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16+ Language Violence

The Amber Balance -Chapter 7

by ArtOfSilence


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Note: I left it a little longer than usual between posts because I have two different versions of the next several chapters and I was torn on which to post. In the end I've decided but split one chapter that was far longer than my usual into two, slightly shorter than average chapters.

If you catch any mistakes, have any criticism's or anything, let me know!

Chapter 7

I awoke lying on what felt like a mound of large vines, a cool, light breeze caressing my face. Cracking my eyelids, I saw smooth, silver roots extending into a crystal-clear pool in front of me. Feeling weak and like I could still sleep a while longer I sat up groggily, blinking traces of sleep from my eyes. Something metal clinked as I moved. Looking down I found myself clothed in simple dark breeches and a too large shirt under a grey, rough-spun woolen robe of some kind. Thick metal manacles tightly imprisoned my slender wrists. Adrenaline shot through me and suddenly I was wide awake. Why was I in chains?! I spun around, groaning as the motion pulled at the wound in my back. Although no longer the sharp, burning pain it had been it still ached fiercely, spreading like a spider web across my torso. Behind me a great ridged silver wall rose into the sky. Looking up, it split into branches at the top, each sprouting equally silver leaves dancing like tiny mirrors far above.

A tree...the largest tree I'd ever seen. Disappearing around the sides were two lengths of chain placed at shoulder and ankle height connected by a small section of links directly the manacles on my wrists, and those I hadn't yet noticed settled around my ankles.

Using the tree as a crutch I forced myself to my feet. Desperately attempting to slip my hands through the cuffs I found they were far too tight, digging slightly into my skin. The fear I'd been holding down since realizing I was chained up bubbled beyond my control. I was chained to some giant freak of a tree and only the gods knew who did it or what they wanted with me.

Hyperventilating, I tried pulling at the chains but it was futile. Anger flashed through me, consuming the fear like so much kindling. Rage flushed my skin as the new part of me that had appeared when I'd first changed took control. How dare someone chain me up like nothing more than a mongrel hound! I was far more and I'd kill whoever did this!

The hair on the back of my neck prickled and my eyes began to burn. I was beginning to change. Throwing my head back I released a furious scream, giving away to a roar as it ended. My skin began to stretch and my arms and legs bulged against my chains. Pain flowed up from my wrists and ankles as bone began to crack against metal. I yelped in agony, falling to my knees on the bright silver roots. The pain just fanned the anger further.

Wrapping my fingers around the chains and ignoring everything else I roared again, throwing myself backward away from the tree. The chains snapped taut and stopped me midair throwing the robe from my shoulders, shattering my wrists and gouging my hands with the force. Falling back to lie on the roots below me I cried from the pain. The change finished as I lay stunned, whimpering at the base of the tree.

"That was quite the performance. I don't suppose you'd care to repeat it? I'll wait." The voice brought back last night, next to the river, the blonde-haired man.

Swiveling my head, I glared at him, instinctively baring my fangs, growls rumbling up my throat as I simmered with impotent rage.

"Come now, you didn't really think I was just going to sit you down for a chat over a nice cup of tea did you?" He snorted, looking vaguely insulted. "I'd prefer to keep my skin intact and getting mauled by a werewolf might ruin my boyish good looks." He looked up at the tree trunk above me. "Then again, chicks dig scars, or so I hear anyway." He shrugged.

Great. Chained up by some lunatic living in the middle of the woods with his fucked up giant tree. The world seemed to have gone completely crazy. Now that I knew I couldn’t escape, or both parts of me knew, my rage faded into embers leaving fear and suspicion.

"Would you mind changing back into the half-drowned young woman I carried back here last night? Much easier to talk if you can, you know, " He gestured, waving his hand back and forth a little, "actually talk."

I continued to stare at him suspiciously. What could have possessed him to keep me alive? Only one thought came to mind and my eyes widened in fear. He wanted to sell me. I'm sure some people would pay good money for a caged werewolf.

A sigh filled the silence.

"You do know how to shift back right? And stop staring at me like that, I don't want to hurt you unless I have no other choice alright? You need to prove to me you're in control of yourself and not out to do harm."

Another moment of tense silence followed.

"Look, I'm going to cook some lunch. If you're looking a bit less furry by the time I come back there'll be enough for you too okay?"

With that he stood from his crouched position and turned around, walking over to a small stone cottage with a wooden roof sitting on edge of the glade backed against dense forest. Disappearing inside, my ears twitched picking up faint sounds of clanging pots.

Rumbling rose from my stomach. I hadn't eaten anything since hunting what must be two nights ago now and the thought of food filled me with hunger. With the man out of sight I looked back at my chains. I couldn't break them so being in this form was causing nothing but pain. Sitting up I tried to relax and will myself to change back. Ignoring the pain from my ankles and wrists and being chained up really didn't help I tried to force myself to shift back and failed. How had Jaron done it? He made it look so easy and could make the rest of us shift with nothing but a word. Eventually I gave up and simply lay where I was, the cool light breeze ruffling my fur. I was at a loss, where did I go from here? He said he didn’t want to hurt me but how could that be true? The people on the road attacked me on sight, the scent of their fear lingered in my mind. Why would he be any different than them? The wound in my back still hurt but the one in my ankle had disappeared. I needed to find that archer and make him pay for hurting me. I’d break the fingers he’d used the bow with before tearing him apart! The urge to hunt rose within me but looking down at the chains imprisoning my limbs I felt nothing but raw anger and frustration. Realizing where my thoughts had gone I shook myself, filled with shocked horror and self-loathing. Finding my jaw clenched and my claws digging in the palms of my hands I took deep breaths, forcing myself relax.

That wasn’t me! I wouldn’t have thought that before... would I? Doubt and confusion plagued my thoughts. Was I remembering things right? He had hurt me; didn’t that mean I deserved vengeance? No, we’d have done the same thing the moment some monstrous wolf creature entered Glimmerdale. With that sorted out the doubt and confusion left me, leaving a hollow fear in its place. If I couldn’t trust my own thoughts and emotions, sooner or later I was going to do something I’d regret and could never take back.

Finally, I felt myself beginning to shift. Once back in human form I looked down at myself and grimaced. I'd almost completely torn what I assumed to be his clothes. Tingling suffused my wrists and ankles as they began to heal.

Scooping up the robe from where it had fallen, I wrapped it around myself and stood. Now that I was fully awake and the panic had passed I glanced around. I stood on a small rise is the center of a perfectly still, crystal clear pool of water in the very center of a large glade. The water wasn't deep and I could see silver roots running out from the great tree at my back in every direction, covering the entire bottom of the pool in a flawless circle of shining silver threads. For a moment I forgot my precarious situation and stared in awe, turning to look up at the tree from which they all emerged.

"Magnificent, isn't it?

Startled I spun around in a jangle of chains. The same man stood on the bank above the pools edge, a steaming pot hanging from one hand. Wariness in his eyes belied the broad smile on his face and I hadn't heard him approach.

"This is the center of the forest. It", he nodded toward the great tree behind me, "is the embodiment of the forests spirit and this," raising his arms, he spread them to encompass the clearing, "is its grove. I am Bast, keeper of these woods." He gave a theatrical bow, one arm out straight with the other clasped to his chest, but always with his bright, jade green eyes on me. It looked kind of silly in his long grey robe, identical to the one I currently wore. In the light, he was younger than I'd thought, perhaps only halfway through his third decade and tattoo’s, broad lines the colour of new leaves marked his cheeks, wrapping around until they disappeared behind his neck.

"Bast?" I asked, incredulous.

"She speaks!" He exclaimed, chuckling. "Short for Bastion. And you are?"

I felt rather uncertain about this, but I didn't really have a choice now did I?

Talking to strange men in the woods. This is exactly the kind of thing dad warned me against.

"Alison. Ali."

He ran his eyes over me, catching on something below the neck.

"I see you've torn my clothes. How inconsiderate of you."

I blushed.

"I didn't mean to!" I responded automatically. Shaking myself I tried to focus. "Let me go! I haven't done anything to you!"

He shook his head.

"I'm afraid I can't do that."

Visions of rape, torture and everything he might want to keep me fore danced before my eyes. My rage returned along with a feral desire to rend him limb from limb and I found myself speaking through clenched teeth, half healed hands and wrist outstretched in claws toward him.

"If you so much as touch me I'll kill you!"

Looking pained he held up a placating hand, palm forward.

"Calm down. I want nothing of the sort, I swear."

"Then why won't you release me?" A little fear slipped through my anger, causing my voice to quiver a little more than I'd like. Hopefully he took it as fury.

Being careful to keep the pot out of the water he stepped off the bank, ripples emanating from him as he began wading toward me.

"No stay back!"

Fear and the change bubbled up inside me once again, rising higher the closer he got. The moment he got to the edge of the thread-like roots rising from the water I couldn't hold back my instincts any longer. I screamed as I changed once more, rebreaking the barely healed bones in my wrists and ankles. He simply watched, a pitying look on his face.

I lay half propped up against the trunk of the great tree, a low growl rumbling up my throat. I didn't know anything except that I couldn't let him get any closer. One more step, maybe two and I'd have him.

"That's why I can't let you go, because you're dangerous. You seemed very lucid at the river despite your injuries, otherwise I might have killed you on the spot. Unless I missed my guess, you haven't been a werewolf very long have you?" He took another step and I threw myself at him, ignoring the spikes of agony from my ankles. Once again, the chains snapped taut, catching me a fangs-length from his throat, just beyond reach of my chains. Falling to the roots at his feet I dragged myself backwards toward the trunk as fast as I could.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. I was the predator here! He should be the one cowering and alone.

Bast

Damn. Her instincts and emotions were all over the place, bouncing from anger to fear and back again at the slightest provocation. He was a threat and getting close while she was so vulnerable had proven too much for her instincts to handle, wiping out any trace lucidity. She was definitely deteriorating. Still, the mere fact that she had the degree of control she did was a minor miracle as I understood it. I'd been hoping for too much. Glancing up at her where she huddled against the great tree it was hard not to feel pity. She was young, barely passed her second majority unless I missed my guess. Anyone being afflicted by the curse like this was terrible, but one so young...

I felt bad about her manacles, now smeared with blood and nearly invisible amongst her auburn pelt. From the way she cradled her hands it was clear they were so tight they'd broken her wrists, but what else could I do? I knew what the others of The Circle would expect. I was supposed to kill her, kill any were-creature I came in contact with. They were our responsibility, the direct representation of our faults and failures and the perversion of all our ideals. Killing her wasn’t something I could bring myself to do, at least not yet, not until I’d tried to save her and proven that it was impossible. Still, I couldn't risk her getting away, she was dangerous and I needed information. How many were there? There had to be at least a few more judging by the fact she hadn't been a werewolf very long, that much was obvious just from how together she still was, and the tracks I’d found at the edge of the forest indicated at least four or five. Best not to tell The Circle about her until I was sure or they’d kill her out of hand. Refocusing my gaze where she cowered against the trunk I decided it would be best to leave her to calm down and let the situation sink in before asking her any more questions. I doubt she'd be able to shift back in her state anyway.

"I'll talk to you again tomorrow. Good night."

I walked back to my cottage deep in thought. Beyond the information, I wanted to help her. I shouldn't really. I was supposed to kill her immediately to stem the curse, but...she wasn't too far gone yet and to be honest, it was more our fault than hers. She didn't deserve this- not that anyone ever did. I don't think she'd even killed anybody which made helping her a lot easier or perhaps even possible in the first place and was likely why she was still mostly sane. Reaching my cottage, I looked back one last time. Glowing amber eyes stared back at me from the glades center. Stepping inside, I closed the door softly.


