Stone of Jade

United States

~ 17 she/her ~
Aspiring writer and artist. Completely awestruck by night skies. Apart of many, many fandoms ;) Reader, journaler, collector.
~ pilot pens and beat-up notebooks ~
one half of the locket
discord LexLuthor#8769

Message to Readers

word count: 999
I was actually able to bring it down!!

This is the third draft. I am still looking for title ideas, but tbh, the one i have right now is kinda growing on me. What do you guys think?
This may be one of the final drafts but that depends on if i get any more feedback--which i still need! I will honor review for review, but comments are just as helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you so so much!

A HUGE THANK YOU to:
anemoia & lattes (#dreams of autumn)
Paisley Blue
lochnessie
V-Rose

You guys gave such detailed reviews. They were so so helpful!

On the High Seas

November 7, 2020

A cool breeze carried the smell of saltwater and seaweed towards Ladell. Colors from all ends of the earth decorated the market. Carts and stands displayed all types of exotic fruits, spices, woven baskets and delicate silks. By mid-afternoon, the square was very crowded, making it difficult to stay alert in. As Ladell finished her errands in the market, she felt a strange tingling at the back of her neck. On instinct, Ladell knew someone was following her. Yet she didn't feel threatened--the feeling was oddly familiar. Ladell scanned the cobbled street. Whoever was following her knew what they were doing. Ladell quickened her pace. 
    Parconna was a small island, but news travelled fast overseas--especially when it had to do with pirates. Ladell kept a wary lookout as she made her way to the docks. She took shortcuts through alleys, backtracking multiple times, in case her instinct proved true. Ladell was just nearing the docks, when a hand pulled her into a back alley. 
    A figure in a green cloak shoved her into the wall, arm pressed against her chest. Ladell dropped her sack, the supplies scattered over the cobblestones. 
    “So you finally decided to show yourself, Golden Eye,” a gruff voice taunted. A dark hood veiled his face from view.
    Ladell racked her brain for who this could be. She’d never been to this island before. Quietly, Ladell slipped her knife out of its sheath.
    “I know why you’re here,” the voice continued. “Just couldn’t help yourself, could you?” The man sneered as he pressed Ladell harder into the wall, his cotton sleeve scratching her neck.
    Ladell exhaled, which loosened the grip on her chest. She slammed her knee into her attacker’s gut and pushed forward. The man crashed to the ground. Ladell jumped on top of him, her knife blade delicately poised above his throat.
    “I don’t play around,” she hissed. “Who are you?” Ladell pressed against her attacker’s chest, but drew back, confused, when the man started laughing.
    “I surrender,” he said. Slowly, he pulled back his hood, revealing his face. “Come on, Ladell. You know me.”
      “Tallis?” Ladell stared in shock at the familiar smirk, shining eyes, and scar that stretched across his left cheek--it was the face of her childhood friend and first partner-in-crime. Ladell scrambled to her feet, pulling Tallis off the sand-crusted street. “What were you thinking? I could have killed you!”
    Tallis brushed the dirt off his clothes. “I saw you in the market, and wanted to say hello.”
    “There are easier ways to do that--ways that don’t involve being mugged in an alley! Tallis, it’s been years! I haven’t heard from you since Mayborne! What’s the Swindler been up to?”
    “You’ve heard about me?”
    “Almost everyone knows who you are now--we’re not small town criminals anymore."
    Tallis chuckled. “I’ve been travelling a good deal, seeing the world, meeting all sorts of people.”
    “So the usual? Stowing away on ships, stealing whatever pleases your eye, becoming enemies with the richest men alive?” Ladell saw right through his sugar-coated words. They had been in partnership for years. She knew Tallis would have gotten himself into all sorts of trouble.
    “Yea, something like that,” Tallis smiled. “I heard you made a name for yourself. Golden Eye fits you nicely, and not just because of your thievery skills,” he winked. “What brings the captain of The Manta to Parconna?”
     “Just a few errands. My crew is headed towards Conquest Reef. What about you? Is this the only place you aren’t wanted?”
    “For now,” Tallis said. “I have a small job. Have you ever heard of the Coral Globe?”
    “Tallis, keep your voice down!” Ladell said sternly, stepping back. “You can’t cross Captain Colborne--not again.”
    “Oh please, I’ve met way worse than that rich captain. Besides, Mayborne was years ago. He’s not gonna remember me.”
    “No, Tallis. Boothe Colborne is a dangerous man,” Ladell warned him grimly. “I raided one of his merchant ships by accident--”
    “Hold up--you raided a ship by accident?”
    “No, I raided his ship by accident. I’d have left it alone if I’d known whose it was. He didn’t stop chasing us for months. We finally lost him because of a freak storm. But the Coral Globe? That treasure is worth more than a million bits. The Coral Globe is his greatest pride!”
    “Ladell, I have to,” Tallis pleaded.
    "How did you even find out about it? Who set you on this job?”
    Tallis looked down. “Thornley,” he whispered. 
    “You’re working for Thornley again? Son of a seagull, Tallis! What have you been doing to get roped into Thornley’s grasp?”
    “I got into a bit of trouble, that’s all. Once I do this job I’m free.”
    Ladell could see the pain behind his eyes. Her friend had been through much in the years they’d been apart. “When?”
    “Tonight,” Tallis said. “It’s an in and out job.”
    “Really? What’s your out?”
    Tallis shifted his weight between his feet. “Merchant ship?” 
   “You won’t make it out of the harbor!” Ladell glared at Tallis. 
    “That’s why it was such a great coincidence I ran into you!”
    “No, Tallis.”
    “Come on, Ladell. You were always the brains of the operation. One more job, just like old times?”
    “Tallis, I’m not risking the lives of my crew.”
    “Ladell, please. If I don’t do this job I’ll be a dead man.”
    “By doing this job, you’re already a dead man. I’m sorry Tallis, I pick fights I know I can win. Boothe Colborne is one person even the Swindler can’t beat.”
    Tallis was silent for a long time before speaking. “I understand," he said. "I’m sorry for even asking--it was nice seeing you again.” Tallis feigned a smile as he turned to leave. Before he could, Ladell caught his arm. 
    “Tallis, wait,” Ladell said, her voice softening. “I set sail tomorrow. I can’t help you with the job but"--she took a deep breath--“if you need an out...”
    “Thanks, Ladell."
    “I leave at dawn, not a second later.”

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11 Comments
  • anemoia by a thread

    Just had to say... I CUT DOWN TO 998 WORDS! Just republished.


    6 months ago
  • Giselle

    Re: Thank you so much for that comment on my piece. It is probably the biggest compliment I have ever received on my writing so thank you. It really made me smile.


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    Re: haha that is perfect. thanks so much! since i already missed the expert review window (i was trying to finish last night, but the internet went down), i'm not gonna stress yet.


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    re: aw, thanks. yeah, everyone knows we like each other, and i don't ever make a point to avoid that or him, but... i have a lot of reservations on dating in hs and young relationships, and stuff like that. and... ok, he's weirdly mature, which is very good, but it's definitely an interesting layer to the dynamic. anyway, thank you so much for all the support and advice and reading my stuff!
    i just republished my piece... it's down to 1065 words!


    6 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Replying: Thankyou!!!! Also, I'll tell you when I've posted the piece that I want reviewed. I'm glad my review got there.


    6 months ago
  • lochnessie

    hey, do you know how long reviews usually take to publish? my one on yours has been saying 'submitted' for a day


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    Re: that comment just made my day! the support means so much. it's people like you that make WtW such an important and wonderful community. and thank you for the advice. i'm going to go back and scour my piece before monday.


    6 months ago
  • The Ravenclaw Dragon

    This is really good! The first paragraph really hooked me in. Here's a suggestion- maybe instead of writing "exhaling" in the scene where she's getting mugged by her friend you write "breathed out". "Exhaling" makes it seem like she's giving up. Another thing, I really like how the mugger was actually Tallis. It draws the reader in even more. This is really good! Keep on writing!


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    Re: aw, thank you! i'm so glad i've got someone to help with this, and i love reading your piece too! yk, i was gonna enter the speech comp, and i just didn't make enough time, so i'm sorta psyched for this one. and i'm awed and encouraged by how you cut down the word count!


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    Also, the setting is rich and detailed from the get-go! I feel immediately drawn into some exotic and adventure-filled place of the past.
    I would cut the word "very" in "By mid-afternoon, the square was very crowded, making it difficult to stay alert in." but that's about the only feedback I have for this incredible third draft.


    6 months ago
  • anemoia by a thread

    Wow! I don't know how you brought down the word count, but nicely done! I'm a little jealous. ;) I actually don't know what you cut, because it still feels very full and complete. I just republished the bookstore one, btw. I cut it down to 1240 words, which is actually a huge success, but still not enough... grrrrr.
    Anyway, this looks wonderful! I do like the title, and if you feel like you should stick with it, then you probably should. Trust the instinct!


    6 months ago