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A Painter & Writer's Magic [Chapter 4]

by Liberty


Last Line(s): Akolxohez got up and swiftly threw a punch across Will’s face. 

Chapter 4

Audrey yelped and ran to the two men. “Stop!” Akolxohez shoved her away and held Will - who had a now bloody lip - by the collar.

“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you.” he growled. There was nothing but anger dripping from his strong voice. Will was taken aback. Never in his life had he been punched this powerfully. “How much money do you need?” the devil asked.

Audrey was trying to wrestle Akolxohez away from her husband, but failed to do so. She was desperate. “Okay! Okay! I’ll sign the dumb thing, you -” her next word wasn’t the best. “Just leave Will alone!” she screamed.

Akolxohez let go of him and politely patted down Will’s shirt, smiling all the while. “Thank you.” he nodded curtly at him and directed Audrey to sign at the bottom of the green-colored contract. Audrey scribbled her signature shakily, and because Akolxohez said so, put her thumbprint beside it.

The devil snapped his fingers and two full bags appeared on the couch. Will’s head whirled in the direction of them. Audrey looked up at him, who was walking out of the living room. “Wait.” she called. He stopped. “Who are you?”

“Akolxohez, master of the Ditch of Demons and Devils.” he bowed slightly.

Audrey raised her eyebrow. She moved her hand leftward to reach for her husband’s comforting hand but it wasn’t there. She looked behind her. Will was peeking into the bags curiously - money was everywhere. She looked back at Akolxohez. He raised his eyebrows questioningly. Before he could leave, Audrey opened her mouth once again. “Where are you going?” she asked.

“Back to the Ditch.” he said in a ‘duh’ tone.

“Don’t talk to her like that.” Will growled from behind them.

“My apologies.” he replied soothingly, but it made the couple’s spine tingle.

“Wh-what were you saying about my…” Audrey trailed off. She wasn’t sure if she even heard right.

“You have a rare ability that can save any Realm.” Akolxohez replied simply. “Not only your drawing - your personality, your looks - they can win anyone over.”

Audrey sucked in a long breath. “Get out. You’re driving me nuts.” she ushered the devil out of the hallway and out into the cool breeze. He froze on the steps and turned around to look at her.

“One last thing.” he said, combing his pale hands through his hair. His abnormally large eyes shone. “Now that you’ve given one demon slash devil - the master of demon slash devils at that - access to your house, do not be surprised if you find any others lurking in or around this place.”

And with that, he smiled (Audrey thought she even saw his fangs glint under the rising sun) and walked down the street and around a corner.

***

“There’s six-hundred-thousand pounds.” Will said later in the evening after he had counted all the money. “We’ll give some for the rent. That leaves us with…” he squinted and looked out the window. “Um… a good amount of money.” he said at last. Will wasn’t the best when it came to math.

“Five-hundred-ninety-seven-thousand.” Audrey said, then took another sip from her coffee. “Don’t you wonder where that money came from?”

“No.” Will said, packing away the money and hiding them under the couch he was sitting on. “It’s money we need. You signed the contract. He gave us money. We’re done.”

“Why’d he want my sign?” Audrey wondered aloud.

“Look, the mental retard was talking about some ditch or realm he wanted to save.” Will sighed, laying down on his side across the length of the couch. “He probably escaped from an asylum.” he shrugged and turned on his back, folding his arms and staring up at the cracked ceiling.

“Akol is a devil.” Audrey set down her now empty cup and layed down as well. “He… he was right about my power. I always feel weird when someone compliments me or my drawing. If they compliment anything else about me, I don’t have that feeling.”

“You gave him a nickname.” Will said flatly, turning his head to look at her. His red hair fell into his eyes.

Audrey smirked. “You’re just jealous because he’s handsomer than you.”

Will turned away quickly, facing away from her. “I never said I was jealous.”

Audrey got up to put her cup into the kitchen. “I’ve known you for ten years. You’re hella jealous.” she bit the inside of her cheek. “But… I must admit… Akol’s hair…” As the words left her lips, Will got up, his face pink, and stormed out of the house.

Audrey giggled as she cleaned the last of the dishes.

Normally, if Audrey did anything of this sort, Will came back in a matter of minutes. Today was no different. Refreshed after thirty minutes of cool air and walking in the park, the young man walked back to the house. The sight before him when he entered through the front door left him frozen in shock.

