86 comments

Feb 12, 2021

Teens & Young Adult Fiction Inspirational

Author's Note: This is a collab I did with Emerald. She wrote Magnus's perspectives and I wrote Alex's. This was not meant to be a Magnus Chase fanfiction, I personally have never read that book. XD She's a really amazing author and you should definitely check out her stories, I'll put her link in a comment below. Have a fantastic rest of your morning/ afternoon/ night!


𝔸𝕝𝕖𝕩:


The dust from the crumbling walls overhead rested on top of my head, turning my usually dark brown hair powdery white. The cracks in the ceiling used to be alarming, considering how much heavy rock is held above us, but I’ve grown used to them. After living here for long enough, the fear of being eternally trapped underground has worn off.


I had just returned from distributing packages to the homeless filing every small alley and street corner. I placed a dense loaf of bread or a sour apple into their waiting hands, it wasn’t much but it was the best we could do. I always told myself the small things would end up making a difference in the end, but the more time that passed, the more I felt we needed a drastic change.


I pushed open the heavy door of the room at the end of the hall and entered, coming face to face with my father. Well, more accurately, the king of the insurgents. The years he’s spent here have taken a toll on him, giving him more wrinkles than anyone else his age.


“Alexandra,” he said in a solemn voice as I sat down in the seat across from him. 


“Yes, Father. Why is it you called me here?”


He never broke eye contact as we spoke, his grey eyes staring unnervingly. The children here whisper rumors about him, that they haven’t once seen him blink. Some of them believe he isn’t human, but that only increases their respect for him.


“I have a task for you. I need you to say a few words to our people, Alexandra. They are struggling to keep fighting, so very close to backing down. I need you to remind them why we are fighting.”


“I hardly know what to tell them, Father,” I said, fidgeting with the stray threads of my worn coat. I don’t want to fail him or our people, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the right words. There’s so much I want to say, and so few people that seem to hear me.


“Speak from your heart, Alexandra. You have what it takes.”


𝕄𝕒𝕘𝕟𝕦𝕤:


“Magnus!”


My father shouted across the house. Our house was quite large, and everything was beautifully crafted, in the style of palaces, back before everyone was controlled by the Leadership. 


“Magnus!”


Not that I’d know what that was like. It was years before I was born when the Leadership took control.  


“MAGNUS!”


I sighed and looked up from my sketchbook. I’d been drawing the city, tall metallic towers that looked like something from the future, holding elegant, antique interiors. But my father had other ideas of what my life was supposed to look like. 


“Magnus, you have skipped work for the last time,” my father said, pushing my door open. He was a tall, dark-skinned man, a member of the Leadership, and he resented me. For one thing, I didn’t act like any of my six brothers. They were all tall and handsome, good at their jobs as officers. I was short, with messy dark hair that fell in front of my deep-brown eyes. I skipped work to draw in my bedroom. They all had girlfriends, some were even married. Girls avoided me like I bit. 


“Son, you must go to work. Now.”


“Now?” I hid my paper. Father didn’t approve of art, or at least my art. 


“Now. Full uniform. Full work. Do not displease me.”


“Y-yes father.”


I put on my white silk officer uniform, the mark of an official’s son, and ran out the door, avoiding my father’s heavy gaze. I brought my book along. I never went without it. 


I rode in a shuttle, above the streets of the city. There weren’t many others in it--lots of people couldn’t afford this kind of transportation. The inner city, where I lived, was spread below me like the patchwork quilt I slept with when I was a baby. It was beautiful. 


But the less fortunate people lived in filth, and their homes were small and close together. Some were homeless and slept on the street. Most lived in stacked dwellings, ramshackle, crumbling buildings stacked on top of each other. I heard that some were afraid of being trapped underground, with all the weight above them. I shuddered. Lowbreds. 


When the shuttle, a round pod that ran on a track around the inner city, reached its next stop, a properly-dressed lady got off, and a small girl in rags stepped on. Her bare feet were filthy, and her red-blond hair was an uncut tangle. “Get her off, sir!” a man barked at me. 


Oh, right. I was in my uniform. 


“Get off, child of filth!” I commanded her. That was what we called orphans like her who made their way up here.


The girl was silent. Her bare feet left muddy marks on the clean white floor of the pod. 


“I said, get off! My father is in the Leadership, and he’ll put you in prison for trespassing like this!” 


She whimpered. 


“Get off the pod!”

Another barefoot redhead entered the pod, and I scowled. Couldn’t they leave us alone? 


“I’m so, so sorry about her, she doesn’t know her place,” the girl said. “Come on Zella, let’s go home.” The orphan turned to the older girls and hugged her waist. They left a trail of dirt behind them from their bare feet. 


Zella. Too pretty a name for street filth. 


I snorted and continued on my way to work. 


𝔸𝕝𝕖𝕩:


People had gathered in a small rally outside the Capitol building, holding up homemade cardboard signs displaying messages such as “Down with the Leadership” or “Give me justice, or give me death.”


The people’s tattered clothes hung off them, having lost their color years ago. Their backs slumped where they stood, and their eyes carried a look of immeasurable exhaustion. Children clung to their parent’s hands, but there was no family that looked whole. Illness had taken someone from all of them at some point and they hadn’t forgotten the loss or pain.


I nervously wove through the crowd making my way to a plywood platform they had set up. It only rose a few feet above the pavement, so I had to stand on my tiptoes to see everyone. There was no microphone, we couldn’t spare the money for that, I just had to speak loud enough on my own.


I cleared my throat experimentally and racked my brain for a way to start. I had barely had time to plan through this, I only could recite lines in my head as I was rushed here.


“It is so inspiring to see us all gathered here today, indivisible despite how hard they try to place us in groups. The groups of people they believe have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the people they don’t. But they’re wrong. All of us, no matter what age, gender, wealth, or race have these rights.”


“The Lowbreds, that’s what they call us as if we aren’t equals. As if their very souls are more valuable than ours. We are measured by our kindness, our accomplishments, what we have done to right wrongs. Not our wealth or power.”


The people nodded along with me, hanging on to my every word. The power my words had at that moment was terrifying.


“We have been fighting for so very long. And it might seem like things aren’t going anywhere, that all of your efforts have been for nothing, but our resistance hasn’t been pointless. The Leadership is afraid of our passion, our determination to make things right. They are finally starting to see how resilient we are.”


The crowd hollered at my words, lifting their signs higher into the sky. My words seemed to bring the light back into their eyes. 


“We are sending a message to the Leadership today. Our message is that we cannot be suppressed or silenced. Every time you push us down into the mud and shadows, we will rise up again, stronger than ever before. We will never stop fighting until we live in a world where each and every one of us can thrive.”


“I am calling upon each and every one of you to never lower those signs, to never retreat. The moment we give up on our dream, the dream of justice, this struggle was for nothing. Don’t back down, for I know there are better times ahead.”


The applause from the crowd was deafening. So loud the Leadership sitting in the Capitol building probably couldn’t do anything to block out the sound. 


Give us justice, or give us death.


Give us justice, or give us death.


Give us justice, or give us death.


The crowd chanted, growing louder and more sure with every word. I beamed, some of my hope restored seeing this symbol of unity. Father would be proud, I was sure.


Then the click of guns on both sides of me stopped me where I stood.


“Freeze. Hands in the air.”


𝕄𝕒𝕘𝕟𝕦𝕤:


“Officers! Officers, I have something to report!” A dark-skinned, beautiful woman came dashing through the doors, orange dress swirling around her, gasping until she fell over. “I ran all this way to tell you. There is… a protest… violence… rallies… rebels all over… refusing the Leadership…” 


She fainted, and I bent to catch her. But her words had been clear.


I put on my best “commanding” face and stared at the eyes of the others. Their uniforms were blue-- I was a higher rank. 


“Fine sirs,” I said. “Bring a medic to care for this woman. Scout the city for more reports. When you find this rebellion… uh… put your best men on it.”


Even though I had just turned eighteen and there were grown men in here, they listened to me and ran to their stations. A medic arrived to tend to the woman. 


“We’ve figured out where they are,” the captain, Eric Goodman said. “Down in the… you know where.”


The lowest of the low had gone to the lowest place to protest to the highest of the high in the highest place. What idiots. 


“Mr. Magnus Oxborn,” Captain Goodman said to me. “Your father just sent a request by InfiniMail that you be on this mission. You’ll have to go and… apprehend as many lawbreaking rebels as you can.”


I swallowed. My job as an officer and never inclined that I’d have to do something. The prison was a horrible place. And I’d be sending people there. I’d only ever looked intimidating before, never done any field-work.


Well, they got what they deserved. The Leadership was all that kept them from starving to death… wasn’t it? 


We never sent them food rations. 


We never sent them clothing.


We never gave them money or medicine or even paid attention to them.


All we’d done was scorn them at least and throw them in prison at most. Of course, they’d get angry! 


I felt sick.


Did I want to go on this mission?


“The pod will pick you and the others up in five minutes. Do not dawdle or try to skip again.”

I clutched my favorite pencil. 


I'd have to do this. 


***


Fifty others and I each climbed into four pods--twenty-five per pod. It was crowded since pods were pretty darn small, but it would be okay. I could run away if I needed to, say I was “getting help.” 


We flew over the city, and I remembered the little orphan who wandered on the pod. She hadn't done anything wrong, had she? 


She had been there, and that was too much for them to handle. 


Just because they didn’t live in luxury didn’t mean you got to mistreat someone. If anything, you should care more! I sighed and leaned out the window, looking at the crumbling structures towered on top of each other. 


But no matter what I said, I couldn't change the minds of the others. It’s easier to command someone while holding an unconscious body. 


***


Web arrived at the scene of the protest. A brave-looking brown-haired girl was speaking to a large group of people in tattered clothing, standing on a plywood podium. They were chanting. 


Give us justice or give us death. 

Give us justice or give us death. 


Give us justice or give us death. 

Give us justice or give us death. 


Give us justice or give us death. 

Give us justice or give us death. 


Even more officers had arrived. Some were holding guns. Some of them would be getting death at this rate…


I was given a weapon. I don’t remember what happened next. Everything was a blur of screams. 


I just remember descending on the crowd, and the look in the girl’s eyes when two officers pointed their guns at her, and how they’d signaled to me to arrest her. 

I hated my job. 


It was late at night, and I could still hear their screams. It wasn’t my head-- they were protesting, if they hadn’t been arrested. 


“Give us justice or give us death,” I said. 

A strange spark lit inside of me. 


A wicked grin spread on my face. 


That girl had riled them up--she could calm them down. 


She didn’t deserve to be in prison. 


I’d raced to the prison, saying that I was there to guard the cells. They let me in. I had to look all over to find anyone who knew where the girl was. 


A worn-looking dark-skinned boy smiled. “Alex. They took her away, down that hallway.” He pointed through the cell bars. 


I thanked him and ran away, pushing down the grim corridor.


At the end of the hall, a gray-metal door hung, another officer walking away. “She bit me,” he said. Careful for the interrogation--that girl’s crazy.”


“Yessir,” I said, glad he thought I was there to interrogate her.

 

I pushed open the door, looking into a pure-white room. A chair was shoved against the wall, the angry girl staring at me. 


“We won’t stop until you give us equal rights,” she hissed. “Not until you listen to our voices. Give us justice or give us death.”


I walked over to her, reaching behind the chair to free her from the handcuffs. 


“I say no more--hey! Hands off! What do you think you’re--”


The cuffs clattered to the floor. 


She lifted her hands in shock. 


“Give us justice or give us death,” I said. 


She smiled. 


She reached for my hand. 


“Get me out of here, please.” 


A strange tingling feeling filled my body at her touch. 


I hadn't realized until I heard her speech-- what I could hear, over the chanting, anyway-- that the Lowbreds I had been raised to hate were in a horrible place. They were hungry, weary, and in need of help, and what did we do? We arrested their leader. Their strangely beautiful leader, I thought.


I leaned closer to her like she had a gravity that pulled me into her orbit.


"I'm Marcus, and I'm here to help."


"I'm Alex."


“Give us justice or give us death.”


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86 comments

Radhika Diksha
03:20 Feb 14, 2021

I don't know you well but that doesn't mean I can't say you Happy Valentine's day. I want love to barge on you and roll with you on the green grass and lick with you with lots of love. Love is not an emotion it's the biggest spell formed from our feelings. So, this year let us try to roll its magic on us. Again happy Valentine's day.

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Maya Emerson
15:01 Feb 14, 2021

Thank you, Radhika. Happy Valentine's Day to you too. :) <3

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Radhika Diksha
02:22 Feb 13, 2021

New story out would love your feedback on it.

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Danny ~
00:45 Feb 13, 2021

Hey Maya, great story :) lol i love how you included the thing about magnus chase in your author's note, and the comments are literally filled with them.. Also, the whole changing POVs thing, I think it's a great idea....it gives the reader the characters' differing personalities, thoughts, perspectives, i love it! reminds me of that collab by sia and sapphire, i loved that story as well :)) Everything's written beauuuuuutifully, great job!!!!!!! <3

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Maya Emerson
02:52 Feb 13, 2021

:) Lol I know XD Thanks! Ooh yeah it is similar. :) Thank youuuuuuu :D <3

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Danny ~
02:55 Feb 13, 2021

Of course :)) <3

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Thank you! (from the co-author)

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Danny ~
23:03 Feb 13, 2021

Yeah, it was amazing! You two did a great job :)))

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Danny ~
01:58 Feb 14, 2021

🥞 🥞 🥞 🥞 🥞 🥞 🥞 🥞 lol :)

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Maya Emerson
02:23 Feb 14, 2021

Lol thanks! :) How has your day been so far?

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Danny ~
02:41 Feb 14, 2021

It's fine, it's really rainy :)) How was yours?

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Maya Emerson
02:57 Feb 14, 2021

Oh oop, same. Mine was chaotic XD, mostly because of my puppy and brothers. Lol

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Danny ~
03:24 Feb 14, 2021

Ohh wow, brothers..i mean lol your bio..siblings are annoying :b

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Maya Emerson
03:29 Feb 14, 2021

Yeah, no kidding. XDD My little brother (not Isaac) is pretty young but he always just walks around smirking and acting like he's superior to everyone. Gosh he annoys me. XD :p

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Maya Emerson
03:10 Feb 14, 2021

Hey Danny, Saph thought of a ship name for the thing. It's Daillien. XD :)))

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Danny ~
03:24 Feb 14, 2021

Saph's creative, what can I say? lol :b

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Maya Emerson
03:32 Feb 14, 2021

Ohmigosh you guys are a perfect ship. :DDD Lol :p

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Antman 🐜
01:23 Feb 19, 2021

🥞 😋 BTW... I LOVE reading bios! ❤

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The story is out and you've shown up! Yya!

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IM SO SORRY IM LATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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21:38 Feb 13, 2021

🥞🥞🥞

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Maya Emerson
22:03 Feb 13, 2021

Thank you!

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22:04 Feb 13, 2021

np!

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Maya Emerson
22:05 Feb 13, 2021

:D

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20:41 Feb 13, 2021

I know I already commented on your story once, but I wanted to sayyyy..... I literally JUST noticed my name is in your bio XD tysmmmmmm!! 🥞

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Maya Emerson
21:31 Feb 13, 2021

Oh of course!!! :) <3 Thanks for the pancake! XD

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22:01 Feb 13, 2021

XDD

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I love your conflicting tones! It really makes the characters feel alive and unique with you two working together! Also, those last lines are amazing!

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00:10 Feb 13, 2021

Reminds me of Magnus Chase lol I thought this was a fanfic XD

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Maya Emerson
02:50 Feb 13, 2021

Lol yes, apparently a lot of people did. XD I never read that so I had no idea. Haha :)

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18:57 Feb 13, 2021

XD That's such a coincidence LOL you got the names of BOTH characters XD

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Maya Emerson
20:29 Feb 13, 2021

LOL XDD

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Yes Maya! I was looking forward to another story by you, and it was perfect! You had me with the title, and this collab was just beautiful! The last lines were my favorite!! Great job with this Maya, you rocked this story with Emerald!

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Maya Emerson
02:49 Feb 13, 2021

Thank you, Karina! :)

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Maya Emerson
22:26 Feb 12, 2021

Emerald's Link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/emerald/

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Uh, could you put in an edit I didn't get around to for the final part? I can't because you submitted. It's just before "A strange tingling feeling filled my body at her touch." I hadn't realized until I heard her speech-- what I could hear, over the chanting, anyway-- that the lowbreds I had been raised to hate were in a horrible place. They were hungry, weary, and in need of help, and what did we do? We arrested their leader. Their strangely beautiful leader, I thought. I leaned closer to her, like she had a gravity that pulled me int...

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Maya Emerson
16:15 Feb 13, 2021

Yep, I added that! :) We could also change the title if you want, I just picked something that seemed to be repeated throughout the story. XD

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Maya Emerson
17:36 Feb 13, 2021

Alright! :) It was really fun doing this collab with you! :DDD

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Yes! I really like collabs, although this distracted me from my homework I should still get a good grade. This was pretty fun, I might like to do this some other time, maybe after I finish my next installment of my reedsy cast story? It's pretty tricky at first, but it ended well! I'm happy with what we did, and we had, like, hours before the contest ended when it was out LOL. I'm gonna spend the rest of my Reedsy time trying to figure out how to link dramatic fight scenes and flaming cats with a love prompt... :) This will get weird.

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Oh Maya!!! I'm so proud of u:) This story was so beautifully described, how can u come up with these stories???;) Great work!

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Maya Emerson
02:42 Feb 13, 2021

Thanks! Emerald also wrote it, she did Magnus's point of view. :) Thank you! <3

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Maya Emerson
17:28 Feb 13, 2021

<333

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22:22 Feb 12, 2021

I have to admit, you had me at the names "Magnus" and "Alex", and I thought that this was a "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard" fanfiction, ngl. Of course, as I read it, I realized that that wasn't the case, but I still loved this. I really like the phrase, "Give us justice or give us death." I also really like the contrast between Alex's relationship with her dad and Magnus' relationship with his dad. Great job!

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Maya Emerson
02:53 Feb 13, 2021

Thank you! :D Emerald did Magnus's point of view and she's a really great author if you want to read her other stories :)

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03:57 Feb 13, 2021

I will! :)

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🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞🥞...lol. Now I'm hungry for pancakes!! XD

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Maya Emerson
21:51 Feb 14, 2021

Lol thanks! XD

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Haha. P.S. Happy Valentine's day!! May your day be filled with happiness and love! <3

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Maya Emerson
22:27 Feb 14, 2021

Aw thanks! Happy Valentine's Day to you, too! :D <3

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Your welcome!

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Maya Emerson
00:14 Feb 15, 2021

<333

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