So... having said I would read and reply, I now finally get around to it... please excuse any typos, I am using a different keyboard to normal and it feels awkward... plus I have a sore wrist which is giving me trouble.
And as always, you manage to be creepy and fascinating all at the same time. I really don't know how you do it...
Murder is bad and wrong, but I still found this utterly hilariousYou work in a factory that smelts iron, and were rather delighted to eventually discover that it smelts people just fine too. I don't think he beats you any more."
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but something about this just doesn't ring true to me. I think it's that you've been talking about her as not showing that she's scared, or at least trying to not show it, but still giving the impression that the vampire is well aware she's afraid... and then all of a sudden she's hiding her fear and has desperate defiance. It just doesn't ring true...Another sob forced down. I turned my head and stared her in her eyes, not letting my terror show even while my mind scrambled for some way out of this. Something about my desperate defiance made her chuckle, and her face got closer to mine until we were only the barest fractions of inches apart.
Very effective fade-to-black...When she leaned in again, I thought she was going to kiss me.
She did not.
Was the 'side of beef' comment meant to be so delightfully ambiguous? Because it's cracking me up - the implication that the 'side of beef' is going to be some poor sod."Now? Right now we find you a big side of beef. Then, we talk. I'm glad you chose to come with me, Elizabeth Shore."
Host of Lots of Royalty
Best. Ending. EVER!
Again... I'm having trouble telling who is who in this... I think I figured out that Natasha is one of the Host and they're fighting the Lost, but it's not clear. And from what I remember of your other snippets in this group, I've had that trouble nearly every time. I'm just not sure if it's your writing style, which is otherwise excellent, or some feature of the fact that I don't know the system/game you're writing in.Spring's charge is stalling, and Natasha knows it. The battle lines are being redefined as the Host pulls its forces back, buying time to remake its formations and form a solid line against the surprisingly resilient Lost that combat the faerie host. The Darkling woman works her turntables furiously, making the Host pay the butcher's bill for every inch of ground they concede, but she can see their reinforcements pouring in and knows it isn't going to be enough.
Causes my friend... and music? oh wait... Darkling is a type of banshee isn't it? I remember reading a supernatural/horror book with a darkling in it, only there it was that a darkling is simply a male banshee. Realising that makes the whole music thing make much more sense. Otherwise I was going to be a little and a little because no matter what way you look at it, a DJ in the middle of a battle is always funny.The sheer shock of it almost cause Natasha to punch the bird right in its beaked face, but the Darkling steels herself and switches off the music temporarily instead so she can hear the raven's message.
"Seraphina says to buy time," the raven croaks out in a throaty voice. Natasha ***** an eyebrow at it, and the corvid shrugs in response. "Get creative," it advises before flying away.
Okay, on second reading, I'll admit that I'm now completely confused as to who is who. Summer and Spring are different forces are they not? See, at first this reads like the boy's mistress is Natasha... but now I'm thinking he's summer and she's spring so it can't be... and that his mistress is the hag. It doesn't change the excellence of the writing, but it does detract a bit because I'm now spending all this time trying to figure out what's going on.The boy with the small claws shakes his head again at the insanity of Natasha's plan, but he steps in front of the battle lines between his own forces and the Host of a Thousand Princes. Taking up the microphone that the Darkling had given him, he swallows hard and calls out across the no-mans-land.
"My mistress demands entertainment! Your paltry offerings bore her - send forth a champion to face her in battle or else quit the field like the dogs you are!"
A murmur passes through the ranks of the Host, and then they part like a sea to admit a loathly hag, her skin covered in putrescence and her nails like jagged flint, being carried on a litter made of living wood. The witch opens her mouth (her teeth all ragged with rot and blood) and calls out in return.
"I am the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck. Who dares to challenge me?"
I loved the entire song sequence... you fit the words together really well and as someone who regularly sings and leads worship at her church, I can easily tell that if you whacked some music in there, it would be very singable. Songs are hard to write, well done."I'm certified Spring Court you slut, so kiss my pristine silken butt! I'm gonna enjoy watching you die, and when I do, the crows will feast on your eyes."
But... 'kiss my pristine silken butt!' made me burst out laughing...
And this? This made me applaud"If I didn't know she was a lesbian, I would marry that woman."
"I know, and I'm going to propose anyway."
This is much better than your first draft... which I did read, but the good doctor beat me to commenting and he said everything I was going to say so I didn't bother.
I enjoyed this - it's a nice little vignette that really does a good job of showing something that is in fact, very true - the power of smell as associated with memory. I especially like that it's such a calm memory yet associated with a battlefield.
One thing I will say at the outset - 'marigold' shouldn't be capitalised, not unless it's the name of a person. It's not a proper noun and doesn't need the capital. I know it's not a big issue, but I personally find that sort of thing a little jarring. Every time I notice it, it drags me out of the story and I have to struggle to get myself back into the flow.
And in a similar vein - and again, this is very much a personal preference... but I find it a little jarring that of your dude's flashback, only the speech is italicised... in general (by which I mean, in every single thing I've ever read) all of a flashback is in italics - to make it clear that it's a flashback. Unless there is some specific in-story/stylistic reason not to do it. For example, yesterday I wrote a story in which the character was dreaming. I deliberately didn't italicise anything (normally dreams are done the same way as flashbacks) because to do so would have been to alert the reader to the fact that something was going on and it would have spoiled the later impact when the character woke up (the snippet started with the dream sequence). Here, every time you go back to simple description/story-telling, it drags me out of the flashback and I keep thinking that what you're writing is what's actually happening at the time and I have to keep reminding myself that it's still the flashback.
If you don't want to use italics like that, then even a simple
***to separate the sections will do. We just need something to separate it from the main story...
Minotaur's - with anI am taken to a time when I was only a handful of seasons old, kneeling in elder Turan’s tent watching the Minotaurs gnarled old hands work the mortar and pestle.
appostraphe appostrophe appa- you know what I mean. That word is stupidly hard to spell.
I must say, I enjoyed the wise-old-minotaur mentor thing I liked that what he was saying was kinda vague and didn't entirely make sense to me. It fit quite nicely with the image you created of this old man.“You must distance yourself from ideals such as good and evil, boy. They are merely constructs of idle minds! Pretty words, granted the illusion of true meaning.”
More commas please I ran out of puff halfway through this sentence and totally lost track of what was going on. I'd stick one between 'and die for them, but' and possibly/probably between "ideals, an shed blood" as well.Many have and will take up the banner of these ideals and shed blood and die for them but when the sun sets these words are little more then a cup that will hold no water, useless and empty.”
This is totally me being a jerk, but - do you mean to say the pot is the colour of cobalt, or it's made of cobalt? It's been my understanding that it's too soft to use for something like that... then again, Wikipedia is telling me that the cobalt metal is a hard silvery metal so hey, I can be wrong!To empahsize the point Elder Turan snorted quietly while cearfully setting his mixture to heat in a cobalt pot atop the flame.
Also - typo "carefully"
I'd take out the 'absentmindedly' here - you've already made it clear that he's gone off into his own little world. It just feels - unnecessary.The steam that eminated from the simmering mixture sat thick in the air and fogged my mind; It seemed that the elder forget my presence momentairly as he absentmindedly poked the fire with a willow stick.
Capital 'I's thank you very muchWith these words the old Minotaur falls silent, he seemed mesmerized by the dancing flames, reading meanings in the fire that i was blind too. His battle-scared features relaxed for a moment and it was as though the years slid from his face like water off the side of a tent. The silence stretched painfully long and although fearfull of disturbing him i pushed for a conclusion to his tale.
Also, I believe you have the wrong tense there with 'falls silent' - it should say 'fell silent'.
Capitals again.An uncaring reality barges back in and i realize that i am staring at a wild Marigold bush being licked by the creeping flames. To my right a figure approaches through the billowing smoke and as i turn, the wind catches a dried up flower bud from the bush and casts it free. The payload of seeds contained within the bud are spirited away from the destruction by the wind; at least there is hope something may spawn from this mess.
With a disheartened snort i heft my weapon and shield.
Also, that last sentence feels a little - short, to me. It's a very abrupt ending... I'd like to know what he went off and did after he hefted his weapons.