Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

In the Dead of Night

by spiral


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Marc wakes up from his sleep with a start, looking around the dark room quickly. He must’ve had a nightmare, but he can’t recall any of it. His breath slows to a normal pace, and he walks out into the hall. Marc didn’t bother to light a candle, so he just walks down the halls in the dark, not paying much attention to where he’s going. Finally he finds himself at the door of the study, why he walked here of all places he isn’t sure. Without thinking, he opens the door and walks in.

He had expected the study to be dark as well, but to Marc’s surprise it’s lit up by a candle on one of the far tables. He walks towards it without thinking, and when he reaches the table he looks over its contents. Books on religion, from what Marc can see. He picks one up and starts flipping through it, and he’s so absorbed with its contents that he doesn’t notice the other person in the room. Not until they make a sound, that is.

Marc spins around to see Olivier with an armful of books. They met a few days ago, and ever since, Olivier has been staying at Marc’s home as a guest. And though they’ve talked often enough during the time they’ve been here, Marc had no idea they were religious, more importantly, he hadn't expected  that they would sneak into his study in the dead of night.

“Can I ask what you’re doing here at such a late hour?” Marc asks, trying to muster up the strength his voice normally carries, but not quite succeeding.

“I’d prefer if you didn’t,” Olivier says quickly, though they seem conflicted. A few books start to slip out of their hands and Marc notices just in time to catch them before they hit the floor. But instead of handing them to Olivier he glances at the titles then places them on the desk behind himself.

He turns back around and looks at Olivier. Their hair is down, and unruly as if they’ve been running their hands through it a lot. And they are still dressed in their clothes from the other day. Suddenly Marc thinks of how much of a mess he must be, standing there still half asleep in only his bedclothes.

Trying to disregard that, Marc clears his throat and gestures to the desk. “So what’s with all of this?”

Olivier’s voice is quiet as they go to say something, seeming to stumble over their words. They quickly give up on that and instead walk closer to Marc and place the remaining books on the desk with a small sigh. Turning to face Marc again, they speak up.

“What do you know about angels?”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


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Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:05 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi spiral,

Mailice here, with a short review :D

A great story that could be the beginning of a bigger novel. You let the reader get carried away right away, with the first paragraph. One is like Marc in the unknown when he wakes up from his nightmare. You keep the reader on their toes with the suspense and describe things well.

Sometimes, however, your sentences seem to be a bit choppy. You need to change or restructure the sentences a bit, because it now it gives the story an "unpolished" read.

Otherwise, it's a good story, with a strong ending that raises some questions and keeps the reader interested.

Mailice.




spiral says...


Thanks for the feedback!



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Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:11 pm
Beccablue wrote a review...



Hi spiral!

Oooooo, this is very interesting! You definitely have a strong beginning, it really pulls the reader into the story. I always love a good hook!
The first scene with Marc is realistic, not everyone remembers their dreams or nightmares.

"His breath slows to a normal pace, and he walks out into the hall."
Because you established who it is, just opt 'he' to keep it flowing.

"Marc didn’t bother to light a candle, so he just walks down the halls in the dark, not paying much attention to where he’s going."
Feels a little awkward, maybe rephrase: "a candle, and so proceeds to walk down the hall (many halls) in the dark."
Not sure if you want to emphasize that he walked down many different hallways or not.

"He had expected the study to be dark as well, but to Marc’s surprise it’s lit up by a candle on one of the far tables. He walks towards it without thinking, and when he reaches the table he looks over its contents."
Very intriguing and ominous! Again, you could try rewording the last sentence to: "Without thinking, he walks towards it and looks over/scans the contents on the table."

"Their hair is down, and unruly as if they’ve been running their hands through it a lot. And they are still dressed in their clothes from the other day."
Not always the best idea to start a sentence with an 'and', but some sentences call for that. If I may, you could try rephrasing it like: Their hair is down and unruly, as if they have been anxiously running their fingers through it, and are still dressed in the same clothes from the other day."

Entirely up to you on what you want to change. The story is great as it is, I just thought you could tighten up a few spots, but the story line is awesome! I especially liked how you ended it.
"What do you know about angels?"
Definitely have a strong plot and I am interested to hear more about what Olivier knows.

Great title! If you want an idea on names you could try Preston, Mackenzie or Sam as they can be gender neutral names. But I like the names you chose too. :)

Great job, keep up the great work and creative ideas! Hope this helps!




spiral says...


Thank you ! And yeah, sometimes by sentences can get a little wordy, but I'll take all of that into consideration ! Thanks.



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Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:24 pm
illy7896 wrote a review...



I liked this piece, that sense that he didn't understand why he went towards this room in a way is the foreshadowing of an adventure which is a really cool effect. I also love the ending 'what do you know about angels?' it's so mysterious and I can really imagine the look on her face when saying that, and her concern. That's such an open and interesting concept that never grows old. I just love it.
I would say that the line 'turning to face Marc again, they speak up' could perhaps give us more detail of her expression. The turning to face Mark is effective, as it implies that what she has got to say is important and is something that has been on her mind, however I think that you could instead finish the sentence focusing on her expression and her voice: 'turning towards Marc, she narrowed her eyebrows' would be more mysterious. But that's just an example and opinion. Totally up to you.

'They met a few days ago, and ever since, Olivier has been staying at Marc’s home as a guest. And though they’ve talked often enough during the time they’ve been here, Marc had no idea they were religious, more importantly, he hadn't expected that they would sneak into his study in the dead of night.'

I thought that this was a strong paragraph and was a good follow-up explaining Olivier's relevance to the story. Perhaps when you spoke about not knowing she was religious, you could instead say '...they were religious and more importantly..' just to make it flow better.

I can really relate to your struggle with names, I have the same problem. In my opinion 'In the Dead of Night' is a good title.
Maybe look up names online, sorry I'm not very good at giving names either.
I really enjoyed this piece :)




spiral says...


Thank you for the advice ! I'll definitely think about adding a bit more to how Olivier says that line, because it does hold a lot of importance.

My only issue with your comment is that you misgendered Olivier, they're not a woman. Olivier uses they/them pronouns.



illy7896 says...


Awesome, glad I could help, my apologies, great writing and I'm looking forward to future pieces



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Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:52 pm
spiral says...



What I've been struggling with the most is naming things, as in I don't know how to name characters or how to title things.

The names are mine and my friend's french names, and the title is just a line that somewhat fit the story? If you have any tips for this that would be pretty cool, thanks.





The only person I know for certain I am better than is the person I used to be.
— CandyWizard