“Come, Pilly,” her quavering voice whispered to the small sapphire pillow clutched in her arms. “Let’s find mommy and daddy,” she finally decided. Angeni’s soul needed to leave her haven before it could be caught up and carried away by the wind; certainly, before those terrifying doors came to eat her.
The cold marble floor chilled Angeni’s bare feet as she gathered all her bravery and stepped out of the sanctuary. Like a soft breeze, the curtain ran ghostly fingers over her shoulders as it slowly parted to reveal the long dark corridor ahead of her. Her large wings resting on her back, her white saree clung to her graceful body. Terrified and shaken, her hem rippled when took her first steps into the unknown. Columns stood silent sentry and beautifully carved angel statues peeked from the shadows. Many candles on the pedestals slept in silence. Some just put out by the wind that rushed past the curtains on the small stone windows.
Misted by errant rain, she stroked her little pillow, her only friend, Pilly who gave her a sense of safety. Her hesitant steps drew her down the endless corridor. The desperation of this fragile, mature, yet newborn Aserian woman was nearly hidden on her icy calm face. Though terrified, she was awed by the beauty as she looked around. Her curious eyes mirrored the great inner fears of the lonely soul. She tried to find someone, a familiar face in the crouching shadows, someone who could be with her, anyone. That kind Aserian man and woman she had considered father and mother. She wished her mother held her under her protective wings while her father ordered the storm with his fatherly voice to calm down – at least this is what her young soul dreamed and imagined.
“Mother? Father?” her soft angelic tone called, but no answer came. “Where are you?” she asked almost silently. Like magic, a blurry memory rushed into her mind and forced the young guardian to stop.
Grace, a woman’s kind echoing voice called in her mind. The young guardian had to reach out to the closest column for support. The faces she had seen for a moment were her real parents, she felt it; she knew it. But they were human, not the Aserians she looked for. Who were they? And who is Grace, the little girl in her dream? Was she still dreaming?
As fast as it came, the vision retreated once again in her mind as she shook her head. So confused, breathing faster and faster, the young guardian took one step, and then another. As she arrived under the stone arch at the end of the corridor, her legs rooted to the spot. She didn’t dare go further. Two dark motionless silhouettes waited and watched her from the large dim hall beyond. They terrified her. The silent strangers were not her mom and dad. Angeni looked back to the other end of the long corridor. Her safe sanctuary, which was still intact bravely stood against
(Page submitted by the authors, Istvan Szabo Ifj and Orlanda Szabo; ebook available here, here, and here)
Too many adjectives!
Conceptually, this page is intriguing. We have a sympathetic young protagonist in an eerie setting. Apparently, there are carnivorous doors in this environment, and the architecture has an evocative feel. Angeni is in the midst of a crisis of parentage, and evidently a crisis of species as well.
But as interesting as those elements may be, the adjectives simply swamp them. What is the difference between, “Like a soft breeze, the curtain ran ghostly fingers over her shoulders” and “The curtain ghosted over her shoulders”? There’s no such thing as a harsh breeze, nor one that could run solid fingers over someone’s shoulders. When the extra words convey no added meaning or sensation, they’re just clogging up the works.
Sometimes, discretion is the better part of vocabulary. I'd probably be favorably impressed by a version of this page that cut the right third or half of its verbiage out.
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