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Flash Fiction Marathon 2

Flash Fiction Contest OTC Marathon

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77 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Velox

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Posted Jun 27 2013 - 11:08 PM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Posted Image[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Flash Fiction Marathon[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;][[/color][color=#000000;]Bionicle Topic[/color][color=#000000;] :: Entries Index][/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]With the success of last year's Flash Fiction Marathon, here we are again with another one! Once again, you are to run a marathon. A marathon of short stories, or, more appropriately, flash fiction pieces. For the next ten days there will be ten themes. Five will be OTC-themed, and five will be Bionicle-themed.Sound like something you’re interested in? Then make sure you read the following:[/color][/font] 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Contest Rules and Important Information[/color][/font]

  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Each entry MUST be under 750 words in length. This is flash fiction.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]One new theme will be given out each night. Each theme will be given out around Midnight, EST, every night for 10 days[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]The contests will alternate between BIONICLE and OTC. The first contest will be BIONICLE, the second will be OTC, then going back to Bionicle and so on.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]OTC entries are not allowed to be Bionicle. That's what the Bionicle themes are for.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]For each theme, contestants will have 48 hours to enter – so, if it’s a Bionicle theme, you will have until the next Bionicle theme is announced (as there will be a OTC theme in between there) to enter your story; the themes will overlap.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]After the 48-hour entry period, the entries will be placed in a poll for you – yes, you! – to decide the winner for the day. At the end of all 10, the 10 winners will be pooled together and judged by judges for a final prize.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]It is very likely that an extra prize will be given for those who enter all 10 challenges, both OTC and Bionicle.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]If you are going to post your stories, do so in the correct forum; OTC stories belong in OTC, Bionicle stories belong in the Short Stories section of the Library.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]All entries must adhere to BZPower's rules and guidelines.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Your story must be new and never before posted on BZP. You can certainly have been working on your entry before this, but it must be posted on BZP after the start of the contest for it to be eligible.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Keep it PG-13-ish appropriate. So no overly gory descriptions, excessive violence, sexual content, inappropriate content, et cetera.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]You cannot edit your entry once that theme's entry period is over. So if you post your story on the first day, you have another whole day to edit. If you post your entry last minute, you will not have much time to edit. The polls will be going up the night that the theme ends.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]If your story is not posted in this topic with the correct format, your entry will not be entered into the contest.[/color][/font]
  • [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Do not use unnecessary formatting -- see more in the "How to Enter" section.[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]----------------------------------------------------[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]How To Enter:[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]There will be two main topics, one for Bionicle ([/color][color=#000000;]here[/color][color=#000000;]) and one in OTC (this one); make sure you post your entry in the right one. If you are entering a Bionicle theme, post in the Bionicle topic, not this one.[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]To enter, please use this form:Member Name:Theme:Word Count:Story:[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]NOTE:[/color] Do NOT link to your story. It is fine if you wish to post it on BZPower, but for entering this contest, we ask that you post your story in this topic. Thanks!Furthermore, do NOT have any unnecessary coding when entering your stories. This means no color, no signoffs, no indents, etc. You may use italics, underline, etc. if it’s used for the body of your story, but please leave your posts as bare possible. If you have a pre-set posting style, just know that the story will be removed of its formatting. [/font] 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]----------------------------------------------------[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]And so, without further ado, I present to you:[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Theme #10:[/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Posted ImageArt To Fiction[/font]Write a story that the above image would be an illustration for. The above scene must occur in your story, but beyond that it fair game. Remember that this is an OTC theme, and your story must comply with the contest rules.Deadline: July 7th, 11:59 PM PST.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Previous Themes:[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Theme #2: Bones[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Theme #4: Character Story[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Theme #6: The Mask[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Theme #8: Glass[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]----------------------------------------------------[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]It is our honor and pleasure to host yet another contest for you. We wish you all the best of luck, and hope we receive as many entries as possible![/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Your hosts,[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000000;]Andrew ([/color][color=#000000;]Velox[/color][color=#000000;])John ([/color][color=#000000;]55555[/color][color=#000000;])[/color][/font]


Edited by Velox, Jul 06 2013 - 02:36 AM.

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#2 Online 55555

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Posted Jun 27 2013 - 11:17 PM

Theme #2:Posted Image Any interpretation is valid. Remember that this is an OTC theme, and your story must comply with the contest rules.Deadline: June 29th, 11:59 PM EST.


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#3 Offline badabababa obesity

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Posted Jun 28 2013 - 12:47 AM

Member name: Shuhei HisagiTheme: BonesWord count: 577Story: BonesThey say society is nothing without its leaders. They say any given community is simply a pen of fools with those governing it. But what if the leaders become a disease? A plague to the people's body? What if the government is merely the skin of its people, a useless pile of flesh without the bones to fill it? A small town in south Georgia had decided to shed this skin before it destroyed them.It was dead midnight, some time in winter. Two cousins stood outside a barn, both clearly upset. The bigger one held an axe in his hand, the other a shovel. They spoke in hushed tones, as if there were phantoms watching them who couldn't be allowed to hear what they were saying. If one got closer, they'd see the axe-bearing man was not only upset, but outraged."I told you, Sal, they've gone too far this time.""We can't do anything about it," said Sal, distraught blatant in his face."It was my father, Sal! Your uncle! Our kin!""I know that, Gabe. But we can't very well do anything, can we?"Gabe was the bigger of the two cousins, but Sal was much stronger. Gabe looked down at him, fury in his eyes. "They killed him, Sal. In cold blood. We both know he didn't do nothing to deserve it, either." "Look Gabe, you have to face facts. They's the police, we's the farmers. If they kill our kin, we can't do nothing but keep it to ourselves, 'less we want to end up the same as him." "I know something we can do," he patted his axe, a bead of sweat sliding down his face despite the cold."Gabe...no.""Whatever!" Gabe turned and walked towards his truck, tossing his axe away, "it'll be one of us next, I'm telling you."Two months later"We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Sid Williams, a good man, and a faithful father..."It had been a slow death, they said. The electric chair had malfunctioned, they said, and he hadn't died for at least an hour and a half. Sal had given a speech for his father. He looked to Gabe, nodding, mouthing a single word:"Tonight."Later that day, they gathered, a group numbering around fifteen. They were going to make an example of a policeman. Only one. To them, the mindless carnage was inadequate. But they couldn't kill more than that- any more and the police would send a man hunt after them. This, of course, couldn't be allowed to happen.Most of them were armed with axes. Some were armed with spades. A few, shovels. This was all they needed. Once they reached the town, they stopped. One last chance to leave."Anyone who continues past this line is a marked man. We've all lost kin to the devil, but you may not fancy selling your soul to him. Anyone who wants to leave, leave."None did."Good, good."The break-in was quick. They shattered windows and alarms went off. Police rushed to the entrance, guns locked and loaded. The attack was pitiful. Gabe hadn't accounted for one thing: bullets.Sal's bones still sit outside the courthouse, a warning to all who think they can get away with trying to attack lawmen. In short, the bones do make up the body's structure....but the skin will always trap them inside.
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#4 Offline Naina

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 02:30 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,0);]Member name: Naina[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);]Theme: Bones[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);]Word count: 746[/color][/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,0);]Story:[/color][/font]

Hearts and Bones

 

In dreams, I live. Awake, I sleep. In life, faith and desires struggle but in dreams, it flourishes. There is no need for hope to spring eternal if it never dies.

Because she lives there in my dreams. Kathy. We walk the twilight gardens of my imagination. I love everything about her, the generous laughter born of her smiling mouth, the air of mystery that hangs around her at all times, coloring the wilderness of my life. She is perfection itself.

Katherine lives here in my life. My wife. I love her deeply. She has a kind heart but sickness kills her laughter. Her mystique is marred by mundane reality, the mountains we cannot cross.

I love her because Kathy lives in her. Because away from reality’s flaws, Katherine is flawless.

She is part of me and I am part of her. We have lived together for so long but it won’t be long now, I am afraid. Soon our relationship will be nothing but hearts and bones. Eternal love and timeless skeletons.

 

On the last leg of the journey They started a long time ago The arc of a love affair Rainbows in the high desert air Mountain passes slipping into stones Hearts and bones

 

“I feel so weak... I’m sorry we can’t go out like we planned.” Katherine shuddered, looking so terribly pale.

“Sweetheart, home with you is paradise.” I smiled at her, hoping she would smile back. I've always hated how worry twists her pretty features.

She didn't.

“I really wanted one last happy night for you to remember... Who knows how long we have?”

“We can still have one. Let’s light some candles and sit down to dinner. It’ll be romantic and we’ll save on electricity,” I said light-heartedly.

She laughed sadly.

“Kathy.” Didn't she know the most special anniversary was with her smiling, her ethereal splendor lighting up the evening? “Dinner with you is a delight, at home or in a fancy restaurant.”

“That’s sweet of you, Reeve, but since we have so little time left-”

“That makes dinner with you all the more special.”

She still sighed.

“Cheer up, beautiful.”

Her hand stole to her hair... the little that remained after the treatment. “How can you call me beautiful still?”

“Love, you’re always beautiful.” I understood her insecurity, the sorrow of a woman who had lost more than her health. I only wished she could be as confident as she once was... as confident as Kathy. I saw only the laughing girl I had first fallen in love with.

“You don’t see me,” Katherine said, pain in her voice. “You love only a memory.”

Her eyes filled, longing for love yet unable to accept it. She wanted so badly to be told that she looked beautiful and I loved her anyway. I loved Kathy. How could I tell her that the memory was who she was to me? My heart broke to see her so sad and thin, worn out from sickness and therapy. It was all I could do to hold Kathy's image in front of me. I couldn't love seeing Katherine in pain but I loved her, the girl I saw underneath. Loving her was all I could do to help.

 

The arc of a love affair Waiting to be restored You take two bodies and you twirl them into one Their hearts and their bones And they won't come undoneHearts and bones

 

I laid my forehead against hers, my hands twined around Kathy’s. She smiled, jewels glittering under her eyelashes.

“I love you.”

She smiled. “I know.”

I breathed out softly, reveling in her confidence in our relationship. Her vibrant spirit was my only solace in a world that was so tragically empty.

It had been two days since Katherine died. All I had left was Kathy and I clung to her.

“I’m sorry. I never wanted-”

“Take comfort, Reeve. I am still here.”

It was true. We could not be separated. I had imagined Kathy from the day the doctor gave us the death sentence, determined death would not do us apart. Each time I saw Katherine, every word she said – I stored the memories and Kathy grew, until she was Katherine. Katherine in all her beauty and joy, graceful even in sorrow.

We were part of each other. We always will be.

My bones will one day lie with Katherine but my heart will forever lie with Kathy, the girl who lives on.


Edited by Naina, Jun 29 2013 - 10:25 PM.

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~KH~

Posted Image

I'll take your part

When darkness comes

And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down


#5 Offline Velox

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 04:13 PM

Hey guys, only a little less than 7 hours to enter! 


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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#6 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 07:15 PM

[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Member Name: [font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Jon Osterman[/color][/font][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Theme: [font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Bones[/color][/font][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Word Count: [font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]739[/color][/font][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Story: [font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Lasting[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]-Lasting-[/font]

 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“In the end, all we are is a pile of bones, yellowed and tarnished by nature. Whatever personality we might have had, whatever achievements, impact, or difference we might have made, are, in time, forgotten. You’ll most likely only last a measly few years, seeing how even your corpse isn’t eternal,” he sneered, enjoying the rush of superiority that came with the words. “These are all very obvious truths, and yet they sadden you. Why? Is it because you have some bloated sense of pride, some sickeningly stubborn belief that suggests you actually matter? Your own little world, an insignificant dust mote at best, won’t even be bothered to remember you, and yet you expect the ever-growing universe to?” [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She nodded once. It was then that he realised that she, unlike so many others he had done this to, wasn’t sobbing uncontrollably. She wasn’t even quaking, and her eyes weren‘t even wet! In fact, to his great surprise (and amusement) there was a frighteningly large amount of passion and rage in her glorious hazel eyes. Stunned, he paused for a moment, and then recovered both his train of thought and his dignity. “If so, I will politely refrain from laughing. I am a gentle and polite being, but my kind is a rare one, so I wouldn’t expect such courtesy from others.”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The man finished, out of breath, the shadow of a smile at the corners of his lips. He found himself beginning to grin at her, as he had grinned at all the others, that harmless little school-boy grin that conveyed such an irresistible and mischievous charisma. It wouldn’t happen again; he wouldn’t allow it. He strode off into the darkness before his lips could stretch into a full smile.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]He reappeared a moment later, his expression now that of frustration. The alleyway he had believed to be the way to the town’s square was, in fact, a dead end. The girl was still standing there, with arms crossed and a cruelly satisfied smile on her lips. She was clearly enjoying this. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]He opened his mouth to continue their conversation, and then decided against it, striding down another alley.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]He returned to find her still standing there, the smug smile still visible. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“You seem awfully satisfied,” he said, his calm stare slowly seeming to melt into a glare.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“I am.”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]With a sneer, he tried again, walking down what had to be the alley he had used to arrive at his current destination. Once again, it was futile, for the light-studded steel walls merely ended with a wall of solid steel, completely uniform with the rest. It appeared that the city had decided it no longer wanted nightly walks. A quick check with his trusty tool revealed that it was indeed nothing more than a normal wall.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Undeterred by the impossible, he arrived once more at the three-way. Of course, she was still there, that smug smile plastered on her face, and her eyes burning with the fire of enjoyment born of his frustration. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“What are you smiling about?”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“You’re wrong. Those things you said; they’re all wrong,” she said confidently, though the gleam of satisfaction had faded from her gaze. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Oh?”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“I’m not going to die and just disappear,” she began, staring at him with the up most certainty. “I’ll be remembered. I’m going to do great things; wondrous things. They can bury me somewhere, but I’ll be a legend. I’ll live on in others’ hearts. My life won’t end with the resting of my bones, I can tell you that. I’ll live on forever, I’ll have left a mark,” she concluded, nodding once as if to confirm herself.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Is that so?”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Yeah, it is.”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]His smile had returned, but it now had widened into a smirk. “Well then, I see you’ve got an adventurous spirit. I don’t doubt you’ll do great things; I believe you’ll do extraordinary things.”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Somewhere, in the distance, a police siren began to wail.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Now, when do you plan to start living like this? Where is your legend going to start?”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]As the girl’s stern expression slowly dissolved into mischievous happiness, he spoke one final time.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Come along, my dear. We have a story to tell.”[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]And with that, they began to run, ignoring the dead ends, and never looking back. [/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]It was then that they began a legend that would be told, even when their bones were nothing but dust.  [/font]

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zKPS4TR.jpg


#7 Offline GSR

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 08:55 PM

[color=#000000;][font="'Trebuchet MS';"]Member name: GSRTheme: BonesWord count: 750Story: Happy Hour[/color][/font]   

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Happy Hour[/font]

 The bartender drew the glass from the faucet and slid the mug across the hardwood top to Kay.  “Here y’go, miss.  Enjoy it.” She took the glass wearily, took a sip, looked up, turned, spat, looked back, turned again, looked back again, looked down at the drink, looked up again.  She cleared her throat nervously and leaned forward.  “Um, excuse me.” “Somethin’ the matter with your drink, miss?” “Er, no.  No, it’s just that, um, well…” she coughed.  “You’re a skeleton now, and you weren’t fifteen seconds ago.” He nodded.  “That I am, miss.  That I am.”  His appropriately-bone-white hand plucked a rag off the back shelf and began to wipe down a spare mug with it, click-clack-click-clack-click-clack. She tried again.  “So, if I can ask… why are you a skeleton?” “Don’t much know m’self, miss.  Sometimes things just happen.”  He tapped a fingerbone on the stark-white china pate that was his forehead.  Was that what you would call it now? Maybe it was a forebone.  Kay didn’t know.  Kay really, really didn’t know. Her eyes flicked down to the mug still in front of her.  Oh no.  “Oh my god, you- you put some kind of drug in here, didn’t you-“ “Miss, it’s water.   You saw me fillin’ it with your own two eyes.  Plus, ain’t those your friends or coworkers or what have you over at the pool table? ‘Twouldn’t be much use for me to try anything when they’d jump down my throat the minute anything went funny.”  He tilted his head, raising an eyebrow that wasn’t there anymore.  “Plus – I may be nothin’ but bones, but that just ain’t right.”  “Okay.  Water then.  Right.”  She took a shuddering breath, closed her eyes, and counted to five.  One, two, three, four, don’tbeaskeletondon’tbeaskeletondon’tbea- Still a skeleton.  A kind of faint whimpering noise escaped her mouth.  The bartender shrugged.  “I am sorry about this.  It ain’t ever easy seein’ someone get turned into a stack a’ bones right in front of ya, I know.  But ‘twasn’t a thing I could do about it.  These things happen, y’know?” “No, no, no, I don’t know,” she said, her voice turning more than a little desperate.  “I don’t know that people turn into skeletons sometimes.  Are you dead? Oh god, am I dead?” “Probably and probably not,” he replied.  He tilted his head again and clicked his teeth together in thought.  “Well, actually, I’m probably not dead either.  So probably not on both fronts.” “If I scream, are people going to look over and see a normal bartender?” “Wouldn’t surprise me.  ‘S how these things work, don’t they? Trouble comes outta nowhere, lands right in your lap, and minute you try to offload it on someone else it slips out the back porch, and you wind up lookin’ like a crazy person.  ‘What,’ they ask, ‘is possibly the matter? I don’t see the trouble.’” She leaned forward.  “Mister Skeleton, please don’t start giving me life advice right now, I think I might be about to pass out.” “Drink some water then.  No point in gettin’ all worked up about it.  You gotta roll with the punches, right?” “Look, my boss reassigned my account this morning.  My deadbeat brother took my car and didn’t say when he’d be back.  My girlfriend’s not answering her texts, my dog’s vet bill is three times more than I thought it would be, and now my bartender’s turned into a skeleton.  I think I’m allowed to stop rolling by now.” He shrugged, his collarbones swinging up and down like a see-saw.  “Alright, alright, I follow ya.  But this is what I’m sayin’, y’see? Can’t just let it all get ya down.  Ya gotta take it head on.  Skull on, in my case.” Kay grabbed the glass of water off the bar and began to chug it.  Don’t think about the skeleton don’t think about the skeleton don’t think about it just finish the water, get up, go play pool, give Jen another text, go home, call the vet, send Jim an e-mail, get Mom to call Ted just don’t think about the skeleton. She gasped and slammed the mug back onto the bar.  The bartender took it.  “Y’want another round?” Primly, she stood, grabbed her purse, turned 180 degrees on her heel, and walked off towards the pool table.  Behind the bar, the skeleton clacked his teeth together a few times.  Sometimes you just got those customers you had to turn into a skeleton to help out.


Edited by GSR, Jun 29 2013 - 10:02 PM.

