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Footsteps in new snow.

by hawk

this is an introduction to a story I'm not writing, but if its any good, i might pick it up again.

A high wind frizzled the silent woods, a gentle rush at the tall swaying branches. The sky was pale blue overhead, cloudless and cold as new winter, meeting the great purple and grey ranges far off into the distance. The pale garron tossed tousled its head and snorted, picking new scents from the wind bracing the land, Myrell ran her long fingers along his neck and he was silent. Beside her, a tall, fair haired man stood, thick woolen cloaks pulled close as he set his steady gaze across the low lands below.

“Ï hear of your brother’s return,” the fair-haired man spoke, “he rides in from the west to meet the Sir Dyron.”

Myrell grimaced, “He is Lord now, Lord Dyron. The west gave him a title when he murdered his Arnish wife and her brother,” she paused, “do you remember them, Casteleo?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Your Lord father meets them at the Grey Hall. There is word that your elder brother has not returned from Myrash.”

Myrell smiled faintly. She remembered her eldest brother Luthen before the Wolren march. She was but a child then, and he no more than seventeen. Once, he had been their father’s favorite son, before all this started, before the war had come and before the young began to die before the old. Many things had changed since, but one was sensible not to dwell on the past.

“I’ll take you to Dredport, Casteleo, it is not long out of my way,” she said after the talk was done, but the blonde man declined, as Myrell knew he would. Neither two ever rode anything but abreast together. Myrell thought for a while before she left him, and dismounted where before she preferred to stay mounted. She was hardly an inch shorter than Casteleo, who was a tall Nethel from the North, and her hair hung in thin plats to the small of her back, tied with feathers that flew in the breeze as she rode.

“Come to the Pretoon with me on third day,” she said. “It would be good for Albany to see you again,” she smiled. Casteleo laughed half-heartedly and sighed, shaking his head slightly.

“I cannot. Albany is somewhat different these days, I know,” he replied.

“He is married it is true, with two sons and a third child on the way, or perhaps a fourth, but he asks of you when I visit. Rhyanne is not such a burden to him as you might think, he is nothing but more grounded than we ever thought him to be.”

“Yes, he has changed much, Albany,” but then there was a pause and Myrell smiled for she knew she had him. Her garron stamped his hoof into the soil and the young woman turned to him and laughed, running her hand along his flanks as she quickly mounted him again.

“Brey grows impatient at simple wandering of us humans,” she smiled and calmed him with her hand on his neck.

“I trust we will see you at Preoon then, on the third day from now.”

“Goodbye little crow,” he said after her, as she kicked her feet into the horses’ flanks and disappeared down into the grasslands below.

Casteleo folded his arms across his chest and set his hard grey eyes toward the sun, high and useless on a pale blue sea. It was bitter late summer, and an even colder winter to follow a cheerless autumn. Leaves did not ripen and fall in the south; they rotted on branches and were lost in the snow. There was no beauty in these autumns, not like back home, he thought.

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32 Reviews

Points: 4360
Reviews: 32

Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:28 pm
writewannabe wrote a review...

First of all your description is excellent. I can visualize the setting of your story. I see potential in what you have written and suggest that you continue on with this. Well, since you wrote this in 2005, I will have to check the archives and see if you have more.

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24 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 24

Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:24 am
randy wrote a review...

You've got some excellent description here. However, you put way too many names and places and history whatnot right at the start. I'm horribly confused, and have absolutely no idea what's going on. Try not to force people to read the each line over and over to get an idea of what's going on. I'd scratch this one, and start over. Just work on you're dialouge (did I spell that right?) and try to keep it simple.

Once again, the snippets of imagery in there are insane good.

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665 Reviews

Points: 6165
Reviews: 665

Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:27 am
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Chevy wrote a review...

I agree with Firestarter, it was confusing.

A high wind frizzled the silent woods, a gentle rush at the tall swaying branches. The sky was pale blue overhead, cloudless and cold as new winter, meeting the great purple and grey ranges far off into the distance.

Wow...that was awesome. It was almost like a poem.

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1259 Reviews

Points: 18178
Reviews: 1259

Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:29 pm
Firestarter wrote a review...

I thought it was rather confusing. The names were a little complex and unwieldy, as you say, if this isn't a story you're writing, why not just keep it simple? If you cut down the names to more basic names I think it would improve it. I think the dialogue could do with some improvement to, it seemed a little fake and not real. Like it was too formal, and not relaxed enough, it reads like we know you've written it, and I can't imagine the story in my head.

But it was good.

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103 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 103

Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:44 pm
Tessitore wrote a review...

I liked the last half of the introduction, it had a better flow and was a little less confusion. I ESPECIALLY loved the last paragraph, talking about the seasons. We get a lot of that rotten tree leaves around here, you described it wonderfully.

I have to admit I got a bit confused and agitated reading your story at first. I don't know, I'm one of those people that follows the rules of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), and so I've always read stories that follow the same guidelines. All the long words, names of places and people and things that were strange, they confused me. Tarnished the story. Distracted me from the actual story with wondering, "What's that? How do I pronounce this?"

But that's just me. Again, I loved the last half of it. There are a few structural errors, but nothing that can't be fixed by reading it over a few times yourself. I'm afraid that all the help I'm going to be. Apologies.

A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.
— Markus Zusak, The Book Thief