Friday, March 28, 2014

Page 595

For Zeff, the reapers took on the appearance of overlarge bats--as big as hyenas and with similar faces but also bearing wings and glowing white eyes. They had a curious habit of hanging upside down just as normal bats might, only these ones didn’t need to hang from anything, so they simply floated there in midair.

Among the four reapers here, there was one each for Zeff, his wife Mariana, and Francisco. The last would be the one to resurrect Emiliana.

As Zeff reached out to her, pressing the transparent gas mask toward her face, Emiliana suddenly began to tremble. “Mama, Papa, please!” she said. “I can’t--! Please! Please don’t make me do this!” She was already on the verge of tears and trying to pull away, but her mother held her firm.

A part of him wanted to chastise the girl. She didn’t know how good she had it. Drowning was the original tradition, but having experienced it personally, Zeff decided to spare his own children that agony. He remembered his passing all too vividly. Panicked and terrible. In this very pool. Helium gas was nothing like that. Just as Francisco’s had been, Emiliana’s death would be peaceful and painless, like drifting off to sleep.

He wanted to tell her these things--things she already knew, had been told--but as he looked at her face, at the terrified expression of his baby girl, he found his heart slowly leaving him. He lowered the mask.

Everyone looked at him, the same silent question being asked. It was his own reaper who posed it.

Zeff, what are you doing?’ said Axiolis.

“We will wait a bit longer,” said Zeff. He patted Emiliana on the head.

His wife did not look pleased. “Zeff,” was all she said, and Zeff knew she would have said more if the children weren’t present. Fortunately for her, Axiolis was more than happy to fill in.

You shouldn’t delay without good reason,’ the reaper said. ‘You’re not doing the girl any favors by postponing things.

Zeff chose to ignore him and instead eyed the reaper meant for Emiliana. “I apologize for the inconvenience.”


  1. So this whole country is under Abolish control and everyone is a servant, or is it just this family...?

  2. I must make one comment that has been bugging me for some time. You have this wonderful idea about how perception affects reapers appearance, but I think you fail to utilizie it quite as well it could be. Perhaps I'm wrong and you've tried or perhaps there are better reasons for it, but to me what a reaper looks like to people -says- something about that person. Their culture, their mindset, their life.

    More descriptions about that would be nice. More detail in general about characters actually. (Was it the third chapter that I learned Hector was Black? XD)

    But aside from that, a possibility occurred to me. A reaper connected to their servant has their souls connected. I think it would be interesting if that meant their appearance became, at least for those that can seem them outside other reapers, stable to that persons perception. It would say a lot and add a bit more color to scenes like this.

  3. Mm. That IS the case, actually. I just don't make the reapers' appearances into direct metaphors for the accompanying servant's personality/experiences. Over time, you'll probably start to see some patterns developing.

    I do like a brisk pace, a lot of the time. Make you actually care to know the details before giving them to you, is basically the idea. Though, I should also point out that Hector was shown to be black at the bottom of page 4, in the very first scene where he had a physical body.

    Hmm. Not entirely sure what you're saying in your last paragraph.

  4. I was trying to say, in my sleep addled way, that having others see Hector's perception of his reaper, and him seeing the perception of servant's reapers would be interesting. Hector would see Voreese as a crow, for instance, and Garovel would appear to others as he does to Hector. And I tried to explain why I think it might work by explaining the connection reapers have to their servants.

    The first paragraph was saying you did make them interesting in description, and you did make what they looked like say something about the servants, but it's entirely for the reader, unless the characters start talking about it again. It's interesting, and it says something to us, but it's largely superfluous for the story. It helps add a little depth to the character sometimes, but if other servants could see that Voreese was a crow, for instance, they themselves would gain a little insight on her servant, and it would impact the story.

    As far as the brisk pace goes I agree to some degree that it makes for easy reading. But having read some books with awesome concepts, but which take no time at all to give detail and move on to the 'meatier' stuff, I can tell you its a double edged sword. I think you've got a decent balance, but more detail wouldn't be remiss either, even if only a little. That said your fights typically have more then enough that I understand whats happening which I find impressive. I may have to study your fight scenes again on a second read, just to see how you do it. Fights are the hardest for me to write for some reason. I try and articulate what I picture in my mind and it comes out as a confusing mess unless I go step by step by step, which is a tedious process for larger scale battles. And vaguer descriptions always seem haphazard to me.