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Shaman-revised

by Jiggity


the story has been re-posted further on down the page.

Scroll down and enjoy! :D


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Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:09 am
Jiggity says...




Quote:
There was a soundless explosion of light-blinding him-he couldn’t see anything! He cried out, but what emerged was not the frightened cry of a boy; instead the soft cry of a barn owl invaded the silent night. What was this? He ruffled his feathers in an agitation that faded as his visibility returned. He could dimly see two figures struggling but who was winning? Spreading his wings to an impressive 5 ft, he dived straight down from the branch on which he was perched- giving the hapless boy vertigo-then rose steeply, on silent wings. As he closed the distance his keen eyesight returned—just in time to see the man plunge the spear into the now cowering old woman. He screamed in pain as he felt something rip through his chest…losing control, he spiraled down to slam into the ground in a flurry of feathers…



What the heck is going on here? When the heck did this happen?


the boy is experiencing a vision of what happened to the old woman; in this way you too find out what happened to her. He is seeing through the eyes of her familiar/ totem animal. He had no control over what was happening, he was just along for the ride...for lack of better description. When the woman (who the bird was bonded to) died so too did the bird. That shamans have totem animals is generally accepted and something I thought would be known. Later on all such things will be explained as the boy himself attempts to find out just what the hell had happened to him.

Is this a part of the dream sequence or is this actually happening?


As I mentioned earlier the boy was having a vision. That event actually occured. As to the tattoo; many shamans have them and i can do a helluva lot of things with that tattoo-- even create some drama b/w him and his mother like you said. He could not escape from the vision, no matter the pain.




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:02 pm
*Twilight* says...



Since everyone has already nit-picked at the grammar I will simply comment.
This is a type of story I haven't read in a while I'm normally reading about dragons and wizards. But, this is something different sort of like a trip to an exotic land for me ( I know I know I'm weird) but that's how I will describe the way I felt while reading. But I must say this exotic land was quite interesting.(still speaking metaphorically) But it is poetical and if you intend for the story to be that way that's okay because its I can still understand it but, it dose go a lot smoother if you use simple words.




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:29 am
Griffinkeeper wrote a review...



[pre]PROLOGUE[/pre]

[pre]In an ordinary world, through an ordinary town, in which there was an ordinary street, there walked a…not so ordinary woman. Short in stature, she had a sturdy frame complemented by a full thatch of snow white hair pulled back in a tight bun. Clutching her bag to her chest, she walked forth slowly, with a determination that seemed to belie her elderly frame. Down the tree lined avenue, past the moonlit suburban homes, she walked until-at last-she reached her destination. Slightly out of breath, she straightened her bent posture, blew a few stray white hairs away from her face and critically appraised the home she had journeyed so far to see.
[/pre]

I didn't like the repetition of ordinary, but since it was broken at the end it checks out.

[pre]At first glance all appeared well, but upon closer inspection it was clear something was not right. The broken toys on the lawn, the covered windows, and the overall look of disrepair-of neglect-told another story. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath then followed that inhalation down to her core, there to find a power; a gift handed down through her line since time immemorial. Calling upon it, she drew it upwards, and opened her eyes to look upon the Unseen World. The buildings, and trees, were all the same but overlaying them now was a ghostly radiance which in most cases shone brightly…all except for the house in front of her—smothered in darkness, it literally pulsed out evil.[/pre]


Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath then followed that inhalation down to her core...


The rest of the sentence seems overdramatic. If you want to talk about her power, I'd focus more on the senstation of tapping it. "Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath then followed that inhalation down to her core. She felt for it and touched her power, sending a tingling sensation through her." Or something like that.

[pre]Stilling instinctive recoil, the old woman took a steadying breath and calmed her recalcitrant stomach. Slowly, she approached the door. By the time she reached the doorstep—and it seemed like forever—everything in her was screaming Leave! Leave! Be gone from this place of evil!!! But she could not, for she had a duty to fulfil. Raising a shaking hand she extended her arm outwards, to knock on the door, only to have the door swing open at the faintest touch. Following the eerie creak she stepped forward into a well of darkness, silence…anticipation? Looking around she was able to make out a couch, a TV on a stand, and at the back of the room a dusty looking staircase leading up into the unknown. For a moment nothing happened and she was relieved- then with a heart-wrenching slam the door banged shut behind her, enclosing her in night. There a followed a howl of utter fury and a rushing wind, stirring the darkness all about her-tearing, ripping, snatching at her. Lights flashed- blinding her, dogs barked- deafening her. Windows opened and shut- distracting her.[/pre]

I don't really like the dialogue, not because of the what she says, but how and when she says it. I'd insert some pauses between each sentence. Maybe describe the atmosphere changing between each sentence. Nothing big.

"Leave!" As she yelled the light down the street grew fainter. Or something like that.

Also, the part with the blinding light and the dogs barking, that seemed really confused. Could you make what happens a little more clear?

[pre]Thrusting aside her growing fear - the old woman stayed utterly still, testing, searching for any weakening. She had to draw on reserves she didn’t know she had to perform this feat, but do it she did. Sensing a momentary diminishing, she threw her arms open; her head back…and began to hum an ancient mantra. As the first pure notes hit the air, her skin began to glow, enhancing the brightness of her white hair. All around her motes of incandescent light began to appear; swirling around her in a cyclone of radiant brilliance. The song grew in complexity, harmony, and beauty—overwhelming all else-- until by the last dazzling crescendo the darkness had retreated, the wind died down, the dogs had been silenced and all was returned to the norm. [/pre]


Nice.

[pre]The old woman let her arms fall back to her sides, lowered her head to look straight ahead and spoke to the shadows: “Show thyself” she said “I know you remain yet.” From the darkness there came a hearty chuckle, and slowly the night manifested itself into the form of a tall man who proceeded to stride into the light, smiling broadly. “I applaud your efforts madam” he said clapping slowly “But I am, shall we say, beyond the scope of your powers”. Even as he was saying this she was shaking her head, trying to deny what she was seeing; if it proved true her life was forfeit. For she looked upon the form of Ankhar the Servant of Death. [/pre]


Very good.

[pre]"No, no, no, NO!" she shouted this last denial "This cannot be. You and thy kind were banished from this Realm, Daemon!" Thoroughly unperturbed by this outburst, Ankhar merely dusted the spittle from his immaculately tailored grey-and white manservant uniform. Doffing his bowler hat; with an unnaturally wide grin slicing open across his face, he said: “The key word in that sentence, madam, was were." Now with an unmistakeable menace in his eyes: "We were banished..."[/pre]


If there is a long pause between "No"s then use a period. Also, the dialogue seems really corny at this point. The shadow has good dialogue, but madam is going by the typical denial dialogue.

CHAPTER 1.

[pre]The boy twisted and turned; sweat pouring off his weakly struggling form. His legs were tangled in knotted sheets and he tried, in vain, to cry out-to somehow escape from a nightmare that had him thoroughly ensnared:[/pre]

Knotted sheets? You mean like the kind which you use to run away from home? If the sheets are tangled, then let them be tangled.

[pre]Across the road, through a window in a derelict house, he saw: there was an old woman with glowing white hair having what was obviously a heated exchange with a man…clothed exactly like and with the mannerisms of; a butler. If that was odd then what happened next was frighteningly unusual. The “butler” grabbed an obsidian spear from apparent nothingness and in one smooth motion hurled it…[/pre][/quote[

Is this a part of the dream sequence or is this actually happening?

[pre]Moonlight streamed through the window illuminating the room; casting a silver glow over the bed in which the boy slept- not as restfully as he might wish. A light breeze stirred the pale, see-through curtains, alleviating a little of the oppressive heat and bringing some relief to the sweating boy. Beneath closed lids his eyes rolled frantically as he desperately tried to escape …not wanting to see the grisly end. His eyelids fluttered fitfully and for a moment it seemed as if he would wake—then his head snapped backwards and he was ripped back into the dream:[/pre]


"head snapped backwards", that sounds really painful.

[pre]There was a soundless explosion of light-blinding him-he couldn’t see anything! He cried out, but what emerged was not the frightened cry of a boy; instead the soft cry of a barn owl invaded the silent night. What was this? He ruffled his feathers in an agitation that faded as his visibility returned. He could dimly see two figures struggling but who was winning? Spreading his wings to an impressive 5 ft, he dived straight down from the branch on which he was perched- giving the hapless boy vertigo-then rose steeply, on silent wings. As he closed the distance his keen eyesight returned—just in time to see the man plunge the spear into the now cowering old woman. He screamed in pain as he felt something rip through his chest…losing control, he spiraled down to slam into the ground in a flurry of feathers… [/pre]


What the heck is going on here? When the heck did this happen?

[pre]The boy's back arched; mouth open in a silent scream of agony. The chords and veins in his neck clearly visible as he strained to loose a cry of pain…tears formed and leaked at the edge of closed eyes as he failed. The pain eventually faded and his exhausted body slumped into blissful oblivion.[/pre]


You know, if it gets that painful, usually the person wakes up.

[pre]Away to the east, in an ordinary street within an ordinary town, an unusual and unnoticed event occurred. There lay, in a dilapidated house darkened by the death of an innocent, the body of an old woman cruelly murdered. Her once bright hair was now dull, tarnished by dirt-by blood and her once whole chest now bore a terrible wound. Her body, cold with death, began to jerk and twitch uncontrollably and slowly—slowly a form began to emerge. First a ghostly beak, followed by a large body and truly massive wings; a Spirit Eagle took to the air. The physical world having no barrier it could not cross; it shot through the roof and into the night sky. Circling once over the house and loosing a heart-wrenching mourning cry; it paid homage to the old woman, before speeding away.[/pre]


Well, that's nice. Now that the woman is dead, can we get on with the story?

[pre]Through a window illuminated by moonlight, the bird flew, with unerring accuracy to the sleeping heir of a forgotten legacy. Without hesitation the Spirit Eagle dove, straight through the boy’s chest, to reside at his spiritual core. For a moment there was no sign that anything had even happened—then slowly an exquisitely detailed picture of an eagle began to burn into his skin. Thankfully the boy was thoroughly unconscious as this was extremely painful. As the welts began to fade, there remained an artful tattoo depicting an eagle; wings outstretched, talons poised.[/pre]

That day a boy died. A Shaman was born.


I'd be dead too if my Mom found a tattoo on me. I think the tattoo is rather unnecessary, it seems to take away from the spiritual significance. Also, giving away that the guy is the Shaman is probably not a smart thing to do on the first chapter. By leaving that small confirmation out, we can lead our readers on to believe that the Shaman is another person that is to train this guy.

In real life, fooling other people is dishonest. In writing, fooling your readers is necessary.




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:28 am
Ego wrote a review...



I'm really liking this so far, Jiggy.

I really think you try to make it too poetic, perhaps too complicated. You seem to use a lot of big words, which only complicates the sotry and takes away from the actual events. I think if you used simpler words that mean the same thing, it will read much more smoothly.

The old woman let her arms fall back to her sides, lowered her head to look straight ahead and spoke to the shadows: “Show thyself” she said “I know you remain yet.” From the darkness there came a hearty chuckle, and slowly the night manifested itself into the form of a tall man who proceeded to stride into the light, smiling broadly. “I applaud your efforts madam” he said clapping slowly “But I am, shall we say, beyond the scope of your powers”. Even as he was saying this she was shaking her head, trying to deny what she was seeing; if it proved true her life was forfeit. For she looked upon the form of Ankhar the Servant of Death.


Should read;

"The old woman let her arms fall back to her sides, lowered her head to look straight ahead and spoke to the shadows: “Show thyself” she said “I know you remain yet.” From the darkness there came a hearty chuckle, and slowly the night manifested itself into the form of a tall man who proceeded to stride into the light, smiling broadly.

“I applaud your efforts madam” he said clapping slowly “But I am, shall we say, beyond the scope of your powers”. Even as he was saying this she was shaking her head, trying to deny what she was seeing; if it proved true her life was forfeit. For she looked upon the form of Ankhar the Servant of Death."

A paragraph break where a new speaker says something is always good.

You second part actually read a lot better than the first, most likely because you stopped using the big, complicated words. Sometimes simplicity is infinitely better than complicatenedness. The secret is knowing when. In this case, the simplicity of the second part makes it much easier to read.

Good stuff, keep it comin' eh.

--Dono




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:38 am
Jiggity says...



PROLOGUE

In an ordinary world, through an ordinary town, in which there was an ordinary street, there walked a…not so ordinary woman. Short in stature, she had a sturdy frame complemented by a full thatch of snow white hair pulled back in a tight bun. Clutching her bag to her chest, she walked forth slowly, with a determination that seemed to belie her elderly frame. Down the tree lined avenue, past the moonlit suburban homes, she walked until-at last-she reached her destination. Slightly out of breath, she straightened her bent posture, blew a few stray white hairs away from her face and critically appraised the home she had journeyed so far to see.

At first glance all appeared well, but upon closer inspection it was clear something was not right. The broken toys on the lawn, the covered windows, and the overall look of disrepair-of neglect-told another story. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath then followed that inhalation down to her core, there to find a power; a gift handed down through her line since the time when it was given; eons ago. Touching it fired her blood and heightened her senses, allowing her to see with the acuity of an eagle and smell with the sharpness of a wolf...the pervading odour was one of decay. Calling upon her power, she drew it upwards, and opened her eyes to look upon the Unseen World. The buildings, and trees, were all the same but overlaying them now was a ghostly radiance which in most cases shone brightly…all except for the house in front of her—smothered in darkness, it literally pulsed out evil.

Stilling instinctive recoil, the old woman took a steadying breath and calmed her recalcitrant stomach. Slowly, she approached the door. By the time she reached the doorstep—and it seemed like forever—everything in her was screaming Leave! Leave! Be gone from this place of evil!!! But she could not, for she had a duty to fulfil. Raising a shaking hand she extended her arm outwards, to knock on the door, only to have the door swing open at the faintest touch. Following the eerie creak she stepped forward into a well of darkness, silence…anticipation? Looking around she was able to make out a couch, a TV on a stand, and at the back of the room a dusty looking staircase leading up into the unknown. Her skin rippled with goosebumps as a sense of intense menace; of malevolence washed over her. For a moment nothing happened and she was relieved- then with a heart-wrenching slam the door banged shut behind her, enclosing her in night. There a followed a howl of utter fury and a rushing wind, stirring the darkness all about her-tearing, ripping, snatching at her. Lights flashed- blinding her, dogs barked- deafening her. Windows opened and shut- distracting her.

Thrusting aside her growing fear - the old woman stayed utterly still, testing, searching for any weakening. She had to draw on reserves she didn’t know she had to perform this feat, but do it she did. Sensing a momentary diminishing, she threw her arms open; her head back…and began to hum an ancient mantra. As the first pure notes hit the air, her skin began to glow, enhancing the brightness of her white hair. All around her motes of incandescent light began to appear; swirling around her in a cyclone of radiant brilliance. The song grew in complexity, harmony, and beauty—overwhelming all else-- until by the last dazzling crescendo the darkness had retreated, the wind died down, the dogs had been silenced and all was returned to the norm.

The old woman let her arms fall back to her sides, lowered her head to look straight ahead and spoke to the shadows: “Show thyself” she said “I know you remain yet.” From the darkness there came a hearty chuckle, and slowly the night manifested itself into the form of a tall man who proceeded to stride into the light, smiling broadly.[/pre]

“I applaud your efforts madam,” he said clapping slowly, “But I am, shall we say, beyond the scope of your powers." Even as he was saying this she was shaking her head, trying to deny what she was seeing; if it proved true her life was forfeit-- she looked upon the form of Ankhar the self-titled Servant of Death.

"No, no, no, NO!" she shouted this last denial. "This cannot be. You and thy kind were banished from this Realm!!" Thoroughly unperturbed by this outburst, Ankhar merely dusted the spittle from his immaculately tailored grey-and white manservant uniform. Doffing his bowler hat; with an unnaturally wide grin slicing open across his face, he said: “The key word in that sentence, madam, was were." Now with an unmistakeable menace in his eyes: "We were banished..."

*******************************

The boy twisted and turned; sweat pouring off his weakly struggling form. His legs were tangled in twisted sheets and he tried, in vain, to cry out-to somehow escape from a nightmare that had him thoroughly ensnared:[

Across the road, through a window in a derelict house, he saw: there was an old woman with glowing white hair having what was obviously a heated exchange with a man…clothed exactly like and with the mannerisms of; a butler. If that was odd then what happened next was frighteningly unusual. The “butler” grabbed an obsidian spear from apparent nothingness and in one smooth motion hurled it…

Moonlight streamed through the window illuminating the room; casting a silver glow over the bed in which the boy slept- not as restfully as he might wish. A light breeze stirred the pale, see-through curtains, alleviating a little of the oppressive heat and bringing some relief to the sweating boy. Beneath closed lids his eyes rolled frantically as he desperately tried to escape …not wanting to see the grisly end. His eyelids fluttered fitfully and for a moment it seemed as if he would wake—then his head snapped backwards and he was ripped back into the dream:

There was a soundless explosion of light-blinding him-he couldn’t see anything! He cried out, but what emerged was not the frightened cry of a boy; instead the harsh cry of a golden eagle invaded the silent night. What was this? He ruffled his feathers in an agitation that faded as his visibility returned. He could dimly see two figures struggling but who was winning? Spreading his wings to an impressive 10 ft, he dived straight down from the branch on which he was perched- giving the hapless boy vertigo-then rose steeply, on silent wings. As he closed the distance his keen eyesight returned—just in time to see the man plunge the spear into the now cowering old woman. He screamed in pain as he felt something rip through his chest…losing control, he spiraled down to slam into the ground in a flurry of feathers…

The boy's back arched; mouth open in a silent scream of agony. The chords and veins in his neck clearly visible as he strained to loose a cry of pain…tears formed and leaked at the edge of closed eyes as he failed. The pain eventually faded and his exhausted body slumped into blissful oblivion.

Away to the east, in an ordinary street within an ordinary town, an unusual and unnoticed event occurred. There lay, in a dilapidated house darkened by the death of an innocent, the body of an old woman cruelly murdered. Her once bright hair was now dull, tarnished by dirt-by blood and her once whole chest now bore a terrible wound. Her body, cold with death, began to jerk and twitch uncontrollably and slowly—slowly a form began to emerge. First a ghostly beak, followed by a large body and truly massive wings; a Spirit Eagle wrestled its way free and took to the air. The physical world having no barrier it could not cross; it shot through the roof and into the night sky. Circling once over the house and loosing a heart-wrenching mourning cry; it paid homage to the old woman, before speeding away.

Through a window illuminated by moonlight, the bird flew, with unerring accuracy to the sleeping heir of a forgotten legacy. Without hesitation the Spirit Eagle dove, straight through the boy’s chest, there to reside at his spiritual core. For a moment there was no sign that anything had even happened—then slowly an exquisitely detailed picture of an eagle began to burn into his skin. Thankfully the boy was thoroughly unconscious as this was extremely painful. As the welts began to fade, there remained an artful tattoo depicting an eagle; wings outstretched, talons poised.

That day a boy died. A Shaman was born.




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:19 am
Jiggity says...



there to find a unique power handed down through her line since time immemorial


I altered that a little, but Im not sure exactly what it is that was cliched so it may not have changed in that sense.

I think you could really get a great story out of this so please don't disappoint with further chapters!


Are you telling me not to continue with the story or are you merely pressuring me to ensure that the next installment is really good?

p.s-there was nothing bad about your story, just some minor stuff like misspelling etc.




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Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:55 am
Ani May Queen wrote a review...



In an ordinary world, through an ordinary town, in which there was an ordinary street, there walked a…not so ordinary woman.


I like the opening, its different and not clichéd. But maybe try out some different wording. And you don’t really say why she’s so “not so ordinary” to the sense. True, we find out latter, but what’s so weird about a lady out for a walk? Is she wearing anything weird? Does she have any unusual features?

there to find a unique power handed down through her line since time immemorial.


This though, is a little clichéd. It’s good, but it could be better.

She had to draw on reserves she didn’t know she had to perform this feat, but do it she did.


The “but do it she did” sounds…weird. Maybe if you cut out the “do it” part and just have it “But she did it.” It would be better.

From the darkness there came a hearty chuckle, and slowly the night resolved itself into the form of a tall man who proceeded to stride into the light, smiling broadly.


Instead of resolved, I think manifested might be a better word. It sounds eviler.

Doffing his bowler hat; with an unnaturally wide grin slicing open across his face,


I love the wording “slicing open.” Its extremely descriptive.

I love the description and the wording, please keep that up. I like the ending of this part to, very nice cliff-hanger, leaves you waiting for more. I think you could really get a great story out of this so please don't disappoint with further chapters!

P.S. I want to know what exactly you thinks bad about my story so please tell me, I'd value your option very much.




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Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am
Jiggity says...



Thanks guys. Twilight, you have the right of it; it was a sort of excorcism. I havent written the story in its entirety yet...actually to be truthful I wrote the prologue on the fly, so im not entirely sure where its going to go-- but i think i can safely say its set in modern times: where there is a severe shortage of shamans! lol. The next installment will be along shortly.

Once again, thanks for input.




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Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:40 pm
*Twilight* wrote a review...



I love anything paranormal it is sort of a magnet to me I can't stay away from this stuff. I'm quite familiar with shamans so the story wasn't confusing to me in fact it was interesting. I like the way you describe how she draws out the evil I guess you'd call it an exorcism or something. The detail was enough to paint a simple picture in my mind in my mind. You did say it was a normal town but is it in modern times or is it set in a different era? That is the main thing on my mind. I don't quite know how the story will turn out but so far so good. I'll keep reading as long as you keep posting.




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Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:59 am
Jiggity says...



Halleleujay!! (is that spelt right?) Thank you, very much. I appreciate it.




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Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:03 am
J. Haux wrote a review...



Don't thank me yet. :wink: I'm not sure if you expected me to write more, or not, but I will anyway.

1. I'm not sure how it fits into the rest of the story. maybe you could give some more clarity. I'm not sure, though, because I haven't seen the story. More description and detail couldn't hurt. For example, the street scene. What about it seems ordinary? Does the lady seem to fit in, or does she stand out immediately with having dealings with the supernatural?
2. You could do more with some diction, you could toy with more hook options (whatever it is that grabs the reader at the beginning). I think you could use the same idea, but maybe take it from a different angle. Try different tones. Maybe you want foreboding at the very beginning. Mess around with it.
3. Some of your diction was well-chosen, ex. the smile slicing his face :D Unpleasant.
4. It probably does illustrate the mood of your story, but I'll let you decide. I can try to tell you, but I'm not very good. Hm...Sort of has the feeling of an old-world being revived into a new era, one we're familiar with (maybe?) so that it feels closer to home. Foreboding, impending doom...?? :?:

I may be wrong, but there is never any harm in experimenting and revising (unless, of course, you haven't finished writing the story. Then I would advise doing that first, from personal experience and lectures I've gotten. Endless revising and no task-orientation is my weakness). I'd like to see some more detail and description, possibly, but that's up to you. You don't have to overdo it, but more wouldn't hurt.

Clutching her bag to her chest, she ambled forth slowly, with a determination that seemed to belie her elderly frame.
This is a little diction thing. The use of the word 'amble' may not be so effective.

Here's one definition of 'amble'.
To walk slowly or leisurely; stroll.

Noone ambles with determination, and the lady is certainly determined. She knows she has a job on her hands.

Again, some more detail and description couldn't hurt.

~Jacquie~




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Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:12 am
Jiggity says...



No please, dont inundate me with opinions.
and I accidentally cut out "feedback appreciated" in the original post. Just incase you were wondering.




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Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:45 am
Jiggity says...



In case the last part was missed I will repeat it again: Feedback appreciated!
Was it an appropriate prologue?, did it tell you enough about the nature of the story? Was it poorly written, etc.
Come on ppl help me out.





I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom