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Fool Without A Master (Chapter 1 Part 1)

by MissGangamash


Chapter 1 – My humble beginnings

I’d be lying if I said my current situation is what I desired for myself. But I’d also be lying if I said that it wasn’t completely and utterly my doing. Now, with my abundance of time, I’m going to tell you my story. Because what better gift is there to give someone than the gift of knowledge?

So, first things first, I will take you back to where everything started. The beginning. Because everything must begin at the start. And my beginning was not very welcomed. I was the product of my mother being on the wrong side of town, at night, innocent and alone. A bad man took that innocence from her and nine months later, there I was. Several months after that I was found alone in an inn. My mother had vacated the room that morning with everything she desired to keep in her life. I don’t blame her for leaving me behind. All I was to her was a burden and a reminder of that dreadful night. She didn’t want to be a mother and so how was she supposed to be any good at being one? Neighbours from my old town told me that my mother had tried to be rid of me several times as I grew inside her swollen belly, but, apparently, I have been stubborn from the start. They say her attempts are why I am so pale and I’m cold all the time.

She did the right thing leaving me because that afternoon, the innkeeper’s wife found me on her rounds and the couple took me in as their own. Of course, they put up posters but they knew if someone was really able to just forget their baby, it was obvious that the child didn’t mean much to them in the first place. After a couple of days of the village creeps turning up at the door claiming to be my parents, they took down the posters and gave me a name.

I’m not going to say I made it easy for them growing up. They tried to keep my abandonment from me as long as they could but I knew the truth as soon as I learned that words had meanings. Especially the words, ‘unwanted spawn’ and ‘unloved runt.’ Mr and Mrs Treager told me about my real mother, they told me that she loved me very much but she knew she couldn’t look after me. It was a nice sentiment but I knew even as a child that they were kind words to soften the blow. The drunken strangers of the village had told me the real story and nothing was ever going to erase that.

I was mad at first. A fiery little red-headed child with a need to cause chaos, and living in an inn meant that there were always new victims. It was all fun and games. Pockets were picked. Voices were mimicked. Skirts were pulled. Wigs went missing.

One night I was found by Mr Treager, hidden behind the kegs in the cellar, hiccupping and seeing double.

“Your stupid little tricks are going to put us out of business,” he said, punctuating his words with sharp clips round my ear. “You think this is funny? We’ll be out on the streets!”

It wasn’t unknown to me that our customers were dwindling. It had made it harder for me to sneak around unnoticed. Mr Treager pulled me up onto my feet and dragged me up the stairs. He plonked me down behind the bar, threw a rag at me and ordered me to start earning my keep. There had only been four people in the tavern and two rooms filled.

This went on for weeks, until one night, a man interrupted Mrs Treager ordering me around to ask if this was the inn.

“We are the Clove Inn,” Mrs Treager replied, smiling like she wasn’t about to hit me with her shoe.

“Yes, I know. I can read the sign. But is this the inn?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t follow.”

“The inn with the funny lad.”

At this, I picked myself up from the floor to see this strange man. His eyes lit up when he saw me. “Him! That’s him! This is the place.” The man ran out of the door.

Mrs Treager and I look at each other. Then a whole group of drunkards came pouring in.

“See, I told you this was the place,” called the man over the hustle and bustle of the group barging through tables to get a look at me.

Apparently, word had gotten around about my tricks and gimmicks and people who actually had a sense of humour wanted to check it out for themselves. The inn was full again. We were even having to turn people away at the door. Mr and Mrs Treager were rushed off their feet, their faces constantly flushed and armpits wet with sweat. But smiling. They always had smiles on their faces as they now encouraged me to cut holes in bedsheets and switch clothes in the wash baskets. We were one of three inns in Greysmarsh, a small port town at the border of the Kalmador, and so competition was constant. If people just wanted a roof over their heads and a standard meal of porridge, bread and cheese, they headed to either The Horse Shoe or The Fishman’s Friend. But if they wanted to be kept on their toes – water thrown on their faces in the middle of the night, an extra kick to their broth or a pair of ladies’ undergarments mixed in with their breeches, they came to The Clove Inn. And month by month, year by year, people from other parts of the kingdom came in droves. Word spread so much we were able to buy out the old building next door and turn it into more rooms.

It wasn’t long until I needed help keeping up the trickery and so I employed Mirabelle, the daughter of our chef. She was a year younger than me and would come with her mother at the end of her father’s shift to help him clean up before leaving. She was small with round cheeks and straw yellow hair down to her elbows. With living and working in the inn and most of our customers being people looking for work, the only time I ever saw other children was when I had to go into the town for errands. So, whenever Mirabelle came to visit, I would try to catch her attention the only way I knew how. I was not a conversationalist and really had no idea what to say to her, but not to worry, she sure had a lot to say to me when she went home one night with a chunk of her hair significantly shorter than the rest. She hated me for a good few weeks after that, until she witnessed me joking around with one of the towns working ladies, letting her smear rouge on my lips while I danced around in a makeshift bedsheet dress. She learned very early on that I was a hard person to stay mad at.

And so through most of my childhood years, Mirabelle and I caused havoc in The Clove Inn, and whatever we stole from the drunkards we kept in our den up in the dusty loft. With the help of Mirabelle’s seamstress mother, we performed skits and plays where she would play the man and I the woman. There was just something about watching a lanky, freckled boy prance around in a dress and tights that had the punters howling and falling off their wonky-legged stools.

“He’s a natural performer, that kid.” I had heard a lady say to Mr Treager. “One of a kind.”

Mr Treager had then looked over at me from behind the bar and doffed his cap to me with pride shining in his dark eyes. “He sure is.”

When I was thirteen years old, I was allowed the day off work to watch the Kings Procession. King Cedric would come to our town once every few years to show his respect and love for his people. I heard that we were always the last stop on his tour and some years he missed us out all together because we were the furthest town from the palace, so when he did visit, it was always an incredibly big event for us.

Mirabelle and I made a banner to hang just below The Clove Inn sign reading ‘Welcome, King Cedric! From the best inn in Greysmarsh!’ Of course, Mirabelle had been in charge of the writing, as I was yet to learn, but I picked the colours and painted the surrounding clovers and fish. That was the day I realised I had a knack for painting. A knack- that was I had thought it had been. I was naturally gifted at painting, the same way I was naturally gifted at creating skits and pulling pranks. And the salty sea smell that had become suddenly stronger up in our stuffy, windowless den after I had drawn those little finned friends? Pure coincidence.

“Greysmarsh is a smelly place,” said Mirabelle distractedly when I voiced my confusion. But I was sure I caught her flinch at the same moment I saw a flash from the parchment in the corner of my eye. A sudden shimmer, like how the sea reflected the sun.

The town was transformed. People painted their shopfronts blood red and forest green, the Kalmador colours. Buntins were streamed over the streets and hung up in every place possible. But the biggest change was the town green. The place was usually just a wide-open empty field where children would play and women would forage for herbs. But that day and night, it was alive with music and entertainment. Minstrels played and sang, bakers set up stalls to showcase their cakes and pastries; it was a time for everyone in the town to show off their talents to our beloved king and prince.

Mirabelle and I found a good spot on the roof of the candlemakers after struggling to get a good view over the bustle of townsfolk who had crowded on and down the main strip of cobbled street that ran through the town – the path that had been sectioned off the previous day by members of the court.

It was the first time I had ever seen the royal family and I was surprised by how… normal they looked as they strode through the streets on horseback, waving and smiling the whole way. Prince Kaspar had only been fifteen at the time but I remember thinking that there had been a sadness about him, a loneliness that I hadn’t quite understood.

The two of us were invisible to the procession up on the roof despite how much we waved and cheered. That day I vowed to myself that when the King’s Procession next visited our town, I was going to be seen.

I had four years to prepare my performance. Every night Mirabelle and I would stay in our den practicing. I even taught myself how to juggle with stale bread rolls. We were spending so much time together that her parents and the Treagers thought that a young romance had brewed between us. They couldn’t have been more wrong. I saw Mirabelle as my sister because I learned early on that blood meant nothing, family was who you loved. We kissed only for acting purposes in the skit where I played the lonely maiden waiting for her knight in shining armour to come rescue her from her tiresome mundane life of mopping floors and taking orders. The knight in shining armour in question was Mirabelle wearing a skillet as a breastplate and using a ladle as a sword.

