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16+ Language

Death Becomes Her

by Asteria


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

Author's Note: Rated "+16" due to the nature of this death, and the presence of one swear word. I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

Her stomach twisted in knots, the sound of a breath against her neck and the hiss of some reply she couldn't decipher filling her ears almost as loud as her own heartbeat. It was at that moment that she turned to the one thing she'd always shirked, the one thing her father always faulted her for; That initial last hope, that last glimmer of a chance to survive.

A higher power perhaps?

Though, even as the thought slid through her mind, she didn't know any real prayers, nothing outside one of the books she used to read. It should count...right? Ever wondered, her eyes drifting slowly closed as she exhaled a shaky breath. How did it start? She wasn't sure it mattered, that it'd help, but if her mother had been right about religion, about someone's immortal soul...then maybe, just maybe, this verse she'd seen would help with that.

Now I lay me down to sleep...

She felt it then, that bite. It didn't hurt for the first moment, his cool lips acting as a sort of numbing sensation. But with each drag, each pull of her blood slipping free of her body and into his, it burned a little brighter. Ached a bit stronger. Each suckle of his lips dug his fangs a bit deeper in, her breath growing shorter as she sought to keep the panic from overwhelming her.

So this...this is what it feels like...

...I pray the lord my soul to keep...

The thought had been a random one, slipped in almost the same time as the next part of her prayer, her heart's beating quickening as it tried to spread the lessening blood to her limbs. In all the books she'd read, and the few movies she'd seen, she'd always wondered what it'd feel like to be bitten, to be drunk from. But this...this wasn't as she thought it'd be. It hurt more, ached more, each breath hurting more than the last as her muscles tried to work despite the deprivation they were now met with.

If I should die...before I...wake...

Yet, the longer it happened, the more tired she grew, the ache becoming more of a dull white noise accompanied by a sluggish inner monologue. The hand that had found its way to his, once seeking to pull it free of her mouth, was instead halfheartedly clinging, her grip growing weaker and weaker as a darkness set in.

I pray....

To her, it was to better her ability to stand, to hold herself up, not to lean so completely into him as she drew her last breaths. Subconsciously, it was a desire to cling to the life she'd not yet lived, to cling to all the things she'd lose upon her death, and to, somehow, impart something...some silent hope...something to save herself. To keep herself alive, despite the darkness closing in around her mind.

...The....Lord....

By this time, she was again, detached, viewing the scene from above, watching her body letting go as did her consciousness. Her hand slipped free of his as her knees began to buckle. Her head lulled into his touch as her skin grew more taut. Somewhere, she swore she heard the distinct sound of "Lacrimosa" drifting on the wind, as though to mock her where she stood, dying, in the arms of a monster.

.....My.....so.......ul.......

At that time, all manner of consciousness slipped, her feeble grasp of it, severing as her mind plunged into an inescapable darkness. She was too tired to fight it, to continue to fight after what felt like an eternity in his embrace. There was no drive, no will, no strength to begin to stave off death's chilly embrace as all went quiet.

.........T.......o............ta..............

For a split second, her heart pumping erratically, she swore she saw her life flash before her eyes. The life she could have lived, should have lived, and didn't. All the things she could have done and the people she could have connected with...Only to be replaced with its sad reality, all ending with Wolf's steely eyes holding hers, the last thing she'd ever see, the last though she'd ever feel in the form of his lips on her neck, of his hands holding her up.

A distorted, lonely reality brought to an end in the arms of a stranger. An all consuming darkness wrapped her in its cold embrace, her mind quieting, all sound echoing as it took longer to register, everything eventually going unnoticed as she drew what she thought would be her last breath.

Amen.

- - - -

When someone dies, what happens? Does their soul release into whatever afterlife they believe in? Does it walk the earth, doomed to repeat its last moments, an imprint of its death? Do they simply cease to exist, their bodies decaying beneath feet of dirt, until no semblance of them remains, their name disappearing from the lips of those who knew them, their memory fading as fast as their body decays?

For Ever, death was relatively painless.

While her heart had sputtered to a grinding halt, the worst of it she'd been unconscious for. She'd been spared the agony of trying to breathe when all you want to do is sleep, when your mind is telling you to let go, but your heart is trying to do what it's programmed to. She'd died, her heart crawling to a stop, her breaths stopping with it, body lifeless to the unsuspecting onlooker.

In a perfect world, her soul would have gone somewhere else, would have left Harper Rock behind, would have silenced its worries and enjoyed what she knew to be eternity. In her life, she'd been uncertain if Heaven or Hell existed, her father saying that, if a higher power existed, his job wouldn't be needed; That praying to some "unseen asshole" wouldn't save you from getting taken out by shrapnel, and dying on the spot. He'd told her to make her own luck, to be vigilant and headstrong. To live.

...Her luck took a turn for the worst that night, and she died...

...And heard Presto Agitato?

It was the sound of tinkling ivories--more aptly compared to skilled pounding, than tinkling--that caught her attention first. At some point, it seemed her body had remembered to breathe, the silent breaths confusing her. I'm...I'm alive? she wondered to herself, thoughts clearer than they'd been prior to what she last remembered. It...It was all a dream?

Though she didn't move, body still as the grave, a feeling of relief, something resembling some sick perversion of gratitude, washed over her. He spared me! I didn't die! I can't beli- Her thought cut off as a thought dawned on her, an eclipsing thought that took any happiness she'd previously held a moment ago, and taking away its life. ...My...My heart's...It's not...

It was ludicrous, insane, her mind instantly trying to push away such crazy thoughts. No, relax. Breathe, Ever. Focus on it. It's got to be there. You're thinking aren't you? You're just not focused, she cautioned herself. Focus. So, she focused, the sound of the piano's music filling her ears quieting as her mind shut it out, seeking out the one sound she'd never hear from herself again. She lay there for what felt like ages, listening to nothing but a thick silence where her erratic and panicked heartbeat should have been.

It can't be...

About then, her focus was shattered, screaming inside her own head, not even wanting to try and move. This must be purgatory! came an instant thought, anguish in her mental voice. I've died and gone straight to some hell! No sight! No sound! No movement! No not-!

Yet again, her thoughts stopped, though this time it was attributed to a sort of mental slap she gave herself as the silence she'd grown used to got more weighted, the hairs on her arms and neck standing up as she felt someone's eyes on her. Movement hit her next, feeling whoever it was getting closer, their steps, though quiet, pounding like drums in her ears. Anything she'd have tried to think of, in that moment, was muted, too focused on the presence moving closer to her, settling somewhere eerily close, and then the feel of icy fingers touching down on her cheek again.

The touch was familiar, one of the last moments she'd recalled prior...followed by a voice.

He knows? Ever thought, trying to pull herself together enough to test her limbs, to pull free of the veil of confusion she was currently hopelessly entangled in. How does he know I can hear him? This doesn't make...any...sense.

Unlike the thoughts before it, this one didn't halt suddenly, cut off abruptly to be replaced with more silence and frantic speculation. Instead, it ended, simply, quietly, curtly, as something that Marius had said came through. How he'd died. How he'd turned.

A finger twitched then, trying to keep her thoughts calm the longer she thought through them, almost wanting to say this was all a dream; A hopelessly intoxicated dream that she'd soon wake up from. Vaguely, she tried to remember how much liquor she'd actually had, another finger twitching as she tried to "follow his voice". Eyelids fluttering a bit next, they were slow to open, heavy, burning as though she were trying to force herself to awaken from a sleep that was gripping a little tighter than usual. Parting just a hair before blinking once more, her vision remained blurry, so she tried to blink them again, her head shaking the smallest bit side to side as though it'd help clear the cobwebs, as though it'd help make her vision clear.

His eyes.

That was what she first noticed when things were no longer blurry, no longer hazy, as though someone's lens focus needed to be tweaked. The piercing blue eyes she'd seen, that she'd felt boring into her soul before the fateful bite, were on her again, though...somewhere different. There was so much she wanted to say, to ask, to figure out, but her throat seemed to be burning, a burn she was only just beginning to notice the longer she let herself ween back into reality.

Or was it a dream?

"N-New...eyes...?" she questioned, a shaky hand reaching up to her forehead, trying to sooth an ache--a force of habit while human--before inevitably falling to her neck. "...You...I'm a...?" The words refused to finish coming out, her voice even sounding different to her and catching her off guard, but she figured the sentiment would be known, would be felt, would be understood.

A...vampire?


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Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:32 pm
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ScarletDreams14 says...



Wow, this was amazing! I'm going to follow you since you have ALOT of imagination and potential in your writing. Which is something I don't have quite yet and I might be-able to pick up on by reading work by authors like you! Anyway nice job! I will be looking at some of your other work as well!




Asteria says...


Scarlet,

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm absolutely ecstatic that you found the imagination and potential within my work! If ever you need anything, or just want to chat, please feel free to message me. :)

Thank you, once again!





No problem :) And thanks!



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Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:44 am
FlowerPower wrote a review...



Hello there! I thought this was a cool piece and I liked how you divided each paragraph with the prayer. But thought the vampire who bit her should have had more description, he just kind of slips in and out. In a way I like that though. I thought maybe you could describe her life more instead of just describing the way if feels for her to die. Th ending was kind of confusing to me. Does she meet the guy who bit her again? Is she touching her own forehead at the end? Other than these things it's a nice piece and I enjoyed it.




