unfounded. Emma was also relieved that Martha found nothing negative about him. They both felt extremely comfortable in his presence. Despite the seven-year difference, he seemed to understand what Emma and Martha were thinking. Even though he sometimes threw around words neither of them knew. He was an educated, perhaps a little self-involved man.

They both raved about him and Martha couldn't resist pulling out her diary right at home and writing down everything she had experienced. While Emma played a board game with her grandfather in the evening, she almost didn't think about the fact that her departure was in five days.

***

The night was Léonard's favourite element.

It was the time when nothing seemed to change. Sleeping trains, silent animals, and a dark world. It seemed the world shrink during the hours. Everything was possible in this darkness. Reading, or wandering around were his most used activities. Boundless freedom only exists in the darkness, he once said to his best friend.

He had made an extensive excursion along the 100-Mile river, paid a brief visit to the gravedigger who was dozing in front of his cabin, and before returning through the park to the villa shortly after midnight, he was clear that consequences would soon follow. He collected himself for what was to come. He knew that his impatience was paying off. Because it was she who had lured him here.

***

When he thought he had slept for a few hours, he was awakened at dawn by a telegram messenger who almost brought down the front door with his knocking. Léonard was reassured by the news.

Since he was already awake, he washed himself extensively and wanted to see if he could reap the fruits of his labour from yesterday. Georg Brack's grocery shop was visited by only a few as he took the stairs up. Léonard had never been inside; he had only seen the narrow corridors between the overcrowded shelves from the outside. He immediately grabbed a newspaper that Brack had brought in not long ago. He gaped at Léonard as he tried to pay.

"Why do you need a newspaper?" he murmured.

"After all, there's new news every day," he returned tersely.

"Very funny."

Léonard noticed his bald head and wondered if it could be used as a mirror. It shone in this dark shop all the way to the farthest corner. He handed him a crumpled, poison-green note.

"I won't stay much longer," Léonard replied calmly.

“That means you have already finished your crime?”

Léonard wanted to laugh but pulled himself together to fight this ridiculous accusation with humour.

"I didn't kill anyone," he hissed.

Léonard stood motionless in front of the counter. He seemed to smile as in his head his plan began to bear fruit. Brack brought him back to his senses when he pushed him out of the shop. The Lödinger Times flew after him.

He staggered straight into the mansion. Sitting in the broken wing chair, he realised that he had just paid twenty Kronen for the newspaper. As he was about to start reading the paper, even more violent blows than in the morning shook the mansion.

"Who's hammering again now?" he shouted downstairs. "No one home!"

The knocking did not end. Gritting his teeth, he went downstairs as Emma came leaping towards him. She gave him a sibling hug. He could hear the worry in her voice. Tears rolled down.

"Léonard, please! Léonard please, you have to leave! The village knows about us. I don't know how or why, but they keep talking about a murder and that you want to kill me. “

"Calm down, Emma. I'm not planning to kill anyone," he spoke calmly, "Do you want something to drink?"

He brought her into the living room. Again, she burst into tears.

"They can come at any moment! I think Mrs Winter has already notified the police and is demanding a house search!"

"The HePo has no evidence of anything."

Almost smiling, he went into the kitchen and told himself that he had done it. Whatever had happened, now he could prepare for it.

"Please! Hide! You have to protect yourself!"

"And what about you? And Martha?" he wanted to know. He handed her a glass of water. "Have a sip. It'll calm you down a bit."

Outside, you could hear the Sehlingers on the market. It seemed the word had already spread like wildfire.

"How did they come upon us in the first place? Did they see us?" he asked.

"I don't know," she said.

She wiped the tears from her cheeks.

"This morning Mr Schäfer and Mrs Krantz were at the door and said they knew something about you."

"Whatever they know, how do they have found out anything? They've built it up into a lie," Léonard concluded, "A rumour in a village means the birth of new falsehoods. Whoever saw, heard or even invented something is trying to stop me from doing something."

"Why you of all people? Is it all to do with my great-grandfather's murder?" she howled, "It can't be that they're upset about it! It's not doing anyone any good!"

"Emma, please calm down," he asked gently, taking the glass from her.

Just at that moment, Martha came sprinting upstairs. One could have assumed that she regularly stormed into other people's houses.

"I knew you were here! I heard it. From your grandfather - and dozens of people on the streets," she gasped, "I can't believe how they found out! Who saw us? “

"Good morning," Léonard spoke with amusement, "A glass of water?"

"Yes, please."

"Do you know who it was?" Léonard asked.

"No, " Martha returned, "and then there's also the story in the paper."

"Are my murder plans available to read yet? " he joked.

Emma's expression resembled a horrified statue.

"It's not funny!" she said aloud.

"It is a double murder. That's all I know," Martha said.

Léonard took his journal and now saw the headline.

"Double murder of Heimliche Polizei officers. WA investigation ongoing.

He hurriedly skimmed the lines.Léonard crumpled up the newspaper.

"Klein and Dreidorf. They both served me yesterday."

"You have something to do with it?" cried Emma, " You were there at the station..."

"I haven´t done anything to them," he replied aloud, "but it's interesting that the news made it straight into the next morning's edition of the paper. “

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing."

"You went to Lödingen to find out about the murder," Martha concluded.

"I don't kill anyone just because they don't give me an answer," he spoke stoically, "Otherwise I'd probably have killed half the village," he added quietly.

"You insulted the HePo? That's treason!" said Emma in a panic.

"You must flee at once! Right now! Who knows how long it will take for the HePo to get here! When even the residents are already talking about it! Or worse, the WA! They are even more brutal. With them you don't even have a chance for a fair sentence! You'll be executed immediately!" Martha sputtered in wild hysteria.

"I can't go yet."

"Don't you care about your life?"

He remained silent to Martha. Emma sank to the floor. She had the greatest worries of all. She whimpered to herself. She constantly had to tell herself that Léonard was not a murderer.

"Take your car and hide for the next few days."

"You'd better go now. It is not good if we underline rumours more and make bitter truths out of them."

"We have nothing to do with it, just like you!"

"Go! The WA don't care how old you are, murdering members of the Sagauvelian race is treason against the empire. That's what this whole story boils down to, isn't it? They want to make an example of me and scare the enemies. If there weren't enough enemies of the empire already, we'd be on the wanted list long ago."

Giving them no more opportunity to reply, Léonard took them outside, out of sight of the villagers. He did not say goodbye to them, instead, he hurriedly holed up in the mansion.

He read the article a second time. The corners of his mouth formed into a smile. He had done his part, his counterpart the other. If he hadn't bragged to the gravedigger yesterday, what he had done, the Sehlingers probably wouldn't have found a connection between him, Emma, and the murder so quickly.

"That gets the ball rolling. So, she found me," he laughed to himself.

The HePo could not harm him, he knew that. Now he had to keep Emma and Martha safe. They couldn't get too involved in this. The coming hours at the mansion did not make him nervous, not at all, they made him even more euphoric when he imagined how the WA would surround the mansion.

***

After an excursion at the shore, he went back to the mansion. At the market square in the glow of the lantern, he was stopped by a hooded figure. The streetlight seemed surreal. He knew for sure that the figure was grinning. It was an eerie image like in a nightmare. He was almost about to say a word when it threw something. Léonard did not avert his eyes, he picked it up and freed the stone from the newsprint.

“I was waiting for you here,” he said cheerfully, “How are you?”

“I´ve been here for a while,” the figure replied, “I had to prepare our game. There have been complications.”

Léonard only now looked at the sheet. In large letters it said:

Tomorrow at noon in the Boulder Mill on the Rys

Léonard's heart leapt for joy.

"The ball is rolling again," he murmured, watching the figure retreat, “It´s nice you´re back after all this time. We have a contract after all, don´t we?”

To the next part: Chapter II.4.


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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: OKayy....this is starting to get a little choppy. The whole first couple of parts felt almost you really wanted to get this story to a certain point by the end of this part, and just breezed past a couple of what I personally think are important segments that need a bit more fleshing. We had come very conversations towards the end, but that pacing feels like it just whooshed past this one part and leapt over a few important bits by accident.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Hidden behind the hills and forests south of Sehlingen, the landscape had changed. Once fields and streams stretching to the horizon, cows and horses that had followed them and wheat, had disappeared. Fields became meadows of tulips, shining in all colours, forming a rainbow that accompanied them to the first farms and houses. Even in Lödingen, tulips could be seen on every street corner, most of the residents lived from selling and exporting them.

Lödingen didn't care about the three of them. Léonard could be free without being stared at by any Sehlingers. They visited Kerner department store and looked uncharitably at the sale. Shop windows dutifully presented their new fashion collection, perfect for the woman from the province. New dresses and hats were appraised by Emma and Martha, while Léonard was more interested in the mannequins. Martha found a muff she would like to have for the coming autumn, but she had no money.

They dined in an inn next to a pharmacy. Léonard had invited them and even bought them a fruit cup with bananas for dessert.


Well...this makes for a surprising start. First of all we've got a timeskip happening right into what appears to be this trio already having arrived in this town...but now we've got them just sort of wandering around like old friends in shops and having what I assume is breakfast together. Considering Martha's earlier attitude, I was expecting some kind of immediate interrogation or something...this just feels like its already moved on from that bit of conflict and just instantly all become fat friends here.

Emma, Martha and Léonard visited the narrow promenade overflowing with tulips. They strolled past more shop windows, a dance hall where Waltz was being played, and a pastry shop that had a gigantic cake on display that must have been for someone important. Since no one had picked it up, the baker was now selling it by the slice to the passers-by, whereupon Léonard also gave them each a piece covered in marzipan.

Not wanting one, he joined them on a bench with a cigarette. But before he let them finish their meal, he parted from them for a moment. His destination was the HePo station. He did not tell Emma and Martha what he was doing there. They realised it must have something to do with the murder because he returned with a grin. He did not let a brief detour to a tobacco shop go unnoticed. It had delighted him as he was visibly more talkative on the subsequent return trip. His interest now turned to Martha and Emma. At some point, they spoke about Regenschloss. When asked if he had ever been there, he replied in the negative.


Uhh...I feel like in the last paragraph the POV shifts happened so often that you can't even tell whose POV is going what there...and there seems to be a few sentences that got jumbled up there. This very highlight reel description also seems a little disappointing, cause this seemed like it was meant to be an important meeting her of these three here and we see essentially nothing of the trip rather than a few very random highlights of cake and shopping. Bit of a disappointing turn for the plot there.

She had imagined him quite differently. He was much more well-groomed and friendly than in her head. He was a nice person and said that the villagers' worries were unfounded. Emma was also relieved that Martha found nothing negative about him. They both felt extremely comfortable in his presence. Despite the seven-year difference, he seemed to understand what Emma and Martha were thinking. Even though he sometimes threw around words neither of them knew. He was an educated, perhaps a little self-involved man.

They both raved about him and Martha couldn't resist pulling out her diary right at home and writing down everything she had experienced. While Emma played a board game with her grandfather in the evening, she almost didn't think about the fact that her departure was in five days.


Okay...well those two seem to have settled their differences somewhat about him...but this just feels rushed...and kind of doesn't let the plot progress here. This relationship seems like an important one to the story and to have all of this happen essentially "off camera" as they say in what is essentially a montage of sorts leaves this feeling a bit hollow, cause something this important really needs to be shown in more detail, especially considering how some of the more mundane interactions at the start were shown in so much detail.

The night was Léonard's favourite element.

It was the time when nothing seemed to change. Sleeping trains, silent animals, and a dark world. It seemed the world shrink during the hours. Everything was possible in this darkness. Reading, or wandering around were his most used activities. Boundless freedom only exists in the darkness, he once said to his best friend.

He had made an extensive excursion along the 100-Mile river, paid a brief visit to the gravedigger who was dozing in front of his cabin, and before returning through the park to the villa shortly after midnight, he was clear that consequences would soon follow. He collected himself for what was to come. He knew that his impatience was paying off. Because it was she who had lured him here.


Well, that's a very mysterious little scene with Léonard there. The plot is really starting to move fast and I'm a bit worried that this is going too fast...and we're going to miss come important character development in this sense. It feels like you've sort of lapsed into combining these entire days into smaller compressed pieces that kinda make this leap forward in some spots.

When he thought he had slept for a few hours, he was awakened at dawn by a telegram messenger who almost brought down the front door with his knocking. Léonard was reassured by the news.

Since he was already awake, he washed himself extensively and wanted to see if he could reap the fruits of his labour from yesterday. Georg Brack's grocery shop was visited by only a few as he took the stairs up. Léonard had never been inside; he had only seen the narrow corridors between the overcrowded shelves from the outside. He immediately grabbed a newspaper that Brack had brought in not long ago. He gaped at Léonard as he tried to pay.