When the King’s Procession finally came back into town, we had a full wardrobe of costumes thanks to Mirabelle’s mother and the help of the town’s blacksmith who was able to create a crudely shaped suit of armour. He did his best but it was obvious why he was down in Greysmarsh and not within the palace walls tending to the knights.

That year a stage had been set up in the green as it wasn’t only Mirabelle and I who had been training for this very day. Now we had a fire dancer, a pair of puppeteers and a wood sculptor in our midst. This meant that the two of us had competition. We needed to stand out. We needed to be memorable.

______

A/N : This is my first attempt at historical fantasy. Feel free to pull it apart. And let me know if you want to read more! 


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23 Reviews


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Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:23 pm
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CotardDelusionz says...



I haven't read yet but just wanna say I really like your title for this series. I'll be sure to read through some of these chapters when I'm a real nice reading mood so I can enjoy it to the fullest.






Thank you! Hope you enjoy the story, and if you check it out please leave reviews so I know what you think :D



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Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:32 pm
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Horisun wrote a review...



Greetings and Salutations, and Happy Review Month!
This is a great opening chapter. You did an excellent job introducing both the characters and the setting. I really enjoyed learning about the Narrator. He feels pretty unique, we don't usually see MCs with that sort of personality.
I did skim the opening paragraph of the next chapter before writing this, and I noticed how you switch from past tense, to present tense. This is completely my opinion, so feel free to disregard it, but it did find it a bit jarring. I read your reply to a earlier review and I understand that this chapter is meant to get everyone up to speed on the Characters past? And I think the result was that it became a little bit info-y. Don't get me wrong, the information here is incredibly interesting! But maybe it would help the suspense a bit if you sprinkled it out throughout the following chapters, rather than opening with it.

Nevertheless, your characterization was great, and I look forward to seeing how this story progresses! Keep on writing, and have a great day!






Hello!

The switch from far past to present past is intentional. As this is his biography there are a few times where he will flash back to fill in gaps. I understand it may not be everyone's liking - as everyone likes different things - but I think it works for how the story plays out. There is also points of present tense as he talks about things in his life happening at the point of writing.

I get that this chapter is infoy but it has to be. It's a sum up of what happened before he dives into the deeper story. But trust me - there is more to look back on!

Thank you for reviewing and I hope you continue reading :D



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Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:31 pm
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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



hey! Forever here with a short review!!

Wow, this was so good. I really enjoyed the story and it was fantastic as a first part of a first chapter. You should continue this.
Characters: Now, I am assuming that her true mom is not gonna serve any purpose in the future. So, I will not go to much details about her. Precisely, she seems to be an average character... Not so good, not so bad. But I am a bit interested about her past, I mean the actual grandparents of the unnamed narrator. The narrator seems to quite accept the fact that his mother was not at all wrong in what she did but well, I kind of disagree with the narrator. Now with the narrator, he is quite a person at the point. I shouldn't tell that I have a very good idea of his personality, but he has a unique one. Something which interests me is his in-born talents. This again kind of connects him to his past, his mother and that man. And he is not what can be called very funny. Doing pretty weird stuffs. Anyway, the word "funny" is very relative. Now Mirabelle. She seems to have some similarities with the narrator. And togethee, they are great and do some good stuffs. Maybe, I will comment on the characters in the upcoming chapters.

Plot:A lot of infos in here. Also, this is all past. I am quite eager about what the present is. You start by saying that the narrator is not in a desired condition and then you told nothing of the present. That is not bad tho. It did a good job instilling curiosity in the mind of the readers. Overall, the chapter felt like a quick summary of what had happened in the past, though sometimes the narrator got absorbed in the thoughts and descrived them quite well. Now, the function, I mean the performance in front of King Cedric. I hope that stood out but at the same time, I am worried that standing out can prove to be something evil, it can lead to something unexpected that will not be very good for the narrator. The end was kind of a cliffhanger. Good job!

Setting:A lot of Worldbuilding, no, not a lot but well, it is obviously fictional. So, there will be some Worldbuilding. Greysmarsh is obviously a fictional place created by you and I wonder about the exact time period when the story takes place. It doesn't seem to be in near past, maybe in the ancient past. I am yet to discover it, maybe in the upcoming chapters, I will get a hint of it through some words. I wonder about the "smelly place" thing. What was it really supposed to mean?

All in all, seems like a person trying to write a biography for some reason. Autobiographies are really cool. It was seriously a great beginning and when you post the next part, please tag me.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever

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Thank you for your in-depth review. And you hit the nail on the head! The first chapter is just him summing up what happened to get him to get him to the place where the rest of the story will go on from in present-past tense. And this is indeed his biography! It is the first time I have written anything like this so I very much welcome any feedback I can get!

I will tag you when I upload more :D



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Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:49 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi MissGangamash,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

First of all, before I go into more detail about some things, I have to say that I have enjoyed the story so far. For a first chapter, or the first part, you already give a lot of good information about the narrator and also a little bit of his life, so that the reader can imagine everything very well.

It's an interesting mix you've chosen here for the genres, where I wonder to what extent you read historical fiction and where you read fantasy. I think for people who are more interested in historical fiction and trying to find accurate situations, it can get confusing. Of course, this is just the beginning, and it can still evolve, but I think you should try to comment on this in an author's note. Because I'm very curious to know if the places and people mentioned like King Cedric exist.

I liked your style and how you tried to portray a first person narrator here. The tone of the story was a bit monotonous at the beginning, especially when the character was talking about the mother, I found the section a bit less well written than the following sections which had more emotion and variety in the sentences. Still, I enjoyed reading it because it sounded very lively after how the introduction (the first section) felt to read.

This is one of those points where the reader does not know what it is all about. What situation is the character in? There are no clues and it seems as if someone would randomly tell this on the street and then present his life story. I think you have to show the situation somehow. Is it bad? Is it good? What's the point of us reading these three lines if you don't tell us what the situation is? I think that is my main criticism.

Another thing that will probably come is how you will try to insert the descriptions to believably introduce the reader to the time in which the narrator is reading. Because at the moment I can't find anything tangible about where exactly it could be set. Even now, what I saw when I read the short description is that the narrator's name is Wallace, but the name itself never appears in the chapter. :D

In summary, it was an interesting and well-written story. There are some teething problems, but they are quickly solved. You manage to create a vivid narrative, which I like, and I think is very important with a first person narrator.

Have fun writing!

Mailice






Hey!

This is historical fantasy, all of the characters and places are my own.

This book is actually set out as if it is Wallace Treager's biography. He is in a situation in his life where he has a lot of time on his hands and has decided to write the story of how he ended up where he is - which is hinted at throughout the story.

This first chapter is very much filling in the space before the actual story he wants to tell happens which will be set in present-past tense to insert the reader into the story so you are following what it happening essentially as it happens - which is why this part might seem a little more info-dumpy.

Mirabelle actually mentions his name in the next line but I cut it there because it just felt like a good place to end on. That's why I mentioned his name in the summary haha.

Thank you for reading and reviewing! This is definitely a style and frame-work I have never tried before but I am really enjoying writing. I hope if you read the next part my idea for the story will make more sense.

Thanks again!





Thanks for the clarifications! :D



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Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:02 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

Actually this is going to be a very short one, because I found absolutely no fault within this. As first chapters go, I think you have worked brilliantly in introducing the character and giving us an idea about his life and history. Even though this did not have very much dialogue, it flowed very well and it was very easy to connect with the character and sympathize with him at points. He does have a very sad beginning and being left by your mother does not shape into a very happy and smooth childhood. Still he seems to sail through his days, causing mischief and having the time of his life every moment. He lives every moment to the fullest and has this natural talent at making people laugh. The ending suggests that all the preparation for the King's arrival for years will pay off because he is to become the court jester after all. I wonder what will happen to the inn then and how they will manage to keep it afloat without him. Also, the best friend. I wish you include more of her because she seems to be a constant in his life, yet we don't really know much about her.

This story has so much potential, and I am excited to see where you go with this. Your grammar is on point and you set your scenes very well. This is a historical fic, and you can see it in the descriptions you use. This was a very good start. Keep up the good work, and yes, I would love to read more!

Have a great day!






Thank you so much! This character means so much to me so I really want to do him justice. Mirabelle is one of the main characters of the story so you will get to see a lot of her.

Thanks again for the lovely review. I hope you keep reading! :D




Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.
— Captain Jack Sparrow