Author Topic: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]  (Read 1697 times)

Offline Riri R.

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[Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:54:31 PM »
April closed her eyes and waited. Count to ten, she thought. She could hear the man coming closer to her, and willed herself to relax.

“Steady, April,” Derek said to her from the earpiece. “Steady.” April nodded, though she knew he couldn’t see, thought about opening her eyes, then let the thought fall away when she realized it didn’t make a difference—she was already in the dark.

Even though she could feel how close he was to her by the way the heat radiated off of him and transferred to her own skin, she still gasped as the man grazed his teeth against her neck. She felt her body tense as her eyes flew open and her hand instinctively reached for her back pocket. The man quickly pulled back and stared into her eyes, his eyes a startling bright, neon blue.

"April," he said. "Just don't think. Everything is alright, okay?"

Then something strange happened. Her body started tingling—this warm, numbing sensation that started through her hands and spread throughout her entire body. Her hand fell limp to her side and the man bent his head to her neck again, but instead of the feel of his teeth he placed a light kiss over her pulse. What a loving gesture, April thought vaguely. She felt her body start to sway, and the man wrapped his arms around her to keep her from falling. She sighed. She suddenly couldn’t remember what she was there for…what she was supposed to do.

“April! What are you doing? Snap out of it!” a voice hissed in her ear. “Damn it, idiot girl. You're in danger! Use your head.”

Danger? April tried to hold on to this thought. Danger from what..?

“April! In your right back pocket is a wooden stake. You have to use it. Kill him quickly. You're running out of time.” April felt herself being pulled from her serenity. She felt herself frown as she reached out and patted her back pocket.

She stilled.

“April. Kill him. Now.”

April hadn't even noticed her eyes had reclosed.

She opened them again, quickly. Her eyes locked on the ceiling. She breathed slowly. Adrenaline started surging through her. Reaching carefully into her pocket, she discreetly pulled out the stake. She raised her arm to hold the vampire to her, and he--to lost in sucking her energy to comprehend--made a sound of approval. She tried not to fall under the monster's control again. In a quick movement she had her left hand clutching the stake at his back. April plunged it down, and felt it lodge into the his heart. The man stilled, then slouched against her, his breathing labored. She dug the stake deeper into his chest then roughly pulled it out, and pushed the vampire away from her.

"No!" He gasped, eyes wide, reaching for her as he stumbled back and fell to the ground. April stared down at the corpse, the neon glow quickly fading into the darkness of their surroundings, and suddenly wondered, who was this vampire?

Then April heard a door behind her open. She heard a soft click as suddenly the room was filled with light, and a man strode in wearing camouflage pants and a tan shirt. He wasn't military. He smiled at her aloofly.

"Sorry I didn't try to help you sooner. I didn't realize you were losing control of yourself until it had already started to happen. I'm just glad you listened to me." At her puzzled expression, he tapped the headphones in his ears. "Your haziness. Temporary. It should start to dissipate soon." April blinked. She slowly looked around and let her eyes rest again on the ceiling.

The familiar ceiling.

With widened eyes she looked down at the dead vampire. His once beautiful and youthful blue eyes now held horror--dead horror--and as much as she hoped, he didn't turn to dust. He just laid there staring up at her, with a dead look of betrayal.

"Derek," she spoke, "you knew."

No response.

She refocused her attention to the living man staring at her. "You let me come here to kill him. This is why you armed me. It wasn't for a combat buddy system. You wanted him dead."

She saw Derek square his shoulders. "I figured he would fight to live if I did it." He walked to the corpse, moved his hand to pluck a band from the vampire's ring finger. "He wouldn't suspect you. Here," he held out the ring. "I'm sure you want this."

April took the ring but didn't take her eyes from his. Derek narrowed his eyes and looked away.

"He had to die, April. He was one of them."

"He used to be one of us."

"But then he wasn't."

April stood silent. Derek sighed.

