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Scars In Blue: Part 1: Chapter 5: Shadows and Fire

by Serrurie


Hi! I wrote this far in advance to joining YES, and I got the perspectives a little out of order. Lansie will have the spotlight twice in a row, since I've written too far ahead to make changes. Please enjoy! (Hopefully Lansie is your favourite) 

The whole hallway was filled with rubbish. Outdated maps, odd taxidermy sewn onto each other, golden torch holders covered in layers upon layers of dust. The real Duke hadn’t been here in a while. Soon the home would probably deteriorate into a shell of its former glory.

“Porc,” Lansie muttered, picking up a disgustingly muddy shirt off of the ground. “How are any of the maids surviving here?” The Duke chuckled, rubbing her hair until it was tangled. “Silly Lansie. There are no more maids here anymore.” The princess’s eyes widened. “What on earth? How are you living in such a shanty without someone to help you clean?”

“I’m not here often,” Soleil shrugged. “And whenever I am here, I just grab whatever I need for my own expeditions and I’m off. Taxes lowered when my father left. Not enough to keep up with the maid’s pay. Not even enough for the Royal Flammes.”

“So, no fire?” Lansie began to smile at the thought of no more voices. The fire was the only thing that knew of her mistake. Soon she would be guilt-free.

“Princess!” A voice yelled. Lansie turned around to see a guard in glowing white armor. “A poster. For you.” Lansie took the large piece of paper and read:

Prince Lucian Doug Allard, First Heir To The Throne.

REWARD: €1000

“Rubbish!” Lansie snorted, balling up the paper and handing it back to the guard. “My brother is safely on his way here in a carriage. Right, Duke?” Soleil bit his lip as he uncrumpled the paper to read it for himself. “No one’s seen him since this morning, I’m afraid. His window was found shattered, and a rope of shirts at the bottom.” Lansie rolled her eyes. “Of course, he thought it would be a good time to escape the castle in all of the havoc. I’m sure he’ll turn up eventually once he knows my Father’s disappeared as well.”

The Duke and the guard exchanged a sympathetic glance. “Lansie…”

“What?” she hissed. “You don’t believe me when I say my Father is alive? You may think I’m a silly little girl with foolish ideas, but guess what? You have nothing to prove that he’s dead either.” She lifted her chin defiantly and crossed her arms. “May I, your Highness?” the guard asked. Soleil curtly nodded.

“Princess…” The guard knelt down on one knee and held her hand in his. Don’t cry, Lansie thought. Do. Not. Cry. “I’m…I’m afraid…”

“Please don’t say it.”

“That His Majesty’s crown was found in the basement. On a pile of ash.”

“NO!” Lansie screamed, jerking away and painfully climbing onto a pile of junk to reach his height. “You’re wrong! You’re both wrong! And I’m going to prove it to you!” She flipped the hood of her cloak up and stole a white torch from a nearby maid. “I’m going to find my Father in the basement, and you two will just have to bite your tongues as he walks right in here by tomorrow!”

Soleil put his hand on her shoulder. “Lansie, it’s too dangerous for you. There are rumours that it’s still burning in some places down there.”

“You’re going to base my safety off of a rumour?” The Duke’s face stayed blank. “Fine, then.” She gripped his arm as tight as she could and dragged him to the golden doors of the Summer Home. “Then you are going to come with me.”

The basement stairs glowed in a hideously bright white, hiding the secrets on its floor with the glow. Hisses and rumbles repeatedly sounded with each step-down, and even though Lansie would not admit she was scared, she wasn’t pleased with the conditions either.

“Maybe our jument has been out there too long,” Soleil murmured. “It’s feeding time for her right now, and we rode her quite far.” Lansie grabbed the Duke’s shirt collar and shook it. “We didn’t come all this way for nothing. I’m sure your precious mount will survive two hours without some food.”

“You think we’ll only be down here for two hours?”

“You’ll only be down here for two hours,” Lansie chuckled. “I figure by then you’ll go running home to Mummy so you can be fed fancy cheeses off of a golden platter in your junkpile by my maids.”

“That was…oddly specific.”

“And oddly true!” Lansie let go of his shirt collar. “Funny, isn’t it?” She jumped off of the last step of the staircase and blew out the bright white torch that was blinding them on the way down. Soleil blinked his eyes for a few moments before adjusting to the dim light of the corridors. “So this is the basement,” he murmured. “Haven’t been here since I was a wee one.”

“What were you doing?” Lansie asked. Soleil shrugged. “Your brother thought he saw something odd glowing in here. We snuck down. The rest is history.” Lansie looked at him for a quick moment before following the line of blue torches down the narrow hallway. She could hear the voices whispering, but not a single one seemed to know her name. They were all curious about the newcomers. Who are they?

A little girl…

Did they put the white light out?

Why is that man following her?

Lansie gulped as she kept walking down, hearing new voices from each flame until she made it to a large room covered by curtains. A new hallway was to the right of the room, and far in the distance was a glinting golden crown.

“What’s down there?” Soleil asked, peering his head to the side. Landsie jerked his arm and pulled him away from the hall. She didn’t want to get sneered at. Or admit the truth. “Come on,” Lansie told him.

When they entered the room covered by curtains, Lansie let out a breath of awe and sheer shock. “Dreamlike,” Soleil whispered.

A large blue fire pit was in the center of a mammoth, underground arena made of stone, flickering and whisking itself about as if it were looking around the arena’s seats to see who had come. In each seat was a large, tall crate with people’s names engraved in gold. Only one seat stood apart from the rest- the throne of the King.

“What are they?” Soleil asked, pressing his hands against the lowest sitting crate. The name was spelled out in cursive and with extra curls. It read; Claire Rosalie Durand-A soul to be remembered. Lansie gently grabbed his hand and pulled it away. “A memorial, I suppose? It’s best not to wonder.”

Smart girl, a voice murmured. Lansie’s eyes went bloodshot. “Duke?” she whispered. He turned his head back to her from gazing at the arena seats. “What, little Lansie?”

“Someone’s here.” Lansie pointed vaguely in the distance of the fire. Soleil squinted down at it. “Where? I don’t see a living soul.”

You’d be surprised. Lansie gasped. “There! It talked again!” Soleil snorted. “There’s nobody here at all.” Lansie let out a quivering breath. It can’t be. I refuse it to be. The fire isn’t alive.

Come here, little girl. I’ll reveal to you the truth.

Lansie let go of her cousin’s arm. He stood up straighter as she strode towards the fire, carefully stepping over any cracks and splintering boards of wood left carelessly on the ground. “Lansie!” he called. “Get away from the fire!”

“My burn has healed, Duke,” Lansie growled. “And you have no right to boss me.”

“But-”

“You are not my father.” Lansie stood inches away from the flames, watching as they wicked to and fro, lighting a glow in her eyes. The fire lost its singular voice, switching to hundreds of whispers and mutters that were barely audible to her. But one voice stood out. One that seemed to know who she was.

Do I know you? It asked. Lansie lifted her chin and looked down at the tiny flame straying from the fire. “I’d assume not,” Lansie murmured. “This is my first time in this corridor.” The fire let out a breath. Impossible! We thought our savior would be older, wiser. But you are young. Meek. And yet, I still feel like I knowyou. The voice was feminine and quiet, but the smallest bit shaky. It sounded as if it was trying not to cry.

“What savior?” Lansie asked. She had completely tuned out Soleil by now. There was nothing to be afraid of. All there was in the world now was Lansie, and the flames.

The one to get rid of our vile kidnapper, the flame whispered. It wicked itself back and forth towards her hand, asking if it could hold it. “Don’t burn me,” Lansie warned. But the fire felt cool, and inviting. I’m sorry if my friends burned you. We are very fearful of outsiders.

“Who hurt you?” Lansie asked. “Clearly you’ve been imprisoned here, somehow.”

Yes, the fire growled. We have been imprisoned.

“I can’t save you,” Lansie whispered. “I’m just a girl.”

Then take back what is ours, the fire whispered. It encircled her, hundreds of flames whispering yes or do it into her ears. Lansie crouched down amidst all of the voices, in fear and excitement of the newcomers that seemed enchanted by her presence. If they had been here all this time, they could tell her where her father was. She was not about to give up on that hope.

The fire repeated, take back what is ours, turning it into a chant. Take back the bodies.


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100 Reviews

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Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:13 pm
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dragonight9 wrote a review...



Wow, cool story!

I really like the idea of a princess who can hear the voices of flames and the mystery of her father's disappearance. I decided to start with this since the title, "Shadows and Fire" intrigued me. I also noticed that you haven't seemed to settle on how to properly title these chapters yet. I personally liked the format of "Scars In Blue-part 1-Chapter x: Chapter title"
Though I never thought to title my chapters before. Cool idea, it's very intriguing.

The Story:
Even though this is a later chapter I still felt like I was able to know who each of the characters were and their role in the story very quickly and clearly without you explaining it to me. A great example of 'showing not telling' here.

The story overall felt hairy potter esc in the sense that it felt like magic and mystery were around every corner and anything could happen in the basement.

You also did a good job of being descriptive, though using a few other senses such as smell, touch or sound could have added to it. Especially if you wanted to create a more creepy/apprehensive atmosphere.

