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View Full Version : Black Phoenix Recount - Ru'Sala's awakening



Ephemeral_One
August 1st, 2015, 04:39 AM
This is a piece I've been working on for a while. The beginning is going to be awkward. There's no way around it that I can think of because the main character has no name at the time. So, I'm trying to push past that to figure out if it works at all. Still, all feedback is appreciated. Without further ado, I hope you can enjoy.

“I am starting to believe this one is a complete failure.” Announced a woman's deafening voice against the void. In the pitch black room, he could focus on nothing but the voices. Somehow, they weren't in his ears but made his head throb with every syllable. He cringed as a new pressure forced the breath from his lungs.


A softer voice responded, “Why do you say that?”


“It refuses to respond to outside stimulus on body and soul. Think of it as a stillborn failure.” The woman's voice blared, “If I get no further responses, I'll just dispose of it shortly and begin again. Otherwise, I'll begin its training once it's aware.”


“As you say, my lady.” The male voice acquiesced before both vanished into silence. Spasms and shuddering breaths were his only companions. Every limb he tried to move only managed to shake. The male voice returned, now cynical, asking, “Oh, you're actually awake. How are you feeling?”


“W-what?” He stammered into the darkness.


“Try again, I can't be there physically. Try speaking with your mouth closed.” Instructed the voice. Forcing his mouth to clench, the prisoner tried to force words out. Only a muffled noise escaped him. With a chuckle the voice explained, “Just think what you want to say. Stop trying to use your mouth.”


“Who are you?” He demanded with focused thought.


“Ah, you're no natural at this. But, it shall do. I am known as Ieak'Osh.” The voice identified itself, “And I shall help you escape.”


“From where, why? None of this makes any sense. I don't even know who I am!” The man roared back.


“Who you are is too complicated. Let's start with what you can see.” Ieak'Osh said with a smirk that he could just feel.


He snorted, “Nothing, it's pitch black in here.”


“Good, then this will be easy. Just focus straight ahead and breathe slowly,” Ieak'Osh instructed. A pressure on the back of his skull spread outwards, like some thick syrup was slowly coating his brain. As the sensation dripped down along his spine, his vision suddenly changed. The world lacked color but he could suddenly see the chains on his muscular limbs. Scales and covered the outer portions of his body while a thick hide was underneath.


Startled by the change, he demanded, “What did you do?”


“Nothing, you just weren't aware you could do that. Now, I have a question. Do you wish to escape?” Ieak'Osh asked. He looked around the room realizing he'd simply been chained in a corner like a child's discarded toy. Shapes were cut into the stone that made up the walls of the room while a slab of stone sat in the center. Small tables were arranged around the central slab. Each one was covered in cloths, tools and countless magical gewgaws.


Leaning forward, he examined the main altar. It was heavily stained. The prisoner gripped his head as pain suddenly throbbed with each breath. His body shook while he started to give out short, hissing gasps. Ieak'Osh let out a sigh before saying, “Calm yourself. That is where she experimented on you. You know because I know.”


At those words, he vividly recalled laying on the slab. Standing over him was a woman with brilliant green eyes. She smiled down at him as her delicate fingers descended. The tips of her nails touched his hide and passed through, sending a spray of blood across her soft features. Pain wracked his body! He couldn't scream, couldn't move! All he could do was stare at the blood spattered smile above him.


Carving away his flesh, she pulled out an organ. Examining it carefully, she ran a finger over its purple, slimy surface. The organ swelled, adding new sensations to the pain. She returned the meat back to his body before repeated the process with a redder part of him. The process continued with her altering the size or shape of each organ before returning it to his body. She repeated the process a dozen or so times before closed up his flesh and then sealing him shut with a single pass of her finger.


“G-get me out of here!” He roared to Ieak'Osh. A crackling broke the silence and he noticed something white stretching over his metal bindings. Pulling on the chains, they shattered into pieces. On the opposite side of the chamber he noticed a stairwell leading up. On shaky legs, he managed to stand up. Sparing only another glance at the bloody slab, he knocked several of the smaller tables out of his way. Long legs let him climb the steps by fours and fives.


His desperation prevented newly freed prisoner from noticing the door in front of him till he hit it. Crashing through the wooden barrier, splinters now covered a thick carpet that ran down the long hallway. Crystalline stones mounted on sticks illuminated the path in both directions. Turning to the left, he began a headlong run, crashing through another door. Ieak'Osh chuckled in the back of his skull before asking, “How did you know where to go?”


“I just picked a direction.” He responded flatly. Now standing in the mansion's entrance, he saw a pair of over sized double doors to his right. Leading further inside was a large staircase where a pair of resting, feline creatures lifted their heads to regard him.


Ieak'Osh broke into a full laugh as the prisoner shoulder charged through the front doors. A colorful garden stretched out from the mansion to a low wall that surrounded the grounds. Pulling himself up and over, he heard Ieak'Osh say, “I've decided. Your name is Tu. In our language, it means 'wise'.”


“Our language?” Tu asked as he crossed the open fields outside the mansion. Just past the hilly terrain was a dense forest. Before he could have reached the heavy boughs, Tu halted in his tracks. The woman's voice returned louder and painful than ever.


She screamed just one word, “No!” Looking towards the mansion, a light seemed to swell inside it. It was as if the sun were rising to spite the moon above. Against the night sky, the shape of a massive, white serpent rose. White feathers spread out from its back. Terrified, Tu quickly hid among the trees, curling up in a small divot.
“Come back! Come back!” The serpent repeated in his mind over and over again. It passed overhead several times. Once, it hovered just overhead but quickly moved away. Hours trickled by and once more Tu could hear the woman's voice all too loudly, “You cannot locate him?”


“He's too young and small. His power flickers here and there for me. I promise, once I can locate him, I'll bring him right back.” Ieak'Osh lied with sincere fervor.
Misery filled her voice, “I shall leave it in your hands for now, then. I have other duties to attend to.” Tu pulled in on himself and recalled the bloody smile she wore. The pain and pressure of her subsided.


“W-what now?” Tu asked.


“That's up to you. Take your time,” Ieak'Osh said softly.


“Thank you,” Tu closed his eyes and drifted into the darkness.


Her chest heaved with each ragged breath. Low reaching branches groped at the rough woolen fabric she'd chosen to wear against the cool weather. The wooden claws tearing at everything she wore. Having long since lost my shoes to the mud and her own desperation but they would be small sacrifices. Streaks of red lined her long, supple legs. Cuts appeared all along her arms as she tried to force all from her path. The forest was too thick to navigate and the night was too dark. She had to keep off the main path or else it would all be in vain. Her heart hammering in her ears, she heard the barks of HIS dogs chasing her down.
Pumping one leg after another she darted around a thick oak only to realize all too late it had rested at the edge of a small crevasse. It had been hidden by the rising slope she'd been climbing. Open air caressed her all over. Tears poured from her shut eyes as she accepted death. At least HE would never have her and she'd never have to look upon him. Unfortunately, fate wasn't so kind.



Her eyes fluttered open at the bottom, she couldn't move but had landed looking up. The fall hadn't been as long as she had expected and hoped for. Lights swayed this way and that above. A few stones from someone skidding to a stop had been what awakened her, one having landed only inches from her crippled form. Looking up, she could see HIS darkened face illuminated by moonlight. His cold, blue eyes stared down at her with a sneer. His dogs were barking down at something. She saw him yelling something but couldn't hear. Perhaps the fall had broken her hearing? All too late she saw the yellow eyes of the beast before its fangs sank into her throat. Perhaps this was her freedom?


Tu drifted in an expansive void, with only the bloodied corpse laying before him. Her open eyes stared right at him while Tu couldn't look away from the mangled flesh of her distended throat. He stammered, “W-what's going on here? What did I just see?” The woman's lips began to move, dispensing only harsh rasps. Reaching down with a trembling hand, Tu's claw ran against her soft cheek.



