Story snippets!

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Story snippets!

Story snippets!

What's up y'all, Star here! After getting some interest on my birthday thread, I've decided to start posting parts of my work back up on the CB. Some of you older CBers have seen my novel, and those characters will be featured heavily in my short stories. But if you haven't read it, no worries! I'll always provide a quick explanation of the background and characters before I post something. Depending on the popularity, about half of the stuff I post will be from my re-written novel (more info can be found on the super-long reply to Kitten on my birthday thread), and the other half will be short stories, some related to my novel and some not. (I also have some short screenplays, though I won't post those unless I get a special request from someone to read them, since they have a weird format.) I thought I'd start with the short stories, and give you guys a chance to put in some input! I have three short stories to pick from, and I'd like you to vote on which one you'd like me to post first. I'll post increments every Tuesday and Friday, since all of my work is handwritten and I need to have time to type it up (which I hate doing, hence the staggered updates). Here are the options as they stand now:

1. "Crow's Coffee"; A fully completed short story featuring never before seen characters, Angel and Roman. It's a coffee-shop romance with a magical twist! Genre: romance; trigger warnings: someone gets beat up (there is also a gun in that scene, though it is never used), a sexist boss, and there's also a kiss or two. (I'm calling it a trigger warning, but all of my work is appropriate for the CB. I'm just letting you know what's in it that people may not like.)

2. "Pirates"; An unfinished AU of my novel where Zoey is a mermaid, and the Eagles are a pirate ship crew, captained by Sterling. Genre: action/adventure; trigger warnings: unfinished, but so far the most daring thing is someone gets treated for a stab wound, Zoey transforms into a human without clothing on (and there is an ensuing search for an appropriately sized pair of pants, though again, everything is CB-rated. There is just a mention of her lack of clothing before someone gives her a coat).  

3. "Kismet"; an unfinished red-string soulmate modern day AU (wow adjectives) featuring Feroc and Tyrian. The official-ish synopsis is "Feroc and Tyrian are trying to find their mysterious soulmates by following the red string of fate. The catch? Feroc's colorblind." Genre: romance (though more like comedy if I'm being honest); trigger warnings: unfinished (like. really unfinished), the main relationship is between two guys (though all of my stories feature LGBTQ+ characters, so you probably shouldn't read any of them if you're not a fan), and someone will probably get beat up eventually, but I haven't written it yet.

Uh, yeah! Those are the short stories. Tell me which one you'd like to see! I'll tally up the votes in three days (so on Friday of this week) and then post the first section of the selected short story. Once the story is finished (or once I run out of content, or when I feel like it) I'll also post bits from my re-written novel. I'll include background for those, but probably not for the short stories (or screenplays, but again, those are only by request). Hopefully I covered everything, but feel free to ask if you have any questions!


submitted by Starseeker, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(July 14, 2020 - 10:14 pm)

Alright y'all, here's all the stuff I didn't have time to post earlier!

@Summer, hello! It's lovely to hear from you. These characters were honestly so much fun to write. I gave them a cameo in the original version of Kismet, but I'm undecided if I'll put them in the rewritten version.

@Kitten, I'm glad you're enjoying the story! :)


Now, the part you've all been waiting for... The Extra Bonus Content! (Note: this story does take place in the same world as my novel, with all the same characters. However, if you haven't read the novel, don't worry! I'm including an introduction to the world and the characters. If you're an OG reader, you maybe don't have to read the intro, but it would still be a good refresher, since it's been more than a year since the conclusion.)


Intro To The World, Characters, and Organization of This Dark Night

First off, this bonus story is completely canon to the original novel. What I mean by that is that this story does detail how Feroc & Tyrian met in the story, I just didn't put it in the novel since the events take place about 2 years to Zoey's story. In this, Sterling and Jasak are around 15-16 years old, meaning that Feroc is 17-18 and Tyrian is 16-17. The story takes place in a magical fantasy land called Zentara, which has humans and dragons in it. The dragons will often conduct "raids" where they will attack human villages. Sterling is the leader of a vigilante group of humans called the Eagles who help the inhabitants of these villages and fight back against the dragons. Within the Eagles, there are smaller teams called "convocations". Each convocation consists of five members: a stayman, a defender, a leader, a navigator, and an archer. The stayman focuses on helping injured villagers and protecting the villagers/keeping them calm. The defender is the main fighters of their team-- depending on the threat level, they usually either protect the archer or the stayman. The leader leads the convocation and directs the defender. The navigator is often someone who has magical abilities, and they help their convocation sense danger and locate objects/places. The archer is in charge of a reinforced crossbow that is the only useful weapon against dragons. There are two convocations featured in this story; Save and Quill. Save is the main convocation of the Eagles, consisting of Sterling (leader), Jasak (stayman), Feroc (defender), Icantre (archer), and Melise (navigator). Since Save is the main convocation, they are in charge of training all the other convocations, and can sub in for missing members in other convocations. The other convocation in this story is Quill, which consists of Taclya (leader), Sonthere (archer), Meryn (navigator), and Erou (stayman). Quill is missing a defender, which means that Feroc subs in. There is also a mention of "fledglings", who are the Eagles-in-training. (A note: since this story takes place 2 years before the main story, the fledglings are not the same people.) I'm not sure when to say this, so I'm just going to stick it on the end-- if you read about someone named "Chief", it's Sterling. Feroc likes weird nicknames, what can I say.


