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E - Everyone Language

XIV| Wolves: CH-I

by CyberGenji


"Mr. Locke...I- uh, I assure you, our primary aim is customer satisfaction." The sleazy man in the monotone suit parroted to me, "But I'm afraid we won't be able to sanction your loan. Well because.."

And here it comes.

"....because you truly have no tangible assets that qualifies with the requirements set by our establishment." The banker continued with an apologetic face. "We are truly sorry. But we'd love to provide other services ! We have this very lucrative and new invest-"

"No- It's fine. Thank you for your time though" I said, quickly standing up and gathering my documents and sliding them into my folder. "But I'll let you know if I ever change my mind."

I snaked my way through the sea of people coming in through the revolving doors of the bank.

It felt more like swimming against the unstoppable waves of an ocean.

As soon as I managed to step out of the building, I took a deep inhale, loosening my tie.

Not that it helped though, the city's air was thick enough with smog to be cut by a blade.

I flung my briefcase into a dumpster and fished my phone out of my pocket before it could ring.

"Yeah, it's a negative on this front too. Apparently I don't have enough solid- tangible- whatever. I don't have enough 'assets' apparently" I answered, as I looked around, scanning to crowd to see if she was watching.

"Oh that I know. I just called because you asked me to call at 4, and well it is 4." Her voice flew in through the speaker, soft but staticky.

"Have i mentioned using your omniscient sense on me is a gross invasion of privacy ?"

She chuckled in response, "Have I mentioned that you carry your emotions of your lips ? I could almost visualize your annoyed little face."

I heard the prominent noise of sipping, "Wine ? At this time of the day ?"

"How do you know I'm not drinking Tea ?" She asked indignantly.

"Liz, in all of our 6-month acquaintance I have never once seen you drink tea. Or coffee for that matter."

I slipped past the chorus of people and rumblings of automobile engines and into a dark alleyways.

"By the way, Someone's been following me for the past...what eight minutes now ?"

I heard the soft clink of glass against something hard.

Silence followed, which lasted about a few seconds.

"Are you going to kill them ?" She asked, her voice painfully serious.

"Well...Honor forbids it. My honor forbids it." I rolled up my sleeves, holding my phone, awkwardly, with my chin.

"Honor is such a lousy excuse. Don't get any blood on yourself, The bedsheets are new, and blood is incredibly hard to clean."

"Bleach, or well, Hydrogen Peroxide works." I came to a halt in a secluded area. Decrepit buildings and slums. Low possibility of casualties.

Perfect.

"Bleach ? Ugh, you savage, they're linen and custom-made."

"Uh.." I made a confused noise, "Sure, okay, No blood, got it." I made sure to make the sarcasm in my voice very visible.

I fiddled with the surprisingly intact guitar pick I picked up from the alleyway.

"I'm serious, don't get into bed if you've got blood on Y-" Her voice cut off midway.

I stared at my phone to realize it had died.

"Funny how that happens." I muttered quietly, placing my phone on a tall windowsill.

"You know, she was right. Honor is a lousy excuse." I said, louder, making my assailants stop in their tracks.

"Shadows don't hide your scent, nor do they hide your sloppy and loud footsteps."

I turned towards their general direction and flipped the pick around in my fingers.

"So, which one of you would like to try their hand at the lotto machine first ?"

I said, with a smile on my face, and a burning crosshair in front of my eye.

This time the shadows answered, first in a low growl, then in a dead language i didn't recognize at first.

"The Regime will fall. So will the House of the Unholy, and You, Angra Mainyu." One of them stepped out of the shadows, their voice indiscernible, their face, shifting continually.

"Well you didn't have to change to English for me, Prakrit was just fine." I nonchalantly flung the guitar pick past them. "Or was it Akkadian perhaps ? I could never tell ya know-"

"Stalling will not bring you salvation. You are alone, and you will die the same." The one still in the shadow spoke up, I assumed they too were wearing a suit, just like the other one.

Then again, if you're faceless and indistinguishable, why wear a suit at all ? To look presentable ?

"Eh, wasn't stalling." My crosshair focused onto the still flying guitar pick, "More like....coercing fate." A faint whispering floated through the air, then the clinking of plastic against metal.

Before the wraiths could comprehend my cheesy remark or answer, the guitar pick shot through one's chest, bouncing off the wall, and then through the other's head.

The shadows seemed to recede as two suited skeletons fell forward, and the invasive groaning of the traffic returned.

I smiled as I gazed at my handiwork, as the floating crosshair disappeared with a audible noise.

Which is probably why I didn't notice the third assailant.

Hell, maybe the two wraiths were being noisy on purpose.

I felt the cold metal hit the back of my head, my vision clouded, and I felt my consciousness slip into the void.

When I woke, I found myself to be freezing, and atop a pile of bodies.

In a room that seemed to have no end.

And an audience that was very clearly a chanting cult.

I couldn't tell if it was a dream or not because the next time i slipped back into consciousness, my ears weren't ringing, the burning candles and the chanting cultists were gone.

As were the bloody and dismembered bodies, replaced by charred corpses. And a masked silhouette, seated atop a throne in the only direction I could manage to see.

Then I realized that I couldn't move a single muscle in my body.

And then, the fear set in, when I saw the masked person slowly walking towards me, a glass of wine in their hand. 


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Sun May 22, 2022 4:42 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi CyberGenji,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

We have an interesting start to a story here, which is still a bit lost in questions now, but will surely be answered in the chapters to come. In any case, it makes us curious about more and what is still to come for our main character.

"Mr. Locke...I- uh, I assure you, our primary aim is customer satisfaction." The sleazy man in the monotone suit parroted to me, "But I'm afraid we won't be able to sanction your loan. Well because.."
And here it comes.
"....because you truly have no tangible assets that qualifies with the requirements set by our establishment." The banker continued with an apologetic face. "We are truly sorry. But we'd love to provide other services ! We have this very lucrative and new invest-"

I like the way you start the chapter, giving the reader a jump right into the action. It gives the story a good momentum and flexibility, especially because you can already read out what exactly the main character's trait is; they think about it a lot, as it turns out here, but also later, so you've used a very good method of telling rather than showing, which is incredibly valuable.

I'm still a bit in wonderment of your writing style, because it has many positive aspects, but also some where I wonder where we will go as you shape it this way. I like the dialogue, and especially how it makes the story move forward quickly, but it also doesn't give me much to grab onto because I'm missing necessary information that is all around, and not directly addressed. I think you have to try to expand a little bit on what is still to be seen, so that you also give the main character a little more detail about where we are. Some questions need to be answered even in the first chapter.

Here's another thing I noticed:

As soon as I managed to step out of the building, I took a deep inhale, loosening my tie.
Not that it helped though, the city's air was thick enough with smog to be cut by a blade.
I flung my briefcase into a dumpster and fished my phone out of my pocket before it could ring.

I find your jumping to a new line each time after you finish a sentence a bit halting and it feels choppy to the reader. I would recommend that you leave it in a paragraph so that it is more readable. It seems so much like a script or something, which makes a lot of it seem a bit strange.

In summary, though, it's a good start to the storyline with some interesting questions that arise. I like so far how the dynamics come across well in the dialogue.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




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Thu Apr 07, 2022 1:16 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This is a really interesting story you have presented here. I am a bit confused as to why you have published this as 'art', when it feels more like the first chapter of a novel to me.

As I said, you have a very interesting premise. Your main character has a strongly established personality and it is very easy to familiarize ourselves with his voice from the very beginning. He exudes a kind of calm confidence and seems to be very sure and comfortable with himself. I can't help but wonder if it was this confidence or the slight arrogance evident in his character that eventually stabbed him in the back in the end. He had been so sure of his abilities that he had apparently misjudged the danger that had followed him into the alleyway. It was interesting through how he did not panic or fear until the very last scene.

The character of the woman was interesting as well. She and our MC have only known each other for six months, but there is an easy familiarity about the way they converse with each other. Their constant back and forth was entertaining to read and I liked how casually they discussed murder over the phone as if they were arguing over which colored curtains they would prefer for their room. They share interesting dynamics and there was a hollow sarcasm present throughout their conversation that kept the readers engaged. Near the ending, the mention of the wine, alerted my alarm bells though. Of course, there is no way to be sure if it is the same woman who had been on the phone with our MC, but the coincidental mention of the wine at the end is too big to believe. It made me wonder about the exact status of relationship between them and the role this woman is supposed to play in the story.

While the plot and the characters are more than interesting, the story did have some gaps that could have been bridged by more descriptions. As this is the first chapter, you have to establish the characters and the world that they live in. While you have done a good job with the former with the help of a phone conversation, we really do not have much idea about their world. We don't know what the 'wraiths' are or what purpose they serve in the story. Their little announcement before confronting the MC definitely sounded more than foreshadowing, but because we have no idea what they are talking about, it does not have the same effect on us. It felt like the entire plot was made to spring upon the readers with no warning beforehand. We were just following the story of a man who left a bank after being denied the grant of loan, and suddenly we are introduced to all these other supernatural themes that completely blindside us due to the lack of information about this world.

I think you can change that by expanding on the text a bit, so it is not just dialogues and actions we are following, but thoughts and emotions as well. It will make your characters feel more fleshed out and it will engage the readers in the story as well. By including more descriptions, you will better establish this world and the readers can share in your vision as they will be able to recreate the scenes in their head with more information and descriptions. They will feel more invested in the story and the characters and it will fix those gaps I was talking about earlier.

I slipped past the chorus of people and rumblings of automobile engines and into a dark alleyways.

Here, it will be 'alleyway' and not 'alleyways'.

There are a few typos in the story, mostly related to capitalization and small grammar errors like this one. However, they are mostly harmless and do not really disrupt the flow of the story. I think you can get rid of them with some edits.

Overall, this was a solid first chapter with its own share of ups and downs. It has all the ingredients for the making of a great story, it just needs that 'binding agent' to hold it together.

That's all!

Keep writing and have a great day!




CyberGenji says...


Hi ! Thank you so much for the review and I'm going to take each point you made to heart, i really really appreciate it. And I'm extremely sorry about the late response. And again, thank you !




It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice