Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Two (Adult Fiction) #5

GENRE: Sci-Fi Fantasy

The torrential downpour I’d created by blowing up my ship in the atmosphere turns my father, and the legion of demons writhing below our feet, to ash.

I spread my arms and tilt my face to Jupiter, the gas giant forever painting Callisto’s sky, like I’d done countless times as a child during a mid-summer rainstorm, and wait my turn to die. Nothing happens.

Well, not nothing. The water against my newly formed demon skin burns like a son of a bitch. More like, granddaughter of Lucifer. But I’m more than just a demon. I’m also human. Or, I was. Apparently, a soul is a hard thing to kill.

As the mound below me dissolves, absorbed by the massive size of the lake underneath, I realize that my plan to save what’s left of my father’s tarnished human-turned-demon soul isn’t going to be as easy as I think.

I wade to the shore as smoke and sulfur billow up my nose from the frothy mess and stink of demon death. If I thought standing in the rain sucked, taking an early evening swim sucked more. A lot more.

At least it’s summer when the water is warm, even at night. Thank God for small miracles, if God even listens to me anymore. Maybe He never did.

I finally reach the water’s edge and dig clawed feet into sandstone the color of coagulated blood flecked green with shards of shale. But the relief is fleeting. Though I’m free from the excruciating caress of water, I’m now touching land. My body tenses as I wait for wave after wave of more demons to descend on the valley from whatever circle of Hell Ashmedai claims. Or claimed, before my mother killed him.

I wait…and wait. Again, nothing. This time, I’m grateful for the lack. It seems that ending my human life—the one thing preventing me from turning demon—shut the gateway created when I was born, linking Hell to the Valhalla River Basin here on Callisto. That, or there aren’t any demons left in the Prince of Hell’s army.

The rain relents its brutal assault on my skin. I wet my lips and search the surrounding hills for signs of movement. If by some miracle a demon survived, I’m ready to whistle the enchanting tune my father taught me as a child. The song leads demons to their death. But I’m exhausted by the strain of killing an army. I’d rather lie in the grass and sleep forever. Or die.

That would be better. That’s what I had intended. The rain was supposed to be my one-way ticket into Gehenna, the place where demons with souls go when they die. It’s a realm controlled by the Fallen One himself, my grandfather, Lucifer. Maybe he’ll let me in if I ask nicely. We’re family after all.


  1. Your concept is intriguing, but there is so much going on, especially in the first few paragraphs, that it's difficult to keep reading. The reader has no clue what's going on and is thrown into this scene. Consider not introducing so much all at once.

  2. This has an awful lot going on, references to enormous cataclysmic events from the past. It makes it hard to follow and hard to focus on your main character. Maybe strip it down a little to focus on your MC and how his sacrifice has gone awry and what the consequences of that might be.

  3. I like the overall concept ans especially the first sentence; it let's the reader know some big scale, nasty things are about to happen. (although I thought the MC was alone and the demons turn to ash under our feet)

    There is a lot going on, it took me three readings to understand everything that is happening and I'm not entirely sure I got it all.

    Maybe if you focus on the MC not dying when she expected to for a few more paragraphs before you bring in the father and the transformation of the MC into a demon it might flow more easily.

  4. Like others have already said, there's a busy-ness (both action, description, and woven-in context) that could overwhelm a reader, and I did find myself really having to slow down to digest what I was reading. My sense from the dramatic opening visual is that we should be processing this scene fast, though.

    To help plunge the reader into an interesting situation, but reduce some of the immediate kinetic stuff happening, you might consider opening the scene with her wading up onto shore, or thereabouts. From there, she can survey herself for damage/transformation, the landscape for wreckage and confirmation of her father's loss and her enemies' destruction, and so on.

    I think the situation here can really work as an opening - but it might need to be picked up a few frames further into the film, so to speak.

    Good luck revising!

  5. Yeah, I have no idea what is going on.

    There's a lot going in the first sentence.

    This is how I read it:

    1. There is a torrential downpour. Cool.

    2. Your MC created it. Cool.

    3. She blew up her ship. Cool. (which created the torrential downpour. Why is this out of chronological order?)

    4. In the atmosphere. (Don't have any idea what this looks like.)

    5. (It?) turns her father. What? I have no idea what "it" is referring to.

    6. The legion of demons writing below our feet. (They are standing on demons? What? Like a mound of demons? What do they look like?)

    8. The demons turn to ash. (Are they standing on ash now?)

    Yeah, you need to slow this wayy down. You need to restructure this entire sentence and break it up.

  6. Thanks everyone. Your comments are super helpful! :-)