The living room was a mess. The couches were tossed to the side as if they weighed nothing. Audrey’s easel had toppled over. There was paint on the walls. And all the canvases were strewn all over the floor. When Will looked closely, the painting depicted an image. An image of what? He did not know, but there were a lot of trees. His hands started feeling sweaty and he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise.

“Aud?” he shut the front door and quietly crossed the living and entered the kitchen. The kitchen was as messy as the living room. Dishes had been shattered and the cabinet doors were broken and splintered. Will’s heart started beating a mile a second. “Aud?” he called out, his voice cracking. There was a groan from somewhere on the left and his head snapped in that direction.

It was Audrey. She was gagged and her wrists and ankles were tied together with twisted rope. He ran towards her fallen body on the kitchen floor. She was squirming, and sweat was dripping from her forehead. “Who did this?” panickedly, he knelt before her to untie her limbs.

“I suggest you not do anything to the ties for it will only make them tighter.” said a familiar bold voice. “She gave me a fake sign.”

Audrey said something but it was muffled with the cloth in her mouth. She squirmed again and she looked pleadingly at Will. Untie me.

Will was taken aback at how clearly those words etched in his mind. Please. Confused and angry, he looked around for the source of the voice. “Who is it?” he asked loudly. With his hands, he brushed away Audrey’s blonde hair. She was still sweating. He moved his lap so her head would comfortably sit on it.

Akol came into view from a shadow. “She gave me a fake sign.” he repeated. Will’s eyes widened at the sight before him. The devil had completely changed. Two red horns had sprouted from his white-blonde hair, his eyes were all red now - no pupils, no irises - and his fingers were claws. The most noticeable sight was how disgustingly muscular he had become.

“I think you don’t understand the importance of the sign.” Akol said in a dangerously quiet voice. “Our Ditch is dying and I…” he faltered when he realised how much he was begging them for help. His eyes changed back to the normal ones Will and Audrey could see. Akol closed his eyes then shook his head. “We need your help.” he opened his eyes again and they had turned back to the completely red ones they had been seconds ago.

Will was still frozen in shock. Audrey squirmed again and Will felt her shake.

“You won’t understand the importance until you see for yourself, huh?” Akol smirked. “Then I’ll take you to the Ditch of Demons and Devils then.” Akol scowled. With a snap of his fingers, everything went black.


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Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:33 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is your part of the world)

One quarter complete.

First Impression: More twists and turns and I was right about that get in thing wasn't I? YAAY!!! You got that tradition of the Underworld true to real life. Okay things are pretty fast paced here. But I think the speed works so far. It keeps the readers on the edge of their seats.

Anyway getting right to it,

“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you.” he growled. There was nothing but anger dripping from his strong voice. Will was taken aback. Never in his life had he been punched this powerfully. “How much money do you need?” the devil asked.


You know he could have gone with some much more sneaky means. Like I don't know a fake lottery or something like that. I mean he went right for the souls, horns and fangs. But I guess devils have always not had a great track record of being subtle.

The devil snapped his fingers and two full bags appeared on the couch. Will’s head whirled in the direction of them. Audrey looked up at him, who was walking out of the living room. “Wait.” she called. He stopped. “Who are you?”


I like how Will somehow conveniently forgets this detail when he dismisses Akol(Thank you Audrey for that nickname) as a lunatic. Very realistic depiction of the power of the human mind to fit things into our understanding of reality.

“One last thing.” he said, combing his pale hands through his hair. His abnormally large eyes shone. “Now that you’ve given one demon slash devil - the master of demon slash devils at that - access to your house, do not be surprised if you find any others lurking in or around this place.”


*happy dance* - It's been three out of three this week for me with theories.

“Why’d he want my sign?” Audrey wondered aloud.


Wait. Later she confirms he's a devil and remembers all that but she can't remember the reason that he gave for wanting her signature?

"You gave him a nickname.” Will said flatly, turning his head to look at her. His red hair fell into his eyes.

Audrey smirked. “You’re just jealous because he’s handsomer than you.”

Will turned away quickly, facing away from her. “I never said I was jealous.”

Audrey got up to put her cup into the kitchen. “I’ve known you for ten years. You’re hella jealous.” she bit the inside of her cheek. “But… I must admit… Akol’s hair…” As the words left her lips, Will got up, his face pink, and stormed out of the house.

Audrey giggled as she cleaned the last of the dishes.


Once again beautiful and very realistic portrayal of this relationship.

The living room was a mess. The couches were tossed to the side as if they weighed nothing. Audrey’s easel had toppled over. There was paint on the walls. And all the canvases were strewn all over the floor. When Will looked closely, the painting depicted an image. An image of what? He did not know, but there were a lot of trees. His hands started feeling sweaty and he felt the hair on the back of his neck rise.

“Aud?” he shut the front door and quietly crossed the living and entered the kitchen. The kitchen was as messy as the living room. Dishes had been shattered and the cabinet doors were broken and splintered. Will’s heart started beating a mile a second. “Aud?” he called out, his voice cracking. There was a groan from somewhere on the left and his head snapped in that direction.


Some great imagery here. Gives us a great image of what sort of state the house is in.

Akol came into view from a shadow. “She gave me a fake sign.” he repeated. Will’s eyes widened at the sight before him. The devil had completely changed. Two red horns had sprouted from his white-blonde hair, his eyes were all red now - no pupils, no irises - and his fingers were claws. The most noticeable sight was how disgustingly muscular he had become.


I love that little personal Will touch with calling him disgustingly muscular.

“You won’t understand the importance until you see for yourself, huh?” Akol smirked. “Then I’ll take you to the Ditch of Demons and Devils then.” Akol scowled. With a snap of his fingers, everything went black.


And another excellent to end things.

Overall: Plot's coming along nicely so far. Nothing that I could spot besides it maybe moving a little fast and Will's whole shock and surprise being muted a little. But then Will's lack of strong emotion could be explained by the fact that it all happens so fast and he just can't register it all. All in all this is a great story.

I have to head off to a break(have some food) but I hope to come back and do at least 8-9 more. As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Liberty says...


Omg thank you again. You're a super fast reviewer!! xD



HarryHardy says...


Your Welcome!!
Thanks!!



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Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:35 pm
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Gravitem wrote a review...



..............................................................................I just wanted to have a moment of silence before I began. You don't ever fail to surprise. And that's in a good way. "Good" would be an understatement. It's absolutely crazy! Nothing ever feels out of place with these surprises. And... Why didn't I predict the fake sign? You never can predict stuff in a story. Woof. Okay.. I'll just begin reviewing already.

I have to say, Aud's reaction - "stop" - should've given away that she wasn't just simply going to do what Akol (Thanks for giving him a nickname.. It took a while to memorize it though and now I don't have a thing to be proud of...(I memorized the name just so I didn't have to look up the spelling again. :()) asked since what she said itself seemed a bit, and just a bit out of character. I mean, this would only seem so to the reader, and not Akol himself, because he obviously doesn't know this "version" of Aud as much as the reader. This tells us that, she's good at pursuasion, and of course there's other mentions of this skill of hers.

Somehow, the theme shifted to Audrey's persuasion skills or powers, and I feel that the act in the very beginning was some kind of a fore-shadow, though it's likely that I'm just going to deep into the story. Moving on; Akol's character is taking me some time to understand. He's pretty unpredictable. At first, I thought he was straight-forward, but what he did in this chapter proved otherwise. How? Well, if he was straight-forward, he would've told Aud on spot that fake signs won't work with him, but no! Or, he actually went back to the ditch and came back, which - for some reason - seems unlikely.

I'm just gonna assume that Akol is a very unpredictable entity with humongous power. (Duh. He's a devil!) Of course, the devil(s) in your world may be different but well, Akol spoke as if Will and Aud were supposed to know what "devil" meant. Of course, that could just be how Akol is, as a person. I'm starting to like him though.

That will be all.

KEEP WRITING!!!!

Yours sincerely,
Myth :D




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review!! <3



Gravitem says...


Hehe.



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Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:32 am
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LadyBug wrote a review...



Hey, LIbs, continuing with my reviewing marathon, I'm hoping to make it to at least 8 tonight, I'm pumped and ready to cringe from these puns,because I have no "will"-power to keep them in.
Liberty, I'm so sorry.


“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you.” he growled. There was nothing but anger dripping from his strong voice. Will was taken aback. Never in his life had he been punched this powerfully. “How much money do you need?” the devil asked.[/s]

Okay, Godforsaken is one word and means abandoned, deserted, or something along those lines, usually.
"Audreyly" like you got fix this.

