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Yewis and the Terrible Word Eater (Pt. 1)

by Rook

In the shadowy realm that exists outside Yewis-- a small writers' community in the country of Novelandia-- existed a terrifying monster. For years before it had found such a cushy dwelling place, it had roamed many lands, visited many worlds, and devastated many planets. But the monster had been approaching an age where it craved normalcy. It had found a dark cave tastefully adorned with an area rug and granite counter tops. It moved into this cave, somewhere on the edge of hopelessness and oblivion, and it had settled down to feast on Yewis. This monster had only ever been called one name: the Word Eater.

This monster was exactly what you might expect: it crept around in the shadows, waiting for someone to speak. When they did, the Word Eater would devour one or more of their words, and that person would be incapable of using that word ever again. At first, no one in Yewis noticed. The Word Eater had a tendency to eat fancy words over average, run-of-the-mill words, and one doesn't realize that one is missing an especially fancy word from their vocabulary all too often. It could never eat names, however. Names cannot be taken from their owners—they are too complex of words. Usually, after eating one or two words like “soliloquy” or “ephemeral,” the Word Eater would slink back to his cave to hide away for a few months.

But one day, the monster seemed to have an unquenchable lust for words, and an insomnia that kept it from its usual hibernation. All sorts of words began to disappear from villager’s vocabularies. All of Yewis was in a panic. They didn’t know what was taking their words. Some hypothesized that that Yewis had offended a writing goddess. Others beloved that the dreaded virus Writers’ Block had come yet again to rip word-sized holes in their consciousness. But no one was sure until AriaAdams the Omnipresent spotted the monster. Aria had been out for her daily stroll around the Story Book boroughs when she noticed two pairs of bright orange eyes staring at her from the bushes. 

She came closer and heard a low growling. Closer still, and the creature bolted, revealing a long, dragonesque body covered in black scales.

Aria alerted Big Brother, and an announcement was made:

All of Yewis received this message, and the village was thrown into a state of panic and shock.

Amidst the confusion, ShadowVyper conducted a secret study on the habits of the monster, noting which words it stole, when they were usually stolen, and the effects of the speaker. She also studied the written word.

Her results were these:

Unfortunately, in her rush to get these findings out to all of Yewis, she made many paper copies, announcing it as an emergency edition of Squills. She distributed the flyers to the public, but soon lost many of the words she had chosen to use in her report. A couple careless villagers had misplaced their copies, and they had fallen into the grasp of the Word Eater. Shady vowed to be more careful with her words from then on. Squills had turned from a passing hobby magazine dedicated to entertaining the masses and documenting Yewis’s fun events to an underground information hub.

These were not the only changes to Yewis, however. The Lounge had been breached, and the room used for idle chatting fell silent… Outwardly. Not even the Cloakroom was safe. One of the few safe places left were the small private rooms that branched out of the Lounge. It was eeie, being able to see into the Lounge where the only words were the welcome, written in blood red: 

The only other secure form of communication was via PM, or Postal Message. The monkeys who delivered these messages hardly ever lost them, so they were a reliable source of information. This was how Squills was delivered, bringing news of the rising movement to locate and attack the Word Eater. Only those who had asked for the delivery of Squills every week received on in the mail. The instructions at that bottom of every Squills issue?

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187 Reviews

Points: 13001
Reviews: 187

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:12 pm
PeanutPhoebe wrote a review...

Hey! Here to review this part for you so I can go on to Part Two! I have to say, this was an extremely creative and clever idea. I love it! It's really a fun piece. First thing I have to say: The way you made use of all the different forums and such here on YWS was very cool, but, I think you could have used some more explanation. It seems very...forced. Another thing that seemed that way was your characters. I (somewhat) know all these members, but you don't describe a lot about them. Put some more characterization in there. Maybe a couple more nicknames/variations of names like Yewis. Even if the characterization isn't really like that user, that's okay. It would still help the story seem more...deep. (I know that sounds odd for a fun short story like this, but... it would help) I didn't really see any grammatical errors in this, so bravo! One more thing... The pictures. I love them, and the way they help with the story, but they seem slightly distracting from it to me. I'm not saying take them out, because they're great. Maybe you could just make them smaller? I don't know, really. Anyway, this is a fun idea, and you've done a good job with it! On to Part Two!

P.S. I apologize if I've repeated stuff that has already been addressed, I generally don't read previous reviews.

~PeanutPhoebe, on behalf of Team Smaug

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Reviews: 94

Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:32 pm
JumpyDot wrote a review...


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JumpyDot says...

My gosh this is horrible. I apologize for this review. I truly do.

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254 Reviews

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Reviews: 254

Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:17 pm
Sonder says...

Do not despair! We shall get the Word Eater yet! *pulls out sword*

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16 Reviews

Points: 54
Reviews: 16

Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:37 am
ChocolateLlama wrote a review...

One of my favorite parts in this fanfic was the "forbidden act" given to the Word-Eater: He can't eat names. That kind of thing has always been something that I look forward to learning when I'm reading a fantasy book. One question though: Why couldn't you have changed the names? I don't mean give them names completely unrelated to their actual names, just an easily recognizable differentiation of them. I do like how you changed YWS to Yewis. To me, that was very clever. Great job on the writing.

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863 Reviews

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Reviews: 863

Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:59 pm
Morrigan wrote a review...

This is delightful and charming. I love the idea of the word eater.

As I am not very experienced in the realm of fanfic, I do have a few questions that might not apply, but I am still going to ask. If you changed the name of YWS, why wouldn't you change the name of the people in the village? If I'm meta thinking, it makes sense to keep the usernames the same. However, why change the name of the village?

I love that the message from Big Brother was made on a screen. It's a bit of a throwback to where Big Brother was originally mentioned, 1984 by George Orwell. Because screens played such a large part in that, it's appropriate that this message should look like a screen.

I'm not so sure about the appearance of Squills. I can't remember how it used to look, but I'm fairly sure that the font isn't that big, and also pretty positive that it's not published in Times New Roman, but Arial. Or something. I'm bad with sans-serif fonts.

The last thing I'll leave you with is the wish that this wasn't a fanfic. I want to know about the word eater, to have a story with it, with a hero that takes it down cleverly, or with a big, hefty sword! Give me a whole novel out of this concept. It's brilliant.

Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?
— George Wallace