The Last Soul-Shredder

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    Default The Last Soul-Shredder

    Prologue

    18 Months Ago

    Scarlet Eidolon and her mother were on the run. The man had found them. They have been running for years, never able to stay in one place for too long because Scarlet’s mother was afraid of the man finding them. She let her fingers drift over the two Poke Balls at her hip. They were a gift from her parents.

    Scarlet ran through the woods, focusing on finding her mother. They had taken her. The man that had her wasn’t going to let her go unless she told him where Scarlet was.

    She tried to run faster, but it was hard. The trees were ripping her clothes and tearing into her flesh. The rocks showed no mercy and dug into her shoeless feet. The wind was a biting cold and chilled her all the way to the marrow of her bones.

    The sun had set long before and the moon glared upon Scarlet as she continued to search for her mother. The moon offered little light. Darkness fell over everything. Even if your eyes adjusted to the dark, being in a locked closet would offer more light.

    She pumped her arms as the the air in her lungs left without her permission, but she couldn’t let that stop her. Her mother needed her. She was in danger. Scarlet would give her own life for her.

    The wind, trees, and rocks were too much. They destroyed her barriers and turned her into a pile of wobbly muscles. She pushed forward until she came to a tree line. Gnarled trees surrounded the clearing. They seemed to reach for her. Their branches were twisted and bore no leaves. The roots stuck out of the ground and tangled with other tree roots. Red stained their trunks and blood dripped off their branches, forming small pools. When the pool became big enough, the roots sucked them up, staining their trunks.

    Scarlet pulled her attention off the blood thirsty trees and focused on the lady in the middle of the clearing. The woman was on her knees in front of the mystery man. Whenever she tried to get up, one of the men formed a half circle around the leader, pushed on her shoulders forcefully until she kneeled again.

    The man in the middle was handsome compared to the others. He was about 6’1 and had a lean body. The man had rugged features. Silky black hair and a goatee. A scar slashed through his left eyebrow and stopped before it hit his eye. He looked like someone taught him a lesson for being an asshole.

    The leader said something in a hushed tone and Scarlet’s mother laughed.

    “You will never find her. She is long gone. And if you lay one hand on her, I will kill you.”

    Scarlet sucked in a breath and wished she had knife or a gun right this moment. She would use her Pokemon, but they were in their Poke Balls at the moment and release them would give away her hiding place. The man’s pinched expression showed that he wasn’t happy. Then he laughed and reached behind him.

    “You won’t kill me.” He pulled his hand around and cocked the gun in it. Then, before Scarlet could blink or make a sound, her mother’s brains were decorating the grass behind her. The man handed the gun to one of his henchmen and smiled.

    Scarlet felt something in her come alive as she watched her mother die. It burned like acid in her veins. It surged through her and Scarlet basked in it. She let consume her and take over. Her clothes melted away and the Poke Balls fell to the ground.

    Bones popped, skin stretched, tissue tore open. Pain lanced through Scarlet's back and she let out a scream. Her back arched and the bones in her back separated as something pushed their way out. Soon the pain ebbed and pleasure spread through out her body. Leaving a tingling sensation in its wake.

    When Scarlet came down from her high, she was standing in front of her mother’s lifeless body. The men were staring at her with fear etched into their faces.

    Scarlet cocked her head at them. They move didn’t an inch. Just stared. She looked down at herself and gasped. She was at least seven feet tall with bronze skin and swirling red, black, and white tattoos covering every inch of her body, but her face. She had long red claws on each hand. Black wings threaded with red and white stuck out from her back. They were four feet wide and stretched the length of her body. They were so big that she could wrap them around her body twice.

    Scarlet reached up and ran a hand over her head. Her hair was now flaming red and fell to her ass. Tiny black horns were on either side of her head. Scarlet wore a half shirt with straps that crisscrossed over her chest, around her back, crisscrossed again and met at her hips to hold her skirt. Thigh high boots encased her legs. Her shirt, skirt and boots were white while the straps were black and red.

    She held up her hands and examined the swirling tattoos. They were some kind of tribe design that you would find on an Indian. They might have been there for a reason.

    To test her theory, Scarlet pictured a ball of white hot fire in her mind. The fire appeared in her hands. The fire left a burning sensation in her palms, but the pain wasn’t unbearable. The flames licked at her fingers and glowed white. The men's eyes got wide and they took a step backwards. As Scarlet laughed, something caught her eye. She could see every single emotional and physical scars the men had.

    Some where big and some were small. Some ran the length of their bodies and some cut across. A lot of them were ugly and twisted. Like someone had tortured them.

    Scarlet smiled cruelly, reached out with her hand and tugged on one of scars. The unlucky victim was the man who forced her mother to her knees. She yanked on the scar and the man screamed and arched his back. Pain shadowed his eyes and he gasped for air. His arms flailed a little before falling limp at his sides.

    Scarlet yanked on the scar again, making him scream once more. It looked like an old knife wound. The scar was three inches long and was located on the man’s abdomen. She could feel how much pain the man endured when it happened to him. She had the decision of healing the wound permanently or rip it open.

    She smiled at the man and stopped tugging, but held on to the scar. He was panting from the pain and sweat poured down his face.

    “I’m going to give you the chance to save yourself from more pain and the lose of your life. Answer my question correctly and I’ll let you go. But if I feel your full of shit, then you better brace yourself, ‘cause this round of pain will be a lot worse that then last. Understand?”

    He nodded and lifted a hand to wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Scarlet frowned. The man stunk of fear. He was sweating profusely, his eyes were glazed over from the pain and he shook uncontrollably.

    She shook her head and focused on the man. ”Alright, first question. Why were you following us?”

    “It was my orders.”

    She nodded. “Fair enough. Does the man in the middle give you your orders?”

    “Yes.”

    “My mother said that your boss wanted me. Why?”

    He exhaled and started shaking. “You are one of the very last of your kind on Earth, that hasn’t been imprison. You are the key to the destruction of mankind.”

    Scarlet reared back as if slapped. “My kind? I’m human. I am not the key to any destruction.”

    “Then how do you explain you shifting? You can’t. You’re no longer human. That part of you is long gone now. You are last Soul-Shredder. Soul-Shredders can see people’s emotional and physical scars. They can either inflict pain or heal them.” He sighed before continuing.

    “Hundreds of years ago, Soul-Shredders ruled over everyone. They were treated like Gods. Their rare gift was used for healing. Two kinds of Soul-Shredders existed then. The Siloose (S-eye-loze) and the Danaires (Dan-air-eez). The Siloose healed emotional and physical scars and bodily wounds. The Danaires healed disease and the skeletal system. In the mid seventeen hundreds, some of the Soul-Shredders grew tired of helping people and started using their powers to kill. Bodies piled up day after day all around the world. People went into hiding. Trying to find some kind of weapon that could kill them. After years and years of searching, they had found a record of a such weapon that could kill them. But the thing was it was in a temples dedicated to one of the turned evil Soul-Shredder. Over and over, the humans tried to get the dagger, but always came up empty handed. It was called Deliverance. The dagger was suppose to deliver justice to the Soul-Shredders that decided to abuse their powers. Before they died, whoever killed them, would get one last look at the good part of their soul.” This time he hesitated before finishing.

    “The humans never managed to get the dagger. So, they had petitioned the Gods who ruled over the Soul-Shredders. They saw fit that the Soul-Shredders should be imprisoned ‘til they deemed themselves worthy of release. But the price for imprisoning them was they were to be imprisoned in the temple were the dagger is hidden. So, if anyone was to open the door to the temple, the Soul-Shredders would be freed and would wreak havoc on Earth. Needless to say, the humans weren’t happy they couldn’t have the dagger, but they made the deal.”

    Scarlet rubbed the bridge of her nose and glared at the man. “Okay, let me get this straight, I’m one of the last living, non-imprisoned, Soul-Shredders. I hold the destruction of the Earth in my hands and the only way to kill me is by Deliverance. But the dagger is trapped inside a temple full of evil Soul-Shredders. And if someone opens those doors, then they are let loose upon the Earth and they kill everyone. But they are completely free. Just under the command of a human. Also, why would the humans want the Dagger?”

    He inhale sharply. “Because, whoever bears the Dagger controls the Soul-Shredders. The dagger is the source of their power. If it was to be destroyed then they would be mortal. If someone had control of it and knew how to use it, they command the Soul-Shredders.”

    “Fuck a damn duck.”

    The man winced before opening his mouth again. “Also, not just anyone could release the Soul-Shredders. Part of the agreement was that only a hybrid could open the doors to the temple.”

    “A fucking hybrid?.”

    He nodded. “A mix between the Siloose and the Danaires. The strongest Soul-Shredder. You are a one of a kind, Scarlet. You are a hybrid. You can heal just about anything. Very few hybrids lived through birth. And are now few and far in between.”

    Scarlet stopped breathing. “This can’t be happening. I can’t heal anything. ”

    The man nodded. “Yes, you can. Remember when your mother had cancer three years ago? You healed her. Her doctor said that it was weird that the disease disappeared so fast.”

    She narrowed her eyes and tugged a little on his scar, ‘causing the man to yelp. “The only way you could know that, is if you were watching us.”

    He panted through the pain. “Yes, we were watching you. But I had no intention of going back to report to my boss. I don’t believe in hurting innocent children.”

    “I wasn’t a child then. I was almost 21 years old. You won’t hurt children, but you’ll hurt my mother?”

    Scarlet didn’t wait for the man to answer, she grabbed a hold of the biggest scar and yanked. His chest split open and blood sprayed everywhere. His ribs split and blood vessels snapped. He tried to scream, but the only sound he was a gurgling one. He convulsed as blood poured out of his mouth. Within a couple minutes the man died. She let go of him and turned toward the rest of the men. All but one was there. The man that killed her mother was gone. She looked around and saw no trace of him.

    Out of the corner of her eye, Scarlet saw one of other men trying to leave. She turned and grabbed onto one of his scars.

    “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”

    He started shaking, his mouth was opening and closing but no words came out. Scarlet pulled at the scar and smiled when he screamed.

    She looked at the remaining men and smiled. “I’ll be right back. If I find you gone then I’m going to hunt you down and kill you, got it?”

    She turned away, dragging the man with her, and headed toward the spot where she was hiding before announcing herself to the crowd. Scarlet bent over and grabbed the dropped Poke Balls. She pressed the button in the middle and watched as her Pokemon came forth. They were a Horsea and Swablu. The Swablu looked like a piece of fluff with a blue center and a beak and eyes. The Horsea looked exactly like it a sea horse. Its tail curled up in front of it and one little fin stuck out of its back.

    As she made her way back toward the men, she noticed that yet another man was gone. Before she could ask where he was, a gun cocked behind her. She turned around to look at the gunman. Her Pokemon crouched and readied themselves for attack. The man flicked them a glance, but focused on Scarlet. That made them mad. Swablu growled and sprang into action. She flew at the gunman and tried to use Peck, but she could make contact, Scarlet called her back. The Pokemon sent a glare her way.

    “Don’t hurt him. That’s my job, you and Pony Boy get to hurt the other men. But not too much.”

    The man’s hand shook hard as he unclipped a Poke Ball from his hip. Pressing the center button, he released a Gastly. It floated in the air. It looked like a purple ball of floating gas. The pokemon ignored it trainer and smiled at Scarlet’s Pokemon.

    “Put him down or I’ll shoot,” he said

    Swablu and Horsea growled low in their throats. Pony Boy looked to Scarlet for confirmation to attack.

    “You can try. But I’ll kill you before you can get a shoot,” she told him, then shook her head at Pony Boy.

    “That’s where you’re wrong, bitch.” He smiled and pulled the trigger.

    Scarlet let go of the man and shot forward, using her wings to move faster. She latched onto one of the gunman’s scars with her left hand and his head with her right. Scarlet took the gun and emptied out its bullets.

    She smiled when she saw that the bullet was still in the chamber. “Didn’t I tell you that I would kill you before you pulled the trigger? I believe I did.”

    Scarlet yanked on his scar causing it to split open his abdomen. He let loose a blood curdling scream as his guts spilled out of his stomach. Blood gushed out of his abdomen and mouth ‘causing him to choke. Then with a flick of her wrist she snapped his neck. Scarlet dropped the dead body and faced the remaining men, with her Pokemon flanking her sides. She bent over and grabbed the fallen Poke Ball. Opening it, Scarlet watched as it sucked the stunned Gastly inside.

    Turning back over around after tossing the Poke Ball on the ground, Scarlet smiled at the stark fear on the faces of the remaining men.

    “Who’s next?”


    Chapter One

    18 Months Later, Present Day


    Scarlet was behind a desk, in their library, reading a boring ass tome, when her half sister, Gwen Eidolon walked in, with a Poliwag trailing behind her. She stalked over to the desk and snatched book from her. Scarlet glared at her and tried to take the book back. Gwen smiled and danced out of reach while holding the book over her head.

    Shaking her head, Scarlet look around the room. It was big enough for 16 floor to ceiling book shelves. Each of the four walls was painted a different color. The back wall was painted a soft brown. The left was cream, right was tan, and the front was painted milky white. Four shelves lined the back wall, while the remaining 12 was split up and pushed against the left and right walls. Two love seats sat about five feet away from the door with a marble coffee table between them. There was a lamp in each corner of the room. And the desk sat toward the back wall. In between the book shelves were windows.

    The room was too cluttered to have curtains, so those were out. But they did have hanging blinds. With the way that the room was set up, it should have looked ugly, but strangely enough it didn’t. Scarlet focused on Gwen as she started to say something.

    “Come eat and actually do something instead of reading and then maybe I’ll give the book back.”

    Scarlet studied her sister. Gwen had shoulder length, chestnut brown hair that framed her baby doll face. She had a button nose, round cheekbones, and lush, bow shaped lips. She had blue eyes that sparkled when she smiled. Gwen was tall and had a slender body compared to her sister. Scarlet was short and voluptuous. She had high cheekbones, slightly up turned nose, and a lush mouth. Her hair color was so black it was blue. Her hair tumbled down to her waist. She had green eyes that were framed by thick black lashes.

    Scarlet had only known Gwen for 14 months. They were split up as little girls. Not really remembering each other. Gwen had stopped her from going insane after her mother had died. Scarlet had stayed in her Soul-Shredder form and hunted down every single person that was affiliated with the man that murdered her. Gwen made her realize how much damage she had done to herself and everyone around her.

    Scarlet couldn’t believe what a monster she had became. She had trashed two cities and killed over 30 people while on her rampage. Roads were destroyed. Buildings and bridges collapsed. Electricity poles trashed cars. Trees were knocked over, destroying houses. Fires were started. And the power went out.

    Scarlet visited the destroyed cities, but even though 14 months past, the people were still rebuilding their homes. She was ashamed at what she had done. Never in her whole 24 years of life did she think that she would end up turn to cities into rubbish. Scarlet and her Pokemon had bounties on theirs heads at one point.

    But she did get a little bit of information while she wreaked things. Scarlet had found out that the dagger was somewhere in Greece. Which also meant that the evil Soul-Shredders were also in Greece. Maybe they could get together and have a party. Not.

    Everything comes with complications. Scarlet sighed and stood up walked around the desk ‘til she stood toe to toe with Gwen. She did that no propose ‘cause she knew that Gwen hated breathing someone else’s air.

    Gwen face flushed red with anger and she pushed Scarlet until she took a step back.

    “Back off, Scarlet. I’m not in the mood.”

    “And who said I was?”

    Before Gwen could say anything, Scarlet shoved Gwen, so hard she almost tripped over her Pokemon, and snatched the book. She took off out of the room and down the hallway to the right of the door. She turned left and cut through the kitchen to the back door. She slipped out the door and closed it softly behind her. The backyard was on 10 acres with fruit trees everywhere. A seven foot tall fence lined the property, keeping out the wild animals.

    As the sun started to set, it cast a red glare upon the house and acreage. Scarlet blew out a breath and flattened herself against the wall beside the door.

    After a few minutes the wind started to pick up. It whipped around Scarlet and mussed up her hair. She leaned over and looked through the window in the back door. Gwen was nowhere in the kitchen. She felt something shake against her hip and almost shrieked. Scarlet looked down and sighed. The two Poke Balls that she had clipped to her belt were shaking. She realized that it was just her Pokemon letting her know that they want out.

    Scarlet unhooked them from her belt and shielded her eyes as a bright light flashed and her Pokemon appeared. Swablu hovered in the air with its cotton wings, and smirked at Scarlet’s other Pokemon. The other one was a Horsea.

    Scarlet loved her Pokemon, but they got on her nerves with their constant fighting. They did try to get along. Keyword being ‘try’.

    Scarlet motioned for them to get behind her and slowly opened the door then waited. No one came flying at her so that was good. She peeled herself off the wall and stepped into the house. She crouched and searched the floor for booby traps. Gwen loved to set traps for her own amusement. Scarlet often got mad ‘cause of Gwen's habit. Her anger resorted in them having fist fights.

    She looked around herself before moving on. The kitchen was chef’s dream come true. To the left, an island stretched from one end of the kitchen to the other, granite covered the counter tops, a convection oven and gas stove commandeered the half of the counter off to the right. A window sat above the stove, basil plants sat on the window sill soaking up what was left the sunlight.

    Oak cupboards hung over the stove. They shone a rich brown in the light. A wide, two door refrigerator sat between the island and counter. It was sleek and cream colored. Tile covered the floor, making it easy to clean. The walls were painted a very light chestnut brown to match the cupboards.

    Scarlet shook her head and crept across the floor, her Pokemon trailing after her. There were two doors in the kitchen one led to the living room and the other led to a hallway. She crept up to the doorway that led to the hallway. The stairs and two rooms were in that hallway. To the left was the living room and library, and to the right was the front door, stairs, bathroom, and the kitchen.

    She stopped and plastered herself to the wall. She waited a few minutes before peeking around the corner. The library door was ajar, spilling light into the hallway. Gwen was nowhere in sight. The hallway was clear, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t there.

    Scarlet crept down the hallway to the right and up the stairs. There was two doors to the left and three to the right. One was a bathroom. One was a guest room. Two were hers and Amelia’s and the last one was Scarlet’s art studio. Most of her drawings were on hung up the walls.

    She moved to the first room and cracked the door open. It was empty. So were the remaining rooms. Scarlet cursed and walked back down stairs. Her Pokemon were having a blast hopping down the stairs after her. She turned left and headed for the living room. She stopped just inside the doorway. Scarlet inhaled deeply and ran a hand through her mussed up hair. Gwen wasn’t in the living room either.

    “What the fuck Gwen.” Scarlet turned in a full circle, waiting for her sister to pop up somewhere. Her Pokemon bounded into the living room and started to play with each other.

    Just as Scarlet turned to leave, Gwen walked out of the library. She strode toward Scarlet with a stack of papers in her hands and Poliwag bounding around behind her.

    Scarlet felt her face flush red with anger as she stared at Gwen.

    “Where the fuck have you been?”

    Gwen raised her eyebrows and gave Scarlet a surprised look. “In the library. Where you left me after you shoved me.”

    The way Gwen has said the words so casually made Scarlet see red. “After I shoved you? You fucking shoved me first! Like you always do when you are mad at me or when I’m in your personal fucking space!”

    Once again Gwen's eyebrows shot to her hair line. ”You wanna keep it down? We have guests.”

    Gwen’s Poliwag bounced around her and jumped into the fray. Pony Boy and Swablu tackled the Poliwag. They ran all around the living room trying to tackle one another.

    “I don’t fucking care about guests!”

    “I don’t either.”

    Scarlet whipped her head around and stared at the man who walked into the living room through one of the kitchen doorways. He had a sandwich in one hand and a soft drink in the other. He strode to the couches and sat down. Then propped his feet up on the coffee table in front of him. The Pokemon had stopped playing and were now growling at the mystery man.

    He set down his drink and took a monster size bite of his sandwich. After he was finished chewing the bite if sandwich he smiled at Scarlet and gave her a once over. When he looked into her eyes again, his gaze was full of lust and he winked at her.

    Scarlet growled at him and turned her back on his laughter. She stared at Gwen and tried to keep a hold on her anger.

    “Would you like to explain why the fuck a man I don’t know is sitting on my couch?”

    Gwen reared back like she was slapped and bared her teeth at Scarlet.

    “Your couch?”

    “Yeah, my couch. I bought this house and every piece of furniture in here. Then you came along and painted my walls and tried to decorate. But your decorating never went beyond the room I let you sleep in.” Scarlet turned on her sister’s shocked expression and faced the man.

    “Who the fuck are you?”

    He started laughing. The man laughed so hard the he almost fell off the couch. Swablu and Poliwag just stared at while Horsea snuck around the back of the couch. He tried to pull himself together, but laughed harder. Scarlet narrowed her eyes and took a step in his direction.

    He held up one hand and clutched his stomach with the other. When he looked her in the eye his face was red and there were tear tracks on his face. His laughter died down and he swiped a hand over his cheeks. Then he picked up his sandwich. The man grinned at her before taking a bite.

    “Jax Mareno. I heard you needed help.”

    Scarlet scoffed. “I don’t need help. And who said I did?”

    Jax looked behind Scarlet at her sister and raised his eyebrows. “Gwen didn’t tell you?”

    When either of the sisters said nothing, his jaw dropped.

    “Gwen said you guys were close and that you said it was okay.”

    Scarlet slowly turned around ‘til she was face to face with Gwen. Her sister had her head down and was pretending like she was sorting the paper in her hands. Scarlet felt the anger come back full force, but this time betrayal was thrown in the mix.

    It simmered in her veins and turned her blood to lava. The only thought that ran through her mind was ‘how could she?’ Gwen may have stopped her from destroying herself, but Scarlet gave her a place to stay and food to eat. But enough is never enough.

    Scarlet tried to calm herself as she shoved Gwen out of the way and strode down the hallway to the front door. Scarlet did not want to find out what her sister had cooked up. She could hear her Pokemon following her, but she paid no attention. Scarlet didn’t need Gwen to help her on this quest.

    “Pony Boy, Swablu! Lets go!”

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Jax Mareno sat on the couch and watched as Scarlet stormed out of the house. The door slammed behind her and the Pokemon. She had looked even more beautiful then her picture let on. Even better then 18 months ago, when she first witnessed her mother’s murder.

    Jax been stunned when he saw her shift. Couldn’t believe his eyes. Watching her transform was awesome. Never in his life did he think that Hybrid Soul-Shredders existed. They were always still born

    Scarlet was the first Soul-Shredders hybrid. The Siloose and the Danaires couldn’t be more different. Both fell under the Soul-Shredder category, but weren’t the real ones. Long before the Siloose and Danaires came about, the real Soul-Shredders roamed the earth. They were the hybrids.

    Never had they abused their powers. They always followed the rules. ‘Til one day when a Soul-Shredder had knocked up a human. The rest weren’t too happy ‘bout that, but they let the woman keep the baby. When the baby was born, the father hid both the mother and baby away ‘cause it wasn’t a mix of the Siloose and Danaires.

    The baby was too young to know whether or not which of the two it was. If the rulers of the Soul-Shredders found out that a baby was born between one of them and a human, then it was ordered to be killed. They couldn’t afford to have their culture split in two then go to war against either one.

    But that happened anyway.

    Jax pulled himself from his thoughts and tried to focus on what Gwen was saying, but she made no sense.

    Gwen was waving her hands in the air and yelling at the top of her lungs. Jax felt his brow furrow and anger surge through his veins. He was not a Soul-Shredder, but something similar. Jax was one of the original High Lords that approved the humans petition for trapping the rogue Soul-Shredders.

    If Gwen knew what he was then she be at feet bowing. Not yelling at him. Jax blew out a breath and waited for Gwen to take.

    “Why the fuck did you say that? I was gonna tell her myself!”

    Gwen’s Poliwag’s eyes went wide and it scurried out of the room.

    “I thought you already told. I didn’t expect you to lie to me,” Jax said.

    Gwen’s face turned even redder. “ I had a reason to lie.”

    Jax raised his eyebrows. “Did you? Well, I’d love to hear this.”

    Gwen clenched her fist and said nothing.

    “Speechless?” he asked. “That’ll be a first.”

    “You just ruined my relationship with Scarlet!”

    Jax laughed. “You ruined your own fucking relationship. I had no part in your little plot.”

    Scarlet took that precise moment to walk through the door. She sent a loathing look at Gwen before climbing the stairs. Jax stared after her.

    When he couldn’t see her no more, Jax looked at Gwen and stood up.

    “You’ve got a lot explaining to do to Scarlet.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    She needed to find the man who killed her mother and the dagger. If he was after it then that could only mean bad news. Scarlet walked further away from her house as she thought.

    A hybrid was needed to open the temple doors that held the last Soul-Shredders captive. If he was gunning for the dagger then that must mean Scarlet was the only hybrid left.

    Scarlet cursed and stormed back into the house. Gwen and the man were still in the living but they were arguing. Scarlet ignored them and climbed the stairs. She strode down the hall and into her room.

    It wasn’t as fancy as Gwen’s, but then again she didn’t care. A water bed was pushed against the back wall under two windows, a few feet apart. Cartoons drawings covered the walls. Some were big and some were small, but all were SpongeBob and The Looney Tunes. An entertainment center took up the right wall. All kinds of video games and game consoles decorated it. Her closet was on the left side of the room. A love seat sat in front of the TV. Behind the couch was a lamp she built into the floor so she wouldn’t have to rearrange everything.

    Scarlet’s Pokemon jumped on her when she far enough into the room. The landed on the bed and bounced into the air. She felt the air leave her lungs. she tried to get up, but was always knocked over by her bouncing Pokemon. She laughed tried to grabbed them. They smiled and bounced out of her reach. With her at one end and them at another, Scarlet was able to get up and tackle her Pokemon. They flew off the the bed and landed on the floor. She squeezed her Pokemon and kissed them on the head.

    She smiled at them and let them go. “Thanks guys. I really needed to laugh.”

    Scarlet stood up and strode to the closet. She flung open the doors and stepped inside. Grabbing a bag off the top shelf, Scarlet filled it with clothes. T-shirts, jeans, shorts, tank tops, a couple jackets, a few skirts, and pajamas.

    Scarlet crouched and grabbed a couple shoes from the shelves she had built down there. Some heels, converse sneakers, and high tops were also thrown into the bag.

    When she was satisfied with what she had, Scarlet closed the doors and started for the door. Her Pokemon were back to bouncing around on her bed. They looked so cute. Even knowing Swablu had wings and could fly, it was fucking hilarious to watch it try and bounce a on bed.

    She pulled their Poke Balls from her hip and was going to call them back, but stopped and decided to let them have their fun. Scarlet turned around and walked to the bathroom. Shampoo, leave-in conditioner, a hairbrush, and scrunchies were added to the over flowing bag.

    Scarlet grabbed her bag, and motioned for the Pokemon to follow her, as she started down the stairs.

    When she made it to the front, Scarlet grabbed a set of car keys. As she turned to leave, Scarlet noticed that the yelling had stopped. The house was quite. Not a sound to be heard.

    She shrugged and opened the door, but stopped when she heard Jax talk.

    “Scarlet probably doesn’t even trust you anymore.”

    “Because of you!”

    Jax sighed. “No. Not because of me. You did that yourself. I had no part in this. You asked me to help you and Scarlet. I thought both of you were on board with the plan.”

    Gwen made a sound of frustration. “ If you had given me a little more time, I was gonna tell her. But no, you had to ruin it.”

    Scarlet heard soft thump of boot against the carpet in the living room.

    “Sister are supposed to be close. Have each others back and tell one another when their wrong. Not lie and go behind their back. That’s not a real sister, that’s a conniving bitch who only gives a shit about herself,” Jax snarled at her.

    Scarlet gasped. Nobody talked to Gwen like that. Especially men. They always fawned over her. Gwen didn’t mind, she loved it. She was an attention whore.

    Scarlet sighed and was about to walked out the front door, when something hit her from the side and almost knocked her off her feet. Scarlet steadied herself and smiled at her Pokemon. They clung to her like saran wrap. She laughed softly and walked out the door. She closed it softly behind her and headed for the garage. Her Pokemon loved playing in her cars.

    She collected old cars. Her dad had old vintage toy cars. He loved them with every fiber of his being. He had more toys then she did, but that was okay ‘cause he loved her.

    Scarlet sighed. God, she missed her dad. He was scary, but underneath it all was a little boy trapped in a grown man’s body. He did everything with his children. Cooking, playing video games, football, basketball, dancing. Never was there a day that she didn’t see a smile on his face.

    He smiled ‘til he took his last breath. Scarlet choked on her tears and tried to hold them back. And now her mother was gone. She took off her glasses and stuck them into her jacket pocket. Tears streamed down her face. Grief had a hold of her and won’t let go.

    Scarlet never was one to cry, but now she had a reason to let it all out. Her parents were everything to her. They were her best friends. She didn’t need anyone else. Scarlet was closer to them her own sister.

    She sucked in a breath and tried to stop the water works. She never cried. Not like this. Only when her father passed did she let the tears flow. In the five years that he’s been dead, she’s never cried this hard. Scarlet sniffed and swiped at her cheeks.

    She pulled the garage door open and walked inside. Her Pokemon jumped off her and ran around the garage like they were on crack. Scarlet gave them a watery smile, grabbed a set of car keys off the wall and her bag off the floor.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Jax walked out of Scarlet’s front door and didn’t look back. Gwen had lied to him. Scarlet doesn’t want his help. Their Pokemon probably hate him. Yeah... He doesn’t stick around where he’s not wanted. Jax looked at his surroundings. Scarlet had her house on about 20 acres.

    About a hundred or so trees, formed an O around Scarlet’s land. Off to the left was a huge playground. It had a 100 foot slide, swings, crawling tubes, monkey bars, merry go round, bridges, gymnasium.

    Everything you would find in a park was here. Just bigger. To the right was a pool about the size of an Olympic one. There was a diving board and slide. A pool house sat behind it.

    Jax shook his head. Scarlet had to be loaded. She had to be. There was two garage on either side of the house. Both of them were filled with vehicles. One with cars and trucks, the other with motorcycles and quads.

    He sighed and walked down her driveway toward his car. Halfway there, he heard a sob echo through the air. Another one came after the first. Jax turned and ran toward the sound. Scarlet stood in front of one of the two garages. The door was up and her Pokemon were running around the cars and trucks parked inside. Scarlet sucked in a deep breath and smiled at her Pokemon. She walked further into the garage, not knowing he was standing behind her.

    She grabbed a pair of keys off the garage wall and a bag off the floor at her feet, before walking over to a Chevy Avalanche. It was painted ice blue. Around the bottom half of the truck above the wheels, was some kind of tribal design. They were black and appeared to look like they moved at first glance.

    Jax watched as her Pokemon bounce over to her and hugged the back of her legs. She turned and stopped when she stopped him. There were tear tracks on her face and her eyes were red and puffy. Scarlet didn’t say anything, just stared at him. He took a deep breath and walked over to her.

    When they stood toe to toe, Jax grabbed Scarlet in a hug and held her.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Scarlet stood there in Jax’s arms. He smelled like man and pinewood. He was taller then she thought. Probably close to 7 feet. She sucked in a breath and hugged him back.

    God, she needed this. Nobody had ever held her like this. And boy did it feel good. She could feel her Pokemon still hanging onto her legs, but she didn’t care. They stood there like that for a few minutes before Scarlet let go of Jax.

    She took a step back and grabbed her bag off the floor that fell when she wrapped her arms and him.

    He looked at the bag then at her truck before speaking. “Where you going?”

    “Greece,” Scarlet said as she opened the drivers door and tossed her bag inside.

    Jax tensed. “Why?”

    Scarlet faced him once more before answering. “Cause I have unfinished business there, that’s why.”

    He sighed. “Do you know what awaits you there?”

    “And I supposed you do?” she asked.

    “I do.”

    Scarlet pulled two Poke Balls off her belt and called her Pokemon back. “Care to explain?”

    Jax sighed. “I was there that night when your mother was killed.”

    Scarlet’s eyes widened and she swayed. Jax grabbed a hold of her arm to keep her from falling. “You were there? And you didn’t bother to find me till now?”

    He sighed and stepped back when she yanked her arm out of his grasp. “I wasn’t allowed to.”

    “What do you mean you weren’t allowed to?”

    “It’s against the rules.”

    Scarlet’s eyes narrowed. “What rules? Who the fuck do you work?”

    Jax masked his features and took another step back. “I don’t work for anybody. What I do is the real question.”

    Scarlet took a step toward him and watched as he tensed. “Okay... What do you do?”

    Another step backwards. “I can’t say right now.”

    Scarlet sighed and stopped moving. “Why?”

    Jax stepped out of the garage and gave her a sad smile. “Because even someone in a position is high as mine, you still have to play by the rules.”

    Scarlet opened her mouth to say something, but was stunned speechless when Jax disappeared into thin air. One minute he stood before, the next all she saw was her land.

    Scarlet picked her jaw up off the ground and walked back into the garage toward her truck. She hopped inside and shut the door.

    He was gone. Just gone. No goodbye, no see ya soon. Nothing. She sighed. That’s was okay. He’s gonna get his. Scarlet would make sure of it.

    She fired up the engine and tore out of the garage.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Jax flashed to his car. It was parked in the middle of road that led to Scarlet’s place. He didn’t think anybody would come down this, so he left it there.

    Which probably wasn’t a good idea ‘cause Scarlet was leaving and if he didn’t haul ass, she would see him. Jax climbed in and winced as he replayed the conversation in his mind. She probably thought he was an asshole now. Yeah, nice going bud.

    He sighed and floored it. She’s a tough one.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    A day later

    Scarlet grabbed her bag from the bagging area and strode through the airport. Her Pokemon trailed behind her, chattering to themselves. One of the many signs said that all Pokemon were supposed to be in theirs Poke Balls while airport, but Scarlet ignored it and kept walking.

    They could be out of their Balls since she was leaving. If they didn’t like it, then tough shit. They were just gonna have to deal with it.

    Scarlet shifted her bag to her left hand and pushed open the airport doors. All kinds of smells assaulted her at once. Scarlet shielded her eyes and smiled down at her Pokemon. They jumped around and smiled back.

    The airport was packed with people coming and going, so it was to maneuver anywhere. Car were lined up against the sidewalk. People climbed in and out of them. The parking lot and street didn’t look any better.

    Scarlet shook her head and looked around for an empty cab. She had lived here before when she was younger. So speaking their language wasn’t a problem.

    Scarlet took the Poke Balls off her hip and was about to Pokemon back, when something caught her eye. It was a man. He had a scar slashing through his left eyebrow. Black hair fell across his forehead and a goatee covered his chin. He stood out in the suit he was wearing.

    He looked at her and smiled. An evil glint in his eye as he stared at her. Scarlet saw red and felt anger surge through her body as that night when her mother was killed, played in her mind.

    Scarlet called her Pokemon back and started to shoved people out of her way as she head in the man’s direction. His smile grew into a full fledge grin as he turned and walked away.

    Scarlet let out a sound of frustration when she lost sight of him. More and more people poured out of the airport, making it hard to see where the man went. She kept pushing 'til she came to the street. She spotted the man on the opposite side of the road talking to a mountain of a man in front of a pizza parlor.

    The mountain looked at her before nodding at the man who killed Scarlet’s mother. He strolled on while the mountain headed in her direction.

    Scarlet felt her eyes widen as he came closer. Oh Shit!!!


    Last edited by Arctic Penguin; 4th October 2012 at 05:56 PM.

    ^ Credits to Blue Dragon

  2. #2
    Senile EmBreon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Last Soul-Shredder

    @_@

    Story: You've got a lot of nice ideas floating around in here. A pretty unconventional storyline and some interesting characters - two key ingredients in creating an epic tale. However, simply having these components doesn't necessarily mean the story will automatically be a success. Executing your plot in a way that is clear and accessible is just as important as inventing it in the first place, or your reader will not be able to appreciate it nearly as much as you do. As for your characters, we need to understand them. We should learn what drives them, what motivates them, and what triggers the traits that make up their personalities. Without these things, your story is left feeling incomplete, which is kind of how I feel after reading this.

    We seem to mostly follow Scarlett, who has recently discovered she's the last Soul-Shredder hybrid - a savage beast with some very dark and gruesome abilities. Beyond this seed of a potentially very interesting idea, little was expanded upon after this. The rest of the story contains a lot of mundane interaction between she, her sister and Jax, with little plot and character development. At least until the very, very end. This strings your reader along for too long of a gap, which will leave them bored, uninterested, and unlikely to finish reading.

    I also tend to spout in these grades that there is not really a 'wrong' way to write. But storytelling... there are ways to do it well, and there are ways to do it poorly. The simple goal of telling a story is to entertain. People read because they enjoy it; if they are not enjoying it, they will not read. Something that draws me most to writing is the ability to have absolute control of your world. It is your imagination, your world, your people. And, by manipulating these things, you are also manipulating your reader. You can make them feel sadness, anger, joy... all with your words.