Asteria says...


Thank you for the review.

I'd thought about putting more description in about the vampire that bit her and turned her, but I liked the vague aspect of it. A fleeting image that could have any face the reader projected onto it, if that makes sense.

I can see how the ending would be confusing. She does meet him again, ending up in his apartment, waking up to the sound of him playing on the piano before he closed the distance and told her to open her eyes.

I'm glad you enjoyed the piece, though, and will keep your thoughts in mind for future writing.



FlowerPower says...


Anytime :)

It does, and I understand now.

Oh okay, now I can tie things together. Maybe you should add that piece into the story, just a suggestion.



Asteria says...


I'm considering it, actually. If I do, should I let you know so that you can read the revision?



FlowerPower says...


Yeah, that would be great!



Asteria says...


Alright, will do :)



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Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:35 pm
rawrafied wrote a review...



'Ello. I'm going to go line by line and pick out anything that catches my eye, okay? :3

Her stomach twisted in knots, the sound of a breath against her neck and the hiss of some reply she couldn't decipher filling her ears almost as loud as her own heartbeat.
A few things here. First off, you cut off the section separate by the first comma and just make it its own sentence. It's a complete fragment on its own. Secondly, change 'filling' to 'filled' for tense agreement, since you already declared this story to be past tense.

It was at that moment that she turned to the one thing she'd always shirked, the one thing her father always faulted her for; That initial last hope, that last glimmer of a chance to survive.
Nice vocab: shirked. For semi-colons, you don't capitalize the word after the punctuation. Also, I feel like your first comma should be semi-colon here and your semi-colon a period or colon. I would say colon, but I'm not sure if you're trying to say shes was trying to avoid the last chance to survive or this is an additive to something else she's trying to avoid. If the later, I would omit that last fragment and put what she is trying to avoid or simply just omit it because of the confusion I just expressed.

Though, even as the thought slid through her mind, she didn't know any real prayers, nothing outside one of the books she used to read.
So, if I understand this correctly, her father is faltering her for her faith? Either her not having too much of it or too little? I'm assuming the later since she isn't too familiar with the prayers. Also, change the last comma to a period since they're both complete fragments.

Ever wondered...
Wait, is her name 'Ever'? How interesting. :3

She wasn't sure it mattered, that it'd help, but...
Change the first commas to hyphens for interruption, because it sounds like you're trying to word it where 'it'd help' could replace 'it mattered', rather than an extension of information. Also, change 'it' it 'it'd' or add 'would' between 'it' and 'mattered' for tense agreement.

It didn't hurt for the first moment, his cool lips acting as a sort of numbing sensation.
Would suggest changing comma to semi-colon and 'acting' to 'acted'. I think you're trying to use the comma so that this sentence works like a conjunction, which it isn't. Right now, it reads as an intro with an unconcluded thought.

But with each drag ... overwhelming her.
Nice description with some nice vocab and imagery throughout. Nothing to add. :3

The thought had been a random one, slipped in almost the same time as the next part of her prayer, her heart's beating quickening as it tried to spread the lessening blood to her limbs.
Liked the idea of the line being a bit of a subconscious thought here. The first two fragments work with one another (but same issue as two quotes above), but the third fragment introduces a new idea. Would suggest changing the first comma to 'that', add an 'at' between 'the' and 'same', change second comma to a period, then change 'quickening' to 'quickened' for tense agreement.

It hurt more, ached more, each breath hurting more than the last as her muscles tried to work despite the deprivation they were now met with.
Change 'hurting' to 'hurt' for tense. Though, 'hurt' is repetitive in the way you're using it, which distracts from the lovely description following it.

Yet, the longer it happened, the more tired she grew, the ache becoming more of a dull white noise accompanied by a sluggish inner monologue.
First part is great. Split sentence at the last comma and change 'becoming' to 'became'.

The hand that had found its way to his, once seeking to pull it free of her mouth, was instead halfheartedly clinging, her grip growing weaker and weaker as a darkness set in.
Thank you for including this. I was beginning to wonder why she hadn't fought back. I mean, I understand she's oxygen deprived at this point, and wouldn't be able to put up much of one, but at the beginning she could've. Same as above: remove the last comma and change 'growing' to 'grew'.

At that time, all manner of consciousness slipped, her feeble grasp of it, severing as her mind plunged into an inescapable darkness.
Would suggest removing the second comma and 'of it'. Then change the comma to a period and 'as' to 'from' since 'severing' is generally more specific to two items and the 'from' would imply that her mind and consciousness are segregating.

She was too tired to fight it, to continue to fight after what felt like an eternity in his embrace.
In this usage, 'fight' seems unnecessarily redundant. Would suggest merging the two ideas together so there's only one 'fight'.

For a split second, her heart pumping erratically, she swore she saw her life flash before her eyes.
There's a tense issue in the middle portion, but I think you're trying to emphasize that this is going on for a period of time. There's a few ways you can fix one and keep the other. Perhaps adding 'with' before 'her heart'?

All the things she could have done and the people she could have connected with...Only to be replaced with its sad reality, all ending with Wolf's steely eyes holding hers, the last thing she'd ever see, the last though she'd ever feel in the form of his lips on her neck, of his hands holding her up.
Don't capitalize after using an ellipse. It you want to start a new sentence, you should write it like this: 'with... . Only'. However, I would suggest omitting 'only to be...sad reality' since the remaining portion seems to be more related to the topic sentence of this paragraph. Plus, you mention the reality bit in the following paragraph, which also makes this redundant here. The next two commas would do better as periods. Change 'though' to 'thought' and 'of' to 'or'.

An all consuming darkness wrapped her in its cold embrace, her mind quieting, all sound echoing as it took longer to register, everything eventually going unnoticed as she drew what she thought would be her last breath.
Same issue with commas and fragments as I've mentioned before.

Okay, I'm gonna stop here. I'd advice that you split this in two for YWS. I've already written you an essay as is and am afraid to persue further. x'D There's a lot of great imagery here and great writing. I think my biggest critique was just with your commas. ^_^




Asteria says...


Thank you for the review.

I appreciate your thoughts and will take them into account, but will be keeping the story as one solid piece.

I'll keep what you said in mind for future writing.



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Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:30 pm
Eferhilda wrote a review...



Dying has never been so beautiful and entertaining. I can feel the life as it slowly drains from the character and be with her as she panics and realizes that her life is not the same as it once was. Sentence structure to me is perfect, because it paints a scene but does not strangle it like some other things I have read. Word choice is eloquent and graceful with a natural flow that guides the reader along the tale.

My only gripe was that there was not more to read.




Asteria says...


Thank you for the review, Eferhilda.

Sorry there isn't more to read, but it'd come to a natural end. Perhaps if I do an addition to it, I'll let you know?



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Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:52 pm
Cithara wrote a review...



Thewriter13 here to review.
Ahh vampires.
The story's good, Asteria, but there are some things you need to work on. The flow of the story is good but your sentences are run-on and wordy.
There's no sentence limit when you write; you can always start new sentences in order to avoid run-on sentences. :)
For example:

"Her stomach twisted in knots, the sound of a breath against her neck and the hiss of some reply she couldn't decipher filling her ears almost as loud as her own heartbeat. It was at that moment that she turned to the one thing she'd always shirked, the one thing her father always faulted her for; That initial last hope, that last glimmer of a chance to survive."

Try adding short sentences for more variety in the story. You could say:
"Her stomach twisted in knots. The sound of breath against her neck and the hiss of some reply she couldn't decipher filled her ears, sounding as loud as her own heartbeat."
That's one way to add sentence variety AND avoid run-on sentences. Sort of. I don't know it's only a suggestion. Also if you use a semicolon in a sentence you A) dont capitalize the word after it B) make sure it's a simple sentence with a subject and predicate. Here you only really have a subject and its not a sentence at all. A semicolon joins two sentences, which was not displayed accurately in the above sentence.
To make the 2nd sentence more grammatically correct:
"It was at that moment that she turned to the one thing she'd always shirked, the one thing her father always faulted her for. It was the initial last hope, the last glimmer of a chance to survive." I suggest taking out the semicolon and just making it another sentence.
Okay, moving on to other things: the plot was well-written and the imagery is good. At first I thought, "Ever? Who is Ever? Is that a name?" A++ for coming up with that name! Very original, very creative.
I normally don't critique the plot, and yours is good. Unless someone else has anything to say, I wouldn't worry about it.
Work on sentence structure! Very important in a story.
Let me know when you revise it :)
Keep writing! :D




Asteria says...


Thank you for the review.

The sentence structure that I use is a stylistic choice. If I were to break up some of the sentences as you suggested, it'd lose what I went for entirely in its meaning and would feel more disjointed. Also, I have been told I can get wordy, as seen in my other work, but it's something I've always done. Whether I take away more of the wordiness has yet to be seen, but I thank you for the critique nonetheless.

I'm uncertain at this time if I'll revise it to incorporate what you suggest, but if I do, I'll let you know.



Thewriter13 says...


Okay understandable. Great piece :)




Poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just don't get - and never would get.
— Benjamin Alire Saenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe