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08 January 2011 @ 06:34 pm
"And the Dead Doves Fell" Chapters One and Two + "Hunger"  
CHAPTER ONE & TWO
Title: 01. Accent Piece, 02. The Woman Before
Universe: And the Dead Doves Fell (ATDDF)
Characters/Pairings: Jane Dest, Thomas, Nika/Qori
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: vague flashback?

Summary-ish Thing: I obviously can't tell you what the whole story's about, because that'll ruin it! So, in the first chapter, "Accent Piece" I introduce my two main characters to each other and establish my universe: the small, boring town of New London, North Carolina, present day. In the second chapter, "The Woman Before" a little bit of intrigue/mystery is added in by a creepy woman who appears to be stalking (and seducing) someone whose description matches that of one of the main characters, and even murders her sisters to get to him...

AN: These are the first two chapters of my novel-to-be, which I hope to have finished before or around my sophomore year in college. I think the most I'll put up is the first three chapters and a few snippets when I want some feedback to avoid stealing, but still get people at least a little attached to the characters. Anyway, I'm very proud to have the first chapters completed, and I want to see if they're consistant and don't ramble, aren't confusing, etc.



=
01. Accent Piece
=

Jane Dest was very good at her job. At least, she liked to think she was good at her job. She didn't know if other people liked to think so – or more importantly, if her boss thought so – but sometimes she wished she could read their minds.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Frederickson, but Amy is just not available right now." Jane made a manic grab for the papers rapidly flowing from her fax machine. "Yes, yes, of course I'll make a note, Mr. Frederickson.” Jane perched the phone precariously on her shoulder as she tried to decipher what the fax was about and yanked a complaint pad and a blue pen toward her.

"Complaints are in pink, Janey!" Thomas sang on his way past to answer his own frantically ringing line. Feeling abused, Jane juggled phone, fax, and pad as she retrieved a pink gel pen from the mug full of writing utensils at the right of her keyboard. Frederickson was already halfway through his tirade, and Jane hurried to catch up before he was all the way finished.

However good or not she was at her job, Jane hated it with a passion. What did it matter if Frederickson's granddaughter was in love with some boy at school and Amy’s advice column wasn't helping? Why was it Jane's problem – or anybody's, really – that the next leading magazine's printer had stopped buying their aquamarine ink mix from Incco? If all the complaints were written on a piece paper that had 'complaint' across the top, why did they also have to be written in pink?

Jane also hated her boss. Amy Jeroset was the type of girl who thought pink was an annoying color – so she wore various shades of purple instead. At face value, Amy was happy and bubbly; what was thought of as the “typical” love advice column writer. Up close and personal, Amy was scathing, impatient, and selfish; she really didn’t care if Mr. Frederickson’s granddaughter was dropping letter grades because she was lovesick. Usually the full brunt Amy’s true color qualities came down hard on Jane.

Amy left Thomas, her other assistant, alone because he was gay. Obviously, that meant not only was Thomas simply better at “this sort” of job, but he also had a hard enough time outside of work anyway. Stereotypical and presumptuous, yes, but it wasn’t like he was about to argue about getting preferential treatment, now was he?

As Mr. Frederickson huffed angrily into the phone and hung up on her with a jingling slam, Jane stuffed the fax unceremoniously into her top desk drawer – Incco ink out was pretty easy for her to remember anyway – and ripped the written on sheet of paper off of the complaint pad to put into the hanging inbox outside of Amy’s door when she left.

Thank god for Fridays and an early closing time.

“You leaving, Janey?” Thomas called at Jane as she stood from her desk.

“I wish you wouldn’t call me that,” mumbled Jane irritably, instead of answering. In one smooth motion – she really had it down by now – Jane dropped Mr. Frederickson’s complaint into Amy’s inbox and grabbed her coat and scarf from the stand by the door. Through the glass, Jane watched the dead leaves of late fall blow along the road.

The bell chimed when Jane pushed the door open. Outside, she pulled off her ponytail and shook her long blonde hair out so it could protect her ears from the cold and wind. She blinked her eyes at the muted fall sunlight, disproportionately bright to her after all day under low-grade fluorescents.

Jane was fresh out of college with a major in journalism and a minor in fine arts. Amy had been a friend of a friend of Jane’s older sister, Sam, and a just-above minimum wage job had been arranged. Jane and her workplace were located in a tiny little town just outside of college city. Everything was close to everything else and so everywhere was where Jane walked.

Jane’s apartment wasn’t far from Amy’s office, and she made it home and out of the cold in less than fifteen minutes. Happily, Jane snapped her front door shut behind her and dropped her keys with a chink on the waist-high bookshelf pressed up to the doorframe on the right.

Generally speaking, Jane’s life was incredibly boring. She got up in the morning, she went to work, she came home. She wasn’t totally jonesing for an epic career advancement, as may be expected. Jane was perfectly content to get a minor promotion – perhaps simply to Thomas’s position of The Favorite – with a small increase in wage and a slightly more significant decrease in hassle.

When Jane got home from work most days, she made herself a quick and easy dinner and watched some television. Sometimes her mother called. Sometimes her sister called. Most of the time, Jane answered for both.

On unusual days, Jane got out her various art toys and put her college minor to good use. Jane painted on large canvases with acrylic paint most of the time and some of the time oil, when she wanted a little extra texture. Jane liked to paint abstract landscapes, reveling in the relative uniqueness of it. When she painted, Jane put all of her energy into it, as if she were dancing.

Today was an unusual day.

The canvases were hidden away behind a tallish bookshelf (plastic faux-wood, hers since high school and falling apart) in Jane’s bedroom and she pulled one out with difficulty, tugging at it like she was wrestling a chew toy from a dog. The wooden frame scrapped on the wall as the canvas finally bowed to her will and came out from the space, and she tucked it under her arm, unwary of splinters.

The paints were in a back room whose walls were covered in faded and chipped green paint left there by the apartment’s previous owners. Jane used it as her storage room; the place she banished things she didn’t want or couldn’t use anymore but was too lazy to properly get rid of. Maybe someday she’d have a yard sale.

For now, though, Jane simply chose acrylics.

Jane tucked her paints and various brushes, her miniature easel, and a water bottle into a canvas tote bag, carefully arranging them so that they would lie comfortably against her side while she walked. At the door, Jane tugged her coat back on and stuffed her keys into her pocket. She’d probably discard the jacket once she got in to her painting, but for now it was needed.

On the sidewalk in front of her building, Jane turned left and headed for the public park two blocks on. It had the most beautiful deciduous trees, and there was a fountain there that Jane had been meaning to paint for months.

Unlike when she was working in the office, when Jane painted she kept her hair down and wild. That’s not to say that putting it up tamed it – Jane’s hair was never tame – but for painting purposes, Jane liked to keep everything as free as possible.

Jane picked a low-traffic spot on the side of the path, looking down the fountain from a small hill. She set up her easel (it creaked and complained, but she ignored it) and propped her canvas on it with a nod.

Jane’s painting style was a little odd. She made her strokes with wild slashes across the page and great arching swoops of her brush. It was an exercise in and of itself (Sam often joked that painting was what kept Jane so skinny) and within a few short minutes, Jane’s coat was lying in a heap on the ground next to her while she poured her heart and soul into her chosen medium.

Jane didn’t notice him, but that was okay; he didn’t notice her either.

The collision was quick and almost painless, resulting with Jane on her back and him on top of her, with yellow-green paint smeared across her cheek and lukewarm coffee cooling wetly down both of their fronts, her hair a blonde tangle spiraling out in all directions on the leaf-covered sidewalk.

“Oh, God!” the man declared in a heavy Russian-ish accent. He jumped up and brushed down his clothes. “I’m sorry for that, miss. I wasn’t paying too much attention to where I was going.” He blushed just slightly – he was so pale! – and ducked his head sheepishly.

The man had on a burnt-sienna duster, dirty and slightly frayed at the bottom. Burnished red leather adorned his legs, and he stuffed his hands almost-casually into the pockets. The duster hung open to account for the barely warm temperatures of autumn, and Jane could see a desert sand cotton shirt loosely covering his chest. His rust-and-copper hair matched his outfit perfectly.

“You would be very nice to paint,” she said.

They shared an awkward moment, then, after which he scratched his nose and held out his hand to help her up.

“My name is Nick,” he mumbled embarrassedly, his strange accent rolling around in Jane’s head trying to find the proper slot. Russian? British? North-Carolinian?

“Jane.” She took his hand and, after using it for leverage, shook it. “Nice to meet you.”

=



=
02. The Woman Before
=

Her and her sisters watch him from the forests near his house. He lives poorly compared to some they have seen, but not so poorly compared to others. Either way, he is beautiful.

She saw him first.

He has light red hair, straight and smooth. He probably thinks it needs to be cut. She disagrees. She likes it this way. His eyes are a sweet brown, like honey and she is dying to have a taste. He is tall and pale and strong, though he could be stronger. He is perfect.

She saw him first.

If it comes down to a fight between her and her sisters, she knows she will win. Determination goes a long way, she knows this from experience. And her sisters don’t want him as bad as she does. Besides, she saw him first.

He’s hers.

=

She visits him sometimes without her sisters. Today she lets him know she’s there. He sees her and gets that look in his eyes that she loves. The one that tells her she’s won.

He’s hers.

He’s chopping wood today, for his hearth. Stuttering, he invites her in. She gladly accepts. She flirts with him and he flirts back. Even though she already knows she’s won, she’ll keep playing. She loves this game. He serves her his bread and his wine and he asks her back. Oh, how she loves this game. It’s so easy! And her sisters will be jealous.

=

When she tells them they envy her fiercely, just as she’d predicted. What she had not predicted, though she should’ve, was how furious their envy made them. There are three of them against one of her, but she knows she will win.

She loves this game too.

She smiles wickedly, sharp teeth flashing, as she kills them each one by one. Their bodies, she thinks, are beautiful lying in odd positions, bleeding all over the frozen ground. Yes, she’s won. She always wins.

She saw him first, he’s hers. And now she will have him all to herself.

=

He is waiting for her outside when she shows, purposefully late. There is no sign that the cold has bothered him, and it probably hasn’t. He has lived here his whole life, he’s bound to be used to the climate by now. She isn’t; she’s come from a warmer land, but her body doesn’t feel as acutely as his anyway.

She’s worn her best today. She wants to impress him as much and as fast as possible. Her father has told her she needs a husband. She has decided that this is the man, this red-haired northerner that she has found. She wants him and he has no choice but to want her.

He holds the door for her and she leads him inside, looking coyly over her shoulder at him. He blinks and blushes and she grins. She loves this game. He serves her again and she allows him to have a conversation with her, though that isn’t what she’s interested in. Finally, after nightfall, he asks her if she has any place to be. When the answer is no, he hesitantly leads her to his bedroom.

The game is over. There will be no turning back for him, not ever. She wants him, and he has no choice but to keep her now.

=

“Qori?” he asks in the morning. She opens her eyes from her pretend slumber and looks at him in feigned bleariness. He smiles and his eyes sparkle. “Would you give me your hand and be my wife?” She tries to look surprised, though this was the plan all along.

“You want me to stay with you?” she says as if she can’t believe it. But of course he does. She made him. One of the many talents she’s been given.

“For the rest of my life,” he assures. She grins, knowing she will give him much more than that. She will give him eternity, and he will never be able to tell her no.

“Yes.”

=



This one's a little character study/snippet written to the original-fic bingo card prompt "hunger". It probably won't actually end up in the book, but it's a pretty good piece and I feel like it captures Qori pretty well. I'd love some feedback, both on the writing in general and on the character.



There are very few human things that Qori still feels. She still knows greed and envy like old friends. They seem to be her constant companions wherever she goes. She doesn't mind. It's not like they're unpleasant to her after all.

Qori has forgotten what things like love or hatred feel like. It's been millennia since the last time she felt lonely, far too long ago that she experienced heartache to consider her ever having been capable.

Qori feels hunger, though. Of course, she feels it in her stomach, a slight roiling pain that is really more bothersome than anything. She always quenches it before it can become an actual problem. Humans are easy to kill, so why should she suffer?

Qori feels hunger whenever she sees a new kind of human she's never encountered before, even if she just ate. She knows how to keep with the times; if she didn't she would've been forgotten a forever before just as those useless human things like happiness had been.

That kind of hunger doesn't bother Qori. It is easy to sate and quickly goes away after she feeds herself. What Qori mostly hungers for is him.

She'd had him, he was all hers. She was going to keep him forever and ever and bite him and lick him and eat him up. She was going to pleasure him and hurt him, break him, fix him. He'd feed her very soul until the end of time.

There is only so much simple blood can do. It only makes her annoying belly stop rumbling; nothing fun. Blood - human blood, that is, because certainly his blood would cure every ailment she could have - doesn't get him out of her head. It doesn't douse the fire that is her entire being whenever she just happens to think of him. Blood really doesn't do much.

Unfortunately, Qori thinks of him a lot. When she does, her mouth waters, her palms itch. Grainy pictures of him - his red hair, pale skin, unsuspecting smile - float in her mind. She remembers their wedding night and her thighs tense, heat arcs through her core, her teeth snap.

If only she had him. How she could play with him! She could use him until he begged her for mercy. She'd make him cry, make him sing. She'd beat him and break him and own him until he wept desperately for and end.

And then she'd break him some more, until he said he loved her again.

 
 
Feeling: crazyeccentric
Listening to: Blind, Lifehouse
 
 
 
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