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Eclipse: Chapter 7

by RealSadhours296


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

General Content Rating: 18+

Story Content Warnings: Heavy Swearing, Blood and Gore, Death, Racism, Sexism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Exorsexism, Child Abuse, Underage Shenanigans (Drinking, Smoking, etc.), Suicide

Current Chapter Content Warnings: Heavy Swearing

Viewer Discretion is Advised

#7 Nightshade

Brian’s peaceful slumber was rudely interrupted by someone’s hand shaking his body over and over.

“What?” He hissed out, twisting his head towards a blurry, nearly pallor-skinned face.

That face turned out to be Diantha’s face. “Your turn. Wake me up in an hour.” She explained bluntly.

And so Brian sat by the campfire, watching the pitch-black forest for predators. Sometimes he would throw some sticks into the fire when it threatened to die down. There was nothing to do except listen to the sudden far away sounds of animals, and sniff the strange and strong smells surrounding the area; he counted the seconds, and then the minutes out of boredom.

Eventually his hour was up. He shook Diantha five times more vigorously; the revenge earned him a fist heading straight for his face, something he narrowly missed. 

“Jeez. Calm yourself!” Diantha growled out, sitting up and rubbing her eyes.

“Now you know what it feels like.”

“I didn’t nearly shake you that hard!”

“Sorry, just can’t control my strength.”

“That was the most insincere apology I’ve ever…Hey! Don’t you dare go back to sleep! I’m not done talking-“

But Brian had already passed out, leaving Diantha to shiver and shake in the cold night for another hour.

This cycle rolled on for quite some time; that is until the sun budded it’s head from the ground. The snow occasionally falling off the fir branches brightened into a pure white.

Brian was on his shift at this time. Instead of waking Diantha up to sleep for another hour, he decided it was time to ask Noriko if it was light enough to begin traveling again.

In any other situation, he would be taking orders from no one; but he wasn’t in his element here. He didn’t even remember what his element was. Noriko seemed the most reasonable out of the three he had woken up with.

He didn’t even need to shake Noriko awake; the moment Brian came into contact with her shoulder, her eyes blinked open. “Did something happen?” She frantically lifted herself up from the ground.

“Nothing bad. The sun’s just rising. You think it’s light enough to start traveling again?”

Noriko scanned the mixture of purples and oranges that was the sky. After a few seconds, she nodded a yes. “It looks bright enough. I’ll wake the others.”

Noriko would have wakened the others up…but she was having difficulty standing up. With only one arm, it was easy to lose her balance and fall to the ground again. After a while of watching Noriko struggle, Brian offered his hand; Noriko reluctantly took it, and Brian pulled her up, helping her stand on her two feet.

“…That was…ungraceful of me. I apologize for that.” She muttered, brushing away the leaves that clung onto her skirt.

“…Wha…? You don’t need to be sorry, you didn’t do anything-“

But Noriko was already busy shaking Diantha awake. The blonde of course was cranky, but didn’t lash out at Noriko like she did with Brian. She only sighed when she saw familiar cat-like eyes, and stood up groggily, stretching her arms and letting out a sigh.

Aden was the last to be awoken. Noriko crouched near his peaceful body, and gently grabbed his shoulder-

Aden whimpered and immediately curled into a tight ball; his body shaking so intensely the leaves he laid on crunched together.

Noriko yanked her hand away. “I’m sorry, did I startle you?”

Aden removed his hands from his face, turning to Noriko with confusion. That confusion disappeared, and was replaced with a small smile. “I am good! Is it my turn to watch fire?”

“It’s already morning Aden.” Diantha explained, offering her hand. “We need to get going.”

Aden frowned in disappointment. He was sad that he wasn’t able to help, but he took the hand gratefully and lifted himself up. When standing, he brushed the dust off his green shorts.

Everyone went on their way. They had no idea where a river could possibly be, but at least it was brighter out. The morning’s light would allow them to see better, and ward off most predators.

It wasn’t long before everyone’s stomachs were growling, needy for food. Aden’s stomach was the first to start moaning. “I’m fine!” He refused to complain, and would respond with those words when asked if he was alright. “It is not the troubling!”

Hours afterward, the other three’s stomachs made small grunts. The tight and uncomfortable feelings in Noriko, Brian, and Diantha’s stomachs were enough to lower their mood.

Noriko tried her best to keep focus, and led the way at a steady pace. Her eyes were slightly furrowed, and every once in a while, she would raise her hand to her stomach, clutching onto it for a few moments.

Brian was not only in desperate want of food, but was also getting a headache from the abundance of noise surrounding him. The chirping of the birds and the rustling of the leaves almost tore his eardrums apart at times.

Aden hopped along cheerfully next to Brian; he was still unbothered by the monstrous groans coming from his belly. Brian would side-eye Aden with concern every time he heard them.

Diantha decided to tide over her hunger by eating a berry or two that she’d find hidden in the occasional bush. Whenever she came across these berry-filled bushes, Diantha was eager to grab another sweet bite.

Eventually, Diantha couldn’t ignore Aden’s stomach any longer. She grabbed a couple berries from a bush they were passing by, and offered them to the boy. “If you’re hungry you can have some of these.” She offered. “I’ve had some! they’re really good!”

Aden would have eagerly accepted the berries, if he hadn’t noticed Noriko halting so abruptly. He tilted his head, staring at the stiff Noriko. “…Is you ok Noriko?”

Noriko sped towards Diantha, her eyes wide with an unrecognizable emotion. She grabbed Diantha’s berry-filled hand, and yanked it closer to her; staring intently at them for a short period of time.

A realization hit Noriko, and she quickly smacked Diantha’s hand, forcing the berries to fall to the ground.

“…Hey!” Diantha shouted in annoyance. “What’s your problem-“

“Diantha those are nightshade berries.”

A tense, heart-splitting silence followed the revelation.

Diantha paled considerably; making the connection between the berries and her wooziness. Aden glanced between the three, confusion apparent on his face. Brian muttered an ‘oh shit’ under his breath, his eyes wide with shock.

Noriko breathed in, breathed out, and covered her mouth with her hand. “How many have you eaten?”

Diantha gulped, and glanced to the side; she scratched her head in thought. “Uh…I think more than 10? Maybe 15?”

Noriko hid her face the best she could in response to Diantha’s answer. Aden, who was still rather confused, asked the main question on his mind. “…What is the nightshade berries?”

Pacing back and forth; Brian strained out an answer to Aden’s question. “Nightshade berries are poisonous.”

Aden’s eyes teared up. “W-what!?” He clutched onto Diantha’s leather jacket, tugging it gently to gain her attention. Pressing worriedly for answers “I-is you ok Diantha? You are going to be fine, yes?”

Diantha barely heard Aden’s question. She was already beginning to hallucinate; her vision was dizzying and she felt like she was going to throw up. Despite this however, she inhaled a big chunk of air and turned to Aden, giving him a strained, reassuring smile. “Y-yeah. I’m going to be fine Aden, don’t worry.”

Noriko finally composed herself and removed her hand from her mouth. “We can’t stand here any longer.” She spoke in a whisper. “We need to find a river-“

“And wash down the poison?!” Brian snapped; fury and panic were apparent on his face. “Like that will work! Face it Noriko! We’re in the middle of nowhere, civilization is nonexistent, and we’re all going to…die…” Brian faltered; staring doe-eyed in a certain direction.

“Brian?” Noriko urged with concern.

“…I heard something.” He muttered out. “…No…not something…someone.”

Aden stiffened at Brian’s comment; he clung onto an increasingly delirious Diantha, who was to losing grasp of reality.

It made no sense to Noriko. She didn’t hear anything-

And then she remembered her previous interactions with Brian. It was almost as if a light bulb had blinked above her head. Of course! 

“You seem to have incredibly hearing.” She muttered. “Perhaps it’s another one of your ‘powers.’”

