The snippet could get a little difficult to read at times though. I think it could really be improved by just clearing up the syntax a little, such as with this line:
Also when a new person speaks, start a new paragraph. That will really clear things up and make the story as a whole a lot easier to read.They leveled their weapons at Virei, who tossed aside the bishop, and Joe.
Overall, I felt that you did a great job, and I'd love to read more!
I'm not offended it the slightest, and I apologize if I was coming off that way! In fact, I'm really thrilled that my work has made enough of an impression for you to notice when things don't seem quite right. I love seeing how you view my characters, and I really appreciate you telling me how I can make things better.
But since this one needs a little bit of context, you get a bonus snippet too! Yay!
SpoilerI was more frightened than I had ever been in my life.
Adina clenched my hand like a vise, her screams ringing in my ears. Sweat covered her brow, and her once tanned skin had become pale. In between screams, she would gasp wretchedly for air, her bloodshot eyes fixated on me, an unspoken plea for help and comfort on her lips. But I didn’t know what I could do for her. I could only hold her hand in mine, and hope that she would be alright in the end.
Then suddenly, her screams intensified. Her nails dug into my flesh, and tears rolled down her face as she began to convulse. And then a new scream joined hers. She gasped, and then turned to me, a huge grin on her face.
“We did it,” she rasped.
Cheers filled the room. The midwife approached us, a small bundle in her hands.
“It’s a girl!” she said excitedly as she passed the bundle over to me.
My heart rose as I held my newborn daughter in my hands. She was so small, so delicate, so beautiful, and in her, I could feel the weight of the world. It was then that I knew my purpose. I had to care for her, to protect her, to give her the best life possible. And I knew then that I would do anything for her.
“She’s lovely!” Adina crooned hoarsely. “What should we name her?”
She was beautiful. She was wonderful. She was sublime. And she needed a name that would embody her perfection, her heritage. There was only one name that would fit.
“We will call her Alia*,”
Spoiler* Means Noble, Sublime
Tears in the Desert
SpoilerThere was rain in the desert.
Falling like tears from the heavens, it came in loud crashes as it pounded against the roof and walls of my tiny little cell, striking a relentless tattoo that matched the rapid beat of my heart. It was so dark, so cold, and I was so alone. Thin rays of soft blue light fell from my small, barred window, providing just enough illumination for me to view to miserable, putrid confines of my surroundings. They were keeping me here until they were ready to kill me, and I couldn’t stand it.
They said I was a monster, a murderer. They spat in my face and beat me. They threw stones and screamed jeering, hateful words. They called for my death. And bound and gagged as I was when they dragged me through the streets, I could say nothing, do nothing, to plead my innocence.
Not that they would have listened. I was a noble no longer. Not a privileged member of the elite, nor a loving father and doting husband, but a gladiator, a slave once again. A slave who, in their eyes, had murdered a noble.
And not just any noble. My wife. Adina Al’Afir, the beloved daughter of the most powerful House in the city. They would have no sympathy for me.
I heard the creek of the door. The sound of footsteps echoed through the prison’s halls, building up a dreadful cadence as they marched in time to the pounding rain, getting closer, closer…
This was it. They were coming for me, and now, now I would meet my fate.
I’m so sorry Alia… It looks like daddy won’t be coming home…
“Get up Tavor!”
That voice… No… It couldn’t be…
“Farid?!” No! It couldn’t be! Not him!
But it was.
Standing before me was Farid Al’Afir. Adina’s twin. My brother-in-law.
He hated me.
“Why are you here Farid?” I did not want to deal with him. “Have you come to watch me die?”
“No,” Farid shook his head. Then, to my astonishment, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring of keys.
“As much as I would love to see you hanged, you classless dog,” Farid glowered as he opened my cell. “It is not my call. The Houses have decided to lessen your punishment, and as the victim's closest relative, it is my job to tell you. Though gods know, the only way I can stand this is that I know you did not murder my sister!”
“I couldn’t have. I loved her-” I started to say, but he cut me off.
“No!” he snapped. “No! You never did! You used her! You seduced her, and tricked your way into our family! She was nothing more than a tool for your selfish advancement!”
“No-” I tried to interject, but he interrupted me once more.
“SHUT UP!” he screamed. “While I know that you did not kill her, you are still being held accountable for her death! Your punishment will only be exile, though gods know that is more than you deserve!”
“Exile?” my heart sank, but my blood boiled. “What about my daughter?! What about Alia?!”
“I will take care of her,” Farid growled. “As a daughter of House Al’Afir, she belongs to me now, rather than a classless dog like you!”
I wanted to hit him. To break him, to watch him bleed. I balled my hand into a fist, and I would have struck him then and there. But I couldn’t. A slave could not touch a noble. Not without punishment of death.
And he wasn’t worth my anger.
“Very well,” I took in a deep breath. “But you better take care of my daughter! Because one day, I will be back for her!”
“I would like to see you try,” Farid smirked.
And with that, I left. The freezing rain fell in fat droplets, soaking into my tattered clothes, running down my face like tears. Rage, fear, sorrow, relief, confusion, all clashed within me like blades in the arena.
I would leave, for now. But I would be back. I would find Adina’s murderer, I would take back my daughter, and I would make Farid regret ever crossing me!