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Typhoon - Chapter 1 (2)

by ExOmelas


“Yeah,” Josie agreed, “Siblings.”

Her friend Annie, who worked at the station next to her in the munitions factory, had just finished reminiscing about a time her little sister had stolen all her makeup and drawn all over their parents’ mirror with it, and of course blamed it on Annie. The parents hadn’t believed a fifteen-year-old girl would do this, assuming it was likely the work of the eleven-year-old sister. But it had given them the munition – ironically, Annie had pointed out as she boxed a pack of twelve bullets – they needed to ban makeup from the house of their teenage daughter once and for all.

Annie twisted around on her stool to look at Josie, her curly hair holding up well even under the little hats they all had to wear as part of their uniform.

“So what about you?” Annie asked. “You got any brothers or sisters?”

***

Josie watched with bubbling glee as her brother Eric took in the shimmering orange form in front of him. To be fair, she wasn’t set on her classification of it as fairy. The shape was flat, like a piece of paper, but made up of little dots, like dust. Yes, that was what it was like, dust floating through the air when it catches the light. Except dust moved slowly, drifting around. This form was sort of curling one way, then the other, and there was just that one thin layer of it. Plus, it was bright orange.

“What in the world…” Eric said. But for once he stopped there and didn’t start going on and on at her about actions and their ‘consequences’, whatever those were.

“Do you think you can see a face?” Josie asked. “I’m thinking if you take those two dots as eyes, that thick line as a nose, that gap as a mouth.”

“Don’t touch it!” Eric shouted.

Josie had extended a finger towards it across his stomach but she drew her finger back with a fright. “That was right in my ear!”

“Sorry,” Eric said, “I just think we should be careful. We don’t know what it is.”

Josie shrugged that casual shrug that wound him up so much. “Sorry, too late.”

She extended her arm out in the opposite direction, away from the shimmering form, and as she straightened it out, her finger reaching as far away as it could, the form jerked towards Eric. He yelped and jumped up, dusting off his trousers.

“What the hell!” he cried. “How are you doing that?”

Josie doubled over with laughter at how high up his eyebrows had shot. He looked so pale, the poor thing. “Ooh, Eric, you swore!”

“How are you doing that?” he repeated. He looked down behind him at the form, which had settled back into its original position as Josie had clutched her sides with both hands. His eyebrows settled, and he even crouched down to look closer at the form. Not even Eric’s world-renowned aversion to mud could withstand the draw of this mystery, Josie thought.

“I don’t know,” she admitted, with a genuine shrug this time. “I touched it, then it just started following me.”

“Of course you touched it,” Eric said, but he took forever to say it and barely blinked as he stared at the form. “Wait, how did you get away from it just now?”

Josie grinned. “I didn’t. It was in my sleeve the whole time! I put it in between the roots when we got back down here.”

Eric nodded, then stopped abruptly and stared at her. “Then why did I have to come down here? Why did I have to jump across the burn and get my shoes muddy?”

“I didn’t want Mum to see,” Josie said.

Eric’s eyes widened again. “Oh no, Mum. What are we going to tell Mum?”

“Nothing…?” Josie suggested. “I’ll just put it back in my sleeve.”

“We can’t lie to Mum,” Eric said.

“But she’ll take it away!” Josie moaned, just like Eric did when he was worried about something.

“What?” Eric asked, standing up.

“Mum won’t let me have a fairy stuck to my arm. She’ll take me to the doctor and then they’ll take the fairy away.” Josie kept the moan going and splayed her arms to show her helplessness.

“I really don’t think it’s a fairy,” Eric said.

“I don’t care. I want to keep it.” Josie folded her arms and the shimmering form jerked up into the air a bit. “And also if you tell on me I’ll tell Mum you got mud on your shoes.”

Eric took a deep breath. He crouched down again and reached a hand out towards the form.

“Touch it,” Josie said. “It feels tingly.”

Eric looked down at his shoes, his heart presumably wrenching at the sight of the dirt.

“To hell with it,” he whispered, and reached out and touched it. His fingertip glowed orange for a moment, just like Josie’s had. He grinned one of the widest grins she’d ever seen on his face and stood back up.

“That was brilliant,” he said.

“Uh… Eric?” Josie said, glancing down at the form.

“What?” he turned around to follow her gaze. “Oh. Oh no.”

The form was now suspended halfway between the two of them, about a foot in the air. Whenever either of them moved the form was jerked along with them, as was the other person. It was like they’d caught each other with a fishing line.

Eric turned to face Josie. “Josie?”

“Yes?”

“We have to tell Mum now.”


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Wed May 01, 2019 11:15 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...



Hey Bisc! Here again, slow as usual...

Anyway this chapter took a surprising turn! I didn't expect dragons were like this. Hahahaha...I can't wait to see Mum's reaction :P

At first, I was a little confused about how the fairy or dragon thingy was stuck to Josie, especially here, though I understand the main gist, that touching the dragon creates a physical bond. This is definitely very unusual and unique, a twist I've probably never seen on this bond idea. That's great, but on the flip side, it got a little puzzling for me. I think my main critique of this chapter section is to try to clear things up a little. I had to reread a few sentences a number of times to get it. Maybe it's because sometimes I take a bit of time to understand this sort of concept, maybe you could clarify your sentences a bit. For instance:

She extended her arm out in the opposite direction, away from the shimmering form, and as she straightened it out, her finger reaching as far away as it could, the form jerked towards Eric. He yelped and jumped up, dusting off his trousers.


Here I was a little put off, I suppose, by not "getting" it. Maybe it's an Ink problem, or perhaps you could say something like (with more meaning-heavy verbs) "She stretched her arm away from the shimmering form. As she swung it back, the form jerked toward Eric." I'm not too sure.

Also, I didn't say it at the beginning but it was super cool to see the present Josie. The conversation kind of sets the tone of the chapter segment with sibling antics. (But do you think 11yos are too old to do something silly like write lipstick on a mirror?...I imagined it'd be more of something a 7yo would do) Also let me guess - is this war in the present WWII? It feels that way.

Like Pan, I agree that the pacing was much better here! The story clipped along not too fast, not too slow. And I also agree that I'm really enjoying this sibling dynamics. Bickering is kind of fun to read about and I can imagine it'll be worse, now that they're stuck to each other. Conflict conflict! Either way I appreciate the fact that you quickly set up the main premise of the story and I'm excited to see what kind of adventures will ensue! See you in the next segment!

-Ink




ExOmelas says...


Thanks for the review Ink! That's definitely a fair critique yeah. I'll see what I can do about that. Would you like a second review swap btw? I know the novel you linked me to only had one chapter but I could review something else if you like.

Thanks again for the review :D



PrincessInk says...


You're welcome! Actually I don't have any at the moment but I'm thinking to participate in the next round of LMS. Maybe is it possible you could follow my novel/WIP then? I know it's a pretty big request and I completely understand if you can't get to it! :D



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Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:41 pm
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Panikos wrote a review...



Back again!

Small Comments

“Yeah,” Josie agreed, “Siblings.”

Her friend Annie, who worked at the station next to her in the munitions factory


I'll just say, it feels like bit of a jarring shift for you to switch to a 1940s scene in the middle of the flashback. I didn't expect this to be where the chapter opened, so it might be a sign that you didn't round the previous scene off well enough. Then again, I imagine the shift would work better in a continuous document, where you could see the scene break coming.

The shape was flat, like a piece of paper, but made up of little dots, like dust.


I'm not sure whether this description works. It feels contradictory to say it looks like paper, then to say it's made up of dust. My brain just went 'so not like paper at all, then?' :P

Not even Eric’s world-renowned aversion to mud could withstand the draw of this mystery, Josie thought.


Hahaha, Josie is going to be a fun character, I can tell.

Eric turned to face Josie. “Josie?”

“Yes?”

“We have to tell Mum now.”


Love this end!

Overall Thoughts

This chapter is definitely better than the first! The pacing is at about the right level, though I think you could do with a touch more description of the surroundings. Sorry to be such a Goldilocks about this - last chapter it was too much, this chapter it's too little. You don't need much description, because the focus is rightly on the 'fairy', but I'd have liked a little more information about where said fairy is in relation to the environment - floating at head-height or close to the ground? Is it casting light onto its surroundings? You could've tied the description of it into the setting a little more, just to give us a clearer picture of where everyone is.

This chapter continues to build on Eric and Josie's dynamic, which I love. It's interesting that you switched to Josie's POV, because it allows you to delve into their characters equally. I really like the pair of them so far, and you're building up their personalities in a quiet, gradual way that feels authentic. I can't wait to see how they deal with being tangled together.

I love the end, but I'm almost sad that they're probably going to tell their mum about what's happened, because I liked the idea of these two squabbling siblings trying to keep a magic secret quiet. I suppose that could still happen, if Josie is determined to keep the fairy hidden, but I can't imagine they'd be able to conceal it for long.

I can't figure out how this will tie into their finding a dragon? I'm assuming this dusty thing is something to do with it, because it clearly isn't an actual fairy. But I was expecting them to find an egg or a baby dragon or something, so props to you for doing something different with the idea. The concept of floating dust that follows you around when you touch it is equal parts mysterious and creepy.

That's all for this one! I'll review the next chapter soon.

Keep writing! :D

~Pan




ExOmelas says...


Thanks for the review Pan! I'm glad you didn't see the dust-form-thing coming (will try and figure out another way to describe it). I was *almost* going to do something predictable but realised there was something I'd have absolutely been copying so I decided to put a twist on it.

Could you bear with the flashbacks for one more part? The end of the next bit should bring them all together, but there is another very fast cut to the 1940s at the start. There's a lot of flashbacks in this story, I think because either I want to dig deep into lots of different characters not just the main ones, or because I'm getting sidetracked. I guess we'll see xD

Thanks again :D



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Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:57 am
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hello, FlamingPhoenix here with a short review for you on your work on this lovely day, and to help get your work out the green room.

Let's begin.

Let me just say this is a really good chapter you got here and I loved everything about it. Now I see you have description in it, but I feel like we need just a little more, to bring us into the world you have made better. To make things a little more clearer. Well that is how I feel. If you don't agree than don't worry about it.

Other than that is was a very well written chapter, and the description you have in the chapter is really, really good. I had a really good image in my head. And your characters are really cool, and I can't wait to find out more about them.

I also found the name to your chapter so far fits the story rather well. So great choice.

Another thing I want to bring up was the siblings I think their little fights are really funny, and it gave me a few good laughs. So I think you have done an amazing job being this is your second book you are now writing.

I'm glad I got the chance to review and read your chapter, It was a great joy. I hope you never stop writing and and keep posting amazing works on YWS. Have a great day or night.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix.
Reviewing with a fiery passion.




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Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:51 pm
Squid wrote a review...



Hi! Oliver here to review!

Ooooh, the plot thickens, even if by just a little. What's their mom going to say? I also like that more of Eric's peculiarities are coming forth, such as his distaste for mud and dirt, and the fact that he swore which is apparently unusual for him.

I also like that at the beginning of each segment we're getting a snippet of where Josie and Eric are now in their lives. That's a good detail.

Now for some nitpick/commentary:

But for once he stopped there and didn’t start going on and on at her about actions and their ‘consequences’, whatever those were.


Hehehe.

“Don’t touch it!” Eric shouted.


I like that he shouted this. It shows the urgency with which he said it and also hints at his protectiveness over Josie.

“Then why did I have to come down here? Why did I have to jump across the burn and get my shoes muddy?”


Eric asking the right questions over here.

“And also if you tell on me I’ll tell Mum you got mud on your shoes.”


Ah, siblings.

//end nitpick/commentary

This was good! I love how Josie and Eric are becoming rounded out as people. I look forward to the next chapter!




ExOmelas says...


yay, thanks for the review :D now get tae posting!

when you say the plot thickens a little, just to check, is that a suggestion that there should be more plot advancement at this point? (i feel vaguely like that might sound accusatory but that's a genuine question)



Squid says...


oh no! i think it's fine as it is. i was saying that you're doing a good job of building suspense, not dumping too much plot at once. sorry for the confusion!



ExOmelas says...


ahhh okey cool, no worries. clarification is easy enough to do :)




Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.
— Mark Strand