Friday, May 14, 2010

The Dark King, Part 7 (Seven)

Sorry if the diverse titles are bothering you. :D I'm trying to keep the site problems down to a minimum.

Remember, point out any mistakes (I've noticed that less people are doing so. C'mon, you know you have it in you!)

Okay, the suspenseful part. You're going to find out what the title means this time around. :D

The Dark King
Part Seven

By Jake

Haas and Jarz whirled around and found themselves face to face with a twisted, black shape that flickered gray colors. Again, Jarz had an overwhelming urge to flee.

“The Dark King...” Haas said boldly. “I've heard of you. Nothing good, of course.”

Jarz stared incredulously at Haas. Was he trying to get them killed?

“You are responsible for the death of my kinsman.” the Dark King hissed.

Haas smiled. “No, really, it was Saar acting through me.”

The Dark King screeched, making Jarz cover his ears. “Do not say that name!”

“Saar.” Haas said impudently. “Saar.”

The Dark King screeched again and drew his sword. Haas drew his as well.

“You shall pay.” the Dark King hissed.

“Saar shall destroy you.” Haas returned.

With an unearthly shriek, the Dark King slashed at Haas, almost faster than the eye could see. As fast as the Dark King was, Haas was faster. Haas sidestepped and gave the Dark King a gash on the shoulder. “That will give you something to think about.” Haas spat.

The two exchanged furious blows of black steel and white blade. The Dark King may have been stronger and more skillful, but Haas was quicker. He seemed to be everywhere at once, always on the defensive unless the Dark King made a mistake. Then, Haas would strike a blow.

Jarz stood on the edge of the heated battle, watching. Something told him that it was between Haas and the Dark King alone.

All of a sudden, Haas finally made a mistake, and the Dark King leaped forward to deliver a strike. Haas twisted, but the blade gashed his cheek. The Dark King was carried forward by his momentum, and Haas saw his chance. He slashed swiftly at the Dark King's back.

A howl came from the Dark King as the blade struck, and he suddenly dissolved like water and disappeared.

"That," Haas said, panting, "was for Saar."

Haas was breathing heavily, holding a hand to his slashed cheek. Taking his shirt, he ripped a strip off of it and made a crude bandage.

“That'll leave a handsome scar.” he said, wincing.

Jarz rolled his eyes. “Come, let's get out of here. Did you kill it?”

Haas shook his head. “No, but the Dark King has lost his strength and will hide somewhere and recuperate. He will not bother anyone for a long time.”

Jarz wanted to ask more questions, but he knew that if he asked, Haas would find away to avoid it in a way that Jarz couldn't press him for more.

The two made their way to the woods, and didn't encounter any soldiers. The camp was deserted.

As Jarz walked, he realized, startled, that the light was dimming, and he could hear crickets chirping in the underbrush. The battle had taken longer than he had thought.

When they made it into the woods, the villagers appeared from nowhere and began asking what had happened. Szifa was among them; he had been with the archers most of the time.

Jarz let Haas tell the tale, too tired to do anything but walk.

When they finally made it to the village, Haas, Jarz, and Szila plead weariness and retired to bed after taking a bath and a change of clothes.


Gwendolyn said...

Hee. ^^ I didn't want to keep being the lone critic. But I shall resume, if you wish.

First of all. Good scene! Congratulations on building suspense, and leading up to a face-off like this. You did a good job of keeping it from Jerz's perspective, so we saw it all through his eyes. I enjoyed reading it, and I suspect you enjoyed writing it too.

And now to point out some major killers in this scene. Telling. Try to smooth it out, and replace the telling with showing. Instead of saying that Haas was faster, demonstrate. Also, Jarz is definitely not going to be keeping a running mental commentary on the duel, as if he was sitting in front of a television watching a movie. He's right there. Try achieving that effect of standing in his shoes, instead of making the reader feel like a narrator is relating the scene as it unfolds. You kept it to Jarz's perspective, yes, but you didn't quite achieve the sense of being inside his mind, behind his eyes, etc. And one more thing. Aren't they acting a little too nonchalant about the whole thing? I mean, tumbling down a strange hole, meeting a strange civilization and an even stranger guy with secrets, kidnapping, battle... And Jarz takes it all in stride as if it was simply another day on the job. <_< Plus - it almost seems as if the action is moving WAY too fast. One thing I've noticed in most teenagers' writing (including my own), and even a few published books, is the tendency to speed things up to a dizzying pace. It leaves the reader with a series of momentary pictures and impressions, but no sense of substance. You might want to solidify and expand, then.

That is all. =) I await the final part. Very nice work so far. ^^

Eldra said...

I agree with what Gwendolyn said, especially about Szifa and Jarz (in particular) being far too nonchalant about what's going on. I know that if I were to be dumped into this whole thing, I wouldn't know what to do. Maybe you could try making them a little more confused and less eager to help. I also agree that you need to show more than tell (though who am I to be criticizing you? I'm having major problems with that myself!). But the actual storyline is great and I'm looking forward to eventually reading your novel! You will let us know when it comes out, hm?

~God Bless~

Jake said...

@Gwendolyn; Thanks for the feedback! I definitely know now that I'll be hard at work with editing/rewriting this soon. :D Thanks again!


LOL! Yep, I'll definitely let you know if I have any news on my novel. :D

Since this started out as a offhand sort of story (no planning whatsoever, it just kind of ran it's own way) I didn't pay as much attention to the general quality of writing as I usually do in my novels. After all, it DID start out as a language arts story. :D

But I'll be editing it, and hopefully posting the new and improved version on a page on my blog. Thanks again, everybody!