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Adonia, Beloved / Chapter 2

by LittleFox

      Rhea had barely registered what had woken her before she was already up out of her bed, blade gleaming in one hand. As the grogginess washed away she remembered the faint sound of broken ceramic that came from the Sovereign's chambers. Another false alarm, she decided, but she quickly hurried out the door and into the corridor.

      Glancing to her right she gave a start when she saw a black-haired man disappear hurriedly around a corner. Her heart sank and her body tensed. Where is Rahim off to?

      The wide doors to the Sovereign's quarters lay directly across the hall, one left slightly ajar. Gingerly, Rhea pushed it open the rest of the way and stepped inside. The antechamber was dark and silent, but from further inside Rhea could make out the sound of soft sobbing.

      Rhea ran, making her way swiftly into The Sovereign's bedchamber. "Adonia?" The Sovereign sat on the floor with her torso collapsed over the end of her bed, her shoulders shaking. Rhea's breath caught when she saw the blood that stained the Sovereign's gown. She turned on her heel and dashed back out into the hall and shouted for the guards.

      The first guard to appear was a lanky man, blue eyes wide and startled. "Fetch The Sovereign's physician," Rhea ordered him before he could speak. She turned back without another glance- it was as if a gravitational pull was urging Rhea back to Adonia- and returned to the Sovereign's bedchamber. She kneeled next to Adonia and laid a hand on her shoulder. '

     "Adonia, what happened?:" Adonia shook her head, refusing to answer. She kept her eyes squeezed shut.

     With a growl Rhea remembered Rahim darting away. She rose just as the physician came running in, a servant trailing behind her with a tray of bandages and whatever else may be needed. She moved past them without a word. She was met by more guards when she came out into the hall, each giving Rhea worried or questioning looks. "Find Rahim. He is to be brought back here at all costs," she said. They were quick to comply, heading off toward the palace entrance on hasty feet.

     When they were out of sight Rhea fell back tiredly against the wall. Why would he do this? she had always trusted Rahim to keep Adonia safe in the night when Rhea could not be there to watch over her. It had never crossed her mind that he could be the one to hurt her. But why? She clenched her fists until her fingernails dug into her palms. She wanted to throw her knuckles into the wall. He will have to answer to me when he is returned here, and then he will wish a pack of wild dogs had gotten him instead.

     Once she was calm again she let out a deep breath and walked back to Adonia's bedchamber. The physician was finishing stitching the gash in Adonia's side as Rhea came in. "How is she?" she asked in a cool voice, hiding the worry that wanted to form a lump in her throat.

     "Some days' rest will do her well," the plump woman said as she took a roll of white bandages from her attendant.

     Adonia's eyes were closed now and sleep made her face serene again, but tears still clung to her skin. But for how long will those stay? Rhea wondered.

     The woman followed Rhea's gaze with a brief glance and seemed to read her mind. "I don't know what I can do about that," she said as she began to wrap the wound in bandages. "It was her husband wasn't it? I'm sure. I don't know what sleep can do to heal that pain, but it can ease her for now." She finished with the bandages and looked at Rhea with a sort sigh. "But the physical damage will heal without much hassle so long as it is kept clean."

     Rhea nodded solemnly. "Thank you, Adda."

     "My honor." The physician pressed her palm to her heart with a small tilt of her head. "I will return in a few hours to check on her, but for now sleep is the surest medicine." She strode from the room, golden braid swinging behind her as her assistant snatched up their supplies and hurried out after her.

     Rhea stood for a moment shifting from one foot to the other. She was not sure what to do now, after all of this. She decided she would wait at the entrance of the palace for the guards to bring Rahim to her, but just as she turned to leave, Adonia stirred. "Rhea?"

     She hesitated, keeping her exterior cool. "You should be asleep."

     "I know that," Adonia sighed, but her eyes said that sleep would not return so soon.

     Rhea let her exterior break and kneeled down at Adonia's bedside. "I'm sorry," she said, her blue eyes softening with sadness. "I didn't protect you. I failed you. You should have chosen another as you body guard."

     "Nonsense." There was a brief sharpness in Adonia's eyes. "I did not choose you only because you are my friend, Rhea. There was nothing you or any other could have done to prevent that." Her voice grew softer as she spoke and tears began to form in the corners of her eyes.

     "I'll make him pay for doing this to you." Rhea's shoulders sagged, but there was an edge to her voice. "The guards should be returning with him at any moment."

     "No." Adonia shifted slightly where she lay, and the tears spilled over, but her voice was firm and even. "Let him go wherever he wishes."

     Rhea bristled. "Let him go? How can you say that?"

     "Call off any search for him that you have sent out."

     Rhea's shoulders shook with silent rage. "I cannot let him-"

     "You will do as I say." The sharpness was back in Adonia's eyes.

     Rhea gaped at her for a moment. Even after becoming Sovereign, Adonia had never commanded anything of her. After a moment she lowered her eyes. "As you wish."

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639 Reviews

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Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:23 pm
SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Hia there! Back for more already.

So, before I read on any further, my very first thought when reading the first paragraph was where did she get her blade from? Even if she is the bodyguard, perhaps mention something about it being in close proximity. Then it's assume she can reach it whenever an emergency pops up with ease.

Something that came to mind while I was reading is it seems things are going at a really strange place. Rhea first walks in, calls the Physician, then walks out to think some. And what feels like second later, she walks in once more and everything is finished. Drag out some of this, more of Rhea's worries perhaps? Or even just have the wait agonizing, but she doesn't wish to pressure the physican. (Or whatever reason she walked outside in the first place.)

While reading this, I was under the impression that Adonia was lying on the floor, yet she just so calmly lays there and closes her eyes? And if she were on the bed in the beginning, why not change the blood stained bedding? Did her clothes change while Rhea was out? There seems to be more details missing about what happened and where everything started out as. It's always important to set the scene and help the reader understand what's going on.

This may not be a huge deal, but there were quite a few adverbs throughout this, especially quickly, swiftly, etc. It's alright to have adverbs here and there, but sometimes it may make your writing stronger to just have very that include the adverb. For instance, rush is a good one int hat sense, or even dash or sprint. Though, your writing is really good even without it!

I really like how quickly the relationship between Rhea and Adonia was established, and even the ending, when Adnonia had commanded Rahim to be left to go wherever he chose, Rhea's shock at that just strengthened it all the more.

So many questions and so little answers, but that's the beauty of reading onwards! Keep on Writing,

LittleFox says...

Thank you!

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639 Reviews

Points: 13700
Reviews: 639

Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:22 pm
SpiritedWolfe says...

Whoops. Sorry, this posted twice.

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260 Reviews

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Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:02 am
TriSARAHtops wrote a review...

Hello again! Thought I'd drop by with another review and get you out of the Green Room!

This chapter has some changes that are a lot more evident. I think you've handled Rhea being Adonia's bodyguard a lot more skilfully in this draft - you explain it a little, and hint that it might be a little bit unusual in their society. I think it feels a bit more natural now - readers might not question it so much if they know that Adonia had decided on Rhea being her bodyguard. There's not so much suspended belief required, so good job on solving a problem that your reviewers had pointed out!

Hm hm hm. I got the sensation that you weren't trying to jam so much into this chapter this time around. Personal opinions on short chapters aside, the length felt a lot better. I feel like there could still be more detail and description in this chapter, however I think you might have cut it off earlier or something, so you didn't end up with such a rushed, summarising feeling to it.

One thing that I think this chapter needs is a stronger sense of anxiety. You aren't quite creating the tone that a chapter like this needs - you want Rhea's concern for Adonia to be positively palpable - even though the reader knows what has happened, you want them to share Rhea's fears and shock. I guess that's just a matter or description, and using really evocative language.

I don't have all that much to say, really. Detail and depth are still areas that aren't quite at the standard they could be, but I can see an improvement in the pacing, and that's really good to see. If you have any questions, or would like me to review your next chapter, just let me know!

LittleFox says...

Thank you so much :D

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Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:52 am
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Pretzelstick wrote a review...

Heya pretzelsing here for a review,

I have to say that you changed some things in this chapters and it was interesting.I was intrigued by Adonia's character, why did she let him go? :o And why was she so sharp and command Rhea to call off all searches? :? All of these thoughts were going through my head. Rhea seems very protective, which she should be.Also this wasn't a complete chapter in my opinion because it was too short, and so I would either expand it and make it longer, or do like other authors do and label this as: Chapter 2.1 and then 2.2 etc.

This sentence is very cliche:

Her heart sank and her body tensed.

It's not original or meaningful: "her heart sank.Maybe you could show us how she was feeling when Rahim ran away. For example: "A shudder ran through my bones," or "my gut feeling told me that something was terribly wrong." (ohh I like those descriptions) :D

Again, another cliche here:

Rhea's breath caught when she saw the blood that stained the Sovereign's gown.

Breath caught is so common and unoriginal that it truly loses it's meaning. Here is my idea :idea: : " she froze, shocked to the skull" or "she stopped breathed for a second." or anything else that you can come up with that is very creative and uniquely yours.

Here was a repetitive sentence:

She clenched her fists until her fingernails dug into her palms. She wanted to throw her knuckles into the wall.

Also I was just curious kind of, but about the medical care, you described that they put stitches.Did they give any antiseptic or cream? Did the stiches hurt?Did Adonia feel them? :? Those are all things that you could include and describe in that place, to make your writing more real.

Two times you were using her hands and fingers to show her emotions. Hmmm, maybe you could just tell us Rhea's thoughts or other actions. Maybe anger bubbled up in her like a volcano ready to burst (oohh I like that description :D ) or "fuming with rage" or whatever creative thing that you come up with.Make sure please to only use her hands once and maybe delete the other one.

The conversation between Rhea and Adonia is strong, knowing that Adonia was tired and was supposed to be asleep. You used that cutting off Technic and the sharpness in Adonia's voice startled even be. Right now, from my reader's point of view I am just saying that I can sympathize with Rhea, and I would do everything that I could to catch Rahim. I totally understand why Rhea would do what she did. The last sentence shows loyal submission, but a tiny question lingers in the back of my mind: Will Rhea actually obey and stop the search? :?

I hope that this review truly helps and that you continue writing! Please ping me a notif when the next installment comes out!
Happy Review Day!


LittleFox says...

Thanks so much for your help! :)

“Sorry about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine. I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.”
— Richard Siken