Just your wayward stalker here :) Too long since I last visited your page. Or anyone's page, actually. Of course I came by yours - I adore your work, as you well know.
This was breathtaking. You silly girl, this is far too beautiful a piece for woodlice. They wouldn't appreciate it. I, however, am in love with it. I love the sad, poetic prose and the tragic characterisations of everyone. I especially love at the end, the line that says he promised her the world once, but he never expected her to become it. Such power in those two short sentences. Longing, and loss, and pain. But this story is too beautiful to be depressing. It's just tragic, in a slow and lingering sort of way. Tragedy on a cold, sunny day. Which, incidentally, is exactly the weather outside my window.
So happy to have read this.
Shiloh Report Review
Please alone me a moment to cry over the fact that I will never ever reach your level of talent.
Honestly, Rachel, I know I say this just about every time I leave you a review, but this is your best piece yet. You're always so inventive with your descriptions that every time I read one of your pieces, I just sit there with my jaw on the floor, trying to pick it up and wipe the drool away. You floor me with your ability to manipulate words into such startlingly beautiful images.
And not just that, but the raw emotions this fic evokes is just...it's so intense and so real. Several times throughout this fic, I had to pause and take a moment to myself to fully digest what I'd just read because it packed such a punch - and not just a regular punch to the chest but the kind that breaks through the barriers of flesh and rips at your heart with its talons.
Just...wow. That's really all I can say about it.
This is absolutely stunning, as is everything you write.
Bravo, Rachel. Bravo!
MollyAuthor's Response: Shuuush! You talk such nonsense!
I can't even reply properly because at the minute, my writing is either appalling or non-existent and I feel like these compliments are thoroughly undeserved.
Thank you so much for reviewing though, my lovely. We must catch up soon.
xx Report Review
I haven't read anything much for such a long time, apart from the odd chapters of things here and there, and I've been making mental notes to pop over to your author's page! I hope you're okay, and I hope this little review makes you smile. ♥
I really liked this one. It was ever so touching. I loved the alternation of the viewpoints, and the way that somehow even though the underlying theme is quite sinister and unsettling you manage to create something beautiful out of her death. The way there were so many voices in this really shows how much of an impact one person losing their life can have.
Your descriptions were astounding and in many ways very inspiring too. It's a wonder how you can make so many things sound so beautiful! You used such an array of adverbs that everything sounded so animated in the loveliest way. Usually this is something I'm awful at, so again with the mental notes! I loved the way, too, you used to many powerful one-liners, or the use of just one word. It made this at times so hard hitting, just when it needed to be.
This was gorgeous and achingly sad all the at the same time. And, it is an achievement; one you should be proud of.
Lots of love,
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Smile indeed, lovely. I'm so sorry it's taken an age to reply. I'm so rubbish with this site these days :(
I'm so happy that sinister aspect shines through. I wanted it to feel a little uneven, like something was missing that the reader couldn't put their finger on, only for it all to come together upon second reading.
Single lines and one word sentences are my staple, I think! They come quite naturally for something like this and I'm glad they have an impact.
Thank you so much, Laura. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply!
xx Report Review
Ugh, you wound me. Every! Time!
This is pretty and haunting and poetic and so, so good. I'd quote the best lines but copy/pasting the entire thing strikes me as overkill.
But genuinely, the best part of coming back to fanfiction is the reading up on the bounty of Rachel stories that I missed while I was gone.
xxAuthor's Response: OMG ZINNYYY ♥ DOES THIS MEAN YOU'LL BE WRITING SOON??? I miss Zinny pretties :(
Thank you so much for such a gorgeous review, lovely. It's so lovely to see you back!
xx Report Review
I was browsing through the Next-Gen list on TGS, looking for something to review, when stumbled across this. I am so very glad I did.
This is truly haunting, in all senses of the word. The mood you created is perfectly crafted. The cold wind, the dried leaves, the icy water. It all hints at something ghost-like and no longer of this world. But it's done subtly enough so that the ending is still a surprise. This piece is just dripping with atmosphere, all of it really, really well executed.
Even the crafting of the sentences was great. You had long, flowing ones, like "He watches her dance all the colours of the rainbow, her body twisting in perfect unison with the rain that dashes down around them." But then you punctuate them perfectly with short bursts of "She dances on" and "It is endless." It just added to the atmosphere of slight un-reality but without interrupting the flow.
I want to leave a longer review to better reflect who much I liked the piece, but I'm finding it hard to think of others ways to say how wonderful it is. I don't usually read angst, as it can be a bit sappy or indulgent at times, but this just hit the mark on all fronts. A great balance of sadness and melancholy and...freedom.Author's Response: I really am struggling to find words to reply to this. You've pretty much said everything that I wanted people to say about this story. I really wanted this to be something very ethereal and haunting, a reality that is slightly skewed yet real. I was aiming at creating confusion but not so much that it would put people off. I hope that came across.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this and that you picked up all those little things that I was hoping people would notice. Those last three words - sadness, melancholy, freedom - really sum up the story in my head and honestly, I don't even have words to explain how grateful I am that you used them.
Thank you so much for such a lovely review ♥ Report Review
Whoa. Just... Whoa. :)
When I got to the end, I hit the up button, and read the story once more, and the pieces finally fit perfectly. I like that-how it doesn't quite fit or come together until you've read it a second time.
The first time, I noticed the beauty of the writing, the intensity, and tried to make sense of the characters' pain, without all of the details coming together until the end. The writing is beautiful, and to be commended. I like how the storyline was stitched, a piece here, a piece there, instead of writing the separate scenes, and then the main scene of Dominique's glory. The way it was done had more impact, and perspective.
The second time, I noted each character, and then with my previous knowledge, was able to appreciate the nuances of each better, and forgive me if I'm incorrect, but I believe it was Dom, Bill, Dom, Victoire, Dom, Fleur, Dom, Louis, Dom, and then finally, Lysander?
Thank you for writing this-I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading your other works! :)Author's Response: Aw, thank you.
I think this definitely needs to be read again because there are bits that will probably make little sense the first time you read it and then a re-read makes them a little clearer.
I took the idea of the structure from a much longer piece of work I read for uni, using lots of voices in one story to get to a finished product (even if it doesn't feel quite finished). I'm glad that you liked that because I'm not sure a lot of people really get the style :P
Yep, that's right. I didn't want to put too many names in there because that would disrupt it a bit but obviously we know this family, we know it's Dominique and it's quite obvious to go back and piece it all together later.
Thank you so much for such a lovely review. I really appreciate it. Report Review
I have to say, I am very impressed. Your banner intrigued me, so I thought I'd give your story a shot, and I'm sooo glad I did. I haven't really encountered very many stories about Bill and Fleur's family, and I'm very happy I found yours (it's definitely going into my favorites) it was amazing. Your writing is incredible, it's not too descriptive, nor too vague. You used the exact right amount to paint a beautiful image in my mind without overwhelming me with too much detail. I read this three times, and each time it only got better. I really wasn't expecting the ending with Lysander being the one alive and Dominique the one dead, but it actually worked really well and touched my heart. So many little details through out the entire piece hinted at it, but I didn't get it until the very end, which made it soo much better that way. I absolutely adore this piece, and I'm definitely going to read more of your work. Why would you ever dream of burying your work for woodlice? You're incredible! This is amazing just as a one-shot, and I would love to see what you could do with a longer story. :) I especially love the ending where you had the bit:
"He promised her the world, once.
He never expected her to become it."
That part was my absolute favorite. Totally loved it! You definitely should keep writing! You've got real talent, and you make me super jealous! Please, don't stop writing, you're awesome! :D
~Roze Del Imperator Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lovely review! I'm sorry it's taken so long to reply. I'm drowning in exam revision at the minute so I've not had time to sit and spend time replying to my reviews.
I can't even tell you how much I appreciate your comments on my description. I do wonder sometimes if there's too much going on in it for people to get their head around so when somebody says what you've just said, it really puts my mind at ease and makes me feel quite proud of it.
I'm really glad that you understood the story, actually; that was another worry I had. This was quite clear to me (the plot changed a few times in the course of writing it) but whether that would come across to the reader, I wasn't sure. I wanted you to get to the end, go 'erm, okay', read it back and then understand. It apparently works!
Haha, I'm quite picky about which of my stories go up, especially if I've spent a long time on them (some of my better stories, in my opinion, are the ones I wrote in a short space of time). Sadly my ability to write like this doesn't seem to stretch to my longer writing but I'm working on that!
So happy that you pointed that line out - I really like it and I spent some time getting it right.
Thank you so, so much for such a lovely review. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it! Report Review
I'm finally here for that review you requested. I'm so sorry for the long wait! I am incredibly mortified for how long it's taken but it's just been a really hectic month. Plus, your story forces a person to stew about it for a while. If this is you coming back into writing after a bit than I'm extremely impressed! You're writing is so lovely and smooth and feels like everything good in this world ;D
I was very confused with a lot of this but a good sort of confused. The sort of confused where you mull things over and it leaves you thinking about it for days afterwards. Honestly, i got chills as i was reading this. I don't even know where to start with my thoughts, they are everywhere.
When i first read this, I wasn't quite sure what was going on and had so many theories running through my head. I knew from the very beginning that there had been some sort of tragedy, something that was driving the family apart. To me, it also had this haunting feeling to it and i knew that i was going to be shocked at the end or that everything was not what it seems.
I think i first thought it was Lysander who had died and i think i even toyed with Victoire for a bit. I didn't even think of Dominique at all even though there are those hints all over the place! It just didn't make sense that she was there dancing and she would be dead. So when that came out it was surprising but i really liked it. My first thought after i figured out who it was was that it was two stories combined into this one. Which is a cool idea showing how Dominique died and then having, at the same time, how her family was dealing with it.
Something about that initial thought didn't seem right though, to simple, and the pieces just didn't fit well with me and i don't think it would be an afterlife either, although that thought occurred to me as well, that she became everything she couldn't be in life.
It seems almost like she wasn't really ever there to begin with. Which is my final conclusion. Is it that Lysander was just imagining her in his head and it was from his perspective as he watched her or watched the world in which she became after her death?
If that's it then it's absolutely glorious! I really do love this piece of work and i've just read it the second time through and it gets better each time as you realize the little hints that you litter throughout the story that don't make tangible tense the first time around. But it's perfect that way really, sometimes i was a little confused with some of the wording and your colourful descriptions but i think you might have meant for it to be that way.
There is some really lovely lines here and i really loved the ending
He promised her the world, once.
He never expected her to become it.
Reality has broken with the dawn and he must now wake up from the dream that keeps her with him.
I think that this is just a really great closure and wrapping up of the whole story of how she's just this image in his mind, this thing that seems so real yet just a shadow of her former self. It was a bit haunting of a read, at least, to me. I could really feel with this story, it was emotionally tangible and heart-wrenching. Now that i've read it, what effect were you going for? Anyway, before i ramble on some more i'll just end with that this is a really great piece and i hope you continue to post stories because you writing is such a joy to read.Author's Response: Oh my gosh, this is so long it won't even fit on the page if I take the toolbars out. I think you've just won some kind of award! Firstly, then, thank you for taking the time to leave something as wonderful as this. I can't even comprehend how perfectly you've pinpointed my exact train of thought when writing this.
Don't even worry about the wait. I requested before this story got featured (thank you, lovely staff) and there's been a review boost since then so I'd forgotten about requests, to be perfectly honest! I'm glad you think this takes time to get your head around because I think that's exactly the attitude it needs. I'm still not sure this is my very best but it's certainly one of my current favourites.
Haha, I've been hearing a lot about this good sort of confused lately. I think that's what I wanted. Chills are always a huge plus for any writer, I think!
