Author Topic: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1316 words. part 5  (Read 2875 times)

Offline Andrewf

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Story beginning - Fantasy - 1316 words. part 5
« on: April 16, 2008, 03:51:31 PM »
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The first 4 parts are linked above with this part 5 continuing on below...
I hope to have part 6 done soon (ish).

Please let me know what you think to this.

I herded Dawn before me and followed Rosie up the stairs, along a corridor to a door that was edged with red. Inside, the room was clean and tidy. The window opposite was shuttered on the outside leaving the room lit only by the lamp. The large framed bed against the right wall appeared clean and freshly made.
Rosie set the lamp on the table to the right of the door and stepped close as she passed me in the doorway and handed me the room key. “If there’s anything else you need...” she purred, her hand resting lightly on my chest, “anything at all... just ask.”
“Actually,” Dawn replied, every inch a noble young lady, “could you fetch us some hot water, a pot of honey and some clean bandages please.”
Rosie looked surprised by Dawn’s request, or possibly by the ‘please’. She sketched a quick curtsey and strode away down the dimly lit corridor.

I closed the door, leant my back against it and felt my limbs tremble as a rush of fatigue flooded through me. I had managed to suppress the pain of my arm during the trip through the streets. It was back with a vengeance.
“Come on,” Dawn gestured me over to the bed, “we’ve got to take off that bandage.”

I heaved myself away from the door and stepped in front of the table. Surprised to see a large polished steel mirror, I peered closer to see what I looked like. The face looking back at me was unrecognisable. Long dark hair hung lank to his collar. An unkempt beard masked the lower half of his face but dark green eyes gleamed with intelligence on either side of a strong straight nose.
How could the face staring back at me spark no recognition whatsoever? Was it even the same face I was born with?

“What are you looking at?” Dawn asked curiously from beside me, looking in the mirror at me looking at myself.
“I could do with a shave,” I smiled and joked, “I look like a werewolf.”
“Yeah...” she giggled lightly, “you looked so fierce when you fought all those men.”

A knock at the door intruded. I straightened up and clasped the hilt of the long knife sheathed at my belt before pulling the door open.
Rosie bustled in carrying a laden tray. She swiftly settled it beside the lamp on the table before turning back to me. “Will you be needing anything more?”
“Thank you,” I smiled, “but not right now.” I was eager to sit and rest while waiting for Kitten to arrive.
Rosie smiled, nodded once and then left, closing the door behind her.

While Dawn went through the items on the tray, I sat on the edge of the bed and took off my shirt. I started to pick at the knot she had put in her temporary bandage, but she pushed my hand away.
“Let me do that,” she admonished, “Kori showed me what to do... I’ve got to clean it properly and then dress it!”

Dawn carefully loosened the knot and unwrapped the cloth from my arm. The inner layer had soaked through with my blood, which still oozed in fresh rivulets from the twin wounds. She filled the washbasin from the lightly steaming jug of water before rinsing the cloth and using it to clean the neat edged holes.
“This will hurt!” she warned, dipped her fingers into the pot of honey and then smeared a generous dollop of the sticky goo over my injuries.
The pain was intense. Much more so than being stabbed had been. It felt as if she were pushing her fingers knuckle deep into the hole piercing through my flesh but I could see that was not the case.
After rinsing the worst of the bloody honey from her hand she took one of the clean bandages and tightly wrapped my arm afresh.

As Dawn tied off the bandage, I felt a sense of something wrong behind me. Instinctively, I drew the long knife, turned to look behind and threw it in one fluid motion. Time seemed to slow as my arm propelled the knife. I could clearly see Kitten’s upper body where she was climbing through the now open window. While my arm completed its inevitable course I struggled to hold onto the knife, or push it off target. Inexorably, I released it and time resumed its normal flow once more.

Kitten’s eyes near popped out of her head when the knife embedded itself with a loud ‘Thunk!’ into the windowsill a scant inch from her left hand.
Dawn yelped in surprise at my sudden movement and then again at Kitten’s unexpected method of arrival.
The three of us remained frozen for a second before I stood and strode around the bed to the window. “I’m sorry,” I apologised and helped Kitten into the room. “But you shouldn’t sneak up on me like that!”
“So I see,” she replied brusquely, brushing down her dress and trying not to show how rattled she was by the near miss, “I’ll make less noise next time.”

I retrieved the knife and looked out the window at the empty moonlit stable-yard below. Directly under the window was the roof of an outbuilding, making entrance or exit that way easier. Obviously one of the reasons Aran retained to room. I closed the shutters and lowered the window before turning back to hear what Kitten had to say.
“They were no fun at all,” she smiled, “they didn’t need much ‘persuasion’ before telling me all that I wanted to know. They are just a small gang of street toughs who were hired to keep ‘her’ hidden out of the way while a ransom was demanded. They thought it would be easy gold for little work.”
“Did they say who hired them?” I prompted.
“No. But the boy did describe him. He was fun to play with.” She then smiled a moment before continuing. “He said that the guy had white hair, was tall, thin and had a big nose.”
“That sounds like Chester,” Dawn suggested.
“Who is Chester?” I asked her.
“He’s papa’s steward,” she replied with a frown, “I never did like Chester... he’s always so strict.”

I turned back to Kitten and prompted, “Anything more?”
“I contacted Aran after I had finished,” she nodded. “He suggested that you take Dawn home to her family... and he gives you this for a job well done.” She then tossed a small leather pouch to me.
I caught the small money pouch and looked inside. A good number of gold crowns glittered back at me. I took one out, drew the pouch closed again and tossed it back. “I’ll take the one crown to live on until the next job. But you can tell Aran that this time was on me.”
Kitten was puzzled and looked at me askance before she tucked away the pouch. “You must be mad,” she shook her head, “but I’ll tell him.”

“And if Chester is the culprit,” I asked. “What should I tell the family? How do I bring him out? I can’t club him over the head and drag him out by his heels.”
Kitten chuckled and Dawn giggled at my description but Kitten replied.
“Tell them that you work for Magistrate Tabarez. I’ll contact him and have him meet you there.”
“Understood,” I nodded.

Kitten turned back to the window, lifted the sash and silently pushed open the shutters to look out at the moonlit yard. “You’d best not dally too long,” she suggested and sat on the windowsill before swinging her legs outside. “No doubt her father is missing his little princess.”
With that, she slipped from the windowsill and vanished from sight. I quickly looked out of the windows at the yard, but could see nothing that told me where she was now. Like her namesake, she had faded into the night.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Thanks for reading

"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read.
Ask about eBook versions if required.


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Re: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1316 words. part 5
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 09:33:20 AM »
I was thrown off a little when your main character looked in the mirror and spoke of himself as if he was another person.

I noticed quite a few missing commas, and a couple of other small errors of that nature.

Overall, I'd say that it is extremely well-written, and holds the reader's interest. I'll also add that it is some of the best horror story-telling that I've seen in a while. Hollis

Offline Andrewf

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Re: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1316 words. part 5
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 02:05:38 PM »
Thanks for reading, Hollis.

Not sure where you got the idea this was meant as horror ??? but, I guess if you didn’t read the other parts you might have got that impression.

The reason he refers to his reflection in the third person is simply because he has no memory of his past and the face he sees in the mirror is like a strangers to him.

"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read.
Ask about eBook versions if required.