I - Come and sit by the fire...

I - Come and sit by the fire...

A Chapter by Leigh

'Come and sit by the fire and I will tell you my story'

 

'I am old now and my bones are cold, but the warmth from the fire gives me enough strength and in it there is a light, there is a memory and a tale to tell. Looking into the flames, my eyes are taken away and I am in the world of the past. Although it was many years ago, it is a clear and unerring place and it is as though it was yesterday. First of all, I will always remember the place of my birth.'

[][][][]

 

The southern British kingdom of Arun was all too aware of the imminent invasion from the mainland and so prepared itself. Its king, Duerra had three sons and he used each for a different aspect of the preparation. The eldest son, Alfos was to make ready for war and so spent much of his time amassing an army and constructing defences. The second son, Bezon was given the task of gathering information and was sent abroad as a spy, under the guise of a peace envoy. The third son, Caratacos, who was considered a fool and a weakling was in charge of the elderly king's escape route; should it be necessary.

 

In Rome at the heart of the empire of Italia a new emperor named Cicero had been appointed and as all emperors before him he needed a way to prove himself, to prove he had been there, to make his mark. He had come to power when the empire had grown to its fullest, quite naturally, over a period of centuries. All the known world that could provide benefit was conquered. It seemed there was nothing more to do, but looking over at the map of the world again, his eyes were in some desperation drawn to the outlying extremities of the empire. There was the cold and desolate island, sub-continent of Briton, that was inhabited by savages and feuding tribes. It had nothing to offer and certainly posed no threat, but would make a morale boosting victory and expansion, if conquered. Further up the map the Norselands sat, waiting to be plucked. They also posed no threat, but would nicely complete the Italia map of Europa. Then to the west the recent uprising in already colonised Spania needed to be quashed; it was unacceptable and could not be seen to be allowed to continue. These three remaining areas would be perfect for Cicero’s opening address in the main arena as part of his inauguration ceremony.




© 2019 Leigh


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Featured Review

In interesting opening, certainly has me curious and wanting to read more. Only a couple of things I want to mention with this chapter:

. "He had come to power at a time when the empire had grown to its fullest, quite naturally over a period of time". I don't think you need to use "time" twice in this sentence. Also, perhaps you could specify how long the Empire has been growing?

. "Further up the map the Norselands sat, waiting to be plucked, they also posed no threat, but would complete the Italia map of Europa." I think this sentence would be better as two. "...waiting to be plucked. They also posed no..."

Besides that, this is a good opening chapter and I'm curious to read on.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Leigh

4 Years Ago

That is a great review, with some helpful comments thank you



Reviews

This read well... and the next will draw more eyes.

Posted 2 Months Ago


Leigh

1 Month Ago

Oh yeah - 100%
I plan to be involved with the whole thing. It's awesome to see you have so much work on this. Sure, there might be some edits needed here or there. Getting Beta readers is always very helpful and keeps you looking forwards while others point out corrections. Look forward to reading more of your works!

Posted 7 Months Ago


Leigh

7 Months Ago

I hope you enjoy it - thank you
'come and sit by the fir...'
Leigh,
This was a joy to read. I found the ancient stage an enticing place to enter the beginning of your characters and what and how they would come to be. Looking forward to the next story.
Kathy

Posted 9 Months Ago


Leigh

9 Months Ago

Great - thank you
A very amazing starting and love the character of the king. Keep on writing. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

6 Months Ago

Thank you for your review - I am glad you like it 😊
Irenic

1 Month Ago

:))))))))) thanks!!!!
Looks like the start of another must read. Valentine

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Let's hope so
You are straight up talented. Great writing as always. Thank You.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

You are welcome and thank you
This is set up to be an interesting piece of historical fiction. This chapter is the ground work. I'd like to know what side the grandfather was sitting on, though. That could be clearer. Also make sure you edit for punctuation. If nothing else add the free Grammmarly extension here. The last two sentences of the opening both need commas. That is a outlook, but something that needs to be looked at.

Overall, this sounds like something that will make an enjoyable read. I will watch to see where you take it.

Posted 3 Years Ago


This comment has been deleted by the poster.
This comment has been deleted by this chapters author.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Before I start let me assure you that I do not intend to be mean, I'm just giving my honest opinion and that is in no way absolute. It is just that - an opinion. Others seemed to have enjoyed the chapter, so if you feel that my feedback is too harsh or my critique unjustified, it is your prerogative to ignore or even delete it. Thank heaven there are different people in the world and not all of us think/like/read/write the same :-)

That said, I'm afraid I have several problems with your text. Even though it is really short, I had troubles to stay focused and that is a result of the way it is told. I'm sure you've heard the maxim "Show, don't tell" as all of us have heard ad nauseam, but there is a good reason why people keep saying that. The problem with dry narration is that it doesn't draw the reader in, it doesn't get him or her invested in what is happening. Many readers - myself included - need someone to relate to, someone we care about before we care about the events around him or her.

There is also another rule (incidentally attributed to Cicero ;-)) called the five Ws; a writer should usually address those in a story - Who, when, where, what and why. In this story there's just someone telling me to sit down. I don't know who it is, whether it's a man or a woman, I don't know where or when we are and why I should listen to this stranger. In fact, I honestly don't want to without more information.

On a technical level stronger verbs and active voice would give the text more of a spark.

I believe you've got a great story in your mind, and I'm sure the events are fascinating, but the style doesn't appeal to me, I'm sorry. If you need concrete technical advice there are a few online resources I could point you to. However, if you feel this is exactly the style you want to go for - by all means, keep it. As said, different people like different things and diversity is a wonderful concept.

Cheers,

Kaliope

Posted 3 Years Ago


This comment has been deleted by the poster.
This comment has been deleted by this chapters author.
Be, I really like the opening paragraph of you story. In a short amount of space you have set the main plot and introduced some of the main characters, creating interest. Since you are stepping in the "Masters" territory, Bernard Cornwell, you will held to the highest standards and harshest critique. Just kidding, but I have read at least 12 or more of his books and many 2-3 times. I like your start and will read more. Richie B.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

I have read a lot of Cornwell and Simon Scarrow and they have inspired me - Thanks for your review R.. read more
B: Think it's a great beginning. The concept is inviting and your language skills are very good; You pulled me in with a great opening paragraph; very well written. I'm not too concerned with grammar; not that I could identify anyway, not my forte, but as for content, great work. Please continue writing, and do not be discouraged by nay-sayers, I just simply do not understand people that critique but with a great chapter like this cannot find anything nice to say. The title is good, your style is informable and easy to read; you have a broad audience and I thank you very much. I haven't written many stories, but have read quite a few. Great job. Thank you. Look forward to reading more.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Leigh

4 Years Ago

You are very welcome and thanks
Confuser

4 Years Ago

............................................Dale.......................great work
This comment has been deleted by the poster.

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Added on January 2, 2015
Last Updated on February 21, 2019
Tags: memory, dust, romance, Kingdom, peace, war, army, spy, battle, luck, empire, adventure, fantasy, fiction, hope, mystery, fear, power, love, belief, story, invaders, Myths, legends, tales, folklore


Author

Leigh
Leigh

Bristol, United Kingdom



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