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An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 1/20/2021 5:22:14 PM

Hello, this is a short story idea I've had for a while. Som background is needed though. So as some of you may remember I participated in the noob contest way back in late June/ early July. My result was quite lackluster. Now this killed all motivation and desire I had to write. Despite receiving some good advice, it has taken me this long to try to dust myself off. I felt this was needed information because I know this piece won't be great. On the other hand I also know I need to put something out to start recovering. So here it is, enjoy and don't be shy with any questions comments or concerns.


The previously dark room was filled with an unnaturally bright light. Uncovering his eyes, Billy looked at the tall feminine form standing in the middle of his crudely drawn circle.Tall and imposing, with delicate features the person cut an impressive figure.

Remembering what his dad had taught him, Billy made sure to lower his gaze, just to make sure to not enrage the figure. Still despite this Billy found an ever so rare smile forming.

"Oh?" A soft and melodic voice cut into the silence. "A mere child? Or are you at that age where you like to pretend to be a man?" Despite the words being slightly harsh, there was a soft teasing tone to her voice.

Still keeping his eyes averted, Billy spoke with a voice that was nothing short of desperate. " Will ya' be my friend please? Ain't got none and I'm real scared ya' see. Oh and 'fore I forget what's ya name lady?"

The figured raised one dainty eyebrow before speaking. "You may call me Eri. Let me make sure I got this right, you summoned me here so you could have a friend, is that right?"

Billy responded simply by giving an obivousely excited nod. With a slight smile Eri continued speaking. "So, Billy a few questions. How old are you exactly?"

Responding as quickly as possible as to not anger her Billy answered. " Dunno, Ma an Pa never told me." 

Slightly shocked Eri continued to speak. "Regardless, you look about 12 so let us go with that. Now where did you get the blood of a tortured innocent to summon me?" While we are at it boy, look me in the eyes."

Ever so slowly Billy raised his face. Both his eyes had recently been blackened and his check was bruised and swollen. With the same slowness Billy raised his right arm. There was a massive gash that was still bleeding cut into his forearm. Then he spoke. 

"I don't know what them fancy words mean, but the blood is mine."

Eri reached out to take his arm, only stopping when Billy recoiled away. Eri had to listen closely, but she could hear Billy repeating a single phrase over and over.

"I'm sorry." Now gently rocking back and forth Billy seemed lost to the world. That was until a rough older male voice could be heard nearby.

"Ya fuckin talkin to someone ya little shit?"

Moving faster than had Eri had seen so far, Billy jumped to his feet and started trying to push her towards a closet. Now that he was standing, ERI could see not only was Billy underdeveloped he walked with a pronounced limp.

In a hushed tone, Billy frantically spoke. "Quick, into the box. I promise ya I'm not like Pa, I won't leave ya in there for long. So please put up with it."

More caught up in the moment then his efforts, ERI was gently pushed into the closet before the door closed. Mere moments later the door to Billy's room was thrown open through a crack in the door, Eri saw to figures standing there.

Then what was presumably Billy's dad spoke up. "Ya talking to one of them fake friends? Ya need me to prove the best part of ya ran down ya Ma's leg again?" With a sudden lurch Billy's dad lunged towards him. Just as Eri was about to intervene, the female rushed to stop the male.

Eri let go of a breath she was unaware she had even been holding.

"Stop that, Bo." The next sentence sent a reignited jolt of rage through Eri as the female continued to speak. " It my turn to play with him. You know damn well I struggle to get off when his face has too much bruisin. It perfect as is. Wait til I'm done with the little shit."

Turning towards Billy the woman gave a predatory smile before talking once again. "Ya lucky that any lady will even fucking touch you. Especially one as sexy as me. Now Bo leave me to my fun. Ya know the deal Billy, pants down."

With a resigned whimper Billy made to comply. Suddenly the closet door flew across the room banging heavily when it hit the far wall.

Where Eri's face had been elegant and refined before, now it was a mask of uncontrollable rage. With a whisper that seemed to thunder in the shocked silence, Eri spoke but a single word. "Sleep." 

With a soft thump Billy hit the floor in blissful sleep. As the shock was ending Bo spoke up. " Who the hold fuck are you?!" 

In response Eri waived one of her hands. Where before it had been empty, she was now holding a flaming sword. She took a step forward. "I am one who defied Him and rebelled." Another step forward bringing Eri within striking range of the despicable duo.  With an almost imperceptible sound, a pair of large raven black wings appeared on her back. "I am Ereriel, a fallen Angel. I'm also that last thing you pathetic insects will see in this world."

With a slight yawn, Billy opened his eyes. He didn't immediately recognize where was but quickly lost interest in that as he realized he had his head laid in Eri's lap. Billy went to rise before a gentle yet firm hand kept him in place.

"Don't worry child, sleep some more. Everything will be fine when you awake." In as soft of a tone as possible Eri stopped his struggles.

Feeling an odd sense of comfort Billy blurt out what was on his mind as he started to fall back asleep "So ya still wanna be friends?" 

In his befuddled state he missed a strange sigil appear on his right hand before quickly fading. "Of course silly child, if you ever need me just call and I'll be there. But before that I'm going to leave you with a caring family.

"Dunno what them last words mean but I'll trust ya Eri" and with on final thought, Billy joined the land of the slumbering.

'Maybe havin friends will be nice.'

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

We've all heard of the abusive, drunk father, but the molestin' mom is a new one for me.

Firstly, you should really be proofreading everything you write, because in this story there are a lot of minor typos that can be fixed with two taps. THe classic "WHoops, I held shift half a second too long" is present in a couple of places, and some other random things like a missing comma before dialogue, or no space between a period and the next word.

Additionally, you make a few actual grammar mistakes, mainly forgetting to use commas or writing really clunky phrases like "Still despite this" (You should leave it at "despite this" and use a comma as well). Or "In his befuddled state he missed a strange sigil appear on his right hand before quickly fading.", where you initiate dialogue with a period instead of a comma, and you also have this sentence that may be gramatically correct (I don't know), but it certainly reads poorly. Instead you could write something like: "In his befuddled state, he missed the appearance and disappearance of a strange sigil on his right hand". You also have some pretty repetitive sentence structure, for example, "With a resigned whimper Billy... With a soft thump Billy... With a slight yawn, Billy..." These phrases are repetitive and you could easily take a few of these out to improve the flow of the writing.

The idea itself is fine; a horribly abused kid summoning an angel, just to have a friend, is not a bad premise whatsoever. The execution is also more or less ok, with grammar being the biggest issue. I do have an issue with the characterization of the angel. She introduces herself to the kid in a very haughty manner, but then still tells him to call her by a nickname. If she had done this at the end of the story, it could be a wholesome ending where this stoic angel shows some compassion. Instead it just feels weird.

Overall, you should just work on your grammar (writing/reading/Purdue OWL), because otherwise the story isn't bad!

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely try to work on that. With the name thing, my thoughts was she realized he wasn't all that educated and was probably incapable of pronouncing her name. Less of a nick name and more of this kid is gonna screw it up so keep it simple.

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

In that case you should probably make it more obvious, because that's not what I understood from the interaction. You're writing in third-person limited, so you can't logically add her thoughts in, but you can say something like, "the angel's brow furrowed with concern upon hearing Billy speak" to show her emotions to the reader.

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

Ok makes sense. Either way thanks for all the feedback.

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

You're welcome!

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago
Kind of curious where this kid learned to summon demons from, given what seems to be his very limited and confined life experiences. And having her just happen to be one that's friendly and sympathetic and the answer to all his problems with no downside seems a little too convenient without any kind of explanation offered. But it's an interesting start to what feels like it could be a longer story. Eri obviously has an interesting background that could be revealed over time and Billy would need time to move past his, and they've both got room to develop.

It does need some proofreading, but what I remember as the main issue with your previous work was a difficulty establishing a serious tone without going over the top and looping around to silly, and I didn't see any of that here.

An Angel by any other name.

5 months ago

Thank you. I almost cut the mom since I felt adding her was toying with going too over the top. Glad to see that didn't happen. No plans for a full game but I do have an idea for a sequel bouncing around. A lot of the questions would be answered. Though with a bit work I probably could turn this into a more fleshed out story. I might look into that.