Author Topic: Looking for feedback for first few pages of my fantasy book  (Read 98 times)

Offline Lydia1

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Hi, looking for any sort of feedback you are willing to give over the first few chapters of my novel. Thank you!


               Chapter 1 Zabrina
     I snatch my faded purple backpack from the worn out locker. Then slam the door shut.                                                                                                                                                             
     I try to push through the overcrowded hallway. Talking, sneakers scuffing floors and locker doors slamming closed attacks my ears.
      Then as I turn a wave of red hair falls over my face. An elbow jabs my side and I fall onto the cold floor. A shock shoots through me, My vision goes blurry as the sensation passes and I blink confused as everything rushes back into focus.
       I realize I'm still on the floor and I stumble to my feet. I ignore the hand the girl offers and try to ignore how unbalanced I feel.
       I look at  the girl who knocked me over.
       Everything about her screams at me. Her hair is bright red and she's dressed completely in green except for the jewels decorating her bag.
      She isn't meeting my eyes which irks me. There's something strange about her I can't quite pinpoint and that weird feeling when she ran into me... I stare at her.
      “Sorry”, the redhead says in a bright voice. An odd smile on her face.
      It takes me a second to grasp what she's saying. I straighten up, hastily give the girl a smile and I tell her "It's fine."
         I turn to head for the doors trying to forget the odd interaction.
        Then a girl's sharp voice cuts through the crowd.
        "Isn’t that the new girl?" A brunette says looking in my direction. (Make it so Airella is changing the subject to this)
        "You mean the weirdo with the anger issues? Leana said she got kicked out of her last school for fighting." The blonde leaning against the locker next to her says.
       I can feel her blue eyes looking over at me. I turn away from her, very much wanting to smack that condescending look off her face. But contrary to the apparently popular belief, I had not left my last school for getting into any sort of fight. If only. I take a deep breath and try to walk away but the crowd refuses to part.
            I groan. Of course, some girl has managed to spill her entire bag blocking  the entrance forcing me to slow down and hear more of their stupidity.
            “Shut your punchable little mouths." I finally say, glaring at them.
             The brunette's eyes widened. Then she sneers at me, "what did you just say?"
            "Are you hard of hearing?" I reply.
           "What are you so pissed off about?" She asks me patronizingly, "we weren't even talking to you."
             I roll my eyes. It was obvious she wanted me to hear everything she had said. "Are your lives really so dull that you have to spend your time making idotic comments about stuff you know nothing about?" I reply sharply.           
         The brunette glares at me, "Well as far as I know, free speech is still allowed. Maybe if you don't want people talking about how crazy you are you shouldn't fight people in the cafetiera." She says. 
        My nails dig into my palm. She looks so condescending. She smirks with every word, and her dark blue eyes mockingly look me over.
        she notices the death stare I'm giving her, "you know if you do end up getting in another fight I'm sure the school wouldn't be opposed to suspending you or even expelling you." She says.
       And the fact she's right makes me hate her that much more. Dad doesn't need any more problems, especially not ones caused by me.
        I turn around, my fingers have a death grip on my ponytail, I push through the crowd to get outside, I don't care when someone shouts at me to watch out.
        My jaw is tight and my head rushes with adrenaline when I'm far enough away from the school I crumple against a wall holding back a scream instead digging my nails farther into my palm.
        I look around trying to calm myself down. There's a slight breeze, a leaf crunche under my foot and I try to breathe. I shake my head a bit at how ridiculously overboard a few houses have gone on halloween decorations.
        A scarecrow stares at me from across the street and an inflatable witch on a broomstick tries to scare me as I walk by I laugh a bit then my eyes land on a jack-o-lantern sitting on someone's porch and a memory comes flooding back,         
     It was last Halloween and it was windy. I probably had leaves in my hair and I was sitting on the porch next to my mom. We looked strikingly similar; it was easy for anyone to tell we were related. We had the same long black hair though mom's was always curlier than mine and I had her striking green eyes. Dad said I had her laugh too.
    The biggest differences we had were that mom's smile was less crooked then mine, her eyes had more crinkles, her face more freckled and her skin wasn't nearly as pale as mine. She was wearing an orange t-shirt and like most of her shirts it had a ridiculous pun on it. Her hands were carefully carving the bright orange pumpkin in her lap, in one of her overly detailed designs. I, on the other hand, was wearing a skeleton sweater and basically mutilating my poor pumpkin.
   When mom saw it she laughed. I joked with her and soon we were both giggling hysterically. Then grinning she took my pumpkin and proudly placed it on the porch right next to hers saying that it could be a zombie pumpkin or one attacked by a monster.
The air seems to thin, I can't seem to get any breath into my lungs. I don't realize how much my hands are shaking till I try to zip up my jacket and I can barely grab the zipper. My heartbeat pounds against my chest desperate to escape.
I blink erratically, forcing back the tears. Dead. She's dead now.
The thoughts haunt me screaming in my ears. She's dead. And there's nothing you can do about it. You can hide her pictures and act like everything's fine.
But you know everythings burning down around you and there's nothing you can do about it.
 I run.
           Chapter 2 The apartment
  I run till my feet scream and I'm gasping for air. Only when I see the apartment do I slow down. It calms me a bit they're are no heavy memories associated with this place.
   The three-story red brick building looms over me as I walk up to it's definitely not home but it's the best we can do.
 I wrench open the heavy gray, front door leading into the lobby. Purposely walking slower with forced confidence. There are no surprises here at least.
The doors always stick. The stairwell is never quite clean and the noisy sounds of dogs barking, kids chatting, music playing and TVs blaring greets me as I head up the stairs.   
 At number 205 I grab my key, take a deep breath and unlock.
''Dad?” I call out hesitantly cringing at the almost desperate sound of my voice.
    No answer.
Why did you bother? You know he's working overtime. I know. I shouldn't feel disappointed...
I trudge into the small apartment sighing at the state of the place.
 I go over to our ''Kitchen'' if you can even call it that. It's more like a corner with a few vaguely kitchen appliances shoved in it.
I pull open the cabinet above the sink looking for a snack but the shelves are mostly bare.
Dad must have forgotten to stop by the grocery store. Again. Don’t get annoyed. It's fine.
I get water from the sink instead and go straight to my room.
  I slump down on my purple bedspread letting out a breath. My hand tugs uncomfortably on my ponytail.
   I glance around the room. Every inch of is meticulously cleaned, books arranged in order on a black metal shelf, a telescope carefully positioned in its place, a horse figurine, a birthday present bought from goodwill, sits presiently polished and even the small picture of me and dad sitting on my night stand is set at just the right angle.
    I had never cared much for neatness before but now it seemed like proof that I was fine, mom was gone but I was fine I had everything under control. I wasn't a mess.   Everything is fine.
    I'm ok for a while working on homework then my eyes stray to the clock. It's Five thirty.
 Dad's still not home. What if he's not ok? What if something happened? What if he got in a car accident like- No! I yell at myself for the thoughts you need to start dinner I tell myself.
Unfortunately starting dinner means putting a frozen meal in the microwave. I really need to learn how to cook.
I set out a couple plates on the dinner table. I put the food out. Finally, I start eating without him. You should be thankful he has that job without it you’d be on the street.
But still.
I start worrying. what if something happened to him what if- no you're not going to go there you're being paranoid.
I try to watch TV but I can't concentrate, glancing at the clock every two seconds. I attempt to distract myself by organizing the silverware.
     Finally, there's a click and dad walks inside.
   I try to stifle a relieved sigh.
      He’s wearing his well worn gray jacket, His dark blue shirt with his work logo sticks out from beneath it looking rumpled.
       His dark brown hair which I note has begun to turn gray is falling in his face. I frown at the bags under his eyes. I know he didn’t get to bed till 1:00 last night.
   “Hi, dad I made dinner, it's in the fridge,” I say, giving him the biggest smile I can manage.
“Thank you, honey,” He says, his eyes staring past me and I try not to recognize the smell of alcohol on his breath.
 I want to tell him about school and how I'd like him to maybe try to be here a little bit more but I stifle my whining. He has enough to worry about as is and I don't need to make things worse than they already are.
I stay quiet and force a smile.
Chapter 3 Talismans
     We don’t talk much as he eats his dinner. I try to think of safe topics to fill the silence but these days those are few.
Eventually, I turn on the TV. We watch a comedy but neither of us pays attention.
 I try to force out a laugh but it comes out hoarse and fake, not even fooling me.
I can't keep this up any longer.
"I'm going to bed, dad." I say. 
"Goodnight, asteroid." He pauses after the last word as if he had just realized what he said.
He looks up from his paper, but he doesn't look at me.
I freeze. Asteroid. He must have said it out of habit.
This was the first time I had heard the nickname since she died.
Both mom and dad had called me it but mom had come up with the name. She had always loved space and was a wealth of information about the stars.
Bits of Asteroids would burn up in the atmosphere and become shooting stars.   
 She said I was as bright and brilliant as one but my dad said my short temper is really what got me the name. I was as fiery as a burning asteroid.
  I don't cry, just straighten my shoulders, wipe away the memory and pretend nothing happened.
"Goodnight dad." I repeat pretending I hadn't heard.
Then I walk as quickly as I can back to my bedroom and collapse on the mattress and fall into an uneasy sleep.
A cold breeze seeps into the room and I turn pulling the covers closer but then my ears perk up as I hear the screech of the window being pushed all the way open.
My eyes shoot open. My brain is barely half awake but on instinct I tear out of bed glaring at the red headed girl who just broke into my bedroom! I recognize her. She's the girl that bumped into me at school!         
"What the hell are you doing in my house?!" I scream at her ready to tackle her and call the police if she doesn't explain herself in the next ten seconds.
I think I'm taller than her and she doesn't appear to have any weapons. I'm guessing she's here hoping to rob us, but why anyone would pick our place is beyond me. we have little worth robbing.
She's shaking and looks terrified, "Look, I-I'm sorry Zabrina. I didn't want us to meet this way." She quickly sputters out putting her hands in the air.
"How do you know my name?" I ask her as I look around for a weapon and decide on just grabbing my telescope.
"I was assigned to get you, well I was assigned to get you later actually, I was just supposed to learn more about you this time but… things sort of got complicated." She says.
"What do you mean?" I ask her not liking the sound of this.
"I-I'm from another realm, and we were chosen by a prophecy. I was sent to collect you and get your help." She says as if these words make any sort of sense.
Maybe she wasn't a thief but just plain crazy? I grab my phone and she seems to realize what I'm about to do because she shouts, "No stop! I can prove it! I can prove I have magic!" She says digging into her bag.
I grab the bag from her. What if she has a weapon? I look towards the door wondering if dad is still asleep.
Something about her is strange, the air seems to crackle around her. She seems like she doesn't quite belong here. How did she even get in? I think glancing at the third story window uneasily. Something about me oddly believes her story.
I pull the oddly decorated bag closer to Me.
"Fine," I tell her trying to keep my voice calm, "prove that you have magic but you can't use the bag." I do not want her to pull some sort of trick.
She looks like she's about to protest but then she glances at the window uncomfortably and nods, "ok that's fine." She says.
I take the satchel and watch her carefully wondering what she's going to do.
She takes off her glasses, I stare at her shocked when I see that her eyes are gold colored. I try to reason with myself that her eyes aren't naturally gold. It must be contact lenses but then why bother with glasses?
She opens her mouth like she's About to ask me something but then she thinks better of it. She folds her glasses and holds them in her hand. She stares at them then the air seems to spark with gold firecrackers.
The ring on her finger seems to glow and her veins turn the same glowing golden color as her eyes. I can't help but take a step back as the glasses shift right before my eyes.
 The red of the frames shifts to silver. It seems to melt and remold itself in a matter of seconds from a pair of bright red glasses to a silver pen.
I stare at her in a mix of shock and fear. "How did you do that? Who are you?!" I say.
She gulps and looks back toward the window, "I'm Andrea and I can do that because I have transfiguration magic now I'm sorry I wish I had more time to explain but we have to go, they're going to get here soon and staying here will put you and your family at risk." She tells me anxiously.