I'll calm down, At least I didn't do all the pasta ones for the Italian place.

One thing though, I find it odd she signed it without reading it or checking to see if it was legit and not, like, some sort of adoption paper and she becomes his mother. It's late and I'm tired, I'm not thinking rationally. Like I keep saying, their reactions must be more varied.

So far, though, the flow is amazing!

[b]“Back to the Ditch.” he said in a ‘duh’ tone.

Good job, you've caught my attention and I want to know what a ditch is.

“My apologies.” he replied soothingly, but it made the couple’s spine tingle. Couple's spines tingle. They don't share a spine, as far as I'm aware, that is!

“One last thing.” he said, combing his pale hands through his hair. His abnormally large eyes shone. “Now that you’ve given one demon slash devil - the master of demon slash devils at that - access to your house, do not be surprised if you find any others lurking in or around this place.”

OK, I knew it'd be something like this. Maybe I was a bit more extreme, but I called it. It's an interesting development and a fun way to propel the plot, as well!

“Why’d he want my sign?” Audrey wondered aloud.

Maybe you should have asked before signing it. YOU MADE THE DEALS, HE WAS AT YOUR MERCY!

AI know, I'm being sorta "duh," but I know how hard it is to think rationally under scary circumstances. It's also something I think readers will notice, so be on the lookout for it! If I'm being annoying or hurting your feeling with this style, though, tell me because that is the last thing I want to do!

Audrey smirked. “You’re just jealous because he’s handsomer than you.”
More handsome would be the correct term, I believe, but handsomer sounds more relaxed and casual, because these aren't two strangers heh! But, I gasped when I read that XD!

[/b]Audrey got up to put her cup into the kitchen. “I’ve known you for ten years. You’re hella jealous.” she bit the inside of her cheek. “But… I must admit… Akol’s hair…” As the words left her lips, Will got up, his face pink, and stormed out of the house.
[/b]

Dang, I mean, I get the teasing, and the fact that she's winding him up, but the nickname and how I imagine her tone of voice is making me laugh. I gotta be quiet because it's almost 2 am though.

“I suggest you not do anything to the ties for it will only make them tighter.” said a familiar bold voice. “She gave me a fake sign.”

Okay, when I read the last few paragraphs, I'll admit, I didn't feel so impacted. Maybe making it smoother and more real. Like her wrists and ankles were bleeding from how tight the rope was. Windows were shattered, canvases ripped and shredded on the ground.
A whole new meaning to the phrases unleash hell.

But, that's my dramatic writing style and if that's not the theme you're going for, keep it how it is!


OVERALL:

Oof, I love how you end your chapters, and the plot is coming along. I spoke too soon about the flow, because it reads so much better!

That's all I have to say so I'm gonna go stretch and get right back to it!

Jade




Liberty says...


If I'm being annoying or hurting your feeling with this style, though, tell me because that is the last thing I want to do!

Pft, never! Please continue your reviews like this - especially the puns. They make me laugh. xD

Thanks for the review!! <3 <3 :)



LadyBug says...


I'm glad, I thought I was making you cringe



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Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:16 pm
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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hey!
Alkol seems to be really desperate about this contract thing. He even said "I beg you", that was something I wasn't expecting from a devil. But he is doing all this to save his home. May be he's not all bad.
I loved the part where Aud was teasing Will about being jealous of Alkol. I think will has this habit of giving replies like "I never said I was jealous" or like in the previous chapter "I never said I wasn’t".

“Now that you’ve given one demon slash devil - the master of demon slash devils at that - access to your house, do not be surprised if you find any others lurking in or around this place.”

That sounds so terrifying. Must have given her a creepy feeling.

The last part of this chapter is more interesting. Coming back from a refreshing walk and finding such a mess at home after the whole Alkol incident must have been really scary for Will.
Omg! Treachery with a demon. Alkol is showing his true dark colors. I don't understand if why Audrey did that. I mean she did put her thumb impression so why faking the signature or may be she was just too scared at that time.

He is taking both of them to the Ditch of Demons and Devils now. Things are going to get exciting. Time for more revelations.

Really enjoying your work!




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! c:



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Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:18 pm
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Magebird says...



