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The Forgotten Fields - Part 1

by Messenger


Part 1

Maury crouched behind the large oak tree, peering with one eye around the left side. To her left and right rolled a smattering of trees and desert bushes over sand dunes, to her back to the Divergent Sea crashed into the rocky coastline, and straight ahead lay the Fields of Arthuroan, glowing golden in the twilight. The sun was dipping and would be gone in the hour, but for now it spread its last rays across the sky in a splash of auburn and rose-pink.

The oak marked the border of the wheatfield, and somewhere between it and that sunset was a ten-year old Mikael.

Maury pursed her lips and hopped on her toes. Usually, he was faster about finding her. She shuffled her bare feet in the sand and scanned the length of the field. Nothing. No mess of black hair, no determined ruddy face peeking through, no exclamations of “I’m gonna find you Maury! You can’t hide forever!”

Maury looked to the sky. It was already turning mauve. Mamay would be beginning to wonder why she was not home to help set the dinner table and light the evening lanterns. There could not be much more time until the horn went off and he lost. For the first time. She peeked the other side of the thick tree, kneeling on one knee.

“Maybe I tricked him.”

She wiped her brow. There was a snap and she bolted to an upright position. It had come from the left. She could feel her heart start to beat faster. She strained her eyes in the waning light to see if Mikael was hiding just inside the wheatfield, but she saw nothing. Maybe it was just an animal.

A blast from the town horn caused her to shriek and jump back. She put a hand to her chest and took several deep breaths. That was the signal for the workday to be over.

“Yes! I won!” She shook her fists and giggled. “Finally.”

Maury stepped out from the tree and re-entered the wheatfield. It was nearly dark, and inside the tall stalks of grain the light was virtually non-existent. Maury wrapped her arms around her. She had never hidden this far out from the town before. She had also never won a game of hide-and-seek. The air was quiet and humid inside the field. Bugs chirped and buzzed, but everything else was silent. Maury stuck her hands out in front of her to push her way down the rows. She had calculated that she had made a straight path from the old gnarly oak at the road to her hiding spot at the edge of the field, so all she had to do wa-

A screamed caused her to leap and screech. She tumbled to the ground as a figure leapt from her left, arms out to snatch her.

“Mamay!” she shrieked, desperately clambering backwards on the ground.

The figure stopped and laughed. Although he was silhouetted and nothing more than a short black blob in the dark, Maury knew that laugh. She choked and wiped away a tear.

“Mikael! You rat!”

Mikael grabbed her by the arm and hauled her to her feet. She punched him in the shoulder hard enough to knock him back a foot.

He grabbed his shoulder and laughed again. It was a light laugh, an annoying laugh right now.

Maury crossed her arms and marched by him. “Why did you do that?” she huffed.

Mikael jogged to catch up to her. He held his arms up. “Uh, to scare you. And to win. Again.”

Maury was shaking her head. “No. The horn went off. That means you lose.”

“Horn? What horn? I didn’t hear a horn?”

Maury sighed, pushing the pace. “Well, it went off. And you lost. And were a jerk.”

“Oh, come on, it was just a joke.”

“No, it wasn’t. Jokes are funny. That was mean.”

They broke the wheatfield and walked up a slight embankment onto a dusty road. There was the gnarly oak tree, sided by two lanterns on poles. The slight breeze made them sway, and it was a relief to blow across Maury’s face. There was more heat coming on her than from the weather.

Mikael put his hands to his side and looked down at Maury. “Fine. You win. This one time. But did you really if I knew where you were hiding?”

“You didn’t know where I was hiding.” Maury held her head high and took a right on the road.

“Yes, I did.”

“No, you didn’t, or else you would’ve tagged me.”

“Maybe I just wanted to scare you,” Mikael hollered as he turned to go left back to his home.

“Then prove it!” Maury growled. She stopped and turned. “Where was I hiding.”

Mikael chortled and shook his head. “That big oak. By the shoreline.”

Maury’s head dropped and her heart sank. Then she lifted her gaze. “You won’t find me tomorrow.”

Mikael scoffed. “Sure, I will, Maury. Even when you don’t see me, I’ll be near. Have a good night. Beat you tomor-“ He put his hand to his mouth. “I mean, see you tomorrow.”

He laughed and walked away. Maury rolled her eyes and clenched her fists. 


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Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:35 am
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Dreamy says...



Hey, Messenger. I'm here at last.

To be honest, I was bracing myself to get introduced to magic world with talking dragons and flying humans. But I was surprised, as Plume mentioned in their review, how this part was just you establishing/introducing the relationship between Mikael and Maury. I like that you didn't go into much detail about their world or their intentions or even their relationship for that matter. It was a nice introductory part. I would say it works well as chapter one, there's no need for any major changes except for the ones that the previous reviewers have mentioned.

I'm interested to see where this goes. I'm going to mark this as a comment, because, well, it is just a comment. I want this to be in the green room so you can get more reviews and different perspective could help your process. In my opinion, I like it as it is.

Cheers!
Keep writing!




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Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:09 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!!

I enjoyed this story!! Since it's a part one, I'm curious to see where you're going to take it from here. I loved the simple but super effective way you told the story; there was a complete arc just in this first part of it, and I think that bodes really well for the rest of your story!

One thing I really enjoyed was how you isolated this moment to really illustrate what the relationship between these two characters is like. At first, my interpretation of them was that they were perhaps siblings, but at the end, they're going their separate ways, so it seems more like they're friends with a bit of a rivalry. You did a great job of showing us that through their interactions. I also think your setting was really well established for such a short piece; it was amazing how you set up both of those things (setting and character) throughout. You planted them in the mind of the reader subconsciously. It was really lovely to read!

Specifics

To her left and right rolled a smattering of trees and desert bushes over sand dunes, to her back to the Divergent Sea crashed into the rocky coastline, and straight ahead lay the Fields of Arthuroan, glowing golden in the twilight.


I think there was an extra "to" in the phrase "to her back to the Divergent Sea..." I think it should just be "to her back the Divergent Sea."

A screamed caused her to leap and screech. She tumbled to the ground as a figure leapt from her left, arms out to snatch her.


I think that "screamed" should be "scream."

“Then prove it!” Maury growled. She stopped and turned. “Where was I hiding.”


Since "where was I hiding" is a question, you need a question mark rather than a period.

Overall: nice work!! I'm excited to see how you'll continue this story; it seems as though we might get a peek into Maury's home life, which should be interesting!! Until next time!!




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Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:58 am
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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: This was a fun little start here. I was expecting a bit more mysterious and supernatural elements especially with that title, but I was pleasantly surprised with a fun little scene between two characters with a couple of fake bits of tension.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Maury crouched behind the large oak tree, peering with one eye around the left side. To her left and right rolled a smattering of trees and desert bushes over sand dunes, to her back to the Divergent Sea crashed into the rocky coastline, and straight ahead lay the Fields of Arthuroan, glowing golden in the twilight. The sun was dipping and would be gone in the hour, but for now it spread its last rays across the sky in a splash of auburn and rose-pink.

The oak marked the border of the wheatfield, and somewhere between it and that sunset was a ten-year old Mikael.


Okayy...starting off by establishing the setting for the scene there. Its a solid and reliable strategy that one and I think particular opening certainly manages to work pretty well. It really maps out quite the scene and there's a very distinct atmosphere being established as well. The setting sun certainly indicates a few things right up front here and I think it makes for a good start.

Maury pursed her lips and hopped on her toes. Usually, he was faster about finding her. She shuffled her bare feet in the sand and scanned the length of the field. Nothing. No mess of black hair, no determined ruddy face peeking through, no exclamations of “I’m gonna find you Maury! You can’t hide forever!”

Maury looked to the sky. It was already turning mauve. Mamay would be beginning to wonder why she was not home to help set the dinner table and light the evening lanterns. There could not be much more time until the horn went off and he lost. For the first time. She peeked the other side of the thick tree, kneeling on one knee.


OKayy....so immediately we have hints of perhaps someone chasing after her. At this point we can't really judge whether this is a person that's out to cause her some form of harm or if this is a prank of some sort. The descriptions from earlier create a bit of tension but they aren't quite powerful enough to suggest which of the two directions this is going on, but perhaps the fact that she's out past the time she should be home at indicates maybe this is not such a friendly situation.

“Maybe I tricked him.”

She wiped her brow. There was a snap and she bolted to an upright position. It had come from the left. She could feel her heart start to beat faster. She strained her eyes in the waning light to see if Mikael was hiding just inside the wheatfield, but she saw nothing. Maybe it was just an animal.

A blast from the town horn caused her to shriek and jump back. She put a hand to her chest and took several deep breaths. That was the signal for the workday to be over.

“Yes! I won!” She shook her fists and giggled. “Finally.”


Ahhh..well, I was expecting much worse, but I suppose the other option was the right one. This is a bit of a game of hide and seek maybe. I really love that ambiguous start there which does pull you in and then you get a nice laugh out of seeing that it was just this simple thing all along.

Maury stepped out from the tree and re-entered the wheatfield. It was nearly dark, and inside the tall stalks of grain the light was virtually non-existent. Maury wrapped her arms around her. She had never hidden this far out from the town before. She had also never won a game of hide-and-seek. The air was quiet and humid inside the field. Bugs chirped and buzzed, but everything else was silent. Maury stuck her hands out in front of her to push her way down the rows. She had calculated that she had made a straight path from the old gnarly oak at the road to her hiding spot at the edge of the field, so all she had to do wa-

A screamed caused her to leap and screech. She tumbled to the ground as a figure leapt from her left, arms out to snatch her.


Ahhhhhhh...a jump scare, oooh, I really love the flow of this opening scene so far. You get a little bit on edge, the tension is immediately released and then just as we're falling into a nice little bit of backstory to sort of establish out character here, we have another terrifying moment to make our hearts skip a beat.

“Mamay!” she shrieked, desperately clambering backwards on the ground.

The figure stopped and laughed. Although he was silhouetted and nothing more than a short black blob in the dark, Maury knew that laugh. She choked and wiped away a tear.

“Mikael! You rat!”

Mikael grabbed her by the arm and hauled her to her feet. She punched him in the shoulder hard enough to knock him back a foot.

He grabbed his shoulder and laughed again. It was a light laugh, an annoying laugh right now.


Hmm, I like how this part dissolves into a bunch of somewhat smaller paragraphs here. It gives a nice sort of rushed feel to this situation and that is the appropriate feel for a situation such as this one. Also we have yet another false scare here...now I'm wondering if this is all a setup for a third one where the jump scare is going to be real when we least expect it. At any rate, this is a fun introduction to the other person mentioned earlier.

Maury crossed her arms and marched by him. “Why did you do that?” she huffed.

Mikael jogged to catch up to her. He held his arms up. “Uh, to scare you. And to win. Again.”

Maury was shaking her head. “No. The horn went off. That means you lose.”

“Horn? What horn? I didn’t hear a horn?”

Maury sighed, pushing the pace. “Well, it went off. And you lost. And were a jerk.”

“Oh, come on, it was just a joke.”

“No, it wasn’t. Jokes are funny. That was mean.”


Okayy...well you can tell these two are friends...although the argument there escalated a tiny bit. Until the last couple of lines it seemed like a friendly prank that both sides took pretty well and were just have some neat banter but then we see that maybe Maury didn't quite appreciate that move. I don't think you can read too much into that, but already an interesting bit of dialogue here in this first conversation. Its pretty realistic I think :D

They broke the wheatfield and walked up a slight embankment onto a dusty road. There was the gnarly oak tree, sided by two lanterns on poles. The slight breeze made them sway, and it was a relief to blow across Maury’s face. There was more heat coming on her than from the weather.

Mikael put his hands to his side and looked down at Maury. “Fine. You win. This one time. But did you really if I knew where you were hiding?”

“You didn’t know where I was hiding.” Maury held her head high and took a right on the road.


I like the subtle bits of description there for what the atmosphere around them feels like. It adds a nice extra touch on the scene here...before we then dive back into some more friendly banter...and well I always love friendly banter so this is going great so far. :D

“Yes, I did.”

“No, you didn’t, or else you would’ve tagged me.”

“Maybe I just wanted to scare you,” Mikael hollered as he turned to go left back to his home.

“Then prove it!” Maury growled. She stopped and turned. “Where was I hiding.”

Mikael chortled and shook his head. “That big oak. By the shoreline.”

Maury’s head dropped and her heart sank. Then she lifted her gaze. “You won’t find me tomorrow.”

Mikael scoffed. “Sure, I will, Maury. Even when you don’t see me, I’ll be near. Have a good night. Beat you tomor-“ He put his hand to his mouth. “I mean, see you tomorrow.”

He laughed and walked away. Maury rolled her eyes and clenched her fists.


Hmm...well, this was a fun end to the conversation there...loving these two characters already. You've done a good job of bringing across their personalities here. Not a bad place to end either, there's a bit of promise for more here. I will however say that this is missing a bit of a "hook" of sorts. There's nothing besides this hide and seek game for us as readers to look forward to and it seems like a regular ol' pair of friends in a regular ol' place. This isn't bad, and I think I'd totally read more just because of how fun the dynamic between these two characters are and with this hide and seek situation to look forward to, but so far this doesn't have much else going for it at the start...that's not too bad, but its probably something to keep in mind cause you want the main sort of premise to be visible as close to the start as possible to really capture readers.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think a fairly solid start here. There's a good sense of the setting, you establish a neat little atmosphere throughout. The characters are quite fun to read and their dynamic there especially with all the friendly banter is pretty interesting to read. Its just missing a little bit of something like I said above. Anyway that's all I've gotta say on this one :D

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

Stay Safe
Harry





No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.
— W. A. Nance