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Maryn

Dark Blue

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Prologue.

 

“It is said that Elves always walk in a light akin to the glow of the Moon. Their hair is like spun gold, woven silver or polished jet, and starlight glimmers all about them on their hair, eyes, silken clothes and jewelled hands.”From a Bestiary, Anon.

 

She woke in pain, sharp pain that danced across her forehead in antagonising tendrils. On another quiet night with the sheets pooled around her body, the young elf unconsciously entwined slender hands together and stared at the blank wall opposite her bed. From her bedroom upstairs she heard her mother working away at the potions and the essences which sustained them and their upkeep, and despite her fear she felt a reluctance to intrude on her mother’s peace.

 

Looking beyond the open window, a night wind crept through and ruffled her hair, touching, soothing her sweaty neck and brushed away the last of her fears. She turned, and slept.

 

Part One.

 

The sun hung high and touched Maryn’s face with the most intrusive of rays, resulting in an elf who stumbled around, dressing. There was no mistaking the time, the room was flooded with light and with a sense of fear she pounded downstairs with hands trailing on the banister.

 

"Morning, Maryn." Her mother didn't look up from her mortar and pestle and a twinge of guilt fluttered through her stomach when her eyes landed on a spotless duplicate of the tool. She hastily tied her locks with a ribbon fished from her pocket and began pounding away at blue quartz in earnest, when she was interrupted by a light reminder to have breakfast.

 

"We're going to the Markets, I'd like you to get ready." Maryn put down her utensils and crept upstairs again, the guilt weighing even heavier than before on an already burdened mind. She had neither forgotten nor made sense of the previous night's events yet, as she gazed into her mirror; there was no sign of physical illness in her face.

 

The same deep brown eyes, the same swathes of hair framing her face. Dark blue, the hair was, an odd, unique and extremely unnatural shade that contrasted against her naturally pale skin. Her ears were covered, purposely, for instead of the long pointed ears that elves boast, Maryn owned an oddly rounded version. Her mother was obviously an elf, mother and daughter had the same elongated, graceful features so that no one could dispute their race but the ears and hair colour were quite simply a mystery.

 

After a more appropriate, less worn tunic was chosen and her favourite moon necklace entwined her neck, she rushed to help pack up the goods, thousands of spirit restorations and health essences were stowed away in safety and she nodded at the neighbour, who would take them on the back of the cart.

 

---

 

"Ye don't want to be caught in those mines, ye never know what type of miners there'll be." The elderly elf said, with a patronising smile directed at Maryn. Sheltered she had been from an early age, she had known very few playmates who weren't elves and when in the busier parts of town, she had never been able to roam in the streets without a guardian hanging off her arm. She longed to break into the conversation about the economy and ask about her tortured nights when inevitably, the horses stopped and tossed their heads at some unseen danger.

 

"Wolves." The elder jumped down and withdrew a rather rustic looking sword, causing the girl to bite down on her lips to repress laughter. Instead, she mouthed words that held no conscious meaning for her and as the horses quietened, so did her two companions. Her mother looked at her sharply but did not dare reproach her in front of a stranger and Maryn was left to her thoughts as the cart bumped and trundled along.

 

The passing trees and wildlife held no interest to her as thoughts crowded her brain, why she could always sense the wolves she could not explain. There seemed to be a peculiar understanding between her and the animals, and her very favourite moon necklace was taken from the den of a wolf. After hoarding her treasure for days, she had finally summoned the courage to approach her mother about it but received nothing but a sad smile and a, 'it's beautiful'.

 

---

 

When the glaring morning sun finally receded, the cart had approached the hustle and bustle of the Markets. People of all different races rushed about, voices calling, telling customers that their goods were cheaper and indeed of higher quality than others. Maryn gazed about her in fascination, fingers suddenly itching for a pencil and paper to record this scene that was so much different to her home life. They reached the stand they shared and as her mother began arranging items on the counter, she was giving a small purse of coins and was told to walk with 'Uwe' amongst the stalls.

 

"It was very kind of you to bring my mother and I here," Maryn spoke formally and yet her eyes flickered from the clothes to the swords, the foods to the jewellery, her sharp sight drinking in the details and the vivacity of the environment.

 

Uwe the elder had given her an equally courteous answer when she realised she had been walking too quickly for him; she was alone. Though the noises had ever increased in volume, her twisting of her head and yells for his attention brought her nothing but unwanted attention from strangers. She hung her head and tried to blend in, however her frantic yells had attracted leering smiles and grim faces all alongside her.

 

Maryn walked fast, her feet turning in the opposite direction her sightseeing had brought her when she realised the yelling was only getting louder, and it was coming from a fighting arena. Intrigued, nervous and overwhelmingly curious she touched the edge of the crowd and watched the two fighters circle each other.

 

With armour, shields and strangely glowing weapons and all the two humans paced, lunged, and dodged to the overpowering screams of the crowd. She couldn't figure out why her attention was drawn onto the older, wearier fighter, until she realised his hair was a precise shade of dark blue.

Edited by Maryn

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Part Two.

 

The crowd groaned, cheered and screamed like a hungry animal as she stood on, flashes of sword light played across the faces and Maryn held her breath. The slices, the cuts and the blood sickened her and as her queasiness grew the crowd’s approval seemed to soar. Thumping, rhythmic thuds pounded in ears and as if in slow motion, the blade of the sword raised and sliced deep into the younger fighter's left arm.

 

They cheered. Some swore, coins clinked in exchange of bets and a dazed elf was left between the hordes of dissipating men.

 

"Ammi is always improving, didn't I tell you? That sword’s new, must’ve given him an edge over Ides." A grizzled bear of a man spat at his fox-like companion and still she did not move, despite a man with a voice like a foghorn screaming at the spectators to go away.

 

As the dust seemed to settle, finally Maryn gained a clear view on the victor and the victim. The winner's face was lined with sweat, dust and flecks of blood; he was sitting on an old wooden crate with his body lined by the shadow of a tree. Dark blue hair curled around his crown and as she watched, intelligent black eyes flickered across the empty arena. He eventually caught the lone elf in his view and immediately his eyes widened in astonishment.

 

She didn’t know what to expect when he strode over, and when he reached her, he didn’t have much to say either. This opportunity gave her time to examine him in even more detail though, his features seemed fine and too perfectly sculptured to be a human’s but the ears. They were rounded and as human as her own.

 

They both stood in silence, the awkwardness crackled in the air between them and when Maryn mustered up a hello, he grinned self consciously at her and told her to shove off before his supervisor found him loitering.

 

She chose to ignore this and instead spoke, "I’m supposed to know you, right?”

 

“Well, I’m Ammi, fighter extraordinaire. You probably should.” He grinned at her, a healthy grin so much similar to her own her doubts vanished and she was stuck with nothing to say. Because how was a child supposed to deal with knowledge that should have been hers from the beginning? She glanced over the posters announcing the ‘Barbarians’ and the cities they would travel to, to the dingy white tents and the donkeys tied to trees and understood why her mother had never told her.

 

After she met his joke with a blank face, he sobered quickly and admitted, “I don’t know what to say.”

 

Fortunately for the pair, they were joined by the revived victim who promptly introduced himself as Palidor. His wounds seemed miraculously healed and when he caught Maryn gazing in wonder at his left arm, he chuckled good-naturedly. He was a fair few years younger than Ammi and bright blue eyes twinkled at the elf who then self consciously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

 

Too late, she realised she had revealed what had confused her for seventeen years of her life and she could only pray that the other fighter would not be sharp eyed, but it was not to be.

 

Palindor’s eyes narrowed, and in puzzlement he looked from the adult to the girl and when comprehension dawned on his dirty face, unwanted pity quirked the corners of his lips.

 

Maryn lowered her eyes, and instinctively unclasped her moon necklace. She gazed into the weary face of the older man and with a timid smile, pressed her treasure into his hand. The strangers of the marketplace could no longer scare her as her thoughts were grasped by something much more confusing. She blindly weaved her way in front of stores and by dumb luck, heard the elder’s voice.

 

Creeping closer to the store to discern words, she heard;

 

"Your Halfling will be fine, and her life has been long enough by any standard. She hasn’t suffered from the pain noted in the books and you have to admit, the Moon has been kind to her.”

 

She could barely hear her mother’s voice when Uwe spoke again, “Your daughter was cursed from the start and it has been her salvation to be raised away from that beast of a man. She never told you about tortured nights suffered by others of her ilk, did she? We elves are beings loved by the Moon, and to bestow our beauty upon one with part human blood is reason enough to be loathed by Her.”

 

Maryn hesistated, fighting an urge to run back to her father. But when she gazed into her mother's grief stricken face, she finally stepped into her vision, yet all thoughts of telling her about meeting her father vanished for fear of crying wolf.

Edited by Maryn

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Maryn,

 

I think you've got a very nice beginning to a much longer story. You've raised questions in this reader's mind: what is the pain going to do to her? will she see her father again? will she tell her mother about the encounter at some point? what is her connection to the wolves? what are these unknown words she used to calm them? when will her mother confront her about them? when/how did she learn them? what was her life like growing up? were there ever any questions about where her father might be? was she ever teased by other children about her ears? were other children guarded as closely as she?

 

In Part 2, you have 2 consecutive paragraphs that begin with "As the dust seemed to settle,..." The second version is just a little bit longer and is the one I suggest you keep.

 

Personally, I'd like to read more.

 

Thanks for posting...

 

Phil...

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Hey Phil,

 

First of all, I appreciate your reading and replying to this hugely :P. I'll try to address those questions in the next part, I have a strange feeling this is going to turn into an epic but oh well. Maryn's character... Is a little naive and innocent right now but I'll find out a way to round up explanations and have abit more plot development.

 

I've edited out the doubling, thanks for pointing it out! I guess it's brainstorming time now.

 

Maryn.

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Guest Annatira

Very intriguing story, Maryn! I have some questions also, if I may ask?

 

I tend to be very nitpicky, please forgive what may seem to be very minor points or questions.

 

There were some times you used words that I puzzled over, not sure the words were quite the ones you meant, for instance:

 

"..antagonizing tendrils" - did you mean agonizing ?

 

"..sustained them and their upkeep" - both sustain and upkeep mean essentially the same thing, maintain or maintenance

 

"..resulting in an angry elf who stumbled around like the dead" -how do the dead stumble around? and this paragraph and the next have her moving from anger to fear to guilt, what is she really feeling?

 

"..the same swathes of hair" - a swath is a mowed strip...is her hair shorn next to her face?

 

"..take my mother and I here" - bring?

 

"Intrigued, nervous and devastatingly curious she touched the edge of the crowd..." - intrigued and curious are essentially the same, and devastatingly? maybe overwhelmingly, which is an alternate meaning but devastate calls to mind destruction to me..."she touched the edge" - reached the edge perhaps?

 

"Armour, shields and strangely glowing weapons and all the two humans paced...." - is there a word missing? I'm not sure what you were trying to say with this sentence.

 

"She couldn't figure out why her attention was drawn onto the older..." - drawn to? the older, and if his hair is the same as hers, "odd, unique and extremely unnatural" then this seems hard to believe.

 

".. a dazed elf was left between the hordes of dissipating men and she was left to survey the arena..." - was left repetitious.

 

"The human's face was..." - both the fighters were human, perhaps the victor's face?

 

"..awkwardness crackled in the air between her.." - between them?

 

"Disaster." - seems out of place, what was the disaster?

 

"..the weary face of the older man.." - previously he was described "..his recent battle didn't seem to have curbed his energy or his pace", seems incongruous. Maryn then seems to have walked away from her father to overhear Uwe and her mother discussing her, but it is not clear.

 

 

Altogether a very interesting beginning that leaves the reader wanting more...very well done!

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A fairly good story Maryn, As phil and anna said I definately think it could be the start of something longer, I would enjoy reading more :)

 

In its current state it really leaves the reader hanging, and there isn't much resolution. It could be a story on its own i suppose, but its lacking something if its meant to stand alone like that. If however you intend to go farther with it thats a decent begining :)

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Hey Anna,

 

Sorry for the late reply, I haven't checked here for awhile...

 

But, thank you! Any critism is great, sometimes you just don't see parts of the story that may be confusing, so yeah it is really helpful. :D

 

So;

 

"..antagonizing tendrils" - did you mean agonizing ?

 

I thought I might try a different spin on pain, as if it's there to irritate you rather than be fully 'agony'.

 

"..sustained them and their upkeep" - both sustain and upkeep mean essentially the same thing, maintain or maintenance

 

I guess I should change that, teehee.

 

"..resulting in an angry elf who stumbled around like the dead" -how do the dead stumble around? and this paragraph and the next have her moving from anger to fear to guilt, what is she really feeling?

 

I was thinking, since this is a fantasy story I can't really talk about zombies... That part, I was being silly and trying to show another bit of ordinary-ness- the inability of most people to get up elegantly and happily in the morning- she's just angry at getting up, then she remembers the night before- then she feels guilty about not helping her Mum.

 

 

"..the same swathes of hair" - a swath is a mowed strip...is her hair shorn next to her face?

 

LOL! I though 'swathe', as in a swathe, drape of cloth.

 

"..take my mother and I here" - bring?

 

Ah, probably.

 

"Intrigued, nervous and devastatingly curious she touched the edge of the crowd..." - intrigued and curious are essentially the same, and devastatingly? maybe overwhelmingly, which is an alternate meaning but devastate calls to mind destruction to me..."she touched the edge" - reached the edge perhaps?

 

Well, devastatingly curious- as in dangerously curious, curiousity killed the cat? I will probably edit that out, I can see how that's confusing though.

 

"Armour, shields and strangely glowing weapons and all the two humans paced...." - is there a word missing? I'm not sure what you were trying to say with this sentence.

 

Maybe, 'With armour, shields and strangely glowing weapons, the two humans paced'.

 

"She couldn't figure out why her attention was drawn onto the older..." - drawn to? the older, and if his hair is the same as hers, "odd, unique and extremely unnatural" then this seems hard to believe.

 

".. a dazed elf was left between the hordes of dissipating men and she was left to survey the arena..." - was left repetitious.

 

"..awkwardness crackled in the air between her.." - between them?

 

I think I will change all that, =D.

 

"Disaster." - seems out of place, what was the disaster?

 

When she revealed her non-pointed ears, but I guess that was a bit dramatic.

 

"..the weary face of the older man.." - previously he was described "..his recent battle didn't seem to have curbed his energy or his pace", seems incongruous. Maryn then seems to have walked away from her father to overhear Uwe and her mother discussing her, but it is not clear.

 

Ah, I see! Yeah, those first two things are discrepancies and I will change them, and I will try to rewrite the ending so it is clearer- she does walk away and eavedrop on her Mum and Uwe.

 

It definately is a beginning, and thanks again for the feedback, I'll edit the beginning and hopefully get a 3rd part up soon.

 

Maryn.

 

_____

 

Hey Enly,

 

It very much is the start of a spiel! Yeah, it is too short to be a stand alone so I better get writing, lol.

 

Thank you heaps for reading and the encouragement ;).

 

Maryn.

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Brilliant Girl! :)

 

I had no idea you were so tallented! And I deifntily look forward to hearing more........

 

Remind me sometime, I know a few authors you may really enjoy!

 

And I beleive I can say, BoC is pround to have sucha talented gal!

 

good work!

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Awh, Guin!

 

I will definately chase you up about those books, I've been writing abit but I'm not quite happy with it....

 

Teehee, BoC pride! :o

 

Thank you. :happy:

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Like all the others said, it's a good story that would do better if it were longer :D Put it more details describing things and following the characters so the reader can see things better. Also a few notes:

 

"Morning, Maryn." Her mother didn't look up from her mortar and pestle and a twinge of guilt fluttered through her stomach when her eyes landed on a spotless duplicate of the tool.

You need to follow up the dialogue here with acknowledging that her mother is the one talking, it gets confusing when you mix the thoughts/actions/dialogue of 2 people into one sentence structure like this.

 

Instead you should write something like this, and also separate the paragraphs:

"Morning, Maryn," said her mother, who didn't even look up from her mortar and pestle.

A twinge of guilt fluttered through Maryn's stomach when her eyes....

 

 

Same here:

"We're going to the Markets, I'd like you to get ready." Maryn put down her utensils.....

 

In this sentence it sounds like Maryn is doing the talking, but I'm sure it's the mother. Still is confusing to the reader.

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