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heir_of_isildur0
January 1st, 2013, 06:03 PM
This is something I wrote maybe 2 years ago introducing a new character into my Zynthos book. It will probably be around chapter 10 or 11 maybe or even postponed to book 2 because he doesn't really become a main character until then.
Just read through it and yes, I realize there are tons of grammatical errors haha. I'm just posting to see what you guys think of it






HE STANDS IN the middle of nowhere and is buffeted constantly by a gust of wind. The sand at his feet is kicked up thus, hindering his ability to see farther than a few feet in front of him. The sun is vaguely seen above him, providing him a distinct sepia coloration to his surroundings. He edges forward, arms held out in case he falls. A hair on the back of his neck prickles.

There’s something up ahead.

Squinting through the dirty mist he spies blackness beyond the dust storm. This blackness he knows, somehow, is connected to him. He doesn’t want to continue but his legs urge him on, pleading almost. His forehead begins to hurt, causing his head to swim in the pain. He closes his eyes briefly, taking a momentary satisfaction that no sand was entering his eyes. Upon opening them he finds that his legs have brought him to the edge of a great chasm.

In the middle of the chasm is a tall suspended plateau, and on it rests a stadium. He knows the stadium instantly. It is really a city filled with around ten thousand people. Such is the life in this modern world, full of the infected and its brethren. Stadiums provided ample security and housing for large groups of people. But there is something about this one that causes him to look closer. He blinks a few times and strains his eyes. In the windows he can see people running around in a panic. Windows explode and bodies fall to their deaths into the chasm. Their screams lift skyward, sending a chill down his spine that makes him shiver each time.

What is happening to these poor civilians?

He hears a slight scuffling behind him. He turns and sees a man dressed in Quarem fatigues. The man’s eyes are focused on him, but he does not stop walking. Before he can stop the man he tumbles down into the abyss, his scream echoing throughout the chasm walls. He stares down into the chasm, his jaw hanging wide open at this apparent suicide. He hears more footsteps behind him and jumps back away from the edge of the cliff. There are more soldiers of the Quarem walking by, followed by multiple civilians of all ages. Each one steps forward and falls, their eyes always fixed on him. Their stares make it seem like they know something about him they shouldn’t, which makes him wonder all the more what was going on. He makes no effort to stop anyone who wants to step to their death.

He feels he has no reason to stop them. If they were doing what they chose to do who was he to stand in their way? And yet each time a scream erupts from the fallen a pang of guilt shoots into his chest, growing with each life wasted until it is almost too much.

Glancing back at the line of the yet to be suicides he sees there is an end to it. As the last four plummet, sending their guilt to him like the others, he spies the last. This person he knows. He is sure of it. A flash of memory explodes into his mind, aggravating his head once more in a new wave of pain immeasurable. His Lieutenant, clad in Quarem fatigues strides forward, her hair flowing in long rivulets of gold.

“Emily!’ he exclaims in relief, ‘Do you see what’s going on? I don’t know why they are doing it, but I can’t stop…” He lets the lie hang in the air like a breath taken in cold weather.

Emily’s blue eyes bear into his with the same blank stare the others had. Her arm lifts from her side and a finger is pointed at him. Her lips part in a scream that is only eclipsed by an explosion coming from the stadium. He turns to the stadium and sees a red gleaming sphere floating atop the plateau where the stadium had been. A cloud of red and black smoke drifts upward in a mushroom shape. Then Emily was in front of him, her eyes wide.

“You could have prevented all of this, Commander!’ she wails in a voice that was not her own. It doesn’t sound human, scaring him with its bass undertones. ‘This was all your fault!”

She turns then, her arm still pointing at him. A sharp crack emits from her arm, signaling that it is clearly broken. She breaks into a run and dives into the chasm, letting loose a shriek that once and for all stabs him in the heart, blasting him back a few feet. He falls to his knees as the sharp pain flood him. His feels his heart beating faster in his panic. His breath comes in short gasps as his lungs fail to suck in the oxygen required.

Another explosion rockets throughout the stadium. The blast shoots down the sides of the plateau and levels out in front of him. It moves toward him with remarkable speed, and he knows that even if he were to run, there was no hiding from it.

