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Excerpt from: Véradó - The Workers (1 Viewer)

Excerpt from: Véradó - The Workers

Zeus Xenia
(Zeus was sometimes referred to as Zeus Xenia as he was the god of travellers.
Xenia from Xenos meaning Stranger or Foreigner or hospitality to foreigners)

Anna led a terrified and shell-shocked Nicole, down the Beach Road to the crossroads where they veered off to the right. Dense shrubbery lined either side of the road and the route grew darker until it was almost pitch black. As they raced past, Nicole could just about make out a cemetery on the right hand side with huge concrete tombs barely visible in the darkness. The sea was audible only a few yards away, the gentle washing sound served as a slight comfort to the petrified Nicole. Anna wasted no time; still clutching Nicole tightly by the wrist she pulled her along the street at a steady pace. Nicole remained in a complete daze and was shaking uncontrollably. She couldn’t comprehend anything that had just happened, she was praying she’d wake up any moment and brush off this horrific nightmare.

They followed the road a little further and approached a set of imposing oak gates that stood wide open revealing a tantalising courtyard bar. Above the gates was a large wooden sign with the word ‘Zeus Xenias’ burned into it in heavy black lettering. ‘Xenias’ … this exclusive all night workers bar was not a place Nicole had ever heard of and at that moment it didn’t occur to her to ask why. Anna led the way in and with wide eyes Nicole glanced around timorously as she followed. She was completely spellbound. Strings of lights hung in formation gently ameliorating the darkness and calm music played softly in the background. The air held the light aroma of incense and the atmosphere felt cool and calm.

The open-air courtyard appeared to be the relic of an ancient building with crumbling stone walls and an imposing tree standing watchfully in the centre. The tree was hauntingly beautiful; its strong silvery leafless branches twisted their way up reaching hopelessly towards the night sky. It was long dead and locked in a perpetual state of winter. Rusted chains were lashed tightly around it eating painfully into a trunk that had grown to accommodate their presence. Fairy lights adorned the branches and Chinese lanterns hung randomly glowing in the darkness. This was a true centrepiece for this bewitching venue. Weathered beech tables were arranged sporadically around the courtyard adorned with flickering storm lanterns, it was a fairytale pretty place but Nicole was far too terrified to begin to appreciate it.


Although the bar was busy the atmosphere remained subdued. The clientele seemed calm and contented leaving their rebellious personas back in town. They were milling around quietly socialising or sitting at the many candle lit tables discussing their various evening’s work. This was not a sight Nicole was expecting to witness in the riotous town of Malia. As she looked around nervously she recognised many of the faces. It was apparent that the bar was exclusive to workers as all of the familiar people were the staff from the various bars and clubs that Anna had introduced her to over the weeks. She spotted Kelly in the corner talking to a couple of other girls from Oileus, and Fenny sitting at the bar, only he was the customer’s side this time chatting lightly with the barman.

Nicole’s eyes were drawn to a table in the far corner deeply locked in shadow, where she saw a group of men sitting in the half-light with a particularly striking figure standing before them. Nicole was captivated by this man. He was tall with swathes of long dark hair reaching down almost as far as his waist. His manner was extremely authoritative. Nicole couldn’t move, she was hypnotised by him, drawn like a moth to a flame with a mixture of fear and curiosity. The man was gesturing wildly as he spoke to the others at the table, his expression was of anger and frustration.


At the table sat three other men listening intently, almost frozen in their seats whilst the other man towered over them. He suddenly stopped talking and shot a glance over to Nicole, his eyes widened as he locked her in his stare. He drew a sharp breath then turned his attention back to the three men, continuing in their conversation. Nicole quickly looked away, but found her gaze instinctively drawn back to him. As she watched she noticed the fear on the other three men’s faces, clearly disturbed by the apparent confrontation. She couldn’t help assuming … Mafioso?

Anna followed Nicole’s stare and heeded her reaction to the man. She reached out and grabbed her by the arm.
“Come on, I’ll get you a drink and find you a table.” She tried to deflect Nicole’s gaze, she was white as a sheet and looked likely to pass out at any moment. “You need to start to breathe again!” Anna whispered.
She chose them a quiet table, Nicole sat down. Anna momentarily left her and went over to the bar to order them both a drink whilst exchanging a few quiet words with the barman.

“Aiden, … is Joel here?” There was urgency to Anna’s hushed question and pain in her eyes.
The barman smiled “Hey Anna … No I haven’t seen him all evening” His accent, although subtle was American, he sported an unobtrusive mohawk and was littered with tattoos. Aiden’s smile faded as he caught sight of her bloodied form. “Jesus Anna, what the hell happened to you? Are you ok?” Anna shook her head but didn’t elaborate and Aiden didn’t push.

“Joel’s not here but Marshall’s just over there.” He glanced towards the man Nicole had been watching and placed the drinks on the bar.
Anna nodded silently, turned and made her way back to Nicole. They sat in silence for a few moments. Nicole sipped her drink; the alcohol burned her throat as it went down. Bourbon wasn’t her usual choice but she accepted that she needed something strong, the burn served as a slight distraction to her anxiety. She shifted in her seat and tried to compose herself. She looked around at the other people in the bar. A few of them had noticed her and they seemed somewhat confused by her presence. These people bore little resemblance to the sun-baked partygoers in the rest of the town. Some of them appeared almost pale in comparison although they were all striking in their own unique way. She also noticed they were wearing decidedly heavier clothes than her. They favoured jeans rather than the shorts and flip flop uniform of the rest of the town - and of Nicole, she felt suddenly very conscious of the differences between herself and these people. She felt stupid, like an unwelcome intruder within this discrete guild.
 
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mockingbird

Senior Member
Liked it a whole lot, J Lawrence - atmosphere was just so spot on and descriptions were intricate and lyrical. Two words stopped me in my tracks as unfamiliar - timorously and ameliorating? Gotta look them up. I would personally use more familiar ones, but not cliched. Also make it more obvious right at the start that the two women are on foot - I kept thinking they were in a car with descriptions of the road. Above all I want to read more. It's made me rethink my own work which is exactly what I've been hoping for.
 
Thank you Mockingbird for your kind comments. This is only an excerpt so there will of course be a whole lot that doesn't make sense here. The characters don’t have a car so it would be clear if more of the story were on here that they are on foot.
J
 

Red-James

Senior Member
I enjoyed this quite abit, the detail was nearly spot on and pianted the picture well, one thing that got me thou in the first half of this almost seemed to have an olden day fantasy feel to it, and then all of a sudden there are chinese latterens and american accents... and jeans and cloaks? Now not knowing the sotry from the beginging i am hoping that is explained somewhere along the way. Anyways great job hope to read more.
 

Cody

Senior Member
It was easy to read, because of how you formatted it. I'm not sure why, but this does not read like a story beginning to me. Is it the start of your story, or some hunk from the middle?
 

QDOS

Senior Member
Hi [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]J Lawrence
I'd like to know more about what preceded this scene. Not sure what the present one is leading to, but cool, descriptive, look forwarded to reading more.

Anna led the way in and with wide eyes Nicole glanced around timorously as she followed. She was completely spellbound. Strings of lights hung in formation gently ameliorating the darkness and calm music played softly in the background.

Not sure spellbound works with timorously - timid nature. If you’re trying to imply a threat rather than that of wonder, I’d use overawed.

To make better / get better - ameliorating the darkness, that’s cool.


QDOS :courage:
 

Higurro

Senior Member
Loved it. I think the mood is great - brooding and ominous, and there are fantasy elements working together with real life elements to create something I personally feel quite absorbed by. The only issue (and it's a very small one) is that your sentence structure doesn't seem to vary much. There's quite a lot of "He did this," followed by "She did that." It's a matter of taste really, but if it's not something you've noticed before then maybe it's a small point to consider. Other than that, carry on!
 
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