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(LMSVI) The Ruptured Shadow, Chapter 3.4

by KateHardy


Sally whirled around, already nodding so fast she probably resembled a bobble head in that moment.

“Coming, coming. I just wanted to make sure it was all… it was all in the right place and all. You never know with these rooms sometimes.”

Anna frowned. “Sally, you, okay?”

“Why would I not be, okay?” Sally asked, trying to sound like she absolutely didn’t know the answer to that question.

“Because the Sally I know can come up with better excuses than that for staring off into space for no real reason.”

Sally gulped. Anna was far too good at turning all the tables on her. This was absolutely, utterly and completely unacceptable.

“I did have a reason. That was a real thing. You can’t prove otherwise, no didn’t you say we had an urgent matter to tend to. Why don’t we go ahead and tend to that one instead of worrying about me.”

She looked up to see Anna smirking, sharing a glance with Serafina. Before Sally could visibly shake a fist at Anna like a cartoon character she marched over. Maybe she needed to take a week off and avoid Anna. That seemed like a smart play here. She couldn’t be this off in balance, and in front of trainees no less.

“Hush you,” was all Sally managed before she got herself to the where the three of them were pointing to the large map at the front of the room.

“No, unfortunately I’m going to have to do this briefing here, so I can’t actually be hushed.”

Sally tried not to respond to that. The less words she used here, the less words were going to end up being thrown at her even more effectively than the ones already used.

“Alright, now that that’s all sorted. Let’s get to work. Before we completely get underway, I have to ask. You two are ready to potentially head out, well who am I kidding, to actively head out and take part in field work. I know you wouldn’t actually be here if you didn’t sign all those forms, but I know very well its one thing to be doing and then to actually be standing in front of your first deployment, especially in an emergency like this one.”

“We are ready to go Anna.” Said Serafina, her voice still that perfect monotone.

Safi, in a fashion that really, really shouldn’t be surprising Sally anymore, just smiled. “Oh, it’s going to be terrifying, but then we did sign up for exactly that so why would we back off right now when we actually get the chance to do something. I’m really excited for this.”

“Well, its potentially a horrifying case of a homicide,” said Anna. Sally had to refrain from jumping up and punching the air in triumph. She wasn’t the only one that Anna was going to be doing that to.

Safi predictably spluttered. “I. I didn’t mean it like that. Its. Umm field work. Excitement. Detective. Training.”

Serafina patted the girl on the shoulder. “Relax, Anna’s just messing with you.”

There was a squeak from Safi, which was a good thing because Sally was about to squeak herself. She did not see that coming. Serafina actually helping Safi out there. Now that, that was… going to get her another jab from Anna. Sally really needed to avoid being distracted right about now.

Anna, meanwhile, was too preoccupied laughing. “I’m so sorry, but the opportunity was just right there and there’s the irrational urge that one simply can’t ignore.”

Safi was nodding along, taking her turn as the room’s resident bobblehead while Serafina gave her two more pats on the shoulder before returning to her stiffer normal stance.

Sally absolutely did not stare for two seconds too long at the very sweet smile Safi flashed Serafina and she absolutely, definitely did not look at the very tiny twitch in Serafina’s own posture before she returned to normal.

Sally took a deep breath. This mission was going to be even harder than she’d initially though, although this particular side quest was going to be a lot more interesting that those normally tended to be.

Before Anna could call her out for being distracted again, Sally gestured to the blinking dot on the screen. “So, homicide. Tell us more. You did say this was urgent after all.”

“I did. And it is.”


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Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:42 am
Spearmint wrote a review...



Woot woot, last part of chapter 3! C: I’m intensely curious about the mission now, but I suppose some character interactions are fun too…

Sally whirled around, already nodding so fast she probably resembled a bobble head in that moment.

XD Your similes are on point. They add nice bits of humor to the novel!

”Why would I not be, okay?” Sally asked, trying to sound like she absolutely didn’t know the answer to that question.

Something seems rather off with Sally. I can’t think of anything that could’ve unsettled her like this, though?

“Because the Sally I know can come up with better excuses than that for staring off into space for no real reason.”

Wait... Maybe that slip into first person from the previous chapter… and Anna mentioning the Sally she knows... *gasp* Has Sally been taken over by a different being?? That would explain the mood swings here... Or is that too far-fetched— does she just feel really flustered around Anna? Or maybe it's the LMS time crunch. >.> If it is because of LMS, I feel like mentioning some of Sally's thoughts or making it a bit clearer as to why exactly she's so unbalanced here would be great! ^^

“No, unfortunately I’m going to have to do this briefing here, so I can’t actually be hushed.”

Ooh, that’s a good comeback, Anna. I’m not completely clear why Anna’s so good at flustering Sally (is it her sheer size? or does Sally have a crush on Anna?) but her ability is quite impressive. =P

Safi predictably spluttered. “I. I didn’t mean it like that. Its. Umm field work. Excitement. Detective. Training.”

XD Safi… Adorable.

Safi was nodding along, taking her turn as the room’s resident bobblehead while Serafina gave her two more pats on the shoulder before returning to her stiffer normal stance.

Haha, I love the callback to the bobblehead joke! And it's quite interesting to see Safi and Sera's relationship from the perspective of an outsider. That smile and that twitch... :eyes:

Sorry if this review was a bit disjointed; I’m on mobile right now. But thanks for the great chapter and have a marvelous day/night! =D




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Thu Dec 15, 2022 2:14 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi again Harry! Lim here with a short review.

First Impressions

So I’m feeling a little happy after reading this chapter, because yay, it looks like we’re getting some positive character development with two of the protagonists! I’m also a little stressed out because Sally’s stressed out. I wonder what’s going to happen when they start investigating the homicide? <.<

Plot and Characters

Maybe she needed to take a week off and avoid Anna. That seemed like a smart play here. She couldn’t be this off in balance, and in front of trainees no less.

Hmm Sally doesn’t like other people knowing stuff about her! It’s kind of interesting that she’s so intimidated by / generally uncomfortable around Anna compared to Ray. I also find that her relationship to Anna kind of parallels the one between Safi and Serafina, where they’re kind of friends at this point but also scared of each other?
Safi was nodding along, taking her turn as the room’s resident bobblehead while Serafina gave her two more pats on the shoulder before returning to her stiffer normal stance.

That’s a cute moment! Also it’s nice to see Serafina doing something that’s more out of her comfort zone than usual. I’m guessing she did that because a ‘senior’ worker of sorts said something that made Safi feel embarrassed and she feels an ‘extra’ need to show Safi she’s on her side? (Or at least, that’s how I think she’s going to rationalise it!)

Dialogue

As a whole, I like how the dialogue reflects the characters’ emotions. I think it’s neat that you use punctuation to show how the pauses or the tone might be spoken. I do at times find it hard to interpret the punctuation marks, though.
“Sally, you, okay?”

I think the commas are meant to be read as long pauses? Like Anna is going “Sally . . . you . . . okay?” That’s how I might punctuate it at least. I like how that shows her concern, if that’s how it’s meant to be interpreted c:
Another thing about the dialogue formatting that I think would help me understand / imagine how the characters are speaking would be length. If there is a bit of dialogue like this:
“I did have a reason. That was a real thing. You can’t prove otherwise, no didn’t you say we had an urgent matter to tend to. Why don’t we go ahead and tend to that one instead of worrying about me.”

I only have the words + punctuation to work off of for this whole stretch. There was the “Sally gulped” descriptor beforehand, but it might be nice to have a break in the middle of this dialogue to continue with more description just to make it clearer? For me it would also help comprehension by chunking the dialogue into smaller pieces. Just a suggestion, though!
“We are ready to go Anna.” Said Serafina, her voice still that perfect monotone.

I like how Serafina is saying “We are” instead of “we’re” ‘cause that emphasises how she’s being very formal and kind of detached in tone, so the dialogue style matches the description.

Overall

I’m eager to see Safi and Serafina’s POV on that interaction they shared, because I have a feeling they’d be thinking about it for a while after it happened. I’m also curious to see what the case is going to be about.

Hope this helps – keep writing!
-Lim




KateHardy says...


Thank youu for the review!! Some of these dialogue situations are very much the product of me just not having any time to edit before I'm submitting these to LMS at the last moment. I keep telling myself I'll go edit later but it has not happened yet xD



Liminality says...


Ah yup I can imagine LMS is a big time pressure factor! Good luck with your story!!



KateHardy says...


Thank youu!!




The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.
— Walter Benjamin