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Nemesis
June 12th, 2012, 09:04 PM
Note: I will post the story in scenes and let you know when each chapter ends and begins. Chapter one is completed and revised and can be found --> http://www.writingforums.com/writers-workshop/130815-path-shadows-first-chapter.html

I am currently posting parts of chapter two as I come out with them.


Chapter One

Dim, gray light, filtered in by the sheer curtains, left the room bleak and dark as the elevator began its soft hum. Inside the gears shifted and creaked, the mechanism that lifted it groaned with the effort to bring forth the lone passenger as a yellow tinged luminescence peeked through the crisscrossing bars of the old gate. Higher and higher it rose, slowly bathing the floor, the furniture, and then the walls with its glow. It continued until it was level with the door frame, allowing the sickly colored light to spill everywhere, creating vague and distorted shadows. A woman stood in the back of the elevator, her face somehow remaining dark despite the light source directly above her.

Head to foot she was clothed in black; jeans, boots, leather gloves, a winter pullover vest with its’ furred collar pulled high around her neck over a long sleeved turtle neck. Her hair, tangled strands of obsidian parted heavily on the left side, fell carelessly around her shoulders, framing high cheekbones and a sleek visage. She was very pale; the only color on her face was the delicate red of her lips and the ridge of her cheekbones, rouged to soft shade of pink by the sharp winds of autumn. A pair of dark sunglasses hid her eyes from what little light there was, but as she stepped out of the elevator they were removed along with her gloves. For a brief moment her eyes flashed a dull gold, but with a flick of a switch they became pale grey orbs gleaming slightly in the once again dark room. She shut the door and carried in with her the scent of fallen leaves and a faint wisp of smoke.

Silently, Syvette Des’Roan strolled to the beige couch and sank into it, propping her fur-lined boots on the glass of the coffee table so as to unlace them,. From the corner of her eye, she caught site of a blinking red number on the answering machine. Strange, it wasn’t often she got a call. With an unlisted and restricted number only a handful of people could call her, and some of them were dead. She shook her head, choosing to ignore it in favor of tossing her boots to the other side of the table in a careless gesture. It wasn’t until after she shrugged off her jacket that she noticed the wheelchair lying on its side in the corner. Immediately she rushed downstairs and threw open the door to her roommate’s room, only to find it dark and empty.
“Mary?” She called out despite the gnawing sense that she was alone in the apartment. There was no way that her friend had left on her own; Mary was bedridden, unable to walk after her uncle had thrown her out of a second story window onto unforgiving pavement. Of the two people that knew she was staying here, only Syvette has access to the apartment and the other would never have let her leave. It could only mean one thing. Someone else had been here, and they took Mary with them when they left.
As this thought came to fruition, the shrill cry of the telephone broke the now gravid silence in the room. She stared at it and seriously considered not answering it; it could possibly be Mary, if it was she could pick it up when it went to voice mail, and if it wasn’t, well then, she would not have to deal with anyone else right now. However her hand was already creeping towards it, fingers brushing the hard plastic of the phone, so cool and smooth to the touch. Slowly she brought the piece to her ear.

“Mary?” Her voice sounded more concerned than she had intended.

“Syvette, my flower, how are you this evening?” These words were familiar and painfully unsettling. Unbelievably silky and undeniably masculine, Syvette knew this voice that spoke all too well; knew it, and loathed it. Already she desperately wished she had not taken this call, yet she could not hang up on him. Her reply was long coming, and so soft it was but a whisper in the darkness,

“Dominus,” and more softly yet, “what do you want?”

“Why, just to hear your voice child,” he replied, managing to sound somewhat sincere and abashed. “But,now that you mention it, how is your dear friend Mary?” Her breath caught momentarily in her chest, but she forced herself to exhale as she spoke.

“What have you done with her?” Impressive, how she kept the trembling out of her voice.

“Me? Nothing, I have not seen the woman in some months, in fact, barely at all since the two of you left the compound...” She could almost hear the smile creep into his voice as he continued, “But some friends of mine ran into her this afternoon. Perhaps they know what’s become of her.” Her entire frame shook, but with rage now instead of anxiety, and she had to reduce her voice to a hiss to keep from shouting.

“If anything happens to her, I swear...”

“I would believe it unwise to begin with threats when you are in no position to honor them, my dear. Now, if I see that no harm comes to Mary, I’m going to expect that you do a little something for me in return.”

“What do you want of me?”

“Well, it seems as though I’ve had somewhat of an exodus from my training programs and it has left me without a slayer to see to a certain problem for me.” This answer came as no surprise to her; none of Dominus’s students ever lived a very long life, or even survived their first kill for that matter.

“Who?”

“Maybe no one; maybe half of Chicago. I’ll call you with the details in a few hours.” There was a pause and then a small chuckle, “And if I may be cliché for but a moment: If you ever wish to see Mary again, do not leave your apartment.” The phone went dead, and Syvette, with more control and calm than most others could muster, set the phone gently back on to the receiver.

“I should have known...”

As she threw herself back onto the sofa and stared up at the ceiling, she cursed silently. The last thing she wanted to do was to become Dominus’s prized assassin once more. ‘But,’ she thought as unpleasant memories wormed their way back into her consciousness, ‘it seems as though I haven’t a choice this time.’

bazz cargo
June 12th, 2012, 09:52 PM
Hi Noxicity,
I liked this a lot. Good scene setting. Neat character. Lots of unanswered questions. Great names. It's amazing how hard it can be to think up good names. Good cliff-hanger ending. There are a few rough spots but don't get hung up on them. Get the story down and go back for an edit when you have finished.

One technical tip. When copying stuff over, sometimes words, like a few have in your 'Path Of Shadows' post can get mashed together. If you 'go advanced' and have a quick read through you can pick them up and repair the damage. You might consider the next size up in font for us older readers. My eyesight is knackered.:smile:
Bazz

Nemesis
June 13th, 2012, 02:41 AM
Better? I'd very much like to know where the rough spots are so i may mark them for future fixing

Nemesis
June 13th, 2012, 02:53 AM
Dominus Black leaned back in his leather chair with a smile, black boots propped up upon the polished mahogany table. Other than him, the table, and the swivel chairs lining it, the room was empty and bleak. White walls and too bright florescent lights, it was a standard meeting room. There he stood out boldly and looked all too much like he belonged in the executive seat he sat in. Subtle Mediterranean features beneath waves of neatly combed black hair made for an attractive visage and it was coupled with a build similar to that of statues representing ancient Greek gods. He had a strong jaw line, fine lips, eyes a solid shining gold and he wore a tailored suit. Indeed the founder and head of the supernatural organization known only to the outside world as “Trinity”, was quite an impressive and charismatic figure, and there was no doubt that he knew this and used it frequently to his advantage.

Slipping his cell phone back into his pocket, he heard the distant clacking of high heels coming closer. A quick and polite knock alerted him to the arrival of his young secretary moments before she walked in. Her narrow, angular face and high cheekbones made her look like she should be in a different kind of work, something like modeling maybe, or stripping. Either would have worked fine for him. Her eyes were dark and her hair was a strawberry blond mess barely contained in a bun Dominus would have loved to undo for her.

“Mr. Black, the vampire Lord, Lucius Illindroth is waiting for you in your private study as you requested.” As Diana spoke she opened up the blinds,letting in the light of colored street lamps and a star streaked horizon, upon which sat a gorgeous yellow moon.It wasn’t the scenery outside, however, that caused Dominus’s smile to become very appreciative.

“Thank you Diana.” He managed not to leer while admiring that firm rear end pushing out of a tweed pencil skirt. “And did you remember my coffee?” His voice was now sweet and as thick as honey as she turned and his eyes slowly made their way back to her face.

With a not so oblivious nod and a faked smile, his secretary spread her hand flat, palm up, and after a few seconds and a slight glow, a steaming blue mug appeared there. Dominus motioned for her to bring it to him, and after taking the cup from her, forcefully pulled the woman onto his lap and proceeded to thank her more politely than the current situation merited. Eyes staring up at him from beneath a furrowed brow, she watched him raise it to his lips for a sip, the bitter sweet taste nearly eroding his tongue with its heat. As he swallowed she made an attempt to ease herself off of him only to have his arm tighten around her waist, squeezing until she winced audibly with pain. All he did was smile.