The basement itself reeks of dark royal secrets. You did a very good job of this by having a duke be unaware of it and the princess avoiding explaining it.

The mysterious fire at the end was very intriguing. It raised so many questions and gave me the feeling that some kind of dark deal might be made here. The fire wants Lansie to take back what is theirs and she wants to know about her father. I like this kind of cliffhanger.

There's a few other things but I don't want to bore you with small details.
As for the grammar, I think you did really well. There were a few spots that you could have added a new line to distinguish different speakers but it didn't really hinder me during reading in any way so it's fine. Just a writing preference of mine.

Have a great day or week and happy writing or reading. ;)




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Fri Sep 22, 2023 7:00 pm
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NadyaStatham wrote a review...



Salutations, curious mind!



Rinisha here, ready to dive into the pages of this intriguing story. 📚!

Buckle up, 'cause we're diving into my review magic! ✨

The Good Stuff:

First of all, let's talk about the parts that really rocked!

Amazing concept, fitting dialogues and good descriptions say it all, Brilliant novel you have going on here. The names you chose for your characters and the titles you gave the story are also very specific, I like that.

The revelation about the flames at the end could be smoothed out and there could be a few more clarifications in a few places, but otherwise I would suggest that you continue with this novel if that is also your wish.

To be honest, I haven't really read from the first chapter, but you did a good job of introducing the characters in the beginning so that this chapter could be read without the others. That is a good point.

Areas to Improve:✒️

I would suggest you make the parts where the flames talk cursive because that way it is easier to follow for the reader who and what is talking.

Smart girl, a voice murmured. Lansie’s eyes went bloodshot. “Duke?” she whispered. He turned his head back to her from gazing at the arena seats. “What, little Lansie?”

“Someone’s here.” Lansie pointed vaguely in the distance of the fire. Soleil squinted down at it. “Where? I don’t see a living soul.”

You’d be surprised. Lansie gasped. “There! It talked again!” Soleil snorted. “There’s nobody here at all.” Lansie let out a quivering breath. It can’t be. I refuse it to be. The fire isn’t alive.

Come here, little girl. I’ll reveal to you the truth.

~~~
I would suggest you place some more descriptions about the feeling, vibe, emotions that that place gives off

For example
Before
“What’s down there?” Soleil asked, peering his head to the side. Landsie jerked his arm and pulled him away from the hall. She didn’t want to get sneered at. Or admit the truth. “Come on,” Lansie told him.


After
“What’s down there?” Soleil asked, peering his head to the side. As his eyes scanned the basement, it still looked the same as it had years ago. Landsie jerked his arm and pulled him away from the hall. She didn’t want to get sneered at. Or admit the truth. “Come on,” Lansie told him.

~~~
To be honest I think it's a little too fast that you said that the flames know where her father is. If you smoothen out the scene a little bit, the story will flow better. Try to add more anticipation for the reader and make it a bit like a climax in your story.

Then take back what is ours, the fire whispered. It encircled her, hundreds of flames whispering yes or do it into her ears. Lansie crouched down amidst all of the voices, in fear and excitement of the newcomers that seemed enchanted by her presence. If they had been here all this time, they could tell her where her father was. She was not about to give up on that hope.


Nailed It!💐

I really love your title. It says so much on its own already and your cover also fits nicely with it. The subtitle is also a magnificent choice, that is very curious on its own and is the whole entire reason I chose to read your story.

Scars In Blue: Part 1: Chapter 5: Shadows and Fire


Overall Feelings:

This is a very nice novel you have going on here, with brilliant dialogues and characters. Aside from adding some more descriptions and clarifications is this a novel which I think is definitely worth continuing. IF that's your wish.

Be sure to check out…📔🔖

Purple Stones - Prologue by @LuminescentAnt

While reading your story I had the feeling that you would really enjoy this one. This story is about a girl whose town is cursed, every child has a curse gotten from the evil witch. I am sure you will love it!

Almost everyone in Tqladia and the other kingdoms in the Continent knew about the Witch of Tqladia City. It was like a fairy tale for them, something that people would tell at a tavern or one that an older sibling might tell a younger one to scare them. Or perhaps something that royals might tell other royals before laughing and saying, “Of course, the danger won’t come to us,” Some people even believed that what people were saying wasn’t true at all, and it was all just performed to make people scared. But unfortunately, they were very much wrong, and the “myth” was in fact very true.


Have a nice day or night further! Keep writing! You are amazing!

Amazingly yours,
Rinisha
– Be yourself and keep writing! 📖🎉

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Obsessing over what you regret won't get you anywhere.
— Steggy