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Achromatic- Chapter Two

by ChristenedPages


Chapter Two

The room came in and out of focus in short burst of consciousness. Reida was aware of a blue plastic curtain sectioning the room off, and she could feel the metal rung in her bed pressing into her back. She recognized the nurse, who was trying to get her to drink from a straw in a paper cup.

When Reida could finally open her eyes without being pulled back into sleep, she saw that it was dark. She tried to sit up and immediately fell back on account of the nasty headache she had. Managing to grab the glass of water by her bedside, Reida chugged it.

She set the cup down and was able to focus on the noise that woke her. A scraping sound was coming from the window.

Heart beating faster, Reida carefully pushed herself onto her elbows. A sharp pain in her ankle caused her to suck in a breath and lower herself down again. She stared at the window, which had been conveniently been left open.

The scraping stopped, and as Reida once again gained control of her fear, she realized that the infirmary was two stories high. There's no way anyone could... She didn’t let herself finish the thought.

Just as she let her guard down, a face appeared in the open window and drew a shrill scream from her. Her heart gave a jolt. Before she could draw another breath, the boy who had chased Reida was halfway through the window.

"Queen Reida, please refrain from screaming," he said in a harsh whisper.

Reida stared into his dark eyes and told herself that this man was most likely insane, besides being in her nightmare, and that she should stay calm.

"Who are you," she tried to keep her voice from wavering, "and why are you following me?"

The red-haired boy blinked, and seemed to gather his thoughts before speaking.

"I apologize- you must not recognize me in this form," he suddenly sank to the floor on one knee, his head low, "Captain Vesper, at his Queen's service."

Reida stared, contemplating how to call for help without upsetting this clearly deranged boy.

After a few moments of her silence, he peeked up at her from the floor and, seeing her expression, rose to his feet.

"Tell me this is a joke," he searched her face, "do you not remember me?"

She chuckled nervously and glanced toward to door.

"Should I?"

He stepped closer to her bedside, eyes narrowed.

"What is your profession?"

"Student," she said, the 'duh' apparent in her tone.

"Oh no," he groaned and ran a hand through his hair, "this is bad. Very bad."

Suddenly he was inches from her face, clutching her arm.

"I know you don’t know who I am, but I need you to come with me."

Reida stared at him, coldly calm.

"I will scream if you don’t let go of me."

He moved back until he was once again perched on the window ledge.

"I'll talk to you again when you can listen."

Reida blinked, and he was gone. The burst of energy from her fear left Reida all at once, and she laid back, dizzy. 

She lay awake for awhile, trying to keep her eyes open, worried that the boy would come back, and eventually she succumbed to sleep again.

The next time she opened her eyes, Reida was blinking back sunlight. She looked around, disoriented, and saw that she was still in the infirmary.

"Hello?" she croaked.

The blue plastic curtain slid back, and the nurse came in to stand by Reida's bed.

"Oh good, you're awake," the nurse gave a friendly smile and Reida racked her brain for her name.

"I'm Grace," the nurse said, as is reading her mind, "hold on, I'll make you some breakfast, and then we can talk."

Grace left the room, and Reida tested her ankle again, gasping at the pain. With a sense of deja vu, she thought of the night before, and glanced at the window. It was tightly shut.

Maybe it was another dream, she thought hopefully, I have been working hard lately.

Reida's mouth watered in response to a sizzling pan in the other room, and Grace came back with a small plate of eggs, bacon, and toast. She made an effort to sit up a little for promise of food.

"Thank you."

Reida took a bite and chewed carefully before speaking, "What happened? I remembered falling down the stairs and...," 

She trailed off, not sure if she had dreamt the rest.

Grace nodded, "that’s what he said happened- you fell down the stairs."

"Who?," Reida asked, slightly alarmed.

"Oh, sorry- you were brought here by another student. He carried you here," she raised her brows.

"What was his name?"

Grace blinked, taken aback, "I don't think he said."

"Did he have red hair?," Reida swallowed the lump in her throat.

"Yes, that’s right. Do you know him?"

Reida paused a beat.

"No."

Grace gave her a strange look before standing and offering her a glass of water and a pill.

"You might want to take this. You have a concussion."

Reida was again made aware of her pounding head, and gratefully took the painkiller.

"And my ankle?"

"A bad sprain- you need bed rest. No classes for a week- I can let your professors know. Do you think you can try crutches yet?"

Grace fetched some out of the small utility closet in the room. Reida gingerly swung her legs over the side of the bed. She pulled herself up, favoring her bound ankle.

"I think so..."

"Good. I'll have someone escort you to your dorm."

Thankfully, it was Lucie who came to escort her. She carried Reida's bag, which contained more painkillers, and tried to glean information from her.

"So, let me get this straight- you fell down the stairs and were carried to the infirmary by some hot stranger?"

"That’s not what I said."

"No, but it's more exciting. So, who is he?"

"I'm not sure." Reida said evasively.

"Ooh- mysterious," Lucie waggled her eyebrows and Reida tried not to snap at her.

"Maybe. I'm tired. Can I just go to bed?," they were standing at her door.

"Oh, right," Lucie reached over and unlocked the door, "the nurse told me to watch you if you fell asleep- to make sure you don’t, y'know, die."

"Sounds reasonable," Reida muttered as she climbed into bed. A brief thought crossed her mind before she dozed off- if she was supposed to be watched when she slept, then why wasn’t Grace watching her when her stalker showed up?

~~~

The next few days for Reida were mostly filled with boredom, aside from an interesting assignment or two emailed in by a professor. Lucie kept her filled in on student drama, to Reida's annoyance.

After waiting for Jerry to email her the weekly paper for editing, Reida finally took matters into her own hands and asked him for it herself. A few hours later, Reida heard a knock on her door.

"Come in!," she called, having left the door unlocked for Lucie.

An upperclassmen from the Journalism Club came in, looking a bit awkward, and handed her a flash drive. It was the drive- the one Jerry used for his master copies of the paper.

"If you'll wait here, I'll be done soon," she said, booting up her laptop.

After editing her assigned sections, she did a routine check, skimming over the columnist section. An article caught her attention:

"Past Lives- Many theorists, conspirators, if you will (myself included), have speculated the theories of past lives. These theories can be traced back to Ancient China and other cultures as the belief in reincarnation. There are many ideas disputed along with this, including my personal favorite: birthmarks highlight the site of death of one's past life, if the death be of physical causes..."

Reida scanned the article to the bottom, her anger and disbelief rising, "...Landon Bramsey."

She didn’t recognize the name. Her mind wheeled, and she assumed that this was some sort of hack or practical joke intended to sabotage the credibility of the school paper.

"Who is this?," Reida turned to the upperclassman, jabbing her finger at the screen.

"Landon Bramsey?," he squinted at the name, "that's the new transfer student."

"Where can I find him?"

The student looked alarmed.

"Uh... he lives in dorm 7B- I think?"

She swung out of bed and grabbed her crutches.

"I'm not sure what they taught Landon at his fancy school, but he needs to learn how our paper works."


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Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:01 am
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zaminami wrote a review...



Yo! I'm back again with another review! I must say, the first chapter caught my interest so I'm back for more (not just bc you asked me to shhhh)

So um you need to fix a few grammatical errors that I believe I already covered the first time around but I am going to review them anyways.

  1. You don't need a comma every time you end a dialogue phrase.
  2. Tense changes!

So um there were also a few gender changes as well but I don't think that Reida is genderfluid, so I would recommend to change that :)

So um I'm going to disagree with what Carlito said below where it's parallel universes. I think that, instead, Reida had a past life in another dimension instead and the red haired boy thinks that she is still living or something...? Just a theory. It's a good thing that I'm coming up with theories though. Theories are good. When I don't come up with them, I'm not interested :P

Also, I'm pretty sure that I said this before, but you're kind of choppy. However, you did better this time. You started out pretty flowy through the first few paragraphs, but you then slowly decreased the quality of flow into the choppy thing at the end. (sorry I'm really on about the choppiness of stories). However, that's okay since this is the first chapter.

I might have repeated some things since I can't tell the difference betrween some stories because I kind of binge review and stuff so I get confused on what I wrote or not if that makes sense.

So um otherwise, I did enjoy this chapter. You are introducing these controversal topics in a just-right rate that keep me interested and continue the story quite well. I'm looking forward to reviewing the next chapter! :) Sorry that it was so short...

Have a fantabulous day!

this review was brought to you by zaminami, creator of all and owner of all slave souls

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Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:19 pm
Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again! I'm mostly caught up on LMS stories I'm following (haha not really but close enough :p) so I thought I'd pop back and get caught up on your story!

So my guess after reading this chapter is that there are multiple universes and in this universe Reida is a normal student but this red-haired guy has come to tell her about this other universe she's part of where she's a queen and she's going to have to go there and do something noble?

I'm glad she had the sense not to run off with him when he came for in the infirmary. I don't understand why she passed out again after he talked to her - unless this alternate universe is in her dreams and he thought he'd have more luck communicating with her that way?

I think everything after the --- can be taken out of this chapter. It's so different from the main point of the first scene and it's so much shorter that I think it feels a little out of place. I think you'll still the chapter with enough of a cliff hanger wondering why Grace wasn't watching her when the red-haired guy showed up. You also might want to wait to throw out the multiple universe stuff and wait to do that as a reveal a few more chapters in. That way your reader will be wondering what's going on and will be coming up with their own theories and ideas about what this red-haired guy's deal is and why he's saying she's a queen. Throwing that out there at the end of the chapter here, to me, makes it obvious that's what's going on here.

I think I mentioned this in one of my previous reviews, but the other big thing missing for me overall is description. (I always have to go back and add in more description too :p) I want more of a sense of Reida's personality - what she's thinking, feeling, experiencing at every moment and what her thought process and decision process is like. I think this can be trickier to do in third person because the window into the MC's head looks different, but it can be done! I'd recommend reading lots of books in third person to get a sense of how other authors develop the MC's personality and make the reader care about them :)

I'll pop on over to the next chapter, but let me know if you have any questions or if there's something you'd like feedback about that I didn't mention! :D




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Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:24 am
neptune wrote a review...



Hello again! I'll just hop right into the review, seeing as it is a little long!

Nitpicks & comments:

The room came in and out of focus in short burst of consciousness.

Should "burst" be "bursts"?

She recognized the nurse, who was trying to get her to drink from a straw in a paper cup.

I'm not sure if recognized is the word I'd use? "Recognized" makes me think that Reida actually knows the nurse. "Acknowledged" or "noticed" might be a better way to put it.

Reida stared into his dark eyes and told herself that this man was most likely insane, besides being in her nightmare, and that she should stay calm.

"besides being in her nightmare" -- how does that fit into the sentence? It feels a bit clunky and doesn't seem like it belongs because it just messes up the flow of the sentence. Also, I'm pretty sure the reader is aware by now that he's in her nightmares, but if you really want to mention this again, I'd go ahead and put it in a different sentence.

She chuckled nervously and glanced toward to door.

"the" instead of "to".

Suddenly he was inches from her face, clutching her arm.

We're starting to see some sort of powers here. As excited as I am, the writing is kind of rushed here. I'm not usually a fan of the word "suddenly" and when it's written in this sentence, it kind of weakens the mysterious effect. Perhaps describe his quick motions with something else, like

In a quick blink of an eye, the man was suddenly inches away from her face, clutching his arm.

This still uses the word "suddenly" but flows better with the dialogue surrounding it.

"I'll talk to you again when you can listen."

This piece of dialogue doesn't really flow from the previous dialogue? It kind of just skips over stuff? Or even some more body language to address the man's reaction so that the dialogue would flow better would help.

She lay awake for awhile, trying to keep her eyes open, worried that the boy would come back, and eventually she succumbed to sleep again.

This is quite a mouthful! In one sentence, there are there are three commas where essentially there could be two whole sentences. For example:

She lay awake for awhile, trying to keep her eyes open, but worried that the boy would come back. Eventually, though, she succumbed to sleep again.

This not only breaks a long sentence, but slows the moment down to let the reader take in everything that's happened!

Her mind wheeled, and she assumed that this was some sort of hack or practical joke intended to sabotage the credibility of the school paper.

Why would she assume this, though? This didn't really make sense to me? Reida just kind of blew up and now she wants to confront this new student (red-haired man ???)? This sentence was a little telly and I wish I understood a little more about their paper to really get why she hated this so much -- because she doesn't think it's real?

Okay, I have some comments/questions:

1) Why didn't Reida call for help when the man left? She so desperately wanted to call for help the entire time he was there, but once he left the room, she suddenly didn't want to call for the nurse?

2) I want to get to know Lucie more. If she's going to be in the story more (which I'm assuming, but if I'm wrong, ignore this) than it'd be great to know her character more. As far as I've read, I don't know much about her, which makes her feel two-dimensional. Just keep this in mind!

3) Why didn't Jerry just drop off the flash drive? Like maybe he was busy or something, but that should be mentioned. Otherwise, I'm kind of confused about why the upperclassmen had to drop it off? It doesn't really change anything and it's weird how some random journalism kid is introduced -- and the fact that he knows where "Landon Bramsey" lives (is that how it works at this school? do they usually know what dorm they're in?)

Well, I think it's safe to say that Reida has as many questions as I do, because that ending! I can't wait until the next chapter, because hopefully more of these questions can be answered. You're doing a good job about leaving the reader interested. Hopefully we can get some more physical descriptions about Reida, too! We're getting a lot about the man (with red hair) because we have yet to know his name, but I still don't know much about her appearance?

I liked this chapter! You're making me ask so many questions ;) There's so much potential to this story and I can't wait for it to unfold! I hope this review helped, and make sure to tag me when the next chapter is out!






Thank you so much for the review! It definitely helps, and I'll let you know when Chapter 3 is ready!



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Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:26 am
Mea wrote a review...



Alright, I'm back to review this chapter! I know it's a little late at night, but I said today and it's still today lol. xD

I'll be honest, I was expecting her to wake up in whatever fantasy world Captain Vesper has obviously come from. But even though that didn't happen, I really quite liked this chapter because of the character interactions and the continued hints you give us about what's going on.

One thing I would be wary of is that it is 100% obvious to the reader what's going on at this point - she's a parallel version of the actual Queen Reida, and something's happened to bring people in search of her. And of course she doesn't know that, but that's okay for now because it's fun watching her not know. But if that not knowing drags on too long, it could get old.

The room came in and out of focus in short burst of consciousness. Reida was aware of a blue plastic curtain sectioning the room off, and she could feel the metal rung in her bed pressing into her back. She recognized the nurse, who was trying to get her to drink from a straw in a paper cup.

So what I noticed here was that you had several "filter words" - these are basically words that clearly "filter" the text through the perspective of the main character, rather than providing the sensory input directly. These include "was aware of," "could feel," "recognized," "realized," and a lot more. Now, obviously you can't and shouldn't *never* use these words, but one effect they have is to create distance between the reader and the character, and that usually is the opposite of what you want. It makes it so the reader feels less "right there" with your character in the action. Instead, just state the sensory input directly, i.e. "The metal run pressed into her back."

Reida stared at him, coldly calm.

"I will scream if you don’t let go of me."

It's a seemingly small thing (but then again, natural paragraph breaks are really important for a smooth flow) - because you had Reida's dialogue on the next line, after the action "paired" with it, at first I thought this was Captain Vesper speaking, not Reida. Unless you have a long paragraph of action or description preceding the dialogue, it's better to put the dialogue in the same paragraph as the action to subtly indicate that she's the one speaking.

I was confused about why Reida is so angry about the column about past lives in the paper. Don't get me wrong, I think from a story perspective it's great that she has this reaction, because it really shows her character and propels the story forward, but it's not that clear why this particular article pushes her buttons, as from the little bit you showed us, it seems like just a brief editorial on the history of a particular concept across cultures, and shouldn't that be appropriate for a school newspaper? If it's that she believes they should only be reporting news, and definitely not any of this mystic hokey stuff, then a line or two in there about that would be great. You could also have her wonder how this ever got past the first round of editors. :P

And I think that's about all I've got! Again, I really enjoyed this. Let me know when you post the next chapter, or if you have any questions about anything. :)






Thanks for the review! And the parallel theory is very close, tip of the iceburg actually, and what I want the readers to guess at for now- hopefully I can get my actual plot across without too much confusion haha. Your feedback definitely helps a bunch! I picked this novel up again recently (Prologue-Chapter 3 were written about a year ago) and it's nice to have a tool to try to use to go back and blend my writing styles and outlooks with the old and the new chapters I'm working on now.




According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.
— The Bee Movie