Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy

16+

These Brilliant and Beautiful Lies: Ch10 Pt1

by ChildOfNowhere


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Azrael sat on the bed with the captain’s hat on her lap, and listened to the loud buzz inside her head.

How did this happen?

One moment, she was Rosie, hanging off the side of the ship, thinking about clouds, following orders. The next — or what felt like it, at least — she was sitting there planning a mutiny, and then— She bent over and buried her face in the hat. It still smelled like the Captain, and his Isdia-imported cologne that he used to add to water when he bathed. She closed her eyes and gripped it between her fingers, pain flashing through her hands as the fabric dug into the cuts on her palms. She pulled back and let go, blankly staring at the bandages that the doctor had wrapped her hands in. Blood was showing through; she could imagine his reaction when she tells him she got the scab opened again.

They’re all dead, she thought, her mind still slow. She looked to her right, where a notebook lay open on the bed, a quill and inkpot readily waiting on top of it. It was the same notebook: she’d rewritten Ranye’s tea-stained notes into it not even a week ago, and now it waited for her, pages empty and blank and terrifying, to write her name down as the new ship’s captain, and note what had happened before naming the bos’n to succeed Ranye.

A hysterical laugh escaped her lips.

Replace Ranye. The notion itself was ridiculous, as much so as it would’ve been to suggest she could just replace the morning, or her skin… or Reiner.

“Never, little sister.”

“Get out of my head!” She threw the notebook across the room, not caring that the ink spilled over the bed, that the papers fell out like feathers off a bird being plucked. It was enough. After years, after everything the Palace had taken from her, after everything he’d taken from her, he had no place in her mind. Not now. Not while she was mourning her friend, herself—

“You are weak.” She shook her head and covered her ears, but he continued. “Vane was the Palace’s Captain. We will send the Captors; we will find you. Weakness will kill you.”

She bit down a sob. He was right. He was always right— but what choice did she have? She could disappear, but they’d keep looking for The Dancer, and then? Missy and the others wouldn’t want to leave, not after everything they’d given to keep their home. How readily would they point in direction she left, once the Palace ships would catch up with them?

I’d have to kill them all.

The thought sent her to her feet, jumping away from the bed as if sitting there had made her think it. It wasn’t Reiner, this time. The thought, raw and direct and terrifyingly calm, was no one’s but her own. She pressed the soles of her hands to her eyes.

“Rosie?”

She let her hands drop. Missy. Standing at the door, still addressing her by the name she’d given him back when they met; the false name, the name of a girl who no longer existed. She bit her lip not to tell him that Rosie was dead.

“It’s time,” he said quietly. His thin figure barely filled a third of the doorframe. He waited there as she picked up the Captain’s hat, and she followed him out.

~

The bodies were laid on the deck, grey fabric against dark silentwood. Ranye. Captain. Quartermaster. Two other cabin boys, and eight of Vane’s men. Other than by slight differences in sizes, she couldn’t tell them apart.

By the Order your soul was given, and the Order may protect it. The words snaked through Azrael’s mind, and for a moment she saw the fires in the courtyard of the Palace, smelled the burnt flesh and ash in the air, felt the heat on her cheeks.

Ranye and the others were gone, and their bodies were to be reduced to ashes: like heretics, they’d go on without a single piece of possession, nothing but the clothes they’d died in, nothing to give them name or identity. The thought brought a smile onto Azrael’s face, one she couldn’t fight off despite the circumstances. They died fighting the Palace. Order be damned.

She looked to her right, where the three remaining members of Vane’s crew stood. None of them had weapons, and all three looked down at the bodies. One of the men twisted his hands behind his back and pressed his lips tightly together; the other two, if they wanted to object to how their ex-crewmates were departing this world, kept it from showing. Azrael curled and uncurled her fists, and nodded to the others.

The Dancer has seen more death and blood than she deserves,” she said, as Missy and the doctor lit a match each. Azrael watched as Missy’s tiny flame touched one of the bodies: the fabric caught fire instantly, and soon — so soon her mind had no time to even think about it — only dark ash remained.

“Mourn the losses of our friends,” she continued, her voice sounding foreign in her ears. Calm, commanding; the voice of an Apprentice and future Captor, not a hint of the cabin girl she’d pretended to be for so long. “Remember what happened, but also remember that we must go on from here.” She looked between her own crew and the three other sailors. “The Dancer needs a crew united under the same code: anyone not willing to swear to it is welcome to follow Vane’s route off the ship.”

“Aye, Captain,” Missy said, and Azrael’s world spun.

Everyone was looking; everyone was listening. Just like that, without a ceremony or a speech, without an oath or a promise, faiths of The Dancer and its crew rested on her shoulders. Her eyes automatically, irrationally, fled to where Ranye’s body had laid just moments ago: but there was nothing there anymore. Not even ashes, swept away by the wind she hadn’t even felt.

Captain, she thought idly. Of all people, she hadn’t expected Missy — who was standing right there when she told the truth of who she was, and yet still called her Rosie barely quarter of an hour earlier — to be the one to call her that first.

“But he wasn’t the first,” Reiner’s echo whispered, sending shivers down her spine and knotting her stomach.

He was right again, of course. She turned her attention past the crew and the deck still darkened by blood. A door and a ladder away, in the warm darkness below deck, the practitioner waited for Azrael to come and talk to her.

The practitioner who had called her the nickname only one person before ever used, and who’d addressed her as Captain before Azrael even knew that the man she’d known by the name was gone.

~


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
1080 Reviews


Points: 125
Reviews: 1080

Donate
Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:09 pm
Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review!

I don't believe I've ever read or reviewed a piece of yours, but I have to say that from what I've seen from this, your skills in prose are pretty spectacular. I can see that you put a focus on the perspective of Azrael and making them have different qualities than your other characters. I've also found that you're quite found of using inner-monologue, which I don't mind, though at parts it does seem as if it's a little much. What's most lacking in your writing, and I've found this for many people that I've come across and reviewed, is description.

If you don't use description all that often, you're likely to be aware of that fact as well. I'm not suggesting that you intentionally cut it out, though it does seem you have a preference on writing dialogue and characters and in a way it reminds me of the writing of ScarlettFire in that she takes the same preference. I do though admire your dialogue and the pacing in which you write this chapter.

There's a nice amount of balance within the tempo and speed of the piece, which flows naturally throughout and I like the structure in which the chapter is written. The cliffhanger at the end of the chapter has just enough detail to leave the reader interested in the next chapter, but not too much information. Overall solid chapter! I might end up reading the rest of the novel due to it, which is hard to accomplish with me.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

Image






Thanks!

Description is one of those things I'm told I do well, but that I tend to completely disregard when writing chapters an hour before deadline :mrgreen: I'm working on that, although it's also something I know I'll be dealing with in the edits anyway, so I'm not too concerned.

As for Azrie's inner monologues (and inner dialogues) and flashbacks, that's a pretty specifically Azrael-thing, and a little much is good! It's supposed to be a problem for her as well :3

Oh, and good luck, keep up the awesome reviewing job~



User avatar
235 Reviews


Points: 2200
Reviews: 235

Donate
Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:04 pm
inktopus wrote a review...



Hi, CoN! Storm here to do a review, so let's jump right into it!

Azrael sat on the bed with the captain’s hat on her lap, and listened to the loud buzz inside her head.

I'm not a big fan of the part of this sentence after the comma. It's just so plain, if that makes any sense. I know that you can spice it up.

and note what had happened before naming the bos’n to success Ranye.

You mean succeed.

She threw the notebook across the room, not caring that the ink spilled over the bed, that the papers fell out like feathers off a bird being plucked.

I like the comparison to feathers, but the bird being plucked part is a bit weird and awkward.

“You are weak.” She shook her head and covered her ears, but he continued. “Vane was the Palace’s Captain. We will send the Captors; we will find you. Weakness will kill you.”

Mentioning Vane here is a little strange. I'm assuming it will make sense in the future, but I wanted to point this out just in case.

Azrael watched as Missy’s tiny flame touched one of the bodies: the fabric caught fire instantly, and soon — so soon her mind had no time to even think about it — only dark ash remained.

Is this magic fire? Otherwise there would be a lot more than just ash left. Also, how the heck is the boat not burning too?

Overall, this was kind of mediocre writing. Nothing that can't be fixed in edits though. In terms of plot and characters, I feel like this was pretty solid. The plot is moving along just fine, and Azrael is coming along nicely. I will say that you should try to develop your side characters a bit more. They seem a bit flat. I mean, there's a lot of potential there. (especially with Missy) But you're not using that potential to its utmost.

I fear that this review is short. But all you need to do for this chapter is to spice up your description and help it to flow better.

You know how to reach me!

~Storm






Thank you, my loyal follower :3 -insert vaguely creepy Palace/Order reference just because-

Is this magic fire? Otherwise there would be a lot more than just ash left. Also, how the heck is the boat not burning too?

You may remember wondering the same thing in Reiner's first chapter, when they burned the heretics... at least I'm fairly sure it was you. Either way, aye, seems safe to assume there's something not-quite-natural at work. I'm still deciding whether to dump some info about it somewhere, or to let the readers figure it out on their own (which obviously works) and trust I wouldn't write it the way I did by accident.

Generally, yeah, I agree, I'm not very happy with this myself. Part One is going through edits right now (the first nine chapters, that is), and I think I'll leave this be for now and then do the editing of the whole Part Two (chapters 10-19) once they're all written :3 Learning the whole "spew out the first draft and edit later" thing... emphasis on learning >.>

*also fixes that typo in Ranye sentence*

Thank you for all the feedback ^^



inktopus says...


In my opinion, you probably should explain the fire thing. Not all readers will pick up on that, and you could have some just thinking 'what the heck? why is this author so dumb?' Haha, a worst case scenario, but nonetheless, I would explain that, preferably at the beginning. Just call it magic fire or something.





It's not really magic fire, just this powderish sort of substance they put on people/whatever and that burns just the thing without touching anything around. Though I guess that makes it magic fire by proxy...

Either way, they wouldn't think of it as "magic fire", but I might insert a conversation somewhere that sheds some light on it, yeah. -squints at edits-




"She doesn't even go here!"
— Damian Leigh