Chapter One

As promised here is the first chapter to my book.  It’s subject to change before I publish my book but I think it sets up the story nicely so I thought I’d share it.  It’s a short chapter, only 927 words, but like I said it sets up everything for the longer 3k-5k word chapters.  Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!

Chapter One: The Injury

“For a thousand years the four ancient races had been separated by vast oceans.  Each race lived on an island continent that to them made up the entirety of their world.  These races had formed their own kingdoms and ways of life independent and unaware of the possibility that other races existed beyond the oceans.  However, when the portals to Etherea were opened this all changed.”

–          History  of Etherea Book III, From the Archives of the Ethereans

The pain in his gut woke Vespasian. He grabbed at his side and felt the sticky blood soaked bandages that covered his wound. He tried to sit up but was instantly pushed back down by a woman leaning over him.

“Don’t try to sit up, you’re lucky just to be alive.” The voice was soft but firm.  “If the wound didn’t kill you I was sure Alexandrus would want too. You know how he and the council feel about people wandering that far past the outpost walls without protection.”

Vespasian tried to reply but no sound would come out of his mouth.  His hazel eyes lost focus as he tried to remember what happened to him.

I remember being dared by the guys at the Academy to go to the river’s bend and bring back proof.  But what happened to me?  I must have blacked out before it happened.

The river’s bend was only a few miles from the outpost but residents of the fort were forbidden to leave the nearby area without proper gear or a combatant as an escort.  Leaving the safety of the fort walls alone without yet graduating from combatant school was an intense dare indeed.  It would not be until his graduation that Vespasian would receive his weapons enabling him to protect himself.  The combatants of Vespasian’s outpost were still trying to clear the area of dangerous creatures but it didn’t seem to do much good.  Whether the creatures killed were Scrawlers, Enrasects, Kobolds, or anything else they always seemed to come back with their numbers uninjured.

“You seem so much taller than me now.” Vespasian spoke softly as he looked up at Alysia. He had always picked on her for being shorter than him.  Alysia smiled.  She was happy that he seemed like his normal self even though he was pretty badly injured.

“I seem so much taller because you look so pathetic laying there injured.  This was another one of your stupid stunts wasn’t it?”

“Yea well I…just wanted to…” Vespasian had passed out yet again; his body was exhausted from fighting to stay alive.  He was indeed lucky, but he was also alive because of the medical attention he was receiving from Alysia.

Alysia ran her gentle hands through his short brown hair.  As she stared down at Vespasian she thought to herself “You dumb boy.  You’re always doing stupid things to prove that you’re no different than anyone else in the fort.  Why does it matter to you what others think?  Can’t you just focus on the important things?”

Alysia pinned her hair back in a bun to keep the long strands of dirty blonde hair from dangling in her face.  It is not how she always wore it but this was her hairstyle when she was trying to be serious and get work done.  If Vespasian would have been conscious he would have noticed this and smirked at how serious she was taking his injury.  Vespasian and Alysia had been friends for as long as they could remember and so they knew each other very well.

Here the two were, one sitting as the caregiver and the other as the injured as had happened so many times before.  Unlike all the other times though, Alysia had never seen Vespasian hurt so badly.

Alysia thought to herself.  “I remember the first stupid dare that got you hurt.  When you were seven you were dared by the guys at the Academy to climb the guard tower without using the ladder.  You got three quarters the way up one of the legs of the tower before you slipped and fell.  It took my mother all day to stitch you up.  I remember thinking how stupid you were but I felt so bad for you.  I can’t stand to see you hurt Vespasian, why can’t you just realize the stunts don’t prove anything.”

Alysia spent the next couple hours watching over Vespasian in hopes that he would wake again.  She would have given anything up if she could ensure that he would never be hurt again.

Vespasian started to wake once more but this time he did not try to fight Alysia to get up.  He stared up at her deep brown eyes and gave a gentle smile to let her know he was all right.  He slowly turned his head away from Alysia and stared at the bleak tan walls at his side.

What happened to me?  I don’t even remember anything attacking me.  Was it last night that I was attacked or was it the night before?  Or maybe I’ve been out even longer than that.

He could not remember what happened and that bothered him deeply.  All he could remember was the feeling of the fear and pain that ran through him that night.  Maybe he did pass out before the blow that injured him was dealt from whatever it was that attacked him.  But that didn’t explain one question that kept running through his mind.

How did I get back to the outpost alive?


~ by robertsinferno on August 28, 2009.

2 Responses to “Chapter One”

  1. You have a pretty decent start there. Alysia is nicely established as being gentle and warm. Vespasian comes across as needing to prove himself for reasons unknown (I think it’s fine not to know at this point). Ending on the question is good too.

    I have some concerns about reflecting on something that has happened instead of having something happen. There is some narrative that I think slows things down. I’m also not sure about having two POV switches in 970 words.

    I could give a more detailed critique if you want, but I’d have to email that instead of doing it here.

    • Thanks for the comment. As I put in my other posts I’m always open to critiques. I understand how the POV switch and narration can come across but its part of the story, changing those two things especially with it being only 970 words would change the start of the story.

      However, if you have other critiques or ever want to critique other chapters just email me at I’m usually very open to changing most things, I’ve just already beat my head against the wall over this chapter and keeping the POV switch and narration even though you’re very correct about it being abnormal writing.

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