Gosh, I'm really loving Akol right now. Will and Audrey are a great pair of protagonists, but I just love the implications of Akol's actions. His home must be in serious trouble for him to threaten both Will and Audrey. As its ruler, I can see why he'd get so desperate - he's starting to strike me as the type who feels responsibilities for everything wrong with his home, even if he's had little to no control over it.

As a quick aside - I got a kick out of the "demon slash devil" thing, and this one line in particular:

Will was taken aback. Never in his life had he been punched this powerfully.




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Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:01 pm
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MeherazulAzim16 wrote a review...



Hi!

You had me worried about Aud when Will returned and found the place in a mess. I think the devil's previous remark about being careful of "others" lurking around played into that. We've learned a little more about Akol too. His approach can be devil-ish but his goal may just be relatively altruistic — assuming he needs Aud's help because his people are in some kind of crisis. I can't wait to see how you portray the ditch, if it will change Aud's mind.

“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you.” he growled.


There's something about a devil holding someone by the collar and begging them. I love this bit.

And with that, he smiled (Audrey thought she even saw his fangs glint under the rising sun)


Creepy and ominous.

“But… I must admit… Akol’s hair…” As the words left her lips, Will got up, his face pink, and stormed out of the house.


An *everyone felt that* moment.

“I suggest you not do anything to the ties for it will only make them tighter.” said a familiar bold voice. “She gave me a fake sign.”


OH NO. Aud tried to trick the devil — or did she? I wonder if this has something to do with the Winchester/Emerson thing. But Akol here isn't thrilled either way.

This is definitely my favorite chapter thus far. The events flowed well. Akol is interesting. I think it's too early to decide for the reader whether he's a potential ally/mentor or if he's playing a trick on them, or it could be both. The way he's been set up is bound to keep us on our toes.

And that's the review.

Excelsior!

~MAS




Liberty says...


Thanks so much for the review! I enjoyed reading this one! xD





Anytime!



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Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:28 pm
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4revgreen wrote a review...



Hey there :-)

So I haven't read the previous three chapters but after reading this I most definitely will! Even without reading the three other chapters, you've managed to portray the three characters so well that I wasn't confused as to who was who. Your dialogue was great, really realistic!

I wished you could have done a little more description, maybe talked more in depth about how Akol looked or the papers he made them sign. Sometimes it's good to linger on a single detail for a few lines and describe it in detail.

It was really well paced, meaning it was exciting and quick to read and I didn't get bored. I'm looking forward to reading any future chapters!

“I need your wife’s sign on this god forsaken paper. My Ditch will be destroyed if she doesn’t. She has her artistic powers. I beg you."

I think you meant "I need your wife's signature" or "I need your wife to sign this"

She moved her hand leftward to reach for her husband’s comforting hand but it wasn’t there.

Here, you've used the noun "hand" twice which makes it a little awkward to read.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

In my opinion, you don't really need the 'she asked' at the end we already clearly know that it is Audrey asked from the previous lines.

And with that, he smiled (Audrey thought she even saw his fangs glint under the rising sun) and walked down the street and around a corner.

This sentence is quite long, and I would probably split it up a little differently. Something like: "And with that he smiled and walked out into the street. Audrey was sure she'd seen his fangs glint under the rising sun as he left." Or similar to that.

“No.” Will said, packing away the money and hiding them under the couch he was sitting on

Rather than "hiding them under the couch" it makes a little more sense to say "hiding it under the couch"

Will turned away quickly, facing away from her

Here, you've essentially said the same thing twice. I would say you don't need the "facing away from her" part.

Keep writing!




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! I'm glad you like it so far & thanks for the little pointers. :)



4revgreen says...


No problem, I'm actually going to go and read the previous chapters now!



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Gnomish wrote a review...



Hello!

I'm afraid I don't have much of a review for you here.

“My apologies.” he replied soothingly, but it made the couple’s spine tingle.

Made the couple's spines tingle.

I really like how Akol came back as more of a devil, you're descriptions were really detailed. I also like how Audrey is making Will jealous (Sorry Will, but I'm rooting for Akol!), I don't know whether this will turn into an actual love triangle, but it's pretty funny!

That's all for now!
-Gnomish




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! :)




This is a house of homes, a sacred place, by human passion made divinely sweet.
— Alfred Joyce Kilmer