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41 Public Reviews Given
107 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Time  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (3.0)
Slay,

Usually I stay clear of works like this because the crit can come across as overly negative, which is certainly not my intent. What I get from reading this is that you are trying too hard to find your voice, to couch the angst of your main character and his loss in the stilted and lofty language you have chosen here.

Now, having said that I'd like to point out that it is not my position that the entire piece fails, but that you ought to simplify and trim the overwriting. There is a gem in here, and I think the Poe-esque voice has the legs to carry the piece quite well. Here are some suggestions:

The hour has come to rid myself of vanity and pain as I look at how seductive the glisten of the silver knife.

Here, there is something amiss with the grammar. Try rewriting the sentence as "...as I am seduced by the glisten of the silver knife."

But to mark the last brief moments of my life, I try to recollect.

Brief is unnecessary when used as a modifier for moments because moments, by definintion, can only be brief.

What I recollect is the rather short,

I'm calling this out because of your use of "recollect". Look at the paragraph prior to this one. When you use the same word in such close proximity it ends up reading as a little lazy. Recollect is also somewhat out of place here. I understand the need for a synonym for reminiscence, but this word is usually reserved for baser speech, not the language or voice you've chosen here. There are many better words.
It was as if the sun woke up only to permit me to see the eyes- oh, what beautiful eyes-, her smile- what wonder is in that smile- and her lips- oh,

Okay, here I'd like you to review the use of "oh". Your MC is waxing poetic on the beauty of his love, his muse. The problem is, this is telling. It shows your reader nothing except that your MC in enamored. Why not try to paint a picture of those eyes and lips for all to see?


He by far is too eager to present and parade his love unto my love that he had won over the hearts of many simpletons.

Okay, I've read this a few times and its meaning escapes me. What do the minds of simpletons have to do with your MC's lament? One of the most important things in writing, which I'm sure you know, is that the story makes sense to your readers. I'd suggest cutting the simpletons part and simply show that time seduced your MC's muse/love

But did my lady succumb to the prancing jester? To my painful regret, my lady did fall succumb to the diverting ways of the jester.

From then on, every night, before I close "closed" my eyes, I feel "felt" the... All the glorious memories of the year’s youth drifted into fragment, so far they drifted that it is an impossibility to recollect them.

"year's youth" is nonsensical in the regard that youth is a concept that transcends several years. I get what you are going for here, but there is a better way to say it. Also, why the repetition on "drifted"?


...But it does seem that I was waiting, too foolishly waiting in vain as I saw the couple, the jester and my muse, happily running against the rain. Her eyes never again looked into mine, her smile never intended to give me warmth, and her lips never uttered a syllable of my name. How I wished the downpour grew stronger as they passed me by as they talked- ecstatically talking in a language I wished I never did understand.

Is there another way to convey the anguish here without all the repetitions?

The cold mercy of the blade already pressed against my skin as I bid ready to lead it to its purpose.<--"bid" is, as used, grammatically incorrect here. One by one, I feel my senses be unchained from my mortal body floating away to the infinity of the worlds.


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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (4.0)
Robin,
Well done. The rhythm and meter stay pretty tight throughout. As far as the subject matter, well, I imagine that the point of view this poem delivers will find a wider audience than one might admit. I wonder how many of our soldiers feel exactly this way after coming back from war?
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Review of The Pens  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: ASR | (4.5)



Sagi,

The language and pacing of the story makes for a very pleasant read, drawing the reader along as you spin your tale. As a storyteller, you do a great job of spinning the yarn. The writing is top-notch (grammar nits aside), reminding me of the readings I did in Secondary school...very Kiplingesque, which is to say, having a great feel. This is difficult to pull off, and is missing in a great deal of modern writing. It feels timeless, yet set in time circa much writing of the 30s and 40s, if that makes sense.

I found a few grammar errors, although I'll couch that in saying that I left England 20 years ago, so I might miss some in translation. This isn't an all inclusive list, but I decided to spend time reading rather than editing, so after the final point, you will find a few more if you spend a little time with the editor's eye. Still, I have to say this was a fine read.

Grammar nits:

"Smoothen" should be "smooth".
The first sentence in the fourth paragraph needs commas and an "I" inserted after "objectives."
In L7 of paragraph 6, strike "at me". Last line of the same paragraph needs a comma after "regal."
In paragraph 13, "insatiable" in place of "unsatiable", unless this is proper in England (I've been away too long).
In paragraph 19, "nod" in place of "node".
In PP23, full stop after "door".
In PP 24, no comma after "delayed".

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Review of Malice Intended  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Ah, a nice story, but something is nagging me about this. In her musing, Elsa claims that nothing happened in 209, yet she is the culprit. I get where you are going with it, but it's too close to not making sense somehow. As a reader, this will confuse me, perhaps make me think this is one of those "crimes-while-blacked-out" stories, but I don't think that was your intent. I would suggest a rewrite here, perhaps even cutting it entirely, but certainly some clarification in an otherwise entertaining read.

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Review of Shadow  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (4.0)
Fiona,
I think this will serve you better by tightening the poem, cutting out what is unnecessary. Overall, it's a decent work, capturing a great idea and nuances in a compact form.



Fears, <--do you mean "fear's"?
a smoke
I entertain on the bed
of my mind.
Let it linger,
sit there This is unnecessary since it's implied
for awhile.
I never notice.
it becomes Capitalize "it"
a fire.
That burns
my heart's desire. This is a cliche. Can you say this another way?

I'm confused by the punctuation. Surely this isn't how you intended it to be. Other than that, and enjoyable read

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Review of Just a Farmer  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Ben,

Good stuff. I like the flow of the meter, which is quite well done and wavers only slightly. The story is interesting too: the one hit wonder and the life that follows. Still, the nice thing about this poem is that it flows well, tells a story that has reach across a wide audience, and ends well. If that's not the formula for successful poems, I'm not sure what is.

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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hah, this tantalizes the reader as much with what it leaves out as that which it tells. The relationship is between a teacher and student, isn't it? But that's all you give us. There are so many questions presented by this that it becomes an exercise to the reader to figure it out. Is this part of a larger work, or is it simply a diary entry by way of a confession for an illicit affair? What happens after this? Where are all the naughty bits that the prurient among the readership want to see? I'd like to see this expanded upon as a short story, because as is, it leaves too much to the imagination of the reader.

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Review of More Lysol!  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
The meter is pretty much spot on throughout, and you nail irreverant with this one. I'm glad you don't write too many of these or it might raise eyebrows, lol. I do think, it should be noted, that you get the menality of the deranged killer down pat; the concern with things other than the act of murder. If that was your intent, then this has to score as a successful poem.

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Review of Changes  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
The villanelle is a decent one, but you've chosen a huge subject that might be beyond the strength of a single poem to contain. You attack each season well enough, and I admire the way you attempt to catch the flavor of each within the confines of a single line this form allows. I'm not comfortable with the word "right" in one of the refrains. It somehow seems to add unnecessary baggage. Still, as a villanelle goes, this has to be a commendable effort.

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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (3.0)
As poetry goes, this one will likely find an audience with patriots who don't read history books. Whooooo, nelly, there's a ton of political fodder in here, and because of that, because of the potential for controversy, the poem is worth reading. The question, though, is whether you wrote this for yourself, or for an audience, because the distinction is wholly important. I'd love to see this poem in a forum for discussion.

As this forum, however, is to discuss the merit of the writing, I'd say that as a personal poem to highlight personal beliefs, it is good. The first stanza is great. The second? Meh, it's full of abstractions. What, for example, do you mean by "spreading peace"? or "the crucial communion of continents?" The third is the most difficult stanza to understand from the perspective of poetry written for an audience larger than one. You know what you mean by "A show of mercy", "tenderness", "a presence of heart", and "healing breath." The important thing as far as poetry goes, however, is that you need to communicate that idea to the reader. I think the brevity of the poem works against you in this.

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Review of To My Lover  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I've read this a couple of times and I'm not sure what to make of it. It reads like a poem of innocence lost, perhaps rape, but maybe not. Herein lies the issue, that the metaphors are not clear enough, yet, to enable the reader to parse meaning from what you've written.
To be sure, it's powerful stuff, and I sense something beneath, struggling to break free of the poem in its current form. Perhaps this should be a longer work.
I have the same issues when writing my own poetry that I feel hold this work back from its potential. As the writer, you know exactly what you mean and what you are trying to say, but when you try to squeeze the poem into a form, the form becomes constrictive, which has the effect of distilling the abstractions instead of clarifying them. You use terms such as "past indiscretions","Pungent lies", and "mislaid words", all things that can carry so many different meanings, yet to you carry only one. This is one of the secrets to truly good poetry, that when you are finished, you can step outside yourself and know that the reader is going to get the poem exactly as you mean it.
I'd suggest (and I suggest this with all poetry that seeks to come across as uncontrived) that you allow the poem to define the form, not the other way around. Break free of that particular binding, and you'll be able to explore the depth and color of your words and all their meaning. But, most importantly, the reader will benefit because he or she will come away from reading your work knowing the poem exactly as you meant to write it. And that's the trick with poetry, isn't it?
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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (3.0)
Lidi,
Please take my review with a grain of salt, and remember that this is just one person's opinion.
You've chosen the most difficult form of poetry, namely, rhymed work. The difficulty lies in that rhymed poetry seldom works well unless there is a metrical component, such as iambic stucture. It is also incredibly difficult to write rhymed poetry without sticking in words to force the rhyme, and it feels a little like that is what has happened here.

How to make this better:
I have some technical suggestions for writing rhymed poetry. It is difficult to pull off, but if you're interested in getting better at it, this is one of the paths to take. One of the tools used to see how well metrical poetry works is scansion. For the sake of simplicity, lets use two syllables/beats to what is known as a foot. I've divided your first four lines into feet here. A foot is the syllables between the | symbol. Now, after you've done this, you now have to mark where the stressed syllables fall. Here, I've bold-faced those for you.

I see | majest | ic beau | ty all | around,
his grand | design | leaves one | astound.
The wor| ship res| onates | from eve| ry place,
as we| behold |the mast| ers face.

What you have here is iambic meter throughout (iambic is daDUM daDum in rhythm), but there is no clear metrical structure. You have 10-8-10-8 syllables, but you don't continue this through the rest of the poem, which ends up making a choppy read. Also, look at the word "astound". As you've used it, it is gramatically incorrect and, I suspect, is there to force the rhyme. This is what makes rhyming poetry so darned difficult to pull off.
Now, in the first four lines, you've got the rhythm right with iambic structure, and if we assume that you're going to continue with penta- and heptameter, the reader might be in for a good read. Lets look at the next four lines.

The ri | ver of | life is | so cryst | al clear,
and the | co lors | of heav | en are | vibrant | ly sheer.
Joy and | peace flow | with an | embrace,
of his | love a | bounding, | filled with | grace.

So, from the 10-8-10-8 of the first four lines, we have 10-12-8-9 syllables. Can you see how this affects the flow of the poem? Also, you went from having a marvellous iambic meter, to meter that is choppy. I'll leave out the technical terms, but look at where the stresses fall in this section of your poem. If they are not consistent, what happens is that the reader, expecting a good flow, is forced to stop and reread a particular section to get it right.

So, here's the short of it. For rhymed poetry to work, you should have consistent meter throughout, that is, the "beat", if you will, needs to be pretty much the same.
Secondly, keep the syllable counts per line the same. In this case, if the whole poem was 10-8-10-8 throughout, that would be okay, but consistency is the key.
Finally, don't use words to force the rhyme, otherwise, it ends up sounding slightly nonsensical. I picked out "astound", but also look at "sheer". Is there a better word that doesn't make the reader stop to wonder how colors can be vibrantly sheer?

I would like to apologize for the technical aspect of this review, but there is so much to learn to be able to write strong, rhymed poetry. It is a great deal easier to write unrhymed, free-verse poetry first, then graduate to the rhymed stuff. I sounds daunting, and it is, but if you are dedicated to writing poetry exhalting the Lord, the journey is well worth it. As a parting gift, since yours is work of a religious nature, I'd like you to look at (google) Robert Southwell's truly amazing poem titled "The Burning Babe." Not only is it fantatic, it is a great benchmark for writing rhymed, metrical poetry that anyone can learn from. Good luck with the rewrite of this. You're on your way to producing something worth keeping.
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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This is a decent story about love lost through putting other things first. I'm torn on the use of the songs to reinforce the backstory, and I think this is because I'd like to see the lyrics a little stronger, more poetic and showing, instead of telling. The premise is good, and the fix isn't nearly as difficult as it may seem, but this is certainly something I would look at as to a rewrite.
I wanted to mention the ending, too. With Jesse walking out into the darkness, you create a minor confusion that ought to be clearer. What happens? Is he walking away from it all? This doesn't come across quite as strongly as perhaps it should.

You writing is strong, but there are a few places I think you should look at:
Jesse sat in the deepening twilight and gently cradled the worn wood of the old guitar in his arms.I suggest losing this because there really isn't any other way to cradle a thing except in one's arms.

It had been small gigs in small towns – Paducah, Kentucky… Shelbyville, Tennessee…Greenwood, South Carolina – and Beth had always been there.
Here, I suggest dropping the state names. In a piece that attempts to capture lost love, doing so will add a little to the sense of the exotic, or at least the sexiness of travelling to small towns and playing music to make it. With the names to the states attached, it sounds a lot more sterile.

I'd like to finish by adding that all of this is for the purpose of suggestions, and of course, you can take or leave any of it. The distance between decent and great, for this story, is the span of a small rewrite. Good job and good luck.
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Review of Our Gift  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Kathleen,

I typically shy away from reviewing religious work, not because I'm atheist or anything like that, but simply because I find them mostly preachy. Of course, that is also a tad ironic given the nature of the writing.
Here, you seem to have done well in avoiding the preachy, holier-than-thou trap of such work, with the noted exception of S5. Now, I cannot decide whether this is a hymn, carol or prayer. The refrain/chorus certainly lends it a sing-songy feel, and the short (metrically) stanzas give it a feel as though a choir could be singing it. I'd certainly feel comfortable with it being one of those.
For it to succeed as poetry (as it is tagged), it would probably need tightening up, certainly with the ending, because strong poetry carries endings with punch. This is a compressed recital of Jesus' life, with nothing new added, which makes it a very strong candidate for a hymnal (although such things are tough without hearing them, especially for the musically-challenged amongst us).

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Review of Death of a Dream  
Review by Limeydawg
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Ah, very powerful, very emotional. The only thing I can offer is suggestions on tightening the writing a little, not much though.
I did want to mention the title. You mentioned nothing in the story about the pregnancy being a dream, and the title sort of set me up for that. Just a nit, but I thought I'd mention it as an FYI. Here are my suggestions (reasoning or rewrite suggestions are in blue):

Food no longer has a distinct taste. The tick-tock of a clock resonates in your ears. The world seems to pop out of the background like in a 3-d picture. A tiny prick turns into a stab wound. A hint of chocolate remains long after the offensive dessert is eaten.

There is a slight POV issue. You start off speaking in...ah, what is it, second person, (I'm having a brain freeze), but you use YOU, then switch in the next to first person. Easy fix.
Mom served dinner as usual. When we eat at Mom’s house<--Here I think the underlined is unnecessary and a little distracting. Your reader will get the location, but if they don't it's okay. I don't think the fact is important to the story, from the readers' perspectives. You could rewrite as something like: "Mom served dinner with her usual formality, reinforcing her need to have everything in its place in the world." Just a suggestion there is a sense of formality, a sense that everything is in its place in the world. Tonight, I needed that sense of rightness place.This should be a new paragraph--> I cannot recall what I ate. This sentence should be flipped with the one preceding it-->The table, I remember sitting at the table. The doctor told me to eat right after she told me my baby was dead. I need my strength for tomorrow she warned me. Tonight was looming ahead of me. She was worried about tomorrow. The food went in my mouth. I chewed, but nothing,<--should be a semi-colon no taste, nothing. It was like trying to work a crick out of your jaw. Chewing and chewing.<--this is a little distracting from the tone of the story, but just MHO I must have swallowed.<--Make this line stand alone as its own paragraph. It adds power by itself. After dinner, Dad usually has dessert. He likes his dessert. The scent of chocolate overpowered me.<--Join these two sentences into one--> Like the pungent odor of a s***ty diaper. Mom must have served something chocolate.

Mom called Pastor Frey. She clings to religion in the face of disaster. Pastor Frey and his wife, Cathy, come over later. We sit in the living room. We sit huddled around the television as if the normalcy of it will change the circumstances. I’m sure they are talking with us, expressing their condolences. The world appears to be a giant silent movie, all of the actors wordlessly careening forward to the inevitable end. The tick-tock of the clock drowns out any attempt at comprehension. The ticking draws my attention. rewrite these two sentences as "...attempt at comprehension, draws my attention." My head turns toward the offending clock, trails flow in front of my eyes, rainbows of color bursting out of every molecule in sight. The gold second hand of the clock in stark contrast to the black face.

9:15pm

My eyes close. It seems an eternity before I find the strength for my lids to rise again.

9:16pm

The world has stopped.
Pastor Frey and Cathy say goodbye.

10:00pm

I wrap the coarse blanket around my exhausted frame. Closing my eyes again, this time I attempt to close my ears, too. The ticking of the clock is driving me mad. The Tell Tale Heart by Poe comes to mind. The madness of the constant ticking mimics the beating of a heart, the reference irony cuts me deep in my soul. There should be two beating hearts where now there is only mine.<--The only reason I suggest cutting this is because the reader will get it and the paragraph is so much more powerful without stating the obvious Blackness folds itself around me. <--set this line apart In the darkness, I sit with my eyes closed. There is an abundance of sensations in such emptiness. The sofa, where I have napped comfortably millions of times, is unforgiving to my huge burden.<-- the only part I don't like. The title, and tone of this, is one of tremendous loss, yet here you seem callous and uncaring. I get that this is part of the emotional rollercoaster, but I'd cut it. The texture of the nappy fabric mimicked thousands of grains of sand. The constant irritations made me readjust, heaving my distended abdomen from one side to the other.

A searing pain rips across the center of my massive stomach. Lightening bolts of pain trail across my eyelids. Here come the contractions.<--Set this apart They subside. Rolling away like a rolling pin that starts at the top of my uterus and rolls down every inch of the hard dough that comprises my uterus. The pain is unbearable, not the contractions, but instead the knowledge that I am not awaiting the birthday of my only son but instead the death day.

Again, very good, and please accept my review as suggestions only.
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Review by Limeydawg
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
This has merit. The story is intriguing from the get-go, enough so that it draws the reader in. I like the way you’ve woven backstory in, but I’d caution you that too much at the beginning may make the piece read a little more abstract than you intend. Still, this is an easy fix.
You shift POV in several places, and this is a flaw you need to correct, but, again, easy.
I’ve made notes. Please disregard anything you disagree with as simply my opinion.


Betrayed

Moonlight danced on the ripples of the Estin River. The air was eerily still, unusual for this time of year. Shay Megar heard the sound of a smallthis is overwriting twig crackle beneath his soft leatherunless your use of adjectives adds something to the story, avoid them and show, instead of tell. boot. His mind was too distracted to care how much noise he was making. Nightmares haunted him no matter how tired he was. Whenever he shut his eyes all he could see were the faces of dead friends. Lack of sleep, the pain of many slashes to his body, and the one deep cut of an axe to his right thigh made the trek to the city of Mingtnel slow and agonizing.
Much of what I suggest cutting is simple overwriting. The thing is, if it doesn’t make any difference, be very wary of adding adjectives.
It had been three days since Corbin betrayed the orderOrder should be capitalized and still Shay could not believe his friend was a Bloodletter. Stumbling over a broken tree branch Shay fell to his knees. His right leg throbbed where the traitor's axe cut into his muscle. As he looked down at the wound his hand came up to his cheek to brush away dried blood and dirt. Realizing the blood quite possibly belonged to his familiar Kavick, Shay was overtaken by a fit of anger.rewrite as “a fit of anger overtook him.” He pounded the ground with bloody fists as if it was the cause of his frustration. He heard a loud scream, like that of an animal being torn apart. Gaining control over his senses, reality hit Shay in the chest like a hammer. By the time he realized the sound was coming from him, it was just a dull whimper. I think you are going to have a tough time convincing a reader that Shay was unaware the scream was his own. I’d suggest a slight rewrite here.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts Shay remembered his objective. I must gain control. I cannot rest until I talk to Landis. Their deaths will not be in vain.

Propping up against a tree, Shay caught his breath and looked around to ensure no one was near. Rewrite this as “Shay propped himself against a tree to catch his breath. The reader will get the rest without you telling them. How could I let my self lose control so violently!

Shay gritted his teeth, angry at how foolish he had become. I have to assume someone heard me. This is telling the reader. Let them figure this out. Most will probably assume this anyway. I must be more careful. It’s not safe; one of the Bloodless may have followed me. Shay looked around once more and stared down at the offending branch.

Shay knew his limp was getting worse; he began to wonder if he would ever see the Magi Tower again. Don’t think just keep moving, one step then another. I need to focus. I need to reach the city; perhaps there I can rest.

The city of Mingtnel is a rough place, built in a hostile environment with few friendly faces. The city is the last line of defense against the many Bloodless living in caves and the underground tunnels of Ragor Mountains. Beyond the peaks of Ragor Mountains lays the Valley of Soulless; a vast, desolate plain of the walking dead. The mountain range forms a natural barrier against the Bloodborn. Once a peaceful people, their lust for immortality has resulted in the creation of the Bloodless; men and women who were sacrificed for there spirit energies, leaving nothing more then an empty, mindless body controlled by the Bloodborn, and there lackeys the Bloodletters.
This is one of the places you shift POV. It makes for a very confusing read. You go from Shay’s POV, to the omniscient, with no discernable segue. Also, all of this is telling, not showing. I’d suggest writing this in later.
About two hundred feet from the north wall, in the dense forest, Shay looked upon the city. Leaning against the branch which served asunless it’s necessary or important to mention his stick is a branch, leave it out. his walking stickcomma here he started to remove his Ranger garb. Shay removed his Shaded Cloak; its dark colors make the owner seem to be more a shadow then anything else. Reluctantly Shay tucked The Mark of Nature inside his mud stained tunic. It was in the shape of a wolf, his fallen familiar, he tried to picture his guide was still beside him. The mark was a link between the familiar and the magi. This talisman is the first item a student of a Magi Tower receives after finishing the seven challenges of Wayward Forest. The bond between a Magi and their guide is very strong. Once lostcomma a Magi can choose to link with another, but rarely does. After donning his dirty brown travel cloak from his pack Shay continued to tread through the forest toward the nearest gate.

Shay looked down at himself then slowly raised his gazegazed toward the citycomma defiantly. I should be greeted as a guest of honor, not hiding who I am.

The lack of companions and friendly banter reminded him of the sacrifice his friends made and the danger he was still in. I must talk to Landis; no one else can know I’ve survived. Too much is at risk. The wound in my leg is reminder enough that I can trust no one.

Rubbing his hand over the blood soaked cloth Shay used as a bandage, his thoughts wandered to questions left unanswered. Why would Corbin betray the guild? More importantly what was the Bloodborn planning? Corbin Mordikai has always been very ambitious, but to become a Bloodletter is a bit much even for him.

The wound throbbed even harder as all the questions raddled inside Shays head. Once again he wondered why he was alive when so many others were dead. I only hope Landis is at the inn waiting for me as we planed so long ago. all this adds nothing to the story. Also, the foreshadowing kills the suspense.

Looking down why is Shay always looking down? at a small flat rock with the shape of a skull engraved on its surface comma Shay wished the guild had never heard of the rune whose power, if the ancient texts are correct, willwould enable the owner to control the Bloodless when correctly evoked. With the rune of death in my possessioncomma the entire valley of soulless will want my head. I need to hide my identity until I can figure out just how far the guild’s corruption extends. Landis will be waiting for me, if I can get to the inn, he will know what to do.

Shay wrapped his dirty cloak tightly to conceal his weapons, and pulled the hood over his face. As he walked toward the nearest path leading into the city comma he attempted to blend in with the peasants heading to the market. Two guards with pikes were standing stoodat the gatecomma casually observing the flow of people into the city. Mingtnel guards are outfitted with heavy plate bearing crossed hammers on the chest. A city constantly at struggle with the Bloodborn to the north, Mingtnel has a well-known reputation for being vigilant. UnderDespite the scrutiny from the guards, Shay succeeded in making himself as inconspicuous as possible, acquiring entrance to the city with no more than a glance. Shay had a hard time with the thought that his current surroundings had remained so much the same, when it seemed that everything in his own life had changed completely overnight.

He tried hard not to rush down the cobblestone street were filled with merchants selling their wares, and urchins looking for easy pray. Short, sturdy stone buildings were spaced out, more for defense than accessibility. Finally coming upon the street he was looking for, he turned quickly. The street was practically empty compared to the bustle of the main road. Shay walked up to an old wooden sign with the image of a boatswain whistle just barely visible from years of exposure. First making sure he was not followed, Shay quickly slipped into the inn.

The inn looked well kept with a short, plump, rather plain woman, working the bar. Shay made his way to the open table near the back of the smoky room. Off-duty guards and a few regulars played a game of dice in a dimly lit corner.

A young girl with curly brown hair and deep brown eyes approached Shay. "Hello Mister. What would you like?"

Shay looked up and tried to remember the last time he ate. His stomach started to growl, as he said, "I'll take a pint of ale and whatever food you have to offer."

The young lady looked at his dirty clothing and unkempt appearance. "I’m sorry but I’ll have to ask for the three coppers now."

Before he could pull his coppers out of his money purse comma a silver piece was tossed on the table from behind the serving girl. "I'll pay for his meal period. Don’t don’t worry, just bring anything he asks for." A tall fellow pulled back his hood to reveal pointed ears and intelligent, gray eyes. After a quick glance toward the table of dice players he sat down across from Shay.

Shay started to relax "Landis, I knew you would make it." as he reached over the table to give his friend a hard shake, he could see his friend was worried about something.

Landis looked around as if expecting someone to enter the inn any moment. "Where are the others?"

Looking into Shays eyes, Landis did not need the answer. "Never mind, don’t answer me now. We can talk upstairs. It seems we both have bad news to share."

The serving girl put a crude plate in front of Shay. She looked down at the blood soaked cloth used as a bandage on his leg and was about to say something when the dice players called for more ale. She looked once more over her shoulder at the two strangers and hurried over to the other table.

After a few bites into his meat pie Shay looked up at his friend and said, "Bad news you say, what more could have gone wrong?" with a sigh, Shay continued eating, thankful that he was at last able to rest.

Walking up the stairs to Landis’ room was slow going and painful for Shay. At the end of the hallway they turned into a small, dark room of which had no windows. Landis lit a candle and stood in the southwest corner of the square space while Shay painfully sat down on the bed, which centered along the north wall.
You go from Shay eating to him immediately walking up stairs, with no seque. You’ll need to fix this
Looking over at Shay, Landis could tell he needed time to sort out his thoughts, so he began to speak. "Shay, Aston has put a price on your head as well as the rest of the expedition."

Shay’s leg began to throb as he glared at his friend "WHAT! Why would he do that?" he pressed down on the wound hoping the pressure would relieve some pain.

"Do you remember Cawdel Lok?" Landis replied.

Shay took a deep breath as he tried to remember what he knew about Cawdel. "If I remember correctly he's The Guild Treasurer."

Landis nodded. "Yes, he used to be in charge of the finances." Taking a quick breath he continued, "When Aston became The Bearer of Marks he appointed Cawdel as his advisor."

Adjusting his leg on the bed Shay felt as if the world had gone crazy. "What does that have to do with Aston putting a price on my head?"

Putting both his hands over his leg and pressing harder Shay’s vision started to get foggy. Bracing himself against the bed he tried to steady his breathing.

Quickly placing the candle on a stool Landis moved to his friends’ side. "Your leg looks awful; you need to see a Shaman."
Again, there is a disjointed shift in action here. You’ll need to fix this. Also, you again shift POV, from Shay to Landis. Without discernable breaks, you need to keep the entire chapter in the same POV.
After helping Shay lay down he tried to remove the blood soaked cloth Shay had used as a bandage, "I'm not sure but I presume Cawdel is a Bloodletter. Aston listens to him and well, I don’t think it’s safe for you to return to the tower."

Landis could tell Shay was about to collapse. He wished there was more time to talk, but knowing how much his friend had gone through, he gave up and called forth his familiar to cast a simple sleep spell. The spell would allow Shay to rest while he called for a Shaman.

The spell did not require the full presence of his familiar, so only a misty outline of a hawk could be seen perched on his shoulder as he whispered the ancient sleep chant. As the hawk’s form began to illuminate slightly, Shay became noticeably drowsy.
Now you’re back to Shay’s POV
All the sleepless nights seemed to catch up to Shay all at once. The loss of blood from his leg made his mind sluggish, and he was unable to utter any words to stop his friend from putting him to sleep. No Landis. I can’t sleep. Not yet. There is too much to do. Too much to discuss, I can’t rest. Not yet.

Landis placed Shay's sword and backpack against the wall next to his own. Shay was fast asleep; too exhausted from the loss of blood and the incantation his friend had cast to stay awake.
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