Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #14

TITLE: The Blessed Crow
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Ignorant about magic, the townspeople wrongly accuse Cassandra, a despised and feared Charon, for luring in the ghouls that have been ravaging their city. As head of the tribunal, Roland must exile her from the city until the boundary is mended, and the ghouls are once again contained.

Roland led Cassandra through the foyer, down the small flight of steps, and to the towering doors of the entrance. He gazed at her, an unmistakably deterrent gesture, and proceeded to thrust open the doors.

The heated uproar of the people deafened her.

Angry torches blazed in the night. There were too many voices. Too many scents. Too many faces. Her surroundings, her emotions, smothered her. She was suffocating. She had to escape.

Of all the people around Cassandra, only a little girl was brave enough to approach her, a Charon. She beat her tiny fists into Cassandra's abdomen. "You killed my mama!" she screamed. "You killed her!"

Cassandra raised her hands to catch the girl's wrists, but they merely hung there, useless. "I... I didn't-" She was trembling. Her heart was pounding wildly. The crowd only seemed to grow louder, more furious.

Cassandra dashed into the Citadel, slamming the doors behind her entry. She pressed her back to the wall, her chest racked with stifled sobs and ragged breaths.

Roland's plump, red face did not echo his people's wishes. All to be seen was sympathy and regret. "You will leave before daybreak."

Cassandra shut her eyes and nodded. He left her to her thoughts.

She sank the floor, knees drawn to her chin and her white cloak pooled around her. She held her head in her hands. Their shouts still pounded on the walls of her mind and the little girl's fists against her stomach.

She had only known one home her entire life, only one place she ever truly belonged. And she would leave it tomorrow.


  1. I definitely get the emotion here and find it very realisitic for a person in Cassandra's situation. Confusion, fear, helplessness...
    Well done.

  2. The paragraph that starts with "Angry torches ...." is beautiful writing.

    But then I thought the action moved too quickly from the little girl to wherever she is at the end of this excerpt.

    Otherwise I thought you did a good job capturing the emotions here.

  3. I got what your MC was feeling, but I didn't feel what she was feeling, and I think it's because this is mostly told, rather thn shown.

    You tell us the crowd is loud and angry, but I'm not hearing them and I'm not seeing their angry faces. You say her emotions smothered her, but what are those emotions? How are they smothering her? Perhaps show that. You say Roland's face showed empathy and regret. Perhaps allow Roland to actively show his empathy and regret by a kind word or deed. Showing all these things will help make this stronger all around.