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Retaliating. Chapter Three

by Morgan

I swallow hard as I turn away from the boy. Dread builds up in my gut, and if we weren’t driving on the freeway, I might’ve considered jumping off. It would be better hurt then with the boy, who could possibly be a psychopath too. I needed answers. I wanted them desperately, but right now did not seem like the good time.

We continue to drive in silence as I try to calm my pounding heart—my thoughts filled with darkness. As I look out the window with the rain pouring down and the city lights illuminating my pale face, I think back to when my mother had gotten shot. Her eyes wide and filled with terror, but then she glanced at me and mouthed, ‘I Love You’, and as if the death of her didn’t shatter my heart, the fact that I hadn’t say ‘I Love You’ back broke me. It was guilt that pressured me because of the fight that we just had ten minutes before her end. I should have at least told her, but maybe seeing me rampage on Joel would’ve told her that I did love her.

My thoughts start to cloud with grief and shock that a single tear begins to fall down my face, and I bite my lip from crying. I shake and tremble with misery. It had all gotten by too fast.

Then, a face pops up in my head. Joel. I clench my fist in anger from wanting to scream, digging my nails into my own flesh. He needed to pay, and I wanted to be the one to make him do it. I wanted to hear his screams and see his own fear. Prove that he’s human. Too see his own blood dripping and staining his own clothes.

All of these dark thoughts scare me because I would never think that I could feel this way, but that all changed tonight. Forever.

“Bella.” The boy suddenly calls out, taking me from my hollow thoughts.

I blink a few time in annoyance. “What?”

He pauses as if taken back by my harsh tone. “I know that none of this makes sense to you, but I promise that I’ll explain everything.”


“Not.... now.” He mumbles.

I grimace and turn to the window again. Stupid, I think to myself. Just stupid.

All of a sudden I sit up in my seat. Our surroundings was beginning to change. We were starting to drive down an old dark neighborhood. The only light were from the street lamps that flickered and casted eerie shadows. It was lined with one story houses. The streets were bare and scattered with dry leaves. The wooden fences were spray painted with strange descriptions and that was when I begin to suspect that we were in a very bad part of town.

My heart beat started to speed up and I glanced at the boy in worry. Was he kidnapping me? If he was, I’m not going down without a fight.

“Um, where are we?” I ask the boy, but he doesn’t reply. He focuses on the road ahead, his eyes squinting through the dimmed light of the car. I watch him for a while until I poke him on the arm, “Hey! I said—“

“Somewhere safe.” He cuts me off.

I raise my eyebrows at him and wave my arms at the dirt road in front of us. “And this is safe? We’re in a freaking bad part of town, and I don’t even know this place. AND I don’t even know you. So how am I supposed to trust you about a ‘safe’ place?”

He breaths in deeply. “Would you rather be with me or with your dad?”

At that comeback, I’m quiet. I have nothing to say. I hate to admit it, but he has a point. So far, the boy has saved my life all within just one day while my dad took a gun to my head. There is no contemplating here. I’d rather be with the boy and take my chances than with a man that had already murdered someone I loved.

“Fine, but you better not do anything stupid or I’ll—.”

“You’ll what?” The boy smirks. “Hurt me? I think we both know that you have a slight chance of doing that.”

I slouch in my chair in defeat, and I could’ve sworn I heard him chuckle. I roll my eyes.

All of a sudden, the boy turns down a dark alley, and I stiffen in my seat. Without hesitation, he parks the car and walks out. I am frozen in my seat and flinch when he slams the door shut. I watch him as he walks around the car and opens my door. Instantly, I feel exposed. Vulnerable as he stares down at me with his tall stature. The cool breeze hits my frail body as I get out of the car with my arms crossed protectively over my stomach. I watch him and he watches me too.

“Okay. So now what?” I try to sound casual despite my trembling.

The boy is silent as he just stares at me as if he’s trying decide over something. I feel dread, but I try not to panic.

“You’re scared.” The boy says, cocking his head to the side. He’s still staring at me.

“Uh...” I don’t know what to say, but yes I am scared. Does he need to know that though?

The he turns away and starts to walk down the alley. “C’mon.” He tells me, but I’m hesitant. I stand there, confused. Then he looks back at me with a blank expression on his face. “Hurry up.” He motions to me.

Something about him has changed. His voice is deeper. He seems like he’s in a trance and I am filled with mixed emotions. Curiosity and fear is what takes up most of my head.

Afraid of what he would do if I didn't follow him makes me take cautious steps into the pitch blackness of the alley as I follow him. I can only see his dark figure though. A thought crosses my mind about making a run for it, but I can’t seem to move. It’s like I’m in a trance too.

There is a door on the side of a building that the boy suddenly stops at. He takes out a key and fiddles with the rusty lock on the door. He struggles for a while but manages to click it open. He has to shove his body against it in order for the door to actually open, but it eventually works. The door creeks open and dust flies into my face as I walk through the door. I squint through the darkness of whatever room we had entered, but after a while, I find myself in front of just  some stairs leading down. Down to where? was what entered my mind.

I follow the boy down the stairs, our footsteps echoing through the darkness. I find myself at the bottom where there is a steel door. This time, no lock. Instead, the boy brushes some dust off the door where a lock should’ve been, but instead there is a red button. The boy presses it and leans down to put his face right in front of what looks like a scanner. I figure it’s an eye scanner, and this only scares me more. Why was there an eye scanner?

I hear a small beep as the door slides open revealing the inside of an elevator. The inside lights up the dark room and I step in reluctantly. I never liked the dark.

When both of us are finally inside, the elevator starts to move...downward. “Where are we?” I ask the boy again, filled with curiosity.

“Like I said, somewhere safe.” The boy replies in a low voice. “They’ll be able to answer your questions too.”

I arch an eyebrow, “They?”

He doesn’t say anything. Finally, the elevator halts and the door slides open and my jaw drops at what I see.

We stood on a balcony inside an underground building. The platform we were on slowly starts to descend. People swarmed all over the place in dark suits and some in steel armor. I see what looks like to be a group of adults in lab coats discussing something private and rows of buff men in combat uniforms marching in an orderly fashion holding arm-length guns. My eyes grow big at the busy scene in front of me as I stumble behind the boy as I follow him through the crowd. I gawk at my surroundings not wanting to believe any of it. This has to be some kind of dream, I shake my head in disbelief. But the more I look around, the more denying seems impossible.

“Is this place like some sort of secret underground government facility or something?” I whisper to the boy. 

He flashes a small smile. “You can say that.” 

We continue start to walk down a corridor where a few men in dark suits hurry past us, paying us no attention. I glance back at them in confusion, but turn my attention ahead where we continue to walk in a hurry. The boy takes a left turn and we make our way past glass rooms where people focus on technology that I’ve never seen before, and I find myself staring at them in awe.

Suddenly the boy pauses in front of a door where two men stand guard. They cock their head at me and turn to the boy. “She’s with me.” He says.

He knows these people? I stare at the back of his head in puzzlement.

With a shrug, the guards open the door for the both of us and we step in. Inside, there is a man in a black tuxedo sitting down on a huge desk, his back turned to us. Suddenly, he spins around comically and stares at us. I figure he’s somewhere in late seventies. He wears a stern frown on his dark skin and glares at us intimidatingly, but when he sees the boy, his face softens. “Thomas!” He exclaims, standing up

His name is Thomas, I blink in surprise, glancing at the boy.

Thomas stands straight in front of the man and nods with respect. “Sir.”

The man then motions to me. “Who is she?”

Thomas steps closer to me and pushes me forward. “Bella Garrison.”

I take in a sudden breath at the sound of my name escaping Thomas’ lips. How did he know my name?

Slowly, the man walks around his desk and steps in front of me. His eyes glaring down at me with no expression on his cold face. Then he softens. He takes a cautious step backwards and looks at me with a sad face. “I see the resemblance. She’s a spitting image of him.” He says softly.

My eyes follow him as he turns his back to me, my head swarming with questions. Who’s him?

Then he looks back at me and holds out his hand. I take it and shake it, my eyes never leaving him. Then he takes in a deep sigh as he says, “Its nice to meet you, Bella. Welcome to Prometheus Base.” 

**Hi guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve been on YWS for a while, but that’s because I’ve been so busy lately. Now, I’m glad to finally submit the third chapter of Retaliating. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and I promise I’ll keep on writing more. Please go ahead and tell me what you guys think!**

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188 Reviews

Points: 6366
Reviews: 188

Sat May 18, 2019 2:54 pm
LadyBug wrote a review...

Wesh, (that's the French equivalent of yo so it's my new word. And it's French so it's classy and cool) it's Professor Jade here for a review! To be honest, this was sooo long ago that I had to re-read part two. In future I suggest maybe having a chapter a week or every two. But I understand how hard that is to keep up with and it's a personal decision.
Let's begin.

I swallow hard as I turn away from the boy. Dread builds up in my gut, and if we weren’t driving on the freeway, I might’ve considered jumping off. It would be better hurt then with the boy, who could possibly be a psychopath too. I needed answers. I wanted them desperately, but right now did not seem like the good time.

OK, so the sentences are a bit wacky so I would, in future, rewrite it to flow better. Use a mix of short and long and medium sentences to achieve that. Moving on a bit....

"Bella.” The boy suddenly calls out, taking me from my hollow thoughts.

I blink a few time in annoyance. “What?”

He pauses as if taken back by my harsh tone. “I know that none of this makes sense to you, but I promise that I’ll explain everything.”

That's a good page turner. 100% percent keep up the pace! But this:

“Not.... now.” He mumbles.

Beware of this. Instead of just having three or four dots there you should have a more definite way to show the boy's pause.


He chose his words carefully, "Not now."

He paused for a second. "Not now,' he muttered slowly.

You should never have to show the way a character talks with your punctuation. Your words should be enough to set the scene.

“Uh...” I don’t know what to say, but yes I am scared. Does he need to know that though?

I would've changed it to:

“Uh,” I don’t know what to say, but yes, I am scared. Does he need to know that though?

OVERALL: I saw a few grammar mistakes but I won't nit-pick. I think this is a great story and don't feel obligated to take my decisions. I hope I helped and I look forward to seeing part 4.

Professor Jade :)

P.S. The cliffhanger is killing me :(

Morgan says...

Thank you Jade. Like always, I look forward to your reviews. They always help me and I will try to make a chapter every week.

LadyBug says...

I'm glad they help. Do tell me when each one is posted and I'll try to comment on them :)

Morgan says...

I%u2019ll try :)

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126 Reviews

Points: 144
Reviews: 126

Sat May 18, 2019 9:02 am
papillote wrote a review...

Hi, Morgan. Welcome back.

I’m jumping in with the third chapter, which is always a risky proposition. Since I find it soooo annoying when people jump in mid-story and complain they don’t understand what’s going on, I’m going to give you every benefit of a doubt if I feel there’s something, story-wise, that I don’t understand.
Fair warning, then: this isn’t the review you need if you’re trying to make sure you’re clear and your story unfolds in an intelligible way.

I’ve got a thing against the name “Bella”. Nothing about you or your story. Call it emotional scars from having two rabid Twilight-fans as sisters. But it’s fair to tell you where my head was at when I started reading. Beyond that, your story might be intriguing if it didn’t follow a worn-out script: mysterious boy saves age-appropriate (but barely) girl from a terrible home-situation and introduces her to a secret, magical world she has previously unknown ties to.

I might not be the right age to enjoy that kind of story anymore. I’m a little too old or I’ve read too many similar stories (to the point where they all blend together a bit now). I might still drop in for reviews on your next chapters, but, if I stumbled upon this story, once published, illustrated and all the fuss, I probably wouldn’t read any further into the book. Not my thing.

However, judging from theme and execution, I would say you’re fairly new to this, so it’s natural, at first, that rather than developing your own stories, you tend to imitate the authors you admire. We all do that. That’s why, for the rest of this review, I’m going to focus on form rather than content.
Please, don’t forget that the following critics are only meant to help you. They might seem harsh, but these are important lessons, things I think you would do well to keep in mind as you keep writing. It’s not a big deal if you slip up once in a while but, the less you do, the better you’ll be as a writer. It’s the best advice I can give you.

A lot of the images you use are a little stale, like “Dread builds up in my gut”, I’ve seen it used TO DEATH, to the point where it’s not so much an image to me as it is an obligatory stop for every suspenseful scene. Same goes for her pounding heart. Please. Same for the fact that she’s considering jumping off. Who thinks about jumping out of a car? Have you ever been in a speeding car? Even when you feel you’re in danger or that a mad person’s driving, you consider every possible option before you consider jumping off.
Sometimes, it seems easier to use words that sound like the authors you like and admire, but the prose you then create is artificial, an extension of the literary world, not a reflection of reality. It’s not your job as a writer. Your job is to visualize, to experience the stories you tell and to tell them as they unfold in your reality, not to reflect another’s reflection of the real world.

You’ve also got some tense coordination issues. One of the great things about writing in present tense is that you shouldn’t have to use Past Perfect, so why are you going out of your way to score “had gotten” or “hadn’t say” (which should be “hadn’t said”, btw)?
Lots of small punctuation and grammatical mistakes. Please, use the spell-checker functionality of your word-processor. I swear it’s not going to negatively impact your artistic creativity. It’ll just make it so much easier to read you. You’re not illegible, but this type of small mistakes is annoying for the reader and take him or her out of the story.
Several sentences actually make no sense. “It would be better hurt then with the boy, who could possibly be a psychopath too.” “My thoughts start to cloud with grief and shock that a single tear begins to fall down my face, and I bite my lip from crying.”
I think there are a few words missing here and there. A couple of sentences also feel like literal translations.

That’s it. Good luck for the rest of your story, Morgan. I hope this is useful. As I mentioned, it’s not my kind of story, which might be why I was a little hard on you. Don’t take it to heart.

Morgan says...

Hi. Thank you so much for the review. Yes, I%u2019m still a little young and new to the writing world, but that is why I really appreciate this review. I have read some reviews for some of my other work and I have learned a lot. The same will go with yours. I don%u2019t mine the critiques because I know that they%u2019ll help me be better with my writing. Plus, I know that this isn%u2019t your type of story and I get that, but I%u2019m still glad that you found the time to review this chapter. Again, thank you so much!

papillote says...

You're welcome. As I said, I'll try to drop by to comment the rest. Tell me when you publish a chapter, ok? Good luck.

Morgan says...


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