>Entry #2: Voices.

After dessert, Sylus explained the terms of his vacation. Jeron insisted he quit entirely, but Sylus maintained that he had work left to be done.

As tSylus and Daniel stood up to leave, Jeron and Mr. Miles both insisted they stay the night. Sylus gave a half-hearted attempt to turn them down, but at the end of everything, Sylus feared being alone in the night more than anything else.

The apartment on top of the Diner was such a calmingly comfortable place. The stairs up ran behind a wall in the kitchen. As you reached their top, you were welcomed by a warmly lit living room furnished conservatively, yet welcoming. A large window on the far wall looked out at what have must have once upon a time been a gorgeous view of the ocean. Now, it was marred by the ‘Works. Sylus did his best to ignore the demonic lights flickering from the facility.

Two halls lead back along either side of the stairwell. Turning to the right from the stairs led to Jeron’s room, a spare bedroom, and a full bathroom. Turning to the left lead to Mr. Miles’ room, a master suite.

Daniel was offered the spare bedroom and Sylus was happy to take up residence on the couch with Jeron. Mr. Miles was quick to retire leaving the two of them alone.

Jeron knew he wasn’t going to fall asleep. Sleep was a distant memory as far as he was concerned. Ever since the Rift opened and the Mist went everywhere, Jeron hadn’t needed a wink of the stuff. He sat on the couch beside Sylus, watching him in silence as some old movie played on the television. He could tell Sylus’ mind was somewhere other than the present. Every so often, he’d idly run his fingers through his hair. Sylus could feel himself drifting off to sleep.

“It’s okay, Sy,” Jeron whispered in his ear, “I’m here. Nothing here in the waking world nor anything in your dreams can hurt you. I promise.”

With a quiet grunt, Sylus leaned against him. It was only another moment before he was finally asleep. Jeron turned the volume down on the television. He reached for a blanket along the back of the couch to pull down over them both. Sylus’ head slowly lowered to his lap. It was better this way, Jeron smiled, as he drew the blanket up to Sylus’ chin. He continued watching the dated movie as he ran his fingers through his hair. He never even thought of the movement. It just happened.

Sylus was with him now and that was all Jeron cared about. He and his son were both safe here. Nothing could hurt them. They were safe and that, for the first time in a long time, eased Jeron’s worries.

As he idly ran his hand down Sylus’ chest, he felt something under his shirt. Knowing he shouldn’t do it, he pulled his uniform away and glanced down at something beautifully familiar. An amethyst purple tie with silver shots in its weave. He’d given Sylus that tie years ago. A smile crossed his lips as he remembered the light in Sylus’ eyes as he held it for the first time. He never wore it though, and when asked the answer was always the same. He hadn’t earned the right to. He wasn’t man enough yet. It always broke Jeron’s heart, but he understood. Yet here it was, finally where it belonged.

Jeron sighed in peace. Through all the hell, there was always a glimmer of hope. For the first time in a long time, Jeron could finally rest. Everyone he loved was together in one place. Everyone he loved, was home.

Who am I, is this me?
Am I one or thirteen?
I’ve gone cold, hard to deal
Used to stand where I kneel
Everybody listen
Voices in my head
Everybody listen
Does yours say what mine says?
I want more, than I need
I don’t know what is real


I’ve been told, dreaming’s free
Think I’ll go back to sleep

Alice In Chains – Voices
 
 

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2 thoughts on “>Entry #2: Voices.”

  1. Brace yourself for a long comment.
    I love the beginning to this chapter, and I’m going to tell you why! In these sorts of genres (the speculativey kind – yes, that’s now a word!) it becomes very easy for the worldbuilding and plot to overshadow the character. This is brilliant because it’s putting the main character up close and personal from the start. It says ‘this story might have a lot of stuff going on but the most important person here is Sylus’.
    The characterisation in that opening is profound and it’s not shaken off at any point in the chapter. Often writers will drop some characterisation, put it on the backburner while they deal with some plot, then go back to the character etc. Not here. Here, we watch this character unravel through the experiences and BECAUSE of the experiences. Everything ties back to Sylus – the other characters, the settings, the worldbuilding. It’s like watching planets align themselves around the main character and it’s done artfully.
    Then there’s the side characters. This story already has a cast that owns the stage for every minute of reading. There’s no dead weight with these characters – all of them are unique, and all of them boost the weight of Sylus as a character.
    While we’re speaking of that: let’s talk Henley. Bravo on producing a character that I full on loathe with a deep set hatred in the space of two chapters. That happens rarely for me and is a sign that the characterisation is not only strong but the writing as a whole is strong. I don’t particularly hate Henley purely for the things he says and does: actually, if I was only judging him on his own behaviour, he wouldn’t come across that badly. I hate him for how he makes Sylus feel and only strong writers can produce that level of emotion in a reader. I genuinely got upset over Number Nine – I may have to go write fluffy fan fiction to make myself feel better about it.
    Then we should talk about the LGBTQ+ rep here. It’s raw and powerful and beautiful. It’s a huge part of Sylus character – coming to terms with himself and the image of himself, of who he wants to be. I have no issues relating with that character because it’s written in such a human way, and in such an emotive, thoughtful way. Most importantly, I adore how the other characters react. They are all on his side, providing that support, viewing him in the way he wished he could view himself and that is SUCH an important message to send out because the hardest thing a person can ever do is finally accept who they are – they don’t need the people around them to make that harder.
    The mental sharing between Sylus and Qaitax is done well. It’s a very believable dialogue, it’s got me hooked, and I’m honestly not terrified by Qaitax which is fairly amazing given the fact we’re talking about a creature within his mind.
    I love Jeron. He’s a cute cinnammon bun. I love the symbolism of the tie. I could keep writing about this but my fangirl levels are already so high… >.>

    1. This… This is probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever read relating to my work. Thank you so much for your incredibly thoughtful and detailed response. It really means a lot that I’m hitting some notes just right. This is my first time writing something this grand, and I do worry that I’m not following the right formula at times, but this was very validating. I think I just found the strength to stay the course! I really am left complete in awe… Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you 💜🦑🐙

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