What's new

Fall Contest 2020 The King’s Assassin: Chapter One

Kio.exe

Road work ahead? Uh, I sure hope it does...
(This is actual a chapter out of the novel I’m writing, let me know what y’all think)

It was funny, Selena supposed, that oftentimes, the most beautiful things in this world were also the most dangerous. It was apparent to her now more than ever. She found the snow covered trees beautiful. They gave off an almost silver, surreal light. And the individual crystals of ice that floated through the treetops were also beautiful.

But her frozen fingers and toes were telling her it was dangerous. Her breath, billowing quite visibly in the air, was telling her it was dangerous. Men and women alike had been found dead in much less frigidity. Her unhappily growling stomach, however, was telling her that the threat of starvation was much more dangerous. And growing ever more imminent, she thought as another hunger pain wracked her. If she didn’t catch something soon—anything, even a small turkey—she, along with her parents, would succumb to starvation in a matter of weeks, days even, if her heavily protruding ribs were any indication.

Selena’s fish traps had yielded nothing. It wasn’t surprising, considering that the usually roaring river was tamed and frozen around the edges. She knelt by the ice encrusted riverbank to fill up her water canister, careful not to splash any on her already stiff fingers. Pulling her rabbit fur scarf down from her nose, she quenched her thirst with water was so cold it burned as it made its way down her throat. She pulled her scarf back up as she rose from where she knelt and sighed.

She still had yet to check her snares, but looking up at the steadily sinking sun, she knew she had to be quick about it, before the absence of the sun brought even colder weather upon the forest. She picked up her bow from where it rested against a tree, and strode off, her footsteps crunching in the snow that coated every inch of the forest. Her snares were about a half mile from the stream, and she covered the distance quickly as she jogged along her worn path.

Six years she’d been walking this same path. Six years since her brother, Sam, had taken her into the forest to show her how to hunt. How to use her knives. How to set a snare and draw a bow…
~~~~~~~
“Hurry up Lena, we don’t have all day!” Sam called, looking back at her and grinning. They did, in fact, have all day. The air was rich and warm from the summer sun, the leaves filled the trees, filling the forest with a green light. The sun filtered through the trees, outlining each vein in the leaves. Selena found it beautiful, and not dangerous in the way some beautiful things tended to be.


She flashed a smile back at him, and jogged to where he was waiting.

“Call me that one more time…” she warned, laughing. She really didn’t mind Sam’s affectionate nickname for her, but she did enjoy giving him a hard time.

He laughed along with her, tugging on one of the two long braids that ran down her back. She didn’t look like Sam, with his golden brown hair, blue eyes, tan skin, and long muscled body. At fourteen he towered over their mother, and was nearly the same height as their father. He also had more than his fair share of admirers in the village, including Selena’s best friend, Lady Margot Peiler.

Margot was thirteen, and her father was Lord Robert Pieler, the richest man in the village. His family actually owned the town, Kent, that they lived in. Selena adored the man, and he treated her like his own daughter. She even took schooling with Margot, though she outshone her friend severely. Margot shrugged it off, claiming a Lady didn’t need an education to thrive in court.

Selena was nearly two years younger than Sam, and had brown hair so dark, it was nearly black, bright green eyes and pale skin. Around this time of summer, however, she had a light golden tan. She was also of considerably average height, still slightly taller than most girls her age. She was pretty, she thought, nothing special especially compared to Margot, what with her golden ringlets, inviting blue eyes and supple body. Her mother told her otherwise, saying that she was the prettiest girl in town, earning Selena more than a few embarrassing moments where her mother had boasted to the town’s people how beautiful her daughter was.


“Hey, you coming or what?” Sam called, tugging again on her braid. Drawn from her thoughts, she grinned sheepishly up at him.

“I’m sorry, I was just thinking,” she said, blushing.

Sam shrugged and continued walking. “It’s the sun. It does that to all of us.”


She followed after him, tugging along the bow that was heavy enough to make her arms groan in protest…

~~~~~~~~
The unexpected memory brought tears to her eyes. Sam had been drafted into the war against The Highlands two years ago and she hadn’t seen or heard from him since. There was no way to know if he was dead or alive. The King claimed that it was easier this way, to make the break clean, especially if they did die at war. It was absolute madness, Selena thought. She missed him terribly. He had been her best friend, her sole confidante.

