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Moonlight: Chapter Three

by Danni88


You had to hand it to him, the kid was quick-thinking. If it wasn't for Loki, Maia would be dead or worse. 

Before she could even process what had just happened, he had grabbed her arm and pulled her over to the wall. He whistled to Fenrir and pressed something next to the cupboard. The wall creaked to one side and revealed a secret tunnel. Loki pulled Maia through, Fenrir bounding in after her, and pressed a button to close the entrance. 

Maia turned to him. "What the heck is that thing?" she panicked. 

"That door won't hold it for long, whatever it is," Loki flinched as the demon thing began pounding on the door. "Follow me!" He took off into the dark passageway. Maia didn't hesitate and quickly followed.

The tunnel was dark and gloomy. Maia shivered and wished she had her torch. She speeded up, carefully avoiding the various boulders and stalagmites littering the cave floor, until she turned a sharp corner and nearly crashed into Loki. 

"You keep watching in case that thing comes. I'll find the button." Loki said without looking up.

Maia nodded. She concentrated hard and tried to summon her sword. Please, please, please. Just this once. 

She opened her eyes and looked expectantly at her hand. She could feel something forming there, but it was too dark to see. At that moment, a section of the wall fell away and light streamed into the tunnel. Loki turned to her. "Come on, we- why are you holding a blue carrot?" 

"Don't ask," Maia snapped, throwing the blue carrot over her shoulder. She tried again, concentrating on the picture of her sword in her mind. There was a loud bang and her sword appeared in her hand. 

Wow, Maia thought, that's never happened that quickly before. She scolded herself angrily. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! You can think about that later.

In the distance, she could hear footsteps getting closer. "Come on!" She pushed Loki and Fenrir out of the tunnel. 

It was an ordinary little forest, with the sun sinking below the horizon and the leaves just beginning to turn the colours of autumn and fall to the ground. But as the heavy footsteps thundered towards them, the air turned cold. The plants began to wither and die.

"We can't outrun it." Loki looked panicked. 

"So we stay and fight," Maia smiled confidently. Swordfighting was something she was good at. 

The thundering grew louder and the demon burst out of the tunnel. "You can't run from me," it hissed. "I will catch you in the end." 

"Not if I kill you first, poo-head." Maia yelled and swung her sword at him. Behind her, Loki transformed into a black panther and he attacked with her. 

Maia was skilful, but this demon was even more so. A large black scythe appeared in his hands and he fought back, parrying her thrusts. He seemed to be able to read her thoughts, to know what she'd do next. 

Loki, still in panther form, had pounced on the demon and was trying to bite his sword arm. The creature momentarily lost concentration to slash at Loki, and Maia saw her chance. She shouted in defiance and thrust her sword into the demon. With a horrible wail, it dissolved into black smoke. The scythe clattered to the floor. 

Loki shifted back into human form. "How did you do that?" 

"I just got lucky, I suppose." Maia was as surprised as him, but tried not to let it show. She tried to summon her sheath and got it first try. 

"No," Loki examined her as if she was a specimen in a museum. "When you stabbed it, your necklace glowed white." 

"I'm not wearing a necklace, doofus," she said, automatically putting her hand to her neck. "Oh!" She was indeed wearing her amethyst pendant - a gift from her mother. "But I didn't put it on today. I left it in my jewellery box. How..."

"Don't look at me," said Loki.

Maia removed her necklace and stared at it for a while, before putting it back on and sheathing her sword. "Right, where's Fenrir?" 

Loki whistled and the puppy emerged from a bush, wagging his tail. 

She smiled. "Sensible dog. So, any other powers I should know about, shapeshifter?" 

Loki shrugged and retrieved his sword. "I'm a ele-whatever."

"Elementalist?"

"Yeah. A fire elementalist."  

"Impressive." Maia nodded "Lucky you, having magic that works." 

"What's that supposed to mean?" 

Maia cursed herself mentally. "Tell you later. Now-" she looked at the horizon. The sun had practically disappeared. "now we need to find somewhere to shelter. I don't trust this forest." 

She marched off, Fenrir and Loki following. 

Soon they found a clearing that seemed relatively monster-free. Maia found some old sticks and Loki lit them. It wasn't long before they had a roaring fire going. 

"I'm going to try and magic up some pizza or something." Maia closed her eyes and tried to summon the food. She got a small wooden hippopotamus. 

Loki laughed. "I see what you meant now about magic not working. If you like, I can teach you to make it work." 

"Really?" Maia grinned. 

"Yeah, but only if you teach me sword fighting. I was watching you fighting that demon thing. You're really good." 

"Wait, you can't swordfight?" 

"No. I'm rubbish." Loki quickly changed the subject. "Try again with the food." 

After about ten minutes of summoning various oddities, including shoes, a car tyre, a needle and thread, a drum kit and a bobble hat, Maia eventually managed to magic up a banana for Fenrir, a paper plate of sandwiches, a few flasks of hot chocolate and some packets of crisps.

"Yes, it worked!" Maia grinned. 

At that moment, there was a rustling in the bushes. She leapt to her feet, nearly stepping on Fenrir, and pulled her sword from its scabbard. "Who's there?" she called, trying to stop her voice shaking. 

There was a thunk and two boys fell out of a large camellia bush. From their appearance, they were clearly twins. They were both quite tall and had the same messy black hair and blue eyes. The one on the left was slightly but noticeably shorter. He was wearing a  neat blue cape, white collared shirt, black trousers and black pointy shoes. Together the whole thing looked like a school uniform. The other boy had the same blue cape, but underneath he was wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt, blue jeans, sneakers and a grey hoodie tied around his waist. 

The one in school uniform elbowed his lookalike. "Um, who are they, Alfie?" 

"No idea. Maybe they're monsters!" The taller boy, Alfie panicked and hid behind his brother. 

"Nah. If they were monsters, they would have attacked by now." The shorter one perked up. "Hey! Melissa told me about these wizard inspectors that set you challenges and stuff, to see what you're made of. Maybe that's what's happening here!" 

"She told me as well, Charlie," Alfie said uncertainly. "I'm pretty sure she said it only happens to the over-seventeens." 

"Who cares? As long as they're not monsters. Just don't let on we know!" 

Maia exchanged a bemused glance with Loki. "Um, hi?" 

Charlie whirled round. "Greetings, fellow travellers!" His voice had suddenly become a lot posher. "What brings you to this forest?" 

"Charlie!" Alfie interrupted. "They're not wizard inspectors, OK? Snap out of formal mode!" 

He glared at Alfie. "It's not called formal mode! But alright." 

"We're not wizard inspectors, whatever they are," said Loki. "She's a fairy and I'm a god." 

"That sounds so self-centred," Maia muttered. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Maia." 

"I'm Charles Knight," Charlie volunteered. "Wizard in training. This is my brother Alfred." 

 "Charlie!" Alfie snapped. "Nice to meet you, Maia. Please call me Alfie. I hate being called Alfred." 

Maia grinned. "My full name's Maiara, but I kill anyone who calls me that. That's Loki and that's Fenrir," she said, pointing at each of them in turn. 

"So you're wizards?" Loki asked. "Do you have any other powers?" 

Alfie nodded. "We both do. I think the correct term is mage, but Charlie thinks that sounds less fancy than wizard. I can talk to animals and he's an illusionist and lightning elementalist." 

"Sounds cool." Maia gestured towards the paper plate. "Would you like a sandwich?" 

"I thought you'd never ask." Alfie grinned at her. 


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Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:22 pm
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ExOmelas wrote a review...



Look look look! Look what I'm finally getting round to!

Nit-picks:

Maia turned to him. "What the heck is that thing?" she panicked.

I'm not sure how much I care about this, but just in case you personally care about being grammatically correct. One cannot say a thing by panicking. The panicking would be incidental. Hence tagging your speech with "panicked" is not grammatically correct. Capitalising the s is all it would take to make this sentence correct. I will find a source for this at some point and comment on my review with it.

She spee[s/]d[s]ed up, carefully avoiding


Behind her, Loki transformed into a black panther and he attacked with her.

This might just be me forgetting because it's been so long since I last reviewed, but has he always been able to turn into a panther? If not, that is way, way too sudden. She should definitely be shocked by a sudden metamorphosis.

Charlie whirled round. "Greetings, fellow travellers!"

We haven't been told his name in speech yet, so it's weird to hear it in narration.

Overall:

There's quite a lot of moments where I think this is paced quite a bit too fast. For example, when they go through the tunnel, they're into the tunnel and out of it again without much opportunity for you to describe the feel, the smell, the sounds of the tunnel, which makes it hard for me to immerse myself in the experience. It becomes more like a list of events, which reminds me I'm reading a story.

I also think things move too fast with the twins. A demon has suddenly attacked - which they seem remarkably fine with? - and yet they're still willing to trust strangers? I'd understand giving them the benefit of the doubt, but actively inviting them to join without any questions. What are they doing out here anyway, is what I'd assume at least one of them would ask.

Lastly in terms of criticism, the world that this is set in is kind of confusing. I get that you could have a fairy and a god in a world that also has Spiderman, but this is quite a clash of aesthetics that just gets a bit confusing.

What I do really really like is how you're introducing your plot. It seemed at first like it was going too easily for her with the sword appearing, but now I see that she has awesome magic that will be ultra powerful if she can master it. I'm also intrigued to learn how it suddenly seems to be working. This means you're doing really well at the driving tension of the story, which is the most important part. This is integral to everything you write. The rest can be rewritten over and over again at will. So good job!

Hope this helps, and sorry it took so long,
Biscuits :)




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Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:46 pm
Danni88 says...



@BiscuitsLeGuin don't forget you said you'd review this after the 14th




ExOmelas says...


oh wow oops. I was going to do this on review day and completely forgot. Will add it to my list (I think I have either 4 or 5 things on it now)



Danni88 says...


Thanks! XD



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Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:33 pm
wordwing wrote a review...



Hello! Wordwing here! And I thought I have been rushing. There isn't much to be said anymore, the reviewers before me have already said a lot, but whatever.

1.The rush-Your story is moving waaaaay too fast, slow down.

2.speeded up- I think that's supposed to be sped up, not sure though.

Loki looked panicked

Um... Looked like he was panicking? That's a really awkward line, and try describing how he looked like, his facial expressions, and why she thought he was panicking.
Swordfighting was something she was good at

You don't need this line.


3.confusing stuff
"Don't ask." Maia snapped

Does she have short temper? That doesn't really fit her. I don't think anyone would really snap because of that, they would be more annoyed or disappointed than anything, so maybe something like "Damn it! Don't ask." would be better than "snapped" I mean she didn't say" Don't ask!" Which would also be weird, she said "Don't ask. So, yeah... I also noticed you used "sighed" multiple times and "suddenly" in your first chapter.
Try not to use those because they are over-used and can be really unnecessary.Anyway, listen to the advice these reviewers gave you and your story will be great! :)




Danni88 says...


Thanks! :) Aargh I should have noticed sighed and suddenly



wordwing says...


No problem ^-^



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Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:31 pm
wordwing says...






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Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:18 am
Rydia wrote a review...



Hi! Sorry this has taken me so long, this month has proved far busier than I expected!

Specifics

1.

Maia didn't hesitate and quickly followed. She sped round corners, leapt over boulders and avoided stalactites until in what seemed like hardly any time they had reached the end of the tunnel.
I think this part goes too quickly! What's the tunnel like? Is it dark and scary or lit by lights which make it seem kind of homey or lit by lights which cast even greater shadows across the floor? It's hard to judge the atmosphere here and I expect the characters are scared but we don't really feel that because you're rushing through the descriptions.

2. I don't think the blue carrot appearing is quite working. There's not enough dialogue around it to make this an amusing thing and because she quite quickly succeeds it's not a character building moment either. Loki needs to make some kind of quip to acknowledge what has happened. Perhaps you shouldn't even describe the carrot appearing first - have Maia trying to bring out her sword and then Loki can turn around and say something like. "I think I've found the button and- what is that? Is that a blue carrot?" Then cue funny quip. Of course, the shorter and snappier you can make it the better :)

3.
Swordfighting was something she was good at.
Sword fighting needs to be two words.Also, instead of telling us it's something he's good at, let her actions speak for her. If she speaks confidently about staying to fight then it shows us she's confident in her skills and a story always flows more smoothly when you're showing instead of telling.

4.
Maia stared in silence at the necklace for a while, before sheathing her sword. "Right, where's Fenrir?"
How is Maia able to stare at the necklace if it's around her neck? A moment ago she reached up to touch her neck to check if it was there so it seems a contradiction if it's long enough for her to see it and you didn't describe her taking it off.

5. The comment about Maia feeling she doesn't have magic which works isn't well supported since we've now seen how succeed 2 out of 3 times. If you want the reader to sympathise with her and for this to be a story of growing power, she shouldn't manage to call her sword at all or certainly not so early in the story.

6.
It wasn't long before they found a clearing that seemed relatively monster-free. Maia found some old sticks and Loki lit them. It wasn't long before they had a roaring fire going.
You have 'it wasn't long' and 'it wasn't too long' in the same paragraph here. I'd suggest changing one of those.

7. How does Loki know that Maia wasn't trying to summon the wooden figure? For his line to work, you need to have Maia declare that she will summon them some food or something.

8. Instead of telling her to try again, Loki should give Maia some advice on how to get the summoning right so we can see him starting to help her improve. Also, does summoning make her tired? It doesn't seem to which makes failing the first dozen times a little embarrassing but not all that problematic. It doesn't feel like a very big weakness yet, especially since when it really mattered she was able to summon the sword.

9.
"That sounds so self-centred," Maia muttered. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Maia."


10.
"Charlie!" Alfie snapped. "Nice to meet you, Maia. Nobody calls me Alfred except for him."
This line seems a little odd - if he wants them to call him something else then he needs to tell them what they should call him. We don't automatically know that Alfred will be shortened to Alfie. It could be Fred or it could be that he goes by a middle name.

Overall

This is a nice chapter but it moves too quickly! In such a short space of time, we learn about their powers, they fight off a demon and meet and befriend two wizards! Each of these big plot arcs could be a chapter by itself so I'd suggest adding more description and stretching out the big events. You can bring in other sub plots in the meantime, like Maia's magic not working, but this early in the story only one/ two big events should happen in each chapter and if they're short chapters, it should probably be one.

I think the powers you reveal are fun and Loki and Maia seem like characters who off-set each other's personalities and abilities well but you need to give us slower chapters with more dialogue and more described actions so we can get to know the characters. We also need to see them genuinely struggle because they're already very powerful - as you say, they are a God and a fairy - so the obstacles they face have to feel more difficult.

I hope that helps a little and keep writing!

~Heather




Danni88 says...


Thanks! I'll make sure to correct it.



Danni88 says...


OK, I tried to make it a bit better! Does that work more? Thanks so much for your advice, it really helps! In the next chapter I will make sure I read through carefully all the advice I got and hopefully that will remove the worst bits.



Rydia says...


Yes, those are good fixes! :)



Danni88 says...


Thanks! :)



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Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:47 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, Danni88! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

I'll get to the other chapters, but I wanted to get this out of the Green Room.

Give me your soul.

With that aside...

STOP! Grammar time!



skilful


Pointing out the typo.

jewellry


Typo.

"I'm an ele-whatever."


"Now we need to find somewhere to shelter. I don't trust this forest."


Suggestions:



No suggestions. All are below because they are also confusing.

Confusing things:



A small whirlwind of dust appeared over her hand, gradually forming the shape of a long blade. "Yes!" she grinned triumphantly as Loki pressed the button and all three of them fell out into a forest.


If she had trouble before, how come she's able to summon it this easily now?

Loki, still in panther form, had pounced on the demon and was trying to bite his sword arm. The creature momentarily lost concentration to slash at Loki, and Maia saw her chance. She shouted in defiance and thrust her sword into the demon. With a horrible wail, it dissolved into black smoke. The scythe clattered to the floor.


This entire fight scene is way too short. If the demon was better than them, how was it so easily defeated? I was also disappointed that there wasn't as much fighting and a lot more dialogue and less action. I can help you with writing action scenes, if you need help.

After about ten minutes of summoning various oddities


Again, if her magic isn't working properly, this is too short.

Alfie nodded. "We both do. I think the correct term is mage, but Charlie thinks that sounds less fancy than wizard. I can talk to animals and he's an illusionist and lightning elementalist."


I really doubt that Alfie - and Loki, for that matter - would reveal so much information about themselves immediately to strangers. Not even their names. If it were my characters, they would be extremely suspicious. Your characters are almost a little too extroverted, revealing information that would only, really, benefit the reader. It just seems like an info dump. Try and spread it throughout the story and let the readers figure it out instead of just having the characters tell.

Other comments, reactions, and fangirling:



No other comments, reactions, and fangirling.

Overall:



Ehhhhh... not the best chapter I've ever read. Too many info-dumps, less fight scenes, not the ideal chapter for me. I guess that's just my preference ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Keep up the good work.

Give me your soul --

Kara

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Danni88 says...


Thanks Kara! I'll take your advice and try and polish it up a bit.



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Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:26 pm
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Danni88 says...



Enjoy!!





Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
— Ann Landers