Brian widened his eyes at this revelation, before furrowing his eyebrows and puffing his chest out; he was ready to get serious. “Then I’m gonna follow the noise, I’ll be-“

“Wait.” Noriko raised her hand, pointing at the teary-eyed Aden. “Take Aden with you.”

“What? No! Another person will only slow me down! I can do this myself-”

“I don’t care how well you can take care of yourself.” She shot back. “There’s strength in numbers Brian. You can swallow your pride for something as important as this.”

“…But…Aden?” Brian grimaced; gazing pityingly at the mess that was Aden. He quietly cried next to Diantha, who now laid on the ground; breathing raggedly. “Why can’t you come with me?“

“Leave Aden by himself? Are you hearing yourself right now?”

“But-“

“No buts. I’ll watch over Diantha. You take Aden with you to the source of the noise.” She commanded, gazing sternly. “This is the best we can do right now.”

Brian opened his mouth and prepared to further argue his point…but he realized he wouldn’t win this one. He let out an exaggerated sigh, and stomped towards Aden. “Come on!” He growled out, gripping Aden’s wrist and dragging them with him.

Aden squeaked in surprise, but didn’t complain; he tried his best to keep up with the fuming boy.

Noriko sat next to the Diantha and watched the two boys disappear into the forest. Only when she was certain they were gone did she allow herself to whimper and shed a tear.

***

“Where we going?”

“To the source of the noise.”

“What noise?”

“The noise I heard just now.”

“What was the noise?”

“I don’t know, but it sounded like someone yelling.”

“Why are we-“

“Because shut up!” Brian snapped; his patience wearing thin. his grip on Aden’s wrist tightened, and Aden jumped in response, none the less he obeyed what Brian said. Aden switched his attention to the surroundings he was dragged through, admiring the plants and trees he passed by.

Brian on the other hand was completely focused on the nonexistent route ahead. As he stomped closer and closer to the noise’s location — his goal — the faint sounds of someone struggling grew louder and louder. What that person was struggling with was unknown; Brian had to find out.

Eventually the two of them got close enough to where even Aden was hearing it. He perked up at the noise, excited they were reaching their destination.

Brian’s heart raced faster and faster with each step. Who would they find? Hopefully someone they could trust; someone who wouldn’t screw them over at the last second.

Brian and Aden finally reached a clearing. The two gawked at the scene in front of them, one in confusion and one in awe.


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Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:37 pm
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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Heyy!! Forever here for a review!!

There was nothing to do except listen to the sudden far away sounds of animals, and the strange and strong smells surrounding the area;

Here it feels like Brian is listening to the smells of the area which he is definitely not doing. Perhaps, change the wording a bit and add a 'smelling' in between 'and' and 'the'
After a few seconds, she nodded a yes

I don't know if it's grammatically correct or not, but this sounds good. However, maybe just remove the yes thing because nodding in itself means saying yes. Ah sometimes we have to go for the normal ones though I don't like it... The line actually sounded great.

A lot of things happened here. So, Brian's power is confirmed. He can listen to noises fron far away. I wonder why you didn't mention the glowing of the gem? Or it didn't glow? Or the people were not in the condition to notice all those.

I like the thing how your chapters start with a humourous scene and then continues to tragedy and adventure. Diantha and Brian have a bitter-sweet relation among them. The relations between all these 4 ppl are actually great. Like, they have developed from 0 to 100 or even more. Now, they are relatives to each other whereaz they were complete strangers at the beginning.

Andd oh! It was late, I hope it wasn't a bit too late. I am really tensed about Diantha's condition. What is gonna happen to her? She isn't gonna die... Or is she... Lemme go with the former one. However, the title... Eclipse that is darkness that is loneliness. They aren't lonely now and I whole-heartedly hope that that situation is not gonna happen with them. It was obviously a clever step in Noriko's side. If she hadn't figured it out, both Aden and Diantha's life would be in risk.

I feel pity for Aden. If I am not wrong, he has a lovely-affection towards Diantha. Oh love is constructive as well as descructive. It really makes me think about Diantha's fate. Now, I guess Aden is not very aware of the harmful effects of the Nightshade Berries. He doesn't appear to be as worried as the others...
“Where we going?”

