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It was cold and dark in the old castle that the wizard had choosen to meet. I was early and she wasn't there yet. I knew that she had very strong magical powers. Had to watch out. This hall had no windows. There was only a small crack in the roof. No-one lived here anymore. I assumed that she wanted privacy and no-one would come and look for us here. Suddenly, I heard footsteps.
"You're early." the wizard said.
I could hardly see her, but it was her voice.
"Let's begin, shall we?" I said.
"Yes. I wanted to tell you that my brother has travelled to the castle of the fairies. He will come back with new spells."
Why was she telling me this? One would expect this to be topsecret. Suddenly, her voice changed.
"It's a matter of course that we want to achieve something with the new spells. We don't want to hurt you and I hope you understand that things will have to change from now on."
Was she telling the truth? Had to be very careful. Some wizards are extremely dangerous.
"We want the big lake." she said.
"The big lake?!"
I couldn't believe I was hearing this!
"Yes. We need it. Are you going to give it to us?"
"No! We can't."
"You can't stop us. Like I said: we really need it. Wouldn't ask it otherwise."
She put her hand on my arm.
"We don't hate you. Elves are really cute. In fact... This makes me feel bad. I know you love that lake, but..."
"Love it? We can't live without it."
"Don't overreact. You will be just fine, you'll still have the rest of the wood. We only want the lake, nothing more."
I shook my head.
"No, no. You don't understand. The lake is vital. We really can't live without it... It keeps us alive as it is filled with magic."
For a few moments, the wizard said nothing.
"You didn't know this, did you?"
"No." she answered.
I hoped she believed me. They wouldn't kill the elves, would they?
"I'm really shocked." she said.
She sounded as if she trusted and believed me. There was absolutely no doubt in her voice.
"We will check this out." she said.
"Please, do. I am not lying." I said.
Then, she left. I headed for the garden. It was nice to be outside again. The landscape was just wonderful and very peaceful. I knew that we were in great danger and that I had to warn the others as soon as I could. We had to protect the big lake! I used my magical powers to teleport to the Elfcastle. My friends were waiting there for me.
"I have terrible news." I said.
My friends were shocked. For a few moments, I looked them in the eye.
"They want the big lake." I said.
My friends couldn't believe it.
"She said something about new spells. The fairies are their allies now."
"The fairies are on our side. They would never harm us."
"I know, but this is what she told me."
Then, my sister came in. My friends told her everything and she couldn't believe it either. Then, she saw that I was not joking. This was serious. She was very alert now. We knew that everything could be expected from a wizard, including this.
"Someone must visit the fairies." she said.
"Who?" I asked.
"They like you. I think you should go."
"Oh, no..."

