Book Review: “The Raven” by Y.I.M.S.

The RavenThe Raven by Y.I.M.S.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

True Rating: 0 starts out of 5.

This is not a novel. This is a badly written fan fiction based on “Black Butler” by Yana Toboso. So much so that, in truth, parts of the beginning of this novel were completely plagiarized from the manga and anime. The character, ‘Poe,’ is basically Sebastian (both being demons represented by a raven or crow), and the character, ‘Victoria,’ is a gender-swapped, adult version of Ciel Phantomhive.

What’s more, the ‘author,’ and I use that term lightly here, as Y.I.M.S. literally plagiarized another work, and then sold it, does not seem to have a grasp on basic English grammar. I honestly only got through the first chapter or so before giving up. The writing is hard to read, with many mistakes and odd sentence structure.



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Manga Review: “The Earl and The Fairy, vol. 1” by Ayuko and Mizue Tani

The Earl and The Fairy, Volume 01The Earl and The Fairy, Volume 01 by Mizue Tani
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

True Rating: 2.5 starts out of 5 stars

“The Earl and The Fairy” has been on my to-read radar for some time now. Finally, I found a used copy of the first volume to read.

I found myself sorely disappointed.

While the artwork was decent, the story itself was lacking. I waited for it to pick up, to have some sort of substance to it, but it seems that this series is another manga that focuses on a female character in over her head with a mysterious romantic lead dragging her deeper into something that is truly beyond her. There might have been something good here, but sadly, the main character, Lydia, is very unbelievable. She seemed content to simply go along with whatever was happening to her, no matter the issue.

The side characters, too, I found to be rather bland. There was a talking cat-fairy character that seemed to be Lydia’s friend; he, however, was boring. I think he was meant to be sort of sassy, but instead, he came off as bland, albeit maybe the voice of reason. The brother and sister combo of the servants were mysterious but, again, bland as all get out.

It felt like there should have been a good story here. A quest to find a lost item that linked the fairy world to the human world. Instead, “The Earl and The Fairy” felt muddled, dull, and just plain unimaginative.

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Plans for 2021

I have plans for next year. Plans that I would otherwise have scheduled for the end of this year, but as I am moving soon, it will simply be easier for me to mark them down as goals for the year of 2021.

First and foremost–my health. It has gotten to the point where I am very unhappy with how I look, how much I weigh, etc. I know it’s rather simple to want to lose weight for my New Year’s Resolution, but so be it. I’m heavy. Three Hundred Forty pounds does not look good on me, especially when I used to weigh half of that. At this point in time, I am literally the weight of two people.

To remedy this, I will be exercising more often. At least five times a week, every week, and different routines every day at that. I am thinking something like following a kick-boxing instructional video on YouTube, walking, biking, and some weight training. I would like to work up to jogging, something I have not been able to do since college.

Of course, part of my health is my mental health, too. I am hoping to get in touch with a doctor concerning my transition, including starting HRT. I will be binding more often (once I am able to purchase a few more comfortable binders), as well as only going by Devyn from now on. In January, I hope to look into getting my name legally changed, as well as start the process to ‘yeet my teets,’ as my wife says; to have my breasts removed. Basically, have top surgery. Bottom surgery will have to wait for now; I have a feeling that is going to cost way too much money at the moment. There will be other surgeries, of course, but I need to start somewhere, and my breasts and voice are the worst causes of my dysphoria right now. The HRT will deal with my voice, and the surgery, my breasts.

For crafty and art related goals, I do have a few. The first, and maybe the most important to me, is to go over the novel I am currently writing for NaNoWriMo, edit it until it is to my liking, and see about getting it published. I will need to work up the courage to get an agent, of course, but one thing at a time. This will be a year-long goal, considering how much work it will take.

Next, I would like to (and will) recreate my wardrobe. I want to hand-make my own clothing, excluding undergarments. More gothic-style pieces will be added, including vests and shirts. I will gladly make my own pants, too–ones that will actually fit me! I am very excited about sewing my own wardrobe, honestly. I can’t wait to start.

Dolls–I am only really planning maybe two or three dolls for next year. September needs to be completed. I have her eyes made, and one wig, but she needs a face-up, clothing, and a few more wigs. As for shoes, I will be trying to figure out how to make some myself.

Secondly for dolls, I have planned a half-premade, half-hand sculpted version of a Grelle Sutcliff doll. I would like to take a fashion doll, cut it up, and sculpt something more fitting for the Queen herself. My thoughts are to follow Dollightful’s video on her water dragon doll in a way, though to edit the overall construction to be more human (or Grim Reaper, in this case). This will allow me to get used to sculpting joints and such so that, one day, I will feel comfortable enough to completely sculpt my own doll.

For my Grelle doll, I really want to sculpt her face myself. For that lovely, sharp grin, I think I’ll have to.

Gods, do I love her so.

For my last planned goal for the year of 2021, I want to start a YouTube channel. At first, I wanted to make it a sewing only channel. Now…I really just want to have fun with it. Some sewing videos, yes. Some reading/writing videos, and a few doll episodes, too. Basically whatever catches my fancy, I guess! Just me being me, for once in my life.

Next year is looking bright.

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Book Review: “Black Sun” by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1)Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Black Sun” by Rebecca Roanhorse is the high fantasy novel–the start of a series, in fact–that I have been waiting to read for my entire life. Set in a world based off of the legends, culture, and ideals of the Americas before Columbus arrived, the novel does not center around any one character. Rather, it flies between a diverse cast of protagonists, each with his or her own piece of the greater story. Roanhorse creates a twisting puzzle through the novel’s over four hundred pages, and yet, there is still so much more to figure out. A word of warning; “Black Sun” ends on a ‘what now’ sort of note. It isn’t exactly a cliff hanger, but it isn’t a tidy ending, either.

The plot, as winding and sweeping as it is, is delightfully written, with Roanhorse using beautiful language throughout without being too flowery. There are moments of action, and moments of silence.

There is plenty of character development, of reflecting upon what has happened and what will happen. All of the characters feel real. None of them are perfect. None of them are horrible, either. The character who would have been thought of as the antagonist in a more ‘traditional’ high fantasy novel (though ‘traditional’ is subjective here; perhaps ‘mainstream’ is a better word), is realistic and understandable. No one character is really pegged as the villain. Everyone has their reason for what they are doing–most of them thinking it is for the greater good.

That really is the question in “Black Sun–” what is the greater good in the long run? What is considered ‘good’ by one group of people might mean annihilation to another. Just because one side is thought of as the victor by historical standards, does that mean that the other side does not deserve to be studied as well? Nothing is exactly as black and white in Roanhorse’s novel as is usually shown in other books of the genre.

I would like to take a moment to express my thanks to the author for the inclusiveness of this story. There is a bisexual (perhaps pansexual) main character. There are non-binary characters, transgender characters, characters who are gay, who are straight–and it would seem that, for the most part, it isn’t considered an issue. There are a few instances of homophobia and misogynistic thinking toward the beginning of the novel, and one of the characters does take note of how one area of the world is different than another. For most of the novel, however, as said before, it isn’t considered out of the ordinary or even an issue.

All in all, I greedily savored each page of “Black Sun,” and now I hunger for more. I cannot wait for the next entry in this series. “Between Earth and Sky” is shaping up to be a favorite collection for sure–and there is only one novel in it at the moment!

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Fan Fiction Review: “Fantober 2020” by redeemer62385, FINALE

The time has come for the last review of redeemer62385’s epic collection of prompt-based fan fiction focusing on the Teen Titans–specifically the pairing of Beast Boy and Raven. For the full collection, follow this link. Please note that there have been a few issues with fanfiction.net’s site over the last few days, so the final few chapters may not appear correctly on all browsers. These links, however, seem to work: Chapter 29; Chapter 30.

The first prompt for this chunk of fan fiction goodness is “Cat.” This entry follows a small, black cat by the name of Beelzebub, and how she came to be one of the side-kick members of the Teen Titans. A cute, sweet, and quick chapter; not much here other than fluffy-fuzz and warm kitty purrs. That doesn’t make it a bad chapter, of course!

Next up is chapter twenty-six. This one is told from Beast Boy’s point of view, and is another sweet little drabble. The prompt was “Laughter,” and redeemer62385 went with a sweet little idea for this one. After all–the sound of someone you love laughing is the most beautiful sound in the world, isn’t it?

