Chapter 1- A Desire Is Fulfilled

The air bites his cheeks as he continues to push through the darkened woods. His heavy brows furrowed together, focused on each step. His cold blade ready.
He can still hear the screaming up ahead. However, the person who’d been laughing has stopped. They know he was coming.
As he lifts a large arm to push a branch aside, he hears the man charging at him. With a flick of his wrist, the blade slid through his attackers’ throat. Crimson red, colors the snow at his feet, before he crumbles to meet it.
He cleans his blade off on the dead man’s coat. It has been a long time since his blade as tasted blood. The dead man is not carrying anything to survive in these woods. The bracelet on his wrist seem out of place; a useless expense for the woods.
His brows furrow together in confusion. What would cause someone to act this way? What brought this man out this far? It is no easy task. Practically imposable for a normal man.
The rustling of a chain, along with muffled cries reminds him of the screaming he had heard only moments before. He begins to walk again. As he pulls back another branch. He freezes.
Framed against the shadows is a woman. Naked. The color of snow herself, fighting like an animal against the trap around her ankle. Quiet cries escaping around her clenched teeth.
‘So this is why he was out here.’
He forces himself to move towards her. She is no normal woman. She is dangerous, but the stories assure him. He means no harm for her, she will mean no harm towards him.
Behind the curtain of her long, silver hair, her blue eyes lock onto his. No fear. Only anger. The eyes of a wild animal.
“Want that off?” He asks pointing at the trap that is surrounded by her black blood. She nods slowly; untrustingly she watches.
He easily snaps off a branch from a nearby tree and grunts as he kneels down beside her. Positioning the branch where he needs to; he forces the teeth to part enough for her to pull her leg out. She does so and continues to watch him as he stands.
“Will you be alright here?”
She looks down at her leg and then raises her eyes back to him.
“All right then, come on.” He offers her his hand. She clenches her jaw.
“I’m not a foolish man, unicorn. I won’t forget my place.” He tells her directly, matching her glare.
“You know what I am? Not many do.” She tilts her head slightly, visibly relaxing, as she looks more closely at his blade. “You are of the Danesa? More rare then even I. I will be fine, of course.” She smiles as her ankle begins to heal. “But I wish to reward you with what you desire most. As repayment.” She stands lifting a hand to caress his cheek. “It will be an honor to do so. Perhaps at your camp?”
And he leads her back, not to a camp, but to his lone cabin.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
He stares at the ceiling, the morning sunlight has already creeped into his small cabin. He fantasizes of the satisfaction of a night well spent, with little sleep, entangled in a sea of black hair. That had been a months ago now. All he does now is stare at the ceiling dreaming of it. Pointless.
This small cabin in the woods serves him well. He’s made good money off the rare pelts in these woods. No one can make it this far. Survive long enough to make a profit from it. He has saved more then he can ever spend. He enjoys the work, but is restless from it.
‘Guess not everything in the old stories is right.’ He ponders sadly ‘If I don’t know what I want; how could she?’
He scratches at his chest, continuing in this line of thought before he hears the tiny cry at the door.
Tossing off the covers, he goes over to the door and flings it open. Laying on the ground, without a possession in the world, is a snow white baby girl, with his black hair and dark green eyes.
“No unicorn!” He yells out into the quiet woods “This is NOT what I desire most!” Before slamming the door.

Chapter 2 – Her Name Is Silva.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Niels Saunders says:

    Hi there, it’s Nielzor from Reddit. You were kind enough to critique the first chapter of my book, Mervyn vs. Dennis. I’ve been enjoying looking around your blog and have bookmarked this chapter. Would love to leave you some comments when I’ve got some spare time. Good luck with your writing and speak to you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jotabouts says:

      Hey thanks for stopping by! I really did like Mervyn vs Dennis. Do you plan on writing more for it soon? I’d love to read it if you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Niels Saunders says:

    Hi Jotabouts!

    Thanks so much for your interest in Mervyn vs. Dennis. I think I mentioned on Reddit that it’s actually finished and on Amazon. I’ll be incorporating your critique into the next revision. I’d be happy to send you a few more chapters. I’m really glad you’re enjoying it!

    I’ve got some thoughts for you on your first chapter of Snow:

    The bite of the air attacks his cheeks as he continues to push his way through the darkened woods.
    [This sentence could be shortened quite a lot. For example:
    The air bites his cheeks as he pushes through the darkened woods.
    That might be over-shortened, but you see what I’m getting at.]

    He can still hear the screaming up ahead. However, the person who’d been laughing has stopped. They know he was coming.
    [Dramatic and mysterious, you’re drawing me in.]

    As he lifts a heavy arm to push a branch aside
    [Why is his arm heavy? Or is the branch heavy? I’m not quite sure.]

    With a quick flick of his wrist
    [‘Flick’ already implies ‘quick’ so I think you could just have ‘With a flick of his wrist’]

    the blade kissed his attackers throat
    [To me, ‘kiss’ implies more of a nick or light wound than a deathblow]

    He cleans his blade off on the dead man’s coat.
    [I like this image–character defining and atmospheric]

    The dead man is not caring anything to survive in these woods.
    [I assume you mean ‘carrying’?]

    Framed against the shadows is a woman. Naked. The color of snow herself, fighting like an animal against the trap around her ankle. Quiet cries escaping around her clenched teeth.
    [Very strong image, I’m interested in what’s going to happen.]

    Her blue eyes lock onto his behind the curtain of her long, silver hair.
    [For dramatic value, you might want to swap this around as such:
    Behind the curtain of her long, silver hair, her blue eyes lock onto his.
    It has more of a build up.]

    She nods untrustingly.
    [I can’t easily imagine an untrusting nod. Can you imply her lack of trust some other way? Through hesitation perhaps, or a certain look in her eyes?]

    “All right then, come on.” He offers her his hand. She clenches her jaw.
    [This is the kind of thing I meant above. The clenching of her jaw is great–it implies what she is feeling.]

    “I’m not a foolish man, unicorn. I won’t forget my place.” He tells her directly, matching he glare.
    [You might want to consider a line break between the unicorn’s promise of a reward and the time jump to the cabin. It’s a little jarring as it is.]

    ‘Guess not everything in the old stories is right.’ He ponders sadly ‘If I don’t know what I want; how could she?’
    He scratches at his chest, pondering it over before he hears the tiny cry at the door.
    [Double use of ‘ponder’ here. Can you think of another word?]

    His heavy brows raise in alarm.
    [You’ve used brows, I think, three times now. Can you add some more variety to the main character’s facial reactions?]

    It’s a great ending and I’m intrigued to know what’s next. You’ve set an evocative and interesting scene. The main character is a bit of blank slate at the moment but I’m already getting an idea of what they’re like. The information about him hunting a lot and making lots of money was very helpful in getting to know him better. I liked the unicorn twist and you’ve done some good world building. I don’t know if you’re familiar with The Witcher books or games, but it gave me a similar vibe. Looking forward to more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jotabouts says:

    Just went through and polished up this chapter with your feedback. Thank you again for taking a look at it!

    Like

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