"We lose what we love. It happens. Sometimes it has to," he said softly. Then, more firmly, "We are on a schedule. We still have more hunting tonight."

April said not a word.

Derek shook his head. "I'm leaving. We have duties to uphold." He paused at the doorway, "April."

April clutched the ring tightly in her right hand before unclasping the necklace from around her neck and slipping the ring on the chain to dangle with its twin. Then, after what felt like ages, she turned around, and followed Derek out of her home.
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 10:39:58 PM »
A nice twist at the end Marie. A well told vampire story.

Just a few suggestion for you to think about.

Quote
Then something strange happened. Her body started tingling—this warm, numbing sensation that started
The two usage of the word "started" feel too much so close together. Perhaps change the second on to "began."

Quote
and he--to too lost in sucking her energy to comprehend

Quote
She heard a soft click as suddenly the room was filled with light,
Suggestion only.

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 11:31:45 PM »
to lost in sucking ->>>> too

Haze -- made me think Twilight derivative. :(

Not sure the combat buddy story covers her getting down and dirty with the beautiful man -- not very professional. ::)

Other than that -- pretty clean writing.

Not being a vampire story fan I didn't get the significance of the twin ring . . . If it were hers wouldn't she wear it on her finger? If it's the ring of another, is it a trophy, has she done this before? Could there be more rings? Was the vampire a former real-life fiance before he became undead and it's his matching ring?

Offline Riri R.

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 01:58:00 AM »
Was the vampire a former real-life fiance before he became undead and it's his matching ring?

Bingo!!! They were married, actually. I remember in the first edit I wrote of this, the whole ring scenerio was lost on some, as well as the setting being her home. I thought that, instead of just coming right out and saying "Wife" or something like that, the whole twin ring reference coupled with the whole leaving "her" home reference would kind of make it easier....I also thought about that too. Wouldn't she wear the ring on her finger? But, she's a vampire hunter. I figured it wouldn't be too professional for her to wear her ring, especially when her ring would signify being married to one.

"Down and dirty" huh? Haha, well, he's a psychic vampire. Psychic vampires don't bite, they only need to draw out your energy. I figured that his delicacy with April would help fill in the gaps that she knew him on an intimate level once the reader got to the end of the story, but I don't think it worked :P

I'm glad you and Alice liked it!
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hillwalker3000

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 07:18:52 AM »
A few more suggestions to help tighten up - use or lose:

April closed her eyes and waited. Count to ten, she thought. She could hear the man coming closer to her, and willed herself to relax.

Even though she could feel how close he was to her by the way the heat radiated off of him and transferred to her own skin, she still gasped as the man grazed his teeth against her neck. She felt her body tense as her eyes flew open and her hand instinctively reached for her back pocket.
Perhaps replace the first 'feel' with 'sense'?

The man quickly pulled back and stared into her eyes, his eyes a startling bright, neon blue.
"April," he said. "Just don't think. Everything is alright, okay?"
Not sure whether this is the 'man' or the voice in her earpiece - I'm guessing the latter but most readers would assume otherwise

. . . instead of the feel of his teeth he placed a light kiss over her pulse. What a loving gesture, April thought vaguely. She felt her body start to sway. . .
2 feelings again

“April! In your right back pocket is a wooden stake. You have to use it. Kill him quickly. You're running out of time.”
This dialogue seems far too calm and instructional given the situation. She already knows all this presumably so - perhaps "April! The stake. In your back pocket. Use it. Kill him now. Time's running out."

April felt herself being pulled from her serenity. She felt herself frown as she reached out and patted her back pocket.
no comment

April hadn't even noticed her eyes had reclosed.
She opened them again, quickly. Her eyes locked on the ceiling. She breathed slowly. Adrenaline started surging through her. Reaching carefully into her pocket, she discreetly pulled out the stake. She raised her arm to hold the vampire to her, and he--to lost in sucking her energy to comprehend--made a sound of approval. She tried not to fall under the monster's control again. In a quick movement she had her left hand clutching the stake at his back. April plunged it down, and felt it lodge into the his heart. The man stilled, then slouched against her, his breathing labored. She dug the stake deeper into his chest then roughly pulled it out, and pushed the vampire away from her.

I think this paragraph needs some rework. Too many sentences beginning 'She . . .'. and too many long sentences in my opinion.
Something like 'She opened her eyes. Locked them onto the ceiling. Slow breaths. A surge of adrenaline. Pulling the stake from her pocket. Inch by inch. Raising her free arm to hold onto the vampire. . .'
It's all about matching style to context.


Then April heard a door behind her open. She heard a soft click as suddenly the room was filled with light. . .

He just laid lay there staring up at her, with a dead look of betrayal.

April took the ring but didn't take her eyes from his. Whose? Confuing again.[/I]

But I'm enjoying reading this.

H3K

Pale Writer

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 08:04:26 AM »
Hello

*edited because apparently one coffee isn't enough to make me coherent*

I have always liked vampire tales. Have wrote a number of them myself so am drawn in quite quickly to others. I did enjoy the scene and though in draft form it still shows promise, thank you for the read. What I have to say is more to do with how to incorporate all the characters into the story or at least bring them closer and to allow your previous words to sink into the reader before repeating them in another way.  For example in your opening lines.

Quote
April closed her eyes and waited. Count to ten, she thought. She could hear the man coming closer to her, and willed herself to relax.

I am unsure if you need the italic along withe 'she thought' but can't really bring an argument to the table not to.

When a person counts to 10 it is usually to relax, to calm themselves of panic/fear and such.  Since you have her at the beginning doing just that, you do not really need to narrate it again at the end. Once a mood has been set, unless there is a change, there is no reason to set the same mood again.  This is a bit like action tags. Something to control.

If possible try not to tell events when a show can help bring that event closer and make it more personal. In the bold area you tell me she hears the man approaching closer to her.  When someone approaches, it can be assumed that it is closer, since it is her pov, I can assume also that he is approaching her...but...this is telling me. Why not instead have him approach on his own simply with....  He moved closer.   This builds more tension because the reader is focused on the object of her fear rather than being told that he is.

These are small things and as you have written I could understand what you were saying, so to leave as you have it would work. Mine suggestion is just another way.

I'll come back after I've woken up more.

A few other things I noticed.

Rather than have her hands fall limp, perhaps her arms?  This would remove the repeat wording of hands and also if your hands do go limp it would not necessarily bring them to your sides.

You have her stare at the ceiling which I found strange because of the absence of light. I know she would know it was up there but when you place an object's name, it requires a focus to see - small thing.

Discreetly pulled out the wooden stake -  discreetly sounds too discreet I know she is trying to hide that fact from him but it felt too calm.

Something strange happened - but it wasn't strange, it was a kiss, I suppose you could say that is strange, but when romantic gestures are associated with most vampire stories I think you could lose the strange at that time and wait for the event first, then show her surprise, her thoughts of 'how strange' - time line is important, if you foreshadow an event too much it takes the sting out of the readers surprise too. Let them be wondering at the same time as her.

When she is being told to pull out the stake I think you could shorten this into more urgency.  Him calling her an idiot I don't think helps, but rather than have a conversation, make it quick and too the point.  Kill him. Strike now. - pull that into his voice that sense of 'time is wasting/hurry' in the voice tag. Use your words effectively.

Thank you


Pale

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:34:22 AM by Pale Writer »

Offline Riri R.

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 01:10:49 PM »
Thabk you Pale and H3K! I appreciate your opinions and suggestions. :)
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Offline stubbs5569

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Re: [Edit] Haze [907 Words]
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 08:43:53 PM »
Marie

I know this is the review section, but I have no critique to give. Besides, Hill, Pale and the others did a far better job then I ever could. I just wanted to say I enjoyed your piece and think you're off to a great start. I am not a big fan of the vampire genre, but your writing style won me over.

Best
Stubbs