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Brave. Chaptah One. Dun dun DUN. (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
AWAKE, chapter one

Two minutes and seventeen seconds.
I tear my eyes away from the clock, turning to the speaker: Max Caruso. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Practically brown skin. Summer did a number on him. So has US History I. His eyes are dead. No trace of his trademark smirk. Fifty-eight minutes straight of Mr. Clarkson can do that to a person.
“Yo,” I whisper back. “Am I dead yet?”
Max fakes wrath. “You can’t die yet, Jesse. You have to shoot me first, and then yourself. That was the plan.”
“Oh, sorry,” I snark sarcastically. “I forgot my gun back where I left my happiness.”
Max rolls his eyes in disgust. “Wow, Jesse. Way to be. Shoulda known I couldn’t count on you, man.” He nudges Rach, who’s been completely out for the past fifteen minutes. The girl’s arm jerks a little, she looks up, realizes, remembers, recovers – runs a hand through her strawberry blond hair like her arm spaz was just a weird stretch in passing to fix her hair.
“Good morning, Rach,” I whisper at her across the desks.
She stifles a yawn, canvasses the room, and now checks out the clock. Her delight is palpable.
“I know,” I say, meeting her smile with one of my own. “And don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. Actually-“ I cut myself off, pretend to think for a solid ten seconds- “yeah, you didn’t miss anything.”
“What a surprise,” she returns drily. “I mean, Clarkson’s class is the bomb. It’s like a pure shot of brain adrenaline. So mentally stimulating.”
“Just yesterday I figured out the meaning of life,” I whisper back, and she smothers a laugh in her hand.
Max clears his throat quietly, peering at the both of us. “I didn’t wake you up so you could rant about Mr. Clarkson’s awesomeness, Rach. Just gimme a gun.”
“Oh yeah, I got one in my back pocket. Gimme a sec,” she smirks, and goes fishing in one of her jean pockets. Max pretends to shoot up a prayer of thanks.
I check out the clock again. Oh my gosh, it’s almost time for lunch. Forty-four – no, forty-five – well, forty-four now – fourty-three seconds… forty-two...
The phone on the wall chirps, way too happily. Mr. Clarkson cuts off his drone, glances over at the ringing thing with almost surprise, like he’s totally confused as to why the thing they call a phone is making sounds. He walks over to it, picks it up with two fingers, lifts it apprehensively to his ear.
Thirty-four, thirty-three, thirty-two… I look back at Max and Rach, who are fighting over an imaginary firearm. Now in the opposite direction to my right, sweeping over faces: Jon, Suzy, Ethan, Dan, Naomi, Peter, Wesley, Alice, et al., all counting the number of specks on the ceiling tiles or examining the divots in their desks or whispering to each other or – wow. Dan’s taking notes. Respectable. How can he actually follow anything Clarkson says? His voice sounds like a freaking beehive. I mean, we don’t call his class the Hive for no reason. Sometimes he even looks-
A sputter of sound. I look up. The TV’s on. Mr. Clarkson’s standing underneath it, neck craned, the remote tight in his grasp. I go to look away. And now I don’t. Because what’s playing is ridiculous. Must be some kind of movie. Don’t know why Clarkson is turning it on now, with – I check again – twenty seconds left, but then again I don’t really care. I’m hungry. And I really need to get out of here. Like, now. I get up, slinging my backpack on, and the people around me follow.
Wesley walks up to me and grimaces, “Oh my gosh.”
“It’s only November,” I sigh.
“I know.” I open my mouth to commiserate-
Um. Why is Clarkson cranking up the TV?
“What the hell is that?” Naomi laughs behind me, staring at the screen, and I raise my palms helplessly.
“I guess we know what Clarkson watches in his spare time,” Alice says wryly, and goes on to say something, but Clarkson hasn’t stopped upping the volume, and now it’s at full blast. “What the hell?”
Mr. Clarkson turns to us, the weirdest look on his face. I don’t even know what emotion that is. Fear? Confusion? He looks, what’s the word Ms. Keene taught us, nonplussed. As in he’s so confused he doesn’t know what to do. Clarkson opens his mouth, and he looks like he’s saying something, but he’s too quiet. He tries again. Still no luck.
“What is he saying?” I yell over the TV fuzz, and the people around me look at me, totally confused, and shrug. But someone does answer my question, shouting across the room.
“He says it’s for real! It’s a broadcast! A live broadcast!”
I snort. What is this, reruns of some old movie? But now Clarkson’s flipping through the channels, from 2 to 4 to 5 to 9, and they’re all the same. All the same footage. Different newscasters, different coverage, different reactions, but the same footage, the same story. So not reruns. Some kind of giant joke? No way this can be real, at least. Right?
A jerk of movement at the corner of my eye, and I look and Peter’s off, running out the door. Someone goes to follow him, but in a heartbeat Clarkson hits a button and the TV blinks dead and the room is silent. He turns to look at us. He seems so normal, so nonchalant. Like we were just watching an episode of Looney Tunes. If Looney Tunes showed dead bodies and screaming and death on a daily basis, of course.
“We’re locking down,” he says simply, and the bell goes off.
“What’s going on?” I ask, and a bunch of other kids second the question, Max and Rach among them.
“That broadcast was live. All of the channels were playing the same footage. I know this looks ridiculous, and maybe it’s just a big prank, but I’m not taking any chances. We’re going into lockdown. Now.” Clarkson sweeps his eyes over all of us, the usual doldrums gone from his look, replaced by something you could call alertness, which I never would’ve expected to see in Clarkson. Other kids start to mill past the wide-open door, laughing, joking, free, not trapped by a dumb US History teacher, on their way to lunch. I shift on my feet, eyeing them, envying them, but I feel Clarkson still staring us all down. Why the hell does he want us to lock down? Everyone else is out there. I mean, Clarkson can’t be taking the news seriously. It’s a joke. Has to be. It’s too ridiculous not to be. But still, no one moves, no one talks. For four long seconds, silence is king.
Now Alice laughs. The sound is like a needle poking through our little bubble of awkward quiet. “Well, I have a PB&J waiting in my locker. Dunno about you, but I’m not wasting my lunch for some prank.” She grabs her bag and goes to head out the door, and hesitantly, hesitantly, Wesley starts to follow. They never even have a chance. Clarkson’s in front of them, filling up the doorway, before they can get there.
“Get back inside,” he orders, and the authority in his voice stuns me. Some newfound confidence he’s got. Alice goes to argue, but he cuts her off: “no arguing. Do it now. And the rest of you-“ he glances back up at all of us, more alive than I’ve ever seen him- “go into lockdown. Now. No talking, no laughing, no joking around. Do it silently, just like we always rehearse.”
Max and I exchange helpless glances. Alice opens her mouth to give it one last valiant go, but an even bigger voice overrides her: one broadcasted over the loudspeaker. I know the voice. We all do. It’s our principal’s. And the message is familiar too: Attention, Park Avenue High School. We are now in lockdown. Please follow lockdown procedures and remain in lockdown mode until it is announced that the school is secure. And now, immediately after, and harder, stronger: This is not a drill. And she hangs up. Just like that.
Silence takes the throne again. Longer. Four seconds, five, six… no one talks. And now- “You heard her,” Clarkson says, and the weird self-confidence in his voice makes us do it. “Jesse, you go first.”
Unsure, hesitantly, I obey. Make my way over to the hallway-side of the room, crouch underneath the long overhang of the countertop, watch as the other kids do the same. Clarkson digs a key out of his desk, locks the door, and joins us.
“Jesse,” Max whispers, at my side, but Clarkson shushes him harshly and he stops.
A minute later he goes back to it, quieter this time, bending all the way into my ear. “This is so dumb.”
“You think this is for real?”
Max snorts. “Yes, Jesse. Planet Earth is getting invaded by aliens. We’re all gonna die.”
“All the channels showed the same thing.”
He shakes his head. “No way. It’s gotta be a joke. In a few minutes we’re all gonna find out that it was just some mistake or joke or something. Like Orson Welles with the War of the Worlds broadcast.”
I just shrug, and we turn to other subjects. Minutes pass. An hour passes. It’s been forever. And Alice’s stomach grumbles probably for the fifth time.
“If there really are aliens, Alice, we’re all gonna die,” I whisper loudly. She makes a face.
“What do you want me to do? I’m hungry. I can hear my PB&J just calling out to me.” Clarkson gives us a glare, but we ignore it.
“You know what, if it comes down to it, you can have my dead body. Should probably keep you full for a few days.” Half the class groans. The other half’s too busy holding a massive chopsticks duel to care.
“Hey!” Clarkson barks as quietly as he can, holding a proud finger up to his mouth angrily, and for a time we shut up.
Impossibly, preposterously, another hour passes. Feels like it’s been a whole day. I check the clock, dimly lit in the darkness since Clarkson turned out all the lights. I can just make out the time: 2:00. No one’s even bothering to be quiet anymore. On the other end of the line we’re supposed to be sitting in, or are sprawled in now, the chopsticks duel is morphing into a rock-paper-scissors-off, and it’s getting louder by the minute. Lockdown for half an hour is already asking too much of us. Lockdown for two hours after we just saw New York City getting totally obliterated by spaceships and giant red aliens? No. Not gonna happen. We’re tired. We’re hungry. We don’t know what the hell is going on. We just want to go home. We all know this is some dumb joke. Ethan, Suzy, and Jon already swapped shoelaces about six times. I told just about every anti-joke I know. We’re done.
Clarkson is not. “Everyone be quiet!” he says all loud, but no one listens, no one cares. Someone turns to him and challenges him to a fight to the death by rock-paper-scissors. He glares. The person just grins and goes around him to me. “You’re going down,” I grin, and smack my fist in my palm.
“Hey! Wesley, get back in line. Everyone get back in line. And quiet down. Jesse, sit over there. And you-“ Clarkson stops, giving up. We’re all just too loud. It’s a party under the overhang. To the far right, a bunch of girls erupt into an ungodly volume of giggles. Two paper planes sail by, crash into each other, collide hard onto the polished floor. Clarkson is livid. He springs onto his feet, his face turning red, and tries to get us to listen, but no one does. I choose scissors, my opponent rock. “Oh!” he yells. We’re way too into this. Way more than anyone ever should be.
Clarkson yells something. But we’re actually really loud right now, I realize. Our volume just keeps going up and up, and Clarkson doesn’t have a chance.
“Hey!” he screams at the top of his lungs, and a hush ripples out over us. Just kidding. Maybe he does.
“When are we going home?” whines Naomi, and Clarkson totally turns on her.
“We are not going home anytime soon! Okay? Did you not see what was on the TV? Did you not see all of the bodies lying around? All the death? The blood? That’s not a joke! It’s not some prank! That was New York City, and everyone in it is dead. They’re dead! Dead! Okay? And if you don’t shut up and freaking grow up, we will too, and I-“
I feel the floor rocking under my feet. The desk legs rattle against the ground. From somewhere not so far away, there’s a gigantic crash that reverberates, reverberates, reverberates, reverberates…My ears ring, high, piercing, shrill, like the sky breaking.
Silence infects us, an aftershock. From somewhere far away, I hear glass shattering on the floor.
Without needing to hear it, we all slide back under the overhang.
“No one make a sound,” Clarkson whispers, and something makes a really, really big sound from far away. The building trembles.
An explosion? Did the building collapse? D-
Oh my God. “Did you hear that?” someone hisses. I swallow. I feel sick.
“It sounded like people screaming,” I whisper, and I see the others’ faces and know I am not wrong.
Time flows by. No one moves a muscle. No one breathes. I can hear my heart beat, beat, beating, like a war drum.
A crash, and now shattered, scattered tinkling, like glass hitting the floor. And screams.
Unmistakably, screams. Screams, loud, real, chilling. They are far away, but unmistakable. Undeniable. Rach grabs my arm, and I look into her face, her white, drawn face, and see the fear carved so eloquently upon it. I reach for her hand. Her grip is sweaty, and hot, and tight.
Silence. Too terrible. Even more terrible than the screams. Because anything screaming must be alive. And anything screaming cut off so abruptly like that, like the voice just fell off a cliff into nowhere, like it just got beheaded and fell limp like a body-
Shrieks again. Like needles. Like shards of glass. On edge. Too clear. So sharp.
Another interval. I don’t know how much time passes. Anywhere from forever to a nanosecond. Now the screaming again. Oh, my God. It sounds like they’re being tortured. Massacred. There’re so many layers, many screamers. Like a whole classroom full. Make it stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.
It does not stop. And now it does. Just cut off. Sliced clean through. All finished. Silence. Seems like forever until screams again. Forever, then silence. Now screams. Ever closer, ever louder, ever grittier. And crashing sounds with them. Faint snapping, too, like bones cracking.
Max and I meet eyes. We don’t look away. We can’t. What is this, the third, fourth group of screams?
The screaming. Closer now. Too close. Too horrifying. Too real. Shouting too, and wailing. A whole bunch of them, a cluster, a group. They last too long. I can taste the terror in them. They’re so wrong. Oblique angles. Twisted cliffs. Not right. So wrong. I grit my teeth. I hear thumps and bumps and crackling. And something horrible, a horrible sound, unearthly, keening, crooning, like a funeral dirge, like demonic laughter. Rach’s grip tightened. I look at her, my best friend, and share her fear. The screams rattle in the air like dry bones-
Silence. Bones are broken. Dumped in the earth, buried. Just gone. Poof.
Screaming. Maybe two doors away. They seem even longer this time. More stretched out. Thumps. The sound of something slamming against a wall, heavy as a body. Glass breaking. More of the horrible crooning.
Now they drop away, beheaded, and silence slinks back around, shrieking, mad, maddening.
We are tortured.
It stretches out. So long. So freaking long. Rach is hyperventilating. Our hands are pressed tight against each other. It feels like we’re the same. I look down. Our knuckles are white.
A tremendous crash, and the walls shake.
They are next door.
The screams. And the laugh-sob-crooning. What are they? I see them in my head, hyenas delighting in a kill, standing over the body, regretting, shaking, weeping, stroking the hair of the dead, singing to the cold flesh. Ghastly. Gruesome. Hideous. Abominable. This time long, longer, the longest screams, the worst screams, and they never end…
All things end.
The silence, it roars like a banshee.
Rach isn’t breathing. You could drop a quarter on the quietness and watch it spin like a coin on a bedsheet. I look at everyone. I need to. I need to stop staring out the window at the fiery trees and gorgeous blue sky. Instead I see their faces, so terrified, and white like clouds.
Naomi starts to laugh. Soft, huffing giggles at first, snowballing into hysterical guffaws. We just stare. A delirious, desperate insanity splatters itself all over her face. Rach squeezes my hand. I can’t feel my arm. Max and I, our eyes are locked. A phrase floats into my head, whispering, a brushing breeze. Rigor mortis. Our eyes are locked more firmly than limbs in rigor mortis. I start to bre-
The world explodes, erupts, titanic, forceful, apocalyptic.
Shrapnel sprays. Door facedown, they’re in the door, they’re on the door, they’re over the door, I’m running, Rach tugged along behind me-
Red scales, grotesque hissing faces, a glimpse of snapping scarlet tongue and huge, huge wild eyes, and I’m behind the desks, crouching, my heart beating so fast I can’t feel it anymore-
I look out underneath the desks and see that they have Mr. Clarkson.
So many of them, a horde. I can’t describe them, don’t know what to think. They’re demons. Disgusting lumpy bodies, pulsing, slimy, wet, huge tumors in their backs. Slug feet, tentacle suckers, puckering all over the floor, sucking like gross wet kisses when they step. Exactly like the things on TV.
They have Mr. Clarkson. They’re tearing into him with their hands. Not hands. Their hands are not hands, they’re masses of squirming silver metal, thousands of tiny silver thorns, ripping into Mr. Clarkson like hyenas into a carcass.
Their blade-hands are flying. Hacking. Little axes. Not silver anymore. Picks, digging for gold.
Mr. Clarkson stops screaming.
But everyone else is. We are the only ones here, behind the desks. Everyone else, they’re out there, on the floor or being thrown or flung or rammed or crushed to the floor by the demons. The demons, they keep making disgusting noises, like hyenas laughing and crying and crooning, like dirgespeak.
Max. Terror impales me. Where is Max?
I can’t find him. But there’s a horrendous flop and thump and I see Suzy, scrambling, diving behind the cover of our long-legged desks, panting, sobbing, sucking in huge gulps of air. And I’m at her side, clutching him, staring at her. Her eyes are hazel. Brown like dead wood. There’s blood spattered all around them. She blinks. Red on her eyelids. On her hands, clamped on my arm. Breathing so fast. Rach is next to her, thrusting her arm through hers, tears all over her face, twisted with ugly panic and terror and horror.
People still screaming, way, way too real. Repulsive bodies all over them, pulsing like disembodied hearts, shredding my friends, tearing them into chunks and strips like children with pieces of raw chicken. Wesley is shrieking. And then he’s not, because his head is no longer connected with his body. I watch it land next to his mutilated arm and someone else’s knee, sitting in a dark pool of blood all by itself. Wesley’s eyes stare at me. It is a staring contest I will never win again. The blue eyes I know so well are vacant. No one will move in.
Rach is wailing. I look down. Suzy is lying on the floor. There’s a big red spot on her shirt, his white shirt. I watch it spread out like food coloring, leak onto the ground, soaking her in her own life. Rach’s hands are pressing down over it now, trying to suppress the eager blood from getting out and all over her fingers like it is now…
This will end.
I’m on my feet, staggering over a chair leg and falling onto a desk. Face almost touching a colorful, smooth surface: United States History. In the space between heartbeats, I snatch it up.
And I am running. Sprinting. Barreling. Towards the nearest – the nearest… thing. Demon-murderer, mutilator, butcher with blade hands.
It doesn’t even see me coming, not through the thick blood spraying in the air. Doesn’t hear me for all of the hellish screaming and shouting and wailing and keening and crooning. Behind me, Rach shrieks.
A foot away from its pulsating, palpitating flesh, when I can see its heaving, thick red back and the crevasses between the scales armoring its disgusting body, I launch myself into the air.
The textbook comes down hard. Surprisingly hard. Breathtakingly fast. With incredible, unbelievable force, onto the back of its pumping skull. The impact knocks me to the ground. But not the demon. Its head is harder than titanium. It stumbles forward a step, then whirls around, and its face is in mine, hissing with two forked snake tongues, spewing something sticky and congealed and black all over my face. It hisses on contac, scalds my face, eating at my skin. I start to scream. Next to me, someone stops.
My eyes are shut tight, I can’t see, it’s bellowing into my face- I kick up hard, slamming my foot into its torso like a battering ram. It flies off of me, crashes into the wall. Back on its feet impossibly fast, like I’m moving in slow-mo and it’s in fast forward. It spits something like black ink, snarls, roars, bays like a hunting dog, drops to all fours. No, fives. It has a tail like a mace. That’s all I see before it charges.
I’m ducking, rolling, before I can even think, but no, now I’m upright and it’s still coming at me, and I’ve overestimated its speed on all fou- fives, because it’s way slower. And I’m scrambling, scrabbling, scuttling towards the textbook, grabbing it up, and it’s almost upon me, black froth and spittle dripping from a blood-soaked maw.
Where its heart should be there is a sac. I see it dangling obscenely from its chest as it tanks towards me, something repulsive sloshing around inside it.
Wait. Wait. W- now!
As the thing lunges at me, cranes its metal-hard neck and snaps thousands of blood-stained teeth at my nose, I tuck and dive. Sliding, sliding underneath it, its neck passing directly over me, then the place where its neck connects to its chest, then its chest, and I heave up with the textbook and slam-
And with a nauseating sucking sound, the sac breaks and fluids dump out all over my face, into my open mouth and onto the floor, splashing noisily.
The thing collapses on top of me heavily. The breath is punched from my lungs, and I inhale the disgusting yellow-brown fluid. It’s the grossest thing that I’ve ever done in my entire life. Underneath the cooling flesh of the still bulbous body, I gag and retch, and try not to breathe as my breakfast hits the floor.
And now the thing is being pulled off of me, hefted and hauled and dumped to the floor, and- and Peter, Peter is standing over me, panting, staring at me with horror, wiping blood from his jaw. I scramble to my feet, still retching. Peter. With Max beside him. A long, long shard of broken glass is in his hand, wrapped in bloody cloth whose owner, by the looks of it, is beyond gone.
And Peter’s grabbing my hand and jerking me away, Max is pressing a huge chunk of glass into my hand, and there’s an earth-shattering roar and we don’t stop, we look back, and we run faster, because every single demon-thing is running at us, shrieking vengeance.
I watch them tank over the desks, watch some of them stumble and fall, and I scream, because they’ve just fallen on top of Rachel, and the ones that have fallen are no longer running, but standing still, and I can see their arms moving, the blades flashing, and blood in the air, and I scream and scream and scream.
And then the things are upon us, garbling their horrifying laugh-sob-croon, slashing and lunging and spewing black venom. Peter and Max are sprinting for the door, because the things are coming at us from the opposite side of the room and the door is on our side and they’re out but something has my ankle and I’m tripping and falling and my face is suddenly so very close to someone else’s face, except you can’t really call it a face anymore.
Max and Peter screaming. I’m screaming. The things are screaming. We’re all screaming.
Rachel is dead, I think hollowly, and then I’m twisting onto my side with the jagged stake of glass pointed to the ceiling. The first to reach me is impaled right where its heart should be. Reeking liquid sloshes all over my chest. An illogical, desperate, insane triumph washes over me.
And the rest of them are upon me and digging down and under my skin and wine-colored blood is splashing on their spike-blade-hands and their bodies pulsating, pulsating, pulsating like abominable hearts and I don’t feel pain, just a sad, disappointed resignation and an irresistible exhaustion seeping through the hollows of my marrow.
The screams fade out slowly. Distinctly, though. Grow more distant now. I’m being taken away, sailed away, floating like a cloud from this terrible nightmare from which, I am sure, I will soon awaken. I can feel myself detaching from my body, a lightness of limbs, a release of burden from my muscles and tendons and bones. I will be awake soon. And I will open my eyes and know it was all just a dream, and see light playing on my pillow, and roll over and shut off my alarm and get out of my bed and go off to school.
From far away I hear something very loud. Reverberating, sonorous, solid, commanding, throaty. A roar. I smile. I remember that kind of roar. A dinosaur roar. Like Land Before Time. Mom must have the cartoons on. And it must be Saturday. No school, then. No Mr. Clarkson. No Rachel, no Max, no death.
Another roar, and another, and stomp stomp stomp stomp, the floor quivering, vibrating. Vague shouts, like humans yelling. Strange keening noises. A loud, unflattering splat, very close, like jello hitting the floor, and I hear a pump-thump-pump like something pulsating, but it’s stopped now.
I have to go now. Mom is calling. I can see her. She’s waiting for me. It’s time to wake up.

NAME, chapter two

JESSE!” I’m screaming, and Peter is pulling on my arm, yanking me back, yelling something full-blast into my ear, but I’m not listening, I’m watching all the clones of Satan tear hungrily into my best friend’s stomach like lions into fallen prey. No. Not lions. Lions are noble. Lions are beautiful. Lions are admirable. Lions are good.
Not lions.
Like hyenas into a cadaver.
Like vultures into a rotting body.
Is that all he is now? A thing to be buried?
“He’s gone, he’s gone, we need to get out of here, it’s too late, he’s dead, he’s dead,” Peter is bellowing, and I’m trying to pull away, push away, but I am too weak from horror and nausea and terror and grief and Peter keeps dragging me down the hallway anyway. My glass slips from my hands and shatters on the floor. I look down at it, taking in the red-soaked crystals, and think of myself.

I'm sorry. I know. It's LONG. A little too long. Gotta work on that 'un. But I'm actually super proud, because I sat down and wrote 85% of this in one go, which NEVER FREAKING HAPPENS TO ME. EVER. And the other 15% was also in one go. And I read it over and AM NOT ASHAMED OF IT. AHHHH. :)

Course, there are definitely flaws to it. It's kinda graphic, for one. Not really how I wanted to start off this novel, since it's probably gonna scare away readers. Have to work on that, figure out my plot if I need to. Also, you guys should know that in Chapter 2, after the high school gets teleported to the fourth dimension and the dinosaurs and Snow White's descendants take care of the traumatized / dying / dead kids, the TV footage is reiterated: this crazy war-loving race comes to Earth to conquer it and kills EVERYONE in NYC.

CRITICIZE MEEE :) I can take it. I promise. And thanks, guys, for taking the time to read this crapload <3

Zico Cozier

Senior Member
For the first 2-3 paragraphs, I had no idea what was going on and there wasn't any character development at all throughout the entire thing. I just felt like tons of random names were being flung at me. As it went along though I began to follow more clearly what was taking place, however you might need to revise the first few paragraphs because you may know what you're trying to introduce there, but I don't think your readers will. Also, maybe you should backtrack and try to focus more on revealing little details about the main character as things progress. Perhaps choose one person who is his best friend. That way there will be more direct interactions between them that'll allow a reader to connect them self to you scenario.


Senior Member
I really like it. The dialog is very smooth to me, and not "staged" for lack of a better word. You managed to keep me reading without giving everything away at once, which is rare. I don't think its long at all. However, I do think there are a couple redundant parts, like repeating the same analogy over and over. You kept a fast pace, so you don't need to keep reminding me that they should remind me of hyenas.

I like how you group descriptors or actions in threes+, with immediate, quick words. It helps set the tone and maintain pace. "The screaming. Closer now. Too close. Too horrifying. Too real. Shouting too, and wailing." ... "Their blade-hands are flying. Hacking. Little axes. Not silver anymore. Picks, digging for gold." ... "And I’m scrambling, scrabbling, scuttling towards the textbook, grabbing it up..."

Occasionally you repeat the same word, which clunks up flow for me. I'm not a fan of onomatopoeias, but their use is up to you.

I like it, and am eager to read more.

I will add, that at the beginning I was a little confused. At one point Max asks Rach for a gun. You mention its imaginary later, but coupled with the clock watching I was starting to think they were going to shoot up the school.


Senior Member
I see, I see :) oh I totally get the whole "shoot up the school" thing now lol D:

Shall fix it soon. Gonna edit it all tomorrow or day next because of the length, and I might change this part of the plot. Thanks for your advice, guys. :)