Now For The Actual Story! Tentatively Titled: "how they met"

“That’s the lesson for today,” I call, putting my sword point-down into the dirt. There’s a chorus of tired ‘thank-you’s’ from my students of the day, the fledglings. Arie and Celeise show a lot of Defender potential so far, but Finnick is the best choice. He’s strong and adaptable, and listens to instructions well. Sophein isn’t half-bad either, and Caruso... well, he tries, and if Melise has her way-- which, she probably will-- he’ll be a Navigator anyway. 

“Feroc!” Jasak calls, and I turn to see him ambling towards me, his hair flopping in his eyes with every step. I keep telling him to get it cut, but it’s been so long since he’s been able to have it long that he’s been resisting. 

I pull up my sword and heft it easily at him. “You here for a match?” I dance a few steps. “Keep your skills sharp?” 

Jasak gives me a bland look. “I’m here to deliver a message,” he says.

I pout, putting my sword back down. “You’re no fun.”

“I’m a stayman,” Jasak says exasperatedly, swiping his hair out of his eyes once more. I snort. He looks rather like a child when he does that. To be fair, though, he almost is a child. He’s only, what, 15? 16? A year or two younger than me, that’s for sure. 

“Okay, stop snorting at me, or I’m not going to tell you the message and then you’d miss out on today’s Hunt,” Jasak says mock-angrily, but with that huge grin of his so I know he’s joking. 

“Fine, fine,” I say, waving my arm and picking my sword back up to put it away. I cross the arena with it slung over my shoulder, readying the wrappings. 

“You might want to keep that out,” Jasak calls darkly, all teasing gone. “A dragon was spotted about a mile from here. Firebombs, too.” 

I swear, long and low. “Survivors?” 

He shakes his head. “Unknown. There’s still too much smoke in the air for Melise to be sure.” 

I swear again. “Shoot. So we’re going in blind.” 

Jasak nods. “Yeah. It looked like a hit-and-run, though, so we’re treating it more like a practice Hunt. You’ll be going in with Quill, while the rest of us hold back to defend the camp if it becomes necessary. You know the drill.” 

“Gotcha,” I murmur, already making plans. Quill’s almost a complete convocation, only missing a good Defender. That’s why I’m going. In a blind Hunt like this, you don’t want to take any chances. On another day, with a safer prospect, we might have sent in Quill with another convocation’s Defender as backup. But when we don’t know what we’re going into... 

“I’ll need weapons,” I announce. “Lots of them. Call the fledglings back, will you? I could use their help.” 

“Sure thing, Fer,” Jasak says, already running off. 

Soon enough, with the fledgling’s help, Quill and I are loaded up and ready to go. Taclya Amarrod, the leader, looks a little nervous, but her voice is steady as she directs her convocation into formation. Sonthere Gripp, the archer, hefts the pieces of the heavy crossbow over his shoulder and falls in line behind her. Meryn Felle, the Navigator, closes her eyes and tilts her face up as she moves into formation behind Sonthere, trying to get a better read on the danger waiting for us. Erou Wicass, the stayman, fidgets with his hands a bit, but he seems calm under pressure-- Jasak made a good choice with him. Taclya turns to me. 

“And, uh, Feroc, sir--” she starts, but I cut her off. 

“No need for formalities, Taclya. Out here I’m not your teacher. I’m your Defender. Order me around like you would another member, alright?” 

“Yes, si-- uh, Feroc,” she says, meeting my eyes. “Stay at the back of the formation and guard our backs. First priority is keeping watch on Erou, since we’re looking for survivors. If a dragon appears, I want you back on Sonthere, okay?” 

“Affirmative,” I confirm. 

Taclya takes a deep breath, in and out, and then takes her place at the front of the formation. “Let’s head out.” 

We were lucky that day-- it truly had been a hit-and-run. However, the townspeople weren’t so lucky. 

“Holy claws ,” Erou says under his breath, picking his way through yet another burned building. “This is...” 

“Horrible,” I finish. “Yeah.” 

Erou flinches as he steps on something that cracks under his feet. “Nope. Not gonna imagine what that was. It wasn’t a person, nope, just a stick...” 

“Sure it was,” I say amiably. 

Erou shudders. “Claws. How do you do this? How do you...” He trails off, shaking his head. 

I stop and look at him. 

“You see all this?” I say, gesturing around the still-burning village. “This, right here, is what’s wrong with the world. Creatures who are powerful plunder those who have no power.” A memory flashes into my head and I push it down, locking eyes with Erou. “The Eagles are the closest thing you’re going to get to balance in this sick and twisted country. I care. Chief cares. Jasak cares. And now, we’ve placed that care and trust in you. Will you uphold it?” 

Erou takes a deep breath and raises his chin. “I won’t let you down, Teach.”

I grin and slap his shoulder. “Great. Keep looking.”

We search through the rubble, our hands quickly getting covered in thick ash and dirt. “I’m... I’m not sure there’s anyone left,” Taclya says softly from behind us. “I think it’s time to go. You’ve searched everywhere.”

Erou sighs. “Alright. Teach, you coming?” 

“Yeah,” I murmur, standing and running my hands through my hair, heedless of the grime. 

“All right. Let’s head out,” Taclya announces. She starts walking forward, and the rest of us fall into formation behind her. I keep my sword at my side, the tip hanging heavily in the dirt. It’s going to be hard to polish later, but I just don’t have the energy to raise it. This village... they’re dead, all of them. It’s sobering. 

- - -

It’s deep in the dead of night when the alarm goes off. 

A deep, whooping call echoes across the camp, startling me out of my bed. I grab my sword on instinct, leaping out of bed and down the hall. Sterling is already up, and I follow her out the door, the rest of Save close behind. 

“Border alarm,” Ster shouts as we sprint through camp. “One intruder.” 

“West,” Melise shouts vaguely, and we veer in that direction. The ground crunches under our feet as we run, the various camp buildings blurring together. We pass convocations out of bed, sleepy but armed, and Icantre shouts at them to go back to their cabins. Then, we’re at the west border, facing the intruder. 

It’s a lone person, listing strangely to the left. Their face and hair are hidden by a hooded cloak, and their figure is indistinguishable through the thick fabric. 

Ster steps forward, and I stand slightly behind her and to the right, sword raised. 

“Who goes there?” Sterling calls, her hand on her quarterstaff. “Name yourself or remove yourself, or one or the other will be done for you.” 

“I... My name is Tyrian,” a small voice echoes from the hood. “I followed the tracks of a small party of people here. I’m from the village to the west. The... the village that was burned.” The figure looks down. 

“Pull back your hood,” Sterling orders. 

The figure hesitates for only a second before reaching up and pulling back their hood. A shock of blond hair, burned at the ends, falls out, and when the figure reaches up to brush it out of the way, a man’s face is revealed. Well, not quite a man, I amend. He looks to be about a year younger than me, with lightly tanned skin and piercing blue eyes. In other words, gorgeous. 

“What are your intentions, Tyrian?” Sterling asks crisply, but she makes a small signal behind her back to me, and I lower my sword. Tyrian’s eyes flick to me and widen just a tad before he looks back at Sterling. 

“I, uh... well, to be honest, I’m not quite sure,” he says. When Ster tenses, he raises his hands non-threateningly. “Whoa, I’m not here to hurt anyone. I just heard some people talking about what you do, is all. And... not like I have anywhere else to go, right?” He laughs bitterly. 

Sterling makes another small signal, and I go forward and extend my hand to him. Up close, he’s pretty short; probably about 6 inches shorter than me, but then again, most people are. Tyrian hesitates before taking my hand. 

“My name is Feroc,” I say, grinning. “Welcome to the Eagles.”  


So, that's it! Was it anything like what you were expecting? I wrote it for my irl friend's birthday-- same friend as I was writing Kismet for, actually-- so I tried to keep it short and sweet. Hope you enjoyed! The next Crow's Coffee update will be the normal length, so no bonus content.


submitted by Starseeker-FriUpdate, age itsa me, Mario...yes, again
(August 7, 2020 - 7:06 pm)

That was all so good! Crow's Coffee got really intense, wow, and now I'm even more anxious to know what happens. And I absolutely loved the story of how Feroc and Tyrian met- it's so well-written, and I really enjoyed being back in their world.

submitted by Quill
(August 8, 2020 - 3:21 pm)

Sorry this took me so long! I've been experimenting with markers, because I found a couple of old alcohol based markers in our garage. I'm saving up for some ohuhus , which I believe you recommended. This is how I imagine Roman to look like. I'm loving Crow's Coffee so much!

<3 Fidelity 

submitted by Fidelity
(August 8, 2020 - 9:54 pm)

Wait I think I totally forgot to attach the photo. XD

<3 Fidelity 

Roman for Star.jpg
submitted by Fidelity
(August 9, 2020 - 3:25 am)

Haha, whoops, I'm kind of the worst at posting updates on time-- sorry about that! This update is also a little on the short side in my opinion (3 pages instead of 4) but nothing like the last one. I typed some of it as I was working the election last Tuesday, in between registering voters, so there might be some errors. I tried to proofread it, but it definitely isn't perfect. Also! We are officially at the end of the typed-up sections, meaning that at some point during the week I'll need to remember to type up the story so I can get it posted. That might result in some late posts, but I'll try my best.

@Quill, yep! It did get pretty intense. If I could rewrite that whole section, I would. It's not terrible, it's just... I've realized that quite a number of my stories revolve around a violent moment, and I don't treat it as seriously as I should. Violence, especially attacks like the one in Crow's Coffee, is a very serious thing, and I wish I'd written about it differently a year and a half ago. I may rewrite this story sometime, since I feel like there's a lot of stuff I could polish, but... one thing at a time. Anyway! I'm glad you enjoyed Feroc and Ty's story-- even though it's a little violent as well, I thought it made a nice reprieve from the seriousness that is Crow's Coffee right now.

@Fidelity, *screams* *screams LOUDER* ahhhh! I seriously love that! I love how you layered the markers, the whole thing just honestly looks incredible. And you picked up on the fact that Roman's not white, too, which I don't know if I ever mentioned but I definitely should have. It's perfect! (And I use a different brand of markers than Ohuhu, but I did almost buy Ohuhus and i've heard good things about them. Maybe Win uses them? Not sure.)


I wake up the next morning to an ear-splitting amount of pain. I bite my lip to keep from screaming. How in all claw’s glory did I do this yesterday? I try to shift, even a little bit, but the feeling of the sheets against my broken ankle is too much. I know I can’t do this alone. I use the landline by my bed to call the one person I know I can trust and who can trust me. My sister.


“Girl, I haven’t heard from you in ages!” Emmira says, bursting in the door. “I was so surprised when you calle—” she cuts off abruptly as she sees me.

“Holy. Friggin. Claws. Angel. Who did this to you? Are you okay? I mean obviously you’re not, that was a stupid question. I’m sorry. But, Angel— who did this to you?”

“I— I can’t tell you,” I say, fighting back tears of pain as I push myself into a sitting position. Everything hurts— I think my finger, ankle, and nose are almost certainly broken. From the pain in my ribs every time I breathe, I think I cracked a few ribs, too, not to mention the bruises and sprains. I can barely see out of one of my eyes, it’s so swollen.

Emmira hesitates. “Angel, this… you’re not part of a gang or something are you? Nothing illegal?”

“No, no, no gangs,” I assure her. “And nothing illegal.”

“Then why can’t you tell me?” Emmira says in exasperation.

“Please, just— don’t. Don’t go there. I need your help, Emmy. Please.”

Emmira hesitates a second more, then nods. “I’d do anything for you, Ang. You know that.” She walks forward and sits gingerly on the end of my bed. “Now tell me where it hurts,” she orders me.

“Everywhere,” I say meekly, and she sighs.

“That doesn’t help, Ang. Let me see.” She puts her hands on my shoulders and closes her eyes. I feel her earth magic sensing my injuries. She opens her eyes.

“Holy claws, Ang, you weren’t kidding, you really do hurt everywhere. Let me do a more extensive probe and I’ll help you from there, okay?”

“Okay,” I agree. “Thank you, Emmy.”

“Of course, Ang.”


An hour later, Emmira’s taken full stock of my injuries and improved the worst of them. I’m down from a black eye, two cracked ribs, a broken nose, ankle, one finger, swollen and split lip, and heavy body-wide bruising to a smaller black eye, badly sprained ribs, ankle, nose, and finger, and the same body-wide bruising and split lip. Emmira sits back, breathing heavily.

“It’s not perfect, but you’ll live,” Emmira says, wiping her hand across her forehead.

“Thank you, Emmy,” I say again. “Really. Thanks.”

“You can prove your thankfulness by staying in bed,” she says mock-sternly. “I’ll be coming when I can to check up on you. I’ll bring some wrapping, too, so you can at least be mobile soon. And look, I know you don’t want to tell me what happened, but— be careful, okay?”

“Alright. Bye, Emmy.”

“Bye, Angel.” My sister leaves my apartment, closing the door behind her such a soft click. I may myself back down gently on the bed and stare at the ceiling. I pass most of the day that way, lost in my own thoughts. I stay like that until Emmira lets herself back in to the apartment with an armful of shopping bags.

“Hey there,” she greets me, dumping the bags on my kitchen table and pulling things out as she talks. “I got you some basic medical stuff you’ll need— finger splint, ankle brace, gauze, painkillers— as well as some easy microwaveable food, since I figure you won’t want to be up and on your feet too much. Oh, speaking of— I also got you a pair of crutches, so hopefully you should be able to hobble around your apartment a bit.” She shoots me a smile. “Love you, Ang.”

“Love you too, Emmy,” I reply. She grabs the finger splint, ankle brace, gauze, and crutches and brings them over to me. She leans the crutches against my bed, then helps me put on the casts. It’s a slow, painful process, but together, we manage it. Emmira also winds gauze around my ribs, lips, and the worst of my bruising and cuts, including my temples. Then she hands me the crutches and helps me steady myself as I swing my way to the kitchen table. I ease into a chair, and Emmira unwraps one of the meals and pops it into the microwave. Then she sits down across from me, puts her elbows on the table, and sets her head in her folded hands.

“So,” she says.

“So,” I reply.

“I know you don’t want to talk about what happened—“ she starts, and I groan.

“But I think it’s important that I have a little bit of basis here. I’m assuming there was more than one attacker.”

“Yes, there was more than one.”

“Was it drugs? Did you owe them money?” Emmira asks, watching me carefully.

My mouth drops open. “No! Claws, no. No to both of those.”

“Did you steal someone else’s man?” Emmira asks. Her eyes widen as I blush. “Oh my claws, you did! You’re blushing!”

“No, no, I didn’t! Yes, there’s a guy, but I didn’t steal him from anyone. I think.” I add that last part as I think of Margie. Emmira opens her mouth to ask more questions but I cut her off. 

“Please, Emmy. Just drop it.”

She hesitantly nods. “Alright, fine.”

“Thank you,” I cry. But then another thought strikes me. “It… it might be better if you didn’t come back here.” She opens her mouth to argue but I hurry on. “I don’t want you anywhere near this mess. You got me everything I need to be here until this stuff heals. So please, Emmy, just forget you ever saw me like this.”

She eyes me, and understanding dawns on her face. “They threatened you,” she says softly. “That’s why you want me to leave. That’s why you called me instead of going to a hospital.” She considers me, my broken state, my pleading eyes. Then she stands and impulsively hugs me. 

“Only for you, Ang,” she says into my shoulder, then collects her things and leaves. It’s only when the microwave starts beeping that I realize I’m still sitting there, tears streaming down my face.


