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Banned magic (1 Viewer)

podman36

Senior Member
In a world where magic is illegal and very few magic users remain, and corruption reigns supreme one man has the guts to protest, one man tries to preserve his native american heritage through magic, and many men use this political situation for their own financial and personal gain. My purpose in this novel is to create a realistic portrait of what would happen if magic were to actually exist. Enjoy :)
Sipho
August, 19, 2078
The noise from the crowd quickly escalated in volume, growing from a hushed, almost inaudible chant to a deafening, air-piercing roar. Slogans repeated semi-unison, barely distinguishable obscenities, and spews of hatred were directed towards the SWAT teams, fully dressed in riot gear, as they closed in on the crowd. With no warning, the violence commenced.

The attack was ritualistic, rehearsed, and done with robot-like precision. First, the tear gas was thrown in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Then the uniformed men began closing in, using their batons to beat any poor fool in their way. Protesters were knocked to the ground and beaten relentlessly. Screams replace shouted slogans; the protest was no more.

Sipho ran with immediate speed towards the nearest alleyway in the city streets. He ducked behind a garbage bin, hoping the pigs wouldn’t catch sight of him and beat him into critical condition. The city streets of what used to be Times Square were rubble ever since the police bombed the square in the catastrophic riots of 2076. To this day, the government can't afford to rebuild the broken-down rubble that used to be Times Square - even with the money from the confiscation of magical heirlooms.

The alleyway Sipho was occupying was nearly empty. His only company was a passed out hobo who wasn’t likely to wake up soon. When the screams began to quiet down, and it seemed like the riot had ended, Sipho peeked out from behind the garbage can to see the current condition of the broken-up protest. The sight was definitely not pretty: protesters lay on the ground, immobile, moaning in pain from the brutal baton beatings they had endured. One man had a picket sign with the words “Magic is the future” jammed into his eye socket. A child, no older than five, screamed in pain while cradling his broken wrist. The most disturbing sight Sipho witnessed was an elderly women lying dead on the ground with bullet holes riddling every inch of her torso.

P.S Thank you to courtneyanne9 for the revisions!
Why they let the pigs get away with it: A little bit of backstory
All of this police brutality was not only accepted but explicitly allowed due to the police reformation of 2060. This act began as magic use gained popularity in the early 2050’s, causing weapons to become increasingly outdated. The bullet was replaced by the magical bullet, a bullet easily summoned through large pores in the palm that never needed reloading and never jammed. It seemed resource and cost effective to replace costly weapons with easily accessible magic. The plan worked beautifully for the most part, magic users banded in groups to keep the peace and did so effectively. In fact, in the early to mid 2050’s the crime rate was the lowest it had been for over 100 years. Police departments were the only casualty in this victory against crime.

Soon afterward, the now infamous Lt. Hopkins found the perfect target for a publically effective smear campaign against the magic users worldwide. Lt. Hopkins found out about a new club drug simply referred to as “M”, a drug made of chemicals taken from the blood of magic users and often mixed with heroin (in its IV form), cocaine (in its powder form) or crystal meth (in its smokeable form). Through further investigation it was found that this drug gave people with no magical heirlooms the ability to use destruction magic, speed magic and boost magic (magic that alters physical strength, endurance, and sexual potency). The main issue found with this drug was how it un-naturally altered the brain’s normal functions such as walking, speech, and skin re-growth. Long-term users of this drug could only regain basic functions such as these when under the influence of the drug.

The devastating effects of the drug made it an easy target for a smear campaign that would surely stop the dominance of magic in society. Lt. Hopkins staged a video of a magic user donating his blood to “M” manufacturers in exchange for dirty money. The video quickly went viral and all major news outlets began to report on the growing “M crisis” caused by souls corrupted by the in-human powers given to them by magic. The truth that the blood used for the manufacturing of “M” was stolen from magic users, who were kidnapped and often killed, was completely ignored in favor of the story that would make better headlines.

The increasingly negative social attitude towards magic users in the late 2050’s eventually led to the passing of “The Police Reform act of 2060”. This act allowed for anyone in possession, opposition, consumption, or selling of magic related items to be dealt with by any means necessary without any intervention from the court.

Slowly but steadily, the police became no better than the thugs they were fighting. Police brutality was a common everyday sight that people hated but felt powerless to fight against. The police became legal thugs, murdering and injuring while no one batted and eye.

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment. Constructive criticism is encouraged and will be listened to!
 
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Higurro

Senior Member
Wow this sounds a really interesting premise! I like the idea of magic being almost the same as a recreational drug. Sounds like a good set-up for a little political, social and moral commentating. One or two spelling/grammatical errors (and do you mean Times Square in Manhattan, or is this Time Square somewhere else?). Same for formatting, it's generally easier to read on screen with spaced paragraphs.

Other than that my only point is that the second half sounds like something out a textbook (in other words the overtly external narration might damage the immersion of the piece) but really, this sounds like a great place to go on from.
 

podman36

Senior Member
Wow this sounds a really interesting premise! I like the idea of magic being almost the same as a recreational drug. Sounds like a good set-up for a little political, social and moral commentating. One or two spelling/grammatical errors (and do you mean Times Square in Manhattan, or is this Time Square somewhere else?). Same for formatting, it's generally easier to read on screen with spaced paragraphs.

Other than that my only point is that the second half sounds like something out a textbook (in other words the overtly external narration might damage the immersion of the piece) but really, this sounds like a great place to go on from.
The times square was a typo, sorry about that. I agree with your comments on the second half. I mean i needed a way to put that in otherwise the police brutality seems unrealistic. I didnt like that part either but i have no idea how to word it and not make it sound text book dry. Im working on fixing the paragraph spacing right know actually. Thanks for the comment, much appreciated! Just edited the paragraph spacing and times square typo. :)
 
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podman36

Senior Member
Sipho
Sipho sprinted from the trashcan he used as cover to the end of the alleyway. He looked up and down the previously full street that now resembled nothing short of a war zone. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a SWAT operative dressed in full riot gear handcuffing a man in his mid-20’s. To Sipho’s relief, it seemed like no one had caught sight of him yet, or if they have they must’ve not taken much notice. He needed to find an alternate way back home; walking down the police covered streets right now would be sure suicide.


Sipho slowly and meticulously examined his surroundings. The alleyway was in between the remnants of two broken down buildings. Sipho was in between the broken down Viacom Building and the Marquis theatre. To his luck, the Marquis theatre still had some pillars left standing even after the brutal bombing. The only accessible entrance point to the theatre was a hole in the wall that was blocked by a large green trash bin.


He anxiously crept up towards the trash bin and attempted moving it with full force. The wheels on the trashcan were long popped and the only way to move it was by using his body mass. This method proved extremely in-affective as he weighed a mere 170 pounds, and the bin didn’t even budge. Now his only options were waiting for the SWAT team to leave, and most likely starving to death in the process, or walking out into the streets and awaiting the brutal beating he would no doubt receive.


Sipho chose option A, and decided to lie against the rubble of the Viacom building cradling the newly formed cut on his leg. The wait was only 10 minutes but it felt like an eternity to Sipho, but just as he began giving up hope completely he heard a voice coming from his right side. “Get up” the voice said in a tone barely above a whisper. Sipho did as he was told and slowly stood up while leaning onto the brick wall for balance. He saw a boy no older than 16 in front of him, a boy covered in ragged brown clothes and a face enveloped in scars and mud. The boy was had very little hair covering his head and Sipho sensed from his accent that he was from north Africa, the same area he originated from.


Sipho quickly asked the first question on my mind “Where are you going?”


The boy smiled and pointed to the main street that was currently swarmed with SWAT team in full riot gear. “Out there.”

Sipho looked at him in disbelief “Are you fucking kidding me? Do you want to die? There is no chance we’ll survive even for a second out there.”

The boy looked annoyed “It’s either you move your ass, get out there and take a risk or you sit here and wait till you starve to death. Which one is it?” Hesitantly Sipho followed the boy onto the main street, all the while realizing how absolutely insane this idea was.

