View Full Version : A Postcard from Eden Chapter One

May 8th, 2013, 08:34 PM
This idea came from a comic strip I was going to create (before I realized I can't draw that well lol). I wrote this short story for a young adult's literature class. It combines my love of manga and superheroes. I haven't written anything in years so to take the rust off I figured I would edit this story first. Please be honest with me. I have no problem adding on to it or rewriting a section to make it more clearer.

Chapter 1
"Impossible!" the Latina blurted out as she pressed her face deeper into glass of the bus window, staring slack-jawed at the seemingly endless stream of headlights lurking in the night outside. "How can so many people all be going to same place at the same time?"
"Excuse me," an exasperated voice called her from the darkness behind her. "Some of us were trying to sleep."
"Sorry," Danielle offered as she slouched down in the bus seat, her head hanging low. "It's just my first trip to Tampa and I thought we'd be there by now."
"Sorry isn't good enough," the Japanese man behind her rattled on. "I was in the midst of the most beautiful dream..."
Danielle never let him finish. She exploded over the seat, her hands clinching to his. "Share the dream with me!"
"Off me, crazy girl!" the man countered, forcing her face back over the seat with his free hand.
Danielle relaxed her grip just enough for his hand to escape. Though his other hand still held her back, her squished eyes begged through open fingers. "If you tell me your dream, I promise to leave you alone."
The man released her face and relaxed. "Not that it is any of your business," he spoke proudly. "I was dreaming of a glorious rendezvous with the loveliest of women..." he stared off into space as if searching for her.
"How sweet," Danielle's tone gushed. " You were dreaming of your mother!"
"She was most certainly not my mother," the ice in his voice would have chased away most inquirers.
"As the daughter of one of the most esteemed clans of Sandmen," Danielle proclaimed as her fingers clawed the sky. "I swear to return you to your slumber."
"What are you babbling..." immediately his voice dropped off as rush of wind zipped past his skull, drawing his eyes to a golden rod growing from both sides of her hand, its shaft comprised of glowing sand! Stick-like letters lit up as they etched themselves up and down the length of the rod. In two seconds, the rod solidified and its form ceased glowing.
Danielle raised the rod as if to strike and said, "Return to your dream!"
"Ekkk!" the man screamed, shielding himself by crossing his arms above his head, cringing as he anticipated the blow.
The blow never came. Only silence followed. The man dared to look.
The rod patted him gently on the noggin. "Sleep and dream the dream of your mother."
No protest this time. Instantly the man fell into a deep slumber and begin muttering, "I won't disappoint you again, mom. Just don't hit me."
Her short attention span kept Danielle smiling, oblivious to the man's mutterings. She regarded the rod with pleasure. Suddenly, a woman from the front of the bus screamed, "That girl has a weapon!"
Danielle sighed as she felt the weight of all those eyes fall on her. "Sleep!" she yelled and instantly the rod disintegrated in an explosion of wind, sand rained horizontally and pelted everyone as it bounced off the windows.
Immediately, someone begin snoring. Amidst the hushed rasps of breath, nothing stirred.
Danielle let a shy smile cross her face as she put an arm behind her head. So much for remaining anonymous.
Careful not to disturb the sleeping multitude, she reached down and grabbed a flashlight from her knapsack as she snatched it up. She crept up the aisle and paused just inside the door. Placing the flashlight inside her mouth, she pulled the map from her back pocket.
As she studied the map, her breathing increased to quick pants. Then, her hair begin to retreating into her scalp as if being lapped up, its hue blossoming from midnight black into a brilliant technicolor explosion of pink. The top arch of her ears sharpened to a wolf's point and from her shorts sprouted a fox's tail. Her eyes sockets moved slightly toward each other as her brown eyes become cyan orbs.
Unlike the shapeshifters in fiction, there were limits to her ability. She had to go to her natural form between each change and each change was limited by tight physical constraints. At 105 pounds, she couldn't become anything instantly, much less a 250 pound pro wrestler. No, the best she could manage was a new race and a couple of inches of height.
Ceneonri (her nonhuman name) had to be careful what form she picked. Any form similar enough to Danielle might lead to her capture and uncomfortable questions about where she came from. She would have to cage her impulsive nature and make careful, deliberate steps. She had acted without thinking when she had used her family's rod. Where she came from, miracles were common occurrences and her actions there wouldn't have drawn a second glance. Great move, genius, she chastised herself.
Still, she let the moment pass and moved on to more pressing matters. In her mind's eye an Asian girl appeared, one with cheek-length black hair and a smaller build. Instantly, her hair uncoiled itself and grew to the appropriate length. Her eyes became cloudy and filled to the brim with a mist that was moist brown. The edge of her eyes slanted, her nose shrunk, her full red lips wilted to a pastel brown. Her spinal cord tightened up, reducing her height by two inches. A deep breath drew in her ribcage, deflating her chest to a more modest size.
With the transformation complete, her breathing adopted its normal pace. She looked back to make sure her tail was gone. It was easy to forget the tail and many a legend had been started about her race due to an exposed tail. She checked her reflection in a compact she had in her knapsack. I still sizzle. He won't be able to resist me.
After checking the map again, she exited the bus and walked up to the first car she saw, a SUV with a surfboard on top. A knock on the window. It rolled down, revealing a couple barely older then her.
"Konnichiwa," she said, leaning in so she could see the driver better. "Akemi is my name."
"Well Ko-ne-chu-wa yourself," the driver said, sporting a goofy smile and spiky hair.
The bleached blonde in the passenger seat picked up instinctively on what Akemi was going to ask and responded, "Where you headed, hon?"
"Tampa, please!" she asked, her smile stretching to touch her eyes.
Akemi's sensitive ears heard the click of the car lock and before the driver could finish inviting her in, she was already inside the car, ignoring the voice of her mom that played inside her head, warning her to be careful of strangers--especially humans. She was already breaking the isolation rule of her rite of passage by tracking down her would-be boyfriend, so what's one more rule?

May 11th, 2013, 06:01 AM
I'm glad you're getting back into writing. I enjoyed the second half, and would like to learn more about what rules she is breaking and why. I had a little more trouble with the first half.

A few things:
1) This still looks more like a comic strip than a short story. If you're going for a short story, you need paragraphs, not just a wall of text.
2) "The Latina" probably isn't the best choice for describing the character. Is there a reason that you just called her "The Latina"? If the only reason is to show that she is a shapeshifter who changes her race later in the story, you could describe her physically instead.
3) The dream sequence confused me. Why was his dream important? Why did he need to be dreaming about his mother instead of the woman he thought he was dreaming about? Why did "the rod" make a woman in the front of the bus scream that Danielle had a weapon? It sounds like the world Danielle is from has magic, but this one doesn't, so why does a glowing rod automatically mean weapon?
4) This may be irrelevant, but I had trouble buying that a couple are in a car, pull over, the man is entranced by a beautiful young woman on the side of the road, and yet his girlfriend happily invites that girl into the car. I would imagine that there would be some jealousy or tension.

The second half of the story was quite interesting. I'm guessing Danielle is a kitsune, or something fashioned after them? You might think about making it a little more clear that she is changing her name from Danielle to Akemi. In the first half she refers to herself in her thoughts as Danielle, and in the second she uses Akemi.

Ben Logan
June 1st, 2013, 11:33 AM
First thing, before I even started reading, I was engaged. This was because of the title, so well done on that.
I think it was quite funny as well, and enjoyed the character, Danielle. You did well on developing her quickly.
As said above, I think you could work on how to make it clearer that she changed her name.
Anyway, well done on passage and keep working on it!