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Wings of a Dove--933 words

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Elenita

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He was pure; she was soiled. He was Christmas, and she was Halloween. He was a newborn star; she was a collapsing black hole. But still he was drawn to her, life unable to resist the handshake of death.

One date, and another, and then the next right the day after. Caution stayed him to go slow, slowly backpedaling so she could take another step forward. And then another. Closer. When they embraced he thought he felt a breeze, cold and frigid passing between them. Once he almost swore to himself that he heard the whisper of wings when she breathed in his ear.

But she smiled, her mouth arching into a hook and she reeled him in.

Shivers tingled his skin as she crawled across the bed and slipped her hands over his shoulders, her fingers finding the buttons on his shirt and undoing them. His tension relaxed in her kneading press, her tongue tracing his shoulder blades.

Cold, wet, trickling down in a triangle.

He let her undress him, inch by inch like unfolding a map. She coaxed him into a crucifix spread over the sheets, kneeling beneath his foot to kiss his toes. Her lips felt like nails sinking into his flesh and he begged for more.

He kept his eyes shut as she slobbered a path up his body, each kiss stinging in the brush of air. Paradise awaited him as she drew nearer, his hands searching for her face in the web of limbs. He touched his foot and felt the spot where she had been, now open and sore like a nail mark. His fingers came away covered in a the warm, sticky flow and when he licked them he tasted sweet, not salty. Sweet and thick.

He sat up in alarm, eyes open and darting from the blood on his fingers to the trickle oozing from his foot. And streaming down his knees; dripping from his thighs where she had just been; flowing steadily down his back from where she had begun.

She pressed her finger over his lips as he tried to speak, her tongue curling around the back of his neck and drooling down his spine. He squirmed under her hold, staring at the wounds covering his body, slits that started to sprout tiny white stems protruding out that grew larger, fanning out to form a feather. More feathers grew, spreading out over his ankle and over his lap, flapping under his arms. His spine twitched and his hands fluttered in a panic, feeling up the row of feathers jutting from his back. She straddled him as he writhed in vain, her hands around his neck and pulling his face to hers.

Fear swam in his eyelids, desperately blinking to plead for mercy. She smiled, the rim of her mouth splattered with his blood. He stretched his jaw to scream just as she pressed her lips against his, reducing his mouth to a red smear, a row of white feathers springing from the open gap.

Spasms tore at him, jerking his body from side to side as the feathers expanded into wings, flapping against his chest and crashing against the walls as he floundered from side to side, stumbling after her retreating figure. She stopped for a moment as he grabbed the hem of her skirt, tumbling to his knees. Bending down she turned his hands over, gently rubbing them against her. The smile still wreathed her face as she stuffed both his hands into her mouth and then spat them back out. He tried to wipe his palms off on his knees and found he only hand wings now, a matching pair that beat on the ground.

The other wings followed the rhythm, pulsating back and forth, from the ones on the bridge on his feet to the one fluttering under his nose. He felt three swaying from his back, ones larger than the rest, the tips of their feathers brushing his kneepits. The row of wings layered up his legs and torso beat faster, lifting him above the ground, hovering a few inches first and then several feet higher as they gained momentum, bumping and smashing into the walls and doors in the house. Books flew off the shelves, the chandelier in the livingroom swung from side to side, catching in one row of feathers. His clothes blew against his face, blinding him for a moment as he careened into the kitchen cupboards. His head bumped the ceiling as the wings flapped, fighting to break into the air. The greater heights they reached the more feathers grew, crowding out the few remaining smudges of flesh and skin.

Twirling through the roof and into the blue sky, the wings carried him up, past the rustling trees and into the crown of clouds. Sunlight poured between the shafts and he squinted a the illumination of his deformity. Only his eyes and eyes remained untouched, unfeathered by the poison of her. All he could see was the wide expanse of a world he could no longer touch, all he could hear was the beating of wings against the wind.

Faster, they beat on, faster and faster, whipping the air around him into a spiral that never stopped spinning, swiveling his head around and around. Leaves and twigs, paper airplanes and kites, rain and thunder whirling into a funnel that stretched across the sky, a tornado of wings with tear-filled eyes.

Tears that hung to his eyelashes, clinging despite the fury of the wind. They held on for a moment before the gale swept them away.
 

TexasPoet

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While I like this, I believe it could be shorter. Some of the description seems more fit for a longer piece (which I would read if it were written). ‘

But...I’m new to FF, so what do I know.

tp ;)
 

Joseph Schmol

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Hi, Elenita.

I agree with TP this piece might benefit from a trim. It is packed with activity.

I enjoyed the descriptive flair you employ but also felt the story is overwritten in spots. Take the opening for instance: he/she X 3, followed by the wonderful "... unable to resist the handshake of death." My favorite line in the story, but I'm unable to fully appreciate it because of the over-emphasis that precedes.

My largest concern is that I never felt grounded in character. A lot happened & you described it well -- but why should I care? I never felt attached to either one, so I was mere spectator to the story, not engaged participant.

I look forward to reading more of your work.
 

The Urban Spaceman

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He was pure; she was soiled. He was Christmas, and she was Halloween. He was a newborn star; she was a collapsing black hole. But still he was drawn to her, life unable to resist the handshake of death.

One date, and another, and then the next right the day after. Caution stayed him to go slow, slowly backpedaling so she could take another step forward. And then another. Closer. When they embraced he thought he felt a breeze, cold and frigid passing between them. Once he almost swore to himself that he heard the whisper of wings when she breathed in his ear.

Nice, I like this opening.

But she smiled, her mouth arching into a hook and she reeled him in.

The conjunctive sentence doesn't flow very well following a comma that feels like it ought to be parenthetical. You might want to try reworking it.

Shivers tingled his skin as she crawled across the bed and slipped her hands over his shoulders,

The first part of the sentence feels a bit passive, or maybe it's just the feel of "shivers tingled" which doesn't sit right with me. Perhaps because shiver and tingle are both verbs, and a verb verbing a noun just doesn't flow well.

her fingers finding the buttons on his shirt and undoing them. His tension relaxed in her kneading press, her tongue tracing his shoulder blades.

Compared you everything you've written so far, this is bland, telly and stands out like a sore thumb.

Cold, wet, trickling down in a triangle.

I like cold and wet, it gives me another indication that something is amiss here (a tongue isn't usually cold) but I can't reconcile trickling with a triangle. If you selected it for alliterative purposes you might want to rethink it, or if you specifically wanted a triangle, see if you could elaborate on how her tongue can trickle in a triangle.

He let her undress him, inch by inch like unfolding a map. She coaxed him into a crucifix spread over the sheets, kneeling beneath his foot to kiss his toes. Her lips felt like nails sinking into his flesh and he begged for more.

Last sentence doesn't need to be filtered, a simile or metaphor would be stronger. I've never had nails sunk into my flesh, but I imagine it hurts like hell. Therefore, I wonder, 1) why isn't it hurting him, 2) why does he want more? I'm all for a bit of light SM, and there can be a fine line between pleasure and pain, but the nails analogy just gives me the impression of pain.

He kept his eyes shut as she slobbered a path up his body,

I now picture the woman as Beethoven. The dog, not the composer.

each kiss stinging in the brush of air. Paradise awaited him

Now I'm humming 'Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.' All twelve minutes of it.

as she drew nearer, his hands searching for her face in the web of limbs.

Switch humming to Spider Man theme song.

He touched his foot and felt the spot where she had been, now open and sore like a nail mark. His fingers came away covered in a the warm, sticky flow and when he licked them he tasted sweet, not salty. Sweet and thick.

He sat up in alarm, eyes open and darting from the blood on his fingers to the trickle oozing from his foot. And streaming down his knees; dripping from his thighs where she had just been; flowing steadily down his back from where she had begun.

I may not have had nails driven into my flesh, but I've hammered enough to know that they're generally quite thin. The way you describe it as 'open' makes it sound a fairly large gap in his skin.

Extraneous 'the' removed.

I'm not sure why his blood tastes sweet, unless he's diabetic. Also not sure why you'd need to differentiate "not salty". I don't think I've ever heard blood described as salty. Popcorn, sure. Blood, not so much. Metallic would be a better term.

You just showed us by his sitting up, opening eyes, eyes darting, that he's done so in alarm; no need to tell it, too.

The last sentence lists things the MC is looking at, but how can he see the blood flowing down his back?

She pressed her finger over his lips as he tried to speak, her tongue curling around the back of his neck and drooling down his spine.

Roll over, Beethoooven.

He squirmed under her hold, staring at the wounds covering his body, slits that started to sprout tiny white stems protruding out that grew larger, fanning out to form a feather. More feathers grew, spreading out over his ankle and over his lap, flapping under his arms. His spine twitched and his hands fluttered in a panic, feeling up the row of feathers jutting from his back. She straddled him as he writhed in vain, her hands around his neck and pulling his face to hers.

Fear swam in his eyelids,

This eyelids thing doesn't really convey anything to me.

desperately blinking to plead for mercy. She smiled, the rim of her mouth splattered with his blood. He stretched his jaw to scream just as she pressed her lips against his, reducing his mouth to a red smear, a row of white feathers springing from the open gap.

Spasms tore at him, jerking his body from side to side as the feathers expanded into wings, flapping against his chest and crashing against the walls as he floundered from side to side, stumbling after her retreating figure. She stopped for a moment as he grabbed the hem of her skirt, tumbling to his knees. Bending down she turned his hands over, gently rubbing them against her. The smile still wreathed her face as she stuffed both his hands into her mouth and then spat them back out.

She must have an enormous mouth. I can't even get one of my hands into my mouth, and I literally just tried while I was reading it.

He tried to wipe his palms off on his knees and found he only hand wings now, a matching pair that beat on the ground.

The other wings followed the rhythm, pulsating back and forth, from the ones on the bridge on his feet to the one fluttering under his nose. He felt three swaying from his back, ones larger than the rest, the tips of their feathers brushing his kneepits. The row of wings layered up his legs and torso beat faster, lifting him above the ground, hovering a few inches first and then several feet higher as they gained momentum, bumping and smashing into the walls and doors in the house. Books flew off the shelves, the chandelier in the livingroom swung from side to side, catching in one row of feathers. His clothes blew against his face, blinding him for a moment as he careened into the kitchen cupboards. His head bumped the ceiling as the wings flapped, fighting to break into the air. The greater heights they reached the more feathers grew, crowding out the few remaining smudges of flesh and skin.

Twirling through the roof and into the blue sky, the wings carried him up, past the rustling trees and into the crown of clouds. Sunlight poured between the shafts and he squinted a the illumination of his deformity. Only his eyes and eyes remained untouched, unfeathered by the poison of her. All he could see was the wide expanse of a world he could no longer touch, all he could hear was the beating of wings against the wind.

Faster, they beat on, faster and faster, whipping the air around him into a spiral that never stopped spinning, swiveling his head around and around. Leaves and twigs, paper airplanes and kites, rain and thunder whirling into a funnel that stretched across the sky, a tornado of wings with tear-filled eyes.

Tears that hung to his eyelashes, clinging despite the fury of the wind. They held on for a moment before the gale swept them away.

Overall, I think it's a good concept with some solid writing. You do a good job of walking the line between Horror and Erotica (thus Horrotica was born) and the premise is an interesting one.

As everyone else said, I don't care about the characters. The opening was promising in setting them up and giving me an insight into their personalities, but from there on, I'm just a passive observer of this horrotic scene. One major thing for me is the fact that if this woman has been licking open wounds into his skin, he should be feeling it. He should be in pain long before he tastes (or sees) blood. But although he writhes and does some other stuff, none of it seems anything but a discomfort.

Now, I could postulate that this woman's mouth produces some sort of Novocaine-like substances which numbs the victim to prevent them realising there's anything wrong until they're fully feathered. But as a reader, I shouldn't have to fill in the plot holes. If there's pain, I want to feel it. If there's no pain, I want to share the MC's horror that all this is happening but there's mysteriously no pain!

I made a few suggestions but a lot of what I suggested would be personal preference and could be ignored if you desired. I'd like to see how your revision goes, though, as it was a good read.
 

Elenita

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Nice, I like this opening.



The conjunctive sentence doesn't flow very well following a comma that feels like it ought to be parenthetical. You might want to try reworking it.



The first part of the sentence feels a bit passive, or maybe it's just the feel of "shivers tingled" which doesn't sit right with me. Perhaps because shiver and tingle are both verbs, and a verb verbing a noun just doesn't flow well.



Compared you everything you've written so far, this is bland, telly and stands out like a sore thumb.



I like cold and wet, it gives me another indication that something is amiss here (a tongue isn't usually cold) but I can't reconcile trickling with a triangle. If you selected it for alliterative purposes you might want to rethink it, or if you specifically wanted a triangle, see if you could elaborate on how her tongue can trickle in a triangle.



Last sentence doesn't need to be filtered, a simile or metaphor would be stronger. I've never had nails sunk into my flesh, but I imagine it hurts like hell. Therefore, I wonder, 1) why isn't it hurting him, 2) why does he want more? I'm all for a bit of light SM, and there can be a fine line between pleasure and pain, but the nails analogy just gives me the impression of pain.



I now picture the woman as Beethoven. The dog, not the composer.



Now I'm humming 'Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.' All twelve minutes of it.



Switch humming to Spider Man theme song.



I may not have had nails driven into my flesh, but I've hammered enough to know that they're generally quite thin. The way you describe it as 'open' makes it sound a fairly large gap in his skin.

Extraneous 'the' removed.

I'm not sure why his blood tastes sweet, unless he's diabetic. Also not sure why you'd need to differentiate "not salty". I don't think I've ever heard blood described as salty. Popcorn, sure. Blood, not so much. Metallic would be a better term.

You just showed us by his sitting up, opening eyes, eyes darting, that he's done so in alarm; no need to tell it, too.

The last sentence lists things the MC is looking at, but how can he see the blood flowing down his back?



Roll over, Beethoooven.



This eyelids thing doesn't really convey anything to me.



She must have an enormous mouth. I can't even get one of my hands into my mouth, and I literally just tried while I was reading it.



Overall, I think it's a good concept with some solid writing. You do a good job of walking the line between Horror and Erotica (thus Horrotica was born) and the premise is an interesting one.

As everyone else said, I don't care about the characters. The opening was promising in setting them up and giving me an insight into their personalities, but from there on, I'm just a passive observer of this horrotic scene. One major thing for me is the fact that if this woman has been licking open wounds into his skin, he should be feeling it. He should be in pain long before he tastes (or sees) blood. But although he writhes and does some other stuff, none of it seems anything but a discomfort.

Now, I could postulate that this woman's mouth produces some sort of Novocaine-like substances which numbs the victim to prevent them realising there's anything wrong until they're fully feathered. But as a reader, I shouldn't have to fill in the plot holes. If there's pain, I want to feel it. If there's no pain, I want to share the MC's horror that all this is happening but there's mysteriously no pain!

I made a few suggestions but a lot of what I suggested would be personal preference and could be ignored if you desired. I'd like to see how your revision goes, though, as it was a good read.

Thank you for your suggestions! They are very helpful. I guess there isn't a lot of time for insight into their characters because they sort of have a few dates and then try to sleep together once before she unleashes her toxic saliva. So I wasn't sure how to add character development in such a short, basically just one terrifying scene. The idea hinted here is that she's kind of a demon/succubus, and he has angelic properties that facilitate the wing thing? But I didn't want to write a straight out demon vs angel thing. Also I wanted him to become a twisted kind of airbender of sorts. :p
 

The Urban Spaceman

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Thank you for your suggestions! They are very helpful. I guess there isn't a lot of time for insight into their characters because they sort of have a few dates and then try to sleep together once before she unleashes her toxic saliva. So I wasn't sure how to add character development in such a short, basically just one terrifying scene.

Well, the scene seems to be written roughly from the man's POV, but it's pretty far, as in, we don't hear any of his thoughts or feelings or desires (other than his desire for her to continue after that nails thing). One way to develop the character(s), at least one of them, would be for us to hear his thoughts... or for the story to be told with his voice. Right now, it's just narrated action, and though it's well described, there's no real feeling of personality about it. If the feeling you want to evoke in the reader is of watching the action from outside (like a movie) then that's fine. It all depends on your intentions.

The idea hinted here is that she's kind of a demon/succubus, and he has angelic properties that facilitate the wing thing? But I didn't want to write a straight out demon vs angel thing. Also I wanted him to become a twisted kind of airbender of sorts. :p

I thought she was a monster with the ability to turn people into birds. I got the religious undertones via crucifixion but I wouldn't have guessed he had angelic properties. I don't know what an airbender is (other than a film based on a book).
 

Elle.

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Hi Elenita,

I agree with what has been said before. I enjoyed reading this, and it was well-written, but it lacked emotion, and thoughts from the MC's POV. I got the succubus part but I too missed the angel parts due to those lines in particular: "More feathers grew, spreading out over his ankle and over his lap" & "Only his eyes and eyes remained untouched, unfeathered by the poison of her." This lead me to believe she had turned him into some feathered creature.

I don't know if you are limited by a word count but I would suggest trimming some of the actions and instead development the emotional side of the story.
I hope this helps.
 

Elenita

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Hi Elenita,

I agree with what has been said before. I enjoyed reading this, and it was well-written, but it lacked emotion, and thoughts from the MC's POV. I got the succubus part but I too missed the angel parts due to those lines in particular: "More feathers grew, spreading out over his ankle and over his lap" & "Only his eyes and eyes remained untouched, unfeathered by the poison of her." This lead me to believe she had turned him into some feathered creature.

I don't know if you are limited by a word count but I would suggest trimming some of the actions and instead development the emotional side of the story.
I hope this helps.

Yes, she does turn him into a feathered creature (basically). You're right, I do need to develop the emotional element of the story, I'm just not sure how.
 

Elenita

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Well, the scene seems to be written roughly from the man's POV, but it's pretty far, as in, we don't hear any of his thoughts or feelings or desires (other than his desire for her to continue after that nails thing). One way to develop the character(s), at least one of them, would be for us to hear his thoughts... or for the story to be told with his voice. Right now, it's just narrated action, and though it's well described, there's no real feeling of personality about it. If the feeling you want to evoke in the reader is of watching the action from outside (like a movie) then that's fine. It all depends on your intentions.
.

So then I would have to change the voice to first person? I do want to keep it as a third person narrative, but I see what you mean about adding his thoughts, he doesn't really react enough to what's going on.
 

The Urban Spaceman

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So then I would have to change the voice to first person? I do want to keep it as a third person narrative, but I see what you mean about adding his thoughts, he doesn't really react enough to what's going on.

"No, you don't need to switch to 1st Person to hear a character's thoughts," The Urban Spaceman said. Was that clear enough? Would it be better to give an example? Man, this writing stuff was hard! Maybe it would be easier to give up critting and just go get some cookies. But no. Perseverance. Helping others develop their writing was a greater reward than any cookie.

Except triple-chocolate hazelnut chip.

"Does that make sense?" Spaceman asked.
 

Elenita

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"No, you don't need to switch to 1st Person to hear a character's thoughts," The Urban Spaceman said. Was that clear enough? Would it be better to give an example? Man, this writing stuff was hard! Maybe it would be easier to give up critting and just go get some cookies. But no. Perseverance. Helping others develop their writing was a greater reward than any cookie.

Except triple-chocolate hazelnut chip.

"Does that make sense?" Spaceman asked.

Sorry I saw that you already mentioned that just after I posted my comment!
 

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