The riot team turned around, there were at least 50 on the ground and there were 3 helicopters surveying the scene. A voice over the megaphone yelled “You are in a quarantined zone, put your hands where we can see them and stop moving immediately or we will shoot.” Sipho froze but the boy kept moving at a deliberate pace without hesitation. “On the count of 3 we will shot!” The boy smiled and kept moving at an even faster and more deliberate pace. “3.” The boy began flexing his wrists. “2”. Before the officer could finish the countdown the boy snapped his fingers and the air filled with the sound of screams. The riot shields all broke into pieces causing glass to fly directly into the SWAT operatives at lightning fast speed. It all happened so fast that Sipho barely realized what the boy had done until he saw the bodies of the SWAT team all lying in pools of blood screaming and twitching.

The sight of all the bodies made Sipho nauseous and his gut wrench. He quickly bent over and began to throw up. The boy was standing over him smiling a hysterical, power crazed smile, “You ready to fly amigo?” he said. Before Sipho could even respond he felt an invisible force launch him into the air.
To be continued......
More coming soon. Please comment and keep on reading as the best is yet to come. :-D
 

RoosterSmith

Senior Member
Great premise. I would like to see a plot. I would like to see this world slapped Into a 3 act story structure...
 

podman36

Senior Member
Great premise. I would like to see a plot. I would like to see this world slapped Into a 3 act story structure...[/QUOTE
So far i already have 4 character arcs ready. This just the intro of 1 of em. Im working on 2 more characters that will be posted soon. Each of them will have seperate arcs that delve into the politics, corruption, religon, and media propaganda surrounding magic. But a few of the characters i have planned will interesect. Tune in for a wife of a native american tribal leader whos tribe is devestated by meth and alcochol addiction who uses magic to preserve her tribes identity but becomes a wanted criminal due to this. And an anti magic advocate who discovers that his brother has magical powers. As i said, the best is yet to come.
 

Elvenswordsman

WF Veterans
I didn't read past the first paragraph, mainly because you were using "1" in place of "one"... A quick note (for future reference, and to be applied to this?) - if the number is small enough that it doesn't make reading it awkward, write it out. One hundred thousand, forty-two, a million. 436923. A rule of thumb is so long as the number doesn't take up half the line, spell it out.
 

podman36

Senior Member
I didn't read past the first paragraph, mainly because you were using "1" in place of "one"... A quick note (for future reference, and to be applied to this?) - if the number is small enough that it doesn't make reading it awkward, write it out. One hundred thousand, forty-two, a million. 436923. A rule of thumb is so long as the number doesn't take up half the line, spell it out.
Ok seriously? That first paragraph you're referring to wasn't even part of the story. It was a hook i wrote on this website to get people interested in the premise. I was half asleep when I wrote it and if something that small makes you so ticked off it has nothing to do with me. I'm about to fix it just now.
 

Elvenswordsman

WF Veterans
Sorry, was trying to be helpful. If and when you understand you've made an error, the common action is to correct it (that is what the edit button is for). Also, my words are normally chosen carefully; as it appears you have been insulted, you have my apologies.

You'll note, as I'm sure I'm not the only one, most writers have pet peeves (I'm sure you have your own as well). I don't like being distracted from the writing. As far as reading your piece, I have done and only felt willing to comment on the intro. It's interesting, enticing, but it's not my style nor my theme so I chose to leave the critique to others more ... relevant to your writing.

I don't know if your comment was "Ok seriously?" asked out of desperation, or "Ok seriously?" made more as a comment on me being a douche. At any rate, slightly offended.
 

podman36

Senior Member
Sorry, was trying to be helpful. If and when you understand you've made an error, the common action is to correct it (that is what the edit button is for). Also, my words are normally chosen carefully; as it appears you have been insulted, you have my apologies.

You'll note, as I'm sure I'm not the only one, most writers have pet peeves (I'm sure you have your own as well). I don't like being distracted from the writing. As far as reading your piece, I have done and only felt willing to comment on the intro. It's interesting, enticing, but it's not my style nor my theme so I chose to leave the critique to others more ... relevant to your writing.

I don't know if your comment was "Ok seriously?" asked out of desperation, or "Ok seriously?" made more as a comment on me being a douche. At any rate, slightly offended.
I believe we are at a misunderstanding here. I was a little offended that you didn't read my story due to a (in my opinion) relatively minor grammatical error. But I over-reacted completely at what was completely logical criticism. Sorry about that.
 

podman36

Senior Member
Yup. And I'm just trying to put a new spin on the epic fantasy genre that has become to cliche and formulaic. Thank you for the constructive criticism.
 
This really does sound interesting and i ADORE the idea of magic in this sort of setting. Im used to reading about magic in a fantasy style but this really does appeal! keep up the good work!
 

podman36

Senior Member
Willie Terance

“Smile" he thought, "even if the smile is fake”. He managed to tighten his facial muscles ever so slightly upward, creating a strained but mildly believable smile. It was no matter to him, the viewers of this midnight talk show were probably too drunk or tired to notice such miniscule details. The host however, a fat slob by the name of Bilge Burcin, would notice every little thing.

The cameras were all pointed towards him, dark ominous eyes recording every small action he makes. Any minor muscle twitch he made would be used against him, seen as a sign of weakness or insecurity.

The debate opened with him being yelled at by the supposedly "un-biased" reporter. "You sir, support a policy that is responsible for the death and incarceration of millions of people worldwide. How the hell do you justify that?"

It was a grill show, but thats what you expect when you go on advocating a conservative policy on a liberal network. He decided to respond with a question hoping it would stumble the overly aggressive liberal fuck. "How do you support making something legal that has the potential to kill thousands?"

It seemed like the perfect counter argument at the time but the reporter didn't even flinch. "I support it because humans have the right to use something that occurs naturally without government persecution!"

"Magic is not natural!" He screamed. "Its inhuman , deadly and disastrous. thousands die each year from the mis-use of magic, youre telling me something that deadly should not be regulated?"

"Magic is not inhuman. In fact, all the major magical artifacts being found today are remnants of ancient times. Learn your history before you try to bullshit me. The main casualty of the war on magic is the magic possessors themselves. We currently have a huge black market of a new drug called M, its one of the pleasant little byproducts of this failed faux war. No doubt you’ve heard it?”

He was prepared for this question. He had his answer perfectly planned out, but at that moment he couldn’t think of the full ingenious response. The response he had written down just the day prior to this so called interview. He had to BS this answer on the spot “This new drug M is exactly why magic is so dangerous. People who can’t get ahold of magical artifacts or are too poor to do so will resort to any means to get their powers, even means as lethal and harmful as M.”

Bilge had a sly smile on his face, he had planned this too. Know with only 20 seconds left on the clock he was ready to make his final move, the knockout punch that his debates were famous for ending on. “The new drug M does not show why magic is dangerous. It shows why the prohibition of magic is dangerous. By taking magic away from government control we hand it over to the underground mafias who disregard safety in order to maximize profit. You’re an ignorant fool if you think otherwise. This war on magic is a failure and the sooner we come to realize the true healing powers of magic the better we will end up being in the long run.” His sly smile had now changed to a smile of satisfaction. “That’s all for tonight folks, thank you for coming on the show tonight Will and I hope you change your mind on this key issue sometime soon.” The cameras had shut off and Will was escorted off stage.

The secretary next to him, a blonde girl no older than 19 informed him that he had received two phone calls from his mother. “Why the hell would she call me know?” Willie thought, “She hasn’t talked to me ever since I forced into that retirement community a year ago.” He grabbed his cellphone and quickly re-dialed his mom.

“Hello mom, did you call me earlier?” Willie said hesitantly.

“Yes I did, I wanted to inform you that your son Bill just got arrested.” Her voice was formal but at the same time had a hint of taunt to it. Her matter-of-fact way of speaking made it clear to Will that she was taunting his abilities as a father, one too pre-occupied with work to care for his own son.

“What happened? He’s only 9, what the hell could he have possibly done to warrant an arrest!”

“The dean claims that your son used some sort of invisible ray to throw a student out of a window, claims that it could’ve been magic.”

