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Chapter 16. Write a Novel Challenge.

Chapter 16. Write a Novel Challenge.

by Vincent Dela CruzJune 21, 2020

Neina let go of his arm, confused. Always here?

“Who are you?”

The man didn’t answer. He took a step back and looked at her, as if examining her person. He smiled.

She stared at him- for some reason, she felt like she’d seen him before. He kept on smiling.

A thought.

Why did it seem so familiar?

She was broken out of her trance by her doppelganger, who, she noticed, started walking away from the two of them. Its steps seemed sure of itself, barely feeling the unevenness of the cobblestone path. Neina stepped back from the man, away from him and his smile. That smile, why does it bring me comfort?

Turning around, she made to catch up with what seemed to be herself, escaping the frightening sense of comfort. From the corner of her eye, she noticed the man disappear, leaving nothing but his argyle scarf. She shook her head, picking up her pace. One mystery at a time.

The figure moved gracefully compared to Neina, its heels making a soft click each time they met stone. Abruptly, the clicking stopped, and it stood, rooted in place. Neina stumbled, her step a lot less confident than the figure’s. The combination of her heels and the uneven ground caused her to lose balance, her left ankle rolling as it lodged itself between two stones. She reached outwards in desperation, begging to find something she could balance herself on. She readied herself to grip onto the figure’s shoulders.

A gasp.

The doppelganger spun around in extraordinary speed, watching as Neina fell to the ground. She crumbled onto the floor, her hands falling through its body, shimmering as they sliced through what should have been something. She looked up at it as it stood over her, towered over her.

The air turned heavy, its thickness suffocating. Every step she took was a chore, as if the world around her were slowly seeping her energy away until she would be nothing more than a hollow shell, indiscernible from the doppelganger before her.

“What are you?” she asked, her voice dry and raspy. It tilted its head, a sickening grin sprawling across its face.

“I am you,” it said, moving even closer to her. “I am what you will become.”

It crouched down, levelling its eyes with Neina’s. A cold shriek of laughter erupted from it, the sound filling the emptiness of the cobblestone path. Neina shuffled backwards, her ankle bruised from her fall. The creature followed her slowly, its knees bent in inhumane angles. She felt her back press against a wall, an invisible barrier in the otherwise sprawling nothingness of this realm. Her doppelganger inched closer, its eyes piercing into hers. Silence encompassed her being, her shaky breaths rendered into nothingness. She closed her eyes, preparing herself for the worst. I’m sorry, everyone. Her mind retreated into itself, her body slowing to a still. I’ve failed you. Her eyes shut.

Write a Novel Challenge illustration showing a mysterious man wearing an argyl scarf appearing out of a yellow sky


A booming voice cut through the deafening silence, a bright yellow glow filling the darkness she stared into. Her eyes shot open, trying to focus on the source of the voice.

Argyle scarf guy?

She watched as the man from just minutes ago planted himself between her and the creature. A radiant wall of light flared from the ground in front of him, his hands manipulating the barrier of pure energy. He turned his head, his arms evidently struggling to maintain the wall.

“Go,” he said, nodding to the chasm opening, “I’ll meet you there.”

She scrambled up, her ankle somehow healed from its bruising, and made for the chasm. The ground shook as she approached it, and she risked a glance backwards. The thing that once resembled herself had grown into a creature of gargantuan proportions. It slammed itself onto the barrier, shrieking each time it met the wall of pure energy.

The man caught her gaze, shaking his head,

“Just go,” he yelled, “there’s nothing you can do now.”

Neina nodded back to him, turning to face the chasm opening. She took a deep breath, collecting herself. One last time, she looked back at the man. Only then did she seem to understand what he was, who he was. It was her turn to smile, facing her back to him once again.  She faced the never-ending chasm.

Ryder, Quinn.

She planted one foot into the void.

Thank you, boys.

She plummeted.

© and 2020. All rights reserved.

For further information on the Write a Novel Challenge by and, please click here

To read Chapter 1, click here.

To read Chapter 2, click here.

To read Chapter 3, click here.

To read Chapter 4, click here.

To read Chapter 5, click here.

To read Chapter 6, click here.

To read Chapter 7, click here.

To read Chapter 8, click here.

To read Chapter 9, click here.

To read Chapter 10, click here.

To read Chapter 11, click here.

To read Chapter 12, click here.

To read Chapter 13, click here.

To read Chapter 14, click here.

To read Chapter 15, Click here.

For further information on the Universal American School of Dubai, click here

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About The Author
Vincent Dela Cruz
Jon Vincent Dela Cruz is 15 years old, Filipino and a Year 11 student at the Universal American School of Dubai. He writes: "With what the last author gave me, I thought I’d introduce a new possible leading character- argyle scarf guy. I also tried to tie in the previous themes from earlier chapters regarding her past, so I added a little plot twist involving Quinn and Ryder. From reading all the previous writing, I grew a sort of attachment to Neina, and I hope that the next writer can tie everything together and improve her story even more!"

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