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Prologue: Pyromyth

by DandyZombie

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Two siblings stood face to face, the time between their lives was only a few minutes but it had been years since they had seen each other. The stench of burnt flesh and piss clung in the air between them. The younger couldn’t believe what 13 years had done to his brother.

When they were children no one but their mother could tell them apart, that had continued until the day they had manifested the gift and now the differences were startling.

Donavan had been blessed with the rare gift of Uila, one of the most powerful to be born in four generations, Markus followed in the same fashion of strength and was immediately recruited to the Brand. He had missed his older brother but as a Uila, one of the only two in the city, he had an important job to do.

Together, but still very distant, they both worked to keep the Tma away. . . it had all seemed so important. Just like when they were children he had idolized his elder, sparks of jealousy growing stronger each year but the feeling of respect remained the same.

Pulsating meat hung before him now, rasping breaths of the barely alive man and dull drugged eyes staring through him, wiped any trace of jealousy from his mind.

Markus always assumed Dovavan was living a life of luxury, while he worked and battled the dark beasts and risked his life, Donavan only needed to keep the lights on. Now standing there, his brother’s body scraped and raw with wires clipped to his sagged and rotting skin he saw the truth. His head was lolled to the side dramatically as if he simply couldn’t feel the muscles anymore in order to hold his head up.

“You’re the battery?” Markus breathed with horror gripping his heart, this was not how he thought his first day as a High Order would go. He was the most powerful Brand and it had only been a matter of time before he transcended to the ruling office; the Pire. He’d heard about the great battery over the years and had been excited at first to see it. He’d also been excited for the eventuality of seeing his long lost brother again.

But it being a him. . . A him with his own face. . . It was disturbing.

“Bru-broth-er,” the decrepit and abused human being choked out as he looked at an image of himself that had been denied to him. Markus jumped at the raw, gurgling voice, the obvious grueling effort it took just to speak causing him to heat the room with his building misty tears. The brothers stared at each other in the shocked silence, the movements and noise forever denying that this was a horrific hallucination to them both, the situation did not feel real until Donovan spoke

. They had to take an extra moment to process what the years had done to them.

“Hel-help me.” His elder brother begged in agony his head swinging forward like his bones had been removed. Like a flopping pile of festering disease and torment. Markus didn’t even need to think.

“Of course.” 

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452 Reviews

Points: 18918
Reviews: 452

Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:14 am
Tuckster wrote a review...

Hey there DandyZombie! Tuck here with a quick review this #RevMo . Let's get into it!

One of the things I really liked about this first chapter was how you used descriptive adjectives that helped lend to the feelings you were trying to convey. It really strengthened your writing and helped me connect more with the mood of the story at different points.

However, one area I think you can improve is the amount of information you unloaded on the reader here. Since I'm not familiar with this universe and this setting, I was confused as to what each of these terms mean. I can tell by the way the characters responded that these were significant revelations, but I don't know enough about the universe to be connected to it for it to affect me as deeply as it should. So my advice to you is to wait for a few more chapters for us to realize that Donovan is the battery so that it carries more weight. Until then, spend time allowing the reader to get accustomed to this new universe and show us through actions, not info-dumps, what this universe is like.

I also think you could have done a better job explaining what the different divisions of people mean and why they're significant. At the moment, these different groupings don't have any meaning or any reason behind them, so it's easy for the reader to gloss over them. Show us why it's important to remember this and what this significance is, and that'll allow the reader to stay engaged. The author's task for the first few chapters especially is to keep the reader engaged, and unloading titles that the reader doesn't understand opposes that goal.

Overall, you have a strong writing style throughout and decent pacing, and I think with a few tweaks this could be a very strong story! I hope that my advice was helpful to you, and if you have any questions, please just let me know. I look forward to seeing where you take this!


DandyZombie says...

thank you so much for the review! I was so excited to check this and see I had gotten such strong constructive feedback. I was trying to bring up a feeling of intrigue, and introduce a part of the story that is mostly in the background and use my prologue as a tool but im still new at it so I'm very happy for the pointers on how I can make it better in the second draft. thank you!

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108 Reviews

Points: 13147
Reviews: 108

Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:59 am
Asith wrote a review...


Considering this is a prologue, you've certainly introduced an exciting cliff-hanger, so that's that job covered! Especially towards the latter half of the story, I found myself incredibly intrigued and wanting to continue reading.

However, I found that a lot was missing from my experience, particularly in the first part of the story. Of course, it's nothing that a little revision can't fix, so here some notes I wrote down that might be useful :)

Even though this is just a prologue, readers need to have a setting they can understand and picture in their heads. No, you don't (and shouldn't) explain all the intricacies of your fantasy world here, but they key factor is that readers have to have something to visualise the story in. In my first read-through, I had nothing; only the mention of a city. It was therefore very difficult for me to picture what these characters looked like or wore; where they were; what their surroundings looked like; or even just the general atmosphere of their world (apocalyptic? Civil? Dystopian?). I pieced together a little more later on, but even that wasn't sufficient. Your world is just too vague for the prologue to really carry anything.

World building/info dumping
Carrying on slightly from the last point -- the culture of these characters is unknown. I think the problem here is that you have a perfect idea of how your world works, but you've forgotten that you haven't told the reader yet! Introducing your fantasy terminology is fine, but you have to remember that they mean nothing to the reader. Try to write in a way that interests the reader, regardless of how much they understand here. For example, I think the piece would work better if you just write about the twins seeing each other, describing every physical detail. Leaving out the preamble of the premise's details could actually help. Sometimes, less is more! If you decide to keep all the premise information, a little more hand-holding the reader might actually be necessary.
Your problem is with your world, so making that irrelevant to the prologue might be the easiest solution.

Those issues aside, the scene with the battery-twin was phenomenal. You've got a great capacity for describing the gruesome, and it was the most striking image of the whole extract. The descriptions of how the younger twin found the discovery disturbing were also very well-developed, and it's genuinely the part that makes me want to read more :D
I hope you post more of this story!


DandyZombie says...

Thank you so much for the feedback! I actually re-read this a bit ago and did notice myself that there was a problem with white wall syndrome. In my second draft I will definitely do my upmost to fix that. You've actually given me a few ideas on how to improve upon it. Thank you very much!

trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward)
— E.E. Cummings