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"Danser" Pt. 5

by manilla


A/N: I anticipate that this will be the best part yet, since the last few were just plain disappointing :') 

--

A pill is pressed down onto your tongue, dry and cold. Someone squirts water into your mouth, and you unwillingly swallow. The Empress is your child. The Empress is your child. 

Yulian strips off the blue surgical gloves clinging to his hands and throws them aside. "That'll numb your pain for now."

The Empress is your child.

All you want to do is go home, to your husband and soft, warm, non-hospital bed. The fire would be crackling in the distance, its heat radiating throughout the house. There wouldn't be strange blond boys that appear for reasons unknown, or girls heterochromatic eyes staring at you with unhuman senses. Just before you close your eyes again, Yulian vanishes into thin air, leaving behind a tattered parchment. 

The natulys are in your account. But here is one thing the Empress requires of you: You must not tell anybody of the girl's powers, or Anzhelika Natadova's true identity. Failure to do so will get you executed by me. I don't care that this falls into the zone of your consent, because you have to anyway.

You push the parchment off your bed with an uneasy finger and hear it clatter on the floor. 

--

"Viktoriya. Demonstrate your abilities."

Viktoriya stands still, her gray and purple eyes swirling with a strange light. She is ungagged but refuses to speak. She takes a glance left, where guards have gathered into a rigid formation, shields against the ground. Viktoriya balls her fists and stares at the humans around her, loathing their presence. Loathing that in hours she will be turned into a mortal. Understandably, she is a goddess. A young one, only having roamed the earth for a millenia, but she has the wisdom nonetheless. Her name is not Viktoriya, yet she can't pinpoint the identity she used to go by, the identity she owned before the supposed Empress turned her into a freak show. The knowledge she bears could turn the entire empire into a desolation of burning flames and wreckage. Viktoriya waits for the day when the tables will turn, the day she will rediscover her true lineage. When that day comes, she will have her revenge. 

"I have one request," Viktoriya snarls, her voice hoarse and unrecognizable. 

"Rid me of these chains, Marie," Viktoriya pauses, before taking a deep breath. "YOU'RE NO EMPRESS! YOU'RE A LIAR, MARIE ISABELLE MOULIN! DAUGHTER OF MERCENARIES, MURDERER OF THE LEGITIMATE ROYAL FAMILY! BASTARD!" Viktoriya spits, a glob of crimson on the floor. The guards surrounding shuffle uneasily, questioning whether the girl has just said is the truth, for the previous Emperor had no heirs. To their surprise, the Empress does not jump at her. She stands rigid, like she's aware she's playing with fire. 

"You will not call me by that name," Empress Maria says, grinning madly. She digs her nails onto her perfect doll face and drags them downward. She takes a few paces forward towards Viktoriya, who stands her ground. Waiting. "You'll start wondering how it'll end. Don't go there, Viktoriya. Here, we hear actions, not words. No one will believe you."

Mortals. Stupid mortals. They radiate no energy except for a stale one that ebbs and flows within and out of reach. Viktoriya thinks about the era of the gods, the era that she ended. Humans were no longer mere pawns in this deadly game. They were the kings, and gods had been caught in between. 

"Yulian. Take away her powers."

The blond steps into view, a large sword at his side covered in ancient runes. Viktoriya could read them. She knows she once could've. If only. If only. Quickly, before he unsheathes his sword, Viktoriya catches the words: Taliy raponje garasu. Of discord.

"NO!" Viktoriya screams, tearing into the flesh between her left thumb and wrist, and a blinding light explodes from the bitemark. The metal chains fly off from her wrists, piercing the guards nearby. Empress Maria and Yulian duck while the Empress barks at the guards to rise. Viktoriya realizes it happens too slow, yet too fast; The light is fading, and so is she. Viktoriya bites again, harder. The guards point their swords at the middle of the circle, and surprisingly, Yulian does the same as Viktoriya. Sleek white fur. Razor sharp claws, scratching the tiled floor, begging to spill blood. Piercing azure eyes that meet Viktoriya's. 

In the ring are two lynxes.

In the ring are two gods.

In the ring are two gods, unknowingly playing a human's game.


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Sun May 27, 2018 5:33 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey manilla! Happy Review day :D

I went back and read the other parts. Good job, by the way! I've been hearing about them around the site, and just now got around to reading them.

And without further ado, shall we begin? (yes, because you can't answer before I post this :p)


The Empress is your child.


Although I get the intent behind this line, I think it might sound better as something more along the lines of Natalya thinking of how she has to pretend/act as though the Empress is her child. The way you have it now sounds almost as though Natalya just found out the Empress is her child.

to you husband and soft, warm, non-hospital bed.


This is just my thoughts, but maybe this would sound better if you compared Natalya's bed to the hospital bed, rather than separating them? 'to your husband, and your soft, warm bed, nothing like the cold and unwelcoming stiffness of the hospital's bed' or something like that? That would be up to you :)


-I love the description of the fire <3 it's very cosy


Yulian vanishes into thin air


o: Can he do magic too? Or is this your way of describing how he leaves?

"Viktoriya. Demonstrate your abilities."


says the person who has chained. (also, it's not clear who says this?)

"I have on request," Viktoriya snarls, her voice hoarse and unrecognizable.

"Rid me of these chains, Marie," Viktoriya pauses, before taking a deep breath. "YOU'RE NO EMPRESS! YOU'RE A LIAR, MARIE ISABELLE MOULIN! DAUGHTER OF MERCENARIES, MURDERER OF THE LEGITIMATE ROYAL FAMILY! BASTARD!" Viktoriya spits, a glob of crimson on the floor. The guards surrounding shuffle uneasily,


Why are these separated? The paragraph is long, but you could separate the guards shuffling around. It doesn't make sense for the lines to be separated, since Viktoriya is still the one speaking.
The comma between 'spits', and 'a glob of crimson' should be removed, otherwise 'a glob of crimson on the floor' doesn't make much sense.

She digs her nails onto her perfect doll face and drags them downwards.


Why is she clawing her own face?

Mortals. Stupid mortals.


Are these Viktoriya's thoughts? It's not really explained. And it seems a little contradictory to have her as a young Goddess, and also having ended an era of Gods. Although, without much other context, I can't really say much about it. Just something to let you ponder :)

In the ring are two gods, unknowingly playing a human's game.


:O


-This is a super interesting story! Your build up is really good, starting from what seems to be simply a mishap at a ball, and it's turned into this! Great work <3

-Some of your paragraphs are a little long, however. I would try to break them up to make the reading easier. Line breaks are for a change in Topic, Time, Place, and Person, if that helps any! (or maybe you already knew that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)


That's all I have today! Hope I could be of help to you and your work :) Keep at it!

I hope you have a great day!




manilla says...


Thank you for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of Danser as well. Yulian is in fact a god capable of doing magic, and some of the Empress's actions (eg. face clawing) are to show the fact that she's going insane.



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Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:17 am
Winged067 says...



God, I was actually surprised. Great job manilla. Now we know what happened to Ryssova - or sorry, Viktoriya, and Yulian, and I am wondering on how this will all play out when Viktoriya learns that Yulian rid her of her powers.




manilla says...


HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA KILL ME



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Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:26 pm
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Hattable wrote a review...



Heya, part five, nice!

So, I don't have a lot of time, but I'm gonna jump right in.

here wouldn't be strange blond boys that appear for reasons unknown, or girls heterochromatic eyes staring at you with unhuman senses.

This is a nice sentence. I assume you mean “girls eyes” as in the eyes belong to the girls, though, in which case you'd slap an apostrophe after the S (girls'). Also, unhuman works, but it seems to be less proper? Inhuman has the same meaning and sounds more like a real word so you might consider going with that, but it's good either way!

Inhuman also unfortunately has X-Men connotations to me, but ehhh--

Failure to do so will get you executed by me. I don't care that this falls into the zone of your consent, because you have to anyway.

“By me” feels like an unnecessary thing to tack on. The threat of execution is-- threatening enough. “By me” makes it feel kind of funny? Also not sure about the last line, it feels redundant. “I don't care if this would normally require your consent; you have to do it anyway”. Maybe rewrite the last line, or omit it entirely? Then just fix the “by me” and the note is pretty good.

Also, didn't touch on this in the order of its appearance, but the “The Empress is my child” thoughts-- what's up with that? I'm guessing I'll figure out if I read on, or it was explained before and I forgot but yeah I'm a bit confused by that at the moment.

You push the parchment off your bed with an uneasy finger and hear it clatter on the floor.

! Parchment doesn't typically clatter? Haha. I'm guessing you may have meant to imply that it was on a scroll or something similar, in which case you could fix the sentence that goes
Yulian vanishes into thin air, leaving behind a tattered parchment.

and say “leaving behind a tatter scroll of parchment”.
Just saying “parchment” in that context sounds kind of weird anyway, as I believe I've made note of in a previous part of this story. I guess it works the same as saying “leaving behind a tattered paper”, which is fine, but parchment is meeh in that context? Uhh-- like if you were to say paper, typically you'd describe the size or whatever. Sheet of paper, scrap of paper, etc. So the same would go for parchment. Scroll of parchment, sheet of parchment, etc. It just feels more natural?

But yeah, parchment/paper on its own definitely doesn't clatter, so maybe clarify that it's on a scroll or whatever else you meant, lel

Viktoriya balls her fists and stares at the humans around her, loathing their presence. Loathing that in hours she will be turned into a mortal. Understandably, she is a goddess

I'm not sure how to articulate why it's out of place, but “understandably” feels like the wrong word to use here. I get what you're going for? But it reads kind of poorly. I'll try to explain, uhh--

So it works if it's something that the reader knew beforehand, or if it were a practical result to deduce? But it's not. We wouldn't immediately guess this girl to be a goddess? It's not “understandably, she's a goddess”. Uhh-- the context sounds as though you're trying to get across that the Empress and her guards know she's a goddess, understand she's a goddess, but the word doesn't really work that way. It could work if you were to say something like “They knew she was a goddess, and understandably, she wasn't a fan of this treatment” because that's understandable. We can't exactly understand that she's a goddess based off the situation itself? It's kind of a jump to just conclude that, lel

I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, and I wish I could articulate the feeling it gives me more clearly, but ahh-- I'll try to clarify if a clearer explanation ever comes to mind, though!

"I have one request," Viktoriya snarls, her voice hoarse and unrecognizable. 
"Rid me of these chains, Marie," Viktoriya pauses, before taking a deep breath. "YOU'RE NO EMPRESS! YOU'RE A LIAR, MARIE ISABELLE MOULIN! DAUGHTER OF MERCENARIES, MURDERER OF THE LEGITIMATE ROYAL FAMILY! BASTARD!" Viktoriya spits, a glob of crimson on the floor.

Okay, so, few things. First off, that's way too many dialogue tags, especially considering it's one character talking and no one is interrupting? It reads like

“I have one request,” she says.
“Rid me of these chains,” she says.
“ALL CAPS SHOUTING,” she says.

And that's not great. Not something you wanna do. It stunts the flow and actually caused some slight confusion at first, because I thought someone else had interrupted. The paragraph break between the first one and the rest is also out of place.

You could fix it to something more like this;
"I have one request," Viktoriya snarls, her voice hoarse and unrecognizable. "Rid me of these chains!" She pauses before taking a deep breath, then explodes. "YOU'RE NO EMPRESS! YOU'RE A LIAR, MARIE ISABELLE MOULIN! DAUGHTER OF MERCENARIES, MURDERER OF THE LEGITIMATE ROYAL FAMILY! BASTARD!" Viktoriya spits a glob of crimson on the floor.


I took some liberties with “then explodes” and whatnot, but I wanted to add some emotion/description of her shouting. But yeah, you can avoid the multiple dialogue tags and still have it break up evenly. I also removed a couple excessive commas that you had.

Other thing for this portion is the use of caps. I'm personally not a fan of caps being used to indicate shouting. If you write the dialogue/tags well enough, we won't need the caps to know just how loud it is? But I understand the temptation to use them, and I've even done the same before. Heck, J.K. Rowling and Stephen King have their characters shout in all caps. But yeah, it's just messy/clunky-looking.
I won't pester you about it, too much, though. It's not horrible and can probably remain. You didn't drag it out for too long, at least. If it were a whole paragraph, though, then we'd have a problem, lel


The guards surrounding shuffle uneasily, questioning whether the girl has just said is the truth, for the previous Emperor had no heirs. 

This should start a new paragraph, rather than cling to the end of the previous one. Also, maybe rearrange the words so it's “the surrounding guards”-- reads clearer.
As for the logic behind them not questioning the Empress when the previous Emperor had no heir? That's a bit of a stretch for my suspension of belief, but I'll see where you go with it.

If they were so quick to follow the Empress despite this, however, the girl's words probably wouldn't do much to make them question it now. So whichever path you choose to follow, there's a bit of inconsistency for both, see. Either the guards were quick to follow the Empress, in which case it doesn't make sense for them to be so easily touched by the girl's words, or they start thinking the girl may be right, but it doesn't make sense to have ignored the fact that there was no heir, previously.

Hope that's clear!

She digs her nails onto her perfect doll face and drags them downward.

*Into?

They radiate no energy except for a stale one that ebbs and flows within and out of reach.

“They radiate no energy” except the small one that they have. This is kind of contradictory.

Viktoriya could read them. She knows she once could've.

Although the story is in present tense, this sounds like she currently can read them (even though then it'd be worded “can read them”). Uhh-- Maybe go for “Viktoriya could have read them, before. She knows she once could have.” or something, to avoid confusion.

Taliy raponje garasu. Of discord.

Is this entire thing what it says, or what it says and then a translation?

The metal chains fly off from her wrists, piercing the guards nearby. 

This may be nit-picky, but maybe add “shrapnel” before “piercing”, just to give the scene some more umph, y'know?

And done. The ending was vaguely confusing, with the line of “Yulian does the same as Viktoriya”, but I think I've got the meaning now. It sounded, at first, like he was also stabbing her with the guards? But the wording was weird for that and I figured that couldn't be what you meant.

Uhh, the pacing in this one was alright. Imagery was decent. The writing itself definitely jumped up a step from the previous part. It was a shift of perspective since the whole story we've been seeing things from the other woman's point of view, and now we're just a vague spectator at this confrontation with Viktoryia? I may have forgotten something from the last part that set this up, though, so I'm not sure.

I hope this review wasn't too harsh, and sorry that the comments on actual content were short, but oops I've gotta dash.


Keep up the good work!

- Hatt




manilla says...


Haha, that was a long review considering the amount of time you seem to have. Thanks - Clarity wasn't great in this one.



Hattable says...


yEAH I didn't realize it had gotten so long, haha




Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.
— Captain Raymond Holt