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Thread: Requiem of a Dream

  1. #51
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    O.O............................................... ....whoa.

    This is deep. Something real deep. I like the way you made Pollux...so deep and unburdened. He cares for Castor but won't bug him about his problems. Castor too is very cool. All in all, very nice work. Not my kind of fic, but you're seriously getting me hooked. Later!
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  2. #52

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    Very observant of you, there. Thanks for reviewing. I understand if it's not your type of fic, some people don't like Pokemon POVs. Ah well, can't please everybody.

  3. #53
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    Don't get me wrong... the POV aspect is cool. Getting wrapped around mystery is awesome too. It's just the dark and (uh, macabre a good word here?) start has me a little wowed. i like where this is going. An Absol who wishes not to be a bringer of Disaster is cool. I like Castor's desire to fight against the world's idea of him. it's cool, and i'll keep reading to see if he'll make it. Later!
    P.S. I'm also thinking of a short Pokemon POV sometime next year. This vac seems to be all about typing...heh, heh.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  4. #54

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    I'll look forward to that Pokemon POV of yours - I like those. Hopefully you'll write it sometime in the very near future.

  5. #55
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    Since you gave my preview a shot, I only thought it would be fair if I gave your fic a shot. Absol-utly beautiful.*Hides face after saying pun* The description was lovely and set the mood perfectly for the mysterious feel. Your charaters are lovely although I can't really see where the plot is heading. Negrek has already pointed out your mistakes so all I can really say is good luck with this fic!
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  6. #56

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    Mm... The plot is coming - the Prelude alluded to the plot.. though It'll take a few chapters to really get into it. Thanks for reviewing.

  7. #57
    Calcos the Destroyer Guest

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    *Appears out of Wormhole* OOOFFF!! Hey I can control these! ....Hey, I remember this! *reads* WHOA. Seriously whoa. Great introduction to Pollux, I now have gruesome images dancing in my head due to their dreams! AAAK!! *poof*

  8. #58
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    Good chapter. Too short for my liking, but then again I'm the type who absolutely loves ten thousand word chapters. But not to worry, if the length fits then use it I always say...well not really, but you get the point.

    I kind of caught on that Pollux was a shiny at the mention of his face. Also on the topic of Pollux, I love his personality. That quiet-observant, slightly detached kind of personality always attracts me, and his is rather like my own. I like the names, by the way, though I know nothing of astrology astronomy, so the origins of their names escaped me.

    So it was all a dream, or was it a vision of what’s to come? The former would be rather disappointing as Negrek said. But does this mean that the mawhile isn’t gone, at least not for now?

    Anyway, it’s good and I look forward to the next instalment. ‘til next time then.

  9. #59
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    Hey Saffire, after you made my banner, I decided to come and have a look at your story. I read it twice, resorting to just skimming over it, because it seemed so hard to immerse myself in it. It's not easy reading, it's not an airport novel...you know those things...I've forgotten the metaphor, but yeah. Today, I read it again, and sunk into it comfortably. I inalyl understood what was going on, and I love it. I love the dark, (I'm gonna steal that other guys word) macabre sense you're bringing to the whole thing, and the snese of mystery. The story hasn't even really started yet, so I'll be interested to see how the plot shapes up.

    I'll just go through and quote things I liked, and some things which I thought made it a little difficult to read the first time through. I commend you and revere you, simply because I noticed, as I was reading the prologue, that it was last edited earlier today. That's amazing, very professional, nothing like anything I could do. Fr that reason, I was going to go through and point out some spellign mistakes I found, but I was skimming to get the quotes (again) and I couldn't find them. They are there, somewhere....

    Anyway, yeah, I'll just go thrugh the whole thign and comment on each piece of writing I'd like to comment on- as opposed to splitting all my comments into nice and nasty things, I'll go through everything in chronological order- I always find it easier when reviewers do it like that. I've probably noticed lots more bad things than good things, but that's because they're easier to find when you're skimming- and the fact that i have given you such a good review is proof that I loved it, if I didnt love every sentence of it. Right, here it is then...

    Thunder rumbled ominously across the midnight sky, while chilling rain pelted the earth below, mixing with the soggy dirt and grass. The wind was a violent maelstrom of activity, swirling and buffeting all the unfortunates that had chosen to weather out the storm, outside and unprotected. The sky above was clouded, darkened with a thousand shades of black. The stars and moon were all but gone, swallowed entirely by the dark, malicious clouds that now blanketed the sky above the city. They were greedy, swallowing everything that came into their path, blanketing the world below in darkness.
    First paragraph- it's wonderful. Really descriptive, very evocative. I can tell you went to a lot of effort to make this paragraph so beautiful. However, the first two times I read it, it turned me off the whole story immediatly. I think the biggest problem you have as a writer is that you tend to use too many adjectives, and the reader gets bogged down in imagining it all at once. An example of this is when you say things like "dark, malicious clouds" where you could just choose one, and say "malicious clouds" instead. Simplifying text is a good way of making description more powerful to readers, bcause they pick it up wuicker. Don't make descriptions too difficult to imagine, they should be as easy as possible to conjure up in someones mind.
    I loved "They were greedy" talking about the clouds, that was the best description in your entire story so far, really evocative, I understood what you meant straight away. However, you went on to explain it- "swallowing everythign that came into their path"..which was kind of already there, and didn't really need to be said- another way to simplify a description- and you had already used swallowing in the sentence before. Using the same word twice in short succession is the simplest way of destroying its meaning to the reader- once you've read swallowing already, it doesn't provoke such a strong image the second time. Get rid of one of them, and replace it with something that means the same thing.

    The thunder’s voice seemed to echo that statement, voice laced with unprecedented malice. It was mocking them, especially mocking him.
    I love personification usually, but "especially mocking him" doesn't make sense to me. Who's "him"? Is it the clouds? Is it castor, before you've introduced him? This is another example of overdescription- just keep it simple, don't make it too hard to understand.

    For what?

    A friend. A light in the darkness.
    I love how Castor is askign himself questions- it makes a reader ask the same question. This is one bit that grabbed my attention when I first skimmed through- a light in the darkness, kind of corny, but also reminded me of Alexi's dream, so I can't really talk.

    All of his attention had been devoted to that one task: finding her. It was a simple task that anyone should have been able to do. But he had failed . . . again.
    I love the fact we don't know who "she" is. Grabbed my attention right away.

    To think the things that occurred in the realm of imaginary could be so much more terrible than the things that existed realm of reality.
    This is a lovely idea, and I can get what you're trying to say, but the wording makes it hard to understand, which isn't good. It seems liek the sentence isn't finished yet. Maybe just word it differently.

    Even the dark could not protect him from the scene before him. Castor saw the blood, the twisted bodies, and most of all, the shadowed faces in all their hellish glory. He had seen this all before, but that did not take away the sting – the sting the pain, fear, and revulsion that he had been left to deal with from the first encounter.
    Here's another example of over-description. "protect him from the scene before him" is kind of an overuse of "him", but "the sting(add a comma here), the pain, (the?)fear and revulsion that he had been left to deal with from the first encounter.- is too complicated. Sting, fear and pain are all good words, but are overused and so lose their effect. revulsion is great- but they're dead bodies, maybe a bit more emphasis on the revulsion would be better. Emphasis is somethign you tend to lose track of too- make sure you know exactly what picture you want your readers to have in their head after they're read something, so that they're left with powerful words that make an impact, and understand what's going on. That happened in the beginning part where Absol was on a rooftop as well- it took me a while to realise Absol was on a roftop, I had to keep reminding myself of it. Maybe that's because you forget yourself, when you're writing.

    points as sharp as a Scyther’s blades,
    I love your pokemon anthropomorphism- only person I know to be able to pull it off and not seem corny, this description was so effective. Pokemon anthropomorphism is a long word...pokopomorphism is better. I'll say that from now on.

    He threw his spirit body aside, tearing himself away from the fibers that bound him to this alternate reality.
    Here's another bit where I got confused. A bit more emphasis on the "comign back to reality" part and less emphasis on the spirit body and the fibers- maybe don't use spirit body. it's really clever, but it confuses people. use mind, or something lik that instead, it'd make it easier to understand.

    The darkness that pervaded the cave was like a voluminous ebony cloak, thick and suffocating, chasing away any light that dared to try to shine through.
    More overdescription. You just don't need to use two adjectives to describe things all the time- "volumnious, ebony cloak"- either of those adjectives is great, but both kidn of takes away from the overall description, and just makes the sentence look more intelligent and wordy, rather than being more evocative. I think more 'as...as a...' descriptions would be good too- at the moment youre using lots of 'like a...' and 'was a...'- similies and metaphors, yeah, i know what they're called, I just forgot.

    The pathway was beginning to spiral downwards, a chill wind blowing from some unseen crack in the cavern’s walls.
    This is the first time you mention that the cave is in a spiral, and is heading downwards. That's really not clear enough in my mind for the next bit, which really relies on readers having a clear vision of a spiral cave which you could fall into, I only got that the third time I read it- another emphasis thing.

    His stability and sense of balance broken, Castor was only quick enough to avoid a lethal blow to the neck, the vice-like jaws instead snapping over his right forepaw with a hard, sickening crunch.
    This whole action sequence is kind of unclear and uses way too much description to be followed with as much excitement as you need to carry it off. especially in action scenes, strip the description down to a bare minimum, so that readers can follow everything, and it can all seem to happen very quickly. Also, try to avoid these Matrix/Jackie Chan-style action sequences, because they require too much description to be carried off in writing (they're only good on screen, when you can see everything that happens, and know exactly what it is right away).

    The great brown jaws spat out a great clump of white fur
    I loved this bit. Just so....evocative. See how such small, simple words create such a vivd image? Really, really impressive stuff, this. Oh- cept you used 'great' once too many times. Just replace it with a different word.

    It was a feminine voice, as sweet and pure as honey. A sweet fragrance reminiscent of wildflowers seemed to fill the air at the Mawile’s words as she twirled around, her second jaw making a clip clip noise.
    "As sweet and as pure as honey" is way overused, but it still worked. Maybe cut one of the adjective out- I wonder fi you really did think of the voice as pure, or were just running with the cliche. What else is honey, which relates to this voice? I think honey is a great way of describing it- the voice is sickly, golden, dripping, deep, sticky...etcetera, etcetera. It just makes description so much more effective if you always think of an unusual way to describe something. Also, "wildflowers" seemed unnecessary and very corny. Just "flowers" would suffice- what difference does it make here that they're wildflowers? maybe even wild flwoers would be better than wildflowers. It's just so corny.

    The Mawile noticed the Absol’s perplexed expression. Her grin became wider. Her angelic appearance was beginning to look far more sinister. “Dead.”

    “No!” Castor’s posture became rigid, jolting him out of his growing reverie.
    More corn (corny corn). it's so hard to have a dramatic scene without resorting to cliches, but surely, a talented creative writer liek you could think of somethign better than "No!"
    On the other hand, I loved Mawile's "dead." That worked perfectly, because of the way you led up to it.

    There was no sign of pursuit on the Mawile's part, her ruby eyes shifting down in what either could be curiosity or amusement. However, Castor knew it was only a matter of time before the Mawile got frustrated and attempted to catch up with him.
    The Mawile was using Iron Defense again, her laughter bouncing off the abyss’s walls. Despite the added weight, she appeared to be no closer to Castor then what she had been before. The Mawile appeared to have noticed this, shouting angrily: “Dead, dead, dead!”
    The end bit just got a little confusing, because I kept having to remind myself that the pokemon were falling down an abyss- you really need to emphasise that, that everythign is moving really quickly. Shorten sentences, cut down on description- the action is happening really fast here. Although it's a long way to fall, the amount of action you had while they were fallign gave the sense that they were falling down the rabbit-hole from Alexi in Wonderland, and I half expected them to float past cupboards full of teacups and grandfather clocks.

    I found much less to comment on about the first chapter- probably because there was less in it than the first, which isn't a bad thing. Nice description, I have an idea about what this Absol clan is like now. I didn't like your title, because ti was misleading- an Overture of a show is an introduction, but it's usually the bit at the start where they play a little bit of every song from the whole show, so it usually goes for ages. Your chapter wasn't long enough to be justified as an overture, I felt- there must be another musical term you could think of for the beginning of something.

    recoiling away from each notion of recall like a Togepi from rotting flesh.
    Another fantastic example of pokopomorphism.

    It was a start; it was something. Something to distinguish himself from the rest.
    Who's the himself you're referring to here? You did this kind of thign at the beginning of thel ast chapter, too- who's "he?"

    “Go back to sleep, Castor,” Pollux continued, staring out the exit of their tiny den once more. “The moon hasn’t even risen yet.”
    First you mention that it's still the middle of the night, unless I've missed something. s soon as you said castor woke up, I imagined him waking in the morning, so you need to speficy that it's night too- also, specify that they're in a cave/den thing- someow, I had the impression that they were on top of these rock things, maybe because of the way you described their home being "on top of a mountain". I don't know- this is just more emphasis stuff. Make sure the reader is imagining the same thing you're imagining- make all the right bits clear.

    “Castor.”

    “Yes?”

    “You said you couldn't remember?”

    “I did.”

    “Do you want to remember?”
    This last bit was gorgeous, except I wasn't sure at first what the "I did" was referring to. is it.."I did remember" or "I did say I couldn't remember."? I hate things like that...

    Right, that's everything. Biggest review I've done in my life. It's a great story, just be wary, as all POV writers should, to always remember that your pokemon is a pokemon and not a human, and should think like a pokemon and not a human. I like your writing style, I liek where this is going, PM me when you write more- I hope my comments were helpful, I'm sorry I couldn't find that other spelling mistake.

    Thanks again for my banner.
    Here are my two fics, one short, one long. Have a look, tell me what you think.






    Saffire Persian, of course. Isn't she marvellous?

  10. #60
    ~Phanpy~ Guest

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    Wow... no words can describe this but beautiful! Very, very well paced, and you make the characters seem almost life-like, human like even! your description is superb, you do not overly describe, but give enough to create a very clear picture in the mind. the only mistakes i have found have been pointed out, so keep it coming!

    ~Phanpy~

  11. #61

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    Phanpy: Thanks

    Cyndaquil_Dratini: (The people in my banner shop leeched the bandwidth for the banners [you're okay though] and it should be back up Jan. 1st. X.x So, unless you'd like to host it somewhere else, it won't be appearing until then... sorry... X.x stupid leechers..

    Anyway, thanks for your review. 0_o.. thanks for the really thorough review, too. I do agree that I do tend to overdescribe - though that's because when I started Requiem I knew I sucked horribly at description, so I purposely tried to use description as much as I could.. as the only way to get better at it was to write description.. XD So that's partly why.

    As as for the humanism concept for Pokémon, you'd be surprised how "human" some people go - it's all in the eyes of the writer. Granted, there are things they can't do, but if you ever read Communication by Sike Saner (read it, and you shan't be disappointed) Her Pokémon characters are extremely human - intelligent, etc. and its all very well done. Some people don't like to see Pokemon humanized, but some people do, and to great effect. XD It just depends on the writer.

    As always, thanks again.

  12. #62
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    Hi Saffire!

    I'M sOrrY I'm sO LatE. Now, to the chapter.

    OMFG, Castor and Pollux. And the music titles. I must give you bundles of cookies just for this. Because in my orchaestra at school, we played a music piece called 'Castor et Pollux'. Fondly known as Castor Oil to us XDDDD. It was a weird sounding piece. What a small world, eh?

    Anyway, to the fic! I honestly really liked this chapter length. I enjoy short chapters. Well, not too short, but not HUGE. So yeah, this length is good.

    Now, teh characters. Pollux is very weird. Which is a good thing. I quite like his personality. Especially the reference to the jade eyes, though you had me going 'WTF?' when you kept calling him 'red-skinned'...I was still confused until I saw someone had posted and called him shiny. Maybe you should add that somewhere? (Or maybe I'm just stupid. Meh! XD)

    Another thing that I would have liked to see would have been a description of the den they were sleeping in...it kind of left a big hole in the chapter without it. I presume it was some sort of cave?

    I particularly liked the reference to the Absol way of independence, it's very fitting for a pokemon like that. I have a fondness for Absol's, and their way of life. This quote especially:

    Learn to walk on your own four paws, they said. When you have the ability to walk, use it. To have others carry you is to be lame.
    Yummy.

    All in all, a very nice first chapter. I found no mistakes, and the description was lovely. Kudos to you! ^_^

    -

    P.S. Don't forget to PM me when the next is out. Again, soz for the lateness!
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  13. #63

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    Lateness doesn't matter to me.. xD Hopefully it doesn't to you either, I'm making my way through the whole story of yours before I review, 'else I'll never get it finished.

    Castor et Pollux? XD.. From an oprah, I believe.. I have to find that song! *goes to find*

    And about the shiny thing - I thought about stating it right away, but from the Absol's point of view, it would be 'red-skinned' not shiny.. XD Shiny is such an un-absolish word. But I could have made it more obvious. As for the den - I didn't describe it much, because there wasn't that much to describe.. as it's.. tiny.. small - a den, as I said.. just a small round crevice in the rock that leads to the outside of the mountain where they live.. the den doesn't connect to anything else, and to get to the main part of the Absol cave, you have to walk to get to.. but I probably could've done more.

    ^^ Thanks for your review.

  14. #64
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    *gibbers ancient tongues of the Sky Knights*

    Saffire, I am very impressed. I have only read half of the Prologue, but I couldn't help and comment. (I'll be reading the rest of it and chapter one this afternoon, I have a busy reading/writing schedule). But, that Absol of yours is an outstanding character - he's classy and malicious and dark, in my eyes, which is such an extraordinary combination. I only read up to the part where he encounters the Mawile, so I'm assuming that there will be a battle. And I absolutely love Absol battles, especially when they battle Pokemon that need more attention (Mawile is a great Pokemon, I'm putting a crazed clan in Rhapsody at the end. XD)

    Your descriptions just BLEW ME AWAY in a deserted badland. ;_; *wanders around* I love that word you used - maelstrom - for I'd love to know what that word means. It sounds perfect to use, especially in a tempest of some sort. Well, great job, and I'll be posting another review for the second half of the Prologue and chapter one combined. ^^

    EDIT - Oh, almost forgot about one thing to comment on - the new RoaD banner. I must say that that banner is beautiful, especially since it has two of my favorite Pokemon in it - Absol and Mawile. The background's amazing, and I just love it. *_*
    Last edited by Ryano Ra; 15th January 2006 at 6:34 PM.
    ~ COMING SOON ~


    Shiftry leapt into the air, shrieking and roaring as she started glowing and absorbing the sun’s light. Leaves shifted and curled at the edges as footsteps sounded on the grass. Her eyes were wide open and crazed, glazed with a white radiance. A slim, dark figure spontaneously crossed overhead, elegant and mysterious as it disappeared within the rose-colored vortex. It all seemed like a medieval fantasy; only reality blended in to make it all seem practical. The new otherworldly essence drifted in, allowing the illumination to bless the woman and reveal herself to the world. Karen had arrived

  15. #65

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    Thanks for the compliments, Syra.. I hope the battle scene does it some justice.. but action scenes, as I have mentioned before, are the most difficult scenes for me to write. ^^

    Anyway, I believe I can provide the definition of maelstrom for you. ^^ To quote the online dictionary, it's:

    1. A violent or turbulent situation
    2. A whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence.

    ^^ So.. it's a sort of synonym to tempest, in some cases. o.o And Castor as malicious? 0_o.. That's an interesting observation. The Mawile is more malicious than Castor will ever be though.

    As always, thanks for the review.

  16. #66
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    Saffire Persian,

    I, like Cyndaquil Dratini, decided to look at your fic after you made my supertriffic banner. All I can say is my jaw was open, drooling for the whole time.

    Your description was great, the image you painted and imprinted in my mind was superb.
    you have made the cave of origin much darker and mysterious than in the games, and I loved the Mawille. She was so grossly innocent and vile at the same time, it was hard to actually put my finger on what I felt about her XD

    It was interesting to see you name the twin Absol after the Gemini twins, and I am guessing that it will have something to do with the plot. I can't wait for the next chapter to come up.

    -SB
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  17. #67

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    Stray Bullet: Thanks for your review, glad you liked the Mawile. ^^

    Well, it's been, what? Two months since the last update? Horrible, I know. This chapter was originally part of Overture, but due to the edits and additions it's now a chapter in itself. This one does have, again, a slower pacing, though the pace speeds up considerably in the next few chapters. As always, comments, advice, criticism is greatly welcomed, and don't hesitate to point out any typos so I can kill them.


    Chapter 2: Etude

    A short musical composition meant to investigate a particular problem of technique.

    Castor walked through the deserted pathways of the cave, his footfalls hardly making a sound over the smooth rock. Its jagged edges had long been worn away from centuries of continuous use. He had exited his den a few hours after Pollux had left, trying to push what remained of the dream to the back of his mind. There wasn't much to think on, as as he only had a few bits and pieces to reflect upon.

    The halls in which he walked were completely empty, and his only companion was the silence followed him through the passages of what Castor called home. He was used to the silence, just as he was used to the solitude, and it was no surprise to him that he had seen only three other Absol cross his path. Each time they had given him no more than a quick glance before continuing on their way.

    Castor had long since given up trying to strike up a conversation with any of the older Absol. It seemed to be an unspoken rule that you did not speak to those older than you, unless there was some important reason for you doing so, or they talked to you first.

    Like that happens much.

    In fact, now that Castor thought about it, he hadn’t really seen anything that would qualify as a real conversation going on between other Absol. Talking for the sake of talking seemed pointless, and those who didn’t believe so got used to it. Of course, Castor was young and inexperienced and hadn’t seen much in comparison to the majority of his kind residing in the mountains. And it wasn’t like there were any Absol his age he could talk to – Pollux excluded, and it wasn’t like he enjoyed random conversations -- with the closest he knew off being three years apart. Absol were keen on silence and solitude, preferring to keep to themselves amongst the almost deserted caverns, so adolescent Absol such as himself were a rarity.

    So rare, even their occasional appearance seemed to be overlooked.

    Unless, of course, there was something so completely strange that everyone had to take notice of. Pollux had been one of those few exceptions for a time. His twin’s dusty red paws and face. as well as his green eyes, were enough to warrant a second glance and sometimes a request for a name, until the Absol clan became acclimated to Pollux’s odd appearance. The added interest the other Absol displayed towards him back then was merely out of etiquette, Castor knew – and that was only because he had insisted on tagging along on Pollux’s ventures like a shadow. It was hard to find one without the other, even though there didn’t seem to be much substance to the relationship other than a blood bond.

    If Pollux himself detested or appreciated his constant company, he didn’t show it.

    Castor finally arrived at his destination in front of a natural archway that led into a large, open space that was free of the plentiful rocky dividers that made the mountain cave into something of a labyrinth. Barely disturbing the quiet, Castor Faint Attacked up to where a hole existed in the stone partition.

    Pollux was already there, like Castor had expected, his jade eyes were intently scouring the ground below. The small overlook gave a clear view of the round area on the other side of the divider. The area Pollux was looking down upon happened to be a favorite sparing area amongst the more active Absol, and garnered much more traffic than most parts of the cave.

    As to why Pollux had chosen the overlook as his place of solace, Castor wasn’t quite sure; but whenever Castor couldn’t find his twin, this place was his first stop, as Pollux always surfaced here sooner or later to survey the comings and goings with dutiful regularity.

    “Castor.” Pollux nodded his head once in acknowledgement, doing nothing more.

    Castor took his usual spot besides Pollux before responding. “I thought I’d find you here."

    “I always am here.”

    “Yes…” Turning his gaze to the ground below, Castor spotted two familiar Absol that went by the names of Saif and Na’ir. They were currently sparring, gliding across flat terrain with graceful, elegant movements. Even the ensuing battle didn’t seem to be breaking the stillness much.

    “Watch.”

    Castor cocked his head, giving his brother a rather odd glance at the command, but did as he was bid.

    Na’ir was in mid-leap when Castor finally began to really focus the sparing match below. Saif himself was attacking from below, the horn that jutted from the side of his head beginning to glow white as Na’ir descended. Wind shrieked through the caverns as Saif finally unleashed the gathered energy with a quick toss of his head.

    The scythe-shaped projectile, along with the accompanying wind, pushed Na’ir back as he was forced to evade the attack, lest he lose (for once the first real blow was struck, you lost) landing neatly on the ground on Saif’s left side. Barely a second was lost before Na’ir took off again, making his way around to his opponent’s right side. Saif went rigid, his head turning quickly to the left, finding nothing. Panic leaked out of Saif’s cracking composure, as he tried to locate his foe, not knowing Na’ir was just to the other side of him.

    Na’ir Farfaint was taking advantage of Saif’s apparent confusion, bolting at great speed across the floor.

    Saif only noticed the approaching body seconds before the Quick Attack would have hit, managing to evade the normal-type attack by a hair’s width. Na’ir was left stumbling, scrambling to maintain balance as he tried to turn around.

    “He’s going to try to use Quick Attack again, to try and keep his momentum and make up for the moments he lost when Saif dodged…”

    The dark-type followed Pollux’s prediction almost exactly, seeming to fly across the rock, only to fail again as Saif evaded the move -- by a much wider margin than the last time. Instead of taking a defensive position, Saif moved into the offensive, giving Na’ir only a few seconds to respond and block the incoming attack.

    “Watch,” Pollux said firmly, as Castor’s gaze began to wander towards the ceiling of the cave.

    They were head-butting now, their horns locking together briefly with each new movement as both attempted to gain ground. They were evenly matched, and both were refusing to shift.

    Na’ir Farfaint abruptly stopped, taking a few quick steps back, before using his powerful hind legs to leap into the air. If Saif was surprised by the sudden move, he didn’t show it, crouching down as if he himself was preparing to jump.

    “It’s finished.”

    The fight ended quickly after Pollux’s statement. Na’ir missed his pounce, giving Saif the opening he needed to retaliate, burying his own scythe-horn into Na’ir’s shoulder. The harsh bark that threatened to burst out of Na’ir’s throat faded into a low growl, nodding his head only once in acceptance of his loss. The tension in the air was broken, and the two Absol separated. There was no bitterness between them, just a cold, unrelenting acceptance.

    “You do realize that Na’ir could have triumphed over Saif had he just tried to watch, and had not been so concerned with attacking.”

    It took a moment for Castor to realize that Pollux was talking to him, his eyes riveted on the departing Absol.

    “Um... what?”

    “Did you watch?”

    “Yes,” Castor said slowly, not liking the frustrated stare his brother was now giving him with no attempt whatsoever to conceal it. Still, to Pollux’s credit, his steady voice never once showed a hint of that frustration, though it left as quickly as it came. Of course, that only annoyed Castor all the more, and it wasn’t the first time. More often than not, Castor would have preferred his twin outright yelling at him, rather than keeping the same, steady voice and composure that was so much like their father’s.

    “Did you not see Saif’s slow reaction when the other Absol went around to his right side from the left?”

    Castor shrugged. “I, well –“ There was that stare again. Couldn’t he just cut it out? “—I did. So he hesitated for a few moments. It happens often enough, doesn’t it?”

    “You’d think you would at least try to pay more attention to an Absol you lost to,” Pollux said, giving Castor a rather pointed look. “It was Saif whom you lost to, wasn’t it?”

    Castor grimaced. “It was.”

    Pollux nodded once in response. “And you lost to him because of your inability…”

    Castor really didn’t want or need to be reminded. It irritated him enough as it was, even if he had changed a lot since that time several years ago. The memories of the event was far too easy to summon to the surface; the slightest mention of it was enough to make him relive the moments and wonder exactly how he had managed to make a fool of himself, and ruin whatever chance of recognition he had for quite some time.

    It had been a night like this one. He and had Pollux had even been situated in their little overlook, watching a battle between Saif and another unknown member of their species. Saif had quickly proven himself to be the victor of the battle, scoring the first blow soon after the battle had started with apparent ease.

    The other Absol had lost much too quickly and Saif’s victory had been far too easy for Castor's liking.

    Anyone, Castor was quite sure, could claim victory from the rather thin looking Absol Saif had defeated. Saif was nothing special in Castor’s eyes.

    Perhaps it was sheer overconfidence that made him rise to his paws and follow through his idea that day, or perhaps it was something else, but for whatever the reason, Castor had stood up with a firm determination to spar with Saif himself.

    Pollux had guessed his brother’s intentions, stepping in front of him to catch his attention before he could Faint Attack below. “You’ll lose. Do you want that?” It had been a warning just as much as it had been a statement.

    But at the time, Castor hadn’t really bothered to listen. Already, dreams of victory were rushing through his head, and he snorted dismissively at his brother’s comment. “I won’t lose.”

    Pollux may not have responded, but even Castor could catch the aura of disbelief he was giving off, and Castor didn’t like it. “What? You think I can’t do it? Well, I can.”

    “You can’t,” Pollux said simply, taking his brother’s glare without so much as flinching or turning away.

    “But …“ Castor’s voice wavered, shaking his head to try and dispel the doubt that threatened to make its way to the surface, all thanks to his brother’s countenance, which had yet to show emotion. His brother’s approval still meant a lot to him, and Pollux’s disbelief unsettled him, as well as making him more determined to prove him wrong. “I’m going to try.”

    Pollux only shrugged and settled himself back into his original position with his paws dangling over the edge of the rock. “Do as you will.”

    Still, Castor pursued the conversation – he wasn’t sure quite why. “You can’t stop me from going!”

    “I wasn’t about to.” Pollux shifted, his blank expression turning into a frown. “And I am not going to. But if you are serious –“

    “Of course I am –“

    “Then you had better hurry, Saif’s leaving.”

    In a flash of black smoke, Castor had gone.

    The battle itself had occurred faster than Castor had ever imagined it being. Castor had challenged Saif with as much elegance and seriousness as he could muster, doing all he could to weave a sense of bravado around himself while trying to remember (and do) all the customs that sparring dictated. Saif had accepted with a careless sort of acknowledgement, and as ritual dictated, he and Saif both went to opposite ends of the sparring arena and bowed to one another.

    Then, the battle begun.

    Castor had started first, leaping into action with one of the few attacks he knew: Quick Attack. He was speeding forward, the feeling of euphoria (the idea that he was actually doing something for once) flowing through his veins for a few precious moments before they were completely dashed against the rocky ground he ran on.

    The last thing Castor remembered of the battle afterwards was a brilliant white light accompanied by a hard blow to his right temple that sent him skidding across the rocky floor. Castor could feel immediately feel unconsciousness setting in, black dots erupting in plenty across his vision. All Castor could think about was how foolish he must look.

    Fool.

    The next thing Castor recalled was waking up with a pounding headache, still sprawled across the floor like a clump of shed fur. His mind was swimming, and the pain radiating from the side of his head and around his body from where he had slammed into the ground was more than enough to make Castor want very much to sink into the black oblivion once more.

    That, of course, was reinforced by the sudden feeling of embarrassment that now surfaced, unfettered as the memories of what had taken place before came back with alarming clarity. Castor struggled to rise to his feet as he noticed someone was watching him. That alone was enough to jolt him into full awareness, making his posture go completely rigid. He quickly relaxed, however, as he realized was only Pollux. No one else was around.

    Castor had instinctively known what Pollux was going to say before he voiced it. “You were a fool to challenge him.”

    “I lost, I know. You don’t have to rub it in,” Castor said indignantly, wincing at the pain in his head. “What happened?”

    “You were knocked out.”

    “I guessed that much.” Castor grimaced as he tumbled over his paws and back onto the floor into a white heap, scowling. That’s it. He wasn’t going to even bother trying to get back up. Standing up fast was making his vision swim anyways.

    “I mean,” Castor began again, “did Saif say anything?”

    “Nothing in particular.”

    “I’m in no mood for your games. What did he say?”

    “It’s of no consequence.”

    “What did he say?” Castor repeated, enunciating his demand with a low growl.

    “He said,” Pollux began, hesitating at first, before deciding it was better to just get it over with, “that you should stop pretending to be what you are not.” Pollux crouched down to Castor’s level, mimicking his brother’s position (though it wasn’t quite so awkward). “There, does that satisfy you?”

    Castor’s gaze was positively glowering as he spoke up. “Immensely. I suppose you agree with what he said, then?”

    Pollux shrugged. “There is truth to what he says. Skill such as what Saif possesses does not come through pure emotion and will, it comes through experience, which you do not have. You didn’t even try to fight.”

    “I did, too,” Castor growled, feeling the fur on his neck begin to bristle up in anger. “I wanted to win. I wanted to do something instead of just… watching.”

    Pollux decided to fix Castor with one of his more penetrating stares. “What you want is of no consequence if you do not possess the skill to fight for it in the first place.”

    Castor grit his teeth, loathing the way Pollux was carefully pronouncing each word, like one would to a newborn child. “I don’t suppose you could have done any better?”

    Pollux didn’t miss a beat in replying. “I could have.”

    “Oh that’s right,” Castor spat angrily. “You do everything right. You’re perfect; you don’t look foolish or make mistakes. Ever.”

    “I’ve made mistakes, Castor, many times,” Pollux replied, his jade eyes shining with sudden, cunning light, “I just don’t let anyone see me.”



    The memory faded, and Castor snapped back to attention, looking left to right rapidly to see if he had missed anything important. Pollux had apparently noticed his lapse, again watching the ground below. His twin’s jade eyes flitted upwards to meet his, before flitting back to where they had been trained on beforehand. “Look at him now. See how Saif moved to Na’ir’s right side.”

    “I still don’t see what you’re trying to tell me.”

    “Don’t you see?” Pollux hissed. “Every movement he makes is always on his right. His right side is always facing the opponent. If not, he makes mistakes, he panics, shifts.”

    “What about it?” Castor said. “Not anything special about that, really.”

    Pollux paused, breathing deeply. “Saif’s blind, Castor, in his left eye. He always makes sure those close to him are on his right side, because he can’t see with the opposite eye.”

    “Blind?” Castor did a double take, watching Saif’s retreating figure with a new degree of interest. He couldn’t be blind – could he? Nobody could fight that well and still be blind… right? “He can’t be. Someone would have noticed –“ He stopped himself, glaring darkly in Pollux’s direction. “—someone older, would have noticed and said something about it.”

    “The older Absol don’t know everything, because they don’t bother with much anymore, I thought I told you that.”

    “Still, you think they would have noticed.”

    “They don’t bother to take the time to notice him. He hides his blindness well under normal circumstances, in any case. I doubt even Na’ir realizes that Saif is blind, it took me quite some time to come to that conclusion myself. He’s strong, and he trains here often. He doesn’t want to be weak, so he works at hiding his disability from others.”

    “If he’s so good, why bother hiding it anymore?”

    “A weakness is a weakness nonetheless. You’d be surprised what other creatures have to hide. Father, Mother – everyone and everything has something to hide. If you want to discover them, you have to be patient and watch.

    “Listen, Castor,” Pollux said slowly, making Castor look up at him in surprise. Pollux never talked to a great extent unless he had something important to say or point out. His twin was obviously trying to choose his words carefully, “not everything is made plain for you to see. You can’t just run along and expect to know everything from the beginning. Sometimes you can’t be part of the ‘who’ and watch everything fly past you; sometimes you have to watch and figure out the ‘how’ and ‘why’. Think on it.”

    With that, Pollux disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, leaving Castor to attempt to decipher his brother’s words, or ignore them entirely.
    Last edited by Saffire Persian; 18th February 2006 at 3:58 PM.

  18. #68
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    He had existed his den a few hours after Pollux had left,
    Unless I'm wrong, shouldn't it be "he had existed in his den"?

    Castor took his usual spot besides Pollux before responding. “I thought I’d find you here.
    Missing a quotation mark.

    Castor finally began to really focus the sparing match below.
    Maybe sparring?

    They were head butting now,
    Headbutting-one word?

    His mind was swimming, and the pain radiating from the side of his head and around his body from where he had slammed into the ground was more than enough to make Castor want very much to sink into the black oblivion once more.
    Nice.

    Walk on your own four paws, but don not trip while doing so.
    Do not?

    Nice. Can't really see that much of the plot yet, but there were many moments of great wording. I could visualize a lot of this.

    Curious: What does Etude mean?

    Going to edit the review later.

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  19. #69
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    He had existed his den a few hours after Pollux had left, trying to push what remained of the dream to the back of his mind.
    Pretty sure that was meant to be "exited". *pushes button and opens trapdoor under the letter "s"*


    Boss work on the Saif vs. Na'ir battle there. ^^ I always enjoy the matches between members of the same species, for once the types are taken out of the picture, the fight really does become all about skill. I liked also the dialogue bewtween Castor and Pollux; it's very authentically...brotherish (I know there has got to be a better word for that, but you know what I mean. XD )And Pollux seemed to shine a little more as a character; I feel like we're really starting to get an idea of who he is. Also, I'm getting interested in Saif (not THAT kind of interested, now, don'r get any impure ideas... XP ) I wouldn't mind seeing more of him. ^^


    And I know this was already quoted, but I've just got to cite it, because it was really just...yum:

    His mind was swimming, and the pain radiating from the side of his head and around his body from where he had slammed into the ground was more than enough to make Castor want very much to sink into the black oblivion once more.
    Last edited by Sike Saner; 6th February 2006 at 7:03 PM.
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
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  20. #70
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    Nice chapter, I like how this is going so far, Pollux seems like a very interesting character.

    “ I just don’t let anyone see me.”
    That's the only error I caught, you put a space in between your quotes and 'I'.

    I remember when "The Authors' Cafe" was still "The Author's Cafe".
    Scrap, purple_drake, Ryano Ra, and Burnt Flower are my fanfic idols.


    --fics--
    NEW:Emory In Viridian- A more realistic spin on a new trainer trekking through Viridian Forest. [one-shot]
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    Tómur -Dark contemplations of an undisclosed Pokemon about nothingness and the end. [one-shot]
    The Traveler - A lonely traveler encounters a malevolent pokemon during the night on Route 8. [one-shot]
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    More at my DeviantArt



  21. #71
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    Highlights:

    More often than not, Castor would have preferred his twin outright yelling at him, rather than keeping the same, steady voice and composure that was so much like their father’s.
    LOL...if had a twin, so would i.

    Pollux had guessed his brother’s intentions, stepping in front of him to catch his attention before he could Faint Attack below. “You’ll lose. Do you want that?” It had been a warning just as much as it had been a statement.

    But at the time, Castor hadn’t really bothered to listen. Already, dreams of victory were rushing through his head, and he snorted dismissively at his brother’s comment. “I won’t lose.”

    Pollux may not have responded, but even Castor could catch the aura of disbelief he was giving off, and Castor didn’t like it. “What? You think I can’t do it? Well, I can.”

    “You can’t,” Pollux said simply, taking his brother’s glare without so much as flinching or turning away.

    “But …“ Castor’s voice wavered, shaking his head to try and dispel the doubt that threatened to make its way to the surface, all thanks to his brother’s countenance, which had yet to show emotion. His brother’s approval still meant a lot to him, and Pollux’s disbelief unsettled him, as well as made him more determined to prove him wrong. “I’m going to try.”

    Pollux only shrugged and settled himself back into his original position with his paws dangling over the edge of the rock. “Do as you will.”
    Wotta ray of sunshine that Pollux is...LOL. I bet Castor so felt the love there.XD

    “I’ve made mistakes, Castor, many times,” Pollux replied, his jade eyes shining with sudden, cunning light, “ I just don’t let anyone see me.”


    ~Walk on your own four paws, but do not trip while doing so~
    Love Pollex's attitude there!^_^

    Grammar and Spell:

    as he only had a few bits and flashes that said little.
    normally, the phrase is bits and pieces. the line could go like this:

    as he only had a few bits and pieces to reflect upon; flashes that said little.
    You do realize that Na’ir could have won Saif had he just tried to watch, and had not been so concerned with attacking
    try changing the won to triumphed over. Sounds more err Polluxy and makes more sense grammatically.

    Anyon,
    Anyone.

    Overall, not losing a dop of your colourful writing skill, SP, you've done it again! Great chapter! i like Saif a lot...being able to fight even when half blind! that's i guy i could emulate (though i'm not blind in my left eye!) Hopefully i won't spend so long updating either...XD. May not matter anyway.
    Later!
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  22. #72
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    Y'know, if this was a proper novel, you'd have some damn fine acclaim on the back... stuff like 'Breathtaking narrative' and 'an immersive plot that captivates the reader' spring to mind. Anyway for the review...

    Good Points
    -Absol. Of all the protaganists you could've chose, you picked one of THE darkest, most ominous Pokemon ever, that still maintains a air of coolness about it. Seriously, Castor is an excellent character with strength, resolve and honour; while seemingly accepting humbleness and humility. A great main character, and the varied other Absol in the second chapter were well-developed too.
    -Mawile. A rarely seen Pokemon in the fan fic arena, it was great to see her brought to life so well. You captured both the innocence that the childlike part of her eminates, as well as the brutality and destruction that those huge jaws can really cause. Excellent.
    -The sparring match was well coreographed and kept the pace of the chapter well.
    -Excellent punctuation and grammar, and very few spelling errors that can easily be corrected.
    -Description is awesome. The reader really gets a good sense of the Cave of Origin, the Pokemon involved etc etc. Brillant work.
    -The narrative... your words run so fluidly together, everything is so well-structured, easy-to-read and interesting, that you're going to establish a good strong fanbase easily and keep us coming back for more.

    Bad Points
    -I would put some if I could find any... but that's a GOOD thing, right?

    Well there you have it. Thats my two pennies on your fic. Again, a bloody awesome fic, keep it up and try to get that next chapter out soon... I can't stand the wait!

    -OL

  23. #73
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    “You do realize that Na’ir could have won Saif had he just tried to watch, and had not been so concerned with attacking.”
    Could have won? It seems slightly odd.

    “I’ve made mistakes, Castor, many times,” Pollux replied, his jade eyes shining with sudden, cunning light, “ I just don’t let anyone see me.”
    Pwnage. Majorly. Pollux is turning out to be the sadistic twin brother; is it only me, or are Pollux and Castor reminescent of the Dragonlance Chronicles' Raistlin and Caramon?

    “A weakness is a weakness nonetheless. You’d be surprised what other creatures have to hide. Father, Mother – everyone and everything has something to hide. If you want to discover them, you have to be patient and watch.
    Missing a quotation mark at the end, but lovely all the same. I wonder how that ties into the chapters to come?

    I like the way you used musical notations - is that right? - for the chapter names. But I suspect that the 'Requiem' part of the title also means something else?
    Signature? What signature? I don't know what you're talking about.

    (how) to become a legend (in ten easy lessons)
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  24. #74
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    I've only read up to the Overture thus far (it's around four in the morning @.@), and of course, I'm just utterly flabbergasted at your writing, Saffire Persian. The way you describe pain is so exhilarating, and I can picture everything as you try to display it through your writing. I didn't know the Siamese twins were named Castor and Pollux O.o;; Interesting wittle tidbit, and yus, very clever ^_^ Absols are definitely on my favorite list of Pokémon now... Pollux gives me the impression that he is a bit solemn...maybe a bit more understanding of the Absol way. The fact that's he's shiny also makes him awesome x3

    I promise I weel catch up to Etude, but not now, or I'll pass out X.x Take care!

    "The World is Quiet Here"
    ~Kitty

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that I loved the part at the end whar Castor asked himself if he wanted to remember XD Brillig. "Many don't see the path; some don't recognize it when they do...some...don't ever want to." *Cheshire-cat grin*
    Last edited by CHeSHiRe-CaT; 7th February 2006 at 1:46 PM.

  25. #75
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    Arrgh... I was half way through reading it last nght and had a nice review but then my computer froze and refused to turn back on. *kicks it*

    ANYWAY, that was wonderful, Sapphire! I really enjoyed it, especialy the description around the battle between Saif and Na'ir. I could see it all, and it was really nice. I getting to know the characters more, which is good, and I am liking this story very much.

    Keep up the good work!


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