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Mae's Miscellany > Fluorescence

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message 1: by Maeros (last edited Mar 01, 2016 10:29PM) (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments This is an ongoing (sort of) series/book I'm chipping away at. I'll be sticking unedited chapters in here, and please feel free to comment and criticise as much as you'd like. C: Hope you like


message 2: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Prologue

It is early evening, and the wind sifts newsletters and torn paraphernalia down the grey street. Not a figure is in sight, and even the trees seem lifeless despite the slight breeze. But no – the street’s not quite deserted. One boy walks quietly down the embankment, steadily; without eagerness yet without hesitation. He wanders past the flitter-park and the converted bungalows, looking up at the grey sky and the red sun. He is carrying a bag of books slung over his thin shoulder; he shifts it slightly, lifting a pale blue hand to brush his long black fringe behind a spiked ear. Then suddenly, as he reaches the end of the road, three much larger boys dart out of the end house and jump him. There is a brief scuffle; then they have him pinned down. The leader of the boys is a tall, good looking lad with bronzed skin, hazel eyes and white blonde hair; he lands a punch full in the mouth of his target, who does not lift a hand to defend himself, merely flinching and turning aside.
“Come on, maverick. Fight!” Following his lead, the other two begin to taunt their victim. The child shakes his head.
“I would not want to hurt you”, he replies, then shuts his eyes as the blows rain in.
After a few minutes, the boys become bored and give up, strolling away with laughs and jeers thrown over their shoulders. The boy on the floor staggers to his feet, wiping blood out of his eye, and moves on. He pauses to scratch the ear of a cat who pokes her head out of the end garden, hanging onto the gatepost for support as he does so. Then he’s gone, leaving a red stain on the rusted post, and the street is silent once more, the wind left to itself to enjoy its play with the government’s paper ideals.


message 3: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Chapter One

Nobody liked Leon. That’s pretty much all I remember of him from those days, when we were all small, and knew no more than what we saw on TV and were told by each other. Nobody liked him, nobody trusted him, no one went near him. Not even the teachers. I don’t know that he minded it all that much, back then. He was in his own little world, we all were, though goodness knows what went on in his. Number equations, probably.
It was Leon’s intelligence that protected him, I think, at least at that age. When we were tiny we were all too much in awe of a great mind to want to destroy the body which held it, however much we hated it. But most of us had a good go when we reached secondary school. He used to go home bleeding, broken, from his weird ears to his blue knees – and yet he never complained, never spoke a word against one of us. We claimed that he was just ‘too weak to sneak’. If he had sneaked, we’d have called him a coward. And no one would have cared anyway.
I’m ashamed to talk about what we did, what I did, to Leon back then. We were almost made murderers a dozen times, stopped only when the teachers got worried that he might actually be killed. He was the only ‘mav’ in the class, and he knew it. We all did.
I wasn’t a mav. Not back then – in fact I was quite popular, hung out with the right crowd, got the right girls, that sort of thing. I guess I had a kind of charm, a tough build and a way about me which I would have called sex appeal and Leon would have called arrogance, had he ever been rude enough. But we felt threatened by Leon; he was too calm, too kind, too clever, too weird – he wasn’t one of us, and we hated him for it.


message 4: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) "It is early evening, and the wind sifts newsletters and torn paraphernalia down the grey street. Not a figure is in sight, and even the trees seem lifeless despite the slight breeze. But..."

First of all; great prologue! It made me very curious about the rest of the story. I do have some suggestions though. I hope they are of use to you.

-It is early evening as the wind sifts newsletters and torn paraphernalia down the grey street.
I don't know why exactly, but it seems more logical to me to use the word as instead of and
-I noticed that you often place a comma before the word and. Personally, I don't think that is necessary. Then again, English is my second language, so I'm not sure.
-This is not a comment, but I really love the last sentence. Especially "the wind left to itself to enjoy its play with the government’s paper ideals."

That's all I could think of. I tried not to be too annoying haha. I'll read chapter one tomorrow or whenever I've got the time to really think of ways to improve it.

Lots of love :)


message 5: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Thank you so much! Again punctuation is a downfall of mine, so I'll take a look at it. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


message 6: by Hallie (new)

Hallie (inkyhallie) Mae, it is a pretty good story. Although I personally opine that you should expand it a bit more right from the first chapter.

Sanne, it is acceptable to place a comma before the word and. It isn't mandatory, and don't writers omit it in their books, but it is widely done to separate two clauses. The usage is correct, and it is preferred to some.


message 7: by Maeros (last edited Mar 02, 2016 02:52AM) (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Chapter one
(continued)
My day to day life was much the same as everyone else’s at that point. We lived in a small house in a suburb near my school, myself and my mum and dad, with dad’s parents just down the road. No siblings, of course – no one had any since the Single Successful Pregnancy act thirty years ago. Our routine was fairly similar every day – I’d get dragged out of bed, and walk to school, swagger my way through the day and usually meet my mates in the pub or down the park at the end of it. It was a fairly typical, boring life, looking back – but I thought we were the coolest group ever, with our slightly-too-expensive jackets and stolen cigarettes, taking the mick out of the hard workers and polite, friendly people around us.
When I was around fifteen, I started questioning some of the things my mates said, some of the stuff they did – even some of the stuff the government said. ‘Mavericks’ were becoming even less popular, even more restricted, and I agreed with that – but I wasn’t so sure why the older people were being moved away. Why my grandparents had gone, disappeared in the night, moved off to some new colony. Why my parents were being made to pack their bags and move on. I began to question, and thus became less popular with my friends, less popular within school, and found I needed to prove that I was still trustworthy, still politically correct, in order to stay safe.

So I began on Leon again, throwing him back into the spotlight, rekindling under him the old flames of hatred which were threatening to break out under my feet. And Leon just looked at me, quietly, in that way of his – deep green eyes all pity for me, not himself - and got on with his life in a detached sort of way, as I made it a living hell for him.

I had nothing to do with the deaths of Leon’s parents. Despite everything else I’d done, despite what I’d done to him personally, I can honestly swear that although I was implicated for it, even praised for it, I was out of town on the night of the murder. I know where I was, that particular night, because that was the night my parents were taken forcibly off to colony six, and I followed the ship on my trek bike until it left orbit. And I left Leon alone for a bit after that – I was just too caught up in my own problems to concentrate on hurting him anymore. The next time I really acknowledged his presence was three weeks later, when I found myself outside the police station again, being thrown on my face on the pavement and being told not to risk coming back. I must have been trying to get my parents back, I was probably drunk, but I remember yelling plenty of anti-government stuff at the guy before I found myself surrounded by my schoolfellows. They were fresh out of the pub, drunk as lords, stinking of drugs and alcohol and fitting in perfectly with the run-down street, its litter and dead grass and old cars. They were also ready with their fists and all patriotism, ready to defend their government against slanderous criminals. Even when said criminal had been their friend, was defenceless on the floor, and was already crying.
Thankfully I don’t remember a lot of what they did to me then, except a lot of pain, and a lot of fear, and a lot of anger. And I remember looking up, just as I blacked out, to see Leon standing over me, with cries of ‘maverick’ all about me, and knowing that I was just as outcast as he was.

I came round in a room I’d never seen before. It was tiny but very clean, and seemed crowded with furniture, with a desk, a couch and a bed crammed in as well as a sink and chest of drawers. I was on the bed, as was a lot of my blood and several old bloodstains from someone else. I looked up; and, to my surprise and instinctive resentment, there was Leon. He blatantly ignored the fact that I was awake and carried on with what he had been doing; which had been, apparently, cleaning me up. I ached all over and one of my arms was useless, so I lay back and watched him in silence, wondering what he was going to do to me.
I noticed then for the first time that Leon really wasn’t as weird as we’d always said. There had been rumours - and I’d believed them - that he had frog’s legs, or gills, or a hooked tongue, but looking at him now the only odd things were his skin, his ears, and his teeth. Everything else was exactly how you might expect on a young teenaged human boy. He had longish black hair, through which his spiked ears protruded, and defined features, high cheekbones and a slim, wiry stature. Only his skin, pale blue in the dim light, and his little fangs really made him different. Even his blood was red; there was some of it on his lower lip and big navy bruises on his blue forearms, exposed by the shirt cuffs which he’d rolled to his elbow under his tattered grey jersey.
‘What -’ my voice came out in a croak. ‘What did you do?’
He shrugged. ‘Got them off you. I presume you weren’t enjoying the situation?’
‘What? No, I wasn’t…’ my voice trailed off. I was really confused. What was I doing here? Why had Leon rescued me? ‘Why did you do that?’
‘I’m guessing you don’t mind that I did?’
‘Of course not.’
‘Then who cares why I did it?’
‘Fine.’ I sat up with some difficulty, then hobbled out of the room with as much dignity as could muster. ‘Thanks for your help, freak.’ I was in the hall, had almost reached the door, when my head span suddenly and I ended up on the floor again. I lay there for a few seconds, stunned; then a shadow fell across the doorway.
‘If you’re headed home, I’m afraid it won’t work – it’s being re-occupied.’ Leon looked down at me quietly. ‘D’you want any help?’
‘No.’ I struggled up, then nearly passed out, shoulders sagging back against the doorframe.
He was incredibly gentle with me, lifting me in his strong arms without another word and depositing me back on his bed. The bed’s dark stains, I realised belatedly, were his own; from the countless times I or others had attacked him. I felt a hot rush of shame. And he had saved me, after all that.
‘Leon?’
‘Yes?’ He poked at a cut on my eye with a damp cloth.
‘You saved my life.’
He shrugged again. ‘Maybe.’
‘Why? I wouldn’t have helped you.’
‘Because death’s wrong. I haven’t got the right to stand by and watch someone be killed, whoever that person happens to be.’
I was shocked. To save answering, I looked around me. Despite the cleanliness, the neatness, the room was dingy – tiny, with only one small window. This was where he had lived since his parents died. Perhaps from before.
‘This is where you live now?’
‘Yep. Not much, but I call it home.’ A flicker of doubt crossed his face. ‘Are you going to tell the others?’
If I tell them, I might be able to get back in their good books, I told myself. But they’ll never give Leon another moment’s peace. Can I do that to him now?
‘Not much chance of that is, there? I don’t reckon I’m much more popular than you are now.’
‘Perhaps not. What are you going to do? I saw them getting rid of your stuff.’
I bit my lip and frowned, trying not to cry. ‘I dunno. No home to go to now, is there?’
Leon eyed me quietly. ‘You’re welcome to stay here. The couch makes a reasonably comfortable bed.’
I stared at him. This time I couldn’t help the tear that rolled down my swollen cheek. ‘After what I did?’
Leon made no reply. Instead, he got up and began rummaging in a draw. ‘You’ll need something else to wear. My stuff’s ancient, I’m afraid, but yours is probably in the tip by now.’ He pulled out a pair of tattered jeans and a sweater. ‘Not much like your leathers, but they wouldn’t suit me so well, would they?’
He grinned, and I returned it with a watery smile. ‘I don’t know. Might compliment the blue.’


message 8: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) Hallie wrote: "Mae, it is a pretty good story. Although I personally opine that you should expand it a bit more right from the first chapter.

Sanne, it is acceptable to place a comma before the word and. It isn'..."


Okay, thank you, I wasn't sure haha


message 9: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) Okay, I just found out I'm bad at giving criticism. I just really like your writing. For me, there isn't much that needs to be changed. Maybe you could expand the first part after the prologue a bit more, like Hallie mentioned before.
I'm definitely curious about the rest of the story :)


message 10: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Thank you Sanne! Did you enjoy it so far? As in, if it were a book you'd picked up, would your read on to chapter two?


message 11: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Also, I am indeed planning to expand a lot of it all - this is the first draft and certainly does not have enough detail yet.


message 12: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) Yes, I really enjoyed it and I do think I would read it on to chapter 2. (I have to admit though, I don't like putting a book down after only one chapter :P)


message 13: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Aw thanks! I'm really glad.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

*on the edge* AW! I have to wait for another chapter!


message 15: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Did you really like it that much? I can't believe everyone's actually reading this...


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I love it!


message 17: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Awww! I've written quite a bit of it, but I'm still working on it. If i get nagged enough I might put up half of chapter two (as it stands) soon :)


message 18: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Chapter Two (Part one)

I found out a lot about my enemy that first week. Leon Immolatio – last child of an old and large family – only family member ever to suffer from the planet’s inherent genetic mutation - only surviving child of the Immolatio clan. I knew his parents had been killed – but I hadn’t known that he’d been the one to find their bodies. That he’d had to inform the police who didn’t care, that he’d been the only mourner at a pauper’s funeral. He was silent for a very long time after telling me that. So was I. I mean, what was I supposed to say? I’d been pleased. I’d been implicated, for goodness sake. Did he even know that it wasn’t me who’d done it?
I also found out who Leon’s heroes were. I’ve been right across the galaxy since then, and the facts remain the same – every teenager has heroes. Real or fictional, great or small – hero worship is part of growing up. But Leon’s heroes were very different to most. I hadn’t even heard of most of them – they were all from really old books and stuff. I mean really, really old. He liked this thing called Star Trek – it debuted in 1966. That was more than 200 years ago! It’s a television thing, and Leon had it on DVD, which we could just about make work on his ancient little Ipsus20. His favourite character was this guy called Spock – I thought he was a bit freaky. Then the third day I was there, I started watching over Leon’s shoulder, and I began to get the idea. Spock was an alien who worked on a spaceship which was mostly run by humans. Only, he wasn’t fully alien – he was half human and half ‘Vulcan’. This meant that he was constantly at war with himself. He looked like and chose to behave like a full Vulcan, but he also wanted to be human, to love, to have friends, not to be different. He was never quite happy, never properly understood, always the butt of jokes he could never understand – but he found friends, saved lives, and was known as the best First Officer in the fleet. Leon had three quotes from Spock written out, two on the wall above his couch-bed. I can still remember them all - the first said “I have a human half as well as an alien half, submerged, constantly at war with each other. I survive because my intelligence wins.” Leon saw this as a personal challenge, and I noticed daily how it changed and shaped his life. The second went “The glory of Creation is in its infinite diversity, and the way our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.” It took me a long time to get the gist of that one, but now I can see what it meant. And why it was so special to Leon. The third quote I didn’t know about for a very long time.


message 19: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) I really like it, Mae! It's great. I'm not entirely sure where the story is going yet, but it's enjoyable so far :)


message 20: by Maeros (new)

Maeros   (maeros) | 61 comments Sanne - don't tell anybody, but neither am I xD


message 21: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanlily195) Haha, I'll keep it quiet :P


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