“Who are you?” Her ethereal voice asked.


“I don't know. But, you were the one being hunted, weren't you?” Tu asked.


“Yes, my family gave me away like some useless bauble to a cruel man. I just couldn't take it anymore.” Her head barely moved in a nod.


Tu's lips peeled back into a smile before he realized it. He spoke comfortingly, “Then, you're free. Don't you have a place to go to?”


“I died, I should be with my ancestors yet, you're the first thing I've encountered since then.” The corpse began to pour out tears over either cheek. She cried, “Am I cursed? Hated by my family for my choice? Will this be my eternity?”


“Oh my, Little Tu, you're always quite busy, aren't you?” Ieak'Osh's voice asked with a singsong tone. A light drifted down towards the pair to hover just above the woman. With no lack of amusement in his voice, Ieak'Osh explained, “And so, all too soon you come to another choice. This woman is dead, even she is aware of it. However, her soul is too burdened to pass on. So, you come to another choice.”


“And what would that be?” Tu asked letting his clawed hand drift along the woman's cheek.


“You could force her to cross over but that may damage her soul. Or, you could carry her around till she's ready. It's up to you.” Ieak'Osh's orb flitted around the pair.
“That's her choice.”


“Then, I will happily accompany this kind monster.” The woman's lips peeled back to reveal a pristine set of teeth. Tu, out of instinct, lowered his forehead to hers. Her neck closed and she became the image of herself whole once more. The scaled monster before her rose to stand revealing it was several feet over her own height despite its hunched over stance. Each muscular limb ended in wickedly curled claws and its yellow eyes seemed pressed into a perpetual sneer.


Resting her head against the monster's chest, she stroked the rough chest. She introduced herself, “I am Gera. As I've been abandoned, I have no family name.”
“As you've heard, this other one calls me Tu. I suppose I have no family name either. Though, I'm unsure what comes next as well,” Tu said before shrugging.


“You've been asleep this entire time. You'll wake up soon. I suggest getting something to eat, myself. That's what I'll be doing soon. Watching over you is going to become tiring.” Ieak'Osh teased. Tu shrugged his shoulder to the woman before curling up rest. Once more the darkness closed in on Tu and was banished by light. His eyelids cracked open to find the forest over him. His body shook from the force of his rumbling stomach.


Bringing a hand to his gut, Tu grumbled, “And you're getting tiring just to be around, Ieak'Osh. But, suppose food is a good place as any to start.” Tu began to stalk amid the forest. Every now and then, he'd see the ghostly form of the blonde, young woman seated under a tree or examining something. He would speak to Gera almost as often as Ieak'Osh.


As Tu stumbled over an upraised branch, his hand dug into the tree. His momentum died stillborn the instant his grip was secured. At that moment, Tu's eyes widened and his narrow nostrils flared. A quick succession of shallow breaths filled his senses with a pungent scent. He muttered, “What is this?”


“Mmm....the musk of a stag. And its relatively fresh, too.” Ieak'Osh then gave out a contented sigh. The forest became a blur, Tu's body drew itself closer to a stand of grass that retained the same scent. Another tree, bushes and grass all paved an unseen path Tu followed. Tripping over rock, he began to lope along on all four limbs.


Groping branches forced Tu to shut his eyes as he barreled through a dense stand of red berry laden bushes. Once his vision was restored, Tu skidded to a stop as he noticed occupants of a small clearing. Four legged creatures regarded their intruder with black, opal eyes. A harsh, barking sound came from the largest, horned beast that sent the rest fleeing.


Tu stared as the creature lowered its head. His body shuddered. The stag charged. Tu's hands caught the horns between the vicious points. Digging his taloned feet in for leverage, Tu lifted the heavy animal into the air before bringing it back down to the soil. A single, loud crack sent every bit of nervous fauna on edge before Tu's roar of triumph sent them fleeing.
Spreading his fang filled maw, Tu clamped on the stomach of the buck. Twisting his head with sharp jerks the first layers of flesh were tossed aside. His talons pried organs and bones out of his way. The snapping of his jaws were a constant drumbeat as he claimed more and more food. With a sigh of satisfaction, Tu sat in front of his meal.
With her back pressed against a tree, Gera had both hands wrapped around her throat. Tilting his head to the side Tu asked, “What's wrong?”


“N-nothing,” Gera turned her head to the side. Tu winced as a sharp pain stretched from the side of his head.


Shaking his head, the sensation vanished. Tu rolled onto his side saying, “Gera, tell me the truth.”


Her trembling hands never moved from her throat as she explained, “Just, the way you eat reminds me of those wolves.” Her eyes went wide and one hand covered her mouth.
“How can I eat differently then?” Tu asked.


“W-why would you? You're a monster so it makes sense...”


Tu climbed to his feet and knelt down before the woman. His yellow eyes kept her gaze as Tu calmly spoke, “I don't wish to bother you every time I eat. So, teach me how I should. You died in pain, you shouldn't have to stay in it.” Opening his bloody hand Tu held it up to the woman. Removing her delicate fingers from her mouth, Gera placed her hand in his.
“Okay, luckily for you I'm the daughter of a hunter. I could hit a buck like that from fifty paces in the rain!” Gera boasted proudly


Tu blinked before asking, “How could you hit it from so far away?”


“With a bow, silly!” Chided the young woman waving her hand dismissively.


“What's a bow?” Tu asked with his head cocked to the side.


Gera giggled, “What are you talking about? You have to know what a bow is!”


“Actually, he truly doesn't know,” Ieak'Osh intruded. His ethereal voice was clear but didn't come from any direction. This sent the pair looking around for him. With a chuckle he added, “I could tell him but I think it'll be good for him to learn on his own. So, I'll be counting on you, huntress Gera.”
Tu clicked his tongue before saying, “I really do find him exhausting.”


“I can understand that. Either way, shall we be off or do you hunger for more?” Gera motioned towards the gouged out corpse. Tu simply shook his head. Gera's lips widened as she said, “Good. I'm a bit tired so I'm going to rest. Let me know when you get hungry again and I'll teach you how to make steaks. If that tasted good raw, wait till we cook it!” The ghost woman vanished, leaving Tu to wander the forest depths.

CodyWright77
August 2nd, 2015, 01:13 AM
This is a long piece. I'll do an in-depth critique with my opinions, but it's going to take some time. I just wanted to let you know that I was reading it :)

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“I am starting to believe this one is a complete failure.” Announced a woman's deafening voice against the void. In the pitch black room, he could focus on nothing but the voices. Somehow, they weren't in his ears but made his head throb with every syllable. He cringed as a new pressure forced the breath from his lungs.


A softer voice responded, “Why do you say that?”


“It refuses to respond to outside stimulus on body and soul. Think of it as a stillborn failure.” The woman's voice blared, “If I get no further responses, I'll just dispose of it shortly and begin again. Otherwise, I'll begin its training once it's aware.” This needs rewording. Feels clunky.


“As you say, my lady.” The male voice Is this the same voice as the "soft voice"? If so, choose which you want to call it; both confuses the reader. acquiesced before both vanished into silence. Spasms and shuddering breaths were his only companions. Every limb he tried to move only remove managed to shake. The male voice returned, now cynical, asking, “Oh, you're actually awake. How are you feeling?”


“W-what?” He stammered into the darkness.


“Try again, I can't be there physically. Try speaking with your mouth closed.” Instructed the voice. Forcing his mouth to clench, the prisoner tried to force words out. Only a muffled noise escaped him. With a chuckle the voice explained, “Just think what you want to say. Stop trying to use your mouth.”


“Who are you?” He demanded with focused thought. I'm not sure this adds anything. Where you can cut words out, do it.


“Ah, you're no natural at this. But, it shall do. I am known as Ieak'Osh,” The voice identified itself, “And I shall help you escape.”


“From where ... why? None of this makes any sense This is implied by the "where/why bit . I don't even know who I am!” The man roared back. Personal opinion, but I think you should lose this dialogue tag.


“Who you are is too complicated. Let's start with what you can see.” Ieak'Osh said with a smirk that he who could feel it? He, Ieak'Osh or Nameless? could just feel. Doesn't makes sense. You've established that your character is deprived of some senses. Keep with that.


He snorted, “Nothing, it's pitch black in here.”


“Good, then this will be easy. Just focus straight ahead and breathe slowly,” Ieak'Osh instructed. A pressure on the back of his skull spread outwards, like some thick syrup was slowly coating his brain. As the sensation dripped down along his spine, his vision suddenly changed. The world lacked color but he could suddenly remove see the chains on his muscular limbs. Scales and remove covered the outer portions of his body while a thick hide was underneath.


Startled by the change, he demanded, “What did you do?" This line doesn't feel right to me


“Nothing, you just weren't aware you could do that. Now, I have a question. Do you wish to escape?” Ieak'Osh asked. He looked around the room realizing he'd simply been chained in a corner like a child's discarded toy. Shapes were cut into the stone that made up the walls of the room while a slab of stone sat in the center. Small tables were arranged around the central slab. Each one was covered in cloths, tools and countless magical gewgaws. If this is from your MC's point of view (and so far it is), then how does he know they are magical? Especially if he can't recall his own name? Maybe have him recognize them, rather than telling us right out what they are. If they are important at all.


Leaning forward, he examined the main altar. It was heavily stained. The prisoner gripped his head as pain suddenly throbbed with each breath. His body shook while he started to give out short, hissing gasps. Ieak'Osh let out a sigh before saying, “Calm yourself. That is where she experimented on you. You know because I know.”


At those words, he vividly recalled laying on the slab. Standing over him was a woman with brilliant green eyes. She smiled down at him as her delicate fingers descended. The tips of her nails touched his hide and passed through, sending a spray of blood across her soft features. Pain wracked his body ! The ! is unnecessary He couldn't scream, couldn't move! All he could do was stare at the blood spattered smile above him.


Carving away his flesh, she pulled out an organ. Examining it carefully, she ran a finger over its purple, slimy surface. The organ swelled, adding new sensations to the pain. She returned the meat back to his body before repeated the process with a redder part of him. The process continued with her altering the size or shape of each organ before returning it to his body. She repeated the process a dozen or so times before she closed up his flesh and then sealing sealed him shut with a single pass of her finger.


“G-get me out of here!” He roared to Ieak'Osh. A crackling broke the silence and he noticed something white stretching over his metal bindings. Pulling on the chains, they shattered into pieces. On the opposite side of the chamber he noticed a stairwell leading up. On shaky legs, he managed to stand up. Sparing only another glance at the bloody slab, he knocked several of the smaller tables out of his way. Long legs let him climb the steps by fours and fives. Either he's shaky or he's not. climbing the steps like that seems unbelievable, considering he knocks over tables because of his walking condition. Clarify.


His desperation prevented newly freed prisoner from noticing the door in front of him till he hit it. Clunky sentence. Needs fixing Crashing through the wooden barrier, splinters now covered a thick carpet that ran down the long hallway Remember your tense (past/present). This is also a little clunky . Crystalline stones mounted on sticks illuminated the path in both directions. Turning to the left, he began a headlong run, crashing through another door.

Ieak'Osh chuckled in the back of his skull before asking, “How did you know where to go?” Typically, you should begin a new line when someone begins to speak. Don't become married to the idea of forming paragraphs.


“I just picked a direction.” He responded flatly Careful with adverbs. There can be a place for them, but most people think not :). Now standing in the mansion's entrance again, this is my opinion, but isn't this from your character's view point (3rd person of course)? How does he know it's a mansion? I think this scene would have more weight if it were a little more mysterious. Especially since this is about a guy who doesn't know his own name ... yet , he saw a pair of over size one word can replace these two. Fewer words, where possible, is better, It makes your work shine double doors to his right. Leading further inside was a large staircase where a pair of resting, feline creatures lifted their heads to regard him.


Ieak'Osh broke into a full laugh as the prisoner shoulder charged through the front doors. A colorful garden stretched out from the mansion to a low wall that surrounded the grounds. Pulling himself up and over, he heard Ieak'Osh say, “I've decided. Your name is Tu. In our language, it means 'wise'.”


“Our language?” Tu asked as he crossed the open fields outside the mansion. Just past the hilly terrain was a dense forest. Before he could have reached the heavy boughs, Tu halted in his tracks. The woman's voice returned louder and more painful than ever.


She screamed just one word, “No!” Cliche. Destroy the cliche. Don't worry, I've got a problem with this kind of stuff too.

Looking towards the mansion, a light seemed to swell inside it either it did, or it didn't. Choose. It was as if the sun were rising to spite the moon above. Against the night sky, the shape of a massive, white serpent rose. White feathers spread out from its back. Terrified, Tu quickly hid among the trees, curling up in a small divot.

“Come back! Come back!” The serpent repeated in his mind over and over again. It passed overhead several times. Once, it hovered just overhead but quickly moved away This should be a terrifying experience for Tu. Write it out. . Hours trickled by and once more Tu could hear the woman's voice all too loudly,

“You cannot locate him?"




“He's too young and small. His power flickers here and there for me. I promise, once I can locate him, I'll bring him right back.” Ieak'Osh lied with sincere fervor.

Misery filled her voice, “I shall leave it in your hands for now, then. I have other duties to attend to.” Tu pulled in on himself and recalled the bloody smile she wore. The pain and pressure of her subsided.


“W-what now?” Tu asked.


“That's up to you. Take your time,” Ieak'Osh said softly.


“Thank you,” Tu closed his eyes and drifted into the darkness.


Her chest heaved with each ragged breath. Low reaching branches groped at the rough woolen fabric she'd chosen to wear against the cool weather. The wooden claws tearing at everything she wore. Having long since lost my shoes to the mud and her own desperation but they would be small sacrifices. Streaks of red lined her long, supple legs. Cuts appeared all along her arms as she tried to force all from her path. The forest was too thick to navigate and the night was too dark. She had to keep off the main path or else it would all be in vain. Her heart hammering in her ears, she heard the barks of HIS dogs chasing her down.
Pumping one leg after another she darted around a thick oak only to realize all too late it had rested at the edge of a small crevasse. It had been hidden by the rising slope she'd been climbing. Open air caressed her all over. Tears poured from her shut eyes as she accepted death. At least HE would never have her and she'd never have to look upon him. Unfortunately, fate wasn't so kind.

Is there a reason why it's all italicized now?


Her eyes fluttered open at the bottom, she couldn't move but had landed looking up. The fall hadn't been as long as she had expected and hoped for. Lights swayed this way and that above. A few stones from someone skidding to a stop had been what awakened her, one having landed only inches from her crippled form. Looking up, she could see HIS darkened face illuminated by moonlight. His cold, blue eyes stared down at her with a sneer. His dogs were barking down at something. She saw him yelling something but couldn't hear. Perhaps the fall had broken her hearing? All too late she saw the yellow eyes of the beast before its fangs sank into her throat. Perhaps this was her freedom?


Tu drifted in an expansive void, with only the bloodied corpse laying before him. Her open eyes stared right at him while Tu couldn't look away from the mangled flesh of her distended throat. He stammered, “W-what's going on here? What did I just see?” The woman's lips began to move, dispensing only harsh rasps. Reaching down with a trembling hand, Tu's claw ran against her soft cheek.



“Who are you?” Her ethereal voice asked.


