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Everbound Book One : Demon's and Books Oh My! ( Part 2.1)

by Moonlily


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

Hey everyone This might be one of my more unpolished updates and I am not as happy with it as I want to be. However, I spent two and a half weeks on this alone and I don't want to get in a perfectionist feedback loop. Regardless I hope you enjoy this tidbit to tide you over.

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By the time she had been slid into an old rickety office chair, both her protests and headache had given way. A cramped but quaint break room unfolded before her unscathed if the poor lifeless microwave didn't count. The bright green time had instead settled into a blank-faced blackness, and the overhead light flickered in pain.

All the same, Destiny fluttered back and forth, setting upon the cabinets like a stressed housewife, a cumbersome kettle in hand. The neutral colours failed to add a sense of sleek modernism as its cord slapped against the floor like a sad broken whip.

“So, what's first on the chopping block? You've indulged me enough, I suppose. “Said Destiny, her hand wedged between coffee-stained china.

“Where do I begin? There's too much here to unpack, firstly I don't even know who you are. Secondly, do you really think that will heat up?”

“Oh, please, this place is stronger than you might think, but I admire you for cutting to the chase.” She finished her short lap, mugs balanced worryingly loose in her grasp. “I guess you can call me an old family friend, hence knowing a bit too much. “

Lillian bared her weight onto the fake marble table, head propped up on her elbows like a pesky child. That, however, is where the innocence both started and ended. Her face sagged into a stony, almost exhausted expression, long overdue.

“I take that back, you must have hit your head because I have never seen you in my life. Unless I was with the wrong family for the last twenty-something years.“

Destiny held out her hand as if to shatter any further questions as she flicked on the tap

. “Let’s get this out of the way before you ask, no you're not adopted, and you certainly were not kidnapped.” She paused, trying to find the right words “Yes, I am very sure about that, being estranged doesn't mean being out of touch. I just didn't want to come off too strong, the universe knew the last thing you needed was a heart attack.”

Water stuttered from the tap into the kettle, its stream hesitant. The bubbling felt out of place, as if it belonged to a rustic forest or cozy old kitchen in the midafternoon. Boxes and ridged tins scraped against the cupboards before teetering on the edge.

“Estranged might be an understatement, so forgive me for being skeptical here as this feels more like a dream I shouldn't be entertaining.”

There was the clicking of a mechanical lid as Destiny lugged the kettle towards an aged outlet, trying to flee from the wall. Her eyes once again settled on the tins and boxes. One by one, they were retrieved with a gentle sniff, earthy coffee grounds mixed with sharp mints and ginger.

“Just remember, your need for answers can sometimes outweigh your common sense. Now I want an answer of my own while the water boils” A snap seemed to cue the bubbles to push and pull under the heat of steam forcing its way out. Destiny held up a few boxes in the air, a question forming on her lips.” Pick your poison, we got Ginger, Green Tea, Mint or good old Earl Gray.”

“Out of all your creepy knowledge, my tea preferences aren't included.”

“Well excuse me, you can't expect me to be a mind reader or even a fortune reader. No matter how dear it is to you,” Destiny, for a second, pushed the boxes apart as if they were glossy cards from a deck just shuffled. In place of a winning hand or some guidance was the fine print of labels.

Oh, oh okay…This is entering stalker territory now.

“How do you know my dad?”

“How can you not pick a tea? No tea, no talking.”

Lilian's eyes rolled in a tight, dramatic circle. Steam floated around the two as if to push the divide further, like fog over a cliff. The table creaked as she peered over, daring Destiny to look away, letting the seconds sharpen into a verbal period on the page as her lips twitched.

“Fine! Ginger, I'll pick Ginger, now I want answers.”

A whistle rang out in the room as if to redirect the anger towards itself. Destiny let out a hint of a smile as she slid open the folds of the box in a lax manner.

“Good choice, too bad it's not chamomile, you know, after all of that. “. Tea bags trailed her as she waved her hands. “As for your dad, I guess you could say I helped with his readings. “

Soon two steaming cups were placed on the table, the heat playing on Lilian's face like a soft tickle. Destiny spun around, pushing the remnant of a backless chair closer, before pausing at the paper towel on the counter.

“That's rich, I can't even get a personal one these days. After all, those damn cards take away from reality.” Lilian takes a coy sip, its warmth trickling into her throat” Perhaps you could have just said my parents have loose lips and we didn't have to be struck by actual lightning.”

Destiny Slipped back into her chair, hands bundled with paper towels like an indecisive mummy costume. Her face was a slideshow of amusement and the smallest sign of being offended hid in that still demeanour.

“Hey! That's low, blaming me for nature. I don't control the weather or anyone’s parents, but I can at least help you with your, uh, stress vomit.” A pile of paper towels slid towards Lilian as if it was an licit deal In a dingy back room involving some nameless drug.

“That's even worse phrasing, I don't lose my lunch every time I get a little stressed. “Despite the many forming arguments, mouths were indeed wiped like it was the aftermath of a casual meal “You might not control the weather but I still blame you for the creep factor and the lack of straight answers.”

“Look, All I said was that you can get answers, not straight ones, but you got them that is unless you have any more. “

“Who wouldn't have more? But we had some tea, we got some info that's good enough for me I should get back home. "The amusement shifted into a frown as Lilian backed out of her chair and slid the tea towards the center of the table.” Thank you for your kindness, I really hope you don't get fired. “

Her steps sounded a bit too loud as she walked towards the door, even if it was just a few inches. China clicked against glossy marble, catching on the scratches of everyday use.

“You don't want to go back to the start of this all. Times, not an issue, someone in your state wouldn't have a date or anything to get to.”

“That's just rude, and no offence, but I feel you have bigger messes to deal with.”

“The mess can be fixed, the journal, on the other hand, remains. How are you not the least bit curious? It just appeared, took out a table and made you hear voices.”

Did they switch to commissions or something?

“Oh, this was just one bizarre sales pitch, wasn't it? I was meant to be so moved I would be practically eating out of your hand, well no thank you Ma’am. “

“You know they say life's stranger than fiction and wouldn't you just love a break from the mundane?”

A harsh, cynical snort makes even Lilian take a half-step back for just a second.

“Yeah, not at the cost of my sanity. It's the only thing I have.”

“Okay, maybe not your sanity. How about a discount?”

Oh, great, she has jokes.

“What is this? The price is right? Please, all I want to do is go home.”

“I'll throw in an umbrella and leave you alone. It’s a win-win.”

There was a second of silence as an internal debate dragged on, before a long drawn-out sigh.

“How much? I better get that discount, on top of that.”

Wheels screeched as Destiny got up, arms spread wide, a smile growing. Now seeming more like a slimy car salesman than a grim lady of the house. For a second, the two lingered at the door frame like an awkward goodbye at a party.

“Excellent, see that wasn't too hard was it? I'll give it to you for ten, maybe eleven dollars, how about that?

“That can not be professional, like any of what just happened.”

“Have you seen the state of the store? One book is the least of our problems.”

Destiny walked away without a second thought, making Lilian follow behind her like a confused puppy. The smoke dwindled into a rancid smell mixed with a copper that clung to both clothes and nostrils as the two slipped back to where it all started.

“Are you sure you can't do five dollars?”

There was a breathy snicker hidden under the chimes and grinding gears of the old bronze register.

“We are still a bookstore, not a library. Be grateful I didn't go back on the discount. “

“Yeah, can’t blame me for trying though. I probably shouldn't push it, after all, you have to deal with this. “For the first time in a while, Lilian remembered the bag by her side, starting a search for a few crumpled bills or loose coins.

“I'm not that worried, to be honest. With a few helping hands it should be fixed in a snap.”

