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E - Everyone

Four- Chapter two

by ashlingwolf


A few minutes later, Scarlet returned wearing a much cleaner shirt and no apron. She didn’t look like someone who could tackle me. She looked like someone who might work in retail and volunteer at an animal shelter. I giggled imagining Scarlet sitting in the middle of a big crowd of animals.

“What is it?” She asked, and she smiled. She was very likable, and it was hard for me to not smile back.

“Nothing.” I continued to giggle.

“No, seriously, what is it?” Now she was giggling too- and it was like we were old friends- that we knew each other from school or a sport or a club- not from illegal abduction- and we had known each other forever. The best of friends. Not kidnapper and kidnapee. And it was nice, just being in this moment.

The door was slammed open, and the black haired girl stormed in. She was still sickly looking, but she also looked determined. Without looking at us, she quickly crossed the room.

Scarlet put on a slightly more serious expression and called out, just as the black girl reached the door leading to the rest of the apartment.

“Hey, there’s more soup left in the-“ slam! The noise shook the furniture. “…pot.” Scarlet finished her sentence then looked at me. “Well then.”

A moment later, an exasperated- or maybe just tired- Conrad stepped in the door. Scarlet stood up as he came in. “Conrad!” He quietly turned to look at her. “I made soup! I’m not sure how much is left cause I kinda- spilled it.” She smiled apologetically. “But you can have whatever’s left! It’s in a pot in the kitchen.” He gave her a slow nod.

“You guys can have it. I’m not hungry.” He sat down next to me on the couch, and he and Scarlet exchanged a look.

“I’ll bring back some soup.” Scarlet got up and left the room awkwardly.

Conrad and I sat in silence for the few minutes until Scarlet returned, Conrad occasionally opening his mouth to say something, but then deciding better of it- breathing out with a heavy sigh- and returning the room to the silence.

When Scarlet returned, Conrad, seeing his opportunity, stood up and left. Scarlet took his seat and gave me a quick, reassuring smile, before letting her face drop, serious.

“I understand that you’re confused, and I know you want to leave.” I nodded. “But if you go out there, you’re in serious danger. I promise that we don’t want to hurt you. I promise that if you stay, we’ll explain everything. Now is just not the time.” And with that, she left the room after Conrad.

I don’t know why I’m staying here. Maybe it’s because I want to believe they’re being honest. I want to believe Conrad, and I want to believe Scarlet. I don’t know. I should be terrified. Maybe it’s just shock, maybe that’s why I’m numb and not terrified of everything- not jumpy and withdrawn. They just seem truthful.

I guess that’s why I’ve been staying here two days now.

They’ve given me my own room- Scarlet’s sleeping on the floor of Conrad’s room. Scarlet has also loaned me a shirt and pants for pajamas, and although they’re a little big, I’m grateful for her kindness. While I’m not flat out scared of Conrad anymore, he’s still a little intimidating to me, although I can tell Scarlet certainly trusts him.

The black haired girl still hasn’t spoken to me since I got here. I don’t really care. If I want to talk, I can talk to Scarlet, maybe Conrad if she’s away or busy. I just wish I knew the black haired girl’s name.

I guess I don’t really get to spend much time with her. She spends most of her time alone is her room. When we eat, she takes three or four bites of whatever delicious food Scarlet has cooked us, then moves food around on her plate for five minutes before asking to be excused back to her room. How her head works is yet a mystery to me.

I’ve been staying here three days now, and I’ve fallen into everyone’s routine here. In the morning, i’ve been woken up by Scarlet, making breakfast. So far, she’s gotten up like this every morning, around six. Conrad is clearly used to it, or just a deep sleeper, because he always sleeps through all the cooking. I can’t tell about the black haired girl. The door to her room is always closed anyway.

“Summer?” Scarlet gently knocked on my (her) door. “Breakfast is ready.”

“Ok.’ I sat up in my bed. Scarlet’s bed. I don’t have the heart to tell her I had been up for an hour. I wasn’t really used to sleeping in a space with other people. I was an only child when I was a child. At this point I was renting a one- bedroom apartment. Being a premed student, I get a lot of work, and I usually need silence to write.

Putting my feet on the cold floor, I walked out and into the kitchen. It only took me about a day to memorize the layout of the apartment- I’ve righted myself.

I could smell bacon cooking in the hall, but when I enter the kitchen I can hear it too, coupled with the sounds of rain pounding outside.

“Morning.” Scarlet smiled and nodded to me without looking up from the bacon.

