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Ramoslav
December 25th, 2013, 05:42 PM
This is my first chapter of my new story. I'd fancy your critique before starting! ( The main character is the person at the window, he'll be introduced entirely later and also excuses for my grammar I'm still learning. )

Enjoy !! :D ))




Anny and Remedy


Chapter 1,
- An old memory



It's cold, very cold. He can't leave his room, his clothes are too thin for the temperature outside. Even if he tried, it would only be a matter of seconds before his body would give up.



The snow has literally created its own barricade around the motel.
Nobody on foot is able to breach through the thick mass of snow, which keeps us away from taking a step outside. He can see the snow falling down every second and feeding the fallen snow beneath, making it larger.



It's quite a miracle why the infected aren't surrounding this motel. It's not so well protected and full of all kinds of life. He is surprised that he hasn't seen a single rotten corpse around yet. Like he has forgotten how dead smells and looks like. Heh, he wish he could.The frozen ice is hanging down from his window, dropping every now and then. Disappearing into the mass of snow. Some of them look very sharp and others are very thick and tall. Ordinary winter circumstances, you think. But no winter is worst than one combined with an apocalypse.



Standing bored next to his window, an abandoned house across the motel takes his attention. The sadness is literally to be seen, on its damaged rooftop and the broken planks next to it. Alongside the damaged vehicle close to it.



There is nothing he could sit on. Everything that could provide some heat, was taken by the guards. He isn't worth the care, they say. Nothing but a liability. They'd get rid of him if they had the chance. He is just another mouth to feed, a drain on their precious resources. He knows that for sure. He can see through humans and know how much people care about a certain thing. That's one of his remarkable abilities. To understand why people take certain decisions, you have to imagine yourself in their shoes.



He was always very interested in human psychology and philosophy. Aristotle was his favourite. How people in dark times can still impress the scientists in our time with their intelligence, is utmost remarkable.



Without entertainment people seek other ways to enjoy themselves. Such as fairy tales and stories from the good old days. There are also rumors about survivors disappearing going around from room to room. One night they are sleeping and the next morning everything they own is gone; including themselves. Since the infected aren't around for a long time, you could easily guess who these silent kidnappers are. No guard is trustable. But yet again what if there is another cause for these kidnappings? And what if this story isn't even true?



As he got bored of this sad resemblance of life, he decided to turn away from the window; noticing a group of strangers. A group of strangers in the middle of the room, nearby a fire. They are keeping each other warm with lovely topics and stories. As the smoke from the fire within the barrel flows into the outside, through a small pipe. Their memories about the good days enlighten their pessimistic opinions about the weather. Some say it'll stay like this for a long time. But I'm sure they didn't have any calendar or done any scientific research, so everything is pretty much possible. If the weather just changes soon .The sooner the better.



Suddenly a loud knocking on the door interrupted his thoughts. After that it slowly opened and a bold figure appeared to be entering the room. It was a guard. He was wearing camouflaged military clothes and there was a tattoo on his right hand. He had blond hair and something also remarkable were his eyes. Big blue eyes. Like those men in perfume commercials.With his muscly arms and his huge blocky head, he gave an attractive impression.



He looked over to the strangers at the bonfire. Sighed, then rudely spit at the ground and gave them a dirty look; like we weren't worth his presence. After his tough introduction he was walking towards the group of strangers. What could be the reason he is here? Do these 'peacekeeping guards' actually rob and molest the innocent? What if he indeed is here to hurt someone?
He wouldn't be surprised if he did. Anything could happen in a world without laws. Neither do these guards have their laws, only their orders. an apocalypse. I don't think there is innocence in this world. These woeful times force us to do awful things. But thankfully there are still people who fight against injustice. Though he hasn't came across with any of them..



(????): "You there! What's your name?"



He shouted. To a random stranger.. but who? He noticed the blond guard gazing and pointing his finger at a sleeping man. The man had a wide coat and it looked like jaguar skin. It surrounded him and it must protect greatly against the cold. I'd rather have his coat than a bonfire for sure..



The stranger woke up. Facing the man who brutally interrupted his midday sleep. He slowly stood up, as He got to examine him; he couldn't believe his own eyes. One thing is sure, the blond one will regret taking a decision like this. Because this stranger didn't look like a sissy, far away from it. He was bald and gave a very tough impression. With his muscly body and tattooed neck he looked like a living bending machine.



Although everyone would see this man as a gangster, a criminal. He looked through him. He noticed something very remarkable about this man. He seems to have something gentle about him. The way he stood up and the reason why he hasn't ripped this blond macho's head off yet is very remarkable. This man seems to have a lot of patience. You can see the discipline in his eyes, his shoulders look like they are made of iron and his facial expression is the worst. I can't imagine looking deeply into those eyes, with his bold eyebrows surrounding them.