You really have hit the nail on the head with everything here so I'll go through it bit by bit. I'm really happy you picked up on the tragedy early on because I wasn't sure that was going to come across. I definitely wanted haunting and I was pretty confident that that was coming across because I knew that death was involved in this somehow and that comes quite naturally when you're aware of a theme like that in your story.
Initially, it was Lysander that I'd killed off. I wanted Dominique to be grieving and imagining him but I've actually already written that so I gave up on that idea after I'd written Bill's section of the story. It was tweaked as necessary.
I never really intended it as two stories but I can definitely see how it could be interpreted like that. I adore reader interpretation so I love writing things with some (/lots of) ambiguity!
Too simple indeed. I don't like simple. I'm also not keen on afterlife stories (I'd only read one when I wrote this which is very dear to me so I steer well clear) so although I considered that, it was never really an option.
Your final conclusion is bang on, or at least in line with what I had intended. She's a figment of his imagination, as far as I'm concerned. She's not there, nothing more than air (which is why there's a bit of weather imagery thrown into the story in places), and I was aiming for something quite ethereal which I hope came across.
I'm so glad you picked up on the hints! It's definitely something that needs to be read twice, if not three times, because all the information you need is there. It's just well hidden!
That last line that you quoted was actually something I added in very quickly after the first few reviews and I realised that people weren't quite getting the right impression. I definitely didn't want it to be seen as her actual death so I placed in the line about reality and imagination to try and clear that up.
I really wanted something haunting (as you said) and a little unbalanced to reflect this imagined Dominique and an obviously grieving Lysander. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this, thank you so much for such a lengthy and wonderful review. I have no intention to stop writing any time soon!
Thank you! Report Review
Beautifully written.Author's Response: Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it :) Report Review
I simply cannot understand how you are this talented, this often. I mean, honestly, I am overwhelmingly jealous and have a profuse amount of praise for this.
Firstly, just because I read it last, the last line was... wow. I always try to end with something like that, personally, so I know what an incredible challenge it is to pack so much punch into a line or two. But goodness, Rachel, you completely and utterly did it. The meaning is there, sure, but it also holds the power of style and finesse, which I love. The words are just so... I dunno. They go together so well, if you can sort of / kind of understand what I'm trying to say here.
And I loved all your little interrupters here and there. Your flow is masterful, really. Each paragraph just melts into the next, and I think I've said that before to you but it doesn't matter. Here, with your one or two word interrupters, the paragraphs don't just dissolve. Each of them sticks, which wouldn't be possible if you didn't know how to play with your words so gosh darn well.
Before this gets super gushy (too late?), I'll just end it here. I really have nothing to complain about. You are brilliant with this craft, dear. I'm always extremely pleased whenever I get a chance to read something by you, and this was just... beautiful. It was beautiful.
Talented, talented. :)
xxAuthor's Response: The feeling's very much mutual ♥
I really like the alliteration of the last line. I knew it was Dominique from the start but I didn't really know she was dead until I got there and it just happened. I think it hits quite hard. I completely get what you're trying to say!
I think the separators were necessary, if only because it would probably be confusing for everyone except me when reading it. I'm so glad they don't ruin the flow, though. I didn't even consider that they would but it's nice to have confirmation :P
Thank you so much, lovely, for such a wonderful review.
xx Report Review
Oh, wow. I had the niggling feeling in the back of my mind that somebody had died, but, wow. This was very moving and beautifully written. I love that we get insight from each character, that we really understand what the family is going through. My favorite bit was Louis, who is an unsung character for the most part. Lovely writing!Author's Response: Niggling feelings are good. I think a second read makes it far more obvious with this, too. I really wanted to get across the whole range of relationships and opinions in it. Louis is probably my favourite too, perhaps just because he is so under-represented, generally.
Thank you so much for the lovely review! Report Review
This is an incredibly beautiful piece of writing. The story, the words, the imagery- I was mesmerised by every part of it. I actually had to read it twice before I could find the words to compose this review.
I am not even sure that I fully understood what was happening. How I understood it though, is that the point of view is switching from a family member grieving and then to Dominique who is in some sort of afterlife or maybe she is not even there at all and she is some sort of phantasm...
