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[ Stories: Witch-Girl (Read from the bottom of the list), The Canon ] [ Poetry: All Poetry; ( ♥ ) ( ⚔ ) ]
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[ red_a02 ] Shuzhen – The first episode was a lot of fun, cos it had an interesting cocktail of sexual tension and smooth fight choreography. This episode is like the awkward aftermath...
27 Aquarius 13 18:13
[ vermilion_2 ] YAPX – I understand that most of your stories are dialogue-based and heavy on retorts and counter-retorts. This one felt unnecessarily circular. It starts with a cool premise: a killer/villain/vigilante uses Lent to swear off something that should be second nature to him (I suppose), and then talks about a story. The link between the two (giving up killing & the story) isn’t a 100% fit. Maybe instead of “let me tell you a story”, it could be “hey, you see I even passed a guy up for death today!” or equivalent. Something to drag Lorelei into the banter and the premise. // That’s my only complaint. I’m not a big fan of dialogue-based stories, but I can make a exception for this.
14 Aquarius 13 08:03
[ 130204 ] YAPX – Good pace, good characters, great dialogue. The thing I like best is a combination of the three: how you build up their pseudo-relationship through all that back-and-forth exchange. Somehow, you craft a unique, strange relationship: from any one point in the story, both of them are manipulative, victimised and hypocrites - though not all at once. // On word choices, I felt you could change the word “janitor” (“cleaner” or “uncle” would’ve given a different, but more acute local flavour to it). Mostly because, it’s connotes an added level of difference through: class. Whether or not you intended it, by portraying the “janitor” and “student” you bring out the fact that he’s stuck there socially in all sense of the word. It made the part where he says he reads books during weekends completely out-of-context and weird. // Also, there’s too much “sliding” in and out of the room. Not sure if that’s intentional repetition, or just a lack of other words. // I thought that the girl’s own background is pretty compelling. Even after everything, I can’t tell if she’s speaking the truth. Because I’m all for unreliable narrators and characters, I can still find her well-thought out. But other readers might lose patience or wonder at her sudden change of heart at the final moment.
04 Aquarius 13 08:48
“All things like to win,” she says, “it is the nature of things.”
They gather upon the roof of Dedemona’s apartment building.
Desdemona begins, “if we both compete at the auction –”
“– neither of us wins,” Stacey finishes.
“Whoever pays keeps the book.”
“We both get to read it.”
The words are flying so fast, Ramiel thinks, it’s as if they don’t need to wait for the other to finish. It’s like watching a ping pong match.
“We are agreed!”
“My sentiments exactly.”
“Bringme,” Stacey turns to Ramiel.
“Amora,” Desdemona addresses her own demon.
“Mistress,” Amora says.
“You call her ‘mistress’?” Ramiel says, incredulous.
“Mis… tress?” Stacey whispers, with the awed fascination of one who had suddenly realised the implications of something they had known all along.
Ramiel turns to Stacey, narrows his eyes. “Don’t get any ideas.”
“But they –” She stops with her mouth open.
Ramiel turns to see Amora kneeling upon one knee before Desdemona.
“I’ll not disappoint you, mistress,” Amora says.
“You never will.” Desdemona leans forwards and kisses him upon the forehead.
Amora stands up, his eyes fixed upon Ramiel.
“What is happening?” Ramiel says.
He turns to Stacey. She’s giving him a really odd look.
He turns back to Amora, who is standing there as Desdemona helps him remove his coat.
Ramiel turns back to Stacey.
“Do you think…” she says, meekly, “maybe, you could say something like that? Maybe?”
“What the Hell is going on?”
“I heard that, but why is he taking his clothes off?”
Her eyes dart away from his. “Err… witches don’t actually fight each other. We are, you know, girls and stuff.”
“Okay. But why is he undressing? … Oh.”
“Err, make me proud?”
“What? No! I’m not going to fight him.”
“Let’s do this!” Amora announces.
Ramiel turns. Amora is standing, his shirt off, muscles rippling in the moonlight. It’s a rather dramatic pose. “Did you oil your chest?”
“Skincare is important.” Amora cracks his knuckles.
Ramiel holds his hands out, fingers spread in the gesture of “Nobody needs to get hurt.” (also commonly known as “jazz hands”). “Listen, we don’t have to fight just because they can’t get along.”
“We don’t have to.”
“That’s good, then.”
“Except I intend to do my job.”
Ramiel turns back to Stacey. “Will you stop getting me into fights?”
“And…” Desdemona says. “This is what happens when you sleep with the help.”
“Now that’s just wrong,” Ramiel says.
“That’s just insulting,” Stacey says.
“Oh?” Desdemona says.
“He’s not help,” Stacey says.
“I’m not sleeping with her,” Ramiel says.
“What?!” Stacey says.
He turns towards her. She looks annoyed.
“That,” she snaps, “is what you find insulting?! That she thinks we’re screwing? What the fuck is wrong with screwing me?”
She looks really annoyed. “Nothing! I’m sure lots of men have –”
“Have?!” she shouts.
“Amora, dear,” Desdemona says.
“Yes, mistress?” Amora says.
“Interpret this for me… I’m not sure if I heard correctly… Did he just call her a slut?”
“I believe he did.”
“So I’m not the only one who thinks so, then?”
“You are not, mistress.”
There is the scent of ozone. Ramiel turns back to Stacey. Her hair, in a nimbus around her head, is moving in waves, as if underwater.
“Hold on! I –” Ramiel begins, holding his hands up again. “I like sluts!”
A tendril of electricity dances across her forearm. It curls around a clenched fist.
Her voice is slow and controlled, “you like sluts, do you?”
“Yes!” he says, going with the flow. “Sluts are hot!”
He lets out the breath that he has been holding in.
“Let me just get this crystal clear. You think sluts are hot…”
“Oh my,” Desdemona says, giving him the first indication that his relief might be premature.
“You like sluts,” Stacey continues, “but you won’t fuck me?”
“Wait! How did this…? I never said…!”
Electricity is sparking around her eyes, her glaring, furious, eyes.
“Just earlier,” she says, addressing no one. “I was– I was– Fuck, I’m so stupid!”
Her head snaps to Desdemona. “Duel’s off,” she says, grimly. “Concurrence by Proxy.”
“What?!” Amora yells. “No! Mistress!”
Desdemona is running away from Amora. She yells, “I accept!”
Totally bewildered, Ramiel turns back to Stacey. She’s not there. He looks up to find her running away from him.
He turns back to Amora.
“This is all your fault,” Amora says.
Amora does not reply. He is too preoccupied with leaping away, barely dodging the bolt of lightning that sizzles past him.
Ramiel’s gaze follow the path of the lightning to Stacey, butterfly-wand outstretched. A tendril of electricity dances around her arm.
“Ba’al Ra’am,” Desdemona says.
It means “Lord Thunder”. But Ramiel, even as he turns to face her, has the deathly suspicion that she isn’t referring to him.
Desdemona has raised her own wand.
It is pointing straight at him.
750 words / 460
“It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognise each other, to learn to see the other and honour him for what he is.”
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