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Slave Girl: Chapter 1.2

by Shadeflame


As the sun dipped low in the sky, the driver turned the cart of the road to join a camp that had a few other slave carts clustered around a clearing. 

I slowly turned around, and then, grabbing the bars of the cart, stood, and peered out at the bustle a few metres away from me. Men were setting up tents and from the center of the camp an enticing smell drifted across, carried by the cool evening breeze, our one moment of relief from the scorching days and the frigid nights. The aroma of meat and rice, mixed with other strong spices caused a wave of hunger to spasm through my body.



I gripped the bars tighter, my knuckles turning white, as I longed for a mere taste of something so good. Every morning or so, they would give us the burnt rice and occasionally a jug of water to pass around. I desperately hoped that tomorrow was a day where we would get fed. I slid down to the floor and clutched my stomach as it protested once again over its unfair treatment. The sun slowly set, as I drifted off to a fitful sleep, filled with pain and screams and fire.

The scraping of the key in the lock woke me the next morning. I jerked upright, blinking my sleepiness away as a man swung open the door, holding a large bowl filled with rice. His face was set in an angry scowl, and his messy hair and unshaven face showed the roughness of his character. 

“Come on, come on,” he said, as every person in the cart scrambled toward him and our food. He ladled out food into our outstretched hands, and then stepped back and swung the door shut. I sat back on my heels and tried to resist wolfing down my portion.

Every little bit of coarse and under cooked rice I would savor, to try to trick my stomach into thinking that I was full.

But the second my tongue touched the rice, my resolve failed and soon I was licking every last morsel from my hands. I stared greedily at the people who much more restraint than me and were still eating their portion of rice and sighed, my stomach already wanting more. Oh, what I would do for some meat or some bread.

“I’m hungry” a little boy cried, cutting through my daydreams.

“Not good, Laela,” I reminded myself. “You don’t have time to be daydreaming about food.”

“Shut up. We’re all hungry,” the boy next to me snapped, his beady eyes staring at the child. He lunged towards the child and the small boy shrank back in fear. The boy laughed and slowly advanced towards the child, his eyes glittering with malice. He reached the child and pushed him over.

“Aren’t you going to do anything?” he asked the small, shivering lump on the ground, kicking him. “Or are you just going to lie there, crying like a baby? I thought you were hungry. Poor widdle baby.”

I looked around horrified, but all the rest of the people were turned away from the scene, pretending to ignore it. They didn’t want to attract any unwanted attention, and they were right, I should just ignore this boy and his prey like they were doing. I….

“Stop!” a voice cut through the air. My voice. I stood up; my hands clenched in fists at my side. “Stop.” I repeated, my mind running through all the reasons why I should have just minded my own business. “At least if I die,” I thought, “I would have died trying to save someone. It’s not such a bad way to go.”

“Then why are you doing this dumb and totally irrational thing!” my brain screamed at me, “He is twice your size. What were you even planning to do to him.”

It was true. As he slowly turned around and spied me standing there, his face lit up as he saw me. A short girl, with tangled blond hair, her wiry arms clenched in fists at her sides, and her face obscured with a layer of grime really strikes fear into the hearts of her enemies. He obviously thought of me as another mouse and him, a cat, toying with his prey. And he probably was right. I mean, I had seen boys like him before, a bully, so no one dares challenge him. The king of his own little world. A world that had been shattered when the slavers came. And here I was, trying to challenge his authority.

Raina, the goddess of wisdom, was probably looking down on me right now, wondering how a girl could be this stupid. If she even bothered to concern herself with a slave girl’s life at all, that is. I stared at his muscular arms and well formed face as he sauntered towards me and I sighed inwardly. “You might as well go down fighting.” I told myself and gritted my teeth as he loomed over me.

“Whatcha looking at, little girl?” he said, laughing. “Do you feel sorry for the poor hungwy baby over there.”

“No… I mean.” Gods, my tongue always failed me at the worst times. For once, couldn’t I be the girl who always knew what to say?

He sneered at me and then grabbed my arm, squeezing it tight until I felt his fingers leave deep bruises. I drew in a sharp breath of air at the sudden and overwhelming pain.

He squeezed tighter, delighting in my agony, and twisted it back, until flecks of black danced before my eyes and I let myself sag to the ground, with tears welling up in my eyes, and then all I could see was a blur of moving shapes around me.

He let go of my arm and crouched down in front of me, his eyes filled with contempt. I turned away from him, cradling my hurt arm, clenching my nails into my fists as far as they would go, making little half moons appear in my palms. He grabbed my shoulder and wrenched me around to face him, his face delighted as they saw the tears threatening to fall from my half lidded eyes.