Her long blue dress was shiny, her blonde hair was put up. She had light blue eyes. For a few moments, she just looked at me. I knew that she was a fairy with very strong magical powers.
"We have always been on your side." she said.
"I know that, but without the big lake, we die."
"We helped you to protect that lake."
She seemed surprised.
"We haven't forgotten. We'll always be very grateful for that."
"We protected you against demons and wizards."
"We know that. I have only come to ask if that wizard was telling me the truth."
"You don't trust us anymore." the fairy said.
She was stunned.
"I'm sorry."
Now, she laughed.
"That wizard really scared you."
"Yes." I nodded.
She was amused. Suddenly, she had a serious look in her eyes.
"Fairies are loyal." she said.
I nodded.
"You should not doubt."
"I'm glad to hear that, mylady."
Then, she laughed again.
"You were really scared, weren't you?"
"Yes, I was."
I didn't know what to think. What was going on here?
"Go home and tell everyone that you are safe. There is no reason to worry." the fairy said.
"Why did that wizard tell me that? Was she lying?"
"Just stop worrying."
Then, she teleported me back to the Elfworld. For several days, nothing happened. There was no sign of the wizards. I was alone at the bank of the small lake when she came back.
"You talked to the fairies." she said.
I startled.
The wizard laughed.
"Fairies are liars! They nčver tell the truth! Haven't you found out by now? Elves are so naive! Can't believe this!"
She shook her head.
"Why did you come to me?" I asked quietly.
"We still need that lake."
"We can't give it to you."
"Then we'll take it. I've warned you."
After that, the wizard vanished. I had one last look at the water and then went to see the others. We agreed that more and better spells were needed, but the fairies had always refused to give us that. My sister was the only one who had a plan. An old friend of hers had strong magical powers. He was a wizard, but he never used his magical powers to harm anyone. He was a good guy. My sister liked him very much, but it had been a while since she had spoken to him.
"I'm sure he will be willing to help us." she said. "You are the one who saw that wizard, you have to come with me."
"But I don't know him."
"Doesn't matter."
We teleported to his castle, to one of its big halls to be more precise. I had a look around. I liked this place. The door swung open and a strange guy entered the hall. He was wearing a long, wide, golden coat. He was surprised to see us. We explained to him why we had come.
"I have nothing to do with this." he said.
"You've got to help us." my sister said.
"The fairies will protect you. Why don't you trust them? They've never betrayed you."
"If her story is true, we're going to die."
"She's lying."
"How do you know?"
"I know the fairies well. They would never do that."
"We shouldn't have come." I said.
The wizard nodded. We had been worrying for no reason at all. Suddenly, a strange creature entered the hall. It screamed. The wizard said one if his spells and the creature vanished. For a few moments, we just looked at eachother without saying a word. I was too shocked to speak.
"What... What was that?" my sister asked.
"Something is wrong. You have to stay here for now." the wizard said. "Don't worry. I will protect you and your lake."
He headed for the door.
"Follow me."
Me and my sister followed him through several halls. Suddenly, another creature appeared. It was taller than the first one. The wizard said one of his spells, but nothing happened. Then, he said another spell. Now, the creature began to scream, as if it was having pain. The wizard said another spell. A strange light appeared in the hall and shined on the strange creature. It seemed to have more pain now. It fell on the ground and writhed. I just kept staring at it. Its pain kept getting worse. It was very shocking, but we all just stood there and looked. Slowly, it becan to move slower. It was loosing strength. Suddenly, there was a noise behind us. Another monster had appeared. Again, the wizard said a spell, but the monster screamed. The next moment, I felt a strange pain. My sister grabbed my arm. The next moment, we were in a strange wood.
"We had to escape..." my sister said.
"Where's your friend?"
"I don't know. I'm too weak to teleport him too."
I had a look around. We were sitting between several high trees.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"We're still near the castle. I couldn't get us very far."
"We seem to be safe here."
"Don't be too sure about that."
"What are we going to do?" I asked.

There wasn't much we could do. Those monsters had destroyed our only hope. Going back to the castle was not an option. For a few moments, we had a look at the trees. Then, my sister began to walk.
"Where are you going?" I asked her.
"I don't know."
I followed her and we just kept walking. Suddenly, we heard footsteps behind us. I was very happy to see that it was my sister's old friend. He was still wearing his golden coat.
"Here you are." he smiled.
"Nathan! Are you alright?" my sister asked.
"Yes, I am... but I had to use all my magical powers. We're defenceless now."
Suddenly, my happiness was gone. Defenceless?!
"They are not defeated, but they are weak as well. We're safe for now." Nathan continued.
We stayed in the wood until it got dark.
"We must go back to the castle now." Nathan said.
He was still strong enough now to teleport us back to that hall.
"They won't come back tonight, so you can sleep here." he said.
That night, I slept in a strange, big bed in a strange room. When I woke up, the sun was shining through the window. I was hungry and headed for the kitchen. Breakfast tasted very nice, but those monsters were still playing in my head. I was very worried about them. Nathan came to see me.
"I will do everything to help you." he said.
He had a very serious look in his eyes, as if he was very worried about this too.
"I will ask my friends for help." he continued.
Then, he looked me in the eye and smiled faintly.
"Don't loose hope."
"This is so unreal..." I said.
"I know. If even the fairies can't be trusted... It doesn't make sense."
"What are we going to do?"
"Well, my magical powers are still weak, but they will get stronger. It just takes some time."
I finished my breakfast and after that, we headed for the garden. There, we just got some rest and tried to relax. Of course, I wasn't relaxed. How could I be? I told Nathan everything I knew about the wizard and the fairies. He listened very carefully, but for the moment, there was nothing he could do.
"I usually don't use my magical powers for this." he said.
"We know you can do it." my sister said enthousiastic.
Nathan smiled. I could see that she meant it. Suddenly, he put his hand on her shoulder.
"I've really missed you..." he said.
"I know... Sorry I didn't come more often lately. Thought about you every day, though."
"Did you?"
"Well, almost every day..." she confessed.
Nathan laughed.
"Are you hungry? We could pick some fruit. It tastes very nice.”
The strange creatures stayed away for several days, but I knew they would come back. I knew they were getting stronger. They were just waiting for the right time. We were staying at a very nice place, but I couldn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t sure if Nathan could help us. My sister had more hope. After a while, I began to wonder why the strange creatures hadn’t come back yet. What were they up to? Why did they wait so long? I got more worried by the day. One day, I was alone in the kitchen with Nathan. He was preparing some food. He didn’t use his magical powers, because he wanted to save them.
“I have done it many times before.” he had told us.
Now, he was working again and I was helping him.
“You are very worried.” Nathan said.
I was surprised and nodded.
“Why?” he asked.
“Something is wrong. They should have come back by now.”
“What makes you think that?”
Nathan seemed really surprised. I myself I was surprised by his question.
“It doesn’t make sense.” I said.
“They’re strong, but... it doesn’t mean anything.”
I wasn‘t convinced. Nathan seemed to think I was acting very silly, but I knew better.
“Look, we do the best we can.” Nathan said.
“I know that.”
“Then stop worrying so much. It‘s not going to help.”
He didn‘t seem to realise that we were in great danger, but that had to be pretence.
“Try to relax, O.K.?” he said.
I shook my head. How could I? But Nathan got back to work. He had nothing more to say. Was he keeping something from me? Was he on our side? I really wondered if I could trust him and that really shocked me. Until now, I had always trusted him completely. That night, when I got to bed, I kept thinking about that conversation. We had counted on Nathan. If he couldn‘t be trusted, then we had no-one to turn to. I just kept staring into the darkness. All was silent. Time passed slowly and I just couldn’t sleep. Suddenly, I heard a scream. What was that? I got up and Nathan struck a light. For a few moments, he just looked around. Then, we heard a second scream and he got out of bed. I followed him downstairs. There, we saw a very strange creature. It looked at us with its yellow eyes. Nathan was standing in front of me. He just looked at the big monster without moving.
“See? I told you.” I said to him silently.
Suddenly, the monster began to scream again. Nathan said one of his spells and suddenly, the scream changed. The monster seemed to be in pain now. The spell was working. Then, Nathan said another spell. For a few moments, the monster vanished, but it came back. I just stood there and watched while Nathan was saying more spells. Suddenly, my sister put her hand on my shoulder. She was standing behind me. Suddenly, the monster grabbed Nathan.
“No!!” my sister screamed.
She pushed me and I fell. Nathan screamed too and dropped his lamp. That monster had big claws. This was the end. With his other arm, he grabbed my sister.
“Let me go!” she screamed. “Creep!”
But I knew that screaming was futile. He was too strong for us. There was nothing we could do. Suddenly, she began to cry out with pain. I felt terrible.

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The following comments are for "The lake"
by Stefanie

Stefanie, I only got about half way through your story. I have to be honest, there was a lot of problems with your writing. I'm not sure if it is this story or just your style of writing. I looked back on the other piece you submitted and saw similar problems. The primary problem seems to be lack of narration. Whether you write in first, second, or third person, you should use narration to set the scene, mood, etc. Your story consists almost entirely of dialogue, which, unless you're writing a play, doesn't work. It's like eavesdropping on somebody's conversation, but not really knowing what is going on. It left me confused. As for the dialogue itself, it doesn't ring true. It doesn't have the feel of real conversation. My suggestion is to spend a lot more time reading. It will help you to develop your skills as a writer. I don't want to be totally negative. I can clearly see you love to write by the length of your pieces. You've obviously put in a great deal of time. I admire that. I just think the reading may help and perhaps some classes. I know what I have put down here may seem harsh. I read the comments others had put on your other submission and I don't see how they can say what they say. I have to be honest and I truly believe the only way we can improve as writers is to have the truth told to us in specific terms. I would rather know something of mine sucks and why, than to have smoke blown up my butt. Feel free to e-mail me if you think I'm a bastard...but I really am just trying to help. :) Thanks, Jeff

( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: May 7, 2002 )

Well after all that's what we are here for right. To learn, I mean if we were all published wonderful authors there would be no need for sites like this.

When I read your story I saw right away what the problem is. It seems to me that you are writing way to fast. You are not taking the time to set the mood or the scene.

There are many redundancies in your story, and you start a lot of sentences with "Then" and things happen "suddenly" a lot.

When two people are conversing it is not always necessary to add things like "the wizard said, "Nathan said, "she said. If your story is well written with a proper set up, readers will know who is talking and when.

It seems to me that you were so anxious to get your story to print that you over looked the important basics.

The premise of the story is a good one as near as I can tell and I am looking forward to reading the polished version.

Please do not get discouraged, I have had many bad reviews and expect to get a bunch more, but I think I have become a better writer as a result of them. I think the advise Jeff gives in the above comments is good. Read more.

Keep writing, keep the faith

( Posted by: Ahze [Member] On: May 11, 2002 )

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