Against The Current, thrilling installment #1

25 02 2008

All right, here’s the first installment of the revised version. Have fun, feel free to comment (not to not comment, though). Please note that this part has been revised as of March 2009.

Laiva was sitting on her bed, her head rested on her knees and her arms wrapped tightly around her legs. She had tried to get some sleep, but after tossing and turning for an hour she had given up and settled on staring at her feet and waiting. In her mind she could still hear them laughing. She had thought of them as friends, but no friends could be that cruel; their laughter had cut deeper than any knife and it was still hurting.

The cruellest of them had been mummy. She, too, had been laughing and that was much worse than all the others. Could she even imagine how much that hurt? Did she even care?

Only because she was a woman, or almost at any rate; she was nearly nine after all. So what? Her mummy was a woman, too, and she was the best of all. No, she wasn’t; she was the worst of all, but it didn’t matter. She was better than any of the boys and they got to go. It was only fair that she would be allowed to go too. And she would.

Three days of crying had been enough to drain her of every single tear she had had in her, but it hadn’t taken her resolve with it, only laid it bare. If they didn’t allow her to go with the boys she would go alone. She wasn’t going to ask permission and she wasn’t going to give them a chance at holding her back either. She had figured everything out.

The last of the patrons had left the inn three hours ago, give or take, and by now even her parents had gone to bed. That ought to give her a head start of several hours before anybody even knew she was gone.

She raised her head and for a moment the moonlight rested upon her face, her big brown eyes glistening in it. It wasn’t the glister of tears, however, even though they still were somewhat red from all the crying. It was the glister of polished stone, radiating with the unyielding defiance of inner strength. Then she swivelled her body away from the window and the face was veiled by shadow once more.

Carefully, she lowered her toes onto the floor. The wood gave way under her weight as she pushed herself off the bed, but the worn planks gave only the faintest of sounds. Laiva held her breath and listened, but there was no other sound safe the odd animal cry outside and the faint snoring of her parents. She breathed out. If her parents caught her, they’d probably lock her in until it was too late, or keep such a tight eye on her that it wouldn’t make any difference. That mustn’t happen, that just mustn’t happen.

As quietly as possible she shed her night gown and slipped on her day clothes: trousers and shirt of soft, brown linen as well as a light leather vest against the chilly night air. She didn’t put her boots on, though, out of fear that even the soft soles would make too much noise; she couldn’t risk it. Instead she tied the laces together and strung them around the neck, then pulled the backpack out from under her bed and slung it over her shoulders.

She had already packed it during the day, when the noise from the taproom below drowned any she made. Most of it were clothes, but there also were a couple of things more likely to clatter when not packed carefully. Especially the cardboard box with her collection of odds and ends needed some serious padding.

She sneaked to the door, turned around and meant to give her room a final glance before leaving when her look came to rest on her ruffled bad. Normally she wouldn’t have cared, what was the point of making your bed when you were going to mess it up again in a few hours of time, but now that she was leaving for good, it just felt wrong to leave it that way. She put her backpack and shoes down. It was something she just had to do.

Laiva wasn’t as unobserved as she would have it, though. Outside, in a narrow cleft between two buildings, a pair of eyes was fixed on her window, watching any ever so small movement visible behind the glass. It was a carefully selected spot, overlooking a good portion of the inn, yet so thick with shadows that even the full moon shied from it. A spot to observe without being observed.

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14 responses

25 07 2008
Damali

It almost seems as if you don’t care that this first page is filled with spelling and grammatical errors
“The wood bend under her feet”
Shouldn’t bend be bent?
I like the story, however, and so will keep reading. But you really should fix that as it’s really distracting and takes away from the story.

25 07 2008
emmel

Yay! A comment!
Does a happy-dance.

About the errors… I do care, honestly. I just find it’s infinitely difficult for me to spot those myself. In fact, it seems that many people have the same problem with their writing.
In any case, I’m grateful for any suggestion and any correction.

29 07 2008
Teresa Campbell

Really good reading, I’m going to have to add it to my favorites. Well, on to the next chapter. Keep up the good work.

29 07 2008
emmel

Bows.

Glad to hear that.

26 10 2008
Richard

Hi I would like to read your story. To do so I would be required to copy it to word or some other program. Your text size is set to smaller and word wrap is off so when I tried to expand to Largest I lost your words off the right side of the page. “Nobody understood her, not even her
mummy.” becomes ‘Nobody understood her, mummy.’. It is a formatting thing and may will be on my end. I can not correct it and can not read you text size so can not read the story. Sorry to complain. Richard

28 10 2008
emmel

Should be fixed now.

31 10 2008
Richard

Thank You word wrap is working now. That was fast. Richard

31 10 2008
emmel

I try my best. Although I have to admit you were the second person with that problem, so I already had something in the works.

3 03 2009
Linda Schoales

Found a few more errors:

1. “she had given up and resolved to staring at her feet and waiting”
you might want to try “settled on staring” or “decided to stare”
2. you might want to capitalize “mummy”, unless you mean a desiccated body 😉
3. “The last of patrons had left the inn three hours ago”
should be “The last of the patrons”
4.”there was no other sound safe for the odd animal cry outside”
should be “save the odd animal cry” or “save for that of the odd animal”
5. “As quietly as possible she shed off her night gown”
should be “she shed her night gown” or “she took off her night gown”
6. “Laiva wasn’t as unobserved as she would have though”
could be “as she would have thought” or “have hoped”
7. “a pair of eyes was fixating her window, watching any ever so small movement”
could be “fixed on her window” “watching every small movement”?

3 03 2009
emmel

Ah yes… newly written and full of errors. Thanks for the suggestions. In short: Yes to 1, 3, 5 and the first part of 7. I think I’ll pass on 2, although you have a point. There shouldn’t be a real risk of misunderstanding. 6 was just missing a word I think, and for the second part of 7 I think I’ll leave it this way. Thanks for the many good suggestions. I really appreciate that. Corrections are up. And it’s always a pleasure to see a new face, even when it’s ‘business’ 😉

5 03 2009
Richard

‘she pushed herself of the bed’ Off?

Richard

5 03 2009
emmel

Fixed.

30 04 2009
joanofacre

Quite the difference from the first draft. Still a good start of what looks to be an intriguing story.

30 04 2009
emmel

Thanks. And yes, the first draft is quite different. It dates back 10 years or more, and in that time both my English and myself have changed quite a bit. Plus, I now have an idea where the plot is heading.
I hope to see you around? Comments are always welcome – and the best way to ensure (more or less) regular updates.

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