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The Cherry Contract
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The Cherry Contract :

 1 d Roy, Wed, 2nd Oct '13 5:52:28 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
So I got this idea of an urban fantasy and wrote few pages. And I figured, it wouldn't hurt to post this kind of thing here, so here I am.

The story goes like this; Hanna Smith, a 16 year old casual witch (as in, practices sorcery just for fun) receives an old spell book from her grandmother. She tries to summon the devil, just to see if she can, and she ends up summoning a demon commander (as in a naval officer). He just happened to be assigned to Earth to track down some soldiers who went MIA on Earth, and he enlists her help to find them. Then They Fight Crime, and stuff.

Chapter 1

"Letís see hereÖif I arrange the regents like thisÖwait, did I do it wrong? Oh, I think I made a mistake here. I think I might be able to save it. HmmÖ"

Hanna scratched her strawberry blond hair, perusing a particular page of a moldy book for God knew how many times. On the outside, the book lost its color and replaced by a thin sheet of dust that would easily be considered as every housemaidís nightmare. On the inside, most people would only see archaic and incomprehensible words occupying every space. It was not the kind of book anyone would want to read centuries ago, never the less the current age. The sheer effort that the teenaged girl put in deciphering the message, however, might suggest otherwise. Nobody covers the floor of her attic with countless crumpled discarded notes out of boredom. What mysterious secrets did the book hold? Secret to immortality? A love potion? Philosopherís stone? The answer to the dichotomy of good and evil? A sports almanac from the future?

No such thing was in her mind, but only a cheerful humming dancing on her pink lips. She took another handful of dirt she got from a local cemetery and sprinkle them on the floor. She had a basic understanding of the words, and the pages were clearly pointing to a certain direction, including the shape and the material for the circle with three feet radius that was needed for the ritual. That was really the only reason she needed. Granted, that would not be enough to convince concerned parents that let their child spend hours and hours in a dark and dusty attic every day was perfectly fine. Not that they would have been able to stop her, of course. It wasnít as if she was neglecting her studies or other perceived duties as a girl her age, after all. There was no reason why anyone should interfere with her and her perfectly normal hobby.

Her concentration was disturbed when she heard the door to the attic opening up and someone walking up. Seconds later, a red haired teenagerís head popped up.

"Okay, I canít resist anymore. What exactly are you doing up here all this time?"

Hanna turned to and smiled at her younger brother. Such a curious soul that he was, she found it impressive that he even managed to hold it this long, despite knowing that she have been doing it for a while.

"Hey, John. How are you enjoying high school so far?"

"Eh, I canít complain. Most guys I knew back in middle school made it there, so itís nothing too unfamiliar. Donít try to change the topic, sis."

"No I wasnít. Canít an older sister wonder how her baby brother is doing at the new school?"

"Thatís parentsí job, not yours. And for Godís sake, Iím barely two years younger than you, so donít call me that." John sighed, setting his foot on the attic, with a little bit of discomfort. "How is your ankle doing?"

"Itís good. I mean, I canít play basketball or anything, but I can walk and climb places." He couldnít stand up properly because of his height. Despite being only fourteen, he was already 6í 4Ē, almost a whole foot taller than Hanna. His rather slender build sometimes made him look like a stick, much to annoyance. He crouched right next to her, his eyes lazily staring at both at the book and her delicate hands that carried out the supposed direction in the page. No matter how he looked, the page was filled with strange characters that might as well be nothing but squiggles to him.

"Seriously, what are you doing?"

"You wouldnít believe me even if I told you."

"You are trying to summon the devil again, arenít you?"

"That is correct."

"Jesus Christ, I knew it. Is it a devil, or the Devil?"

"Either works."

"Come on, Hanna, I thought you are supposed to grow out of this kind of stuff by now. Are you going through the Goth stage or something?"

"Oh no, you know Iím not the kind who would be in any kind of group. Besides, arenít you still collecting Star Wars figures?" Hanna replied, her eyes still on the floor.

"Hey, thoseÖthose are just gifts."

"So is this book. You donít really have to grow out of anything, as long as it doesnít harm anyone. I donít have to quote C.S. Lewis again, do I?"

"No, no, Iím good." He was pretty sure that there was some possible rebuttal against that, but the art of rhetoric was not exactly his forte so he decided to drop it right there and keep observing whatever she was doing. Soon after, John lost his focus once again and grabbed a book he found in the corner of the attic and started to read it, even though it was about a topic he couldnít care about, he gave it his attention anyway. He could have gone down and got his laptop or phone, but due to his sprained right ankle, it was a bit of a pain. That didnít prevent him from helping her moving things around in the attic to make room for her strange activity, though.

There was barely any sound in the place. Through the window that blocked off the Septemberís gentle wind, warm sunlight flowed in, and Hanna enjoyed every bit of it. After the ritual, she decided that she should go for a walk. The weather was just so nice that not enjoying it would be such a pity. She wondered if whoever that would appear as the result of the ritual would share the same sentiment, as ridiculous as it may be, given its nature. Still, imagination was free, after all.

"AndÖdone!" Hanna smiled, wiping her brow with part of her hand that didnít have marks of coal. She turned to her brother, only to find him drifted into sleep, book covering his face. All she did was sprinkling some dirt and did some extra drawing with coal and an old oak branch. Did those take that long? Perhaps it did, the circle did include some relatively complex drawings of objects like shield and wings, and she had neither artistic sense nor precise tools of architecture and such. And yet the circle she drew looked very symmetrical and clean. It gave her hope that it was going to work.

"Hey John, wake up." She called him out in a gentle voice.

"Huh, wha?" Johnís body moved and the book fell off of his face. On the edge of his mouth, there was bit of saliva flowing down, which he wiped off almost instantly.

"The ritual, it is ready. I assure you, this is going to be an interesting sight."

"Really now." He rolled his eyes. ďAre you sure about that?Ē

"Pretty much."

"What gave you so much confidence?"

"A womanís intuition."

"Iím not sure if thatís something you can apply to this situation, but sure, why not."

Hanna did not reply to this and turned back to her circle. At the middle of the circle, was wing that resembled a sun with 72 spikes. Before taking one last step for the ritual, she stood over the circle. Now that she looked at it, she found it amusing that she could a circle of that size on an attic. She had to redraw the circle couple of time. Maybe the next time she should try the basement instead.

Although this is mostly written for amusement, any thoughts and comments would still be appreciated. smile

edited 2nd Oct '13 5:52:39 AM by dRoy

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 2 m8e, Fri, 4th Oct '13 2:37:07 PM from Sweden Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
I found it a little difficult to get into, it feels detached somehow. There is some stuff that interrupt the flow and make me question things.

"Letís see hereÖif I arrange the regents like thisÖwait, did I do it wrong? Oh, I think I made a mistake here. I think I might be able to save it. HmmÖ"

Someone is saying something.

Starting with dialogue/monologue is one of the classics on the don't-do-lists. Someone is saying something but the reader don't know who. It's often ends up with a voice with no body.

Hanna scratched her strawberry blond hair,
Oh, strawberry blond Hanna said that. It wasn't a long monologue or anything, but I still have to go back from this point to put a face on the voice.

Personally, I couldn't care less for [hair color]+teenage as the first things being mentioned.

perusing a particular page of a moldy book for God knew how many times.
Ok, she's reading a certain page.

It was not the kind of book anyone would want to read centuries ago, never the less the current age.
Ok, nobody would want to read the book, there's some back story here. Wait, why wouldn't anyone want to read it? Did I miss a prologue or something?

The sheer effort that the teenaged girl put in deciphering the message, however, might suggest otherwise.
The message is on that page she was perusing? Right?

Nobody covers the floor of her attic with countless crumpled discarded notes out of boredom.
OK, this dude covers the floor of her attic with countless crumpled discarded notes out of boredom.tongue sorry.

It's an odd sentence. What makes her attic floor a special case when it comes to note coverage?(It sounds like it is, like Nobody puts baby in the corner.) Do nobody do this? Do someone(hanna?) do it but for some other reason than boredom?

Wait, notes? Was the message on a note and not on that page?

No such thing was in her mind, but only a cheerful humming dancing on her pink lips.
A cheerful humming dancing on her pink lips, on her mind.

I can almost see it.grin

She took another handful of dirt she got from a local cemetery and sprinkle them on the floor. She had a basic understanding of the words, and the pages were clearly pointing to a certain direction, including the shape and the material for the circle with three feet radius that was needed for the ritual. That was really the only reason she needed. Granted, that would not be enough to convince concerned parents that let their child spend hours and hours in a dark and dusty attic every day was perfectly fine. Not that they would have been able to stop her, of course. It wasnít as if she was neglecting her studies or other perceived duties as a girl her age, after all. There was no reason why anyone should interfere with her and her perfectly normal hobby.
Ok, I MUST have missed the first chapter, the prologue or something.

Is she getting this from the page, the message, or the notes that might or might not cover the floor? Notes that cover the floor and dirt on the floor?

Her concentration was disturbed when she heard the door to the attic opening up and someone walking up. Seconds later, a red haired teenagerís head popped up.
First I imagine someone walking in, then suddenly and retroactively this someone is a headless red haired teenager as a second later the heads pops up.

Sorry, but that's just my mind. evil grin (The door to the attic is of course on the floor below, and he is walking up the stairs.)

Leading with [hair color]+teenage again. Nothing wrong with it but...

Hanna turned to and smiled at her younger brother.
Ok, he is younger, he can be 13-18 year old.

Despite being only fourteen, he was already 6í 4Ē, almost a whole foot taller than Hanna.
I had actually imagined him being older and shorter. I think it would be better to mention this height and slenderness first, and add (teen)age and hair color after that. He walking up to the attic is a good point to do it. Instead of "someone walking up" you could have "a tall and slender..."

His rather slender build sometimes made him look like a stick, much to annoyance.
Much to his annoyance?

At the middle of the circle, was wing that resembled a sun with 72 spikes.
Eh, what?

Now that she looked at it, she found it amusing that she could a circle of that size on an attic.
I think you accidentally a verb.

edited 4th Oct '13 2:43:41 PM by m8e

Carpe by all means diem, but not all diem are worth carpe.
You might have to miss half of tomorrow to catch the whole today.
What view point is this short story or novel written from?

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 3
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