48 comments

Fantasy Thriller Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

Shooting between heartbeats is ideal for a sniper.

The blood flow can affect how one’s fingers move. Of course, keeping check on wind, humidity, and temperature are all vital. Whether a streetlight is shining in the dark of night, or the sun is out, light has to be kept in mind. Not to mention the target’s distance and movement.

Alice found it all to be second nature.

Her finger hovered the trigger. She inhaled, a quiet breath in, and listened to the beat of her heart. Her target stood about 250 meters out. Snow drifted down. Another long winter in Middknight. Steadied, one eye squinting, Alice squeezed the trigger. 

The rifle fired. The crack broke the silence. Her shot hit the paper silhouette, right between its painted-on eyes, sending it to its figurative grave. She pulled the bolt action lever back, and a bullet casing flew into the air.

“Alice,” a voice came. Edward stood behind her. “You’re a damn good shot.”

“I’m alright.” She got to her feet and slung the rifle over her shoulder. “Got something for me, captain?”

“A package,” he said. He handed it to her. Straight from postal, opened up—poorly resealed. “I’ll need you for a minute, too.”

Alice nodded. She walked beside him while her fingers tore apart the bag. A slate-blue scarf resided within. Made of wool, handcrafted, intended to match her uniform. A letter rested beneath it, her name in familiar handwriting.

“What’s got you smiling?”

“It’s a letter from my sister,” Alice said. “I’ll read it over later. Make it quick, captain.”

“Follow.”

As they left the shooting grounds, into the war camp, a squad of Middknight soldiers ran in formation—jogging down the path. Their boots broke into the snow with each step. The soldiers shouted as they ran.

“Assault rifle, loaded, by my side,” they called together. “This is the tool that will make a man die. Got my knife for C.Q.C, step too close and get gutted by me. These sand-rats deserve nothing but pain, and we’ll send them all to hell in the Goddess’ name.”

Their tune trailed off as they moved on.

To her left, an officer ran a briefing on sandworms and how to take them down. Photos and diagrams of the colossal beasts, labelling their anatomy, were pinned to a board. New recruits stood at attention.

“The empire of Sola,” the officer said, “thinks their fifty-foot beasts will topple us. Those sand-rats are missing one thing. Their worms can’t burrow if they don’t have sand. Once we mark them for our artillery, they’re as good as dead. Got it?”

“Alice,” Edward said. He motioned to a canopy. “Right here-”

A pegasus rider landed nearby. The rider blew a whistle as she slid off the winged horse, then called for a stretcher. She turned to lift an injured soldier off the pegasus while medics rushed to help.

Alice followed Edward beneath the canopy.

Edward motioned to a map laid out over a table. 

“Solan generals plan to break the stalemate,” he said. “They want to weaken us now, and make a push for Middknight as the weather heats up. They’re not stopping until they take our capital. We’re not giving in. Their forces are moving here...”

Edward pointed to a small town on the map named Goldenleaf, circled in red. “If they take this area, they’ll bunker down, and turn it into a supply route. We need to hold it at all costs.”

“Right,” Alice said. “I just got back from a mission-”

“I know, but you’re my best shot. One of the best Middknight has to offer. Higher ups don’t see how important this town is, and without my call, we’re leaving a couple dozen soldiers stranded there without reinforcements.”

Alice exhaled. “Fine,” she said. “Time off after, and you have my word.”

“I’ll get you two weeks.”

“Good enough.”

 They shook on it, and set out at daybreak.


- - -


A truck carrying Middknight soldiers rumbled over snow-covered roads. Alice sat with her back to the wooden boards, clear sky above, forest beside them. Her rifle rested in her lap. A tank paved the way ahead.

“Once we’re off the defensive,” a soldier said, “we’re going to conquer Sola. Show them the world doesn't belong to just them. We'll raise our flag—our lion will best their scorpion, and we’ll turn all of their country’s fields into farmland.”

The truck rocked as they drove over a bump. A deer, or some animal, snapped a branch further off. Alice narrowed her eyes.

“Are you dull?” another replied. “It’s all sand over there. They can’t farm. It’s desert. I’ll spell it out for you-”

“Yeah, they farm! How do you think they live?”

A soldier, dressed in tan, ran out of the forest. He called out in Solan tongue, then fired an anti-armour missile at the tank ahead. It broke into the plating. The insides were set ablaze. Alice shot and killed the Solan. Everyone stopped.

The driver crawled out of the tank, uniform on fire, skin burning. He rolled off, then hit the ground and flailed. “Father!” he cried. “Help me!” The heat scorched his lungs. Alice jumped down with the others. Gunshots erupted from the forest.

“By the tree line!” Edward called. “Right side, ambush, open fire!”

Alice scoped in from beneath the truck. Between two trees, hiding in the snow, lay a rifleman. She inhaled. “Goddess take you,” she whispered, then pulled the trigger. The shot struck the man in the skull and knocked him dead. The gunfight ended soon after—Solan forces far outnumbered.

Two men walked out. They raised their hands above their heads and spoke in their language. Surrendering. A soldier beside Alice raised his rifle and shot them both. 

He looked at her.

“For all I know,” he said, “they wanted a pack of cigarettes. Goddess be damned if I’ll give them my last one.” He laughed, expecting her to as well.

“They surrendered,” she said.

“Don’t care. Not in the slightest. Don’t feel a thing for sand-rats.”

Alice breathed in. Out. There’d be no use in arguing it. Once the area had been cleared, she sat back on the truck, and they drove around the tank. A radio would signal to pick up the remains.

The charred corpse of the driver lay in the snow.


- - -


By nightfall, they reached the town of Goldenleaf. Groups of soldiers broke apart. Some took patrols. Others rested in the abandoned buildings. Homes and shops—architecture from times of old, were left destroyed by bombings.

Alice rested in a church. One of the few buildings left untouched by the destruction. She’d lit candles found in the back, shadows flickering along the walls. On a bench, her head down, she murmured a prayer. Edward moved to take a seat beside her.

“Alice,” he said. “Are you alright? You didn’t eat.”

She looked at the statue of the Goddess. It watched over the church from the front, candlelight setting its ashen marble aglow. A sculptor had put it together almost a thousand years ago. It could go any second in an artillery strike. She sighed.

“I heard him,” Alice said. “The Solan with the anti-tank missile. I thought it was a deer. It’s my fault.”

“I need you not to think about it.”

“How old was that tank driver?” Alice turned to him. “Because he called out for his father. These soldiers are young enough to cry for their parents when they get hurt. Every time I think I’ve toughened myself, grown thicker skin, let go of my humanity, I see something like that. And this time it’s on me.”

Edward breathed out.

“You always been religious, Alice?”

“I…yeah.” She nodded. “Yeah. It’s what helps me. I…”

“Go ahead.”

“I used to hunt with my dad,” Alice said. “Wouldn’t be a good shot without him. Except, when I was a kid, killing animals, I felt something awful. So I prayed. It numbed it. And it does the same now.”

“Then keep at it.” Edward got to his feet. “If prayers get you through this war, by all means, ask for forgiveness for every life you take, and don't hold yourself to the ones you can't save. Our people rely on us to protect them. Every country that can't stand up to Sola relies on us. Keep your focus. Got it?”

“Got it,” she said. “Are you religious, captain?”

“No,” he replied. “I’d rather there be no one watching over me these days. Get some sleep. Pegasus scouts reported Solan forces on their way, eight hours’ time.”

His boots tapped against the wooden floors.

Before resting her head, Alice reached into her uniform for the letter her sister had sent. In the candlelight, she ran her thumb under the seal and unfolded it. 


Hi Alice, it read.


I was looking forward to writing to you the whole day, and I rushed straight from school to the post office. I really hope your you’re alright. It is lonely without you. Mom is still sick, and I can’t see her often. I’m excited for you to come home.

Ally, I made you a scarf! I hand-knitted it myself, just like you taught me. It’ll keep you warm during the cold nights, and it will match your uniform. Its It’s dark blue, almost grey, so it won’t stand out. It is woolly and comfortable.

Please be safe. I miss you a lot.

Your sister,

Ella.


Alice sighed. She wiped one hand against her eye, catching a tear.

“Damn kid,” she whispered. “I miss you, too.”


- - -


“You’ll be in the bell tower, Alice,” Edward said. The sun dawned, and he ordered his soldiers into action. They readied machine guns, stacked sandbags, and rolled out barbed wire. “Can’t get you a spotter,” he continued, “but as far as I can tell, you’ve never needed one.”

“No, I don’t,” she said. Alice readied her rifle. She walked through the town, and the surrounding soldiers pointed her out, whispering rumours of a cold-blooded sniper who only aimed to stack her kill count.

“Disperse!” Edward yelled. “You all know what to do! Check your ammo! Have a knife at the ready! Hustle up! Move, move, move!”