“How could I do that?” He asks himself and cries. He hugs his arms to his body, rocking back and forth like it would help but to no avail. He starts choking on lost oxygen while his eyes roll uncontrollably. He then sees the blast coming and stands up uncertainly. As the blast hits him full force he turns, as if to lessen the blow. He screams in agony as his left arm is burned along with the left side of his head.

Another scream starts to pierce his consciousness, beginning at the back of his head and working its way forward. It is terrified and full of suffering, a screech of extreme discomfort that he begs to stop. But strange enough it keeps coming, getting ever louder until he is aware that it was his voice. He can’t tell where he is. He hangs in darkness.

A scraping sound comes from his left. A cloaked figure, wreathed in flame appears. He cannot see the face of the creature, but is both terrified at the aspect. A bony hand shoots out from the creatures left side and pulls a scythe from behind him. The creature’s head rises. He can see into the hood, but all is black except for red glowing eyes.

The creature flies forward and raises its scythe, closing upon him before he can react.

Jeff sat up in his bed, his arms pushing the covers off of him in a blinding flurry of movement. His right palm and forehead were covered in sweat. His short breaths sent his chest heaving up and down. He closed his eyes and waited for his breathing to stabilize. Just a dream, he thought. He scrambled out of bed and headed toward the bathroom. His peripheral vision caught his arm and face in the mirror on his closet. He averted his eyes quickly as he shed his clothing and stepped into the shower.

Jeff forcefully washed himself, sometimes rubbing parts of his skin so hard it hurt. He didn’t care about the pain. It was nothing to how he felt inside. He finished and dried himself off with a towel lying randomly on his floor. He didn’t even bother to look at it or smell it when he picked it up. He knew that despite his showering he would never feel clean again. After drying off he pulled on his usual Quarem sweats and sat down in a metal chair. The back of it had a bar that ran across his spine, making it very uncomfortable to sit in. He made no effort to remedy it. He hastily put on his shoes and scanned the room for his glove. It was the one thing that made him feel almost human. It hid who he really was. He found it on top of a mound of dirty clothes that had been sitting there awhile.

Gingerly he pulled it on and felt immediate relief. He could now walk among others in the Quarem somewhat comfortably. Somewhat. The word angered him, as did most things these days. He hated people looking at him. He hated people talking to him. Everyone who did talk to him had this tone that they used, each different in its own way. He didn’t want their sympathy, nor cared for it. He remembered a time long ago when he was “friends” with a lot of them. Everything had changed however, with one mission. But he didn’t want to think about that anymore either.





Thanks for reading!

Circadian
January 1st, 2013, 06:38 PM
Very good so far. I like how you used different tenses for the dream sequence and for Jeff in the waking world. The description was perfect. Also, I like how you portrayed events in the dream. To me, it did have a dream-like quality to it, but it was also quite unnerving. Good job. There were some small spelling/grammatical errors that I noticed.


His feels his heart beating faster in his panic.

Probably just a typo, but it should be "He feels..." instead of "His feels..." Also, I think it reads better if it says "in panic" instead of "in his panic."


He hugs his arms to his body, rocking back and forth like it would help but to no avail.

It might just be preference, but I feel like there should be a comma between the words help and but.


But strange enough it keeps coming, getting ever louder until he is aware that it was his voice.

You might want to consider starting this sentence with Strange enough rather than But, as starting a sentence with but is considered incorrect. However, I think it's fine, if used sparingly. But that's just my personal opinion. Also, a tense correction seems needed at the end of this sentence. It should be ...he is aware that it is his voice, in order to stick with the present tense.


He cannot see the face of the creature, but is both terrified at the aspect.

You could probably get rid of the word both. It isn't necessary and adds confusion. You could use both if the character was terrified of two things, like the aspect and...whatever.


A bony hand shoots out from the creatures left side and pulls a scythe from behind him.

"Creature's" is possessive so there should be an apostrophe.

Those were the main problems I found, each of which could be easily corrected. Overall, this was a very well written piece. Again, good job and good luck with your writing.

~Circe

Ilasir Maroa
January 4th, 2013, 05:14 AM
It reads way too much like a movie script and not enough like a prose novel. Also, if you want comments on the writing, it's better if you just go ahead and fix the punctuation and grammar errors, so readers can focus on the story.