Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - The council members murmured as each one spoke, their attention not caught. - " Not caught... Perhaps it would flow easier were you to say "their attention dwindling at such a lack of education." The idea is to bolster the setting, where those poor, unkempt and uneducated people are outright denied their right to be heard - or to be taken seriously at any rate, simply because they are NOT a part of the higher class. While you give us this, there is a lot of room for you to dig right in and create fantastic visuals, tones of poverty and low-class ideals, wants and needs. Give us an inkling of the speech that these people - Jasok's people, use in voicing their concerns. Give us some of the cases, in the words of the lowly. Give us some visuals - what are they wearing? Missing teeth? Smelly, dirty clothes and unkempt hair. As an avid reader nothing takes me away like visuals, emotions, and dialogue. Show us. Give us more.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - A back story - in any story - is one thing that allows the realism of any character to come to life. When telling a back story, you give a look into the world of the character while often allowing a deeper, more integral part of his/her personality than is otherwise intended. A glimpse of the main character's history, whether through flashbacks or simply a fleeting glimpse that happens when some event, thing or relic makes its entrance, opens many doors into his/her personality and can be the one thing in any story that makes a character - whether we dislike him/her or not - believable.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

Good visuals! Intriguing old fella.

Raven Roads Raven Roads
Recommendations: 6

This old man plays a key part in the story.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

I like him. Whether you intended it or not, what little is said of him, the little that he can offer - his time and wisdom - makes him an integral part of the story. Keep it up Raven!

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - A smell that would reduce the uptight nobles to tears. - " Its the little things like this that take me away. This is substance, pure and enjoyable. It offers a great deal more than just words. It takes us into the world of pompous individuals - people who believe they are above the rest of society, above all decent morals and above the law. Good stuff!

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - " "Death doesn't suit me. So we stay away from each other." - " That's awesome! It shows Jasok's cunning and guts as a young lad.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

Great character depth and flow here. I like this old man. Wise dude he is.

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - The old man stood up groaning in unison with his limbs. - " This is just plain 'ol good writing!

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Raven Roads Raven Roads
Recommendations: 6

HarborStone Part Two

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

Others rose to present their cases. Unlike Jasok, they were crude and uneducated with their words. The council members murmured as each one spoke, their attention not caught. Jasok rubbed his eyes with each word the foolish politicians said. Their arguments had so many holes and flaws, Jasok fought the urge to stand up and correct them. These 'men' were just the nobles puppets, paid vast amounts of coin to make the city theirs. Jasok would never let that happen. These were his people, his family. Loyalty to family is the only lesson that Jasok was ever taught, A lowly beggar taught him the importance of it. 7 years ago. 1 comment

X                             X                                     X

       Digging in trash. That was life since he could remember. Jasok took in the sewer like smells and sadly felt at home. Why did he live like this? Parents abandoned him on a family's step. And that family threw him out the next year. He wandered the streets constantly searching for food. It always came down to food in the end. Soon nothing else mattered. He could feel himself going  feral. An urge he faced every day. To stand up to a guard who stopped him from eating a warm piece of bread. To do whatever it takes to get to the succulent piece of lamb. He shook his head and the feral thoughts faded away. He got back to digging into the trash. A life he lived with regret. 1 comment

       As he continued his digging, an old man crept up behind him. His beard was large and stained with the dirt and grittiness of the cobblestone streets. His face matched his beard, dirty and unsettling. Ages since it was clean and shaven, but this man looked full of pride rather then regret. His eyes shined bright with an odd sort of happiness. Despite his detrimental skinniness, this man was happy. Unique was the only word to describe it. 3 comments

       He tapped Jasok's shoulder and he jumped in fear. The young Jasok was startled so much he fell to the ground taking the garbage down with him. It spilled everywhere and the smell filled the small alley. A smell that would reduce the uptight nobles to tears. Jasok looked at the old man and crawled away shaking with paranoia. The old man smiled, several teeth missing. 1 comment

       He spoke, his voice slurred by the absence of teeth,"Now lisen' hurr boy. I seen the look in yer eyes and they're near wild. Where's yer parens'?"

       Jasok kept shaking as he spoke, "G-g-gone. Left m-me."

       The old man tilted his head, "So ya ain't got no family?"

       Jasok shook his head," Ju-Just me."

       The old man lowered himself to the ground slowly. Jasok could hear his limbs and bones groaning in frustration as they were being forced to sit. The sound calmed him down just enough to stop the violent shaking.

       "No family huh? Tough life yer livin' son."

        Jasok narrowed his eyes," One I'm determined to keep."

       "So. Even though yer damn near wild. You plan on livin'?"

       "Death doesn't suit me. So we stay away from each other." 1 comment

       "Smart one fer havin' no family or education."

       Jasok looked down, "Did you have family?"

       The old man smiled again, showing his gums, "The streets are my home. The people I see. The people I help. That's called loyalty boy."

       Jasok felt his eyebrows scrunch, "You need friends for loyalty. Family. Ones to confide in."

       "You gotta be loyal to yer'self before you can be loyal to anyone els'."

       "Why be loyal to yourself, when you are nothing worth being loyal to?"

       "That there is the logic of a kid with no one to go to."

       "It's actually the logic of a kid with no one to trust."

       "Such a sad boy. Why ya like that?"

       "Pessimism is how I've survived this long. I expect the worse and prepare myself for it. Then it comes, and I fight it head on. Each task I've faced this far has only been mental. No one has attempted to physically overtake me. They just... make me think differently. You speak of Loyalty old man. But unless I see a legitimate reason to be Loyal to anyone, especially myself. I won't be."

       "Jeez son how old ya be? Ya speak like a scholar. What question ya ask again?"

       "I asked for you to give me a legitimate reason to be loyal."

       "Loyalty is something ya need if ya wanna smile. Loyalty my boy is somethin' that'll get ya through the toughest situations. It don't matter what it is that yer loyal to. Ya could be loyal to a rat. Or mayb' a flower. It don't matter. What  matters is that ya got somethin' to  keep livin' fer. " 1 comment

       Jasok thought carefully. His eyes glowed brighter as his mind sifted through the countless things he could say.

       "I'm loyal to the thought of Life. I'm loyal to the breaths I take. Isn't that  enough?"

       The old man shrugged, "If ya wan' a life of loneliness. That's the way ter go. But ya seem a bit too special to be kep' to the shadows."

       Jasok's eyes continued to glow. His fingers tapped on his legs and his lips moved in rapid motions.

       "So to you. Loyalty is finding something or someone to be loyal to. But its possible to just be loyal to yourself and push everyone away. You say it's a life of loneliness. What would you say if you saw a man who stands up for someone else, but never actually talks to him individually. Would you call that loyalty?"

       The old man blinked several times before answering. "I'd call that man a hero. One loyal ter his fellow people."

       "Yet the man would never hold someone close. He'd simply stand up so that the weak would be able to fight the strong. And once the fight is done. The man would disappear. That's loyalty still?"

       "Come on son. I aint near as smart as ya."

       "That's not an answer mister."

       The old man sighed and rubbed his temples. Dirt fell to the ground as he rubbed in a circular motion. "Son. I can't tell ya the meaning of Loyalty. I can't tell ya the meaning of friendship. I can't tell ya the meaning of being a hero. All this old mind can give you is an opinion. Loyalty, is something each man is capable of. Without it, yer life will be nothin' but paranoia. That's not a life ya wanna live son."

       Jasok's eyes slowly faded back to normal. His fingers stopped tapping and he felt himself incredibly tired. Like he had just gotten out of a fight. The old man stood up groaning in unison with his limbs. 1 comment

       "I hope ya find somethin ter be loyal ter boy. My time is comin'."

       Jasok looked up, but the old man had already disappeared. He shook his head and felt a wave of dizziness overcome him. He touched the wall and forced himself to go to his little hole. He fell into it and everything went black.

X                                     X                                       X

       Jasok blinked and found himself back in the council meeting. The voting was happening. Jasok raised his hand as the 'Nays' were tallied. Then the 'Yays' were done. Several men abstained. Jasok could hear his heart pounding faster as the final decision was made.

       The magistrate stood and spoke," The vote stands at 37 yays, 19 abstains and 39 nays. The motion fails. With this motion, the meeting is adjourned. Good night to you all."

       Jasok smiled wide. He had once again proven how hard his voice was to be ignored. He felt comfortable for a single second. Then the feeling disappeared. Jasok once again, felt empty.

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