Chapter twenty-seven was an interesting entry in this collection of short fictions. This one, labeled “Chainsaw,” sees our hero, Raven, dealing with a masked intruder wielding my favorite type of power-driven cutting tool. The ending is hilarious, featuring a cameo from one of my favorite series villains. This might be one of my personal favorite chapters, just for the ending alone. A great entry!

Twenty-eight, known otherwise as “Death,” was interesting. This chapter follows Death itself as he tries to figure out why something–or someone–is halting his collection of a very specific hero’s soul. It’s a nice chapter, with a very nice, loving ending. After all, wouldn’t you fight Death for someone you love?

The following chapter, number twenty-nine, is the steamy, dirty entry of this chunk. “Movie Night.” Spoiler: the movie was porn. A fun chapter, all in all, and I will not go into much detail, as most of this entry is down and dirty sex.

Finally, chapter thirty. This one follows prompt number thirty-one, and redeemer62385 himself told me that this would be the last chapter, as he had issues coming up with a serviceable idea for one of the other prompts. That is fine by me, as I know he is participating in NaNoWriMo this year, and I would rather he work on his next novel (the third in a series I have previously reviewed) than stress over one last chapter for this fiction. At any rate, this finale takes place on Halloween, which was also the prompt. It is a fun romp through the Teen Titan’s base on one specific All Hallow’s Eve, with a twist ending that was both hilarious and terrifying in its own right.

There it is! The end of this collection of fictions. What a wild ride. I would like to thank redeemer62385 for writing this massive piece of work (the author hit over 42,000 words in just one month on this, which is certainly impressive!). It was fun to read and review each chapter, and I look forward to what he creates this National Novel Writing Month.

To see what else redeemer62385 has written, check out his page on Goodreads, as well as buy his books on Amazon.

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NaNoWriMo 2020, Here I Come!

National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, starts on the first of November. I have had a few ideas knocking around in my brain, but I have finally settled on one.

“The Church of the Chrysanthemum God” is going to be the novel that I bang out next month!

I made the above image, my cover, on the website Canva.

It’s a sort of steampunk/dark fantasy/action/horror/body horror/Victorian/Jack the Ripper/science fiction stew of an idea, but I really hope it works out.

Also very excited that two of my Dungeons and Dragons buddies are going to be participating as well! They are both my friends/writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo site.

(If anyone reading this entry would like to friend me, head on over to my profile! Here’s a link!)

I created a new profile this year. That’s because I feel like I can leave the old me behind, especially in this–which is something that I love doing. I don’t want to be ‘her’ anymore, or associated with anything that ‘she’ has done. For this reason, I may start a new Goodreads profile as well. No. I am definitely. Right after I get done with this post, I am going to scoot over to Goodreads and start fresh.

This is what I need to do. I am no longer ‘her.’ I am Devyn Lynn Cullipher, and dammit, I deserve to be myself and not the person everyone wanted me to be. This hunger is my own. No one else is allowed to come to my feast.

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Fan Fiction Review: “Fantober 2020” by redeemer62385, pt. 4

Another chunk of redeemer62385’s fan fiction collection has been written, and as such, I am here to review. For those of you who are only now reading these reviews, the fan fiction can be found here. For the month of October, redeemer62385 is writing a chapter a day, each chapter being inspired by a list of prompts. The author has based these chapters off of the Teen Titans, specifically Beast Boy and Raven–though there are some other pairings included. Every sixth chapter is a steamy, romantic, very X-rated chapter, so be warned if you are under the age of eighteen.

I will discuss chapters nineteen and twenty together, as they are a pair. The first chapter in this duology, “Howl,” focuses on Beast Boy dealing with Raven’s untimely death. Because he loves her so much, he raids her personally library of magical tomes in the hopes of finding a way to bring her back–or to die trying. This leads into the next chapter, “Teeth,” where Beast Boy has successfully traveled into the afterlife in his search for Raven’s soul. Battle after battle, he collects the teeth of his enemies to trade for his beloved. Years have passed, but he never once loses track of his goal.

The next chapter was inspired by the idea of “Choice.” It is a very short chapter, but it was a nice reprieve after the length of the dark duology prior to it. This chapter explores some of Raven’s inner thoughts.

“Road” is an interesting chapter to be certain! redeemer62385 promises in his Notes section of this entry that this is merely the prologue to a longer piece–and I very much hope he decides to continue on it the idea. It is a post-apocalyptic Alternate Universe, focusing mainly on Raven, known here as Ra’ven. Exciting stuff! I look forward to more.

The twenty-third chapter is adorable! The prompt is “Ice Cream,” and this entry deals with pregnancy cravings. It turns out that Raven has some…uh…interesting needs while gravid–and poor Beast Boy has to deal with making some of the foulest sundaes in the universe.

Next up, and the last chapter for this review entry, is chapter twenty-four, “Sleeping.” Despite the title, it doesn’t really seem like a lot of sleeping actually happened in this entry! Steamy, sexual, and needy–yep. This is a ‘sixth chapter’ entry.

I look forward, as always, to the next entries.

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Fan Fiction Corner: “The Crimson Collection, Ch. 4”

The mirror never lied. 

Grelle peered into the reflective glass and sighed. “Just two more days,” she breathed to herself. There should have been happiness there. Instead, there was terror. Fear. Horror. A dread that curled up in her stomach like a black cat and screamed as it clawed her apart from inside. It made her want to vomit. 

Instead, she squeezed her eyes shut and pressed her forehead against the cold glass. 

The new millennium was truly a sight to behold. She had survived, somehow, the Victorian era right up until America decided to elect an idiot in an oversized suit to presidency. Though some of her friends had left the London Dispatch, she had stayed. Toughed it out.

And fought.

Originally, she and Othello were the only ones that really petitioned for changes in and around the office. Grelle was certain that Othello only aided her because he felt sorry for her. Surprisingly, William joined in next, giving them a bit more headway. Others quickly followed suit until, eventually, the Dispatch Society recognized transgender employees. 

It was a wave. Trans Reapers were allowed to wear whatever uniform fit them best–male, female, or something between–and were allowed to use their preferred names. Their genders were no longer questioned. In a way, it was a kind of heaven Grelle never thought she would live to see. 

But there it was. 

Flash forward years into the future. Now the Society allowed for gender confirmation surgeries, performed by those who had been doctors in life. They covered hormone replacement therapy. They allowed for Reapers to live their unlives as best they could. The higher ups loved it, in the end–with morale skyrocketing, even though most of the branches were still understaffed, the Reapers seemed to be doing a much better job than they had been before this little light of understanding was cast upon them. 

At first, Grelle was surprised to find that there were others like her. She had always been ‘out’ about it, not caring if others made fun of her for it. Well. She cared, of course, but there was not much she thought she could do. Now, though, things were different. Things were more beautiful than ever, and she felt like she was right. 

So why was the idea of her scheduled vaginoplasty surgery so terrifying? 

Top surgery had been wonderful, and she loved gently caressing her small breasts. Estrogen injections had aided in their growth, along with an overall softening of her features. She glowed, and most of the London branch loved it. William certainly did. 

There were a few other surgeries as well–minor ones, just to erase the ‘male’ of her face. Ones to make her look how she wanted to look, how she knew she should look. Ones that made her feel more beautiful than ever before, more delicate and dangerous and everything she needed. 

But.

“Get it together, Sutcliff,” she hissed at the mirror. Even her voice had changed, after about two years of vocal training. “You need this. You need this.” 

“Do I?” her reflection whispered back. “Aren’t I whole, as myself, without some surgeon slicing me apart? Am I not female enough? Even back then, I was. Even back then, when everyone misgendered me…was I not a woman then, too?” 

“Yes, of course.” Grelle pulled back from the mirror, sighing through her teeth. “But this will make me happy. This will confirm it–and tell the world.” 

Her reflection snorted as she crossed her arms over her chest. “R-e-a-l-l-y? Are you going to bare your vagina to the world, love? Let everyone take a peek, hm? Have a test, a try?” 

“Of course not!” Grelle raged, turning in a huff to face herself once more. She growled lowly, teeth bared and sharp. “I can finally rid myself of that disgusting part of me! I can finally be a woman–truly–I can finally–” 

“You. Already. Are. You always have been! Getting a surgery just to prove to the world that you are a female isn’t going to change the way the world sees you. There will always be prigs out there that will see you as male, no matter how hard you try. What is important is to be you. To love yourself. Haven’t you learned anything, pet? All of these years.” 

“I do love myself!” Grelle nearly screamed. “I do! I do…I…I don’t.” She put her face in her hands. As the tears came, she did not care that her make-up was running. “I put on a show for everyone. Even still, I am acting on a stage that is burning around me. I hate it. I hate it! Why can’t I just be myself?” 

The reflection softened. “What do you want yourself to be?” 

When Grelle looked up into the glass, it was her looking back once more–not the reflection with a mind of her own, but herself. Her own, firm image staring back at her with nothing to say. She studied herself for a moment. Slowly, slowly, she reached out to touch the cold glass. 

And she smiled. 

“I am me,” she said. “I know what will make me happy. I know who I am, who I have been–and I know what my future holds.” 

Because she loved herself. 

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Fan Fiction Corner: “The Crimson Collection, Chapter 3”

“Friendship”

    I watched her. A splash of red against the dull grey of England’s dreary landscape. She was beautiful and so full of fiery rage. In a way, she was like me–she had been robbed, by fate, of the one thing that would make her happy in life. So much like me. 

    A reflection of crimson.

    Angelina Dalles, known better by the title Madame Red. 

    What a beautiful cluster of Lycoris radiata, surrounded by weeds. In that moment, watching her murder, watching her spill carmine remorse across the cobblestones of Whitechapel, watching her gut the nameless whore like the slimy fish she was–ah. I fell in love, deeply and irreparably, with another woman. 

    I made myself known to her. How could I not? To see her so skillfully remove the wasted uterus, to watch her soak herself in the deep red blood…It was akin to seeing an angel made real. Not that a stuffy Angel would ever sully themselves with the matters of mortality, of course. But for the sake of my personal romanticism, Angelina was a seraphim of the most gorgeous scarlet. 

    She was afraid at first. Then, slowly, she grew to enjoy my company. Perhaps, in her own little way, she loved me back. It was an odd sort of emotion between us. An understanding, a kinship, a friendship. There was love and hate there, in equal measures. 

    “Why didn’t you come to me sooner? You are a being of Death; why couldn’t you find me before my life was ripped away from me?” 

    There was always that question. Sometimes spoken, sometimes only shot at me via a glance. I had no choice, I told her. I was a creature bound by my duties. Even being with her then, now, it would reflect poorly on me. For all I knew, should I ever return to the realm of the Grim Reapers, I would be cast aside and out. I could be killed for doing this with her. 

    Yet…

    In the back of my mind, I knew that William would never allow that. He hated me and loved me in a way different than my relationship with Madame Red. He would strike me, hurt me, harm me, spill my blood and damage my face–yet he would never kill me.

    I hoped. 

    It was a whirlwind, really. A proper cyclone. Angelina and I murdered and ripped, tore and destroyed. We were the Hands of Justice; we were the darkness in the corner of the room and the monsters under one’s bed. It was delightful, delicious, delirious. 

    One night, just before the end of our little game, she took my hand. I was surprised, and it must have shown on my face. Though we were close, we rarely touched one another. I did not mind the closeness, but Angelina preferred to keep our little ploy of master-and-servant in play, even when no one else was in the room. So, as she took my hand to remove the white gloves I wore as part of my role, I studied her. 

    “Hush, Grelle,” she said gently. “I have sent the help home. It is just you and me tonight. As, perhaps, it should be.” I started to speak, though now I do not remember what I wished to say. She pressed her fingers against my lips. “Drop your disguise. I want to see you for you tonight.” 

    I smiled with razor teeth. 

    “There is something so dangerously delicate about you,” Angelina continued as I pulled my hair from the velvet bow I kept it tucked back with. The brown melted away, allowing the crimson to spill back into my locks. “I see you as a toxic flower; to view you, one would think you were easily killed, easily plucked. Yet…should one be tempted to bring you to their lips…”

    “You are waxing poetic, Madame,” I purred through a giggle. I let the ribbon drop to the floor. “What is in that pretty little head of yours tonight, hm?” 

    She pulled away then. Her arms folded across her chest. “Ciel is close to us–to finding us. That damned butler of his–” I couldn’t help but laugh– “knows too much. But how? How can a man–” 

    “He. Is. No. Man,” I purred. I stepped forward to her, wrapping my arms around her shoulders. She had lost weight since we began this endeavour; I could feel the bones beneath the pale cream of her skin. “He is not human, love.” 

    She bulked at that, turning in my arms and looking up into my eyes. There was confusion on her face. It was like she had sucked on a lemon. Sour, yet sweet. I wanted to kiss her little bud of a mouth. “Sebastian is like you?” 

    “No,” I giggled, enjoying the taste of the secret on my tongue. “Oh, should I tell you? Let it slip, let that cat out of the bag? Hm-hm-hm. Your beloved little nephew’s butler is no human, yet no Grim Reaper. No. He is something far more dangerous, something so twisted and black that I would fear him if I knew I could not best him.” 

    Angelina furrowed her brow. “Grelle–” 

    “A devil, dear. A demon from the pits of Hell itself, ready to sup upon poor little Ciel’s soul the moment his duty is done.” 

    Her eyes widened. “How long have you known?” 

    I released her. “Oh, for some time. A whiff of him was enough for me to know. I could see it in his eyes and taste it upon his words. He is a demon, through and through, and a monster in the flesh. I would just L-O-V-E to tear him apart, to spill his blood, to feel his warm body against mine as the life flees from him!” I giggled and twirled, all caught up in my fantasy. “It is the duty of my kind, after all. Like Romeo and Juliet–we were never meant to be together. What a dreadfully beautiful romance we could have!” 

    “You might have that opportunity,” Madame Red sighed. She sat down, pouring a glass of wine for herself before drawing another for me. “We shall see.” Silence for a moment as she motioned for me to sit with her. Finally, she looked to me. Something unreadable played in her eyes. I noticed for the first time that even her eyes were red, though a touch of brown in them muddied them. I quietly wondered how a human managed such a hue. Perhaps it was just the light from the fire in the hearth before us. 

    “Grelle,” she said at length. “You have told me that it was suicide that brought you to where you are now–to what you are now.” 

    “Oh, I don’t really like talking about that, love,” I mumbled around my glass of wine. 

    She settled back into her seat. “Had I taken my own life that night, instead of that woman’s–” 

    “Mm-hm-hm, I see where you are going with this. Believe me, Angelina.” I looked at her over the rim of my eye glasses. “When I threw myself off of that cliff and into the icy tendrils of the ocean, had I known that I would still be trapped in a male body–if I had known then what I know now–I would have not done it. I would have found a way to die without it being counted as suicide. Surely, a true D-E-A-T-H is better than this.” I frowned sharply. “What is going on in that head of yours?” 

    Madame Red did not speak for a moment. Her eyes stared into the fire, burying themselves in the orange and red of the flames. “If I wanted to die–” 

    I reached out, clasping her hand in my own. “I can promise you, Angelina. Should it come to that, I will do the deed myself. I love you that much.” 

    She looked at my hand, clutching her own. Then, slowly, she looked to me. Into my eyes, into the depths of who I was. I imagine her gaze then was what having one’s Cinematic Record watched as one perished was like. I wanted to look away, but found that I could not. This woman, this mortal woman who had had everything ripped from her held me then, with those eyes, as though I was nothing more than a fly in a spider’s web. 

    “You must promise me, Grelle. Promise me that, should I slip, should I fall away from who I am now, you will kill me. You will know. I trust you the most, out of everything and everyone in this world and beyond. I love you in a way I cannot explain. I…I think you might be the first true friend I have ever had. I do not wish to lose myself, to become someone I am not.” Her thumb rubbed gently over my knuckles. “You will know. Do not let me become just another woman.” 

    “I will not,” I promised gently. I drew her hand to my lips, kissing the pad of her forefinger. “I p-r-o-m-i-s-e.” 

    Her face fell easily into a smile then. “Thank you, Grelle.” 

***

    I watched her as they lowered her casket into the ground. That brat was there, and Sebastian. Everyone she had ever known, those that loved her and yet did not know her. They were all there to weep. To speak kindly of her before they turned their backs upon her and cursed her out of their lives. Little ants, running around, whispering sweet lies to one another before scurrying out of their nest to devour the next delicious gossip. 

    It had taken a lot to convince William to allow me to watch. I could not appear to the mortals, of course. I did not have my Death Scythe for protection, should the demon or the brat notice me. Perhaps worst of all, he gave me a time limit. 

    There was little time left. I listened to the Phantomhive child and Sebastian speak at Angelina’s headstone. I watched them passively; I was still injured from my fight with the demon. As attractive as he was, I honestly did not wish to face him again so quickly. He would tear me apart, and not in a way that would feel nice. 

    With the clock ticking, I watched them disappear from the cemetery. I dropped down from the tree I had been hiding in. My heels dug into the soft Earth, making it a touch hard to walk. Ah, the pains of being a fashionable lady. 

    “I promised you,” I said gently as I knelt by her headstone. I touched the letters there, spelling out her name. “Angelina Dulles…my lovely Madame Red.” I pressed my forehead against the cold stone. Hot tears slipped down my face and fell to the ground. Joining them, I placed a bouquet of red spider lilies on her grave and forced a wide smile. 

    “My friend,” I breathed. “Ah. I loved you so.” I pulled her coat, pulled from her body just a few days ago, tightly around me. “I promised you, yet I was so angry. I felt as though you had betrayed me. That brat…was he really worth this? We could have had the world. Now, you have a plot in the Earth. Sleep well, my sweet. I will try to live for the both of us.” 

    I squeezed my eyes shut, watching her in my memories. A splash of crimson. 

    Oh, my pet. I will be red enough for both of us.

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Fan Fiction Review: “Fantober 2020” by redeemer62385, pt. 3

As November draws near, I have continued to read redeemer62385’s collection of shorts based on prompts for the month of October. This batch of stories is just as good, if not better, than the last two chunks. I feel that, by this point, redeemer62385 has a better flow and feel for the characters, and probably feels more comfortable writing them.

Just as with before, these stories are centered around the Teen Titans, specifically Beast Boy and Raven as a pairing, though other couples do make their presences known throughout the collection.

For example, the thirteenth chapter, “Unlucky,” centers around Jinx, the villain-to-hero that eventually falls for Cyborg of the Titans. I have always found her to be an interesting character, and that her powers are genuinely intriguing. In this entry, redeemer62385 explores the life of Jinx before becoming Cyborg’s main squeeze, and later, lover.

The next chapter, “Danger,” is one that was a treat to read. For those who are not familiar with the DC universe, the guest-star might come as a bit of a surprise. However, those who have played a very specific cross-over video game will better understand this character’s inclusion, and his appearance might stir a bit of a chuckle. I do not wish to ruin the fun of this entry, so I’ll just tell you to “Get Over Here” and read it.

Chapter fifteen was very interesting! It is a shorter entry, focusing on the leader of the Teen Titans, Robin. It centers on the idea of hiding a part of one’s self, specifically the eyes. They are the window to the soul, after all–and who really wishes to bare their soul to the world?

Fair warning, chapter sixteen, “Moon,” is a bit of a song fiction, using the piece “Amaranthine” by the band Amaranth. It’s a slightly depressing but lovely entry into this collection, ending a little fluffy and sweet. It explores the feels of someone left behind, of waiting on love, on the emotion of falling into oneself when one is alone. A good, solid piece.

The next entry is “Tea Time,” taking up the seventeenth chapter. This is a quick, simple chapter focused on parenting. It’s cute, and my teeth hurt from it.

Finally, for this chunk of chapters that I reviewed, we have the hot, steamy, and very X-rated “Birthday Party.” This is another Jinx and Cyborg based entry. Let’s just say that Jinx’s birthday party would not be complete without a few new toys–and her lover is more than happy to assist her in using them. A very dirty, drippy entry, and one that might have the reader drooling over every second of it.

This concludes this chunk of the redeemer62385’s “Fantober 2020.” The next review might be of the last collection of chapters, unless I can find a better way to break them up. We will see. Thank you again to redeemer for writing such interesting and fun shorts for this month.

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