Heir of Dishonor (previously titled "Something New")

Fiction By LoriAnn // 12/8/2009

Note: this is a new story that I'm working on, and I hope that by posting it here, I will a) get some feedback, and b) have some incentive to keep working on it instead of stuffing into some obscure file on my desktop somewhere. LOL.

Anyway, you get a two-chapter deal out of it, so I hope you enjoy. Oh, and any decent working title suggestions would be nice too. :)

 

Chapter One: The Death of Dominic Montague
 
 
 
Daniel stared down at the body of the man who was his father and tried to feel some emotion other than a vague sense of relief. Grief, anger…even pity would be more fitting, but no. The best he could muster was a faint dismay—but that was more because he now wondered what would become of him, now that his father had been murdered.
It wasn’t really a surprise, of course. Dominic Montague had been a big-time crime boss for nearly fourteen years. It was almost a given that he would have been murdered in some way or another—it was really only a matter of time. To be honest, Daniel didn’t even particularly care who had done the deed. It could have been any of more than a dozen men involved with more than a hundred jobs…or it could have been several together, or even someone paid by a rival crime boss.
Daniel hadn’t been home when it had happened—good thing too, or he might have ended up the same way. He had been in the town square, listening to a jongleur warble a few songs—rather badly, at that. But the man had been at least half elven, so Daniel felt obligated to listen.
Daniel was full-blooded elf himself, an oddity in the almost completely human city of Warrensburg. His father was a fugitive from elven law as well as human—and ogre, dwarf and centaur law as well, for that matter. Daniel wasn’t exactly sure what exactly his father had done to have become such a wanted man, but he knew that it had to have been horrible. But then, Dominic Montague was not known for his virtues.
Which was why Daniel, standing in the cold rented room and staring at his father’s corpse, wasn’t particularly surprised. He was sorry, he supposed, but not as much as he felt he should be. A boy was supposed to love his father, right?
Daniel shook off the guilt. I’ll worry about that later, he told himself. Right now I need to think. What do I do next?
He had never really planned for something like this, even though he had known it was probably going to happen someday. He looked helplessly around the dark apartment, where the fire in the fireplace—always kept low to conserve wood, which was expensive in the city—had long since gone out. The day was cold and gray outside, and the apartment was just as bad inside. Peeling paint and creaky floorboards made for a less-than-homey atmosphere; even more so now that there was a dead body in the center of the room.
“I’ll have to leave,” Daniel said aloud, his voice echoing startlingly off the bare walls. He jumped at the sound, and shivered in his threadbare coat. Where he would go, he had no idea. He had no family to turn to: his father’s parents were dead and his mother—
“My mother…” the words were strange on Daniel’s tongue. He had never known his mother. Dominic had left his wife weeks after the birth of their only child—Daniel. Taking the boy with him as a sort of hostage, Dominic had fled the wrath of the elven authorities. Since that time, Daniel had outgrown the role of collateral and had been trained as a con-boy, assisting his father in many of the “jobs” that the elder Montague executed.
Surely Daniel could find his mother if he looked hard enough. After all, how many elven women could there be with his mother’s story?
I don’t even know her name, he realized. This might take a while.
He moved from where he had been standing for the last fifteen minutes—just inside the front door, staring at his father’s body—and went to the corner of the room that he slept in. Under the bed was a box full of bits and pieces: a sock missing its mate, two semi-clean shirts, a leather ball, three chipped glass marbles…a normal fourteen-year-old boy’s treasure.
There was a canvas satchel behind the moth-eaten couch, which Daniel grabbed and started filling with his possessions.
I’m not coming back, he thought, weighing a pouch of collected pebbles in his hand. I might as well take everything with me. He added the pouch to his satchel and covered it with a clumsily-folded blanket.
There was little food in the apartment—a few wrinkled apples and an opened package of stale saltines—but he added it to the satchel anyway. Then, feeling as though unfriendly eyes were boring into his back, he pulled the rusted pipe stove away from the wall and reached into an exposed hole in the floor. There, he found a leather sack full of silver crowns and even a few golden castle pieces. He hefted the fist-sized pouch approvingly. That should set him well on his way. He knew how to watch for—and trick—thieves; after all, he was the son of a thief. Instead of slipping the entire money bag into his satchel or tying it around his waist, he pulled out about twenty of the larger coins and painstakingly slid them into specially-made pockets in the wide hem of his tunic. Each coin was separated by a seam—supposedly part of a geometrical embroidery pattern, but really a system of secret pockets created for this very purpose.
The rest of the coins were buried in the bottom of his satchel, any clinking muffled by a layer of shirts and handkerchiefs.
Finally ready, Daniel slung the satchel over his shoulder and went to the door. He took one last look back at his father’s still form, and shook his head.
“Whatever I do,” he told the departed man. “I won’t end up like you.”
And opening the door, he stepped out of the apartment into a new world.
 
 
 
Chapter Two: The Bounty Hunter
 
 
Richard Barlow stared down at the body of his target and silently cursed his own bad timing. If he had only gotten here a few hours earlier…but there had been a horrible crowd at the coach station, and then his first address had been wrong…
He nudged the limp arm of Dominic Montague with the toe of his boot, and cursed again. Well, the scoundrel had gotten what he deserved, anyway, even if he hadn’t been taken to trial. The end result would have been the same at any rate, so Barlow couldn’t really complain—
What was he saying? Of course he could complain! He had been working this hunt for the last two years, following shady leads given by even shadier characters. He had slept in hovels and trudged down muddy roads and paid out far too much coin for information that was barely worth the air it took to give it. And now, after three days spent in a shabby, unfriendly town; after walking nearly every cold and filthy street in the North District—not a nice place to be at any time, let alone in the middle of winter—after all that, he finally caught up with his quarry only to find that someone else had gotten there first. He had every right to complain!
Barlow turned his attention to the rest of the apartment, trying to guess how Montague had been living these last fourteen years. Not that it was hard to figure out—the rat had more connections in the underworld than the devil himself. Doubtless it was a few of those less savory connections that had eventually backfired on him.
Hmm. That was odd—there was a second bed in the corner, a small cot, really. Barlow crossed the room and examined the cot carefully, being careful not to actually touch anything. An empty box half-protruded from under the low bed, and the blanket was missing.
A vague suspicion crossed the bounty hunter’s mind, and he returned to the other side of the one-room apartment, pulling a cabinet open carefully.
Empty. As were all of the others.
Someone was here, he thought. I wonder… There had been a small note in the crime boss’ file, which Barlow had skipped over at the time, thinking it insignificant.
“Something about a kid,” he mused aloud. Looking back at the dead man, he said “What about it, Montague? Did you have a kid living here with you?”
Of course, the criminal said nothing, and Barlow shook his head. “Great,” he muttered—this time to himself. “Now I’m talking to stiffs. As if my sources weren’t putrid enough to start with.”
Half-smiling at his own attempt at wit, Barlow left the apartment, closing the door loosely. He felt sorry for whatever maid or janitor would discover the body, but there wasn’t much he could do about that.
No—now he had a new objective: find that kid.

Comments

I like it!  This one sounds

I like it!  This one sounds like it's going to be exciting.  As for names, there's only one I can think of: Daniel in the Robbers Den, and I'm not sure how appropriate that is, since I don't know what all is going to happen in this story.

Bridget | Sat, 12/12/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Very Interesting

One suggestion I have is to perhaps let the background information (Daniel's past) unfold a little bit more slowly rather than explain it all at once, at the onset. But other than that, I like it--it's a take on fantasy I haven't seen before. I'll be looking forward to more.

Annabel | Sat, 12/12/2009

A bad elf? Hey, cool! Now

A bad elf? Hey, cool! Now this is different. I have to readjust my thinking about elves all over again. LOL. And I like the scret pockets/embroidery on his tunic, that's a cool idea.

I do agree w/ Annabel, let Daniel's background info come out more slowly. Just give us some tantalizing bits, create more story qestions for us to wan to skip immediately to the next chapter about him.

Barlow sounds interesting. I think the chapter about him was very well done.

Is this urban fantasy? It sounds like it.

I'll think of story titles when I've read more of the story.

Heather | Sat, 12/12/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Oh...

This story isn't a genre I've read before, but it sounds interesting....Bad elves? You must be very careful, though, because I think most people like good elves.

Julie | Sun, 12/13/2009

Formerly Kestrel

Thanks, guys

Thanks for the advice--I'll try to slow down with the background, though I probably won't be giving a whole lot more--it's not really relevent to the story. I don't think. LOL--I don't really know yet.

As for the bad elves--let me explain this bit now, because I haven't figured out how to explain it inside the story yet.

My elves are different than normal elves in several ways: they only live about a hundred years, instead of a thousand or so, and they age about like humans do. My elves are very Asian in appearence (because, in my humble opinion: in "our world", the culture of the Asian continent is the closest we get to elven grace and sophistication) and they are just like people in that there can be good guys and bad guys.

My humans are all going to be very African/Middle Eastern in appearence--dark skin and hair, etc. I'm trying to deviate from the archtypical Anglo Saxon people here. Other than that, there's nothing "special".

And--though I haven't decided if they are going to feature in the story or not--my dwarves are the European ones here: Tea and cakes, anyone? LOL

LoriAnn | Tue, 12/15/2009

 Tea and Cakes indeed!  Bring

 Tea and Cakes indeed!  Bring it on!  Having European-type dwarves is totally new and I would LOVE to get to know them.  The sooner the better! 

Mary | Thu, 12/17/2009

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

Hey, this is pretty good :) I

Hey, this is pretty good :) I like that line: "Great, now I'm talking to stiffs." Humorous line, for some reason.

Laura Elizabeth | Thu, 12/17/2009

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The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

Hey, I like. Very

Hey, I like. Very interesting. Post more LoriAnn!

Kay J Fields | Fri, 12/18/2009

Visit my writing/book review blog at http://transcribingthesedreams.blogspot.com/

...

Soon, soon...be patient, oh sister mine...

LoriAnn | Fri, 12/18/2009

Wowzers :P

Ladies and Gentlemen, she's done it again! Let's hear a round of applause for Miss Lori Ann!!!!

Ariel | Sat, 12/19/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Great

GREAT.... thanks for welcoming to AP. And this was wonderful!

I read it to my younger siblings. I loved it and my younger brother as well ( he is 5 , I think?). It was very interaning. diffantly a book that needs to be published. I like the sound of what the dwarfs are going to be like ( diffantly not like any of the dwarfs I have heard of, unless the dwarfs in the Hobbit where). Hmmmm... Daniel is ver interesting. I disagree with everyone I liked it the way it is ( unless you have already changed it and those comments where long ago LOL). Good job

Can't wait to force my siblings to listen to more ( mwhahahahahahaha lol)

And I cant wait to read more myself

sencerly Kassady

Kassady | Tue, 02/23/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

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