Flogging

The flogging came and went.

I faired better than some, but in the end the answer was no – he would not have turned the page. I’ve spent some time rewriting the opening taking into account the comments I received. Here is the original and the rewrite. Which do you like better?

Original

Dear Journal,

The war has not been going well. Today, we lost the last farms outside of the town walls, and the turpes and foeturs have completed surrounding the town. It seems they are waiting just out of arrow’s reach. They may not be smart, but they’re at least clever. The Captain said we have enough food and other provisions to hold out for another month, but that he doubts help will come in time. He called for volunteers today to go up into the mountains to discover the turpes plans. Cadmon, Hector, Julie, Red Beard, and I volunteered to be one of those teams.

I’m looking forward to getting out into the woods again. It’s been hard being stuck in town for eight weeks. It’s hard to focus with people all around who are upset because they’ve lost their farms and their families.

It’s strange how people fall apart when people they know die. Life is such a fleeting thing after all – with people dying all the time. Even though people hear of death everyday, death seems to catch them by surprise when it takes someone they know. Perhaps it’s my mental training as a wizard that lets me keep control of my faculties while those around me are loosing theirs.

Rewrite

Dear Journal,

The war took a turn for the worst today. We lost the last farms outside of the town walls, and the turpes and foeturs have completed surrounding us. They are staying just outside of arrow range, but I could see them clearly, taunting us.

I used the monocular Master gave me for my birthday – I wish I hadn’t. I could see turpes’ naked bodies, barely covered with short black hair – I don’t understand how God could have created something so hideous. I was trying to figure out what they remind me of, but nothing really fits. Maybe the elongated face of a wolf, but their heads are wider and rounder like a great cat. Their bodies are likes men’s, but shorter and more muscular, and the hair on their heads is matted and long.

After the last of the farmers and guards were safely inside and the town gates locked, the captain called everyone together. He asked for volunteers to go up into the mountains to locate the turpes camp and discover their plans – Cadmon, Hector, Julie, Red Beard, and I volunteered to be one of the teams.

I’m can’t wait to getting out into the woods again. Eight weeks is a long time to be stuck in town. It’s hard to focus with people all around who are emotional because they’ve lost their farms and their families. I wish they could be more disciplined like me.

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