Chatterbox: Inkwell


I glanced over my shoulder to see Joshua running after me. I slowed. 
"Hey! Haven't seen you today! Why weren't you at school?" I tried to sound cheerful. It didn't fool him.
"What's wrong? Worried about tomorrow?" Tommorow was the day that all of my class had been waiting for for their entire lives. The day that you would get your wisp.
"No." I told him, although I was worried.
"Hm. What kind of wisp do you want? I mean, like, what bird do you think it will appear as?"
"I dunno. You?"
"Well, it would be nice if I got a chicken." This cracked a smile out of me, despite my misgivings. It would be just like Josh to get a wisp that could turn into a chicken. I realized Josh had changed the subject.
"Why weren't you at school?" I asked again.
"I like to play hookey once in a while."
"Fine. Dad forgot to get me a suit and a uniform. I needed one for tomorrow, so we had to get one today." He made it sound so normal, like your parent could just forget that you were getting a wisp. Well, Josh's dad could. I was about to tell him something supportive, but I heard another shout, this one from up ahead.
"Hey, it's my people!" I glanced up to see Tammy, her hair in its usual messy bun, her hazel eyes dancing. "Are you peeps exited for tomorrow? You'll get your fancy-shmancy wisps!" Tammy was a year younger than Joshua and me. She wouldn't get her wisp until next year. Come to think of it, I couldn't remember how I had even met Tammy. She was a year younger then me, and homeschooled, so I couldn't think of why or how we had become friends. Not that I regretted it, or anything. It was a pretty awesome friend who walked down to a school every day to walk home with you. "Well?" Tammy interrupted my thoughts. "Are you exited? Nervous? Bored with the prospect of getting a shape shifting spirit companion?" She summed up a wisp pretty well.
"I guess I'm exited, and nervous. I wouldn't put in bored, however." I told her. She nodded. 
"I guess I would be, too, If I had a companion who could shape shift and could only talk to you through body language and a magical book. Do you want to study? The summer ends tomorrow, and I haven't had to attend a getting ready for wisp school all summer, so I need to study."
We had reached my house by now. Josh hung back.
"I need to get back home to do some stuff. I only came up here to walk Eurinome home-" Tammy cut him off.
"You mean you cut school?"
"Yeah, well-"
"Then you need to study more then ever." Tammy pushed open the door, and Zander, my Mom's wisp, streaked out of the door in her chihuahua form, and jumped onto Josh. Dogs love that boy, who knows why. Josh bent down to pet him, and Zander changed into a squirrel and jumped onto Josh's shoulder, chittering exitedly in his ear.
"He says he is super happy you came, and that his person made you cookies." Mom's voice came from inside. "Oh, and also you need to come in."
I slipped inside, Josh on my heels, to see Mom bent over a batch of cookes, inspecting them for defects. Her wisp notebook hung from her belt by a strap. 
"Can I have one?" Tammy asked.
"Sure, honey." I heard a startled oof from behind me, and turned to see that Zander had turned into a miniature horse while still on Josh's shoulder. I grinned.
"He does that sometimes. Have a cookie?"


Okay. Sorry if this is wierd and confusing, but I'll be adding more soon...This is a solo write. I would LOVE constructive criticism, and the whole wisp thing will become much more clear next instalment. 

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(October 24, 2019 - 4:48 pm)

Ooh, this looks cool! However, it doesn't quite look like a solo write. But here's a link to the Ultimate Guide explaining how solo writes work! 


submitted by Fleet, for the puppies!!
(October 25, 2019 - 7:35 am)
submitted by Top
(October 27, 2019 - 7:32 am)

Thank you Fleet!
How do you think I should refer to this? Story-that-I-am-posting? Chopped-up-story-have-fun? Read-this-and-tell-me-what-you-think?

submitted by Hummingbird
(October 31, 2019 - 4:28 pm)

Cool, Hummingbird!

submitted by Nyx, age 12 years, earth
(October 27, 2019 - 3:46 pm)

I like it, so far it seems like it'll be an exelente story. But I do have some constructive citicism for you...

1. I feel like the descriptions are lacking. They're walking home and that's all I know. What does the walk look like, is it hot? Or cold? Middle of summer or the beginning of fall? Windy or still? With nothing describing the walk, all I saw was them walking around in a gray nothing. 

2. This also has to do with description, this time for the characters. I know how hard it is to slip in what the main character looks like in first person, but the others can be easy. The only person I can really see is Tammy, with just two descriptions I can see her in my head, but if you elaborated that would make it so much better. I know nothing about Josh and her mom, the only things I know are their genders and it's hard to come up with a good image from that. 

It's good, I've gotton sucked into the story. What are wisps? How's Josh's life like? Tammy... I'm suspicious of her... she's up to something. 

But if you take some time to describe the setting of the story, what characters look like, it'll be so much easier for people to get sucked in. I can't wait to see what's next!  

submitted by Moonfrost, age Who Cares?, Mars
(November 5, 2019 - 12:22 pm)

Thank you so much! That was really helpful! I appreciate it. 

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(November 9, 2019 - 6:45 pm)

I licked my lips, then shivered in the moist air. We were having a mid-August cold snap. My dress, a light blue thing with wide ribbon straps was the wrong outfit for the weather. I stood at the edge of the town plaza. The fountain in the middle, usually appearing to be a rock waterfall somehow transported into the middle of the town, stood dry. The crowd around the edges of the plaza talked exitedly. I was standing at on of the corners of the plaza with the rest of the thirteen year old's. I glanced around and succeeded in locating Josh, who was just a few steps behind me.
"Nervous?" I asked him.
"Nope, not at all." He told me, shrugging his damp brown hair out of his eyes.
"Really?" I asked incredulously.
"Well," he amended, "Only nervous that I won't be able to lift my arms high enough to pet my wisp." He demonstrated, trying to move his arms upwards, but his blue checked dress shirt impeded his movement. I laughed nervously and changed the subject.
"Do you know where Tammy is? She said she would be here."
"Yeah. She's over there." Josh pointed across the square. Tammy was easy to spot, since she was wearing a flowery yellow dress and standing in the middle of a group of somberly dressed adults. I waved, and she waved back enthusiastically until one of the adults, probably her mother, pushed her arm down. I reached up to make sure that the braids my mom had painstakingly put into my hair were still intact. I was about to yell something to Tammy, maybe how are you or wish me luck when I heard an unmistakable hush in the voices of the crowd. I glanced around, and realized that an old man was now walking around the square. I recognized him from last year's wisping, which was the only time he ever seemed to show up. He was, hm. What was the title? Trainer. Yes, the Wisp Trainer. I screwed up my eyes, trying to see through the thin mist. I realized that every few steps he set something on the ground. I squinted, then I realized what they were. The wisp notebooks. My stomach gave an exited leap as I realized that my wisp was currently inside of one of those books. When the Trainer ran out of books, the mayor stepped up on one side of the fountain with a microphone, then waited while of few of the citizens helped to hoist some portable speakers onto the edge of the fountain. The mayor, a middle aged man with a slight paunch and a gray comb over, began his annual speech. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see my mother, her blue eyes sparkling, her brown hair, the exact same shade as mine, flying in the breeze.
"Good luck, honey. Sorry I couldn't get here sooner, Zander did his buisiness on the floor in multiple forms. I left him at home."
I smiled. "Thanks Mom! See you afterward." She turned away and was lost in the crowd. The mayor started to wind up his speech and another twinge of nervousness went through me. Suddenly a yellow flash caught my eye from the left. I saw Tammy reach down, pick something off of the ground, and put it into her bag. I wished I could see better.
"And now, let the first participant, Hope Adair, step forward." The mayor stepped down from the fountain, and Hope, a tall red headed girl stepped forward from beside me. I saw her shoulders rise as she took a deep breath, and then she made her call. Like all Calls, it had no words, but it conveyed more than a thousand volumes ever could. She was happy, contented, exited, and at the very end, the call dipped downward into self-doubt. I held my breath. In the middle of the square, a blue ball of light leapt of from one of the books, then morphed into a cardinal. The cardinal flapped his wings, then swooped down, grapped the notebook, and soared upwards. It flew across the plaza to where Hope stood, dropping the book at her feet, before landing on her shoulder. She picked up the notebook before turning back towards us, her face a huge smile, and rejoining the crowd of thirteen-year-olds. The mayor stepped back onto the fountain, and his words made my stomach drop. It wasn't my name, but it was one I was equally worried about.
"Joshua Lepse, step forward."
I patted Josh on the back as he passed me. I saw him take a deep breath, and then he made his Call.

So yeah! This is the newest instalment! Once again, constructive criticism would be appreciated.
@Admins, sorry this is so long!

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(November 10, 2019 - 6:18 pm)

Oh, this is amazing! Your writing flows so well and has the perfect amount of detail without being cluttered. I'm so invested in this story now, I can't wait to see what happens next!

My one piece of advice is that you don't have to worry so much about EXPLAINING the structure of the society (for example, what wisps are and how they work), just let Eurinome do her thing within her world and trust that your reader will pick it up along the way.

For example, in the first installment, Tammy says, "Are you bored with the prospect of getting a shape-shifting spirit companion?" If Tammy, Josh, and Eurinome are all familiar with wisps, there would be no reason for Tammy to define them like that. It's clear that it's for the benefit of the reader. By the end of the 2nd installment, it would be pretty clear to the reader what wisps are, even without this little explanation.

You have an excellent story here— Just trust yourself and your world a bit more!

submitted by Abigail, age Old enough, Inside my head
(November 11, 2019 - 2:51 pm)

This is so nice Hummingbird!

A few things: excited, not exited. Also, in the very first paragraph or so it's kind of hard to figure out who's talking at what time. That might be just me, I don't know, and it's probably just a formatting thing.

So...yes...I LOVE it so far...keep going! 

submitted by cerinthe, age 13
(November 12, 2019 - 9:56 am)

In the middle of the square, a blue ball of light sprang up from a small flip top notebook. In midair, it changed into a small orange chicken, which grabbed the notebook in its beak and hopped across the plaza to Josh. When it arrived, it dropped the notebook, and with much flapping and a few stray feathers, flew to his shoulder. I saw Josh's shoulders slump, as a few titters ran through the crowd. I winced, imagining how much he would get picked on about his chicken. Josh's wisp must have sensed his discomfort. It squalked, as if to say, 'Hey you, watch this.' and flapped down off of Josh's shoulder. When it reached the ground, it morphed into a large, shaggy gray wolfhound. The titters ceased. Usually wisps don't change into different forms until hours after wisping. When they do change at wisping, it is seen as a sign that there will be a strong connection between the wisp and the person. Josh scratched the dog's head, and it barked exitedly. Josh stooped and picked the notebook up off of the ground. He turned around and entered the crowd of thirteen-year-olds, his wisp following right behind him. He grinned at me as he passed, and whispered:
"Good luck!"
"Thanks!" I replied, smiling back. Suddenly I startled. The mayor had called my name.
"Eurinome Turner, please come forward."
I swallowed, trying to get the dryness out of my mouth, and stepped forward out of the crowd, my dress rustling softly. A breeze carressed my skin, and a shiver ran through me. I stared at all of the books, suddenly realizing that one of them held my wisp. I swallowed again, took a deep breath, and then made my call.
It was as if everything I had ever experienced came tumbling out of my mouth all at once. Like how, when I was little, I was always trying to get my parents to pay attention to me, and I felt like all they cared about was my older brother. Like how I missed him when he moved out, even though I had thought that I wouldn't. Like meeting Josh in forth grade. Like how I broke my arm falling out of a tree, and like being in the school play with Tammy. All of this, and so much more, came out of my mouth in one call. When it stopped, I glanced around, breathless. To my right, I heard a whoosh, and a blue ball of light sprang up from a notebook, then turned into a small falcon. The falcon let out a piercing shriek, then siezed the notebook in its talons and took off into the air. It flew a loop around the plaza, then dove, swift and lithe, dropping the book and flapping its wings at the last moment to slow its fall. I winced as its sharp tallons pierced through the light fabric of my dress, and a few trickling drops of blood dripped onto the stones of the plaza. I still have the scars. I reached up and stroked the soft feathers, then bent down and picked up the book. It was beautiful. Small, with a black leather cover. I opened it. The pages were blank. I turned around, meaning to rejoin the group, when all of a sudden, something caught my eye. It was the face of the Trainer. He had gone deadly white and all of the color had drained out of his face. He muttered something to girl who stood near him, then turned away. As I rejoined the crowd, my head was swarming with doubts. When Josh grinned at me, I tried to smile back. It was a poor imitationl.

Hey everyone! Thank you for all of the feedback. I have tried to keep it in mind when I was writing this section. 

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(November 14, 2019 - 7:28 pm)

It's so good! Maybe could you describe the "calls" more? And maybe more paragraph breaks, to make it easier to read. BUT IT IS SOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDD KEEP GOING

submitted by cerinthe, age 13
(November 15, 2019 - 10:39 am)

Wow, you have a really nice story in the works here! One thing I would say is, you mentioned earlier that Tammy is homeschooled, but in this part you said that Eurinome and Tammy did a school project together. I like the short, poetic-esque sentences you used to describe what a call represents, but I'm still confused about what exactly a "call" is. Otherwise, you're doing a great job!

submitted by Luna-Starr, age 27 eons, Existential Ponderment
(November 19, 2019 - 8:25 pm)

Thank you for all your feedback! I appreciate it.

You are absolutely right about Tammy and the school play. Hmm. Since I've already posted the section with that on here, it looks like I'll have to work an explanation of that into a future post. *starts thinking furiously*

Thank you again! 

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(November 22, 2019 - 7:40 pm)

After the last girl had received her wisp, the mayor made another short speech in which she congradulated each of the kids who had gotten their wisp. I didn't hear it. My mind was occupied  with the look on the face of the trainer. After the mayor stepped down from the fountain for the last time, the crowd erupted into motion. Shouts and laughter, along with the cries and shrieks of the various wisps, was mingled with a soft pitter-patter as rain began to fall. I shivered and glanced around.
"Hey!" I heard a voice behind me call. I turned to see Josh hurrying towards me.
"Hi! Congradulations!" I said. He raised one eyebrow.
"Now what's wrong?" He asked. He was always too good at reading my emotions.
"I'll tell you later. Goodness, it's wet!" I said. He frowned at me.
"Really? Are you okay?"
"Yes, Yeesh!" I told him. I crouched down carefully, so as not to disrupt my new wisp, and rubbed Josh's wisps head.
"Aw, he's cute!" I said. Josh nodded.
"Definately. So's yours."
"Thanks!" I said, but Josh had turned to see waving hands and hear voices calling his name.
"Sorry Rinny, but I've got to go. See you, what. Tommorrow?" He said.
"Don't call me Rinny, and now, tommorrow is-"
"Right, I remember now, day of preperation and all that. Day after? Great. Bye Rinny!" He inturrupted, and then headed off through the crowd.
"Don't call me that!" I yelled after him. I blinked water out of my eyes as the rain began to thicken, and turned in a slow circle, trying to locate my parents. Suddenly I felt a light touch on my shoulder. I turned to see the same girl I had seen with the Trainer. My stomach plummetted into my shoes.

Hi Everyone (Who is still reading my thread)! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I was FRANTICALLY busy with Thanksgiving stuff. This section is smaller then what I usually post, but I don't have a lot of time, so I thought I'd just put up what I could. 

@Admin, Thank you both for reading all of my super long posts!  

submitted by Hummingbird, The Backyard Flowers
(November 30, 2019 - 1:56 pm)