"Why do you need a newspaper?" he murmured.

"After all, there's new news every day," he returned tersely.

"Very funny."

Léonard noticed his bald head and wondered if it could be used as a mirror. It shone in this dark shop all the way to the farthest corner. He handed him a crumpled, poison-green note.


Okay...now we meet someone that we've never seen before which is...uhh a bit suspect, cause this is pretty far into the story now, we can't have new names popping up out of nowhere and once again, this seems to have jumped to yet another spot in the story without really showing much of how it got there...this is all starting to get a little choppy now in terms of the pacing.

"I won't stay much longer," Léonard replied calmly.

“That means you have already finished your crime?”

Léonard wanted to laugh but pulled himself together to fight this ridiculous accusation with humour.

"I didn't kill anyone," he hissed.


Well...as interesting as that interaction is, I don't see how hissing at someone counts as humor when going against that accusation. That sounds more like intimidation to me...not to mention the actions of someone that potentially actually did kill someone, or at least ordered someone else to kill someone.

Léonard stood motionless in front of the counter. He seemed to smile as in his head his plan began to bear fruit. Brack brought him back to his senses when he pushed him out of the shop. The Lödinger Times flew after him.

He staggered straight into the mansion. Sitting in the broken wing chair, he realised that he had just paid twenty Kronen for the newspaper. As he was about to start reading the paper, even more violent blows than in the morning shook the mansion.

"Who's hammering again now?" he shouted downstairs. "No one home!"


Well...okay...not sure where this is going..but let's see what's about to jump at us next here.

The knocking did not end. Gritting his teeth, he went downstairs as Emma came leaping towards him. She gave him a sibling hug. He could hear the worry in her voice. Tears rolled down.

"Léonard, please! Léonard please, you have to leave! The village knows about us. I don't know how or why, but they keep talking about a murder and that you want to kill me. “

"Calm down, Emma. I'm not planning to kill anyone," he spoke calmly, "Do you want something to drink?"

He brought her into the living room. Again, she burst into tears.


Okay...so now we have a murder...and Emma's freaking out somehow..and well, this is all escalating very quickly with barely any context here. Also Léonard's repeated "I did not kill anyone" is basically a catchphrase at this point. I'm almost certain now that he did kill someone. No one ever sees that line so many times without having killed a person. Also calling that a "sibling hug" is bit of a weird way to put it.

"They can come at any moment! I think Mrs Winter has already notified the police and is demanding a house search!"

"The HePo has no evidence of anything."

Almost smiling, he went into the kitchen and told himself that he had done it. Whatever had happened, now he could prepare for it.

"Please! Hide! You have to protect yourself!"


Soo...the villagers think that he is trying to kill Emma....and now Emma literally runs to him...to warn him of it...and the police are going to investigate based on what exactly is...concerning...this is unfolding very rapidly in some confusing directions here.

"And what about you? And Martha?" he wanted to know. He handed her a glass of water. "Have a sip. It'll calm you down a bit."

Outside, you could hear the Sehlingers on the market. It seemed the word had already spread like wildfire.

"How did they come upon us in the first place? Did they see us?" he asked.

"I don't know," she said.

She wiped the tears from her cheeks.


I mean I guess we could say that during that very ill advised trip they took, someone spotted them, but for that to incite this level of nonsense if very hard to believe, at most you'd expect and uncle or two to break down the door and demand to know his intentions with the girls, but a full on police team is just a bit of a leap there.

"This morning Mr Schäfer and Mrs Krantz were at the door and said they knew something about you."

"Whatever they know, how do they have found out anything? They've built it up into a lie," Léonard concluded, "A rumour in a village means the birth of new falsehoods. Whoever saw, heard or even invented something is trying to stop me from doing something."

"Why you of all people? Is it all to do with my great-grandfather's murder?" she howled, "It can't be that they're upset about it! It's not doing anyone any good!"

"Emma, please calm down," he asked gently, taking the glass from her.


Emma's reactions are definitely a bit over the top there...on one hand, its fair for her to react to someone whose a friend being accused like that, but again I'm really not understanding what the bond between them is after spending so little time together...we didn't even get to see their conversation during that last meeting, so this all feels unnatural...and the characters have reached this point via teleportation or something....the development is a bit lacking as far as this relationship is concerned.

