Time will tell - Part 1

in Scholar and Scribe2 months ago (edited)


This is part 1 of the three week challenge presented by Dreemport. Besides my introduction post this is the first time I publish a piece of fiction. Enjoy 😉


Time will tell - Part 1

"Har! Har!" he yelled wielding his sword. "Give me all your cookies or you shall walk the plank matey."

"Oh Come on. I don't have time for this." his mother replied. "And I don't like the pirate thing. You know that." She never did.

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It all started when he found the book 'Treasure Island' in his father's library. And ever since then his mother was building more and more distance between them. His dad had to explain to him it was because of her father and grandfather. Both were captains of their own ship on the river Weser in Germany. And both died, sinking with their ships.

But it made the subject even more alluring to Daniel. “Were there pirates on the Weser?” he would ask his father. But of course, there were none. It's just a normal river, used mostly to transport goods from the ports deep into the country.

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"Junior" his father called for him. "Come on. I still have to do a few and you can help me."
"Ah," Daniel sighed. "Do I have to?"

His father was the graveyard’s groundskeeper. His job was to take care of the graves no one else was left to take care of and to tend to the graveyard and the church's garden.
"You don't have to but at least come along and leave your mother alone, she has to work" his father said.

So they went to the graveyard and, while his father was doing his work, he spent his time sketching drawings of the headstones. Daniel was fascinated by them. Different fonts, sculpture-like engravings, and the dates of course. How come some people lived longer than others?

Even though he was only nine years old, he already knew all the roman numerals and how to read them. His father taught him to keep him busy while he was taking care of those graves.

There were still many stones he did not sketch yet, especially around the church, and among them one caught his eye. It was an old one, very old. The engravings on the sandstone had become victims of the elements a long time ago. So Daniel decided to take an imprint. This old pencil trick could sometimes reveal things lost in the light of day withered away by rain and storm.

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"Dad, this one is weird" he said.
"Why?"
"It's a big stone but the person only lived for 10 days"
"Might be a mistake." his dad tried to explain. Even though his voice was skeptical. "Don't worry about it"
"Dad, it says the year was MDLXXXII. That's 1582, right?" Daniel asked.
"Correct. So it's very old. The bigger question would be why it's still here. But that's not our problem. Our problem is to make sure they all are taken care of." his father said. He seemed urgent.
Daniel was still staring at the headstone, admiring the engraved symbols barely visible after all this time. Then he looked at his watch.
"Hey, today is the 5th" he noticed.
"Yes, it is. Now come on, I still have work to do and if you're not helping then at least let me do it. Sketch some of the newer ones, they are more beautiful and your talent won't be wasted on such an old thing there."
"Dad, this person was born on the 5th of 1582 and died on the 14th"
"Daniel, I don't have time for that. Now come."
Daniel gave up arguing with his father and followed him.
But the mystery of this headstone would be in his head for the rest of the day.

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He spent the evening sitting at his desk at the window and trying to decipher the imprint he took from the stone. The date was still clearly visible but the symbols intrigued him. What were they? His parents sent him to bed but he could not sleep.

When he was sure they were asleep he got up again, sat back at his desk with a flashlight and started connecting and tracing the residue spots like a connect-the-dots he drew when he was five. Did it make sense?

Over and over again he erased his tracings for a new beginning. Time went by while the clouds started to come together. The first flash of the thunderstorm made him look up again. More lightning followed by loud thunder. His parents might wake up from this sound. He had to turn off the flashlight. With another flash of lightning, he thought he saw people outside, walking along the street.

He pressed his hands against the window to take a better look. Yes, there were people walking down the road and they were carrying something. Three or four of them pulled a huge trunk up the street. Daniel grabbed the spying glass from the shelf. 'Luck be a pirate tonight' he thought and took a closer look at was going on.

Those people were walking down the street, all dressed in black clothes wearing wide hats carrying a trunk and there was a giant dragon seal visible on it. He lowered the spying glass, lowered his head, and noticed the drawing. A few more strokes with his pencil and it was done. A Dragon. Just like the one on the trunk. There must be a connection.

He took another look with the spying glass. The people were gone. How was this possible? The way they had to strive to carry it, it must have been really heavy. They could not have gone far.

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Daniel decided to put on his jacket and sneak out. He had to see what was going on. What was the connection to the headstone, if there was any? The lights in the house were all still out, his parents didn't seem to have been awakened by the storm.

He put his drawing and his flashlight in his pocket and went on the street in front of the house. Another flash of lightning allowed him to see for a brief moment. Two more lit up the night for a fraction of a second. There they were, those figures that were in the side road towards the church.

They were slow, still carrying the trunk, so Daniel was able to sneak up on them. They either did not speak to each other or, he could not hear it with all the rain and stormy weather being louder than their voices.

Daniel followed them, hiding behind the bushes and fences along the way, towards the graveyard. The rain was getting lighter and the lightning less frequent. When they reached the graveyard, the rain had stopped. Yes, it seemed they were heading for the headstone that caught Daniel’s attention earlier that day. But the grave was opened. At least the big pile of dirt next to it suggested it.

The men still had not noticed Daniel, or so it seemed to him, when they reached the opened grave. He decided to use the other headstones as cover while trying to get closer. But that also meant he lost sight on them while hiding between his jumps. When he glimpsed around the stone, behind which he was hiding, there was no sight of them anymore.

Where had they gone? And where is the trunk? Did they put it into the grave? Daniel had to see for himself, he had to get closer. He slowly crouched over to the hole in the ground and looked inside. Was the trunk down there? After he took a look around to make sure no one else was there he dared using the flashlight to have a look. Yes, the trunk was down there. It was open and … empty.

“There ya arr” he heard a loud deep voice behind him. Daniel turned around in surprise. He lost his standing, the earth on the edge to the grave loosened and he fell into the trunk in the grave.
He must have lost consciousness. It was pitch dark when he awoke. Moving his hands around, he tried to find out were he was. Was he still in the trunk? Did someone close it? The time for stealth was gone. “Help!” he yelled. “Help!” he screamed several times, banging his fists against the closed lid.

The trunk was moved. Lifted up, it seemed. Being trapped in a trunk scared him but at least he was not buried alive.
The trunk was put down, someone opened the lid. The bright daylight hurt his eyes, it was not night anymore.

“Hey, boss. There’s a young one inside.” He heard a bright, almost squeaky voice.
“Let me out!” Daniel yelled and tried climbing out of the trunk.
“What ya say?” a loud deep voice was raised in anger. It sounded like the man that suddenly lurked behind him in the night. Daniel tried looking towards that voice but his eyes were still hurt.
“Blimey, there’s a kid inside, captain.” Said another man and Daniel was pushed inside the trunk again.
“Let’s cut his throat!” the squeaky voice added. “Dead kids tell no tales, aye?”
“No! Help!” Daniel yelled, trying to fight off the hands that were still trying to push him back into the trunk.

to be continued...

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Headstone: Picture taken by me, manipulated with inkscape
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What a GREAT start to the story!!!

I can not wait to see where this goes!! I can so relate to the little boy. I would have done the same thing :D

Last sentence... change of to off :D

and was that his great grandfather? :D

What a GREAT start to the story!!!

Thank you :-)

I can not wait to see where this goes!! I can so relate to the little boy. I would have done the same thing :D

So would I :-) And if he didn't, I wouldn't have a story to tell :-P

Last sentence... change of to off :D

Done. Thanks again :-)

and was that his great grandfather? :D

Pssst. No spoilers! (But no, not his great grandfather)

Nice beginning for an interesting story. Can't wait to see what happens next!

You'll be the first to know if you agree to be my proofreader again :-)
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This was soooooooo creapy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOL

You know that this might even qualify for anothr Scholar & Scribe contest!!! I just saw it today. maybe @grocko or @jfuji can help because I lost the post hehehe

but it's another story competition for horror. I mean - this might not be the gooey gruesome horror - but my eyes were opened wide throughout hehehe

the creepy scene of the pirates dragging that chest
the deep voice behind the boy
waking up buried alive
gahhhhhhhhhhh seems horror enough for me hehehehehe

but for our challenge?? part 1 has me hooked for part 2 already hahahahahaha

so so good!!!!!!!

Uh, that's what I was trying to go for. Thank you.
And you figured out they are pirates, but here's a hint: There seems to be a continuity mistake in the final dialog, did you spot it?

course I know they be pirates!!!

Have ye not seen me profile on DreemPort??? I be sportin' an eyepatch and fancy feathered Capt'n hat.

I be fair Capt'n Dreemie!!!! Pleased to meet ye!

I be knowin' me own well. I spy them miles away! hehehe

(and at first glance - maybe that he was already pushed back in - but it mentioned him being pushed in again? i figured it was a struggle back and forth - if that was it heheeh)

I be fair Capt'n Dreemie!!!! Pleased to meet ye!
Ooops, you're usually so polite I forgot. Won't happen again :-)

Nope, not what I meant. That means I hid it well ;-)

hehhe you did! nothing stood out to me at all hehehe

The contest you're thinking of is The August Monthly :)

The genre is Horror and the prompt is Timepiece, so it's possible that Part 1 here would work, though if @hannes-stoffel wanted to involve that prompt more heavily in the other parts it could work too! Not sure if @thinkrdotexe would accept a part of a story but maybe! :D

Oh, what a coincidence.
Yes, as the title mentions, time will be a key-factor in the story, already raised in the beginning with a few hints besides the title.
But I won't be able to stay below 1500 words :-( This first post is already 1500 words long. My current estimate for part 2 is around 3000 words and part 3 being 2000 words

Thanks for the link though, I have another idea I might work on until 25th

Thanks for the link though, I have another idea I might work on until 25th

No problem :)

thank you so much @jfuji!!! hehehehe yes - it was @thinkrdotexe! hehehehe

"Har!" he shouted, brandishing his sword. "Give me all your biscuits or you'll walk the plank, my friend."

Jack Sparrow, is that you?

If this were a book, it would be perfect for the young audience. Pirates, mysteries, and this...
"Dead kids tell no tales, aye?" - OMG, if Jack Sparrow shows up in part two... ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️😱🤣

It is aimed at a younger audience, I hope my son will one day read it, when he is Daniel's age and learned enough English.

!LOL

No, Jack won't appear (copyright issues and stuff). But since English is not my native language I had to research some pirate phrases so some of them will be little bit on the nose :-)

What is it called when a writer is sick of writing?
Authoritis!

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Well, now this bot is scaring me.
This joke fits the thread :-P

😂🤣🤣 First time bot makes me laugh. Yes, perfect for the thread.

This was great, what a refreshingly fast read. Kudos. 👏 I like the theme, I like the pacing; I like how you don't let stuff sit still. There's constant motion, and that's key to any great fiction.

Feedback wise I'd say you use too many words sometimes. Rule of thumb: if you can say the same thing but with fewer words, say it. It will make the whole flow of the story better. 😉 You do this throughout the text, but here's a concrete example:

They were slow, still carrying the trunk, so Daniel was able to sneak up on them. They either did not speak to each other or, he could not hear it with all the rain and stormy weather being louder than their voices.

Instead, you could've done: They were either quiet, or the rain was drowning out their voices.

Just an example, don't take it word for word. 😅 And I'm not talking about writing style here. I think you yourself as a reader like it when things are less wordy, everyone does. SO one must always be mindful of the words he uses. 💪

Anyway, can't wait for part 2. Good shit. 😁

🍻

Great feedback. Thank you so much for pointing that out. And the example is great.
I also still have trouble with the "don't tell but show" rule.
Work in progress and for that I need people like you
!PIZZA

I also still have trouble with the "don't tell but show" rule.

Trust me, everyone still does, regardless if you're Stephan King or some random Hive author. That's what makes writing so interesting, you can always improve. 🙂

But you have to be mindful of it, of course.

Fantastic story so far. I paused a second, when I read "Weser", as I was on this river just a few weeks back on the boat of a friend in Bremen :).

I'm excited to read the next part.

Thank you, I'm very excited writing it :-)
Yes, I live near the Weser, actually if it wasn't for the dyke I could see it from my window.

So much like a movie... Your first fiction and you're this good? I can only imagine how much awesome you'll be with the next part 😍

I'm sure it's out now, right? You're doing great, keep it up 🙌

Got here from @dreemport

Thank you very much.

It is the first fiction I am actually writing down and publishing, yes. I never dared or took the time before.

I just edited the post to include a link to part 2.

Oh great, we'll done 🙌

I had a feeling he would end up in the trunk!! This is an exciting adventure!! I am a big fan of Blackbeard! Looking forward to the next part!

Thanks! Will have a read!

hehehehe did you see???? :)
i hope you are happy!!!! :)

hehehehe did you see???? :)

yes 🤩

i hope you are happy!!!! :)

😍 you have no idea what an emotional uplift you all just provided to my writer self-esteem.
I just hope I can live up to the expectations. 😊

of course you can

because you have it in you!!! so now you just write and shine;

don't worry about anything but writing with your heart and making it the best that YOU can be!

so happy that we get to be a part of this with you hehehe

Who sent him there??...I guess curiosity did but he was too young to follow up such weird stuffs. If he was sleeping he wouldn't have been in the grave. I blame the curiosity that led him there.
Haha this is an interesting story honestly...I was he'll bent to know what happened at the end...I guess Daniel's mom doesn't want him to be a pirate because of what happened to her father and grandfather.

I love this phew!

We all are curious 🙂
But some just don't recognize the danger that comes with following it.
Glad you like it.

Super story! Wow...

Waiting to read the next installment with anticipation! 💥

I found this on Dreemport. Glad I visited them today!

Thank you.

I'm glad they brought you here ☺️

Enjoy your stay and maybe you will like part 2 as well.

I'm glad they brought me here too!

You gotta love Drewmport and the buzz of the Hive :)

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I pray he fights off those demons. But only God knows what the writer has in mind.

This was quite imaginative, I enjoyed every bit of.

@dreemport brought me here

Thank you.
I can ease your mind, he will get out of this (how is already written) otherwise there wouldn't be a part 3 :-)

You really eased my mind. I would love read to the next part.

This beginning was very interesting. It kind of reminded me of goonies. I can't wait to read more. Thanks so much for sharing in the Dreemport site.

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Thank you.
Oh, How did this movie get past me even though it came out in my young years?
You really had my heart going there for a minute, I feared I accidentally ran into an infraction I did not know about.
After some research I can say, I'm not in danger of that.

So.... Thank you for introducing me to that movie :-) Will watch it completely in the near future.
!LOVE

I completely had my hand on my mouth while reading. Believe me! This was nerve wracking. Oh God! But it was captivating, enthralling. I enjoyed every bit. Now, I'm off to part two.

Thank you, makes me smile reading such comments 😊
I hope you enjoy part 2 as well.

Oh my God! This is so enthralling, little Daniel was curious and landed himself to the grave. What happened next oo?
Okay, I should be able to find out in the second part🤗
👍

Thank you for that compliment.
Part 2 is out, you can read it here

Right now I fear I will be late for part 3 due to some private obligations consuming a lot of my time at the moment. But even if it might be a few days late, I will deliver Part 3 eventually.

Did I just read that this is your first fiction? Amazing. This is excellent. The narration, dialogue, and story arc. Oh my gosh, it is everything. Well done. I can't wait to read the other part and find out Daniel's fate.

Thank you very much.

Part 2 can be read here.

Well, this is the first piece I ever published. I had many ideas and always wanted to write them eventually. Never took the time before because I always feared the conventional blogging and social media platforms.

Then I found hive and the dreemport community and as it turns out the first challenge dreemport threw at me was write a 3 part short story.

So here we are 😉

This is actually a mashup of two separate ideas I had over the years.