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The Forgotten Fields - Part 2

by Messenger


Maury looked up from her sitting position on the gnarly oak and smiled as she saw Mikael making his way down the dusty road toward her. He had his head down and kicked a small stone ahead until one kick sent it skittering off the roadside. Maury sighed and patted one of the large roots that protruded out into a kind of natural chair.

“Come on, old man. Sun’s going down and I’ll have to get back to help my Mamay soon. Big dinner tomorrow.”

Mikael plopped onto the tree root and ran a hand through his coal hair. “Really?” I hadn’t heard. Any special occasion?”

Maury grinned and gave him a playful shove. “How amusing. You know it’s been fourteen years since you started talking, and you are still not funny despite your most persistent efforts.”

Mikael narrowed his eyes. “Almost fourteen years. And you know, maybe I should just take my efforts where they’re appreciated.” He made to rise but Maury grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back down.

“Don’t be unrealistic. I’m the only one in this town who tolerates you.”

Mikael shook his head and looked over the harvested Arthuroan fields, littered with black birds picking at the remains looking for any morsel of food to take back to their nest.

When he spoke, his voice was quiet, and he kept his gaze over the field. “Maybe I should just take them somewhere else then.”

Maury looked at Mikael, but he made no move to match her eyes. She slid her hand from his arm down to his hand and wrapped her fingers around his. “Hey.”

Mikael grunted some sort of response.

Maury squeezed his hand. “Hey.”

Mikael turned slowly but his gaze faltered to meet hers and rested at his feet.

Maury sighed. “There are big changes coming for all of us. Think of this trip as an adventure. You get to cross country I’ll probably never see in my life. Who knows, you might even meet a desert princess.”

Mikael shook his head. “Sounds terrible doesn’t it.”

“Sounds fun.” Maury’s voice drifted off. “Everyone one has to do this Mik. It’s supposed to be an honor. You go on your Ala-banam and when you come back, I’ll be waiting. You’ll be here in spirit anyway, remember. You always say that even when I can’t see you, you’re nearby. Right?”

Mikael stood, breaking free from Maury’s grip. “I don’t want to go though. I want to stay here. I want to work in the fields. I want to fish in the sea. I want you to be my princess. I don’t want to march across a hot desert.”

“They say that if you can’t make this trip that you don’t deserve to have a princess.”

“Well maybe they’re wrong. Why don’t you go on it if it sounds so wonderful? You can cross rivers and face monsters and get heat fatigue and visit ancient temples full of ghouls and ghosts.”

Maury’s shoulders sunk. “If only. It would be so incredible to go. See great cities, jewels, parades. But that’s not what’s expected of me. We all must do what we must to provide for the one’s we love. That’s what Mamay says, anyway. And for men in Arthuroan that means going on an Ala-banam to ready you for a life of providing for those you love. So, tell me Mikael, do you love me?”

Mikael felt a rush in his chest. His hands shook a little. “You know I do.”

“I know you do what?”

Mikael took a sharp breath. “I love you.”

Maury felt a warmth inside her. She stood and wrapped her arms around Mikael from behind. “Then you go on this journey, and when you come back, you’ll have the love of the town, the love of a princess, and the only person who puts up with your awful jokes.”

Mikael let out a short laugh. “You’re so romantic when you want to be. The personal jabs really bring it together.”

Maury snickered in his ear and gave him a peck on the neck. “You’re saying I’m the one for you?”

“I’m saying you are definitely unique.” Mikael had been staring off to the Divergent Sea, and now put a hand up to shade the sun. “As is that sail on the horizon.”

“Square sails? Who could that be?”

Mikael shook his head. “I don’t know. But why are they coming here?”

“There isn’t another town for at least a hundred miles in either direction. Maybe they need help?” Maury said.

“Maybe. We better get back to town then.”


