Author Topic: CROWN OF VENGEANCE first five and a half pages (Chapter 1) Adult Fantasy  (Read 95 times)

Offline Jonas73

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        There would be blood. It always ended with blood.
        She swayed her sword in front of her, feeling its comforting weight. She always ended up drawing it. And why not, she would protect her queen at all costs. She would die for her. Heroic of course.
   If there was time, that was.
   With a long sigh, Tangerine sheathed her wooden sword, adjusted her king’s outfit, and got back onto her bed. In the candlelight she regarded her cousin Elisabeth, sitting on a stool in front of the mirror, dressed up like a queen and having her hair braided by Tangerine’s mother.
   Her transformation had taken well over an hour and what at first had seemed like an intriguing idea was now beginning to bore Tangerine. And just like her tenth birthday was drawing to an end, so was time to play. Outside the chamber window, darkness had settled in.
   ‘Ooh mom,’ Tangerine let vent, ‘please hurry, we do want to play King and Queen.’
   Silvia turned to look at her daughter from under strands of orange hair. ‘Dressing the queen’s hair is no small task,’ she said. ‘Be patient.’
   ‘Do make it like a queen’s,’ yearned Elisabeth.
   ‘Please hurry,’ moaned Tangerine.
   Silvia inclined her head courteously. ‘Of course, your majesties.’ Her voice over-acted grandiose.
   Surrounded by her birthday presents Tangerine watched her mother comb and braid Elisabeth’s long blond hair before laying the braid like a halo on top of her head.
   Tangerine’s flaming red hair was usually a mess. She liked it that way. Much to her mother’s disappointment. Tangerine’s love for her mother was of course boundless, but so was also her fascination with her father’s trade. She felt compelled by the excitement it contained, and the older Tangerine got the more time she spent with her father, and it had characterized her in ways her mother had difficulty coming to terms with. But Tangerine’s father, Eric Bana, merchant lord and Administrator at the Chamber of Commerce in Tol Amin, had however nothing to object to his daughter’s enthusiasm for the business he was devoted to.
   So, at the age of ten, Tangerine had seen more of the empire than any her age. She had spent weeks with her father and his caravans, traveling to places as far north as Dwarvenward and Point’s End. She had made friends with merchant lords’ children as well as mercenaries and soldiers, with whom she and her father had escaped both thieves and wolves. She had seen men die from both sickness and blades. She had seen the open plains of Athoria and the snow-wrapped peaks of the Mist Mountains beyond. And while these experiences swelled her father’s pride, they mostly worried her mother.
   About a year ago, after returning from a weeklong journey with her father, Tangerine had overheard her parents. Her mother had argued how she longed for a close daughter and mother relationship. She was sad for missing out on that, she said. That following day Tangerine had let her mother dress her hair for the first time in a very long while. It had also been the last. So, it was no wonder she took time with Elisabeth’s beautiful hair given the opportunity.
   Suddenly the door to Tangerine’s chamber opened. Eric
stood there, almost filling up the entire doorway, black hair spilling to his shoulders.
   ‘My ladies,’ he said.
   ‘Papa!’ Tangerine exclaimed. ‘Look, Elisabeth is a queen! Soon.’
   Eric came to tower over Elisabeth. ‘Indeed,’ he said. ‘But truly she makes any queen look like a barmaid, no?’ He gave Elisabeth a teasing tickle.
   Silvia threatened him with the comb. ‘Your presence is distracting the queen’s hairdresser.’
   ‘My apologies,’ Eric said with a bow. Then he turned to Tangerine and lifted her effortlessly from the bed. ‘And you, my birthday princess, want to go with me to the docks tomorrow? Need to find a new captain and ship for the Sunset Isles route.’
   ‘A new ship?’ Tangerine asked as he put her down. ‘What about The Flare?’ She had been on and seen most of the ships her father hired or owned. Even knew some of the crews.
   Eric’s eyes narrowed to display his sudden lack of enthusiasm. ‘That sard of a captain ain’t nothing but a greedy scunner, who–‘
   ‘None of that,’ Silvia snapped, shutting her husband up. ‘It’s enough your employees use that kind of language around our daughter.’
    Eric let out a long breath. ‘Sorry. Let’s just say Mathew and his ship are no longer with us. We need a new ship with a reliable captain. Will nor I can sail to the Iles.’
   ‘I’ll come,’ Tangerine said, smiling wide. She found the docks thrilling.
   ‘Good. I’ll profit from your charm, seeing how every captain is a devilishly greedy little -.’
   ‘Ha!’ laughed Silvia. ‘You’re not suggesting your charm had helped if they were women, are you?’
   Eric raised his eyebrows. ‘Naturally. You of all people should know.’ He flashed a smile before continuing. ‘But my dazzling charm we save for later. A runner arrived announcing a visitor from the chamber. We’ll be in my study.’
   Silvia frowned. ‘At this hour?’
   Eric shrugged and then looked at Elisabeth, ‘I want to see the queen before she goes to sleep. Alright?’
   ‘You will!’ Elisabeth said, smiling wide.
   Eric bowed, clumsy as a bad actor. ‘Ladies, I take my leave.’ Then he theatrically retreated from the chamber.
   Both Tangerine and her cousin giggled at the comedy. 
   After what seemed hours to Tangerine her mother finally made sure the bow on the lower back of Elisabeth’s dress was straight. Then she corrected the braided halo on her head for what must have been the fifth time.
   ‘There,’ she said, finally done.
   Tangerine sat cross-legged on her bed and watched her cousin spin in front of the mirror. She was wearing one of Tangerine’s dresses. One her mother had sewn but Tangerine only worn once. Tangerine smiled; her cousin looked amazing. Just like a queen, or like the empress herself, even. She clapped her hands. Tangerine was ready to rule their kingdom.
   ‘I do look like a queen, don’t I?’ Elisabeth said. ‘I wish mother could see me.’
   Silvia’s sister Coreen lived not far away. ‘If the weather allows it you can go home as a queen tomorrow.’
   ‘Oh, promise!’
   ‘Of course,’ Silvia said as she rose from the stool, ‘if it isn’t raining. Now, the two of you may play in here for a little while, but quietly, mind. Then it’s time for some royal sleep. Agreed?’
   Tangerine sighed. Preparing Elisabeth had dragged on and the hour was late. Her time as emperor would be short.
   ‘I need to show Eric first!’ Elisabeth suddenly exclaimed and rushed for the door.
   ‘Wait,’ Silvia said.
   But Elisabeth didn’t wait. She quickly disappeared out into the hallway.
   Tangerine darted after her. ‘Elisabeth!’
   It didn’t seem as if her cousin heard her. Elisabeth ran down the candle-lit hallway towards Eric’s study with her dress billowing around her legs. Tangerine was hurrying after, her wooden sword swaying at her side. She wasn’t a king. No. She was a soldier running down the castle hallway towards the alarm. Maybe even towards the battlements?
   Elisabeth came to a stop in front of the door to Eric’s study, a cupboard against the opposite wall towered above her.
   ‘Don’t go in,’ Tangerine said as she reached her cousin. ‘He doesn’t like being disturbed while –‘
   Too late. Elisabeth pushed the door open. ‘Eric, look!’
   What Tangerine saw took a few seconds to make sense. And when it did, she managed only a scream. As did her cousin.
   Inside his study on the floor in front of the desk her father
lay on his back. His face was slightly turned towards them, his eyes open. A ghost loomed over him. A dark foreboding figure that struck even more terror into Tangerine’s already shattering mind. The ghost held a white feather over her father’s head, but it was gone in a blink as the ghost looked up at them. Tangerine saw a long scar across the face inside the hood. It wasn’t a ghost. A person.
   Abruptly the dark figure shifted its position, pointing an accusing finger at them. There was a dull sound and Elisabeth’s scream rose to a high pitch. In the corner of her eye, Tangerine saw her cousin stumble backward and fall.
   Tangerine ran out of breath and managed only a yelp as she was suddenly hauled off the floor and hurled aside. The hallway spun and candles flickered. Then she landed face down on the red carpet. She couldn’t hear Elisabeth anymore.
   ‘Get up!’ someone yelled. ‘Up, Tan, up!’ It was her mother’s voice!
   Tangerine tried to stand, but her body wouldn’t obey. Her legs felt sturdy as strings of rope. There was a deafening sound as the cupboard suddenly slammed into the doorframe to her father’s study, shutter glass and crockery showering into the room. Tangerine was then brutally dragged to her feet.
   ‘Come!’ her mother yelled, pulling her along.
   Down the corridor her mother pulled her, back towards her room; the broken cupboard blocking the only way to the staircase. Tangerine could still see her father’s face staring at her from where he lay on the floor. Was he dead? What was happening? And where was Elisabeth? Had her mother pushed the cupboard down on top of her? Incomprehensible thoughts and panic never felt before sized her.
   Just as they reached Tangerine’s room she saw the black figure crawl out from the space between the floor and the cupboard.
   Then they were inside. 
   ‘Mama…’
   Her mother didn’t answer. She slammed the door shut and turned the key. Then she pushed one of Tangerine’s drawers to block the door. Moments later the door shook as the man on the other side must have hurled himself at it.
    ‘Mama!’ Tangerine cried, her tears pouring down her cheeks. She was trembling uncontrollably. 
   Her mother finally knelt in front of her, squeezing her for comfort. ‘I’m here, baby. I’m here.’
   Tangerine buried her head in her mother’s hair. Lavender.  ‘Mom, what was  –‘
   A loud crash cut her off as the man tackled the door so hard one of the hinges came loose from the doorframe.
   Her mother rose. ‘Come!’
   Tangerine was pulled through her chamber. She caught a glimpse of her presents on the bed, and the stool in front of her dressing table where Elisabeth had sat only minutes earlier. Her mother stopped by the narrow window.
   ‘Don’t move,’ she told her.
   As her mother reached to open the latches on the window there came another crash from the door. Suddenly a cool breeze swept into the chamber, candle flames fluttered and shadows sprang alive.
   ‘Help!’ her mother cried. ‘Help us!’
   The river Amin cut the city of Tol Amin in half, running straight through the Merchant district of the city, right past the back of their house. The smell from the city mixed with the salty smell from the river found its way into the chamber.
   As her mother got down from the window ledge there was another tackle on the door, but the sturdy oak from the north held fast. For now.
   ‘Baby, you’ve got to climb out,’ she said, squatting down in front of Tangerine. ‘You must crawl –‘
   ‘No!’ Tangerine interrupted, knowing what her mother was
suggesting. ‘No, mama. No.’
   Again the door shook violently, leaving a deafening sound to which Tangerine cried out in fear.
   Her mother took her by her arms. ‘Listen, baby. I can’t fit through, but you can.’ Her voice was trembling. ‘You’ll have to swim hard…downstream, okay? Go to aunt Coreen. You hear?’
   Tangerine threw her arms around her mother’s neck and clung there, panicking. ‘I can’t!’ she cried, choking on her sobs. She couldn’t believe what her mother was suggesting. ‘I won’t… I won’t!’
   ‘You must. And you can!’ Her mother’s voice fell apart. ‘He will kill us.’
   The next tackle almost forced the lock on the door to give in and what her mother did then frightened Tangerine as much as the killer on the other side of the door. She dragged, then pushed Tangerine up onto the ledge beneath the window. Tangerine started to kick and scream in protest, panicking, but her mother didn’t stop. She kept pushing Tangerine towards the opening, and suddenly the cool night seized her in its deathly grip. Tangerine franticly tried to grab hold of the window frame to keep herself from being pushed out. In that struggle, their eyes met.
   ‘You’ll be fine, baby,’ her mother said.
   ‘No!’
   Behind her mother, the door was starting to break.
   Silvia pushed Tangerine farther out.
   Tangerine pleaded, franticly trying to grab hold of anything within reach as the cold oppressing night engulfed her. ‘No! Please!’ 
   Her mother was crying. The situation was nothing but unreal. Absurd. Tangerine was half kneeling, half lying on the windowsill, pushed out there by her mother, and glittering two stories beneath her was the rushing water of the river.
   ‘Mama!’ Tangerine wept.
   ‘Baby, you have to slide over,’ her mother pleaded just as a heavy crash announced the door breaking. Pleading turned to panic. ‘Climb down, Tan, climb!’
   Coming to a painful realization, Tangerine obeyed and slowly climbed, or slid, over the edge. Her mother leaned after, giving her as much arm to hold on to as possible. Tangerine dangled in the air, cold and draughty.
   ‘Remember to swim, baby,’ her mother wept.
   There were sounds from inside, wood breaking, things falling or tossed aside. This was really it. No matter how unreal, this was their goodbye.
   ‘I love you,’ her mother said. ‘Forever.’
   Tangerine cried as she slid down her mother’s arm, her hands finally cramping around the end of the sleeve, her strength ebbing away with every second. She glanced up and saw her mother’s hair in the breeze. The very last she would see of her.
   ‘Now let go and -’
   Her mother’s arm suddenly jerked violently, followed by a muffled scream before her arm went deadly limp. Tangerine closed her eyes tight.
   Doing what her mother had told her, she let go.
   The air rushed by her.
   It felt like forever before she struck the water.
   And when she did, she still hadn’t drawn enough breath. Ice- cold water engulfed her. Ice-cold fear too. Her vision filled with dark water and swirling bubbles. Her ears filled with the fury of the river, its current pulling her down. Down into the murky depth. She couldn’t breathe. She panicked, she kicked her legs and flailed her arms. She had to swim. She had to swim hard.
   Just like her mother had told her to.

Offline MFeuerman

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Re: CROWN OF VENGEANCE first five and a half pages (Chapter 1) Adult Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2023, 08:49:26 PM »
Hello,

I like you pages.  I think you have an interesting story, but it needs some cleaning up.  Here's my second shot at it.  The first erased halfway through.  Argh! 


There would be blood. It always ended with blood.  I'd lose the first sentence.  This second one is great.
        She swayed her sword in front of her, feeling its comforting weight. She always ended up drawing it. And why not, she would protect her queen at all costs. She would die for her. Heroic of course.
   If there was time, that was.  This is confusing.  If there were time for blood and death.
   With a long sigh, Tangerine sheathed her wooden sword, adjusted her king’s outfit, and got back onto her bed. In the candlelight she regarded her cousin Elisabeth, sitting on a stool in front of the mirror, dressed up like a queen and having her hair braided by Tangerine’s mother.
   Her transformation had taken well over an hour and what at first had seemed like an intriguing idea was now beginning to bore Tangerine. And just like her tenth birthday was drawing to an end, so was time to play. Outside the chamber window, darkness had settled in.  Just like her tenth birthday, play time was drawing to an end.
   ‘Ooh mom,’ Tangerine let vent vented , ‘please hurry, we do want to play King and Queen.’ You should use double quotes for dialogue.
   Silvia turned to look at her daughter from under strands of orange hair. ‘Dressing the queen’s hair is no small task,’ she said. ‘Be patient.’
   ‘Do make it like a queen’s,’ yearned Elisabeth. demanded?
   ‘Please hurry,’ moaned Tangerine.
   Silvia inclined her head courteously. ‘Of course, your majesties.’ Her voice over-acted grandiose. Her voice was grandiose.
   Surrounded by her birthday presents Tangerine watched her mother comb and braid Elisabeth’s long blond hair before laying the braid like a halo on top of her head.
   Tangerine’s flaming red hair was usually a mess. She liked it that way. Much to her mother’s disappointment. Tangerine’s love for her mother was of course boundless, but so was also her fascination with her father’s trade. She felt compelled by the excitement it contained, and the older Tangerine got the more time she spent with her father, and it had characterized her in ways her mother had difficulty coming to terms with. But Tangerine’s father, Eric Bana, merchant lord and Administrator at the Chamber of Commerce in Tol Amin, had however nothing to object to his daughter’s enthusiasm for the business he was devoted to. Eric Bana was an actor--he may still be an actor.  I suggest that you find a new name.
   So, at the age of ten, Tangerine had seen more of the empire than any her age. She had spent weeks with her father and his caravans, traveling to places as far north as Dwarvenward and Point’s End. She had made friends with merchant lords’ children as well as mercenaries and soldiers, with whom she and her father had escaped both thieves and wolves. She had seen men die from both sickness and blades. She had seen the open plains of Athoria and the snow-wrapped peaks of the Mist Mountains beyond. And while these experiences swelled her father’s pride, they mostly worried her mother.
   About a year ago, after returning from a weeklong journey with her father, Tangerine had overheard her parents. Her mother had argued how she longed for a close daughter and mother relationship. She was sad for missing out on that, she said. That following day Tangerine had let her mother dress her hair for the first time in a very long while. It had also been the last. So, it was no wonder she took time with Elisabeth’s beautiful hair given the opportunity.
   Suddenly the door to Tangerine’s chamber opened. Eric
stood there, almost filling up the entire doorway, black hair spilling to his shoulders.
   ‘My ladies,’ he said.
   ‘Papa!’ Tangerine exclaimed. ‘Look, Elisabeth is a queen! Soon.’
   Eric came to tower over Elisabeth. ‘Indeed,’ he said. ‘But truly she makes any queen look like a barmaid, no?’ He gave Elisabeth a teasing tickle.
   Silvia threatened him with the comb. ‘Your presence is distracting the queen’s hairdresser.’
   ‘My apologies,’ Eric said with a bow. Then he turned to Tangerine and lifted her effortlessly from the bed. ‘And you, my birthday princess, want to go with me to the docks tomorrow? Need to find a new captain and ship for the Sunset Isles route.’
   ‘A new ship?’ Tangerine asked as he put her down. ‘What about The Flare?’ She had been on and seen most of the ships her father hired or owned. Even knew some of the crews.
   Eric’s eyes narrowed to display his sudden lack of enthusiasm. ‘That sard of a captain ain’t nothing but a greedy scunner, who–‘
   ‘None of that,’ Silvia snapped, shutting her husband up. ‘It’s enough your employees use that kind of language around our daughter.’
    Eric let out a long breath. ‘Sorry. Let’s just say Mathew and his ship are no longer with us. We need a new ship with a reliable captain. Will nor I can sail to the Iles.’ Neither Will nor I...
   ‘I’ll come,’ Tangerine said, smiling wide. She found the docks thrilling.
   ‘Good. I’ll profit from your charm, seeing how every captain is a devilishly greedy little -.’
   ‘Ha!’ laughed Silvia. ‘You’re not suggesting your charm had helped if they were women, are you?’
   Eric raised his eyebrows. ‘Naturally. You of all people should know.’ He flashed a smile before continuing. ‘But my dazzling charm we save for later. A runner arrived announcing a visitor from the chamber. We’ll be in my study.’
   Silvia frowned. ‘At this hour?’
   Eric shrugged and then looked at Elisabeth, ‘I want to see the queen before she goes to sleep. Alright?’
   ‘You will!’ Elisabeth said, smiling wide.
   Eric bowed, clumsy as a bad actor. ‘Ladies, I take my leave.’ Then he theatrically retreated from the chamber.
   Both Tangerine and her cousin giggled at the comedy.
   After what seemed hours to Tangerine her mother finally made sure the bow on the lower back of Elisabeth’s dress was straight. Then she corrected the braided halo on her head for what must have been the fifth time.
   ‘There,’ she said, finally done.
   Tangerine sat cross-legged on her bed and watched her cousin spin in front of the mirror. She was wearing one of Tangerine’s dresses. One her mother had sewn but Tangerine only worn once. Tangerine smiled; her cousin looked amazing. Just like a queen, or like the empress herself, even. She clapped her hands. Tangerine was ready to rule their kingdom.
   ‘I do look like a queen, don’t I?’ Elisabeth said. ‘I wish mother could see me.’
   Silvia’s sister Coreen lived not far away. ‘If the weather allows it you can go home as a queen tomorrow.’
   ‘Oh, promise!’
   ‘Of course,’ Silvia said as she rose from the stool, ‘if it isn’t raining. Now, the two of you may play in here for a little while, but quietly, mind. Then it’s time for some royal sleep. Agreed?’
   Tangerine sighed. Preparing Elisabeth had dragged on and the hour was late. Her time as emperor would be short.
   ‘I need to show Eric first!’ Elisabeth suddenly exclaimed and rushed for the door.
   ‘Wait,’ Silvia said.
   But Elisabeth didn’t wait. She quickly disappeared out into the hallway.
   Tangerine darted after her. ‘Elisabeth!’
   It didn’t seem as if her cousin heard her. Elisabeth ran down the candle-lit hallway towards Eric’s study with her dress billowing around her legs. Tangerine was hurrying after, her wooden sword swaying at her side. She wasn’t a king. No. She was a soldier running down the castle hallway towards the alarm. Maybe even towards the battlements?
   Elisabeth came to a stop in front of the door to Eric’s study, a cupboard against the opposite wall towered above her.
   ‘Don’t go in,’ Tangerine said as she reached her cousin. ‘He doesn’t like being disturbed while –‘
   Too late. Elisabeth pushed the door open. ‘Eric, look!’
   What Tangerine saw took a few seconds to make sense. And when it did, she managed only a scream. As did her cousin.
   Inside his study on the floor in front of the desk her father
lay on his back. His face was slightly turned towards them, his eyes open. A ghost loomed over him. A dark foreboding figure that struck even more terror into Tangerine’s already shattering mind. The ghost held a white feather over her father’s head, but it was gone in a blink as the ghost looked up at them. Tangerine saw a long scar across the face inside the hood. It wasn’t a ghost. A person.
   Abruptly the dark figure shifted its position, pointing an accusing finger at them. There was a dull sound and Elisabeth’s scream rose to a high pitch. In the corner of her eye, Tangerine saw her cousin stumble backward and fall.
   Tangerine ran out of breath and managed only a yelp as she was suddenly hauled off the floor and hurled aside. The hallway spun and candles flickered. Then she landed face down on the red carpet. She couldn’t hear Elisabeth anymore.
   ‘Get up!’ someone yelled. ‘Up, Tan, up!’ It was her mother’s voice!
   Tangerine tried to stand, but her body wouldn’t obey. Her legs felt sturdy as strings of rope.  nice There was a deafening sound as the cupboard suddenly slammed into the doorframe to her father’s study, shutter shattered glass and crockery showering into the room. Tangerine was then brutally dragged to her feet.
   ‘Come!’ her mother yelled, pulling her along.
   Down the corridor her mother pulled her, back towards her room; the broken cupboard blocking the only way to the staircase. Tangerine could still see her father’s face staring at her from where he lay on the floor. Was he dead? What was happening? And where was Elisabeth? Had her mother pushed the cupboard down on top of her? Incomprehensible thoughts and panic never felt before sized her.
   Just as they reached Tangerine’s room she saw the black figure crawl out from the space between the floor and the cupboard.
   Then they were inside.
   ‘Mama…’
   Her mother didn’t answer. She slammed the door shut and turned the key. Then she pushed one of Tangerine’s drawers to block the door. Moments later the door shook as the man on the other side must have hurled himself at it.
    ‘Mama!’ Tangerine cried, her tears pouring down her cheeks. She was trembling uncontrollably.
   Her mother finally knelt in front of her, squeezing her for comfort. ‘I’m here, baby. I’m here.’
   Tangerine buried her head in her mother’s hair. Lavender.  ‘Mom, what was  –‘  Why the change from Mama to Mom?  To me, Mom is too modern, too American.
   A loud crash cut her off as the man tackled the door so hard one of the hinges came loose from the doorframe.
   Her mother rose. ‘Come!’
   Tangerine was pulled through her chamber. She caught a glimpse of her presents on the bed, and the stool in front of her dressing table where Elisabeth had sat only minutes earlier. Her mother stopped by the narrow window. Nice.
   ‘Don’t move,’ she told her.
   As her mother reached to open the latches on the window there came another crash from the door. Suddenly a cool breeze swept into the chamber, candle flames fluttered and shadows sprang alive.
   ‘Help!’ her mother cried. ‘Help us!’
   The river Amin cut the city of Tol Amin in half, running straight through the Merchant district of the city, right past the back of their house. The smell from the city mixed with the salty smell from the river found its way into the chamber.
   As her mother got down from the window ledge there was another tackle on the door, but the sturdy oak from the north held fast. For now. use a word other than tackle
   ‘Baby, you’ve got to climb out,’ she said, squatting down in front of Tangerine. ‘You must crawl –‘
   ‘No!’ Tangerine interrupted, knowing what her mother was
suggesting. ‘No, mama. No.’ Mama
   Again the door shook violently, leaving a deafening sound to which Tangerine cried out in fear.
   Her mother took her by her arms. ‘Listen, baby. I can’t fit through, but you can.’ Her voice was trembling. ‘You’ll have to swim hard…downstream, okay? Go to aunt AuntCoreen. You hear?’
   Tangerine threw her arms around her mother’s neck and clung there, panicking. ‘I can’t!’ she cried, choking on her sobs. She couldn’t believe what her mother was suggesting. ‘I won’t… I won’t!’
   ‘You must. And you can!’ Her mother’s voice fell apart. ‘He will kill us.’
   The next tackle almost forced the lock on the door to give in and what her mother did then frightened Tangerine as much as the killer on the other side of the door. She dragged, then pushed Tangerine up onto the ledge beneath the window. Tangerine started to kick and scream in protest, panicking, but her mother didn’t stop. She kept pushing Tangerine towards the opening, and suddenly the cool night seized her in its deathly grip. Tangerine franticly tried to grab hold of the window frame to keep herself from being pushed out. In that struggle, their eyes met.
   ‘You’ll be fine, baby,’ her mother said.
   ‘No!’
   Behind her mother, the door was starting to break.
   Silvia pushed Tangerine farther out.
   Tangerine pleaded, franticly trying to grab hold of anything within reach as the cold oppressing night engulfed her. ‘No! Please!’
   Her mother was crying. The situation was nothing but unreal. Absurd. Tangerine was half kneeling, half lying on the windowsill, pushed out there by her mother, and glittering two stories beneath her was the rushing water of the river.
   ‘Mama!’ Tangerine wept.
   ‘Baby, you have to slide over,’ her mother pleaded just as a heavy crash announced the door breaking. Pleading turned to panic. ‘Climb down, Tan, climb!’
   Coming to a painful realization, Tangerine obeyed and slowly climbed, or slid, over the edge. Her mother leaned after, giving her as much arm to hold on to as possible. Tangerine dangled in the air, cold and draughty.
   ‘Remember to swim, baby,’ her mother wept.
   There were sounds from inside, wood breaking, things falling or tossed aside. This was really it. No matter how unreal, this was their goodbye.
   ‘I love you,’ her mother said. ‘Forever.’  beautiful, poignant, tears in my eyes
   Tangerine cried as she slid down her mother’s arm, her hands finally cramping around the end of the sleeve, her strength ebbing away with every second. She glanced up and saw her mother’s hair in the breeze. The very last she would see of her.
   ‘Now let go and -’
   Her mother’s arm suddenly jerked violently, followed by a muffled scream before her arm went deadly limp. Tangerine closed her eyes tight.
   Doing what her mother had told her, she let go.
   The air rushed by her.
   It felt like forever before she struck the water.
   And when she did, she still hadn’t drawn enough breath. Ice- cold water engulfed her. Ice-cold fear too. Her vision filled with dark water and swirling bubbles. Her ears filled with the fury of the river, its current pulling her down. Down into the murky depth. She couldn’t breathe. She panicked, she kicked her legs and flailed her arms. She had to swim. She had to swim hard.
   Just like her mother had told her to.

I think you have good action and realistic dialogue.  I wish you the best of luck.

Offline Jonas73

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Re: CROWN OF VENGEANCE first five and a half pages (Chapter 1) Adult Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2023, 12:25:12 PM »
Thank you for the input, and your time! :)