“Don’t touch me” I tried to snarl, but it came out in a half yell, half choking sort of sound. He sat back on his heels and laughed in my face.

“And what are you going to do to me if I do? Oh no, I’m so very scared. Help me!” he mocked, his beady eyes staring at me. I let my bad arm fall to my side and slapped him across his gloating face with my other arm. He reeled away from me, his jaw already growing red from the force of my slap.

I scuttled as far as I could away from him, hoping wildly that my manacle would chose this moment to suddenly snap. Or the gods would send down lighting to strike this bully dead. But with my luck, the boy got to his feet, his hand holding the place that I had struck him. I noted with satisfaction that he seemed to be stunned that a mere girl would dare to hit him.

“I swear, that when I’m done with you…” he trailed off, his face so clenched with fury that I could see the veins popping out in his forehead. I suddenly realized that this boy was not completely sane, no healthy person would be so mad.

By now I was standing in a corner all by myself, the rest of the people around me already scattered to the opposite corners of the cart. I narrowed my eyes at him and braced myself to die. He advanced towards me and pushed me.

Hard.

I fell to the ground, turning my body automatically to shield my bad arm from hitting the ground. I got up, ignoring the fresh wave of agony that shot through my arm and leapt at him, trying to scratch out his eyes. I felt my nails scrape down his face and he flung me off him. I landed hard on the wooden floor, and then my arm commanded all of my attention and so, curling up in a ball, I braced myself and tried to protect my arm from the beating that was to follow.



His kicks and blows fell like rain upon me. I remember hearing someone moaning, him laughing almost manically, and with one last kick to my jaw, I felt merciful darkness pull me down, into its cool embrace, where there was no pain anymore.


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Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:19 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night,(whichever part of the world you're in)

So I'm back for the next part.

First impressions: Overall pretty good if slightly cliched.

So onto the review,

As the sun dipped low in the sky, the driver turned the cart of ( I think you mean "off")the road to join a camp that had a few other slave carts clustered around a clearing.

I slowly turned around, and then, grabbing the bars of the cart, stood, and peered out at the bustle a few metres away from me. Men were setting up tents and from the center of the camp an enticing smell drifted across, carried by the cool evening breeze, our one moment of relief from the scorching days and the frigid nights. (This smell thing is what starts out being described but then you switch to the actual breeze. I don't think that's how commas work. I think two sentences would serve you well here.

The aroma of meat and rice, mixed with other strong spices caused a wave of hunger to spasm through my body.

(Oh dear- I should've had breakfast before I started reviewing)

Every morning or so, they would give us the burnt rice (this isn't a big deal but later you mention undercooked rice so the burnt part sees to contradict that. It's not that noticeable but keep that consistent) and occasionally a jug of water to pass around.

His face was set in an angry scowl, and his messy hair and unshaven face showed the roughness of his character. ( I do think Littlelee is right here. You have to show this over time through his actions)

Every little bit of coarse and under cooked rice I would savor, to try to trick my stomach into thinking that I(it) was full.

“I’m hungry” a little boy cried, cutting through my daydreams.

“Not good, Laela,” I reminded myself. “You don’t have time to be daydreaming about food.”

Okay small point here but I suggest using something like italics to differentiate the thoughts and the actual dialogue. This wasn't an issue in the first chapter but here I think it would be better that way.

“Shut up. We’re all hungry,” the boy next to me snapped,

"STUPEFY!!!!" - Sorry force of habit. Okay, i'd suggest you set the stage a bit and show the positions of a few people before introducing them into the action.

“Stop!” a voice cut through the air. My voice. I stood up; my hands clenched in fists at my side. “Stop.” I repeated, my mind running through all the reasons why I should have just minded my own business. “At least if I die,” I thought, “I would have died trying to save someone. It’s not such a bad way to go.”

Some nice character development spotted.

A short girl, with tangled blond hair, her wiry arms clenched in fists at her sides, and her face obscured with a layer of grime(you'd benefit from a fullstop here) really strikes fear into the hearts of her enemies.

Love the place that you chose to finally describe the character.

I stared at his muscular arms and well formed face (okay, I don't get what the well formed face means)

“No… I mean.” Gods, my tongue always failed me at the worst times. For once, couldn’t I be the girl who always knew what to say?

italics would really help out here.

“And what are you going to do to me if I do? Oh no, I’m so very scared. Help me!” he mocked, his beady eyes staring at me. I let my bad arm fall to my side and slapped him across his gloating face with my other arm. He reeled away from me, his jaw already growing red from the force of my slap.

