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Brian ´Dulcet´ Bergstrom

"Red Velvet - Part I" by Brian ´Dulcet´ Bergstrom

SciFi/Fantasy text 14 out of 17 by Brian ´Dulcet´ Bergstrom.      ←Previous - Next→
 
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This is a tale about a woman's struggle to retrieve her husband and kill the evil one named Agar-Shabal. I really like this one so far.
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←- Peddler's Cry | Red Velvet - Part II -→

 

    The night was young and wild. Assassins roamed the night killing off any Nelatian child or thought they could find. Their hearts were full of pain and anger. They killed for one they called the Holy Dragon. He ordered all people who opposed him to be killed.
    Jesse, Caleb, and Fillip were playing in the field during this night. Suddenly they heard a loud rumble which shook the ground. Their eyes soon saw a big herd of people. Animals, almost. They carried torches and loud cheers.
    "Victory! Victory!"
    The children looked at each other in confusion. What had this been? Why were they cheering? What was going on?
    A tall dark man carrying a deadly dagger at his side was the first of the group to reach them. The children knew not what to do. They gathered together, frightened.
    "What are you doing alone, children?"
    "We play," Jesse said. "We play under the banner of Brollick!" Her face was filled with joy and excitement.
    The man motioned for his associates to join him.
    "Brollick? That bastard was killed tonight! Now you shall pay the price for saying its name!"
    With those words, three daggers pierced the three innocent hearts. The children screamed in anguish. They hoped their mother was close by. But then all three remembered. There had been a war. How foolish they were to forget. As each took their last breath, they wished their mother was near by as they screamed.
    Wynne heard their screaming. Her children. Her beloved children. What had gone on. She ran to see the raiders and assassins ride into the night, missing her house. Her house was hidden amongst the trees. The night sky had done her a favor. Yet she saw her three children lying dead thanks to it. Oh how she missed her Ryben. He would've saved their lives. The world was no longer safe.
 
 

*        *        *





    Wynne awoke in her empty bed as the morning sun peaked through the window. The morning had not been ones she had awoken to in the past. No, this one was different. Today would be the first day of the tyrant Agar-Shabal's rule. The same man whose assassins came and killed her children--Jesse, Caleb, and Phllip--for speaking of the past ruler of Nelatia, King Brollick, in public.
    The evil sorcerer had brainwashed the world of the peaceful power that had once ruled. Ryben, her beloved, had fought in the Nelatian army against the villain. He hadn't been home within a month. The army had already lost. News had spread of the victory. Many were killed that rebelled. But Wynne had hid. She would not let the evil power soak into her mind. She was the only person she knew for miles that avoided it. Her love for her husband was too strong to see the light in the evil power.
    Loneliness filled her heart with fear. What was she to do now? Who would eat her marvelous cooking and lie even if it had spoiled? Who would greet her with a smile every new day and let her know everything was going to be normal? Certainly not the men and women who wore the red dragon of Agar-Shabal. No, she wouldn't give them a word of her mind.
    She arose slowly and sat at the side of her bed. Memories of good hunting trips and rooms full of laughter were now all lost to her. She dreaded to think of the reality of her position.
    Her tears had begun to fall down to the floor once again. She felt as if her tears alone could clean the place. But they could not. She knew she had to find a way to move on. A way to live in this awful time. She wondered how long she could hide her hatred for Agar-Shabal.
    The marketplace was filled with spies and thieves. If she showed any disobedience, then she would surely be killed. Agar-Shabal was no man to mess around with. His order was cruel and harsh. No freedoms were granted as they were under the old ruler King Brollick of Nelatia. Under Agar-Shabal's banner, the land had now been renamed Jal-Mun, which in his tongue meant "Land of the Dragon."
    That was another issue. Under the spell he had the world on, they had forgotten the Nelatian language. No one knew of it nor heard of it according to the few rumors she had heard before this morning. He had ceased the capitol of Telk, Wallanay, winning the battle and crushing the Nelatian empire, making it his world by dawn.
    Wynne feared that if she spoke her tongue, her throat would be slit. Before Nelatia had been lost, rumors of Agar-Shabal's evil ways spread to Wallanay, where Wynne and her family had once lived peacefully. Now the rumors she knew were true. She knew little of the new language so she had to try and hide her ignorance if she wished to live.
    But her anger towards the victory empowered her to stand up. She would not stand to live in this hell. She had to do something. She just didn't know what.
    She made herself some breakfast and headed out the door, sneaking around the back of the house to reach her horse, Hazel. She loved her horse. It was the one true passion she still held in these times.
    She mounted Hazel and slowly rode down the wooded path. It had been different than her normal rides. Under Brollick's rule, she could ride the horse as fast as she could down the path. But now she feared Agar-Shabal's men would ambush her and kill her.
    As she rode down the path she found three examples of her fear. Their bodies were torn to pieces. Their money bags were laying beside them. Hazel grimaced lightly as she soon put her head up.

    When she reached Wallanay, she hide her horse in the trees for safety. No one had been around to see her. There was too much business of angry merchants for anyone to notice her quietly approaching.
    She walked through the market browsing the place like any other woman that was there. She had brought her basket and hoped to blend in with the crowd. Her face seemed to adjust to the atmosphere. The prices of goods were much more expensive than before.
    Then she noticed something. The currency of Nelatia remained the same. The coins and bills had the same value, but the faces were fit to Agar-Shabal. She saw the change for beggars were standing outside, hoping that thieves wouldn't take all they had.
    As she walked, she noticed the mood of the city was much more fierce. Guards stood at every doorway like night watchmen. They saw everything that went on and beat down any defiance to the Jal-Mun law.
    Wynne was afraid to speak for she knew they would surely recognize her as a Nelatian and kill just as she saw on the path. Her heart raced as she attempted to put on a smile and walk among them. She wished the spell would wear off and the people would see the incredible evil they lived in.
    Quickly she found a haven to hide in. What was she doing here? How could she be interested in the heart of the enemy? She didn't know why. But she figured if she studied them, she might see their ultimate weakness.
    While hiding in the alcove, she could see the people roaming around, but her body blended in with the dirty wall. Her faced grimaced as she looked at the dead bodies hidden in the alley beside her.
    A strong hand then came and tightened her mouth. She screamed, but the gag was too strong to amplify it. The arms were strong as well. She kicked and struggled, but it was no match for the strength.
    She was dragged further into the alley. She feared the doorway was death itself. Her eyes shut immediately. She wished not to face death. She just wanted to get it over with.
    When she entered the doorway, the figure slammed it shut. The strength was released and the gag had fallen out.
    "Fear not, good Nelatian."
    "What?" Who could this be? Could there possibly be a Nelatian other than herself left in the world? Had Agar-Shabal's spell ignored others?
    "I say, do not fear me."
    "Who are you?"
    A candle was lit to give light to the room. Immediately Wynne's eyes were fixed on the figure. He was an old man wearing a dark brown robe. The hood covered his face, but it was clear he was an old man for his long white beard had shown past the shadow of his hood.
     "You may called me Ferren. I was King Brollick's Royal Wizard."
    Wynne smiled as she never smiled in ages. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly. "Bless the spirits one speaks his name!"
    "Silence. You must not shout. They may here you." She nodded.
    "How do you manage here without being killed? How did you see me?"
    Ferren smiled. "I saw you park your horse in the bushes. I saw no mark of the Red Dragon."
    "Yes, but how do you live here?"
    "The magic alcove I have created that I let you into. It's truly magic that Agar-Shabal's guards have not noticed it. 'Tis the last bit of magic I had left."
    She smirked. "They seem not to notice the dead live here."
    "Then why would they notice me?" He had a point.
   
"How long have you been hiding?"
    "Ever since the palace had fallen."
    "The world is at chaos without even knowing it."
    The wizard nodded as he showed her to the table, sitting down.
    "What is your name?" he asked, showing her a seat next to him.
    Wynne smiled. She enjoyed the wizard's kindness. She felt it may be too good to be true, but his voice seemed sincere. She took a seat and looked him in the eye.
    "Wynne Rolling. Wife of Ryben Rolling," he voice was soft, yet clear.
    Ferren's eyes lit up as he realized who she was. His grin widened.
    "Ryben is a fine man. Would make a great general."
    "Is?" Her face was filled with hope, matching her voice. "My husband is alive?"
    The wizard's glare turned confused. "Why, yes. He might be."
    "I assumed him dead with all that's been--"
    Ferren tried to keep his laughter down, then maintained his posture.
    "Are you sure you know Ryben Rolling? The strongest fighter in the Nelatian Army?"
    "You speak of him as if he survives!" Hope had now filled her voice. "Have you seen him?"
    "The last I saw him he was fighting of Agar-Shabal's men. They captured him, you know."
    "No, I did not know. Where is my husband? My beloved Ryben!?"
    "I would imagine he's still captive inside Agar-Shabal's dungeon. Not even the evil sorcerer's magic--"
    "--can penetrate his heart!" Her heart filled with joy as she said those words.
    "But you are forgetting an important factor."
    "What?"
    "Have you looked outside?"
    Her mood soon sunk. The hope Ryben was alive may have been strong. But the reality of Agar-Shabal's victory was even stronger. Her heart yearned to be placed in Ryben's grasp. She missed his gentle touch. She also missed her life. Her family had been practically destroyed. The children were dead. What would Ryben think when he hears the news?
    What had she been thinking? Her beloved dead? Ferren was right. He had to be alive. Somewhere somehow, he must've been alive. She felt as if his heart was beating inside her, telling her he was alive. What a cruel world she know faced. She worried how long his heart would hold out.
   
"How far must I go to see my Ryben?"
    "You'd be a fool to look for him now. No one would understand you."
    "Do you understand their language?"
    "What Nelatian would want to? I hide where I know I be safe."
    She grabbed him by his robe and lifted him out of his chair. Her eyes were fixed on him. She wished to create Agar-Shabal's tombstone at all costs.
    "Tell me where the villain hides."
    "I know not! I just know his palace is to the north, beyond the city. Tylux, I believe."
    She released him.
    "But I warn you. His guards are fierce."
    "The guards are no match for my love."
    "But the blades--"
    Before he could finish, she walked out of the alcove. Her rage had now no fear. Her heart would find her husband, dead or a live. She had to find him. She had to. Her heart could beat a pleasant beat until she stopped the heart of Agar-Shabal.
    She put on an angry face in the village. Her mood caught the attention of everyone around her. They wondered how she could be angry. If only they knew. If only they could remember the peace they had once lived in.
    She now was picking up pace long the off course path she took to the north to Tylux. She didn't care who was chasing her. The feet of her heart outran the horses down the path.
    She feared to look back. She only wanted to kill Agar-Shabal. But then it hit her. She had no blade of her own. No way to ensure Agar-Shabal's heart was truly destroyed.
    After a mile or too running down the path she had made through the woods, which was off the path the soldiers and guardsmen had been chasing her, she found a nice quiet place to rest.
    It was a small hut built alongside a nice big tree. It looked clean and out of place. Had someone lived here? she thought.
    "I have been waiting for you, Wynne."
    The voice startled her. She couldn't imagine how it knew her name. How had her random pathway through the forest gotten her here?
    A figure stepped out from behind a tree. His robe was green with golden lining. His steps were slow, making sure the twigs below, crackled beneath his feet so she could hear him.
    "Who are you?" she asked as she turned around.
    "My name not be important. My gift for you is."
    He held out his hand which contained a small box. It had been polished as if new. Wynne wondered if it was a trap. She feared this character was one of the bold few who remembered the Nelatian language and culture.
    She stepped towards him.
    "Go on. Do not be afraid, my dear. This gift is one from King Brollick. He was to give it to your husband. Now you are the rightful heir." There was a joyous tone to his voice.
    Wynne reached out and picked up the box. She slowly opened it as a grin pierced across her face.
    "My Lord! It really is a gift!"
    She held the dagger. The Nelatian dagger. It would be the tool she would use to kill Agar-Shabal. Her heart beat with joy. She turned to hug the figure, but he had disappeared.
    Where had he gone? His hut was gone as well. Was she dreaming? No, she had held the dagger in her hands. Her hands carried the deadly tool to carve Agar-Shabal's gravestone. Oh how she loved the green robed figure.
    She continued on through the woods. Her steps harder against the ground as picked up speed. She soon arrived at the place she had once feared the most. Tylux.
 
 

 


 
 

←- Peddler's Cry | Red Velvet - Part II -→

DateNameComment 
28 May 2002:-) Kathleen 'Kat' Quinton
You have the beginnings of a potentially spectacular story. The childrens' death was a good beginning, catches the attention, and the fact that it's a dream of a memory from their mother is even better. Perhaps elaborating on her feelings about seeing her children just-dead would add to that even more, for she seemed a little too detatched at that part. Also, get a thesaurus and dictionary and go over some of the words you used, cause some don't fit, their meaning is wrong for the context. Have a few people go over your story and make marks where they see errors, sometimes you used 'know' instead of 'now' and there were a few others I noticed. The story starts out very wonderfully detailed with everything that's going on, but after Wynne leaves the wizard, everything suddenly rushes forward and skips so much that could have happened on her journey. Conflicts with soldiers, meetings with brainwashed citizens, etc. There's a lot you could add to give the story even more depth.

I enjoyed reading it very much, but don't stop here! Revise, rework, and make this story all that it can be.

:-) Brian 'Dulcet' Bergstrom replies: "I'm soooooo GLAD someone finally has read this. I know I havent commented in a while, but I'm so happy right now. Thank you very much. I will surely take your suggestions into consideration. I am currently working on Regonian Light so after I finishg Chapter 8, I will definetly start crackin on this."
21 Jun 200245 M. Bechard
I do have one question. I believe in chapter 4, you mentioned somethign about not being very good ad writing for female characters, so I must ask what possessed you to do it again? And how did you manage to do so well? This chapeter is so amazing, even though I think I've already read it. I wonder why I didn't leave a comment. Hmmmm.
17 Aug 2002:-) Nina Roussakova
Hey Brian! Haven't posted for a long long while. As for the beginning of this story, I'm afraid I must agree on much of what the lady said in the first post. True enough, I think you should look over small mistakes such as had hid = had hidden, and hide = hid so rereading it a couple of times would be a good idea. Oh, and horses don't grimace... or at least, I can't imagine one doing that.
But the concept of the story is interesting. Though the young woman doesn't seem to wonder why she isn't under this spell and so many others are. I think that the childeren seem a bit unrealistic saying: "We play under the banner of Brollick!" Perhaps these people should ask them first or something of the kind. Then, how is it that everyone recognises her? And everything is so coincidental.

But let me stop telling things that could be improved. It is a good start of a story. I think it is something that could bloom into a great short story. Hmmm, and I wonder why it is called 'Red Velvet'.

:-) Brian 'Dulcet' Bergstrom replies: "Yeah, I FINALLY am going around replying. I've been very busy these past few months. My grammar blows, I know. But Nina hit the point I wanted her to. It's gonna be a short story...lol. So eventually I'll get around to finishing it THEN editing all my grammar. "
30 Nov 2002:-) Alice Muffin Girl Smith
You did a wonderful job of character development here, honey! I'd go and read the second part, but... *promptly falls asleep at keyboard*
8 Feb 200345 Ludovica Wing Shuen Price
Hmmm...potentially promising. I caught several typos, but that doesn't detract from the whole piece. Perhaps a few of your dialogues and passages are a bit too stilted or didactic. However, there are some interesting concepts here, and I think that with a little more work it would be really good. I liked the opening, but I think there needs to be more of a feel of Wynne's past, and of the evil of the new king, because while the shades of these characters are definitely there, I'd personally say that they needed to be elaborated on a little more. Nice job with the names, and there are some pretty nice twists. Keep up the good work.
28 Oct 2003:-) Chris A Jackson
Good beginnings. Lots of emotion here. You like short sentences. Don't you?
Seriously, I love it, but it needs something... work on flow, I think. Above comments mention this, so I won't dwell.
Sentence structure: "she walked through the market browsing the place like any other woman that was there." >> "She walked through the market, browsing like any of the other women there." See what I mean?
The story is good! The plot is excellent! The main character has motivation enough! All it needs is a good edit... Oh, and a different font... This one is cool, but it kills my eyes...
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'Red Velvet - Part I':
 • Created by: :-) Brian ´Dulcet´ Bergstrom
 • Copyright: ©Brian ´Dulcet´ Bergstrom. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Agar-shabal, Brollick, Cloaked figure, Dagger, Evil, Faith, Freedom, Good, Green, Journey, Killing, King, Red velvet, Slaves, Slaying, Triumph, Tyrancy, Wynne
 • Categories: Dragons, Drakes, Wyverns, etc, Magic and Sorcery, Spells, etc.
 • Views: 451

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