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Bad Lights, Good Lights [Chapter 4.3]

by Lightsong


We didn’t inspect the death any longer as the teacher arrived, shooing us to stay away from the death scene. I wanted to see more to look at the clues, but Sarah was glad. She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the class, her hand covering her mouth. She was now seemed to want to puke with that pale face of her. She was sweating.

It occurred to me this death would’ve given more impact on her than it would on me. A possessed male cashier had attempted to murder her without anyone knowing. She might looked like she was over it - she was a polished actress, being in drama club and all - but now her hands were shaking. The death reminded her of the one she barely missed. I was sure of it.

I held her hand. “Sarah, are you okay?” I said gently.

“It’s - it’s horrible... what they’ve done to her - why do they need to do that?” Sarah said, putting her other hand on her forehead like someone checking their temperature.

“They aren’t humans, Sarah, remember that,” I said. “Their mentality and everything about them are different than ours. We’re facing enemies that are beyond our understanding. Even I couldn’t believe - couldn’t accept what they did, but they’ve done it. They can do more. We need to stop them.”

Sarah nodded faintly, a sign I hoped was not for decreasing confidence. But it seemed likely right now. I directed my eyes somewhere else. I couldn’t force her to forget about this. I didn’t think she could forget even if she wanted to. Scarlet and Sunglow were quiet. Maybe they understood right now was not the best time to hold a conversation.

A guy came into our class, then. Tall and muscular, he had a dark skin. He looked at us with his tapering eyelashes, messed with his spiky hair a bit, and approached us. His expression was stoic. His moved was sure - no break of hesitation. I wondered what he wanted with us. I was sure we had hid our roles as light companions perfectly.

“Hey, Merah, Sarah. I’m Damon,” he said with his deep voice after arriving at our place. He had looked at our name tags - they were sewn on our clothes - on my scarf and Sarah’s baju kurung. “I’ve seen the scene outside. I know it’s the bad lights’ fault. I’m here to join your side.”

I raised my eyebrows. So he knew about the lights. It didn’t mean he was on our side though. “How do we know you’re not on their side? This is a perfect opportunity to plant a spy among the good lights.”

He gritted his teeth. “I have the light Mauvine in me, and I’m pretty sure I can’t make him talk right now,” he said, his voice a grave whisper, his eyes swept about in a blink, aware of the other students’ presences. “I guess I just have to show you instead.”

He put his hand in front of him and on Sarah’s table, triggering a frown from her. He closed his eyes and assumed a slow rate of breathing, his chest going upward and downward following it. His fingertips started to turn brown, the creamy one, the table’s colour. My eyes widened. The colour started to rise, to consume his skin, going for the length of each of his fingers, before consuming the whole hand. It started to ascend beyond his wrist, but he broke the contact.

It was a careful demonstration as he used his body to shield his hand from public’s view. The area behind us was complete devoid of humans.

“I can turn into anything solid via physical contact. It’s the best proof I can give to you right now but at least you know I’m not responsible for the girl’s death,” he said with a flat voice, dead-on serious.

Sarah faked a yawn. “Sure. I mean, how do we know you didn’t turn full brick, took the advantage of having the element of surprise and pushed her beyond the corridor?” she said, frowning as if thinking. “It’s a plausible scenario, actually.”

He started to fume, going with his increased breathing rate. The suspicion angered him. “After school, meet me at the forbidden place, the one with its ground painted like a road. I’ll show you my light. Both of you can come. I’m pretty sure I’m overpowered.”

Sarah and I exchanged looks, and we nodded in unison. “We’ll meet you there, hotshot,” she said. “Don’t disappoint us pretty girls. The result’s never pleasant.”

He muttered something as a reply, but we couldn’t catch what was it. Eventually he said “Okay” and left, viciously giving a girl who was sweeping the class a sharp “Move!” to stay out of his way. Man, whoever this guy was, I was sure he was worse than me. I meant, I knew I could be boyishly fierce and all, but this was like serious kind of fierce. Hostility. Damon reek hostility.

If he was right being the good guy, we would get another light to help us. His ability to take features of solid objects would provide us some physical strength. We already had Sunglow as our healer. Her power to freeze time would be useful for sure. Sarah could learn that from her anytime. Imran could make illusions. This would be the exact thing we needed if we faced of a huge number of enemies.

And I could move things. Oh, I actually liked throwing things.

A/N: In the previous chapters, I've mentioned about Merah's other best friend, an Indian male boy. I decided to erase him off and introduce a literally new Indian character in here.


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Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:08 am
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

Gosh it's been so long. Don't mind me. I've promised myself that I'm going to get back to reviewing more consistently. Gee, have you heard that one before? *rolls eyes at herself*

Also, I skipped the previous chapter part because I just couldn't give you a good review. Every time I tried to write something it didn't happen. So, yeah, here I am.

I wanted to see more to look at the clues, but Sarah was glad. She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the class, her hand covering her mouth. She was now seemed to want to puke with that pale face of her. She was sweating.

I just wanted to point this out because it's in the first paragraph I read. The part I underlined gives off the image that Sarah is happy. But as I read on it's apparent that she's more relieved to leave the scene than anything else. She's about to be sick and doesn't want to see any more. It's always important to pick the perfect adjective (it is an adjective, right? They didn't teach grammar very well when I was in school ><) for how a character is reacting. As it is now, the reaction is confusing because of the initial description. Be careful with that.

One thing that I can't seem to remember is if it was mentioned before how one person with a light can recognize other people with a light. I was thinking about that while I was reading about Damon. How would he have known Merah and Sarah had lights unless there was a way to tell? If you can't see the lights you can't see them. If it hasn't been mentioned already, I think an explanation of that would be good. Just so it doesn't come as so much of a surprise that this boy knows the girls have lights. He just walks right up to them and blurts it out. I want to be able to read that part and think, "Of course. He can see their lights!" Something along those lines. I was a bit thrown off by it instead.

He started to fume, going with his increased breathing rate. The suspicion angered him.

I've seen this in your writing quite a bit. Not too frequent, but frequent enough to mention it. There's a bit too much description here. The first sentence describes him getting upset. I know that he's upset based on his reaction. Then the second sentence reinforces that, telling me that he's angry. But I already know he's angry. Be careful of that repetition. With your writing you can definitely give off the image of how someone is feeling. If you didn't tell us that Damon is angry, we'd still know that he's angry.

Well, that's all I've got for you. It's so hard to write reviews after you haven't been for a while :/ I promise future reviews will be better.

Oh. Before I end this, I wanted to clarify about Damon. He's completely new right? So Merah doesn't have another best friend? I totally understand having to make decisions like that halfway through writing. I'm just making sure I know exactly what's happening ^_^

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




Lightsong says...


Ohohoho, of course, there's a way with which Damon knows Merah and her light. It's just how Scarlet knows there are other lights in the school--by having glimpses of them. Merah or Damon can't see the lights unless the lights permit them to. There's also another reason why Damon can identify Merah as the light companion, but that's going to be revealed as the chapters go for a (long?) while. :3

Yep, Damon's completely new. Merah doesn't interact with boys much, and I think she's picky when it comes to choosing friends. c: She's not much to social, I guess.



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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello! I know you requested a review for a later chapter (and I'll totally get to that one), but I thought I'd come back and get caught up and help pull some of these other chapters out of the green room. :D

Overall, the plot is moving forward here in an interesting way with this introduction of a new male character that can potentially help them. I liked that they didn't just immediately accept him and trust him because that's just not realistic. I liked his little attitude and I think you've started to develop his personality pretty well. I'm already getting a sense of who he is. I also thought you introduced him and described him pretty well. It wasn't overboard and it gave me enough sense of who the character is to begin.

The big thing I think you could work on in this chapter is that sometimes the reader has already seen something through what you've showed us and then the MC will go ahead and explain it or re-state a similar thing. And I think sometimes the MC makes assumptions about too many things.

She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the class, her hand covering her mouth. She was now seemed to want to puke with that pale face of her. She was sweating.

Let's look at the bold sentence. By saying "she now seemed to want" that implies that the MC assumes she wants to puke. I think what you meant here was that Sarah looks like she's going to puke. If that's the case, you can just say that. "She looked like she was going to puke" and then describe what that looks like (she's sweating, she's pale, wide eyes, hand over mouth, etc.) And when you describe, try to make it more active "Sweat rolled down her pale face, and her eyes were wide" or something like that.