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Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:37 am
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

I enjoyed this continuation of your first chapter! It was quite interesting to see how Maury and Mikael's relationship had changed throughout the years. I also liked the introduction of longer plot points. In all, I think this chapter was a really well written part of exposition.

One thing I really enjoyed about this was you casual worldbuilding. I think you did a great job of showing this world's cultural traditions without making it seem very blunt and on the nose. I loved the traditional journey you included; it was a fresh and unique way to introduce an inciting incident in your story. I also liked the fact that Maury really wanted to go, whereas Mikael, not so much. I think this could lead to some interesting developments later along, and I'm certain Maury's probably going to end up going on a voyage at some point. Those square sails at the end also bode interestingly; I'm curious to find out what's the deal with those!!

The one thing I would say is that it wasn't super evident that time had passed. Even though they acted different from one another, the only reason I knew it was later was because you said it in the piece's description. I can't exactly remember if you mentioned their ages in the first part, either, but I do think something that could reference that first paragraph (like remember how we used to play those games, that was (insert how many years have passed) ago, so much has changed, etc). Just something to think about, cause I know I would have been confused if I'd come into this not knowing that.

Specifics

Mikael plopped onto the tree root and ran a hand through his coal hair. “Really?” I hadn’t heard. Any special occasion?”


You've got an extra pair of quotation marks after "really."

Mikael shook his head. “Sounds terrible doesn’t it.”


Your punctuation was a little wonky in the dialogue. I think it would flow better

“Everyone one has to do this Mik.


Again, here, I'd put in a comma in between "this" and "Mik." Since she's addressing him, it needs a comma.

We all must do what we must to provide for the one’s we love.


Since "ones" in this context is plural, it's wrong to put an apostrophe there.

Overall: nice work!! I enjoyed seeing how time had passed from the first chapter, and I think you set up the future narrative really nicely in this second part. I look forward to reading the next chapter! Until next time!!




Messenger says...


You may have missed the 14 years dialog near the beginning of the conversation? I don't have an exact age for them tbh somewhere between 16-18ish which hopefully you get through the other stuff even if I didn't convey it well directly. And jsyk this is a short story. Hoping to keep it under 7 parts so it'll not even be a novella, but it is longer than just a few pages, just so it doesn't surprise you if the ending (which i haven't written yet) comes off as abrupt or you were expecting the story to continue %uD83D%uDE02



Plume says...


I didn't miss the 14 years dialogue; it just wasn't super clear to me. It's because it wasn't in reference to the first part. Mikael was already talking in the first part, yeah? So to me it wasn't a good reference point to show how much time had passed since the first part of the story. And that's a pity this isn't going to be longer; I think it could make a great novel, but I understand if all you have planned for it is around seven parts. I'll be sure to read and review all of them, though!!



Messenger says...


I will make sure to keep a note for revisions when it comes to their age %uD83D%uDC4D%uD83C%uDFFB and it was originally supposed to be 4 parts %uD83D%uDE02



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Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:01 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: Okayy....so this doesn't seem to build too much on that very first part, but it definitely ups that interest factor here. I always love a good touch of romance so naturally I love this...although this one seems to be starting out on a sadder note...and then we have a little bit of a cliffhanger, so...some good things happening, its still hard to really judge anything like a plot, it seems like mostly introductions so far, but it seems like things are slowly being set in motion here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Maury looked up from her sitting position on the gnarly oak and smiled as she saw Mikael making his way down the dusty road toward her. He had his head down and kicked a small stone ahead until one kick sent it skittering off the roadside. Maury sighed and patted one of the large roots that protruded out into a kind of natural chair.

“Come on, old man. Sun’s going down and I’ll have to get back to help my Mamay soon. Big dinner tomorrow.”

Mikael plopped onto the tree root and ran a hand through his coal hair. “Really?” I hadn’t heard. Any special occasion?”

Maury grinned and gave him a playful shove. “How amusing. You know it’s been fourteen years since you started talking, and you are still not funny despite your most persistent efforts.”


Okayy...well, we're getting started with another conversation here...this one seems even more like a friendly duo just ribbing each other a little, and well, a couple of interesting details dropped there like the fourteen years thing, but otherwise well continuing in rather standard fashion so far.

Mikael shook his head and looked over the harvested Arthuroan fields, littered with black birds picking at the remains looking for any morsel of food to take back to their nest.

When he spoke, his voice was quiet, and he kept his gaze over the field. “Maybe I should just take them somewhere else then.”

Maury looked at Mikael, but he made no move to match her eyes. She slid her hand from his arm down to his hand and wrapped her fingers around his. “Hey.”

Mikael grunted some sort of response.

Maury squeezed his hand. “Hey.”

Mikael turned slowly but his gaze faltered to meet hers and rested at his feet.


Oooh, slightly emotional moment detected, it looks like the conversation took a quick turn for the deep here, not something I was expecting, but definitely a good sign for the story...you do want such moments happening early on to establish some sort of stakes here.

Maury sighed. “There are big changes coming for all of us. Think of this trip as an adventure. You get to cross country I’ll probably never see in my life. Who knows, you might even meet a desert princess.”

Mikael shook his head. “Sounds terrible doesn’t it.”

“Sounds fun.” Maury’s voice drifted off. “Everyone one has to do this Mik. It’s supposed to be an honor. You go on your Ala-banam and when you come back, I’ll be waiting. You’ll be here in spirit anyway, remember. You always say that even when I can’t see you, you’re nearby. Right?”

Mikael stood, breaking free from Maury’s grip. “I don’t want to go though. I want to stay here. I want to work in the fields. I want to fish in the sea. I want you to be my princess. I don’t want to march across a hot desert.”


OOoh....well things went in a few directions I wasn't expecting but I am already loving each detail that we find out here. From what I can see it looks like this person has to make some sort of journey that happens to be a custom or a tradition of some sort and it appears that we have ourselves a bit of a slightly romantic influence sliding in here although it looks like things are only going to be a bit sad right off the bat in that department.

“They say that if you can’t make this trip that you don’t deserve to have a princess.”

Maury’s shoulders sunk. “If only. It would be so incredible to go. See great cities, jewels, parades. But that’s not what’s expected of me. We all must do what we must to provide for the one’s we love. That’s what Mamay says, anyway. And for men in Arthuroan that means going on an Ala-banam to ready you for a life of providing for those you love. So, tell me Mikael, do you love me?”

Mikael felt a rush in his chest. His hands shook a little. “You know I do.”

“I know you do what?”

Mikael took a sharp breath. “I love you.”

Maury felt a warmth inside her. She stood and wrapped her arms around Mikael from behind. “Then you go on this journey, and when you come back, you’ll have the love of the town, the love of a princess, and the only person who puts up with your awful jokes.”


Okayy...nice moment there. Its not the most emotional mostly cause we pretty much barely know the two characters, but you do a good job of showing Maury encouraging him to make this journey here. You can sense a care they have for each other and that's lovely.

“I’m saying you are definitely unique.” Mikael had been staring off to the Divergent Sea, and now put a hand up to shade the sun. “As is that sail on the horizon.”

“Square sails? Who could that be?”

Mikael shook his head. “I don’t know. But why are they coming here?”

“There isn’t another town for at least a hundred miles in either direction. Maybe they need help?” Maury said.

“Maybe. We better get back to town then.”


Ooooh...okay, a bit of a proper cliffhangery moment there with some sort of unknown ship arriving. Now that's quite something as well...well, certainly a few interesting moments going down in this particular piece and so far I'm loving it.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think it was a neat follow up to that earlier part here. So far, I continue like the sound of things here and now more than ever I'm hooked enough to want to read that next part although that review will prolly be on the next day and well, things are slowly taking shape here. Looking forward to seeing where this ends up going. :D

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

Stay Safe
Harry





Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.
— Neil Gaiman