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Smoke and dust 3 - the town

by Willow


Somewhere in the distance a rooster crowed. The town was about to wake. I limped to the window. As though a giant signal had gone of people appeared simultaneously their timber doors, blinking in the bright sunlight.

The baker wouldn’t be out yet. He has at least a dozen loaves of bread to take out of the oven and let cool. Some of the older villagers always bought breakfast at the baker’s house.

The other people were hurrying along in the bustle of the town, getting ready for associations and the day ahead.

Kermit would be scurrying around his coop, lifting chicken after chicken in the hope that one of them had laid an egg. Eggbert would be much more successful in his chicken coop across the street, placing them lovingly in a basket to sell.

A few girls my age was chatting loudly as they made their way to the well in the middle of the now crowded street. I knew I was supposed to join them.

With a sigh I hobbled down the stairs again and picked up the bucket. Diya was humming cheerfully in her room.

People greeted me as I made my way to the stone well.

“Well, father’s been extremely busy with his new project – “

“Did you see the mushrooms I picked yesterday? As big as melons I’m telling you – “

The chatter filled my head as I drew close to the well.

“Hello Astrid,” a short girl my age greeted me. She was stout and friendly, one of the village favorites.

“Morning Clara,” I greeted her.

“Heard you and Bevan have been running around again,” she said cheerfully, lowering her tin bucket into the well. “Rumors are flying you know, they say you and Bevan are getting a little more friendly.”

I was about to reply but a shrill laugh cut me off as another girl turned to look at me.

“Surely dear Bevan isn’t interested in her,” Marietta’s voice said. Curly red hair framed a delicate face with pointed features. Her eyes sparked yellow with amusement. Every girl around the well looked up, keen to hear my reply.

“Hello Marietta,” I said cheerfully, “see you’ve left your apron at home.”

Her smirk faltered a bit. Clara let out a faint snigger.

“And I see you’ve forgotten your place, as usual,” she sneered. “Tell me, have you been to the lake lately? I can hardly tell whether the smell is coming from Kermit’s coop, or your clothes.”

A few of her friends behind her cackled.

“Funny,” I replied, “I thought it was coming from your hair, those curling concoctions must leave an odor.” Everyone knew Marietta’s hair wasn’t curly by nature, and that she used copious amount of mixtures to get it that way.

The glee faded from her eyes and she surveyed me with detest.

“Maybe if your mother was still here she could’ve taught you some manners,” she said fiercely. There was a sharp intake of breath around the well. Everyone looked at me fearfully, wondering what I’d do. Marietta’s friend tugged at her, trying to get her to go.

“You’d better get that water back to dear old mummy,” I said coolly. “So you can get into the kitchen where you belong.” I was shaking with anger, but tried to hide it.

“Or maybe she was just as bad as you, fouled with stink and indignation,” she went on.

“Come on Marietta,” her friend said, tugging at her dress’s sleeve.

She threw one last look of utmost repulsion before turning on her heel and heading toward her house.

The girls were still staring at me. I gulped down my anger and hastened to get the water, hobbling away as quickly as I could, my bucket of water slopping terribly over my clothes. I could still feel the girls’ eyes on me.


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Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:26 am
WaterSpout wrote a review...



Hello Willow, back again to review yet another chapter of this novel. I've reviewed chapters one through two, but not the prologue, since it's got a ton of feedback. I wanted to review it nevertheless, but I think everything that I wanted to say has already been said.
But back to this chapter in particular, so far it's got me looking for more, so you did something good and I'm not sure what. But that's why I'm here to point them out, while also giving advice for grammar and other errors, but mostly grammar.
So, without further ado, I'll get started.
First of all, I'd like to complement you for keeping the chapters at a nice and friendly length. Sometimes that can scare away your readers from reading your works, but here, I think you nailed it. I have been procrastinating from reading other works because of that reason, so good job with keeping them nice and short!

As though a giant signal had gone of(,) people appeared simultaneously their timber doors, blinking in the bright sunlight.

^Ahh, commas seems to be my thing, don't they? But I'd also like to point out one seemingly insignificant problem I have with this. The feat this said rooster took was amazing, but also a little unrealistic. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but is one rooster enough to wake up everyone and send them to their doors? I understand that roosters can wake people up, but everyone simultaneously waking up at the same time and going to their doors? I would say some would be more sensitive to the rooster's crowing, so they'd wake up first, but then there would be others that are less sensitive and therefore would wake up a little later than them. Some would get to their doors, yes, but wouldn't others go to their windows instead? Some may not even open anything and instead focus more on getting ready for the day.

Some of the older villagers always bought breakfast at the baker’s house.

^This sentence doesn't seem to be important in any way. It doesn't serve the purpose of explaining the main character, it doesn't describe to the reader the setting, it doesn't do anything at all. And now I don't think it was necessary of me to write this much about it.

I would also like to acknowledge the past comments as well. I agree with hekategirl that it is cliché. Why would she pick on her if she wasn't even involved in there conversation? I'm not sure how realistic that would have been. Other than that, this is a really good chapter.
With caution,

WaterSpout




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Sun May 08, 2005 8:37 pm
Writersdomain says...



This was good. I don't really have any suggestions. It's just... good. I wish I could give you some pointers to work on, but can't think of any




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Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:59 am
hekategirl says...



I love this! but one thing, the whole mean girl making fun of her about her being dirty etc.etc seemed a little cliche. Stay away from cliche! this story is to good to fall into the abyss of cliche! but this was good anyway.




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Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:25 pm
Willow says...



Thanks guys. I changed it to loaves of bread. :D




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Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:00 am
Emma says...



very good! You should make a book! Please carry on




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Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:30 pm
Tara wrote a review...



=D> This is wonderfull, Willow! I can't wait for the next part! the only thing I would like to say is wouldn't 'loaves of bread' sound better than 'breads'? :wink:





I want to understand you, I study your obscure language.
— Alexander Pushkin