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18+ Language Violence

The Pariah of Levon, 3

by passenger

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

Fear was like jumping in the pool for the first time, but never getting used to the water. To the touch, it was a tickling chill at the base of her spine. Devin’s body seized. Every breath was a gulp; each thought a prayer.

“What?” Devin asked. She stepped back, twigs snapping underfoot. Lane brandished the knife, and suddenly, Devin bore a cold certainty that she had heard Lane correctly.

Neither Lane nor Blaire spoke. Blaire’s face was marred with makeup, nearly resembling a caricature, and it was almost as though she was in the midst of being wiped from existence. Lane, however, was steely. Her fingers tightened around the handle of her weapon.

Lane took a step towards Devin. Devin screamed, hoping that someone from the party might hear her.

Then she realized that there probably hadn’t been a party to begin with.

She whipped around and took off through the underbrush. She could hardly feel her feet beneath her, and stumbled in her heels. Devin’s veins began to course with adrenaline. Her bones burned with it. Sobs hitched in her throat. Leaves crunched beneath her. The woods were a cacophony, and yet Devin was deaf to all but the swell of her own lungs.

She had barely gotten ten yards before Blaire, having sprinted after her, wrapped her wiry arms around Devin’s waist. They both tumbled to the ground. Devin squirmed in the dirt, grunting. She couldn’t tell if the hair in her face was Blaire’s or her own. Blaire straddled Devin, pinning Devin’s hands with her knees. They were scalded by the snow. Devin bit Blaire’s forearm. Blaire cried out in surprise, and took to clawing Devin’s face with her nails.

For a moment, all Devin knew was the slip-slide of Blaire’s wet fingers smothering her face. A shrill scream broke from her lips as Blaire’s fingers dug into Devin’s eyes.

“Laney!” Blaire shrieked.

Devin couldn’t breathe. She fell back, unable to free herself from Blaire’s grip. Her chest ached, and the fear was like a broken machine that couldn’t be switched off. It twitched in her ribs. It threatened to explode.

Lane approached from their left. Blaire rolled off of Devin, but kept a firm hold on the collar of her dress.

“Please,” Devin begged, barely able to summon the will to do so. “Please don’t hurt me.”

“Stop whining,” the brunette commanded.

“I thought we were friends,” Devin whimpered. She was trapped. She felt the terror racing with her heart.

“You don’t make friends with the Devil,” Lane said.

With that, she jabbed the knife into Devin’s gut. Blaire was crying; yelling at Lane to kill her more; to kill her faster; and a yellow light was suddenly bobbing from behind Devin. Devin could not tell whether the light was where she was going or where she was coming from. Her hands were painted crimson, and all she could do was stare at them--caught in a silent film and wreaking havoc with her open mouth--as Lane stabbed her a second time.

Lane threw her hand back again in a driven haze. Before she struck, she was tackled. The force that had knocked her off-balance eluded Devin’s eyes. The knife smacked against the ground. Brisk wind rushed over Devin’s body. She felt as though she was drowning, and fought to resurface. She heard boys yelling. Devin’s head lolled to the side, attempting to catch sight of her rescuers. She was waiting for Lane to come back. She was waiting to be killed, and yet what she glimpsed was her attacker, being shoved against something tall.

It might have been a tree.

Blaire crept forward to finish the job. Her lip quivered. But it wasn’t long before she, too, was thrown to the ground. It was by something indistinguishable from the sky, and Devin felt herself drifting. She felt her body shrinking like a slug in salt.

“Trit!” Blaire screamed at the top of her lungs. It seemed that she only knew how to scream. Her exclamation dragged Devin back to Earth. Blaire hiccuped words with desperation. “What the hell? Put me down!” Though she couldn’t see, Devin imagined Blaire trying to wrestle out of her captor’s arms. “We have to finish the job, you know that!” Her teeth were gritted. “We had a deal. You promised not to get in our way!”

The sounds of a scuffle were muffled. “Trit!”

“Hey!” a male voice called across the wood. “Grab her and get ‘er to the cabin. Remember the plan?” The boy’s voice held a tremor; whether from effort, the cold, or something else.

“It’s hardly a plan,” another male voice grunted. He seemed less deterred by the situation. “But yeah, I got her.” Devin was startled by the voice, as it travelled straight into her ear. It was almost as though an angel had spoken from the heavens. The light was getting closer; it bobbed over her body and held itself there, like it was wondering whether to take her away. Devin’s eyes flitted shut. Again, she could only hear the sounds of her own labored breathing.

“Hey, just kick it, Devin. I’d carry you myself, but you’re heavy.”

Again, the world ripped through Devin’s veins like earrings through newly pierced ears. Full consciousness returned. Her resting heart sped to a pulse. She heard Blaire sobbing.

“We’re all going to die,” the girl muttered. “Won’t be long till we’re all dead.”

“Would you can it, Blaire?” came a distant male voice. “It ain’t right, killing a girl. At least we were moral enough to stop you from murdering somebody to save your own ass.”

“Fuck you, Drain,” Blaire whimpered. “A week ago, you would’ve thought that remark illogical.”

“Flashlight bothering you?” said the voice from beside Devin. She opened her eyes, only to be blinded by the light. A boy’s bent form flashed before her. He looked shaken, or maybe it was the world that was shaken.

“Did you stop the blood?” one of them questioned.

“You can’t stop blood. All you can do is slow it up.”

There was a pattering of footsteps.

“You don’t have to drag me,” Blaire complained. “I can walk.”

“Shay, gimme a hand with her? She’s heavy.”

“Yes,” Devin whispered. She could not stop shivering.

The trees had started running again, or maybe they were the ones running.

She felt herself being lifted. Hands propped beneath her arms and legs, thrusting her body towards the sky.

The flashlight clicked off.

Before Devin followed suit, she caught sight of Delaney George, looking shriveled in her pink dress. She was being escorted through the snow. They met eyes. Lane glanced away sharply.

Devin thought she couldn’t feel her toes. Then she realized she couldn’t feel anything.

She was drifting.

“Where’d the light go?” somebody inquired. He sounded scared. Devin couldn’t fathom why any of them would be more afraid than she was.

“Dying girls get their wishes,” Angel Boy reasoned. Devin felt her body surrender to the cold and pain, and with that bit of harsh irony, her mind’s night prevailed.

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1078 Reviews

Points: 100730
Reviews: 1078

Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:19 pm
Mea wrote a review...

Okay, I'm really into this story. I read halfway through this and went back to read the first chapters for context, and I think I'm hooked.

So, you do a really great job of building tension with your prose. It's vivid and rich in imagery without getting bogged down in itself, and really, it's great. Occasionally, you let yourself be more wordy than you need to be with phrases like "nearly resembling a caricature," but other than trimming those, the prose is very solid.

In general, I found everything that happened after she got stabbed a little confusing, but I'm pretty sure that's very intentional - after all Devin herself has no idea what's going on. :P However, I'd say to watch your pronoun usage - there were a couple times, especially right after the stabbing, where I wasn't sure if "she" was referring Devin, Lane, or Blaire.

I was amused by "Angel Boy" at the end, but I had no idea which of the several guys it was referring to, since the is the first time Devin used the nickname despite it not being the first time she saw him. Plus, we don't really get the connection for why he's Angel Boy - is it because he's hot, because of the flashlight, or just because he's saving her?

I agree with Tri about no mention of pain being odd, as much as the rest of her confusion and drifting in and out of consciousness worked well.

I'm really curious to know who "Trit" is. It doesn't seem to fit as a nickname for any of the people we've met so far.

Quick note - I went ahead and bumped the rating on this to 18+ for language. The f-word automatically means 18+, and we do require works that are 18+ to be rated as such. (It's not a big deal for lower ratings.)

Fear was like jumping in the pool for the first time, but never getting used to the water. To the touch, it was a tickling chill at the base of her spine. Devin’s body seized. Every breath was a gulp; each thought a prayer.

“What?” Devin asked. She stepped back, twigs snapping underfoot. Lane brandished the knife, and suddenly, Devin bore a cold certainty that she had heard Lane correctly.

I feel like "What" would be more of an immediate reaction, so I feel like that should be put before the (really great) paragraph about fear, and then have Lane brandish the knife, etc.

I think that's all I've got! I feel like this review wasn't very helpful, but honestly I couldn't think of too much to say. I'll probably be back to review chapter 4 later. :D

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260 Reviews

Points: 15020
Reviews: 260

Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:08 am
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TriSARAHtops wrote a review...

Hey passenger! I was poking around the Novels section and noticed this chapter, so I thought I'd check it out! I went through and had a quick read over the previous chapters to get an idea what was going on, and I'll come back and review them hopefully in the next couple of days.

You have a really engaging writing style so far, which has a lot of clarity to it. Everything seems to flow really nicely, and the pacing is good! You have the right balance of suspense and chaos, and whilst everything's rocketing on at breakneck speed in these first chapters, it's working really well to hook the reader into the story. I'd like to see the pace slow down a little and settle into a rhythm soon, but so far the pace is effective.

In this review I'll mostly be talking about this chapter, but I'll also discuss the pieceso far as a whole, by the way.

I think the tie to the first chapter, with the writing pieces, was done well. They seemed disconnected at first but using Cassius Pink as a means of tying them together worked well. And I thiiiiink I might have a clue who Angel Boy is... ;)

I didn't entirely buy the stabbing scene here, mostly because there's no mention of pain. I know that shock's a thing and sometimes that can affect people's perception of pain, but the fact that there's no mention of pain after Devin is stabbed with a knife that's not super duper sharp stands out. The intensity of that moment otherwise was quite good, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to up the ante and play up the emotions a bit more here.

For me, the characterisation isn't quite there yet. The Straam's voice in the first chapter positively sparkled, but once you switched over to Devin the character building wasn't quite as strong. It is still early days, so there's still time, but at the moment I don't really have any connection with her. She lacks flavour (not certain why I chose that turn of phrase because it sounds a little more cannibalistic than I was going for). Lane's personality was a little stronger, but still needs a bit more.

That's about all I have to say for now. I'll see you back at the previous chapters!

passenger says...

Thanks so much! I like your suggestions, and will definitely consider them when writing further chapters.

A classic is a book which people praise and don't read.
— Mark Twain