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Scars In Blue-Part 1-Chapter 3: Taste of Freedom

by Serrurie


“Ah, fresh air!” Lucian sighed, flopping onto the grass. The nights seemed to be getting darker and darker, but the air was just as cool and perfect as before. He bumped shoulders with the Duke of Dronian as he stared, starry-eyed, at the obsolete sky. It was a blessing that he was able to sneak out again.

“Sit down, Soleil,” Lucian begged. The Duke sighed and sat down on his knees. “Beautiful night, isn’t it?”

“Incredibly dark,” Lucian murmured, “but I’m still glad to be here.”

“What are you talking about?” Soleil asked. “Starstalkers are supposed to be allowed wherever they please at night.”

“Not me.” Lucian looked up at the blank sky. A single star was glowing through the fog, twinkling magically, as if speaking to him. He could almost hear its voice. Gentle, majestic. Unsure what to say. Lucian, it spoke. Are you alright? Most of his colleagues stopped hearing those voices eventually. Tuned them out. But they still clung to him, faded, distant. Good thing he didn’t mind at all. Reaching out his hand, he twisted his fingers back and forth, as his tutor had first taught him. “Come here,” he asked. “I will bring you back. I promise.”

“Did you say something, Lucian?” Soleil asked. Lucian couldn’t hear him. The voices were overpowering, stomping in a pattern similar to thunder. He reached farther as a small lightning bolt struck him. He glowed, the slightest bit, and in his hand was a small orb of light.

“So much power,” Lucian murmured. “And responsibility. How can my father not trust me on my own? I’m an adult!”

“A young one,” Soleil told him gently. “I’m sure if you told your father all you wanted to do is settle down as king, he would be less of a cosseter.”

“Cosseter!” Lucian sneered. “That’s what I called him. But you know what? He’s a blind, old tortoise. Can’t even see that I’m perfectly capable. Of everything.” He threw the orb up, watching as another bolt of lightning caught the orb and retreated back to the sky. “He was fine with me becoming a Starstalker. Surely I’ll be alright without him.”

“But how are you going to prove it?” Lucian turned his head toward Soleil and smiled. “I won't have to. I’ll just leave.”

“To where?” Lucian shrugged. “The next country, I suppose. They’ll be happy to have an experienced Starstalker with them. They’ll have more light than they’ll know what to do with.”

“So that’s it? You’re just going to leave?”

“‘Course not,” Lucian chuckled, standing up. “I’ll need to pack my things.”

Lucian ran off into the night, calling his tiny orb back to him for a light source on the way. But he didn’t need it. The castle had erupted with the blue light. Flames were reaching past the clouds. Lucian stopped in his tracks. “No, no, no!” he growled. “Lansie!”

Rushing up the stairs, he slammed the door open to Lansie’s bedroom. “Lansie! Lansie!” he sobbed. She was nowhere to be found. Her bedcovers were charred. Curtains transformed into a small pile of ash. And her stuffed bunny… He grasped the remains tightly for but a moment. The key. He bolted to the library. “Lansie?”

Silence.

“Lucian?” He scrambled to the broom closet. There his sister was, lying in a ball on the ground. Poor kid… She had no escape from the fire around her. A man shoved passed him with a sloshing bucket. The fire was put out quickly.

“Lansie,” he murmured, lifting her into his arms. “Are you alright? Burnt? Hung-”

“I’m,” she began, coughing, “f-fine. My bunny wasn’t burnt, was she?” Lucian allowed himself to laugh. “Let’s get you in bed. Soldiers have already put out some of the fire.” Lansie didn’t attempt to look up at him. Instead, she tugged his shirt as firmly as she could. “Water…”

Lansie put up a fuss at the bed covers she was being tucked into. Her legs were out, her vest taken off. Her lady-in-waiting began to fuss over her, fanning her and helping her drink.

“Get her some soup,” Lucian ordered. The lady-in-waiting furrowed her eyebrow. Meek little maid. Shouldn’t get to question me. But he sensed that she was right on this one. “Maybe a cold…cheese…platter?” The lady in waiting curtsied and left for the kitchen. “Lucian…” Lansie whispered. “Yes?”

“Roll up my pants…” Please don’t be hurt. Please, please… He gasped. Her left leg was completely burned. The skin had turned bright red, black covering parts of it like a spiderweb, stinking and smelling. “Ow!” she squeaked as he gently put his hand on it.

“Get all of the ice you can from the cellar,” Lucian told the maid when she got back. “But we’re low on-”

“NOW!”

Lansie curled up into a ball. “Lucian? Have you seen my leg?” Lucian nodded. “I’m feeling dizzy.” Lucian’s sister drifted into a shaky sleep, mumbling between breaths with ‘stop!’, and ‘no!’ It took all of the prince’s might not to shake her awake from her bad dream. And it took even more strength to not yell at his father for not even checking on her.

“Your majesty!” the maid sounded. She dropped the heavy metal bucket beside the bed, wiping the sweat off of her brow. “Could you sit her up? Put her feet into the water?”

“Of course, Am-,”

“Abigail.”

Lucian tugged gently on his sister’s shoulder. “Lansie,” he whispered. “Get up.”

“Mmmmmm…” Lansie murmured. “Up!” Lucian pushed her onto her tailbone and smiled at her exasperated sigh. “Ohh,” she hissed. “That feels good.”

“Good enough not to need a doctor?” Lucian asked. Lansie’s eyes widened. “Yes, yes! No doctor. Don’t need one.”

“Lansie,” the maid whispered, pressing her hand onto the girl’s forehead. “You have a fever and a leg that’s about to fall off. There’s nothing else we can do except call a doctor.”

“NO!” She bent over and grabbed her leg. “He’s going to cut it off. You’re all the ones who need doctors. Doctors that can cure you of hysterical ideas!” The prince wrapped a blanket around his little sister. “I’ll get Father,” he quickly told the maid. “And find a different cheese. She hates Pepper Jack.”

“Lucian!” Lansie cried, grabbing his arm. He bent down and held her hands. “Yes, little Lansie?”

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?” Lansie balled her hands up into fists. “Everything.”


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Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:07 pm
foxmaster wrote a review...



Hi there! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

OOoh looks like the fire has been discovered... it's a good thing that his sister is alive! She got lucky. Once again, a great chapter written by you! Now, to the review!

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know
What I know is that Lucian is a Starstalker, and he was outside looking at the stars before he left. He noticed a fire, and so he ran to the library,only to find that his sister has been severely injured.... and the fire seems to be all her fault.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements
This was, once again, a very well-written chapter, but I did notice some things.

mumbling between breaths with ‘stop!’, and ‘no!’ It took all of the prince’s might not to shake her awake from her bad dream

here It would probably be better if you added quotation marks to when she was muttering. Italic-ing them might be good, too.
“For what?” Lansie balled her hands up into fists. “Everything.”

It would also be better if you started a new paragraph with the part where Lansie balled her fists. It would probably flow better.

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece
I especially loved the part here:
A single star was glowing through the fog, twinkling magically, as if speaking to him. He could almost hear its voice. Gentle, majestic. Unsure what to say. Lucian, it spoke. Are you alright? Most of his colleagues stopped hearing those voices eventually. Tuned them out. But they still clung to him, faded, distant. Good thing he didn’t mind at all. Reaching out his hand, he twisted his fingers back and forth, as his tutor had first taught him. “Come here,” he asked. “I will bring you back. I promise.”

I like the part where the start almost seems to be speaking to Lucian. It seems like a really powerful moment, and what we need right now. Great job!

Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts
Once again, this has been an amazing and powerful chapter, full of suspense and powerful moments. Good job!
-Happy writing.
-foxmaster




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Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:45 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

Interesting continuation! As the story continues, I feel that I'm definitely getting the vibe of it more, both in terms of the setting and the characters. I like how you portray the wants of your two main characters, Lucian and Lansie, and how they're at odds with each other. Lucian very much wants to go off on his own, and thinks he's capable of doing so, whereas Lansie is much more sentimental and wants him to stay with her, as younger siblings are wont to do. Both characters seem quite stubborn as well, likely given their royal upbringings, so I'd be curious to know if their desires are ever going to come head to head.

I thought the plot of the fire was also a very logical way to add drama to the introduction; it felt like just the move a sheltered princess would pull to get back at her older brother for leaving her so much. She does seem quite remorseful, so I wonder if she'll confess that she was the one who started it, albeit by accident. It also seems like now that she's injured, Lucian might stick around, since he does seem to truly care for her.

Specifics

“But how are you going to prove it?” Lucian turned his head toward Soleil and smiled. “I won't have to. I’ll just leave.”

“To where?” Lucian shrugged. “The next country, I suppose. They’ll be happy to have an experienced Starstalker with them. They’ll have more light than they’ll know what to do with.”


Here, it was a little hard to tell that the Duke/Soleil was the character speaking first; to fix that, you should make his dialogue separate paragraphs from Lucian's lines.

Overall: nice work! I'm really enjoying this story so far, and I'm excited for it to continue. Until next time!




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Tue Sep 05, 2023 11:28 pm
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Rose wrote a review...



Greetings Storyteller!

Beyond my beloved horizon, my journey continues into uncharted pages with an itch for curiosity. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye a third chapter of the captivating story titled “Scars In Blue”. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Image

I. Unraveling the Opener
“Ah, fresh air!” These three simple words open the story with an immediate sense of relief and freedom. The subtitle makes it clearer what we can expect from this story without giving away much detail. Good one!
The attention is shifted from Lansie to her brother, Lucian, who is relaxing in the grass while the library is burning. It shows a whole other part of the story while the suspension about the burning library is kept far away from the hands of the reader.
The themes of familial tension, rebellion and personal growth are introduced, setting the stage for another promising chapter.

II. Writing Style & Variety
Your writing style is imagery and yet simple, at some points it could still benefit from some more vivid descriptions such as the lightning orb and the burning library, but otherwise it perfectly describes the scene.
The emotional engagement in the story is noteworthy, with scenes that evoke powerful feelings, particularly when Lucian fears what may have happened to Lanie's leg and when he sees it.

III. That Part
The part where Lucian attempts to communicate with the star is captivating and mysterious, the description of “twinkling magically” and “gentle, majestic” allows the reader to experience Lucian’s unique connection with the stars.

The part where we read about Lansie’s injuries, you vividly describe her leg. Instead of just directly stating her injuries, you use the “show don’t tell” method. Readers can visualize the severity of her injuries.

IV. When All is Said and Done
This story was a source of great enjoyment for me. Your writing style and emotional engagement are strong points and you seem to have a very mysterious plot in mind. I have always loved a good story that is filled with fantasy, mystery, adventure, and suspense, and the thing is, your story is just the one that has all of that!

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

Yours in Puzzling Shadows,
Rose





It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
— Albus Dumbledore