Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Teen Fiction

Violence

The Forgotten Fields - Part 3

by Messenger


Artheroan lapped over the two banks of the half-mile inlet from the divergent Sea that then dipped underground in a small swamp. It was a cluster of mud and clay buildings with flat tops with a pier on either side of the inlet. Each pier had a cluster of ships, mostly for fishing, rocking gently in the evening breeze. From Mikael’s slightly raised view at the oak, it had looked like the square-sailed ship was heading straight for the inlet. As he and Maury came to the edge of town he broke off right towards the direction of the pie while Maury took a left toward her family’s home.

“I’ll come meet you when I find out what’s going on,” Mikael yelled back as he quickened his pace. He hurried past townsfolk as they lit their lanterns and headed inside. The clang of the town bell at the lighthouse on the small island past the piers caused everyone to pause and turn. Mikael weaved his way through the half-dozen streets that put him on the edge of the inlet. The water lapped along the sandy shore in the twilight. The ship was now to the lighthouse and hooking around the island just a few hundred yards ahead of Mikael.

The lighthouse let out a second ring.

“Mikael!” a voice behind him caused him to turn. It Bera-thuin, the town magistrate. He was dressed in a loose white tunic wrapped with a bronze-colored belt. What was left of his hair wisped in the breeze. He jogged to catch up to Mikael.

“Magistrate,” Mikael nodded, without breaking stride. “Any idea who this is?”

Bera shook his head. “We haven’t had a ship port here in several weeks. I’ve already notified Iva to have his workers head for the pier in case the ship needs repairs. But that second bell means another ship.”

“They’re foreigners. Velhurland?”

“More than likely. It’s very to be making port. Hard to make out anything with the going down.”

They reached the wooden pier as the foreign ship hoisted its sails and dropped anchor just a hundred yards from the shore. On board, there were dozens of men along the sides, and dozens of spearheads and metal helmets were donned and glistened in the twilight. Mikael’s heart dropped. Bera’s step faltered.

“By the gods. Pirates.”

Mikael whipped around.” P-p-pirates?”

Bera’s eyes flitted back and forth. “We only have minutes. Get the townsfolk to the Ceremonial cave. Anyone you can find!”

Mikael stood, frozen as he watched the longboats drop from the sides and at least a hundred pirates descend into them. The oars were run out.

Bera grabbed Mikael’s arm. “They’ll be upon us in minutes! Go!”

Mikael felt the cold sweat drip down his nose and despite his best efforts to move, his legs did little more than quiver. Bera gave him a shove back toward the town and although he stumbled, he was finally moving. He reached the first home and began pounding on the door. IT swung open to reveal a red-faced woman with a towel wrapped over her shoulder and a screaming baby in her arms.

“Sile-“

She began but Mikael cut her off. “Run for the Ceremonial Cave. Pirates coming!” He jabbed a hand toward the pier and bolted for the next door twenty yards away. No one answered. He tried the door and found it open.

“Is anyone here? Hello?”

No response.

There were two doorways and a staircase leading to the roof. Mikael dashed across the main room for the first doorway. Empty bedroom. Same for the second room. He sprinted up the stairs, already out of breath. There was nothing on the roof other than some lounging furniture and a few rugs for sunbathing. Mikael turned back toward the pier. The pirates were storming up it now. A flurry of shouts went up from them as they headed straight for town.

Now that it was anchored, Mikael could see that the ship was lower in the water than it had been before. He bounded down the stairs and out of the house. A pedestrian was rushing by and they crashed into the dirt. Mikael grabbed the person and realized it was Bera, his white tunic now the color of the desert. Blood was running from his nose.

“Get out of here! Iva and his men are making for the cave and clearing the north sector. Head for the Cave.”

A shout from behind caused them both to turn. There were half a dozen pirates closing in on the duo, spears, and axes raised.