She reached her snares, slowing to a stop, that bow she had once struggled to draw easily loaded in her grasp. She drew in a sharp breath. There, caught in her snares were two fat rabbits and a large turkey. “Thank the Gods,” she whispered as she took them down with trembling hands, her stiff fingers slipping about on the wire. This was enough food to last her family for a week. If they were gracious, possibly two. The fur from the rabbits would fetch enough money for some bread and dried meat from the baker. She let out a low laugh, her body warm with her sudden joy.

Her grumbling stomach reminded her of her task. And of the ever approaching darkness. Still grinning, she strapped the animals to her belt and strode off through the woods.
~~~~~~~~
“Mom, Dad!” Selena called as she strode into their house, forgetting to take off her drenched boots in her excitement. Well calling it a house was being gracious. It consisted of four rooms: her room, barely bigger than a broom closet, her parents room, the small living room only large enough to contain one couch and a table, and the kitchen. She came to a halt by her mother, who sat on the worn cushions of the couch, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

Her mother smiled warmly at her. “I was worried about you, you know. It’s pitch black out there,” she said, pulling off Selena’s soaked gloves.
Selena laughed, shrugging off her coat and removing her scarf. “No you weren’t,” She replied, moving away to place her soaked clothes by the fire. She had been hunting alone since the day Sam was ripped from her.

Her mother and father took in her catch, their eyes widening in surprise. She could tell they tried to hide it, but an almost feral hunger crept into their eyes at the sight.
Selena pulled the belt off, grinning. “My snares weren’t useless today,” she said, striding into the kitchen and placing the belt on the counter. She still wore her soaked clothes, and her teeth were chattering, but her stomach yowled, pushing all thoughts of changing from her mind. That could wait until after she’d had something to eat. Until her parents had had something to eat.

Her mother, Mom to her, Maura to the rest of the world was sick, wracked with awful chills. She tried to hide it, gritting her teeth through the intense migraines and aching joints, but Selena knew. Her father knew as well, and Selena would find him wandering around the house at all hours of the night, or slumped over the table with his head in his hands, tear stained letters from his wife in front of him.

Her mother came up behind her now, placing her hands on Selena’s dripping shoulders. “Go get changed before you catch your death,” she said, a steely sort of determination in her eyes. It seemed that the promise of food had given her a burst of energy.
It was her father who spoke this time. “I’ll clean the meat Selena, just go get dry,” he said, taking her belt from the countertop and walking into the back of the house, where she usually cleaned the game. There was an atmosphere of joy surrounding the house, as if some heavy fog were lifted from them and they saw each and every thing for the good in it.

A bubble of laughter escaped Selena as she moved into her room, wringing out her sopping hair. This was a different kind of beauty, the joy on her parent’s faces. The hopeful smiles. More beautiful than the snow, more beautiful than even the green leaves in the summertime. But underneath all of that beauty, she still saw how painfully thin her mother and father had become. She still saw the deep black circles under their eyes, and the lines creasing their foreheads from worry. The smile fell off her face as she realized these things. This triumph was only temporary. What would they do next week, when the food ran out? What if next time, she came back and her snares were empty. What if...

She forced the thoughts, the useless ‘What if’s’ from her mind, stripping off her frozen clothes. She threw on a worn gray tunic and soft black pants. Looking in the mirror, she removed her braid. Her face was sallow, her skin frightfully pale. And her scar. It stretched from the outside corner of her eye about two inches long, and it looked almost like a silver tear, dripping down her face. Fitting, she thought, considering her mood. She’d received it almost three years ago, when a particularly nasty tempered wild dog had gotten caught in a snare. Pasting a smile on her face, she went out to help her mother cook. She wouldn’t ruin their happiness with her worry.
Her mother was humming, a gentle tune that she would sing to Selena when she was younger and had trouble sleeping. It was a lullaby from her mother’s homeland in Aurum, a tale about magic and faeries and prophecies. Selena threw her arms around her mother, resting her head against her shoulder, picking up the words.
The lyrics were nonsense, just a pretty melody meant to calm restless children. Magic and faeries weren’t real.

“You have such a beautiful voice, Selena, I’m sure you could make a lot of money as a court musician,” her mother said, stirring the chopped up rabbit in the large pan that they used to cook everything. The delicious smell of cooking meat wafted up into Selena’s nose, and she would have moaned at how good it all smelled, had it not been for the comment her mother had made.

Laughing, Selena responded, “That’s funny, mother. I would have to be invited to the castle to sing in court.” Her mother looked at her unfazed, and her father hid his smile from where he sat at the kitchen table. “By the royal family,” she added, her eyebrows raised, hoping they knew how ridiculous they sounded.

