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The Pick of the Bunch (may change) Prologue

by SirTobes

Feel free to rip this to bits. I can take it. *Looks smug*.

I move in the dark of night, swinging among the treetops. I feel free, I'm in my place, my zone.
I grab a branch that appears fine, but isn't. It's slippery and old, and not safe. I can't grip it well and my wrists just slide off. I'm high up and falling is out of the question. I have to do something. My feet are resting on a branch and if I can slide down it I can continue. My fingertips are stretched out touching the branch above me and my knuckles are red and sore. They feel numb and cold, and they have splinters and dirt all over them.
My feet are moving down slowly and I look down to see why. The branch beneath me is flexible and wet, so it's bending over and my feet are going with it.
I have an idea.
If it's flexible, it has to be bouncy. If I can bounce on it like a trampoline I can jump up onto the branch above me.
I take my feet of the branch and it snaps back to it's original persiscion like a whip. I place my feet down slowly and the branch bends with them. I bounce up slightly and sure enough, I'm lifted up with the branch. I can now get a good hold on the branch I'm holding on too. I lift myself up with a cry and try to sit on it. My long coat is stuck on a twig and I realize I should have worn the clothes my mother suggested, she said 14 year olds shouldn't go to the forest with coats and boats, but they were knew and I was eager to wear them.
I grab my coat and caress it off the twig, but I'm sitting on it and it won't let me. I move my bum up slightly and pull the coat off eventually but not without a long rip down the tail.
I cuss.
Mum bought these yesterday with her months payment. She said I needed to look smart to get chosen at the bunch and I now I had wrecked it. I feel terrible, the bunching is coming up in one month and mum can't buy another coat because if she does, we won't have money to feed.
I hear a snap beneath me and a whistling sound.
The branch i'm sitting on has given way.
I walk into the house. My clothes are ruined and wet and I lost my coat when I landed. I also lost my new boots in the swamp I landed in, which sort of saved my life. I was cold, muddy and wet so I tried to light a simple fire but I couldn't find anything to use so just walked home. I tore my shirt along the way and tripped up on rocks along the way. My ankle is swollen, I have a cut lip and I can't see out my left eye. I see mumlying on her bed staring at the ceiling. I wander over.
"Ah, mum?"
No reply.
She has her eyes closed so I decide not to disturb her. I have to be picked in the bunch, because if not I'll have nothing to give her as an apology.
I wander outside and fetch some fresh water from the well. I go inside to the kitchen with the pale and place it over the fire to heat it. It's dying and all that's left are a few embers.
I blow on them and chuck a log on. It alights immediately and the water starts to heat. I walk into the girls room.
Malayan is sitting on her bed in one of her daydreams.
Lucille is nowhere to be seen.
Malayan looks up and sees me. She lets out a gasp and a little shriek. Her long blonde hair looks like it's been cleaned. I can't believe it. I guess she's as shocked as I am.
"What...happened to you?" she whispers.
I sigh, and sit down on her bed. She has the comfiest bed. She's the youngest, at 9, so she can't handle proper wood as her bed, she gets varnished oak. I wrap her up in a hug and stroke her hair.
"What...happened to you?" I ask.
"You mean my hair? Mum did it. It took her a long time, because you know, it's always messy."
She looks at me.
I cuddle her, but I think she's close to breaking point.
"Where going to die, aren't we?"
I slump down.
How can you say no, when you can't promise it.
She is crying into my shoulders. I wrap my hands around her head and squeeze her hands tight.
"We'll get through this. Just you wait."
"Be honest."
I sigh.
"Yes what?"
"Yes, we're going to die."

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117 Reviews

Points: 896
Reviews: 117

Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:19 pm
rishabh wrote a review...

this is prolougue is awesome i wish to read some more part of ur book. this is suspense i guess if not then wt is it? but overall good. your books' readability is awesome. plz send ur book to any literary agent, i want u to give ur manuscript to any good publisher, who gives u a great share for ur hardwork and nycwork.

i hope u will do more better!

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202 Reviews

Points: 10840
Reviews: 202

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:34 am
Blues wrote a review...

Hey Toby! Here as requested, since exams are (finally) over!

Thoughts: Not bad! :) I'm intrigued to know about what happens next, not only because I want to understand who Malayan is and who/what is Lucille, but because I want to know what the bunch are or why do they think they're going to die.

Anyway, I think there were a few things which could've been improved. One of them was pacing--I felt the story went far too fast for everything to make sense for me as a reader, to make sense of it all. There are a few ways you can do this:

-Where are they? What's it like? Include some description of the setting...
-...and the characters.

She is crying into my shoulders

Seems to be a major thing. Tell me more about how her tears meander around her chin, about the noises she makes while crying. It's best to slow down many major things (apart from say, action scenes) so we can understand what goes on.

Pacing aside... just to let you know, I feel lost ;) But it is a prologue. Just make sure you include something about where is everyone in the whole scheme of things in the world in the next chapter.

Lucille is nowhere to be seen

That instantly strikes to me that something is wrong. Surely (s)he'd (although they seem like a guy) be worried about it? He reacted to it off-handedly but the way he said it did not seem so. Perhaps something like, "Maybe she went to walk the dog" would help. Or he could ask Malayan where Lucille was? Or even just some body language that could hint that this wasn't normal.

Leads me to paragraphing. Bit choppy in some areas ;) I believe, if a character is doing an action and then speaks, there needn't be a new line? Furthermore (this is a problem in my own work too), the lack of dialogue tags in some areas are a tad ... confusing. xD

Okay, so that's it from me! I hope I wasn't too harsh ;) Sorry about taking quite some time. Exams and stuff. Feel free to send me a PM if you've got any questions about my review and keep writing!


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191 Reviews

Points: 7136
Reviews: 191

Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:35 am
Nargles wrote a review...

Ok so first things first.
It is a good prologue. I like the way you've set it up and introduced as to the characters and their situation. You have used some good imagery and descriptive language.

Not to many spelling or grammatical mistakes except 'persiscion' is in the wrong context so you need to change it to position. It is also spelt wrong regardless.

I liked it a lot but really the only let down for me was the last paragraph. More the dialogue, to me the way the Malayan just says 'where going to die, aren't we?' is awkward. Maybe have a few lines before that which relates to why they are going to die or more of a reason why she asks that question.

It has a nice easy flow to it that makes it an enjoyable read!

I can't wait for chapter 1.

Nargles xx

Life's short; smile while you still have teeth.
— Tuesday