z
  • Home

Young Writers Society


16+ Language

ennui - 01

by Hanuli


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

01

Insolent wretch!

The hissing of a thousand scales, the snapping of fangs, a murderous pair of yellow eyes.

I place a curse upon you. I seal it with my blood. The sky bears witness. It shall never be lifted. Even after the skies crash down to meet the earth, my words shall hold.

Blood coats the ground and my feet. Everything is red. The inside of my mouth tastes like iron.

You will live to see the oceans dry. Your life will last longer than the stars. A thousand knives will not kill you. The hottest flames will not turn you to ash.

Venom drips from the enormous serpent’s fangs. The ground sizzles and turns black. There is a distant wailing, as if the winds themselves are writhing in sorrow.

Yet you will not know love! The serpent’s voice roars in my head. The words are sharp and cruel, stabbing through my skull. The voice feels loud enough to shatter my head into pieces. Overhead, the clouds are shifting restlessly, following an invisible path to the west.

You will never be of any meaning to a fellow man. Every time you reach out, you will be rejected. Nothing but your own hands shall dry your tears. Your heart will break into pieces, but nobody will know or care.

The serpent’s body thrashes wildly, uprooting trees and sending rocks flying. A pebble flies by my face and cuts a deep gash, but I can hardly feel the pain. I can hardly feel anything at all.

Suffer! The serpent rasps. Its eyes are starting to dim, staring up into the sky. Perhaps there is longing in those eyes, or sorrow, as rain begins to fall and droplets roll down the serpent’s face in a cruel mockery of tears. You will suffer as I suffer now. You will suffer until time itself stops. You will watch everything around you die. Your eyes will run until you forget how they felt when they were dry. Even sleep shall not give you rest!

A shrill scream tears itself out of the serpent’s throat. Thunder rolls across the sky, and with the first strike of lightning, the serpent’s head thumps heavily onto the ground. Its eyes are glassy and unseeing. Blood and poison mix with rain: the ground bubbles and winds wail.

Closing my eyes, I drop onto my knees.

* * *

It’s still dark outside when I jerk awake. Groaning, I kick my bedsheets aside and glare up at the ceiling. In the darkness, the broken lightbulb stares back at me quietly, illuminated by the soft moonlight streaming through the shattered window. Rain is falling softly outside, and I briefly wonder if I am still dreaming. After a brief internal debate, I end up vetoing the idea: as far as I can tell, there is no blood or screaming.

“The sun’s not even up,” I complain out loud at the lightbulb. “It’s my birthday and I had to wake up this early?” Thankfully, it doesn’t reply.

Sighing, I lift my pillow and bury my head under it. There’s no going back to sleep now. Rubbing my face lazily against the relatively clean bed, I figure that I should thank myself for choosing to sleep in the house last night. It was kind of like a birthday gift to myself. Even to me, the idea of sleeping on a tree branch or something on my birthday seemed kind of pathetic.

“Pathetic? You’ve slept on a tree branch for more than a hundred birthdays,” mutters John. “Did wonders for your back, didn’t it? Now that time when you decided to sleep in that old truck, that was pathetic. When that stupid thing blew up —” I let his rambling fade into a pleasant background noise.

I mean, he may be annoying, but he’s got a point. I spent the last birthday stuck under a car. The one before that, I got a bit lazy, slept under a tree, and got bitten by a snake. But this birthday is special: it’s a multiple of ten. Of course, I’m not sure exactly which multiple of ten it is.

“Dumb-ass,” John tells me.

“I would like to see you try and keep track of them,” I reply. “We both know what a pain that can be.” John makes a noise that is somewhere between a grunt and a snort, then falls quiet. Oh, John? He’s a friend, but I use the term loosely. My definition of friend is something along the lines of a voice in my head that never shuts up and hates my existence, which I also named John. But he’s usually tolerable.

With John’s voice gone, I turn my attention to the creaking of the house instead. Last night, I checked to see that nobody else had decided to spend the night here. It seems to have stayed that way. As I listen, the floorboards sometimes creak randomly, but not in any way that would be caused by human feet. Sometimes I hear what I assume to be rats scurrying along the vents. Outside, raindrops create a fabric of sound that drapes itself pleasantly over the smaller noises.

“You hate when it rains,” John snickers.

“I hate when it rains,” I grumble at the same time. Registering John’s words, I pause in annoyance, then sigh, giving up. I would love to strangle John, of course. Unfortunately, John doesn’t have a neck that I can strangle. It’s both bad and good, really. John can’t leave me because he’s stuck inside my skull. I can’t get rid of John because he’s stuck inside my skull.

“They cancel each other out,” John suggests. I ignore him. Pressing the pillow more firmly onto my head, I wonder what it would feel like to be smothered with a pillow. Oh, I’ve tried. It just didn’t work. Unfortunately, it’s not like I can just go ask somebody. Snorting at my own train of thoughts, I roll over onto my side and stare at the wall. To be more precise, the remains of the wall. There’s a big hole in it.

After staring at the hole morosely for a few minutes, I put the pillow over my head again. “The dream,” I murmur, my voice muffled by the bed. “John, the dream.”

John scoffs. “What about it? Nothing new.”

“No, I haven’t had that one for months. You said it might not come back.”

“I really only said that to give you false hope,” John responds, then cackles to himself.

John is very good at being an asshole. I’m very good at ignoring him. “I will watch everything around me die,” I say out loud. It’s as if the words are written on the back of my hand. Yeah, that’s me. I forget my own name and what my mother looked like. But I have never forgotten the words that a snake said to me about a thousand years ago. Genius.

“Not a snake,” John whispers. He sounds afraid, and I scowl, refusing to entertain him.

To be fair, though, it wasn’t a snake. At least, that’s what I should have said. Or, even better, I should have said nothing at all. I should have walked away.

My eyes begin to sting, and I press my face harder into the mattress, wishing I could suffocate.

“Don’t we all,” sighs John wistfully.


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
453 Reviews

Points: 825
Reviews: 453

Donate
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:01 pm
Lib wrote a review...



Hey there, Hanuli!

I'm terribly sorry that I got to this review so late. I haven't been reviewing much in a while and I apologize for that! I'm here now though so I hope you still accept this review. Annnd if you don't remember, you requested it here.

Ooh the beginning was very interesting, and would definitely hook readers who are interested in stuff like that. The chapter itself was very mysterious, the dream that our MC apparently hasn't had for months. Maybe the serpent is going to be reality, or maybe it's just a way of telling our MC to sleep with their eyes open. o.O

I don't have much to critique about the formatting/punctuation/etc, but this was a cool read!

Great start to a new story! Hope you continue this. Lemme know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. ^^

And as always...

Keep on writing & Happy RevMo!

~Liberty




Lib says...


(Apologies for this review being so short, I'm still tryna get back into the reviewing spirits~)



User avatar
114 Reviews

Points: 6228
Reviews: 114

Donate
Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:55 pm
Necromancer14 wrote a review...



Well! This was interesting.

Here's my review:

Okay, so the beginning was definitely a good hook, though the horribleness of it might scare off a lot of readers. It starts off quite gruesomely, which was wonderful to read. Thank you. Then, however, it goes into this part with the same guy except he's had amnesia with another, apparently annoying, guy in his head. That part, unfortunately, was a tad confusing at the beginning, especially when you're like "wait... who's john? and where did he come from?" You only find out later that he's in the main character's head. Now for descriptions. Those were good, though I wouldn't say outstanding. Grammar was good, and the dialogue was pretty good too.

Insolent wretch!


Boom! Right at the beginning you have an insult. It's a pretty good hook, though like I said before it might scare off some readers.

“The sun’s not even up,” I complain out loud at the lightbulb. “It’s my birthday and I had to wake up this early?” Thankfully, it doesn’t reply.


I would like to meet that light bulb. I bet it's a good listener XD

“Pathetic? You’ve slept on a tree branch for more than a hundred birthdays,” mutters John. “Did wonders for your back, didn’t it?


Besides the fact that john's really rude, this part confused me, because I didn't know who john was. I assumed that the main character was alone, but then this "john" person starts talking. I would explain that he's in the characters head right here to avoid confusion.

John scoffs. “What about it? Nothing new.”


Well, John is certainly not very nice! He and the main character already have a bit of a personality showing through, so your character building is pretty good.

Well, that's my review! I hope it was helpful.




User avatar
30 Reviews

Points: 383
Reviews: 30

Donate
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:25 am
ShallowHouse wrote a review...



Hoi hoi, Hanuli!

First of all, thank you for the request! And secondly, this beginning is interesting! Starting of with a curse! Gives me a nostalgia trip to God of War! But anyway...
The curse! It made the narrator immortal. Possibly immortal beyond the life of earth and the centuries - or milleniums - of immortality has made him/her a bit on the slothy side? Lots of sleep I keep reading about and the overall groggy attitude of the narrator.
The plot here is... Does it revolve around the curse? The first chapter is your first chance to get your reader hooked! Invested, even! Yet sadly, I see a conversation of the narrator (who forgot their name) and John who seems to be a split personality of theirs? He's an asshole! I can't believe it! If you wanted me to actually dislike a character, you're doing it!

And thus... I'm going to need to read lots more because the beginning sequence was so good! The serpent section was top notch! And since the one who placed the curse was a serpent, I'm guessing biblical Inspirations? I'd love to know more about your story and it's got lots of potential! Please keep writing and keep improving! <3

Wishing you the best,
ShallowHouse




Hanuli says...


Thanks so much for the review! The next chapter is up if you want to read more.



User avatar
174 Reviews

Points: 3050
Reviews: 174

Donate
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:46 am
JesseWrites wrote a review...



Jesse here to review, so i am hopping in.

A serpent. That's a very interesting thing to be cursing people, but I can't complain.

I enjoy the fact that you italicized the serpent's speech. It makes it more personalized to the character.

"The inside of my mouth tastes like iron."
I like that writing style, but it was scattered through an ocean of vast and certainly different types.

Foul language dehumanizes words, so I don't agree with it.

Can you tag me for the next chapter, or if you make one?

Thanks,
Jesse.




Hanuli says...


Hey there,

I just published the next chapter if you wanted to take a look.

Thanks!
Lynn




An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that life's going to launch you into something great, so just focus and keep aiming.
— Unknown