Just at that moment, Martha came sprinting upstairs. One could have assumed that she regularly stormed into other people's houses.

"I knew you were here! I heard it. From your grandfather - and dozens of people on the streets," she gasped, "I can't believe how they found out! Who saw us? “

"Good morning," Léonard spoke with amusement, "A glass of water?"

"Yes, please."

"Do you know who it was?" Léonard asked.

"No, " Martha returned, "and then there's also the story in the paper."


So there's gotta be some kind of murder I suppose...and it has to have been at least the previous afternoon or I don't see how it gets in the newspaper that fast. Also Martha running in like that after literally changing her mind the day before is again a bit off. How naive does she have to be to support him this fast...this is especially because we see essentially none of the interactions that convinces Martha that he's a good person.

"Are my murder plans available to read yet? " he joked.

Emma's expression resembled a horrified statue.

"It's not funny!" she said aloud.

"It is a double murder. That's all I know," Martha said.

Léonard took his journal and now saw the headline.

"Double murder of Heimliche Polizei officers. WA investigation ongoing.”


Hmm, doesn't seem like a good moment to randomly joke about that Léonard...this is definitely not the time nor the place to be making jokes like that one...especially in front of two people who are very clearly in distress about the whole situation.

He hurriedly skimmed the lines.Léonard crumpled up the newspaper.

"Klein and Dreidorf. They both served me yesterday."

"You have something to do with it?" cried Emma, " You were there at the station..."

"I haven´t done anything to them," he replied aloud, "but it's interesting that the news made it straight into the next morning's edition of the paper. “


Well a double murder of two police not making it to the edition of the next newspaper would be the startling news, this seems like it should be pretty standard procedure...and its very interesting that he would own up to talking to them...cause it doesn't seem to do anything to reassure the people here. In the grand scheme of the plot, you can imagine maybe these two told him something they shouldn't have and paid the price...but weird thing for him to bring up there.

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing."

"You went to Lödingen to find out about the murder," Martha concluded.

"I don't kill anyone just because they don't give me an answer," he spoke stoically, "Otherwise I'd probably have killed half the village," he added quietly.

"You insulted the HePo? That's treason!" said Emma in a panic.


How on Earth did Emma infer that he'd insulted anyone from that sentence? He literally said they gave him no answers. Also...so you don't kill people "just because they don't answer" you, but you do kill them for other reasons perhaps? I don't know if you want us to suspect Léonard of murder...but it absolutely comes across that way...so if you want his character to not come across that way, you may want to rethink some of this dialogue a bit.

"You must flee at once! Right now! Who knows how long it will take for the HePo to get here! When even the residents are already talking about it! Or worse, the WA! They are even more brutal. With them you don't even have a chance for a fair sentence! You'll be executed immediately!" Martha sputtered in wild hysteria.

"I can't go yet."

"Don't you care about your life?"


Not that I don't believe they can execute someone without evidence...but running away is literally the worst idea that you can possibly have, if anything it just makes it almost confirm that Léonard was responsible in some way or the other.

He remained silent to Martha. Emma sank to the floor. She had the greatest worries of all. She whimpered to herself. She constantly had to tell herself that Léonard was not a murderer.

"Take your car and hide for the next few days."

"You'd better go now. It is not good if we underline rumours more and make bitter truths out of them."

"We have nothing to do with it, just like you!"


Emma's thoughts there are very odd about the whole murder thing...not to mention the whole...dialogue there gets a bit confusing without any tags whatsoever.

"Go! The WA don't care how old you are, murdering members of the Sagauvelian race is treason against the empire. That's what this whole story boils down to, isn't it? They want to make an example of me and scare the enemies. If there weren't enough enemies of the empire already, we'd be on the wanted list long ago."

Giving them no more opportunity to reply, Léonard took them outside, out of sight of the villagers. He did not say goodbye to them, instead, he hurriedly holed up in the mansion.


I feel like that's trying to hint at something potentially deeper there with why so many of them tend to hate Léonard but once again it comes out of the blue and doesn't quite feel all that reasonable here.

He read the article a second time. The corners of his mouth formed into a smile. He had done his part, his counterpart the other. If he hadn't bragged to the gravedigger yesterday, what he had done, the Sehlingers probably wouldn't have found a connection between him, Emma, and the murder so quickly.