“That's very optimistic of you, it really did a number on this place. ”

A pile of ill-straightened bills formed on what untouched space was left by the register, the next few moments consisted of it changing hands and the sound of crunching glass. Soon the heft of the old leather book and its curling pages filled Lilian's arms. In the low light, it looked dreary, as if it belonged to the gray clouds and hissing winds. For now, it would be tucked into a rain-dappled bag resembling a packed lunch more than anything.

“Oh, I promised you something else, didn't I?”

Destiny's hand fell from the register into the space below her, waving it in unseen patterns. Then, as if a magician pulling a rabbit out of a top hat, she pulled the rubber handle of an umbrella upward. offering it to Lilian as if it were a flower not ready to bloom. What would have been white petals carry a sense of foreboding as it was dotted with crimson.

“What did you do? Attack someone with this on the way to work?”

“It’s artistic, you know, like paint.”

Once again Lilian's hands rested on the now burnt door knob, giving it a desperate twist, this time there was no chiming bell as her feet scuffled against scorched concrete. Her lungs took in drags of fresh, chilling air before that splattered flower bloomed to whisk her away safe from the downpour.

A dull snap filled the empty store, leaving what little remained to find the piece it had lost. Books slid from piles on the ground back into the dusty nooks and naked shelves. Glass shards spun and swirled in the air like puppets on a string. Each piece clicked together like a self-making puzzle, lightbulbs reshaped into teardrops, windows mended into panes. In the end, they snapped into place snug and unshaken as the bricks smoothed like wet clay. Leaving the store with the smell of burning sandalwood and lilies of the valley before Destiny righted herself, letting it all be.

All the while, the air hung heavy with a single haunting question.

What the fuck just happened?


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Sun Jun 16, 2024 3:26 pm
goodolnoah wrote a review...



Image

Hello there, one of King Koopa’s loyal henchmen, here!

Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

“Let’s get this out of the way before you ask, no you're not adopted, and you certainly were not kidnapped.” She paused, trying to find the right words “Yes, I am very sure about that, being estranged doesn't mean being out of touch. I just didn't want to come off too strong, the universe knew the last thing you needed was a heart attack.”


Hmm..I want to assume that this is essentially confirmation that Destiny is literally Destiny personified, as Fate is also “personified” as actual Fate (though they are not visible).

“Good choice, too bad it's not chamomile, you know, after all of that. “. Tea bags trailed her as she waved her hands. “As for your dad, I guess you could say I helped with his readings. “


Is this…a tea joke I spy? I found that chamomile usually helps with anxiety and stress among other things.

A dull snap filled the empty store, leaving what little remained to find the piece it had lost. Books slid from piles on the ground back into the dusty nooks and naked shelves. Glass shards spun and swirled in the air like puppets on a string. Each piece clicked together like a self-making puzzle, lightbulbs reshaped into teardrops, windows mended into panes. In the end, they snapped into place snug and unshaken as the bricks smoothed like wet clay. Leaving the store with the smell of burning sandalwood and lilies of the valley before Destiny righted herself, letting it all be.


Looks like Destiny uses some sort of magic to repair the damages! This is a pretty cool revelation that your world has different types of magic present within. There’s never been actual magic shown thus far, I think it’s only been alluded to.

A recommendation…

“Out of all your creepy knowledge, my tea preferences aren't included.”


I assume this dialogue here should end with a question mark, not a period. Since it looks like Lillian is responding to Destiny with another question.

Love and…Destiny ~ Story Commentary

Overall, this was a nice chapter to get a bit more comfortable with the world. The fact that it is dialogue heavy allows for us to infer some more “surface level” traits about both of these characters. Destiny’s identity also seems to be eluded to as well. This is an awesome follow-up chapter!

Demonic Book ~ Closer

And Lillian is left with a mysterious journal on her way out…I wonder what it holds…




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Tue May 07, 2024 9:31 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

That was a great follow-up to Chapter One! Slow in pacing, but super mysterious; from the conversation about how Destiny may know her, to the final exchange of the journal, it feels like there's a lot of buildup going on here. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put here! I loved the slow buildup and mysterious atmosphere throughout this whole chapter, and the writing felt so high-quality with its vivid details. There were just a couple of minor recommendations I wanted to make in good faith, free to take or leave ~

“So, what's first on the chopping block? You've indulged me enough, I suppose. “Said Destiny, her hand wedged between coffee-stained china.


Just a matter of punctuation here, I thought the space before the quote -and the period- were unnecessary. Perhaps... "You've indulged me enough, I suppose," said Destiny, her hand wedged..."

Lilian takes a coy sip, its warmth trickling into her throat” Perhaps you could have just said my parents have loose lips...


This was the other thing I noticed in some random spots. Maybe a touchup on past-present tenses? Most of the chapter seems past-tense ("Lillian took a coy sip") but like in the quote above, some spots had present tense ("Lillian takes a coy sip"). I'm not sure which is right, or if I'm just crazy and reading this wrong, but I thought I would draw attention to it.

Now of course, this is just my opinion, and I am not a professional, so please always take my advice with a grain of salt. The chapter was brilliant regardless ~

Why The Grin Widened...

There was so much I enjoyed here! Firstly, once again, incredible descriptions and you do such a good job at narrating Lillian's character; her thoughts, her dialogue, her body language, everything!

Destiny as well, of course, and honestly, I don't know what to think of her! I mean, she sounds like she has a lot more importance than she lets on, and her refusal to give clear answers could be taken as suspicious, but that's just it; nothing is for certain. Except...

“Estranged might be an understatement, so forgive me for being skeptical here as this feels more like a dream I shouldn't be entertaining.”


This caught me off guard, despite the red flags in the last chapter. I'm left wondering what she means by 'estranged,' and why she would be rendered estranged in the first place. Again, it could be taken as something suspicious, but I'm not sure!

Also, minor thing...

Just remember, your need for answers can sometimes outweigh your common sense.


Great quote, very true. Love that moment of wisdom.

Speaking of mysteries, I want to know what's in that dang journal and how it's going to affect Lillian! I did enjoy the bartering that happened because of it, and Lillian's cynical quips as she treats this like a sales pitch. I thought it added a subtle touch of humor to the situation.

And ending the chapter with that wild display of magic (I'm assuming it's magic lol) as Destiny fixes up the store *literally with a snap* was great! The perfect way to introduce a supernatural element to the story, especially since it ended with this very fitting question...

What the fuck just happened?


Haha, seriously!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that was a great chapter, and I can't wait to see what the rest looks like! Nicely done! :D

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Moonlily says...


Hey thank you so much for the in-depth review. I will admit the tense might be a little off for some chapters so thanks for pointing it out ( they're longer so I can't catch everything although I do try.) Answers will come in due time some mysteries such as the history Lilian finds herself in might take more than one book so do keep your eye on it ( I will still give small answers of course.)



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Fri May 03, 2024 12:19 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Hello there, human! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Shalt we commence with the review?

Top Graham Cracker - Lilian learns that Destiny knows something about her family, but is frustrated that she won’t get straight answers, so she walks out into the rain, back to her life.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - This is fine, I like this chapter.

Chocolate Bar - I love how Lilian is still wary towards Destiny, even though Destiny wants her to take the book. She doesn’t want her life to change anymore in a significant, negative way, but she can only put off Destiny and what lies beyond for so long…

Closing Graham Cracker - Destiny knows more about her family than Lilian may realize, but the question remains on just how much Destiny knows, and how much Lilian will be able to take. There’s magic out there, creeping into the seams of Lilian’s life…

PS: I read the prologue and first chapter, I just didn’t comment.

I wish you a fantastic day/night! :>




Moonlily says...


Thank you for the review.




I like to create sympathy for my characters, then set the monsters loose.
— Stephen King