RoYds Part 3 - Breaking the Silence

Present Day

“Whituth has always attracted more than its fair share of dark forces...”

“You can say that again,” remarked Elizabeth helping herself to one of the chocolate biscuits and then looking at Stanley with earnest, “I shudder to think what the place would be like without RoYds!”

Stanley laughed and continued, “Quite.” He winked a blue eye at her before adopting a more serious tone. “There has been more than our fair share of dark activity recently though -- a series of gruesome murders, umpteen happenings and stranger than average creatures roaming the moors. The whole town is becoming darker day by day and rather agitated, especially the Living. We have our work cut out.”

“Sounds like it,” Elizabeth replied, biting deep into another tempting biscuit.

“There have been a number of changes here too,” Stanley remarked casually as he removed a cigar from a silver box on the table and proceeded to light it.

Elizabeth’s curiosity was piqued, “At RoYds?”

“Gemma Bolton has joined us. You remember Gemma?”

Elizabeth half-choked on the biscuit she was eating. That creature was enough to darken even the brightest day. “Who could ever forget,” she scoffed.

Stanley took a drag on his cigar and held the smoke in his mouth for a few seconds before exhaling. He spoke quietly, his words darting in between the clouds of cigar smoke, “Tashriel speaks highly of her.”

They made meaningful eye contact and fell into an uncomfortable impasse with only the occasional spit from the fire and the reassuring tick-tock of the large Edwardian mantle clock breaking the silence. Elizabeth fidgeted in her seat for a few seconds before resting her head on the wing. The journey to RoYds had taken an unprecedented toll.

Stanley observed the young woman curled up in the chair opposite him. In some ways she reminded him of his late wife. Like Edwardina, Elizabeth was an attractive woman who had no real awareness of her own beauty. Over time, Stanley had formed the opinion that with some women, beauty added a quality of ugliness, this was not so in Elizabeth’s case. The same could be said for all her matriarchal line: beautiful women and all of them gifted, or cursed, depending on one’s point of view.

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  • At 24 September 2009 at 16:56, Blogger Vesper said…

    Forgive me, Miladysa, I wonder a bit if someone who’s fully new to the story would know what to make of this chapter.

  • At 24 September 2009 at 17:09, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Anything in particular Vesper?

  • At 25 September 2009 at 16:32, Blogger Vesper said…

    Well, RoYds itself first…
    A sentence like We have our work cut out.
    The introduction of characters like Gemma, Tashriel, even Stanley…

    I know you want to reveal things gradually, it’s normal, but at the same time, as I try to put myself in the shoes (or the mind) of a first time reader, I’m thinking that this reader might be frustrated by the too much implied background of these characters. It’s like hearing a conversation between two people without having much of a clue about what they’re talking about. It might sound interesting at first but the “listener” might get weary after a while.

    Please don’t take this in any way other than open-hearted help… Tell me to stop if I'm going to far. I would hate to upset you because I really, really, really like the story and I deeply admire the work and the talent that you're putting in it. :-)

  • At 25 September 2009 at 18:14, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Vesper - Thank you for this interesting feedback.

    I have taken on board the points you make and shall have a think about it :)

  • At 29 September 2009 at 07:29, Blogger jes6ica said…

    I think first-time readers will encounter the spirits that Elizabeth tries to avoid in the first chapter and have an inkling about what the Refuge is. Some mysterious foreshadowing is great to draw in readers. They'll want to know more, but it's happening gradually enough that I don't think it will be extremely confusing.


  • At 29 September 2009 at 22:27, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Thanks Jes6ica.

    Great to see you here :)

  • At 1 October 2009 at 09:55, Blogger jes6ica said…

    I couldn't help myself but come to peek at your reviews. :)

  • At 6 October 2009 at 09:59, Blogger Miladysa said…

    jes6ica - I waiting with baited breath for someone to write the first review on this latest version at the Web Fiction Guide, Web Fiction Directory or Muses Success *!*

    Fingers crossed it will be good and encourage more new readers here and pacify some of the readers who were put off by my poor grammar in the original draft lol

  • At 3 November 2009 at 01:18, Anonymous Gabriel Gadfly said…

    Some of Vesper's points could easily be addressed by giving us more of Elizabeth's thoughts there. What is she thinking when Stanley says, "Tashriel thinks highly of her" ? And extra two or three chapters exploring Elizabeth's thoughts about these people would really help flesh them out for the readers.

  • At 3 November 2009 at 13:18, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Gabriel - Again, food for thought. Thank you :)


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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever


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