Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Teen Fiction

16+ Violence

The Forgotten Fields - Part 4

by Messenger


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

The torches to the Ceremonial Palace were lit and showed the winding way through the swamp. Maury and her mamay and papay rushed down the path made of stone from the nearby mountain ranges. Maury barely noticed the wildlife that splashed in the murky water and flew overhead. The sun was hidden in the foliage and swamp trees always gave the whole path an eerie and reverent feel to it. Now it was terrifying. Screams and shouts had echoed through the town and wiggled through the swamp.

Maury scanned the other faces of the survivors as her family passed them on the path. No Mikael or any of his family. Maury felt a lump growing in her throat. Her papay grabbed her hand and hurried her up around the last bend to the unceremonious entrance of the Palace. It was a low-hanging stone archway that led into an open grassy clearing surrounded with stone pillars carved into crescent moons and circles representing the sun and stars. The top of each pillar held a bowl of oil, lit up now to reveal a huddled mass of townspeople. Maury still couldn't locate Mikael. 

"Papay, Mikael isn't here." She couldn't help her voice rising in pitch. "He went back into town."

Her papay kneeled down on the damp grass "He'll be here. You have to trust him."

"But those awful cries coming from the village. One of them could be him! He could need our help."

Her papay grabbed her arms. "We cannot go out there. We have no weapons, no training. We don't even know who those people are out there."

"And neither does Mikael!" Maury pulled away and glanced back at the archway as a few more stragglers made their way in. A large man dressed in nothing but a tunic wrapped around his waist and a satchel led a group of similarly-dressed workers to the archway and they began to guide people in and check for injuries. The large man, Iva, Maury thought his name was, stopped every able-bodied man that entered and led them off to the side. He spotted Maury's papay and gave a gesture for him to join. He stood and kissed Maury on the forehead. She could hear his rapid breathing and the smell of sweat.

"Be brave little one. Stay here with your mother."

"Invaders!" The shriek came from outside the Palace, causing everyone to turn that way with a communal gasp. Maury wiped her chapped lips with her sleeve and meant to turn back to her mother, but the group of survivors turned to full panic mode as the first pirate stampeded through the archway. She was knocked over in a mob of bodies that pushed to the back pillars and began to leak out into the swamp. Maury put one hand over her head as she tried to stand but a boot to her side forced her back to the ground with a sharp breath. 

"Papay! Mikael! Mamay!" she called out. The last of the survivors passed by and she finally stood. The sight before her caused an instinctive hand to her mouth. Iva was hqcked with an axe tp the chest and slumped into a pillar. Her papay was on the ground, blood splattered across his back. One pirate was collapsed in the entrance, but three more has crossed into the clearing. One spotted Maury and rushed her. Maury stumbled back, slipping on the wet grass. A massive hand came down on her ankle. she kicked out at the pirate who easily dodged it and gave a swift kick to her side. Maury thought she heard something crack and a cough wracked her body as she doubled over.

The pirate hauled her to her feet and held a thick dagger to her neck, holding her as a human shield. Through eyes blurred by tears Maury saw the other two pirates cut down from behind as soldiers clad in red and white charged through. There were at least a dozen, including two with bows. They halted as they saw the last pirate holding Maury. 

"Put her down." A soldier stepped forward with silver wings decaled on his helmet. Maury now saw some sort of bird crest on his outer tunic in the dim light of the burning cauldrons.

The pirate snarled and Maury squirmed as she felt his breath on her head and spit slide down her neck. She gasped as he tightened his grip on her collar. Her knees were shaking and if he let go of her she would collapse without resistance. 

"Very well. Bowie." Winged Helmet pointed his sword at Maury.

One of the archers stepped forward and in a flash nocked and loosed an arrow. Maury shrieked and squeezed her eyes shut. Suddenly she was falling. She hit the ground, and before she could open her eyes the pirate crushed her into the ground. She convulsed as her ribs were pressed into the ground. Something warm rolled down her cheek and dampened her hair. As darkness clouded her consciousness and eye sight a great weight was lifted off of her and she was rolled on her back. 

for the first time in an hour she took in one deep breath which i mediately sent her into a coughing fit. Her side pounded with every move. She forced her eyes open. Someone had one hand on her head and was running it through her hair,  and another along her side. 

A young face looked down on her. Dark eyes, white teeth. He turned back to Winged Helmet. 

"Blood is just from that scum. Her sides are swelling and probably bruised, but she'll live." He turned to Maury. Stay as still as you can. Our physicians will be here as soon as they can."

Maury opened her mouth to speak, but the solider was already walking away. Maury took a deep breath and tried to lift herself off of the ground, but trying to sit up felt like lifting a back of rocks off her stomach. She sank back onto the wet ground. The soldiers were huddled nearby, wiping off their blades. There was a rush of footsteps and they were in defensive poses at once. Maury heard a slight chuckle and one of the soldiers yelled "you idiot," as the newcomer entered the clearing. 

"General Boullion. I've accidentally discovered something I think you'll be interested in seeing for yourself."

"I've got a mess to clean up here, private. Speak candidly."

There was a pause before the private spoke again. His voice was a loud whisper as if he had a secret he couldn't contain.

"I cut down one of these slag Sadorians about a quarter mile from here. It was a bit of a struggle and we ended up in a deep end of the swamp. As I held him under water he threw a handful of mud in an attempt to cloud my eyes. He missed and I finished him off bu-"

"To the point!" Boullion snapped.

"Uh, yes, right. Sir, there's no other way to put this, but that there are rare minerals in this swamp. I dug out what I thought were simply rocks from my gauntlets and boots, but among the slime there were colors I've never seen."

There were a few murmurs from the group, but it was Boullion who spoke after half a minute had passed. "Mark the spot and then return to the village. We'll sort put what we can tonight, check for survivors, stragglers, injured, secure our perimeter, and tomorrow I want you at my tent first thing."

Maury heard footsteps as they left. She rolled to her side with great effort and pain, inhaling as she pushed herself to her knees. A figure across the opening, one of the bodies Maury had presumed was dead, was mimicking her motions. A chill ran the length of her spine. The figure turned, blood-soaked. Then Maury saw her Papay's face, and sank her head into the ground in relief. 

"Maury!" he hoarsely yelled. She heard rather than watched him make his way to her. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her to her feet. He swept her off her feet. she wrapped her arms around his neck and looked into his misty eyes as tears welled in her own. 

"Papay. I thought you were dead. I thought I was goi-" she choked on her words and buried her face into his chest. 

He held her tight as he walked. "Oh, dear child, I will always be here."

Maury's mind raced to Mikael at those familiar words. "Papay. Mikael. is he okay? We have to find him." 

He adjusted her in his arms. "We will. But first you need to see a physician. I will look for Mamay and then I will search for Mikael. I promise. You must rest. It's all over. Those were Astorian soldiers. I had heard rumors of pirates from Sadoria invading along the coast, but I never thought here. We've nothing for pirates to want or to gift these soldiers if the grain barns were destroyed."

Maury said nothing, wincing with every step as she jostled in her papay's embrace. She looked up to the sky where - through the swamp trees- the stars twinkled above in a sea of darkness. They looked so calm, so innocent. As adrenaline was leaving fatigue was setting in. They exited the swamp and were back on the road along the Arthuroan Fields within fifteen minutes. they went along in silence. 

"Papay?"

"Yes?"

"Were you hurt? I saw blood. It looked horrible."

"It wasn't mine. I was hit across the head and fell unconscious"

"You didn't see the soldiers?" 

"No. But I am grateful they arrived."

"Me too." 


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
891 Reviews


Points: 23751
Reviews: 891

Donate
Mon May 23, 2022 3:07 am
Shady wrote a review...



At this point, I have zero excuses (the only consolation I have to offer is that I also haven't reviewed anything else this year aside from this story so it's definitely not personal). BUT I AM HERE NOW and I am super excited to jump back in and see how this story ends!

Iva was hqcked with an axe tp the chest and slumped into a pillar.


I usually don't comment on grammar too much, but this sentence is a bit rough lol Beyond the two typos I feel like 'against' or something would be more descriptive than 'into' -- which ik is just anal. But also like. I don't know how to describe it. I feel like I usually see 'into' to be more literal? Like, 'folded into a pretzel' means like folded up so it looks like a pretzel, right? So slumped into makes me feel like it should be him looking like a pillar rather than slumped against one. Does that make sense?

Also as I read on there are a fair number of minor grammar issues (especially regarding punctuation/capitalization) later on. Not a huge deal seeing as the meaning is still clear but thought I'd mention it since it's not a one-off thing and it could use a bit of proofreading.

~

Okay, two main things:

1) I am confused by the setting. It opens with them getting to the palace which made me assume they were safe, but then the pirates just waltz in with no resistance until the soldiers belatedly showed up a minute later. If it's a palace then shouldn't it be guarded already? And why is it so open and easily invaded? If they're not secure in the clearing then why not go inside the palace itself? It seems strange that they just decided that this was a good place to stop and regroup if there was no security whatsoever to protect them.

2) The bit about the minerals felt out of place. I'm assuming that's foreshadowing and leading us towards a future plot point, but it just felt like... idk. Forced? Like we're still very much in the thick of pirates and near-death experiences and all that, and then a private comes up to start rambling about gems. It just doesn't feel like something Maury would be keyed into that sharply, if that makes sense? Like shouldn't she be focusing on herself/her family/Mikael right now? Not eavesdropping about minerals. It sort of felt like it broke the flow of the narration and made it a bit hard to get back into the right mindset for Maury and Papay.

I'm enjoying this story, though! I'm excited to see how you wrap it up and/or continue it. I have no concept of how close we are to the end haha but I definitely wanna know what happens to Mikael/the town now that they're safe.

I feel like I should not have the audacity to say this after I made you wait four months for this review, but I would definitely like to be on your tag list when you post more of this!

~Shady 8)




User avatar
1186 Reviews


Points: 117890
Reviews: 1186

Donate
Sun May 22, 2022 4:23 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi Messenger,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

I'm helping get the story out of the green room. I haven't read the first chapters either, so I'll stick to the form and structure of my review.

Since I had no idea what I was getting into, I was pleasantly surprised that we got off to a very good start. You have a light and well-chosen narrative tone that lets the reader get right into the story without having much prior experience. This helped me to get into the story and also to quickly realise that this is something very exciting and thrilling.

What struck me in the course of the plot here was how you always stayed true to the style, and didn't use too much of a different set-up, just for example when the characters were attacked. The only thing I noticed more were some minor spelling mistakes, like here for example:

Iva was hqcked with an axe tp the chest and slumped into a pillar.


I think this can be corrected quickly if you read over it before publishing and then make the mistakes disappear. But I also noticed that the tone of the story moves well from one perspective to the other, even if it seems too chaotic, that everything remains in one point here and you can still follow the story.

Here's one more thing I noticed:

"Very well. Bowie." Winged Helmet pointed his sword at Maury.


The insertion of the full stop makes it feel a little stopping here, and even if the winged helmet is addressing Maury, and before that is talking to someone else, I think you would need to emphasise that.

In summary, an interesting and readable style that remains powerful from start to finish.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




User avatar
3223 Reviews


Points: 339476
Reviews: 3223

Donate
Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:40 pm
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: Hmm, well this went in a direction I wasn't quite expecting, but I have to say I am not disappointed in the slightest. This is really building up quite nicely and we've already got more than a couple of things to get us invested in seeing more here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The torches to the Ceremonial Palace were lit and showed the winding way through the swamp. Maury and her mamay and papay rushed down the path made of stone from the nearby mountain ranges. Maury barely noticed the wildlife that splashed in the murky water and flew overhead. The sun was hidden in the foliage and swamp trees always gave the whole path an eerie and reverent feel to it. Now it was terrifying. Screams and shouts had echoed through the town and wiggled through the swamp.

Maury scanned the other faces of the survivors as her family passed them on the path. No Mikael or any of his family. Maury felt a lump growing in her throat. Her papay grabbed her hand and hurried her up around the last bend to the unceremonious entrance of the Palace. It was a low-hanging stone archway that led into an open grassy clearing surrounded with stone pillars carved into crescent moons and circles representing the sun and stars. The top of each pillar held a bowl of oil, lit up now to reveal a huddled mass of townspeople. Maury still couldn't locate Mikael.


Okay, it seems we're cutting to a time much later than the sort of middle of battle situation that we were in from the last chapter. The scene is certainly being setup in a pretty interesting fashion here, I'm very intrigued to see where you'll end up taking things from this point.

"Papay, Mikael isn't here." She couldn't help her voice rising in pitch. "He went back into town."

Her papay kneeled down on the damp grass "He'll be here. You have to trust him."

"But those awful cries coming from the village. One of them could be him! He could need our help."

Her papay grabbed her arms. "We cannot go out there. We have no weapons, no training. We don't even know who those people are out there."

"And neither does Mikael!" Maury pulled away and glanced back at the archway as a few more stragglers made their way in. A large man dressed in nothing but a tunic wrapped around his waist and a satchel led a group of similarly-dressed workers to the archway and they began to guide people in and check for injuries. The large man, Iva, Maury thought his name was, stopped every able-bodied man that entered and led them off to the side. He spotted Maury's papay and gave a gesture for him to join. He stood and kissed Maury on the forehead. She could hear his rapid breathing and the smell of sweat.


Well...it seems this battle isn't quite over just yet, but rather things are simply a little quieter in this part of town at least for the moment. Hmm, well that does make this situation yet more interesting, so let's where we proceed here.

"Invaders!" The shriek came from outside the Palace, causing everyone to turn that way with a communal gasp. Maury wiped her chapped lips with her sleeve and meant to turn back to her mother, but the group of survivors turned to full panic mode as the first pirate stampeded through the archway. She was knocked over in a mob of bodies that pushed to the back pillars and began to leak out into the swamp. Maury put one hand over her head as she tried to stand but a boot to her side forced her back to the ground with a sharp breath.

"Papay! Mikael! Mamay!" she called out. The last of the survivors passed by and she finally stood. The sight before her caused an instinctive hand to her mouth. Iva was hqcked with an axe tp the chest and slumped into a pillar. Her papay was on the ground, blood splattered across his back. One pirate was collapsed in the entrance, but three more has crossed into the clearing. One spotted Maury and rushed her. Maury stumbled back, slipping on the wet grass. A massive hand came down on her ankle. she kicked out at the pirate who easily dodged it and gave a swift kick to her side. Maury thought she heard something crack and a cough wracked her body as she doubled over.


And thus begins the fight. That was a pretty quick start which I think is very appropriate to the kind of fight that we've got happening here, so so far, this fight scene is kicking off quite nicely and it does seem like a large number of people Maury holds dear are going to end up dead quite soon too.

The pirate hauled her to her feet and held a thick dagger to her neck, holding her as a human shield. Through eyes blurred by tears Maury saw the other two pirates cut down from behind as soldiers clad in red and white charged through. There were at least a dozen, including two with bows. They halted as they saw the last pirate holding Maury.

"Put her down." A soldier stepped forward with silver wings decaled on his helmet. Maury now saw some sort of bird crest on his outer tunic in the dim light of the burning cauldrons.

The pirate snarled and Maury squirmed as she felt his breath on her head and spit slide down her neck. She gasped as he tightened his grip on her collar. Her knees were shaking and if he let go of her she would collapse without resistance.

"Very well. Bowie." Winged Helmet pointed his sword at Maury.


Well...it looks like we have a bit of a stand off developing. It does seem like the sort of thing that would happen when pirates are involved and with someone who clearly doesn't know terrible well to defend hereself.

One of the archers stepped forward and in a flash nocked and loosed an arrow. Maury shrieked and squeezed her eyes shut. Suddenly she was falling. She hit the ground, and before she could open her eyes the pirate crushed her into the ground. She convulsed as her ribs were pressed into the ground. Something warm rolled down her cheek and dampened her hair. As darkness clouded her consciousness and eye sight a great weight was lifted off of her and she was rolled on her back.

for the first time in an hour she took in one deep breath which i mediately sent her into a coughing fit. Her side pounded with every move. She forced her eyes open. Someone had one hand on her head and was running it through her hair, and another along her side.

A young face looked down on her. Dark eyes, white teeth. He turned back to Winged Helmet.


Well that's a big ouch...but to be expected in a situation like that. I do love the quick negotiation there with the soldier's only bothering to mention things once there before moving right ahead and not wasting any time. It shows a nice bit of professionalism there. And the injury description there is pretty decent too.

"Blood is just from that scum. Her sides are swelling and probably bruised, but she'll live." He turned to Maury. Stay as still as you can. Our physicians will be here as soon as they can."

Maury opened her mouth to speak, but the solider was already walking away. Maury took a deep breath and tried to lift herself off of the ground, but trying to sit up felt like lifting a back of rocks off her stomach. She sank back onto the wet ground. The soldiers were huddled nearby, wiping off their blades. There was a rush of footsteps and they were in defensive poses at once. Maury heard a slight chuckle and one of the soldiers yelled "you idiot," as the newcomer entered the clearing.

"General Boullion. I've accidentally discovered something I think you'll be interested in seeing for yourself."

"I've got a mess to clean up here, private. Speak candidly."


Okay...the soldiers checking up and moving through quickly is once a nice detail that happens to be very appropriate to how they would probably act in a situation like this one. It also increases the sort of fear we now have on Maury's behalf here since no one quite seems to be there to help her out if something else happens.

"Uh, yes, right. Sir, there's no other way to put this, but that there are rare minerals in this swamp. I dug out what I thought were simply rocks from my gauntlets and boots, but among the slime there were colors I've never seen."

There were a few murmurs from the group, but it was Boullion who spoke after half a minute had passed. "Mark the spot and then return to the village. We'll sort put what we can tonight, check for survivors, stragglers, injured, secure our perimeter, and tomorrow I want you at my tent first thing."

Maury heard footsteps as they left. She rolled to her side with great effort and pain, inhaling as she pushed herself to her knees. A figure across the opening, one of the bodies Maury had presumed was dead, was mimicking her motions. A chill ran the length of her spine. The figure turned, blood-soaked. Then Maury saw her Papay's face, and sank her head into the ground in relief.


Hmm, well Maury might not lose everyone today...or much worse, this could just end up being a setup for a much worse fate where she know has to watch her father die slowly instead of with a quick blow in a blur of movement.

"Maury!" he hoarsely yelled. She heard rather than watched him make his way to her. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her to her feet. He swept her off her feet. she wrapped her arms around his neck and looked into his misty eyes as tears welled in her own.

"Papay. I thought you were dead. I thought I was goi-" she choked on her words and buried her face into his chest.

He held her tight as he walked. "Oh, dear child, I will always be here."

Maury's mind raced to Mikael at those familiar words. "Papay. Mikael. is he okay? We have to find him."

He adjusted her in his arms. "We will. But first you need to see a physician. I will look for Mamay and then I will search for Mikael. I promise. You must rest. It's all over. Those were Astorian soldiers. I had heard rumors of pirates from Sadoria invading along the coast, but I never thought here. We've nothing for pirates to want or to gift these soldiers if the grain barns were destroyed."


Okayy...well, it looks like maybe her father is even less hurt than she is, or more likely, he's just being strong for his daughter at the moment, because that earlier scene suggested that some fairly serious injury did occur here, it can't be something you can easily shrug off by any means.

"Papay?"

"Yes?"

"Were you hurt? I saw blood. It looked horrible."

"It wasn't mine. I was hit across the head and fell unconscious"

"You didn't see the soldiers?"

"No. But I am grateful they arrived."

"Me too."


Well...that seems like maybe the father will be alright after all, honestly I am surprised, most stories would've killed him off by this point, but hmm, it seems that will not be the message here. Well, well...now that does make this more interesting than it otherwise would've been.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this has taken a couple of turns I wasn't expecting here. I loved the way things went here, the soldier's actions were pretty nicely done, the hint of a couple of things there with the minerals things and the reference to our missing man were also nice touches. Things are moving along okay for the moment, and I am excited to see what could come next.

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

Stay Safe
Harry





History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
— Napoleon Bonaparte