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World War IV:Chapter One

by aristocraticuniverse


Amelia and I walk through the Market’s winding aisles. My hair is falling in my face, and I allow it, for it hides my scarred, pale flesh. Amelia has her hood pulled up over her head, even though it is somewhere around the end of July or beginning of August.

My feet constantly catch on table legs and tent posts, which mark up my combat boots more and more. We are in the Weapons area. It is towards the back of the Market, where people come to illegally trade guns and bullets. We’re here to fix my gun and buy more thermal bullets.

We come to Rocky’s table. An odd man is there. He is clean, with clothes that aren’t wrinkled, but freshly pressed. He looks suspicious. I reach into by right boot to retrieve my revolver. My hand just barely brushes against the grip, when I hear loud shouts down the aisle.

“Should I see what it is?” Amelia asks me.

I shake my head no, “I already know that it’s us.” I pull the pistol out and start walking away from the commotion.

Then I hear a bullet whiz only inches away from my ear.

I turn around and spot my target: the man we were about to ask to fix my gun. I push the hammer and press the trigger. The gun makes a bang and everyone turns towards me. A couple of women start screaming. The bullet hit

the man in the shoulder, which made him drop his pistol.

Amelia and I get away before the dazed officers from down the walkway can catch up to us. We weave our way through everyone and find ourselves in the sweets area. My gun is still out, but I don’t dare put it away. The little children around us are backing away, though most of the boys are being forced back by their mothers.

“What are we going to do?” I whisper to Amelia. Everyone is staring at us, even though they are trying not to.

“Get out of here,” she replies. It seems to be the only plan she has whenever we’re in situations like this. I follow her through the tented stalls. She is making her way to the front, where there is a guard who is checking everyone’s things. She gives me the signal to attack him (right hand forming a backwards-Lshape with her thumb outstretched and her pointer and middle finger straight up).

I walk up to the line. It is about three groups long. Since it takes about five seconds to check a person, it will take about twenty seconds for my turn. I count silently in my head: 1, 2, 3. . . . The first person is done . . . 7, 8, 9, and 10. . . The second group is taking a step forward . . . 13, 14, 15. . . The third group is up; they have more stuff than the rest . . . 17, 18, 19. . . The guard didn’t even know what hit him. I punched him in the face, and he fell to the ground, bewildered. Amelia raced forward, making sure to step on him. We rushed out the gateway, and into the crowded streets of New York City.

We run until we can barely breathe, about ten blocks. There, we rest in an alley, where nobody can see us. I slink down to the ground while Amelia untangles herself from her rifle. We begin to turn out our pockets. I brought two

water bottles and a small loaf of bread. Amelia stole a jar of jelly.

We enjoy our little feast, remembering to save some bread and water. I can’t remember the last time I had water. I spread some crabapple jelly on a chunk of bread and stuff it into my mouth. I don’t care about manners right now.

We stay here for about ten minutes. Then we leave for the Factory. With my gun re-loaded, I am ready for the police.

The streets to the Factory are calm, not many people around. And no police or officers. My limp grabs many people's eyes, but nobody comes to help me. Which is good. After about a block, we are greeted with the looming darkness of the Factory.

The Factory is a place for Streetfighters to meet. We spar each other and get ready for big fights. Once in a while, we have large fights, but only about once or twice a month. It is a big secret, and only a couple people know about it.

We enter to a big commotion.

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304 Reviews

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Reviews: 304

Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:06 am
barefootrunner wrote a review...

Hi there and happy review day! Welcome to YWS :)

I really like dystopian novels, and this one fits the bill. Here are some quick notes:

I think you could use more dialogue to convey information. It is more subtle than just writing it and helps to build characters as well as the environment.

You need more character building. The reader need to know what these people look like, how old they are and what their main values are. Perhaps Elanore has great compassion for the poor — show her helping a child escape the clutches of a guard. Perhaps Amelia has an irritating habit of sniffing loudly when she is nervous, or rubbing her nose. Give us some details about their characters.

I think you could keep exactly what the Factory is a secret until the next chapter, creating suspense. You could have one of the characters mutter some dark comments about it to add curiosity to the mix.

I think you could have made this chapter longer, with more dialogue, character building and description. It's puny!

You need to have a more distinguished plot. Some happening that signals a future change, or some problem that needs to be solved. There is no tying event that gives reason to your writing, and the effect is a chapter lacking "oomph". You need a storyline, and not just a sentence to draw the reader on to the next chapter at the end. It doesn't compensate.

So those are my quick notes!

Just keep writing!


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53 Reviews

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Reviews: 53

Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:38 pm
zohali93 wrote a review...


So I just read this and I got to say I like your way of keeping readers informed yet not too informed. Your hook is good. I can't do it, I either give away too much or retain much needed information and leave people hanging.

Personally I feel you could have described the setting better. I wasn't so clear on what was going on. I think you could have build it up so that readers know that the area isn't so welcoming to your characters. I was confused when you mentioned the gun man shooting you. I couldn't feel the atmosphere and so it seemed really sudden.

So I think all you need is to just describe the setting they're in. I think it would turn out better than it is.
Good story idea!


aristocraticuniverse says...

Thanks! I do think I need to be a bit more descriptive with the Market. I'll try to fix that

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1464 Reviews

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Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:49 am
Juniper wrote a review...

Reading over this story, I got the feeling that these two (presumably young) women are strong, independent, and fearless. You did a good job translating their characters over to us without telling us outright about who they are, but there’s a few minor discrepancies throughout this story that make me feel like this could use a revision. Let’s take a look at what caught my eye:

We come to a trustworthy-looking table, and I take out my gun from where I conceal it: My right boot. My gloved hand brushes ever so slightly against the revolver’s grip, when I hear shouts down the aisle.

Although it’s not clearly inferred, I want to assume that the market is a sketchy place. Your use of the term “trustworthy-looking table” makes me think that the other tables are probably run by crooks, so I want to know, what sets this one apart from the other? Why do they even choose to go to this table? I think I would have liked to see the chapter open with the narrator and her friend passing through the market, discreetly scanning for a place where they can accomplish their mission, because with a prior hint at their trip’s purpose, it feels like they’re wandering.
In the later half, I think you want to imply that the narrator’s didn’t even have enough time to remove her gun when the chaos ensued, but the way you have it here, it sounds like she’s admiring the craftsmanship of her gun. I think you should clarify this, and maybe say, “my hand had barely touched the grip of the revolver when I hear shouts ring out down the aisle.” or something to that effect.

Amelia and I get away before the dazed officers snap out of it. We weave our way through everyone and find ourselves in the sweets area.

What is there for the officers to snap out of? Why are they dazed?
This brings me to the next thing I want to point out: the beginning of your story is your one-chance hook to get your readers interested in continuing to read your story, so you want to give us an adequate amount of detail to keep us coming back for more. There’s a lack of detail here -- for instance, what is the setting? I understand it’s set in future New York, but what is the market like? What is the atmosphere like? What does it smell like, what does it feel like? Are these two women outsiders, or are they heroes?
Moreover, I’m unclear of the motive for any of this-- I don’t understand why they have a gun, I don’t understand why the gun repairman tried to shoot them, nor do I understand why they attacked a guard. These are details that you need to include, because we don’t have enough information to understand where these girls are coming from! Are they fugitives or defenders of a greater cause?
The final detail I want to bring to you attention is the writing of action-- a shooting is obviously a very fast-paced, chaotic moment, so I feel like these characters should react accordingly, even if they are trained to dealing with such things. They had no idea the repairman would shoot, or they wouldn’t have bothered anyone with it, but they seem to react rather calmly, when I think they should have some sort of surprised response. A gunshot is a loud event, too, so I expect that a lot of people, especially guards, would be hot on their tails in an instant.

I think you have something to work with here, but it needs a little bit of refining. Organize your ideas and research (watch movies, read books) that involve these sort of events so that you can see how to accurately portray them.
Best of luck,

aristocraticuniverse says...

Thank you fr the review, it's a really good one! I will go back and review the ideas you brought to attention. I agree with you and think that I have to add in more description.

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29 Reviews

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Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:48 pm
tiggpanda145 wrote a review...

Hello! I really like the idea-set in the future with a new World War! Awesome!

Firstly, in the second sentence I think that there is a repitition of 'face' which can sound odd. 'My hair is falling in my face, and I allow it, for it hides my scarred face.'-maybe you could put 'My hair is falling in my face, and I allow it, for it hides the scars that are etched into the pale flesh.'(don't know if it's pale but yeah!)

Also, in this sentence you may need to get rid of the 's' on mark because her feet are plural and so are the table legs etc. so it sound better, 'My feet constantly catch on table legs and tent posts, which mark up my combat boots more and more.'

There are a few grammatical mistakes so you may need to proof-read your work but otherwise it's good. You could use more descriptions to create even more imagery but so far, so good.

Also, look out for punctuation although it was pretty good!

(I am no expert so yeah)

Well done!

tiggpanda145 :)

aristocraticuniverse says...

Thanks! Not sure if I can edit, but I'll try.

Remember when dad's shoulders were the highest place on earth and your mom was your hero? Race issues were about who ran the fastest, war was only a car game. The most pain you felt was when you skinned your knees, and good byes only meant tomorrow? And we couldn't wait to grow up.
— Unknown