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The Veil - Chapter 28

by megsug


Dalki woke to a strange thudding. Groggy, she tried to place the noise. There was too much silence between the thumps to be the prostitute doing business a floor up. It couldn’t be someone walking down the stairs. It wasn’t even enough, and it had gone on too long. She let one eye open and groaned at the light glaring through the curtainless window. The paper filtered the light a little but not enough to keep her vision from going a little blurry. Turning a little, she frowned when she didn’t encounter the curled ball that Fels normally made beside her.

The boy was a late sleeper who slept hard. She had been surprised by how loud and active he was in his sleep compared to his silent existence in the waking world. He kicked and grunted and thrashed. He’d been hard to sleep beside at first.

Combing fingers through her hair as she sat up, she looked around and saw her companion. He had the blowgun that Mr. Surly had given her. He put it to his lips and blew, his cheeks puffing out and going pink with the exertion before the dart popped out only to thunk to the floor. Dalki peered at the wall in front of him and could see two darts lodged in the wall and a third that had obviously hit the wall before falling to the floor.

She stretched with a yawn, trying to decide if she wanted to get up or just roll over and go back to sleep since she didn’t have a job to get to anymore. “Are you figuring out how to use that thing?” she asked, laughing a little when he jumped and whirled around. “I don’t mind. It’s not like I knew how to work it.” She got up and took the blowgun from him, trying to shoot the dart at the wall, only to wind up breathless with nothing to show for it.

Fels pointed to his lips and positioned them for her to mimic.

Dalki and Fels played with the blow darts for most of the morning, figuring out how to position their lips and blow hard enough to get real force behind the projectile. She felt a little useless, having nothing to go do when she was normally at work. She confided in Fels what she probably should’ve kept to herself. She told him about her adventure finding Ihyana, sitting against the creaking bed frame, legs sprawled out in front of her carelessly. She picked at splinters in the floor as she talked.

“And her door was locked from the outside. How weird is that? It’s not like she had a little tantrum and locked herself away. Someone didn’t want her to get out.” She glanced at Fels who had seemingly forgotten the darts and was watching her with interest.

That’s what she liked about the little guy. He was a great listener. It wasn’t just because he wouldn’t talk though she wouldn’t say that she didn’t mind not being interrupted with unhelpful advice. He would actually put down what he was doing and look at her, but as she glanced around in an attempt to think of what words fit what she wanted to say, he wouldn’t pressure her into making eye contact. At the end of monologues with Fels as the audience, she always felt like she had gained something.

She jerked her hand away when she accidentally shoved a splinter underneath her fingernail. Studying it, she kept talking. “And she only fussed for a little while. As soon as I told her I was taking her to Eshe – of course I just told her he was a noble – she calmed down and got really quiet.” She pressed down on her fingernail and the pad of her finger, watching for a dark spot of blood to appear under her nail. “And she had these huge eyes, Fels. Gigantic. I think Eshe is trying to help her… but I just don’t know. She was so scared. What if I helped send her to this horrible place?”

Fels, kneeling beside her, brushed the top of his head against her arm in a movement she understood as comforting.

Patting his head and running her fingers through his hair with the familiarity of family, she shrugged and felt her stomach gurgle. She frowned. They hadn’t had a meal yet that day, but she was slow to waste precious resources on food when she still felt fine. She didn’t know where she was going to get money from next.

She could feel Fels watching her and knew he had heard her stomach growl as well. She didn’t want to look at him but didn’t know what to do to distract him. He wanted her to eat. He plucked at her shirt and flicked her when she tried to ignore him.

“I’m worried about money,” she admitted in a whisper. “I don’t have a job anymore.”

Glaring at her, he jerked the bed away from the wall and grabbed the purse sitting in a hole in the wall. He jingled it. What wasn’t apparent in his actions but what she could recognize after years of reading only his body language and facial features was his concern for her.

“Fine,” she grunted, her stomach and Fels partnering to persuade her into buying food.

They were changing into clothing suited for going out when there was a knock. Dalki was in the middle of wrapping her breasts tight against her chest. “Get it, Fels. If it’s the landlord, just close the door. He knows it’s too early for rent.” Turning away from the door in an attempt at modesty, she heard the door open. There was a cough and a rustle as she was pulling her shirt over her head. Turning toward their guest, she was faced with a lady in fine clothing, much finer than would normally be found in this area, with a veil covering her face.


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Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:16 pm
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Deanie wrote a review...



Heya Meg!

Happy review day! (I wonder if you are tired of me saying that yet).

So glad to know that what we heard of Dalki before wasn't the last of her! I was half convinced that it would be. And although we might not be seeing too much of her, we do get the promise of more. It makes me happy, because I found her character and her situation to be pretty interesting :) And OH MY YES I really want Dalki to go with Lekan to the other place. I can't see her leaving Fels behind but it would be so good for the story! I would be happy to see it happen. *Tries to calm down on the fangirling side of things* And another thing is that Dalki is not really going to turn down the job seeing as she has no other way of getting money for the time being.

Speaking of the money that she doesn't have, wouldn't it make more sense for her to go out and try and find a job in the morning than to be messing around all day with Fels. If you take the time to say that she felt like she needed a break for once, and didn't want to deal with any stress so soon, then it would make sense. But I didn't get that impression, and it made me wonder why she stays home wasting time when she could be out there and looking. Even if I have no clue where she would even go to look. It just had me curious.

At the beginning you also mention that Fels was someone who was hard to sleep next to at first, and then it wasn't anymore. I felt like that was an unfinished paragraph! I wanted to know what had changed to make it easier for her to sleep by his side. Was it because their friendship had formed and then all of a sudden she knew when to roll out of his way, even in her sleep? Or did his fitful nights seem to calm down as they got closer during daylight hours? I want to know what changed! It might be a small thing but it seems pretty big when it comes to taking their friendship into account.

The paper filtered the light a little but not enough to keep her vision from going a little blurry. Turning a little


In this sentence and the beginning of the next one you have the word 'little' three times. We have a lot of repetition here! You don't need it the second and third time, but it seems more vital to keep it for the first. Maybe you need to readjust the sentence where you use it for a third time a bit more as well.

It wasn’t just because he wouldn’t talk though she wouldn’t say that she didn’t mind not being interrupted with unhelpful advice.


This sentence is confusing to read because of all the contractions we have there! I can understand what you are trying to say easily enough, but it would be nicer if it was smoother and less confusing. So how about: It wasn't just because he wouldn't talk - she knew she didn't want to be interrupted with unhelpful advice. Still has quite a few contractions, but is easier to read.

Going to have some dinner but I will be back after that. Only three more parts to go until I am all caught up!

Deanie x




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Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:54 am
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Kale wrote a review...



Hello again! I'm here to rescue this chapter from the Green Room.

There was too much silence between the thumps to be the prostitute doing business a floor up.

This sentence. Oh my goodness. I was so not expecting a detail like that, and it's glorious because it just really made the setting for me.

*admires the great little bit of showing that this sentence is*

With that said, this chapter ended rather abruptly, and on a note of description, too. I find that ending scenes with some sort of action helps give them a sense of closure so that they don't feel too abruptly ended, so having the lady or Dalki do something in response to the lady's sudden appearance I think would be a less abrupt ending to this chapter, even if it's to have Dalki think something about the lady's presence.

I think, considering where Dalki is, having her comment on how the lady's fine appearance is an invitation to get mugged or somesuch would make sense and also give the description of the lady a bit more immediate relevance.

Otherwise, I'm really liking what I've read of this story so far, and it's definitely on my (ever-growing) list of things to one day read in full.




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Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:22 pm
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

I have to admit, the description of the thudding at the beginning was a bit hard for me to imagine. Sounds like that are always a bit harder to describe. It helped to have the comparison of other noises that she ruled out, but it wasn't the easiest to figure out. Later when we find out that it's just Fels hitting the darts against the wall it makes sense. I think it would've worked better if you had added the place that the sound was coming from. Dalki mentioned the prostitute above her, but that option should've been ruled out a lot earlier because the thud was in the room, much louder than any muffled noise coming through the floor. The description was a bit lacking for me.

I'm left wondering about Fels a bit. I've come to the conclusion that he doesn't talk, but I'm not sure if that's because he chooses not to or because he can't. You're always so good with making sure we completely understand your characters that I'm surprised that you haven't addressed it yet. At this point I don't think it's absolutely necessary for the story's success, because we know that he doesn't talk and will believe any explanation in a heartbeat, but it's a nice detail to have. It was mentioned the last time we saw him that he was muttering under his breath so it's obvious that he can talk.

A veil. Qui. Things are coming together! :D I'm way more excited about this than I really should be...

This chapter is rather short so I don't have much else to say. It's a sweet chapter where we get to see more of Dalki and Fell's relationship. Sometimes it really does seem like he's her pet. Totally not a bad thing of course, because that's just how he is. I've definitely never read about a character like him before.

Keep writing!
**Noelle**





The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
— H. L. Mencken