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message 1: by Kiersten (new)

Kiersten Bree (zan5) Hey everybody! This is my first chapter from the novel I'm writing, titled Seclusive Infamy. I'm writing it with my friend, Brittin, and she writes the odd chapters about her character, and I write the evens about mine (:(: Feedback please!!
-Luxa de Avia-
Paint the Roses Black

“Okay everyone! I’m going to count to twenty-five, then I’ll come to get you, okay?” The lanky boy’s cry rang loud and dominate throughout the crowded streets.
The children were attentively listening to every word he said, drinking in his sentence with eager eyes.
An accomplished smile graced Sivvion’s lips as he gazed down at his followers.
“One, two, three...” he closed his eyes and heard the pitter-patter of tiny shoes on cobblestone as they scattered about the heart of the city. “...twenty four, twenty-five! Ready or not here I come!”
Rudely, he shoved his way past citizens, mostly adults, who shot down irked glares at him. Adults never want to have any fun, he thought, throwing an irritated frown up to them.
Sivvion darted through the people, until he eventually came to the outskirts of the Festival’s bounds. Just as he was about to leave, a flutter of paper caught his eye, followed by a barely audible gasp of surprise which abruptly muffled.
He skidded to a halt, and came face-to-face with an alley, desolate without crates of imported goods from the Kingdom. Heavy breathing wafted up on the light breeze that delicately blew around rotten scraps and trash.
“You can run but you can’t hide!” Sivvion said under his breath, and started lithely creeping on muscular legs to a cluster of boxes, from where the gasp originated from.
“Stop! Put your hands up!” A deafening command resonated from behind his back, seemingly freezing everything in its tracks. Sivvion pivoted and stared at the uniformed soldiers, terror running his blood cold.
One of them returned his gaze, a smirk plastering his lips. “Smart boy, you thought you could get away during the Viscarria Festival. But sorry, son. You have a duty to perform, and you’re going to do it,” he boomed, bravado building every second.
Sivvion felt panic explode in his chest. Hold it together. They work for the Monarch. They’d never hurt a seven-year-old, he chided himself, but in the back of his mind he knew they would. He waved his hand once, and a cerulean sheet of water separated him and the soldiers.
“What the...?!” a different soldier cried, banging on the wall with fists clenched in fury.
A small cherubic face popped out from behind the crate Sivvion had been aiming for. “Siv?” came the hesitant question.
“Luxa,” he hissed, and drug her out from her hiding spot. She was clad in fishnet tights that ended at her ankles and a thin white sundress with a scarlet silk ribbon fastened around her waist. Tiny black heels wobbled on her feet and an orchid was interlaced in her French braid that hung down her back in a limp twisted mass.
The little girl knit her eyebrows together. “Who are they?!”
Sivvion rolled his eyes. “Not now, Lux. We’re kind of busy at the moment.” His eyes scanned the alley looking for ways of easy escape.
Then he saw it. The slightest sliver of a crack that wove its way through the moldy brick. Meanwhile, soldiers were growing angrier by the second, screaming and swearing while their furious hands never stopped pummeling the wall of impenetrable water. Sivvion hurried over to the way of escape and swiftly clawed at the aged bricks until a hole big enough to fit through crumbled to the ground.
“Go, Luxa! Go!”
 He put his hand on the small of her back and thrust her forward. She stumbled and her callused hands hit the revolting ground.
“Sivvy?” Her eyes pooled with tears and her lower lip wobbled. Shaky breaths left her petite body as she tried to compose her fear and confusion.
“Luxa, I want, no, I need you to go through that hole. I’ll be right behind you. Those are the bad guys and, well, bad stuff will happen if we don’t get away. Okay?”
“Okay,” whispered Luxa, and she started to crawl, letting warm, sticky tears drizzle down her cheeks.
Soon she reached the other side, and she waited there patiently, seating herself on the ground. But Sivvion never came, and the last thing she heard of his voice were the blood-curdling screams that haunted her mind forever.

message 2: by Kiersten (new)

Kiersten Bree (zan5) Chapter 4
-Luxa de Avia-
Lies like Daggers

“Luxa. It is your destiny, something inevitable.”
Her blood red eyes were scorching, prodding and burning into my own. The eyes that had a glint of knowingness that made it seem like she knew every thought, dream, and secret of mine. Who knows--maybe she did.
We were standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Hurricane winds threatened to blow us away at any second, tugging on the hems of our dresses and wildly whipping stray tresses all around our heads. Below us, stormy gray waves exploded against the shore composed of jutting rocks that spiked out of the water in lethal points, promising an agonizing death. Fluffy dove gray clouds made the jagged strikes of lightning that split the sky seem far less dangerous. I already knew she was going to pull the poisoned dagger from behind her back. I knew this because I was trapped here every night, in an eternal carousel of torture.
With her. Alicia. The girl set on murdering me.
“You see, Luxa,” she continued, exposing the serrated iron weapon. “It’s my duty to kill you. Sort of like...a job,” Alicia smiled, revealing millions of thin white teeth, pointed together like needles protruding her gums. It was sickening.
My feet automatically started taking terrified steps backwards, teetering on the edge of the cliff. “Don’t hurt me!” I whimpered pitifully.
“This won’t hurt. Just a teensy, tiny little bit. But it’ll be over soon, and then you won’t cause us any more problems, will you?” She stepped forward and pinched my cheek with long, black fingernails that bore deep into my skin. I felt the river of blood dribble off my chin.
“No, stop!”
Her grip never loosened, and with one hard shove, Alicia propelled me backwards.
I flew off the cliff, the eerie laugh of Alicia far above my head.
I was left screaming at my falling death.
* * *
Nightmares, morbid dreams that run through my head every single night. Just when you think you can escape reality and drift off into a sea of nothingness, you realize that sometimes reality is better than the images you see at night. It is for me. I’d rather be in the midst of a holocaust rather than experience my very own death, every night.
But this time, it wasn’t a nightmare. It was a vision, right in the middle of the day.
The agonizing pain that I should have been feeling, was a wave of shock which dulled into a numbness. If you read a horror book over and over, you know how it ends, right? Well, this horror changes every night, as Alicia finds new ways to murder me. Sometimes it’s with her daggers, sometimes with a whip. Sometimes, she’ll send a million swarms of poisoned hornets flying my direction, until I’m a welted carcass. And the worst? Starvation.
It had been ten years--to the day--since Sivvion left me in that alley. Exactly ten, long, horrible years since he literally disappeared. Ten years since I’d dared to step foot in the alley where my life spiraled downwards.
I took a few shaky steps backwards, back into the sea of people. Someone who had claustrophobia would’ve been miserable in my position--squished between a portly man and a tall woman--who completely obscured my view. The annual Viscarria Festivale was a celebration to most, because most people were normal. For me, it was a taunting reminder of the pain and loss I suffered that fall night. Opaque, dusky gray cloud rolled overhead, an ominous precursor of a terrible storm that I really did not want to get stuck in.
These idiots will probably only care about their brand new outfits getting ruined, I though, absentmindedly fingering the hem of my own dress.
Around me, the whole entire plaza was painted with silver, navy, turquoise, and smoky violet, the festivale’s colors. The cobblestone ground had been inlaid with small lapis lazuli gems, and the once faded stone had been brightened to a metallic silver. Graffiti decorated the sides of the buildings. Illegal; yes, harmful; no. The people were generally dressed the same way too, in the designated colors, but a few, like myself, chose to stand out.
My dress was gorgeous, a sea of teal fabric, with a plunging neckline that started out wider, and narrowed as it dipped down to reach my belly-button. The fabric knitted together as it circled into rosettes at the hemline, which abruptly ended at my mid-thigh. It was a luscious, thin taffeta that was a cool waterfall against my scorching skin, almost see-through but not quite, and the gown was strapless, exposing my thin shoulders. It was the most beautiful, outrageous article of clothing, I’d ever owned. It was absolutely perfect.
I had the rebel flag firmly fastened in the third hole of my ear, while skulls adorned the second, and lime-green stars sat in the first. A single turquoise diamond glistened in my left cartilage. My dark red waves were open and cascading down my back in a sheet of liquid fire, my side bangs pulled aside with a black-and-white striped bow. Pearls hung from my neck, along with an silver chain holding an panther inlaid with emeralds, while burnt orange, gold, and pale pink bangles jingled on my left wrist. A leopard watch, a diamond bracelet, a bracelet wove from pale pink silk roses, and sapphire blue glass rings formed into an intricately crisscrossed band sat on my right wrist.
Using a turquoise shade of eyeliner, I painted the top and bottom of my eyelids with a very thin line. I blended that into a slightly thicker line with a charcoal colored liner for a smoky effect. Pale pink sparkles dusted my eyelids, and my lips were painted a raspberry. I definitely stood out.
I squeezed my way through the crowds of boisterous citizens, eagerly trying to find a desolate area.
What in the...?!
I must have been mouthing my thoughts, because many of the people, tipsy or not, shot me strange looks. I already knew their thoughts about me, so I didn’t bother scanning their minds. What I really cared about was making sure I really wasn’t crazy, unlike the stereotype people labeled me as. Luxa de Avia, the insane, parent-less girl who takes in orphans of her own at the immature age of sixteen years old.
I shoved my way anxiously through the crowd, murmuring a few cursory moves along the way, all the while keeping my eyes trained on those stunning turquoise eyes I had briefly met. Those eyes were turned to the ground, but I followed the long, messy red-brown hair that their owner had. Although I’m usually sly and the best spy, I didn’t bother to conceal my thunderous footfalls as I trampled down the plaza. I saw him quicken his steps as he realized he was being followed. A few people shot me dirty looks as I “accidentally” knocked over their drinks which they made the mistake of leaving on the ground. Banners, confetti, and projectiles flew through the air, and I knew the Aristocrat of Province 4, Caekyri, was about to come out and give the annual speech that narrated our world’s history. Glass-shattering loud music blared steadily from the various speakers that bordered the streets, and poured out from the club’s entrances. If the actual parade started while I was chasing him, I’d loose him.
A giant platform had been arranged under the pavilion along with guards flocking the area. People gathered as they saw our Aristocrat emerge from the red velvet curtain that draped behind him. I could’ve cared less. It was the exact same speech every single year. By the time I was ten, I could recite it in my sleep.
Luckily, the boy didn’t seat himself to listen, instead he kept striding down the streets, his steps easy, thinking he had lost me. I smiled at how wrong he was. Putting my instincts to good use, I used my chameleon DNA to camouflage myself, as well as hiding my scent. I used my powers over temperate to gently reduce my body heat to match the surroundings. Just in case, I unsheathed my long serrated fangs, brought to you by the snakes and bats that wove their way into my blood. My heart began to pump venom throughout my body so that my skin produced a thin sheet of a deadly poison. There, that ought to do it. Thank goodness everyone was so intent on the Aristocrat. Other wise I probably would have been thrown into a mental asylum.
As I followed him, I heard snippets of the mayors talk. Experiment, animal and plant DNA, powers, apocalypse, nuclear wars, defeat, plague, extinction, rebirth, scientists, test, and evolution were the key points on the story of how humankind ended and how we, the super-humans, evolved from the “amazingly brilliant idea that has changed the world as we know it”.
The boy was running now, sprinting inhumanly fast through the zigzag of streets, alleys, and various buildings. Stop, stop, stop. Abruptly, he stopped in his tracks, one sturdy leg in the air, ready to keep running. His lips were slightly parted, his hands clenched into fists, once I caught up. Only his eyes moved, and they glared at me from what otherwise would be a statue.
It seemed like years, but suddenly, I stopped staring and made my way close enough to touch him. I ran my fingers along his lips, which were dry and cracked under my soft fondle. My hands found the freckles restricted strictly to his nose, little pinpoints on pale skin. Finally, I circled around to see the back of his neck, and lifted the hair that obscured the skin underneath. There it was; the small star tattoo, right on the side of his neck, diagonal from his left ear. I had an identical one, inked in a navy blue that contrasted the bold silver of his. Subconsciously, my hands flew to mine, and without my physical bounds, he broke free and suddenly unfroze. Our eyes locked.
“Sivvion.” His name barely made its way to my lips, and secrets and memories lingered there.
“Luxa,” he copied my monotone, while crossing his arms over his chest and he cockily raised an eyebrow.
He looked like he was about to crack up. He was going to laugh.
“What a happy reunion, hmm?” questioned a voice from behind us. I looked beyond Sivvion’s broad shoulders to see a dark-haired girl stride to meet us. Her eyes were covered by dark sunglasses, and her lips were slightly pursed. Thin, arched eyebrows cut through her pale skin in an arrogant curve. Her voice was a bit high-pitched; coy, dangerous, and arrogant all at once. She took her long red fingernails and slid her glasses down on her nose. Her face was composed of sharp lines and the eerie beauty of a vampire, while her demonic smile suggested a creature far more evil.
She looked up at us from her short physique, and made a tsk noise. Clutched securely between her hands was a black leather leach twisting around the necks of two colossal demons. Both of their faces were grotesque, twisted in a burning desire to devour my being. They each were snarling and biting the air, trying to break free from their confinements. The scariest part about the hell-hounds were the chilling human smiles and eyes they possessed.
“And you are...?” I inquired rudely.
She laughed, a cold animalistic sound that made my stomach twist. “Oh, Lux, don’t you recognize me, sweetie?”
“Alicia,” I said, raking my eyes over the flesh version of the person who haunted my dreams and warped my mind.
“Ello, love. Miss me?”

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Chapter Two,

((Where’s Chapter One?))

Since I don’t have the first chapter this review/comment is going to be a tad bit awkward. Sorry.

“. . .then I’ll come to get you.” That sounds a little awkward. I understand perfectly what you’re saying by the way you have your character saying this is a little stiff and wordy. Why is it “to get you” vs. “. . .then I’ll come get you” Also, you don’t want to use the word “okay” twice the way that you do.

You take a little too long for the full description of the kids listening to the boy. It felt a little redundant the way that you talk about how the attentively listened and then you mention that they drink in every word that they said.

I’m going to assume that Sivvion was introduced into the first chapter. Otherwise, more of a transition into this character is needed.

“irked glares” sounds a little awkward. It makes sense what you’re trying to say but doesn’t flow right.

((You’re going to want to edit these posts and space everything a little better otherwise it’s extremely hard to read and follow what’s going on in your piece.))

Good luck with writing,
-Lou Evans

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