Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy

16+ Language

Frieda Aflister - Chapter Three

by whatchamacallit


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

Petra guided me into her room, still holding my hand. The feeling of her warm, rough skin against mine quickened the hurricane of emotions in my head, so I quickly tugged my hand away, struggling as it was to string together coherent words to make a thought. She let me pull away, eyeing me curiously.

I allowed myself to drop shakily onto her bed, and pictured what a mess I must be. Damp, frizzy bob of hair, tear stains running down my cheeks, soaked clothes, muddy shoes, eyes rimmed in red. Gods, what a dragon crash. I couldn't even hold myself upright to stand.

Petra sat down next to me. "Frieda?" she said softly. "What happened?"

"My life," I muttered sarcastically.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

My eyes wandered her room, taking in the disorganized pile of clothes on her chair in the far corner, and the colourful rug she had made herself that softened the splintered wooden floor. Her carving of a sailboat from that morning lay on a small table beside her bed, nearing completion.

Following my gaze, Petra smiled. "Do you like it? I made it for you, actually."

"Oh Pietro," I said, using my nickname for her. "You didn't have to."

"Of course I did! It's to commemorate your six month anniversary of not living with your family!"

I paused, roughly reminded of why I was such a wreck in the first place.

"Petra...they fired me," I said abruptly, unable to think of another way to say it.

She paused, taken aback. "What? Oh Frieda, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I--is there anything I can do?" She scootched closer, concern wrinkling her usually lighthearted face.

"I don't know--it's not like I love the job, it's just that I needed that money, and I was so close, literally a month away, from finishing my apprenticeship--and, I just thought that for once in my life things were gonna work out, you know? Ugh, hell! He didn't even tell me why, he said he was unable to disclose the details or some such idiotic nonsense." A curly lock of hair fell across my forehead and I let it veil my eyes.

She listened to me vent, patiently, waiting for me to finish before speaking. "That's really horrible, Freddie. It's their loss, firing you. They don't deserve you if they treat you like shit and fire you with no explanation."

I bit my lip and frowned. "I'm sorry Petra, I shouldn't be bothering you with my problems. I'll find another job, figure something out... I won't move back home, that's for sure." I felt a weight lift off the bed as Petra stood up.

"Frieda, you're not bothering me. We're friends, so I want to help you."

We're friends? Why did that sound odd?

"Do you want something to drink? Some coffee, perhaps?"

I squint up at her, letting a smirk play with my mouth, despite the turmoil of feelings crashing through my head. "How about something stronger, say... rum and coke?"

Petra pursed her lips, but didn't argue. I heard her footsteps recede softly down the hallway towards my bedroom, the only room in the apartment with any alcohol in it. I sat on her bed, feeling stupid and immature. My muddy boot prints had made an unforgiving path across the carefully woven carpet, and my hair was dripping sadly onto the clean bedding, slowly trickling away just like my self-respect. I never let myself fall apart like this, never let my emotions take control of me, yet here I was a complete and awful wreck. People got fired regularly, it wasn't a phenomenon, and it wasn't the end of the world. Get a grip, dejamari! I yelled at myself, clutching my face. Hearing Petra returning, I smoothed my hair and pasted fake serenity onto my face.

When she returned to the room, bearing two bottles and a glass, I was propped on the edge of the bed, looking, I hoped, like a picture of calmness and logic. "Look at you," she said, sarcasm riffing through her voice. "Already managed to hide her emotions, has she?"

"I'm fine," I answered, though she hadn't really asked a question. "Just a bad day, nothing a small drink and a moment to recover won't fix."

Shaking her head, which ruffled her thick black hair, Petra handed me the glass. "Say when," she muttered, as she slowly poured a feeble stream of rum.

"Petra, that's a baby's dose. Fill it up a little more."

"Babies don't drink rum."

Ignoring her, I watched the amber liquid fill the glass. "That's good." She quickly topped the glass with coke, eyeing me worriedly.

"You could try talking about stuff, instead of drowning things in virulent alcohol barely fit for a human."

I stood up, disgusted with myself and fed up with her. "I'll see you later."

"I"m sorry?" Her forehead wrinkled at my abrupt change of mood, but I didn't care to be polite.

Leaving quickly so I wouldn't have to feel her disappointment, I retreated to the safe isolation of my room.

The hallway to my room seemed less pitiful and more malevolent than that morning. I paced my room, stumbling through suffocating minutes like heavy drifts of snow. I didn't know how many minutes gathered on my shoulders like snowflakes, slowly accumulating, but eventually I fell onto my bed in exhaustion. My mind felt frozen, my ears seemed filled with the white powder, and my hands were numb and clumsy. Is this what death feels like? I wondered, only half-conscious. Then I passed out in a haze of sparkling white.

I awoke to the soothing feeling of someone rubbing my back in a circular motion. Bells were clanging relentlessly in my ears, and I could've sworn someone had dropped a grand piano on my head.

"Freddie? Are you awake?" Petra brushed a ringlet off my face.

"Petrrra?" I moaned, closing my eyes as soon as I opened them. "Deje', Petra, close the blinds!"

"They are closed, you dimwit, and the only thing lighting your room are stars in the sky."

"I feel awful."

"I hope you don't vomit, this time," she said, with false sympathy slicing through her voice.

"You have no heart, Pietro."

"Not for you, I don't."

"What happened to being a good friend who listens?" I asked with mock distress.

Petra stood up and crossed to my side of the bed. "I'm going to work now, I hope I can trust you not to do something stupid?"

"I'm not your responsibility," I groaned. "And you can't mean it's already 10 pm?" I hadn't really registered that Petra had just mentioned stars in the sky; I thought it was some symbolic way of criticizing my morals or something. But since she worked night shifts, if she was going to work then it had to be getting late. She repaired wands for the government, so that if someone important broke their wand while being heroic in the middle of the night, they could get it repaired immediately. Ironic, considering we lived above the sketchiest wand shop in the city.

"Yes, you lethargic koala. You slept from yesterday afternoon through to tonight. So I reckon it's high time you get up and try being productive." She dropped several sheets of paper onto my bedside table. "Work wanted ads." Offering me an encouraging smile, Petra grabbed her bag off the floor and strode out of my room.

I stared absentmindedly at the papers, my brain still swishing within my skull. I slid them towards me, though the letters were blurry and seemed to flutter under the cool moonlight. "Bakery chef needed!" one heading announced in looping letters. I was a lumbering elephant in the kitchen, so that was pointless to pursue. "Dragon trainer desired immediately at Jover Zoo!" another section begged with agitated font. Below was a picture of a Tsqali-Shui dragon, who let out a lonely roar when I made eye contact with it. My ears filled with the excruciating echo, I quickly stuffed the sheet under the stack of papers. This was pointless, I realized. As long as my head was pounding and my eyes were blurring the world into an indistinguishable smudge of colour, I might as well have been asleep.

I gathered the pages to tuck into my drawer, but one slipped away and wafted across the room, riding the evening breeze that drifted through the drafty window. Sighing, I balanced my way across the room in dizziness, reaching the paper that had slid against the far wall. Leaning down, I glanced at the title. "Foot soldiers wanted for the Forces of Jadian Offense. If you wish to rise in the ranks of the army, this is the place to start!" Bold script slanted across the page, begging me to read it.

Stumbling back to my bed, I pictured myself standing in a line of valiant knights, prepared to vanquish our enemies. I shivered, trembling with frustrated aspirations. I would never get into the army, and the sooner I accepted that, the sooner I could get on with my life.

1,519 words


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
964 Reviews


Points: 108750
Reviews: 964

Donate
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:47 am
View Likes
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world)

And another review.

First Impression: Okay recovery time for her I guess. I'm sensing some undercurrents between these two. And that's about it besides some intriguing hints about what her past could possibly be.

Anyway on with it,

I allowed myself to drop shakily onto her bed, and pictured what a mess I must be. Damp, frizzy bob of hair, tear stains running down my cheeks, soaked clothes, muddy shoes, eyes rimmed in red. Gods, what a dragon crash. I couldn't even hold myself upright to stand.


Great description again.

"Oh Pietro," I said, using my nickname for her. "You didn't have to."


Bit of a nitpick but why is her nickname longer than her actual name?

She paused, taken aback. "What? Oh Frieda, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I--is there anything I can do?" She scootched closer, concern wrinkling her usually lighthearted face.


*cackles off screen* Finally a mistake I can point out so that I feel like I'm actually being helpful. That should be scooted

We're friends? Why did that sound odd?


*coughs violently* I have no idea why this keeps happening.

Shaking her head, which ruffled her thick black hair, Petra handed me the glass. "Say when," she muttered, as she slowly poured a feeble stream of gin.


Bit of a nitpick again but a gin and tonic is not just gin. It's a cocktail. It's also got tonic water and lime juice in addition to gin. Plus ice and a garnish of lemon.

Ignoring her, I watched the amber liquid fill the glass. "That's good." She quickly topped the glass with coke, eyeing me worriedly.


Also as far as I know gin is clear and not colored. Once you add the coke it's probably amber colored but before that it has to be clear.

"I"m sorry?" Her forehead wrinkled at my abrupt change of mood, but I didn't care to be polite.


That definitely was very rude but understandable given her situation.

