This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
In the Lowlands
Two days later, warriors came down from the plateau. They clambered over rocks and filed through fern-shaded gullies. Each carried a long, fire-tempered spear. All were afraid.
‘How far?’ asked a young man.
‘Half a day’s walk,’ guessed another.
‘It is good down here,’ said a man daubed with lines of white clay. ‘And warmer. There would be rich hunting. We could bring our wives.’
‘No,’ said the eldest. ‘This is not our country and we did not come to cause trouble. We stay only long enough to do what we must. Then we go home.’
At midday they emerged from a stand of trees and moved through high pale grass. They saw smoke in the distance, but no people. A little later, one of the men pointed.
‘There it is,’ he whispered. Silently they spread out.
‘Can you smell it?’ someone called, and everyone could.
‘Is it still alive?’ asked another.
‘Alive or dead, we made this problem much worse,’ an elder said. ‘Now we will give it to the earth and leave it in darkness.’
Day after day they laboured, shovelling and carrying. Their digging sticks were replaced many times and their hands blistered. Eventually, even the lowlanders came out of hiding and helped. By the dusty end of summer, they had finished. A long, low mound of earth ran along a gently sloping ridge.
Wearily, they turned for home.
‘We did the work of men,’ said a youth. ‘I will dance it for the women.’
‘No. This is a secret tale,’ said the leader-of-stories, ‘Speak of it only in our company.’
Their world returned to familiar rhythms, but, as ever, tales outlived their tellers.
RodRaglin: This is an interesting approach to a very topical subject. I hope you go on to explore the reasons behind the increase in teen suicides as well as tell an entertaining story.I like that you start with the inciting incident - the announcement of the suicide. In revision you might want to consider...
Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."