I - The House at Medvia

I - The House at Medvia

A Chapter by Tertia

The high front door at the house at Medvia dominated the cobbled square it faced. Sash windows on its facade and the sides were forever drowning in the shadows of the neighbouring houses and sycamore trees. At its back a small courtyard faced a cliff that reached up twice as high as its ridge tiles. Its block square shape was painted a tropical blue below a low sloping mansard roof.

Nola knocked my door, bringing bread and water I caught and held her and she spun in a dizzy blur of blues and golds. She was used to me and I held her in my arms, around her waist. I reached for a kiss and as she as a distraction, looking away, adjusted my sun-filled curtains she exposed her neck and so I kissed that and after a brief notch of time she thumped my chest.

‘Don’t’ she demanded and I stopped. ‘but don’t actually stop’ she said laughing a few moments later and so I started again. I felt her loosen and heard a soft sigh. She pulled away, her eyes out of focus. ‘This is too much’ she looked at me and smiled approvingly. ‘Later maybe’ she whispered, looking at the bare boards in shame and indecision.

As she walked out, my sergeant, Briggs trooped in. ‘Cybernone report, Sir’ He went to move off

‘Wait’ I instructed. I played the cybernone recording he had handed me, plugging it in to my earpiece. ’Get the truck ready and point it north, in the direction of the mountains. Sesuthia’

‘Yes, sure’ he said.

‘And get the men together in the kitchen, ready to move out’


Later when Nola returned with smiles and yeses and our time together came, dark clouds peered in through the open window, bringing more gloominess to the coming dusk.


In the house in north Medvia where we held out, on the run from the war with Narsia, we gradually became surrounded by those enemy troops as they crawled into the city, swarming like ants. We were on the outskirts and could make a run for it to the sea, Sesuthia or double back. But the enemy was not only outside the door it was inside too as the two women who lived there were against Medvia, they were Narsian sympathisers. Nola was uncertain of what to do as she got used to us and gradually befriended us. Tina, the other woman kept quiet, but was open about her views when provoked and then would tell us to get out, pointing to the front door many times. She said we couldn’t stay and we were not welcome and if we were found out we would all be shot or worse.

We managed to breeze things over with gifts of food from our rations and the local markets and had some ok meals together over those short few weeks.

© 2023 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next chapter the unit are ready to move out

My Review

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I just saw your read requests, so I thought I would stop in. For me, this doesn't have the impact of a first chapter. You need to grab your reader by the throat and make them want to read more. I think a description of the house (Tina's, I assume) is appropriate, but not necessarily the first thing. This chapter shows us these things:

1. A description of the house
2. Nola and Tina's(?) welcome
3. A security report.
4. A summary of what looks like backstory.

This seems like the wrong order. I'm not a big fan of prologues, but that summary probably belongs in one, especially since Tina seems to be the narrator, but refers to herself in the third person. You need to fix that. As far as Prologues go, they reduce the impact of the first chapter, so you need to rewrite it in such a way that it is active, not just Gandalf sitting down and telling a story. A Prologue needs to be a mini-story in itself. Give background action in a self-contained way, separate from the story. Maybe it needs to be a historical scene, the meeting of the two women during the flight from enemy troops - something where they bonded that sets the scenario for the story.

Then, I'd begin the chapter with the meeting at the doorway. Maybe tell us why Nola was away, and draw us into to their reunion. Only after that should you describe the house. Do it in dribs and drabs. Don't just dump a description on us. In fact, you might consider telling us about the inside first and maybe leave the outside until later - when your characters are outside.

You need to flesh out the encounter more. The sargeant wouldn't interrupt this welcome with ordinary detail. If it is important, make it so. If not, leave it until after the welcome is complete, and the two are progressing to wherever they are going next. I think this chapter is a little short, especially if you move the backstory to a prologue. You need to flesh it out more. Also, there are several missing words.

I think you need to be careful that you aren't making me read the second chapter just to see if I want to continue. Give enough of a hook in the first, and MAKE me read the second. Begin the story, don't just tell us what has gone before.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

A very nice opening chapter. A lot was was accomplished in the chapter. I liked the detail and the characters. I will keep reading. Thank you Tertia for sharing the excellent chapter.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thank you for all your reviews, I think you reviewed every chapter - and glad you enjoyed it so far
Coyote Poetry

1 Year Ago

I did my dear friend. You are welcome. A entertaining tale.
Really Excellent Tertia keep it up ✨️✨️✨️✨️✨️

Posted 1 Year Ago

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
while i am uncertain as to the back story your passion is there. I have to agree with Fabian though. A story is unlike a poem, you must as its teller provide the reader with all the relevant information they are going to need in order to create the universe you wish them to inhabit. I am on the positive side that you will in time evolve and master these skills. in the meanwhile, keep on with your writing, letting your universe expand as it can only do as you expand your skills as a storyteller
good luck

Posted 1 Year Ago

I feel like I've missed so much of the story already because I haven't any background from which to draw. Who are these people? Why are they fighting? Who is narrating the story? From whom are they hiding and why if they are a military group? Who are the civilians bringing food and why? What is the "Cybernone"? Where is this country? When is the story taking place? How did we get to this setting? These are all questions without answers that could have been filled in by the author. Or at least show if not tell. This reader feels slightly left in the dark.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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I usually don't enjoy reading people's stories because they don't catch my interest, but this story...WOW this story has me on my toes and very captivated! I cannot wait to see what happens next. Amazing story great job!

Posted 1 Year Ago

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6 Reviews
Added on September 22, 2022
Last Updated on February 14, 2023
Tags: house, war, loss, flight, peace, love, Halfway, fight, life, book, chapter, run, hide, romance, betrayal, beauty, story, read, reader, fiction



Bristol, United Kingdom

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