“You remembered the sugar this time.” He commented as he sat it down on the table and moved his hand onto her nylon covered knee, stroking the sheer covered flesh he found there. She shifted uncomfortably in his lap with a clear look of disgust, but still he would not allow her to rise.

“Sir I…” The painfully loud echo of the door slamming shut saved her from having to attempt some sort of pitiful excuse to escape him as Dominus’s inpatient house guest strolled casual to the table.

“I have been waiting, Dominus,” Lucius said, ever so politely.

His host’s smile was almost wolfish as he ran a hand though his thick black hair, releasing Diana to slide red-faced off of his lap and make a quick getaway. Lucius stepped aside to let her pass, watching her exit out of the corner of his eye, and didn’t move again until the door had shut soundly behind her as well. He then pulled a chair out for himself and took a seat, leaning pack and pressing the pads of his fingers together so that his hands formed diamond shape in front of his chest. The two men stared at each other for a long and drawn out moment; Dominus with a cozened smile set broadly on his perfectly tanned face and pale Lucius, mouth set in a solemn line with his icy blue eyes blazing. Of course it was Dominus who was the first to speak again.

“Let us get on with it then,” He paused for a second before continuing “I believe you know I have plans to run for office here in Chicago.” Lucius cocked a lone eye brow.

“Is that so Dominus?” His reply gave no hint of what he was thinking; his face remained void of expression entirely.

“It is, and I am even willing to offer to you some very fine benefits for choosing to simply sit back and do nothing. This is a more than a reasonable request don’t you think?” He leaned forward a little and offered up his most charming grin.

“May I ask,” Lucius said softly. “Why exactly I would have chosen to do anything about it to begin with?”

“I do not presume to know what you are or are not planning to do Lucius. All I want is to make sure we are on the same page.”

“I see.” Dominus cleared his throat.

“I know we have had our, how shall I say it, differences in the past.”

“You tried to have me assassinated on multiple occasions Dominus.” Lucius responded rather dryly.

"On behalf of your brethren, yes, I did, and my deepest apologies for it. Now back to those benefits I mentioned earlier...” He reached into his pocket, withdrew a small photo, and then flicked it across the table. “I have noticed that we share a similar taste in women, I am certain you remember Lydia?” Lucius didn’t even glance at the picture as his cool gaze turned to an icy stare. All too aware he had struck a nerve, Dominus chuckled. “Of course you do, and then there is my dearly beloved prodigy, Scarlet."

“The one you last sent to take me out." The vampire stated coldly.

"I will be needing her back by the way."

“Well unfortunately for you I don't recall where she was buried however, you are more than welcome to look."

"Come now, you don't actually think that I believed you when you told me you had killed her? I've known all along that she was alive and well, holed up in your compound like a scared little mouse." Lucius rose from his chair and stared darkly down the table.

"We're done here."

"And what of my offer?" Dominus asked as he stood as well.

“I find I am uninterested in whatever demon spawn you’ve managed to father, and I have an equal amount of interest in anything else you have to say. I’ll be leaving now."
“If that is your wish, feel free, I'm sure I'll be seeing you and Scarlet again, very soon.” He smiled and as Lucius walked out the door, added, “Perhaps, even sooner than you’d expect, my friend.”

Now alone in the room, Dominus strode over to where his rival had been sitting and picked up the ignored photograph, looking at the image with what could easily be recognized as lust.

“Your time will come as well dearest one.” He pulled the phone back out of his slacks; he had another phone call to make.

Tiamat
June 13th, 2012, 05:35 AM
I'm going to respond to the first portion you posted, and then later, I'll have a look at the second.

First of all, I'm going to second what bazz said about the names--you picked some excellent ones. Secondly, I'm already interested enough in this story to want to keep reading, so kudos to you for that.

All that said, please allow me to be nit-picky...


Inside the gears shifted and creaked, the mechanism that lifted it groaned with the effort to bring forth the lone passenger as a yellow tinged luminescence peeked through the crisscrossing bars of the old gate.
There's a few things I want to bring to your attention with this. Number one, comma splice--connecting two complete sentences with only a comma instead of a semi colon or conjunction. You are not Hemingway, and so, you are not allowed to do this. (When you're published and famous, break whatever rules you want, but for now, it's in your best interest not to.) Number two, this is a bit wordy. In fact, a lot of your descriptions are. I think (and I'm just guessing) you're very concerned with making sure your reader pictures the scene precisely the way you do. I'm not sure that's entirely necessary. I've found that most readers (myself included) only want to know what's important and have the rest be left up to their imagination.

Granted, you write your descriptions rather well, but why not just say "The elevator groaned under the weight of its only passenger as a faint yellow glow shined through the gate"? It conveys the same thing, but it uses less words. If I've gotten any good advice from rejection letters, it's this: Don't use seven words to convey an idea when you could do it with three. Otherwise, you're just wasting words.

A lot of your other descriptions are also heavy-handed, but I wanted to bring that one in particular to your attention.


its’ furred collar
it's


long sleeved turtle neck
long-sleeved


She stared at it and seriously considered not answering it; it could possibly be Mary, if it was she could pick it up when it went to voice mail, and if it wasn’t, well then, she would not have to deal with anyone else right now.
So here you have a complete sentence, followed by a semi colon, followed by another complete sentence, followed by a comma, followed by another complete sentence, followed by a conjunction, followed by yet another complete sentence. All of this in once sentence. See the problem here? ;)


Unbelievably silky and undeniably masculine, Syvette knew this voice that spoke all too well; knew it, and loathed it
I think this would work better differently: "Unbelievably silky and undeniably masculine, Syvette knew this voice that spoke all too well--knew it, and loathed it. The semi colon typically means another complete thought is going to follow, whereas a dash puts emphasis on what follows it.

Another thing I noticed throughout the whole piece is that you tend to rely heavily on adverbs. A few of them here and there are OK, to help illustrate what's going on, but when you use too many of them, it makes the piece feel rather bland. The reason being that adverbs are a way of telling how something is happening, rather than showing it. There are a few ways of alleviating that.

One, you could just eliminate the adverb all together.


fell carelessly around her shoulders
Carelessly is one I think you could eliminate. After all, how does hair fall carelessly anyways? Does it ever fall deliberately? How about self-consciously? I'm thinking probably not, and you don't lose anything in the description by taking that word out, either.

Another way is to try to use strong action verbs in lieu of adverbs tagging along right before or after them. I'd use an example from your writing to illustrate, but most of your adverbs don't modify verbs. As an example, just in case: "He quickly moved" could be made into "He ran/dashed/sprinted."

And yet another way (but use this one sparingly) is to use simile and metaphor in order to spice up the descriptions. (The reason you use this with caution is because it draws attention to the writing itself, rather than the story. But a good simile in the right place can work wonders.)


Unbelievably silky and undeniably masculine,
As silky and masculine as James Earl Jones in his prime,

The other thing with simile is you need to use those that fit the tone of the piece. (My example doesn't, by the way :P). If it's a dark piece, use dark comparisons. If it's a funny piece, use funny ones. But again: Use with caution.

OK, now that I'm done picking at nits, one more thing:


With an unlisted and restricted number only a handful of people could call her, and some of them were dead.
I really like this line. Firstly, it adds a touch of humor to what is obviously a dark piece. And secondly, it gives a lot of insight into the character.

Over all, it's a nice beginning. Well done. :)

Nemesis
June 13th, 2012, 01:05 PM
I appreciate the thourough and honest review. I definetly agree with my over running sentances and their silly punctuation =)

Nemesis
June 13th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Silence, normally something Syvette sought after in vain, was today unwelcome in her home. Today it fell heavy around her, smothering and unpleasant, a constant reminder that something was wrong. Since the phone call from Dominus she had sat unmoving in the dark apartment, simply thinking and waiting. It had been some time since she had last acted under the orders of another and she would not, could not, soon forget the results of the last task she had completed for him. Of all the dark and guilt ridden memories that plagued her sleepless nights, the images from that day particularly disturbed her. As if summoned, brief flashes of those scenes began to creep into her mind’s eye, dim at first, but as always they brightened and clarified until the blood on her hands glistened with vibrant, sickening color. She closed her eyes and shook her head to clear them away, forcing the reds to become distant shades of grey. After all, she had enough on her plate already, no need for continued distractions of that kind.

The phone began to ring again and this time Syvette did not hesitate to answer.

“Yes?”As Dominus spoke she closed her eyes, listening intently to the directions she was being given. After a few moments he had finished and very quietly she replied, “I’ll do it.”, before hanging up the phone. Rising, she made her way to the bedroom and quickly changed, then headed to the downstairs section of her apartment, pausing only briefly at the open door to Mary’s room. Her fingers grazed the brass door knob however she did not close it as she reminded herself that she had no time for guilt.

According to Dominus, Lucius lived in a large manor a few hours north of Chicago. The sun had already set and she had much to do if she wanted to be there before the start of a new day. Vampires may be stronger during hours of darkness, but so was she, and there was no telling what kinds of deterrents he had in place to protect his coven while they slept: deterrents she had no time to prepare for.

She entered her study, walked over to a bookshelf tucked away in the far back of the room, and pulled the shelf away from the wall revealing a password protected closet where she stored her weapons and other objects of value. Her fingers swiftly entered the numeric code on the keypad and there was a small click as the door slid open. Inside were small fire arms, knives, and swords alongside ancient texts and various magical items, but in the center of it all there was a silk wrapped scimitar laid upon a pedestal. She reached out; her hand hovering over the covered weapon, and then shuddered slightly. A great deal of power emanated from within those folds of indigo dyed cloth. Hesitantly, she lifted the sword and began to remove its covering, exposing a gleaming curved blade with wicked edges and a hilt gilded bronze. Beneath her touch it glowed ever slightly as if in greeting. Stranger yet, the weapon emitted a faint pulse not dissimilar to the beating of a human heart.

Its’ name was Sentia, and it had been given to Syvette as a gift. Though it had seen many a battle and was very old indeed there was not a mark on it and it gleamed as if it had just been forged yesterday. A powerful relic, and a dangerous one, she utilized it on only a handful of occasions. It tended to leave a bad taste in her mouth when she wielded it, like no other weapon could. Then again, most weapons didn’t have a mind of its own or a nasty temperament for that matter. Even now she could hear the thing whispering to her, like tiny nails tapping at the back of her mind and from that faint cacophony emerged a single thought.

‘I hunger…’

“I will feed you then.” She promised softly as she donned the back holster over her tank and sheathed it. That was no lie; Sentia’s steel would nurse well on blood tonight. Upstairs the antique grandfather clock struck midnight and by the time it had finished its announcement the elevator was once again bearing a lone passenger, receding with a grating cry into the floor and taking its sickly yellow fluorescence with it.

Nemesis
June 13th, 2012, 02:54 PM
*Disclaimer: I've been told that the description found in this section made people feel a little ill.*


No sooner had Lucius stepped through his front door that Scarlet was right there, eager to greet him and filled to the brim with question as she fell in step behind him.

“You’re back! What did Dominus want? Did he say anything about me?” She didn’t even wait for a reply. “Does he know I’m alive? What did he say? What’s going on?” Normally he found her inquisitive nature and boundless energy rather endearing, much the way he would a young pup or kitten. However, his mind was currently too occupied with other thoughts and, as he pulled off his overcoat and threw it into the awaiting arms of one of his maids, he scarcely heard a word she was saying. His petite, red-haired shadow proceeded to follow him up a flight of stairs and down two hallways to the entrance of his private chambers, still talking despite the fact that he had yet to even respond to her presence. Patiently waiting by the large ebony doors was his second in command, Marcus Gallagher, who could tell that his master’s patience was growing thin and stepped in to help.

“Scarlet dear.” He admonished gently in a distinctly Irish accent as he gently took her arm in his. “I believe he wishes to be alone right now.” As the girl began to protest, Marcus coaxed her down the hall with promises of showing her certain strange and other worldly objects he kept in his possession. He glanced briefly back at Lucius with a worried frown, who nodded confirming that yes, something was wrong, before entering his rooms and shutting the door soundly behind himself. He sighed heavily, reaching behind his head to pull out the band containing his hair, allowing the heavy, black locks to stream down the sides of his head in wild tangles. He smoothed them back with the same hand and momentarily entertained the idea of a haircut. A bemused smile formed on his lips when it occurred to him how curious it was that he would be thinking about personal grooming while the threat of annihilation was being hung over his head by a madman. Dire times indeed he thought as he crosses the span of his room to an adjacent curtain covered doorway. Certainly he and his coven had been threatened before by religious zealots and demons alike including, as Dominus so nicely brought up, his own conniving brethren. The problem was Lucius hadn’t even the slightest clue as to what the bastard wanted, with no clear endgame how could he prepare to counter it. He would have to consult with Marchosias immediately for there was no telling what Dominus was up to, or to what lengths he was willing to go to if Lucius got in his way.

Behind the white drapery was an unlit, narrow passage way formed in the shape of a cork screw, the tightly spiraling staircase leading down into the darkness. This space was so narrow that his bare shoulders brushed against the walls on either side of him as he descended, and what little light there was pervading the curtains at the entrance soon became lost within its coils. Below a faint, violet light phased in and out, growing steadily brighter as he neared the bottom of the stairs and there, at the last step, was the opening to a large chamber supported by four stone columns spaced evenly in the room. The pulsating glow came from a massive circular sigil carved into the floor near the back of the room. Before the lit carving was a lone chair and behind it dangled a large, oval shaped ornamental mirror suspended by wires from the ceiling. There were torches at the entrance and on the columns, but he had no need of them for as he neared the sigil it grew brighter and the pulsing quickened. Lucius pulled away the chair and sat directly in front of it, legs crossed, he bowed his head and closed his eyes and took slow, deep breaths.

‘Marchosias’ He called silently. Mentally he saw the thin, intangible veil that separated the mortal world from that of incorporeal demons, his spiritual self reached out and touched it, pushed through it and again he called out. ‘Marchosias! I wish to converse with you this night. I beg, speak with me.’ At first there was nothing, but then he sensed it’s presence nearby. As the demon neared it moved in shimmering waves of visible heat, circling him twice before it spoke.
‘You forget yourself holy warrior...’ It chastised him with a hiss, the incalescence rose and Lucius caught the faint whiff of sulfur but he knew it was expressing no real anger. “Where is my offering? My gold and my incense?”

“My apologies,” He replied out loud as he opened his eyes. “But this is an urgent matter.” He looked into the mirror before him and saw in its reflection a black smoke rising from the center of the glowing circle. As he watched it began to solidify and take shape. Four padded feet formed on the floor: out of them grew legs, long and lanky, and a torso developed from those legs with a head emerging from one end and a round-ended tail from the other. When it finished there stood a black, winged and eyeless coyote with tendrils of smoke rising from those empty sockets and tiny flames shooting from its nostrils with each breath. The feathered appendages beat slowly at the air, then suddenly it was no longer just an apparition in the mirror, but a living creature approaching him. Puss dripped from its massive, dangling teats, and the droplets sizzled when they hit the ground. It grinned at him with a gaping mouth full of wicked looking teeth but said nothing and while it stared, its lengthy tail was dancing slowly back and forth in a serpentine fashion. Lucius found himself fixating upon it, he watched it rise up over the body it was attached to and turn towards him. On its tip a pair of golden eyes opened and stared back at him, and small yawning jaws chortled hoarsely:

“Speak then.”

“Tell me truly of the one called Dominus, Marchosias. Reveal to me his purpose and schemes for he seeks to destroy me and mine.”

“So be it.” The demon leapt at him, he watched the thing enter his body and as his spine arched with the force of its invasion and Along with the agonized cry that burst from his lips, he heard it prophesize. “He cannot be seen, not of this world, not a demon or angel or god; an OTHER an ABOMINATION, thing from the void, no future seen, no past exists, black hole, menacing. Devouring, he will consume this world, but SHE comes to you: like him but not. Human, but not. Mortal, but not. Only she can save you, she is OTHER, birthed into this world. She will be the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. She comes to kill you. Protect her, save her. No other will stop him, no other can.” Near paralyzed with pain, Lucius’s own voice came out as a raspy whisper.

“My coven… will they survive?”

‘NO. She comes to kill. They all will die. She IS death.’ The demon began to cackle. ‘Hell awaits them but I will rejoin heaven, ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED YEARS. I will ASCEND, all will be forgiven, I will be…’

“ENOUGH!” Lucius roared, forcing Marchosias out of his body. For a moment the thing was standing before him, an unnatural smile on its face, before the mirror seemed to suck the demon back into its depths. That last thing he saw before it disappeared completely was the eyes on its tale and the flickering, forked tongue protruding beneath them.

Slowly he got up, cracking both side of his neck as he did. This wasn’t the first time his demonic sponsor became obsessed with the notion of returning to his formerly angelic state among the heavenly host. It never failed to keen over its perceived eventual triumph and redemption. Despite the spirits belief however, Lucius remained doubtful of the validity of its claims for it seemed unlikely that any of the fallen would be freed from the depths of whence they’d been imprisoned. The rest of its divination however he had to take seriously. When requested Marchosias always spoke truth and it foretold of the death of all his men. His worst fears were confirmed. He still did not know what Dominus was planning, but now he knew he had to stop it: with help from the woman coming to kill him.

“Lucius?” He turned to see Scarlet standing wide eyed at the entrance of the chamber looking deeply shaken. Silently he cursed, wishing she hadn’t been present for the demons soothsaying.

“How long,” He sighed, rubbing his temples “have you been standing there?” For once, it seemed, the girl had nothing to say and as he watched she trembled like a frightened rabbit facing a hound. Lucius went to her slowly, hating that look of obvious fear on her face. He gathered her gently into his arms and stroked the soft, crimson curls cascading from her head. “Come back upstairs with me Scarlet.” With a small, uncertain nod she allowed him to lead her up and out of the chamber.

Nemesis
June 14th, 2012, 02:20 PM
With a helmet now tucked under her arm and Sentia strapped firmly to her back, Syvette exited her apartment building and began to stride down the quiet street to a parking garage close by. As she walked she found herself seeing the city in a way she hadn’t previously. She took in the crumbling metropolis surrounding her, the warm glow emitted by a nearby street lamp, and the decaying buildings that reached up to a smoky orange sky and felt a stoic calm overcome her. Here, solitary and silent, she was under the impression that she was alone, as if life no longer existed and this place had abruptly become an empty eternal limbo reserved for her. Even the countless windows on either side seemed to preserve in amber light their scenes for her to scrutinize. This dream like ambience was both familiar and not, peaceful and yet deeply unsettling.

So overtaken was she by this sudden, disquieting sense of nostalgia, that it wasn’t until he had stepped directly into her path that she noticed Mary’s overly tattooed and pierced boyfriend, Vrim, and snapped out of the daze she had fallen in. She attempted to move around him with a regained purpose, but he mirrored her movement, obstructing her path.

“Hey, where are you rushing off to?” Frowning and still a little disoriented, she looked up at him. This happened to be one of the last persons she wished to deal with right now.

“Not now Amsel. I’ve been activated” she replied, making it clear she was working under Trinity orders again. However, he didn’t seem to care.

“I came to see Mary.”He said, “I keep calling her cell but she won’t answer my calls, you need to let me in.”

“I can’t right now.” Once again she attempted to circumvent him, only to find herself effectively blocked by his six-foot-two frame.

“What do you mean?” A car flew by dangerously close and blared its horn, to which Vrim raised a single finger and yelled something highly profane. Syvette took advantage of his momentary distraction to push past him and cross the street. “Hey!” He barked, following close behind. “What the hell’s your problem?”

“She isn’t here.”

“What?” Frustrated by his persistence, she stopped and whipped around to face him, causing him to nearly run into her.

“She isn’t answering your calls because she isn’t here Vrim.” He gaped at her while her words sank into him.

“Isn’t here? What do you mean she isn’t here?” He said slowly. Unwilling to answer, Syvette turned back and kept on moving. ‘What, did she… did she get up and walk away?!” He laughed: but there was no amusement in his voice, only anger and a trace amount of desperation.

“She was taken.” Came the reply from over her shoulder as she approached and then mounted a black sport bike.

“By who!?” She stopped and stared at him for a moment and, before pulling the helmet down over her face, said;

“Dominus.” The shock and then outright panic that played across his face served to further stimulate her own feeling of dread and building anxiety. There was a good chance she would not survive tonight’s exploit. Worse yet if she survived but failed to kill the vampire for whatever reason, Mary would suffer and in Dominus’s hands death would be considered a blessing. Syvette started up her bike when she saw Vrim begin to open his mouth, so as to drown out any more questions, or accusations, with the roar of the engine. Thankfully, he stepped out of her way as she rolled towards him, sparing her of having to run him over on her way out of the garage. She’d been delayed enough tonight.

The roar of the wind surrounding her as she raced down the streets of Chicago were welcomed; even the blaring horns as she weaved in and out of traffic were gladly received as a disruption to her strange, foreboding thoughts. All too soon she reached the freeway, ninety-four north, and left the city behind her as she sped towards what could very well be her death.

Tiamat
June 15th, 2012, 03:47 AM
Here's what I like about this:

Number one, it's rather fast-paced. As a result, it's easy to get caught up in, and like I said before, my attention hasn't wavered yet. From the very beginning up till the end of what you have posted so far, you keep throwing things at the reader, complicating and building on what's already been set down. It's very good in that regard. The story is certainly there.

Number two, your characters so far are pretty well-defined. You haven't thrown a whole bunch of new names and faces at us, for the most part, so it's easy to keep them clear and know who is who.

Here's what I think is your biggest weakness with this so far: Your writing is sloppy.

I'm not saying you're making a half-*ssed attempted or anything of the sort. I can tell you've edited this. There aren't any glaring typos or things of that nature. It's clear you've put a lot of time and effort behind this piece. What I mean by sloppy is that you waste words. You use too many when it's not needed. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but that's a beginner's mistake. I'm pretty sure we've all been there. I certainly have and I've gotten a lot of scathing rejection letters for it.

If you intend to submit this piece to an agent or publisher in the future (and I'm just going to assume that you do--why else would you post it for critique), any professional is going to see sloppiness in your writing. I don't know what stage you're at in regards to finishing this, but whenever you do your next round of edits, I think this piece would really benefit by you looking through your phrases and sentences and asking yourself what you're really trying to convey and if you can't do it in a less-wordy fashion.

Let me give you an example of my own failure in this regard once upon a time: Rejection Letter (http://www.writingforums.com/publishing/124363-query-letter-rejection-competition.html#post1479692)

Again, I'm not trying to be rude or to puff myself up by sounding like I'm the end-all be-all on the subject, but if I can help someone learn from my mistakes before they get to the submitting-for-publication arena, then I'd really like to do so.

And one more thing, just to throw it out there, you're still using an awful lot of adverbs. There's a long-standing debate on this forum about whether adverbs are really all that bad or not (and if you've ever read Twilight, it's obviously possible to get published when you over use them), but I would say that, for those of use who are not Stephanie Meyer or Stephen King or John Grisham, it may perhaps be better to err on the side of caution.

Also, comma splices. Check for those on your next edit also.

Anyways, on to my nit-picks. ('Cause, you know, I'm sure you just LOVE these. :P)


Then again, most weapons didn’t have a mind of its own or a nasty temperament for that matter
...a mind of THEIR own. Weapons, being plural, require a plural pronoun to match.


Dire times indeed he thought as he crosses the span of his room to an adjacent curtain covered doorway.
...as he crossed. Past tense, since the rest of your story is past tense.


Slowly he got up, cracking both side of his neck as he did
...both sides. Typo, I'm guessing.


This dream like ambience was both familiar and not, peaceful and yet deeply unsettling.
Dream-like. And though "ambience" is technically not wrong, "ambiance" is the more common spelling.


This happened to be one of the last persons she wished to deal with right now.
While this isn't exactly a critique, I'm just curious as to why you used "persons" instead of "people." It just struck me as a bit odd.


“Not now Amsel. I’ve been activated” she replied
Slightly confused. I thought his name was Vrim. Or is that a title we might understand later?


“I came to see Mary.”He said, “I keep calling her cell but she won’t answer my calls, you need to let me in.”
"I came to see Mary," he said. "I keep..." Punctuation. Lack of spacing. Yes, I'm kind of a grammar Nazi. You can say it. :P


‘What, did she… did she get up and walk away?!”
Two things. First, you need a " before what, not a ' And second, using double punctuation like that (?!) is something you typically only see in children's fiction. In anything more mature, that's frowned upon, to say the least.


He laughed: but there was no amusement in his voice,
He laughed, but... Neither a colon nor a semi-colon is appropriate there. Just a comma.


