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Orateia (fantasy)

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Orateia (fantasy)

Postby Ledh » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:27 pm

Okay, here are the first two chapters or a story i'm still working on. I really want to hear if it's okay or not, but my English isn't that great, I'm not a native speaker...

Chapter 1

Ella looked around , rubbing her eyes. She glanced at her watch and sighed. It was 3 AM and it was a school night. She'd done it again. She looked at the screen. At the bottom, only two names were left. Her own and “Quandar”, who she had been roleplaying with since 9 PM. She opened her Personal Message Box and sent him a message:

“Am tired, logging off. Tommorow, same time?”

She waited a few moments, yawned and heard the familiar 'plop' of a new incoming message.

“Okay. Nine PM it is. Q.”

Ella closed down the computer and dragged herself to her unmade bed. She dropped onto her pillow and immediately fell asleep.

----------------
“Ellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... Come ON.”

Ella woke with a start. Her litlle sister was on her bed tugging on her arm. “It's a quarter to eight, We're leaving in fifteen minutes, hurry UP.”

She got up and went downstairs. She quickly stuffed a few pieces of toast extra in the lunchbox her mom had made. Mom was already gone. She worked strange hours, because she was a nurse. Night shifts, half days, mornings, evenings.. Ella and Jenna mostly had to take care of themselves if she had another crazy week. Her dad was, obviously, at work. It was quite unclear what he did, Ella had talked to him about it, but since he worked for a government institution, he couldn't really tell her a lot. Secret information and the like.

When she was smaller, Ella had thought her dad was a spy. It sounded all so vague. She could easily imagine him chasing people in a sportscar or inventing disguises with his sidekick. Later she learnt it was just something to do with taxes.

She hurried to her closet and took out her usual clothing.

Jeans. Check.

Green top. Check.

Black vest. Check.

Converse. Check.

She quickly tied a scrunchy in her uncombed hair and grabbed her bagpack. Lucky she was smart enough to make her homework and pack her bags before logging onto Orateia.Her litlle sister, Jenna, stood by the door, holding the knob, tapping her foot. “We'll miss the bus the day I forget to wake you up.” Her dark brown eyes looked over her big sisters appearance.

“God. You haven't slept a lot, have you?”

Ella stared back. If a twelve-year-old could notice it, it meant a lot. “Jenna... You know I'm thankful that you wake me up every morning but... stop staring at me every single morning like I'm a living zombie that had better stayed in its grave.”

Jenna sighed and pulled open the door.

“Just looking out for you, sis, you're not making much of an effort yourself.”

Ella chose to ignore this litlle stab. Her sister was 4 years younger, but 4 years smarter than Ella. Sometimes it felt like the older one was the one needing attention and care. Jenna was always dragging her our of bed in the morning, bringing her food if she had forgotten to lunch. She sometimes even crossed the street from junior high to senior high to remind her of a dentist appointment or something.

Ella quickly got onto the bus when it stopped. Jenna always joined her friends when they were on there and she wanted to get away from the glare her litlle sister kept giving her, as if she could collapse at any moment.

After two stops, her best friend Abby got on the bus. She was wearing another one of her girly combinations. Pink sequined top tied in her neck, white boat neck top underneath. A swooshy dark pink skirt underneath, with a white line on it. Ella waved at her, to indicate where she was.

Abby grinned and threw herself into the seat next to Ella. She squinted at her.“You've been up extremely late again, haven't you?”

Ella rolled her eyes and nodded. “God, you and Jenna have started a conspiracy against me, right?”

Abby smiled and looked behind her, at Jenna sitting between three girls on the last bench, having an animated conversation about something apparantly very funny, because they kept on giggling.

“No, Ella, we're both just worried. Anyway. How are you? Did you manage the maths homework?”Abby waggled her eyebrows.

“Gah. Mr. Perkins will be dead by the end of the year if he keeps setting us tasks as heavy as this. It felt like my brain was going to explode after a mere five minutes!”, she replied. “But I bet you finished them in the time my brain needed to start exploding... hm?”

“ Erm. no. It took me a bit longer.” Abby replied, a bit flushed.

“Seven minutes? Come on, Abby, I know you're a math genius by now.. any chance I get to um.. check your solutions during lunchbreak?”

“Ellaaa.. don't look at me like that! You're not getting them. And that's final!”

“Okay, okay. Whatever. You'll be blaming yourself when I fail maths and have to redo my year and end up in the gutter begging for coins. And then you'll pass by in stiletto heels and a black suit, on your way to your bankcompany which you put up out of nowhere, all rich and cappuccino-sipping and..”

Abby put her hands over her ears and sang loudly. When Ella stopped, she straightened her spotless shirt and said: “You're an idiot with an imagination the size of Tokyo. Come on, This is our stop.”

They got off the bus and started walking towards the schools entrance. They had separate classes the first period. Ella had English and Abby Economics.Ella felt her best friend grabbing her arm before she could turn into the corridor where her locker was.

“Please, come to the mall with me tonight? I need a new dress for my cousins marriage. I know you hate shopping but I need a second opinion.”

Ella rolled her eyes. “...Okay. I'll go. I actually need a new pair of shoes.”

Abby grinned “Fabulous. I'll help you choose! They've got some lovely new ones in that cute litlle shop at the..”

“NO. I'm going to the same old shop, for the same old olivegreen converse as always. Stop trying to trick me into pointy pink shoes and ... “ she stopped when she saw her friends deadly glare.

Ella glanced down at Abby's shoes.

Pink and pointy.

God.

“...See you third hour!”, she screamed over her shoulder, while she quickly ran for her locker.
-----------------------------
Panting, Ella grabbed Abby's shoulder.

“Plea-ease! Can we just sit for one second? We've been to a thousand and one shops already.”

Abby grinned and replied with a theatrical flick of her hair: “Okay, since you aren't trained in the shopping area, I shall allow you to sit. For a second. I want a dress! And I need the perfect dress. It has to be blue, but not tacky aquamarine, or babyblue, or that horrible inky blue. And it has to have these small straps on the shoulder, but not too small and..”

Ella sighed, while her friend talked on. It was just a dress she'd wear twice and then put in her closet, never to look at it again.

“ Ella, can we continue now? “

“ What? I've been sitting for three minutes and.. Oh alright.” she replied, giving in to her best friends puppy eyes. After all, she only went with Abby once every.. five months. Whenever she needed new shoes, actually. She smiled at the shopping bag at her feet. One pair of green converse.

Hehe. Not the glittery purple ones Abby had wanted her to buy. Not even the plain purple ones. Green. Plain old green.

Abby took her arm and dragged her into a shop. “Abs, what is this place? It looks like.. a clothing-dump.” Ella stared at the heaps of secondhand clothing and shoes, in orderless piles.“ Maybe I'll find a dress here! They have vintage dresses!”

“Vintage. You mean old and worn.”

“Come on, help me look, you loon!” Ella started to push dress after dress aside, while Abby did the other side:“No, no , ...nnno. Wait.. ELLA!”Ella jumped and turned.Abby was holding a gorgeous flapper-like dress, with sequins. It was a gorgeous soft blue, made of a soft silky fabric.

“Put it on!” Ella squaeled very un-Ella-like. Suddenly her friend smiled mischieviously. “Only if you try these on..” She held up a pair of pretty green shoes. They were made of a firm fabric, that felt soft and had a small heel. A litlle flower was attached on top of the strap which went over the instep of the foot.Ella hesitated.

“Okay. But only because they're green.”

While Abby changed into the dress of her dreams – at least untill she had found the dress of her dreams of tommorow- , Ella put her foot into one of the shoes and limped around in it for a second. She glimpsed at the mirror.

“I keep doing things that are so unusual for me. But these actually look good. Maybe for summer. And the occasional family dinnerparty. My mom sure would be happy...”

Abby came out of the dressing room, looking absolutely stunning.Ella looked at her friend and felt a stab of jealousy. Abby always looked so feminine, mainly because she could afford it. Sure, she look stunning in the dress but Ella didn't feel like telling her. Abby turned around. 'So.. any good?' She asked Ella.

'Don't be a *beep*, Ella. She's your best friend, be supportive. Jealousy is idiotic.'

Ella cleared her throat. ' Gorgeous! You look stunning, as always, Madam Abby' She dropped a quick curtsey, fooling around so Abby wouldn't noice her strange tone of voice. Abby giggled and faced the mirror, rearranging the skirt.

She turned and faced Ella. “ Told you those shoes would be fabulous!”Ella flushed a litlle. Her friend was right. They were perfect.

“Okay. I'm getting them.”

The owner, an old lady with twinkly blue eyes, had watched their conversation silently.“I can see you two young ladies have found what you were looking for... didn't you?”The both of them smiled, first at eachother and then at the old lady.

“We did!” they replied in unison.

Abby looked at her reflection. “But I need shoes to go with this..”

Ella moaned.
-------------------------------------------------

Chapter 2

Leander sat behind his computer and waited for Toresia to log on. He'd been watching the screen for ages while reading a book, but when it became midnight, he realised she wasn't showing up that night.

He opened his Personal Messagebox and typed:

'It's midnight now, I'm not waiting for another two hours. Let me know why you didn't show up, although I can't blame you. Tular forgot to log on as well. I wonder wether she decided to go to that party anyway? At any rate, not every fool wastes his or her nights sitting in front of a computer screen like I do.

Hope you did something fun IRL! In the future, let me know when you can't come onlne after all, mkay?

Q'

He shut down his PC and put his book on his bedside table. In the bathroom, he popped out his contacts and put them on the sinktable.

He fell asleep quite easily, since he'd been reading for the pas two hours.
------------------------------
The next morning he went downstairs to find his mum already at the breakfast table and his plate full of eggs and bacon.

'Delicious! I love it when youw upff eawly mumpff' he grunted through his mouthful of eggs.

His mum grinned at him. ' I know it isn't often that I make this type of stuff for you and your father, but you don't have to act as if it's something extra-ordinary that I'm cooking you a meal! After all, it was a decision both your father and me made.'

Leander swallowed a piece of bacon and replied: 'Sure, I know that, but my friends still think it's funny my dad stays at home and cleans and does the dishes while you're out doing your lawyer things! Not that they laugh or something, they're just not used to it.' ,he quickly added when he saw his mums expression.

'Okay then, I'm off to work. Tell dad his food is... ' His mum stopped midsentence when Leanders dad entered the room.

'Oh my god, Suzy! You made breakfast?' Leander's dad stared at the pots and pans.

'Not you too!' Suzy mockingly screamed. 'I'm off, before you push the laundry into my hands!'

The door was thrown shut while Leander and his dad stood laughing at the stove.
-------------------------
After school, Leander decided to go to the mall. He really had to find his mum a birthday card and he also wanted to have a look at that new fantasy and gaming store on the third floor.

He got out of the bus and pushed his ay through the gossipping girls and smoking kids to the third floor, which was a lot more quiet. The third floor mainly consisted of bookstores and second hand stores and the occasional idiotically expensive store. It attracted peaceful people, not the twittering girls.

He walked around for a while, checking out his favourite bookstores. Most of them didn't really have anything new since he stopped by nearly every week. He did get a nice card for his mum.

The new fantasy store wasn't really what he had expected it to be. There were no old games , just the new ones. They didn't even sell books. Leander loved playing really old games. He had his computer set up so he could even play games that were made for the oldest Windows-versions. He loved the old feel of them. That was also why he adored role-playing. It was old-fashioned, much like Dungeons And Dragons and there were no actual 'rules' or 'guidelines' to Orateia.

He sat down on a bench to tie his shoelaces and suddenly realised he had promised his dad he'd look for a gift for his mum. His main problem was what to get his mum.

He looked around and decided to have a look in that litlle old store right in front of him. His mother liked old purses and old jewellery. She always wore vintage jewellery with her fancy lawyer-suits because she hated looked dull and boring in grey pinstripes. That's why she always combined it with fun purses and jewellery that she could take off or put aside when she had to do serious businness.

He stepped inside and the litlle bells above the door made a lovely sound. 'Good day, What can I help you with?'The old lady behind the counter smilingly said.

'I'm looking for a purse for my mum and I saw you seemed to have a few vintage ones here.' Leander replied. He vaguely gestured at the unsteady pile of purses in the corner.

'Sure, go ahead and have a look! Do you have any idea what colour your mum would like?'

'Yes, I think she likes green...' Leander started picking up purses and putting them down again, until the lady took pity in him and came to help him out. She took the purses from his hands.

'You obviously don't really know what you're looking for. I know you want to give your mum something nice for her birthday, but maybe it would be easier if I just gave you a card with the adress of this shop and you come back with her?' The lady chuckled.

'That's the best idea I've heard all day!', the boy replied. 'You're a lifesaver, Mrs...?'

'You're a sweet boy, I can tell. Come along, I'll make you some tea. And maybe I'll even have something interesting in the back for you.' The old lady opened a door to his right and went in, beckoning him further. 'I don't eat boys, especially not in the evening, so don't be afraid!'

Leander followed the lady inside a dingy house. While she put the kettle on, he looked around for a while, not really daring to touch anything. Everything in the house looked old and worn, just like the lady. There were jars full of home-made marmalade in her kitchen, next to huge jars of pickled things. On the ceiling a ham and bundles of herbs were strung on ropes next to a very big and old chandelier. The living room had a wall with heaps of books on large wooden shelves. There were fat books, thin books, golden rimmed ones, fancy ones and books that looked as if they'd fall apart if you'd touch them.

'Are these all yours?' he asked the lady who busy rummaging throug cupboards in the kitchen.

'Yes dear, I collect them. Occasionally I sell a few to second hand stores or I give them away to people who are worth them. But that doesn't happen very often. Do have a look, I'm very proud of my collection and books are made to be read and touched, I always say!

Leander saw a copy of Lord of the rings with handpainted illustrations, an enormous bible with explanations in the margin written in an illegible handwriting, a gorgeous tiny book about a fairy, “War And Peace” in first edition. There was no end to the exclusive books the lady had boviously been collecting all her life. He wondered how old she actually was.

With a pang of jealousy, Leander realised this was a collection he'd been dreaming of ever since he read his first word. He adored books and among these were some extremely wonderful books. He'd give one of his hands to own a fraction the collection.

Would an old lady notice if I took.. just one? She has so many...

For a second, Leander was tempted and he stared in awe at the shelves.

'You like them, I can tell. You went completely silented and I could let a dozen balloons explode and you wouldn't have noticed!' the old lady chuckled as Leander flushed and she put the tea and homemade cookies on a small table.

He immediatly thought himself a fool. This elderly woman clearly trusted him and he was no thief.

'Come, sit with me. I want to give you someting' she said while pushing a pink flowery cup in his hands.

She got up and left.

'Did you think that's my entire collection?' she said over her shoulder as she left.

He heard her rummaging through a lot of things and cursing as stuff seemed to topple over in the next room.

'D.. D'you need any help?' he yelled.

'No, no, dear, i'm fine.' ,she said while she came back into the living room, dusting off her skirt. There was a grey stain on her blouse that wasn't there before, but otherwise she did look okay.

'Here you go, she said as she took his empty cup away and replaced it with an extremely old book.

Leander looked at it.

It was a gorgeous pale green that had faded during the years. The pages looked like they were made of parchment and half of them were stained. The cover had gold curls on it and a picture of a lake over which a young woman was looking out. She was dressed in long white dress and wore a small crown on her head. She had long blonde hair and stood with her back to the picture, so you couldn't see her face.

'The story of ... Toresia?!' Leander read out loud.

Suddenly he realised he was on the doorstep of the small store. The door behind him was closed , the hallway empty. He was all alone.

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Postby Bmat » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:34 pm

who she had been roleplaying with since 9 PM. - "whom" would be correct, but some feel that it seems stilted, so you may want to reword to avoid it.

The two paragraphs about her father's employment should not really be separate since they deal with the same subject- just my opinion.

make her homework do her homework, or finish her homework

“We'll miss the bus the day I forget to wake you up.” Her dark brown eyes looked over her big sisters appearance.

“God. You haven't slept a lot, have you?”
The first sentence is not clear. The second paragraph is not clear as to who is speaking. Sisters should be possessive. Maybe instead of you haven't slept a lot, you didn't get much sleep?

litlle

cousins should be possessive

litlle

You have several places that should be possessive, so I'll stop listing them.

squaeled I recommend running English spellcheck. I'll stop listing misspellings here.

It was a pleasant read. It doesn't really set up a hook, though. That is, even though I enjoyed reading it, I don't think that if I picked it up in a bookstore and read the first chapter or two that I'd feel motivated to continue reading, other than that your writing style is comfortable and, as I said, pleasant. You did a nice job of establishing that Ella was tired, and your descriptions in the second chapter, especially, are vivid.

Perhaps something that connects the two chapters could be brought out- although it doesn't have to be.

Your chapters show a lot of promise. Thank you for posting them.
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Postby Ledh » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:23 am

I noticed that genitives in English are a problem for me. Meanwhile, i've had classes in English ( which i study,to be a translator, so this is really really good for me!) and I know now that those should be genitives.

and little is one of the things i just keep spelling wrong, have done for ages.
I don't do it when I write with pen and paper, but on the internet.. every single time.

Thanks so much for replying, it's really interesting!
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Postby clknaps » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:28 am

Are you still looking for critics on this piece or have you rewritten it since posting? Thanks, CLK
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Postby berry » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:13 am

Hi there,
I won't attempt to correct spelling and grammar as mine isn't good but I enjoyed the piece. I like the flow, as a matter of taste I quite like a slower build up with clues to think upon rather than action packed from the start style.
I like the set up of the main character though the conversation seems a little forced and so not very realistic.
I definitely wanted to read some more.
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