“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.” -Madeline Miller, “The Song Of Achilles.”


Message to Readers

Hello! I wanted to write a sort of synopsis of one of my character’s life and it came out like this! I learned a lot more about her through this, I didn’t really have her pegged as angry before this but I hope it only strengthens my portrayal of her.

Adoni: A Study Of Fire

September 22, 2019


So it’s like this;

Adoni comes into the world with starburst skin and burgundy hair. She’s swaddled in cloth and covered in kisses and laid gently down to sleep but sparks of fire catch in her eyelashes and if you listen closely you can hear her hair crackling.

It’s passed off as a blessing from the gods. After all, that great big mountain is so close and it does look like a home that Vulcan would make for himself. Marble heats where she touches it and people clap in awe for the first few years. And then for the next few, they whisper of hubris and maybe they’re right because Adoni knows she is meant for something more. She’s not meant for running a household while being swallowed by a white sheet. She’s meant for the heat from the earth, and for blanched leather boots and for dragon teeth. Her head aches with visions of majesty and liquid gold. She daydreams. Always of the same place.

Destan comes when she’s sixteen and he smells of the sea and of every grand adventure she’s ever dreamed about. He’s coarse, tries to drag her through the sparkling doorway but she punches, her knuckles like rock and he stops and laughs. The blood that streams from his nose is blue and ambition blooms in her chest like a bright flower. Ash blankets the 
path behind them and Adoni feels kinship. She does not listen to the screaming.

Aurelion is beautiful and hers for the taking. She notices how Destan slows near water and drinks from every source reverently. His skin glimmers azure if you stare hard enough and hers does the same except this time it’s crimson. She’s crimson. Fire constantly looks like something that is to be touched now. Adoni finds that she is desperate enough to swallow a flame and cries in relief when it doesn’t burn through her. 

“Magma veins,” he murmurs. “You’d bleed lava.”

She’s seventeen when she guts a dragon for the first time. The warmth of blood is the only heat she decides she doesn’t like. One time, she was making some sort of grandiose speech to the general populous and her hair caught fire, like a dry bush in the sun. The people roared louder and she was able to ignore the spitting of her braids. 

The next dragon she kills has no eyes for its skull and something slick and deep and rotting settles over the ambition flower in her chest. A blurry face looks around the side of the beast and she almost throws her sword away and submits at the sight of it. Destan has spent every day of his life since he’s met her, telling her that she was going to be remembered among all the best people but when she sees that blurry face, the word hubris is branded on her brain. She retches on to the grass and no one calls her divine for it. It leaves an ache between her shoulder blades, a sting.

Did that shadow look wholly normal to you? I’m having trouble seeing who’s causing it. 

Rivin paints her portrait on the wall when she’s eighteen.  He’s crimson, just like her, but a little softer, a little more likely to be doused. 

Adoni is crying in the painting. She doesn’t remember crying when Destan took her hand for the first time. Was she? It’s not like it matters now but it feeds the irregular thing in her chest. She kisses her own fingers and presses them against Rivin’s palm. He smiles, looks like he’s a little lost, but that’s okay, as long as he’s here.

Adoni is nineteen and Rivin isn’t here anymore. She’s taken to breaking things at the mention of his name and Destan flinches whenever she makes sudden movements towards him. Water keeps sluicing off him. Dripping from the fringe of his hair, his ears, his fingertips. Adoni’s eyes have turned coal black. She blinks and fire bursts to life behind her eyelids. It hurts to cry now but Rivin would have wanted her to. The tear tracks leave marks, scratches down her skin.

Heroes don’t cry but that’s never been said about tyrants. 

The volcano glows like some sort of unholy beacon and it twists a smile on her face. She’s standing at the rim of it, hands all grubby and body all loose and wavy. The flower of ambition has choked to death inside her rib cage and it’s rotten petals tickle her bones. Something pushes her, a shadow, and she tips forward like Destan off of all those sea cliffs. This heat, she likes it very much. This heat, makes her call it home. 

“It’s still all going due course,” he whispers to the ashen sky, “your name is being scribbled in the history books with blistered fingers as we speak.”


See History
  • September 22, 2019 - 2:18pm (Now Viewing)

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  • jun lei

    i came back to reread this for the third time. it's the sort of gorgeous that never grows old. i adore how you portray the character of adoni, and how she grows, so beautifully. and you've written the sort of agony that aches, the sort of beauty that burns and blisters.

    "Adoni comes into the world with starburst skin and burgundy hair." i loved this line because it was so simple, just a description, but it's so beautiful as well, and burgundy was such a gorgeous word to use.
    "She’s not meant for running a household while being swallowed by a white sheet." i love how "swallowed by a white sheet" implies that as a bride, she'd only be playing dress-up, it'd be a costume and nothing more, or that she's a ghost, the way so many children wear a sheet on halloween when pretending to be a ghost.
    "She’s meant for the heat from the earth, and for blanched leather boots and for dragon teeth." stunning imagery and good foreshadowing! "blanched leather boots and dragon teeth" is such a badass vibe. also v hot.
    '“Magma veins,” he murmurs. “You’d bleed lava.”' i can't quite put a finger on what i love so much about this, just that it's a flawless line.
    "Adoni is crying in the painting." simultaneously so simple and so painful.
    "Adoni’s eyes have turned coal black. She blinks and fire bursts to life behind her eyelids. It hurts to cry now but Rivin would have wanted her to. The tear tracks leave marks, scratches down her skin." where to begin? at the "adoni's eyes have turned coal black?" so gorgeous, beautifully portraying agony, and dare i say...anger? emptiness? a sort of wild and lonely ache? and the way she "blinks and bursts to life behind her eyelids," jesus christ that was just...flawless.
    i'm sorry. it's the only word i can use to describe this piece. flawless.

    6 months ago
  • inanutshell

    hi, thanks for letting me know! i actually really like this, your descriptions definitely stand out here. they're both enchanting & engaging, makes me wanna keep reading. love how you've described Adoni's character development as well, "flower of ambition" is so clever. will try to read more!

    6 months ago
  • jun lei

    writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/155523/version/304532 <3

    10 months ago
  • Wicked!

    Okay so I just stumbled on your series (?) and now I'm freaking out because it's truly beautiful and I want to read more of it but it's almost midnight here and I have my exams going on and I'm supposed to be studying but I think that I'm just going to binge read your pieces.

    11 months ago
  • rainandsonder

    whoa! this has to be one of my favorite of your pieces, every word feels etched into my skin and burning, but in a good way. your writing is so so vivid and real! your descriptions and word choice are amazing, the way you bring your characters to life, like a wizard animating a clay army to life. i love it so much!

    over 1 year ago
  • Anha

    september highlights have gone live!

    over 1 year ago
  • r|A|i|N

    your writing never fails to amaze

    over 1 year ago
  • Anha

    uhh uhh uhh, i love her??? i love this??? i love... you??? god, this is incredible. definitely going in my bookmarks and on my september highlights; honestly, you've outdone yourself. and i'm so glad you have. i love all your children so much, and with every piece you write about them, i love them even more. seconding weirdo's comment because i couldn't have said it more simply myself. (sappho too.) if you ever make this into a novel series (which you totally should. even though i love these character studies more than is healthy; it expresses things that can't be exposited in a long-form narrative.) pLEASE make me your beta reader. i'd be more than happy to help you guide these characters to a glorious destiny. (or not. it doesn't seem like adoni is very happy in the end.) (i still love her though.)

    over 1 year ago
  • jaii

    how the heck do you do this?! words cannot describe how beautiful this is. just wow. sometimes i read one of your pieces and think "wow. nothing can ever be better than this." then, i read another one of your pieces and realize i am horribly mistaken because your writing just gets better and better.

    over 1 year ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    oh my god this is so crazy gorgeous i physically cannot cope with how incredible your writing is oh my GOD wow

    over 1 year ago