Alex Casey (angry_ferret) wrote in ravensquill,
Alex Casey

Originally posted in creativewriting, this is a story I wrote the other day:

   Why am I here?
   I'm leaning against a trailer just off the set, watching as the crew takes a break. Mike, the lighting technician, heads over to me with two cups of Starbucks coffee.
   "You okay, Tabitha?" he asks, offering a coffee to me. For a moment, I wonder who Tabitha is; then I remember that I am Tabitha Marsh, or rather Tabitha Marsh is the woman who, several months ago, suffocated herself with a plastic bag and unknowingly made her body a host to a demon. Here I am, Rashiel, former Fate, a fallen Angel of the Fourth House, with the agonies of Hell still fresh in my mind, and the only thing I want to do is put my arms around Mike, because I love him. Tabitha loves him, so by default I love him too. I can't explain these feelings, so I take the coffee and hug Mike on an impulse.
   He returns the embrace, and I am lost in bliss for a moment. No one had ever touched me physically before, not even God. I've never experienced anything so sublime as this, and I find myself sobbing on his shoulder, loving him for the comfort I never once received in the long millenia of my existence.
   "Tabitha... you're up soon. Got some stuff to do." He draws back, smiling sadly. His smile is contagious, and soon I am laughing. I wipe away my tears and follow him to the set.

   I lose Rashiel in the simple pleasures of being Tabitha for now, as I fix three squibs under Scott's shirt. Scott is an actor playing a security guard in this film, and the little packets of fake blood are hidden easily under the uniform he wears. A wire runs from my control panel to the tiny explosive charge on each one. I set the controls to go off in time with the gunshots, and then I check the gun itself. I make sure the clip is loaded with blanks, then I snap the clip in and chamber a round. I toss the gun to Johnny, another actor, who is dressed in a white T-shirt and jeans. His character is supposed to be pursuing terrorists or something.
   Soon, they are filming. I watch as the man with the gun approaches a bike in the parking garage, and the security guard tries to stop him. Bang-bang-bang, three shots are fired and the squibs go off, bursting red-stained "bullet holes" in his shirt, synchronized perfectly with the gunshot. He jerks and falls, doing a great job of pretending to die. Meanwhile, the shooter hops on the bike and drives off. That's the end of that scene.
   "Somebody call 9-1-1!" the director shouts when Scott doesn't get up. Someone checks his pulse, and finds nothing. Scott is dead.

   They told me that someone put live rounds in the gun, and I told them that it wasn't me, that I would never do that. They found the blanks tossed onto the floor in Johnny's dressing room, and I am inclined to think that Johnny is at fault here.
   I am Rashiel the Fate again, and I must find out what Johnny is going to do next. I concentrate, and lines of causality unfold before me. A torrent of images assaults my mind, showing me what Johnny is most likely to do. I am not pleased by what I see: Johnny committing murder after murder and framing various people for it, Johnny scratching ancient glyphs into concrete with long claws---

   I sit in a coffee shop, looking into the face of young Marie Peterson, one of the mortals with whom I have formed a pact.
   "So what makes this Anarazel so bad compared to-" Marie begins.
   "Me, for example?" I say. "He's determined to destroy humanity, and I fear he might have the means. He found a summoning ritual a few years ago, one that should never have existed."
   "I thought you said demons couldn't summon other demons," Marie replies, furrowing her brow.
   "We can't. However, a demon as powerful as Anarazel is likely to have servants and thralls."
   "Yeah. Our power comes from faith, and if a demon makes a pact with a mortal, the thrall gives strength to the demon simply by believing in him. To us, faith is power. A demon with a ready store of faith can heal wounds and perform feats of superhuman strength and speed."
   "So I'm giving you this faith, and what do I get out of it?" Marie sounds more than a bit skeptical.
   "Our pact explicitly states that I can't harm you. Have you already forgotten the powers I've granted you?" I had given Marie limited abilities that reflected some of mine. Our pact granted her the ability to manipulate the fundamental forces of Creation to temporarily change how gravity affects her and allowed her to sprout a pair of huge, white-feathered wings at will.
   Marie smiles and sets a hand on mine. "Rash---"
   "Tabitha," I correct.
   "Tabitha, then. We'd better concentrate on the matter at hand. Tell me more about this ritual."
   "It's dangerous. If Anarazel manages to find the complete ritual, and his servants perform it correctly, it will drain the souls of millions of mortals, increasing Anarazel's power until none of us can stop him."
   "What!?" Marie hisses. "Explain."
   "It's simple and grotesque... he just travels all over, finding spiritually corrupt places and having his lackeys perform some kind of ritual. These rites create... focal points, so to speak, for the final rite. The end is when one of his servants draws a summoning circle with---"
   "The blood of innocents?" Marie interrupts.
   "Blood, yes, but not necessarily innocent. Chances are, several of his followers will die to empower the last part of the summoning ritual. When the ritual is completed, it does two things at once: it summons a number of demons from the Pit and destroys them, using their power to fuel Anarazel and the rest of the ritual---"
   "How many?"
   "I don't know," I reply. "Please stop interrupting me. It destroys them, and it simultaneously drains the life of every mortal for a thousand miles around, and all of this spiritual energy is channeled into Anarazel. If he succeeds in that, nothing will be able to stop him from doing anything else."
   I see the fear in Marie's eyes, and I know it mirrors the fear in my soul. Anarazel wants to destroy the world, and I don't know how to stop him.

Author's Note: Please tell me what you think of this...
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I like this a lot! Sounds like a neat setup for a very interesting universe. I'd be keen to know more about the demons, and possible factions, and how and for whom - or what - they operate.

Keep on going, if you'd like... it's good stuff!
This is the best writing I've seen from you. I think you have a gift, and I'm very proud of you. Keep it up, and keep posting. People should be reading your writing.

I told you I was a scary judge of talent *wink wink*
WHOA! Hot Damn that was good! I read it all the way to the end, and it had good little breaks and pauses inside it, and I think I see you doing many things on several levels, but all very calmly and casual and never any of the bad things I see many writers do. Really, nothing was wrong with that piece. Terrific and interesting and I would like to see more. Is that a finished story or an excerpt or a short? you have a great tone, I won;t say any more because the thing I loved the most was how honest and direct the peace snags, no knots, no dragging the feet or noses in the air. I dont want to say too much more, but really you ARE a talented writer and I hope you stick with it and maybe sell a book or script sometime soon (got any in the mail?).

This piece reminded me of Twin Peaks and also Mulholland Drive, are you familiar with David Lynch? If not, he's right up your alley. Well, I dont normally feel compelled to plow through creative writing, but yours is certainly worth checking up on. Keep up the good work Angry Ferret, and start sending your writing to places that will give you momey for your talent. Your writing has no ego problems, so cash in on it and either be the next young star or get a head start of all the people who write for a living. You really have the strong voice of one naturally gifted with writing. Do you write lots of drafts or does it sort of come all at once? I am curious, I think I could learn some things from reading your writing because you carry so many things forward while at the same time things are understood and they move along with a good deal of humor and suspense.

OK, I am babbling now. Good Job, I look fwd to seeing more.

Wow, thanks. I hope I don't get an inflated ego from that. As for your questions:

Sometimes I do many drafts before I get it exactly the way I want it, but sometimes I just start writing and it comes to me.

It's not a finished story, but only the beginning. I might try to make this into a novel, and I want to try and get it published. If you have any information on that, please let me know. I enjoy writing, and this particular piece is fun for me. That said, I'm not sure if I should continue with this piece. To me, the plot seems a bit weak, and the whole "summoning ritual that kills thousands" idea is unoriginal and boring. However, I could start another piece, one involving Sophiel, but with a different plot and concept. I need some advice here. This is driving me nutty.
I dont think the save the worlds from millions is boring if you continue to handle it in such a manner of fact way-like it is second seat to the character development. Keep giving things for the character and reader to figure out. Keep writing. I would stick to writing one story, but maybe allow different ideas and styles to diverge and converge as side stories.

Maybe you're right. I think I will continue.
this is good stuff... the potential is intriguing. reminds me in some ways of a short novel by john shirley called 'demons', partly because of the subject matter and partly in the way that these supernatural creatures become matter-of-factly woven into the substance of society.

please continue.
I'm still trying to figure out where the storyline should go next, but when I do, I'll probably post another chapter.
Wow this is amazing.

Enh... don't worry, everyone has their own egos. Heh.
I regret to announce that I will not be continuing with this story. I can't see it going anywhere, but I do have other ideas. I'm not giving up on writing.
awful quiet in ravensquill, looks like. you working on anything else? haven't been writing much myself.

shame you won't be doing anything more with this idea - i kind of liked it - but good luck with the rest of your writing anyhow.
You'd be not be giving up on writing! You've got a lot of talent there.