Mikael’s stomach rolled. Bera shoved him again and Mikael started running. He took a left into the heart of Arthuroan, now darkened by shadows. There was a scream somewhere behind him, but all Mikael focused on was getting to Maury. It was a straight shot ahead of the town well which was ahead to his left. Someone bolted out from a side street and as they neared the well a spear from behind them struck their back. They tumbled over the lip of the well and fell with an echoing scream that sent shudders down Mikael’s spine. The assailant come into view twenty yards ahead of Mikael. Mikael stumbled to the left as the pirate drew a thick dagger and charged him.

Mikael rounded the left side of the well, putting a barrier between them for a moment. He crashed through the nearest door and out a back door, putting him on the outskirts of the town, running parallel to the Fields. He could hear the clatter of pots and the pirate stumbled through the house behind him, no doubt leaving a wake of destruction.

As hard as he tried, Mikael’s lungs were burning, and his legs were losing feeling. He slowed on the slight incline up the road. His only hope was to lose the pirate in the town, so he cut right back among the houses. As he exited the narrow street, he took a sharp turn left. The huffing of the pirate told him he was still close.

Suddenly a hot pain shot through Mikael’s left shoulder and his body gave out. He slammed to the ground without getting his arms out to cushion the fall and the entirety of his back and shoulder exploded into searing heat. He let out a screech in anguish that was cut short but his lack of breath. Tears rolled down his face as his whole body wracked. He felt like he couldn’t move. The Pirate was vaguely in the vicinity, that much his mind found out, but his entire life side was both numb and yet on fire. Mikael tried to cry but couldn’t, he tried to roll to his right side but couldn’t. All he could do was lay face down in the dirt as he lost consciousness.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
437 Reviews


Points: 47250
Reviews: 437

Donate
Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:40 pm
View Likes
Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, again, with a review!

Ooh, I loved to see the action pick up in this chapter! The introduction of pirates was very interesting, and I love the cliffhanger-y ending. I also liked seeing a section from Mikael's perspective rather than Maury's; I'm curious if it'll go back to Maury in the next part, or if we'll stay with Mikael. Either way, I'm sure it'll turn out nicely!

One thing I enjoyed about this was the pacing. I liked how quickly it moved, which suited the material. A lot of the time, action sections can drag because writers fall prey to wanting to describe every little detail, but I think you nailed the balance of forgoing certain unnecessary details to help the story and action move forward. I also think that inadvertently, you got in some really nice characterization, too. It was cool to see what Mikael did in the case of an emergency, and now readers can see that he has a drive to help people and doesn't shirk from responsibility and cares a lot for his town as well as for Maury. That final part was a nice way of fading to black at the end, and it makes me curious to know where he'll be when he comes to! Nice work!!

Specifics

As he and Maury came to the edge of town he broke off right towards the direction of the pie while Maury took a left toward her family’s home.


Since "As he and Maury came to the edge of town" is an introductory dependent clause, you need to separate it from the rest of the sentence with a comma.

It Bera-thuin, the town magistrate.


I think this is meant to read "It was Bera-thuin" rather than just "it Bera-thuin."

IT swung open to reveal a red-faced woman with a towel wrapped over her shoulder and a screaming baby in her arms.


Tiny thing: you accidentally capitalized the 't' of "it."

"Sile-“

She began but Mikael cut her off.


Since "began" is a dialogue tag, I'd make it one sentence with the dialogue rather than a whole new paragraph, so that it looks something like "'Sile—' she began, but Mikael cut her off."

Get the townsfolk to the Ceremonial cave.


At other parts, you capitalized both Ceremonial and Cave; since you did that more, I'd suggest doing it for this part too, just as long as it's consistent throughout.

It was a straight shot ahead of the town well which was ahead to his left.


You said "ahead" twice in this sentence which jumbles up the flow a bit; I'd replace the first one with "past" or a similar word.

The Pirate was vaguely in the vicinity, that much his mind found out, but his entire life side was both numb and yet on fire.


I wasn't sure why you capitalized "pirate" here; you hadn't capitalized it before, and since it's not a proper noun, it doesn't need to be capitalized.

Overall: nice work! It was interesting to get more action in this chapter, as well as getting a view from Mikael's perspective. I'm curious what effect the pirates are going to have on the next parts of the story, and what exactly Mikael's fate will be! Until next time!!




User avatar
2585 Reviews


Points: 269695
Reviews: 2585

Donate
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:35 am
View Likes
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: So things are going quite well here. With that excitement created in the previous part getting built on very nicely, I already like how things are going. A couple of decisions made here surprised me a little but for the most part, I liked how things went. Its looking good so far.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Artheroan lapped over the two banks of the half-mile inlet from the divergent Sea that then dipped underground in a small swamp. It was a cluster of mud and clay buildings with flat tops with a pier on either side of the inlet. Each pier had a cluster of ships, mostly for fishing, rocking gently in the evening breeze. From Mikael’s slightly raised view at the oak, it had looked like the square-sailed ship was heading straight for the inlet. As he and Maury came to the edge of town he broke off right towards the direction of the pie while Maury took a left toward her family’s home.

“I’ll come meet you when I find out what’s going on,” Mikael yelled back as he quickened his pace. He hurried past townsfolk as they lit their lanterns and headed inside. The clang of the town bell at the lighthouse on the small island past the piers caused everyone to pause and turn. Mikael weaved his way through the half-dozen streets that put him on the edge of the inlet. The water lapped along the sandy shore in the twilight. The ship was now to the lighthouse and hooking around the island just a few hundred yards ahead of Mikael.


Okayy...a nice bit of description there to set the scene...and a pretty interesting choice Mikael to just run off alone to investigate the claim after they both ran there together. Wasn't expecting to see something like that happen, but its not too out of the blue I suppose.

The lighthouse let out a second ring.

“Mikael!” a voice behind him caused him to turn. It Bera-thuin, the town magistrate. He was dressed in a loose white tunic wrapped with a bronze-colored belt. What was left of his hair wisped in the breeze. He jogged to catch up to Mikael.

“Magistrate,” Mikael nodded, without breaking stride. “Any idea who this is?”

Bera shook his head. “We haven’t had a ship port here in several weeks. I’ve already notified Iva to have his workers head for the pier in case the ship needs repairs. But that second bell means another ship.”

“They’re foreigners. Velhurland?”


Okayy...well there's not telling what this could possibly mean. I like that we've got someone who appears to somewhat be in charge coming across here so that we can a proper report on exactly what's going on, and then when things are followed up with the mention of these foreigners who might or might not be hostile definitely ups the mystery there. A good start to this as well so far.

“More than likely. It’s very to be making port. Hard to make out anything with the going down.”

They reached the wooden pier as the foreign ship hoisted its sails and dropped anchor just a hundred yards from the shore. On board, there were dozens of men along the sides, and dozens of spearheads and metal helmets were donned and glistened in the twilight. Mikael’s heart dropped. Bera’s step faltered.

“By the gods. Pirates.”

Mikael whipped around.” P-p-pirates?”


Well...that seems to be pretty clearly a very bad thing there. Definitely a nice and rather shocking way for that to quickly enter into things here and so far I'm loving this. Things are now getting pretty exciting and well...its probably is horrifying for the people living here, but it seems we can get to see some action here soon.

Bera’s eyes flitted back and forth. “We only have minutes. Get the townsfolk to the Ceremonial cave. Anyone you can find!”

Mikael stood, frozen as he watched the longboats drop from the sides and at least a hundred pirates descend into them. The oars were run out.

Bera grabbed Mikael’s arm. “They’ll be upon us in minutes! Go!”

Mikael felt the cold sweat drip down his nose and despite his best efforts to move, his legs did little more than quiver. Bera gave him a shove back toward the town and although he stumbled, he was finally moving. He reached the first home and began pounding on the door. IT swung open to reveal a red-faced woman with a towel wrapped over her shoulder and a screaming baby in her arms.


Okayy....so it seems they do have some sort of rudimentary plan in place for the arrival of pirates, makes you think that this isn't exactly something totally new to them despite no ship having arrived in some time. The panic also suggests this isn't a place that's all that well defended, so some interesting things to note.

There were two doorways and a staircase leading to the roof. Mikael dashed across the main room for the first doorway. Empty bedroom. Same for the second room. He sprinted up the stairs, already out of breath. There was nothing on the roof other than some lounging furniture and a few rugs for sunbathing. Mikael turned back toward the pier. The pirates were storming up it now. A flurry of shouts went up from them as they headed straight for town.

Now that it was anchored, Mikael could see that the ship was lower in the water than it had been before. He bounded down the stairs and out of the house. A pedestrian was rushing by and they crashed into the dirt. Mikael grabbed the person and realized it was Bera, his white tunic now the color of the desert. Blood was running from his nose.


Okayy...so that house was odd...I can't help the feeling that there's something more going on there. There's no way that a random empty house would be described if it didn't have a purpose now would it?

I am slightly questioning the speed of these pirates though. Getting a hundred people into a lowered boat and rowing to battle sounds like it should take a little bit longer. It won't take very long, but as far as the sense of time mentioned her goes, it feels like it's a little faster than it should be.

“Get out of here! Iva and his men are making for the cave and clearing the north sector. Head for the Cave.”

A shout from behind caused them both to turn. There were half a dozen pirates closing in on the duo, spears, and axes raised.

Mikael’s stomach rolled. Bera shoved him again and Mikael started running. He took a left into the heart of Arthuroan, now darkened by shadows. There was a scream somewhere behind him, but all Mikael focused on was getting to Maury. It was a straight shot ahead of the town well which was ahead to his left. Someone bolted out from a side street and as they neared the well a spear from behind them struck their back. They tumbled over the lip of the well and fell with an echoing scream that sent shudders down Mikael’s spine. The assailant come into view twenty yards ahead of Mikael. Mikael stumbled to the left as the pirate drew a thick dagger and charged him.


Okayy...well finally he remembered to go check on Maury, I was getting worried that he'd forgotten for a moment. I'm also very excited to see that there's a bit of an attacker approaching now and the Mikael is going to have to put up a fight. Still not quite convinced about the timing of all of this, but, ignoring that, this has progressed very well and I love how this tension keeps building rather steadily.

Mikael rounded the left side of the well, putting a barrier between them for a moment. He crashed through the nearest door and out a back door, putting him on the outskirts of the town, running parallel to the Fields. He could hear the clatter of pots and the pirate stumbled through the house behind him, no doubt leaving a wake of destruction.

As hard as he tried, Mikael’s lungs were burning, and his legs were losing feeling. He slowed on the slight incline up the road. His only hope was to lose the pirate in the town, so he cut right back among the houses. As he exited the narrow street, he took a sharp turn left. The huffing of the pirate told him he was still close.


Hmm, that seems like a pretty smart decision by Mikael to try and outrun the pirate. That certainly seems like the only way that will give him an advantage and not give the pirate an advantage. Well, this fight is off to a good start although I can see that already there are signs of fatigue here and things aren't looking good for Mikael.

Suddenly a hot pain shot through Mikael’s left shoulder and his body gave out. He slammed to the ground without getting his arms out to cushion the fall and the entirety of his back and shoulder exploded into searing heat. He let out a screech in anguish that was cut short but his lack of breath. Tears rolled down his face as his whole body wracked. He felt like he couldn’t move. The Pirate was vaguely in the vicinity, that much his mind found out, but his entire life side was both numb and yet on fire. Mikael tried to cry but couldn’t, he tried to roll to his right side but couldn’t. All he could do was lay face down in the dirt as he lost consciousness.


Well...its quite difficult to judge what hit him, but I suppose the pirate was clearly armed with a lot of things and has one simple goal...and was successful. Well, this ended up being not all that much of a fight after all, but I like where it did end. We had a pretty realistic little chase with a good sense of building towards this outcome and now a nice little cliffhanger to close things off. Overall, I'd say this is pretty nicely done here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, besides those questionable pirate arrival times and the whole abandoning of Maury's character which at the end seems to serve only to separate the two are a tiny bit questionable but still explainable so...those can be allowed to slide unless I was being suuuper nitpicky. And I like this little cliffhanger here. Looking forward to seeing more :D

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

Stay Safe
Harry





shady and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws
— Tuckster