The stranger was standing straight in front of him now. All the blond macho was able to do was.. give the man an angry look. A deep voice came out of this stranger. It would have been a surprise, if his voice wasn't as scary as himself.



(????): "Mikael Sergovich. Do we have a problem?"


The blond man lowered his voice and the angry face disappeared. It seems like he is starting to regret his decision.


(????): "Your...-Your coat."


He pointed his finger slowly at his coat with a normal facial expression. He gestured in a way of wanting his coat. Everyone would imagine his finger to be broken apart now. But Mikael idly watched the man. He must have realized the fear in his eyes already. He knows it's unnecessary. The opponent has already been defeated.


(Mikael Sergovich): "What's with it?"


The man seemed to have lost his courage, the tough man ramming through the door seems to have turned into an idle child, looking as brave as possible.


(????): "The Chief needs it.. Hand it over. Or you..- you have leave"
He said with an uncomfortable voice.


The man turned furious now. He threw his coat with a lot of noise at the floor then bravely kept his chin up. A frightening but very deep voice made even the strangers around him scared. Some even slowly picked their stuff. In case this turned into a fight. Even He at the window prepared to see the blond man getting a beating any moment now. Mikael rudely spit at the man's shoes. The blond man froze up and embraced himself. Mikael then said, no almost shouted at the blond one.



(Mikael Sergovich): "Here is an option for you. What if I give you and your Chief daddy a free bullet in the head, huh? You don't like that? Then get the fuck out of my sight."


(Mikael Sergovich): "And go tell your Chief, he can suck the shit out of my ass."


(????): Alright...- alright... If this is how you want to play it..



The scared man was literally about to fall apart. When he knew his actions against this bear would be hopeless and stupid, he decided to leave. He slowly turned his head around; gazing at the door then back to Mikael while taking small steps backwards. Everybody in the room slowly calmed down. They continued their stories and some their sleep. Like nothing ever happened. Mikael sighed as this short conflict was over. The blond one left the room with his back turned. Mikael gave the man a last dirty look, crouched and laid back on his bed. Well.. more like his jacket. As he looked over to his right to pick up his coat. Mikael seems to have noticed him staring at him, from the window.



Mikael examined him. But the man didn't feel comfortable with this at all. By the look of his huge back. Mikael looked like a rhino preparing to strike. Let's hope to god he doesn't come near him. He never liked people who had a temper, people who unnecessarily scream at him. Even when he has or hasn't done anything wrong, these kind of people can go straight to hell. He tried to look closer into Mikael's eyes and noticed him doing an odd gesture. Mikael seems to be smiling at him. But no, not him. His black pupils seemed to be concentrating on something else, something close. After a few seconds he picked his coat up and moved it around his gigantic body; to continue his sleep. Hopefully without being interrupted.


He wondered what this odd man was focusing on. Could it be his small jacket? The only thing that keeps him warm. Or maybe his backpack.. Where all his expensive goods are in, along with everything to survive. Not to mention his only photo he's got. The only memory he's got of his brothers.. Everyday he wonders if they still live, though this thought disappears as soon as he realizes the chances of them surviving through this winter, outside. This thought replaces itself with nothing but sadness, the same sadness he's felt his entire life. This man doesn't look trustworthy. If there is a golden rule in the apocalypse,
it surely is to trust only a very few and not everyone. But this man can't be a...-A thief? Right? He would steal anything he wants whenever he wants, for sure. But you can expect anything from this eccentric man.. It's a good idea to keep himself away from any eye contacts for now.

He turns back to his window, trying to avoid any eye contact with the strangers. Looking back at his old and terrible sight.
Trying to find out what took Mikael's attention a few minutes ago. He is looks at the abandoned house across him. As he suddenly notices a sign pasted on one of the windows. Something annoys him from within. It wasn't there before.. What could this mean? It might have been hidden from his eyes, by the fog maybe. He tries to read the sign. Sadly without any success. The thick snow surrounding the window makes it barely readable. He gives up.



He tries to look at something else. Somewhere close to the abandoned house, he notices a tree. Just like everything else. The tree is overwhelmed by the snowfall. Some branches have fallen off and lots of deep cuts are within this tree. It looks pretty old but I suppose even the strongest trees can't stay undamaged in this horrible weather. Estimating the age of this tree would be pretty near to impossible. On one of the left tree branches there seems to be a group of birds. Pretty normal, you'd think. Just birds taking a break before starting their journey. To a far, far away county. Somewhere better.



But a man with a lot of knowledge about nature, would ask himself... what kind of bird would stay outside in a weather like this? Surely they must be getting ready to fly away, because who would stay in a fruitless and wrecked place like this. He tries to look closer, as he notices one of the birds straightening its wings. It looks like... it looks like he is preparing himself for a flight. He is taking off. The bird suddenly jumps into the sky and with his wide wings it beautifully speeds through the air.



Without any efforts, he flies past his fellow birds and heads to his destination. After a few seconds, this mysterious bird volunteers to show its identity. Just for a few seconds though, as he flies almost near his window; this owl disappears behind the abandoned house. Where is he going? Thankfully He caught a quick glimpse of this bird. He recognizes the shape of its head and its black body. He has seen him before, he thinks. It's a black owl for sure. Then the birds there must be owls too.. they must be a group of owls.. But how? Aren't owls lone predators? He asks himself. How can predators who fly, hunt and live alone suddenly be together? Did this cursed apocalypse force them into uniting or even evolving? Or could there be another reason..


---------------------------------

Gavrushka
December 25th, 2013, 06:25 PM
Considering English is not your first language, it's not a bad read at all! :)

You do describe things well, and in a way that engages the reader. -What would have been far better is if you'd reduced the number of adverbs. Almost all of them could go - The last paragraph had two -


He flawlessly recognizes... owl mysteriously disappears

Your descriptions are good enough not to need adverbs. - I'd rather see you write WHY the owl disappearing behind the abandon house was mysterious than telling me it did. - Mind you, in both the above, removing the adverb is all that is required.



My understanding of grammar is not bad, so I will point out a couple of mistakes if you're okay with that:

There were a number of times when you dropped into the first person within a paragraph. - Search for the word 'I' and you'll see it around half a dozen times, and there was an 'us" in the second paragraph. Was that your intention? If the narrator (you) were in the room, it wasn't apparent.



Nobody on foot is able to breach through the thick mass of snow, what keeps us away from taking a step outside.

Nobody on foot is able to breach through the thick mass of snow, which keeps the people inside with him, trapped there.



I smiled when I realised it was a post-apocalyptic novel, as I'd pointed out elsewhere I'm writing one at the minute too.

You've a great imagination, and a superb eye for detail. - I think your writing will improve tremendously over the coming months, and I'd start by reading through a few of the threads on here that help with the technical side of it. - If you don't have it, I'd buy the book 'Elements of Style'. - It's a tremendous help.

And keep writing. You're a good writer, and when you master the technical side of it, your prose will shine brighter than you could have ever imagined. :)

Ramoslav
December 25th, 2013, 09:26 PM
Considering English is not your first language, it's not a bad read at all! :)

You do describe things well, and in a way that engages the reader. -What would have been far better is if you'd reduced the number of adverbs. Almost all of them could go - The last paragraph had two -



Your descriptions are good enough not to need adverbs. - I'd rather see you write WHY the owl disappearing behind the abandon house was mysterious than telling me it did. - Mind you, in both the above, removing the adverb is all that is required.



My understanding of grammar is not bad, so I will point out a couple of mistakes if you're okay with that:

There were a number of times when you dropped into the first person within a paragraph. - Search for the word 'I' and you'll see it around half a dozen times, and there was an 'us" in the second paragraph. Was that your intention? If the narrator (you) were in the room, it wasn't apparent.




Nobody on foot is able to breach through the thick mass of snow, which keeps the people inside with him, trapped there.



I smiled when I realised it was a post-apocalyptic novel, as I'd pointed out elsewhere I'm writing one at the minute too.

You've a great imagination, and a superb eye for detail. - I think your writing will improve tremendously over the coming months, and I'd start by reading through a few of the threads on here that help with the technical side of it. - If you don't have it, I'd buy the book 'Elements of Style'. - It's a tremendous help.

And keep writing. You're a good writer, and when you master the technical side of it, your prose will shine brighter than you could have ever imagined. :)

1. Yes adverbs are one of my problems, my vocabulary of adverbs isn't that big and I read books where a lot of adverbs are used in. So I thought it would be decent of me to give the reader many details :D I'll lower it down and thank you for this tip!

2. Yes I'm very sorry. I'm still a student and I wanted to combine what's happening and this man's thoughts. I still wonder if it's wrong. Your tips will help me so well with the second chapter :)

3. Haha, thank you for the compliments! I'm sure you know Dmitry Glukhovsky? He is the one inspiring me to write stories. And I'll surely ready your post-apocalyptic story! I'm curious about it already :)

4. The technical side is where I'm heading to yes! It astonishes me so greatly when a book is more exciting than a video or movie. I love mystery !


I'm grateful for your compliments, thank you for viewing my humble story.