Thursday, January 12, 2012

Drop the Needle #7

TITLE: The Forces of Heaven and Hell Alike
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Liam, a demon who saves more souls than he condemns, has been in a committed relationship with the angel Mikael for centuries. Neither Heaven nor Hell knows of their secret affair and they'd like to keep it that way. Isabel is an angel who wounded Liam in a minor confrontation the previous day, drawing the attention of the archangel Gabriel. He wants to use her as a soldier in a coming, larger battle against Liam, but she's young and must be properly trained.

“That's not the end of my news,” Mikael said, his voice unsteady.

Liam looked over to him, waiting, but the angel seemed in no hurry to reveal what else he needed to say.
Mikael closed his eyes, drawing in a deep breath like he was trying to center himself before he spoke again. He opened his eyes, his gaze steady on Liam. “Isabel's been paired with a more advanced angel.”

“Huh, okay,” Liam said, trying to contemplate what that might mean. “And what's this advanced angel supposed to do with her?”

“He's going to take her out on assignments and train her in the proper ways.”

“And?” Liam waited for Mikael to continue. He knew there was more that the angel wasn't telling him.

Mikael dropped his head, speaking to the floor rather than looking at Liam. “It's me.”

Liam was silent for a moment, stunned at the admission and unable to form a proper response. Finally, he managed. “What?”

“Gabriel thought that I could teach her, get her ready for whatever he has planned for her.”

“The bitch stabbed me!” Liam pushed off the wall to stand closer to Mikael. He could feel the blood rushing to his face, the veins in his neck standing out against his skin.

“Yes, she did, and for that I'm sorry. But she proved herself to Gabriel by doing so.”


  1. I liked this--premise, characters, dialogue, twist. The only catch I noticed was when Liam's veins stood out against his skin. I thought we were in Liam's POV, so to describe them that way, seemed odd, since he can't see his neck. Otherwise, nicely done!

  2. I like this, especially the reluctance that Mikael has to tell Liam the news.
    I want to know more, how else Liam reacts. I get the impression that he is a "slow build before explosion" kind of guy?

  3. I like this. I've read other snippets during other critiquing sessions and always liked it. I just wanted to say that I have no problem with describing the veins in Liam's neck. It's a good way to show that he's peeved without saying he's peeved. With so much anger, he probably feels like his head is going to explode, hence the whole vein popping. So yea, I just wanted to add my opinion.:)

  4. I like the premise a lot. I think it's kind of funny that the angels have a very modern way of speaking. I like the relationships, though in such a short snippet it's hard to get a true handle on them. In this sentence - 'drawing in a deep breath like he was trying to center himself ', it would be 'as if he were trying'.

    For a phrase like 'speaking to the floor rather than looking at Liam' you don't need the 'rather than looking at Liam' - it's implied.

    Good luck with this!

  5. Smart premise.

    Other's have offered other examples, mine are:

    Liam was silent for a moment, stunned at the admission and unable to form a proper response. Finally, he managed. “What?”
    The room was silent for a moment before Liam managed, "What?"
    or even
    Stunned, Liam finally managed, "What?"

    Simple sentences do not make a writer simple.

    The dialogue is stilted. Maybe something comes before the sentence "and that's not the end of my news" that makes that flow better, but as presented, that's formal for a conversation between two lovers.


    "and that's not the end of my news"
    "There's more"

    You should trim at least 10% of this.

  6. I think other people have given some good ideas on changes for this section. I just wanted to say I'd be interested in reading this to see how training the girl will affect their relationship. And whether or not these two will stay together, if their relationship will be brought out into the open, or if they'll turn on each other.

    Good luck.