PDA

View Full Version : "The Pursuit of the PhinŽal [vignette]"



toddm
February 11th, 2012, 09:53 PM
A girl in a crimson cloak ran through the forest clutching a bundled infant. She was pursued by a pack of wolves, their long tongues lolling out over vicious fangs.

The girl stumbled and fell. The wolves closed around, their eager eyes intent on their helpless prey. The girl huddled with the infant against a sprawling oak tree, and appeared to be whispering words rapidly to herself.

The largest of the wolves, a sinister black beast, growled low with dark pleasure as he approached. His snarling companions moved aside to let him draw nearer to the children. Jaina could smell his ghastly breath, but she continued, with head down, to pour forth her fervent invocations.

The black wolf raised his head proudly and spoke: "At last - the PhinŽal of the World!"

Jaina looked up with sudden boldness into his evil yellow eyes: "Begone, foul devil - we have powerful friends!"

"Oh yes - and where are they now, my dear?" he said, grinning.

He moved his hideous fanged mouth down to snatch away the bundled babe from her arms.

The infant stirred and began to cry.

A jolt of terror passed through the lesser wolves and they backed away.

"Fools!" said Gurn the Black, for indeed it was he: chief lieutenant to Vorhist, the Scourge of Mankind. "Victory is ours this day!" His companions raised their snouts and began to howl with glee.

The haughty and fierce demeanor of Gurn as he savored the prize within his grasp was terrifying to behold.

But his expression quickly changed to that of terror when the large oak tree behind the children was quickened to life. A cavernous maw suddenly opened in the truck and let forth a tremendous roar!

Some of the wolves immediately yelped and turned to flee, but they were caught up by thick oak-arms and hammered brutally to the hard earth.

Gurn, having recovered quickly from his surprise, stood resolute with a few of his bold comrades, and growled ferociously.

The oak opened two large furious eyes which held Gurn's gaze fast in spite of himself.

An expression of true fear passed onto Gurn's face and he was as if frozen, spellbound.

Jaina shut her eyes and pressed the infant close to her, as the forest was filled with a tumultuous noise of rushing tree limbs, twisting, yelping, breaking, howling, tearing, pounding - then silence.

She slowly opened her eyes. On the ground there was a multitude of scattered leaves and piles of fur and bone. The tree had straightened back up, and the limbs were gently swaying in the light breeze. She turned to see the tree-face, but it was gone.

She let out a sigh of relief and sat up. She looked down at her little brother, who now appeared as calm and contented as ever.

"Well, Ilanu, that was close - too close." The infant smiled up at her.

Jaina heard a soft clink behind her and turned to see a large hinged door opening in the tree.

She backed up to see a small very wrinkled old man, about three feet tall, emerge. He was dressed in woven oak leaves and had small vines plaited in his grey hair and beard. He looked up at the children with bright brown eyes and then at what was left of the wolves. He chuckled to himself and said, “well, that’s that!”

He then looked again at Jaina and Ilanu with sudden solemnity. "You had better come inside now,” he said. “The Enemy has suffered a small setback here, but he will soon strike again - and much heavier this time, for we have injured his pride - we must hurry!"

The door closed behind them as they entered the tree. Any trace of the door vanished, as a deep rumbling could be heard far in the distance.

credgar
February 13th, 2012, 04:31 AM
I would work on being more descriptive. It's very short, and that's fine, but there's nothing to form the basis of the story and what's happening. I would be more descriptive because it feels to move very quickly. For instance, when the man from the tree says, "Well, that's that" makes it seem like what just happened, which is the meat of the story, is being glossed over completely and has no bearing.

WriterJohnB
February 13th, 2012, 06:47 PM
A girl in a crimson cloak ran through the forest clutching a bundled infant. A pack of wolves pursued her , their long tongues loping out over vicious fangs. "loping" is running, the word you want is "lolling."

The girl stumbled and fell. The wolves closed around, their eager eyes intent on their helpless prey. The girl huddled with the infant against a sprawling oak tree, and appeared to be whispering words rapidly to herself. distances the reader from the scene

The largest of the wolves, a sinister black beast, growled low with dark pleasure as he approached. His snarling companions moved aside to let him draw nearer to the children. Jaina could smell his ghastly breath, but she continued, with head down, to pour forth her fervent invocations.

The black wolf proudly raised his head and spoke. "At last - the PhinŽal of the World!"

Jaina looked up with sudden boldness into his evil yellow eyes: "Begone, foul devil - we have powerful friends!"

"Oh yes - and where are they now, my dear?" he said, grinning.

He moved his hideous fanged mouth down to snatch away the bundled babe from her arms.

The infant stirred and began to cry.

A jolt of terror passed through the lesser wolves and they backed away.

"Fools!" said Gurn the Black, for indeed it was he: chief lieutenant to Vorhist, the Scourge of Mankind. "Victory is ours this day!" His companions raised their snouts and began to howl with glee. distances reader

The haughty and fierce demeanor of Gurn was terrifying to behold as he savored the prize within his grasp .

But his expression quickly changed to that of terror when the large oak tree behind the children quickened to life. A cavernous maw suddenly opened in the trunk and let forth a tremendous roar!

Some of the wolves immediately yelped and turned to flee, but thick oak-arms caught them up and hammered them brutally to the hard earth.

Gurn, having recovered quickly from his surprise, stood resolute with a few of his bold comrades, and growled ferociously.

The oak opened two large furious eyes which held Gurn's gaze fast in spite of himself.

An expression of true fear passed onto Gurn's face and he was as if frozen, spellbound.

Jaina shut her eyes and pressed the infant close to her, a tumultuous noise of rushing tree limbs filled forest,along with twisting, yelping, breaking, howling, tearing, pounding - then silence.

She slowly opened her eyes. A multitude of scattered leaves and piles of fur and bone lay on the ground. The tree had straightened back up, and the limbs swayed in the light breeze. She turned to see the tree-face, but it was gone.

She let out a sigh of relief and sat up. She looked down at her little brother, who now appeared as calm and contented as ever. distances reader

"Well, Ilanu, that was close - too close." The infant smiled up at her.

Jaina heard a soft clink behind her and turned to see a large hinged door opening in the tree. She backed up.

A small very wrinkled old man, about three feet tall, emerged. He was dressed in woven oak leaves and had small vines plaited in his grey hair and beard. He looked up at the children with bright brown eyes and then at what was left of the wolves. delete

He then looked again at Jaina and Ilanu with sudden solemnity. "You had better come inside now,” he said. “The Enemy has suffered a small setback here, but he will soon strike again - and much heavier this time, for we have injured his pride - we must hurry!"

The door closed behind them as they entered the tree. Any trace of the door vanished, as a deep rumbling could be heard far in the distance.

blue - suggested change red -comment

You need to build tension in this scene, yet you use an omniscient, distant point of view. Don't you think it would be more exciting if you used the frightened girls POV?

I also suggest not using "was" or "were" unless you just can't get out of it.
The girl was pursued by a pack of wolves.
A pack of wolves pursued the girl..
Which seems more active to you?

Other than that, good story, but I agree with credgar that more imagery could be used. Hope that helps.

Take care,

JohnB

toddm
February 14th, 2012, 03:45 AM
thanks guys, I really appreciate the input and I will definitely be using your feedback for a revision - I do need to bring it in closer, using a consistent perspective - the girl's, of course -

and I will work on being more descriptive, but I wanted to avoid using too much detail that bogged the action down, but I see I perhaps went to the other side too much.

I actually did look up loping, and thought I saw that it mean hanging out, drooping, but now I see it should be lolling, thanks! : )

I did want to give a bit of the whimsy of the drow who comes out of the tree, as well as his more serious side - hence the "that's that" comment, but it may not work there

I hope to continue and widen this story, with drows, kobold armies, an immense Obsidian Dragon, a blind wizard-king and - time travel, believe it or not - we shall see

thanks again!
---todd

FrameOfDust
February 14th, 2012, 04:15 AM
I don't know what you exactly have planned for this, but I can see an excellent childrens story. I agree with posts that have suggested more descirption and some revision work, but I found it quite nice.

toddm
February 22nd, 2012, 02:36 AM
I don't know what you exactly have planned for this, but I can see an excellent childrens story. I agree with posts that have suggested more descirption and some revision work, but I found it quite nice.

Thanks, I just may do more with it -Ialso will work on more description based on feedback
thanks again
---todd

Archetype
February 22nd, 2012, 04:21 AM
I like this. It's like The Brother's Grimm meets Narnia. Would love to see it fleshed out some more. :)

Rustgold
February 22nd, 2012, 04:55 AM
The girl huddled with the infant against a sprawling oak tree, and appeared to be whispering words rapidly to herself.

Huddled with the infant against a sprawling oak tree, the girl (alt : she) whispered words rapidly to herself. (still not 100%)

Anyway, I hope the rest is up to the same standard of story telling, for it may be worth reading.

Sparx
February 22nd, 2012, 01:29 PM
Yeah this was a great piece of fantasy writing. I was quite surprised the wolves could talk but it did make them certainly more interesting. I am keen to find out why Jaina was fleeing from the wolves and who exactly the weird, short old man is. You have definitely captured my interest my only advice would be to add a bit more detail but not too much that it looses the tight pace you have developed here.