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Chapter 5: Trapped

Chapter 5: Trapped

A Chapter by StarNinja
"

A new cast? Who are these people now?

"

The young girl opened her eyes; the sounds of a soft humming woke her from the world of dreams. It felt like she had been asleep for a long time. She yawned and stretched her arms. Her bed seemed a lot harder than she remembered. And smaller. Only she wasn’t in her bed, but a simple wooden cot. And this wasn’t her room; rather it was a dark, cold cell with metal walls.

The cell was dimly lit, but even in this light she could tell that there were no doors. The humming that had awoken her seemed to be coming from everywhere. The girl scrambled to her feet. There appeared to be others trapped here as well. They looked scared but at the same time resigned, like they had accepted their situation and were awaiting some dire fate.

“What? Who?” the girl asked bewildered.

“See, I told you she was asleep,” said one of the boys.

He was tall, thin and spindly like a scarecrow. His hair was a light brown and his eyes wouldn’t focus on any one place for very long. He was wearing workman’s clothes; rough pants with overalls, leather shoes and a plain and dirty shirt.

“But she was so cold. Anyone could have made that mistake,” said a second girl. She was short, rotund and smelled of a perfumery. She had auburn hair and hazel eyes. The simple rags she wore were bright and colorful, yet torn in several places and made of shoddy material. She must have been a traveler of some kind.

“Where am I?” the newly awakened girl asked.

“How should we know?” asked a second boy who sat alone, etching something into the wall with a small knife. “We woke up here, same as you.” He had black hair and dirty skin that’d been tanned by too much sun. He wore layers of mismatched clothing, one on top of the other. By his looks he must have been a street urchin of some kind. A beggar’s son perhaps. That this boy thought he could speak so directly to the still waking girl infuriated her to no end.

“Who do you think you are?” she said.

“The name’s Neg. What’s yours?” he asked.

“Who are you to address me?” she asked.

“I’m not following,” said Neg.

“Do you not know who I am?” the girl asked.

“Am I supposed to?” asked Neg.

“I am Princess Milica!” she announced. No one seemed to recognize the name. “Youngest daughter of House Bredic? Inheritor of the Forked River?” she continued.

“How could you be the inheritor if you’re the youngest daughter?” the spindly boy asked.

“What kind of stupid question is that?” Milica snapped.

“Well, I thought that inheritances went to the oldest. Usually the male,” he said.

“Cease your blathering or I will smite you where you stand,” said Milica.

“What’s your problem?” asked Neg.

“I am royalty. Don’t you dare speak to me so frankly,” she threatened.

“Come on, are you serious? You don’t even look like a princess,” said Neg. Milica realized she was still in her nightwear, a simple one piece gown that was both beautiful and durable.

“I must have been taken in the night while I slept,” she reasoned.

“Are you for reals a princess?” asked the traveler girl.

“She doesn’t have a crown though,” said the spindly boy.

“Those are queens, Gairmo. Princesses wear tiaras,” traveler girl explained.

“Yeah well, she doesn’t have a tiara either,” the spindly boy countered.

“I was asleep! I don’t dress like I’m going to the ball when I get ready for bed!” said Milica, very frustrated.

“She talks like a princess so she has to be one! My name’s Clodi, by the way. Clodi Grue. I’m not a princess, but I’ve always wanted to meet one,” said the traveler girl rather giddily.

“Not only have I been kidnapped, but I’ve been stuck with dregs and peasants who  don’t  know the first thing about royal protocol. I must have been taken very far away,” Milica said while ignoring the ill-named girl. “Is there anyone here who knows what’s going on? What about you, the spindly one?”

“Spindly? The name’s Gairmo thank you very much and no, I don’t know what’s going on,” he replied.

“Unbelievable. Why am I here with you people?” Milica wondered aloud.

“You know what? Your high and mighty routine is gettin’ annoying,” said Neg as he rose from the floor. “We’re all in the same situation as you and even though you’re handling this a little better than Clodi did when she woke up, you’ve done nothing but insult us since you came to. Is this how you cope with being kidnapped? Cuz I gotta tell ya, it’s really freaking irritating! So why don’t you do us all a favor and go back to sleep.”

The walls of the room echoed with Neg’s outburst. Milica turned to face her admonisher. She had wavy blonde hair and blue eyes, pale skin and a delicate nose. Neg wasn’t sure why that feature seemed to jump out at him, but it did. Neg also noticed that she seemed well nourished. Not round like Clodi, but not spindly like Gairmo. Athletic was the word he was looking for. She would have been quite pretty had it not been for the scowl on her face.

“That is the last time you will speak to me out of turn,” said Milica, clenching her fists. Neg saw that her hands were tightly bound with cloth bandages. What purpose they served eluded him.

“What, are you gonna fight me? I don’t care if you’re a girl or a princess. You fight me; you’re gonna get hurt,” Neg threatened.

“Hey we shouldn’t be fighting,” Clodi said with a worried look.

“Yeah. We need to work together,” Gairmo agreed.

“Silence!” Milica commanded. “You want proof that I’m a princess? Here!”

She thrust her hands above her head. With a quick motion, she called upon the magic in her blood to come forth. A bright, otherworldly light pulsed from her palms and radiated outwards, pushing against everyone and everything around her. The legs of the cots screeched as they slid against the metal floor.

“What is that?!” Clodi screamed as she shielded her eyes.

“This magic is my birthright, passed down to me from the very first Bredic. This is my proof, more so than any crown or tiara, that I am royalty!” Milica shouted above the din of her magic.

“Stop,” said a soft voice.

The power in Milica’s hands faded away but not of her own accord. The room grew dark once more as the spell fell in wisps from her grasp. Milica looked for the source of the voice. It belonged to another youth, one Milica hadn’t noticed before. The youth was sitting on a cot holding an old leather-bound book and wearing a lightweight traveling cloak. Atop her head, a bizarre looking hood was drawn down over her eyes. Wait, his eyes? Milica couldn’t tell if it was a girl or boy. In this light and with those clothes, it could have gone either way. It sounded like a girl to her, at least. But this girl had no bosom to speak of. Maybe it was a boy that hadn’t yet been hit by the puberty tree.

“Was that you?” Milica asked.

“What just happened?” asked Neg, popping his head up from behind a cot.

“Be quiet! It is not your place to question me,” said Milica.

“War among beggars is fruitless. So it is written,” the mystery youth softly replied.

“Are you both witches? Like a princess witch and a witch witch?” asked Gairmo.

“Of course they’re not witches. They aren’t old or ugly or anything,” said Clodi.

“All of you are nuts!” shouted Neg. “There’s no such thing as witches! That had to be a… a psychic phenomenon.”

“I am no witch, but that one I am not so certain about,” said Milica.

“To point fingers at all but yourself is to misplace blame. So it is written,” the mystery youth replied.

“We shouldn’t be so loud. They might hear us,” whispered Clodi.

“Who’s they?” Neg asked.

“I’m not done with you, strange one. What is your name?” asked Milica, ignoring Clodi again.

“I am called different things. You can call me Yana,” she replied. He replied? Milica still couldn’t tell for sure.

“How did you steal my power like you did just now?” Milica asked.

“From the mind comes intent; from the mouth comes action. So it is written,” said Yana.

“Where is it written? Who decrees such silly things?” asked Milica. Yana held the book tightly but didn’t respond.

“Seriously, we should keep it down,” said Clodi who was getting more worried by the second.

“You are not my better because you can dispel my magic. I learned how to do that when I was a toddler,” said Milica.

“Hey, princess! Forget about Yah-nah or whatever that guy’s name is. Your magic.  We can use that power to escape,” said Gairmo.

“Do not command me, spindly boy,” said Milica.

“Would you stop calling me that already?” Gairmo huffed. “Look, I work with magic all the time. Granted I’ve never seen a human being with as much magic power as you before but still, the point is that we can use that to get out of this cell,” he said.

“It ain’t magic, I’m telling you,” said Neg, though no one paid attention.

“Explain yourself,” said Milica.

“Here, check out this wall,” Gairmo said. He rapped it with his knuckles. “It sounds thinner in some places. If you concentrate you might be able to make a hole big enough for us to escape,” said Gairmo.

“Can you really do that?” asked Clodi.

“No,” Milica replied flatly.

“Why the hell not?” asked Neg.

“This room is too small. I could hurt myself if I let such a destructive spell go in here.”

“You were about to blow us up before!” Neg accused.

“Let’s not forget that we don’t have the slightest clue about what’s on the other side of these walls, you ignoramus,” Milica berated Neg. “Even if I were to blast a hole in the wall without killing us all, they could be holding us underground. Or high in a tower. Will you jump and see how far you can fly with your spindly arms flapping?” she chided Gairmo. “Or better yet, what if this room lies beneath a lake or some kind of moat? We would all drown because you thought you could just blow your problems up.”

“It was just an idea,” Gairmo sighed.

“Your ideas are stupid,” said Milica.

“But we have to do something,” said Gairmo.

“I agree. I think that something right now should be to wait,” said Milica.

“But for how long? What if the guys who kidnapped us come back?” asked Neg.

“Then they will have to open the door. When that happens, we can kill them and escape,” said Milica.

“That’s a terrible idea,” said Gairmo.

“Yes, but at least it wasn’t stupid,” said Milica. Gairmo wanted to say something but decided against it.

“So now what?” asked Clodi.

“I guess we wait. At least until someone comes up with a better idea,” said Neg.

Everyone waited for a long time. No one was sure how long. Neg went back to etching on the wall. Gairmo sat down on a cot and looked at his boots. Milica curled into a ball and wept as silently as she could. Everyone else had already gone through all their tears, now it was Milica’s turn to go through hers.

“If we can’t escape, maybe we can figure out why we’re here,” Gairmo said, breaking the silence.

“What good would that do?” asked Neg.

“I don’t know. I’m just tired of sitting around. Besides, don’t you want to know why we’re here?” asked Gairmo.

“What, like the meaning of life?” Neg asked.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I meant,” Gairmo said, rolling his eyes.

“We must have all gotten here the same way. Does anyone remember what they were doing before they were kidnapped?” Clodi asked.

“No,” said Gairmo.

“I think I was rummaging through some trash,” said Neg.

“Gross, but whatever. Um, I think I was at home. Yeah, I was doing homework,” said Clodi.

“Chores?” asked Gairmo.

“No, math homework I think,” she said.

“They let girls do that where you’re from?” Gairmo asked.

“Yeah. I wish they didn’t. Ugh, I hate it,” said Clodi.

“What about you?” Neg asked Yana.

Yana didn’t say anything at first. Then, “I was walking on a mountain path. To where I wasn’t sure, but I was on my way.”

“Is everything you say have to be so cryptic?” Neg asked.

“What about the princess?” asked Gairmo.

“Sleeping, remember? The night gown?” said Clodi.

“Right. Okay, so that didn’t help,” said Neg.

“There has to be something we all have in common. Otherwise why were we all taken?” Clodi wondered.

“We definitely weren’t picked at random, especially if there’s a princess here,” said Gairmo.

“If you can believe a word she says. She could be a whack job for all we know,” said Neg.

“Let’s try not to be mean to the only other person in the room right now who can shoot magic from their hands, okay?” said Gairmo. Neg was silent but still kept an eye on the “princess”.

“I was heading to my chambers after a long day of magical training,” Milica suddenly said through her tears. The others turned to listen. “I was hot and tired and eagerly awaiting a nice refreshing bath. A messenger came to me and informed me that I had been summoned to the Queen’s quarters. I stood before my mother, the Queen, looking her dead in the eye, not wavering, not afraid. She smiled that wicked smile of hers and told me that I should rest and prepare for the coming day. This was the first year I would be able to take part in the Festival of Ascension, the event which determines who shall become queen. As one of the heirs to the throne, I had equal chance to participate. I would be representing House Bredic along with my sisters.

“I told her that I was ready. She laughed, as she always does, and told me that that remained to be seen. The other houses would field fierce competition. There were three Bredics other than myself and they were all older than I. My mother told me I would be held to the same standard as the others and that I dare not disappoint her. She dismissed me, and I left for my chambers quickly, knowing that that might very well be the last time I saw her.”

“Why?” Clodi asked.

“Because someone might actually manage to kill her this year,” Milica replied.

“Kill her? What kind of nutjob place do you come from?” Neg asked.

“The crown must be worn by the strongest. Only the strongest is fit to rule,” said Milica.

“And you figure out who’s the strongest by killing your queen?” asked Gairmo.

“I must have been taken to the other side of the world if you do not know about the Festival of Ascension. It is a famous event that people from everywhere come to see,” said Milica.

“I’ve never heard of it,” said Gairmo, idly tugging on his overalls. “Where I’m from, the crown passes from the king to his oldest son upon the king’s death. No killing required.”

“What an odd custom. You must be from that backwards Provonsky region,” Milica snidely remarked.

“Backwards? I happen to be from Leria,” Gairmo replied.

“Never heard of it,” said Milica.

“How? It’s one of the most civilized kingdoms in the world,” said Gairmo.

“Kingdom?” Neg interjected. “Okay, now you’re getting on my nerves. Did they snatch you all from the loony bin or what?”

“What are you talking about?” asked Gairmo.

“What are you talking about? There aren’t any kingdoms anymore,” said Neg.

“There aren’t kingdoms?” said Gairmo, looking befuddled.

“Yeah, kingdoms are, like, really old and stuff,” Clodi agreed.

“Are you sure you’re not the one who’s been touched in the head, urchin?” Milica coldly laughed.

“Yeah, by you probably,” Neg huffed, thumbing his nose.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“I know your type. Whatever that was before, that light show you put on, that was your psychic powers. This princess thing is part of your delusion and it’s rubbing off on the rest of us,” said Neg.

“There’s no such thing as psychic powers,” said Clodi.

“Um, hello? Glowing energy coming from her hands?” said Neg.

“That was magic,” Gairmo clarified.

“There is no magic! That was a psychokinetic outburst of some kind. What, you’ve never seen a psychic mind-scramble someone’s brains before?” Neg asked.

“Of course not. I’ve only ever seen psychics on TV. But, that stuff isn’t real. Right?” asked Clodi.

“TV?” asked Gairmo, quizzically.

“Yeah, on those conspiracy shows,” said Clodi.

“What is… TV?” Gairmo asked, scratching his head.

“You don’t know what TV is?” asked Neg.

“Never heard of it before,” Gairmo said.

“Wow. You must live out in the boonies if you’ve never heard of TV,” said Neg.

“I happen to live in the second largest city in Leria. Which, again, is one of the most civilized kingdom in the world,” said Gairmo.

“There you go again with that kingdom crap. We all live in country blocs now. Country blocs,” Neg said, emphasizing the last two words.

“What’s that?” asked Clodi.

“Not you too. I feel like I’m going crazy here!” said Neg.

“And the tower struck their senses, and they were as alien to their families as they were to foreign men. So it was written,” said Yana.

“Wait you guys,” said Clodi, her expression stuck in the moment of her epiphany.

“What?” asked Gairmo.

“I just had an idea. What if we’re not from the same place?” Clodi proposed.

“Isn’t that obvious by now?” asked Milica.

“Hear me out. Like, if you guys are from kingdoms where magic is real, and Neg and I know what TV is, then maybe we’re from more than different places. Maybe we’re from different worlds,” said Clodi.

“I realized that the moment I saw those rags you were wearing,” said Milica.

“Hey! These were expensive,” Clodi shot back. “Anyway, I’m saying we might actually, literally be from different worlds.”

“You mean different worlds as in… different planets?” asked Neg.

“Think about it. Look at how we’re dressed. Listen to what we’ve been talking about for the past minute or two. And, you know, magic,” Clodi said while pointing to Milica.

“There are many trees, but one canopy. So it is written,” said Yana.

“That’s impossible,” said Gairmo. “How could we all be speaking the same language if we were from different worlds? There are dozens of tongues spoken in the kingdom alone and they differ even among the nearby baronies.”

“I just saw that girl make her hands glow and I’ve never seen that before in my life,” said Clodi as if that settled the matter.

“Wait. Wait a second. There’s only one way to know for sure. What is the world’s name?” asked Gairmo.

“It’s called Ashnak,” said Clodi. Gairmo didn’t reply. Instead he went pale. “I’m right aren’t I? You’re from someplace else that’s not called Ashnak, aren’t you?”

“Of course you’re not! It’s not possible! All of you are insane! Different planets? Are you kidding me? That’s crazy! You’re all crazy!” Neg shouted incessantly.

“How else do you explain all this?” asked Clodi.

“I don’t know, okay?” Neg replied, backing away from the group.

“Tell me what your world is called,” Clodi suggested.

“It’s Sophno. We’re all from Sophno. Don’t try to confuse me with your crazy talk,” said Neg.

The room got quiet again except for Neg’s hyperventilation. Yana stood from the cot, the first she had moved since she’d first awoken, and cleared her throat.

“I am on a pilgrimage. The name of my home will come to me once I’ve completed the journey,” Yana said. She was met with silence. After a moment or two, she sat back down.

“Okay…” Clodi finally said when no one else spoke up.

“So that’s what connects us. We’re all from different worlds,” said Gairmo coming out of his stupefied state.

“Exactly,” said Clodi.

“What could that mean?” asked Milica.

“What does it mean? You’ve all been brain scrambled by some lunatic telepatheer, that’s what it means!” Neg said vehemently.

“Neg, please calm down,” said Clodi. “I don’t want to believe it either but it looks like…” Her thought was cut off by a bright light filling the room. Everyone was blinded by it except for Yana whose eyes were already covered.

“Congratulations. The Situational Bonding Exercise is now over,” said a voice from above. Milica fought to keep her eyes open in the light. Something was floating in the air above them.

“Who are you?” asked Neg, scared out of his wits.

“As such, the One on One Orientation Process will now commence. Please do not be alarmed as you may experience sensations all together unfamiliar to you. Try to relax.”

Milica felt her body freeze in place. Everyone screamed as they struggled to escape. The light grew brighter and brighter until there was nothing left but white.



© 2021 StarNinja


Author's Note

StarNinja
Ok same drill. Look for typos, plot holes, awkward sentences, anything and everything. Rip into it! Tell it how it is! I challenge you!

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“When you say aethersphere, are you talking about the expanse between the spheres? The sub-reality that binds the spheres together?” Omar asked.
“Yes that is right. Our word for it is aethersphere,” said Qu-ni.
“I see,” said Omar.
“Just so you guys know, I have no idea what either of you are saying,” said Phillip.

*Comment: Me neither, Phillip. We're on the same boat.

“Tell me again why you are being so generous? What do you gain by helping us?” asked Omar.
“I help because you are Keepers. I suppose you could call me an admirer of your kind. Nothing more,” said Qu-ni. Omar was torn about what to do, but Phillip had no doubt whatsoever.

*Comment: Excuse my French, but that is bullshit. :) Qu-Ni isn't just an admirer...ahem.
Anyhow, I would like to suggest that you remove this sentence: Omar was torn about what to do, but Phillip had no doubt whatsoever."
The reader doesn't need this bit of information because they can already 'hear' Omar's doubt as he speaks and 'hear' Phillip's certainty in the sentence that follows.

“Unless your friends hail from separate dimensions, it would seem so,” said Qu-ni.
“Just me. I was the only one,” Omar said, sounding very sad.

*Alternative: "Just me. I was the only one." Omar clenched his jaws/Omar said, his shoulders a little hunched. (you might come up with any other body language that fits Omar's sadness, without actually mentioning 'sad'.)

They appeared to be satellite images. Finally something Phillip was familiar with. The largest image was of a huge region, at least to Phillip’s reckoning. The others appeared to be close ups of that image.

*Suggestion: Same drill here, look for filter words (appear/seem/reckon) and try to remove them if you find better alternatives. For example, you can still stretch the conversation between Qu-Ni and Phillip, in which the boy asks if these are satellite images...and so on.

“It’s a good thing we were already heading there,” said Phillip.
“Yes, but now we know what we’re looking for,” said Omar.

*Remark: I don't completely agree with the saying: Said is dead." Because we can't halt an entire chapter for the sake of being creative every time a character breathes a word...However, in this paragraph, 'said' is redundant. Watch out for that. Another suggestion would be to just insert dialogue without telling us who said this or that. Why? Because once the reader becomes familiar with the voices and quirks of the characters, it's a piece of cake to distinguish the speaker. For example:
“Of course not! I’m not anymore okay with this than you are, but this is all we’ve got. You said you would do everything you could to get us home, remember?”
“I did,”

**Here, the reader naturally remembers the promise Omar made to Phillip, because we have already been introduced tp Omar's determined and strong-willed decision to set things right and help Phillip, in contrast to the other's boys panic and despair...

“No buts, Omar. This is what we promised each other. Don’t you remember? I was Kamen-coleslaw?” asked Phillip.
“It’s Kamensah,” said Omar.

*Comment: Makes me laugh every time. Every single time.

“I am trained. He is not,” said Omar.
“I train sometimes. Like in the summer,” said Phillip, sounding embarrassed.

*Alternative: "I train sometimes. Like in the summer...You know." Phillip claimed, clearing his throat/ looking down, his feet shifting awkwardly/ fiddling with the zipper of his jacket/ pursing his lips.

“People from your world complain recreationally?” Omar asked.
“Maybe. I guess. It depends on how bored or tired we get,” said Phillip.
“Interesting,” said Omar.
“Let me guess, that sounds highly illogical and a waste of energy, right?” Phillip asked derisively.
“Actually I was going to say it sounds like an efficient way to discharge negative emotion,” said Omar.

*Remark: I love, love the cultural exchange between Omar and Phillip. How weirded out, fascinated or curious they can be with each other's worlds.

Time seemed to pass by like molasses. Big heaving gobs of it. Phillip wanted to scream but it caught in his throat when they suddenly went through a door and once again Phillip found himself falling through the darkness.

*Remark: Cliffhangers done like a professional. Bravo. The imagery keeps us at the edge of our seats.

See you on the next chapter.
~Aysha.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

5 Months Ago

Thanks for the compliments, the suggestions, and everything in between. You've been such a great hel.. read more



Reviews

“When you say aethersphere, are you talking about the expanse between the spheres? The sub-reality that binds the spheres together?” Omar asked.
“Yes that is right. Our word for it is aethersphere,” said Qu-ni.
“I see,” said Omar.
“Just so you guys know, I have no idea what either of you are saying,” said Phillip.

*Comment: Me neither, Phillip. We're on the same boat.

“Tell me again why you are being so generous? What do you gain by helping us?” asked Omar.
“I help because you are Keepers. I suppose you could call me an admirer of your kind. Nothing more,” said Qu-ni. Omar was torn about what to do, but Phillip had no doubt whatsoever.

*Comment: Excuse my French, but that is bullshit. :) Qu-Ni isn't just an admirer...ahem.
Anyhow, I would like to suggest that you remove this sentence: Omar was torn about what to do, but Phillip had no doubt whatsoever."
The reader doesn't need this bit of information because they can already 'hear' Omar's doubt as he speaks and 'hear' Phillip's certainty in the sentence that follows.

“Unless your friends hail from separate dimensions, it would seem so,” said Qu-ni.
“Just me. I was the only one,” Omar said, sounding very sad.

*Alternative: "Just me. I was the only one." Omar clenched his jaws/Omar said, his shoulders a little hunched. (you might come up with any other body language that fits Omar's sadness, without actually mentioning 'sad'.)

They appeared to be satellite images. Finally something Phillip was familiar with. The largest image was of a huge region, at least to Phillip’s reckoning. The others appeared to be close ups of that image.

*Suggestion: Same drill here, look for filter words (appear/seem/reckon) and try to remove them if you find better alternatives. For example, you can still stretch the conversation between Qu-Ni and Phillip, in which the boy asks if these are satellite images...and so on.

“It’s a good thing we were already heading there,” said Phillip.
“Yes, but now we know what we’re looking for,” said Omar.

*Remark: I don't completely agree with the saying: Said is dead." Because we can't halt an entire chapter for the sake of being creative every time a character breathes a word...However, in this paragraph, 'said' is redundant. Watch out for that. Another suggestion would be to just insert dialogue without telling us who said this or that. Why? Because once the reader becomes familiar with the voices and quirks of the characters, it's a piece of cake to distinguish the speaker. For example:
“Of course not! I’m not anymore okay with this than you are, but this is all we’ve got. You said you would do everything you could to get us home, remember?”
“I did,”

**Here, the reader naturally remembers the promise Omar made to Phillip, because we have already been introduced tp Omar's determined and strong-willed decision to set things right and help Phillip, in contrast to the other's boys panic and despair...

“No buts, Omar. This is what we promised each other. Don’t you remember? I was Kamen-coleslaw?” asked Phillip.
“It’s Kamensah,” said Omar.

*Comment: Makes me laugh every time. Every single time.

“I am trained. He is not,” said Omar.
“I train sometimes. Like in the summer,” said Phillip, sounding embarrassed.

*Alternative: "I train sometimes. Like in the summer...You know." Phillip claimed, clearing his throat/ looking down, his feet shifting awkwardly/ fiddling with the zipper of his jacket/ pursing his lips.

“People from your world complain recreationally?” Omar asked.
“Maybe. I guess. It depends on how bored or tired we get,” said Phillip.
“Interesting,” said Omar.
“Let me guess, that sounds highly illogical and a waste of energy, right?” Phillip asked derisively.
“Actually I was going to say it sounds like an efficient way to discharge negative emotion,” said Omar.

*Remark: I love, love the cultural exchange between Omar and Phillip. How weirded out, fascinated or curious they can be with each other's worlds.

Time seemed to pass by like molasses. Big heaving gobs of it. Phillip wanted to scream but it caught in his throat when they suddenly went through a door and once again Phillip found himself falling through the darkness.

*Remark: Cliffhangers done like a professional. Bravo. The imagery keeps us at the edge of our seats.

See you on the next chapter.
~Aysha.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

5 Months Ago

Thanks for the compliments, the suggestions, and everything in between. You've been such a great hel.. read more
It wasn't just Phillip. I also felt like I'd missed out on something in the beginning. I thought like: hm, maybe I should I do more scientific research to be able to understand what Qu-Ni and Omar were discussing.

It's quite intriguing to imagine being in Omar's shoes. His planet brimming with serious, positive parents soldiers with fine self and emotional control and graceful Keepers who show gratitude through dance and art. So very different from earth. I could imagine Omar spinning and harmoniously moving his feet in the dark partially lit by exotic alien fungi and Phillip's laugh booming and echoing between the miserable walls. Brilliant little addition to a gloomy scene and a good description manner as well.

Now the Deep Roads sounds like the beginning of another horror tale before we'd be able to find out who this guardian is. That goddamn alien could have stayed a bit longer to show them a safer way!

What was that horde of screams and claws and red lights? After I finished reading, I needed a few minutes to actually process the fact that they just might NOT get outta there alive. But then the story wouldn't go on, would it? : )

One thing I might have to discover later but I'll ask anyway, how old are the boys? 15-17? *head-scratch*.

And weather you had intended for it or not, I thank you for the brief scene of subtle fan-service. *wink*

"Gaiety is the point." Cute!

I'd hoped this chapter would be longer since it was the last one you've published so far. Grr, I'll have to wait for more. Keep 'em coming. Reading on!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

7 Years Ago

Can I just say, I love your reviews? I'm glad you like these characters and the setting because it m.. read more
StarNinja

7 Years Ago

Oh, also Phillip is 13 going on 14 and Omar is 14
I liked the difficulty Phillip had with the ear piece. This added dimensionality and conflict. It is small, but makes a big difference. That's a note for me, as well';) I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I like the way you developed your aliens. They're cute and interesting. I like all these Broneen children. It was a good idea to make the alien a girl. I wasn't expecting that.

“He had a red, itchy patch on his cheek where it’d been touching the mat.” - An example of good description.

“The Broneen tilted its head quizzically.” - How cute.

“Maybe it was the head tilting.” - This took away the effect by explaining unnecessarily.

“It whistled at him. He laughed and whistled back.” - I am starting to lose connection to the characters due to too to much 'it's and 'he's. This is an easy thing to do, but it leaves your readers a bit confused when they are trying to follow.

“At the moment, though, he was still lost on an alien world which meant he had more important things to worry about.” - This negates what your character was feeling in the last sentence. Like it wasn't even important. Almost, like it shouldn't have been included. You could try to rework these few sentences as to make them work together, instead of against each other.

“Phillip heard a low static and then a high pitched screech.” - Great description. I almost heard it, myself.

“He almost felt nauseous from it. Then he realized the source of the nausea wasn’t from the pain in his ear(,) but from all the near deaths he’d had yesterday.” - Again, the second sentence almost negates the first. I would try to rework this phrase.

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on March 7, 2011
Last Updated on May 27, 2021
Tags: Milica, fantasy, science, fiction, 80s, project, alien, trapped


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StarNinja
StarNinja

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