Thursday, September 11, 2008

Drop The Needle #23

Title: Loyal to the Death
Genre: science fantasy

Ice turned away.

She snarled at his retreating back and looked at her reflection again with a more critical eye. He was right, even in the golden candlelit glow of the ballroom she was going to look plain. But she didn’t have the bright dresses with the ostentatious jewels that other families used to make their dowdy daughters appealing. I’m beautiful, but not stunning.

“Here.” Ice came in from the adjoining room holding something silver.

“What is that?” She went to her tippy-toes to peek into his cupped hands.

“A necklace. Turn around.”

She twisted, scowling at him in the mirror. “Weres don’t wear necklaces, Ice. It’s like putting a collar on.”

“You’ll be fine.” He reached around her shoulders, dropping the pendant at her neck and clasping the necklace behind her. The chain vanished against her skin.

Tempest leaned closer to the mirror. “It’s the symbol for Dragon Guarding.”

“With a circle around it, to signify that you are protected by the Dragon Guarding,” Ice said, he sounded tense.

“Why do you have this necklace?”

He pressed his lips together like he was debating how much to tell her. “I bought it for my wife. To give to her when I met her.”

She reached back to take the necklace off. “She is going to be furious! You don’t loan out your wife’s jewelry, Ice!”

He caught her hands. “She’ll understand.”

Tempest narrowed her eyes, not quite believing him.

“In time, she’ll understand.”

Emotion: He's in love, she's the clueless (and temperamental) woman he's supposed to keep alive. They have an old history, her brother has tried to kill him multiple times and she's tried once or twice too. So, complicated pain, desire, and disgust.... one of the worst marriage proposals ever.


  1. Do I see a second submission by my friend? Or are my eyes tricking me?
    It's so cute! hehe. I feel the love in the air, and want to read on!

  2. The emotions I thought she felt were disappointment and then doubt. I didn't realize it was a marriage proposal until I highlighted the blurb at the bottom.

  3. I got it -- especially the she's clueless part.

  4. I got that he loved her and that it was a "coded" proposal.

    Because it was drop the needle, at first I thought Ice was the girl because the next sentence started with 'He', so I was a little confused in the first reading who was who.

    I liked the premise of the story, though and would keep reading.

  5. I also initially thought it was a proposal, until her comment. It seemed like she knew him so I wondered if he did have a wife...

    The main emotion I got from the piece was her anger and irritation.

  6. I got the proposal and her clueless reaction. Her irritation seems the most prevalant emotion.

  7. I thought the proposal was cute. I got that he's in love and she had no idea.

    Mostly, she seemed irritated or short tempered, and he seemed patient with her.

  8. She's annoyed at first, then puzzled.
    Without the comment, i wouldn't have understood this was a proposal (of course, 250 words make sthat difficult). Hilarious!

  9. That was a great proposal--mysterious but I definitely got it. It makes more sense that she missed it from the explanation you provided. Definitely romantic.

  10. The emotions are all over the map—anger to contemplativeness to interest to shock/surprise— with no seeming transitions in between. Though the emotions are identifiable, the feeling of being on a see-saw doesn’t work for me at all. Plus, the grammatical errors make it a bit difficult to slog though as well. Sorry.

  11. I got that is was a marriage proposal lol. I can't see how she didn't get the hint.

    There were a few emotions caught up in that scene, well done.

    I couldn't pin point just one though.

  12. I got that it was a marriage proposal, and thought it was an interesting piece. The first sentence was a little clumsy... but a great start

  13. Underlying love. Her unease, and not understanding his true meaning.

  14. She's certainly clueless. I didn't get that he was in love from the read through, but caught the marriage proposal at the end.

  15. I'd like to read this in the context of the whole story. I think the tension must be pretty high if you're already emotionally involved with these characters!

    She is completely clueless. And he is...well, awkward in romance, but that's not an emotion, is it? ;)

    I'd like to read on to the point where she "gets it."

  16. Who is SHE ? [likely a needle effect, but I was on guard watching to see if this was the boy-Ice or girl-Ice]

    Great descriptions.

    She's a snarly scowly thing, isn't she? :p


    I think that she's worried about the ball they're going to. And she's irritated by everything because she's worried.

    He's guarded - like he's trying to hide something. I don't really get emotions from him for that reason. Not necessarily a bad thing.

  17. Oooh, I LOVED this. Sounds like something I'd buy.