I can relate. I don't read much, but I like to write short stories. They're bad, but I like 'em well enough.
I'm not good at critiquing, but I'll give it a shot.
The story starts slow, with bits of action here and there, but really picks up near the end once the Succubus is summoned. It's clear you enjoyed writing the slaughter scene, and it came through in your writing.
- How large is Darlem? It's a walled city, so it must be of some importance, but is it so big that Eric needed to run for a half-hour to reach his shack, or was he winding through the streets to make sure he wasn't followed? And could a poor, malnourished, orphan even sustain an escape run for that length of time?
- Ok, I chuckled a bit at the “Path of the Necromancer...for Dummies” thing. Where did Eric get this book? Why did he have it? Why was he summoning a Succubus in the first place (I mean, aside from the obvious reasons
)? Also, just out of personal curiosity, why do more complex things take less time to summon? And how does this summoning process work? There are general details about the ritual, but where do these summoned creatures come from? How are they brought into the world?
- Was it shear dumb luck that Eric found this particular Demon Crystal, or did he target Tony specifically?
- On the subject of Tony, I got the impression Eric has been at this street-rat game for some time, and if Tony is as big a deal as he claimed to be, would Eric not already know who he is? Also, another personal curiosity, what sort of merchant is Tony? Like, what sort of goods does he deal in? And why are these Demon Crystals so valuable, and to whom?
- Why did Tony have 40 mercenaries? Are these just his regular “crew?” And if so, now I'm really
curious what sort of goods Tony deals in.
- The scene in which the Succubus goes to town on the 5 mercenaries in the shack is a wonderful action sequence.
- Why would the townsfolk look for Eric if a merchant went missing. Is Eric that well known in town? Has he threatened merchants before? Or was that just his own paranoia?
Some general tips:
- A general guideline for storytelling is “show, don't tell.” For example, in the third paragraph, you described Eric's appearance well enough that the reader could determine he was a street-rat, so there's no need to say it outright. Otoh, a few details of how Tony looked running through the street after Eric would go a long way in showing
the reader why
- Using similies and metaphors can not only help make abstract and unfamiliar concepts more relatable to the reader, but they can be used in place of descriptions to add some stylistic pizazz.
- Throw the reader right into the action from the beginning to get them hooked. In this case, the second paragraph is where your story begins, or even the point at which the mercenaries have surrounded the shack.
Overall, I think you have the foundation for a story here (in art, it would be like something in-bewteen a sketch and a drawing). It looks like you have a world designed in your mind, you have your characters, and you know where you want to take them and what you want them to do. I think some more technical/stylistic work would help make things flow, but I'd still be interested in reading the other 2 chapters. Have a cookie for your efforts.
I realize some of these details might be revealed later on. If that's the case, ignore what I wrote.