Edge of Thorns - Pt 3Part 3
You know, I haven't had Chinese in ages, and as tempting as that pretzel sounds, I'm really craving me some sesame chicken...
"I think I'm going to need something more filling than a coffee and pretzels," Nathan said, smiling at Alton. "Which way to Chinese?"
The other man laughed and lazily pointed out the window. "You'll want to turn right out of my shop, go straight through the next intersection, and turn right again at the corner of Midas Street and Banner Avenue. You should be able to spot the Golden Frog with no problem."
Nathan nodded, committing the directions to memory as he started towards the door. "Thanks, for letting me use the phone and the info. Uh, I guess see you later."
"Yes, see you later."
Nathan hesitated for a moment before leaving. The way he'd said that... he shook it off. Alton was a nice guy. He'd offered a complete stranger the use of his business phone, and even given him directions. Nathan knew he really needed to get past his discomfor
Murdering Mary SueMurdering Mary SueMurdering Mary Sue6 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Every aspiring writer has met her at least once, whether in his own works or in those of others. The alluring temptation of a perfect character taunts the author from one side while his muse urges him to keep writing from the other. Who wouldn't love her? She's the most beautiful, talented, fantastic woman in the universe, with not a flaw in sight. Every woman wants to be her; every man wants to marry her, so why would anyone want to kill her? Who would want to murder Mary Sue?
I would. I and many greater authors have been working hard to keep this succubus in her proper place: the trash can. Mary Sue is one of the worst enemies of good fiction, second only to poor spelling and grammar. And the seductress tempts even the most cautious writer. Her many disguises can make her difficult to spot, allowing her to weave her way into every plot twist and turn, slowly destroying the author's work. By the time shes found, she may have done so much damage that the
Edge of Thorns - Pt 2Part 2Edge of Thorns - Pt 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As much as I hate to admit it, the more time I waste getting to the police station, the less of a chance I have to get my car back. I should have just called from the newspaper's office, but it's too late for that now. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and go with him.
Gives me more time to figure out why he makes me uneasy, at least.
"Well... I guess that makes sense," Nathan said, rubbing the back of his head. "Just around the corner, you say?"
Alton nodded, smiling eagerly. He shifted the books he was carrying to his other arm and motioned for Nathan to follow him, starting down the sidewalk. "Actually, it's one store down from the shop at the intersection up ahead, but that's close enough. Mind if I ask your name?"
"No, not at all!" he lied, jogging to catch up with him, cringing that he now had to tell him. "It's Nathan."
"Nathan..." Alton hummed and chuckled a bit, looking over his shoulder towards him. "I'm sorry for your unfortunate, uh, welcome to Virtu
Edge of Thorns - Pt 7Part 7Edge of Thorns - Pt 73 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
There's no way I'm going to make another idiot mistake like running off without paying my bill. Alton is creepy enough as is. I don't need to give him a reason to be angry with me. What he doesn't know won't hurt me...
Nathan shook his head, not releasing Avery's hand until the teen lowered his head in defeat, making it clear that -- as much as he may have wanted to -- he wasn't going to open the door. With a sigh, he pressed his ear back against the door. Nathan rubbed the back of his head, moving next to Avery to join him. He could at least make that compromise.
"So what are you calling yourself these days, Lu?" The question came from the other voice, which Nathan just knew he'd heard before. "Something clever, no doubt."
The shopkeeper chuckled. "I don't think so. The name is Alton. Alton Sterling, and you have my adoptive father to praise for that. I prefer not to choose my own name, unlike you." His voice suddenly dropped, becoming serious and dark. "Th
Edge of Thorns - Pt 27Part 27Edge of Thorns - Pt 273 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I won't leave him, but if I call for an ambulance, there's a lot of explaining I'll need to do, and it won't look good on me at all. I guess that means...
"Stay there," the writer repeated. "I'll be right back. Just... yeah..." He hurried into the kitchen, looking back until there was no way he could see Alton or Alton could see him. There was only one way he knew he could get Gabriel's attention, and he needed to do it quickly. Nathan spotted the knife block and didn't hesitate, drawing out the first knife he could get his hands on. He'd scarcely brought the blade his wrist when he felt the chill of the angel's presence.
"What did I tell you about..."
"Oh thank God!" Nathan dropped the knife and whirled around, startling Gabriel with an abrupt hug. Without any explanation he grabbed his arm, dragging him into the living room where Alton was still curled next to the coffee table. Adonis had draped himself over his owner's legs and mewed at them, and before Nathan
Edge of Thorns - Pt 23Part 23Edge of Thorns - Pt 233 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
When I was asking questions, I wanted straight answers. It wouldn't be right for me to not give Avery that same privilege.
The writer swallowed back the knot that had grown in his throat. He had to tell him. "Gabriel is the angel of death," he explained. He watched the teen carefully, wondering how he would take this news, wondering if he should say any more.
Avery stared at him a moment longer before his gaze turned back to Gabriel. It was hard to tell whether the look on his face was fear, sadness, or some mixture, but the angel smiled at him gently. "Your parents," he said softly. "You were only a child when you lost them. You were very close to joining them yourself..." He waited, but Avery was silent. The angel's brows furrowed and he tilted his head. "You're not going to ask me why?"
Avery looked down at his plate and shook his head. "I don't think Death needs a reason. It's your job, right? To take peoples' lives when it's their time to die..."
Edge of Thorns - Pt 22Part 22Edge of Thorns - Pt 223 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I don't want to get the kid's hopes up, but he should at least be comfortable here for the month I have him. If I can, I'll let him stay, and if not... well, maybe I can make better arrangements for him than hiding in his friend's basement.
"Avery," Nathan said, unable to look at him. "After Alton cures you (or whatever), and you don't have to worry about Micah trying to cut off your head, if I've gotten a job and can afford it, you're welcome to stay for the winter." He cringed a little, worried this was going to come back to bite him as he turned to face the teen. "I can't make any promises though."
Avery shrugged again, but nodded. "I understand. I know what it's like, after all. Not being able to afford stuff, I mean."
The conversation had become very awkward very fast, and the writing kick Nathan had been on came to an abrupt halt. He sighed, saving his work and folding his laptop closed. There had to be something he could say to get past the uncomf
Edge of Thorns - Pt 18Part 18Edge of Thorns - Pt 183 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
On second thought, it doesn't really matter if I believe him or not, does it? Still, it makes great writing material
"That's oddly logical," Nathan admitted, smiling while he considered the details. "And actually makes a lot of sense. I would have never thought of the story like that."
Alton laughed and shook his head. "Oh, I'm sure you would have. You're very creative, Nathan, and clever. I have no doubt that if, for some reason, you ever decided to use me as a protagonist in one of your stories, you would conjure up something very similar." The doorbell chimed from downstairs, and the shopkeeper looked out the window. "Oh good; he went to the back door like he was supposed to. Nathan, would you mind answering the door while I get some plates? Just turn right instead of left when you exit the stairwell: the back door is for my apartment."
"Good to know." Nathan had no problems hopping up to answer the door, casting a quick glance at the other man befo
Edge of Thorns - Pt 16Part 16Edge of Thorns - Pt 163 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I'm not going to let him intimidate me. I want answers, and if I have to swallow my fears and browbeat him to get them, then so be it!
"Deal with it," Nathan sneered right back, never tearing his gaze from Alton's. "If I can't trust you to be straight with me, then I'll just have to make doubly sure you're telling me everything I need to know."
The other man drew in a long breath, a thin, devious smile spreading across his lips. "Really? And how do you plan on doing that, Mr. Keene?" Something flickered at the edge of Nathan's vision: glimpses of shadows, parts of Alton's form shifting. For a moment, he could have sworn he saw wings. Alton chuckled, his smile widening. "Have you forgotten who I am? I admit, I admire your audacity, but you should really think things through before you do something as foolish as challenge Lucifer himself."
The longer Nathan kept his focus on the shopkeeper, the harder it was for him not to shake, and his words made the painful knot
Edge of Thorns - Pt 21Part 21Edge of Thorns - Pt 213 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Micah's after Avery, not me. I have to stop him!
Before Nathan could think better of it, he ran back, putting himself between Micah and the teen. He crossed his arms in front of him and braced himself for the assault. "I don't care if you're an angel; I'm not going to let you kill him!"
Micah stopped short of his charge, hand still gripped tightly around the hilt of his weapon. "You do not know what you are doing, Nathan," he growled, just barely containing his anger. "If we let him live, his power will flourish. He will be corrupted, more dangerous. More lives will be lost. The sacrifice of one will save many."
"You mean the sacrifice of seven will save a few." Alton had caught up to them and supported himself against the doorframe, his glasses askew. "Please, Michael. His power is a golden touch. As long as he doesn't touch anyone "
"And if he does?" he countered, turning towards him again. "You remember what happened the last time someone was given this po
Edge of Thorns - Pt 10Part 10Edge of Thorns - Pt 103 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I should really start looking into some anti-psychotics, but if I'm not as insane as I think I am, then the Devil himself is sitting on my living room sofa and I've agreed to help him.
It took a moment for Nathan to find his voice again. "I think I'll stick with you. I've already pissed Micah -- Michael... whoever, angel guy -- off. That last thing a need to do is make him think I can't make up my mind."
Alton laughed from across the room, pushing his glasses up the edge of his nose. "That's a good possibility." He pat the seat next to him. "Come on, Nathan. I promise I don't bite. You have more questions for me, don't you?"
"Yes, but they can just as easily be answered at this distance." Nathan still wasn't comfortable with the news that Alton was Lucifer, not so much because he believed him, but because Alton might believe himself. It didn't matter if Nathan was skeptical: if the shopkeeper truly thought he was the Devil, then he was going to act a
Roderick's ElegyMadeline, oh my dreamy Madeline,Roderick's Elegy5 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
My madness and my despair.
Why did they bury you that day?
Cold was your skin, colder your stare.
Madeline, I weep now as I recall;
And I speak of you, Madeline.
They say I am truly going insane,
That my nostalgia is my sin.
Madeline, do you remember when
We went to a picnic in the park?
You didnt break that wooden pony,
Madeline, you broke my heart.
I said I didnt want your duty,
Madeline, did you understand?
I had made of you a paper queen,
In my castle built of sand.
Madeline, we danced and you were glad,
How beautifully you laugh!
One and two and three now turn!
Madeline, rejoice on my behalf
They say now, heh, that you are dead,
My Madeline? Liars! Its a trick!
Hah! Did you think you can make me drink?
Not even if beaten by a stick!
If she will do it, so will I!
Madeline, didnt you hate milk?
And they laid her in a slender coffin;
In white flowers and black silk.
Madeline is sleeping, her
An Essay on Naming CharactersWhat's In a Name?An Essay on Naming Characters8 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
An Essay on Naming Characters
By Kate Logan
When it comes to character creation, be it for a story or an illustration, choosing the proper name for a character is vital. All too often do I see characters with poorly thought-out names: the chivalrous knight Darren Starhawk; the sweet, innocent Lady Elvira; or the rough-and-tumble brawler Poindexter. On their own, these names are fine (even Starhawk, if you're going for a sci-fi flare), but they simply don't work with the characters they are describing. No one is going to take poor old Poindexter seriously, no matter how big his muscles are. To remedy this catastrophe, here are a few tips and guidelines when naming characters.
First, a little game. Below is a list of several of my characters and a brief description of each, all mixed up and out of order. Try to correctly match the name to the character description. The answers are at the end of this essay (no peeking!).
1. Senshi Meijin
Edge of Thorns - Pt 39Part 39Edge of Thorns - Pt 392 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I can't let Avery die...
Nathan held the shard steady until Wren came into view. The teen froze, eyes widening, but he couldn't let him hesitate. "Wren! Get over here now!" That got him going, though he kept as far away from the angel as he could when he jogged up to them. The writer shifted Avery up so he could take him, but kept his gaze on Gabriel. "Get him out of here," Nathan said as calmly as he could. "Call an ambulance and get him to a hospital."
Wren nodded quickly. "What...?"
He didn't have to be told again. Hefting Avery up as best as he could, Wren dragged him back down the tunnel, hurrying out while Nathan continued to stare down Death. The angel was less than happy.
"Let me do my job," he demanded, the air around him becoming so cold Nathan could see his breath. "It's his time."
"Not if I can help it."
He couldn't risk waiting any longer. Nathan gripped the shard, his heart racing, pulled his hand back and jabbed the glass into his neck. T
Edge of Thorns - Pt 38Part 38Edge of Thorns - Pt 382 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Releasing Michael probably won't help Avery any more than waiting will. I'll have to distract him with one of his belongings so Lumiel can do whatever it is he needs to do before Gabriel gets to him. This could be painful...
"I don't know what you're talking about," Lumiel said, eerily echoing Nathan's question. The writer was sure he did, but just like him, he was trying to buy time. Again, Avarice rolled his eyes.
"Give me a break; you know exactly what I'm talking about," the Sin mocked him. "You might be a force of chaos, but even that is tempered. For one, you can't attack anyone directly unless directly attacked first, and I know better than to do that."
"Ha! That's a lie!" Lumiel smirked, lifting his chin in cocky protest. "I can name at least a hundred individuals I have accosted before, all without provocation. Job, for instance, and his family. You can't say I didn't attack them."
"Ah, but not directly. All the pain you inflicted on him was
Edge of Thorns - Pt 33Part 33Edge of Thorns - Pt 333 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It's been a while since my so-called dabbling into the occult, but I think I've got this figured out...
The writer held his chin, looking at where Alton had already placed the candles. "Is that green one set at the north?" After the angel nodded, he felt more at ease. "Okay, good. You go stand there, Alton."
"Why?" Avery asked. "If you don't mind my curiosity."
"Not at all," Nathan assured him, picking up the blue candle and switching it with the yellow one across from it, careful not to step into the circle. "Hopefully, I'm remembering this correctly, but north is associated with the element of earth, which is associated with the color green, and since Alton is arguably the most down-to-earth person here, it was the only place it made sense for him to stand."
The shopkeeper chuckled, and Nathan ignored the knowing smirk that spread across the other man's lips.
"Gabriel, you stand over there," he continued. "By the blue candle." The other man giggled and bounced h
Edge of Thorns - Pt 31Part 31Edge of Thorns - Pt 313 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I definitely need to tell Alton, but it probably isn't safe to try and get Avery there. I'll summon him.
Nathan held his hands up. "Avery, please, calm down," he said. "Alton was working on a way to fix this; maybe it's done. Just... just trust me for a minute and let's go inside. I'll call him over. We'll fix this. We'll fix this..."
"We'll fix this," Avery echoed quietly, his steps slowing until he stopped. "Okay." He sighed and began walking back towards Nathan. The writer released the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding and wrapped his arm around the teen's shoulders (in case he tried to run again), ushering him into the apartment.
He guided him into the bathroom to grab a towel and toss it to him, then grabbed his notebook. Pen in hand, Nathan stared at the page for a moment, still unsure about this invoking thing, but then wrote out Lumiel's signature. "God, I hope this works..."
"It does." Alton stood behind him, casually cleaning his glasses. "Gabr
Edge of Thorns - Pt 29Part 29Edge of Thorns - Pt 293 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I should probably skip the obvious one for now, though I am curious...
"What are you going to say to Micah?"
The angel stopped humming, stopped walking, and turned to Nathan with a tilt of his head. "Why? Isn't it obvious?" He crossed his arms and closed his eyes. "I don't approve of their relationship, more specifically how Micah treats Alton. I intend to encourage Alton to leave him, and I want Micah to let him go." He opened his eyes, sighing as he smiled sadly. "I know neither of them will listen though."
Nathan shook his head. "I still don't understand," he said. "Aren't Michael and Lucifer supposed to be bitter enemies? I mean, I can understand why they fight; that much makes perfect sense. But how...?"
"... Did bitter enemies become intimate lovers?" Gabriel finished for him, then laughed. "Because they aren't just enemies, Nathan. They counter each other, but they also compliment each other." When all he got was another baffled stare, he explained.
Umineko - Ballroom of HellThe clock struck 24:00Umineko - Ballroom of Hell4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
On this golden moonlit night
The Guests began to file out
Humans, Witches and Demons quite a sight
A group of men with heads of goats
Began to play such an uncanny symphony
Yet the guests began to dance
Despite the offbeat harmony
The Servant and the Lady
The Man and his maid
And the little witch and her lion
All danced unfazed and unafraid
The Finite Witch and the demon of Gaps
Put on quite an amusing show
The black cat danced with the Absolute Witch
The rabbits waited to sew
Seven sisters stood alert
The sisters named from sin
The demon ranked 27
Would stand bearing a grin
Grand Doors had opened
And all had stopped to praise
The Endless Witch and her mate
Who entered through upon their gaze
Remaining on their small balcony
The pair danced, spun and twirled
The rabbits released the golden thread
Around the room it weaved and swirled
Around the two it went
Constricted by golden light
This moment would not have been ruined
If such a commotion did not ignite