Asma’s Story Saturday – The Rise of Action

Hey guys! So this is my fourth post and I’d like to thank those of you who read them and left comments, they really help. 

The day trudges on until finally we reach History. My favorite class. Mr. Jrafon stands in front of the class, he looks nervous and keeps on glancing at his desk where his fingers drum quietly.

“There has been a slight change in our lesson today, class. I’d like for you all to put away your books and homework.” He said, he shoots a look towards the door, as if expecting someone to walk through any minute. Half the kids grumble and put their assignments away. A wad of paper rolls on to my desk. I glance behind me, Faye looks at me nodding towards the paper.

Written in Faye’s scrawly handwriting are three words – What’s his problem? I turn around and freeze when I see the Keeper standing in the door way. Her cold gray eyes sweep across the room lingering on me the longest. She always has a way of reminding me of the race of shadows. The room falls silent as she steps into the room, and the temperature drops to a chill that trembles my bones.

Her shoes thud against the floor, like thunder. Mr. Jrafon moves away from his desk as the Keeper steps behind him. Even the clock seems to be holding its breath, the usual steady ticking mute.

“Have you ever wondered why you were brought here? To a remote school, cut-off from the rest of the world?” Her questions are not meant to be answered. Her eyes land on Kayo, and I can’t help but glance his way. My eyes widen slightly when I see his eyes closed, taking deep breathes. The Keeper looks away and starts talking. And the back of my head starts to tingle.

“This school was built for one purpose. To stop a race of shadows, the Arlons.” She stops and lets that sink in. Could she be talking about the shadow race? I open my mouth, ready to ask her, but a sharp pain in the back of my head makes me stop. And everything gains a murky look, and its like I’m watching everything from underwater.

Something is wrong. I stand, but I can barely feel my legs. And through a dark haze, I realize that everyone is staring at me, mouths agape. I’m walking now, towards the Keeper, and something is talking, it hurts me, echoing through my head.

My body aches all over as I cross the room and stand in front of the Keeper. I make an unearthly sound and pick up the desk, with strength that I know isn’t mine.

Everything is in chaos as my classmates scream and shout, some of them rushing to do something, anything. The Keeper’s wrinkled mouth moves, forming words, a vial glistens in her hand. I’m talking too, but the voice isn’t mine, neither is the strength as I raise the desk above my head, ready to bring it down over her.

The sharp prick of a million little needles makes me lose focus, and my sudden strength wavers, causing the desk to fall, in the empty spot where the Keeper had been seconds ago. And then right before everything goes dark, I realize with a sickening wave of nausea that the voice had gotten in me.

Possessed, the part of me that’s still me whispers. And the world goes dark.

Copyright Asma Faizal


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.


1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom)

    March 17, 2013

    Hi Asma! Being as this is a longer entry, I'm going to comment as I read, okay? Here goes…

    So, the first paragraph is a little off to me. First, the tense is present, but then as Mr. Jrafan speaks in the 2nd paragraph you have “he said”, which throws you off, as that's past. Also, I personally (could be wrong here–obvs it's your story) would either do a semicolon or a period, not a comma here: Mr. Jrafon stands in front of the class, he looks nervous and keeps on glancing at his desk where his fingers drum quietly.

    One other thing with that sentence above (again, could be me) is, his fingers sound disconnected from his body. “He looks nervous; he keeps drumming his fingers quietly and looking at his desk.” (Or something like that.)

    “I glance behind me, Faye looks at me nodding towards the paper.” Throw the MC into that more… I glance behind me and catch Faye's eye. She nods at the paper.

    Comma after lingering

    LOVE your clock description. :)

    I would love to know WHY her questions are not meant to be answered. Make me feel a connection to the MC with a quick tie to her somehow. Like, “After such and such amount of time here (or after this instance that I'm going to explain in a sentence or two), we have learned (or we all know) that her questions aren't meant to be answered.”

    Maybe switch it to “him taking deep breath (no “e”)s, his eyes closed”?

    Oh my… why is her head tingly?

    And everything gains a murky look, and its like I'm watching everything from underwater. (Don't forget the apostrophe for that “it's”)

    Yes, yes, something is wrong… what is happening? (You have me wondering.)

    “And through a dark haze, I realize that everyone is staring at me, mouths agape.” Slight disconnect here. I know from the previous sentence that it is as though she's looking through water… Perhaps rewording would help. Like, and as I attempt to peer through the dark haze, I realize… (You see what I mean, right?)

    I know that the MC isn't sure what's going on regarding something talking, so obviously the reader won't either, but perhaps you can elaborate somehow without giving too much away? “Something” is what's confusing me. I get the “echoing in my head” part. I mean, it could be a ball. Or a box. If the voice had a particular description (low voice, scratchy voice, deep voice, painful voice…) that would help me, as a reader, get it a bit better.


    Flip chaos and classmates. My classmates blah blah blah… everything is in chaos. Where are they rushing? Around? To her? To the Keeper?

    Make the “a vial glistens in her hand” pop. Put a period before it. It'll jump out more. It's a good description with obviously negative consequences to come. (YAY… I like it. It GLISTENS.)

    WHOA something (one? The voice?) DOES NOT LIKE THE KEEPER!!!

    Where is she feeling the sharp pricks of needles? I can't relate because I can't associate with it. (All over? In her head? Where?) Also, again I think I'd throw a period after “makes me lose my focus”.

    Okay. After all of that, I want to say that this is a good story. You definitely have a good grasp of what's going on, what you want the reader to see in this scene, and I now definitely know that this voice thingie in her head is a MAJOR problem. Something made it act crazy… the question is what? Also, I love your descriptions, Asma. I really want to hear more about why the Keeper is who she is and why they are all there!

    Oh, one more thing that just came to me. Being as Faye is the upbeat friend, it might be a good idea to have her react on a personal level (running up to her when she starts to go crazy, trying to help, calling the MCs name, or whatever).

    Can't wait to read what happens next! ;)