The roar of the wind surrounding her as she raced down the streets of Chicago were welcomed;
...was welcomed. "Roar," being the subject of the sentence is singular. "Were" is plural.

Aaaaaand, that's all I've got. I'll check back to see if you've posted more. (Please? :P)

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 04:42 AM
Actually I greatly appreciate the grammar fixes, I do my best to catch them all, but I know I still miss a lot. Also, Amsel is Vrim's last name and I use persons instea dof people because she is refering to a very specific group, their is a long standing debate over the use of people versus persons. Persons was generally decided on referring to a small group of individuals. People seemed better suited to referring to the faceless masses. Did you happen to read the segment that came before this last post? I wanted to know what people thought of my demon ;)

Tiamat
June 15th, 2012, 05:26 AM
Oh that's right! I wanted to say something about that! I just forgot, in light of everything else I wanted to pontificate about! :P

What I wanted to say was that I rather enjoyed that part, particularly the possession part where he was speaking through Lucius. The dialogue was... well, creepy, not to put too fine a point on it. The way it spoke in small clips and fragments really emphasized the ominous feeling behind the whole thing, and I liked the way it was kind of disjointed, sort of like someone in a trance would talk. Really, really good.

Plus, again, you threw us a curve ball, makings thing even more complicated than they already were. :)

bo_7md
June 15th, 2012, 10:06 AM
Noxicity,

I can see the imagination behind the story, but I still couldn't get into the first scene. One reason might be that there was no hook or the Kidnapping, which I assume is supposed to be the hook, was underplayed there. The first scene was around 1200 words of descriptions with no action or hook which simply was a turn-off for me.

I'm not one to talk about grammar, see above, so I'll leave that for someone who knows what they're talking about.

The second scene is better in that it shows the world that you're writing about; now I know there are vampires and magic in your world. The problem with this part was mainly the shifting of the narrator's view from one person to the other. There is a point where Diana's reference changes to "forcefully pulled the woman onto his lap" this made me feel like the narrator likes him and doesn't want her to be there, heh. It also seemed odd that a vampire lord would come to see someone who tried to kill him several time; isn't this the kind of thing that takes place in a neutral location?

The third post showed a change of style. In all the previous parts you went into depth detailing every aspect of cloths, physical and emotional descriptions, then she suddenly changed her clothes and you moved on with out describing them. Odd?

On the last post when Mary's boyfriend thinks it's strange for Mary to leave the apartment, made go back to read the first part and I found it strange that she can't leave when she can freely move around a two-story apartment. Even if she wasn't able to walk she could still use the chair to move around--or so it seemed to me.

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 12:52 PM
I can see the imagination behind the story, but I still couldn't get into the first scene. One reason might be that there was no hook or the Kidnapping, which I assume is supposed to be the hook, was underplayed there. The first scene was around 1200 words of descriptions with no action or hook which simply was a turn-off for me.

I can see what you mean. I've been considering shortening it my removing some excess descriptions (even though i love them =( )


There is a point where Diana's reference changes to "forcefully pulled the woman onto his lap" this made me feel like the narrator likes him and doesn't want her to be there, heh.

That's a little true I'll admit, but mostly it was just because I didn't want to use her name too often in one paragraph. So I try to find other ways to say it


It also seemed odd that a vampire lord would come to see someone who tried to kill him several time; isn't this the kind of thing that takes place in a neutral location?
Both parties are bound by a demonic law, Dominus wanted to offer Lucius a type of treaty. For Lucius to refuse even to meet him is viewed as being worse than him losing his temper and storming out of the room. I'll be going more into demon politics later on =)


The third post showed a change of style. In all the previous parts you went into depth detailing every aspect of cloths, physical and emotional descriptions, then she suddenly changed her clothes and you moved on with out describing them. Odd?

She can't move around the apartment freely because she's bed ridden, she had to be assissted just to get into a wheel chair. Syvette would have to physically carry Mary upstairs in order for her to have gotten there herself.

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 12:53 PM
Thank you for the review ^^

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 12:54 PM
Oh that's right! I wanted to say something about that! I just forgot, in light of everything else I wanted to pontificate about! :P

What I wanted to say was that I rather enjoyed that part, particularly the possession part where he was speaking through Lucius. The dialogue was... well, creepy, not to put too fine a point on it. The way it spoke in small clips and fragments really emphasized the ominous feeling behind the whole thing, and I liked the way it was kind of disjointed, sort of like someone in a trance would talk. Really, really good.

Plus, again, you threw us a curve ball, makings thing even more complicated than they already were. :)

That was what I was going for, I was really feeling the scene and excited to show my readers Marchosias (an actualy demon listed in the lesser tomes of solomen) I like how he still thinks he goes to heaven ^^

bo_7md
June 15th, 2012, 01:27 PM
That's a little true I'll admit, but mostly it was just because I didn't want to use her name too often in one paragraph. So I try to find other ways to say it.

Using Her works too.



The third post showed a change of style. In all the previous parts you went into depth detailing every aspect of cloths, physical and emotional descriptions, then she suddenly changed her clothes and you moved on without describing them. Odd?

She can't move around the apartment freely because she's bed ridden, she had to be assissted just to get into a wheel chair. Syvette would have to physically carry Mary upstairs in order for her to have gotten there herself.

Wrong quote? Well anyways, I just found it odd that the wheel chair was upstairs.


Thank you for the review ^^

You're welcome.

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 01:50 PM
yes lol I don't know how I ended up putting the wrong qoute in. Guess I was up too late last night. My bad ^^' I guess my thinking was it would be to difficult to keep it down stairs when shed just have to fold it up and bring it up stairs seperately just to get her up the stairs.

Higurro
June 15th, 2012, 05:51 PM
I've read through the first section and like it very much. It certainly is fast paced, and there is a nice attention to detail that fleshes things out, but I wonder if in just one or two areas (like when she realises Mary's gone and rushes downstairs) things were too sudden. I think in that example you leave it simply as saying she rushes downstairs, and that's fine, after all you don't want to be swamping an important moment, but a little more insight into what that means would be great. I think one extra short sentence between her seeing the wheelchair and rushing downstairs, just to reveal a little of what it makes her feel and therefore what it portends, would make the power come in less jerkily, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, like it a lot. Hope that helps a bit!

Nemesis
June 15th, 2012, 06:25 PM
I've read through the first section and like it very much. It certainly is fast paced, and there is a nice attention to detail that fleshes things out, but I wonder if in just one or two areas (like when she realises Mary's gone and rushes downstairs) things were too sudden. I think in that example you leave it simply as saying she rushes downstairs, and that's fine, after all you don't want to be swamping an important moment, but a little more insight into what that means would be great. I think one extra short sentence between her seeing the wheelchair and rushing downstairs, just to reveal a little of what it makes her feel and therefore what it portends, would make the power come in less jerkily, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, like it a lot. Hope that helps a bit!

That is definetly a good point, I'm fine tuning it all now and once I'm finished I'll post it all at once

Stephanie Andromeda
June 16th, 2012, 01:53 AM
Noxicity,
Overall, I like it. The pacing sort of reminds me of Micheal Crichton, which I sort of have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it keeps me engaged, which is good; but on the other, I feel like I have a chance to become interested in a character's motivations, emotions, etc. but no chance to really find out about them, to get to the point where I can relate to them. Especially within a chapter, too much perspective switching is somewhat disconcerting. Maybe that's the effect you were going for, but it sort of feels more like I'm reading a movie than reading a book.
But, really, that's my only major complaint. The characters, besides not being focused on quite enough, are all quite intriguing. I definitely want to find out more about Dominō (Sorry, whenever I see Latin nouns, I can't help but decline. I am such a nerdum.) He's a good bad guy because he has a sort of antihero feel about him, like you almost want to root for him.
I'm certainly going to keep reading. Good luck,
-Stephanie

Diogenes
June 16th, 2012, 04:58 AM
This is the kind of stuff I love to see. Very good job on the editing, can use a little tweaking as they have said but all in all I'm very interested in this story. I've bookmarked it so I can read the whole thing at work during downtime. Makes me sad I don't have time to read it all tonight. Keep up the good work ^^

Nemesis
June 16th, 2012, 05:44 AM
*happiness* I'm glad y'all enjoyed it. It may feel like you're reading a movie because that's how it plays out in my head all the time. I see what I'm writing.. its how I know what to write! And I can understand your feelings about dominus (his original name was dominic, but then I named my son that and it felt akwar) as his creator I can't help but love the bastard just as much as I love syvette and lucius

Nemesis
June 26th, 2012, 06:56 PM
She was sprawled out on his bed, but watching him still from the corner of her eye. He went for the bottle of wine on his dresser and poured glasses for the both of them.

“Scarlet, why did you come down there?” He asked as he held the cup out for her to take. She sat up, her gaze still upon him, and accepted his offer. She took a tentative sip before speaking.

“I don’t know.” His eyebrow rose of its own accord. “I mean, I just wanted to talk to you… you know... see how things went with Dominus. I was worried.”

“You couldn’t have waited?” His response came a little harsher than he had meant it to and he regretted it the moment he saw tears begin to form. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say it that way.” It didn’t stop the tears, if anything his apology made things worse. By God he hated it when women cried. He took a seat beside her and a drink of wine from his glass while he waited for her to collect herself.

“Is someone really coming to kill you?” She finally asked.

“Yes.”

“What are we going to do?” Lucius sighed and looked at her.

“We are not going to do anything.” Scarlet began to argue but he waved his hand dismissively to silence her. “I am sending everyone away. This isn’t their battle.”

“I’m not leaving!” The girl cried as she threw her arms about him and buried her face in his chest.

“Scarlet, this isn’t a choice.”

“I don’t have anywhere to go,” Her voice began to break. Dear Lord, she was crying again. “Please Lucius!” He shook his head, he was about to say something else when her next words froze him in place.

“I love you.” It felt as if he’d been kicked by a horse. Whatever he had meant to say escaped him. It had never occurred to him that she would have those types of feelings for him and he certainly did not think of her in that way. She was his ward, a girl needing to be cared for and protected. Now he had to force himself to see things from her point of view. Sixteen was plenty old enough to develop these feelings, how could he have forgotten that he had professed his love to Lydia but a year younger than Scarlet was now? Old enough to love, yes, and old enough to feel passion as well. Suddenly, he was all too aware of her breasts pressed against him, the rounded fullness of her hips, and the searing heat radiating from her. There was a stirring in his loins, accompanied by shame. He placed a hand between their bodies and separated himself from her embrace. It wasn’t right. He had taken into his home to save her from this very thing. He wouldn’t take advantage of this impressionable young woman as Dominus had, using her to assuage his lust.

“Lucius.” Scarlet’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. He stood and looked the bewildered girl in the eyes.

“You’re leaving, now.” He said firmly. “I’ll send one of my men to go with you. You’ll stay in a hotel until all this blows over and I come for you. Do you understand?”

“But Lucius…” Deeping his resolve, he forcefully interrupted her before she could finish.

“Do you understand?”

“Yes..” She whispered through her tears. Taking her hands in his, he pulled her to her feet and kissed her forehead, then gently pushed her towards the door.

“Go pack your bags.” He watched her leave, feeling burdened by her confession and his mixed emotions towards her. For some reason, he had the feeling that he wouldn’t see her again for some time and part of him was a little relieved by it. He had enough to worry about with the mystery woman who was on her way to kill him right now, without having to figure out how he’d deal with a teenage girl’s complicated emotions. He’d long sought to avoid relationships with women, so why then did it seem that all of his problems involved one?

wehttam
June 28th, 2012, 09:44 AM
This is definitely an interesting story. More original than most of the stuff I've read. Although I've got to admit, the only really interesting part was the possession scene. It was well done. The grammar and such could use a bit of work, but it didn't make the story impossible to read.

Nemesis
June 28th, 2012, 01:52 PM
This is definitely an interesting story. More original than most of the stuff I've read. Although I've got to admit, the only really interesting part was the possession scene. It was well done. The grammar and such could use a bit of work, but it didn't make the story impossible to read.

I re-edited and posted the complete chapter in the writers workshop section, hopefully that one is much more improved?

Nemesis
June 29th, 2012, 07:01 PM
This was the prologue I was working on when I decided I hated it and I am currnetly debating on whether or not it is salvageable.


Tick tick tick tick tick….. She wasn’t ready to wake up. Tick Tick Tick….. No, not yet, she wasn’t ready to deal with the pain. Tick Tick TICK TICK TICK… Why did it sound like it was getting louder? TICK. Silence, such a sweet relief. She wasn’t sure she could have stood it any longer. She started drifting back to sleep. GONG! Her eyes snapped open. GONG! Damn, she hated that clock. She wished it would stop already. GONG! Who was that in the corner? She struggled to sit up. GONG!

“Syvette?” She whispered. The figure moved towards her. Her heart was pounding so hard. GONG! Was it Syvette? It was too dark to see. GONG! No, it wasn’t Syvette; that was a man’s shape. Her hand reached out for the light. Where was the cord? GONG! He was coming closer, impossibly tall, his head almost brushing the ceiling. Who was this? He was bending over her. Where was the damn light switch? GONG! Click. Light flooded the room. There was no one there.

She exhaled slowly, forcing herself to calm down. It had only been a dream, a crazy, lucid, drug-induced… SHATTER. The light exploded. The thing was leaning over her again. It was making sounds like someone trying to laugh without being heard. She couldn’t see a face, only a darkness that seemed to shimmer and move. It spoke to her with a low, warbly voice.

“Are you Mary?” The words oozed out. Its breath smelled like formaldehyde. She tried to scream but it came out as whimper. Hushed laughter again. It reached out for her and she panicked, flailing her arms about and pushing at any and everything she could to get away from it. She became tangled with the sheets and fell backwards off of the bed. Her head banged against the wall with a loud thud. It was still laughing. Quick, she had to get away from the thing. She pulled herself along the floor, dragging her useless legs behind her. Everything hurt. She could feel her stitches popping open but it didn’t matter.

Every yard was a mile to her. Still she kept on, even though she knew it was pointless, knew that it was walking behind her, allowing her to continue struggling and laughing at her feeble efforts. She made it out of her room into the equally dark hallway. She couldn’t reach any of the light switches down here, but upstairs, upstairs there were lamps and more lights, and a phone. She pushed herself harder. There was a dampness on her left side, she must be bleeding, her night shirt was soaked with it. There! She had made it to the stairs at last. It stood behind her watching and waiting, for what though?

“Why are you doing this?” She screamed at it. The thing didn’t answer but she could have sworn it smiled. It didn’t feel like she had a choice; she dragged herself onto the first step, then the second, and then the third. On the tenth she nearly collapsed and began to slide back down. Something touched her bare legs, cold, slimy. It felt like a mass of wriggling tentacles. She gagged. When she turned her head to see it was over her again, stroking her many scars.

“What beautiful broken flesh you have…” It said as it lowered its head to her skin. Panic struck her again. She pulled herself up the next step trying to escape it and it backed off. Another step up, she was nearly halfway there. A moan fell from her lips. She didn’t know how much longer she could keep this up.

‘One more.’ She told herself. ‘Now another. Don’t stop, it’ll start touching you again.’

wehttam
June 29th, 2012, 11:08 PM
I liked it. One typo I caught- in the fourth paragraph, it says she fell off 'them' bed instead of 'the' bed.

Other than that though, I think it would make a pretty good prologue. Makes a nice hook.

Nemesis
July 12th, 2012, 03:00 AM
Great review. You should edit. :)

I did a complete edit and fthe finished project is here --> [http://www.writingforums.com/writers-workshop/130815-path-shadows-first-chapter.html]

misusscarlet
July 14th, 2012, 01:27 PM
I agree with Tiamat. Your story is a bit wordy, I like the descriptions though, just to much. I am sure you will understand when you read over it and do realize that sometimes less is better. There are readers out there who do not mind beating around the bush and other readers who just want to jump straight over the bush. I do like your choice of Character names, they are different and makes me want to get to know the characters themselves.


Indeed the founder and head of the supernatural organization known only to the outside world as “Trinity”

I can see you are developing your plot, unfortunately I have not realized it just yet. Maybe a little more information on Trinity and why Syvette is an assassin unless that information comes later then I guess some patient readers can wait. There are a lot of books about vampires, werewolves and magicians out there that it gets dull reading about them over and over again. Your story makes me want to read it, I can tell it is twisted and thought about. So good job.

Oh I like the prologue. It is definitely a grabber.

Nemesis
July 14th, 2012, 03:37 PM
This was the rough edit, I smoothed it out and polished it up and the full chapter is below in my signature

misusscarlet
July 14th, 2012, 06:43 PM
Ah well when I have permission to read your revised edition I will, unfortunately I cannot at this time. I look forward to when I can.

Nemesis
August 23rd, 2012, 09:48 PM
The first part of Chapter two. First draft.



Chapter Two


When the SUV’s taillights finally dimmed and then disappeared from view entirely, Marcus breathed a sigh of relief. He had come to see Scarlet off; Lucius had neglected to be there, but that was probably for the best. The girl was tender and naïve, and madly in love with the man who had tried to act like a father to her. Marcus had no doubt she would have gone into hysterics had he been there, and Lucius had never fared particularly well against a crying young lass. While closing the wrought iron gates marking the entrance to the property, he felt Lucius’s presence in his head.

‘Don’t be so quick to judge my friend.’ His maker chastised, ‘You seem to forget that all it took for her to get her way with you was to tear up a little.’

“I wouldn’t be denying that anytime soon, but it wasn’t me she was crying for Lucius.” Lucius sighed; it blew through Marcus like a soft, warm wind.

‘I wasn’t expecting it.’ The Irishman couldn’t contain the snort that erupted from his nose.

“Then that makes you the only one. Plenty obvious to the rest of us, it was.”

‘A heads up would have been nice.’

“To be sure, but then we’d have missed out on the dramatics.” chortled Marcus as he finished locking up.

‘I’m glad you all found it entertaining.’ Lucius replied dryly. A cool breeze picked up, rustling the leaves of the honeylocusts trees lining the driveway beyond the gate, and with a low-hung moon brightly shining down on them, the shadows they cast upon the grass writhed. ‘I’m about to release the men to go as they please, are you coming back inside?’

“Yes, I’ll be..” His voice trailed off for a second; did he just see someone standing in the tree line? Marcus squinted his eyes trying to spot what is was he had just seen seconds ago. There was nothing there.

‘What is it?’

“Nothing, I thought I saw someone.” He was about to turn around and walk back up the hill to the mansion when he spotted it again, or thought he did. There! A figure standing in the shadows, he tried to focus on it but his eyes kept drifting away. This time he knew he had been staring directly at the shape of a person slowly walking towards him, but every time Marcus tried to look at that spot it seemed to distort or shift and he had to look elsewhere.

‘Marcus?’

She stepped into the light at least. He had known she was right there, but when she moved from out of the shadows it was as if she’d just appeared there. Poof! There she was.

“She’s here.” He whispered. With long, slow strides she approached, her eyes trained solely on him. Her attire was simple, composed of jeans, boots, and a plain leather jacket over what looked to be a black tank-top. A small fire arm was strapped to her thigh; over her shoulder was the bronzed gleam of a hilt, possibly that of a sword. As she drew closer he realized her eyes were large and round and had a silvery metallic sheen. He’d seen eyes like that before, only gold, they belonged to Dominus Black.

‘Don’t try to fight her Marcus. You can’t win.’ The woman reached the gate, but didn’t stop. She pressed forward and when her body hit the black metal she seemed to dissipate into smoke, pass through, and then reform on the other side. Their gazes locked. Something told him she was waiting for him to make a move.

“I have to Lucius,” Marcus said, “You know I’m no coward.”

‘Marcus!’ He shut Lucius’s voice out of his consciousness and withdrew a pair of daggers from his side. The assassin likewise unsheathed her weapon, a scimitar, and regarded him with a stoicism he found unsettling. They began to circle each other, each taking note of the others movement and bearing.

“I want you to know that I am sorry for what I am about to do.” She murmured without a trace of censure or malice. He found himself believing her words, but never the less:

“The devil take you.” With a nod she acquiesced and they began. Marcus lunged first, missing the tender flesh of her stomach by a hair when she twisted her body to the side. She returned with a furious assault of equally narrow misses, wielding the curved blade with graceful speed and accuracy. Barely able to avoid the first few slices, she eventually caught him on his upper right arm, tearing through the sleeves of his coat and turtleneck, and leaving a deep laceration in his flesh. He was forced to roll back when she followed it up with a swing aimed for his throat.

The slayer was damned fast. Dominus had chosen well with this one. Perhaps it would be best to keep his distance instead of engaging her in close combat. Dancing backwards, Marcus pulled out a series of small throwing knives from their position inside of his jacket and unleashed them in her direction. The first three were swept aside, the second batch forced her to duck into a crouch, and, when she launched herself towards him, he let loose a third set targeting her pretty face.

Her left hand went up. At first he thought he had failed, that she’d caught all three between her fingers. He was only half right; she’d caught them all right, but two of them had sliced open the delicate webbing between the digits and the third had buried itself in the center of her palm. She tensed her hand and flicked it back, sending the blades flying to the ground behind her. Marcus then realized that the cut she’d made earlier was still bleeding profusely. That was queer. He eyed up the saber with its arching blade suspiciously, taking note of the small, archaic characters etched into the hilt when the light hit them just right.

“By chance miss,” He called out as she rose, “Do you call your blade Sentia?”

“I do.”

“Eh, that’s pure savage then, isn’t it.” She responded by rushing him again. He blocked and parried with his daggers as best he could, managing to land a few slight blows in the process. They were equal in speed and he out matched her with the force of his blows, however, she didn’t need to cut deeply with that weapon; she only needed to draw blood. Sentia would do the rest for her. Not only had the bleeding not stopped, it had gotten heavier and Marcus could tell that the wound was widening as time passed. It wouldn’t be long before he lost the ability to use his arm entirely so long as he remained in the presence of that cursed blade.

Slowly but steadily, she was wearing him down with her constant movement. A feint, he fell for it and she punished him with a counter-attack that landed a score across his ribcage and threw him off balance. Just as he was recovering from it she dropped down and caught him behind the knees with a leg swipe technique he hadn’t been prepared for. Marcus fell back, landing hard. The woman was on him before he could even think of rolling out of the way. It all happened so fast; she was straddling him, he blinked, and Sentia was sticking out of his chest. He gasped for breath. Still astride him, she pulled the scimitars blade out of him, eliciting a groan from Marcus in the process. Blood welled from the gaping wound it left behind and soaked them both.

“I didn’t have a choice.” she apologised in a whisper. Marcus trusted this to be true; there was this look on her face, regret mingled with sadness. As if she was mourning him. Perhaps it was because he was dying and his mind was starting to go, but he found it very touching.

“It isn’t a bad way to go.” It was hard to get the words out while coughing up blood. Her features blurred, and then sharpened, her face inches from his. It wasn’t the slayer anymore though, was it? Where had this face come from? The delusions took hold. It was the face of an angel.

“You were a good man,” A lovely voice, serene and comforting. “I will not let your soul burn.” That was it; she was the angel of death, coming to bring him to heaven. A reddened mouth vainly attempted to form the words thank you and instead made no sound. The space around the angel’s glorious visage grew brighter and brighter until it nearly blinded him. She leaned down to him and pressed her lips to his. There was a moment of pain, the feeling of being split apart; he tried to fight against it.

‘Don’t fight her.’ Another voice softly called. There was someone screaming his name in the background, distant and quickly fading. ‘Let go.’

He did. The pain stopped, he became light, lighter than air. He felt himself ascending into the brightness. Peace. Then, nothing.


***


"MARCUS!" Lucius roared as Marcus separated from him and disappeared entirely. He couldn’t feel him anymore. He was gone. The vampire crumpled to the floor, weakened by the loss of the man with whom he had shared the deepest bond possible. It was as if a piece of his soul had been viciously ripped away. His stomach lurched, he gagged, and then retched. Blood poured from his mouth as he continued to scream.

Just outside, the slayer was approaching.

Nemesis
August 24th, 2012, 05:18 PM
UPDATE: Special thanks to Sam_W for helping with the Irish slang used in this piece =)




Chapter Two



When the SUV’s taillights finally dimmed and then disappeared from view entirely, Marcus breathed a sigh of relief. He had come to see Scarlet off; Lucius had neglected to be there, but that was probably for the best. The girl was tender and naïve, and madly in love with the man who had tried to act like a father to her. Marcus had no doubt she would have gone into hysterics had he been there, and Lucius had never fared particularly well against a crying young lass. While closing the wrought iron gates marking the entrance to the property, he felt Lucius’s presence in his head.

‘Don’t be so quick to judge my friend.’ His maker chastised, ‘You seem to forget that all it took for her to get her way with you was to tear up a little.’

“I wouldn’t be denying that anytime soon, but it wasn’t me she was crying for Lucius.” Lucius sighed; it blew through Marcus like a soft, warm wind.

‘I wasn’t expecting it.’ The Irishman couldn’t contain the snort that erupted from his nose.

“Then that makes you the only one. It was fecking obvious to the rest of us, wasn't it?"

‘A heads up would have been nice.’

“Aye, sure, but then we'd have missed out on the craic.” chortled Marcus as he finished locking up.

‘I’m glad you all found it entertaining.’ Lucius replied dryly. A cool breeze picked up, rustling the leaves of the honeylocusts trees lining the driveway beyond the gate, and with a low-hung moon brightly shining down on them, the shadows they cast upon the grass writhed. ‘I’m about to release the men to go as they please, are you coming back inside?’

“Yes, I’ll be..” His voice trailed off for a second; did he just see someone standing in the tree line? Marcus squinted his eyes trying to spot what is was he had just seen seconds ago. There was nothing there.

‘What is it?’

“Nothing, I thought I saw someone.” He was about to turn around and walk back up the hill to the mansion when he spotted it again, or thought he did. There! A figure standing in the shadows, he tried to focus on it but his eyes kept drifting away. This time he knew he had been staring directly at the shape of a person slowly walking towards him, but every time Marcus tried to look at that spot it seemed to distort or shift and he had to look elsewhere.

‘Marcus?’

She stepped into the light at least. He had known she was right there, but when she moved from out of the shadows it was as if she’d just appeared there. Poof! There she was.

“She’s here.” He whispered. With long, slow strides she approached, her eyes trained solely on him. Her attire was simple, composed of jeans, boots, and a plain leather jacket over what looked to be a black tank-top. A small fire arm was strapped to her thigh; over her shoulder was the bronzed gleam of a hilt, possibly that of a sword. As she drew closer he realized her eyes were large and round and had a silvery metallic sheen. He’d seen eyes like that before, only gold, they belonged to Dominus Black.

‘Don’t try to fight her Marcus. You can’t win.’ The woman reached the gate, but didn’t stop. She pressed forward and when her body hit the black metal she seemed to dissipate into smoke, pass through, and then reform on the other side. Their gazes locked. Something told him she was waiting for him to make a move.

“I have to Lucius,” Marcus said, “You know I’m no coward.”

‘Marcus!’ He shut Lucius’s voice out of his consciousness and withdrew a pair of daggers from his side. The assassin likewise unsheathed her weapon, a scimitar, and regarded him with a stoicism he found unsettling. They began to circle each other, each taking note of the others movement and bearing.
“I want you to know that I am sorry for what I am about to do.” She murmured without a trace of censure or malice. He found himself believing her words, but never the less:

“The devil take you.” With a nod she acquiesced and they began. Marcus lunged first, missing the tender flesh of her stomach by a hair when she twisted her body to the side. She returned with a furious assault of equally narrow misses, wielding the curved blade with graceful speed and accuracy. Barely able to avoid the first few slices, she eventually caught him on his upper right arm, tearing through the sleeves of his coat and turtleneck, and leaving a deep laceration in his flesh. He was forced to roll back when she followed it up with a swing aimed for his throat.

The slayer was damned fast. Dominus had chosen well with this one. Perhaps it would be best to keep his distance instead of engaging her in close combat. Dancing backwards, Marcus pulled out a series of small throwing knives from their position inside of his jacket and unleashed them in her direction. The first three were swept aside, the second batch forced her to duck into a crouch, and, when she launched herself towards him, he let loose a third set targeting her pretty face.

Her left hand went up. At first he thought he had failed, that she’d caught all three between her fingers. He was only half right; she’d caught them all right, but two of them had sliced open the delicate webbing between the digits and the third had buried itself in the center of her palm. She tensed her hand and flicked it back, sending the blades flying to the ground behind her. Marcus then realized that the cut she’d made earlier was still bleeding profusely. That was queer. He eyed up the saber with its arching blade suspiciously, taking note of the small, archaic characters etched into the hilt when the light hit them just right.

“By chance miss,” He called out as she rose, “Do you call your blade Sentia?”

“I do.”

“Eh, that’s pure savage then, isn’t it.” She responded by rushing him again. He blocked and parried with his daggers as best he could, managing to land a few slight blows in the process. They were equal in speed and he out matched her with the force of his blows, however, she didn’t need to cut deeply with that weapon; she only needed to draw blood. Sentia would do the rest for her. Not only had the bleeding not stopped, it had gotten heavier and Marcus could tell that the wound was widening as time passed. It wouldn’t be long before he lost the ability to use his arm entirely so long as he remained in the presence of that cursed blade.

Slowly but steadily, she was wearing him down with her constant movement. A feint, he fell for it and she punished him with a counter-attack that landed a score across his ribcage and threw him off balance. Just as he was recovering from it she dropped down and caught him behind the knees with a leg swipe technique he hadn’t been prepared for. Marcus fell back, landing hard. The woman was on him before he could even think of rolling out of the way. It all happened so fast; she was straddling him, he blinked, and Sentia was sticking out of his chest. He gasped for breath. Still astride him, she pulled the scimitars blade out of him, eliciting a groan from Marcus in the process. Blood welled from the gaping wound it left behind and soaked them both.

“I didn’t have a choice.” she whispered to him. Marcus trusted this to be true; there was this look on her face, regret mingled with sadness. As if she was mourning him. Perhaps it was because he was dying and his mind was starting to go, but he found it very touching.

“It isn’t a bad way to go.” It was hard to get the words out while coughing up blood. Her features blurred, and then sharpened, her face inches from his. It wasn’t the slayer anymore though, was it? Where had this face come from? The delusions took hold. It was the face of an angel.

“You were a good man,” A lovely voice, serene and comforting. “I will not let your soul burn.” That was it; she was the angel of death, coming to bring him to heaven. A reddened mouth vainly attempted to form the words thank you and instead made no sound. The space around the angel’s glorious visage grew brighter and brighter until it nearly blinded him. She leaned down to him and pressed her lips to his. There was a moment of pain, the feeling of being split apart; he tried to fight against it.

‘Don’t fight her.’ Another voice softly called. There was someone screaming his name in the background, distant and quickly fading. ‘Let go.’

He did. The pain stopped, he became light, lighter than air. He felt himself ascending into the brightness. Then, nothing.



***



"MARCUS!" Lucius roared his name as he separated from him and disappeared entirely. He couldn’t feel him anymore. Marcus was gone. The vampire crumpled to the floor, weakened by the loss of the man with whom he had shared the deepest bond possible. It was as if a piece of his soul had been viciously ripped away. His stomach lurched; he gagged, and then retched. Blood poured from his mouth as he continued to scream.

Just outside, the slayer was approaching.

cullmeyer
August 25th, 2012, 11:44 PM
Having only read the first portion, I am already captivated. I love how you dove right into the plot, and only after you so simply, yet so beautifully set the scene. Bravo!
Though, there is only one thing that I would change – just two words.

You wrote:


...and it has left me without a slayer to see to a certain problem for me.”

When I read your original wording, having the two me's so close together caused my head to stagger at the redundancy. Perhaps simply removing the last two words would make it more fluid?


"...and it has left me without a slayer to see to a certain problem."

Given I do not know what type of voice you imagine Dominus to have, so your original structure may still work. Though, the phrase "it has left me without a slayer" solidifies the fact that he is talking about himself. Not necessitating the "for me" at the end of the sentence.

Just a thought. =)

Nemesis
August 26th, 2012, 08:37 PM
Thank you for reading, this is actually the rough draft of each new scene I add. The first chapter is completed and in the writers workshop --> http://www.writingforums.com/writers-workshop/130815-path-shadows-first-chapter.html

But now that you pointed it out I can see it 0_o Don't know how that got overlooked so many times lol thank you *goes to fix in the completed "revised" chapter*

cullmeyer
August 27th, 2012, 01:54 AM
My pleasure! Keep up the great work! Look forward to reading the finished product. =)