“To the source of the noise.”

“What noise?”

“The noise I heard just now.”

“What was the noise?”

“I don’t know, but it sounded like someone yelling.”

“Why are we-“

“Because shut up!” Brian snapped; his patience wearing thin. his grip on Aden’s wrist tightened, and Aden jumped in response, none the less he obeyed what Brian said. Aden switched his attention to the surroundings he was dragged through, admiring the plants and trees he passed by.


Maybe just write the name of the speaker at the first cuz the reader wants to see who is speaking. They come to know about the speaker a bit later and for that they have to re-read that portion. Also, before this , I mean the dialogue, leave space. The scene actually changes. We can imagine Brian and Aden running. So, a break is required in between.

That was a good cliffhanger there at the end. I wonder what they actually saw which made them bewildered. As for the descriptions which I pointed out at the last chapter, they havw improved a great deal in this one(though I guess you wrote this before I told).

I will get to the next chapter very soon. Just lemme know if my review was of any help. If u have any questions, feel free to ask me.
Keep writing!
~Forever






I hadn't even noticed that first mistake you pointed out! Thank you so much for that. That's something I need to fix some time this month!

I also should have figured that transition would be a little confusing. I need to fix that soon as well. Again, thank you for the review.



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mordax wrote a review...



Hey there! Mordax here for a review. Just a heads up, I have not read any of your previous chapters, so if I misunderstand anything, just ignore me, lol

Let's get started!

interrupted by someone’s hand shaking his body over and over

This is just a personal opinion, but instead of saying "shaking his body", I suggest using "shaking his shoulder". It is a bit more specific and provides a better description of the action. Also, the "over and over" is a bit redundant here, as shaking already implies repetition. If you want to insinuate violence or fervor, then I would suggest replacing "over and over" with something like "aggressively" or use a harsher word than "interrupted" to create a harsher tone.

He hissed out,

This is just a grammar thing, but dialogue tags should not be capitalized unless they are their own sentence. For example, here:
"What?" he hissed out...
It should be capitalized, however, if it were formatted as:
"What?" He brushed aside her outraised arm, pushing himself to his feet with a grunt.
This is just an example, but this applies to all dialogue tags.

twisting his head towards a blurry, nearly pallor-skinned face.

Here, the description was a bit lost on me. I assume the face is blurry because he just woke up, his eyes clogged with the last remnants of sleep. However, perhaps it is blurry because his vision is just poor? Again, I am not accustomed to these characters. If it is the former, I would suggest using an action to provide that description, such as him blinking the sleep from his eyes to clear his vision. If it is the latter, than this current description is fine. As for the final part of this description, "nearly pallor-skinned" rang a bit odd in my ears. To simplify this description while getting the same meaning across, I suggest changing the wording to "pallid face". It will create more of a flow and get rid of relatively unnecessary words.

That face turned out to be Diantha’s face.

This ties in with my point above. If Brian's vision is just poor, then I think he would make this observation after Diantha spoke (really cool name by the way). If his vision was just blurry from sleep, then I suggest adding a point about that, such as "When his vision cleared, he could make out Diantha's vicious scowl" or something. It also gives you more opportunity to describe Diantha's features and personality without outright saying it.

when it threatened to die down

The "down" here feels unnecessary as a fire dying down means it is slowly getting smaller, and I feel like he is fueling the fire not to prevent it from growing smaller per se but as a preventative for it burning out. Perhaps You did mean the former, though, in which case, ignore me.

“Sorry, just can’t control my strength.”

Haha, this line made me laugh. I love Brian and Diantha's dynamic, they bicker and behave like siblings. (Maybe they are, haha, I'm not sure)

that is until the sun budded it’s head from the ground

No critique here, I just love this description. Like a budding flower, this beginning of life and beauty.

Brian was on his shift at this time. Instead of waking Diantha up to sleep for another hour,

The sentence "Brian was on his shift at this time" is unnecessary here. As this chapter is in third person limited, centralizing on Brian's point of view, the descriptions of the sunrise are seen through his eyes then translated through a third person narrator. Because of this, it is already known that he was awake to see it. So the clarification that Brian was on his hour shift isn't necessary and this part can jump straight to "Instead of waking..."

Noriko would have wakened the others up…but she was having difficulty standing up.

Here, I suggest a more active approach to this description. You state what Noriko would have done, then explain why she doesn't. Instead, it's already known what Noriko intends to do because she has stated it, so I suggest showing her attempting to follow through then failing. It builds up more tension with whatever is going on with her body and can better describe her character. For example, if she attempts to rise then gives up easy, that says something entirely different about her character than if she attempts to rise then gets visibly irritated when it is more difficult than it should be.

…Wha…? You don’t need to be sorry,

This might just be my lack of knowledge about the characters, but I was a bit confused as to why Brian said "...What...?" here. It is as though he is confused as to why she is apologizing. Perhaps Brian is just clueless to normal, human reactions? Because apologizing when embarrassed is not confusing at all. Lol, maybe I'm looking too deep into it, but I was a bit stumped as to why he seems borderline flustered at Noriko's embarrassment.

The blonde of course was cranky,

This is just a suggestion, but I'm assuming you have already established that Diantha is blonde earlier on, so I suggest not using this epithet to describe her here. It takes away from the personal, story-telling feel you have established and makes it feel as though Brian is unfamiliar with Diantha even though it is clear that he is not.

He was sad that he wasn’t able to help, but he took the hand gratefully and lifted himself up.

I've already touched on this earlier so I won't go too deep into it, but here's another instance where you can take a more active approach and "show not tell". Instead of saying he was sad, describe why it seems that way.

She was already beginning to hallucinate; her vision was dizzying and she felt like she was going to throw up.

I am just now realizing... This is third person omniscient? If it were third person limited, Brian would not be aware of this feeling, he would only be able to observe Diantha's reaction to it. However, this is the first time this chapter that I have gotten the impression that it is third person omniscient.

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter! I have to say, I'm unaccustomed to reading third person omniscient, so it threw me for a bit of a loop, but I think you managed it really well. I never felt too muddled by all the perspectives, and once I was sure of the point of view it was in, it flowed wonderfully and felt as though I was being told a folk tale rather than seeing into someone's head. I really enjoyed this different take.

I'm intrigued by your story. If you don't mind me asking, what is the general plot? I may go back and read your other chapters and review them as well.

Aden feels very young, and while they never refer to him as a child, I'm assuming he is one or is mentally stunted. I really enjoy Brian's character. He seems snarky, brave, and determined to appear stable despite dealing with his own worries and insecurities. Diantha seems a bit immature to me, but a good balance for the group, for she clearly cares about Aden and seems to ease the tension with some of her comments and what seems to be optimism (at least from my observations of this chapter). And Noriko is like the mom friend, trying to care for everyone and the one everyone goes to. I love her, too, for she seems all put together until her momentary breakdown right as Brian and Aden leave. She seems to be dealing with a lot of pressures and she doesn't let it put her in a bad mood.

Overall, great writing!! Sorry for the long, drawn out review. Feel free to ignore anything I say for I might be completely misunderstanding your writing given I haven't read any of the previous chapters.

Mordax






Thank you so much for reviewing! I really appreciate your time! You've pointed out some writing techniques I could use to improve my writing, and I'm glad that you gave them!

If you're interested in the general plot, it's basically this: Four teenager's wake up in a strange room with no recollection of who they are, where they are, or how they got there. They must work together to find their destiny.

I hope you decide to read from the beginning, and that you enjoy my series upon doing so! I'm sure you'll be less confused about this chapter and understand the characters more. I'm not the best at writing, but hopefully the meat of the story is good enough for me to cook with a good editor in the future!



mordax says...


Ooh! That sounds interesting! I definitely will be checking out your earlier chapters and please tag me in any upcoming ones!




Stupid risks make life worth living.
— Homer Simpson