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Chapter 2

by skylnn00writes


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Lindsey stared up at the moon that illuminated her grayish blue eyes. She knew her mother had once looked up at this moon. A tear spilled out and slowly rolled down her cheek. She let it slide all the way down her chin, tickling her neck before she wiped it away.

“Mom!” Lindsey yelled, crying with the pain.

“Oh, my poor baby!” her mother exclaimed as she ran out of the house and up to the white picket fence that Lindsey had just smashed through with her bike. Her mother made a move for the fence and started cradling a broken piece. Lindsey realized and stopped whining in disbelief. At this, her mother turned and smiled. “Now that I got you to stop crying, tell me what hurts.”

Lindsey pouted and pointed at her scraped knee.

“That’s nothing,” she said, although it was a lot more than something. The blood had started to tint the grass beneath her leg. “Let’s go inside and clean you up. Matt!” she yelled for her son, who came running around the corner of the house flying his airplane. The poor six year old stopped dead in his tracks as he spotted the bright red liquid pouring out of his sister’s skin. “It’s ok, baby, she’s fine. I just have to take her inside, so come help me with the door please.” Mom assured him. Not being fully convinced, he sprinted up the steps and opened the door as far as its hinges allowed. Their mother picked Lindsey up and carried her all the way into the kitchen where she sat her on the edge of the sink.

“All set!” she said with a satisfied smile as she finished cleaning and patching the wound. Lindsey wiped away the remaining tears and reached her arms up so her mother would pick her up again. “What do you say?” She has been trying to instill manners in Lindsey from the youngest of ages.

“Thank you, mama!” Lindsey squeaked, feeling better already.

“You are very welcome.”

The crunching of leaves sent her mind back into reality.

“The only thing left in this world that hasn't lost its beauty.” Jake said. It took her a second to realize he was looking at her. She smiled, but it wasn’t the same as before. He came up behind Lindsey and wrapped his muscular arms around her. “Hey,” he whispered, tickling her ear. “We will get through this together. It won’t be like this forever, I promise.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep, I’ve told you that before.” She sighs and leans into him.

“Who said I couldn’t keep it?” Jake says, only half joking. She glared at him, but then softened up.

“All I’m saying is we can’t predict the future. Look where we are now for example. Can you honestly tell me that three months ago you knew that we were going to be here?”

“I didn’t even know you existed three months ago," Jake pointed out matter-of-factly. They sat in silence, staring at their breaths in the bitter cold night air. Lindsey didn’t know how to respond because it was true.

Three months ago, she had lived all the way across the country from Jake, and had no idea that the only person she would have left happened to be the boy she fell in love with when the world ended. She didn’t like to think about it though, because that implied thinking of her life before it all happened. She didn’t like to think about the stupid things in high school that she cared about and had amused herself with. Now, her amusement is staying alive and trying to save what’s left of the human race.

In her travels so far, she hadn’t come across many people, but the select few were either dangerous, or dead within a few hours. It was almost like Lindsey was cursed. This whole mess was because of her; karma was getting its revenge. In the midst of her own thoughts once more, Lindsey had mistakenly been unaware of her surroundings.

A loud cringing noise that she had become too accustomed to made her reach for her belt, preparing herself for whatever was coming their way.

Lindsey had had to learn quickly how to stop the machines that roamed the planet with no destination. She had been encountered with one shortly after her mother’s death, but that time she had been alone and was forced to defend herself.

“Do you see anything?” Jake whispered. He sounded like he had just run a mile. It was understandable because he hadn’t had the experiences that Lindsey had.

“Shh, stay quiet.” she told him, trying to stay patient with him.

The noise came again, this time louder. She turned towards it and squinted her eyes to see against the dark. Time passed, and after 5 minutes, she started to doubt if it was actually coming.

The fire they had started to stay warm had died out. Most of the robots didn’t have ears, or a nose, but they had extremely good eyes equipped with heartbeat sensors, infrared and thermal technology. Some even had night vision, like the one that had just appeared from behind one of the trees a few feet away. It clicked it's metal claws together, telling them that it had already seen them. Lindsey felt Jake inhale and then hold his breath.

“Try not to move,” Lindsey told him through gritted teeth. She slowly gripped the handle of the gun in her holster. In a split second she took it out, aimed it, and blew a part of its head off. Instead of malfunctioning and falling over, it seemed to convey anger, if that was possible for such a nonliving thing. She shot again, this time going right through its left eye. It stumbled further towards her, arms outstretched. She went for her knife this time, then grabbed it roughly by the shoulders, spun it around and cut the metal in its back as quickly as possible. The first wire she found, she cut clean in half. When it went limp in her arms, she let it fall all the way to the ground.

“It never ceases to amaze me how you do that.” Jake says, standing in amazement and fear a few feet away.

“Desperate times call for… quick learning?” she responds, out of breath.

“You know, you are taking away my male status in this relationship.” Lindsey stopped at this remark and stared at him with a smile. As if he read her mind he added, “Yes, unless you object, we are officially in a relationship.” If a robot hadn’t just tried to kill them, and the world wasn't ending, and the human race wasn’t on the verge of nonexistence, she would have run into his arms, kissed him, and shared a very special moment with him under the moonlight.

“We can talk more about this later. For now, we need to get some rest so at first sunrise we can start moving again.” His face fell a little but then returned just as quick.

“You sleep, I’ll keep watch.”

“If that is what contends to your manliness, then by all means. Good night.” With that, Lindsey leaned her head on his backpack and closed her eyes. In less than 2 minutes, her breaths had become still and even.

She awoke the next morning to the sun on her eyelids. Groggily, she sat up and rubbed away the sleep from her eyes. She looked around until she found Jake sitting a few feet away with his back turned to her.

“Hey you,” she said softly. When he didn't answer, she crawled over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. Looking over his shoulder, she found the breakfast, a cute furry bunny, cooking over a fire. “Did you go hunting?”

“Really quickly so we could have this. I got lucky and found this cute ball of fluff only 5 minutes in. The poor thing didn’t even hear me coming.”

“If this wasn’t our only source of food, I swear your descriptions of the animals you kill make me want to go vegetarian.” He laughed at this. A real, hearty laugh.

Lindsey looked at him, taken aback for the hundredth time since they met at how positive Jake was. He had lost everyone he had ever known and yet this boy could still find something happy enough to actually laugh about. It wasn’t even fake. It gave Lindsey an ounce of joy herself, knowing that her old self still existed somewhere, and that she could still make someone smile, or care enough to try. 


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Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:06 pm
Wriskypump wrote a review...



Not sure what I might be getting into at this point, but here we go! These being the whole chapters of a novel I'm going to try and do it as chronologically as possible, and then get to the content at the end. And if i miss something small, then sorry if i miss it!

"Her mother made a move for the fence and started cradling a broken piece. Lindsey realized and stopped whining in disbelief. At this, her mother turned and smiled." - So I read this part through like 3 times or so, and then it finally dawned on me her mother was simply trying to get her mind off the injury. How about, "Her mother made a move for the fence <i>instead</i>
and started to cradle a broken piece <i> to her chest, in an endearing clutch.<i> Lindsey realized <i>she wasn't receiving any attention</i> ... and in disbelief, stopped her whining. ? Something of this sort would make it more understandable to me.

...and clean you up. Matt!” - We might begin to think Matt needs to be cleaned up because he is interjected all of a sudden. It might be a quick fix just to replace the period with a colon: so that we have a bit of a pause, giving us time to imagine the mom looks up and calls, "MATT!"

...help me with the door please.” Mom assured him. - You need a comma there instead of a period.

“The only thing left in this world that hasn't lost its beauty.” Jake said. It took her a second to realize he was looking at her. She smiled, but it wasn’t the same as before. ' - That period needs to be a comma, since Jake says is tagged onto it, but Here's what I would do with this:
“The only thing left in this world that hasn't lost its beauty,” Jake said.

It took her a second to realize he was looking at her. She smiled, but it wasn’t the same as before. [continue the rest of this paragraph as normal]. The reason for Jake's line standing alone is that Lindsey has to take the time to process, so we should have to process that realization with her.

She sighs and leans into him." - sighs has to be sighed, to keep the all verbs in past tense, since that is what you are writing in everywhere else. You can't just have parts in present and past because it transports the story out of time sync. “Who said I couldn’t keep it?” Jake says, - Here's another instance on the next line.

"Now, her amusement is staying alive..." - this whole paragraph you put in paste tense, so that is should be was there.

"In her travels so far, she hadn’t come across many people, but the select few were either dangerous, or dead within a few hours. It was almost like Lindsey was cursed. This whole mess was because of her; karma was getting its revenge. In the midst of her own thoughts once more, Lindsey had mistakenly been unaware of her surroundings." - I like how aware you are of information that the reader needs, and the tact with which you present it to us. Hahaha, or dead within a few hours. Because Lindsey is unlucky. LOOOL

equipped with heartbeat sensors, infrared and thermal technology." - making a small list here, so I would replace that comma with a colon. Otherwise we start reading infrared and thermal technology as if expecting something more to be divulged afterward. (or maybe that was only me) :)

"she responds, out of breath." - Haha, okay, first of all, good fight scene, except it was a little too abrupt how she got the first shot off without very much suspense. Second of all, make your choice between whether you want the rest of this book to be from a past or a present storytelling angle.

a cute furry bunny, cooking over a fire. “Did you go hunting?” - I would make lindsey's bit of speech there on a line of its own. Just to give it the natural pause of context clues to beginning of speaking.

your descriptions of the animals you kill make me" - I think you left out 'would' make me want to go vegetarian.

I liked your wit in the style you like to write with. This is such good 3rd person it almost reads like first person. As for the plot however, I think you could've started in more of a remote place, or odd/intriguing situation. This is really rather cliche of an apocalyptic story intro. We got the fire, we got the bunny, we got the flashback, we got the stray antagonistic marauder that is swiftly dispatched. Why don't we jump right into more of the events of the story, and although the flashback this early on is absolutely fine, learn about the characters as we go along as opposed to making it all about the characters right at the outset of the book? But don't worry about that very much honestly, just be on the lookout if you want to avoid to much predictability as your book progresses.

Thumbs Up, I hope you keep pursuing this interest, and are hammered with inspiration to saddle up and mount the ascents and pitfalls to come in the plotline! I wish you a mesmerising climax!




Wriskypump says...


I guess code like italics doesn't work on here anymore... ?





Thank you so much for this! I have a problem with my tenses... I really need to work on it. This was helpful, and I do need to work on the cliche part too.



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Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:07 am
EternalRain wrote a review...



Yo, yo, yo!

So, I'm sorry I haven't read the previous chapter but hopefully this one will still be helpful anyway!

From this chapter it seems like Lindsey and Jake are hiding out somewhere and trying to survive a robot-apocalypse. I'm sure you've described the robots in the previous chapter, but the part where the robot comes in seemed a little too sudden. Like, sudden is good, but it felt a bit out of place. I just think some smoother transitions would help there.

The tenses are a bit wobbly. I saw your reply to the review below saying you had some trouble with tenses. I do too! I've gotten better, though, and what helps me is first figuring out what tense I'm writing my story in. Your story seems like it's past, but it slips into present sometimes. What I do when writing is just focus a little more on what exactly I'm writing - maybe reread over the sentence I just wrote to check up on what tense I'm in. If you check every so often, you can usually catch a lot of them! That's what I do, and maybe it will work for you too! :)

I like Lindsey and Jack as characters. From a reader's perspective I can tell they're in love/like each other and that's great! I'm assuming they've been together for the entirety of chapter one because their relationship seems *pretty* developed - I wouldn't say they're in love but they do seem to have something going on.

I hope this helps :] Have a lovely day!

~EternalRain






Thank you so much! That suggestion for the tenses might help me. Also, I am going to have to change this a lot because my previous chapter should be a prologue so I'm considering this as the first but I'm going to have to make it way longer to fix it. Anyway, thanks again :smt001



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Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:02 pm
RoseTulipLily wrote a review...



And now for the review of chapter 2! :)

Criticism:

'She let it slide all the way down her chin, tickling her neck before she wiped it away.' Not sure if it's just me, but this sentence sounds a bit odd and wrong. I think a better way of saying this would be 'She let it slide all the way down her chin and tickle her neck before she wiped it away.'

"She *had* been trying to instill manners in Lindsey from a young age." Is the right way to say this. Using 'has' contradicts the past tense used in the rest of the story and 'the youngest of ages' while not wrong, sounds a bit too fancy and slightly pretentious. Also, 'sighs' and 'says' contradict the past tense used in the rest of the story just like 'has' does. The same applies to 'is' and 'what's'

'It clicked *its* metal claws together, telling them that it had already seen them.' Is the right way to say this.

Be careful about overusing the words 'like' and 'just'.

Criticism aside, this is a good chapter. I like Jake so far and it's nice to see Lindsay fleshing out a bit. The flashback was bittersweet as well. Keep writing :)






Thank you! This was really helpful. I'm also really bad with tenses so thank you for pointing it out :smt001




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