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How We Made The World Just A Little Bit Nicer - Blonde Raven, Episode 6

by Waddlers

The dragon had taken them far enough down the crevice that the surrounding air was filled with darkness and smoke. There were torches of vibrant orange fire a the walls of the deep pit and there was no sunlight to be seen. Squirrel had wanted to crawl closer to the dragon’s head. He wanted to get another peak of her eyes, but, so far, his fear of falling from such an intimidating height kept him on her shoulder.

The heat becoming overwhelming and the air felt so thin and lacking in oxygen. It created a feeling of claustrophobia, which Squirrel grunted distressingly at. He took a deep breathe and searched for something - anything!

“Mmmmm…” Ana grumbled uncomfortably.

“Is everything OK?” Squirrel asked accusingly.

“Only if we’re almost there.” She began agitated. Must be the atmosphere, Squirrel thought. “Neu needs to pee.” She finished giving a concerned glance in Neu’s direction, who was desperately containing himself. The large dragon they were on must’ve understood their situation, as she looked enthusiastically at them and gave a cheerfully roar.

“Well, I assume that means we’re getting close.” Squirrel told them. Neu looked relieved, but Ana just looked pained downward as she searched for the air of below, hoping it was somehow fresher and brighter.

Soon enough, the wings of the large flying reptile sped slightly as she landed. Unfortunately, the air there was no different, which Ana noticed as she hopped from the dragon heavily. She coughed as Neu leapt desperately, shaking his head and rushing off somewhere to pee.

“How long are we gonna be here?” Ana asked desperately, not looking up at Squirrel.

“Not long.” He replied bluntly.

“Well heya! That time already?” The voice of a woman bellowed from ahead. Ana smiled, happy to finally come across a lovely, compassionate, kind hearted woman.

“Hello!” Ana chirped.

“Yeah, it is, so let’s make this quick. It’s horrible here.” Squirrel grumbled. The woman laughed before strolling into view with her hands on her hips and a smirk on her face. She had spikes and a dragon tail with red hair and hammer pants. She had a perfect fringe and freckles, with pretty, asian-esque eyes.

“It’s so you to give me compliments!” She smiled knowingly. Squirrel merely scowled moodily at her. “So! Here for my help?” She began smoothly. Squirrel went to answer, but “Of course you do!” She grinned cockily at him as she began to lead the way to...further into the crevice. “I see you’ve already met my lovely Silver Cinder.” She carried on as they marched at their own steady paces.

“She’s amazing!” Ana replied. Carlena paused and looked back.

“Well you guys can take her then!” The dragon warlock before them cried happily. “Does that suit you?” She asked mockingly to Squirrel as he growled and nodded. As Ana clapped, Neu arrived back, looking lighter.

“So that’s what we came here for!” Ana exclaimed.

“Mmhmm. Transport.” Squirrel nodded. Neu, Carlena, Ana and Silver Cinder stared offended at him. He went to smirk when they heard an unexplainable hiss erupting from something slightly above them.

They turned slowly, only to see something that made Ana’s heart thud like a drill against her chest. At first glance, it looked like a huge crow - which was disturbing enough - but after a closer look, Ana realised that the crow allusion was a human dressed in black with cape or cloak like areas of material, with hundreds of feathers woven onto them. The robes trailed behind it as it held it’s arms like they were wings. It was also wearing a crow mask and the eye holes were darker than the rest of it! Somehow, through the lack of eyes, it stared at them tauntingly. It almost looked dead - it was so still!

Not knowing how long it had been there, they looked horrified up at the ledge it stood upon. whatever it was, was invisible until it highlighted its presence.

“Uh….” Carlena trailed off, looking at Squirrel questioningly. As if to ask why he led her there. He scowled as Ana, Neu and Silver Cinder merely stared defensively at the crow. The crow figure hopped and fell slowly before them, revealing it was also a “she”. From the smaller distance it was also made clear that she had blonde hair...Which felt odd to Ana.

The crow lady cackled - she had a very hissy, wheezy voice.

“Sophie,” Squirrel told them. Ana hadn’t expected such a lovely name either. It was confusing.

“That’s me, baby!” She spurted with utmost defiance. She clenched her fists. “Time to die!” She hissed menacingly, as crows began flying down in the hundreds! They were Swooping and soaring, and all that could be heard was the aggressive bird calls and hissing.

Suddenly the presence of other dragons became apparent. Growls of pain echoed everywhere, as the bird attacked at a ratio of 50:1 - They pecked and scratched with their talons, taking turns to make sure they didn’t miss anyone. The worst part was that all they could do was curl up or flail their arms around hopelessly - It felt like the birds were untouchable! Flesh was torn and nipped at, but the pain couldn’t be concentrated on, as rocks and stones began sliding off the walls of the crevice. The sound was unbearably loud! Everything was shaking, and just as it felt, everything was about to collapse, there was an incredibly loud call of some sort.

It was Sophie. All of the birds stopped as it became silent. We were all breathing quite heavily, though. All but Squirrel and Carlena felt tears at the side of their eyes from the birds having scraped a fair amount of skin...Squirrel was covering his eye as if he’d been pecked there, Neu was hiding in a corner with his paws and arms scratched up...and yet Carlena looked fine. She stood confidently facing this woman with unreadable eyes.

“Give up…”Squirrel” She mocked. Carlena laughed. She had obviously heard of his fabulous new nickname. “ You’re never going to defeat T.N!” She declared.

“Ha! That’s what you think!” Carlena retaliated. “But with his new member, that’s just not the case!”

Ana smiled sheepishly, which felt slightly out of place. Squirrel and Carlena just scowled at Sophie.

“Well, it’s either that or my fleet will continue, everything that exists here will collapse, and you will DIE!” She spat.

“Including you.” Squirrel retorted smugly, without smiling. Sophie paused as her mask fell off, her face fell.

“No - well...I - I’d leave before that happens!” She said nervously as she retrieved the mask and put it back on suavely, regaining utmost confidence.

“Go ahead and try then!” Carlena challenged. Ana’s face twinged and fell. Even Sophie looked shocked. She shrugged it off, though.

“...Okay,” She dismissed. She called for the attack to start up again, and as it did, Squirrel, Neu, Ana and Silver Cinder turned to Carlena in desperation. She smirked and eyed the birds. As soon as they reached the level they were standing on, Carlen let out a massive cry;

“FIRE!” She screamed, and as soon as she did, the ground beneath them shook. Ana and Neu fell to the rumbling earth as large fireball dragons shot up through the rocks. Hundreds of dragons - some the size of Squirrel, some as big as Silver Cinder - charged ferociously at the crows, who instinctively took to the crust. The dragons went to bat and bite at the crows, but in the end, they were mercied by the dragons and not caught in the flames. However, they were completely shaken with fear as they flew out of the crevice like smoke from a volcano - going everywhere.

Sophie was already at the crust, having been carried by the larger birds. She stared mouth agape as the dark crows flew away from her at the speed of light. It was a large sight to see, and she found herself alone at the top. She sunk and looked up.

“What am I gonna do?!?!?!” Sophie mumbled nervously to herself as her mask fell off. Her eyes widened as she remembered that T.N had told her to never lose the crows. She hopped up frantically.

“Birdies!!! Hey!! WAAAAAAIIIITT!!” She screamed after them, stumbling as fast as her legs could go.

Carlena looked up the freshly crumbled walls of the crevice and through the, now extremely thick, fog. She eyed it aggressively at first, but her expression grew into a triumphant smile.

“We did it!” She cried as she rose her fist in the air. The hundreds of fiery dragons - that Ana guessed were Fire dragons - lifted themselves onto the their back legs in victory and let out proud roars. Carlena smirked and searched for the other dragon she had in mind for them. “Aha!” she exclaimed as she strided over to one of the smallest dragons there. It had black scales that looked like coal, and fire erupting over it’s chest and up it spine. It’s tail was a trail of orange flames and ears were like decorative candles.

It scowled and held itself in a haughty fashion. It seemed like a real fighter type dragon,

“This is Burning Aura,” Carlena began proudly, “ He is a great warrior and very trustworthy, however, only one can ride him at a time, and they have to wear this.” She told them with a smile as she pulled out a jar. Ana, Neu and Squirrel looked confused. It had yellow-y silver sand or dust like stuff inside of it. “Take this to The Safe, Kypto and Cresikle will make an outfit from it.”

“What is it?” Ana asked.

“The Safe is a special little place on the top of the world - not the North pole, the world is til-”

“She meant what’s in the jar.” Squirrel interrupted.

“Oh!” Carlena looked sheepishly at them and chuckled. “Stardust! Thousands of years ago, stars used to be tiny little meteoroids or planets, but they burnt out. For a decade there were odd showers of stardust that were collected by warlocks.” Carlena explained.

“Why would you need to wear stardust?”

“It’s heatproof, so Burning Aura’s heat won’t affect the rider.” Carlena looked down and smiled. “These are now yours, now! For I have entrusted them to you.” To this, Burning Aura saluted with his long arms and Silver Cinder danced around slightly. Ana coughed amazed as Squirrel nodded thankfully. Carlena put her hands on her hips. “Well, Goodbye! This air won’t do any good!” she exclaimed, turning to Ana. “And you...Good luck!” She smiled.

Ana nodded. Even though Carlene probably had no idea of the things Ana would be facing, she supposed it was a nice gesture. Carlena turned back to Squirrel and began explaining about how Burning Aura couldn’t be in the rain, how Silver couldn’t make fire and a bunch of other things about The Safe.

Ana would’ve listened in, but she was distracted with other nervous thoughts. Good luck. She’d only just realised that she might need it...She had to fight! Not only that, but she remembered of the strange creature called Teedey. He and Sophie both spoke of T.N...The “Nastiest” - which isn’t accurate.

“Squirrel?” Ana called. She was dismissed with a glare, and turned to Burning Aura who looked coldly on the world. Ana wondered what he was thinking and how he was feeling. She supposed sadly over the idea that he had never been hugged or even patted on the back.

She wanted to be the first. 

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298 Reviews

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Reviews: 298

Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:20 am
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HolographicLadybug wrote a review...

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D This is a holographic review! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Hi! I am back, as promised, with another review! :D :D


He took a deep breathe and searched for something - anything!

You mean "breath" (without the E).
"Breathe" is like this: "She wanted to breathe, but Hans kept his foot firmly on her throat."
"Breath" is like: "Hannah's breath was quick and hurried as she ran from the flaming bear."

She began agitated.

There should probably be a comma after "agitated" because it sounds a bit like she began being agitated. Of course, this is not what you mean. ;)

“Only if we’re almost there.” She began agitated. Must be the atmosphere, Squirrel thought.

You go from one character to the other. (This rule has a lot emphasis for dialogue) When you switch between characters, make a new paragraph. Treat thoughts as dialogue. They should go on a whole new paragraph. I realize that Ana speaks later on (like right after), so you need to put that on a whole new paragraph.

Ana realised that the crow allusion was a human

You most likely mean illusion, not allusion. An allusion is a literary device.

stood upon. whatever it was, was invisible until it highlighted its presence.

You forgot to capitalize the first letter of the sentence.

~Other Bits~
She had spikes and a dragon tail with red hair and hammer pants.

As readers, we have no idea where she has spikes. Just with a few simple words, you could clarify that.

Squirrel went to answer, but “Of course you do!”

I'm a bit confused here.

The dragon warlock before them cried happily.

Problem: we don't actually know that she's a dragon warlock. We haven't really been given anything that indicates that she would be. Try revealing it via dialogue or by some other means (I will get to another part of this eventually. Just bear with me :) )

Ok, it feels a bit like we're jumping in the battle with Sophie a bit too quickly. You've introduced (or I assume) another character, Carlena, and I don't really feel as if we get enough time to get to know her or to grasp a sense of what is going on before the attack begins. Try having a bit more conversation or action with Carlena and then go for Sophie.
But at the same time, I really feel like you could slow her attack down quite a bit. It's not so fast as to be starting one second and then poof!, it's over, but just a bit too fast-paced. I feel like you could probably have your characters doing some more actions or something or maybe have Sophie do something to raise the stakes. One thing that did feel too fast about it was the ending of the fight. I barely had much time to register what was happening before it ended and I wasn't quite sure. Slow it down a little by adding some description, actions, or maybe even dialogue. Describing the volcano/dragon scene would be where I would start first.

~Good Bits~
No matter what happens, I think that I will always see Squirrel as a squirrel-person-hybrid. There is nothing we can do about it. My mind is stuck that way.

Add another person to the list of characters I like! Sophie! She's pretty cool, although I find her face-thing (forget what it's called) a bit extreme, but that's really just a personal preference and you should by no means take out that part. She seems like quite the interesting character. (Reminds me of something else, but I can't quite put my holographic finger on it....) I have a pretty amazing idea of what she is like, so that means that you are displaying your characters amazingly well. I will probably have something to say about the others by the time I come back around, but for now, I'll just leave it.
I find her super interesting and she will probably have to compete with Squirrel for my favorite. ;) Interesting characters are always great to have because they really do keep your story interesting, especially if you use them well.

Ah, that's it from me! To chapter one I go! (And then the prologue after chapter two) I am really enjoying myself by reading this and expect--yet again--more from me shortly. :)
Stay awesome, Waddlers!
~Holographic Ladybug ^^

Waddlers says...

Wow, that was quick!! I honestly wasn't expecting it!! XD Thank you, and unlike some, I appreciate "nitpicks" a GREAT DEAL!!! :D I've always thought it was a fast paced scene, I suppose that I mostly was just being lazy or was unsure of what to add, but thank you for giving me an idea! You seem to like the blonde characters... ;)

Sophie originally was just a villain to use to emphasize other villains, but what ends up going on with her is pretty amazing, so I'm sure you'll absolutely LOVE it! :D


Still a squirrel-person in my head

Waddlers says...

YUS!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:02 am
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FeatherPen wrote a review...

It has taken way longer than I thought it would to get around to reviewing, hopefully your patience shall be rewarded.

I have spent some time on the chapter length question you asked about. I found a comment I posted a while back, which linked to a forum suggesting chapters should be 1,500 to 2,000 words. Points I put this chapter through word to count it is 3091 words long. So it is on the long side. If you want to break it in two, when they arrive at the hotel may be a good point because it is a change of scene. I also looked at the file you sent me. It seems to me that your page breaks, whatever you call them, --------------------- those things. Are in the right places to fit within the suggested range. So for YWS purposes they would make good chapter/episode breaks. Some of them may be on the short side, but it would make the reviewing more in-depth an easier, which is what you were wanting. Does that help?

An editing process I do sometimes is to do a word count and try shorten it by x%, to see how much I can cut out without impeding on the story or depth of description. You may consider trying it with this chapter, just as an exercise and aiming to cut the 3000 words down to 2000. Sometimes I like the results, sometimes not. It hurts to cut out those words you spent so long on but often it makes it clearer, more concise/exciting and fit within your word limit. Anyway, give it a try.

On to more specifics on this episode.
Scratch that I am next going to comment on your narration across the story so far. If I remember correctly, previously each part was from a different character’s pov, which was a bit confusing. Now you have a narrator who follows all of the characters. Firstly it is clearer, secondly something interesting has happened. That is, that it has allowed you as the narrator to address the audience directly, I pointed out some examples in my last review because they were commonly used foreshadowing. However I wanted to add in this review keep talking as the narrator because that style seems to be working (just don’t use those over used phrases). The style of direct address from the narrator is found more in older style books and is also known as breaking the fourth wall, though your uses of it are quite subtle and don’t actually say ‘dear reader’. In essence it is making your story unique and I like the changes.

Now on to more specifics on this episode.

I found it a bit unclear as to where Ana was riding on the dragons, this would be easily rectified by ‘and Ana sat behind him’ after “Squirrel hopped on.”

I also like the descriptions you have framed your dialogue in.

“He shouted over the furious force of the air. Ana gritted her teeth and hugged herself flat against the dragons back. “

“Remember Teedey?” Squirrel asked.
“Yeah.” Ana exclaimed.

Exclaimed seemed to me to be the wrong word to describe Ana’s response particularly as it concerns Teedey. You could replace it with “Ana replied, shuddering at the memory of *short description*. This gives you a point to develop his character more and what Ana thinks about him.

A mole hotel, is that also from a dream? I think it is fantastic and I loved the detail of the bow tie.

Your emotions progress with greater consistency, particularly the part where Ana’s feeling home sick as they go to sleep.
However Rylee’s actions with the napkin seem a bit wired. I think they could still have the entire conversation both still lying in their beds.

Ana is portrayed as a bit daft and you commented that she acts thick but I like her philosophical thought
“Or maybe humans weren’t good enough at it and were replaced.”

That is all for this Episode,

Waddlers says...

Really; Don't worry!!! I don't mind waiting because I KNOW that when you review, it'll be totally worth it! Thank you for the information on the word count, and I think I'll just post each section at a time even if I know they wouldn't make up an episode. This is actually very helpful, because now I know it's all laid out in front of me!! :D

As for the narration!!! :D I'm really very happy that you like it, as after the next three chapters, we might just - **BUZZZ, CRASH POOF**

Yeah...I'm not gonna say anything!! ^U^

Thanks for the add on for that particular piece of dialogue! Everytime you rephrase, it makes the writing stick together perfectly!

The mole hotel, as much as I'd like to say that it was, actually wasn't from a dream, and I can't remember thinking that thoroughly into it. It's probably an older idea than 10% developed Rylie, making it probably 2-3 years old!!! I'm glad that you like it! Hopefully I'll illustrate it and add it in to this chapter at some point. Hehe! The moles are odd, funny things!!! XD

I see what you mean. He hardly knows her and it's not like she's a baby. The philosphical thought. It must mean she's bored. XD

Also, which review would you like me to review? Any? Pick out two or three for me and they'll be done by the end of the week! ^U^

“I'd much rather be someone's shot of whiskey than everyone's cup of tea.”
— Carrie Bradshaw