“I don't know. But, you were the one being hunted, weren't you?” Tu asked.


“Yes, my family gave me away like some useless bauble to a cruel man. I just couldn't take it anymore.” Her head barely moved in a nod.


Tu's lips peeled back into a smile before he realized it. He spoke comfortingly, “Then, you're free. Don't you have a place to go to?”


“I died, I should be with my ancestors yet, you're the first thing I've encountered since then.” The corpse began to pour out tears over either cheek. She cried, “Am I cursed? Hated by my family for my choice? Will this be my eternity?”


“Oh my, Little Tu, you're always quite busy, aren't you?” Ieak'Osh's voice asked with a singsong tone. A light drifted down towards the pair to hover just above the woman. With no lack of amusement in his voice, Ieak'Osh explained, “And so, all too soon you come to another choice. This woman is dead, even she is aware of it. However, her soul is too burdened to pass on. So, you come to another choice.”I know I said I wouldn't comment, but I had to. Listen to the way your dialogue sounds. Does it sound believable when you say it out loud? This bit has too many repetitions to it. It needs work.


“And what would that be?” Tu asked letting his clawed hand drift along the woman's cheek.


“You could force her to cross over but that may damage her soul. Or, you could carry her around till she's ready. It's up to you.” Ieak'Osh's orb flitted around the pair.

“That's her choice.”


“Then, I will happily accompany this kind monster.” The woman's lips peeled back to reveal a pristine set of teeth. Tu, out of instinct, lowered his forehead to hers. Her neck closed and she became the image of herself whole once more. The scaled monster before her rose to stand revealing it was several feet over her own height despite its hunched over stance. Each muscular limb ended in wickedly curled claws and its yellow eyes seemed pressed into a perpetual sneer.


Resting her head against the monster's chest, she stroked the rough chest. She introduced herself, “I am Gera. As I've been abandoned, I have no family name.”
“As you've heard, this other one calls me Tu. I suppose I have no family name either. Though, I'm unsure what comes next as well,” Tu said before shrugging.


“You've been asleep this entire time. You'll wake up soon. I suggest getting something to eat, myself. That's what I'll be doing soon. Watching over you is going to become tiring.” Ieak'Osh teased. Tu shrugged his shoulder to the woman before curling up rest. Once more the darkness closed in on Tu and was banished by light. His eyelids cracked open to find the forest over him. His body shook from the force of his rumbling stomach.


Bringing a hand to his gut, Tu grumbled, “And you're getting tiring just to be around, Ieak'Osh. But, suppose food is a good place as any to start.” Tu began to stalk amid the forest. Every now and then, he'd see the ghostly form of the blonde, young woman seated under a tree or examining something. He would speak to Gera almost as often as Ieak'Osh.


As Tu stumbled over an upraised branch, his hand dug into the tree. His momentum died stillborn the instant his grip was secured. At that moment, Tu's eyes widened and his narrow nostrils flared. A quick succession of shallow breaths filled his senses with a pungent scent. He muttered, “What is this?”


“Mmm....the musk of a stag. And its relatively fresh, too.” Ieak'Osh then gave out a contented sigh. The forest became a blur, Tu's body drew itself closer to a stand of grass that retained the same scent. Another tree, bushes and grass all paved an unseen path Tu followed. Tripping over rock, he began to lope along on all four limbs.


Groping branches forced Tu to shut his eyes as he barreled through a dense stand of red berry laden bushes. Once his vision was restored, Tu skidded to a stop as he noticed occupants of a small clearing. Four legged creatures regarded their intruder with black, opal eyes. A harsh, barking sound came from the largest, horned beast that sent the rest fleeing.


Tu stared as the creature lowered its head. His body shuddered. The stag charged. Tu's hands caught the horns between the vicious points. Digging his taloned feet in for leverage, Tu lifted the heavy animal into the air before bringing it back down to the soil. A single, loud crack sent every bit of nervous fauna on edge before Tu's roar of triumph sent them fleeing.
Spreading his fang filled maw, Tu clamped on the stomach of the buck. Twisting his head with sharp jerks the first layers of flesh were tossed aside. His talons pried organs and bones out of his way. The snapping of his jaws were a constant drumbeat as he claimed more and more food. With a sigh of satisfaction, Tu sat in front of his meal.
With her back pressed against a tree, Gera had both hands wrapped around her throat. Tilting his head to the side Tu asked, “What's wrong?”


“N-nothing,” Gera turned her head to the side. Tu winced as a sharp pain stretched from the side of his head.


Shaking his head, the sensation vanished. Tu rolled onto his side saying, “Gera, tell me the truth.”


Her trembling hands never moved from her throat as she explained, “Just, the way you eat reminds me of those wolves.” Her eyes went wide and one hand covered her mouth.
“How can I eat differently then?” Tu asked.


“W-why would you? You're a monster so it makes sense...”


Tu climbed to his feet and knelt down before the woman. His yellow eyes kept her gaze as Tu calmly spoke, “I don't wish to bother you every time I eat. So, teach me how I should. You died in pain, you shouldn't have to stay in it.” Opening his bloody hand Tu held it up to the woman. Removing her delicate fingers from her mouth, Gera placed her hand in his.
“Okay, luckily for you I'm the daughter of a hunter. I could hit a buck like that from fifty paces in the rain!” Gera boasted proudly


Tu blinked before asking, “How could you hit it from so far away?”


“With a bow, silly!” Chided the young woman waving her hand dismissively.


“What's a bow?” Tu asked with his head cocked to the side.


Gera giggled, “What are you talking about? You have to know what a bow is!” Make this exchange quicker by taking out the dialogue tags. The reader knows who is speaking, so they just get in the way.


“Actually, he truly doesn't know,” Ieak'Osh intruded. His ethereal voice was clear but didn't come from any direction. This sent the pair looking around for him. With a chuckle he added, “I could tell him but I think it'll be good for him to learn on his own. So, I'll be counting on you, huntress Gera.”
Tu clicked his tongue before saying, “I really do find him exhausting.”


“I can understand that. Either way, shall we be off or do you hunger for more?” Gera motioned towards the gouged out corpse. Tu simply shook his head. Gera's lips widened as she said, “Good. I'm a bit tired so I'm going to rest. Let me know when you get hungry again and I'll teach you how to make steaks. If that tasted good raw, wait till we cook it!” The ghost woman vanished, leaving Tu to wander the forest depths.

Okay. There are some mechanical factors of writing that I think you would benefit from studying up on. It's a pretty good rough draft, but I suggest you really look into how to write "drama" into a narrative, dialogue tags, and writing dialogue in general. I found most of the dialogue exchanges to be unbelievable, which doesn't make me want to read more.

Also, this sounds like a scene from a video game. You have the disembodied guide helping you along, and then a helpful spirit of a huntress girl that will teach the MC things. For me, it just didn't work ... but there could be a market for this style of writing, I don't know. I look forward to another submission of this story. Please remember that these are just my opinions. Take them if they help you, forget them if they don't!

Thank you for posting!

Ephemeral_One
August 2nd, 2015, 09:29 AM
Thank you for the notes, Cody. You've given me a lot to work with.

CircuitRanger
August 19th, 2015, 12:50 AM
your a little bit right about the awkward start. I don't know... but.... your work has promise i'll give you that much. but I feel like I read a story like this dozens of times before. their no real sense of tension and I lost interest about halfway through.

dragons are just becoming a bit of a cliché is what I'm trying to get across. when one work "perfects" a fantasy species ( elder scrolls with dragons), if you don't put a new spin on the concept such as, for example, dragons existing amongst humans in a modern , realistic, technology driven society. (I have thought of a couple and I think we should collaborate on that idea), then it just feels like a cheap copy of a more popular work.

originality and unpredictability is key in keeping a readers interest.