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Episode IX: The Little Girl and the Diving Board (Language and Content)

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:26 PM
Rooster Smith (Offline)
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Icon5 Episode IX: The Little Girl and the Diving Board (Language and Content)


Alright guys, this is episode 9, episode 10 will be posted on tuesday. There's a post limit on this forum, and I"m proud to say that I have finally become productive enough to have reached it.

So I can't post again until tuesday. In the mean time here's tonights episode, where Firth comes face to face with his past.

Please enjoy, and I welcome any feedback. Leave a link to your work if you want some feedback too...

Don't rock and roll too hard...

A long time ago ...

In the future ...

Pastor Firth is an enigma to his peers.

A former slave, a former mercenary, a former knight ...

Are there skeleton’s in Firth’s closet?

Could he commit a crime as heinous as the one Princess Spyra accuses him of?

***


Inside Nightmare Cave, Firth sat on the top step of the great stone pyramid.

Torches burned all along the four sided structure but other than that, darkness surrounded the missionary. He sat inside a black void, alone with the blue skinned girl in the skimpy black dress.

“You have not aged well, Robert.” She ran her fingers through his thinning hair and sat next to him. “You used to be so fit.”

What could he possibly say to her?

Nothing.

He just kept his head down and ran it over in his head. Her touch, her perfume ...

All real.

But she hadn’t aged a day.

“I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world when Daddy hired you to look after me. Did you know there’s a legend on my planet about a princess and her bodyguard?”

Spyra placed her hand on Firth’s knee.

“Look at me,” she commanded.

He didn’t dare.

“Yeah, that old legend. It romanticized the underclass as hard working and moral people. Farmers and miners who went to work every morning to feed their families.

“That legend, and the liberal times I was raised in, made my sympathize with the Rebellion. Hoping they would win. Not sack the Castle, of course, just take enough cities that Daddy would have to surrender. Democracy was a new concept to me. I kind of liked the idea.

“That was then, though. I certainly won’t be winning humanitarian awards anytime soon will I, Robert?

Firth stood up and walked along the flat surface of the pyramid’s summit. She followed.

“Do you know why I rule my people the way I do, Robert?”

He leaned against the stone altar and tried to catch his breath. If this was some kind of hallucination, he needed to snap out of it quickly. Before she told him what he already knew.

“I recall how interested you were in our old stories. So you’d appreciate this one ...”

***

“My father summoned me to his throne room one afternoon. How excited was I? A summon always meant responsibility. Usually just busy work for me but I always took busy work seriously. They would lead to real responsibility one day, I knew.

When I entered father was sitting on his golden throne on the opposite side of the massive room.

“‘Good afternoon, You’re Grace.‘ Ever since I turned twelve I made sure to bow when greeting my father formally.

My father shook his head as he adjusted his powdered wig. “‘Come now, Spyra. I used to change your diapers. Stop calling me that!’

“Thank the Gods no one was around to hear ...

“The sun was still high enough in the sky to shine through the tall, stained glass windows. Remember them Firth? You found them depressing. Reminded you of church, you said. As if that were a bad thing.

“‘If it pleases you, Father.’ I started the long walk to his throne.

“He took a folded scroll sitting on his end table and held it out for me. I unfurled it eagerly. Father smiled at my ambition.

“‘A royal assignment?’ I asked him.

“‘Yes, Spyra. Your nephew Allahn’s eighteenth birthday. The fat fuck. You know what to do. They’ll be expecting some kind of speech, just make something up. I trust you.’

“I forgot myself, jumping into my father’s arms. He trusted me to write the speech!

“‘You’ll be leaving in your own airship tomorrow morning. I want you to take the funny kid with you. The new one. He looks the type to smack one of those southern boys over the head if they try anything with you.’

“‘His name is Robert Firth,’ I informed him as I shifted comfortably unto the thick armrest of the throne. That had been my spot since I was a child. ‘You really should make an effort to remember the names of your royal guard, Father.’

“‘Fuck that, there’s too many of them. Though I’ll probably remember his. He’s killed more than a few rebels. That’s why he’s here in the first place. But enough about nasty business and royal assignments! Tell me about your morning! I want to hear about these extra studies I pay so much for.’

“I spent the rest of the hour telling my father about the politics of Earth. We shared a fascination with other cultures and bonded over that fascination throughout my childhood and teenage years. But I couldn’t wait for him to dismiss me so I could tell my sisters the news!

“How jealous they were! I’d be spending the entire weekend with Robert Firth, the bravest, handsomest, and coolest knight in the Royal Guard. I’d finally have my chance to show you what I’d learned in political studies and prove that I wasn’t just a spoiled brat born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

“Is it so silly for a teenager to think she was in love with an adult? Yes. Silly and dangerous. But I had no way of knowing. My chambermaid, Lana had just been married off. We were growing up so fast, me and my friends and my sisters. And I would be sixteen in just over six months. For some reason sixteen seemed so old to me then.

“And falling for you was too easy. We were all in love with you, Robert. You were brash and uneducated. But in a refreshing and charming way. You were the definition of cool. And hot ...

“Really hot!”

***

“So there we were, standing on the deck of my first airship, the Veeda, named in tribute to my mother.

“The tall rainforest of Dren was still a wonder to you, being relatively new to our world. I remember laughing at the way you would jump every time a tentacle would lash out from the blue leaves and snatch a bird from the sky.

“But I was jaded on the view. You were the most exciting thing I was going to see on that journey. You wore the royal blue frock coat with all the bells and whistles of a Royal Guard. Medals, pins and sigils. And your hair was combed back! What a fine change of pace from your usual, ‘I’m not really committing to this whole knighthood thing’ sense of style.

“I was nervous at first, but we had the same chemistry on that ship as we had in the palace. If I told a joke, you laughed at it. When I spoke of the details of our mission, you interested and even impressed. And on the Veeda nobody else was around to steal you away from me.

“That night I very slyly summoned you to my quarters to ask a very basic question about our course.

“‘I’ve been going over the map. Wouldn’t we make better time if we crossed over the mountains?’

“‘Yeah but it’s not very safe,’ you said. ‘Your father would kill me for risking it with you on board.’

“‘Oh, okay, no big deal,’ I said, hoping you noticed how deceptively tight my cotton pajama set was. ‘Wanna watch a movie?’

“How smooth was I? I even let you pick the film. You chose a film from earlier in the year. One that I remember telling you I liked. How smooth were you?

“The movie thing couldn’t have worked out any better. You spent the whole time making bold jokes about our culture. How stiff and conservative we were. I laughed and punched you in the arm. A lot. Any excuse to feel those arms.

“But after the second act, when it became obvious the leading man was too consumed with jealousy to make his marriage work, I mentioned how tragic it all was and somehow our lips got closer ...

“And closer ...

“And then, you kissed me.”

“I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest! My first kiss! More intimate, and exhilarating and wetter and wonderful than I could ever have imagined! And you were so cute the way you apologized immediately! I knew then that you weren’t any more in control of your feelings than I was!

“I was going to order you to shut up and kiss me again but that’s when the rebels hit the ship. We rocked back and forth. The Holo TV went off line. Emergency lights began to flash as you pulled the emergency seats out of the wall.

“My father hadn’t let on at all. I had no idea the war wasn’t going well. That I was being moved from the palace because the Castle wasn’t safe.

“But neither was the south. Father didn’t know about the rebel forces lurking there. The Veeda crashed soon after. I don’t remember it. I just remember waking up in your arms. You were carrying me through the wilderness.”

***

“After walking the entire day we found safety in a small riverside town. You took off your uniform jacket and your ruffled shirt, revealing a white tank top and those arms. Even in the danger we were in, my knees became weak.

“‘We can’t look like king’s men here,’ you explained.

“‘But this isn’t rebel territory.’

“‘Every territory is rebel territory.‘ My jaw hit the ground.

I couldn’t keep my PJ’s either. It would have looked suspicious. You made me wait behind a tree while you stole some underclass clothing from a line. A long frumpy dress with no color. It had barely been washed.

“Seeing how badly the underclass had it reaffirmed my belief that Father’s politics were wrong. And for the first time I realized how behind the times our planet was. Those common folk didn’t even have electricity.

“We only spent one night in that village. It was there you told me the true reason for our departure. It shook me to the core to know that people out there wanted me dead. But I couldn’t blame them. I grew up with so much opportunity. The rebels grew up with so little. I made a silly vow then, inside my own mind. I vowed that when I took the crown, I would bring democracy to Dren.

“‘This is Father’s fault,” I declared. ‘How can he let them live like this? Did you see that old man carrying that beast on his back? He’s so old! He should be buying his meat from supermarkets! Like on civilized worlds!’

“‘Shhhh!’ You held a finger to your lips and listened for movement from the neighboring room. ‘Let’s not let the whole town know who you are alright? We got enough problems. Besides, your dad isn’t the worst King I’ve seen. I used to merc for one on the border worlds that made me skin people.’

“‘What!?’ That horrible story only brought me feel closer to you.

“I also thought about us that night. I was already fifteen. And Lanna was fifteen when she ...”

“‘Would this be the night?’ I asked myself.

“It all seemed so right. I was a princess. And you were my bodyguard. And like the bodyguard in the legend, you were both uncouth but brave. And I knew in my heart that you felt the same way about me that I felt about you.

“But I wasn’t ready. I knew it when you left my room after wishing me good night. I could have asked you to stay but felt strangely relieved when you left. Too much excitement for one day? Perhaps. Or maybe it was like the diving board back home. In the beginning I found a great thrill just by standing on it. But it took me weeks before I found the courage to jump off.

“But we still had the kiss. And I thought, the rest of our lives to jump. I loved you Robert Firth. As silly as it seems now, it didn’t make it any less real.”

***

“Unfortunately Father’s advisors weren’t as loyal as he thought. The rebels knew I would be on the airship somehow. And they hadn’t found my corpse. I’m sure we wouldn’t have stopped in the village if you knew they were looking for me.

“Our seemingly friendly innkeeper was also the Mayor. When the rebels arrived they went to him first and he organized the local militia to help them. I realized later why you made me switch rooms. It wasn’t the draft. If someone found us out, you knew they’d come after me first. How unfortunate for them. They barged right into the room of a future missionary instead.

“How many did you kill Robert? I thought that blade was just for show. I thought, who uses a sword in this day and age? You did. Even then. And unlike the Mission, my Father didn’t make you turn down the voltage.

“I woke to the sound of strangers screaming. Then you cut through my door and took my hand, wearing nothing but boxer shorts. I laid in my underwear but you pulled me out of bed anyway. You told me to stay behind you and I listened. I followed you down the hall, down the stairs and across the first floor of the inn. And all the while, you severed limb after limb. It was horrible and wondrous at the same time. It was the legend come to life. My bodyguard was saving me.

“But they hadn’t sent in most of the militia. They didn’t think they needed to. And when we got into the street we realized they were too many. You rushed me back inside.

“It must have scared them, seeing all their dead from the front windows. Not one of them dared enter. You kept me in the back room with the kegs and pickled food. With the door open you could still keep an eye on the front and rear entrances.

“The militia yelled the most horrible things.

“‘Make it easier on yourself, soldier! Give us the Princess!’

“‘If you give us the girl we’ll wait till she’s dead before we rape her!’ I think it was the Mayor who said that.

These were the common men. The hardworking and moral underclass. I was so scared.

“How long did we stay there? How many hours? Long enough for the son to rise, if only a little. And as more and more time passed I could see hope fading in your eyes. You couldn’t think of a way out.

“I knew I was going to die and I couldn’t be strong anymore. I broke down. You held me close. Thank the Gods, at least I would be in your arms. You kissed my head. And then my lips. And I kissed you back with passion and conviction. Not in the awkward manner I kissed you onboard the ship.”

“How strange it was. Too feel so terrified and elated at the same moment.

“It wasn’t until you ripped off my bra! I suddenly didn’t feel like the women in all those books I read. I felt like a little girl in a place she didn’t belong.”

***

The longer Spyra went on with her story the harder it was for Firth to keep his composure. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t want to hear one more word.

He rushed to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. He shook the girl as hard as he could and screamed, “Shut up, Spyra! Shut up! I don’t wanna remember this! You shut your damn mouth, you hear me!?”

He finally met her gaze and found that she was not fifteen anymore. She looked the way she had when he last saw her on the news. Older. Cruel. No longer innocent. This Spyra knew how to hate. He taught it to her.

“I’M SORRY!” He let her go, with tears running down his face.* “BUT WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!?* WALKING AROUND YOUR FATHER’S COURT IN THOSE OUTFITS!?* INVITING ME INTO YOUR ROOM!?* GIVING ME THOSE LOOKS!?” *

Her voice was older too. And hoarse. “I was fifteen, you animal! You were my first crush!”

Those words felt like a knife in his heart.

Neurons flared inside his head. Unwanted, the memories came back. Her pulling away, the look she gave him, as if he was some kind of monster. How angry that made him. What he did to her for making him feel the way.

He hit her ...

A lot ...

And then ...
*
He fell to his knees.* “KILL ME THEN, YOU BITCH!* DO IT!* I’M SORRY!* I LIKED YOU!* I REALLY DID!* YOU WERE THE ONLY GOOD PERSON I EVER MET!* I’M SORRY!* I’m sorry, I’m sorry ...” *

He collapsed face first unto the unforgiving stone.* Spyra knelt down beside him.* Again, running her fingers through his hair. *

“My father’s rangers found the wrecked airship. They tracked the rebels back to the village and they killed them all. Right around the time you were pulling your shorts back up. I was to embarrassed to tell anyone what you did. I just kept everything inside. But I remembered all of it. From that point on I remembered the true nature of the underclass. The men who threatened to rape me. And the man who did. And that’s why, twenty years later, those peasants STILL don’t have electricity. It’s because of you, Robert Firth!”

Kal’s voice came over the comm device in his ear. “Rob! Rob! I found Roxie but we gotta go! There’s something in here with us!”

Firth couldn’t care. He just wanted to die.

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Last edited by Rooster Smith; 02-03-2013 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:55 AM
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Rooster,
I'm a bit tapped out from my extensive review on AwesomeV so I just wanted to ask about this repeated punctuation glitch(?).

...“‘Come now...- I'm wondering whether you might have a little sticky key thing happening here. There were several examples of it throughout the story and it looks like you shift for the Q marks then the key sticks on the apostrophe.

I suppose it could just be an example of Jazz fingers gone wild...

Again, nice storytelling here, Stevo's served you well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:28 PM
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I have no idea what the hell is going on with those asterixs....

But the quotes are supposed to be Frankenstien style first person narration, but in a third person story. I think I'm using it right but not 100% sure.

Wish Pheonix was here, he's the grammer master, but he's taking a break.

But yeah, one of the coolest parts of that book was when the monster was narrating. I tried to emulate that here.

Thanks for the read man, i'd try to fix this but I'm so frustrated with all the format issues lately.

I will check the blog to make sure the asterix thing didn't happen.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:52 AM
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Hello Rooster, sorry it has taken me so long to get round to commenting, I just been really busy.

This is well written and you kept it going at a good pace. This piece is dark and now, I feel scared for the characters.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:28 AM
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Interesting story. I like the way you have used mostly dialog to tell it. The princess comes across as a sexy young girl who is dabbling with the thought of sex but not sure of exactly what she wants. Firth, of course, is a credible hero who reacts the way any lusty young man would. A fierce fighter, too. Too bad the Princess regrets the incident.
Yes, you are a prolific writer. A bit hard to keep up with. I enjoyed reading the story.
Is there a touch of tongue in cheek in your writing?
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by oldron View Post
Interesting story. I like the way you have used mostly dialog to tell it. The princess comes across as a sexy young girl who is dabbling with the thought of sex but not sure of exactly what she wants. Firth, of course, is a credible hero who reacts the way any lusty young man would. A fierce fighter, too. Too bad the Princess regrets the incident.
Yes, you are a prolific writer. A bit hard to keep up with. I enjoyed reading the story.
Is there a touch of tongue in cheek in your writing?
It's weird Ron, not exactly the reaction I was going for in regards of the rape. But I blame,e myself.

It's one thing when you're plotting out the story, and you're thinking, this will be really dramatic, I'm gonna go for it...

But then you get there, and you actually have to write a rape scene. it's rough.

Maybe I kind of wimped out here. Didn't really go into detail. Should have, Firth was supposed to come across as a less forgivable character.

Not completely in forgivable, but not easily unforgivable.

I think I'm gonna go back and rewrite the scene. At least a small amount. Thanks for the read and comment man.



Andy!!! Thanks for the read bro, I couldn't multi quote you on the iPad but I saw your comment.

reading's out of the red!!! Let's hope they stay there...
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:26 AM
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Alright, I threw in an extra paragraph, not much but maybe it didn't need much.

I'll post it here so no one has to go back and read it. But it's in there....

***

The longer Spyra went on with her story the harder it was for Firth to keep his composure. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t want to hear one more word.

He rushed to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. He shook the girl as hard as he could and screamed, “Shut up, Spyra! Shut up! I don’t wanna remember this! You shut your damn mouth, you hear me!?”

He finally met her gaze and found that she was not fifteen anymore. She looked the way she had when he last saw her on the news. Older. Cruel. No longer innocent. This Spyra knew how to hate. He taught it to her.

“I’M SORRY!” He let her go, with tears running down his face.* “BUT WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!?* WALKING AROUND YOUR FATHER’S COURT IN THOSE OUTFITS!?* INVITING ME INTO YOUR ROOM!?* GIVING ME THOSE LOOKS!?” *

Her voice was older too. And hoarse. “I was fifteen, you animal! You were my first crush!”

Those words felt like a knife in his heart.

Neurons flared inside his head. Unwanted, the memories came back. Her pulling away, the look she gave him, as if he was some kind of monster. How angry that made him. What he did to her for making him feel the way.

He hit her ...

A lot ...

And then ...*

He fell to his knees.* “KILL ME THEN, YOU BITCH!* DO IT!* I’M SORRY!* I LIKED YOU!* I REALLY DID!* YOU WERE THE ONLY GOOD PERSON I EVER MET!* I’M SORRY!* I’m sorry, I’m sorry ...” *

He collapsed face first unto the unforgiving stone.* Spyra knelt down beside him.* Again, running her fingers through his hair. *

“My father’s rangers found the wrecked airship. They tracked the rebels back to the village and they killed them all. Right around the time you were pulling your shorts back up. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone what you did. I just kept everything inside. But I remembered all of it. From that point on I remembered the true nature of the underclass. The men who threatened to rape me. And the man who did. And that’s why, twenty years later, those peasants STILL don’t have electricity. It’s because of you, Robert Firth!”

Kal’s voice came over the comm device in his ear. “Rob! Rob! I found Roxie but we gotta go! There’s something in here with us!”

Firth couldn’t care. He just wanted to die.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:29 AM
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Those friggen, asterixs,

it never happened with any other piece and it hasn't happened since....

weird...
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:38 PM
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I agree that this has a really good pace to it - you certainly don't waste words.

I haven't read the previous episodes, but this makes me want to, which can only be a good thing!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gregoryhoare View Post
I agree that this has a really good pace to it - you certainly don't waste words.

I haven't read the previous episodes, but this makes me want to, which can only be a good thing!
Thanks man. There's a great bit in Stephan kings writing book where his editor crossed out all the unnecessary words from his sports piece. Took it to heart.

Thanks for the read, cool blog, btw...
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:56 PM
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He just kept his head down and ran it over in his head. Her touch, her perfume ...


Repeating 'head' twice a bit awkward. Could talk of running it over in his 'mind'.








“My father summoned me to his throne room one afternoon. How excited was I? A summon always meant responsibility

If she was excited, there'd be an exclamation mark after 'How excited was I?'-or rather, after the words and before the question mark.

Also it's 'summons always meant responsibility'. You missed the 's' off the end of 'summons'.

When I entered father was sitting on his golden throne on the opposite side of the massive room.


Wouldn't she just say, 'sitting on his throne'? You're describing it like she's seeing it for the first time, and is kind of blown away by it, whereas if he's her father, she'd be used to it, no?

“‘Good afternoon, You’re Grace.‘ Ever since I turned twelve I made sure to bow when greeting my father formally.


It's, 'Your Grace,' as someone's title, not 'You're'-which is short for 'You are'.

“Thank the Gods no one was around to hear ...

“The sun was still high enough in the sky to shine through the tall, stained glass windows. Remember them Firth? You found them depressing. Reminded you of church, you said. As if that were a bad thing.
Missed quotation marks off the end of both paragraphs.


“‘If it pleases you, Father.’ I started the long walk to his throne.


" 'IF it pleases you, Father', I said,' surely, as she paused in recounting her conversation, to make the observations about the windows, so you need to transition back to that.

“‘Yes, Spyra. Your nephew Allahn’s eighteenth birthday. The fat fuck.


'Allahn'!? Sounds like hybridised western and Muslim!

The King's use of 'fat fuck' made me laugh as it seems amusingly unregal, as well as unfilial, this being family he's speaking of!

You know what to do. They’ll be expecting some kind of speech, just make something up. I trust you.’


Full stop and new sentence after speech?

“I forgot myself, jumping into my father’s arms.


Been watching too much Scooby Doo!


“I spent the rest of the hour telling my father about the politics of Earth.


Oh. She lives there, or visits there a lot, and he doesn't?



Medals, pins and sigils.


Does 'sigils' mean 'insignia'?

“‘Oh, okay, no big deal,’ I said, hoping you noticed how deceptively tight my cotton pajama set was.


'Deceptively' tight? Surely then it would accentuate what her figure actually was like, so the opposite?

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Old 02-05-2013, 01:05 AM
Rooster Smith (Offline)
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The phoenix has risen from the ashes!

Lazarus has risen from the grave!!!

Great to have you back man. I've come to assume that whenever you say, "I'll be stepping away for awhile..."

It means you'll be back next week. Saw you had a piece up, I'll get to it tomorrow.

I'll make these changes tomorrow on the blog. Check it out, I've made I prove t's, spiffed it up a bit...

Went with blue instead of red trim... Very bold fashion move.

Yeah, I wanted to ask you about this. I didn't miss the marks, I was doing it Frankenstien style, where the monster is telling his story in second person. What do you think? I don't know the rules but that's how Mary Shelly did it.

Yeah, the king isn't so formal around his daughter, haha....

Nah, she doesn't live on earth, she takes studies about it. I'll have to go back and see if I can clear that up more.

And I guess the pajama thing doesn't work. Might have to rethink it.

Thanks for the thorough read through bro, welcome back!
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:07 PM
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A lot of SPaG, but I completely understood the use of the "' for quotations in dialogue, what threw me was the lack of speaker tags at some points.

Redemption for Firth will be a tough sell with me. Aside from that, I found this installment to be very well crafted, the tone was spot on! Very gripping.

MM
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:28 AM
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I particularly liked this section of the story. The characters are well drawn. Not quite so much action, but nevertheless well written.

Bic
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MightieMousie View Post
A lot of SPaG, but I completely understood the use of the "' for quotations in dialogue, what threw me was the lack of speaker tags at some points.

Redemption for Firth will be a tough sell with me. Aside from that, I found this installment to be very well crafted, the tone was spot on! Very gripping.

MM
Dialogue tags, I like to use them sparingly, but how can I still make things clear to the reader?

How, God!? how!?

Yeah tough call about firth. The bible tells us it's the sinners that need love the most...

But I don't think this situation popped up in the bible, we're on our own with this one ....

Originally Posted by Bicicleta View Post
I particularly liked this section of the story. The characters are well drawn. Not quite so much action, but nevertheless well written.

Bic
Thanks, bicicleta. Let me know if you've posted something on here. I've been away.

Good to hear about characterization...
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