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Stepping Into Static - Chapter 2 [Edited]



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Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:55 am
niccy_v says...



[Rated just to be safe.]

Edit: Before reading:
- I've kind of re-done Jonah to have a horrific skin disease as the result of the vampire change... I sort of overnight got sick of having perfect vamps. Everybody telling me he needs a flaw got to me in my sleep ^__^ Armel doesn't have it, which is explained in the later chapters, I think.
- Kassie is (hopefully) shallower, because she cannot get past the skin to like Jonah, so she likes Armel instead, despite his being in love with 'ugly' Celeste meaning they're so different.
- I'm keeping the cafe scene. I've managed to rework it a little, and really, its the only thing I just don't want to get rid of. So for now it's staying but it might go in the future.
- Celeste is a redhead because I had the creepers about her.
ps. Go wild with the Americanization, I've attempted but I appear to fail when it comes to changing languages.

--
ELLEN

I’d completely forgotten about the smell until it hit me in third period Webpage Design. As usual, I sat in the back row furthest from Miss Hale - I’d taken this course since eighth grade but only this year was made marginally better by Gregory and Nathan Brywn. They flanked me either side like two guard dogs because, with their black hair, muscular bodies and incredibly dangerous expressions printed permanently on their faces, it’s what they look like to an outsider like Miss Hale. They kept their inner-softness to themselves.
This was her first year, so we weren’t listening to her as she droned on about copyright and appropriate internet usage, which we all knew about already. She also thought it necessary to brief us on the improved tracking system the computers have installed. Now, unlike the previous years, every computer click was logged. She was just warming herself up about the severity of internet pornography at school when it hit me – the scent that’d plagued the hallways this morning.
At first it was a light breeze introduced by the opening of the door that leads directly onto the outside lawns, but the smell came with it. I closed my eyes and inhaled; the air was thick with it, saturated to molecular combustion, I mused. Gregory tensed when he smelt it, his shoulders heaving up ever so slightly. But his brother relaxed visibly, his own eyes closed when I peered at him curiously. His nostrils opened wide like he was inhaling along with me.
“Oh, hello!” Miss Hale’s heels clicked happily like her voice as she crossed the room. “Aren’t you the new boy from Scotland? Jonah something?”
“Sorry for being so late, but this is my first day, and my schedule is awfully confusing,” he murmured softly in a thick Scottish accent. And yes, I’m Jonah Sparks, thankyou for being the first teacher to know my name!”
“You got lost? Oh you poor thing, please take a seat, you have not missed much dear.”
I surrendered to my desire and pushed away from the desk, swiveling around so I could observe the new student. If he looked as good as he smelt, a scolding would be just fine. But I was unprepared for his reaction – nobody could be prepared for this.
His eyes locked onto mine the second I looked at him. They were an intense coal black, contrasting against the unnaturally pale skin of his face which, was by comparison to any boy in the room, horrifyingly discoloured. Awkward blotches of red curled around his neck and reached up around the right side of his face. He clutched a navy blue binder to his chest, a long, flat black pencil case laying flat on top trapped by the strong hands reaching out over the spine. They, too, were fiercely pale, the thin blue veins rising up to the surface of his skin when he flexed them. They too were blotched with red. I blinked twice and he lowered his gaze to the seat in front, making a clear show of avoiding my gaze as he slid into his seat.
He wore simple, ordinary clothes that wouldn’t draw attention to him in any unwanted form – nothing his skin wouldn’t do. The black jeans were loose yet hugged his waist slightly enough to compliment the soft curve of his hips and their gentle width. A gray long-sleeved shirt buttoned all the way down was tucked into his jeans, the top button undone to reveal a tiny sliver of white skin. A bulky black scarf wrapped around his thick neck three times, concealing the entire length of it, descending across the top of the binder and dropping over the tops of his thumbs. The perfection of his face was framed by short black waves. His lips were full and pulled into the tiniest smile when I blinked again. Just as soon as it was there it was gone, his face slackening, returning to the concentrated stare he cast across the room.
Did he just smile at me? I decided to breathe through my mouth since my nose could not cope, realising my brain was deprived of oxygen enough. But the moment I did my body convulsed and I inhaled sharply through my nose, leaning forward the slightest bit. Michael Hansberry – the hottest boy I had ever met - was a frog compared to this prince.
The boy slid down easily into the front row alone, clicking the button on the front of the bulky computer, a grin flickering across his full lips when the screen flashed to life, joined by a slight groan from the computer component.
“Now, class, your task for today is to browse Google images for different styles of photo editing from altercation of lighting, including backlighting, to addition of flash, compilations of multiple images, framing, cropping, collages, and selective editing. I do not expect you to know them all yet, and I will give you a book tomorrow, but for now you will just have some relaxing fun. Is there a problem, Miss Johnson?”
My eyes dislodged from his perfect face up to Miss Hale’s warm, yet forcefully stern eyes Most of the class, including the handsome boy, were staring at me now.
“No, Miss Hale, not at all,” I stammered, feeling the warm blush creep over my face.
“So why are you still looking at the front when your computer is behind you?”
“Er…”
“Ellen!” Gregory elbowed me a little too hard, my body automatically scrunching toward his brother, who just shrugged.
“Ellen?” It was Miss Hale, and the frustration in her voice was undeserved. Rolling my eyes, I swung my chair back around, ignoring the blood rush the sudden movement triggered, double clicked on the first image under ‘photo manipulation’, and groaned.
It was a huge full-screen shot of twenty women in pink bikinis with calligraphy draped all across them, derogatory remarks dominating. Nathan smirked and Gregory baulked. Before anybody else noticed I closed the webpage, my heart hammering in my chest so loudly it pounded in my ears. A disgruntled snort made me shrink down in my seat.
Hello at last, Hell. I missed you so much!

“Enjoying living my nightmare?” I slid my tray down beside Kassie’s at lunch. She poked her soggy potato around the plastic plate absent-mindedly, tears gleaming on her olive cheeks.
“It’s not fair!” She moaned, dropping her head onto her folded arms. I stroked her back for a minute, then pulled my hand back to scoop my peas into my mouth before they dried and pruned. The last thing I wanted was to be reminded of Machine-Gun Gracey when I was eating something green – it was hard enough stomaching greens without old, wrinkled women flashing through my head. I shuddered automatically. Kassie just groaned again and stamped her foot.
“Don’t be sore, Kassie, ‘It’ll get better’.”
“Shut up!”
“Why? Oh, I feel déjà vu coming on, don’t you?”
“Sure,” she groaned.
“Oh, wait, no, it’s reversed this year. I remember this day for the last four years… what did you say last year? Wait, I think it was ‘don’t worry El, school is meant to suck, so put up with it. It’s only luck some get the good straw. Stick in there and fight the system’.”
“Shut up!”
“Take your own advice, eh Kass? It’ll do you good to get some exercise.”
“Not fat jokes too!”
“No, but you’ll have to ditch the heels.”
“I don’t have any sneakers!” She wailed.
“Borrow mine, I have plenty.”
“Thanks.”
We sat in silence until I’d completed the soggy meal. I stole her lemonade can and gulped it in two mouthfuls.
“Oh, guess who was in my Webpage Design class?”
“Who?”
“Act like you want to know, Kass, I always do!”
“Fine. Who was it?”
“Jonah, the guy from this morning!”
Her head shot up and her hand automatically began stroking her bangs back.
“Seriously? Wow!”
We both turned to gaze at the door when our noses zoned into the scent. Absolutely delicious.
“No way…” we murmured in unison as the boy from this morning sauntered in, his eyes kept low as he moved right to the table near the center of the cafeteria, a handsome man with soft features and shoulder length brown curls following; they both, walked with the ease of angels. Behind him sauntered a chunky redhead, her long, dead-straight hair bouncing lightly on the curve of her pale lower back as she glided toward the tray piles. She was tall, even if she didn’t sport the five-inch heels. But she – while being a redhead – didn’t come across as being wild, if anybody believes in those stereotypes anymore. She had a chunkily proportioned body - thick arms and legs, small chest, roll of baby fat leaning over her belt and a chubby, scowling face with ugly blotches matching the new boy. It looked, from where I sat near the back; a smile had never touched those full lips, though it did when she smirked up at the man who swept a long arm around her waist, gently squeezing her closer to him. Her too-tight midriff top revealed a little too much skin, pale like the man’s, but somehow she wasn’t cringe worthy. She had a soft face with sharp eyes, and while not being overly pretty, she wasn’t ugly either.
They made no noise when they picked up a tray each and filled it with mushy potato. The man put a hand around her shoulders as they completed their migration through the cafeteria to the table in the centre of the room. The boy looked up – I hadn’t even noticed him sitting there, though there he was, centred in the room. Every pair of eyes was trained on them, watching Celeste shuffle close to the bigger man, his wide shoulders hunched forward.. A kind smile lit up his face when she draped her left leg over his right knee; she rested her head on his shoulder, her long hair cascading down his back as well as hers. Unlike the other two his skin was the same tone.
“They’re so pale,” I whispered.
“That big guy is Jonah’s brother, Armel, and his girlfriend Celeste.”
“They look nothing alike.”
“I know! Thank god Armel doesn’t have that horrible skin though.”
”Don’t be mean Kass, I’m sure there’s some sort of explanation.”
“Well, it makes them look infected, so I’m not going to touch them!”
“But what about Armel?”
“How beautiful is he?” She sighed as we both turned to peer over at them.
“Armel is beautiful sure, but he’s got a girlfriend Kass.”
“Dammit I wish he wasn’t with that freak!” She sighed again with a hint of longing in her sugary voice. My head whipped around and I glared at her through slitted eyes.
I heaved a sigh and placed my cheek on my arm. While Kassie never settled with one man exclusively, when somebody had a girlfriend, as the girl so demonstrated seconds after sitting, Kassie was honed in.
“I wonder if their skin is a prerequisite of being in their family,” she mused.
“So Armel can’t be related. He doesn’t have it.” I told her gently.
“I wish I had the guts to speak to him.”
“Yeah, but I wish Jonah would come over here.”
“I wish I could see into his mind.”
“Armel? Why?”
“So I can see if I have a chance.”
“Earth to Kassie – he’s got a girlfriend – of course you have no chance.”
“Girl – friend, Ellen. And when he sees me, he’ll have no choice but to fall head over heels, especially since I have better skin than that freak.”
“You two don’t match then – if he’s dating her then he must see past the outside. Something you are incapable of.”
“Jonah’s probably got a girlfriend from whatever dark place they come from,” she snapped back, unable to hide the acidic tone. She hated being told who she could and could not have.
I frowned, analysing him in a new light. “You’re probably right about the dark place. Did he live under a rock all his life? Seriously get a load of their skin!” My frown deepened when I realised how horrible the words sounded on my tongue. Wasn’t I the one who looked past the outside appearance when it came to boys, not ‘judge the book by its cover’ like Kassie? That thought troubled me.
“It’s freaky,” she agreed.
“Yeah,” I said lamely.
“I wonder if he has…?”
“Get real. The joke is a little old anyway Kassie.”
“Get real? I’m sure he isn’t – nobody is that hideous.”
We moped for a little while, deciding we’d rather sit here staring at him and be depressed than be happy anywhere else. We both had English 3 with Mr Newbill, an Indonesian Diplomat turned teacher as of eight months ago. His knowledge on America was so vast we struggled to remember he’d lived in Indonesia all his life, though he’d travelled more frequently than a gypsy.
His class was the usual: slack off day, the beginning of a gentle slope leading to exams in early January. He warned us exams would creep up on us and we’d be too busy partying to study over the break, so we should begin revising previous years’ work to give a decent head start. Of course none of us listened; too busy buzzing about the new three-some from lunch to talk about anything else.
And when I stepped into the parking lot after school I could see his see his black eyes watching me, following me, from within his small car.
--

:!: :!: :!:
Last edited by niccy_v on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:50 am
Tabithalillian says...



Once again I am a totally stinky nit-picker so here is my review:
Of course I still love your writing style and how you portray all your charecters. THey are allv ery origional. THe only thing I am worried about is this (totally hot!!) new kid, who seems almost vampire like :) I just want to make sure another edward cullen isnt going to be walking into this story! Just watch out for that and besides that I love the charecters and I would love to see where you are going with this!
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Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:22 pm
ashleylee says...



Hey, Nic! I was so excited when you PM-ed me about this :D This story is already starting to grow on me!

They flanked me either side like two guard dogs because, with their broad shoulders, black hair, tanned skin, muscular bodies and incredibly dangerous expressions printed permanently on their chiselled, dimpled faces, it’s what they looked like to an outsider like Miss Hale.


This is really fatty with lots of carbs and when you do it like this, it really just clogs up the whole story and loses it’s appeal as you describe things. My advice: slim down and concentrate on the things you really want to emphasize. For example, I’m guessing that you are zeroing in on their muscular figures and their dangerously stony expressions, right? If that is true, cut out all the rest and sneak that in at a different time because that way, you don’t overdo it, you know?

This was her first year, so we weren’t listening to her as she droned on about copyright and appropriate internet usage and briefed us on the tracking devices the Technical Support Centre had installed and how every click we made on any school computer - -rentable laptops include - was logged for the year.


First with this, I would make clear that the “she” you are referring to is the teacher just so the reader doesn’t get confused.
Second, this is another sentence clogged with fatty acids. You really don’t need all of this, but if you want to keep it, I would cut this up into smaller sentences and go into more detail. Maybe try: …she droned on about copyright and appropriate internet usage, which we all knew about already. She also thought it was necessary to brief us on the tracking devices of the Technical Support Centre, as if to make it clear that they were indeed watching our every move. or something like that.

One might liken them to buttons, but i thought they were weird.


First, a capital “I” is needed here between “but” and “thought” :wink:
Second, go into more detail here. What makes his eyes appear weird to her? Is it just a feeling or is their really something off about them?

Rolling my eyes, I swung my chair back around, ignoring the blood rush, and double clicked on the first image under ‘photo manipulation’.


Okay, I know what you mean by the blood rush (she’s blushing, right?) but I would be clear on that. Like, is it rushing up to her face, or brightening her neck? Stuff like that.

Hello at last, Hell. I missed you so much!
“Enjoying living my nightmare?” I slid my tray down beside Kassie’s.


Here, I would emphasize that there is a time change between the two scenes. Maybe sneak in some little asterisks or something so the reader knows.

“That nice smelling guy!”


Again, if this was me, I would be too weirded-out to actually admit that he was that good smelling and that it might just be a squirt of expensive cologne. I would really work on this part and try to make it more believable.

She had a perfectly proportioned body but she had thick legs and a scowling face, a roll of baby fat over her belt, a small chest, thick arms and a chubby face.


I feel like you are contradicting yourself here. First, you say she is perfectly proportioned, yet, she’s fat? I think I understand what you are saying but really work on this part to try to make it as clear as possible.

“They smell so delicious,” I whispered.


Whoa, again, this would be really weird to admit. Unless she has no clue that she actually admitted that, I wouldn’t use this. Reword it to make it sound less… obvious, I guess :?

~ ~ ~ ~

These are not really the final chapters because in terms of posting here, they were cut down to 2/3 pages worth of writing. Thanks for ANYTHING you can make of that.


What do you mean these aren’t the final chapters? My opinion: I liked it. I do think, however, that you have some revising to do with some of the stuff I pointed out. But besides that, the last conversation in this chapter with just her and Kassie was very good. I loved it :D

Keep on writing, Nic, and if you ever have any questions, let me know :wink:
"Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love—and to put his trust in life."
~ Joseph Conrad


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Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:46 pm
200397 says...



Hey, Niccy! Can't wait to read this. Give me a moment, and I'll give you a fantastic review . . .


Before reading: I am very prepared for any stuff you have to say on 'twilight likeness'. This is definitely the dodgiest chapter in terms of dumbing down on the twilight factor. In its original state this was by far the hardest section to edit. No worries, Twilight is not a factor in this story :D

All right: Bold is my corrections, italics is when I am referencing something, and strike through is what it is. :)

ELLEN [her point of view to clarify]

I’d completely forgotten about the smell until it hit me in third period Webpage Design. As usual I sat in the back row furthest from Miss Hale; I’d taken this course since eighth grade, but [s]only[/s] this year was made marginally better by Gregory and Nathan Brywn. They flanked me either side like two guard dogs because, with their broad shoulders, black hair, [s]tanned skin,[/s] muscular bodies and incredibly dangerous expressions printed permanently on their [s]chiselled, dimpled[/s] faces, A lot of good imagery here, but it slows the sentence down. it’s what they looked like to an outsider like Miss Hale. They kept their inner-softness to themselves.

New paragraph. This was her first year, so we weren’t listening to her as she droned on about copyright and appropriate internet usage and "briefed" us on the tracking devices the Technical Support Centre had installed and how every click we made on any school computer - -rent-able laptops included - was logged for the year. She’d begun to warn us how quickly we would damage our futures for merely clicking on a wrongful site when [it] Italicize this. hit me.

At first it was a light breeze introduced by the opening of the door that leads directly onto the quadrangle, but with it came the smell. I closed my eyes and inhaled; the air was suddenly thick with it, saturated to molecular combustion, I mused. Gregory tensed when he smelt it, his shoulders heaving up ever so slightly, but his brother relaxed visibly, his own eyes closed when I peered at him [s]curiously.[/s] His wide nostrils flared. Nostrils flaring would suggest that he is not relaxed.

“Oh, hello!” Miss Hale’s heels clicked as she crossed the room.What does her voice sound like right here? Is she glad to see the mystery man at the door?

“Sorry I am so late, but this is my first day, and my timetable has not been handed to me yet.”Describe his voice also; but don't make it too extensive.

“You got lost? Oh you poor thing, please take a seat, you haven't missed much.”

I surrendered to my desire and pushed away from the desk, [swivelling] Misspelled: swiveling. around so I could observe the new student. If he looked as good as he smelt a scolding would be just fine. ButI was unprepared for his reaction – nobody could be prepared for this.

His eyes locked onto mine the split second I looked at him. They were an intense coal black, contrasting against the unnaturally pale skin of his face. One might liken them to buttons, but I thought they were [weird.] Maybe find a better word for this? His face was flawless. Even from across the room I could see how perfectly smooth it was, not a single discoloration or slightest wrongdoing about it, apart from the slightly uneven ridge of his nose. He clutched a navy blue binder to his chest, a long, flat black pencil case laying flat on top trapped by the strong hands reaching out over the spine. They, too, were fiercely pale, the thin blue veins rising up to the surface of his skin when he flexed them. I blinked twice, but he didn’t look away, just stood and stared at me, assessing me, as if trying to place me. So I took the chance to, whilst filling my lungs with as many breaths of the delicious scent as I could, asses him.

He wore simple, ordinary clothes that wouldn’t draw attention to him in any unwanted form. The black jeans were loose yet hugged his waist slightly enough to compliment the soft curve of his hips and their gentle width. A gray long-sleeved shirt buttoned all the way down was tucked into his jeans, the top button undone to reveal a tiny sliver of pale skin. A bulky black scarf wrapped around his thick neck three times, concealing the entire length of it, descending across the top of the binder and dropping over the tops of his thumbs. The perfection of his face was framed by short black waves. His lips were full and pulled into the tiniest smile when I blinked again. Just as soon as it was there it was gone, his face slackening, returning to the concentrated stare he cast across the room.

Did he just smile at me? I decided to breathe through my mouth since my nose could not cope, deciding You use two forms of "decide" in the same sentence. Maybe change that. my brain was deprived of oxygen enough, but the moment I did my body convulsed and I inhaled sharply through my nose, leaning forward the slightest bit. Michael Hansberry, the hottest boy I had ever seen, was a frog compared to this prince. Nice play on words here. :)

The boy slid down easily into the front row, sitting alone, clicking the button on the front of the bulky computer, a grin flickering across his full lips when the screen flashed to life, joined by a slight groan from the computer component.

“Now, class, your task for today is to browse Google images for different styles of photo editing from altercation of lighting, including backlighting, to addition of flash, compilations of multiple images, framing, cropping, collages, and selective editing. I do not expect you to know them all yet, and I will give you a book tomorrow, but for now you will just have some relaxing fun. Is there a problem, Miss Johnson?”

My eyes dislodged from his perfect face up to Miss Hale’s slightly angry one, her eyes narrower than I remembered. She had her hands on her hips and to my humiliation, most of the class, including the handsome boy, were staring at me.

“No, Miss Hale, not at all.” Is she blushing? I would be.

“So why are you still looking at the front when your computer is behind you?”

“Er…”

“Ellen!” Gregory elbowed me a little too hard, my body automatically scrunching toward his brother, who just shrugged.

“Ellen?” It was Miss Hale, and the frustration in her voice was undeserved. Rolling my eyes, I swung my chair back around, ignoring the blood rush, [s]and[/s] double clicked on the first image under ‘photo manipulation’ - and groaned..

New paragraph. It was a huge full-screen shot of twenty women in pink bikinis with calligraphy draped all across them, derogatory remarks dominating. Nathan smirked and Gregory baulked. Before anybody else noticed I closed the webpage, my heart hammering in my chest so loudly it pounded in my ears. A disgruntled snort made me shrink down in my seat.

Hello at last, Hell. I missed you so much! I love this so much! Typical high school torture!

*****

“Enjoying living my nightmare?” I slid my tray down beside Kassie’s at lunch. She poked her soggy potato around the plastic plate absent-mindedly, tears gleaming on her olive cheeks.

“It’s not fair!” she moaned, dropping her head onto her folded arms. I stroked her back for a minute, then pulled my hand back to scoop my peas into my mouth before they dried and pruned. The last thing I wanted was to be reminded of Machine-Gun Gracey when I was eating something green – it was hard enough stomaching greens without old, wrinkled women flashing through my head. I shuddered automatically. Kassie just groaned again and stamped her foot.

“Don’t be sore Kassie, it’ll get better.”
“Shut up!”

“Why? Oh, I feel déjà vu coming on, don’t you?” Just to be safe, italicize deja vu, since it's technically French.

“Sure,” she groaned.

“Oh, wait, no, it’s reversed this year. I remember this day for the last four years… what did you say last year? Wait, I think it was: 'Don’t worry El, school is meant to suck, so put up with it. It’s only luck some get the good straw. Stick in there and fight the system.'

“Shut up!”
“Take your own advice, hey Kass? It’ll do you good to get some exercise.”
“Not fat jokes, too!"
“No, but you’ll have to ditch the heels.”
“I don’t have any sneakers!”
“Borrow mine, I have plenty.”
“Thanks.”

We sat in silence until I’d completed the soggy meal. I stole her lemonade can and gulped it in two mouthfuls.

“Oh, guess who was in my Webpage Design class?”
“Who?”
“Act like you want to know Kass, I always do!”
“Fine. Who was it?”
“That nice smelling guy!”
Her head shot up, a hand automatically stroking her bangs back.
“Seriously? Wow!”

We both turned to gaze at the door when our noses zoned into the scent. Absolutely delicious.
“No way…” we murmured in unison as a handsome man with soft features and shoulder length brown curls entered, walking with the ease of an angel. Behind him sauntered a chunky blonde, her long, dead-straight hair bouncing lightly on the curve of her pale lower back as she glided toward the tray piles. She was tall, even if she didn’t sport the five-inch heels. But she – while being blonde – was definitely no Pamela Anderson. She had a perfectly proportioned body but she had thick legs and a scowling face, a roll of baby fat over her belt, a small chest, thick arms and a chubby face. It looked, from where I sat near the back, a smile had never touched those full lips, though it did when she smirked up at the man who swept a long arm around her waist, gently squeezing her closer to him. Her too-tight midriff top revealed a little too much skin, pale like the man’s, but somehow she wasn’t cringe worthy. She had a soft face with sharp eyes, and while not pretty she wasn’t ugly.

They made no noise when they picked up a tray each and filled it with mushy potato. The man put a hand around her shoulders as they completed their migration through the cafeteria to the table in the centre of the room. The boy looked up – I hadn’t even noticed him sitting there, though there he was, centred in the room. Every pair of eyes was trained on them, watching the blonde shuffle close to the bigger man, his wide shoulders hunched forward.. A kind smile lit up his entire face when she draped her left leg over his right knee; she rested her head on his shoulder, her long hair cascading down his back as well as hers.

“They smell so delicious,” I whispered.

“His name is Jonah,” Kassie whispered back, leaning in close. “That’s his brother Armel and his wife Celeste. Is Celeste Armel's wife, or Jonah's? It is unclear. I think their names mean 'Stone Prince' and 'Heavenly', or something [s]along those lines[/s]. Though she’s not as heavenly as her name suggests. Sure she has the blonde, but I mean… Has she heard of Jenny Craig? Huh? What does this have to do with anything? I’m sure Jonah means 'Dove' in Hebrew… I remember it from last year’s language week.” Uh, the above paragraph, though it is very useful information, is really out of place. Unless Kassie has some interest in being a lexicographer, her knowing the meanings of people names is not only unrealistic, but also kinda creepy. :)

“Cool.”
“How beautiful is he?”

“Gorgeous.” I didn’t need to ask her who she meant. While Kassie never settled with one man exclusively, when somebody had a girlfriend, as the girl so demonstrated seconds after sitting, Kassie never interrupted.

“I wish I had the guts to speak to him.”
“Yeah, who doesn’t in here?”
“I wish I could see into his mind.”
“Why?”
“So I can see if I have a chance.”

“He’s probably got a girlfriend from whatever dark place he came from,” I mused, unable to keep the longing from my voice. Kassie frowned, analysing him in a different light now.

“You’re probably right, about the dark place. Did he live under a rock all his life? Seriously get a load of their skin!”
“It’s freaky.”
“Yeah, so freaky!” I agreed, though my words felt wrong on my tongue.
“He’s so gorgeous though, it’s not fair.”
“I wonder if he has lived beneath a rock all his life…”
“Get real.”
“Get real? Sure, he can’t be real.”

We moped for a little while, deciding we’d rather sit here staring at him and be depressed than be happy anywhere else. We both had English 3 with Mr Newbill, an Indonesian Diplomat turned teacher as of eight months ago. His knowledge on America was so vast we struggled to remember he’d lived in Indonesia all his life, though he’d travelled Misspelled: traveled more frequently than a gypsy.

His class was the usual: slack off day, the beginning of a gentle slope leading to exams in early January. He warned us exams would creep up on us and we’d be too busy partying to study over the break, so we should begin revising previous years’ work to give a decent head start. Of course none of us listened; too busy buzzing about the new three-some from lunch to talk about anything else.


Ooh. Very interesting. I like this a lot, and believe me--other than the fact that they are new and more or less beautiful--the new threesome is not Twilight, so don't sweat it. I especially like the part when you describe Celeste.

Now that I've taken up a bunch of room with a gigantic review, I hope you like my suggestions! PM me when the next one's up.

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Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:36 am
Demeter says...



Hi, niccy!


I’d completely forgotten about the smell until it hit me in third period Webpage Design. As usualcomma I sat in the back row furthest from Miss Hale; Why the semi-colon? Period would be just fine. I’d taken this course since eighth grade but only this year was made marginally better by Gregory and Nathan Brywn. Clear up the idea They flanked me either side like two guard dogs because, with their broad shoulders, black hair, tanned skin, muscular bodies and incredibly dangerous expressions printed permanently on their chiselled, dimpled faces, it’s what they looked like to an outsider like Miss Hale. The sentence is a little too long and wordy: could you ditch some words? They kept their inner-softness to themselves. This was her first year, She's talking about the teacher? Clear it up. so we weren’t listening to her as she droned on about copyright and appropriate internet usage and briefed us on the tracking devices the Technical Support Centre had installed and how every click we made on any school computer - -rentable laptops include - was logged for the year. She’d begun to warn us how quickly we’d damage our futures for merely clicking on a wrongful site when it hit me.

This is only the first paragraph, but there are still long sentence overload. It makes the flow somehow panting, and it's difficult for the reader to focus on the story, when they are only trying to understand the sentences. You need to shorten things up: divide the sentences, ditch some unneeded information etc.

At firstcomma it was a light breeze introduced by the opening of the door that leads directly onto the quadrangle, but with it came the smell. A little awkward. Can you say "the smell came with it"? It's not the same, but it sounds better. I closed my eyes and inhaled; the air was suddenly thick with it, saturated to molecular combustion, I mused. Gregory tensed when he smelt it, his shoulders heaving up ever so slightly,Stop the sentence here. but his brother relaxed visibly, his own eyes closed when I peered at him curiously. His wide nostrils flared.

“Oh, hello!” Miss Hale’s heels clicked as she crossed the room.

“Sorry [s]I am[/s] for being so late, but this is my first day, and my timetable has not been handed to me yet.” Who says this? At first, I thought it was the teacher, but now I'm not so sure.

“You got lost? Oh you poor thing, please take a seat, you have not missed much.” Does the teacher say this?

I surrendered to my desire funnily phrased, but I guess it's fine and pushed away from the desk, swivelling around so I could observe the new student. If he looked as good as he smeltcomma a scolding would be just fine. I was unprepared for his reaction – nobody could be prepared for this.

His eyes locked onto mine the split second I looked at him. They were an intense coal black, contrasting against the unnaturally pale skin of his face. One might liken them to buttons, but i missing capitalization thought they were weird. His face was flawless. Even from across the room I could see how perfectly smooth it was, not a single discoloration or slightest wrongdoing about it, apart from the slightly uneven ridge of his nose. He clutched a navy blue binder to his chest, a long, flat black pencil case laying flat on top trapped by the strong hands reaching out over the spine. They, too, were fiercely pale, the thin blue veins rising up to the surface of his skin when he flexed them. I blinked twice, but he didn’t look away, just stood and stared at me, assessing me, as if trying to place me. So I took the chance to, whilst filling my lungs with as many breaths of the delicious scent as I could, assess him.

He wore simple, ordinary clothes that wouldn’t draw attention to him in any unwanted form. The black jeans were loose yet hugged his waist slightly enough to compliment the soft curve of his hips and their gentle width. A gray long-sleeved shirt buttoned all the way down was tucked into his jeans, the top button undone to reveal a tiny sliver of pale skin. A bulky black scarf wrapped around his thick neck three times, concealing the entire length of it, descending across the top of the binder and dropping over the tops of his thumbs. The perfection of his face was framed by short black waves. His lips were full and pulled into the tiniest smile when I blinked again. Just as soon as it was there it was gone, his face slackening, returning to the concentrated stare he cast across the room.

With all the description, the story slows down too much. You could drop some description here, some there – not stuffing it all together. It's much more delicate. Then again, you might want specifically to pause the story...

Did he just smile at me? I decided to breathe through my mouth since my nose could not cope, deciding my brain was deprived of oxygen enough, but the moment I didcomma my body convulsed and I inhaled sharply through my nose, leaning forward the slightest bit. Michael Hansberry was a frog compared to this prince. Nice touch.

The boy slid down easily into the front row, sitting alone, clicking the button on the front of the bulky computer, a grin flickering across his full lips when the screen flashed to life, joined by a slight groan from the computer component.

“Now, class, your task for today is to browse Google images for different styles of photo editing from altercation of lighting, including backlighting, to addition of flash, compilations of multiple images, framing, cropping, collages, and selective editing. I do not expect you to know them all yet, and I will give you a book tomorrow, but for now you will just have some relaxing fun. Is there a problem, Miss Johnson?”

My eyes dislodged from his perfect face up to Miss Hale’s slightly angry one, her eyes narrower than I remembered. She had her hands on her hips and to my humiliation, most of the class, including the handsome boy, were staring at me.

What did she do?

“No, Miss Hale, not at all.”

“So why are you still looking at the front when your computer is behind you?” Ah.

“Er…”

“Ellen!” Gregory elbowed me a little too hard, my body automatically scrunching toward his brother, who just shrugged.

“Ellen?” It was Miss Hale, and the frustration in her voice was undeserved. Rolling my eyes, I swung my chair back around, ignoring the blood rush, and double clicked on the first image under ‘photo manipulation’. It was a huge full-screen shot of twenty women in pink bikinis with calligraphy draped all across them, derogatory remarks dominating. Nathan smirked and Gregory baulked. Before anybody else noticed I closed the webpage, my heart hammering in my chest so loudly it pounded in my ears. A disgruntled snort made me shrink down in my seat.

Hello at last, Hell. I missed you so much! Nice touch, again. Though I couldn't help thinking, has she already been to Hell?


“Enjoying living my nightmare?” I slid my tray down beside Kassie’s. She poked her soggy potato around the plastic plate absent-mindedly, tears gleaming on her olive cheeks.

“It’s not fair!” She moaned, dropping her head onto her folded arms. I stroked her back for a minute, then pulled my hand back to scoop my peas into my mouth before they dried and pruned. The last thing I wanted was to be reminded of Machine-Gun Gracey when I was eating something green – it was hard enough stomaching greens without old, wrinkled women flashing through my head. I shuddered automatically. Kassie just groaned again and stamped her foot.

“Don’t be sorecomma Kassie, it’ll get better.”

“Shut up!”

“Why? Oh, I feel déjà vu coming on, don’t you?”

“Sure,” she groaned.

“Oh, wait, no, it’s reversed this year. I remember this day for the last four years… what did you say last year? Wait, I think it was don’t worry El, school is meant to suck, so put up with it. It’s only luck some get the good straw. Stick in there and fight the system.”

“Shut up!”

“Take your own advice, hey I'd prefer "eh?" over "hey?" here. Kass? It’ll do you good to get some exercise.”

“Not fat jokes too!”

“No, but you’ll have to ditch the heels.”

“I don’t have any sneakers!”

“Borrow mine, I have plenty.”

“Thanks.”

We sat in silence until I’d completed the soggy meal. I stole her lemonade can and gulped it in two mouthfuls.

“Oh, guess who was in my Webpage Design class?”

“Who?”

“Act like you want to knowcomma Kass, I always do!”

“Fine. Who was it?”

“That nice smelling guy!” Hehe.

Her head shot up, a hand automatically stroking her bangs back.

“Serious? Wow!”

We both turned to gaze at the door when our noses zoned into the scent. Absolutely delicious.

“No way…” we murmured in unison as a handsome man with soft features and shoulder length brown curls entered, walking with the ease of an angel. Behind him sauntered a chunky blonde, her long, dead-straight hair bouncing lightly on the curve of her pale lower back as she glided toward the tray piles. She was tall, even if she didn’t sport the five-inch heels. But she – while being blonde – was definitely no Pamela Anderson. She had a perfectly proportioned body but she had thick legs and a scowling face, a roll of baby fat over her belt, a small chest, thick arms and a chubby face. It looked, from where I sat near the back, a smile had never touched those full lips, though it did when she smirked up at the man who swept a long arm around her waist, gently squeezing her closer to him. Her too-tight midriff top revealed a little too much skin, pale like the man’s, but somehow she wasn’t cringe worthy. She had a soft face with sharp eyes, and while not prettycomma she wasn’t ugly, either.

They made no noise when they picked up a tray each and filled it with mushy potato. The man put a hand around her shoulders as they completed their migration through the cafeteria to the table in the centre of the room. The boy looked up – I hadn’t even noticed him sitting there, though there he was, centred in the room. Every pair of eyes was trained on them, watching the blonde shuffle close to the bigger man, his wide shoulders hunched forward.. A kind smile lit up his entire face when she draped her left leg over his right knee; she rested her head on his shoulder, her long hair cascading down his back as well as hers.

“They smell so delicious,” I whispered.

“His name is Jonah,” Kassie whispered back, leaning in close. “That’s his brother Armel and his wife Celeste. I think their names mean Stone Prince and Heavenly, or something along those lines. Though she’s not as heavenly as her name suggests. Sure she has the blonde but I mean… has she heard of Jenny Craig? I’m sure Jonah means Dove in Hebrew… I remember it from last year’s language week.”

How does Kassie know their names? And how can she know/remember what the names mean? She doesn't seem like a girl who remembers what she learns at school.

“Cool.”

“How beautiful is he?”

“Gorgeous.” I didn’t need to ask her who she meant. While Kassie never settled with one man exclusively, when somebody had a girlfriend, as the girl so demonstrated seconds after sitting, Kassie never interrupted. I don't understand this sentence.

“I wish I had the guts to speak to him.”

“Yeah, who doesn’t in here?”

“I wish I could see into his mind.”

“Why?”

“So I can see if I have a chance.”

You could add at least one "Kassie said" or "I said" here. Without them, I thought Kassie was speaking Ellen's lines and vice versa, until I realized the real deal.

“He’s probably got a girlfriend from whatever dark place he came from,” I mused, unable to keep the longing from my voice. Kassie frowned, analysing him in a different light now.

“You’re probably right, about the dark place. Did he live under a rock all his life? Seriously get a load of their skin!”

“It’s freaky.”

“Yeah, so freaky!” I agreed, though my words felt wrong on my tongue. It seems you got confused about the speaker, too. Here Ellen is agreeing with herself.

“He’s so gorgeous though, it’s not fair.”

“I wonder if he has lived beneath a rock all his life…” This was just said seconds ago. Why is it there again?

“Get real.”

“Get real? Sure, he can’t be real.”

We moped for a little while, deciding we’d rather sit here staring at him and be depressed than be happy anywhere else. We both had English 3 with Mr Newbill, an Indonesian Diplomat turned teacher as of eight months ago. His knowledge on America was so vastcomma we struggled to remember he’d lived in Indonesia all his life, though he’d travelled more frequently than a gypsy.

His class was the usual: slack off day, the beginning of a gentle slope leading to exams in early January. He warned us exams would creep up on us and we’d be too busy partying to study over the break, so we should begin revising previous years’ work to give a decent head start. Of course none of us listened; too busy buzzing about the new three-some from lunch to talk about anything else. If she didn't listen, how can she remember what he said? ;)



Overall:

You need to show us who's speaking every once in a while. In the last dialogue bit, I completely lost the track and couldn't bother trying to find out the speaker. It shouldn't be that hard for the reader.
The characterization of Ellen got better in this chapter, like I'd thought it would.
I think the story is moving on too slowly, and that's probably courtesy of your whole paragraphs dedicated to description. Like I already said, you could describe a little throughout the chapter. It's the same thing with eating: they say it's better to eat little and often than eat tons two times a day. ;)
I had to say this in the last chapter already, but I forgot. Something in the way you build the sentences reminds you of myself. I feel like I, as well, have lots to say and thus, the ideas might get left a little unclear. But I hope we'll both improve on that. :)

Thanks for the read, again!


Demeter xxx
"Your jokes are scarier than your earrings." -Twit

"14. Pretend like you would want him even if he wasn't a prince. (Yeah, right.)" -How to Make a Guy Like You - Disney Princess Style

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Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:33 am
200397 says...



“Sorry for being so late, but this is my first day[s], and[/s] . My schedule is awfully confusing,” he murmured softly in a thick Scottish accent. "And yes, I’m Jonah Sparks, thank you for being the first teacher to know my name!”


Corrections in bold. Oh, and I didn't see the Scottish accent coming! I like it!

“You got lost? Oh, you poor thing! please take a seat. You have not missed much, dear.”


“Armel is beautiful, sure, but he’s married, Kass.”


Wow. I'm really surprised at how much this has changed (that's a good thing.) I really like it now, and the fact the Jonah has a skin deformity and a Scottish accent gives him much more character, in my opinion. Kass's change is also an improvement, I think!

I really like this! *by the way, this does not suck, and neither do you.*

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Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:46 pm
ashleylee says...



Hey, Nic. Again, I’m just going to try to point out things that I haven’t noticed before or on the things you have changed.

They flanked me on either side like two guard dogs because, with their black hair, muscular bodies and incredibly dangerous expressions printed permanently on their faces, it’s what they look like to an outsider like Miss Hale.


Add “on” where I put it above ^^^.
Also, I know that I have mentioned this before but that last part about Miss Hale makes the sentence drag drastically. My advice would be to chop it up into smoother more understandable sentences, you know?

They kept their inner-softness to themselves.


If they kept it to themselves, how did Ellen know about it…? Just a thought to consider.. =)

“Sorry for being so late, but this is my first day, and my schedule is awfully confusing,” he murmured softly in a thick Scottish accent.


You didn’t!? Scottish accents… oh, gosh, I’d melt if I ever heard one… All I can think of at the moment is the movie Maid of Honor with Patrick Dempsey and that Scottish guy on there. Wow, what an accent… =) Love that addition!

“And yes, I’m Jonah Sparks, thankyou for being the first teacher to know my name!”


“Thankyou” is two words. :wink: Also, I don’t think the exclamation point at the end is needed.

Awkward blotches of red curled around his neck and reached up around the right side of his face.


Perfect! The vampire has a flaw! :D

The perfection of his face was framed by short black waves.


You can’t use “perfection” here because he isn’t perfect, with his marred skin. Change to a different word.

I decided to breathe through my mouth since my nose could not cope, realising my brain was deprived of oxygen enough.


Just so you know, “realising” is spelt like this in America: “realized”. Just so you know ^_^

Michael Hansberry – the hottest boy I had ever met - was a frog compared to this prince.


She thinks he’s hot despite his marred appearance? Explain more here.

My eyes dislodged from his perfect face up to Miss Hale’s warm, yet forcefully stern eyes Most of the class, including the handsome boy, were staring at me now.


Again, handsome and perfect can no longer be used, if you are aiming for him to have a really horrible appearance. Really focus on her thoughts right now and if Ellen can see past the scars to see the beauty, you know? But not just that, what is her first reaction to his appearance? Fright? Disgust? Explain.

“It’s not fair!” She moaned, dropping her head onto her folded arms.


Lowercase “s” on “she” here.

“I don’t have any sneakers!” She wailed.


Lowercase “s” on “she” here too.

”Don’t be mean Kass, I’m sure there’s some sort of explanation.”


Comma after “mean”

“Armel is beautiful sure, but he’s got a girlfriend Kass.”


Comma after “girlfriend”

I frowned, analysing him in a new light.


Just so you know, in America, “analysing” is spelt like this: “analyzing”.

My frown deepened when I realised how horrible the words sounded on my tongue.


Again, “realised” is spelt “realized” where I am from :wink:

“Get real. The joke is a little old anyway Kassie.”


Comma after “anyway”

His knowledge on America was so vast we struggled to remember he’d lived in Indonesia all his life, though he’d travelled more frequently than a gypsy.


I think you mentioned this in your PM to me about “travelled” and how it’s spelt “traveled” here in America. Just so you know ^_^

And when I stepped into the parking lot after school I could see his see his black eyes watching me, following me, from within his small car.


I would either cut out “watching me” or “following me”. You don’t need both.

~ ~ ~ ~

So much much better :D Especially the scene with her and Jonah in the Webpage design class. Very nicely done. And I love the discoloration of Jonah and Celeste’s skin.

But I do have one issue with that: If Jonah and Armel are brothers, why does Celeste have the same skin as Jonah, if they aren’t related…? I would think that would make people suspicious, as if something wrong was going on there… I don’t know, something to think about I guess.

Anyway, wonderful rewrite, again :D
"Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love—and to put his trust in life."
~ Joseph Conrad


"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
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Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:20 am
sokool15 says...



I like it - very good continuation from the first chapter. I'm still confused as to what the main character is. I'm probably stupid and skipped over some critical information at the beginning, but if she's a human she wouldn't be able to smell anybody like that unless he was wearing a very strong aftershave.

Anyway, I'm reading the edited version in which Jonah has blotchy skin, which I LOVE. I don't know what it was like before (i'm assuming Jonah had an Edward-complex :P) but this is a thousand percent better. :D These characters are so much more unique and real. Seriously. Vampirism is a disease - why would it make somebody perfect? This modern sentiment about vampires just never made sense to me.

But she – while being a redhead – didn’t come across as being wild, if anybody believes in those stereotypes anymore. She had a chunkily proportioned body - thick arms and legs, small chest, roll of baby fat leaning over her belt and a chubby, scowling face with ugly blotches matching the new boy.


Couple of things I didn't like in here. The first sentence was confusing to me, because I'd never heard that redheads were "wild." I'd heard the thing about tempers, but wildness? I just didn't like that sentence. The word in bold - chunkily - is a poor work. You used chunky when you first described her, and adding an inappropriate and messy "ily" doesn't make it a different word. Use something else - google "chunky" and look up the synonyms for it or something.

Okay, that's all I've got. Moving on to part 3! Yay!

~MademoiselleKool 8)
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
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Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:58 pm
JosephDean says...



Lol, I get what you said about people thinking it was basically a Twilight fanfic. It does resemble it in ... well just about every way :P Then again, it's vampire romance set in a high school... like always... there's not much anyone can do differently :P

---

I'm going to assume that all of my little nitpicks have all ready been pointed out, so I'll just mention a few things here:

As usual, I sat in the back row furthest from Miss Hale


It should be "farthest". No, this is not Americanization; "farthest" refers to physical distance, where "furthest" means ... non-physical. In other words:

That gas station is the farthest down the road.
I would like to discuss this further.

I hope that makes sense, lol.

And yes, I’m Jonah Sparks, thankyou for being the first teacher to know my name!”


Quotation mark at the beginning.

his face which, was by comparison to any boy in the room, horrifyingly discoloured.


Move that first comma to after "was"

Hello at last, Hell. I missed you so much!


Haha! Oh this made me laugh.... a lot.... nice one. Although, "Hello at last" implies that you are meeting it for the first time; like you've been waiting and now there it is. How could you miss something you've never met in the first place? Try "Hello again, Hell" or something like that.

Indonesian Diplomat turned teacher


That should be hyphenated, and I think "diplomat" should be lowercased. Pretty sure about that.

Indonesian diplomat-turned-teacher

---

I really did enjoy this. Even though the idea has been done so many times before, your writing style still makes it seem fresh, and the characters are so amusing.

Off to read chapter three :)
  





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Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:21 am
anti-pop says...



Hey niccy. :D
On to the requested review.

“You got lost? Oh you poor thing, please take a seat, you have not missed much dear.”

Coma after 'much'.

My eyes dislodged from his perfect face up to Miss Hale’s warm, yet forcefully stern eyes Most of the class, including the handsome boy, were staring at me now.

Period after 'eyes'.

It was a huge full-screen shot of twenty women in pink bikinis with calligraphy draped all across them, derogatory remarks dominating. Nathan smirked and Gregory baulked. Before anybody else noticed I closed the webpage, my heart hammering in my chest so loudly it pounded in my ears. A disgruntled snort made me shrink down in my seat.

lol nice. xD
Coma after 'Before anybody else noticed'.

Behind him sauntered a chunky redhead, her long, dead-straight hair bouncing lightly on the curve of her pale lower back as she glided toward the tray piles. She was tall, even if she didn’t sport the five-inch heels. But she – while being a redhead – didn’t come across as being wild, if anybody believes in those stereotypes anymore. She had a chunkily proportioned body - thick arms and legs, small chest, roll of baby fat leaning over her belt and a chubby, scowling face with ugly blotches matching the new boy.

You use the adjective 'chunky' twice in this paragraph. Frankly, I would suggest replacing each with something else. I absolutely loathe the word 'chunky'. *shudders*

She had a soft face with sharp eyes, and while not being overly pretty, she wasn’t ugly either.

The entire paragraph before this was filled with nearly all seemingly negative criticisms of the redheaded girl. Sure, you said she had a 'soft face', but expand on that. Give us a few more positive comments on her appearance. At this point, you've made her sound unappealing. (And I don't mean by her being overweight. I know plenty of girls who are big and beautiful. Just give us more details about her eyes, expression, actions...show us that she is pretty.)

“Armel is beautiful sure, but he’s got a girlfriend Kass.”

Coma after 'beautiful' and 'girlfriend'.
Also, I need to support a comment made on the first chapter of this story. I believe someone mentioned that it irked them that the narrator refers to Kass by her name in almost every sentence. It wasn't very noticable in the first chapter, but it has slowly gotten worse. Think about how you speak to your friends. You don't normally use their names, do you? I don't know many people who continuously use names when speaking to others.

Other than those little nit-picks, this was very well-written! I'm totally hooked on this story now. One thing though:
Are Ellen and Kass vampires? Because human don't have a strong sense of smell like that (like other people have mentioned). Ah well. You've already got quite a few chapters up, so I guess I'll find out soon.

Great job!


*anti-pop
...Bitter cold, it grows
changing holds
cynicism the new norm...

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