Her mother’s grin only widened. “Yes, you would have to be invited to court. It’s a good thing you were, then,” she said, turning to fully face Selena.

Selena rolled her eyes. “Hah, you’re really funny today. I think the cold air is getting to you, Mom,” she said, pulling the fully cooked rabbit from the fire before it burned.

“Seriously. You’ve been invited to the castle as part of the Choosing,” her mother said, and with a flourish, she pulled a neatly folded letter out of her apron pocket.
Selena snatched the letter out of hands, taking in the texture of the thick white paper. Taking in the red seal stamped with a mighty elk that was the royal seal. She unfolded
the letter with trembling hands, and read the neatly inked words:

Ms.Selena Carter:
The esteemed Royal Family has invited you to partake in the tradition of the Choosing. Ten young men and women, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, one of each from every province were hand selected by King Johnathan to participate in this event. You will be ushered to the castle the day after you receive this letter. A carriage will arrive in the morning to bring you to the Capital city, Cyprus, where you will stay at the Royal Castle. As a thank you for taking part, your family will be fully compensated, with a sum of 100 gold marks for each month you spend in the castle. Over the course of thirteen weeks you will partake in several tests and challenges, as well as training designed to see where you will best work in the castle. At the end of those weeks, you will be assigned a job, and will carry out that job for as long as you are able, or until you wish to leave. Take this as a sign of the King’s grace as a ruler. We look forward to seeing you at the castle.

“Absolutely not,” were the first words out of Selena’s mouth. Her parents had gone mad. She couldn’t leave them alone to fend for themselves. They couldn’t hunt. They’d starve.

Her mother placed a warm hand on Selena’s cheek. “You don’t need to worry about us. We’ll be fine. The money from one month alone will last us a year,” she said softly.

Staring deep into her mother’s warm brown eyes, her resolve slowly weakened. As if sensing her triumph, her mother smiled. Sighing, Selena took a step back. If she did choose to participate in the ridiculous event, perhaps her mother could see an actual physician, and be treated for her sickness. Perhaps they could even move out of this cottage and into one of the nicer homes on the other side of the village. That thought alone brought tears to Selena’s eyes. She couldn’t afford to be selfish, not now that she had seen the joy in her parents’ eyes.
 

TayMaiTer

An extrovert reader that writes away reality.
Major Throne of Glass vibes and I love it. Amazing work!
I'm too scared to share my novel WIP. Seriously, great job!
 

butterfly aubade

𝙢𝙞𝙙𝙨𝙪𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘.
you write very well; there's and polished flow in your words, and your descriptions are succinct but still manage to paint great imagery in the reader's mind. however, as much as i hate to be That Person, i have to ask you: are you seeking to publish? if so, then here's my two cents.

there's already a myriad of tropes discernible; "choosing," "tough-hunter-girl-isn't-feminine," etc. while tropes aren't necessarily bad, they have to be executed in a manner with a little bit more finesse. right now, i can tell you've taken inspiration from sarah j. maas, kiera cass, etc. again, inspiration isn't a bad thing, but when you've got to add a little of your own flair to things. i suppose what i'm trying to articulate is that there is very little substance i feel from this. i get that this is obviously only part of a story, but realistically a publishing house isn't going to even read half of this before making their decisions.

some general food for thought:
a) selena, to put it bluntly, sounds like a YA female protagonist blueprint; katniss everdeen, caelena sardothien, you get my drift; maybe you can give her a bit of monologue? paint some internal conflict, explore a bit more of psyche
b) you set the story in a bleak winter forest; perhaps it's worth exploring why in the first place? is your character running from something? the war? maybe you can start with the scenes this event entails, which has a little more potential for intrigue, instead?
c) there's vague mentions of a war, but a country in conflict has to have a reason for doing so; it's definitely worth hinting at why, especially when this is pretty much a default setting for every YA fantasy novel
d) as a follow up: if a country is at war, realistically how much money do they have at their disposal to waste on affairs unrelated to it? why are they hosting a "choosing?" is it to boost morale? do they have ulterior motives? do their enemies know? are they going to try to exploit this as an opportunity to gather intelligence? perhaps you don't need to explicitly state any of these details, but you could try dropping a few hints/foreshadowing a bit

overall, i feel like there's definitely potential for this story. it just need a little more fleshing out, because the devil really is in the details. (especially when you consider that with such a saturated market, an objectively creative concept is probably impossible to come up with).
 

Kio.exe

Road work ahead? Uh, I sure hope it does...