The reality of the situation hit him too fast. He would lose his job over this, his reputation would be ruined, and his son’s record would be forever tarnished. Even worse he imagined the headlines this situation would spark, “Son of anti-magic organization head Willie Terrace arrested for violent magic use!” Unable to deal with the reality of the situation, Willie passed out from sheer shock.

Thanks for reading and please comment :) constructive criticism is very much appreciated. Thanks to everyone who's read and supported my work so far, I'll try my best to keep posting these at a regular schedule and keep listening to your advice.
 
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Robdemanc

Senior Member
It is a great idea for a story and Im sure if I saw such a book in a shop I would buy it. I like the dark feel to this scenario.

It is written well but could do with a slight rewrite, mainly copy editing in parts. As said its a very interesting idea and if I were you I would continue with this and get a draft completed as soon as possible. If you have your main characters in mind, an ending, and a way to get there then go for it.
 

GWJ Baird

Senior Member
Hi there,

I am pretty hooked on this and really enjoyed reading it,

The section on Willie Terence, I can't quite put my finger on it but I found it hard to follow, like there was too much information at once? But then it did make me feel a bit like he must have under that pressure so perhaps it was deliberate?

Also be careful where you have 'know' instead of 'now',

Like I said I am hooked and really enjoying it, my favourite section would need to be Sipho so far though, perhaps because it is more in the mix of the action but I think Willie Terrence will grow as character and could lead to a good divide between readers on whether they support any difficult decisions he will need to make in the near future, I think he could possibly be your break out character if you work it right as I can sense people really emotionally investing in him as a character just from that small section above,

Very well done :)
 

podman36

Senior Member
Hi there,

I am pretty hooked on this and really enjoyed reading it,

The section on Willie Terence, I can't quite put my finger on it but I found it hard to follow, like there was too much information at once? But then it did make me feel a bit like he must have under that pressure so perhaps it was deliberate?

Also be careful where you have 'know' instead of 'now',

Like I said I am hooked and really enjoying it, my favourite section would need to be Sipho so far though, perhaps because it is more in the mix of the action but I think Willie Terrence will grow as character and could lead to a good divide between readers on whether they support any difficult decisions he will need to make in the near future, I think he could possibly be your break out character if you work it right as I can sense people really emotionally investing in him as a character just from that small section above,

Very well done :)
Thank you for the comment and I'm really glad you're enjoying my work so far! :)

The section with Willie Terence was supposed to be very hectic and confusing, so if that's how you felt than my mission was accomplished. Willie will change drastically as a character and have to make some very difficult decisions later on in the story. Currently I need to introduce 3 more essential characters and then the plot will really get rolling.

Also Sipho is going to have the most action oriented chapters in the story, but the boy he met is very essential towards the plot. Keep on reading and once again thanks for commenting! :)
 

podman36

Senior Member
It is a great idea for a story and Im sure if I saw such a book in a shop I would buy it. I like the dark feel to this scenario.

It is written well but could do with a slight rewrite, mainly copy editing in parts. As said its a very interesting idea and if I were you I would continue with this and get a draft completed as soon as possible. If you have your main characters in mind, an ending, and a way to get there then go for it.

The one thing about this story is that their are no real "main characters".Their are going to be 6 major players and eventually some of their stories will overlap in surprising ways. So far I have an ending for 2 of the 6 character arcs planned but not an overall ending to the series. I've been writing a lot of this story on my iphone while traveling so their may be some weird wordage and editing at parts.

Thank you for the comment though and keep on reading. Once the action truly picks up for all these characters I promise you'll be hooked. :)
 

Nemesis

The Black Goat
WF Veterans
In regards to the very first section you posted: I'd recommend not going into so much detail over the types of abilities and the back story just yet. It feels too soon and it feels forced. Back story is used to provide insight on a particular character or circumstance relevant to that point in the story. Since you've only barely introduced us to the characters and the situation, I find myself wanting to skip over those parts because they don't mean anything to me yet. The first couple of chapters ashould grab your reader and suck them in, you can lose them if stop the action to explain something.
 
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