I almost question her again, telling her this is crazy. I want no part of this. I don't care about a prophecy or if she did just do real magic.
 I want her out. But the mention of my family stops me from doing that. I can't risk endangering my dad.
Whatever this is, I don't want him involved. "Fine, what do  you want me to do?"
She smiles at me, and sighs, "good you believe me."
"Just tell me what I need to do." I say with a glare.
"Just pack anything you think you need for a long trip and grab your talisman."
"What in the world is a Talisman?" I ask her as I start Packing.
"Right, of course you don't know what that is. Um, I can find it… I think." She mumbles. She plays with her ring as she whispers words in some foreign language.
I watch her uneasily while still holding her  bag. The golden glow about her is much weaker this time and she walks forward as if pulled by some invisible cord.
 She tries to open the drawer on my nightstand and I jump up from where I'm sitting Packing my pale blue suitcase.
"Get away from there." I say immediately I don't want to open that drawer and I definitely don't want anyone else poking around in there.
The drawer is full of mom's stuff. All the photos I had with her in them, her old phone, the jewelry she had and some figurines she liked to collect. Most stuff was stored away still in moving boxes pushed too the back of dad's closet.
But this was the stuff that had been packed up with my things and when I saw them I didn't want to look at them again so I shoved them all in the drawer, locked it and hide the key in my desk. 
"The talismans in here." She tells me.
I scowl at the drawer. Of course it is. "Why do you even need this stupid talisman thing anyway?" I ask her.
"Well I don't need it but you definitely do. Without it you won't be able to control your magic."
"Magic? I don't have any magic. If I did, I definitely wouldn't be living here", I tell her.
"But you do. You haven't been able to use it yet because it's weaker in this realm especially without your talisman."
"What the heck even is a talisman and why do you think it's in there?"           "I'll explain it later ok? Right now we need to get out of here. I have to get the others."
"Who are the others?!" I ask her.
"The others from the prophecy! Now can you please just give me the key?" She says looking anxious.
"Are you sure we need this talisman thing?" I ask her again in almost desperation.
She nods her head. I grab the key from my desk with a scowl and slam it into her hand.
"Thanks." She says.
"Just… hurry up." I say. Please.
I turn around to continue packing but she speaks up again, "you have to be the one who carries the talisman."
I whip my head around, "what why? You have two hands. If it's so important to you, you can carry it."
"No, I can't." She says, shaking her head. "Talismans burn anyone who is not blood related to the family that made them."
I close my eyes and try to breathe. This just got worse and worse.
 Was the universe trying to torture me? First a golden eyed redhead shows up telling me I'm in danger because of some insane prophecy, now apparently I'm a sorceress and I have to carry around something that will basically be a constant reminder for me that my mom's dead.
"Fine." I whisper,
"What?" She says clearly not hearing me.
    "I said fine! What is it you need me to get?!" I ask her.
"The necklace," she replies a bit more coldly this time but I don't really care.
I walk over to the drawer, trying too keep my breath steady as I look everything in the drawer.
"The Talisman's that one." Andrea says, her tan finger pointing at a piece of silver jewelry.
The old chain snakes around the cover of a photo album, despite the fact it's been in the family for several generations it hasn't tarnished a bit, I realize with a startle that it might be because of it's apparently magical properties.
A heart pendant hangs off of it a swirl of different intricate designs coat the charm making it look like a sculpture.
I tense as I reach out to grab it half expecting it to sting. But… It just feels like a chain and cold metal.
"Are you sure this is the talisman?" I ask her.
She nods confidently, "yes."
I pick it up, memories of mom wearing it and how she had given me the heirloom on my last birthday before she died flood my brain.
I force down the thoughts, reminding myself there are more pressing matters to deal with.
I clutch the necklace tightly as, I zip up my suitcase harshly, practically ripping the martial. Then I grab some clothes and rush to the bathroom to quickly get dressed before putting on the necklace.
 The cold claps around my neck feel like they're choking me, I quickly hide the charm under my shirt and meet Andrea standing in my hallway harshly contrasting with everything around her.