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Huntress: Chapter 2.1- Pride [Edited; LMS]

by Featherstone

Sorry about the bad ending. This was done for LMS and I just wrote until I had barely enough words and cut it off, unfortunately in the middle of a conversation. This will be remedied.

Apologies again,

Knight Feather


They called themselves the Pride, though the rest of the world knew them as the Thieves’ Guild or simply just ‘the Guild.’ Their leader was the Wildcat who’d been the one who initially recruited me. The rules of the Guild were simple: give them a share of your pickings, and they gave you food and board. Don’t cause trouble, don’t steal from other members of the Pride or the poor, pay your share. The one thing you never, ever did was leave the cat waiting for his pay.

“Pay the ‘Cat, simple as t’at,” Ari said to me the first time we met. “Tis what we say t’ remind t’ newbloods ‘bout t’e rules.” He was of the friendly sort, with messy sandy hair and dark brown eyes. His skin was deep tan from long days spent in the sun in the plains and his smile was warm. Lynx had brought be to him and told Ari he was to teach me Common and show me the ropes.

“But outside of them rules, remember t’is, because it very well may save yer life ‘un day. It the most important ’n often t’e ‘ardest fer t’e kits t’e learn: never trust no one, not friends, not family- just yerself. Others, t’ey’ll backstab y’, ’n steal from y’, ’n betray y’. Yer t’e only ‘un who won’t. Y’ t’ink y’ can learn t’at?”

My voice was cold and my eyes hard as I answered. “I already did.”

“Did y’ now?”

“I’m hunted by me own pack,” I snarled. “I know ‘bout betrayal.”

“Perhaps. I suppose we’ll be seein’, eh, newblood?”

And so we would.

I picked up Common pretty quickly, and was able to get by within a few months. By the end of the year I was all but fluent in the thieves’ cant. I was a natural at sneaking and stealing and all went well. I worked my way through the ranks with relative ease and learned from my mistakes rather promptly- those that didn’t were caught by the Guard or Hunters one too many times and didn’t come back.

The one thing I had a difficult time with was getting along with the other Guild members. Being a wolf-child, I’d learned to follow my instinct, for it had kept me alive. Here, too, it aided me, but I was to fast to fight. Since the first time my power had manifested —when I’d blacked out back in the Pack’s lands— it had a tendency to come out more. I suppose it was like going down a one-way road: once I’d begun, I couldn’t go back.

As a result, when I got into fights as I had a tendency to do, it ended badly. One moment I’d simply be pinning my opponent to show them who was alpha, the next someone would be pulling me off of them, my fists scarlet with their blood.

One of the lessons I remember most clearly is when I was out one night. It was after curfew and dumping rain in sheets down onto the cobblestones. Generally you tried to steal during the day if you were a pickpocket like me, and then get back at night so you wouldn’t get in trouble for being out late.

Unfortunately, it’d taken longer than expected to get back because of the downpour. Thus, I was out after nightfall, a none too pleasing prospect. I was taking the back alleyways and roofs back to the Lair when I slipped on a slick stone. Wincing, I stood and glanced around to see a flickering lamp nearing me. Knowing it was too late to get away from the watchman, I pulled the stolen ring from my belt pouch and slipped it behind a loose brick so I couldn’t be charged with stealing on top of being out after curfew.

“Hey! You!” The man yelled at me.

“Yea sir?” I stopped my nonchalant stroll.

“What are y’ doin’ out so late?” he demanded. “Without a light, no less. Stealin’, perhaps? Maybe sneakin’ in somewhere when y’ ‘ad t’e shadows t’ hid behind?”

“No, sir,” I said rather hurriedly, feigning shock and offense at his accusation. “I earn me money through a good, honest livin’. I ain’t got nothin’ t’ do with them rats!”

“I’m sure,” he said, not really buying it. “Mind if y’ tell me what yer doin’ out?”

“Goin’ home ‘fter a late night,” I answered. “See, I was goin’ t’ go n’ talk t’ t’e blacksmith ‘bout some scrap metal ‘e could spare, and the rain slowed me goin’ ‘ome. I pushed it, ’n now I’m stuck out ‘ere now.”

“What is it y’ do, exactly, needin’ scrap metal?”

“Why, I’m a locksmith,” I said.

“Really? I ain’t heard o’ y’.”

“Well, apprentice, really,” I answered, scuffing my foot to make it seem as though I was a bit abashed at my boldness.

“T’ who?”

That was one thing I could answer without making something up on the spot. “Ari,” I answered.

“He never mentioned havin’ a ‘pprentice.”

“New,” I said. “Just barely convinced ‘im ‘bout takin’ me today. Been needlin’ ‘im for a while, so now ‘e’s got me runnin’ errands fer a bit.”

He didn’t seem entirely convinced, but I thought it was enough to escape a night in the cages.

I was wrong.

It was a bit of a struggle to get me there, but eventually he managed it. I was thrown into a small cell already packed with dirty scoundrels. Flies were abundant, probably because of the dead body in the corner, blood from a shiv in his back. Poor schmuck probably didn’t even see it coming.

I might have even managed to leave without getting in a fight if it weren’t for those thugs. There were three of them, all big and husky just like good thugs were.

“Lookie ‘ere what t’e kitty dragged in,” the lead one said, sidling up to me.

“Go away,” I growled. “I ain’t interested.”

He caressed my face, brushing a stray orange lock from my cheek. “Are you sure?”

In response I slammed my knee between his legs. Good riddance.

When I returned to the Lair, I had a black eye, three broken ribs, a sprained wrist, and a broken nose.

“Well, ain’t you a sight,” Felicia noted as I stumbled in the next morning.

“I got nagged by Nightwatch,” I grumbled.

“Mhm. And then y’ got yerself in a fight like y’ always are.” She was amused. Amused. That just put me in an even worse mood. Growling something about curfew and Nightwatch under my breath, I made my way past Felicia and to someone who could actually patch me up.

Nothing was like the day the Wildcat summoned me, however. There were only two reasons you got summoned: either you’d done something very, very wrong or you’d been doing exceedingly well. The latter was extremely rare, but I hoped for it. I didn’t want to get on the bad side of the ‘Cat.

After what seemed like an eternity of weaving through damp passageways, I finally reached a wooden door. It was plain, nothing significant about it. Except for the knocker, that was- in the shape of a lynx. Swallowing nervously, I pounded the door.

“Come in.”

The Wildcat was the first one I’d met when I first stumbled in on the Guild. That aura of authority about him still remained, and his blue eyes had become no less piercing.

“You summoned me.” I bowed my head in respect.

“Yes. I have a mission for you and Ari to aid me on. Felicia will be helping supply disguises, of course.”

Of course? What kind of mission was this?

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61 Reviews

Points: 325
Reviews: 61

Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:26 pm
Feltrix wrote a review...

Hello! Feltrix here for a review.

I. The transition from chapter one was pretty abrupt. I'd try to smooth that out a bit.

II. Ari's slang get's rid of a bit more than necessary. It makes reading it a bit choppy. For instance, I'd leave all h's that come after t's.

III. "Lynx had brought be to him..." I assume you mean 'Lynx had brought ME to him."

IV. "Here, too, it aided me, but I was to fast to fight. Since the first time my power had manifested —when I’d blacked out back in the Pack’s lands— it had a tendency to come out more. I suppose it was like going down a one-way road: once I’d begun, I couldn’t go back." I feel like I missed something here. I don't really know what power is being referred to. And also, "Too (with two o's) fast to fight" doesn't make sense to me. Speed is an advantage in a fight, right? I'd also cut the "I suppose" from your one-way road analogy. It's best not to let your narrator address the reader.

V. Everything about the Agrona's capture is pretty vague. It seems like the MC is telling me about it instead of it actually happening. It's also a bit confusing because the law enforcement seems a lot like a gang. And what did Agrona mean "I ain't interested?" No one offered anything.

VI. "She was amused. Amused." Either cut the second 'amused,' or put it in italics.

VII. The end was abrupt, but I suppose that's okay because this isn't the end of the chapter.

VIII. I think you can just say the Cat with no '.

This chapter had a decidedly different feel from the first one, but not a bad one. I definitely got a feel for Agrona here and what the rest of the world is like. The beginning was a bit abrupt, and there was some info at the beginning that could be drawn out more. There was also a noticeable lack of setting, which makes things hard to visualize. Actually, there weren't a lot of descriptions. I'd like a bit more of a picture of what is happening. I look forward to reading the rest!


Feltrix says...

You can go a little overboard with the slang...

Feltrix says...

Also, you said Agrona had three broken ribs and a broken nose? She seems fine afterward. Broken ribs cause A LOT of pain, so it seems a little unrealistic that she's just walk it off.

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26 Reviews

Points: 317
Reviews: 26

Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:01 pm
regismare wrote a review...

Hey featherstone! I'm back ^-^

So, we spend a lot more time with Agrona and we get to know her a bit more. Ari is introduced, as is the dialect, and then we see Agorna taken by Nightwatch and when summoned by the Wildcat. The beginning was good, and I pretty much liked Ari straight away, though we don't get much time with him. He just seems like a nice guy, and I'm really looking forward to spending more time with him on this 'mission'. I'm still not really sure how to feel about the Wildcat, which gets me even more interested and intrigued. So, good job.

Again, a lot of things are glossed over here. I understand that spending too long writing out her first year with the Pride would get boring not only for you but also for the reader, but I think you could draw a little more on the events of the first chapter. How does she feel about avoiding the Pack during in this time? How does she grow with the Pride? More of Agrona's emotional state and inner thoughts would be very helpful with allowing the reader to bond and become emotionally connected with her as the story progresses.

Now for the nitpicks:

“Pay the ‘Cat, simple as t’at,”

I have mixed feelings about this. It's effective, but a little annoying for me to read. It got easier as the chapter went on, though. It does give a lot of character and individuality.

It was a bit of a struggle to get me there, but eventually he managed it. I was thrown into a small cell already packed with dirty scoundrels. Flies were abundant, probably because of the dead body in the corner, blood from a shiv in his back. Poor schmuck probably didn’t even see it coming.

This is good, but I feel like we need more description and context. The whole setting is a little vague in this chapter - where are the cages? Where did they physically take here? What to they look like? Smell like? Sound like? The usual.

“Lookie ‘ere what t’e kitty dragged in,” the lead one said, sidling up to me.

I love how much the crudeness of this little scene adds to the world as a whole.

I have a mission for you and Ari to aid me on

Sounds a little awkward. Rephrase?

Of course? What kind of mission was this?

Was this meant to be in dialogue or not? Is it Agrona's thoughts? It's a little confusing.

Again, I really enjoyed reading this and I can't wait for the next installment of chapter two!


Featherstone says...

Glad you liked it! The terrible grammar/extreme number of apostrophes will get better, I promise. It's just necessary for the way the world is structured. How would you suggest rephrasing 'I have a mission for you and Ari to aid me on'? I found the same thing but wasn't sure how to change it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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447 Reviews

Points: 70252
Reviews: 447

Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:31 am
EternalRain wrote a review...

Yo, featherstone!

Interesting chapter. We get to know more about this village (clan? village? tribe?) she joined and not a ton was revealed but enough to keep me engaged! I actually like how it felt a little vague - it's a good idea to break up information over several chapters instead of cram it all into one, so I think that was nicely done.

I like the accents - it gives the Pride a thing that makes them unique. However, it can be a little straining on the eyes to read all the dialogue with the accents. It's possible, of course, it just takes a bit more time and the reader has to concentrate more on decoding rather than actually reading. I think it's fine if this is the only chapter it occurs in but if she's going to be here a while/be talking like this for a while, it may be helpful to simply note in the narration that the Pride has accents rather than typing them like that (also, it seems like so much work to write those! o-o).

Though I mentioned liking the vagueness, maybe adding a little sentence or two with something about Felicia to get the readers to know her better/relate to her? It doesn't have to be something as straight up as "Felicia was ---- and was born ----" but just something that gives the readers an idea of who she is.

I think that's all for this chapter! I'm wondering what this mission is? Very curious. Also, I feel like when Ari talks about betrayal and backstabbing that it could be foreshadowing to something >.> Hmmm....

Great chapter!


Featherstone says...

Thanks for reading and reviewing! The accents area bit hard, but I've written enough of it where it isn't too hard anymore. By Chapter 3 or 4 she won't be talking like that quite as badly, though, so it'll get better. Thanks again for stopping by!

EternalRain says...

Oh, I see! I could never write those, haha.

No problem!

Featherstone says...

It took a while to unlearn my grammar, but after a few months I figured it out XD

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.
— Bill Nye