Okay pretty good shift of the balance in the fight.

And that's done.

Okay, to finish off, that was a pretty well paced fight scene to me. Just that it suffers a tad bit from a slight lack of description. But it's okay. And neat cliffhanger ending too.

Might be slightly cliche but still pretty well written and it instantly makes you want to read on. So I'll get around to the next part then.

And if I was a touch harsh here sorry. Take what you think will help and forget the rest.

Stay Safe :)
Harry




Shadeflame says...


Thanks for reviewing my chapter!



HarryHardy says...


Your Welcome



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Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:52 am
LittleLee wrote a review...



I'm back to review this chapter!

So, well done, the story seems to be coming along nicely. I can see a lot of improvement!
Let me just point out a few things that I think you could improve.

The aroma of meat and rice, mixed with other strong spices


A comma is needed after "spices". Also, I would rewrite this as "the aroma of meat and rice, mixed with that of other strong spices,". I just tweaked it a little bit to make the image better.

his messy hair and unshaven face showed the roughness of his character.

You're trying to portray how this guy is rough, right? Maybe you should try doing it in some other way. I mean, one can't judge a person by how they look. So his actions could show how he's rough and tough.

“Aren’t you going to do anything?” he asked the small

Remember I told you that after quotes, the first letter of the following word has to be capitalized unless the quote ends with a comma? This mistake is one that keeps surfacing, although this time it has reduces. Don't forget to edit it carefully the next time you post!
Aside from what I quoted above, there are a few other instances as well, which I'm not pointing out now that you know.

What were you even planning to do to him.”


There has to be a question mark instead of fullstop.
I think the rude boy was a little too abrupt. It felt really random to me, how he suddenly went psycho and began beating up the kid. If you mentioned him before, at least, it would make sense, but this was very quick and unexpected. Add something about him or make the process a little slower by making the younger boy whine more before he's attacked.

I also think the whole part where he attacks Laela can be rewritten. It's too fast-paced to follow, and some parts were a little too cliche of mean guy, like how all of a sudden he starts twisting her arm. I find that when I write a sadistic character, it's better to show hints of madness before going all out. So add a little more detail to what happens.

I would also love a proper description of their surroundings when the incident takes place. What exactly are the expressions on the people's faces? Stuff like that.

I liked reading this, although I have to say A Valkyrie's Dream is my favourite by far. I don't know why, I think that was more descriptive, the pace was a little slower, and the incidents were more realistic. I'd love to see that here!
I'm sorry if the review was too critical! I did like the story, I just want to try helping you out.

Good work, and tag me whenever you release a new chapter!

-Lee




Shadeflame says...


@LittleLee
Thanks for reviewing my work LittleLee. I really appreciate it.



LittleLee says...


Happy to help!



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Tue May 26, 2020 2:39 pm
raesvaughn wrote a review...



I just read the first chapter, and after reading this I think this could be a really interesting story. It's engaging and realistic, brutal on a conceptual level. I believe you could improve on how you write your dialogue (it's just a little bit too flat) by making sure the lines aren't too cliche. I would also say to try and give your action scenes a little bit more of a punch so I can better feel the impact of every hit. That being said, I really enjoyed this story and would love to read more!




Shadeflame says...


Thank you! Dialogue is always really hard for me, so I'm working on ways to improve that.



Shadeflame says...


@raesvaughn
Would you like to be tagged for the next chapter?



raesvaughn says...


yes please!!



raesvaughn says...


yes please!!



Shadeflame says...


Great!



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Sun May 24, 2020 8:04 am
thepages wrote a review...



Hello there... It's morning these ends(jst rolled out of bed) so thats the greeting! Good morning!
I see you've put faces to your outstanding characters, that's nice and the fact that your protagonist is in constant action keeps the story alive.
For the critique, most is well stated, just a few subtle mis-types
"watcha lookin at, little girl?" he said, laughing. "do you feel sorry for the poor hungwy baby over there" i think that's supposed to be hungry unless its the character's intonation identifier. maybe if he's from different lands.
"i felt merciful darkness pulled me down into its cool embrace..."pulled didn't quite fit in this sentence, i think pull would sound better.
Other than that i really like this. My fav. scene is when you slap the bully hard in the face. "i noted with satisfaction, that he seemed to be stunned that a mere girl would dare to hit him"
this girl will be a real game changer to her antagonists in the future and i am eager to find out more about her.
i am looking forward to the next chapters.





Spend your days thinking about things that are good and true and beautiful and noble, and you will become good and true and beautiful and noble.
— Matthew Kelly