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A Girl at Crescent

by shieldmaiden


A Girl at Crescent

Crescent was a respectable school, instituted for students of musical talent. The school’s objective and focus were entirely dedicated to the nurture and development of music within gifted individuals. Now if said individuals, perhaps, drank blood and were allergic to the sun, or shapeshifted into predators by the light of the full moon – well these were minor flaws that the professors were willing to overlook provided that the candidate proved capable of restraining undesirable activity. Eating one’s peers was not allowed.

Crescent was a boys’ boarding music school. So, you decided to take a midnight stroll outside around the borders of the campus, you would be surprised to catch a glimpse of a girl leaning against a tree, soaking up the moon’s beams as she waited for next period. Standing alone and avoided by all other male students she would open her eyes and gaze in your direction. She would not turn away but would continue to stare, rather curiously, at you. Her eyes were sad, looking nearly black in the dark, but you wouldn’t be scared. A string inside of you would suddenly pull and stretch, pressing a need against your heart. And the next time your mother tried to force you to take piano lessons, you’d begin them with an eagerness that would take her by surprise.

The girl’s name was Jesse. Before that it had been Agatha. Before that it was Delilah. The girl had lost count of her names. But she remembered others.

First there had been David, a young boy who killed a giant and became a great king over a chosen race. He became famous for his “Psalms” – songs that she had helped him discover when he had been but a shepherd boy.

Next came a German composer who grew famous for his concertos. As a boy, she had led him into a nearby church and showed him how to play the gorgeous pipe organ. From under the wings of a stone angel, she had guided his fingers while he pumped the pedals.

Then there was her autistic prodigy. Amadeus was always happy to see her when she popped in surprise visits as his father took him and his sister on a tour all over Europe. If ever the children had been hungry, she would sneak them sandwiches before they gave a performance.

She had given hope to the deaf composer, Ludwig. She dried his tears in his despair and had filled his head with tunes that calmed his heavy soul. She persuaded him to share his music with the world, even if he couldn’t hear the notes flowing out of the instruments, because the music would always be inside of him.

After that, she had taken a break, standing by to watch as the world grew in music and wonder. Going to all the best theaters, she clapped the loudest at Handel’s Messiah, listened to the choir sing Schupert’s composition, and bought the first sheets of Chopin’s piano music. But when she first met a Russian boy and saw the potential in him, she couldn’t keep herself away.

Tchaikovsky’s first ballet was a victory to them both. It was also the first time she’d ever crossed the ocean over to the other continent. While traveling around America, she felt its raw energy and aggressive soul. So, after Tchaikovsky left back for his homeland, she stayed.

Now, she was here at the school. Watching. Waiting. Until then, she did not mind if the boys mocked and ostracized her. One day, she would reveal her true nature.

After all – she was a Muse.


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302 Reviews


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Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:04 pm
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Liberty wrote a review...



Heyo shieldmaiden!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight, depending on what side of the world you're on, obviously. I'm here to give you review for RevMo. Let's get started, now, shall we?

Alrighty! Lemme just say: you're wording is beyond amazing! :smt023

The way she's a muse and everything, and she's helped so many people, that's awesome. I don't know many pianists, but this seems pretty cool. And the history is a nice addition. You add some supernatural stuff - which I like, but just like you;re giving so much description to the music, I'd recommend giving the same amount of description to the supernatural stuff as well. Or just keep the supernatural stuff out.

Well, anyways, I've got a few nitpicks... So we shall begin!

So, after Tchaikovsky left back for his homeland, she stayed.


To be honest, left back for his homeland doesn't sound right. Maybe use some other words instead. ;)

Now if said individuals, perhaps, drank blood and were allergic to the sun, or shapeshifted into predators by the light of the full moon – well these were minor flaws that the professors were willing to overlook provided that the candidate proved capable of restraining undesirable activity.


Shape shifted is two separate words.

I'm done my review! This story was a delight to read and I hope to see more from you soon. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me whenever!

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty




shieldmaiden says...


Thank you so much Liberty! Really enjoyed reading your review and your helpful tips. I should really have developed the supernatural side more. It would have given more depth to the story. Perhaps this will become a book in the future. I only hope that you are still around to read it! Thanks again my friend!



shieldmaiden says...


Thank you so much Liberty! Really enjoyed reading your review and your helpful tips. I should really have developed the supernatural side more. It would have given more depth to the story. Perhaps this will become a book in the future. I only hope that you are still around to read it! Thanks again my friend!



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Mon May 20, 2019 10:20 pm
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Querencia wrote a review...



Hey shieldmaiden!

I'm Q here to review your work today. :) As a pianist myself, I'm very intrigued by the musical theme and love the history references! However, since that seems to be the focus of your piece, some of the little bits at the beginning seem a little unimportant, especially because you don't expand on them later.

Now if said individuals, perhaps, drank blood and were allergic to the sun, or shapeshifted into predators by the light of the full moon – well these were minor flaws that the professors were willing to overlook provided that the candidate proved capable of restraining undesirable activity. Eating one’s peers was not allowed.

Here, for example, dips a bit into the supernatural. While being a Muse and living throughout all of history is of course a little mystical, bringing werewolves and vampires into the mix suggests a school for monsters or supernatural characters, not merely for gifted musical students. These two things sort of clash, and because you don't go into more depth on the supernatural side, it might be best to stick with the musical. ;)

soaking up the moon’s beams as she waited for next period.

And here, it seems that classes are at night? Which again would be atypical and it's probably better to focus on the more normal and musical aspects than anything supernatural.

Just a little note--it's Schubert, with a b. And maybe you should also make the naming consistent? You don't name Bach, and Mozart and Beethoven are both mentioned by first name rather than the last names you use with Chopin, Handel, etc. Either way would be interesting, but I think consistency would be good! Also, while you cover several periods of music, all of the composers after David were pretty clustered together. Any contemporary composers you want to throw in there? Or girls? Just to give it a larger spread. That way the idea that the Muse has been around for a really long time and is still there will be a little more pronounced. (Though you've already done a pretty good job!)

Just a few little things--
The girl’s name was Jesse. Before that it had been Agatha. Before that it was Delilah.

These names seem to be chosen at random--is there a way to make them more purposeful? Since you leave off with Tchaikovsky, maybe you could have one of her names distinctly Russian, to show that she's been in a lot of different places and times.

after Tchaikovsky left back for his homeland

"Returned to" might sound a little better here.

Very nicely done! I wasn't expecting the ending, and it was an interesting read. I would love to see some more depth on the Muse's feelings about going through history and what her job is, but maybe the mystery is just a part of the story as much as anything else. :) I hope you have a lovely day! Let me know if you have any questions.

-Q




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks very much Q for the great tips. I would have loved to go into greater depth and now that you've added such great insight I dying to continue the story. Perhaps in the future. The reason why this story was so brief was because I wrote it as a challenge for a YWS club. The word limit was about 500 words which left me being a bit abrupt. Thanks for your help. Glad that you liked it. :)



Querencia says...


Ah, word limits can be killer! You did a really good job working within this one, though. :)



shieldmaiden says...


Gee thanks :)



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Mon May 20, 2019 6:46 pm
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Corvus wrote a review...



this is an absolutely lovely story, your word choice is phenomenal.

a few things I noticed:

"Now if said individuals, perhaps, drank blood and were allergic to the sun, or shapeshifted into predators by the light of the full moon – well these were minor flaws that the professors were willing to overlook provided that the candidate proved capable of restraining undesirable activity."
this is a little wordy, I would go back over this sentence to make it easier to read

"She would not turn away but would continue to stare, rather curiously, at you."
I would add a comma after "away"

"And the next time your mother tried to force you to take piano lessons, you’d begin them with an eagerness that would take her by surprise."
avoid starting sentences with "and"

"The girl had lost count of her names. But she remembered others."
consider changing that period to a comma, as the word "but" should generally not be used to start a sentence.

"She dried his tears in his despair and had filled his head with tunes that calmed his heavy soul."
either add "had" after "she" or remove it from before "filled"


"Now, she was here at the school. Watching. Waiting. Until then, she did not mind if the boys mocked and ostracized her. One day, she would reveal her true nature.

After all – she was a Muse."
this is an amazing ending!!


I love your work, and every critique I gave is because I want to help you improve.

Don't stop writing
~Corvus




shieldmaiden says...


Thanks very much, Corvus, for your excellent constructive critique. I find it very helpful. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading it.




Uh, Lisa, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back: our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?
— Homer Simpson