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 The Lady of Lookout Mount

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PENCIL PUSHER (26-50 posts)
PENCIL PUSHER (26-50 posts)

Posts : 47
Age : 34
Join date : 2011-08-11
Location : Central Florida

PostSubject: The Lady of Lookout Mount   Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:00 pm


September 22, 1863
Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

She could feel the cool mountain air sting her lungs as she ran across the clearing toward the safety of the woods. When finally she came to a halt at the tree line she looked back to see the group of Yankee’s that still pursued her. Her side ached and her diaphragm cramped with the continuous rapid rise and fall of her breathing. But despite the pain all she could think was, Jesu, let him have made it to the cave.
“The witch can’t have made it far,” the one who seemed to be in charge yelled out. “If we continue up the mountain we risk running into Rebs.”
She ducked behind a tree and watched as her pursuers then turned away and started down a trail that led up the cliff toward a cluster of cabins that belonged to her neighbor, Colonel Whiteside, but now, along with the rest of Lookout Mountain, was at the mercy of the two armies that fought for the stronghold. Her own home located just below the summit, for the time being, remained untouched. But the whole of Summertown was now at risk to be taken over by the Confederate army.
She turned and quickly disappeared into the trees and made her way toward a cluster of large boulders that surrounded the mouth of a cave like elemental Titan guards. She looked once more around her, making sure that no one followed her and then slipped her slim frame easily between two of the boulders.
Where is he? Her heart ceased its frantic beating inside her chest. My God, they’ve got him.
“Elijah!” She called out, praying that she would not be heard by her pursuers. But she had to find him. He was all she had left. If they got him, then she did not care if the Yankee’s found her. For if he was lost then life would not be worth living.
“Elijah!” She said again. That’s when she saw it, a shadowed figure standing in the mouth of the cave. She wanted to scream but the sound seemed to catch in her chest. She threw her hand up to her throat and took in a large gasp of air as the figure began to stride towards her.
Then she felt his hand clamp down over her mouth and she was pushed against the cavern wall.
“Not another sound, Miss.”
Her eyes widened with fright as this strange man’s body pressed into her. There wasn’t much she could see. He was very tall and wore an officer’s kepis. The light in the cave was very dim, concealing many of his features. But even so she could see that his uniform was gray which gave her little comfort. Though he could not have been one of the Yankees that chased her, he was still a soldier. Who knew what the years of war might have done to his psyche.
So what did this Confederate officer want with her? Where in God’s name was Elijah?
Don’t panic, she told herself.
“If you would just relax miss and promise not to scream, I will remove my hand from your mouth.”
She did as she was told and looked up into his eyes. They were dark blue and with a warning stare that seemed burn into her like a flame from a wild fire. She relaxed and he removed his hand from her mouth, all the while keeping her pinned against the stone wall. His fingers dug into her arms as he held her tight.
“Let me go!” She demanded all the while reminding herself to keep her cool. She tried to keep her voice steady but it only escaped her lips in a tiny shriek when he pulled her away from the wall and into his chest. Instinct kicked in and she began to struggle.
“Miss…miss just stop. I don’t want to hurt you…I just…Ouch!” He yelped in pain as the heel of her boot came crashing down on top of his.
Well she can fight back that’s for sure.
She wrenched free and ran for the mouth of the cave.
He surged forward, barely managing to grab the ties of her apron, stopping her momentum with such force that they both went crashing to the ground. Quickly, he was able to climb on top of her as she thrashed beneath him. He grabbed her flaring arms and pinned her wrists to the ground.
“Please ma'am, just stop! I will not hurt you.”
She thought she should scream but realized who would come? She certainly did not want to summon the Yankee’s that were chasing her. She didn’t even know what they wanted with her.
And where the hell is Elijah?
Again she relaxed, forcing herself to look up at the stranger above her. Now in full day light she could see that he was a strikingly handsome man. His features were cleanly sculpted and very well defined. He had dark hair, black as night, and almost copper skin. With his high cheek bones and almost exotic features he seemed almost savage like, as if he might have the blood of the Indians she read so much about. If it weren’t for his eyes…His eyes were an even deeper blue than she thought.
Cobalt. Who has cobalt eyes? Well it is fitting for this…this…
“What are you doing?”
Her eyes widened at his tone. It was that same patronizing timbre that a girl might get from a big brother or father.
“What am I doing? You’re the one that has me pinned to the ground. You are behaving like an animal sir, not a Southern gentleman.”
Alex stared down at the girl…no, she was not a girl. She was a woman. In the light of day he could see that now. Her hair, a deep-rich auburn like none he had ever seen. It splayed around her like flaming curls as she lay there staring up at him. Her eyes were green, almost emerald and her skin pale and without a mark. My God, yes she was a woman, finely curved, slim and healthy.
“Please excuse me if act against my breeding ma’am. I am in just a bit of a bind. You see, I am on my way to the summit of this mountain. I have to find headquarters for my division there. It seems that I have strayed from the trail a bit.”
“Well, I cannot be of any service to you.”
“You can’t?”
“I will not help any soldier that is invading my land.”
“We are not the invaders ma’am. We are your defenders,” he said quickly, but it seemed to be without much conviction. There was almost a bitterness she detected in his voice. It was as if his heart was aching as much as hers.
“Ah but you are on my land and I don’t care to support this war.”
“You are a Yankee then?”
“I am no Yankee, I assure you.”
“Well, that explains why I saw you being chased by some.”
“It explains nothing. Just please, let me go.”
A wry smile curved his lips. “Your loyalties lie with the South then?”
“My loyalties are to myself and my…my…”
“Your what?”
“Elijah, I must find him. He was supposed to be in this cave, when they came after us. He’s only five, please just let me go so that I can find him.”
He eased his weight from her and sat back on his haunches.
“If I help you find him, will you help me to the summit?”
She bit her lip and nodded. “If we find him alive I will help you to Summertown the summit isn‘t far from there.”
“Why not the summit?”
“It’s Craven land…I don‘t care to go there.”
He stood and reached his hand down to help her up.
With reluctance she allowed for his help. She stood and straightened her dress and then smoothed back her hair that had fallen into her face.
“I’m Alex Bryant. Captain Bryant, that is, C.S.A. at your service ma‘am,” he said as if again trying to mask the bitter undertones.
She nodded and shimmied through the two boulders at the mouth of the cave. He followed her, turning his broad shoulders to the side so that he too could fit through the exit.
“You didn’t tell me your name ma’am.”
She whipped around to look at him and with a mischievous raise of her eyebrow she smiled. “I’ll tell you my name when we find Elijah. Until then, Captain, I suppose you will just have to wonder.”
He smiled in return. “Indeed. Well then, lead the way, my lady.”

Author's note:
I am in need of a reader to assist with the editing phase of this four part family saga. Part Three and Four a completed and in need of a proof read. Part One and Two are 80% done. This is a Christian series the is a family saga with a romantic adventure twist. If interested, please e-mail or message me. G-d Bless!

- "Dare to dream, make the impossible, possible. Climb every mountain, reach for the farthest star. Make your mind the strongest muscle in your body and in doing so and with G-d, you can overcome."
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PostSubject: Reply   Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:37 pm

I can tell that you put some work into this, but it had a number of mistakes. I want to give you credit for attempting to present the thoughts of the lady, as it did provide some emotion. Where you failed was providing some commentary about what was going on. I really found myself confused at times.

Whoa, a lot of complex sentences. That is bad. Keep your sentence structure as simple as possible. If there is a comma in every sentence of a paragraph, it is a bad paragraph. If you start to use a second comma in a sentence, you probably should rewrite with multiple sentences.

Had problems with non-narrative parts of the narrative. Learn to use things to set this apart.

But despite the pain all she could think was, 'Jesu, let him have made it to the cave.'
Note that I set the thought in single quotes (and the name of our Big Brother is JESUS).

Where is he? Her heart ceased its frantic beating inside her chest. My God, they’ve got him.
Note that here I used italics, because they were complete and separate.

Alex stared down at the girl…no, she was not a girl. She was a woman.
Sorry, but this is a trashcan mistake (editors hate this). What you did was switch PoV (Point of View). This supposedly confuses the reader. You need to learn to watch this, and rewrite to keep a consistent PoV.

Overall, let me say again that I recognized some work to establish a style and present a good story. Keep at it.
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