you write very well; there's and polished flow in your words, and your descriptions are succinct but still manage to paint great imagery in the reader's mind. however, as much as i hate to be That Person, i have to ask you: are you seeking to publish? if so, then here's my two cents.

there's already a myriad of tropes discernible; "choosing," "tough-hunter-girl-isn't-feminine," etc. while tropes aren't necessarily bad, they have to be executed in a manner with a little bit more finesse. right now, i can tell you've taken inspiration from sarah j. maas, kiera cass, etc. again, inspiration isn't a bad thing, but when you've got to add a little of your own flair to things. i suppose what i'm trying to articulate is that there is very little substance i feel from this. i get that this is obviously only part of a story, but realistically a publishing house isn't going to even read half of this before making their decisions.

some general food for thought:
a) selena, to put it bluntly, sounds like a YA female protagonist blueprint; katniss everdeen, caelena sardothien, you get my drift; maybe you can give her a bit of monologue? paint some internal conflict, explore a bit more of psyche
b) you set the story in a bleak winter forest; perhaps it's worth exploring why in the first place? is your character running from something? the war? maybe you can start with the scenes this event entails, which has a little more potential for intrigue, instead?
c) there's vague mentions of a war, but a country in conflict has to have a reason for doing so; it's definitely worth hinting at why, especially when this is pretty much a default setting for every YA fantasy novel
d) as a follow up: if a country is at war, realistically how much money do they have at their disposal to waste on affairs unrelated to it? why are they hosting a "choosing?" is it to boost morale? do they have ulterior motives? do their enemies know? are they going to try to exploit this as an opportunity to gather intelligence? perhaps you don't need to explicitly state any of these details, but you could try dropping a few hints/foreshadowing a bit

overall, i feel like there's definitely potential for this story. it just need a little more fleshing out, because the devil really is in the details. (especially when you consider that with such a saturated market, an objectively creative concept is probably impossible to come up with).

Thank you so much for your feedback!! I realized almost every point you made while I was writing, but all in all, this is a rough draft. Last night I set to editing, and found myself changing Selena’s circumstance (almost) entirely! The event will still take place, but I’ve introduced some interesting plot points, developed the world a bit more, and made more room for side characters.

I wrote this version almost two years ago, so obviously I’ve grown as a writer since. I really love reading feedback like yours, I feel it helps a lot in the editing process.
 

Squire Fungus

"My harem? Sure, you can join!"
(This is actual a chapter out of the novel I’m writing, let me know what y’all think)

It was funny, Selena supposed, that oftentimes, the most beautiful things in this world were also the most dangerous. It was apparent to her now more than ever. She found the snow covered trees beautiful. They gave off an almost silver, surreal light. And the individual crystals of ice that floated through the treetops were also beautiful.

But her frozen fingers and toes were telling her it was dangerous. Her breath, billowing quite visibly in the air, was telling her it was dangerous. Men and women alike had been found dead in much less frigidity. Her unhappily growling stomach, however, was telling her that the threat of starvation was much more dangerous. And growing ever more imminent, she thought as another hunger pain wracked her. If she didn’t catch something soon—anything, even a small turkey—she, along with her parents, would succumb to starvation in a matter of weeks, days even, if her heavily protruding ribs were any indication.

Selena’s fish traps had yielded nothing. It wasn’t surprising, considering that the usually roaring river was tamed and frozen around the edges. She knelt by the ice encrusted riverbank to fill up her water canister, careful not to splash any on her already stiff fingers. Pulling her rabbit fur scarf down from her nose, she quenched her thirst with water was so cold it burned as it made its way down her throat. She pulled her scarf back up as she rose from where she knelt and sighed.

She still had yet to check her snares, but looking up at the steadily sinking sun, she knew she had to be quick about it, before the absence of the sun brought even colder weather upon the forest. She picked up her bow from where it rested against a tree, and strode off, her footsteps crunching in the snow that coated every inch of the forest. Her snares were about a half mile from the stream, and she covered the distance quickly as she jogged along her worn path.

Six years she’d been walking this same path. Six years since her brother, Sam, had taken her into the forest to show her how to hunt. How to use her knives. How to set a snare and draw a bow…
~~~~~~~
“Hurry up Lena, we don’t have all day!” Sam called, looking back at her and grinning. They did, in fact, have all day. The air was rich and warm from the summer sun, the leaves filled the trees, filling the forest with a green light. The sun filtered through the trees, outlining each vein in the leaves. Selena found it beautiful, and not dangerous in the way some beautiful things tended to be.


She flashed a smile back at him, and jogged to where he was waiting.

“Call me that one more time…” she warned, laughing. She really didn’t mind Sam’s affectionate nickname for her, but she did enjoy giving him a hard time.

He laughed along with her, tugging on one of the two long braids that ran down her back. She didn’t look like Sam, with his golden brown hair, blue eyes, tan skin, and long muscled body. At fourteen he towered over their mother, and was nearly the same height as their father. He also had more than his fair share of admirers in the village, including Selena’s best friend, Lady Margot Peiler.

Margot was thirteen, and her father was Lord Robert Pieler, the richest man in the village. His family actually owned the town, Kent, that they lived in. Selena adored the man, and he treated her like his own daughter. She even took schooling with Margot, though she outshone her friend severely. Margot shrugged it off, claiming a Lady didn’t need an education to thrive in court.

Selena was nearly two years younger than Sam, and had brown hair so dark, it was nearly black, bright green eyes and pale skin. Around this time of summer, however, she had a light golden tan. She was also of considerably average height, still slightly taller than most girls her age. She was pretty, she thought, nothing special especially compared to Margot, what with her golden ringlets, inviting blue eyes and supple body. Her mother told her otherwise, saying that she was the prettiest girl in town, earning Selena more than a few embarrassing moments where her mother had boasted to the town’s people how beautiful her daughter was.


“Hey, you coming or what?” Sam called, tugging again on her braid. Drawn from her thoughts, she grinned sheepishly up at him.

“I’m sorry, I was just thinking,” she said, blushing.

Sam shrugged and continued walking. “It’s the sun. It does that to all of us.”


She followed after him, tugging along the bow that was heavy enough to make her arms groan in protest…

~~~~~~~~
The unexpected memory brought tears to her eyes. Sam had been drafted into the war against The Highlands two years ago and she hadn’t seen or heard from him since. There was no way to know if he was dead or alive. The King claimed that it was easier this way, to make the break clean, especially if they did die at war. It was absolute madness, Selena thought. She missed him terribly. He had been her best friend, her sole confidante.

She reached her snares, slowing to a stop, that bow she had once struggled to draw easily loaded in her grasp. She drew in a sharp breath. There, caught in her snares were two fat rabbits and a large turkey. “Thank the Gods,” she whispered as she took them down with trembling hands, her stiff fingers slipping about on the wire. This was enough food to last her family for a week. If they were gracious, possibly two. The fur from the rabbits would fetch enough money for some bread and dried meat from the baker. She let out a low laugh, her body warm with her sudden joy.

Her grumbling stomach reminded her of her task. And of the ever approaching darkness. Still grinning, she strapped the animals to her belt and strode off through the woods.
~~~~~~~~
“Mom, Dad!” Selena called as she strode into their house, forgetting to take off her drenched boots in her excitement. Well calling it a house was being gracious. It consisted of four rooms: her room, barely bigger than a broom closet, her parents room, the small living room only large enough to contain one couch and a table, and the kitchen. She came to a halt by her mother, who sat on the worn cushions of the couch, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

Her mother smiled warmly at her. “I was worried about you, you know. It’s pitch black out there,” she said, pulling off Selena’s soaked gloves.
Selena laughed, shrugging off her coat and removing her scarf. “No you weren’t,” She replied, moving away to place her soaked clothes by the fire. She had been hunting alone since the day Sam was ripped from her.

Her mother and father took in her catch, their eyes widening in surprise. She could tell they tried to hide it, but an almost feral hunger crept into their eyes at the sight.
Selena pulled the belt off, grinning. “My snares weren’t useless today,” she said, striding into the kitchen and placing the belt on the counter. She still wore her soaked clothes, and her teeth were chattering, but her stomach yowled, pushing all thoughts of changing from her mind. That could wait until after she’d had something to eat. Until her parents had had something to eat.

Her mother, Mom to her, Maura to the rest of the world was sick, wracked with awful chills. She tried to hide it, gritting her teeth through the intense migraines and aching joints, but Selena knew. Her father knew as well, and Selena would find him wandering around the house at all hours of the night, or slumped over the table with his head in his hands, tear stained letters from his wife in front of him.

Her mother came up behind her now, placing her hands on Selena’s dripping shoulders. “Go get changed before you catch your death,” she said, a steely sort of determination in her eyes. It seemed that the promise of food had given her a burst of energy.
It was her father who spoke this time. “I’ll clean the meat Selena, just go get dry,” he said, taking her belt from the countertop and walking into the back of the house, where she usually cleaned the game. There was an atmosphere of joy surrounding the house, as if some heavy fog were lifted from them and they saw each and every thing for the good in it.

A bubble of laughter escaped Selena as she moved into her room, wringing out her sopping hair. This was a different kind of beauty, the joy on her parent’s faces. The hopeful smiles. More beautiful than the snow, more beautiful than even the green leaves in the summertime. But underneath all of that beauty, she still saw how painfully thin her mother and father had become. She still saw the deep black circles under their eyes, and the lines creasing their foreheads from worry. The smile fell off her face as she realized these things. This triumph was only temporary. What would they do next week, when the food ran out? What if next time, she came back and her snares were empty. What if...

She forced the thoughts, the useless ‘What if’s’ from her mind, stripping off her frozen clothes. She threw on a worn gray tunic and soft black pants. Looking in the mirror, she removed her braid. Her face was sallow, her skin frightfully pale. And her scar. It stretched from the outside corner of her eye about two inches long, and it looked almost like a silver tear, dripping down her face. Fitting, she thought, considering her mood. She’d received it almost three years ago, when a particularly nasty tempered wild dog had gotten caught in a snare. Pasting a smile on her face, she went out to help her mother cook. She wouldn’t ruin their happiness with her worry.
Her mother was humming, a gentle tune that she would sing to Selena when she was younger and had trouble sleeping. It was a lullaby from her mother’s homeland in Aurum, a tale about magic and faeries and prophecies. Selena threw her arms around her mother, resting her head against her shoulder, picking up the words.
The lyrics were nonsense, just a pretty melody meant to calm restless children. Magic and faeries weren’t real.

“You have such a beautiful voice, Selena, I’m sure you could make a lot of money as a court musician,” her mother said, stirring the chopped up rabbit in the large pan that they used to cook everything. The delicious smell of cooking meat wafted up into Selena’s nose, and she would have moaned at how good it all smelled, had it not been for the comment her mother had made.

Laughing, Selena responded, “That’s funny, mother. I would have to be invited to the castle to sing in court.” Her mother looked at her unfazed, and her father hid his smile from where he sat at the kitchen table. “By the royal family,” she added, her eyebrows raised, hoping they knew how ridiculous they sounded.

Her mother’s grin only widened. “Yes, you would have to be invited to court. It’s a good thing you were, then,” she said, turning to fully face Selena.

Selena rolled her eyes. “Hah, you’re really funny today. I think the cold air is getting to you, Mom,” she said, pulling the fully cooked rabbit from the fire before it burned.

“Seriously. You’ve been invited to the castle as part of the Choosing,” her mother said, and with a flourish, she pulled a neatly folded letter out of her apron pocket.
Selena snatched the letter out of hands, taking in the texture of the thick white paper. Taking in the red seal stamped with a mighty elk that was the royal seal. She unfolded
the letter with trembling hands, and read the neatly inked words:

Ms.Selena Carter:
The esteemed Royal Family has invited you to partake in the tradition of the Choosing. Ten young men and women, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, one of each from every province were hand selected by King Johnathan to participate in this event. You will be ushered to the castle the day after you receive this letter. A carriage will arrive in the morning to bring you to the Capital city, Cyprus, where you will stay at the Royal Castle. As a thank you for taking part, your family will be fully compensated, with a sum of 100 gold marks for each month you spend in the castle. Over the course of thirteen weeks you will partake in several tests and challenges, as well as training designed to see where you will best work in the castle. At the end of those weeks, you will be assigned a job, and will carry out that job for as long as you are able, or until you wish to leave. Take this as a sign of the King’s grace as a ruler. We look forward to seeing you at the castle.

“Absolutely not,” were the first words out of Selena’s mouth. Her parents had gone mad. She couldn’t leave them alone to fend for themselves. They couldn’t hunt. They’d starve.

Her mother placed a warm hand on Selena’s cheek. “You don’t need to worry about us. We’ll be fine. The money from one month alone will last us a year,” she said softly.

Staring deep into her mother’s warm brown eyes, her resolve slowly weakened. As if sensing her triumph, her mother smiled. Sighing, Selena took a step back. If she did choose to participate in the ridiculous event, perhaps her mother could see an actual physician, and be treated for her sickness. Perhaps they could even move out of this cottage and into one of the nicer homes on the other side of the village. That thought alone brought tears to Selena’s eyes. She couldn’t afford to be selfish, not now that she had seen the joy in her parents’ eyes.
Your novel, hand it over.
🖐👹
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top