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Mea wrote a review...



I'd prefer to keep my skin intact and getting mauled by a werewolf might ruin my boyish good looks

Honestly, I'd thought he was old, like properly old. But I guess 35 or so still fits with how I see him in my head.

I really like that she's still struggling with the effects of being a werewolf. It'd be lame if once she broke free from the pack she was mentally like a human again. I'm looking forward to seeing how she handles that as things evolve.

I read through this whole thing and found myself without too much to say, actually. The way it's set up at the moment is really solid. Bast's approach to helping her is great, and the pattern of her transformations and him having to try repeatedly until finally it sort of succeeds works really well narratively.

If I had a critique to make it'd be regarding when you show Alison's thoughts - sometimes I feel like you spend a little too long in her head, and sometimes it's also unclear which tense you're trying to use for her thoughts - you use both present tense and past tense irregularly. Typically, I see people put present tense thoughts in italics, as if we're hearing her speak it inside her head, and use past tense non-italics for thoughts that are more her general state of mind or a direct statement. But if you don't use italics, they should usually always conform to the tense of the rest of the prose, even if that means saying things like "I was not a part the pack."

I also kind of wonder if the Bast section is unnecessary. It just feels like a way to tell us stuff about him and his plans that we can't know otherwise, and it is interesting but leaves that viewpoint feeling a little contrived. If we're going to start regularly seeing viewpoints from him, that may be a different matter.

And I think I'll leave it there, as I'm running out of time for this review! Let me know if you post more, I'd love to keep following this.




ArtOfSilence says...


Hey Mea.

Honestly, I'd thought he was old, like properly old. But I guess 35 or so still fits with how I see him in my head.


Bast is relatively young, especially for his position in the world but there are reasons for that you'll find out later.


If I had a critique to make it'd be regarding when you show Alison's thoughts - sometimes I feel like you spend a little too long in her head, and sometimes it's also unclear which tense you're trying to use for her thoughts


I think I've probably given the readers too little credit in regards to getting what I'm trying to put across and have overdone some things because of it.


and sometimes it's also unclear which tense you're trying to use for her thoughts


Niteowl has pointed out my occasional tense switching as well.

Typically, I see people put present tense thoughts in italics, as if we're hearing her speak it inside her head, and use past tense non-italics for thoughts that are more her general state of mind or a direct statement.


This is exactly how I mean to present it. I've even got one example above in this very chapter with,
Talking to strange men in the woods. This is exactly the kind of thing dad warned me against.


I'll fix them and hopefully only Ali's current thoughts will be present tense in future chapters.


I also kind of wonder if the Bast section is unnecessary. It just feels like a way to tell us stuff about him and his plans that we can't know otherwise, and it is interesting but leaves that viewpoint feeling a little contrived. If we're going to start regularly seeing viewpoints from him, that may be a different matter.


While not a common thing in the book, it does happen for a few characters for exactly the reason of giving the reader a little more knowledge outside of what can be seen through Ali's eyes. I hoped to give a little more of a feel for the character. I'll get more feedback on this and depending on that I'll decide what to do.


And I think I'll leave it there, as I'm running out of time for this review! Let me know if you post more, I'd love to keep following this.


Thanks again for the review! It has been a long time since I was on YWS before posting The Amber Balance, I thought u could get a notification when a writer posts something? I'd be happy to send a PM in any case.



Mea says...


Yeah, sadly you can't get a notification atm if a writer posts something new. You could send me a PM, but tagging me in a post on your wall/my wall works too!



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niteowl wrote a review...



Hi ArtofSilence! It looks like I have reached the end of what you've posted. Please do let me know when you post future chapters! :D

A tree...the largest tree I'd ever seen. Disappearing around the sides were two lengths of chain placed at shoulder and ankle height connected by a small section of ??? linked directly to the manacles on my wrists, and those I hadn't yet noticed settled around my ankles.


First off, we have a sentence fragment followed by a weirdly long sentence. There's also apparently a missing word and some minor grammar errors that make this sentence hard to read.

Anger flashed through me, consuming the fear like so much kindling.


Ooh I love this line!

More confusion about how this change thing works...is it induced by stress? So far in this story we've had:
1) changing at the full moon like a traditional werewolf
2) changing at will (Jaron)
3) changing at Jaron's command(Ali and others)
4) changing due to exhaustion/stress (end of last chapter and this one--neither change seemed wholly voluntary).
5) inability to change back at will (Ali, just now)

So it might be worth going through how/when they can change and keeping the rules for this consistent.

It's not surprising that she would still be struggling with thoughts of hunting and killing. I figured her escape was too easy and those desires won't go away overnight.

How had Jaron done it? He made it look so easy and could make the rest of us shift with nothing but a word. Eventually I gave up and simply lay where I was, the cool light breeze ruffling my fur. I was at a loss, where did I go from here? He said he didn’t want to hurt me but how could that be true?


Another disadvantage of long paragraphs...I assume by "he" you mean the blond-haired man but it looks almost like it's referring to Jaron.

The people on the road attacked me on sight, the scent of their fear lingered in my mind.


This is an example of a comma splice, which is when you have two clauses that could be their own sentences connected with a comma without a conjunction. I've seen them scattered throughout the chapters but I'm trying not to be nitpicky so I don't think I've been pointing them all out. Your options when you have a comma splice are:

1) separate into two sentences
2) keep as one sentence, but add a conjunction (haha see what I did there? :P)
3) use a semicolon (my least favorite option, for reasons I think I rambled about in an earlier review).

No, we’d have done the same thing the moment some monstrous wolf creature entered Glimmerdale.


I misread the intent of this sentence. At first I thought it was saying that the villagers would want to take revenge on someone who had hurt them. However, I think it's supposed to be sympathetic to the traveler defending his family like the villagers would try to defend their village.

Ooh we have a perspective change now. I assume that's what you meant by the direction you weren't sure about going? Let's see how this works.

He was a threat and getting close while she was so vulnerable had proven too much for her instincts to handle, wiping out any trace lucidity.


I think "He" should be she, unless "he" is referring to Bast, in which case it should be "I'.

She was young, barely passed her second majority unless I missed my guess.


Passed should be "past".

I don't think she'd even killed anybody which made helping her a lot easier or perhaps even possible in the first place and was likely why she was still mostly sane.


1) Watch the tense switching
2) This sentence is clunky. I'd find a way to rephrase. Maybe "I doubted that she had even killed anyone, which was likely why she was somewhat sane. If she had, she'd likely be beyond help."

It's interesting to have Bast's perspective. I wonder what the Circle is and what else he knows about the origin of werewolves. I do find it surprising that he doesn't seem to know about Jaron and co given that he is supposed to be the keeper of the forest.

Birdsong filled the glade as small forms darted through the air in bright flashes of colour. Beams of light reflected off the metallic silver leaves down onto the pool around me, to reflect back up off the thread-like roots covering the bottom, giving the impression that the water itself glowed a slight pure white itself.


This description is hard to follow and the second sentence is a run-on.

Licking my lips I replied.

-------------------------------------------------><

"I'm not sure."



I assume the weird break here was a typo, but thought I'd point it out.

"Three days is very specific, and much shorter than I anticipated. Care to elaborate?"


I'm kind of surprised that he's surprised. Given that a) he knows about werewolves and b) all the werewolves we've seen so far have killed or want to kill humans, and c) he's guessing that she hasn't actually killed anyone yet, it sort of follows that she's only been a werewolf for a short time. Plus he has to be aware that there was recently a full moon.

Nodding, I began telling him the events of the past few days between spoonfuls of stew, eyeing him warily the whole time.


Just a few typos there.

Wiping my eyes on the blanket I continued where I'd left off, telling Bast how once I'd fought through the confusion around why it felt so wrong to kill the caravan I howled and fled, stumbling upon the travelers before nearly drowning in the river where he found me.


Another run-on sentence.

Overall, I like these chapters. The addition of Bast's perspective was a neat surprise, and I like him as a character. I think you do an excellent job of portraying Alison's shifting emotions as she goes between wolf and human forms. I look forward to reading further. Keep writing! :D




ArtOfSilence says...


Hey niteowl. Thanks once again for the review! Perhaps I should just put a thanks to you and Mea in my signature at this point haha.


First off, we have a sentence fragment followed by a weirdly long sentence. There's also apparently a missing word and some minor grammar errors that make this sentence hard to read.


This chapter and the next few are the most rewritten chapters I think, so things might be a bit all over the place. I'll fix this.


More confusion about how this change thing works...is it induced by stress? So far in this story we've had:
1) changing at the full moon like a traditional werewolf
2) changing at will (Jaron)
3) changing at Jaron's command(Ali and others)
4) changing due to exhaustion/stress (end of last chapter and this one--neither change seemed wholly voluntary).
5) inability to change back at will (Ali, just now)

So it might be worth going through how/when they can change and keeping the rules for this consistent.


Yeah. Hopefully my extremely late responses to the last chapter or two and what I'm going to do to fix things help.

Because there's a clear lack of info around this for you and Mea I'll give what the reader should be able to put together themselves at this stage (assuming I'd actually put the relevant information in the story that is)-

-Shifting from human to werewolf form takes either a fair amount of control, an abundance of a negative emotion (rage, fear, blood-lust, stress), or a full moon.

-Shifting from werewolf form back to human takes focus and control or just extreme focus. These can come from both self discipline and the management of emotions, or a powerful will that's extremely focused.

Hopefully this helps. It annoys me I left such a glaring lack of information about this.


How had Jaron done it? He made it look so easy and could make the rest of us shift with nothing but a word. Eventually I gave up and simply lay where I was, the cool light breeze ruffling my fur. I was at a loss, where did I go from here? He said he didn%u2019t want to hurt me but how could that be true?



Another disadvantage of long paragraphs...I assume by "he" you mean the blond-haired man but it looks almost like it's referring to Jaron.


I'll split that paragraph because you're right and I've got 'he' referencing two different people without a name between them so i'll make it clearer who's talking.


The people on the road attacked me on sight, the scent of their fear lingered in my mind.


This is an example of a comma splice, which is when you have two clauses that could be their own sentences connected with a comma without a conjunction. I've seen them scattered throughout the chapters but I'm trying not to be nitpicky so I don't think I've been pointing them all out. Your options when you have a comma splice are:

1) separate into two sentences
2) keep as one sentence, but add a conjunction (haha see what I did there? :P)
3) use a semicolon (my least favorite option, for reasons I think I rambled about in an earlier review).


Thanks for picking that up. Don't worry about being nitpicky, I don't have an editor or anything so any of my grammatical blunders you catch is great for me.


No, we%u2019d have done the same thing the moment some monstrous wolf creature entered Glimmerdale.



I misread the intent of this sentence. At first I thought it was saying that the villagers would want to take revenge on someone who had hurt them. However, I think it's supposed to be sympathetic to the traveler defending his family like the villagers would try to defend their village.


Yeah it is. I'll make it a little clearer.


Ooh we have a perspective change now. I assume that's what you meant by the direction you weren't sure about going? Let's see how this works.


Actually it wasn't, but it is something else I was unsure of but it just seemed to fit.

I meant that in the original version Ali didn't wake up in chains and the ripple effect of me changing that meant I had to rewrite the next few chapters at the very least. I felt that Ali didn't have enough of a struggle which is why I made the change. My main RL reader said he liked the original version just a little more, but I posted this version regardless as Ali just had it too easy in the original.


He was a threat and getting close while she was so vulnerable had proven too much for her instincts to handle, wiping out any trace lucidity.


I think "He" should be she, unless "he" is referring to Bast, in which case it should be "I'.


'I' it is then. Good catch.


She was young, barely passed her second majority unless I missed my guess.


Passed should be "past".


Thanks!


I don't think she'd even killed anybody which made helping her a lot easier or perhaps even possible in the first place and was likely why she was still mostly sane.


1) Watch the tense switching
2) This sentence is clunky. I'd find a way to rephrase. Maybe "I doubted that she had even killed anyone, which was likely why she was somewhat sane. If she had, she'd likely be beyond help."


1)Again, thanks!
2)Sounds good, except I'll change the 'likely' after the comma to 'probably' or something to avoid using it twice.


'Request-URI too long' error again. So 1/2.



ArtOfSilence says...


It's interesting to have Bast's perspective. I wonder what the Circle is and what else he knows about the origin of werewolves. I do find it surprising that he doesn't seem to know about Jaron and co given that he is supposed to be the keeper of the forest.


He's know's they're around but not much else. Don't worry though, there's a reason for that.


Birdsong filled the glade as small forms darted through the air in bright flashes of colour. Beams of light reflected off the metallic silver leaves down onto the pool around me, to reflect back up off the thread-like roots covering the bottom, giving the impression that the water itself glowed a slight pure white itself.


This description is hard to follow and the second sentence is a run-on.


Yeah i can see what you mean. I have such a clear picture in my head of what I'm trying to describe with the light reflecting and such. I'll reword things a bit.


Licking my lips I replied.

-------------------------------------------------><

"I'm not sure."


I assume the weird break here was a typo, but thought I'd point it out.


You're right. It's a leftover from me splicing things together I must have left in by mistake. I'll remove it now.


Three days is very specific, and much shorter than I anticipated. Care to elaborate?"


I'm kind of surprised that he's surprised. Given that a) he knows about werewolves and b) all the werewolves we've seen so far have killed or want to kill humans, and c) he's guessing that she hasn't actually killed anyone yet, it sort of follows that she's only been a werewolf for a short time. Plus he has to be aware that there was recently a full moon.


A pretty good point. However I still feel he would be at least moderately surprised. Bast has known werewolves were somewhere around for a couple of weeks and while there was a full moon a few days ago, werewolves don't often turn another. New werewolves are usually the result of someone who survives a werewolf attack, and there isn't usually any survivors after getting close enough to one to be bitten. As a result he'd assumed she was one of those whose tracks he's found.


Nodding, I began telling him the events of the past few days between spoonfuls of stew, eyeing him warily the whole time.


Just a few typos there.


Hm. I genuinely thought those were fine.


Wiping my eyes on the blanket I continued where I'd left off, telling Bast how once I'd fought through the confusion around why it felt so wrong to kill the caravan I howled and fled, stumbling upon the travelers before nearly drowning in the river where he found me.


Another run-on sentence.


Thanks!


Overall, I like these chapters. The addition of Bast's perspective was a neat surprise, and I like him as a character. I think you do an excellent job of portraying Alison's shifting emotions as she goes between wolf and human forms. I look forward to reading further. Keep writing! :D


Really glad you're enjoying them. After the last few responses here I'll post the next chapter and give that a week or so before the next one. I wasn't posting because I've been hoping to reach the point where my main (read only) RL reader would read over things first, I'd make adjustments and only then would I post the chapter here. Unfortunately he's really busy so perhaps I'll do things the other way around.

Thanks for letting know you found Alison's shifting emotions good. The dichotomy between her two halves is really the most important thing in this part of the book.

And once again, thank you for taking the time to do these extensive reviews! As I put at the bottom of my last response to Mea, you're both fantastic!




He began to wonder why he had felt uneasy at all. It was like a man wondering in broad daylight why a dream had appeared so terrible to him at night.
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart