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The Hero's Brother (2.1)

by mellifera


Working Villa didn’t end up taking Carter’s mind off the letter or Shiloh or anything else. Instead, he spent the whole time with shaking hands and wobbly legs. Villa, sensing his discomfort, had grown irritated by this and even bucked a few times.

He’d made the executive decision to get off before she threw him. Villa had continuously rubbed her face on him as if in spite. She had, however, amended by nuzzling him for a few moments to make him feel better before she nipped him.

Carter’s pocket felt weighted as though he were carrying lead. He had stuffed the note in there after going back and forth between whether to take it with him or not. After several minutes, Carter had grown too worried that Bazzoli would somehow know he was idling – he never did, he couldn’t be bothered often enough, and Carter was quick if he did ever come by to – and there the note had stayed since.

What did it mean? Why would Shiloh leave a note knowing full well Carter would overthink it?

He tried to force his mind on his work, checking the water in the stalls to find several of the dull mahogany buckets partially empty. Fill the horses’ water. That was simple enough. He’d just have to go out the back left door to the pump with another bucket to carry the water back.

What does she mean ‘all the things I never told you’?

Maybe it wasn’t Shiloh who wrote the note. Maybe it was Bazzoli, or somebody playing a trick on him. Someone who didn’t know him and Shiloh well enough to know they told each other everything. Her and Whisper were the only two people Carter trusted with anything.

Of course. It had to be that. It had to be.

With a milder squirming in his gut, Carter walked along the smooth stone aisle, freshly swept, towards the back corner where he had left a few spare buckets in a stack just outside the supply room.

Sure enough, sitting patiently just beside one of the dark, rich walnut walls that enclosed the small room full of supplies, three neatly stacked buckets waited for him.

As he reached down to pick one up, he frowned disapprovingly at a cobweb that had already stretched between the rim of the bucket and its handle. And, glancing up to the rafters, he could spot more cobwebs extending between the posts and the ceiling.

Carter had just spent the last week cleaning everything, but nothing he did could deter the spiders from building their webs.

It wouldn’t even be such an issue if they didn’t catch on fire so easily.

He sighed, swiping away the web with only a spark of guilt for the spider who had built it, and grabbed the top bucket.

The cool evening breeze was starting to roll through, ruffling Carter’s hair gently. He made his way along the crumbling gravel path over to a water pump with chipping blue paint and rust at a few of its edges.

He set the bucket under the faucet and stepped around the other side of the pump. Carter grabbed the lever with both hands and started working it, pulling it up and down as water started to sputter out.

It didn’t take long for the water to reach the first ring of the bucket. Carter lowered the lever of the pump to a neutral stance and walked back around to collect the bucket.

Hauling water was never a particularly enjoyable job, but at least it kept him focused on not spilling the water all over the floor. Or himself. Or any of the horses that happened to be inside one of the stalls he was refilling the water of.

Bazzoli had a hose that Carter could have easily used, except that Bazzoli kept it locked in his private tool shed and Carter was too afraid to ask to use it. Besides, the work kept him in good shape. It wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.

On his third round, Carter was bringing water to Villa’s stall. The small, black mare tossed her head she had stuck out of the open hatch on the front of her stall and snuffed in excitement. He smiled at he weakly through the bars, lifting the bucket in response to show it wasn’t, in fact, treats.

Villa nickered enthusiastically in response, bouncing her head again as if spotting something she liked. It was the kind of gesture she sometimes made on the rare occasion she was happy to see Carter or Shiloh.

As Carter tilted his head in her direction, something cold suddenly pressed against his throat just as an unfamiliar, silvery voice said, “Don’t move.”

Carter yelped in surprise, doing exactly the opposite and whirled around. In a moment of no self-awareness, Carter completely forgot the bucket. The water leapt straight out of it and drenched everything in its vicinity.

Scrambling backwards, Carter barely avoided tripping. He did, however, crash back into the wall of Villa’s stall, heart racing in his chest enough that he thought it would burst from his chest.

Standing only a few feet away from him was a man, a little shorter than Carter if he had been standing up straight, who had a fuzz of auburn hair and was completely drenched in water. He was scowling, and in his left hand, gripping a knife.

There was a horrible dizziness that ran through Carter in that moment. His pulse beat in his ears like drums that were being played too loud and he squeezed his eyes shut.

He was expecting something overly dramatic, like some rendition of his life playing at the back of eyelids right before his death, but all he could think about was what if he hurts the horses? and Bazzoli’s going to be pissed and I wish I had gotten to tell Shiloh I loved her.

What are you doing?”

Carter opened his eyes in surprise and blinked up at the stranger, who was exactly where Carter had left him when he shut his eyes. He was still gripping the curved, nightmarish dagger, but at least he hadn’t advanced towards Carter yet.

Um-“ Carter glanced around the room, searching for somebody else the stranger must have been talking to. The only other noise was Villa nickering behind him. “Um- I- um. Aren’t-aren’t you going to, um…” Carter looked down at the knife, feeling a sudden wave of nausea roll through him. His knees wobbled, and he nearly collapsed to the ground. Would have, had he not been leaning against the wall.

The stranger looked at the knife in question. His scowled turned into something that might have been a confused frown. Carter hoped it was that, and he hadn’t just made the stranger angrier.

I leave you alone for two minutes flat and you’re already terrorising the locals.” Carter swallowed back another yelp as his head jerked to the left.

Coming from what must have been the front of the stable – another how? Carter hadn’t heard anyone come in – was a tall blonde woman who looked considerably less…scowly then the stranger.

She peered over at Carter and offered him a sweet smile. Something about her smile scared Carter more than the scowly stranger’s knife. “Gideon.” the blonde turned to- well, Gideon, presumably. “What’d you do? Poor kid looks like he’s seen a ghost. And put the knife away.”

On a whim, Carter reached in his pocket and grabbed the note, gripping it like a vice. He tried to imagine Shiloh beside him, holding his hand and running her fingers through his hair, murmuring in a soothing voice.

The scowly stranger – Gideon? – looked back at Carter with a frown. In one of the stalls nearby, Reese whinnied loudly and Carter’s heart leapt into his throat. He wondered if he could make it to her stall if he moved fast enough. He’d much rather die with her next to him then all alone out here.

But then Gideon slid the awful dagger into a sheathe and settled his arms across his chest, still soaking, instead. Carter noticed he was wearing arm bands around both biceps, and couldn’t help but wonder how comfortable that was.

Who are you?” Gideon demanded, his eyes darting around to any movement Carter made. Which wasn’t many, Carter wasn’t sure he could move even if the scary man asked him to.

N-nobody!” Carter said quickly, eyes darting between Gideon and the slightly less scary blonde. “I’m- I’m, um, nobody. I-I don’t know where, um, where any r-riches are,” he added for good measure. Although he figured it was pointless- bandits weren’t going to believe him.

They’d probably take him for ransom if they didn’t kill him. But there was nobody to pay it. Bazzoli would just find a new stablehand and Shiloh wouldn’t have the money and the new stablehand would be mean to the horses and Whisper wouldn’t have anyone to work with Achille and she’d have to sell him and-

We’re not here to rob anyone,” the woman said, cutting out Carter’s train of thought. Her brow wrinkled in his direction. “Hey, kid, you okay?”

Carter’s breath hitched in his throat and he felt like somebody was pressing an anvil on his chest. His legs did buckle out from him now, and Carter slowly slid down to the icy stone floor when his vision started to spin.

He could vaguely see both bandits – that’s what they had to be, right? – standing nearby, watching helplessly as Carter struggled for air.

There was a sudden and loud bang from just behind Carter that made him nearly jump out of his own skin. Then a warm breath rushed over his head and something nipped at his hair. Carter squawked in indignation and reached up to swat the velvety nose sniffing at his hair.

Villa!” he scolded through a gasp, sucking in a breath without quite realising the world was once again in better focus.

The mare nickered at him and nibbled at his fingers playfully, chuffing hot air over his hands and face.

He looked back up at the strangers, ducking his head into his shoulders as if he were a turtle trying to retreat into its shell. Gideon looked slightly less scowly, but still drenched with water and crossing his arms. The blonde was watching more passively, although there was a spark of curiosity in her eyes.

It was then that Carter realised what the blonde had said before and his brow wrinkled. Was he okay? Why would a bandit ask that? If they were just going to-

You’re-you’re not going to…um…kill me?” he asked weakly, his voice hardly more than a whisper. Villa’s nose stilled above him, and Carter brought his laps down to rest in his lap, his heart remembering how to pace itself again.

The blonde raised one of her eyebrows. “You know, I wish I could say that’s the first time somebody was that intimidated by him, but I’d be lying,” she said, her lip curling to the side. “No, we’re not here to hurt anyone. Least of all you. Shame to waste such a pretty boy.”

Isha,” Gideon hissed, his jaw set together firmly. He had a strong jawline, Carter observed.

Relax,” the blonde – Isha? – cut in before Gideon could continue, “You’re still a pretty boy too.” She threw a wink in Carter’s direction and he blinked a few times, trying to decipher its meaning.

Carter folded his arms around his torso when it hit him how cold the stone floor was. It might have even been nice if it was warmer, but now that the evening air started to settle, it just made goosebumps run up Carter’s arms.

It didn’t help that Gideon was watching him with such a sharp gaze. Carter was almost sure that he could breathe and Gideon could see the breath curling out of his mouth.

We’re looking for someone,” Gideon said after a pause, his shoulders relaxing slightly.

And we aren’t going to hurt her either,” Isha added pointedly.

A rustling noise drew Carter’s gaze up to see Villa raising her head, stretching out her neck. He wondered if she believed that if she reached far enough, she would be able to sniff Gideon or Isha.

Rubbing his arms, Carter’s gaze rested on Gideon. Just looking at him was making Carter colder than he already was. Should he offer him a towel? What was one supposed to do in this situation?

There were towels in the supply room, Carter could easily get up to retrieve one. Carter’s stomach gnawed at itself guiltity. He hadn’t meant to get Gideon soaking wet.

He rubbed his arms again. His tongue felt too heavy and dry to form the words to respond, so he just nodded at the two.

Gideon hesitated a moment before his brow knitted into some more like consternation than anger. “We’re looking for a woman named Shiloh.”

A pit opened in Carter’s stomach, and the note drooped heavier in his pocket.

word count: 2,175


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Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:59 pm
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Querencia wrote a review...



Hello! Me again. :)

As he reached down to pick one up, he frowned disapprovingly at a cobweb that had already stretched between the rim of the bucket and its handle. And, glancing up to the rafters, he could spot more cobwebs extending between the posts and the ceiling.

Carter had just spent the last week cleaning everything, but nothing he did could deter the spiders from building their webs.

It wouldn’t even be such an issue if they didn’t catch on fire so easily.

I can understand the spider webs all over the stalls (which is terrible since he just cleaned them!) but the water buckets? It seems like he has to use those at least once a day, if not more frequently, and so there wouldn't be webs there. (but maybe the spiders are just always lurking) Also, the stand-alone line about fire is kind of odd--maybe foreshadowing? But if not, then I'm not really sure why it's referenced here on its own line without explanation.

As Carter tilted his head in her direction, something cold suddenly pressed against his throat just as an unfamiliar, silvery voice said, “Don’t move.”

Carter yelped in surprise, doing exactly the opposite and whirled around.

Question: how did he not get cut by the knife while hurriedly moving??

Carter was almost sure that he could breathe and Gideon could see the breath curling out of his mouth.

I get the sense of this sentence, but it's a little weird? I think it's the double "could" that doesn't sound quite right.

Rubbing his arms, Carter’s gaze rested on Gideon. Just looking at him was making Carter colder than he already was. Should he offer him a towel? What was one supposed to do in this situation?

There were towels in the supply room, Carter could easily get up to retrieve one. Carter’s stomach gnawed at itself guiltity. He hadn’t meant to get Gideon soaking wet.

I love this. <3 Even though he thinks they're bandits and Gideon literally had a knife to his throat, he's worried about getting him a towel.

I love all the character interactions here! Even though we just met them, Gideon and Isha have really clear personalities, and I like Isha's attempts to calm Carter (because Gideon is definitely not). And also--SHILOH oh my gosh she was up to something ! :0 Excitement!

-Q




mellifera says...


hey! I've been reading your reviews and I really appreciate them!! <3

re: the cobwebs. OOP THAT'S A LITTLE EMBARRASSING lol my riding instructor actually CONSTANTLY talks about cobwebs and how big of a fire hazard they are and we have to clean them out of the barn pretty frequently so that was actually just a SILLY DETAIL because of that haha

re: the knife. good question (to be revised answered in the second draft though xD)

again!! thank you so much for all your reviews <33 I'm sorry I don't reply I'm lazy but I do see them and they're very helpful!!



Querencia says...


I'm glad you appreciate them! I love reading your story. <3
And I just never thought of cobwebs as a fire hazard but that's pretty funny. XD



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Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:42 pm
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Gnomish wrote a review...



Hi again!

I really liked the insight into Carter's character, as well as the "bandits." I'm getting a suspicion that Shiloh is the hero in Hero's Brother!

Another tiny little grammar nit: "Carter brought his laps down to rest in his lap" I think you probably mean hands instead of laps.

Your writing is great, as usual, and I can't wait to keep reading the next chapters!
-Gnomish




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Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:30 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



omg I love Villa.

I love your horses.

I like how you're working his thought process/narration with his chores. It's working extremely well and not at all jarring.

SPIDERS ARE NASTY DON'T FEEL GUILTY

I was starting to wonder why we were taking our time with traveling to the water pump and filling the first water bucket, but it ended up explaining how it was all extra work that kept him in shape and kinda led into the third bucket for villa. So it does give us insight into his physique and sends us into a state of calmness before things happen, and that's a good thing 'CAUSE THINGS GONNA HAPPEN, CARTER.

I LOVE VILLA.

OH NO. PLEASE DON'T SHOOT VILLA.

IT'S A KNIFE. PLEASE DON'T STAB VILLA.

The stranger hasn't even approached him yet, how kind.

I don't know if Villa can be nickering behind him if Carter scooted all the way to the back of her stall. I think their placements are a little off in the narration.

“Gideon.” the blonde turned to- well, Gideon, presumably.


This sentence made me laugh. Your narrator is awesome.

The scowly stranger – Gideon? – looked back at Carter with a frown.


YES. WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THIS!

Carter noticed he was wearing arm bands around both biceps, and couldn’t help but wonder how comfortable that was.


Carter's busy and anxious brain is lovely and I love him.

Bazzoli would just find a new stablehand and Shiloh wouldn’t have the money and the new stablehand would be mean to the horses and Whisper wouldn’t have anyone to work with Achille and she’d have to sell him and-


I love this sentence. We, again, get a strong sense of his anxiety here and it flowed so smoothly for me who is also rather anxious and overthinks things.

I LOVE VILLA. I just adore how these horses know Carter, too. This is just so wonderful and lovely.

It does kinda feel like we're taking an awfully long time getting to the point of this scene, though. When the bang happened and Villa nuzzled Carter, there's a couple paragraphs there where it felt kinda draggy and unnecessary. I would rather have had Gideon slam a wall to get his attention or something and move on with why they're here.

I like how at the end here, Carter was starting to get into a calmness (if you will) and started worrying about towels. That's adorable.

I love this development in your story and am SUPER intrigued and want to keep reading. So I might revisit later (certainly tomorrow) to get the lowdown on this chapter. I really just adore Carter, and his character makes this all the more interesting and even relatable for the reader because it's not your typical hero. FROM ZERO TO HERO!!

I'LL BE BACK!

Jabber, the One and Only!




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Tue May 07, 2019 10:03 am
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Panikos wrote a review...



Hey, mellifera! Uni is done for me so I can finally devote my time to reviewing properly!

Small Comments

After several minutes, Carter had grown too worried that Bazzoli would somehow know he was idling – he never did, he couldn’t be bothered often enough, and Carter was quick if he did ever come by to – and there the note had stayed since.


Yee this sentence was quite confusing. I'm not sure what you were trying to say, nor how it relates to Carter putting the note in his pocket.

Maybe it wasn’t Shiloh who wrote the note. Maybe it was Bazzoli, or somebody playing a trick on him. Someone who didn’t know him and Shiloh well enough to know they told each other everything. Her and Whisper were the only two people Carter trusted with anything.


I love how progressively outlandish his theories are getting. It reminds me of myself whenever I turn up to a meeting/class and I'm the first person there. I start thinking that I'm in the wrong place, that the meeting has been cancelled, that it's actually not even today, that we never even arranged it, that my whole concept of it was a fever dream, etc. etc.

The cool evening breeze was starting to roll through, ruffling Carter’s hair gently. He made his way along the crumbling gravel path over to a water pump with chipping blue paint and rust at a few of its edges.

He set the bucket under the faucet and stepped around the other side of the pump. Carter grabbed the lever with both hands and started working it, pulling it up and down as water started to sputter out.

It didn’t take long for the water to reach the first ring of the bucket. Carter lowered the lever of the pump to a neutral stance and walked back around to collect the bucket.

Hauling water was never a particularly enjoyable job, but at least it kept him focused on not spilling the water all over the floor. Or himself. Or any of the horses that happened to be inside one of the stalls he was refilling the water of.

Bazzoli had a hose that Carter could have easily used, except that Bazzoli kept it locked in his private tool shed and Carter was too afraid to ask to use it. Besides, the work kept him in good shape. It wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.


Is any of this actually necessary to the chapter? Admittedly, it is a funny and very in-character detail that Carter would sooner do things the hard way than ask his employer to use the hose, but this whole passage about hauling water drags a bit. I don't really see the purpose of it.

As Carter tilted his head in her direction, something cold suddenly pressed against his throat just as an unfamiliar, silvery voice said, “Don’t move.”

Carter yelped in surprise, doing exactly the opposite and whirled around. In a moment of no self-awareness, Carter completely forgot the bucket. The water leapt straight out of it and drenched everything in its vicinity.


Small detail, but does Carter get cut at all? If a knife's pressed to his throat and he jerks and whirls round, I'd expect him to come away with at least a shallow gash. I think it'd add to the moment if you described the pain.

I literally love that Carter does the exact opposite of what he's told to, though. Finally, a character who actually freaks out the way they should when someone puts a knife to their neck.

He was expecting something overly dramatic, like some rendition of his life playing at the back of eyelids right before his death, but all he could think about was what if he hurts the horses? and Bazzoli’s going to be pissed and I wish I had gotten to tell Shiloh I loved her.


okay so I'd die for Carter, just fyi

and Carter brought his laps down to rest in his lap


This has to be the funniest typos I've seen since Blue wrote 'he walked back down the street with his hands'.

A pit opened in Carter’s stomach, and the note drooped heavier in his pocket.


Love this last line!

Overall Thoughts

This keeps getting better. The first half of the chapter still suffers a bit from dragging moments - all that stuff about hauling water wasn't necessary, as far as I can gauge - but it was definitely better. Once Gideon and Isha showed up, I was sucked in completely. I love how you take the tried-and-troped scene of strangers showing up and threatening the protagonist, but don't fall into any real clichés. I love how awkward and real it is. Carter panics the way a person would in that situation. Gideon and Isha already have spades of personality. I also could've laughed out loud when Carter started wondering if he should get Gideon a towel. Also, noticing his jawline already? Someone's keen.

I don't really get why Gideon had to threaten Carter with a knife in the first place. Is he just that extra? If they're here to ask him about Shiloh and get information about her whereabouts, surely it's not the best course of action to stick a knife to his throat. He's not going to be that inclined to help them if he assumes they mean her harm. I feel like it'd have made more sense if Gideon came up to him with the intentions of talking, but Carter noticed that he had a knife at his belt, assumed the worst, and freaked out in true Carter style. But I guess it comes down to Gideon's character and what his intentions were.

From what I've read later, I'm guessing that Shiloh is in too deep with some shady characters and that's why she's disappeared. I've no idea why Gideon and Isha are looking for her, though. To help her? To hold her accountable for something? Maybe neither. I can't wait to find out, though.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




mellifera says...


hi!! thank you so much for all your reviews! I'm sorry I'm so bad at responding haha.

I just especially wanted to reply to this one because I keep coming back to the fact that me and everyone else missed the "laps down to rest in his lap" and I still don't know whether I'm more amused or embarrassed that I actually wrote that ahhh

(also I'm really glad you like Carter?? I've gotten a lot of comments about people liking Gideon which is great!! but I adore him and I'm happy to hear what you think of him too)

again, thank you for the reviews and I'm sorry I don't reply more often but I do really appreciate them! :D



Panikos says...


You're welcome! And don't worry, I suck at responding to reviews as well, so don't feel like you have to. ^.^



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Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:39 pm
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elysian wrote a review...



wifeyyyy <3 finally back xD I like, don't have the motivation to review for days and then do like four in one day, then go back to not wanting to do anything xD so while I still have motivation, let's do this!

**disclaimer: I will most likely focus on negative aspects more so than positive aspects when reviewing, and this is just to help you grow as a writer! It is totally okay not to agree with something I say! Also, If I repeat anything already said, it's probably because it needs to be changed!**

he never did, he couldn’t be bothered often enough, and Carter was quick if he did ever come by to


to...what?

Why would Shiloh leave a note knowing full well Carter would overthink it?


is carter aware that he overthinks?

another how? Carter hadn’t heard anyone come in


another how?...I don't know what you mean to say here.

“Relax,” the blonde – Isha? – cut in before Gideon could continue,


since you already had this sentence when guessing gideon's name maybe try switching it up?

oooouuuuu, I like this chapter. I love carter's anxiety and I think you showed it very well and I'm enjoying the mystery. Now I believe that S was running away from them or something of the sort.

great job wifeyyyy <3333

- del




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Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:41 am
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soundofmind wrote a review...



MY TRIUMPHANT RETURN

Hewwo again scribs, I'm here to tell you I love Carter. That is all. Okay, it's not but, anyway.

Villa, sensing his discomfort, had grown irritated by this and even bucked a few times.

Yes, I love horses with personalities and attitude and horses that sense people's feelings. YES. Yes... this makes me happy.

Also, okay so... I really don't have a lot of criticism for this chapter. I just genuinely enjoyed reading it? It was really nice to see Carter process through all of the anxieties and confusion that would come with getting a vague letter like that from a loved one, regardless of him being anxious in general. Also ditto to Carli - I think you did a really good balance of introspection vs action and things happening, and description, and all that jazz. Also ditto on that I appreciate you getting right to the plot! I think more extended scenes of Carter just doing horsey things might've felt a little dry or just unnecessary, so I love how this is progressing.

Also, honestly, Carter getting snuck up on is totally me. I just. Spaz. So #relatable . But in other news, Gideon and Isha are really fun characters and they seem really interesting.

And I guess - on the one hand, I get how it might be in Gideon's character to use force or intimidation to get answers from people instead of say, charm (which seems maybe more Isha's specialty lol) but I guess I wonder... why Gideon and Isha were separated in the first place? Maybe it's as simple as Isha checking the area to make sure it's clear while Gideon goes in or something. I dunno! I guess I also wonder how much they know of Shiloh, since they apparently don't seem to know that Carter is her brother. It makes me wonder if Shiloh - in whatever secret life she led - even told people she had a brother. Did she keep him a secret to protect him? Did it just never come up? Or did she tell people and they just don't know that Carter is her brother because they've never met him?

Also - tagging off Messenger I guess. Maybe it would be interesting to consider if they'd use aliases? I don't know what kind of stuff Isha and Gideon are into and if that'd even be necessary, and maybe it's not! But if they're doing all this sneaking around it's probably useful for them if Carter doesn't go to Bazolli later like "two randos named Gideon and Isha interrogated me about Shiloh" (not that he would? but they don't know that). Like if they're trying to keep it on the DL the last thing they probably need are their names floating around, but I guess if people know them by description then aliases might be inconsequential in the end. IDK. I'M NO SPY.

ANYWHO I LOVED THIS SEGMENT AND AM EXCITED TO READ MORE??? FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU HAVE EM!




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Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:57 pm
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again!! Here to finally get caught up on this story. I can't believe it's still in the green room. We're going to fix that :)

I checked my notes and refreshed my memory so I'd remember what was going on in this story and now I'm ready to go.

I'm glad we're not wasting any time and we're getting right into the plot. I read over the description of what this novel is about and how it's going to be an exciting mystery of sorts. At first when Carter was taking care of the horses I was wondering where you were going to go with this chapter and how things were going to progress forward and then boom, right into the stuff with Gideon and Isha. I'm glad we're not wasting time with filler chapters and that you're moving right into the good stuff.

I thought you had a good balance of introspection from Carter in this chapter. I'm glad we had some of this thoughts about Shiloh and the note interspersed with his work (I'm also glad we got to see him work and see how much he cares for the animals). I thought his thoughts were a good balance of concern for his sister without being so concerned he's incapacitated. It feels realistic at this point because while it is concerning that she left that note and she's not here, there's nothing to suggest yet that she's in some kind of mortal danger.

I really liked how you showed Carter's panic with the sudden arrival of Gideon and Isha. I'm not sure why Gideon felt the need to sneak up on him like that or threaten him with a knife. If they're just looking for information about Shiloh couldn't they just calmly ask without getting into all the dramatics? But I like that moment at the end when they tell him what they're after and "a pit opens in his stomach". I can totally picture the mix of confusion and fear when he realizes they want to know about Shiloh.

I'll leave things there for now and skip on over to the next segment! Let me know if you have any questions or if there's something you'd like feedback about that I didn't mention! :D




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Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:06 pm
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Messenger wrote a review...



Hey, I'm back again for at least one more review today.

Bazzoli had a hose that Carter could have easily used, except that Bazzoli kept it locked in his private tool shed and Carter was too afraid to ask to use it.

BAhahaha this is me with EVERYTHING at work. I will literally make my job harder because I have this irrational fear about asking my supervisors for stuff. It's the same way in college with teachers. I've actually really had to concentrate to get better at it, so this is a random but very relatable sentence xD

There are a couple typos and nitpicky things in this but since it's your first draft they don't matter much right now.

This. Was. Great. I loved the entire scene with Gideon and Isha. I was really transfixed on the story. I figured they were here for Bazzoli (Cuz I'm dumb) but of course they are after Shiloh. At least the note doesn't really have any important info on it since Carter dropped it. But seriously THE MAN NEEDS A HUG!! I feel terrible for him. Literally, everything is going wrong xD :/

I'm interested more now than before. We've really got the plot moving now I believe. Hopefully, that isn't to say that Whisper, Reese, Bazzoli and the rest get left in the dust because you've created a nice little town and area here with Midvale.

Can I just say again that I LOVE your character names? Villa <333 Isha <3

For the most part, I was into the story that I might have missed some things that other people won't, but I don't have many problems with the structure. I will say, I'm not sure that Isha and Gideon would just give their names up like that? Clearly, there's some bad juju going on here, and it seems secretive, so would it really be in their best interests to use their names? However, I also get that using "the blond" and "The Bandit" gets tiring and boring. So, I don't know if there's a middle ground or if really matter, but it did pop into my mind.

Also, side note. You, me, and @BiscuitsLeGuin all had scenes these past 2 weeks involving water buckets and/or creeks with cleaning/feeding and I found that thoroughly amusing for some weird reason.

~Mess




mellifera says...


RIGHT?? xD I get so worked up about asking for things lol.

ahh really?? I wasn't sure the whole interaction between them was good but yay! I'm glad you liked it <3

YEAH I always try to throw in names as early as seems plausible because I kinda...hate descriptions of people by their hair colour like the "blonde" or the "brunette"? but also? I don't know how else to really describe them, but I'll keep that in mind!!

lol really? it's the time of the water buckets :P

Thank you so much for your review!! I hope you have a wonderful day (again haha) :)




I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom