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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject: Galčre (Collab!) (Chapter Two poll up 1/11!) Reply with quote

This is a collab between I and Sapphire_Rayne. We hope you like it! For now, here's the prologue



Prologue


Amaranthine enjoyed wearing colors, she always had. It was her own little rebellion against tradition, and had an added normalcy she craved from time to time, as all teenagers did. There were times, however, that black was the only thing suitable. Like when she’d played the part of a spider in the elementary school play. Or in middle school, at what she considered her greatest musical debut. Or when she’d come of age, and her family had had their traditional ceremony, and she’d worn the lacy black frock that her mother had worn, and her mother's mother, and once, in a most scandalizing affair for the time, her mother's mother's father had worn. Black was a color of tradition in her family, and she wore it on every birthday, every ceremony, every formal occasion.

Every funeral.


There had been scarce few as she grew up. Most of her family was lively, vivacious, and lasted far longer than expected. Those that had died when she was young often lived too far to travel, and she and her parents had simply worn the black and lit the candles from within their own walls. Then, not too long before her sixteenth birthday, her aunts fell. They had been traveling, but their bodies were returned home. It was odd, it had been said, that they’d all three been bitten by the same snake and died, but no one had commented on it to outsiders. Wouldn’t do to draw notice, after all, and it was an unfortunate accident. They had all left their collections to Amaranthine’s mother, who, in a fit of grief, had thrown them away.

Amaranthine had never told her she dug them out of the garbage and hid them all in the attic.

Her uncle, the baby brother of her mother's siblings, had been next. Came down with a terrible cold, just never got better. Strange, for the man who’d been near-religious with his vitamins, but no one questioned it. Out loud. Then, on the eve of Amaranthine’s seventeenth birthday, her grandmother, matriarch of their branch of the family, had slipped away in her sleep. That had been hard enough, and Amaranthine had cried for days. Weeks after that, though, her parents had been in a terrible wreck. Her father had been killed on impact, but her mother had gone into critical condition. By that point, everyone in the family who could have helped her mother was gone, and only Amaranthine, powerless, and alone, had been left to sit at her bedside as she slipped away.

After that, everything had gone by in a blur. The house had been sold, and she’d moved into the apartment above the bookstore. A distant cousin had a heart attack. She’d graduated high school. A far off aunt drowned in her bath. She’d taken over running her parents bookstore. Some great uncle tripped and fell down a flight of stairs. She began going by Amie. An aunt twice removed slipped into a well. Amie turned 19. Her cousin’s home caught fire, and with that, the last of Amaranthine’s family, no matter how distant, had gone.

As her feet crunched through the grass, a soft drizzle of rain beating against her black umbrella, Amie stared blankly at the gravestones in front of her. The names etched into the stone were cold, unforgiving. They didn’t have the soft scrawl of any handwriting she would have recognized. Around her, there were others dressed in black, but only a few. Somewhere, a monotone voice blathered on about something meant to be encouraging or soothing. Another funeral, but there would be no more.

She was the last one, now. The last one of the family. The last of the clan. The last of the Labelles.

The last of the witches.




~*~**~*~

Let us know what you think!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooh. This looks promising 8D. I love how you left a bunch of hints about the witchness then answered all the potential questions they bring to mind at the end. Can't wait to find out why they all died at once o__o. Also have a sneaking suspicion that her aunt's collections will be important.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, nice Smile and spooky in a way. I wanna see the truth behind these freaky deaths Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THIS LOOKS SO COOL!

It's terribly sad that she's alone now, but it's drawn me in like crazy! I loved the bit where it was one death, monotonous life event, death, monotonous life event, death, etc. It really drove home that this was just a part of her normal life now. It's so intriguing and perfect and wonderful! I can't wait to see more!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O. M. G. I am loving this! Excellent set up! I can't wait to read more from you and Sapph! :3
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooooo witches!

*settles in*
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter One


Four years wouldn’t change a town like Deveraux very much. Children got older, the trees shed and regrow their leaves. Maybe one or two people die, and a funeral is held, and most of the town attends. Not all, the town had grown enough since Amie’s grandmother's childhood that the graveyards could no longer hold the entire population, as she had often complained. Her family had been living in this town since it’s conception, and her family had played a large part in it’s growth. Since she’d become the lone Labelle, it’s growth had stagnated, and now the medium sized town was caught somewhere between the small town mindset of ‘know thy neighbor’ and the fast-paced rush of a big city.

Upset with herself for allowing her mind to wander again, Amie put more vigor into her movements as she dusted down the checkout counter. It’d been nearly five years since she took over the bookstore, and while it turned a tidy profit, the sum wasn’t so impressive that she could afford not to take it over from time to time. That’s how she found herself dusting the counters on this empty Wednesday afternoon. Not many people came in on Wednesdays, so it gave her time to watch the store and do the books at the same time. The books were done, though, and the buzzing of energy in her limbs wouldn’t dissipate without motion.

She stepped away from the counter, set not too far from the french doors that her mother had been so proud of. Smiling wistfully at them for a moment, Amie turned around, and faced the shelves. Each shelf was a rosewood, lovingly crafted to all have the same well-aged look, and they were arranged in spirals that invited you to explore and get lost, with signs hanging from delicate chains above them. They had been placed to direct those with goals directly to their destinations, but Amie remembered being young, and unable to see the signs, and getting lost in the bookshelves for what must’ve been hours, watching people as they picked their books.

Outside, there was the narrow main street that the bookstore had been on since it was built. It hadn’t always been a bookstore, of course, and there hadn’t always been a Labelle living in the apartment upstairs, but that was what it was now, and where she lived now. Since it was on main street, the building was crammed between similar small shops and the sidewalk was teeming with carefully cultivated trees and bushes. They were nothing compared to the woods she was used to running around in, used to learning about, but they reminded her of the lessons with her mother nonetheless.

Behind the bookstore was a modest parking lot, and behind that another row of shops, facing a neighboring but less well-used road. To either side of the bookstore were a flower shop and a building that seemed to get a new facelift once every three years. Most recently, it was an high-class thrift store, but when Amie had been a child, it had sold hand made candles, and the owner had been a very, very distant cousin who had adored Amie, and taught her everything.

The jing-jangle of the bells above the doors dragged her out of her memories, and Amie shook her head, before turning to smile an owner's greeting to the new customer. The rain outside was intense, and the umbrella hadn’t offered him any shelter from the downpour outside. Once he finally managed to close the umbrella, he all but threw it into one of the buckets that were placed on either side of the entrance, making it tip over. Wordlessly, Amie stepped over and righted the bucket.

His gaze hadn’t left the floor as he made his way towards the fiction section. It wasn’t until he was settled into the section that he looked up at the titled spines, trying to remember the few names he was told to buy. After a moment of thinking, he began to scan the spines quickly until he found the first one he had been searching for. With Arrows of the Queen in hand, it wasn’t hard to find the next novel in the series. Crossing them off the mental list he had, he settled the second one on top of the first in his arm before glancing up towards the signs before he frowned. The science section shouldn’t be this hard to find. Caine crinkled his nose, as if squinting would make him see the signs easier through the lens situated on his face.

Amie, dismissing the customer as he walked away, returned to dusting. It was strange, the energy seemed to have left her. Turning her head to glance at the clock as she continued dusting, Amie tried to calculate how long til closing. Her hand went farther than she realized, and she felt the cool kiss of smooth ceramic glaze against the back of it. Startled, Amie quickly turned her head, watching in horror as the decorative vase her mother had selected began to fall.

In her peripheral vision, Amie noticed the customer had opened his mouth as if he were about to speak, before seemingly catching sight of the falling vase. Amie’s gaze flickered back to the vase, tears pricking her eyes as she realized she wouldn’t catch it in- the vase was resting in the boy’s hands, sitting there safely. Behind him, where he’d been standing in the shelves, two books rested in a heap. Amie felt a rush of heat go over her skin, and hope she didn’t dare believe in fizzled through her being. Magic. That was magic! It took tremendous effort to keep herself calm, and she reached out and gently took the vase from him.

“Thanks! Guess that makes up for knocking the bucket over, hm?”

“Sorry about that.” He muttered under his breath, keeping his eyes to the floor.

Amie gave a small nod as she stepped away. Replacing the vase, Amie moved towards the rack of bookmarks. She hand made them in her spare time, and they were hot sellers. While pretending to be reorganizing them, Amie palmed one that said ‘See through Lies’, holding it tightly enough that the opal beads bit softly into her palm. Turning quickly, Amie stumbled, knocking over a table with an elegant vase of flowers resting on it.

Caine had just turned away from the clumsy worker to pick up the books when he heard the table move. He was just about there when he glanced over to see - Another vase?! Ceramics held a spot in his heart, and before he realized it he was darting forward. The recently familiar pull against his form occurred and he groaned as he pushed himself to go forward. By the time he reached the decoration, his lungs were screaming at him to stop as they always did. Settling for catching it and resting a hand on the table, ready to place them to rights when whatever this all was wore off, Caine raised his eyes towards the worker. The pull then died down as quickly as it had started.

The worker was staring intensely at him, her mismatched eyes burning into him. She glanced down at the table as he gently placed it back down, and then back up at him. Caine couldn’t tell whether her gaze was speculative or excited, but she definitely seemed to know something.

“So,” She began, and Caine felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up as he thought of the worst possible outcome to this. It’s going to be hard to visit Mom from the loony bin. “How long have you been a time controller?”

~~#*#~~



The dp is this: How does Caine respond? Honestly? Does he try to hide it?

Thanks for checking out this collab, we've been working on it a while. This chapter is coming to you a few days early, We'll be trying to post a new chapter at least once a month.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love that she's a klutz...it made me really happy. haha! And his love of ceramics was pretty great too. I actually laughed out loud at the umbrella thing. Poor guy. I also loved the little happy looks into Amie's life. Even though she's the last one, she still looks fondly on her memories. I love it.

For the DP, I think he'd be a little stunned, and perhaps blurt out, "How do you know what that is?" or something...I would certainly be surprised if a complete stranger had heard of my magical powers. By asking that question, though, he's not fully admitting that's what he is, but he's also not lying to deny it.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hrmm. Wonder what was there before the bookstore and the Labelle. I'm not sure how you've done it, but the description of the town and the shop were a pleasure to read--they seem appealing, and the amount of detail was just right. The perspective shifts between Amie and Caine threw me off a little, but I'm not sure if it was because they were sudden or if there was another reason entirely.

Anyway, I'd really like to see Caine try to lie his way out of this one. I haven't seen enough of his character to be able to tell whether that's like him or not, but doing so would make sense to me (unless knowledge of magic is more common in this universe, but it doesn't seem to be.) It'd be especially interesting to see how Amie reacts to his lying (or if he finds a way to pull the wool over her eyes even with her bookmark >D).
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooh, interesting. I'd say he is dumbfounded, mouth half-agape and not being able to talk but mutter instead. Mutter stutter and not say anything substantial. xD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are now polling~! Please make sure to vote as it's closing on the fourteenth~!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as a heads up guys, we had a tie. SO, tie-breaking flash poll time! This poll will be up 24 hours, and we're hoping we get a better turn out!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caught up and voted! Loving it so far as well! Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have voted :3 sorry to have taken this long to get to it XP
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does Caine respond?
Mutter stutter and not say anything substantial.
0% [ 0 ]
Blurt out, "How do you know what that is?"
100% [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 4
Who Voted: Andolyn, kkdestiny, themightyzan, Vishal Muralidharan


Chapter 2

His head rearing back in shock, Caine heard words coming out of his mouth before he had a chance to think of something better.

“How do you know what that is?” He could have smacked himself. Who didn’t know what those were now? Especially considering the row of comic books not fifteen feet from where she stood. Besides, that implies I can control it.

“Erm,” Amie wasn’t sure how to respond. Time controllers were a fairly common thing in fiction, but was he attempting to ask her how she’d guessed that’s what he was? Taking a risk, Amie opened her hand and held the bookmark out towards him. “Opals provide clarity of sight, and diminish the effect of magic on the holder. I could sorta make it out as you moved through the stopped time.”

For a moment, Amie stood there, waiting for him to laugh and brush her off. It sounded absurd, and she didn’t truly have any proof. At least she could feasibly deny it. As a member of a well-respected family, it wasn’t likely anyone would believe the teenager over her. Caine, on the other hand, took this moment to think. If he was completely honest in a deadpan voice, maybe she’d think he was being a sarcastic teen. It was worth a shot. Better than lying, if she really could tell what was going on. This might be his only chance to connect with someone like him, if there really were others like him.

“Two weeks.”

“Hm.” Amie went through the past two weeks in her brain, reviewing important dates, and then tripped upon the obvious one. “The equinox.”

“What?”

“It’s a time of balance. The world brings itself to rights.” Amie was partially lost in thought, tapping her index finger to her lips. “So many of us have been dying… It would make sense… But why now?” Amie felt flickers of hope, of possibility, but stamped them down.

“Again, What?” Caine, usually so self-restrained, couldn’t prevent the bubble of snark from rising up.

“Well,” This was the moment Amie had to make a solid decision. Tell him the truth, and possibly look like a looney, or be vague and likely drive him away. Taking a bracing breath, Amie found the truth came easiest… Quickly. “Well, I’m a witch. And it’s entirely possible you are as well. Nearly all witches, truly magical ones, have a focus power. Something they can do without spells or incantations. I think the equinox turned you into a witch. Maybe.”

Amie found the willpower to halt her rambling, and as the silence stretched out, she watched him. Waiting for any sign of what his reaction would be. Denials and jokes lingering on the tip of her tongue, ready for quick dispersal.

That was when the antique grandfather clock, located near the two checkout counters, began to chime. Caine’s expression changed to one of panic as the time made itself known with four pronounced chimes. How had it gotten so late? There was still a bus to catch and he didn’t have all the books he needed!

“That’s all great, really but I need to get these books and go. I can stop back in tomorrow,” His eyes darted back to the books before they landed on Amie again. “And we can talk more about... everything.”

“Oh.”

The sudden chill that gripped her ribs surprised her. It shouldn’t’ve, she’d felt it before, but it did. Giving a customer-service smile, and a nod, Amie walked back to the checkout counter. Despite the homey, old-timey feel of the bookstore, Amie had insisted on keeping the registers as up-to-date as was affordable. The scanning system automatically recorded what had been sold, and let her know when stock on certain books was getting low. It had been a godsend. As she waited for the teen to gather up his books, Amie signed back onto the machine.

Caine wasted no time in running back to the books he had left on the floor, before gathering them up and heading to the checkout counter in the same fashion. He set the books down in a haphazard fashion, before glancing back at the clock. This all needed to take less time, he couldn’t afford to waste anymore of it. He had a bus to catch, and couldn’t rely on this erratic power to do him any favors. Despite the numbness beginning to seep into her bones, Amie matched his pace. Silently and quickly ringing him up, Amie rattled off the total. When he extended his money towards her, Amie noticed his hands were shaking ever so slightly. How much is this boy stressing himself out? It wasn’t her place to question, so Amie merely completed the transaction, handing him his change and his bag of books.

Caine grabbed both the bag and change, muttering a quick thank you, before sprinting out of the shop and towards the closest bus stop he could remember. Opening the door and seeing the downpour provided a gentle reminder to swerve around and grab his umbrella, before resuming the sprint. Thankfully, it wasn’t too far and he had made it before the vehicle was in sight - the amount of people also waiting was a sign it hadn’t arrived yet. As Caine waited for the bus, he gave his watch frequent glances. Hopefully he would be able to get a good chunk of time with his mom in before he had to catch the bus home. With a screech of its brakes, the bus came to a stop in front of him. Stepping inside, Caine shoved aside all thought of time control and witches.

Amie watched him leave, her smile slipping from her face. Her resting expression gave no sign of the inner turmoil twisting up her insides. So many questions, and no one to offer answers except herself. Was it possible for the world to just bring back witches? It was unclear how exactly witch magic worked, beyond that it went through bloodlines. Nearly anyone could actually cast spells if properly taught, but the focus magic, that only happened to witches from particular families. Families who had been witches as far back as time could possibly go.

The Labelles had been one of them, but now there was only her. From what she’d heard, most of the other families had been dying out as well. Was it possible that the fall equinox had been an important one? Important enough to cause focus powers to rise up within an individual? After all, those kinds of powers exhibited signs since birth. It wasn’t the kind of thing to- the twang of the bell broke off Amie’s thoughts, and she focused on her customer.

Later that night, Caine trudged up the steps to his home. Pushing the all too familiar door open, he rushed inside to get out of the chilled air, before shaking off the umbrella and hanging it off the stand where a few others resided. Next the shoes came off and were tossed into the basket that sat off to the side, and he had pulled his glasses off to rub at his eyes for a moment. I really hate these things. He wasn’t remotely shocked when he heard a mildly chiding voice from the adjacent room, the kitchen.

“I know you love Mom, but coming home this late on a school night?”

“Well,” Caine continued to rub at his eyes, though the reason for it had changed. “I wouldn’t have to wait for a bus this late if you just came with me.”

He took the moment to push his glasses back up on his nose, before his s-sibling could walk into the room. It took a second to ground himself, but when Quinn appeared in the doorway, still drying the dish they held, Caine’s expression was perfectly neutral. Despite the age difference, they looked enough alike that the relation was obvious. The same olive tone skin and reddish brown hair, though Caine styled his straight hair with a distinct lack of effort. His sibling, however, had theirs in an undercut, with the curly strands swept towards their right ear.

“You know I don’t get home from school til late, and then I have to make dinner- which is in the microwave waiting for you when you’re done being snippy.” Quinn’s voice was irritated, but since when was that new?

“I ate with Mom.” Without waiting for another word, Caine took this time to stomp up the stairs. As he slammed his door shut, he heard the sounds of Quinn downstairs, storming around the kitchen. Huh. Wonder if they’re putting it in the fridge or the trash. Caine bitterly contemplated as he got ready for bed. School was no doubt going to drag on tomorrow.

Amie brushed and rebraided her hair before bed, staring blankly into the mirror. Was she still the last witch? What if she wasn’t? She was the first Labelle to lack a focus power, how was she supposed to guide this boy? If he even came back. It hadn’t seemed likely. Setting the brush down on the counter of the antique vanity, Amie took a deep breath. It was highly likely that she would have to accept that today's encounter had been a fluke. That he wouldn’t come back, and she’d be all alone again. How pathetic am I, she mused as she climbed into bed, tucking the old quilts around her. To be so lonely that I’m all but clinging to some teenaged boy I just met? With a sigh, Amie closed her eyes and waited for sleep to come.

The next day had dragged on, just as Caine suspected it would, and as soon as the bell rang to release the students from their place of learning, he grabbed his things and bolted. Not only did he need to go back to that bookstore to search for the books he had wanted, but he had told the woman working there they’d talk… He needed answers and judging from what she had said the day before, she just might have them.

Amie was ashamed to say she jumped every time the bell jing-jangled. She couldn’t help being hopeful. It’d be nice to have someone to teach, someone who could learn all the witchly things she thought she’d have to hold onto silently forever. It might even be a little bit like having some family back… Except that was putting way too much pressure on a boy who was no doubt scared and confused. Two weeks. Two weeks to cope with something she’d known about her whole life. What must that be like? Drumming her fingers against the counter, a bad habit she’d thought she long since stifled, Amie did her best not to watch the door.

The jing-jangle chimed once more, and Caine was happy to not be struggling with an umbrella this time around. Amie’s head shot up, against her will, and she smiled when she saw Caine. He came back. Amie had been certain she’d scared the kid off, but there he was, standing in Galčre’s doorway. Framed by the french doors and quite possibly there merely for books. Her fingers, which had stopped tapping, pressed into the wood of the counter. It helped her restrain herself, take a moment to think. What should she do? If he was only there for books, she’d freak him out even more if she pressed too strongly about magic. Only, if he’d come explicitly to talk about magic, he might be hesitating to bring it up. It was all on her shoulders. She had to make a decision, take a chance.




DP: What does Amie do?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was nice to get to see peeks into both sides. Omnipotent 3rd person isnt a style I see often. (thats what I call it anyways)

I'm nterested to unravel the mystery of the sudden time witch :3

I think since she was the oe that brought it up last time, she should do it again. How about asking if he still wants to talk about it though? That should be considerate of how confusing it is for him, right?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rd Omniscient, KK. Wink

I'm still loving it, girls! The transitions are still a little rough in places, but overall it's great! The sibling has me curious...the way he kept referring to...them...was odd.

For the DP, I'm going to say she gives him a minute, and if he doesn't pipe up, ask him why he's there. Give him time to bring it up on his own, and if he doesn't, gently nudge.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Huzzah nonbinary sibling =D.) I'm kind of curious about why Quinn doesn't live with his mom. It seems like the kind of thing that wouldn't be anyone's business in real life but could turn out to be significant to the plot in fiction? I like how I'm getting more curious about him the more I learn.

As for the DP, I think Amie should wait and see if Caine brings it up himself, but say something about it if he starts to look like he'll leave without bringing it up. Which could get her into trouble if he's on as tight a schedule as the other day, but oh well >D.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the way this story is progressing. Excellent work, both of you.

For the DP, I say Amie gives him a moment to speak, and if he doesn't...walk around the counter and "accidentally" knock another vase over - Caine's love of ceramics (which she doesn't know about but we do and its adorable) will cause him to use his power again to save it. This will not only be a confirmation for Amie that yesterday wasn't some sort of delusion brought on by loneliness, but it will also act as one hell of an ice breaker.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's SUPER LATE, but the poll is up now!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally caught up!

Quote:
The sudden chill the gripped her ribs surprised her.


A typo, perhaps the only one. Certainly the only one I saw.

Alas, the story is progressing nicely, it's revealed more about the mystery man with the awesome name. They might be having chemistry this early, seeing how they're both witches. Maybe. But I see them more in a mentor/student relationship than that. He's too innocent, which is so sweet. xD

As for what transpires next, luckily my vote didn't produce a tie. Very Happy

I'm looking forward to reading more! Once I set up my audio software I'll be recording too. Have fun writing! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is your notice that you have 24 hours to vote in the poll!
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What does Amie do?
Ask if he still wants to talk about it.
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Give him time to bring it up on his own, and if he doesn't, gently nudge
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Wait and see if he brings it up, but don't let him leave without mentioning it.
50%
 50%  [ 3 ]
Give him a moment to speak, and failing that, start breaking another vase.
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 6
Who Voted: Adryrn, Andolyn, Cyberworm, Kalanna Rai, kkdestiny, Seraphi

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