Whatever the case, the way you shifted from the grim point of view of each family member and then back to the dreamy and otherworldly parts that observed Dominique is skillfull and poignant.Author's Response: Thank you so, so much. I think reading this twice is probably best, generally. Things probably make a bit more sense the second or third time around!
You've pretty much hit it on the head. Dominique's side of things is a bit confusing, I'll admit, and it's pretty much open to interpretation. I love the idea that it's a form of afterlife - not how I saw it but definitely close and I really like that perspective.
Thank you so much for such a lovely review! Report Review
Wow. That is seriously all that I can say. I adored your style of writing in this, it's a heap of confusion but something inside me understands what you're trying to say. This one-shot is charming but startling all at the same time, but it fits with the story and that's all that matters. A brilliant story, and I seriously enjoyed reading it.Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm not entirely sure I intended it to be confusing (it makes perfect sense to me but I suppose these things usually do to the author!) but it sounds like the confusion works, regardless.
Thank you for the lovely review! Report Review
Hello, my name is Charlotta and Iíll be your reviewer for today :)
A minor pairing! Nice! Iím interested in reading this only because I think Iíve read two stories from Dominiqueís point of view and one from Lysanderís. Being Next Gen thereís also no real canonicity to their characters and so you get to create what you want for them. Letís see what you do with them, shall we?
Youíve created quite a bitter scene here in the beginning. I love how the words kind of just wrap themselves up in my mind, having fragments echo in my head long after Iíve finished reading the sentence. I adore imagery such as this and it has certainly served to create the scene here, with an almost magical quality tinting its edges.
Itís never crossed my mind really that Bill would want to or not want to learn French. Though with how this story seems to be unfolding, I could understand why (to a degree).
She tried to be her sisterís [carer] once before and it failed. - caretaker
OK, I had to stop my running review because I had to keep track of all the different POVs you were throwing at me! :) Now that Iíve reached the end, Iím not sure that I totally got it but hereís what I saw: Dominique is dead from the beginning and itís Lysander whoís watching her movements. Anytime we switch to this POV in the forest, the girl with the tattered gloves, the barefoot dancing one, this is Dominique. The family is grieving, Louis, Fleur and Bill still at Shell Cottage while Victoire has moved out, living with Teddy and their relationship is in splinters. Is that it? Weíre watching a ghostly apparition? Because that would be cool.
I donít know if you revealed how she died because I canít quite tell myself. Maybe she drowned when playing on the ice with Lysander and he failed to save her? The section before the last where she starts to dance from under the bridge could mention rain as it does in the end if thatís meant to be together and this would help tie it up. And I donít know, maybe mentioning names with the woman who is drinking tea? I think that was Victoire. But I also got confused because someone was someoneís caretaker which makes me think that theyíre both aliveÖ Anyway, those are my suggestions.
I did love the imagery though and the story, if itís what I think it is as above, is a beautiful one. Even if it isnít what I thought it was, I still took something away from it :)
xCharAuthor's Response: HI :D
You've kind of hit the nail on the head with...everything in this review but I'll do what you do and go through it in order and ramble about how happy I am that you got what this was meant to be about!
Magical quality, fairytale quality, that's exactly what I wanted from this, though with that bitterness too. I wanted something to be a little off and hopefully that came through.
I never really crossed mine until you mentioned it :P I guess being a student of French has made me loathe it so much that I was sort of channelling that through Bill! It's a difficult language and I'm not sure he'd ever pick it up in the same way as his kids would (bearing in mind he's obviously a lot older than them and languages tend to be harder to learn when you're older and not immersed in them every day).
Nope, I meant carer... maybe a Brit vs American thing?
Haha, I did almost mention that in my request. It's not a story that lends itself to reviewing as you go along for several reasons, not least the POV changes.
You are the only person to get what I wanted. Not that anyone else is wrong, per se, just that you interpreted as I'd hoped people would. Dominique isn't real and everyone's torn to pieces and it's horrible. So yes to everything.
I didn't reveal it and nor did I really think about it (it's a bit morbid, to be honest). It'd definitely be an accident and drowning does seem to fit so let's roll with that :P I shall do something about the rain too.
I think it was Victoire but I'll make that clearer in an edit. Definitely a former carer, not a recent one. It's terribly confusing, even for me...
Thank you so much for such a lovely review. I'm over the moon that someone saw this in the same way that I did. That never happens :P
Thank you! Report Review
Oh my god Rachel let me have all the words. asfggjhl that's all I can manage.
It took me awhile to get used to the setting switch but once I did, it was so perfect. I love love loved how you integrated the whole family in and gave us different views, juxtaposing Dominique's sort of breathless freedom and then the grief in her wake. I sensed that she was going to die soon - the ice just seemed so precarious and she herself so wound up in a fleeting moment that I felt like it was the end. That and death seemed to be looming everywhere.
I am terrible at these analysing sort of things, but just know that I have lots of feels for these words, jealous feels and feely feels. Bill ;-;
♥ your writing is the loveliest.Author's Response: *gives Gina the words*
*squishes Gina and the words*
LIFE IS CONSUMING ME BUT I WILL BE BACK IN SKYPELAND IN JUNE. I PROMISE.
You just summed up exactly what I wanted from this story in a few words. I love it when that happens. I find it really interesting that you read it as her death (Marina did too) because that wasn't entirely what I intended but YAYS FOR READER INTERPRETATION ♥ That's why I write like this :P
Death looming everywhere, however, is about right. Just how I like it!
FEELS ARE GOOD. I LIKE FEELS.
You are the loveliest.
Thank you oodles and oodles and oodles, lovely.
Have a biscuit
xx Report Review
Woah! That was so good, I absolutely love it!
The whole thing is amazingly beautiful and intensely sad. It is so full of emotion and so powerful that I had calm myself down when it finished.
Wow wow wow. You are an amazing writer so please, never stop!
Just the way you wrote it was so graceful and it was so strong and beautiful. Really, it was almost perfect!Author's Response: Thank you so much!
I really have no words to describe how happy this review makes me. I'm very out of practice and this was my first bit of writing for a long time so to hear such lovely words about this really does make me smile.
Thank you so much! Report Review
And a very handsome woodlouse I am.
SIGH. You make me want to do DIE you're so good. Whenever I read your wonderful words I want to cyber-rip everything up and start all over again. Which is good, because you inspire me. Hence the angst spree this weekend. What I mean is that your talent is enviable and admirable and I don't know what I'd do without it, under the rock or not.
Okay, fair enough, this piece made me work damn hard but I feel like I'm privy to a secret now that it's clicked. You tricked me so well - I blame your pretty sentences and well-placed metaphors. It's like you're berating me for thinking that I know your style. Well, there's no way I'm taking it for granted again because it was so easy just to read this like I always do for you and get lost in the words, but that's how you tricked me in the first place.
I thought your descriptions were figurative, but then I reached the end. AND THEN IT ALL BECAME CLEAR. Because everything before that last sentence was mysterious and intriguing and I couldn't know for sure what anything referred to; there were so many possibilities that I had no idea where you were going. But yes, the ending cleared everything up. A second/third/fourth reading of this brought new revelations.
It was glorious, my dear. You're victorious. And I think you'll find you're the angst queen... long to rein over us...
I LOVE YOU. ♥Author's Response: You are a beautiful woodlouse, my love. As I have just proven to you.
However, you are being terribly silly. You are far superior and make me feel much like doing the same. Have you READ your new one-shot? Hmm? Your talent IS the rock.
Haha, which writing probably shouldn't do, to be fair :P Everyone else seems to have taken it as you did so...oopsie. I don't even I know my style anymore so I wouldn't worry. I feel kind of powerful because of the trickery, though.
ALL BECAME CLEAR BECAUSE I EXPLAINED IT. Well, some of it. I've changed it a bit since as well. Hopefully more people will get it...
I LOVE YOU MORE ♥
xx Report Review
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