The castle, usually so vibrant and full of life, was dark and silent in the light of early dawn. The only sound in the cold stone halls was a steady dripping, echoing like a thunderclap through the silent air. Allow, for a moment, your perspective to fly to the Great Hall, a giant room in which the entire history of the Harjani Empire was laid out in beautiful tapestries that covered the walls. But as the amber sun rose it revealed the tapestries to have acquired a small addition over the long night. Blood, ruby red in the sun of early morning, saturated the entire room, marring the beautiful history of a proud people with their own lifeblood. The bodies, stripped of all useful materials, had been chopped up and stored for whatever vile purposes their enemies had decided upon.
Their opponents themselves also merit closer observation, for they are too tall to be elves, too graceful to be human, and had the strength of many dwarves. They were expert swordsmen, as the carnage around them proved, but several of the bodies were not mutilated with the sword. They were crushed to almost nothing, blasted across the decorated walls, or just lying on the ground with giant holes where their brains had been ripped out of their heads. These bodies were untouched by the processing that their comrades had undergone. Indeed they were treated with respect, as their souls would be painfully purged in the Abyss before they were to be sent to their final resting-place. For they had been touched with and killed by a force long thought dead on the continent of Ansalon, Death Magic. Only the most dark, deadly, and evil sorcerers ever even considered being a death mage, and even fewer were anywhere near capable of joining the ranks of that most vile vocation.
But the victorious warriors were not men, nor elves, nor dwarves, and certainly not halflings or kender. Nor were they satyrs, centaurs, dryads, or a plethora of other beings and beasts over all the continents. These creatures were spoken of in legends that had, up until now, been created to scare children into submission. These were shades, the most evil of all creatures ever to walk the face of Ansalon. Now listen for one of them, the leader by the way the rest looked at him, spoke. “Report, commander, and make it quick,” he said to another of his kind, an officer who had just finished processing the last of the Harjani soldiers. “Sir,” the commander responded, “the magi have cornered the remains of the Harjani Army in the Throne Room with their king. They have requested permission to blow the door and eliminate all inside.”
“Tell them they may do as they wish with the soldiers, but do not harm the monarch. We will need him broken, but alive for information. We will conquer one of the strongest countries in a night… if the rest of this pathetic world is this easy, they should be glad when we conquer them all. Now go tell the mages to blow that door all the way to the Abyss!”
“Sir.” The commander saluted and walked out of the room.
Shuriken the mage-wright was having a bad day. The country that he had pledged his life to defend was collapsing around his pointy, half-elven ears. He had used the last of his power to bind the door and felt like Atlas when the sky quit Atkins. This was probably because he had so little power. All mage-wrights usually did was enchant fishing boats and put wards on locks, not seal a door so that not even the most determined elephant could not break through. Sighing he began to meditate, to draw power from the air around him into himself. The King was sitting on his throne, and polishing the gleaming silver blade that was his birthright. Its true name is in Draconic, the language of the dragons, and unpronounceable but most commoners called it by its translation, Excalibur. Shuriken stood, slightly refreshed, and readied his own weapon. Shift-blades were looked down upon in Harjanu, probably due to their tendency to be used in the hands of mages, who were also looked down upon because of their ‘cowardly’ techniques. Shift-blades were weapons bonded to their wielders, an extension of their will. Shuriken concentrated, forcing the liquid power into the shape of a long sword. With a flick of the wrist it became a spear, another twitch and he held an axe. Shuriken retracted the weapon back into his hand and began to check the seal on the door.
Haram the Shadow-Sorcerer was having a good day. He had just received word that he was allowed to destroy the pitiful ward on this door and kill all inside, except for the moronic monarch who had lost his entire realm over the course of a single night. He began to chant a soft monologue that slowly began to rise to a crescendo. “Shark kull hast toeth. Shark kull hast toeth. Shark kull hast toeth! ” The door shivered, warped, and then just… wasn’t. Haram laughed and stepped inside, a ball of flame emerging from his hand at the knight who was sleeping guard at the door. The knight exploded, causing the sorcerer to raise a shield to protect himself from the resulting shrapnel. The Harjani ruler started at the sudden intrusion but quickly recovered. He raised a glowing weapon in one hand and used the other to hurl a lightning bolt from a ring on his finger. Haram easily warded the feeble spell but was amazed at the presence of the gleaming blade. It was a celestial blade, fashioned in the forges of the Archons, enforcers of justice. It was a blessed weapon and held a terrible bane for dark things like the shades. Haram weighed his options, most of them ending in sacred doom. He turned and began to run when he suddenly felt a flux in the threads of power. He threw out his senses and cursed his carelessness. A mage! With a word he raised his shield but to no avail. A great fist slammed into his stomach throwing him into the darkness of oblivion.
Shuriken stood over his fallen adversary, raised his weapon to smite him and…
The beginings of my next masterpeice...
Prologue: A warning
Through these writings of mine I hope to provide some clarity to the events of that most fateful time in our glorious history, the Twilight Wars. This is not a glamorous story by any means. If you come looking for a tale of glorious heros who do the right things for the right reasons all the time, a story where light is good and dark is bad, everything is hot or cold and arranged like the ends of a magnet with no middle ground, then you shall not find it here. In these recollections of mine you will find that sometimes darkness is simply a way to shield your eyes from the light . . .
Chapter 1: Food Chain
If you remember, there are two kinds of sentient beings, those of shadow( dark elves, gnomes, and dwarves, to name a few) and those of light(High and Sun elves, as well as some races of [lesser] angel). It is very easy to associate these values with Good and Evil; however I would warn against it, as that would be in direct contradiction to the evidence. There was a war long ago, before humanity set foot on Torreon. It was called the War of Blazes, and for a very good reason. The technical beginning was with a few skirmishes between the High and Dark elves within the Auroch, a desert considered something of a no-mans land by both nations, casualties were kept to a minimum and very few died. Suddenly the two sides remembered the reason for their long continued bickering. The Dark elves were formerly slaves to the High Elves before they staged a revolt and fled to Dwarven caverns. Things escalated quickly and by year’s end the fighting was escalated to catastrophic proportions with hundreds dying each day. Finally, a mutual ally, the angels, stepped in and demanded a truce be signed before the other races became involved. The High Elves, or Aerín, agreed and sent a group of representatives to Dol-soch, a Dark Elf (Drow) city near the Aerin border. The treatise was supposedly being watched by the angels; however an especially charismatic Blaze (a mage that deals exclusively with fire magic) convinced the angelic contingent to allow a Sun Elf squadron to take their place(Blazes’ are almost exclusively Sun Elves, or Shanhedrein, due to their affinity to heat) Unfortunately the Aerín were not content with a compromise to a “lesser” race. They conspired with the Shanhedrein and a plot was hatched. Everything went according to the angel’s plan until the Aerin emperor went to sign the deceleration of peace. At his signal the platoon of Blazes inside the walls set the town ablaze. The flaunted magic shield that prevented the enemy from penetrating their ramparts during the war was bottling the heat, effectively cooking the population of Dol-soch. Those who escaped were slaughtered by an Aerin army that had been waiting nearby. The massacre of Dol-soch took the war to a genocidal level fo both sides. The angels stepped in again, this time more forcefully. The next nation to facilitate hostilities would be systematically obliterated. Both nations were allowed to keep armies of 800,000 soldiers to defend their borders.
Hey, just so people know, since it was such a resounding success here a couple of months back (read: two people even read it), I've posted my book-in-progress Shattered
up at FictionPress. If anyone would like to critique it for me, I'd appreciate it. I'm only up to Chapter 2 and the Prologue, but the Prologue especially is quite long. There's more written, what's there is just what I happen to have already typed up.
Awesome avatar by potatocubed.
Last edited by Mr._Blinky : 07-09-2007 at 02:04 AM.
Hmm. Mess around with the inevitable formatting loss for the entire story, or just provide a single URL that solves all my problems? You decide.
As for a synopsis? Sure, but I need to provide you with three. One for the story itself, one for the world, and one for how it all came to be (Egotism, yo)
How It Began:
The original desire to write something like Estra and the beginnings of the ideas that formed the world within it formed in my mind several years ago, after a friend of mine stated on a forum several things he was especially sick of in fictional stories. I read his post, churned out a short story based on what came to mind later that evening (Specifically, a story where I tried to avoid or do the opposite of the cliches he had mentioned), uploaded it to FictionPress and promptly forgot all about it.
A few weeks later, perhaps a couple of months later, in fact, and I found myself bored with fanfiction. I just couldn't bring myself to try and write characters who weren't mine anymore, and so I looked around my mind for something to write about. A little voice chirped up, reminding me of that thing I had bunged on FP, and I went back to have a look at it.
It was absolute rubbish, but I must have thought that there was something salvageable about it, because I went back to basics, redesigned the whole thing, and came out with the idea of writing a prequel of sorts, that would last up until the point where that short would kick in, then hopefully I would have more of an idea of what to do with it. Time passed, and by the time I got back to where I had been before, the entire thing had changed.
Characters were different, concepts were different, locations were different. In the end, I kept planning and planning, writing and writing. Currently, I have written one-tenth of what I had planned up until about a week or two ago, when I suddenly had ideas that would expand the entire thing rampantly, and take it in directions that, previously, I would have dismissed as madness. The specifics are in the World Synopsis.
What I currently have written is the foundations of the world from which I can expand, and this first 'book' (I use the term loosely) seems more quasi-science/history lesson than story. A lot of the 'rules' that govern the world are laid down in it, and mentions are made of some of the political and armed forces that could shape and remake my world in their own image. Starting from this building block of a first book, I shall continue to add characters, locations, situations, plots, history and the occasional science lesson as time goes by. The world itself is currently undergoing a lot of evolution in my mind and on my notes, as I am experimenting with drastic changes in a lot of things, most specifically a shift in the dominant force from magic to technology.
The First Book: As stated previously, the first book is more a foundation than anything else. It serves as an introduction to several key characters, mentions several others, visits important locations and gives the reader a lot of information about certain concepts, as well as a good deal of history about certain events and other things. It is primarily a fantasy story, and it does contain Orcs, Troglodytes and a casual mention of Gnomes and Dwarves.
However, it is also an attempt on my part to showcase protagonists who are caught up in events that they do not understand, have little or no ability to influence, and who are just trying to stay alive from day to day. I have also attempted to insert a little humour (But hopefully nothing forced), since a completely serious life is a boring life.
ALSO, it is an attempt to change what magic would be like and how it would be received, were it not so much a mysterious force that saves the day and that is never bound by any laws, rules or need for explanation, as perhaps a more mundane and approachable thing, explained and quantified by our (As humans, it would seem) need to understand everything and use logic and rational thinking when dealing with the unknown.
The Eleventh Book: Yes, you read that right. Although I have the basic plot and whatnot for books two through to ten written down, typed up and also present in my mind, I chose to skip ahead to book eleven. This is partially because I was having a slight headache with a certain issue near the start of book two, and partially because I wanted to try something different. And so, I chose to set this book in the future. Far in the future, in fact. How far? I haven't quite decided yet. All that I have worked out for this book so far is that magic is no longer the dominant force on the planet, and has been fading away slowly after some important events near the end of the tenth book (Trust me, it should make more sense than what you must be thinking, reading this).
With magic no longer the dominant force (Akin to our electricity), a desperate need for a replacement arose, and technology quickly became hailed as a possible saviour. Necessity comes before invention, after all. While I do not have a specific time period for when the story is set in my world, I do know that technology has become an incredible thing, evolving to replace magic in all ways possible. While magic in the primary series of books was possible for quite a lot of the populace (But not all, for reasons that I think I explained in the middle of the first book), technology could be used by all. All they needed to do was learn how to use it.
I am looking forward to reading some of the other submissions when I can spare more time later on tonight, as well.
The Traveller is the first part of a short story I have been working on to try and improve my skills, all starring the little guy featured in my Avatar.
I like to think I'm my own worst critic, so go ahead and prove me wrong!
Bear in mind that this story isn't really going anywhere at the moment - not even I know what happens next - so comments directed at my writing and pacing would be appreciated, as I'll freely admit the actual plot is a bit thin on the ground.
Both might contain extremely mild language, aside from that? Just ideas.
I wrote this about a year ago. A few people seemed to like it. I wrote it in about three feverish hours of inspiration.
How the Devil Lost his Job
The nighttime air held a stillness to it; the wind did not blow and the sky was clear. The putrid stench of urban decay hung to this little corner of West Brook, Pennsylvania; it crept out of the pores of the city and clung to any who came within this little corner of hell. Roddy had long since grown used to the smell, for it pervaded his being and corrupted his essence, and decayed him from the inside. He ambled across the street carefully weaving out of the way of filthy puddles of what he hoped contained water, though this was not a guarantee in West Brook Pennsylvania.
Wearily he looked about the shabby, rundown buildings looking for a potential destination of his wanderings, and like a moth to flame he followed the burning, flashing neon glow of a partially lit sign. Only three letters out of the much larger name held a steady illumination, a D, an I, and a S. Through the dirty window a soft yellow glow poured out into the street; a flashing sign sat in the window, reading, “bar”. Roddy, looked at the ground and pushed in the creaking door of the establishment and slowly stepped inside. The smell of stale beer and vomit assaulted his senses.
There were several booths filled with patrons, none of which looked up to acknowledge his presence so enthralled as they were by drinks; they all seemed to be thinking of the good old days of bygone years, drowning their self pity and misery. Roddy felt that he was in good company in such a place, for he had his own demons to drown. He scanned the rest of the bar; filth covered everything. Roddy mused that this place might have been hospitable earlier in its life, but the tables now were blackened with age. They were obviously quite luxurious at one time; some of them had visible detailed carvings and the hardwood chairs held brass studs on the sides. An ornate mirror stood behind the bar; it was remarkably clear of the filth that pervaded the rested of the room.
Roddy looked in the mirror, trying to imagine himself without the worn, faded trench coat and stained white drab shirt and jeans. His shoes were riddled with holes, and his face had a forlorn quality, craggy skin and dead eyes. In the past his hair had been red though at this time it looked more gray and greasy. He tried to imagine himself with a suit and tie along with a full head of red hair; this vision flashed before his eyes and faded back to his own dismal reality.
He sighed wistfully and carefully stepped forward eyes fixed on the hardwood floor, careful to watch for the dangers that lurked in a place such as this, passed out drunks, puddles, or rats. The bar was empty, and Roddy took a seat on a cushioned stool; a spring pressed into his posterior and stuffing fell off onto the floor. The grizzled man behind the counter was tall and wide sporting a bald head, a perpetual scowl, and a gut hanging out of his shirt. He was wiping a dirty glass with a dirty towel and Roddy mused which of the two items was actually getting dirtier.
“Whiskey,” Roddy said, speaking in the rough growl of an old smoker and old drinker. The barman dropped a glass filled with whiskey on the counter and went back to wiping his dirty glass with his dirty rag. Roddy took his place among his fellows staring into their glasses, becoming lost in memories.
Behind him he heard the creaking door open and close followed by heavy footfalls on the hardwood. The stranger’s steps got closer and Roddy glanced behind himself. The newcomer was an ancient and decrepit man; he had on a dark red shirt and a pair of patched muddy jeans. His face was of incalculable age, barely any wisps of hair clung to his head, his nose was bulbous and red like the nose of a long time drunk, and his black eyes were yellow and bloodshot. The old man took a seat next to Roddy and without prompt the bartender dropped a glass of gin front of him.
Many minutes passed as both men sat silently, staring at their respective glasses. The old man then spoke in a soft, quiet voice, “Kid, buy me a drink, and I’ll tell you a secret.”
Roddy looked at him for a moment, the old man continued to stare at his drink without acknowledging the stare, Roddy shrugged and motioned, “Give him another of what he’s having,” his curiosity piqued. The barman dropped another gin in front of the stranger with a grunt. The old man continued to stare at his new glass and said quietly, “The secret is that I get free drinks.”
Roddy gaped at the man and squinted, “So you’re just telling me that I got you a drink when you can just as easily get yourself a free one, that’s no goddamned secret.”
The old man cackled, “Well who the hell else knows it?”
“The bartender for one, and I’ll bet you screw plenty of people out of drinks with that gag,” Roddy replied.
“Oh, right, well, how about I tell you another?” The old man said with a fiendish grin.
Roddy shrugged and the old man continued in a whisper, “I’m the most hated person of all time.”
Roddy snapped, “No you’re a crazy fool, that’s what you are, and I can see why.”
The old man cackled merrily, “Alright son no need to get hostile, I’ll get you a free drink if you tell me about yourself. How about it?”
Roddy snorted, “Fine, whatever, you old fool, but there’s not much to tell.”
The stranger waved at the bartender who was eavesdropping and had already started pouring the glass. Then he turned back to Roddy and grinned a full toothy grin, “So what’s your story, boy?”
Roddy glared and began, “Name’s Rod Collins, but everyone’s always called me Roddy, hell if I know why, I used to run Empire Steel before it went under because some Chinamen could do it for cheaper, and I’ll admit they did a better job. I lost everything else to the wife who divorced me three years ago, and my kids hate me. I’ve been living on whiskey and cups of dehydrated noodles for two years now. Happy idiot?”
The old man mused, “Just so you know, I didn’t have anything to do with that.”
Roddy glared, “Good thing too, ‘cause I’d beat you to hell if you did.”
The old man gave another cackle and smiled, “Tell you what kid, if you start buying me the drinks I’ll tell you whatever you want to know about me.”
Roddy thought, “What the hell.”
“What the hell,” he said waving the barman, who was already in motion, to pour more drinks for the old man.
Staring right at Roddy the stranger began, “Name’s Luc’a’Fere, no it’s not French, I also lost my job recently to a group who did it for less and did better work.”
The old man stopped and drained his glass, “Well, why do you get free drinks then?” Roddy asked.
“Eh? Ah, well I used to own this place; I kept better care of it mind you, but I had to sell it when I lost my job; I sold it for free drinks.”
“Well, what did you do for work when you lost your job?” Roddy enquired, interested in the crazy old man.
“I did quite a few things actually,” Luc’a’Fere replied.
Roddy ordered more drinks, “How old are you Mr. Luc’a’Fere?”
Luc thought for a moment, spinning his grubby hand around the edge of the glass from which he drank, “I have no idea son, older than dirt, of that I’m sure.”
Roddy persisted, “You said you’re the most hated person in history, why’s that? From what I’ve seen you’re just an annoying old fool. What’d you do? Kill Kennedy?”
Luc’a’Fere snorted indignantly, “I had nothing to do with that fiasco I assure you. I spent a good twenty years prepping that Kennedy boy, having him assassinated by old LB put a considerable dent in my plans. Ironically enough, Vietnam was worse than what I had in mind.”
Roddy ordered another round of drinks for the crazy old man, “I don’t suppose you can prove any of this, can you?
“I told you I lost my job, or else I would be happy to show you young man,” Luc explained,” But you’ll just have to take my word for it, I got nothing to prove like I used to. I’m washed up, out, done. Now, back in the day, I’d cover you in sores to prove my point. Job, now he was a good sport about it, nowadays all people do is whine and cry, then get a vaccination when they get smallpox.”
Roddy gaped at him, slowly asking, “You tellin’ me that you’re-”
The old man smirked and finished the question, “The Devil?, Satan?, Lucifer?, Prince of Lies? , Raging Lion?, The Beast?, Prince of Darkness?, Lord of this World?, Beelzebub?, The Lord of Flies?, Abandon?, The One They Call the Dragon?, Adversary?, The Serpent?, Morning Star?, The Lord of Light?, Spawn of Darkness?, Angel of Light?” He laughed, “Now I’m just Luc’a’Fere, most of those are titles that I no longer have, but yes, I am or was The Devil. Now, I’m sure I know what you’re thinking, where are the hooves? Where are the cape and the pitchfork, and do I have horns? You know what? I haven’t chewed on Cassius, Brutus, or Judas either; you humans get some queer ideas about me.”
“Bull,” Roddy stated, ordering the old man another round nonetheless.
“The truth you want? All I have now is a reputation for causing all the world’s problems.”
Roddy grinned, “So why’d you lose your job then?”
The devil looked at him, and began to rant, “Humans! Humans don’t need me anymore; you know I’m not responsible for hardly anything anymore? Most of your problems are caused by each other, and I have nothing to do with them! Why do you need a devil, when you have humans going around committing genocide without my influence?”
“So Hitler,” Roddy began, “and what he did, you didn’t influence that?”
Satan snorted, “Me? Bah, I could have gotten in on that early on, but I decided not to waste my time. I honestly didn’t think anyone would buy that racial purity crap.”
“What about The Black Plague then, was that you??”
“Guilty” Satan Admitted
“You kidding? This place was doing great in the twenties, almost had to shut it down when the stock market crashed.”
“Just the first occasion, then the humans took over it from there.”
“World War Two?”
“No, but the first one was me.”
“The Spanish Inquisition?”
“You kidding? I was taking notes from that, learned quite a bit. Those crazy bastards were pros.”
“The Bush Administration?”
The Devil paused and grew a slight shade of pink, “Well, about that, you see. I rigged the first election.”
“I knew it!” Roddy exclaimed, “For Bush?”
“Well no, that’s the thing, I rigged it for Gore. Yet somehow Bush won, poetic irony for you, eh? That’s the one that did me in. It was supposed to be my big come back. After Rock and Roll-”
Roddy interjected, “So Rock really was of the devil?”
“Originally yes it was, but my holdings were bought out by conglomerates that made even fouler music than I could.”
They both grew silent. Roddy ordered another round for Satan. Then Roddy furrowed his brows and turned to the devil, “You’re not after my soul are you?”
The devil laughed heartily, “No Monsieur Bon Bon I am not going to pull a Faust and take your soul, not that it’s a bad soul mind you, well it is, but that’s beside the point. I’m out of the soul trade.”
Roddy sighed, “So what will you do now?”
The devil sighed as well, “I don’t know, I guess I really am just outdated. Who needs the Prince of Darkness to cause mayhem when humans are so much more original about making each other’s lives hell? Who needs Lucifer when you have the atom bomb, who needs the Prince of Lies when you are all merrily killing off your environment? I just got too old for the job; you hear the crap that passes for music today? I thought swing was devilish enough, but no, you humans have to out do me every time.”
“Sa-,” Roddy began slowly, “If you lost your job, where’s hell?”
The devil smirked sadly, “Look around you we’re in hell right now, those behind you? They’re the damned. Who needs a separate hell when you all have made yourselves a perfectly fine one up here?”
The devil sighed wistfully, “Well, it’s been nice talking to you son, thanks for the drinks; I better get going.” Luc’a’Fere got up to leave and began to walk out the of the bar.
Roddy turned to him and shouted at his back, “Wait! What about God?”
Luc kept his back to Roddy and replied, “What about him?”
“Does he exist, will he save us?”
The devil turned his head to Roddy and flashed a fiendish grin.
“God is dead son, you think he still wants anything to do with this place? He’s not too long for this world either anymore.” The devil gave a cold chuckle, “My advice? You all have to make the best of your situation without looking to Him.” The devil stamps his foot on the ground, “This is real. This is your own responsibility. Make the best of it.”
With that Satan walked out of the bar named Dis, leaving behind the souls of the damned.
And a poem, one of my favorites. A few lines are still give me the grumbles, you can probably tell which. I got inspired by a friend telling me about a friend who received a few rubber bullets in the bum during a demonstration. I also received a lot of inspiration from the Skinny Puppy song Tin Omen, the opening lines are very similar.
The Peace March
The truncheon smash
Face bashed inward,
Flow of gray gas,
Bloodshot rosy eyes
Two cries come forth:
One for the end
The second for
The end of their
In a girl’s thigh,
From the crowd comes,
Glass smash, sprouting
Sizzle and cook the
Two groups aflame:
One with passion
The others from a
Boot heels grind up
Broken bodies of
The truncheon man,
Gets a knife in
Ground and smashed.
Catches knifer in
Peace signs abandoned,
Under the bodies
Charred and beaten
Cinder Block flies
Window breaks the
A car overturned
Too chaotic, too
Many dead, a trade;
Rubber to lead
In those with ideas
Tis’ all over now
War protested and
Who’s the winner?
Nor those with ideas
The only winner,
Last edited by Semidi : 07-31-2007 at 01:16 AM.
Reason: Ug. Grammar good no.
For anyone that's a writer, new or experienced, you may be interested in my new (well, remade - the old version died off due to lack of promoting, which is why I'm posting here xD) writing website. It's a members only site, so your work will only be visable to other registered members (we're aiming for about 15 active membrs). This helps to keep your work private and protected while still giving you the ability to receive group feedback. If you're interested, check out:
A sword flashed and a streak of pure golden light raced across Erika’s vision. Her guard, or what she could see of him, was fighting a creature seemingly formed completely of a solid black mist, occasionally giving off sharp scratching sounds. The creature howled in anger. It raised up one of its hands and the mist swirled, forming into a spike, no longer mist but a piece of sharp deadly metal that plunged through the guard’s chest, spearing his heart on the end.
The creature stopped and stood up, drawing to its full height. Erika guessed that it must be near nine feet tall. It sniffed, smouldering green eyes appearing as it fixed on her scent.
The mist swirled again, but this time all over, as the creature changed into a wolf-like shape, but far bigger than any wolf that had ever lived. The mouth of the wolf creature opened showing countless rows of sharp jagged teeth, dripping a dark red liquid that Erika instinctively knew was blood. She tried to run away but the ground softened and warped, letting her feet sink through and then sealing up again. She was stuck. The creature was playing with her. Its large slimy forked tongue licked her cheek and she felt a burning pain where it touched. Its mouth opened and it approached.
Erika closed her eyes, not wanting to see her own death and waited. A blazing light filled her closed eyes. She heard a hideous bestial roar, a loud sickly bubbling sound and the cold metallic sound of a sword being sheathed. A familiar voice filled her ears “Are you alright?” It asked. Erika looked up into the eyes of her saviour, into her own eyes, and woke up.
* * * * * * * * *
Erika Álvaro was, at 17, a slender Hispanic teenager with dark almond shaped eyes and long dark brown hair. Her father, Eusebio, was the owner of one of the biggest toy companies in the country and made sure that Erika had always had whatever she wanted and, as a result, she hardly knew how to do anything for herself, until a few years ago. But now, she was capable and looking forward to moving out.
Erika wiped her eyes. Images of the ‘Mist Creature’ still burned into her head. She put a hand against her cheek, a long thin welt had appeared that ended in a fork.
Walking into the kitchen, she opened a cupboard and made herself a bowl of cereal. She ate it in her normal way, eating all the cereal first then leaving the milk until it soaked up all the flavour. She was just about to start the milk when it started to ripple, waves appeared in it as if a stone had been dropped into the centre. With one large ripple, the milk instantly stilled and changed colour, becoming a dark green then, suddenly, white again with a swirling black fog emerging from the middle of the bowl. A swirling black fog with two points of glowing green. Erika jumped back, knocking the bowl off the table and smashing it onto the floor, milk spilling everywhere. Erika cautiously swept the remains of the bowl up and put them in the bin, she rubbed her temples vigorously telling herself it was only a dream, but she knew that she couldn’t convince herself.
Erika looked at the calendar and her face paled “What’s the matter Chica?” Her mother, Siliva Álvaro, said.
“I’m not sure, it just says ‘Erika, Test’ AND I HAVEN’T STUDIED FOR ANYTHING!!”
“Hush Eri… Don’t worry, whatever it is it’ll be fine… though your last report wasn’t the promising …”
“Sorry Eri, look, just try your best”
Erika looked down at her own feet mopingly. She knew her mother was right, it was her second year at college, and although she always got top marks, her last report was all C’s and D’s, a fact she had never understood.
* * * * * * * * *
Erika took the same route every morning to the bus stop, a ten minute walk that never seemed worth the hot sweaty overcrowded bus. However she stuck rigidly to her daily routine. Today was the same as usual, on the bus she struggled to find enough space to breath and felt like a mouse in a hole.
Through the whole journey she felt a presence in her head, like another being and a thought continuously running through her head I’m here to protect you…She shrugged it off and climbed off the bus. Usually she was the only person to get off at this stop but, today, another teenager got off as well. A tall broad shouldered youth with shoulder length electric blue hair and mirrored sunglasses. He wore a tight black T-shirt, a white leather jacket with some military patches sewn onto it and a pair of faded blue jeans.
As he walked past her he uttered “I’m here to protect you” and promptly turned a corner. Erika ran over to him only to find he had disappeared and a Polaroid photo was left in his place.
It showed a row of trees following a long country road flanked by fields on both sides “Ralph Tote Lane” Erika said the name, as it was a spell, calmly while giving the words a sense of power. She wasn’t sure whether it was intuition or just idiocy but she decided that this was worth skipping one day of college for and boarded the bus she knew would take her to the lane.
* * * * * * * * *
When she arrived she saw the youth waiting for her at the crossroads that marked the beginning of Ralph Tote Lane.
“How did you…. Never mind that, why am I here? And who are you?” Erika asked anxiously.
He answered her, though the voice seemed to be coming from the air itself rather than from him “To tell you who I am would take years but, if you must know my position, I am known as the 47586237th Knight of the Golden Crystal. My true name has been lost for centuries, millennia even, but when not known by my title I am called Mukesh.”
He paused “And why you are here? It is to save yourself from what will happen. Maybe not soon, maybe not ever, if things do not follow one path, but the greater chance is, that it will. And now, it is my turn for a question. Haven’t you ever wondered why this place is named after someone who never existed?”
“No, rearrange the letters”
“A help trot?, Petal Thor?, Hat Let Pro!!!”
“Oh” Erika said meekly.
“It is a portal that leads into random holes in time-space that open periodically. Go into the first one you see and take this” Mukesh handed her a longsword, in a scabbard, stylised like a feather “You may need it Lakshmi”
She took the sword “Why did you call me that?”
“She was a goddess of luck and prosperity in my homeland”
“I hope it rubs off” replied Erika.
* * * * * * * * *
Erika stood at the entrance of the road, trembling. Not because of the cold, but because she, Erika Álvaro, was about to go to future, or a future that may never happen, and change it. She had little time to think as a blazing white ring appeared in the air. Gulping she stepped into it and saw a dark skinned, long haired young woman being approached by a wolf-shaped black creature. She silently unsheathed the sword and walked up to the beast, raised the sword and plunged it into the creature’s head. The creature let out a vicious roar and started rolling around the ground, dissolving with a sickly bubbling sound. Erika loudly sheathed her sword. She turned around and saw the body of Mukesh dead on the floor with a hole through his chest, his heart lying a few feet away. She walked over to the woman, who opened her eyes, and Erika asked her “Are you alright?”
She looked into the victim’s eyes, into her own eyes and collapsed.
I bid goodbye my humble friends in back,
The raspb'rry truck I crawl into again,
Resuming previous weeks' well-driven track,
Another four and twenty miles to gain;
The golden lights aback of me remind,
And light the road's smooth curves I've yet to go,
The lines and asphalt I've long left behind,
Untot'llable times since many months ago;
Though soon to reach the quietude of home,
And all the humble comforts of my room,
The morrow's tired necessity is known,
And soon the Race again I must resume;
Red taillights in my sight beg I forbear:
"Boy, whom are you racing? and to where?"
I like my job. And that's a blessing. But no matter how much you like your job, you're bound to feel the monotony of it every now and then. For me, it's not in the work but in the commute. I actually composed this about the trip home, on my trip home tonight, and it was somewhat different in my head then (and somewhat better, I think), but I delayed in recording it and I couldn't think straight because my brother refuses to turn down the TV in the next room. I any case, this is in Shakespearian sonnet form (Three quatrains terminating in a couplet: abab cdcd efef gg) and I did my best to keep it in iambic pentameter.
I don't like poetry. I don't like reading it and I don't like writing it. But I do what the little voice tells me.
Glorious Chaiman Kaga avatar by the impeccable Kalirush!
This content of this post is actually copied and pasted from another thread called "Watch it grow and then collapse" under "Silly Message Board Games." The setting is Koboldville, this small community full of kobolds (of course), plus a few other humanoids. Although they rely on swords and sorcery, Koboldville has many of the trappings of modern-day life: hence the presence of TV cameras in this post.
This story doesn't make a lot of sense outside the context of Koboldville, but I've decided to post it here because I put a lot of work into it and thought, 'What the hell.'" If I were writing it as its own story, I would shift the setting to be a 1950s-era community. But I would also have to completely dump the "live reporting" aspect of the story.
Anyways, this thing takes about 20 minutes to read, if you have the patience. Warning: it does get a little gory.
At the Dawn of A New World
"We now interrupt your regularly-scheduled programming. We shall now bring you a special report on the strange and terrifying appearance of the building known as 'The World of Tomorrow.'"
A kobold TV announcer appears on the screen, wearing a bad toupee. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Krik, and welcome to a special edition of Koboldville News. First, a warning: some of the things you hear and see tonight are graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised."
Part 1: Worlds Collide
"Our topic of discussion is the silver dome known as The World of Tomorrow, which appeared on the outskirts of Koboldville approximately one week ago. As you already know, eyewitnesses at the hot dog stand across the street felt a tremendous wind pick up, followed by a blinding flash of light. Anything flammable within a hundred feet of the point of origin immediately burst into flame, including the hot dog cart."
A kobold with severe burns on his face appears on screen. "It was so bright … I couldn't see for at least two minutes, but I could feel the flames … I started rolling on the ground … I could hear screaming in the background … and then when I could see again, there was this huge dome, with a shiny surface that reflected the light … I, I just couldn't believe it."
The announcer re-appears and continues talking. "After ambulances showed up to transport the 12 on-scene eyewitnesses to hospital, local militia members cordoned off the area to prevent spectators. A crowd of spectators quickly gathered, but the militia were able to keep civilians back from the site."
"The building resembles a dome approximately one kilometre (a half-mile) in diameter. It appears to be fahsioned entirely of silver, though local scholars have now determined the dome is actually made of an alloy unknown to our modern science. At one side are a pair of metal doors."
"Above the doors are a series of large red letters, each the size of an average kobold, spelling out several words in the human's Common language. In the middle of these letters is a large red object about three feet in length with white stripes on its side. Scholars have now determined from studying the long cylindrical object that is called a 'rocket,' though what purpose this rocket serves is unknown to us."
"Together, these words read: The World of Tomorrow.'"
Part 2: War of the Worlds
Krik takes on a grim tone. "About two hours after the appearance of the building, local militia rounded up a small squad of about six high-level warriors and magic-users to enter the building. Approximately five minutes after doing so, the screams of the party could be heard from inside, along with high-pitch squeals and buzzing noises."
"Militia members attempted to move bystanders away from the scene as quickly as possible, but it was too late. Suddenly, six beings resembling iron golems exited the dome, each approximately eight feet tall and with smooth metal skin. They moved in a jerky fashion and had glowing red slits that we can only assume were their eyes. Some carried strange weapons that emitted beams of energy that could pierce right through a person's body; others had sharp circular blades at the ends of their arms that spun and tore cruelly into flesh. They attacked the crowd, killing an estimated 61 kobold civilians, including 10 humans, dwarves and goblins that were also on scene."
"Militia members fought the golem-like creatures. The battle was ferocious and resulted in at least 30 more deaths. Several buildings were also set aflame. We now present you footage taken by one of our cameramen, Yikyik, before he was killed by the creatures. We at Koboldville News regret his passing."
The picture cuts to scenes of an apartment building in flames, and kobolds running in panic along the street. Shouting and screams can be heard in the background. The view shifts to a large metallic being, a moment before the camera is dropped and fuzz fills the screen.
"Greater casualties were only prevented by the appearance of the dwarven warrior Sam, owner of the Short Stool tavern, whose warhammer seemed especially damaging to the creatures. Also, a half-orc druid named Halvor, who was passing through Koboldville and happened upon the slaughter, manipulated the weather to cause lightning bolts, which struck one creature dead. This tipped off other militia members to use crushing weapons and electricity, which quickly turned the tide of battle."
A kobold wearing scorched armour and a bandage over one eye appears on the screen, and is identified as Meep, captain of the kobold militia.
"These things were tough. Blades did practically nothing to them, and they didn't seem to breath, so poison gas or choking spells did nothing to them. Cold didn't do much. Fire was a little better, but they would spring these hoses out of their chests that sprayed this weird foam to put out flames. And they were strong! One of these things, it knocked off a tree by running into it! With another, we knocked its weapon out of its hands, and it pulled poor Marpo in half, it did."
The announcer returns. "After the creatures were defeated and the blazes were extinguished, another party was assembled to investigate the building and possibly rescue any wounded warriors who survived the initial assault. They were accompanied by a TV crew from Koboldville News, and we will now show you footage from inside the World of Tomorrow."
Part 3: The World is Hollow
The camera points at a group of kobold warriors and wizards, led by Sam the dwarf and Halvor the druid, as they stand outside the dome. Sam is the first to walk up to the building, cautiously pushing open the doors and going inside. A moment passes before he shouts back "All clear."
The lobby of the dome is the same as the outside — all full of smooth, shiny reflectives surfaces. Light comes from squares of glass protruding in certain spots along the wall. There are two more exits from the room, one an open corridor and the other a large set of metal doors, about 12 feet high.
In the middle of the floor are four of the dead kobold warriors, lying in a pool of blood, burned and slashed by the same weapons as used on the spectators outside.
But they are not the only bodies here. Off to one side are three skeletons, approximately the size of humans. Their flesh is completely gone, but it appears they were killed by the same beams of energy used by the golems, as their bones are scorched. One is small like a human child, and the other two appear to be adults. They are huddled together, holding on to each other as though they died in fear.
They lie at the base of the feet of a statue of another human. It is not made of metal or wood but of a hard substance that is smooth to the touch, and the statue is painted. It depicts a human male wearing a puffy white suit suit with a glass globe tucked under one arm and a flag with stars and stripes in the other hand. He is standing on the surface of a sphere pock-marked with craters. At the bottom is a placard that says, "Welcome to the World of Tomorrow — Looking to the Future of Us All!."
Suddenly, there is a noise.
Everyone wheels around to see another strange golem-like creature enter the room from the corridor. This one, however, is much smaller, standing only three feet high. It has no legs, but moves forward on wheels; its arms are tiny and incredibly thin, ending in spider-like fingers. Also unlike the creatures outside, it has no face has a featureless yellow circle with two black dots for eyes and a thick black smile.
"Welcome to the World of Tomorrow, a special feature of the 1978 World's Fair! This exhibit is sponsored by Cybus Industries. I am your Tour Guide. Would you like a tour?"
Its voice is metallic but cheerful and pleasant. The words seemingly come from a small silver box where the creature's throat should be.
The group lowers their guard, as the creature seems to pose no threat. It says nothing more for the next few minutes as we silenty study, when it repeats the question, "Would you like a tour?"
A kobold wizard casts Detect Magic, but there is no Magic Mouth spell or any other enchantment in place that would allow the creature to speak. In fact, the creature is completely non-magical.
Questions to the creature are ignored. Sam repeatedly asks, "Who are you? Have you seen our comrades? Small creatures, like these?" He gestures to the corpses.
The creature is silent.
"Who are you, then?" he asks. "And who were the monsters who attacked Koboldville? Where did this place come from? Why is it here? Why was our town attacked?"
The creature does not answer, and only inquires, "Would you like a tour?"
Several minutes of back-and-forth questioning ensue, with the creature responding to any questions only with stony silence before asking its own question again.
At length, Halvor pulls Sam aside. “This creature seems to have few answers to give us. Perhaps if we follow it, we will be able to solve the mystery of this place,” Halvor whispers.
Sam nods, “Aye, but let’s be careful.”
Halvor steps forward, just as the creature asks again if the group would like a tour. "Yes … we would like a tour,” he answers.
A pinging noise comes from the box-creature, and it wheels around. "Then follow me, welcome guests, as we explore the world that is to come!" It then rolls toward the open corridor, stopping to wave a beckoning arm and say, "This way!"
Part 4: A Short History of the World
"First we shall visit the Hall of History!" The tour guide slowly leads the party into the corridor, which bends and turns a gradual corner.
On the walls are incredibly-detailed murals depicting humans in different scenes. Humans are seen at war, brandishing swords and strange long-shafted weapons. Humans are seen building cars and at the wheels of horseless carriages, also made of metal. Humans are seen gathered at what appear to be celebrations in the backyard of homes that are completely alien to the average kobold's eyes. They are all dressed strangely, and there are no other species, aside from animals, in the murals.
The last mural depicts a silver saucer-like shape in the night sky, seemingly made from the same material as the dome. There are no humans in this mural, only the saucer.
"As we know, the 20th century was a time of great change for the United States of America. In July 1947, an unidentified aircraft crashed near the community of Roswell, New Mexico. Although the United States military attempted to confiscate the aircraft, the crash occured directly besides the community of Roswell, and a crowd formed around the Roswell Disc, as we call it today. Local policemen and reporters were the first to enter the aircraft, discovering the bodies of two dead aliens inside. Though the government attempted to cover up the crash, too many people had already learned of its existence."
"We have never been able to determine where the aliens came from, but from that day on, the world has benefited greatly from the technological discoveries that were made within that saucer. Space travel had been accomplished by rockets in 1942, but by 1950, America was able to establish the first artificial satellite in space. Landing on the moon came a year later; we were on Mars by 1960."
"Computer technology evolved from large processing units that could only be fit in a small room to microchips that could fit on the head of a pin within two decades. Transportation relying on carbon-based fuels became virtually obsolete, and viable hover-transportation — once thought a fantasy — became widespread."
The creature continues listing off details of its strange world as the corridor bends, when the party suddenly spots the corpse of another kobold. This one is slumped forward, a smoking hole in his back. The creature keeps talking even as the party investigates the body, though it eventually stops.
"Continue, may I?"
Halvor the druid is the first to respond. "Yes, creature, continue."
It lets out another pinging sound, and the voice starts up again. "Most astounding, however, were the implications for entertainment. TVs were in every home in the world by 1955, and consumers had access to literally hundreds of channels via satellite. The Internet became widespread by 1960. The first portable video game console was released in 1957. Virtual reality was developed in 1967 — now jokingly dubbed the 'Summer of Love,' as the technology was pioneered and adopted throughout the world by the pornography industry."
The robot then turns to the group, including the cameraman. "But with so many entertainment options available to the public, modern man found himself with a conundrum: how does one find the time to indulge his desires after spending most of his waking hours doing chores or working? The answer: technology!"
The tour guide then turns and begins moving again. It stops again a portion of the corridor where the wall disappears, replaced by a sheet of transparent material. Inside, the party sees a field of corn.
Part 5: A Brave New World
"Cybus Industries, makers of the ever-popular ComCast and handheld Lightglo, present to you now a few looks at technological breakthroughs we may be seeing in the new future," says the creature.
The party looks through a "window" of transparent material to the scene inside. In it, a farmer, made of the same shiny substance as the statue in the lobby, stands with his back to several corn rows that also have an unnatural look to them; they are too small, for one, and some of the plant's leaves are white.
In the background, small metal creatures, suspended in mid-air by cords hanging from the ceiling, extend long metal "arms" to sheathe and collect his crop.
A wall along the back first shows a sunset, which by some strange illusion slowly shifts into late day, and then night. The kobolds murmur as they note placement of the stars, which are out of alignment, and the presence of only two moons in the sky.
The tour guide begins talking anew. "Advances in genetic engineering will soon effectively eliminate world famine, as farmers will be able to grow crops that are less reliant on soil conditions, meaning farmers anywhere in the world will be able to plant crops. Also, certain types of vegetables that are noxious to common pests like grasshoppers are now being tested by our sister company, SunCore. While this may affect certain bird populations, today's farmer will no longer worry about losing a portion of his yield to pests, and without relying on harmful chemicals!"
"But still, the farmer has to go harvest his crops, doesn't he? Now, thanks to leaps forward made by Cybus Industries, we have developed cost-effective harvester 'drones' that will be able to seed fields, spread liquid fertilizer and collect the crops when the growing season is over!"
The tour guide then rolls forward, stopping before another sheet of transparent material. This room shows a scene from what appears to be a house, with white-tiled floors and wooden counters. A human female and a human male, similar to the farmer in the last exhibit, sit at a nearby table.
A motionless metallic being, similar to the creatures from outside, stands at a full sink, washing dishes. it is smaller and more like. The party drives its weapons, but the creature seems non-threatening.
"If there's one kind of work we'd all like to eliminate, it's housework," the guide says. "We already rely on many forms of technology — dishwashers, stoves and so on — to shorten the workload, but it isn't enough. But thanks to Cybus Industries, we will soon each have our own personal butlers and maids in the Mark-1, a robot that will be able to perform simple chores like cooking food and mowing the lawn. Human beings will never have to 'find time' to clean the house again!"
"By 1990, we expect one of the Mark-1s in every home in America!" it says, before rolling forward.
The journey continues before many other scenes, each one depicting some new 'technological marvel' described by the robot. Suits that regulate temperature and recycle sweat. Cold fusion. Mechanical pets. Artificial dimensions. The use of nanotechnology in curing disease and its applications in plastic surgery. Colonizing a planet called ‘Mars.’
As they walk, the party notes dried blood splatters along the floor. In some places it is sparse; in others the floor is nearly red with it.
Bored with the ceaseless presentations, one "scene" shocks the party out of its complacency. As the metallic creature discusses the "obesity epidemic gripping the modern world," it stops before a room filled with charred human corpses. Many of them have been murdered in the same fashion as the humans in the lobby, and are stacked high in piles. All seem to have been rotting for years.
"… By actually consuming human fat, Slimfast bacteria will soon be diminishing waistlines across the country!" The robot continues.
"How did those people die?" one kobold asks, and is ignored.
The kobolds murmur, and Halvor offers up a prayer.
The creature stops again. "This is the second-last stop on the tour, folks, so prepare to be amazed. No cheesy dioramas in this display! If you look through that window," it says, extending a thin arm, "you will see a theoretical teleportation engine!"
Part 6: World War Machines
The party looks through, and sees an entire wall of meters and blinking lights. Its appearance is completely alien to the party. Sam the dwarf is the first to speak, asking, "What does it do?"
The tour guide chirps back, "The engine allows for the teleportation of non-living matter across great distances! Although scientists have not yet cracked the secret to transporting living creatures, they can successfully send inorganic objects and non-living organic matter hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye. The military applications sunder the imagination. Some say it will one day allow us to cross into new dimensions!"
"How big is it?" he asks, wearily.
"This model is so large it extends throughout the walls of the Tomorrow Dome itself!" the tour guide says, before rolling forward.
Suddenly, the corridor gives way to a set of metal doors. "And here is the final exhibit!" Its arms wave in a comical flourish, and it moves slightly off to the side, as though ushering the party through.
Sam steps forward, pushing open the doors. It opens to another large hall, where they see the remaining two kobold corpses, their bodies shorn into pieces.
The hall is otherwise empty, except for six large alcoves set into both walls that would fit the creatures from outside.
The tour guide rolls ahead of Sam and the kobolds, and begins another speech. "These are the Mark-2 'Guardian' models!" it says, sweeping one of its tiny hands.
"While the Mark-1 is built for housework, the Mark-2 models will be used for war! Too long has human blood been spilled in constant warfare. The proliferation of A-bombs were supposed to end war, but we only had more conflict! More battles! Vietnam, Afghanistan, India and Brazil! It never stopped!"
"But now, thanks to Cybus Industries, the blood of American soldiers will never have to be spilled again, thanks to the Mark-2s! Each unit is the equivalent of a small battalion of soliders, and will soon be deployed by the fields of battle as early as 1985! We will soon no longer need to have a military; the Mark-2s will wage war for us!"
"And that is the tour. You may exit back into the lobby through those doors! Thank you for visiting the World of Tomorrow!" the guide says, pointing to a door in the corner.
Bewildered, Sam asks, "So, all these people died … for what?"
"Thank you for visiting the World of Tomorrow!" it repeats.
He shouts, "Who built those things that killed all our people? Who built those metal monsters? Who made the Mark-2s?"
Another ping sound came from the Tour Guide. “Cybus Industries was the original manufacturer of the Mark-2s. The models in this museum were strictly for display only. However, as per the instructions of the curator, I restored them to act as security guards to protect the museum.”
Halvor spoke up. “From who, creature? Protect the museum from who?”
“From vandals, of course!” it chimed. “After the fall of New York, hundreds of vandals cloistered at the World’s Fair seeking refuge. The curator insisted the museum be protected at all costs!”
“And where is this curator now? And how did this place come here?”
"Thank you for visiting the World of Tomorrow!" the tour guide says.
“HOW DID YOU GET HERE, MACHINE?!” Sam shouts, his face turning red.
“Thank you for visiting the World of Tomorrow!”
Enraged, Sam raises his warhammer and brings it down on the tour guide, smashing the smiley-face in two and sending sparks flying. He brings down again and again, until there is nothing left but circuits.
Part 7: The End of the World
The scene flips back to Krik, wearing a disturbed and bewildered expression. After a moment's pause, he says, "Ladies … and gentlemen, that concludes our broadcast. Clearly, we have seen some … strange things here tonight. Hopefully, in the days to come, we will be able to make sense of what we have seen."
“As we know now, after the Tour Guide was destroyed, an alarm sounded and the party was attacked by large metal arms extending down from the ceiling. The arms fired energy beams at the party, killing Halvor the druid. The others were able to escape by immediately exiting into the lobby, although several of the kobold militia members were badly injured.”
"We will have more to report as they come in. I shall remind viewers that civilians are not allowed within the zone designated 'Ground Zero' around the World of Tomorrow. Anyone seen attempting to enter the World of Tomorrow will be arrested."
"We now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming. Good night."
Here's a little poem I just wrote. It's all-new, hasn't gone through any revisions yet. I know there have got to be flaws, I haven't written anything in a long time, but the part about the maggots just popped into my head and I started writing...
and after it happened there was silence, the silence that muffles and strangulates, that places it’s hold on the world and never lets go
and for the first time he was at peace
standing looking at the wreckage with pride and horror
watching the maggots go in and out of the eye sockets and forming a loop like Jormungandr of old
but unlike the world-serpent this cycle has an end, when the flesh will begin to rot away and the maggots will do the rest, taking the face to oblivion with them, ever voracious and insatiable
and Death looked over his work and for the first time in years a quite toothy smile split his face
and he called his steed to him
it’s nostrils overflowing with the fires of hell, eager to take him to his next destruction
death and the six-legged horse rode off
and silence gripped the ruins forever
It was getting a bit goth there, so I kinda worked to off-set it in stanzas 6 and 8. Please, be brutally honest with me. If I'm going to get back into writing I need some criticism.
EDIT: Oh yeah! And any thoughts for a title would be nice. Right now I've got silence, but there must be something better.
Jaime avatar by the talented and quick Magioth.
Currently Reading: There are no Children Here
Me by Serpentine, who is awesome. Jon Snow by Ceika. Dany by the awesome Simius.
Last edited by Dr._Weird : 08-19-2007 at 06:47 PM.
Welcome and take a look at Glimpses of Eden, a new chapter-by-chapter high-fantasy story written by my good friend Rhiannon Marie. She's often far too busy with writing to post her chapters, so I'm the one who manages that. Thanks in advance for all the great comments about this new great story. Chapters one and two already posted.
Last edited by MafiaPenguin : 08-28-2007 at 08:31 PM.
The Adventures of Tom and Darien is a fantasy/adventure/quest thing that trieds not to take itself too seriously. I'm on Part 8 of whoknowshowmany (it's relatively new) and will be adding new parts as often as I can as well as improving the rest of the site. I also have an artist! Pictures pending.....
All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost......
Last edited by JenBee : 09-05-2007 at 11:42 AM.
Reason: spelling error
Wrote a poem the other day. It was originally written in French. I'm afraid it doesn't translate really well. The poem has more depth and lyricism in the original. A lot of wordplay is lost and in French it, y'know, rhymes. The title is Youth.
Sleeping late, his papa must
Go back and forth, nervously,
Finally he dresses the child for school
While the little one is still and doesn't dream
Afterwards, he slips away with booze
And for a long time is somewhat burdened
Later, his mother wishes
To kiss his mouth, to calm
Feverish reds, and to die laughing
At his shyness when he sits at the table
Over breakfast, she explains
That it was her unbeatable good luck charm
Sleeping late, his dreams no longer belong to him
Later, an obedient class takes a trip
To see the ocean for the first time
Back and forth, the airy waves
Back and forth, like the knee of his father
Who had one last drink before dying
The sea salt does not make his nostrils swell
The echoes of gulls fade away at his ears.
No unbound horizon, no unparalleled grey
He sees only the face of papa in the seascape
And without knowing why, feels regret
Papa was a sailor, burial at sea off Brest
Many times he approaches the pier
But it is still invisible to him.
He throws shining sand
Into the water that hides the memory of a young body
And he does not recall ...
There are no librettos to save him!
No sweeping knowledge, no mawkish riparian
The timorous hind of Venus will terrify
Until a few nosy comments
On the subject of feminine first blood
To an old lady (already in sixth grade!)
She takes (so gentle) his ears
And guides him all the way
To the notch with the scent that awakens primitive sadness
Where his head, still wandering beneath her pleats
Startling her like a fawn, he sobs
And finally goes out to sea.
Here's a link to my one and only finished story longer then a few lines!
I know it needs some polishing still, but I'm simply too lazy to fix it right now. It's a horror story in a fantasy setting. Please read and comment! I love to hear what people think of it! Thanx!
this is a WIP, part of a series I'm penning for a school paper
Twelve Gates Part I:
The grating screech of the gate closing could be heard the length of High Street. Anyone leaving their houses this late would see a darkened, thin figure cloaked in both clothing and shadows. The smoky haze gifted by the torches lit along the street did little to show the stranger to her destination, but it was enough. Her gait left nary a sound in her wake, even over the loosened cobblestones which formed the side street she traversed. She turned left and gazed through the dimness to look upon a building. The establishment was made of wood, and looked in immediate danger of collapse. The door was made of a different wood, and looked as if it had been battered of its hinges regularly. Above it hung a sign, nearly unnoticeable at the hour; The Basilisk’s Tongue.
She slipped into the smoky den of Lakeport’s underside like a snake through a crack in a foundation. Pipe smoke and muttered conversations filled the air. This was truly a place where anything could be found, sought or no; information, riches, enemies, a knife in the dark. She slid onto a barstool, her cloak pulled tightly around her, her head tilted down. She ordered a goblet of wine in a hushed tone as the men beside her chatted animatedly. Apparently, a shipment of some kind had gone missing en route. She sipped her cheap wine without complaint. It had been weeks since she had been in a dwelling of any kind. She had almost forgotten what it felt like to not know the bitter embrace of the autumn wind and the suffocating protection of mother night.
Hours passed to the steady pounding of rain against the roof. It astounded her how the roof managed not to leak. The serenity of the den was soon interrupted by new patrons; a handful of greasy-looking, unwashed dwarves. The man leading them in appeared to be slightly older, streaks of gray accentuating his long, onyx hair and intricately plaited beard. The few inches of skin visible on his face were marred by a deep scar running from his right eye to the tip of his squashed nose. The scorched leather garb he wore was positively ancient, clinking as he strode inside, betraying the presence of his mail shirt. His followers, most likely his kin, were similarly dressed. ‘Probably forge workers’, she thought.
Her eyes followed the dwarves as they made their way across the tavern, usurping a table occupied by a dark haired man in solid gray, his face plain, but deeply immersed in thought. She watched as the dwarves raised their voices raucously as they attempted to bully the man out of his table. Apparently, they didn’t foresee the immediate consequences of their actions; The man kicked over the table, pinning two of the dwarves as he rose, his right hook catching another of the dwarves on the nose, stunning him.
A faint glimpse of crimson could be seen as the man rose, and all eyes turned to it, some men casting frightened glances to the door, others groping at their belts for knives. Whispers circled the room, as if part of a collective shudder; speculation to who the man in gray was, or rather, what he was.
The two pinned dwarves resigned themselves finally as the stranger squared off against their leader. The last dwarf rolled up his sleeve, revealing his right fist was enclosed in a gauntlet. The burnished steel gleamed in the candle light as he rushed the human, uttering a feral shriek as he dove forward. The human sidestepped, but took a blow in the chest for his efforts. As they fell, the hem of the strange man’s cloak rose, revealing a scarlet doublet. Tension in the tavern drew taut; many attempted to discretely leave and failed. The color and cut of the concealed garment revealed the man was an officer of the Crimson Guard, the empire’s elite soldiers. Xanalia stayed put, watching the man with newfound interest as she considered her options; she could leave in the crowd, but if this was a setup, she’d be processed with the rest of these petty criminals. The alternative…
A poem I came up with earlier this week while I was working at my coal forge in the backyard:
The Blacksmith's Prayer
Let me not be made of gold,
My only worth in beauty.
Nor cast me out of silver,
My strength found in impurity.
Make me not from copper,
To bend at the slightest touch.
Even iron, though sturdy,
Must yield to time and rust.
From steel let me be fashioned,
And forged strong and true,
And folded by experience
That I might be of use.
Last edited by Youngblood : 09-26-2007 at 03:38 AM.
For anyone interested in a bit of alt-history, my Sins of the Fathers is a history book style AAR with the basic premise being a Vatican led Risorgimento - ie 19th C Italian unification - that leads to the Rise and Fall of Papal Italy. It may not be narrative but personally I feel that this is some of the best writing that I've done.
The Omnians were a God-fearing people. They had a great deal to fear. -Terry Pratchett
I attempted to write a novel. Actually its finished on paper, I should finish typing it. Its about a group of misfit teens thrown into a war against a tyrant over a small section of Rural Canada.
Any ways read it, don't read it, love it, hate it, talk about it, compliment it's writer do what you will with the link to the first six chapters of it.
Dogs of War A story I've just started writing. Ordinarily I would wait until done or well into it before posting, but it's a rather long story so I need to decide whether to go forward with it. Criticize (please) and tell me what you think.
And I am OUT.
How many signatures would a Tim have if a Tim could have a signature? Answer? None yet.