So, there you have it! Next update picks back up a bit, and our beloved Roman comes back into the picture. I think there's only one or two more updates, then an epilogue! I'm a little torn on how I want to split the story-- the remaining plot is a little too long for just one update and an epilogue, but there isn't really a good place to split it. I might split it near the end and then add in another extra-- I might explain the magical system a little more, or draw something, or post a one-shot. Once I type it up and take a look at the length, I'll let you guys know. Anyways! Happy reading, and I wish you all the best! Stay safe y'all! <3


submitted by Starseeker-TueUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(August 11, 2020 - 10:45 pm)

Ohh, poor Angel! I bet Roman is going to seek her out at some point, if she doesn't come to Crow's Coffee in the next few days (and how would she?). But I can't remember if she gave him her phone number...

submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(August 12, 2020 - 1:42 pm)

First of all, I'm the worst at posting things on time. Sorry, y'all. 

@Kitten, nope, Angel's never given any personal information to Roman, besides her place of work. That makes this next chapter all the more interesting...

I'd also like to say that I had an alarm set on my phone to post this at noon, but then I just ignored it. Sorry y'all. I'm also rewriting this section of the story as I go to make it make more sense and wrap up some loose ends. So this isn't a fantastic ending spot, but it's already wickedly long and it'll be too long with the rest. Story should finish on Tuesday, epilogue, Q&A, and voting on Friday, and then a new chapter of the new voted story on the following Tuesday!


About four more days pass— the hours blurring into each other. I shower when I feel gross, eat when I feel hungry. I read every book in my apartment and some e-books too. I watch reality television. I stare out the window. Just an average, everyday routine. 

On the evening of the fourth day, a knock sounds at my door. My head shoots up. It could be Emmira, I suppose, coming to check up on me. But then again, it might not be. I pull myself out of my chair, tugging up the hood of my sweatshirt to hide my unwashed hair, and grab the first thing I can find to defend myself— a frying pan. Then I walk to the door and call, “Who is it?”

“It’s, uh— it’s Roman,” Roman calls from the other side of the door. Despite Jean-Briault’s warning to stay away from Roman, butterflies swirl in my stomach at the sound of his voice. “Can I come in?” He continues, and a floorboard creaks outside, like he’s shifted his weight.

“No!” I blurt out.

Again the silence and the creaking.

“Why not?” Roman asks. “Did I— did I do something wrong? I’m sorry if something I did made you uncomfortable, that was never my intention and I—“

“Roman, it’s fine,” I cut him off. “It’s nothing you did, seriously. I don’t regret anything and I definitely have the presence of mind to be able to tell you to stop if I did.” I’m supposed to be letting him go, but… I can’t. Not like this. I’ll find a way to make him stay away, but I won’t let him hate me or blame himself.

“That’s good to know. Can I come in, then?” Roman replies, relief evident in his voice.

“Still no. You’re not coming in.”

“Can you just come out then? I need to talk to you,” he says. “Please?”

“No,” I reply again, more firmly this time. “Just go away.”

Now it’s his turn to say, “No.”

“Please, Roman. Just leave. I can’t let you in,” I beg him. “Please, Roman.”

“If I can’t come in, can you please come out?” He asks. “I miss you. I want to see you.”

“No!” I exclaim. “Just go away.”

“Fine,” he says tiredly. “I’ll stop bothering you.”

“Thanks, Roman. And I’m sorry.”

 - - -

A while later, I put down my novel and stretch. But then I wrinkle my nose. I haven’t taken out the trash since before I got injured and it’s really starting to smell. With a sigh, I gather up the trash and put it in a large black trash bag. I limp to my door and open it, tugging my sweatshirt hood over my head to hide the worst of the bruising and bandages. I step outside, then turn and lock the door behind me. As I turn back around, though, I yelp. Roman is sitting on the ground next to my front door, slumped and apparently sleeping. At my yelp, he jerks awake.

“Roman? What the heck?” I yell. “I told you to go away!”

“And I told you I’d stop bothering you!” He retorts, scrambling to his feet. “I never said I’d leave!”

I shake my head in exasperation. “Roman, I won’t talk to you. I can’t. Just forget all about me and go.”

“I can’t!” He roars. “I can’t let you go, Angel. Claws, not like this. Please.”

As I turn to go, he reaches out and grabs my wrist, right over the bruises. I flinch in pain, and he immediately lets go.

“Claws, Angel, I’m so sorry,” he says, eyes widening. “I didn’t— I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

“It wasn’t you,” I say without thinking. He stares at me.

“…What?” He breathes.

I flinch. “I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have said anything at all to you. I’m sorry, I have to go. Goodbye.”

“Claws, Angel girl, did someone hurt you? Is that why you don’t want to see me?” He takes a step to intercept my leaving, and I flinch again. He takes a careful step backward.

“If you don’t leave right now,” I say shakily. “I’m calling the police.” I pull out my phone and type on the screen, then shove it in his face for emphasis. His eyes widen and dart to the security cameras on either side of the hallway. Then he raises his hands and takes another step back.

“I understand,” he says, meeting my eyes. “I won’t bother you again.” Then he turns and walks away. I let out a breath and sag against the wall, shakily deleting the note I typed and shoved in his face— trash. 10 pm.

- - -

Later that night, I exit my apartment, wearing a nondescript black hoodie with the hood pulled up and grey sweatpants. I use my crutches this time since I don’t have a bag of trash to manage. I make my way down to the back alley behind the apartment building where the trash bins are— and the security cameras aren’t. I don’t know how Jean-Briault, and by extension, Mr. LaFranca, are having me monitored, but it’s safe to assume that the security cameras in my apartment building are part of that monitoring. As I enter the alley, the tap of my crutches and the whistling of the wind are the only sounds.

“Roman?” I call quietly. Maybe he didn’t show.

“Angel girl,” he replies, stepping out from behind one of the bins, relief evident in his voice. He takes in my crutches and my uneven posture and his smile fades.

“Holy claws— what happened?” He demands.

“I got attacked. But I’m fine, really.”

“No, you’re not,” Roman argues. “You’re on crutches. And what little of you I can see seems pretty beat up.”

“Okay, whatever. But all of my bones are back in their original places now, so I’m calling that ‘fine’.”

He gawks at me. “You had broken bones? Claws.”

I figure I might as well tell him the truth. “A broken nose, ankle, and finger, yeah. Also two cracked ribs and bruising pretty much everywhere, internal as well as external.”

He stands in front of me, jaw opening and then closing as he stares at me. He swears, long and low. Finally he speaks.

“Who did this to you.” It’s not a question.

“My old boss. Pierre LaFranca. Well, his cronies, anyway. It’s because I quit— I made him look like a fool, apparently.”


“Right after I left you. Jean-Briault— the head of security— held a gun to my back and forced me into an alley. They were waiting for me there.” I swallow. His face has changed from one of hurt to one of calm, lethal rage.

“They threatened you,” he says. Again, not a question. “That’s why you didn’t find help. Claws dang it, Angel— I would have protected you!”

“But you can’t,” I say, my voice breaking. I swing my way over to a trash bin and perch on top. “Claws, Roman, you don’t know how much danger I just put you in. They said that if I told anyone, they’d finish what they started.” I swallow. “And they said that if I told you or ever saw you again, they’d do the same.” I bury my head in my hands.

“This is all my fault.” Roman’s voice cracks as he says it.

“It’s not your fault that you didn’t walk me back to my apartment after I got fired,” I say tiredly, rubbing my temples with my head still in my hands. “It would have been two against four, anyway. Not a fair fight and we both would look like me.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Roman says haltingly. “It’s my fault you got fired in the first place, I think.”

I finally lift my head and look at him. “…What?”

He looks incredibly guilty. “I’m going to tell you something, Angel, but you can’t tell anyone, because I’m definitely breaking at least a dozen confidentiality laws by telling you this, but— I’m an agent, Angel girl.” 


Yoooooo it's another cliffhanger!! Sorry not sorry. See y'all on Tuesday! Stay safe and healthy!


submitted by Starseeker, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(August 14, 2020 - 11:22 pm)

Ahh, this is getting GOOD! Your writing is great, Starseeker, and I'm always excited to see you've posted a new part. 

submitted by DoodleGirl , age 13, Earth
(August 15, 2020 - 4:11 pm)

Wow, that was quite the twist! My jaw literally dropped when I read that. I can't wait to see how this ends!!

submitted by Quill
(August 16, 2020 - 3:21 pm)

That is... not what I expected to happen. I can't wait for the next part!

submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(August 16, 2020 - 8:45 pm)

FIRST OF ALL, I'M SO EXCITED, THIS IS THE LAST OFFICIAL CHAPTER OF CROW'S COFFEE! So much happens in this one that I'll get into in a little bit, but just know that this is the last one. On Friday, I'll post the short epilogue, the answers to whatever questions you have (more about that later, too), and the voting for the new short stories.

@DG, I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! :D I hope you like the conclusion!

@Quill, You'll get your wish, as this is in fact the end (minus the epilogue)! Be prepared for, like, a truckload of more twists though... MWAHAHA

@Kitten, yeah, it's... definitely unexpected. The story really takes a sharp left turn.

Alright, so, let's talk about today's update. First of all, I'm posting it at 10:40 Monday night so that I can be certain it'll be there for you tomorrow. I have band camp tomorrow morning and I'm not sure how that will affect my will to post it. I was up until midnight last night typing the rest of the story up. I also rewrote pretty much the entire thing until the "- - -", because I re-read it and it just didn't wrap up all the loose ends like I wanted it to. So there is also a new trigger warning for potion mentions in this chapter. I don't go into the specifics, but it's a magical enhancing potion. Which is why the Department of Magical Affairs (DMA for short; it's basically the magic FBI) is concerned about the potion. (You'll need to remember that acronym; it pops up once and I don't explain it within the confines of the story.) The changes aren't anything you need to worry about; I basically just septupled (x7) the length of the section (changing it from 15 sentences to 105 <lol I literally guessed how much I expanded it but then I did the math AND I WAS RIGHT I SEPTUPLED IT OMC>) and tied up some loose ends. Honestly, it's more enjoyable to read this way. Have fun!


He looks incredibly guilty. “I’m going to tell you something, Angel, but you can’t tell anyone, because I’m definitely breaking at least a dozen confidentiality laws by telling you this, but— I’m an agent, Angel girl.” He looks at me like this should mean something to me.

“Like— like the secret kind? Like the song by Johnny Rivers? ‘Secret Agent Man’?” I start singing the song for him, but trail off when his expression doesn’t change. “Oh my claws, you’re serious. Dang.”

“My name is Agent Aaron Hall. I’m DMA agent 30745. I’m here on an assignment investigating a potion ring originating in Mr. LaFranca’s company, but operating through local coffee shops. Tonya is my partner for this op.”

I sit back on the trashcan. “Holy claws. Wow. You really are serious. Claws.”

“Remember that day that I came in with a busted hand, and you un-melted the ice?” At my nod, he continues. “I wasn’t lying— I did fall off my Harley. But I was escaping members of the potion cartel at the time. I thought I was careful, but someone must have seen at least part of my face, and put two and two together when they saw me drop you off.”

“Jared,” I realize, with a sinking feeling in my stomach. “He’s at the desk next to mine. A little under six foot, brown hair, hazel eyes, earth magic. He’s been after my position for the longest time, and when I quit, he made a comment that seemed odd to me at the time.” I tell him what Jared said, and he nods.

“He sounds like one of the members of the potion ring we’ve uncovered, if your description is anything to go by. If he’s the one who saw us, then most likely he’s the one who got you fired and threatened as… as a message to me.” He hangs his head. “Claws, Angel, I’m so sorry that you had to go through this because of me. It’s all my fault.”

I scoot forward enough to grab his hand. “I don’t blame you, Roman. If anything, it was my fault. I was the one who mouthed off to Mr. LaFranca.” I wrinkle my nose. “Besides, Mr. LaFranca was a bad boss anyway. Ridiculously sexist. I wouldn’t have worked for him much longer anyways.” 

A gleam of an idea appears in Roman’s eyes. “You were up for a promotion, right?” When I nod, he continues. “And it wasn’t given to you because you are a woman.”

“Yeah, that’s right. But what does that have to do with all this?” I ask.

Roman seizes my other hand. “We aren’t far enough into our potion investigation to get Mr. LaFranca arrested— though he’s almost certainly at the heart of it all— but we can get him sued and temporarily jailed for violating the anti-discrimination laws. That would also give us access to all of his files and allow us enough time to find evidence of his involvement in the potion ring, which would get him put away for life.”

I nod slowly. “Well, Roman—” Then I frown. “Er, Aaron? I don’t know what to call you now.”

“Call me Roman,” he says, running his hands through his hair. “It’s my middle name. I like it when you call me that.”

“Roman, then. Your plan actually sounds like it could work, provided you had evidence of him being discriminatory. I take it my word alone isn’t enough?”

Roman grimaces. “That’s right. I’m sorry, I know you aren’t lying, but—“

“—But just my word won’t hold up in court, I know,” I finish for him. “I’ve watched enough reality television to know how this goes.”

Roman squints at me. “…You know this is completely different, right?”

I wave my hand. “It’s close enough. And, I think I know how we can get evidence of Mr. Lafranca’s sexism and discrimination, even though I’m not in the building.” I tell him about Christine Rivera’s parting words in the elevator, and Roman nods slowly. 

“That could work. Do you trust her? Can she gather enough evidence for us to get a case?”

“I… I don’t know. I really didn’t know her all that well, to be honest. But she went out of her way to offer support to me when she didn’t have to. It’s a risk, but so is everything else involved in this plan, right?”

“Okay, so you reach out to Christine Rivera and get her help for Phase One, getting Mr. LaFranca investigated for discrimination. I’ll coordinate with Tonya on Phase Two, getting access to his files through the discrimination lawsuit and looking for evidence of his involvement in the potion ring.” Roman nods again, more sure this time.

A thought strikes me. “I know I’m not the first secretary he’s had, and I bet the rest of them were discriminated against too. That means that he’s done this before, but never gotten in trouble. Even if Christine does manage to get enough evidence for a solid case, who says that Mr. LaFranca won’t just pay his way out?”

Roman frowns. “That’s a good point, Angel. We need something big to keep him down— bigger even than a quiet discrimination case against a single employee.”

“…How about a viral video?” I ask slowly, my mind working. “If we can film something, and the public catches wind of it, the idea will be out there. Mr. LaFranca won’t be able to buy his way out or sweep it under the rug then.”

Roman looks like he would hug me if I weren’t so bruised. “That’s an amazing idea, Angel! I think it’s just what we need. Tonya and I can use our contacts to make sure the video spreads and takes root in the public eye. Do you think you would be ready to film, say, tomorrow?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I say, shooting him a smile. He smiles back at me, and for the first time in a long time, it feels like things are going to be okay.

- - -

The next morning, Tonya’s waiting by my front door. As I swing out and shut my door, Tonya looks me up and down.

“Darn, girl. You don’t look too good,” she says.

“Yeah, no duh,” I mutter, adjusting my crutches.

“Sorry, Ang. I was just surprised.” Tonya falls in step with me as I exit my apartment building. She ushers me into a car by the curb and gets in beside me. Roman looks at me in the rearview mirror, as he’s sitting in the driver’s seat.

“How you feeling, Angel girl?” He asks me.

“Just peachy,” I reply sarcastically, wincing as the seatbelt digs into my bruised ribs. Roman winces along with me.

“Sorry, sorry, bad question. What I meant was, are you ready for this?”

I take a deep breath. “Yeah.”

Tonya presses a button on her watch and speaks into it. “Decoys, go.”

Five cars ahead of and behind us pull out in unison. We do, too, and we weave in and out of the other cars and go onto the highway. Two of the cars split off, but the other three go onto the highway with us. I lean back onto the seat and sigh.

“You feelin’ alright? Need a painkiller?” Tonya asks. I shake my head.

“No, I’m okay. Well, I’m at least not wanting to die. ‘Okay’ will take some time,” I reply.

“We’ve arrived,” Roman cuts in, parking the car at the curb of a brick building. Tonya hands me a different sweatshirt and I tug it on clumsily. Roman comes around the side of the car and opens the door. He and Tonya flank me as we enter the building. A makeshift recording studio has been set up, a white background and bright lights designed to put all the attention on the subject of the recording— me. Roman helps me limp to the wire chair and sit down, placing my crutches in view.

“You ready for this, Angel girl?” He asks me again, setting his hands on my shoulders and looking into my eyes. I nod once more.

“Yeah. I can do this.”

He nods back and helps me take off my sweatshirt. He folds it neatly under his arm and adjusts the light so that my bruises and bandages around my ribs, temples, and arms are clearly visible. He then retreats behind Tonya at the camera. She holds up her fingers.

“And we’re live in five, four…”

My eyes find Roman’s. He gives me a reassuring nod and a small smile.

“Three, two…”

I swallow nervously and face the camera again.


“My name is Angel Gravesten,” I begin. “One week ago, I was the personal assistant to Pierre LaFranca, CEO of LaFranca United. Now I’m suffering from life-threatening issues from when I was beaten, broken, and left for dead. How did I get here? This is my story.” 


What a chapter, am I right?? It was so much fun rewriting this. Originally, Christine Rivera was only mentioned again in the epilogue, and Jared wasn't talked about at all since the chapter where Angel quit. It seemed odd to me to just leave their characters hanging like that (they are the only named characters in this story that didn't have an actual part in the plot, besides Margie from the coffee shop encounter) so I used this update to tie them back into the story. I also added more detail to the potion cartel plotline, since originally it was a throw-away line about what Roman was doing as an agent working in a coffeeshop. But then I realized that it didn't make sense for him to just... abandon that mission to help Angel, and I never explained how or why he fell off his bike, so I embellished the potion cartel plot and connected it to LaFranca United to tie the whole story together. Also, did you recognize Angel's speech at the end? It's the same words that are included at the beginning of the story! I love circle endings, like seriously. I have another one-shot that I'm going to share with you guys eventually that has this beautifully circular ending to it, too. But that's off topic. Anyways!

Now that the story is almost at its close (remember, epilogue on Friday), I thought I'd do a Q&A for any questions you have about the story. It can be a portion of the plot that you didn't understand, or maybe you want to know the character's backstories, heights, birthdays, etc. Roman and Margie are also literally the only characters in the story who have actual physical descriptions, so if you want to know what other characters look like, feel free to ask. You can also ask about my writing process, writing/posting schedule (fat lot of good I've done keeping to that though lol), pretty much any question you have. I don't know if you even do have any questions, but if you do, ask away! I'll post the answers along with the epilogue on Friday. ALSO on Friday is the new round of voting! In theory, it should be Pirates and Kismet (since those two were in the last poll, but didn't get voted in) along with another story. In reality, though, I may take Kismet out of the running. I know it was tied for first place in both of the last two votes, so you guys theoretically like it, but I ended up being unhappy with the direction the story was taking. I'm going to rewrite it all, the key words there being "going to". Currently, Kismet version 2 is an empty document with an outline of the chapters. I have 6 chapters planned for the beginning, alternating from Ty and Feroc's points of view; then one smooshed into the middle somewhere to set up for the end; then 3 ending chapters. Those are the ones that are planned at the moment, not written. (I've actually never planned a story out like this before, so we'll see how it goes?) I don't know how much time I'll actually end up having to write it, but school starts in September, so I have a few weeks to try, at least. But I'm digressing. That's a story for another time, another post! I'm going to wrap this one up because it's getting REALLY long. Have a good week, y'all! Stay safe and stay healthy!!


submitted by Starseeker-TueUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(August 17, 2020 - 10:56 pm)


im sad for it to end, but i feel like you rapped it up very nicley.  

submitted by NoOneKnows, age ???, Everywhere
(August 18, 2020 - 11:01 am)

Wow, Starseeker!  It's really good!  Thank you so much for answering my question.  I think my writing book looks similar to yours, it's a mess.  Full of cross outs and arrows and stars.  So sorry my answer has been delayed, I left for a bit.

I do have another question, though not really related to the story.  Don't feel pressured to answer it. At the end of one of your story segments you mentioned your mom wanting to be an astronaut,  I was wondering if she did become one?

I look forward to reading the epilouge! 

submitted by Peregrine
(August 18, 2020 - 11:23 am)

Wow Starseeker, you are such a talented writer! I was just wondering, do you plan out the whole story in your head before writing it down, or do you just start writing and see where it takes you?

submitted by Hawthorne
(August 18, 2020 - 12:42 pm)

Holy cannoli, that was incredible!! I absolutely loved the ending, how it tied in with the beginning, and it was really interesting how everything tied together so neatly. As for questions, what does Angel look like? I have a mental image of her, but I'm curious as to her actual appearance. Also, what is Roman's story? How did he become an agent? What was his past like?

I loved reading this from start to finish, so thank you for putting in the time to write and post it!

submitted by Quill
(August 18, 2020 - 1:23 pm)