    To do this, you need to first establish your foundation. Your plot. What is your conflict, and what is your ultimate goal? Your main character(s) is your puppet. This is the person(s) that experiences your conflict first hand, and this is also the person your reader should most relate to. Once you have decided your route, obstacles, and resolution, the hard part kicks in: execution. This is where the story struggled for me. You seem to have everything in mind, but putting it into words is where the actual telling of the story comes in. It's the translation filter of all your ideas, and this is what we read. Establishing things like setting, to paint a picture. Leaking your idea and providing action, to give interest. And, developing your characters, to give empathy.

    Another thing to keep in mind, is progress. Your story should always feel like it is progressing somehow. Whether literally, metaphorically, or mentally, that progression should exist. Your reader should always feel like they are making progress towards your ultimate goal/resolution. Create problems and solve them along the way. Raising questions and mystery is a great thing to have, but stringing these things along with no compensation will only irritate your reader. Your prologue was fantastic, and set up a truly intriguing plot, but beyond that, nothing happened. The biggest props I can give you is that Scarlett's character had depth and reason behind her, which is often hard to do. So great job there.

    The other thing I wanted to bring up, was your narration. In a story like this, where it's entirely third person and follows a variety of characters, the narrator is simply an entity present throughout the whole tale, not a person, nor a character themselves. The narration should feel unbiased, unless strongly in the perspective of one of your characters. Or unless it is an intentional character or method in delivery. For example:

    Her hair was now flaming red and fell to her ass.
    ‘Til one day when a Soul-Shredder had knocked up a human.
    Gwen didn’t mind, she loved it. She was an attention whore.
    These are casual, gritty word choices that leave your story feeling unprofessional. It gives your narration a flicker of 'personality' that it shouldn't have. This distracts from the story itself. Our focus should be on your characters and what is happening to them, not on the way they are being told of.

    This also reminds me of the amount of profanities you had in here. :P Nothing wrong with doing it, since real people swear, and it can create personality and strengthen emotion. However, using it excessively decreases your impact and can become annoying if there is no reason behind it. Scarlett dropped the f-bomb a lot, needlessly. I understand she has rage issues, but I would have felt more afraid of her if the cussing was placed 'tactfully' and at key moments in her dialogue. Otherwise, this too, makes your story seem immature of sorts.

    In the end, I am only being so critical because I can tell you have the ability needed to write a great story. You have all the pieces, you just need to put them together.

    Grammar: There were quite a few mistakes in here. A lot of misspellings, punctuation errors, and tense inconsistencies - and I know for certain that the majority of these can be fixed with a single proofread. I don't really want to point out anything specifically because of this. Nothing stood out to me as a genuine issue, and there were too many minor ones for me to pay attention. They were frequent enough that I just started reading over them. Please go back and proofread this story. It needs it.

    Detail: While you lacked a lot of visuals, something great about this story was your awareness of emotion. While sometimes it was a bit confusing, other times you used it to create a beautiful scene. Coming to mind immediately was when Jax and Scarlett hugged. It made me feel compassion, and was very nicely done. You have a great attention to this, don't lose it. You also did a great job in making sure important things were well described. You let us see what we needed to, and while it wasn't always a full picture, it was still a picture. Very good job.

    Something you should work on though, as I've said many times already, is execution. Conveying your descriptions. A lot of this can be done by simply changing up your sentence structure. An example:

    After a few minutes the wind started to pick up. It whipped around Scarlet and mussed up her hair. She leaned over and looked through the window in the back door. Gwen was nowhere in the kitchen. She felt something shake against her hip and almost shrieked. Scarlet looked down and sighed. The two Poke Balls that she had clipped to her belt were shaking. She realized that it was just her Pokemon letting her know that they want out.
    Every single sentence has an almost identical structure of a subject and an action. This creates a pattern. In this case, a pattern is not a good thing. Your words become predictable, and difficult to read because of the lack of change. Play around with your words. Have fun. This probably reads like a chore because it felt like a chore to you when you were writing it. And my best advice of all, is just to read and keep writing. The more you do it, the better you will get. You've got some perfectly clear talent and a wicked imagination brewing around in there; writing is a fabulous way to let it out.

    Climax: There wasn't one. I realize this is only the first part of a continuing story, but you are still trying to capture a Pokemon with it. I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but the lack of progression really hurt you here. You need build up. This is the point where your story should peak, even if it is only chapter one. Something should solve, whether it be a minor conflict from this chapter or a more significant one, your reader needs some kind of resolution. The cliffhanger was a decent touch, but it was incredibly unsatisfying after reading this. This loops back around to your execution and the need to be aware of it.

    Slow and steady may win the race, but we at least need interesting things to look at along the way. Else we'll end up falling asleep just like the rabbit. :P

    Aside from this, though, you did well in imagining such a creative idea. It's probably why I feel so neglected, because I want to see more!

    Outcome: I'm so sorry for the amount of criticism in this grade, but you have the skills to execute and I hope you will make use of it. And in addition to that, you are attempting Hard rank Pokemon with this. I have to be a little stricter than I'd normally be because of this difficulty. Your length barely squeaked over the minimum, which doesn't necessarily hurt you, but it doesn't give you a boost either. And, unfortunately, I think you needed that boost. ^^;

    There were a lot of things that held you back, so I'm sorry to say only one of the two Pokemon captured. You can pick which one, but to catch the other, this needs a proofread at the very least, and some work on your plot. I hope you don't give up, and also hope you come back for a regrade.

    urpg

  3. #3
    Registered User Arctic Penguin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Last Soul-Shredder

    Horsea

    ^ Credits to Blue Dragon

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