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E - Everyone

A Painter & Writer's Magic [Chapter 5]

by Liberty


Last Line(s): “You won’t understand the importance until you see for yourself, huh?” Akol smirked. “Then I’ll take you to the Ditch of Demons and Devils then.” Akol scowled. With a snap of his fingers, everything went black.

Chapter 5

It was a while before Will and Audrey came to from their unconscious state. The last thing either of them remembered was darkness engulfing their messed up kitchen.

Will groaned, clutching his head. He was on his back, on something rough. His eyes fluttered open. All around him, he saw tall, lifeless trees towering up to the skies. “Aud…” he propped himself up on his elbows, painfully at that.

Audrey was somewhere farther away from her husband. She was still gagged, but her wrists and ankles were free now. She didn’t notice until she held onto her head to steady herself from her dizziness when she stood up. She looked around her. It was the same view as Will’s - lifeless black trees, as tall as skyscrapers. Her hands now untied, she rubbed her wrists to let the blood flow more easily and untied the dirty cloth in from her mouth.

“Disgusting.” she spat, and tossed it on the ground. She turned around, hoping to bump into Will, or at least Akol. She was met with trees again. Frightened, she let out a blood curdling scream.

Will swiveled around to the sound of the scream. “Aud, is that you?” he called out.

“Will?” she shrieked.

“Yeah, it’s me. Stay where you are.” Will said, trying to keep a steady voice. “Do you have your phone with you?” he asked loudly enough for Audrey to hear him.

“Yes!”

“Turn on the flashlight!” he squinted through the darkness, trying to catch a glimpse of anything that moved.

Audrey did as asked. She turned on her phone - it was at a hundred percent. She silently cheered at that. She clicked the flashlight icon and waved her phone around in the air. “Over here!” Will trudged through the dark forest, tripping over roots and stones, getting closer and closer to where Audrey was at.

Audrey dropped her phone when she saw her husband. “Will!” she exclaimed, and ran towards him, hands outstretched. Something rustled in the dead bushes, making Audrey yelp and run faster towards Will. Will embraced her and squeezed her tight. “There’s something in the bushes.”

Will smirked behind her. “Oh, I didn’t know that. I definitly didn't hear anything.”

Despite her smile, Audrey pulled away and punched him in the stomach. Will crossed his eyes. “What is it with you and punching my stomach nowadays?” he asked, scrunching his nose. Audrey rolled her eyes.

Then realizing they were in the middle of nowhere, the couple, frightened, looked around and studied their surroundings. The forest was dense. It looked even more dense in the darkness of the night. The moon wasn’t even showing, and both of them doubted there even was a moon here. Where they were standing, it was a clearing. Will studied the bush that had rustled.

He shuffled towards Audrey’s phone, Audrey clutching his hand tightly. Will snatched up the phone and put it in Audrey’s jean’s pocket. “Don’t lose it.”

Audrey nodded, still watching the bush intently.

Just then, they heard someone mutter: “I swear to all the devils, I need to get used to snapping into different places.”

It was a familiar voice. Will and Audrey stood, frozen, afraid to even breathe in case it wasn’t who they thought it was. But thankfully, out crawled Akol, disgruntled. Audrey would have hugged him if he wasn’t a devil. Akol looked up at the two. Startled, he sprung up and brushed off the dirt from his suit. “Very well.” he said formally.

Audrey raised her brows and Will clacked his tongue.

“Now that you’re in our Ditch -”

“This place doesn’t look much like a ditch. Why’s it called a ditch?” Will asked, trying to stall him. He didn’t want to experience anymore magic - or whatever this was - because he still hadn’t made sense of what had happened.

“We like to call it a ditch, because ditch starts with a d and as do devils and demons.” Akol growled, walking towards the couple. “Never mind -”

“That’s dumb.” Audrey said, sensing Will’s tension.

“Would you stop interrupting me?” Akol yelled, throwing up his long arms in exasperation.

“No.” Will said flatly. “Why are we here?”

“Because you wouldn’t believe me! The Ditch needs your help.” he looked straight at Audrey, desperate for her to understand his needs. “We need your art so you can bring everything we lost back to life before we’re attacked again.”

Audrey sighed. “You do realize I still don’t know what you’re talking about?” she asked.

Akol gave her a look of confusion. “What do you mean?”

“You jerk, she’s been asking you what the bloody hell her powers are and you’ve been dodging it ever since you told her about it.” Will snapped. He squeezed Audrey’s hand.

“Oh.” Akol sat down on the rocky ground and held his head in his hands. “Well. You paint.”

“No sh -” Will was about to curse but Audrey elbowed him in the ribs and made a shushing sound. Will stuck out his tongue. “Continue.” he ordered.

“You paint life. Whatever you paint, it can come to life, but only if you recite a spell. If any of the devils or demons take your painting and recite the spell on it, it won’t work. We need the painter to blow life into the painting.” Akol explained, head still in his hands.

Audrey squinted. “What?”

“What else did you expect?” Will asked. “It’s magic.”

“Oh so you suddenly believe in magic?” Audrey asked him.

“Who said I never did?”

“I dunno, it’s not like you always ignored me when I talked about it.”

“You never talked about magic, you talked about him.” Will gestured accusingly at Akol.

“He has a name!”

“STOP FIGHTING!” Akol yelled. He was on his feet in an instant, back to his scary form. His eyes were red again, and he looked like he was someone who went to the gym way too often, doing deadlifts everyday. Audrey cowered and hid behind Will.

Will scowled. “Making yourself look strong doesn’t make your words stronger.”

“Shut up!” Akol said. His voice was way deeper now - it sounded as if it echoed off the tall and wide trees. Slowly but surely, he transformed back into his normal self. “Please. Be quiet. If you two fight like this - which is very common with humans if they enter the Ditch - you’ll both be separated and the magic won’t work. Both your magics won’t work.”

The couple studied Akol. He really did look desperate and Will almost pitied him. Almost. “What do you need with me?” Will asked.

“You two need to stick together for the magic to work. Since you’re both soulmates - in human language: married - you both have to be together if one of you can use magic.” Akol explained as patiently as he could - which wasn’t very patient.

A silence fell over the three. No one talked. Each of them could almost see each others’ mechanisms in their minds moving. Akol made sure not to say a word in case that would reject him. Even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to get back to Earth. They would need him to do that. The wind started getting prickly and there was light peeking over the horizon. Morning was arriving.

Audrey stepped forward. “Fine.” she said. “We’ll help.”

Akol gave her a wide grin. “Thank you!”

Will was fine with Audrey’s decision. As long as she was safe, he was fine with it all. “One question.” he spoke up. Akol smiled wider at him, urging him to speak. “Why are your eyes red to me and black to Aud?”

Akol chuckled. “Everyone sees me differently.”


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LadyVendetta wrote a review...



Hiya Libs, long time no chat :P! I gave myself a lecture on puns and how it scares off people, I'm 5 reviews away from my next star, and I love your story. Let's get started!

It was a while before Will and Audrey came to from their unconscious state. The last thing either of them remembered was darkness engulfing their messed up kitchen.

Will, will will, let’s see what’s going on!
[I’m sorry, I can’t stop! They just get worse and I have no akol over it. SEEE IT GETS WORSE[/s]

But, horrible puns aside, a decent start, right where we left off.

Audrey was somewhere farther away from her husband. She was still gagged, but her wrists and ankles were free now. She didn’t notice until she held onto her head to steady herself from her dizziness when she stood up. She looked around her. It was the same view as Will’s - lifeless black trees, as tall as skyscrapers. Her hands now untied, she rubbed her wrists to let the blood flow more easily and untied the dirty cloth in from her mouth.

Come on, this is wordy. Separate it into two! It’s a whole new action in the second part, so that means change it up

Audrey was somewhere farther away from her husband. She was still gagged, but her wrists and ankles were free now. She didn’t notice until she held onto her head to steady herself from her dizziness when she stood up.
She looked around her. It was the same view as Will’s - lifeless black trees, as tall as skyscrapers. Her hands now untied, she rubbed her wrists to let the blood flow more easily and untied the dirty cloth in from her mouth.


More readable now!

Audrey did as asked. She turned on her phone - it was at a hundred percent. She silently cheered at that. She clicked the flashlight icon and waved her phone around in the air. “Over here!” Will trudged through the dark forest, tripping over roots and stones, getting closer and closer to where Audrey was at.

You ended on a preposition. Where Audrey was is the correct way. I smile. For this small revenge I can impact from the years I spent as you brutally pointed out my flaws :P XDD

Also, the flow is getting whacky again. The sentences feel too short and they fail to glide. I know I’ve said this before, but read them aloud and you’ll see how stunted it feels.

Will smirked behind her. “Oh, I didn’t know that. I definitly didn't hear anything.”

K, this is a really weird time to be smirking, teasing, joking, and all that. I’ve mentioned how their reactions don’t feel so appropriate and this is one of those times. If you feel unsure, just ask yourself, whould I say that in this situation?
Also, you spelled definitely wrong.

“We like to call it a ditch, because ditch starts with a d and as do devils and demons.” Akol growled, walking towards the couple. “Never mind -”

Hehe. That’s funny. But could you pleases go into more depth about what it looks like, the feels, smeels, how uncomfortable it makes them, the sounds, etc. Make me feel like I’m in it, not just watching!

“No.” Will said flatly. “Why are we here?”

I love all three of their personalities and how they clash XD

“No sh -” Will was about to curse but Audrey elbowed him in the ribs and made a shushing sound. Will stuck out his tongue. “Continue.”

Again with the immature streak, work on making them more dimensioned, flawed adults

“He has a name!”

For someone who was bound up by him, insulted, and harassed, she sure is polite. Though she seemed to take crap from nobody in chapter one. Make sure you’re character’s stay more even throughout the series! I know how hard it can be to remember every detail, but it’s a big personality trait that suddenly changed. Is it decent human respect? He isn't human :P

Both your magics won’t work.”
The couple studied Akol. He really did look desperate and Will almost pitied him. Almost. “What do you need with me?” Will asked.


Wait, I don’t think you mentioned WIll had one. Why suddenly bring it up, why isn’t he more surprised? Or maybe I’m missing something again.

Audrey stepped forward. “Fine.” she said. “We’ll help.”
Akol gave her a wide grin. “Thank you!”

That easily? They give me the impression that they try to stay out of demon’s worlds, as most people do. Maybe he could have some dirt on them for blackmail, or a promising reward?

OVERALL:

Another great chapter. Just adjust that flow, keep your eyes on those reactions, and add some more depth! I love this story so far and it’s amazing for a first draft!

I hope I’m not being too nit-picky and I promise I’m not trying to co-write with all my suggestions. I think I’ll probably go to bed now and I’ll do more tomorrow. Hope this helped!


Jade




Liberty says...


Yes it definitly helped. :P Thanks for the review and I'm so sorry I kept you up! ;-;



LadyVendetta says...


It's fine, I had poetry to write afterwards anyway. Of course I wait until the end of April for my last 3 poems



Liberty says...


X3



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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hey!

Finally they have reached the Ditch. It is so lovely to see how much Will and Aud care about each other.

Despite her smile, Audrey pulled away and punched him in the stomach. Will crossed his eyes. “What is it with you and punching my stomach nowadays?” he asked, scrunching his nose.

Even when they are teasing each other or arguing you can clearly see their love and affection.
It's the first time I have heard that mobile phone has got 100% charge in a time of crisis.Usually in the movies, they never work or are dead when needed the most. :-P lol
“We like to call it a ditch, because ditch starts with a d and as do devils and demons.”

That's really a lame reason I never expected ,though I like it ;). Akol is so amusing. You are developing his character so nicely. Even though he is the Devil but I have started liking him a lot. He even said 'please' while requesting them to stop fighting, never expected this much of civility from a Devil/Demon.
Will scowled. “Making yourself look strong doesn’t make your words stronger.”

Will got the guts to speak without fear.

I am eager to know how Will is gonna help Audrey in her magic. I mean the title does mention about the writer so I wonder if his own skills are going to help save Akol's home.

ohh you have a habit of ending each chapter on a cliffhanger! I really want to know what does he actually mean when he says “Everyone sees me differently.” What makes Will see him differently?Why red? Aud once mentioned that Will is using the word 'bloody' too often. May be something is yet to come up in the story about Will.

Good work with the chapter. :)




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! The civility of the devils will make sense later on, I promise, lol. c:



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Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:08 pm
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MeherazulAzim16 wrote a review...



Hi Hedwiggle!

This review's coming a little late. I haven't been feeling like reviewing stuff lately for whatever reason. Anyway, let's get right into it.

Then realizing they were in the middle of nowhere, the couple, frightened, looked around and studied their surroundings.


I felt like this realization came late. The banter beforehand—

“There’s something in the bushes.”

Will smirked behind her. “Oh, I didn’t know that. I definitly didn't hear anything.”

Despite her smile, Audrey pulled away and punched him in the stomach. Will crossed his eyes. “What is it with you and punching my stomach nowadays?”


—had humor but it was a little out of place, especially right after they noticed something move in the bushes. Unless they've encountered any supernatural phenomena before, it's odd how comfortable they are in this setting.

“Please. Be quiet. If you two fight like this - which is very common with humans if they enter the Ditch.


So humans have been to the ditch before. I really wanna know what this place really is. I can't seem to buy Akol's explanation for the nomenclature either — Akol might as well just have made a sarcastic remark there. But do humans get argumentative in the ditch because of some supernatural influence or is it merely a psychological thing? It's understandable that they'd be tense after finding themselves in a setting like this.

“You paint life. Whatever you paint, it can come to life, but only if you recite a spell. If any of the devils or demons take your painting and recite the spell on it, it won’t work. We need the painter to blow life into the painting.” Akol explained, head still in his hands.


I like the exposition here. Precisely done. Akol explains how Aud's power works, under what circumstances it wouldn't work or why it hasn't accidentally worked before, and why he needs Aud herself — because he could have pretended to be an enthusiast or a customer/buyer and paid her for paintings — to presumably rebuild something. It makes more sense now why Aud didn't know about her powers.

And that's the review. I've already read the next chapter once. I don't know if I'll get to review it today, but I'm hooked. I like the current title but I was wondering how "Painting by Letters" would be. Will seems to have something going on with his writing too, thus letters. It could also be a metaphor for 'the ditch,' considering the literal sense. Colors filling up the outlined letters the way water would fill up a ditch. It's probably too late but still throwing it out there!

Excelsior!

~MAS




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review and I really like your title suggestion! I'll think over it. ^^



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Magebird wrote a review...



Hello again! Now that I've reached the last chapter you've posted, here's the promised review.

Before I start reviewing this chapter - or even reading it - I just want to say how excited I am to see what Akol's home looks like. I'm always down for seeing other worlds in fiction, and I've definitely taken a liking to Akol.

Now, time to get into the actual review!

She looked around her. It was the same view as Will’s - lifeless black trees, as tall as skyscrapers.


I like how you reinforced the description Will gave. I'm someone who has the bad habit of skimming over description, so this was a good reminder - and it was neat seeing how different you worded it between the two.

She turned around, hoping to bump into Will, or at least Akol.


You know it's bad when you're looking for the guy who captured and kidnapped you. :P

She turned on her phone - it was at a hundred percent. She silently cheered at that.


Audrey is a mood!

Then realizing they were in the middle of nowhere, the couple, frightened, looked around and studied their surroundings. The forest was dense. It looked even more dense in the darkness of the night. The moon wasn’t even showing, and both of them doubted there even was a moon here. Where they were standing, it was a clearing. Will studied the bush that had rustled.


The last sentence should probably be its own paragraph, but I just really love this paragraph in general? I know I've already gushed about this, but Audrey and Will are a seriously cute couple. Most stories involve people falling in love, but these two are already in love with each other. I just really love seeing the two of them dealing with this together - and being adorable while they're at it.

Plus, I love the Ditch already. It's really fitting for a person like Akol, and also has the potential to have a hidden beauty to it.

Just then, they heard someone mutter: “I swear to all the devils, I need to get used to snapping into different places.”

It was a familiar voice. Will and Audrey stood, frozen, afraid to even breathe in case it wasn’t who they thought it was. But thankfully, out crawled Akol, disgruntled. Audrey would have hugged him if he wasn’t a devil. Akol looked up at the two. Startled, he sprung up and brushed off the dirt from his suit. “Very well.” he said formally.


The last sentence should also be its own paragraph, but man. You're really making me love Akol! He's supposed to be this cool, suave leader, but he's seeming more and more like a dork.

“We like to call it a ditch, because ditch starts with a d and as do devils and demons.” Akol growled, walking towards the couple.


The demons/devils like puns I'm dying-

“You two need to stick together for the magic to work. Since you’re both soulmates - in human language: married - you both have to be together if one of you can use magic.” Akol explained as patiently as he could - which wasn’t very patient.


There should be a comma instead of a period at the very end of that quote. Also: awww! That's such a cute idea, and I can see that becoming a problem later on in the story if someone separates them.

Akol gave her a wide grin. “Thank you!”


Image

Akol is happy I can go about my day in peace now-

Akol chuckled. “Everyone sees me differently.”


I'd love to end my review on that last comment, but this part was just too intriguing not to mention! That does partially answer Will's question, but my question is why he saw red instead of Audrey's black. I'm guessing it has to do with their magic - because Will has to be the writer in the title of your book - but it might just be a cool way to spice up the magic.

All in all, I'm really enjoying your novel so far! I don't have any major critiques on it. The pacing is great, the characters are lovable/interesting/have good chemistry, and the world building is amazing.

Please tag me when you post more!




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review (and all the previous comments - they're so sweet!) and I'm so so so happy that you're enjoying this! I'll hopefully have the next chapter up today or tomorrow so I'll definitely tag you. ^-^



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4revgreen wrote a review...



Hey there! I'm finally reviewing this next part!

Something rustled in the dead bushes, making Audrey yelp and run faster towards Will. Will embraced her and squeezed her tight.

Here, you've used Will's name twice next to each other. I'd suggest maybe changing the second one to "He"

Okay, so I absolutely loved all the dialogue in this chapter. The relationship that Will and Audrey have is adorable (Coincidently, they're two of my favourite names!) and it's such a realistic relationship too, as they clearly get annoyed at each other.

I love Akol. He's just so funny! I love how annoyed he'd getting at these humans!

The only slight criticism I'd give is that some more detailed description would be nice, as this is a new place for Audrey and Will, so it'd be nice to see it brought to life. Other than, I actually can't wait for the next chapter now!

Keep writing! :-)




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! I'm pretty bad at description so I sometimes feel like dodging it and getting right to dialogue. :p But I'll try to add more in the next chapters! Thanks again! :)



4revgreen says...


I always do the opposite lol! I tend to skip dialogue and go straight to the description aha, I feel like we'd make a great writing team :-)



Liberty says...


If you really think so... I have an idea if you really wanna team up for writing?



4revgreen says...


Ooh I'd love to hear it! I've never actually written something with another person before so it could be a new experience for me lol



Liberty says...


Ooh, this is gunna be fun. I'll PM you!



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Necromancer14 wrote a review...



Okay! I haven't read the previous chapters, so the devil guy caught me by surprise. This chapter was quite good, and it kept my attention the whole way through, so good job!

Here's my review:

"All around him, he saw tall, lifeless trees"

You don't need the comma after "him". It's more grammatically correct without it.

"She didn’t notice until she held onto her head to steady herself from her dizziness when she stood up"

This reads confusingly. I had to read it several times to realize what you meant. The "She didn't notice until she held onto her head" doesn't make sense. I know you mean that she was holding her head, but the way you wrote it makes it seem like she's holding something onto her head, except she's not. Its also slightly confusing as to what she's noticing. They only way I'd know is from reading the previous sentence and piecing it together. I'd recommend saying something more like this: "She didn't notice that wonderful fact until she grabbed her head in an attempt to steady herself from the barrage of dizziness that suddenly hit her"

"getting closer and closer to where Audrey was at. "

There's nothing specifically wrong with this, but it would be better to substitute "at" for something better like "located" or "positioned"

Overall I really like this chapter. It had that wonderful quality where you start to feel like you're in the book yourself, and you forget you're even reading. That means you did a really good job with the dialogue, and you did a pretty good job with the description too.

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




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review! :)





No problem




cron
I communicate much better on paper than I do when I open my mouth.
— Aaron Sorkin