Alice ascended the tower. Cobwebs grew old in the corners, weighed down by flakes of snow. At the top, frost lined the silver bell—once polished weekly, now left to tarnish. She laid down against the stone. She checked her ammo, then stared down her scope, getting a view of the town. The minutes passed slowly.

Yet, sure enough, the rumble of a Solan tank droned in the distance.

Alice caught Edward’s eye. She gave hand signals. Open palm, four fingers, then five. Right side wave. One finger. Closed fist. Right side wave again. Back of hand. Forty-five infantry, right flank. One armoured vehicle. Right side course, no notice of us.

The tank drove over a bridge, and Solan troops followed behind it, guns at the ready. One inspected his rifle. Another wore a medic’s helmet, counting supplies.

As they passed the bridge, Middknight’s soldiers fired. 

The Solans scattered for cover. They yelled to each other, frantically. Rapid-fire from a machine gun tore holes in one enemy uniform, shredding his stomach, dropping him to the ground. The tank’s cannon rotated, fired, and hit a building. A cloud of debris and blood exploded into the air.

Alice aimed down her scope. She inhaled—slowing her heart—and focused on the soldier taking cover behind a truck, getting up to fire his gun.

“Goddess take my hand,” she whispered.

She pulled back on the trigger. The bullet struck the man’s throat. He rolled over and grasped at the wound. Alice flicked her aim to the next, a soldier running across the rubble, looking to get a better angle.

“And lead me to the light.”

She fired a shot. It missed. She wrenched the bolt action lever, then fired again, hitting the man's chest. Below, a Middknight soldier cried out for a medic. Others threw grenades and incendiaries at the tank, ruining its treads, rendering it immobile.

“Blessed Goddess, my fortress.” Alice steadied herself. She shot at a man who held a rocket launcher. “My castle, my shield, in whom I trust, I ask for strength.” The tank driver opened the hatch. She killed him before he could get out.

“And to show mercy in times of need.”

She flicked her aim. A Solan, no older than a teenager, stood panicked by the ruins of a home, hands trembling. Alice inhaled, then fired a shot beside him. Rock blasted into the air. He dropped his weapon and ran off.

“My faith is dedication, and-”

A man ran up the stairs behind her. Alice stood, fumbled her rifle, and reached for her side pistol. Too slow. The man got to the top and shot at her. The bullet struck her side, digging deep, and Alice fired back. Her pistol shot hit him in the head. His body collapsed down the stairs.

She stumbled, then slouched against the wall. Her rifle had fallen off the side of the tower. In the town, the battle was lost; the Solans gaining too much ground. The sky whistled above. Artillery. She closed her eyes-

Middknight’s fighter planes flew by, strafing the field. Paratroopers dropped seconds later, hitting the rubble, then snapping off their parachutes. Soldiers cheered for the air force as the Solans called for a retreat.

Alice smiled.

She pulled the slate-blue scarf off her neck, then tied it around her side, tight, slowing the bleeding. “Thank you, kid,” she muttered. “Might have saved me with this.”

Minutes passed. The gunfire slowed to a stop. Middknight’s soldiers rounded up prisoners. A pegasus rider flew up to Alice, the medic atop the winged horse helping her get on, tying a belt to keep her mounted on the saddle.

They flew to ground level. Edward stood among the wreckage, face covered in dirt and sweat. He motioned to them, and they landed. Alice rested her head on the medic’s back. The pegasus kept its wings high to shade her.

“What do I do with her, captain?” the medic asked.

“Right back to base. Medical attention A.S.A.P. Alice, if you can hear me, you did good. I’ll file for your two weeks first chance I get. Go.” Edward dismissed the medic, then turned to his soldiers. “I want all the bodies of our own brought back for burial. All prisoners are to be kept in an orderly line. Do not mess with them or you will be reprimanded…”

His voice faded out as the pegasus took off.


- - -


Alice walked with a limp. She’d be back to the camp in two weeks, off the front lines, but away from home nonetheless. Too good a shot to be lying around. For now, she approached her front door. She brought a fist up to knock—forgetting it was her home, and she’d always owned a key. With a smile, she reached a hand for her pocket.

The door opened before she could do so.

Ella stared at her in shock. Tears formed in her eyes.

Alice took a step forward, and her sister rushed to embrace her.

May 08, 2022 19:28

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

48 comments

Spruce Popsicle
13:06 May 12, 2022

This is an absolutely amazing story! I cannot believe how much world building and character building you were able to cram into this short story. Alice and Ella’s relationship seems very realistic and cute. If this were a novel, I would buy it from a bookstore. If there were more chapters, I’d keep reading. This was truly amazing. Great job.

Reply

Alex Sultan
04:15 May 13, 2022

Thank you! This is such a kind comment - honestly one of the kindest I've ever got. I was really immersed while writing this one, had no real trouble with it, and could imagine expanding this world's war into a novel - maybe one day. There are so many more characters I have in mind. I appreciate the kind words. Now to hope the judges think the same 😎

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Alex Sultan
19:29 May 08, 2022

Attempt two at High Fantasy mixed with WW2 style Fiction. I really enjoyed writing this one. While it may not be a winning story, it'll be my favourite on my profile for a long while. Thank you to anyone who reads it over 🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Rochelle Miller
23:00 May 10, 2022

Alex - I love the direction you took this prompt! The whole story was imaginative and really engaging. When Alice was shot I gasped out loud! The fact that her sister's gift saved her made the whole experience so real within this setting. I love the connection of Ally and Ella and the blend of fantasy with our plain world. Great writing. I could keep reading more chapters in this story!

Reply

Alex Sultan
04:21 May 13, 2022

Thank you, Rochelle. Your comment is so kind. I'm really glad the prompt worked, and that it made the scarf made the setting seem more real - I like this world I created a lot, and could definitely see myself writing more on it. Thank you for the read!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
K. Antonio
03:28 May 14, 2022

I really loved your first line. It was impactful while also introducing the character and a bit of interesting tension. This entire story actually had some of your usual flare (the tone/dynamics we get in your historical pieces, but this time under the fantasy tag). I think you did a nice job constructing a forward moving story. Each scene built on the last until arriving at the shoot out and then Alice's encounter with her sister. It was a great read and I enjoyed the world-building. And Alice was an interesting character from the start.

Reply

Alex Sultan
15:59 May 14, 2022

Thank you! I'm glad you read this one and enjoyed it. My opening line was originally going to be "Does the lion feel any remorse for its prey?" but it didn't sit right. I did try to match my usual war stories with this one, but with a lot more worldbuilding(which I enjoyed writing a lot - this mix of genres is my new favourite by far) I appreciate the kind words! I hope you are well.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
11:17 May 13, 2022

Alex this was wonderful I was truly captivated from start to finish. My favorite part was actually her reciting her prayer while in the tower Your pacing is just superb and you really did so very well with this prompt!! 👏👏👏

Reply

Alex Sultan
16:00 May 14, 2022

Thank you for reading - I appreciate the kind words. Alice reciting her prayer was my entire concept for the story, and I worked backwards from it. I'm glad you liked it 🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Delia Tomkus
11:14 May 10, 2022

This actually might be one of your favorite stories. I'm not sure why, but I think Alice's bond to her sister made her seem more realistic. Your world building is amazing.

Reply

Alex Sultan
17:06 May 10, 2022

Thank you for reading! I put 100% effort into this one, noting everything that made my previous war and fantasy stories good as I wrote it. I like doing this mix of genres a lot, and it is nice to hear it worked. I hope to see you post a story soon!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Dorsa S.
16:27 May 09, 2022

hey! i like this a lot, a mixture of war fiction and fantasy was a creative element for a story such as this. the subtle mentions of the scarf but left as a reminder of her sister was a good addition, and it really helped connect this piece to the prompt. you have a talent for writing fight scenes, which was highlighted in this fusion of genres. i have a few minor notes. i hope this does not come off negatively. The crack [of it] broke the silence. - cut the brackets. They stopped. - explicitly say who stopped, especially if it's at the ...

Reply

Alex Sultan
17:46 May 10, 2022

Thank you for reading, friend. I took every comment from 'Beneath the Soil' into account while writing this, and your feedback did help a lot. Especially in keeping in Alice from being stoic. I'm glad you liked this one. I really like the change you brought up, with candles and 'shadowy glow' being contradicitng. I felt something was off about it but couldn't name it. I made all the changes you suggested. I hope to see you post more soon. It has been a while!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
07:07 May 09, 2022

This is some fine military action. As a fan of war memoirs I really enjoyed the battle scene. Short sentences and strong verbs makes that feel impactful. (i think i've been watching too many reedsy videos lol) The only thing I can think to add to the story is that the reader could perhaps use a tiny hint in the beginning that it is in a fantasy setting, somehow I thought i was in the woods of Tennessee for quite a while. I do think the concept of military action in an alternate world is really interesting.

Reply

07:20 May 09, 2022

btw I heard you on Deidre Lovegreen's podcast, was a nice informative conversation. Quite a few other writers from reedsy prompts are in the history here too: https://www.readlotswritelots.com/previous/

Reply

Show 0 replies
Alex Sultan
17:16 May 10, 2022

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked the story. Those sort of battle scenes are something I do enjoy writing. I've always liked war memoirs too. I took inspiration from Saving Private Ryan, Fury, and American Sniper(if you've seen any of those three, I think they're all pretty alright) I'll see what I can do to add a hint of fantasy at the beginning. I appreciate the feedback. Thanks again for the read. Oh, and don't worry, I listen to the podcast regularly.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies

Hey Alex! I pray this finds you well. Alice's struggles are good reading, especially contrasted with the other soldiers' disregard for life. The WW2 style is interesting. I really liked the sibling dynamic in this one, too. The pegasi are back, so that makes me happy. :) A few critiques: [Her target stood about 250 meters out.] It doesn't show up in the comment, but in the story [meters] is italicized. Is it supposed to be like that? [A truck carrying Middknight soldiers rumbled, driving over snow-covered roads.] Maybe instead {A tru...

Reply

Alex Sultan
16:03 May 10, 2022

Thank you for reading - it was a lot of fun writing this one. From the start, I wanted to find a way to match the pegasi to a more 1950's time era, rather than medieval. I thought riders being medics/scouts instead of valkyries were my best bet. I'm glad you liked it! I've made several changes based on your feedback, and I really liked switching 'rallied' for 'rounded' and the ending switch with the door. It was very helpful. I have heard of the code talkers in the pacific, and how the Japanese couldn't decipher them. I may write something ...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Suma Jayachandar
09:12 May 13, 2022

Another offering from Middknight universe. I've always loved your portrayal of female protagonists in it. As I mentioned earlier, I've noticed you giving your action heroes a heart that protests against needless violence. It definitely gives their characters more depth. The standout features for me in this piece were a great opening line and the way Alice hand signals from atop the tower. Gold standard research! Good luck in the contest 😊

Reply

Alex Sultan
16:15 May 14, 2022

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked the story - writing about Middknight in this more 1950s like time period instead of medieval was something new, and I enjoyed it. It opened up a lot. Alice signalling from atop the tower is one of my favourite parts too. I thought it'd fit the scene so well. I appreciate the kind words. I hope this does well in the contest, too.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
20:52 May 09, 2022

Hi Alex, I'm a bit short on time but here are my line notes. Her finger hovered over her rifle’s trigger. - sounds a bit clumsy. I'd just say: Her finger hovered over the / her trigger. The crack (of it) broke the silence. - brackets not needed. Her shot hit the paper silhouette ahead, right between the eyes, sending it to its fictional grave. - I have a few issues with this line. - You don't need to say ahead - we can assume that. A silhouette wont have eyes - that sounds wrong. I'm not sure fictional is the right word - I can see what...

Reply

Alex Sultan
17:38 May 10, 2022

Thank you for your feedback. As I wrote, this is one of my favourites, so anything to polish it up is well appreciated. I made a lot of changes. I do have few comments, though, friend. A slate-blue scarf resided inside. - I don't see the ryhme here. Is it an accent difference? Resided/inside? I'd assume I have atleast a couple UK readers, so I did change it to 'resided within'. But if I still missed the ryhme, do let me know. “If they take this area, they’ll bunker down, and turn it into a supply route. We need to hold it at all costs.” -...

Reply

18:17 May 10, 2022

Hi Alex, I'm glad you found it useful, I'm sorry I was so brief on the positives, was really pushed for time. I really like this piece too. Yes, in UK reside/inside will rhyme. I know there's an extra d in your text but it still sounds too similar to me. I wish you luck in the contest 🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
19:47 May 30, 2022

Hi Alex, I hope you're doing ok. I noticed you didn't write for a couple of weeks, me either, prompts haven't been great. I have written for this week though, and Id be grateful for your feedback if you're interested in reading and have the time. Are you writing this week? Sending all best wishes. K

Reply

Alex Sultan
20:42 May 30, 2022

Hi, friend. I hope you are well! The prompts have been off lately, but this week is ok. I think I have a very good story planned, but it's a lot of research, so I'll probably have it out tomorrow - I'll read yours and leave feedback right after I have it posted 🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Zelda C. Thorne
09:13 May 21, 2022

Hey! I enjoyed this. Cool genre mixture. Good first line (as usual) , it set up the tone and world nicely. Loved the happy ending. 🙂

Reply

Alex Sultan
18:55 May 27, 2022

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it - this mix of genres is my new favourite thing to write. I'm planning to do so much more on it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Annalisa D.
20:09 May 20, 2022

This was a really nice use of the prompt with all the meaning the scarf had related to their relationship and then how it helped her. I think you did an excellent job with the writing. It seemed very polished, well edited, and nicely structured. I liked the ending a lot.

Reply

Alex Sultan
18:58 May 27, 2022

Thank you for reading! This is my favourite story I've written so far. I really appreciate the kind words - I think I eventually want to expand this idea into a novel.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sharon Hancock
01:31 May 16, 2022

Fantastic! I love that the sharp shooter is female cause I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen much about female sharp shooters. The battle scenes were awesome per your usual awesomeness. I also really enjoyed the sisters background story. So much in such a short story but executed superbly. 😻

Reply

Alex Sultan
13:34 May 20, 2022

Thank you for reading! I appreciate the kind words - I've had this idea forever, but didn't know how to put it into words. I'm glad you liked Alice. She is one of my favourite war-fiction characters I've written 🙂

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jay Mc Kenzie
19:51 May 15, 2022

Hey Alex. I really enjoyed where you took this prompt and the fact that the scarf played such a vital role was lovely. Made with love, so metaphorically, her sister's love saved her. I'm not generally a fan of War stories as such, but the humanity of Alice's character and how she doesn't lose that had me hooked. In terms of the fantasy element, you really built a world so subtly. There was an ease to the revelations about this world which I really liked. I hate when fantasy pieces are really 'telly' to try to get the world conveye...

Reply

Alex Sultan
13:28 May 20, 2022

Thank you, Jay. This comment was very kind of you. I really liked Alice's character, too. This story is my favourite I've written, and I'm glad it all worked out - I did try and be as subtle as possible with the fantasy elements with building the world naturally. It is nice to hear it worked. Thanks again 😁

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Deidra Lovegren
15:53 May 15, 2022

Pure action racing through every line. Kinesthetic writing at its finest. If it were in present tense verbs? Holy cow. *BOOM* Gritty realism in the fantasy realm and I am hear for it. You are SUCH a great writer. A huge talent now, here, and forever. I am a Sultan Superfan.

Reply

Alex Sultan
17:56 May 15, 2022

thank you - your comment is so very kind. This story is the most enjoyable I've ever found writing to be. Although I may be tilted to the next century because it's not winning, this is 100% what I plan to write a novel on. Combining my two favourite genres makes writing so fun to me, and means a lot hearing that people enjoy it.

Reply

Deidra Lovegren
18:09 May 15, 2022

You are on point. I look forward to your stellar success. I personally think you are one of the best writers on this site. (Actually, probably the best.)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Paul Wilhite
18:03 May 14, 2022

Wow, a very good job! As a newbie here I can see I will need to improve my game to create like this one. Thanks for a fine effort and super story -

Reply

Alex Sultan
13:25 May 20, 2022

Thank you for reading! I appreciate the kind words. Writing is all practice - I'm sure you'll get there 😎

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
02:33 May 12, 2022

Another home run, your writing is top of the shelf. Besides the suggestions others have given, I think you should add some more senses into this story. Like when the tank driver is burning you might want to describe the smell or when the MC was shot describe how it felt. Although, your story is still fantastic without those elements.

Reply

Alex Sultan
04:39 May 13, 2022

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked it - I enjoyed writing this one a lot, and I appreciate the kind words and feedback. I've taken note of it for the next one I write - I do want to, eventually, write more stories like this one.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
J.C. Lovero
11:30 May 11, 2022

Hi Alex! This was a great read. Now that I've been following you for some time, getting to read more about this world almost feels like serialized fiction, revealing a little bit more with each story. It is a pleasure. I love a story anchored in sibling love, and you captured it nicely here with the letter (you know how much Iove letters in stories) and the scarf. I like how the scarf helped to save Alice from the injury. Very nice touch there paired with the embrace at the end. Alice's character is fascinating: a religious sniper. It was...

Reply

Alex Sultan
04:29 May 13, 2022

Thank you for reading! I like this story a lot. Mixing fantasy and military fiction is my new favourite thing to write, and I really put 110% into this one. Having Alice be religious and reading off a fantasy bible style verse while shooting was my concept from the start, and I built everything around it. I thought the letter was such a great addition too - I feel like they always add so much to these war stories that I can't not add them. I appreciate the comment, friend.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply