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The Man in The Mask

by Jalmoc


He took her hand, gently leading her forward. Her eyes showed fear, but fascination at the sight. Flashing a brilliant smile at her, he pulled her closer to him. The scent of honey filled her senses as he put his other hand on her waist. She couldn’t see the top of his face, for he was wearing a masquerade mask. The music that surrounded them was slow but majestic as he spun her in a circle, her deep blue dress a whirlwind around her.

He smiled broader and brought her closer to him once more, letting the flow of the music take over his movements. She followed his footsteps, as graceful as an angel on ice as they glided across the dance floor. They hadn’t even noticed that most everyone else had stopped dancing and were mesmerized by their show. His eyes were locked on hers and hers on his, never leaving for a moment.

The last beat of the song faded as he dipped her downwards, her long brown hair a cascading waterfall under her. Gently he brought her up, kneeled and kissed her hand. Her cheeks turned a slight pink as he stood back up. His golden hair was combed over to the side, giving him the look of a rich gentlemen. With a quick turn, he faded into the crowd. She tried to follow him with her eyes, but gave up as everyone went back to their dancing.

Still mesmerized by the dance she decided to walk out onto the balcony to get some fresh air. She stepped out into the cool night, the full moon shining brightly in the starry sky. And there he stood, his back to her gazing at the moon. Silently, she walked up next to him and set her hands upon the marble railing. He glanced at her, letting a brilliant smile fill his face. He turned towards her and held something out.

A blue rose rested in the palm of his hand. She gasped a little and accepted the rose, its blue color almost matching her dress. Walking forward, she kissed him softly. He didn’t recoil, but accepted her soft touch and returned the favor. Releasing, she sighed and looked at the flower and then to the moon. When she turned to look back to the masked man, he was gone. No trace of him being there existed, except the rose that she now held in her hand. She held it to her heart. Would she ever see him again?...


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88 Reviews


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Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:01 am



Dear Jalmoc,
I really enjoyed reading this peice. Your sentances flowed very gracefully and you have a very brilliant way of describing things. I loved the emotion that came from your words. The whole scene was just magical. The only negative thing about this story is that you ended it with him disappearing and I would have enjoyed it so much more if you continued. Overall, I loved this story and I hope to see more from you soon.




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Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:44 am
Veeren wrote a review...



Hey there Jalmoc :D

Spoiler! :
Her eyes showed fear, but fascination at the sight.


This should be reworded: Her eyes showed both fear and fascination at the sight.

Spoiler! :
She couldn’t see the top of his face, for he was wearing a masquerade mask.


This too: The top of his face was hidden behind a masquerade mask.

Spoiler! :
... slow but majestic as he spun...


There should be a period after 'majestic'.

Spoiler! :
He smiled broader and brought her closer to him once more...


Once again, awkward wording (I take it you're getting the pattern?): His smile broadened as he brought her closer once more...

Spoiler! :
She followed his footsteps, as graceful as an angel on ice as they...


Again: She matched his steps as gracefully as an angel on ice as they...

Spoiler! :
... on hers and hers on his...


There should be a comma after the first 'hers'.

Spoiler! :
And there he stood, his back to her gazing at the moon.


Either remove the and or add a comma before it. The rest should be: back to her, gazing at the moon.

Spoiler! :
A blue rose rested in the palm of his hand.


Add this line to the previous one, like so: He turned towards her and held out a blue rose in the palm of his hand.
No need to try and add suspense when you're telling us in the next line.

Spoiler! :
No trace of him being there existed...


Here: There was no trace of him anywhere...

Whew, that's a lot of awkward sentences. You seem to over explain things quite a bit, stalling events for lines more than you should. It creates a pretty dull atmosphere, as well as a feeling of redundancy.

But as for the content, you told a great story. I loved it, and had it have been written better, would've easily made it one of my favorite pieces on the site.

You're a great writer, so keep up the great work. :D




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Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:15 am
dogs wrote a review...



Hello Jalmoc, Dogs here with your review today. Ok I think this is a wonderful piece of writing. I just came back from a long break of YWS and it shocking how much the writing here has improved. And you are a prime example of some excellent writing. This reminded me somewhat of the new movie Anna Karenina and the dance scene. Just the elegance and smoothness of your writing really depicts that rather brilliantly. I'm having great difficulties even finding something bad to say to this... So in desperation to find something to correct I had to switch to extreme nit- pick mode.

Firstly, I think your first paragraph is an excellent opening, throwing the reader right into the action and elegance of the picture your painting. Something that would perhaps make this a little stronger is if you describe the characters unknown lovers masquerade mask. What it looks like, what color is it? Tiny tiny details.

Secondly, when her mysterious lover leaves and disappears into the crowd, I'd imagine that your main character would be more franticly searching for him. I was a little surprised by how calm she remained when he disappeared. Of course not melodramatic "THATS MY DREAM BOY! WHERE DID HE GO! I MUST HAVE HIM AT ALL COSTS!" but a little more then no major reaction.

Other then that I think this is a magnificent piece of work and I applaud you. You keep your writing short, sweet, and smooth. Creating a wonderful combination leading to great literature. Let me know if you need any more reviews on something else! Keep up the good work!


TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032




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Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:09 pm
Hannah wrote a review...



I have been a big fan of Phantom of the Opera, so that's immediately what this reminded me of. I like the atmosphere: the decadence, luxury, richness of people who spend their time at a ball instead of working or building their lives/education. Obviously, it's in a different time period and maybe a differently ordered world, but there's still a level of luxury here.

That said, this piece is missing something extremely important: a reason.

Why did you write this? Did you just want to see these images? But why would a reader want to read this? What is driving this piece?

Usually, a story should have some conflict, some plot. Characters all want something. So how about these characters? What do they want? If you're just going to answer in terms of this moment ("they want to find each other"), these characters get really flat really quickly. What do these characters want outside of this moment. What did this girl hope for before she came to the ball? What's her goal in life? And this man? How about him? Did he come into the ball intending to romance a girl? For what purpose? What does he want?

Once I know more about these characters' motivations and outside lives, they will actually feel like people to me. Right now they feel like paper dolls being moved around a paper stage in pretty masquerade clothing.

Your writing, though, is technically pretty solid. I also liked that you kept a general theme of things to compare this woman to. Her blue dress evokes a whirlwind, ice, and a waterfall (well, that was her hair...), and everything about her seems like nature. That's pretty cool, to me.

The one thing I didn't get was how his hair would make him look like a rich gentleman just from being combed over to the side? Wouldn't his clothes make him look rich? The way he stood? I don't get how important this hairstyle is.

Anyway, PM me if you have questions or comments on my review, please.

Good luck and keep writing! (:




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Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:23 pm
zephion wrote a review...



Hey Jalmoc,

First, I'd like to say that this is a neat little piece you have going and I like it a lot. Your imagery and use of adjectives is excellent and it really made what could have been a short and boring piece cool. The ending was a little sudden to me. Maybe extend their last moment together out, show her total and complete happiness in his company. Other than that, I liked it a lot, and I think this has potential to connect with future stories you write. So, thanks for sharing and keep writing!

Zephion




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Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:40 pm
Angelorchid says...



Hey Jalmoc,
I adore romance stories and this one was breath taking. Short but still, it got me hooked. The flow and mystery was great. Good job. :)





If I seem to wander, if I seem to stray, remember that true stories seldom take the straightest way.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind