No thoughts could enter his mind, but if he could wish for something, it would be for nothing at all. There was no longer any desire in his heart, for at last it's flame had dissolved in streams of blood it had ignored. The monster inside him was gone, as too himself.
Their grip tighten around his wrist, and they pulled him forward deeper against the stone pavement. He could feel the glares of the imperial guard intense with hatred run across his browned bare back and almost singe his white speckled wings to pieces. Their powder white uniform were purelessly clean, the buttons reflecting the high noon sun also evilly.
Thrown onto the silver platform, guards surrounded his busily clicking chains around his feet, hands, and finally his neck. Ropes rubbed angrily against his feathers, and a few fell to the ground sparingly. He looked up into the face of his undiscovered equal.
People of White called him their steel hero; People of Red called him the brutal monster. His eyes were black as coal, but no warmth could ever be found to radiate from them. His skin was pale, as blood would be required to have color. He almost smiled as his massive hands unrolled a scroll and he called aloud.
"This Unnamed Villain of Red as been brought forth here today to receive final punishment for his sins. He has spill the blood of our soldiers violently and erratically with no remorse. Hundreds of us have fallen at his sharpened hands as he smiles. Death by axe hand," He tilted his head slightly as his silver axe gleamed at his side, "is the usual punishment for this, but for this man, the punishment must be much more serve than death. Death is too easy." His face boomed across the crowd, making the prisoner's mind come back to some degree. "His wings shall be shattered instead."
The prisoner's scarlet eyes opened wide and he been to shutter incomprehensibly, again to form a proper thought. The roped unraveled from his wings, and instinctively they began beating in a frenzy. Guards screamed as the scrambled to grab them back in place.
"Kill me! I pray to God, just kill me!" The prisoner began to screech. He had never screamed so loud as the guards pulled his wings to across the platform. It took five man on each side to hold them out and one more to hold his head still. "Please! Please! Death is enough!"
A single tear escaped him and ran down his cheek as the crunching enveloped his ears, mind, and soul.
Hi *AnemoneInTheSky First off I like some of the concepts you have here such as if he could have anything whatsoever it would be nothing at all. A fabulous concept!
All up however, I found the piece somewhat confusing and I wasn't really sure what sort of creature we were left to cry over.
It starts off, "No thoughts could enter his mind". Already I'm asking why not? What sort of state doesn't allow thoughts to enter one's mind? The only answer I can come up with is either sleep or death but I'm guessing this isn't what your attempting to portray.
I found it a little adjective heavy. For example, "Their powder white uniform(s) were purelessly clean, the buttons reflecting the high noon sun evilly" I'm not sure in this instance what 'purelessly' would mean. Do you mean spotlessly? Perhaps in the second half of the sentence it would be better put something like "...the buttons reflecting evil in the noonday sun".
I hope this is of some help.
Please ignore the stars rating as I find them unsatisfactory.
I came upon this in the Literature Critique thread, so I hope you don't mind me commenting. Please ignore the star rating.
I think you've created a really interesting world here! I'd definitely like to read more to see what else you've imagined. The rivalry between the White and the Red sort of reminds me of the cards in Alice in Wonderland.
I have some suggestions for improving the piece -- some of them are nitpicky grammatical things (because I am crazy ), and some of them are more developmental:
- In the first sentence, I think you're missing a "he" in "but if could wish for something" etc.
- "it's flame" should read as "its."
- "Their grip tighten around his wrist": should be "tightens."
- "Their powder white uniform": should be "uniforms."
- In that same sentence, I'm not sure what you mean by "purelessly," since it suggests they're not pure, and yet they're white, which is usually a pure color? I think there might be a better way to get at what you're saying.
- "the buttons reflecting the high noon sun also evilly": I don't think you need to tell us that these people are evil. I definitely already get that sense from the bits before where you tell us that they're glaring, which already suggests something sinister is going on with them.
- "guards surrounded his busily clicking chains around his feet" etc.: I think this might be clearer if you said something like, "guards surrounded his feet, hands, and finally his neck with busily clicking chains."
- "He has spill the blood": should be "spilled."
- "He tilted his head": "He" should be lowercase, "he."
- "he been to shutter incomprehensibly": I think you might have meant "he began to shudder uncontrollably?" "Incomprehensively" suggests that people don't know why he's shaking, but I think we do, because getting your wings shattered sounds awful!
- "screamed as the scrambled": should be "they."
- "It took five man on each side": should be "men."
- I got a little confused at the transition between talking about the prisoner at the beginning, and then talking about the executioner once the prisoner is thrown onto the platform, probably because both are "he." I think there might be a way to make that a bit clearer.
- You use a lot of adverbs throughout, like "angrily" and "sparingly." I think it would be better if instead of using so many adverbs, you provided concrete images instead, because that allows the reader to visualize the scene even better. Think of it a bit like poetry -- what would be a good metaphor to show that the feathers were falling sparingly? Like snow flurries? Or petals? Or something less cliche than my suggestions, those are just off the top of my head.
- At the end, we know the prisoner is undergoing something horrible. The crunching is gruesome, but I'd like to see more of why it's so horrible. Does it hurt a lot? What does it take away from the character -- his honor or manhood or something? Things like that.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you! I'd really love to see you expand on this piece if you decide to revisit it.
This is in actual one of the most beautiful things that I have read in a while. I admit I am quite a sucker for short stories with deep meanings and that theme, that power in those words with the effect of heartstrings being pulled. There is not much I can give you feedback on but I had to reread this one sentence about two to three times before I made sense of it. "His skin was pale, as blood would be required to have color." After I got it, I actually laughed at myself at how obvious it was. Just a suggestion to reword it? Or not. Hope this doesn't offend. Lovely piece nonetheless
You don't know how happy your comment made me! Thank you so much!!!!! When I was writing that line it was one of those moments were you stop for a second and completely forget what you were trying to say. Thank you for pointing that out to me though, because I wouldn't have noticed that it was weird on my own!
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A two-time Community Volunteer for the deviantART Related category, Anne is well-known as a positive, helpful force. She is the community's resident expert when it comes to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and her personal gallery offers a wide variety of tutorials for new and experienced coders alike. In addition, each winter she hosts a calendar project encouraging members to create Journal designs for all to use, bringing more creativity to the community.
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