"That gets the ball rolling. So, she found me," he laughed to himself.

The HePo could not harm him, he knew that. Now he had to keep Emma and Martha safe. They couldn't get too involved in this. The coming hours at the mansion did not make him nervous, not at all, they made him even more euphoric when he imagined how the WA would surround the mansion.


So piano lady has something to do with this...clearly. That aside, he's being a touch overconfident here...and you can see he even admits that if the whole bragging to the gravedigger part was meant to mean anything. And he's certainly something..and I don't think whatever he did was necessary legal or good...although his intentions may have been good.

After an excursion at the shore, he went back to the mansion. At the market square in the glow of the lantern, he was stopped by a hooded figure. The streetlight seemed surreal. He knew for sure that the figure was grinning. It was an eerie image like in a nightmare. He was almost about to say a word when it threw something. Léonard did not avert his eyes, he picked it up and freed the stone from the newsprint.

“I was waiting for you here,” he said cheerfully, “How are you?”

“I´ve been here for a while,” the figure replied, “I had to prepare our game. There have been complications.”

Léonard only now looked at the sheet. In large letters it said:


Hmm...well this is something to think about....we don't get many clues about who this might be..but I have my suspicions somewhat...let's see where this takes us. At the moment, Léonard is the shadiest person among everyone in the village here.

Tomorrow at noon in the Boulder Mill on the Rys

Léonard's heart leapt for joy.

"The ball is rolling again," he murmured, watching the figure retreat, “It´s nice you´re back after all this time. We have a contract after all, don´t we?”


Soo...who did he say that to if said figure was retreating...Léonard I appreciate you trying to give us some mysterious hints, but maybe say that before the person leaves so that you're not accidently breaking the fourth wall.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think I'm starting to learn enough about this to give a sort of overall view of things perhaps when I get to the end of this second chapter...but until then, I think I've said just about everything I need to here. We've got nice bits of mystery, but the characters a bit all over the place sometimes and pacing is getting dangerously choppy in places.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you for your feedback! :D I cut a lot out here, so maybe I add it back.



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! Hmm...yeah some parts feel a bit too thin here :D



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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!

While Emma played a board game with her grandfather in the evening, she almost didn't think about the fact that her departure was in five days.

I didn't really get the meaning of this line.

"Who's hammering again now?" he shouted downstairs. "No one home!"

Well, I know this statement is not very uncommon but I find it very funny and ironical at the same time. It's evident that the voice is coming from inside but still no one home. Seems like he has turned into hm.. Ghost! :D

So, we are back to humour once again. This chapter had a lot of humour and Leonard's personality is becoming complex day by day and he is being more fleshed out. Something which I ardently hope is the setting. I just hope that all the places they are visiting don't have to do with the main plot. I am already forgetting the names to be honest.

So, Leonardo has insulted the HePo as it seems from the story and he has done it intentionally. If I am not wrong, his main goal was to inform the actual murderer that he has returned and has also met Emma and Martha. It's quite interesting why he has done it. I liked how you created suspense in the first part of this part and consequently provided us with the answer in the last part of the story.

I am quite intrigued by the fact that Leonard loves darkness, that is, night. Now, as long as I am concerned, people who love darkness have a reason behind it. I know it cuz I love darkness and I have many friends too who does the same. In Leonard's case, it seems to be his self-centered nature and his peace-finding. He was after all not very happy with the fact that people were giving him so much attention.

Besides, answering some questions, this chapter actually raised many more questions such as what the news brought by the telegram messenger actually was. I am curious about this "she". Mrs. Winter? Chances are less but it can be. However, this Mrs. Winter actually seems to be Mrs. Summer and now I am laughing :D

"This morning Mr Schäfer and Mrs Krantz were at the door and said they knew something about you."

These p[people. I assume they are normal villagers and have nothing to do with the main plot.

“I was waiting for you here,” he said cheerfully, “How are you?”

“I´ve been here for a while,” the figure replied, “I had to prepare our game. There have been complications.”

Léonard only now looked at the sheet. In large letters it said:

Tomorrow at noon in the Boulder Mill on the Rys

Léonard's heart leapt for joy.

"The ball is rolling again," he murmured, watching the figure retreat, “It´s nice you´re back after all this time. We have a contract after all, don´t we?”

This was awesome and it leaves me wondering who this hooded person is. Enemy, friend? None of the specified? Leonard is extraordinarily humorous. You know enough humorous to throw humour at the enemy. So, nothing can be confirmed at this point. I will soon read the next chapter to find it out.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever




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Fri Sep 03, 2021 12:54 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

I know I said that I will review the end of every chapter until chapter 4, but what can I say, I change my mind a lot. But this was the kind of chapter that just makes you want to share your thoughts.

I thought this one was a lot more fast paced and happening than parts 1 and 2. Of course, that also has something to do with the fact that those were narrated mostly by Martha and Emma and this one was narrated by Leonard. I find Leonard's voice of narration a little more appealing and interesting than the other's. His mind is always spinning some plan or the other and it is an entertaining journey of trying to catch up with him. Besides his observations are often very drastic, and they never bore you.

Léonard noticed his bald head and wondered if it could be used as a mirror. It shone in this dark shop all the way to the farthest corner.

Only Leonard could think a thought like that with such nonchalance. It came out of nowhere and it made me laugh out loud.
I think what really makes him different is his charismatic nature that pulls you in despite knowing that something is just very off about him. Maybe that is why this chapter came as such a shock to me. It didn't really surprise me, as I can totally see Leonard taking on the role of the hero or the villain, as he sees it fit; but what really interested me how even Martha, who had initially been wary of him, had also come around and was concerned about his well being.

Emma is more childish than I had thought in Chapter 1. She makes decisions on a whim, gets overwhelmed easily, and she is comparatively a little less mature than the other girls we have come across in your story. Martha on the other hand, has this quiet kind of intelligence about her. She has a clear and concise mind, and I feel sometimes that she sees a lot more than she lets on.

I was a little confused by your decision to introduce Claire in part 1, as it feels like she comes out of nowhere and then suddenly disappears into thin air in the next chapter. We don't know much about her yet, but I feel like the transition between those chapters could have been clearer.

Now, this part in itself, was really wonderful. I am in love with the way you open all your parts, with such vivid descriptions that eventually lead you to the main plot with beautiful imageries that make you smile. I usually do not like when all the descriptions are focused in the beginning of the story, but there is just something about the way you to do it, that just pulls you into the scene and takes you along for a beautiful and expressive journey.

The plot itself seems to have taken on a different turn with the murders. Right now I really have no clue what is going on. And it is a testament to my much improved patience that I am sitting now and writing this review instead of leaping into the next part and figuring out who 'she' is.

Some details I noticed:
It seemed the world shrink during the hours.

I think 'shrink' will be better as 'shrunk' in this sentence.

Reading, or wandering around were his most used activities.

The phrase 'most used' feels a little strange. Maybe they were his most favorite activities? Or simply his usual activities?

That's all!

Now I must start the next part or I will die out of curiosity. You will hear from me soon!

Have a great day!






Thank you for your review! Your character descriptions for the characters are really great and I'm happy to read your conclusions. Thanks again! :D



RandomTalks says...


You're welcome!



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Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:01 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there Mailice! Lim here with a short review, having read through the chapters before this one. This chapter captured my attention, and I found that I had to make myself pause a few times to process and digest the events happening.

Characters

Léonard seemed to gain this very villainous edge in this chapter. I thought it was a bit strange that he had given off nothing about his intentions in front of the girls? I seem to remember him being very theatrical about his actions, though that could just be me being biased from the impact of the first few scenes.

When he says:

"Good morning," Léonard spoke with amusement, "A glass of water?"


Right after the girls are bringing news of the police and the mob gathering on the streets, his cheeriness just makes it seem like he’s – got – to have been up to something fishy, if you ask me. But maybe that’s just Emma and Martha’s youth showing.

I thought the girls’ reactions in the last bit were depicted pretty realistically. They seem very frantic, as they would be given the commotion happening outside, and yet trying to help Léonard since after all, he did end up treating them well. I liked that they were in panic mode, because that’s what I’d imagine people their age, who’ve also led a somewhat sheltered life, would do in that situation.

Additionally, I remember it being mentioned in an earlier chapter that Martha and Claire are similar. I think it’s good then, that they don’t appear at the same time in a scene, as that might make dialogue for instance a bit confusing to read (that is, if the girls really have as similar personalities as Emma thinks).

Plot

The two HePo officers being killed and the villagers finding out were both unexpected plot twists for me, and I was itching to see what would happen next.

Léonard wanted to laugh but pulled himself together to fight this ridiculous accusation with humour.
"I didn't kill anyone," he hissed.


I got the sense from here that he was trying to keep up appearances? Even though he might have wanted to gloat, maybe?

It seems that there’s more to Léonard that we don’t know yet. For instance, I was wondering who the ‘she’ he mentions is. My guess is that it could either be the sister, or someone else we haven’t met yet. For some reason, I don’t think it’s Emma or Martha, maybe because he sends them away in the car at the end.

The hooded figure at the end also intrigues me. I wonder who it is. Having the person “throw” the message also made them seem really eerie and not-entirely-human.

Setting

I really like the transition from Sehlingen to Lödingen. I thought showing how the kinds of plants change at the beginning there was really neat, and the image of the tulips still lingers in my mind.

Lödingen as well is a really pretty and scenic place. It seems a bit more in touch with the rest of the world, what with there being fashion collections and a dance hall that’s actually being used. It serves as a startling contrast to what Léonard ends up doing there and the events that transpire afterwards.

That's all

Overall, this was a really eventful chapter. I get the sense that the plot is going to start taking off at a faster pace than before.

Hopefully some of these comments are helpful to you. Keep writing! <3

Cheers,
-Lim






Thank you so much for your review, Lim! :D



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Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:25 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

Oh WOW. So many things happening! This chapter was a real trip, I can tell you that. The officers are dead, the townspeople know about how Emma and Léonard are friends, he's being accused of murder, and now there's this mysterious "she?" Wow. It's a lot to unpack. I was on the edge of my seat while reading, and now I'm in suspense. Like you said, this chapter really got the ball rolling on more developments of the story.

One thing I really enjoyed was the shift in tones from the beginning of the story to the end. I think that most people couldn't pull off such a dramatic change, but it worked perfectly to your advantage in this case. You started with a lovely day out in what sounds to be a beautiful town. I really enjoyed your descriptions. It sounded so nice and made me long for vacations (I haven't been on one in a while, but your words were more than enough to make me feel like I was there!) Then, as the chapter progressed, we're all of a sudden at this very tense moment where the townspeople are accusing Léonard of murder and he's fraternizing with mysterious figures. It's quite a dramatic change, but then again, this chapter deserved the drama! It kept me on the edge of my seat.

One thing I did think about was how much attention you allotted to certain moments. In this chapter, you focused a lot on building the relationships between Emma, Martha, and Léonard. That's not a bad thing, but I felt that it almost took some attention away from other important things. For example, in the later part of the chapter, I felt that the fact that there had been a murder of the two police officers was almost concealed in your writing. You didn't mention it until later, and while that served to sort of convey the confusion Léonard was feeling, I thought it might be beneficial to the readers to really hammer home the important plot points. There are places where you can be vaguer, but when such a key plot development happens, I think you should be as blunt as possible.

I'm also super curious about who this mysterious "she" is. I think it might be the same person as the mysterious figure Léonard meets, but I might be wrong. I think my main guess as of now is that it might be his sister...? I think you mentioned him having one of those. I could be wrong though; we did only just meet this mysterious character.

Specifics

Once fields and streams stretching to the horizon, cows and horses that had followed them and wheat, had disappeared.


I thought the flow and structure of this sentence was a little confusing. I think you meant to say that there had once been fields and streams with cows and horses and wheat but now all of that is gone because of the town? If that was what you were trying to convey, I'd recommend revising it to something like "There had once been fields of wheat and streams stretching to the horizon, with cows and horses that had followed them, but all that had disappeared."

Brack brought him back to his senses when he pushed him out of the shop. The Lödinger Times flew after him.

He staggered straight into the mansion.


I though the transition between these two was a little clunky. The way it is written now, it almost sounds like the shop is right outside the mansion. If it is, great! You can keep it as is. But if it's a couple blocks down the road, I feel like you need to say that, otherwise it's a little confusing.

Overall: really nice work! So many things happened in this chapter, and my mind is reeling, but in a good way. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this pans out! Until next time!!






Thank you so much for your review and tips, Plume! And a very interesting idea that the "she" could be his sister. I never thought about this. :D




So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookcase on the wall.
— Roald Dahl