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Achromatic- Chapter Three

by ChristenedPages


Chapter Three

Click. Click. Click. Reida marched through the boy's dormitory as best she could, silencing loud conversations and earning strange looks as she passed. She glanced at the room numbers as she walked by, stopping at 7B and pounding on the door with a crutch.

Reida immediately recognized the boy who recognized the door. She could've picked his gelled-back black hair in any line up.

"Crawford," she deadpanned.

Crawford, also known as Super Prep, was a classic old money snob who was also a stickler for rules- including rules of dress that only seemed apparent to him. Popped polos, pressed khakis, boat shoes- he lived by his dress code like it was the Code of Hammurabi. He was also called exclusively by his last name.

Crawford peered at her, a mildly disgusted look on his face.

"Reida. Did you get lost? These are the boy's dorms.'

"No- um. I'm looking for Landon. Bramsey."

"Oh. Him," Crawford rolled his eyes, "he's my roommate, unfortunately."

Reida raised her eyebrows and peeked over his shoulder, but Crawford either didn’t get the hint or misunderstood.

"It's been a week. A week. And I want to chew my leg off to escape, like those wolves. It's wolves that do that, right?"

Reida shrugged, barely concealing her impatience.

"He stays up all hours working on his crackpot conspiracies, has atrocious manners, and on top of it all he has this... hippie stink," he wrinkled his nose, and Reida chose that moment to interject.

"So... do you know where he is?"

Crawford shrugged.

"Out, I guess."

Reida bit her lip and gave him her fakest smile, backing away.

"Okay. Thanks- I guess."

She made her way down the hall on her crutches, only covering a few feet before smacking straight into someone.

"I'm sorry, I didn’t-"

Reida stopped short, taking in red hair and brown eyes. Normally, she would have been terrified, but anger made her braver than normal.

"You," she spat, narrowing her eyes.

The boy slowly lowered the strange fruit he was eating from his mouth.

"Me?"

"Why are you following me? What do you want!?," her voice raised an octave.

"Um- do I know you?," he gave her a look like a deer caught in the headlights.

"You tell me. You seemed to know me well enough to climb into my window"

His mouth fell open, and Reida felt her temper rise at the act he must have been putting on.

"W- what are you talking about?," he finally spluttered, "when was this?"

"Last week. And the night before that, by the way, is the reason I'm on these," she gestured with her crutches.

He looked behind her at Crawford in the doorway.

"I was in my room all last week. Ask Crawford- I never left the dorms!"

Reida turned to look at Crawford, who smirked, obviously amused.

"Actually, you did. You got up and left right after you 'fell asleep'"

Reida whipped back around to the boy with an accusing look.

"What? No. I didn’t!," he said loudly.

She stopped and looked around, noticing the looks they were getting.

"Can we just talk about this in your room or something?," she said.

"Absolutely not," Crawford said immediately.

"Sure, come on in," the boy ignored him and pushed open the door, earning himself a glare.

Reida walked in, waiting awkwardly for the boy to put away groceries she didn't realize he was holding. Crawford pushed past her to flop on the couch, a scowl on his face.

"We're going to get in trouble if someone finds out we let a girl in our room."

"That's only past ten," the boy reminded him, sitting down in a beanbag.

Reida suddenly remembered why she had come pounding on the door in the first place.

"Do you know when Landon will come back?"

The boy looked flabbergasted and Crawford barked out a laugh.

"I'm Landon," the boy said.

Reida paused a moment, then sighed.

"Why am I not surprised."

She pulled up a chair, pushing down her confusion.

"So why do you keep following me? Please don't lie."

"I don’t know how I can get you to believe me- I haven't. I mean, I guess I sleepwalk? But- did you say I talked to you?"

Reida chuckled ironically, "You called me Queen. And you knew my name. How?"

"Wait, what's your name?," Landon paused.

"Reida," she raised her brows, unamused.

"Hmm. No- doesn't ring a bell," he shook his head, oblivious to Reida's frustration.

All at once, she found herself tired and done with the situation. She clutched her head and sunk a bit in her chair.

"Okay," she said, "I honestly don’t know if you have memory loss, multiple personality disorder, or if this is some sick joke. I don't want to figure it out right now, so I'm going to leave, and you are going to stop stalking me."

Reida stood, battling her dizziness.

"Oh, and skeptics don't belong in our paper. I expect you to fix that article before it's due and hand it in to me."

Landon blinked and opened his mouth. She was out the door before he could piece together a response.

Reida's pride allowed her a few more steps before she slid down the wall outside the entrance. Her ankle was throbbing, and she couldn't put any weight on it- even with her crutches.

She took out her phone, thinking of calling Lucie for help. Then she thought better of it. Lucie would want her to explain why she was in the boy's dorm, and then would want to "talk" to Landon herself. Reida was too tired to handle that on top of the lingering effects of her concussion.

She sighed and leaned her head back, closing her eyes. She'd just wait it out until her ankle felt well enough to walk on- or until someone found her.

Reida had only rested a few minutes before she heard a door open and felt a jolt. She opened an eye- Landon had tripped over her crutches.

His eyes widened slightly.

"Why are you still here?," he stuttered. If she didn't know any better, Reida would think he was scared of her.

"Not exactly my choice," she pointed to her swollen ankle, a bit embarrassed.

"Oh. Oh! Do you, um, need some help?"

Reida nodded a bit hesitantly, and Landon gently pulled her to her feet. He half-supported, half-carried her, and started walking to the girl's dorm without a word.

She felt the sheer awkwardness of the situation, like her skin was too tight, and he seemed to feel the same.

"So, how did this happen again?," Landon broke the silence.

Reida sighed, not having the energy to be upset.

"Running from you. Stairs," she answered both weakly and matter-of-factly.

"Right," he said, drawing out the I.

She finally recognized the way he looked at her. Like she was the one who was insane.

"I'm not crazy- ask the nurse!," she burst out, feeling she had to defend herself.

She winced, hearing herself. Landon glanced away from her, perhaps to look for an escape.

They reached her dorm and she stopped him.

"I'm sorry. I don’t understand this either. Can you just- not chase me anymore? Starting now," she put a hand to her head.

He gave her a tight-lipped smile.

"Sure," he paused, "see you in Journalism."

"Yeah. I guess."

Landon left, and it was all Reida could do to dodge the furniture in her dorm and collapse on her bed. She pawed for the pain-killers on her dresser. Laying back against her headboard, Reida let out a long sigh, a chuckle riding on the end of it. She figured that she'd sighed most this past week than any other time of her life. Very angsty of her.

A text lit up her phone: Lucie was inviting her to dinner with a few of their other friends. Reida barely had the strength to type out a quick excuse that Lucie would see through even faster. Her encounter with Landon had left her completely drained. That, and the annoying left-over side effects of her cement face-plant.

What if Landon was telling the truth? Maybe she had imagined everything. But then again, where would that leave her? Hobbling around on crutches for a week, not to mention the concussion, all because she was running from her imagination.

Reida believed herself to be a reasonable person- she was always very grounded- why would that just suddenly change?

And what reason would Landon have for chasing her and sneaking in her windows- fun? Very risky things for a mere practical joke, she thought.

Reida decided that she would apologize to Landon as soon as she got a chance. There were too many cards stacked against her. Plus, Landon hadn't "visited" her since that night in the infirmary, when her concussion was fresh and she was disoriented.

Reida's eyes started to droop and she made peace with her predicament. It would be easier on everyone if she had just imagined everything.

~~

Reida was dead asleep for the rest of the evening and most of the night. She usually wasn't a light sleeper, but something about the rustling in her room that night woke her up. She was instantly on guard, her heart beating loudly in her ears.

She had an uncanny feeling that someone else was in the room with her, but her eyes hadn't adjusted to the dark well enough to tell yet.

"Hello?," she whispered into the dark.

The figure stepped out of the shadows and was vaguely outlined by the moonlight shining through her open window.

"Qu- Reida." Landon said slowly, an unnatural look in his eye, "I just want to talk. Please listen before you do anything rash."

"Landon... why are you in my room?"

Reida pulled her sheets up to her chin, the hot burn of anger and dread rising in her stomach.

"Landon?" He paused his slow pursuit, "who's Landon?"

She steeled her jaw.

"Get out."

Something distant in Landon's face seemed to focus, and he stared at Reida intently.

"I cannot do that, Reida. I have to try to explain everything to you. I do not have a lot of time."

"Explain what?" She retorted, caught off-guard and stuttering, "That you're apparently two different people? Or why you keep barging in my room at night like a creep?"

Reida paused, sobering a bit.

"Or explain why you just lied to my face." She said softly. Her voice shook.

Landon fixed her with that unsettling gaze again, and she thought she saw anger there.

"I never lied to you, Reida. I am sorry that this has been difficult for you, and I know this is a lot to understand, but you have to believe me." He said.

"I don't have to do anything."

They both stopped and studied each other.

She relented after a moment. "I'm listening."

Landon looked her straight in the eyes.

"You are the Queen of Calloe."

Reida blinked.

"As far as I understand, you got lost while trying to find a way to save our kingdom. You must have some sort of memory loss."

She took a few deep breaths, searching Landon's face for any tell that he wasn't completely sincere.

"Get out of my room." She enunciated. Her voice shook with the angry tears that were pooling in her eyes, "Stop messing with me. Why do you keep doing this?"

Landon's eyes widened slightly as she wiped a hand across her face. He backed to the window.

"I didn't mean to upset you." He said stiffly.

He hopped on the sill and then was gone, just like Reida had remembered.

Reida immediately swung her legs over the side of her bed, wincing when her ankle throbbed in protest, and limped to the window. She bolted it, double-checked it, and abruptly sat down. She drew her knees to her chest.

Her mind worked fast, darting from solution to solution and discarding them just as fast. If she let her parents know what was going on, they would want her to come home. If she told Lucie, Lucie would most likely injure Landon somehow.

Finally, she did what any independent, stubborn college student would do- she grabbed her laptop and googled all her problems.


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Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:12 pm
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zaminami wrote a review...



Hello! I'm back to beat Querencia inside of a battle of reviewers and to catch up on everything in my WRFF thread :P

So, other than the grammar issues that I saw earlier, I don't really see any grammatical things except for one that you have begun doing:

When you do dialogue, you don't do this:

"Oof." She said, roasted.
"Oof?" She said, roasted.
"Oof!" She said, roasted.


Instead, you do this:

"Oof," she said, roasted.
"Oof?" she said, roasted.
"Oof!" she said, roasted.


See how I did the lowercase pronoun and the comma instead of the period? That's what you are supposed to do, not what you have been doing. However, all authors go through that at some point, so don't feel bad :P

Next up is the fact that I want less dialogue. I am personally very into description, so during the long dialogue scenes I would love for more descriptions of the characters' reactions. I guess what I'm trYING to say is that I want more description, not less dialogue...?

I'm a writer and yet am terrible with words. Yipee.

I did enjoy this chapter--the fact that Landon is not the red-haired boy and with the universes and crap--and I think that I'll definitely enjoy the next few! Definitely tag me the next time.

To tag, publish your work and go down to the comments and tag whomever wants to be tagged. You can also click on the speech bubble button when you're in the Publishing Center (located to the right of the link to the story you want to preview). Also, you could post the chapter on your wall and tag from there :)

Don't worry, it's not just college students that Google all of the problems. You also shouldn't use "Google", since that's copyrighted, and even if you do, you should capitalize "Google."

You have a few grammar mistakes that are obviously typos, but I won't go into that now.

I can't find anything that someone didn't already mention, so I think you're good to go! Sorry that the review was so short :P I'll be a bit more long next time.

Have a fantabulous day!

this review was brought to you by zaminami, ruler of your soul

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Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:30 pm
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again!! Oooh there are lots of interesting developments in this chapter :D

So I love that she marched (hobbled :p) over there to confront Landon. Great way to show her personality! To build on what I said in the last review - thoughts/feelings/thought processes/etc. is one way to show an MC's personality - but seeing them actually do things and how they do things is also important. I like that she's a take charge, you can't mess with me, sort of person :)

It was pretty clear that Landon was going to be the red-haired boy, but I realllllly liked that Landon doesn't realize he's the red-haired boy. (Or does he really but this is just a cover????) I don't know, it felt genuine. I like that we as the readers have enough context already to not be super confused about how the two are connected.

I was mostly right in my assumption in the last chapter - she's the queen of some other universe (although they haven't actually used the words alternate universe yet...) and they access this world through dreams. Although, like what Mea said, what is she hoping to learn through Google? What could she possibly type in that would reveal something helpful to her? someone came to my room while i was sleeping and said i'm a queen? I feel like it won't get her very far, but we'll see ;)

Qualms wise, same as what I've said before :) More sense of place and more description (both are weaknesses of mine as well so I feel the pain!) I won't repeat what I said in previous chapters.

I hope you end up posting more of this story! Feel free to tag me if/when you post more and I'll keep reading (hopefully I'll be a little faster than I was for these last few chapters!) And let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




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Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:24 am
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Mea wrote a review...



Finally here for this review!

Okay, I love the last line, though logically I'm not sure exactly what she's googling and I can't imagine it would be much help, other than to catch her up on the theory of parallel worlds.

First thing - Reida's whole point of heading over to Landon's dorm was to chew him out about the article. I know that sort of got overshadowed by her confusion about why he's apparently not the person who was following her, but I still feel like her original reason for coming shouldn't be regulated to a parting shot on her way out the door - maybe at least bring it up earlier in the conversation.

Second thing, although not-Landon says he's there to explain everything, in actuality he still just claims that she's queen and that she must just not remember, and then he up and leaves. While Reida is clearly really upset, I still feel like since it's so important, he would have made a greater effort to make more headway with her and explain himself, not to just repeat that she's queen. Like, when he says "I know this is a lot to understand", my reaction is "...but he hasn't *explained* anything yet!" Why doesn't he just start talking as quickly as he can, getting the relevant information out and overriding any objections? For someone who doesn't have a lot of time, he doesn't act like it. (This is mostly me saying that I think you're straying into the cliche here by having him take so long getting around to revealing crucial information. It's starting to feel like he's stalling for plot purposes.)

Anyway, I did like this chapter overall! Reida's character is great as always - I love her spunk, it makes her really active as a character and it's fun to read - and I also like how you show her ankle injury tripping her up constantly. It adds a lot of realism. Also, not-Landon creeps me out in this chapter. Something about his mannerisms is making me wonder if he's possessed or being controlled or something. He seems off, and not just in a "I know you from a parallel world" way. He didn't feel off like this last time we saw him.

I'm also starting to wonder how long the mystery is going to last. It's only chapter three, but I think it would be good to get some answers to all of this within the next chapter or two, before readers get too tired of following Reida around and watching her be confused.

And that's all I've got! Looking forward to the next chapter. :)






Thanks, as always for the review! The next chapter may or may not take longer for me to post, since I'm now finally caught up with the old stuff and am working on editing and re-writing (yay!).



Mea says...


All right! I'll be here when it's ready. :)



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neptune wrote a review...



Hello again! I'll start with some nitpicks and comments and move on from there. Also, it's late here, so apologies if there are typos or if something isn't coherently written -- bear with me!

Click. Click. Click.

"Click" is a weird way to describe her movements? I feel like it's a little too subtle to her intentions of walking. Maybe a little more of an aggressive verb? Something that hints to the fact that she's also on crutches.

Reida marched through the boy's dormitory as best she could, silencing loud conversations and earning strange looks as she passed.

Up until it was mentioned that Reida was on crutches, I completely forgot about them. And I think it was the use of the word "marched". I think of marching vividly as two feet stomping on the ground, so maybe a different word such as "hopped" or "hobbled" or something would create a proper image of Reida's movements.

Reida immediately recognized the boy who recognized the door.

This is a pretty short sentence, so I think two "recognize"s was a mouthful. "Noticed" would be a better substitute.

"Um- do I know you?," he gave her a look like a deer caught in the headlights.

I found this punctuation error several times throughout the chapter, and in previous ones as well. The comma after the question mark is not needed. The ending quotations should be right after the question mark.

A text lit up her phone: Lucie was inviting her to dinner with a few of their other friends.

This is my big question: I thought Lucie was supposed to watch her? So she didn't "die". I'm not sure if this is supposed to represent Lucie's character or not, but it's a little confusing.

He hopped on the sill and then was gone, just like Reida had remembered.

Remembered from what? The night in the infirmary?

Anyway:

1) I love that Reida is as clueless as me, haha. I've talked about this before but it's really interesting to read questions from her that I actually have, too. Her reactions, though, are what I really want to delve in to. I'm not going to say they were unrealistic, but if I were Reida, I probably would've reacted to Landon differently. Some of her actions seemed to be a little plot-focused, just to get the chapter aiming in a specific direction for plot purposes. This isn't bad, but I do think that something Reida did was a little out of character, and maybe I feel this way because her character should be established more? I'm not sure, I think I'm just having mixed thoughts.

I don't want to figure it out right now, so I'm going to leave, and you are going to stop stalking me.

Like this was oddly calm for Reida? And it seemed like she didn't care about a mysterious killer following her around. Perhaps it's because she is now acquaintances with Landon? I just think this line is a little rushed.

2) I'm slightly surprised that nothing was mentioned about the journal column that Landon wrote. I mean, that was the sole purpose Reida went to look for Landon. Although she got distracted because she recognized him as the boy who met her at night, she clearly stated:

Reida suddenly remembered why she had come pounding on the door in the first place.

And I'm quite disappointed that what she came for wasn't actually answered? She didn't even mention the newspaper and I suppose it just left me (as the reader) misguided since the ending of the previous chapter was a signal that she'd confront him about this. If you were planning on putting answers to this in later chapters, perhaps you could at least have Reida try to talk to him about his journal column. She could get interrupted or they could trail off about other stuff, but since you have this sentence (quoted) I feel like it's expected for her to at least start to talk about what she remembered.

I liked Crawford. I thought he was a great addition to the chapter. His little amount of descriptions were good and it was interesting to see Reida's point of view on him. I just think it added a nice touch to the overall chapter. Also, things are starting to unravel and I'm getting really eager for the next chapters! :D

As I mentioned earlier on in this review, Reida's reactions and actions were a little odd in my opinion, and I feel like diving into more emotion on her end would be a great enhancement in the next chapter. I'm getting some emotion from her, but the feelings aren't as raw and powerful as they could be, and there's definitely room for improvement.

Thanks for sticking with me on this review! Hopefully you'll take away something from it and you found it somewhat helpful. I like reading your chapters and I can't wait to see more!






Thanks, as always for the review! The next chapter may or may not take longer for me to post, since I'm now finally caught up with the old stuff and am working on editing and re-writing (yay!).



neptune says...


Exciting! I%u2019ll read it when it comes out!




Adventure is worthwhile.
— Aesop