It occurred to me this death would’ve given more impact on her than it would on me. A possessed male cashier had attempted to murder her without anyone knowing.

This confused me. With this guy that tried to murder her, is that something the reader is supposed to know already? Like did this happen earlier in the story? If not, it seems like kind of a big thing to bring up right now because you don't have a lot of time to develop it.
But back to what I was talking about :p

“Their mentality and everything about them are different than ours. We’re facing enemies that are beyond our understanding. Even I couldn’t believe - couldn’t accept what they did, but they’ve done it. They can do more. We need to stop them.”

I thought this dialogue was a little awkward and it sort of re-stated things we know from previous chapters. I felt like he was reciting something that has been established already and this felt a little cold given the situation. Is there a way he can empathize with her or make her feel better that's a little less clinical?

Sarah nodded faintly, a sign I hoped was not for decreasing confidence. But it seemed likely right now.

The bold part didn't make sense to me, wording wise.
And then the last sentence is an assumption - why does that seem likely right now? It's okay if the MC assumes things (because everyone makes assumptions about everything :p) but I want some rational or reasoning behind it to make it feel more real.

I wondered what he wanted with us. I was sure we had hid our roles as light companions perfectly.

I think you could combine these two sentences because they are natural thought progressions - he wonders what this guy wants from them because (what I would assume) he's worried it has something to do with their lights and he thinks he's hid those well.

So he knew about the lights. It didn’t mean he was on our side though.

This completely re-states what we just learned in the dialogue and what we're about to learn in the next piece of dialogue.

Man, whoever this guy was, I was sure he was worse than me.

For this assumption - you do go on to explain the reasoning/rationale, but the assumption is what's giving me a hard time here. "sure he was worse than me" - worse in what way? Worse at what? I don't understand the "worse".

I'll leave things there for now and head on over to the next chapter! :D Let me know if you have any questions or if anything I said was confusing!




Lightsong says...


Thanks for the review! The part about the cashier has been told before hand when Sarah told them about her near-death situation, so yeah. :)



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Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:57 am
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Kale wrote a review...



Hello Lightsong. I'm here as requested to review this (now that I am no longer puking everywhere). I haven't read any of the other parts, so if I bring up something that is already addressed earlier in the story, feel free to ignore me. ;P

And I must say that this is a rather dramatic start to this section what with the death scene being mentioned. I particularly liked how this focused on Sarah's reactions though, and you did a good job noting the physical signs like her sweating and the shaking.

With that said, Damon's introduction was quite forced and confusing. Since there's constant mention of other people being around and Damon taking precautions to not be seen during his demonstration, his self-introduction is very bold and doesn't match up with the supposed secrecy of the lights issue. His behavior after the demonstration is similarly jarring, and it feels like he's being shoehorned into the overconfident and aggressive guy role.

As for his power, how it's described is inconsistent. The initial description implies that he can turn into whatever solid material he is in contact with, but he says that he can turn into anything solid, which reads more like turning into a duplicate of what he's touching. From that reading, since he was touching a desk, he would turn into a desk if he transformed all the way. But then later, his power is described as taking a feature of what he's in contact with.

I also don't see how this power is directly equated to physical strength, or how it would be useful against large numbers of enemies. There's quite a leap of logic between "can become the material he is in contact with" to "can take an aspect of a material" to "effective against groups of enemies" that needs to be shown, otherwise it makes no sense.

There were also a number of phrasings and word choices that lead me to wonder if you're writing in English as a second language. The first two sentences are a good example of this since while they're not grammatically incorrect, their structure is different from most native-speakers'.

In any case, the issues with Damon's introduction and his powers are the major ones.




Lightsong says...


Hmm, I see what you did there about Damon, and I agree. Thanks for the review! :D



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Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:01 am
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maxsavin says...



I really enjoy the story. It is a little confusing because you erased a character but still interesting and makes me want to read more. Very good details but sometime I think they should be written earlier in a paragraph. In your first paragraph "she was sweating." could be said earlier rather than at the end of a paragraph. I hope to see more to read soon.





"Everything you can imagine is real."
— Pablo Picasso