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17 October 2008 @ 11:56 pm
fuel  

Week 2 entry for October: Brigit's Flame
Prompt: Fuel
Note: Oh, my. It's 11:56 here, and I really hope I managed to get this in. Heh. I did this in such a hurry, just now, but I hope it still is okay.

The hall is decorated the way it’s supposed to be—with brilliant lights streaming all over the ceiling, and floors as smooth as marble shining to perfection, as white as snow. It should be intimidating, the way everyone is dressed up and mingling—their dresses and suits fitting their bodies as if it was meant for them, and their faces and hair dolled up in a way that makes sure no blemish is seen, and that they look their absolute best.

Sometimes, Kathryn wonders why she wants to be one of them.

Perhaps it is because everything in that room looks like a lovely, lovely fairy tale.

“Miss Kathryn Rose, what on goodness’ earth are you doing just standing there, and poking your head into things you’re not supposed to be concerning yourself with?”

With a start, she stops looking into the hall, from her corner behind the secret compartment that leads to the kitchen, and quickly looks up—only to find the head maidservant looking at her with such utter disapproval. Her mouth is set in a thin line, and it is all Kathryn could do not to shudder—because really, getting the woman angry is not what you want when you’re working under her.

She tries on a big, bright smile.

“Oh, hello, Miss Melice, I didn’t see you! Um, I was just looking out, you know, a quick peek, to see who needed some water or food or anything or—ow, ow, ow!

“You little wench! Get back to work now and stop snooping!”

“But I wasn’t snooping—”

And her ear is twisted, much to her dismay. Several minutes later, Kathryn could practically hear her head buzzing from the very heavy reprimand—mostly involving irritated words, and a promise to be given extra work tomorrow. She sighs, and thinks that maybe it is for the best—because really, her snooping is already giving her mind too much imagination, of what it would be like to be inside there, and to mingle and dance with all that beauty, all that loveliness.

She is just a servant, and that is just a dream. Of course it couldn’t happen.

Cinderella is just a fairy tale, after all.

Kathryn turns around and goes back to where the kitchen is, to start her work and make herself useful—

“Kathryn.”

—and she stops.

Because it is the voice that she’s always been dreaming to say her name, and sweep her off her feet.

Or at least, that’s what she tries to tell herself—because this voice is safer, and better to dream about than...someone else.

She turns around, and her face softens. She smiles.

“Prince Luc. Hello.”

The handsome prince grins, his light brown eyes sparkling and his face looking so, so perfect that it almost takes her breath away. He holds out a hand, and says the words she has never thought she’d hear.

“Would you like to come to the ball with me? I have a dress that you would look adorable in.”

Maybe sometimes, fairy tales could come true.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

He doesn’t know why he doesn’t recognize her the first time she comes out.

Her hair is the same color, and so are her eyes—silky black threads flowing in curls on her shoulder, and gray orbs that seem to look like smoky fumes most of the time. Perhaps it’s the dress that distracts him at first, because he has never seen her wear such a thing—it’s almost as if it’s made for her, the way it flutters around her knees and gracefully embodies her being.

She is in the arms of his brother, the Prince. They are dancing together in the middle of the hall, him whispering in her ear, and her smiling softly, and looking at him with such sparkling, happy eyes and swaying gracefully to the music that it seems like she almost belongs here, with all these royalties and all these blue-blooded people that are born with golden spoons in their mouths.

His mouth goes dry, at the way her skin glows, and the way her smile emphasizes it.

His hand tightens on his wine glass, as Prince Luc whispers further in her ear, and touches her waist as they dance, making her lean her head a little bit more on his shoulder, her smile growing.

He knows she is just a servant of the palace, but sometimes, he couldn’t help himself from thinking that she is the bright joy of this whole place—which is why he has always treated her with such contempt, and never a kind word or gesture.

Michael Edwards has always been contradictory that way.

Sometimes, he wonders why she always looks out of place when she is dressed in her cleaning garments—she looks better as a princess, with her lovely face and her kind heart.

He tries to tell himself she isn’t lovely. He tries to tell himself she is annoying, and not at all compassionate.

He tries to tell himself he doesn’t want to be near her, because her presence is just sometimes too intoxicating that he doesn’t seem to want to do anything at all except touch her, and feel what it’s like.

His brother presses a kiss on her cheek.

Michael doesn’t realize that the glass in his hand is already broken.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

She will never understand how it’s happened, and why it is happening. One minute, she is out in the hall, a place she is not supposed to be in, had it not been for the kindness of the Prince—then the next minute, a few moments after Prince Luc has gone to get some drinks, she is being dragged on the arm by a looming figure that she doesn’t recognize yet, in all the rush that the gesture holds. She is stunned, so maybe that is why she doesn’t protest—she merely stares at the figure, until they are in another room, where the lights are out and the sounds of the laughter and merriment are far away. Only whispers now, that filter through her ears, and makes her know that at least she isn’t taken too far away.

It is only when he turns around to face her that she recognizes.

It is only when he speaks that her heart flutters in a way that she doesn’t want it to.

“P-Prince Michael. I—”

“What are you doing with my brother?”

The words are blunt, as they always are with him. With her. She doesn’t understand why he is always angry at her, when she has done nothing to him, nothing at all. Sometimes, it hurts—but she doesn’t let the hurt get to her, she tries not to. As usual, she ends up confused, and trying to explain what shouldn’t be explained in the first place.

“I was dancing with Prince Luc, your highness. He asked me to come to the dance, I—I wasn’t doing anything wrong—”

“You were flirting with him.”

She blushes, though she knows she is doing no such thing. He steps closer. She shakes her head, and tries to explain again.

“I—I wasn’t—”

“You were. Don’t deny it.”

For a moment, a spark of irritation flares, and it is reflected in her eyes. Suddenly, she is not so patient anymore. Who does he think is? She decides that the best option is to just leave—and she does just that, her head bowing slightly with a muttered goodnight, then holding herself high as she starts to walk out of the room.

She is stopped, by his hand on her arm again. He pulls her closer, and unable to help it, she stumbles and is pulled, her face now inches from him. She tries to get away, but he wouldn’t let her.

His blue eyes are so, so cold, it’s almost scary. There is a fury in them that she has never seen before.

“Your highness, I wasn’t flirting with him. It is best if you understand that, because your brother and I are just friends and—”

“Friends don’t touch each other like that.”

The spark of irritation grows. “We are not touching each other in any inappropriate—”

“I know what you’re after,” he interrupts once more, his voice cool and calm. “You are flirting with him to get in his bed, so you could con him to fall under your spell and get some money out of it. That’s it, isn’t it?”

She doesn’t know why, but suddenly her temper snaps—and before she knows it, she is lunging at him, her eyes firing up, her fury dictating to do what she does next.

Slap.

He lets her arm go, as her hand connects with his right cheek, and for a moment, she is stunned once more—the sound is sharp, and very clear.

She realizes what she has done, and immediately backs away. But she doesn’t stop glaring, as she turns around, and prepares to stalk off and leave, just leave. She takes a step, her heart hurting, because he has always been cruel, and—

Kathryn manages no more than a startled gasp, as he grabs her again, and wheels her around.

“Take your hands off me.”

“Don’t you dare do that again.” His voice isn’t cool now, but molten hot. His eyes have grown in fury, all but scorching her with his look. Her heart is beating so fast, but she tries to ignore it, and tries to glare again, holding her chin up in a movement of utter courage.

“I will do anything I please, and I can be with anyone I want, even if I am just a servant. Now take your hands—”

“Your manners are still not intact, I see. It looks like I need to teach you a lesson.”

“I don’t need—” She tries to shrug his arm off, but he tightens his grip. “Prince Michael, you are rude and unintelligible and—”

Her breath catches in another gasp when he suddenly, abruptly drags her against him. She feels her body slam against his, his arms coming around her. Her gray eyes flash in shock when she sees those hot, dangerous blue eyes, and realizes exactly how he is going to teach her the lesson.

No.

Her heart beats even faster.

She tells herself it couldn’t, it shouldn't, as he grips her hair, his gaze burning into her.

He utters only a sentence.

“Let’s both stop talking for a minute.”

And his mouth closes over hers.

She fights him. She likes to believe she does. She has been prepared to fight him, to hiss and scratch and claw, the minute she realizes what he is up to. What he’s been intending to do. He has no right, no right to do this to her. No right at all, and she knows that.

His mouth is hard and hot, and plundering hers in a way that leaves her no choice but to feel it. His body is hard, pressing hers close in a way that leaves her no choice but to be molded against him, to feel the same body tighten with every growing second. She could taste the anger on his mouth, as well as the frustration. And something else, something that is coming dangerously close to the surface.

No.

Her breath hitches.

She realizes that Michael Edwards, in a fairy tale, is the villain—the dark man who would make sure she does not get her happy ending. But she kisses him back, anyway, because her knees are weakening and her blood is simmering and everything is becoming a big, big blur.

Her heart is aching, and wanting for him to be kind to her, for just a moment—the way he is kind to everybody else.

He has no right to make her feel this way—and she knows she needs to stop him sometime.

But she wants him to go on and on and on.

Like fuel to the fire inside her.

Eventually, the kisses turn soft, and sweet—he pulls her closer, so gently, as if she is the most fragile thing he has ever handled. His mouth moves, raining kisses on her face, and it is all she could do not to melt, as she grips his arms, touches his hair, and lets herself drown in the feeling.

She tries to tell herself he is cruel, and will never be kind.

She tries to forget the lovely heart he has, when he is with his family.

She tries to never remember his face that she always sees in her dreams, even when she wants it gone.

It has no right to be there.

Abruptly, he pulls away, and leaves her cold once more. She opens her eyes, and finds that it is still dark, and still silent—and he is looking at her with something she could not understand, and something she wants to, so much.

Then he leaves, without a word. Without a look back.

And Kathryn stays, her heart still beating fast, and hurting.

Because fairy tales can be cruel.

Because Michael Edwards is the man she loves, and the man she is never going to have.

He is getting married tomorrow.

 
 
i feel: bouncybouncy
 
 
 
dawnna/dawn/coolgirl: green mushroomdawnie_gurl on October 17th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
damn it. you just made my heart flutter to the ground.

-

i like this, tin. you made the party sound like an ordinary party in the beginning, but it turns out into something more. it's michael's engagement dance party, right? (or something like that)

-

i really, really feel sad for kathryn. the emotions in this oneshot are so lovely, girl, especially kathryn's thoughts about fairy tales.
★ Eunhyuk's BB: harry by iconsbywongcutecrazyice on October 17th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you, Dawn. Heh. I did this in just under an hour, and I was totally freaking out, because I forgot that today was the deadline of the theme. Lol, I got too caught up in the final exams, I guess.
dawnna/dawn/coolgirl: lightbulbdawnie_gurl on October 18th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
hey, final exams are more important, don't forget that.

-

anyway, this turned out fine, so you don't need to worry. hehe.

-

what's up?
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on October 18th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dawnie_gurl on October 18th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on October 18th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - dawnie_gurl on October 19th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Aquarius Galuxyaquarius_galuxy on October 18th, 2008 07:27 am (UTC)
=O I like the last sentence, it stands out a lot! I like the simple style you wrote it with, and the present tenses, though there's a bit where you mixed it up ("Kathryn could practically hear").

And another, "golden spoons on their mouths." "on" is a typo, right?

But it'd be really nice if you continued this story! =P I love romance stories even though I've already read quite a few of them.
★ Eunhyuk's BB: harry by iconsbywongcutecrazyice on October 18th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
Lol, the "on"! I missed that! Thanks for the warning, girl. Heh.

And yeah, I told you this is hurried. But I was in a romantic mood last night, so yeah...heh, couldn't resist.

Thanks. :)
Aquarius Galuxyaquarius_galuxy on October 18th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
=D You're welcome!

I hardly ever get into romantic moods nowadays! =o It's more fun for me to write something weird and destructive =P
★ Eunhyuk's BB: sasusaku: let my kiss take the pain awaycutecrazyice on October 18th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Lol, weird and destructive is good! It can make a very powerful piece, you know. Heh.

I just read your prof again...and oh, my God...you're into Justice League and X-Men Evolution? Girl, I'm addicted to those shows! (well, when they were still airing, that is) Heh, I know...cartoons. But what the heck, they're FUN.
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cedarwolfsingercedarwolfsinger on October 18th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Sad...very sad. Just when you think it might get better -- nope. Sad... and very well written with it. Good job. Good luck.
★ Eunhyuk's BB: and all the fun birthdays bringcutecrazyice on October 19th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
Thank you. Good luck to you, too! :)
Biancamermaidbia on October 19th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Very intense and passionate, yet curiously fairy-tale like and childish. I like that mixture a lot...

Good luck!
★ Eunhyuk's BB: little girl of hopecutecrazyice on October 19th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! Good luck to you, too. :)
Biancamermaidbia on October 21st, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh hai!
Would you look at that, I'm one of your editors this week! Filling in for the lovely and regrettably busy pipisafoat, that is. What I do is, I read your piece several times and type out stuff which occurs to me, suggestions for improvements, grammatical/spelling errors, stuff I like (mostly) and so forth. Please take everything I say here with a huge grain of salt, since it's your story.

I like how you portray the world behind the curtain as "a lovely lovely fairy tale", it's befitting the story because what Kathryn stumbles into turns out to be quite the fairy tale. You have an excellent handle on the narrative voice in this story.

with such utter disapproval
The "such" bugs me a little here, because it's the conclusion of a sentence. The word "such", at least in my own head, always implies a coming comma, or a conclusion following ("with such utter disapproval she didn't know what to do" and stuff like that) so just seeing a full-stop kind of stops me short. However, it does also remind me of the exuberant, exaggerative manner of speech children take on when telling stories, and that might've been the style you were aiming at here (it's a fairy tale, after all) So, as anything I suggest, it's merely a question of taste.

Her mouth is set in a thin line, and it is all Kathryn could do not to shudder
You mix up present/past tense here in a way that throws readers of. It's "it is all Kathryn can do not to shudder." You do this several times, I believe.

“Oh, hello, Miss Melice"
Lovely hint at "malice" here. Kudos. X)

is already giving her mind too much imagination,
The constellation of the words here bugs me, no matter how many times I read through it, because while I know what you're aiming at, I haven't yet heard the word "imagination" used in this context. Imagination is the part of the mind we use to envision things, not the visions themselves; it is what she is employing for her fantasies, not the fantasies themselves. So maybe you could go with "her imagination too many ideas". If this is incorrect, then maybe the other editor can correct me and I'll eat a piece of humble pie.

Cinderella is just a fairy tale, after all.
Again, the irony of this theme is lovely.

The sudden change from pauper to princess is a little too fast and aprupz for my own tastes, though I understand that dream-like quickness of everything was exactly what you were going for. I just have to wrap my head around it carefully.

it’s almost as if it’s made for her, the way it flutters around her knees and gracefully embodies her being. I like that last part a lot, it's very poetic and graceful, flowing almost like a dress itself.

She is in the arms of his brother, the Prince.
I don't quite get this, from a logical point of view. Wouldn't the brother of a Prince be a Prince as well? Especially because you refer to him as Prince Michael later on. And why would someone refer to their own brother as "The Prince"? Unless you were going for the notion that, if this is a fairy tale, then Luc is the ideal, The Prince, and she is The Princess. If so, you might want to emphasise that a bit more.

and looking at him with such sparkling, happy eyes and swaying gracefully to the music that it seems like she almost belongs here, This sentence hiccups a tiny little bit in the second sentence, the "saying" sounds a little shoved in. Maybe you were going for "and swaying so gracefully to the music"? It would be like a list then.

His mouth goes dry, at the way her skin glows, and the way her smile emphasizes it.
Both commas are facultative - try the sentence without them and see if they flow better. If you like them this way, keep the commas :)

His hand tightens on his wine glass, as Prince Luc whispers further in her ear,
Another kind of redundant comma here...personally I would remove it but again, it's up to you, if this staccato style is what you appreciate.

but sometimes, he couldn’t help
Whoop, there is another tense inconsistency here, since the first part of the sentence is in present tense, so it's "he can't help himself"
Biancamermaidbia on October 21st, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh hai! volume 2
The spark of irritation grows. “We are not touching each other in any inappropriate—”
“I know what you’re after,”

I like this interruption.

She fights him. She likes to believe she does.
Nice introspection here.

All in all, I really love this. You succeed in painting a fairy tale atmosphere while still keeping realistic characters and scenarios, your prose flows beautifully and passionately.
The only slight problem I have with this, story-wise, is that I do not quite get the timeline here. You start off the story with Prince Luc asking Kathryn to dance, for the first time, and she seems to be enamored by him. The whole story appears to be one evening - Cinderella getting her wish and dancing with the prince - but eventually you add up a whole backstory to everyone's character, as though Kathryn, Luc and Michael have known each other for quite a while and she's been the Princess in waiting for a long time already (so Michael and her know each other intimately) It doesn't quite add up in my head because as a servant Kathryn could not have gotten to know Michael so well, that is, unless your switching between scenes implies a huge time gap. (However, you said that it's "the first time she steps out) It's like during the writing you suddenly decided that Kathryn has been the Princess for a while, when at the beginning she was really just a servant, and I do not quite get the dynamics of those relationships. Do you get what I mean? Maybe you could invent a few more "inbetween" passages to show the growing relationships, or at least add a few explanatory notes, so it doesn't appear so aprupt.

In all other respects, though, this is excellent work, so keep it up!
★ Eunhyuk's BB: robin sena: girl geniuscutecrazyice on October 22nd, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
Wow. You guys are really good with this editing stuff. Thanks for pointing out the grammar errors (the could! I can't believe I missed that!), and for the nice tips you've given. They'd definitely be a big help with how I write in the future! :)
Biancamermaidbia on October 22nd, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
It wasn't too harsh, was it? I read too late that you opted for "gentle", but I'm not too picky about the editing levels myself, so...hope I didn't take a step too far -_-
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on October 22nd, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wierdauntiewierdauntie on October 25th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Editor too
Hi,
Mermaidbia did such a good, thorough job editing, I will just summarize the feeling of the piece: hot and yearning, just the way a romance should be. Good job.

However: watch out for CLICHES, the killer of good writing! "Her heart flutters" "Take your hands off me!" "His mouth is hard and hot and plundering hers" These are stock phrases in romance novels- if I had a nickel for every one... Anyway, I know it's hard to think of new ways to describe those same things, but in the end that is what will make your writing "stand out from the crowd" to borrow a cliche.

Blessings and good luck, W
★ Eunhyuk's BB: harry pottercutecrazyice on October 25th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: Editor too
Oh, thanks for the heads-up! I'll try to think of new descriptions next time.

And thanks for the thoughtful review/edit. :)
karenina143: galadrielkarenina143 on October 25th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
Oh wow. You write original stories just as great as you write fanfiction. This is so romantic! Although the ending was very sad. I really like your characters, specially Michael.
★ Eunhyuk's BB: edmund shares some magiccutecrazyice on October 25th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
I like Michael, too. Heh. He's got a dark side in him that I like (coz perfect guys just don't cut it for me, lol). :)
karenina143: deep insidekarenina143 on October 27th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
Really? What sort of guys do you like then, if you don't mind me asking?
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on October 27th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karenina143 on November 1st, 2008 11:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on November 2nd, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kitkatmalo: Fankitkatmalo on October 25th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
I'm breathless. This is HOT. I wish they ended up together!
★ Eunhyuk's BB: blue eyescutecrazyice on October 25th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
They MIGHT. Maybe. *winks*
kitkatmalo: This Way Upkitkatmalo on October 26th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hey! Really? Spill! Do you have a continuation?
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on October 27th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kitkatmalo on November 1st, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cutecrazyice on November 2nd, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bea_tify: kandabea_tify on February 18th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Oh wow wow! This is so romantic and so sad! Will there be a continuation?
★ Eunhyuk's BBcutecrazyice on February 18th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Lol, thanks. I don't know. Maybe. I'm not yet sure, to be honest. :p