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Howdy folks. I'm gonna share a novel with you all. I can't say what it's about without spoiling it, but a quick search on wikipedia of what a cambion is will set you in the right direction. To be vague, we'll call it literary fiction of the unusual sort. I never did like genres. The following are all first drafts, and I am seeking criticism on the plot, characters, and writing style; I've already written a novel before, so I'm rather set on the technical aspect of the English language :P
I don't like deviantART very much, but it's convenient to post there. Sorry.
I really want to read this but at the same time i really dont want a Deviant Art account. I have to sign up to read it because of the mature filter. :/ Is there anyway to change that?
At 2/22/13 05:02 AM, ChiiFace wrote: I really want to read this but at the same time i really dont want a Deviant Art account. I have to sign up to read it because of the mature filter. :/ Is there anyway to change that?
Oops! Sincere apologies, I hadn't realized. And I don't blame you, I don't even want this dA account.
At 2/22/13 06:07 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: It's really way more convenient for us to read your story if you just post and format it here, a lot more people will be able to read it and offer criticism that way.
I'll give it a whirl; the problem is, it's a pain in the butt to format plain text to look good (in the least, having an indention behind each paragraph), and AFAIK, the font can't be changed. Sans-serif is no fun to read novels in. But I'll start uploading them here if that's what everyone prefers :)
From a lucid stream of conscious thought, the boy is alive, and awakens to a maddening call of pain. He gasps for air, beneath the sea for much too long, and finds himself in a room, darkness split in two by a wave of brilliant golden glow. Warm upon his bed, sunken beneath waves of blankets, he sits upright. Bones creak and crack and snap into place. The golden glow beckons. The boy must follow.
Through his doorway, from the hall, and down the stairs, the boy rubs sand from his eyes, and rubs again, for what he sees is difficult to describe-a feather, simply put, but a feather fluttering in his home, his once locked home, flying and crossing with more its own, white yet golden in the brilliance ahead. Feathers wisp and part to reveal their maker: a man, or a woman, two wings at his back, fallen through the roof and collapsed onto the boy's dining room table, now two. From this winged man's stomach is a spear, a crude, overgrown arrow, firmly lodged as he tugs and cries and chokes on blood.
The kid comes closer. She's a beauty, a tragic clash of purity with dirt and blood, hair soft and longer than the boy stood tall, yet her body is masculine, and firm, and broken. The winged woman, or man, slows. The boy stares, dumbfounded. She peers at him, spear firmly wedged in vitals, and begins to cry. He cannot help her. Nobody can, and she realizes. Hour glass with a hole.
"My son," says the man, or woman. She coughs, and blood is in her hands, and face, and she grows pale. "You should not see me this way."
The boy, mind racing a closed track, places his hands on the spear.
"No," says the woman, and swats his hand away. "Leave it. They must see the monstrosity they've come to ignore. If you will spare me just one last moment." She takes hold of the boy's hand and holds it to her chest. "Can you feel it?" Thum-thump. "Is there any question, then?" Thum-thump. "Who dares call me a doll?" Thu-thump.
"Wh-wh-" the boy stammers, but the woman hushes him.
"Do something. One last thing," she says. Within the boy's palm, she places a golden sphere, an intricate and ornate thing, stained with red. "Take this. Find a spot high in the air, and throw it. When they come, they'll find you. They'll find me. I think I will be dead. But you, my son. You will live. They will save you from this hell." The boy can only stare.
"My," says the woman, or man. She lends a bloodied hand to his jaw. "How you've grown. How you've grown, Adam. So big, now." She smiles, a genuine gesture, though it fades and she seems to stop looking at the kid. She lets her hand return and speaks, but nothing comes out, until she stops speaking, and only stares. The golden aura surrounding the woman fades, and soon, the boy is left in total darkness. All remaining is he, his confusion, his madness, and the woman's gift in his hand growing cold.
"But-but what's happening?" says the boy. No response. "Who are you?" he cries. No response. "Don't just leave me here!" The kid runs up the stairs and to his parents' room. Light switch is broken. He waves his open hand around the bed, over the sheets and even beneath. Nobody is in here. Nobody in the bathroom. Toothbrushes and shampoo are gone. Can't see his reflection in the dark. Flashlight. He runs down the steps, nearly trips, and searches through the kitchen cabinets, and then through the garage. One flashlight-kid flicks it on. Dust is everywhere. The air is stale, unmoving. An ambiance unwanted. Light is dim, but it'll suffice. He returns to the upstairs, yet still finds no sign of his mother, or father.
He nearly calls out for them, yet finds it futile. Clothing, make-up, and trash scatter the floor. Hangers ripped from the closet, sliding door ajar, favorite possessions broken or gone. Ransacked? Had they left to fill out a police report? Were they coming back? Adam leaves to his brother's room. Untouched, yet empty.
"John?" he finally calls. "Mom? Dad?" Only his echo replies. He searches through his brother's desk-any sign, any at all. Only pens and school work to be found. His room is clean; his bed is made, his belongings are all still there. Nothing missing, not from his drawers or closet. Where could they have gone?
The flashlight in Adam's hand flickers. He turns his head and notices a folded sheet of paper. Desperate, the boy pulls it open. It says nothing. Flashlight dies.
He sits on his brother's bed, holding his head in his arms, shoulders bouncing as he whimpers. Abandoned-was that it? No-they would never leave him. They were coming back. He wipes his eyes. He's getting worked up over nothing. He'll just call the police, and tell them a woman fell through his ceiling. They'll figure it out from there, and then he'll call his mother, and see where she's gone.
Adam returns to his room and searches for his cell phone; finds it on his night stand. Dead. Completely dead. No electricity to power it. Home phone. To the living room again-home phone has no dial tone. Plugged in. No tone. Hopeless. He'll have to ask his neighbor. He doesn't know his neighbor, but he thinks his name is Tim and he knows he drives a black SUV. Adam will take anyone as a friend if it helps.
Through the front door, he rushes to the next house over, and bangs on the door. All the grass is dried out and tan, and the trees are bare and dead-but it is neither cool nor hot outside. He rings the doorbell but hears no chime. Was Tim out of power, too? His SUV is gone. Must be at work. Adam tries the next home, calling for help, for anyone to help him, door after door. Not a peep through a window, or even Steve to yell at him for not shutting up. Everyone is gone.
The woman's words ring in his head. He stares at the golden sphere, outside, in the gray light, and sees an odd reflection in the yellow. Adam looks up, and the sun, that undefeatable, shining god in the sky, is now of onyx.
Tricky. Can't edit posts either. Hopefully this will do, as the extra spaces were killed in my last post :P
Or maybe I'll try double spacing between paragraphs.
Adam wanders the empty roads-empty of people, but many cars are left behind-with the golden orb in hand, his one tie to answers. There is no time; at least, not easily found. Time and date on every PC, phone, clock and watch, the former of which are useless now. A fine film of dust is fallen on everything, and his footsteps from his home are apparent; the only footsteps around. Nothing has been touched for some time, with the dust unsettled, and there is no wind, leading the kid to believe there are no tides. And if there are no tides, there is no moon-or no movement of that moon. Or no movement of the rock he strides. It isn't so hard, then, to believe there is no time, yet the definitive presence of gravity stirs his mind again and he is left without answer. The black, lightless imposter in the sky hangs exactly at noon, and stares, and watches, this seer of all, this unholy blight. A watch should still be running; many last for years. No question the kid was asleep longer than he needed drink or water, and he didn't hunger. He is nervous but content and relatively healthy, if not groggy.
A spot high in the air, said the angel, if he can call her that. A quick scan reveals a hotel across the highway, distant, but the tallest thing around. The kid treks off due south, never tiring, reluctant, never frightened. The thin string between he and anyone spins and unwinds the farther he goes. Hits the highway, climbs over a guard rail. Cars packed in both directions. Gray dust over them all, like ashes rained from the sky. The kid rubs a window away of its silver filth, and inside, in the darkness, he finds four people. None of them are moving. Heads lulled. In the driver's seat is a woman, asleep, for had she been dead, surely she would be rotting. Skin is fine, skin like porcelain, healthy and shining, just as her son and two daughters. Son in the passenger seat is in his teens, daughter behind the driver's is a little over nine or ten. Shoulders slumped, head on her shoulder, and she's sleeping, even if her chest isn't moving. Other girl is hidden by the passenger seat, but she's sleeping, too, and Adam taps the window. No response. He bangs, and pulls at the passenger door, but it's locked. They won't wake up. Sleeping beauties.
Cars and cars and cars. There must've been an accident ahead, and it stopped all traffic. Some cars were trying to ram the barriers to get away, but all were trapped, all were running and trapped. Thousands of cars, in both directions, until the hills blocked the view beyond, where the cars mounted and disappeared behind-still. Maybe he is dead. Adam once watched a movie-or maybe it was a TV show-where someone had died, and he continued to live as a spirit, but didn't know he was dead. And nobody would respond to him, like no one bothers to greet the wind, or notices the stars in space violently erupt and kill all around them. A phantom, a ghost. Out to seek revenge for the one which murdered him. But Adam doesn't feel murdered. He checks his body for scars; only one on his head. Stitched up. But he doesn't remember getting it. Hit his head. That's what killed him. Something hit his head, or he fell. And if he were a phantom, it must have been someone who deliberately killed him. He has no recollection of either happening.
The kid weaves through the westbound traffic, hops the barrier, and climbs the eastbound traffic. Hotel is in reach, a Holiday Inn, one he never visited, for no particular reason. One of several hotels, certainly. No cars around, excluding one or two who met head to head at an intersection. More asleep in there; asleep like the kid was an hour ago, or the human-clock equivalent. Hotel stands fairly tall, but doesn't quite meet the high vaguely described by the angel. It will do, the kid tells himself. It's the tallest thing around.
Through the double doors, Adam enters the lobby. Just as outside, it is dead silent, excluding his footsteps and breaths. No machines whirr. No wind stirs. The doors close behind him, and after, all is dead silent. Everyone must be sleeping, here, too. The clerk at the front desk is absent. He notices an open cabinet with a latch, and inside, keys glint. A maintenance key; in case the roof is locked. He searches inside; keys are labeled with non-sense, scribbles on duct tape. One key ring is more crowded than the others, so he takes it.
Kid faces the staircase. It's dark; power's out here, too. Elevator's out. One step at a time. Arm on the handrail. Find the step. And the next. Till he hits the second floor. A long hallway stretches from this floor, before the staircase to the third. Every room door is open, faint, white light shining from the open windows through the dusk. Curious, the boy walks this hallway, peering into every room; some beds are made, some aren't, and the rooms whose beds aren't are messy. Evacuated. Everyone was evacuated. Except one room, one room whose door is closed and locked. A faint sound of wind is heard inside. Or not-breathing. Someone is gasping for air behind the thin door. Adam grips the golden sphere and key ring in his hands. Someone else; someone still alive. The hairs on his neck give tribute. But who would it be? Were they friendly? Were they just waking up, just like the kid? Something taps against the door, from the inside. Three taps. Pause. Three more. Over and over. As if waiting for Adam to make his move. The kid buckles. He doesn't know what's inside. And so he leaves it be, at least until the golden orb is delivered.
One step at a time. Careful. Third floor. All doors open on this floor, too. Next steps. Careful. Fourth floor. Doors open, methodical, all of them. Last stop before the roof. Light glimmers from the crevices of this metal door, a shining gateway into the unknown. Who waits for him upon tossing this sphere of gold; more winged hermaphrodites, doubtless, but will they be so friendly? Adam prepares a set of excuses to give if questioned about this object and the likelihood of a dead angel of which he had no relation with, though the truth can sometimes be misconstrued as lie-never definitive. Take breath, Adam. Push the bar. Push bar clanks, and so the door rubs with rust as it opens.
Door shuts behind the kid again. All is silent. He moves for the roof's edge. Long way down; longer way to Hell. Adam watches the golden orb once more, runs his fingers over the complex carved designs. The product of sentience in the palm of his hand. How does it fly? He steps back, winds his arm, and chucks the orb into the sky. It rises, for only a moment, and falls. A victim to height, it seems to head for solid ground. Yet it slows, and hovers, and finally, stops. Midair, the golden sphere clicks, and its grooves unlock and glow with blue tint. A lull wave of deep sound rocks the kid's body gently, inside and out, like magnets pulling and releasing him.
The flock of androgyny should be here soon. They'll be friendly. Of course they'll be friendly, the kid tells himself. The last one was friendly enough, even when dying. Internal bleeding. If not from the spear wedged into her belly, the fall. A wonder to whom the spear belonged to; who would kill an innocent creature? Perhaps a madman. Perhaps these angels, as he will call them, are not benign so. And yet, with everyone asleep, it's hard to imagine where they came from.
Not alone. Not everyone slept. Adam sleeps no more, nor does the cry flowing from below belong to the resting. Heart pumps double time. He pulls away from the golden orb's daunting, powerful spell, and leans to view a group gathered at the foot of his fortress. There's a man, well and lively, shoulders broad and dressed proper, and another, more petite man, casual dress, whose black backpack holds two sharpened wooden sticks which jet from its pocket. In their custody, bound at the wrists and ankles, is a young woman, a pale lady, maybe an Arab.
The men place her on her knees and face her away, toward the building, where she pleads in a language foreign to the boy-a magical tongue, but foreign.
The bigger man speaks over her. And speaks again. Enraged, he kicks her down, and kicks her again, until she is quiet. Cooing, bleeding, shaking, she stills as the man pulls a spear from the other's pack. Adam cannot watch any longer. He knows what happened to the angel, and though the woman below is no angel, her fate is the same. His saviors were still on their way-not in time. She didn't have enough time. Man stands with the spear over the lady's body. Were they even coming? Holds it high in the air. Golden orb pulses every few seconds. Same fate as the angel.
A strong pulse sends chills down the kid's back-and to the men below. Lady's hair bounces. Man stops, and his ally is equally distressed. They speak, looking every direction, frantic, upset-aware. They see the kid looking down on them. They see a kid. The two men rush into the building, and Adam, no longer groggy, no longer halfway there, jumps for the roof's door. He flips through the keys until he finds one shaped as a bar. Pushes it into the door's push bar and turns. Door's locked; time to find a way out.
A voice bounces from below. Adam returns to the edge of the roof. "Oh, oh good," calls the woman, tongue bubbly and bright, facing up, on her back, bleeding but a faded smile shows her intent. Grins like that follow favors. "Look-look for something sharp up there." But favors beget favors. "Go! Go!"
Adam turns; not a lot on the roof. Piping. AC units. A small plastic box-tools? He races to it and kneels; a tool box, weathered, with most of its tools missing. Left behind are various nails and screws scattered about, screwdrivers, a wire cutter, which Adam takes to the edge of the roof. He flashes it to her, and she motions for him to drop it. It flops on the ground and into the bushes; the woman slides on her bottom and rolls to reach it.
They'll be here any second. They're coming for him. They'll be here any second.
The lady curses beneath breath, working the clippers with hands bound at her back, cutting through the t-shirt rope. Just enough to pull them enough, then cuts the wash cloth wrapped around her legs. Alive; she's alive. The woman runs into the hotel and trips up the stairs.
Thump! Thump! The metal door calls for the end of Adam's short-lived journey. What would they do with him; what did they want? Kid backs to the edge of the roof. Metal door gives. The men charge for the boy, and he hides his face and tucks his chin. Whoosh! The two men race just past him and lunge for the golden, floating sphere. One catches it, the other grabs hold of his friend's waist, and both hang mid-air as they wrestle the sphere from the sky.
"No!" cries the boy. "Don't touch it!" He follows them from the roof and clings to the end of the human chain, only after realizing his grave mistake upon looking down. They swing away from the roof, and swag toward it again, held up by the golden orb's rattling force and will to stay afloat in just that one spot. Between the hands of the well-built man, it bends to his grip, popping, whirring, crying in injury.
"Heavens to Betsy!" cries the lady from the roof. "How the fark did you get up there?" She leans out and latches her hands to Adam's pant legs, buckling her knees to stay in place.
"Get me down from here," he pleads. They lower toward the ground, the golden orb contorting, its many intricate panels tearing apart. The orb's royal hum ceases, crushed in the hands of the man, the body of Adam's hate, and so do they fall from air and toward the ground several stories below. Like a pendulum, they swing into the building, with the woman at the top using every ounce of her weight and strength to hold them up.
"Let go, or I let go," she mutters to the boy. The two men shake their heads, fear in their eyes, until one attempts to reach for him-that is, before they drop to their deaths. Adam hangs upside down, watching them tumble and break like dolls filled with red paint. Kid feels like he's on air with so much weight released. Or maybe it's the blood rushing to his head.
The woman wrenches the boy over the ledge and to the roof, shaking her hands and arms burning in pain. "Now we're even Steven," she says, chuckling, huffing. She sits by the ledge, with the kid, arms flopped at her side, chest pounding. "What a freakin rush! My heart's runnin a thousand a minute."
Kid folds and bows his head into his arms.
"Oh, don't be like that," she says, and lends her hand to shake his shoulder. "Why the super long face, little buddy?"
"That gold thing," he says, whimpering. "The angel gave it to me. And now it's broken."
The woman stares for a moment. "Oh!-you mean this gold thing?" she says, after reaching into her pocket. Adam perks and looks at her, eyes wide, and only when he cracks a smile does she pull nothing from her jacket pocket and wave her open fingers. "I kid. But what a climax! There I am, waiting for those bastards to shove a stick through my back so I can bleed a painful death. Then you show up from the blue yonder with an angel's beacon-a freaking angel's beacon, of all things-against every odd, and save my booty. Then cry your eyes outta their sockets. What are you crying for, anyway? Well. We'll leave that part out of the tale." Nasal but forward. A woman without an off switch. Much like his own mother; the nag of steel.
Adam rubs his eyes again. "I'm not even crying," he says. "And I needed that beacon. I needed it, so, because the angel said to throw it, and, and then they'd come help me." He leans over the roof again. "Now it's gone. They crushed it. I don't even know why."
The lady rolls her eyes and tries to rub the kid's back, saying, "It's gonna be all right, buddy. They saved your life, believe it or not." But the kid rejects her advances and heads for the door. "Ah-" Disappears into the darkness. "Hey, don't walk away from me," she calls, sore as she stands. "You're not supposed to be awake!"
At 2/22/13 02:43 PM, snapsunny wrote: 1
From what I read, it just doesn't feel clean and concise.
I'll analyze this alone.
Through his doorway, from the hall, and down the stairs, the boy rubs sand from his eyes, and rubs again, for what he sees is difficult to describe-a feather, simply put, but a feather fluttering in his home, his once locked home, flying and crossing with more its own, white yet golden in the brilliance ahead.
1. Why is there sand in his face? You never described a sandy setting for the character to be in.
2.Run-on sentence, comma splicing, etc.
3.'describe-a feather': ...what? I'm not sure if you're trying to convey 'it is difficult for him to describe a feather.' I think the source of my confusion is your use of a hyphen. Use a semi-colon.
The boy eyes a bright object that is difficult for him to stare at; through squinted eyes he sees the shape of a feather.
Or just make it two sentences.
4.'his once locked home': Unnecessary detail.
'a man, or a woman'
two wings at his back
Just describe it as a humanoid figure, and use the word 'it' if you want it to be genderless.
Dr. Spedmund McMallet
At 2/22/13 04:29 PM, Spedmallet wrote:At 2/22/13 02:43 PM, snapsunny wrote: 1From what I read, it just doesn't feel clean and concise.
I'll analyze this alone.Through his doorway, from the hall, and down the stairs, the boy rubs sand from his eyes, and rubs again, for what he sees is difficult to describe-a feather, simply put, but a feather fluttering in his home, his once locked home, flying and crossing with more its own, white yet golden in the brilliance ahead.1. Why is there sand in his face? You never described a sandy setting for the character to be in.
2.Run-on sentence, comma splicing, etc.
3.'describe-a feather': ...what? I'm not sure if you're trying to convey 'it is difficult for him to describe a feather.' I think the source of my confusion is your use of a hyphen. Use a semi-colon.The boy eyes a bright object that is difficult for him to stare at; through squinted eyes he sees the shape of a feather.Or just make it two sentences.
4.'his once locked home': Unnecessary detail.'a man, or a woman'Just describe it as a humanoid figure, and use the word 'it' if you want it to be genderless.
two wings at his back
NG isn't too happy with actual long dashes, so everything that should've shown up as "--" instead was shortened to a simple hyphen. I can't edit posts so that's how it'll be here :P
The "rub sand from his eyes" phrase was meant to be a metaphor to show drowsiness, a reference to the sandman, commonly known to spread sand in peoples eyes so they'll go to sleep; then when the person wakes up, they have the eye-crust, otherwise known as "sand".
I tried using "it" to describe the angel, but it refers to everything; living, dead, inanimate. So if I wanted to reference the angel and the spear, or the angel and the table, it would be several times more confusing. Saying their nouns as well gets cluttered.
The "his once unlocked home" phrase comes into play later on :) It is what it is. His home was locked at some point in time. It isn't anymore.
Though I do agree, I tend to make really long sentences at times, but I don't believe any of them are truly run-on. I'll look over it again to be sure, but the missing long-dash was probably the only factor which made it seem really odd. Thank you for your critique, but I'm really looking more for character and plot critiques, which can't be found in a tiny segment. By the time I hit the third draft, the writing will be high-polished and concise, so don't worry about that. :)