Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
Quick explanation: this is a scene from one of my novels-in-progress that I think could use a little work. I would love it if you left me some feedback on how to improve it. Thanks!
Aurantica sat on the temple steps, watching the throbbing blue veins of light above her. Her new wings were slumped at her sides, crumpled in a puddle of stained glass. Her curly hair was stringy and damp, and her usually bright eyes were dull and lined.
After a few moments, Iberus joined her. His Auralite form was beginning to deteriorate–little rainbow streamers trailed from his shoulders as he settled on the steps beside her. She didn’t speak, didn’t even move to acknowledge he was there. She just sat there, staring at the lights.
“They’re pretty,” he observed, following her gaze. Aurantica didn’t respond. “Kind of like the rivers back home.”
“Don’t talk to me about home,” Aurantica said suddenly, the edge of her voice blunted with tears. “I don’t have one anymore.”
“Yes, you do,” Iberus turned to look at her. Little streams of saltwater were pouring out of her big black eyes.
“No, I don’t!” she cried, pushing herself to her feet. It took a moment for her to regain her balance, steadying herself against one of the temple pillars. Her limp wings brushed against the stone beneath her, collecting sand. “Look at me! I’m a freak of nature! An illegitimate worm that was never meant to exist!”
“Do you really think that?” Iberus asked quietly. Aurantica just stared at him, tears dripping down her face. “Because I know it’s not true.”
“What do you suppose I am, then?” she demanded. “An Auralite? A-a Ceir? A deformed monster of creation?”
“I think you’re both,” he answered. “A little bit Ceir, a little bit Auralite. The best of two worlds.”
“How can I be the best of two worlds when on a perfect planet, I wouldn’t even exist?” Aurantica’s voice cracked, and she sank toward the ground, hands over her face.
“You don’t know that.” Iberus’ tone was soft. “You’re making a bunch of assumptions about yourself based on circumstances you could never control. You’re not a worm, and you’re definitely not a monster. You’re Ari. And I, for one, think you’re beautiful.”
Aurantica sniffed, wiping her face with her hands. She wrapped her arms around her knees, resting her forehead on top.
“You’re just saying that,” her words were muffled.
“What makes you think that?” Iberus wondered.
“I don’t–” she rubbed her eyes in frustration. “Well, I mean, just look at you! You’re practically a god, for goodness’ sake! And you can be whatever you want! Auralite, Ceir, Sinu–it doesn’t matter! Whatever size, whatever species…and you’re always so beautiful. But look at me–I’m a mangled mess…a, a mongrel! Any way you try to frame it, my people are enslaved, and I can’t even suffer with them because of…this!”
She gestured to herself, nearly scraping the pillars with her violent movement.
“Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true,” Iberus stated firmly. “Look at me; Liatris doesn’t think you’re an outcast, Niku doesn’t think you’re an outcast, and most of all, your mother loves you. She doesn’t care that you’re a halfling. She’s just glad that you came home.”
Aurantica lowered her head, turning his words over in her mind. After a moment, she snorted.
“Niku doesn’t give a damn about me. Hell, he doesn’t give a damn about any of us. All he cares about is getting revenge for his sister.”
“I d–” Iberus began.
“Don’t,” Aurantica interrupted. “I know you’re going to say something sappy and idealistic about how ‘Niku actually cares about us blah blah blah’ but he doesn’t, Iberus. He’s nothing but a cold-blooded assassin, and that’s it. There’s no love in that frozen heart of his. Just like there’s no love in my mother’s heart for me.”
And with that, she walked away, leaving Iberus alone on the cold temple steps.