Peer Review by HelpMe512 (United States)

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There's always something | #champion

By: .amelia.


FREE WRITING

Every 25 years, the Heathens would always send their youngest grandson to cast a ribbon into the ocean.

Merlock never really drew a connection between the custom, and the health and longevity it promised for centuries. But for the sake of his family, he honoured it.
So, when the privilege was bestowed upon Merlock, he received the it without objection.

He was the son of the youngest uncle. Everyone knew old Lady Heathens would plant that silver ribbon into Merlock's open palm.

Still, the family had smiled and appluaded politely. His parents in particular, were bursting with pride.

The only one who didn't, was his younger sister.

That ribbon is mine. Meredith told him across the room with her unsettling glare.

Merlock couldn't think of anything to reply her. He pretended to inspect the glossy ribbon, instead.

It was not that Merlock hated his sibling.

Weeks before the occasion, he searched for anyone who would side the idea of Meredith casting the ribbon. Alas, not even his parents considered the idea.

"Merlock dear," Mrs Heathens hugged her son. "We love your sister but she cannot do the casting."

"Why not?" He tore away from her.

"Son, this isn't the kind of thing we mess with." His father gently patted him on the head.

"Your uncle and I used to argue about this all the time. He'd get mad and stop talking to me. But he understood in the end. Just like how Meredith will."

"Father, that's different." Merlock stated flatly.

He left his parents by the fireplace feeling like he stepped out of a cold shower.

And now, as he looked at his sister's stoic eyes, Merlock felt the same chilly feeling all over again.

It's just waking up at night to throw a ribbon over the cliff. He assured himself. There was nothing for Meredith to be jealous about.

But something caught his attention.

He was doing it alone...

The perfect idea sprung into his mind.



Before the siblings went to bed, Merlock caught her along the spiral staircase.

"You're going with me." He whispered.

Meredith stopped climbing. She looked squarely into his faded grey eyes.

"I'm going alone, or not at all."

"Really? Aren't you a little curious?"

"I made my stand, Merlock." She snapped.

"You're curious. I knew it."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are."

"I'm not."

"You are."

Meredith stormed up the stairs in her wrinkly blue nightgown.

"C'mon Meredith, don't you wanna see what happens?" Merlock teased.

The furious girl whipped around.

"So what if I want to come, brother? Will I owe you something? Will you sell me out to Mother and Father?" She snarled. "There's always something when it comes to you."

"This isn't the spoon incident, sister. There's no one against you. I promise."

Her eyes widened a little and her lips parted slightly before resuming her guarded scowl.

"You promise?"

"Yes."

"It's settled then." She declared. "I'll meet you in the backyard."

Merlock nodded eagerly and watch her sweep up the remaining stairs in twos and threes.



The boy couldn't sleep. His eyes were wide open when the alarm clock rang at 11.15pm. 

Restlessly, Merlock put on a shirt and pants and snatched up the very tangled ribbon before he got out.

The whole manor was absolutely silent. Usually filled with the chatter of his relatives, it was odd to see the place shaded in dark blue and starved of the slightest signs of life.

He lit the lantern his parents set by the fireplace and slipped out through the back door.

Meredith was waiting for him under the apple tree.

"Forgot about me, brother dear?" She rubbed her tired eyes.

"Let's go." He beckoned with the lamp.

On the way to the cliff, their words fell silent to the thunderous crash of waves and the faint hiss of strong wind.

But Meredith broke the tension.

"Did you see that?" She shouted over din.

"See what?" Merlock yelled back.

"Those...things."

"There are no such thing as monsters, sister."

To prove his point, Merlock casted the lamp over the dark path they just passed. He could've sworn a shadow shifted among the bushes.

"Like I said, there's nothing." He convinced the both of them.

"Whatever you say, brother." Meredith shrugged but followed him closer.



It wasn't long before they reached the cliff.

By the pocketwatch Meredith brought, it was a while before Merlock was expected back. So, the siblings sat at the edge, with their limbs kept behind the metal railings.

They watched the waves charging to the rocks and exploding into sea foam. The moon and stars hanging in the sky stared right back when they looked.

"You know," Merlock waited for his sister to peel her eyes away from the sky.

"I think you should do the honours." He pulled out the tangled ribbon from his pocket. "It matters to you more."

Meredith looked at him skeptically.

"Really?"

"Yes, sister. Take it before I change my mind."

Her face was illuminated with a smile.

"Thanks."

Merlock smiled back.

She took the ribbon, unraveling the knots and ironing out its wrinkles till it became a strip of silver once more.

"The wind stopped." She commented when she finished.

Merlock lifted his eyes from the ribbon. 

Sure enough, the cliff was suddenly quiet. The air was still. The ocean was nothing more than a calm expanse.

"Strange..." He stood to admire the sudden tranquility.

"I've seen stranger things." Meredith hoisted herself up.

"And, if you don't mind, I'm going to throw the ribbon now."

Merlock shrugged.

"Go ahead."

He looked as she daintily flung the ribbon over by the tip.

But just as she let go, the ribbon vanished. In it's place was a showers of silver sparks hovering in the air.

"What...?" The girl froze, before her face melted into anger.

"Merlock, you told me there was NOTHING." Meredith's fury escalated.

"This is not me, I swear." He backed away from her.

"You-"

She never got the rest of the words out.

From the bushes, a figure in black swept out and tackled her to the ground.

1016 words

My three words were ribbon, ocean and clock. For #champion

Thanks for reading!

Peer Review

This is really good! As always, your description is amazing, and I really felt like I was there. Nice work! I also liked the cliffhanger, and I really wanted to read more.


I noticed that you sometimes put periods when there should be commas in dialogue. Even if it's ending a sentence, there should be a comma if something else comes after it.


Reviewer Comments

Congrats!