“Morning, Scarlet.” It didn’t seem like morning- the rain clouds blocking out the light outside made it look more like night. Crack! A flash of lightning lit up the room for a split second as Scarlet served an egg and a couple of slices of bacon onto a plate. Placing it and another like it at the kitchen table, she gestured for me to sit and eat.

Taking a bite of bacon, I enjoyed the food I had while Scarlet put two more plates on the table. Walking away from the steamy plates, she called back into the bedrooms.

“Conrad? Food’s getting cold.” A faint, muffled groan came from the bedroom. Scarlet had a joking but serious expression on her face, if that’s something even possible.

“You have to get up. It’s nearly seven thirty.” So I misjudged when Scarlet had been getting up. I hadn’t worn my watch the day I was kidnapped. It’s actually funny, thinking about that now. Kidnapped. It doesn’t seem like I was kidnapped. It’s different. Now. It really just doesn’t feel like a kidnapping.

Scarlet opened her mouth to call out again. “Conrad-“

And that’s when the light went out.

“What’s going on?” Scarlet and I turned around to see the black haired girl standing behind us. It was almost as if she had just appeared there- I hadn’t seen or heard her come in. Like a shadow.

“Power’s out.” Scarlet said this in the way one might say “dinner’s ready,” or something like that. She turned to me. “Summer, you’re closest to the window. Is it out on the rest of the block as well?” I turned to look.

There was a shadow. I couldn’t see the owner, they were standing below the window so I couldn’t tell, but someone was there.

“Conrad?” I could hear Scarlet behind me. “Power’s out. I can’t heat up your food if it gets cold, lazybones.”

“Scarlet-“ I started to say something about the shadow, but it was gone. What was I supposed to do? See where the power was out. Right. Peering out, I could see other apartment buildings with the lights on. “It’s just here.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. Go to your room and get dressed.” She sounded very authoritative. Turning to the black haired girl, she added, “You too.” Treading silently, the girl disappeared into her room once again.

I headed to my room to get dressed in the dark. What the heck was happening? Did our power just get shut off or something?

I finished dressing and headed out of the bedroom to see Scarlet and Conrad (who was already dressed), in heated but whispered conversation.

“She needs to know, Conrad.” Scarlet whispered. I had never seen her angry looking before. She looked scary.

“We don’t have enough time.” Conrad countered. “We can explain once we’re out of here. If this is the only place that power’s out, it means one of them is here. Which means we need to get out while we still can.”

That didn’t sound good. Who were they? The shadow I saw outside? I thought back to the few seconds I had seen it. Certainly ominous. Not good.


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14 Reviews


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Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:02 am
AmyMedek says...



I like the way the characters are developing. Especially Scarlet. She seems both easy-going and adorable at the same time. Even with her not liking people when they talk about her name... (I think that was her, right?), I thought it added more mystery to her.




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Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:21 pm
burninhell wrote a review...



Hai!
Okay Whooo, new chapter! Okay, so review time. I'll do nitpicky things first and then have a little ramble on about all the things I liked! :D
So, here goes:

It’s different. Now.

Okay, so here I don't think that you needed a new sentence for the word 'now'. I'd suggest restructuring it so that it was a little more simple like 'It's different now.' Like I know that kind of different way of phrasing it, but I feel like the structure is a little better if you see what I mean?

“It’s just here.”

Okay, so here, I think that it needs to say 'it was just here' because the shadow had just disappeared it's no longer just there, but yep, it's only a little one.

she added, “You too.”

So this is another super minor one, but you don't need the capital at the start of the speech because it ended with a comma.

Okay, one more suggestion. I didn't know if you were going to use flashbacks or something, or maybe just use another chapter at the start, but I think that maybe it would be good to be able to see her kidnapping, like with a little bit of her life before or something just so that we could see a little more of her backstory, how she came to be kidnapped in the first place, like what she was doing when it happened, that sort of thing. I just think that it could maybe be an interesting piece of story if you get my meaning.

Okay, so nitpicks over, and I can go on about how much I loved this! Omg. The ending was by far my favourite part! I love the excitement of the lights going out and the shadowy figure, and all the mystery that surrounds it! It was great! I also love how you have written all of the characters. I still love Scarlet! But I want to know about all the drama/tension between Conrad and the black haired girl too. Whoa, lots of drama. I love it!!!
All in all, another fantabulous chapter. I can't wait for the next one! :)




ashlingwolf says...


Thanks so much again, and I'm glad you like my story. I will totally proofread better next time. When Summer says "It's just here." She means the power outage is just in their apartment, not about the shadow. I won't spoil anything, but I will say, a flashback would be good, and I know exactly where I'm going to put it. :3 Thanks again!



burninhell says...


Oooo! I can't wait to read it!!! :D



ashlingwolf says...


I'll try to get it up in the next few days. :3



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Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:50 am
RippleGylf wrote a review...



Hello! Ripple here! Let's start the review then, shall we?

Disclosure: I have not read Chapter 1, so I'm not filled in on all of the plot.

The beginning feels a lot like it should have come from the middle of a chapter and not the beginning. Chronologically, it shouldn't be changed, but try to make a beginning that feels like a beginning.

Now she was giggling too- and it was like we were old friends- that we knew each other from school or a sport or a club- not from illegal abduction- and we had known each other forever. The best of friends. Not kidnapper and kidnapee. And it was nice, just being in this moment.

Here is where my lack of knowledge comes into play. Hopefully this kidnapping was explained in the first chapter, 'cause I am very much confused now. When I first read through this, I also got the roles flipped.
A moment later, an exasperated- or maybe just tired Conrad stepped in the door. Scarlet stood up as he came in. “Conrad!” He quietly turned to look at her. “I made soup! I’m not sure how much is left cause I kinda- spilled it.” She smiled apologetically. “But you can have whatever’s left! It’s in a pot in the kitchen.” He gave her a slow nod.

It is fairly likely that these characters have already had some characterization in the last chapter, but I think that they still need some more development. The way they are introduced into the scene just feels... weird. I don't know how else to put it.
“I understand that you’re confused, and I know you want to leave.” I nodded. “But if you go out there, you’re in serious danger. I promise that we don’t want to hurt you. I promise that if you stay, we’ll explain everything. Now is just not the time.” And with that, she left the room after Conrad

It seems like Conrad's just as confused as me. This is a rhetorically powerful bit of dialogue, which feels strangely out of character, from what we've seen of Scarlet so far.
The black haired girl still hasn’t spoken to me since I got here. I don’t really care. If I want to talk, I can talk to Scarlet, maybe Conrad if she’s away or busy. I just wish I knew the black haired girl’s name.

I guess I don’t really get to spend much time with her. She spends most of her time alone is her room. When we eat, she takes three or four bites of whatever delicious food Scarlet has cooked us, then moves food around on her plate for five minutes before asking to be excused back to her room. How her head works is yet a mystery to me.

These two paragraphs could be combined to make one. Having the narrator narrate a couple days of story is literally telling, and not showing. Why not show these events in a narrative?
I’ve been staying here three days now, and I’ve fallen into everyone’s routine here. In the morning, i’ve been woken up by Scarlet, making breakfast. So far, she’s gotten up like this every morning, around six. Conrad is clearly used to it, or just a deep sleeper, because he always sleeps through all the cooking. I can’t tell about the black haired girl. The door to her room is always closed anyway.

This follows the same formula as the last section's first paragraph. While I do like that you shift to showing the actual events, this first paragraph is just awkward. Dive right into the scene, instead of starting with more narration.
I was an only child when I was a child.

This is very awkwardly worded. You don't need to specify that the main character was a child when she was a child. Cutting off the rest of the sentence gets the point across with the use of the word "was," and doesn't need anything more.
And that’s when the lights went out.

➶ ➷ ➶

“What’s going on?” Scarlet and I turned around to see the black haired girl standing behind us. It was almost as if she had just appeared there- I hadn’t seen or heard her come in. Like a shadow.

This break isn't really necessary, and it messes with pacing.
“We don’t have enough time.” Conrad countered. “We can explain once we’re out of here. If this is the only place that power’s out, it means one of them is here. Which means we need to get out while we still can.”

That didn’t sound good. Who were they? The shadow I saw outside? I thought back to the few seconds I had seen it. Certainly ominous. Not good.

I think that the second to last paragraph wraps this chapter up nicely. The last paragraph is a tad confusing, and doesn't feel like a closing. I would likely just cut that.

Overall, an interesting premise, complete with inciting incident at the end of the chapter. Your writing style is fairly enjoyable, although it works better when you're actually in the scene. I can't wait to see where this goes next. Keep writing!




ashlingwolf says...


Thanks for the review! I will definitely keep your advice in mind as I continue to write. I do promise that if you can find time to read the first chapter, pretty much everything you were confused about in this chapter will make more sense. Also, the main character is a girl. :3



RippleGylf says...


Oops. The first person POV threw me off. :P I'll go and fix that now.



ashlingwolf says...


It's cool.




If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.
— Lemony Snicket