I figured today would be a good time to post a small excerpt from one of the two stories I’m currently working on. PLEASE NOTE: what I’m about to post is a pre-draft meaning if I was asked to submit a draft of this work somewhere, it would have to undergo some sort of fine tuning to be presentable. As you will see, there are a bunch of inconsistencies in it (different styles of writing, different character voice, wrong pacing and of course a great deal of filter words) and of course the ever-existing language barrier issue. By no means this is supposed to be an end result or a finished product. Hopefully, next week I will be able to present you with a finished and published product. Feel free to critique keeping in mind that it’s a pre-draft work.
This scene is taken from a larger one where the main character of that chapter (Jalea) escapes with the help of her soldiers. The setting is medieval fantasy and it’s an action scene, so there aren’t many thoughts and emotions. Here goes.
They sped down broad avenues until they reached the gates of the Great Divider; the place where history mentioned all those who had drowned each uprising in a sea of blood. Just like the sergeant had said, the gates were open and waiting for them.
Jalea’s heart raced when she saw the guards on the gatehouse. She didn’t trust anything from this city. Her sergeant had placed his trust on the money he paid; that it would be enough for them to escape but to her it seemed as if he had forgotten they were in a viper’s nest.
Any moment, she thought. The gates will close and we will be trapped. My men will die for my folly. The only thing that kept her in touch with reality was the isochronous beating the horses’ hooves made on the paved road. Her breathing caught in her throat. She tightened her grip on the reins, felt the rough leather against her skin.
And then the shadow of the gatehouse was over her head. In less than a heartbeat, they left it behind them. She exhaled a sigh of relief and her muscles relaxed, as the first barrier was behind them.
Eventually, they reached the Main Road, a broader and far filthier version of the avenues of the upper city and they were able to pick up pace again.
She tried hard to make up any sound coming from the palace over the snorts and galloping the horses made but failed to hear anything. Just a little longer. Just a little more before they find the gagged guards, she thought.
Then the dark gatehouse entered her field of view, its doors open and the land – golden from the grain fields that stretched beyond it. A thin tear line streaked the end of her eyes as she let out a relieved gasp. It stood before them only a few tens of yards, welcoming them, bidding them to cross it.
And then the bells tolled. First one of them – the cathedral, she thought – then another mimicked it; then another one and before she had drawn a breath she thought the entire upper city’s bell rang.
The guards at the gates looked up at the palace – the ringing had taken them all out of their laziness – then at the speeding riders. They scrambled to place themselves in front of the gate, all three of them, with their spears and halberds.
Jalea saw them getting lowered progressively, saw the sun’s gleam sliding across their surface and she held her breath.
She glimpsed the fear in the guard’s eyes as he stood against a wall of trampling muscles twice his size, charging straight at him. One of her men’s foot stretched and caught the guard squarely on the face, blood and teeth landing on the ground.
A yell from her right made her turn her head to that direction, only a moment too late. She witnessed the descending shadow of the rider next to her, followed by a desperate neigh full of pain and agony. She stretched her head as far as she could and saw another one of her riders coming crushing down on the one that had fallen half a heartbeat before. Rider and horse tumbled in the air and landed with the man’s head first and the horse on top of him. A few feet away from them was the third guard’s body, trampled, his face marred by mud and blood. She closed her eyes and wept for her men.
And then the sun filled her with that strange and somehow blinding red darkness, as the sun shone through her shut eyelids; sun from everywhere. They were out of the city. Behind them the ringing bells carried the message loud and clear; seize them, kill them.
Feel free to comment below but keep in mind this is work in progress.