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Thursday, January 19, 2012

submission #2 & 3

#2
   Our village was small, only eleven families, (is the fact that the village is small important? Even if it is, I wonder if there might be a better place for this information since it doesn't seem to have much to do with this scene - imho.) so ten men hopped the fence to the corral. I followed, the brand held high over my head as I moved through the nervous herd, but I had erased enough of my scent that they were fooled. (This does not necessarily follow the preceding. How about a period after herd and then: Luckily I had erased enough of my scent to fool the herd into complacency.) With my body and free arm, I shoved flanks and elbowed ribs, pressing my way through. I searched for my father’s brand, the shape of a man’s hand, on each doe. When I found the first, she had two fawns cowering under her legs. Twins. One still with a fully white winter coat, the other with a few spots of dark showing through.

   Nothing quite prepares you for the scream.

   With my hip, I held one captive against its mother’s side as I branded the other fawn. The moment the hot stone burned through the thick, winter-coat and touched skin, the fawn shrieked and bolted. Instantly, the surrounding deer lunged and shoved, but I swung the brand over my head, twisted, and brought it down on the haunch of the second fawn. The second scream is was as bad as the first.

   The doe pushed after her two babies as they darted through the restless herd. Near the edge, other men and boys grabbed the limping fawns by the scruff of their necks, cracked the gate, and allowed the twins and their mother escape the corral. As their white coats blended into the snowy forest and disappeared, I whispered a quick prayer to Ovis, god of the forest, to protect them. Tomorrow night I would leave an offering of deer tendon for him at the forest shrine.

Aside from single comment above, this is a good description of the branding event and the reference to Ovis tells us that this is a different world than the one we know. I'm also curious about why the doe and her fawns were released. However I also wonder whether it would be so easy for a single person to hold a struggling fawn in order to brand it. I only say this because I work at a vet and it can sometimes take three people to hold an uncooperative dog for a nail trim and sometimes even then we can't do it.


#3
From MINGLED, YA paranomal dystopian. 

Lead in: Macie just snuck (yeah, spell check doesn't like this word but my old American Heritage dictionary says it's a word so poo on spell check) out the house and met up with Thane, her best friend and crush. The author would like to know if this kissing scene works - or not.

   “You bleed for the undead now, but that can change when you graduate.  I can take care of you.  In a way, I always wanted to, ever since I met you.  We’re not kids anymore.  I dared you to come tonight because you need to know how I really feel about you.  Maybe see how you feel…”

   I finally took a breath.  Words found their way out unfiltered, “I…you…me…this…how…”

   He cut me off with a kiss.  Just a light brush of his soft lips against mine.  It was unexpected, unbelievable and beautiful.  By some instinct, I closed my eyes and my lips parted, allowing him to further the kiss into something more passionate.  At least I hoped it was passion.  It felt like fire brewing deep within my belly, flaming up to my heart and spreading wild and fierce to every part of me.  My fingertips tingled, my
breaths, shallow for the rare second our lips parted.  His hand left my chin.  His long arms wrapped around my waist, pulling our bodies closer together.  I’d spent many nights dreaming of what this moment would be like.  None of those fantasies prepared me for the heat, the blaze threatening to consume me from the inside out.


Ordinarily the more inner dialogue the better, but for some reason, here I want less. I just want to know how this kiss feels because let's face it, we don't think too much when we kissing, there is no thought - or very little. A kiss is a sensation and the only time it gets analyzed is after it's over. Here's how I'd change this:

“You bleed for the undead now, but that can (can or will? Just asking) change when you graduate.  I can take care of you.  In a way, I always wanted to, ever since I met you.  We’re not kids anymore.  I dared you to come tonight because you need to know how I really feel about you.  Maybe see how you feel…” His speech here feels a little awkward and stilted, especially in light of the fact he's about to kiss her but it also might make more sense if I'd read what came before.

   I finally took a breath.  Words found their way out unfiltered, “I…you…me…this…how…”

   His kiss silenced my words. Just a light brush of his soft lips against mine. I closed my eyes and my lips parted, wanting more. It felt like fire brewing deep within my belly, flaming up to my heart and spreading wild and fierce to every part of me.  My fingertips tingled, my breath came shallow, and when he pulled me closer I leaned in, wanting to be consumed by that blaze.

That's not perfect either - far from it - but you get the idea. 

Now, what about the rest of you? What do you think would make this kiss blaze a little hotter?

4 comments:

1000th.monkey said...

Thanks for your comments on #2 :)

I'm really surprised there aren't more... since this is just fresh, first-draft material.

This was the last half of a scene, so don't worry, the village/scent things were already talked about earlier in the scene.

I'm certainly no expert on branding animals... but I have been in corrals with sheep or cattle before. If you're calm when you're pushing through them, they really don't care a whole lot how much you shove them, 'cause they're all shoving each other too, so I figured a very young deer would probably only spook the moment it actually got burned as long as no one is trying to hold their neck or something, 'cause that's how a predator would try to kill them :p

If anyone knows better, I'd love some comments on that!

Angela Brown said...

The only thing about the branding scene is that I had a bit of difficulty picturing one person pinning down two fawns, or at least pinning down the one while being able to get at the other without the mother interfering. Otherwise, I agree with what mshatch mentioned.

The kissing scene. I like how you tightened it up, adds to the intensity fo the moment.

Brooke R. Busse said...

#3: On more tension, I feel like the sentences should be shorter. More... I can't really think how to explain it right. Your descriptions are beautiful, but it kind of bogs down the moment. Does that make more sense?

Tara Tyler said...

these are both great scenes! i'd like to know more about each story!
#2 i agree with the easy for one faun, harder & would need more help w/second and is this the first time?)
#3 pick one sentence to leave out of his speech and less is more for the kissing scene, beaautiful descriptions!
intensity felt from both pieces!