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Riptide
February 19th, 2014, 05:39 AM
Finally! I make my debut! It's a hefty 1,533 words, cutting off before one hell of a fight scene... Okay, the scene isn't much of anything rough, I just wanted to add that part in there. I'm planning for this to be a series of short stories with each "episode" encompassing it's own plot within it's roughly 10 pages, while together they have an underlining story line that they follow.
Me and my big words. It's probably littered with dents, and I hope you can fix them.



I crept through the alley, the note crisp in my hands. The messenger of the note was a silent man, only uttering enough to tell me not to read its contents until I arrived at the specific location. I tried peering inside the folds, but as pell had it bound, leaving my attempts useless. Nonetheless, the job paid well, so I came.

Trailing around the area I skimmed the front of the instructed meeting house. It was a tavern of sorts; not one I'd ever populate. Wild Fire was its name. I came around back and entered through the unmanned door, slithering my way to a back table nestled in the corner. My employer would spot me if he was already here. I took this as an opportunity to figure out what I was up against. The patron's didn't give away any glimpse of my task at hand; they came from all the edges of life, some probably trying desperately to keep them.

As my eyes wandered to each face inthe bar a wall of muscle obscured my path. Looking up I saw piercingblack dots of eyes darting across the room with an accompanied wariness from a man tanned by countless days in the sun with ripping muscles toned beyond that of an average working fella. He had short brown hair atop his skull, that fell flat. Spotting me watching he growled, curling up his lips in a snarl before something seemed to hit him, and he walked over to me with a purpose in his step.

“Pipsqueak like you called in as well?” He said, taking the seat across from me. In the light I saw the thin remnants of a scar passing through his eye and across his face.

My hand felt the dagger hidden by my cloak. “Wrong seat.”

“Nah, I'm bettin' on this being myspot.”

My eyes narrowed on him. Where would the best one-kill-shot be?

“The two about to kill themselves seem the most likely to be apart of my crew,” said a female who had been watching from afar with a twitching upward smile forming. She had short straight blond hair, and bangs that extended nearly passed her deep blue, twinkled eyes. A long sword was strapped to her waist.

“Sorry, gal, this isn't a place foryou,” said the wall, disregarding her presence.

“I'm sorry?” She chuckled, and in moments her sword was unsheathed and pointed at his neck. It was rimmed in red with a gold crevice in the middle, the rest a startlingsilver. “Want to say that again?” She pushed the tip closer tohis neck.

“Not really,” he said, sliding his chair back slightly. “Take a seat.” He didn't seem affected by the near death situation.

“Good,” she said as sat in the vacant chair beside him.

We sat together in tense silence, no one willing to start conversation.

“Ah, good! Three of you have alreadymeet!” said a gingerly old man who had just entered the tavern.“Now meet a fourth member, the magician of the group.” A young girl, nearing maybe 5 feet tall sidestepped past him. She was of gypsy blood by her dark complexion, but the purple in her eyes gave her an air of mystery. She was attuned to the dark arts.

“Hi,” she whispered, not making eye contact. “My name is Serene.”

“I'm Randy,” greeted the wall.

“Robin,” said the sword wielder.

Now they all turned to be, expecting areply. “Xio.”

“Xio? That's no name!” yelled the wall, Randy.

“It's mine.”

“Well, like I said, it's no name.”Randy rose a bit out of his seat, resting the palm of his hands on the table, and leaned in on me. “How about you, Xio, let us see the face to the name? That cloth wrapping covering you head ain't showin' us much, but those dastardly green eyes.”
I glowered from my shawl. He thinks he can overpower me with his size?

The old man laughed at the interaction occurring before him. “Team bonding! But we're missing one other mate. Where could he be?” He scratched his balding head. “Where...Where...?” His face crinkled as he thought harder.

“The money, now!” came a shout behind the old man. A brown eyed, black haired teen boy with a gun had it aimed at the old man's head.“Do yea want him dead o'what?”

In quick action I pulled out my dagger, thrusting it forward , slicing the boy's hand, which made him drop the gun, and fall to his arse.

“Waddaya do that for?” he said as he tenderly held his bleeding palm.

“It was only a scratch.” I needed to let loose, and the boy was an easy target.

“Ah!” the old man said, not phased by the gun that was once pointed at him. “Here's the other member.”

“What?” asked Robin. Surprise was etched in her face as she gave the boy a once over. “For combat?”

“Hey! I'm right here ye know! I'm a pirate!” he said with pride pouring out over the last line.

“A pirate?” It was Randy's turn to question. “Ha! One sorry excuse for a boy I would say!”

I could see that strike deep with the boy as his eyes grew wide, and his movement more dramatic as he stomped his foot for each syllable. “I am! I am! I really am!”

Robin prompted her hands on her hips. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” the old man said. “Give us you're name.” He was addressing the 'pirate'.

“Seth, they call me Seth.”

The old man reintroduced us all for the boy. “Now the notes. Open them.”

I carefully placed my dagger back in hiding and pulled out the note. This time it unfolded without a problem.
Skimming the context I realized this was a lifelong ordeal, and these people sitting around me were to be my lifelong pal's so it seemed. I moved my gaze from the note to glare at the old man, in tune with the rest of my 'team', except Serene who kept looking down

“Now, now, don't give me that.This isn't a full-fledged commitment on your part. After this first one you can leave. I wont hold it against you.”

With that being said we tried to make sense of our task.

“We're to steal a dog?” Randy came right out and said what all were thinking.

“Yes, a very special dog,”answered the old man. “Think of it as a test to see if you're qualified. Do you think you are up for it?”

“Hell yeah! If I get paid this full amount for fetchin' a little pup, I'm all for it!” Randy gave a hearty grin.

“A puppy? Ha! I can do that right now if ye want!” said Seth, not trying to be outdone by Randy.

Robin seemed perplexed. “This isit...?” she muttered. “I'll do it.” Her voice sounded resolute, but there was a tab bit of caution in it.

Serene gave a slight inclination of her head to enter her in.

“Yes, I guess I'll play along fornow,” I said.

The old man lowered his head, and I swear he flashed a sly smile. “Good, very good. I expect this to bean easy task. I'll see you soon.” He ushered all of us out.

“Psssh! I don't need the help of ye guys!” Seth said as he stepped ahead of us all while we walked the path to our destination; a house on the outskirts of town.

“Ha! Little tyke here thinks he can show us up? I think not!” Randy grabbed Seth by the shoulder and swung him back. “Stay in line!” He then started laughing at some joke.

“Do you two mind? We have a job to get done,” Robin said as she moved forward in the path, gesturing us to follow.

“I was waitin' on you slackers.” Randy picked up his stride.

Seth still sat in the dirt his anger festering. Serene bent down and extended her hand.He scowled at the hand, raising one endof his mouth. Spewing venom in his next words. “You think I'll be helped up by scum like ya?” He pushed past her hand, shoving her as he caught up with the other two.

In Serene's eyes, I saw sadness as they grew moist, and she tried desperately to blink away her sorrow.
“Hey, don't mind them,” I said, patting her on the shoulder.

She cracked a small grin and we walked together to the others.

After walking the winding trail for some time Seth questioned, “Is this the right way? Are you reading the map wrong?” He rested on a nearby boulder.

“It's way out of town,” Robin replied, giving the map another glance.

“You're not tired... are you?” Randy face turned to mock shock. “The great pirate, tired?! No, it can't be!”

“Shut up!”

Randy laughed at Seth's redden face as his anger grew.

Robin looked around. “I guess we could take a little break.”

Serene followed me like a lost pup.She came up to my shoulder, so I had to crank my neck to see her face, which she made a point of always hiding, but I understood. I was the one with the cloth wrapped around my head. We walked over to a shady batch of land not too far away.

thepancreas11
February 22nd, 2014, 12:50 AM
Welcome to the realm of forum writers, Riptide. Glad I could be the one to initiate you into the world of positive criticism!

The good: original story, funny, the characters all have their own devices, and this is DEFINITELY the beginning of a beautiful and interesting friendship. It's got kind of a Guardians of the Galaxy feel to it, if you don't mind me saying. A bunch of misfits set with a ridiculous task that I'm sure will have both disastrous and hilarious consequences. I enjoy your dialogue most of all because it's very natural, for the most part.

The bad: it's a little backwards, and some of the description isn't very strong. As young writers, we often times use "emotion" adjectives rather than "appearance" adjectives. Doubtful looks, looks of surprise, accompanied wariness, mingled amusement, or seeing from the paper that this would be a lifelong ordeal are really opinions rather than descriptions. They're okay to use in small doses, especially with a first-person narrator, but consider using facial expressions, body language or in the last situation, actually printing out some of the context to show us the readers what's in your head. You do so well when describing the characters; just continue that when you're describing their reactions.