I awoke to the soothing feeling of someone rubbing my back in a circular motion. Bells were clanging relentlessly in my ears, and I could've sworn someone had dropped a grand piano on my head.


Classic hangover symptoms. Great.

"I hope you don't vomit, this time," she said, with false sympathy slicing through her voice.

"You have no heart, Pietro."

"Not for you, I don't."

"What happened to being a good friend who listens?" I asked with mock distress.

Petra stood up and crossed to my side of the bed. "I'm going to work now, I hope I can trust you not to do something stupid?"


I love this banter back and forth. It's just so natural and just WOW.

I gathered the pages to tuck into my drawer, but one slipped away and wafted across the room, riding the evening breeze that drifted through the drafty window. Sighing, I balanced my way across the room in dizziness, reaching the paper that had slid against the far wall. Leaning down, I glanced at the title. "Foot soldiers wanted for the Forces of Jadian Offense. If you wish to rise in the ranks of the army, this is the place to start!" Bold script slanted across the page, begging me to read it.

Stumbling back to my bed, I pictured myself standing in a line of valiant knights, prepared to vanquish our enemies. I shivered, trembling with frustrated aspirations. I would never get into the army, and the sooner I accepted that, the sooner I could get on with my life.


Well that's an interesting goal that she has. And I continue to be intrigued by what her story is.

And that's it.

Overall: Another great chapter. Shows that relationship well and just well written in general. I only saw a couple of very nitpicky problems.

As always take what you think is helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




User avatar
455 Reviews


Points: 71102
Reviews: 455

Donate
Sun May 03, 2020 6:06 am
View Likes
EternalRain wrote a review...



What's up whatcha!

It seems Frieda is aware - or at least semi-aware - of her feelings for Petra. For example;

The feeling of her warm, rough skin against mine quickened the hurricane of emotions in my head, so I quickly tugged my hand away, struggling as it was to string together coherent words to make a thought.
Here, Frieda seems to acknowledge Petra's touch is making her feel more emotional (presumably in a "oh no I might like you" way). This goes along with the last chapter, but I'm wondering if this is a sudden realization or if it's something Frieda has been tucking away, shoving deep down?

Although not a lot happened this chapter, we get a pretty good look at Frieda's character. She's clearly not a feeling-emotions-heart person: she shoves them deep deep down, and this emotional breakdown isn't something she has often. I like how we get this caring characteristic of Petra, too. I'm still a bit unsure about her personality - but ofc it's only Chapter 3!

One little thing - Frieda asks for a gin and tonic, but Petra comes back with rum. Change of course? :p

Okay, so, Petra works as a wands-fixer for the government. At night. That's pretty epic. It seems like it takes some skill/training to be a wands-fixer (if it needs to be taken to get repaired). I'm really excited to learn more about the magic system, but so far I like how we're getting it piece by piece.

One last thing - What happened to their third roommate? (The guy who's studying botany, if I'm remembering correctly?). I want to meet him! haha. I feel like he's been very absent in all of this (although maybe I'm misremembering - if he really busy at the university or something? Ahh I can't remember).

Lovely chapter! Peace,
~ EternalRain






Thank you Rain! Whoops about the rum, I'll have to fix that! As for Albin (you're right, there is another roommate), he should be showing up soon.
Thanks for the wonderful review!



User avatar
1201 Reviews


Points: 9039
Reviews: 1201

Donate
Sat May 02, 2020 2:21 pm
View Likes
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey whatcamacallit!

Elinor here to read your chapter 3! I like how this story is progressing overall, and I'm curious to see where it goes now that Frieda is out of a job and has to find another one. I'm really curious about the relationship between Frieda and Petra. They're really giving me couple vibes, especially at the beginning of this chapter and with their nicknames for each other. However, they seem to be just friends/roommates, at least for now?

I was curious by Petra's line about Frieda not living with her family for six months. By the way, I'm not sure if I've ever heard anyone refer to something as a "half anniversary", most everyone just says six months. I want to know more about what the deal with her family is, because it creates stakes for her.

Anyway, great work! Excited to read the next chapter.

Best,
Elinor




User avatar
6 Reviews


Points: 0
Reviews: 6

Donate
Fri May 01, 2020 10:27 pm
CarolineL wrote a review...



Hello pal! I'm Caroline and i'll be reviewing your work.

MISTAKES-

"Followed my gaze, Petra smiled" to Following.

"Petra grab her bag off the floor and strode out of my room." to grabbed.

"Footsoldiers" to Foot soldiers.

COMMENTARY-

I haven't read the others, but you gave enough detail to keep me in the loop. I also enjoy the word count you added. It was a nice touch.

SUGGESTIONS-

I don't really have any. Keep with what you are doing. It's working well and produces some nice writing.





Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
— Mark Twain