Sea of Roses (Part 3)

Submitted into Contest #77 in response to: Write a story set in the summer, when suddenly it starts to snow.... view prompt

114 comments

Urban Fantasy Adventure

Author's Note: This is not related to the prompt, but I really wanted to post it, so enjoy!

I wake up at dawn, the sky shade of crimson. I stretch and grab an apple from my bag. As I open the flap of the tent, I see that Zayn and Andre are still asleep. I want to wake them up, but I decide against it. As much as I want to get going, I donโ€™t want two cranky idiots to deal with. Itโ€™s cold, so I go back into my tent and wrap myself in my royal purple blanket. Soon enough, I doze off again.ย 

I wake up to a sunny sky. Iโ€™ve overslept. I notice that Zayn and Andre have left. Typical. I quickly change into a pair of knit blue pants and a white tunic. I tie my hair into a knot at the nape of my neck as I usually do.ย 

I donโ€™t eat much for breakfast as I am trying to conserve my food. I pack up the tent and stuff it in my bag. No one is around, so I decide to stay where I am, hoping Zayn and Andre will come back soon. I wait for about an hour before they finally show up.

โ€œHey, look who finally decided to wake up!โ€ย 

โ€œYeah, next time weโ€™ll just leave you there.โ€ย 

The two of them walk towards me, smirks on their faces.ย 

โ€œNo time for beauty sleep right now โ€˜kay princess?โ€ Andre laughs. And thatโ€™s the end of it. Even though I know Iโ€™ll just be wasting time, I still engage in his petty argument.

โ€œOh, is that so? You know, my fist has only gotten stronger since the last time I punched you!โ€ I retort. Zayn raises his eyebrows and steps back.

โ€œYeah? Well this time, I wonโ€™t let you do it. Iโ€™ll fight you right here, right now, and then weโ€™ll see.โ€ he yells. Bile rises in my throat as I realize heโ€™s serious. Very serious. I might be smarter than him but heโ€™s much stronger. And Iโ€™m in danger. Zayn looks unaffected by all the drama as he stands by and watches.

Before I can realize it, Andre punches me hard in the gut. I double over, with stars in my vision. But Iโ€™m mad now. I wonโ€™t let him beat me up. I throw a sidekick as hard as I can and Andre gets pushed backward with a force I didnโ€™t know I was capable of creating. But when he gets back up, I see the fire in his eyes. He wonโ€™t let me out of this alive. He lifts me with ease and throws me towards the tent. I land on the ground half-dead, but he still doesnโ€™t stop. He kicks me in the face repeatedly until I taste blood.ย 

I donโ€™t even know what pain is anymore. My entire body is numb. At this moment, Iโ€™m willing to let God take me to the heavens. After all, what is left for me here? I feel darkness creep into my eyes and let sleep take me.ย 

***

I wake up on the cold floor of the tent with a blanket draped over me. I hear voices outside.

โ€œShe threatened me, man, did you hear that?โ€

โ€œYou could have killed her! I get that you were frustrated, but you need to know when to stop!โ€

โ€œYou act as if you care about if she lives!โ€

โ€œI do! Sheโ€™s the smartest out of the three of us, we canโ€™t lose her. Besides, sheโ€™s not all that bad, and the king would publicly hang you if she came home with even a scratch.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ll kill that nasty little virago if she crosses me one more time, I swear. I donโ€™t care what the hell he does to me.โ€

โ€œCome on, Andre, sheโ€™s a girl!โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t give a damn if sheโ€™s a girl! I hate her!โ€

โ€œGet used to it, sheโ€™s not going anywhere until we finish this!โ€

I donโ€™t hear the rest of the conversation until Zayn opens the flap of the tent.

โ€œHey, you up?โ€ he asked.

โ€œYeah.โ€

โ€œSo...uh, how are you feeling?โ€ His tone is gentle but I can hear the strain in his voice. He doesnโ€™t know who to side with.

โ€œWell, I canโ€™t move, so...thatโ€™s a huge setback,โ€ I respond weakly. Zayn smiles.

โ€œListen, Iโ€™m sorry about that. I should have stepped in earlier. Oh god, Iโ€™m such an idiot.โ€ I frown. He thinks itโ€™s his fault. I feel sympathy for him.

โ€œNo, it has nothing to do with you. Donโ€™t blame yourself. I should've just kept my mouth shut. Weโ€™re supposed to work as a team.โ€

โ€œI mean, if it were me in your position, I would have done the same thing, Weโ€™ve been pretty mean to you throughout this journey. I just want to apologize for that, on behalf of Andre too.โ€ I smile. Zayn isnโ€™t as bad as I thought. Yes, heโ€™s treated me wrongly for a while, but maybe I can learn to forgive.

By the next morning, I feel a bit better. Still not ready to go, but better, at least. Andre still has not apologized. I donโ€™t expect him to, the self-centered jerk he is. I know that our fight will lead to a lot of drama while the three of us are working together.

We stay in the same place for three days. Still, Zayn seems unbothered. He says he wants to make sure Iโ€™m okay before we start moving. Itโ€™s a sweet thought, but I want to get out of here. I donโ€™t want to be the person thatโ€™s holding us back.

Another day later, I can walk. My entire body hurts, but I can walk. Thatโ€™s all I care about. I tell Zayn I feel completely better (even though I donโ€™t) and we pack up our things and get ready to go.

โ€œSo, not much going on in the suburbs, huh?โ€ I say quietly.

โ€œOh, I donโ€™t know, we havenโ€™t gotten much time to search with you being all injured or whatever.โ€ Andre snaps. I want to hit him again, tell him if he had made better decisions, we wouldnโ€™t be here. But I donโ€™t. Iโ€™m smarter than that. Instead, I say,

โ€œWell, what would you like to do now?โ€ We all stay silent for a moment. Andre is the first one to speak.ย 

โ€œLetโ€™s go to Edgehollow.โ€ My muscles tighten. Iโ€™ve never been there, but I know that going will bring back too many memories. Yet, I donโ€™t know how to say no. Iโ€™ve already held Zayn and Andre back too much. Any more interference would be a mistake on my part.

โ€œSure. Letโ€™s go,โ€ I agree reluctantly. Zayn shoots me a nervous glance. He can hear the fear in my voice. I donโ€™t return the gesture. I donโ€™t want him to think Iโ€™m weak.

We trek towards the city limits with heavy backpacks weighing us down. We know weโ€™re all tired, but no one says anything. Theyโ€™ll wait for someone else to make the first move. 30 minutes pass. With every step, I feel like Iโ€™ll collapse. Finally, I give in.

โ€œUh, can we take a break?โ€ I gasp. Zayn looks at me with relief on his face. Andre sighs. I know he wants to sit down and take a break, but he doesnโ€™t want to show it.

โ€œI mean, if you insist,โ€ he says grumpily, but I know heโ€™s happy about it. We sit for a few minutes and drink water, and then start moving again. By the time we reach Riverhall Gate, we are all exhausted and the sun is setting. We decide to make camp here and continue our journey the next morning.ย 

Surprisingly, I sleep well. Iโ€™m all ready to go when I wake up. I quickly wake Zayn and Andre, and we pack up the tents. For breakfast, we each have an orange and some bread. It isnโ€™t much, but itโ€™s good enough to keep us going.

We show the guards our identification papers and they let us through the gate. Maybe itโ€™s in my head, but I can smell a distinct tinge of ash. It makes me woozy. I do my best to focus and not show that Iโ€™m struggling.

We walk towards the town square and try to decide what weโ€™ll do next.

โ€œYou know, we never came up with a plan. How are we going to do this? We donโ€™t even know what Blue looks like. He probably has spies listening to us too. We are just wandering around aimlessly.โ€ Zayn says. I realize he is right. We donโ€™t know what to do. The three of us sit down on a bench nearby.ย 

โ€œSo, what do we know?โ€ I ask. It isnโ€™t a very good question, but itโ€™s a start.

โ€œOkay, well we know that Blue is a criminal who weโ€™re supposed to find. We know nothing about where he might be.โ€ Andre responds.

โ€œTrue, but he has spies and people who side with him, right?โ€ Zayn asks

โ€œYesโ€ฆโ€ I answer, wondering where he will go with this.

โ€œIf we just find the right person, and convince them they can trust us, theyโ€™ll lead us right to him,โ€ Zayn suggests

โ€œSo you want to find one of his supporters and manipulate them? Nice.โ€ Andre says sarcastically. I look at him.

โ€œAre you siding with Blue?โ€ I ask. His face reddens.

โ€œNo, Iโ€™m just saying, you shouldnโ€™t manipulate someone!โ€ย 

โ€œEven the accomplice of a criminal?โ€

โ€œIt just isnโ€™t the right thing to do!โ€

โ€œYou were okay with nearly murdering Azalea, whatโ€™s the problem with this?โ€ I stand by and watch Zayn and Andre argue. Andre seems to be at a loss for words.

โ€œOkay. You guys can do what you want. I just donโ€™t want to be a part of something that isnโ€™t right.โ€ he says quietly.

โ€œWha-what do you mean?โ€ I ask, raising my eyebrows.

โ€œIโ€™m leaving. You two continue the quest. I canโ€™t support this.โ€

โ€œCanโ€™t support what?

โ€œThe horrible place we live in! Riverhall is a huge district with a lot of influence. Itโ€™s going to turn other districts just like it. Donโ€™t you understand? Our king is ruining everything! Weโ€™re losing our freedom and you two are just focused on this stupid quest! Heโ€™s brainwashed you too!โ€ I shake my head in disbelief. How can he not support the king?

โ€œSo who do you support then?โ€

โ€œThose who want to make the world right again.โ€ With that, he picks up his bag and stalks off. I canโ€™t believe it. Heโ€™s gone. Zayn has the same expression as me. We stand in silence for a moment, watching Andre leave.ย 

โ€œSo, shall we set up camp?โ€ Zayn suggests, finally breaking the silence. I nod and pull my tent out of my bag. We donโ€™t talk much unless necessary. Soon enough, it seems like Zayn is bored with it.

โ€œLook, I know this will be awkward, but we need to talk. With Andre gone now, we have to figure out what to do,โ€ he says. He sounds stressed.

โ€œYouโ€™re right,โ€ I admit. โ€œLetโ€™s just go through with the plan, try to find someone who might be working with Blue.โ€ Zayn nods, but thereโ€™s something else on his mind.

โ€œWhat do you think about what Andre said?โ€ he asks. I respond without hesitation.

โ€œI disagree. Heโ€™s wrong, our king only wants the best for us.โ€ Zayn doesnโ€™t say anything after that. Itโ€™s a controversial topic I guess. I just hope he doesnโ€™t leave like Andre did.

***

I hear Zayn curse from inside the tent.ย 

โ€œWhat happened?โ€ I ask

โ€œAndre took the tent. Iโ€™ll have to go buy a new one somewhere,โ€ he responds.ย 

โ€œOkay, come back soon,โ€ I say. He nods and heads out into the marketplace. Iโ€™m grateful for the time alone. It will give me a chance to think about all of this.

While heโ€™s gone, I notice a strange woman lurking in front of our campsite. Her hair is so black it looks blue. Her eyes are dark grey. To a normal person, it would look like a person passing by. But to me, a trained assassin, she isnโ€™t just an ordinary girl. I decide to do what Iโ€™m used to doing. I will catch her by surprise and then interrogate her. I slowly creep out of the tent when her back is turned. I bring a knife with me, just in case.ย 

Swiftly, I grab her from behind and hold my knife to her throat. She almost shrieks, but I slap my hand over her mouth.

โ€œYouโ€™re going to follow me over there,โ€ I whisper, pointing to a dark alley. She struggles, but I press the knife harder against her neck. Slowly, I lead her to the alley and pin her against a wall with my knife.ย 

โ€œIโ€™m going to ask you some questions, and you will answer truthfully. Got it?โ€ I say softly. She nods, and I can see the fear in her eyes.

โ€œOkay. Why were you stalking our campsite?โ€ I ask and lessen the pressure on her neck so she can speak.

โ€œI-I wasnโ€™t. I was just walking by.โ€ she cries. I slap her with the flat part of the blade and she shrieks out in pain.

โ€œThat is a lie. Tell me why you were there!โ€ I insist.

โ€œI told you! I was just walking by!โ€ sheโ€™s in tears now.

โ€œNo. You. WERENโ€™T! TELL ME WHAT YOU WERE DOING THERE!โ€

โ€œNO!โ€ she screams. I feel rage build up inside of me.

โ€œYou do know I can kill you in a heartbeat, right?โ€

โ€œGo ahead. Kill me. Kill me and know that you will never find out what I was doing. But you know, my family will be safe. HAIL THE OCEAN KING!โ€ she shouts as I shove the blade deep into her heart. She drops to the ground and beckons for me to listen.

โ€œYou are Azalea Grey. You have been sent by King Louis of Riverhall. I know about you. You wish to capture our king. You will not succeed. You will never succeed when you do the wrong thing.โ€ And with that, she closes her eyes and lets out her last breath. I pull my knife out of her chest and sit next to her body in silence. How can she know who I am? Who is the Ocean King? I was top of my class in Geography and Social Studies, but Iโ€™d never heard of an Ocean King.ย 

I fall asleep thinking about all of this and Iโ€™m shaken awake by Zayn.

โ€œAZALEA! GET UP, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?โ€ he shouts in a panicked tone. I jerk awake and rub the sleep out of my eyes as I try to register what has happened. I see the girlโ€™s body slumped beside me.ย 

โ€œDid you do this?โ€ Zayn asked softly. I nod and stare at the girl.

โ€œWe need to get out of here,โ€ I say, and Zayn agrees. But as we make our way back to the campsite, we see something burning in the distance.

โ€œZayn,โ€ I start, but I donโ€™t need to say anything else. He sees it too. Bile rises in my throat. No, it canโ€™t be. But as we get closer, the truth sets in. A raging fire has enveloped our campsite, but that isnโ€™t the strange part. The fire isnโ€™t spreading at all, despite the wooden planks that should be helping it spread. It stays only on our campsite. This isnโ€™t a normal fire. I think about the possible ways it could happen, but I canโ€™t think of anything. People around the city have started to notice the flames too. They turn, stare, and whisper to each other. One man runs to the lake to fill up buckets of water and put out the fire. Other people start to follow his lead and help us. I am shocked. In Riverhall, there arenโ€™t usually fires because of the cold temperatures year-round. But if there was a fire, no one would help. Youโ€™d be left to fend for yourself. Itโ€™s just what the culture is like in Riverhall. It may sound evil, but Iโ€™ve grown up in Riverhall. I donโ€™t have another home. The king was so generous offering me a position as an assassin. Without him, I would have most likely been living on the streets right now. I have no relatives or family to take care of me. Iโ€™m completely on my own.

***

The fire is out by dusk, but the campsite is in ruins. All the food and water we had is gone, and we have nowhere to sleep. Zayn and I consider trying to find a bed and breakfast but decide against it. Weโ€™re trying to lay as low as possible and not raise any suspicion. If that girl knew who we were, other people might too. We find a bench and settle down for the night. Zayn says he will try to bargain for some sleeping bags in the morning. I donโ€™t know what heโ€™ll bargain with, we have nothing. Still, I donโ€™t stop him. Maybe he has a plan. For now, I drift off into a peaceful sleep on the park bench. I forget where I am, why Iโ€™m here, what I must do. I focus on myself. I focus on the song of the nightingales. Nothing else matters now. I can almost feel my sisterโ€™s hand in mine, reading me a story as I fall asleep. She will protect me. She will be by my side throughout this journey, even if I canโ€™t see her.

January 20, 2021 17:44

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114 comments

Keya M.
12:31 Mar 16, 2021

Wow, Suhani! This was such a fabulous story! You're such a good author. Would you mind taking a look at one of my stories and giving me some feedback? I'd really appreciate it.

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Thank you! Of course, I'd love to! Do you have a specific story you want me to read?

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Keya M.
19:02 Mar 16, 2021

Pick whichever one seems most appealing!

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Ok! I'll do it now!

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B. W.
07:04 Mar 02, 2021

its been a while, how are you?

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im doing good, thanks for asking! wbu?

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B. W.
20:30 Mar 02, 2021

I guess I'm doing fine, I've mostly just been working on some novels or playing some games for a while. Sorry for not talking to you for a while though

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Nice! Don't say sorry, it's totally okay, I get it! Can you tell me a little bit about your novels?

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B. W.
00:18 Mar 03, 2021

I'm writing like 9 at the moment, do you want me to tell you about just one of them?

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Alina Manha
20:36 Jan 23, 2021

Hey! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป How are ya? Hope you are doin well. I am really bored. I thought maybe we could talk instead of me going mad with boredom. ๐Ÿ˜…

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Hi, I'm doing great, you? Yeah, that sounds like a good description of what I'm going through too lol, so sure!

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Alina Manha
20:03 Jan 24, 2021

I am fine, alhamdulilah! I know right? Isn't this how pretty much everyone is feeling now a days? ๐Ÿ˜„

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What does alhamdulilah mean? Yeah, it's the quarantine, I hope all of this ends soon!

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Alina Manha
20:10 Jan 24, 2021

It means Thank God or Praise be to God in Arabic. Mostly used by us Muslims. ๐Ÿ˜„ Yes, me too. I miss my school and friends a lot ๐Ÿ˜ฉ What are your hobbies?

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Oh, that's cool, I learned something new today! Yeah, although the online school is easier in some ways, I would prefer to be back on campus. I like to write, read, play the piano, and play tennis! You?

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Cream Art
20:40 Feb 06, 2021

I am the Globglogabgalab!

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Wow, I'm a huge fan! Can I get an autograph?

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Cream Art
19:55 Feb 07, 2021

And I love books!

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is this basement a true treasure trove?

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Cream Art
16:39 Feb 08, 2021

Of course!

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Crystal Playz
21:59 Feb 04, 2021

Omg!!!! What an amazing story!!!!! Can't wait for more!!!!! Thank you for so many amazing stories!!!!!

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Cream Art
23:22 Jan 20, 2021

Yes, I was so excited for this! You're such a great writer! I love how unique the characters and plot are, as other stories usually make the main character some kind of cute, shy girl or something. I'm NOT saying that making a shy character is a bad thing, in fact, it's great for character development and it's relatable. But I love the tough, merciless character you made, it makes way for a lot of character development!

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Thank you so much! I was really focusing on the character development actually so I'm glad it got across! Thanks again :)

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Cooper Armstrong
02:36 Dec 11, 2021

https://forms.gle/qb4mnfugK7k3p3xg8 Please fill this out Suhani!

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HAPPY 200 FOLLOWERS Also story posted if you wanna check it out hehe <33 Thank you either wayy So anyways hruu? :D

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THANK YOUUUUUUUU!!!! Yesss will do!! I'm doing good, sooo glad schools over, how are you?

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NPPPP Ack thanks! Yussssss nice! Iโ€™m doing well too, half asleep but vibing :D

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lol it must be pretty late for you! like 12 am?

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Coco Longstaff
07:04 Apr 22, 2021

Hi suhani! How r u? Would u mind checking out my story? ( new on its called dance or mathletes?)

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Im doing good, how are you? Sure!

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Coco Longstaff
09:37 Apr 23, 2021

Great๏ผ Thanks!

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Coco Longstaff
09:38 Apr 23, 2021

Great๏ผ Thanks!

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19:38 Apr 09, 2021

OMGOMGOMGOMG!!! Imma Libra too!!! And I like Divergent and THG too!!!!! XDDD

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OMGGGG WHEN'S UR BDAY??

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13:18 Apr 13, 2021

SEPTEMBER 28!!!!!

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OOOH MINES OCTOBER 2, SUPER CLOSE!

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13:23 Apr 14, 2021

YASSS!!!!

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Coco Longstaff
00:25 Feb 14, 2021

Hey Suhani! Howโ€™s it going?? So, do you wanna do my Valentines Day Quiz? https://forms.gle/CcRYVsWpuhBW2uu76

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Hi Coco! I'm doing great! You? Sure!

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Coco Longstaff
03:53 Feb 14, 2021

Iโ€™m awesome! TYSM

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Lol just filled it out!!

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Coco Longstaff
04:09 Feb 14, 2021

TYSM

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Coco Longstaff
04:10 Feb 14, 2021

OMG MY BFF EMMA HAS 20 fictional character crushes!!!

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Lmaooo, fictional characters are 1000000x better than real people

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Alina Manha
21:56 Jan 20, 2021

I assume that Andre quit because he is one of the spies of blue. I do not know but just assuming. You could turn this story into a book, you know? It's that amazing. I am sure a large amount of people will read it and just like me, love it. I am just suggesting this as a fellow writer. Nothing else. Overall the plot is quite interesting and unique. I would love to read more.

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You are correct! The funny thing is, I actually am turning it into a book! I'm about 20% of the way there! I'll publish the full thing on amazon when I'm done.

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Alina Manha
23:04 Jan 20, 2021

Yay!! Omg!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ That is really awesome! Hope you succeed. ๐Ÿคฉ I will be the first person to read it when you publish it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Thank you so much! I will keep you posted!

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Alina Manha
16:39 Jan 21, 2021

My pleasure! Oooh! Thank you sooooooo much!

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Alina Manha
21:50 Jan 20, 2021

Wow! This is awesome. I think that you should write this as a book. I am amazed (again). As I read this I could visualize what was happening. I would love to read a part 4 . ๐Ÿ˜„ Please let me know when you post it. I'll be waiting..... ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Thank you soo much! I will let you know for sure!

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Alina Manha
23:06 Jan 20, 2021

Awwwwwww, you are welcome!! Okay! thank you!! ๐Ÿ˜„

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Keya M.
23:03 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow Share this with 10 friends!

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Yes, absolutely, imma put it in my bio too

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Keya M.
00:56 Mar 26, 2021

<3

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