Be wary of using big words in the places where little words would be just as affective. Now, there are writers that can do a tremendous job of employing vocab in mass quantities, but I'm more from the Mark Twain approach, and this counts double for people at the bottom of the experience pyramid. Smiling about the transaction occurring, for instance, doesn't sound quite right. Do you need to qualify that phrase? They shake hands, he smiles. Simple as that. The more practice you get, the more you'll be able to employ words in situations where they fit naturally.

The ugly: when you're posting to the forum, re-read, re-read, re-read. Some of your words don't have spaces between them. This happens about once every sentence, really. Be careful with that.

I like it! I hope you keep posting. When you revise this piece, just let me know, and I'll be all over it again. I'm curious to see where it goes!

Riptide
February 22nd, 2014, 02:18 AM
The ugly: when you're posting to the forum, re-read, re-read, re-read. Some of your words don't have spaces between them. This happens about once every sentence, really. Be careful with that.

I like it! I hope you keep posting. When you revise this piece, just let me know, and I'll be all over it again. I'm curious to see where it goes!

Ah, saw those! I thought I did mess up, but, no, it just does that when I copy from open office on to here. I don't know how to fix it unless I manually do it, but I thought there were only a few, but I was completely wrong!

Thanks for the advise! I'll try implementing them.

Oh, and what do you mean by backwards?

LeeC
February 22nd, 2014, 05:09 AM
Welcome from another newcomer,


I think thepancreas11 provided a good synopsis of your proffered effort, but there's a few additional points I thought might help.


Overall, I liked the story, and thought it showed good imagination, especially in the misfit collage of characters. It was interesting enough that I read it through, despite being tripped up often by errors, and the patois (if that's what's intended?), and/or maybe bad word choices.


For example, the word "notecrisp" was unfamiliar to me, but intelligible enough that that it didn't impede my reading. On the other hand, when I got to "the front of the the determined meeting house," I inadvertently read "determined" as an adjective rather than a verb. It could be I'm getting flaky in old age, but mightn't something like "instructed" work better. Another example might be "in moments her sword was unsheathed" which was like someone hitting the slow motion button. Didn't you mean to say something like "in a split second her sword was unsheathed?" Again, mightn't "The old man laughed at the transaction occurring before him" be more meaningful with a word like "interaction?"


One last example in "I came around back and entered through the unmanned door, slithering my way to a back table nestled in the corner." I'm picturing a snake where maybe more appropriately you might mean "Going around back, and entering through the unmanned door, I furtively(?) moved to a back table."


I can just picture what that "DOG' is going to be though. :-)


I hope this helps. It does me, when someone relates the imagery they perceived form my words.


Maybe what thepancreas11 means by "backwards" is that you might work on painting a more vivid overall picture, with simple, concise language. Then, were appropriate, add a little emotional depth. For example, that's a cute dog for an avatar how would you describe its expression without using emotional adjectives?


As to the errors, you mentioned occurred in copying from OpenOffice, I use NeoOffice to format a presentation book format. Otherwise, I write (and endlessly rewrite) using a simple text editor, that doesn't imbed special control characters. Then, I can format with NeoOffice for a PDF, or include html in a copy for the web.


Hang in there. You've got a good imagination.
LeeC

thepancreas11
February 22nd, 2014, 05:52 AM
Ah, yes, Riptide, I forgot to explain that part. Shame on me.

There are a couple of sentences that feel like they're in the wrong direction, like the cause comes after the effect. They're awkward to say because they don't really flow with a natural speech pattern.

"...at the transaction occurring."

The transaction occurs, then he smiles. Avoid too many of these gerunds.

Also, try to limit the conjunctions in a sentence to one. Not always possible, but it helps with flow problems. You have one four line paragraph that is all one sentence. Take a breath in there somewhere. Good luck!

Riptide
February 22nd, 2014, 05:56 AM
Eh... I put in more face expressions, really digging deep for them.

I did: who had been watching from afar with a twitching upward smile forming,
and his movement more dramatic out ashe stomped his foot for each syllable,

He scowled at the hand, raising one end of his mouth. Spewing venom in his next words

And I just figured out that it messes up right as I click post, so I have to edit it afterwards