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#8 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 09:40 PM

Member Name: Legolover-361Theme: BonesWord Count: 750Story: The BreakingThe moment the infant mankind turned its eyes to the stars, it hungered to touch them. As mankind matured from nomads to farmers and merchants, and Eratosthenes determined that the Earth was not flat, humanity’s yearning fermented into something akin to lust. With no Earthly boundaries, dreams of exploration soon turned heavenward: to space, the final frontier.It was fitting: Throughout history, mankind attributed grandeur and divinity to space. Early astronomers traced patterns between stars that resembled warriors and great beasts; worshippers, in their prayers, found solace in gazing toward heaven; when John F. Kennedy’s dream of sending a man to the moon was realized, millions of hearts trembled.The next steps were surprisingly fast: by 2030, a lunar colony; by 2050, a Martian colony; by 2180, colonies on Jovian satellites.But these were only temporary mollifications for mankind’s desire to touch the stars. As is always the case, humanity wanted more.* * *The wispy blonde hair and anemic appearance of Doctor Markus Littman, Ph.D., inspired little confidence, but that fateful conference, May 12, 2208, he revealed they belied ferocity worthy of the greatest orators. His inflections rose and fell, his eyes flashed with electricity, and his gesticulations nearly tore his arms from their sockets. Only the elite said he was crazy. The remaining viewers, inundated with dreams of science fiction becoming reality, were more accepting of his claims that flesh and bones were outdated — that man could be downloaded into a CPU and sent to the stars.* * *“We’ve loaded you with painkillers; you won’t feel a thing.”Lawrence Hopkins, ninety-three years old, gazed at the ISS-08’s sterile white ceiling and refrained from wheezing into his oxygen mask. People back on Earth had said he looked young — he’d taken longevity pills once a week — but his hair was less salt-and-pepper, more white, and the cold metal bed upon which he lay prompted thoughts of mortality.The room’s exit was a few meters beyond Hopkins’s feet. In his next exhale, he expelled thoughts of quitting from his mind.Dr. Littman stood to the side, mouth hidden behind the curled index finger of his right hand. After he had outlined the procedure to Hopkins, he had been silent as his assistants made the appropriate connections. Hopkins had been sedated twice already as wires were strung from his brain to a large machine to his left and cables placed in his body to ensure it didn’t shut down before the procedure ended.The man who’d mentioned the painkillers, a lab-coated youth probably fresh out of college, turned from his comrade standing by the machine and gave Hopkins a smile obviously meant to be assuring. “Okay, you’re ready to go.” A pause. “Godspeed.”Hopkins nodded weakly. The two men departed at a look from Littman, whose eyes danced as he approached Hopkins’s bedside.“You’re a brave man,” he said. Hopkins wished he hadn’t.Littman left the room quickly.Now a tinny voice broadcasted through the intercom: “Begin checklist. Subject heart rate...”The list was long and included terms too technical for Hopkins to recall. He closed his eyes and waited until the call-and-response concluded.“...Checklist complete. Begin startup sequence.”Hopkins had expected something grand, like an engine’s ignition. The machine, however, only flashed a few lights and hummed quietly.“Begin transfer.”For a moment, Hopkins thought nothing would happen. Then he heard more than felt an electrical discharge within his head — the painkillers were working. His vision flickered and blurred, but that was expected during his loss of motor control.He suddenly realized he had given little thought to what being a computer would feel like, only that he might die before knowing.Now he was floating. But that couldn’t be — he was still bound to the surgical bed — he could see his eyes, closed in trepidation, and his body, still as death. Yet he was floating higher, feeling himself drawn from his body as if bonds were being stretched and torn—* * *“You feel normal?”The voice that responded from the machine’s speakers was not Hopkins’s for a simple reason: The machine was unable to sound like Hopkins. Nevertheless, it answered to Hopkins, and the transfer had proceeded as planned; thus, Littman reasoned, it must be Hopkins.“Yes,” it intonated. It paused. “Except...”“What?”“I don’t know — my memory’s off, I think.”“All will be explained,” said Littman, mentally noting that memory loss was an unpredicted symptom. It was, however, within the realm of probability. Mostly, it was unimportant. He would give it thought later.

Edited by Legolover-361, Jun 29 2013 - 09:51 PM.

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#9 Offline xccj

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 10:10 PM

Member Name: xccj

Theme: Bones

Word Count: 689

Story: Bones of the Past

 

 

Peritus lifted his reptilian head from his studies as his colleague Solum entered the room.  “Peritus, you’ve got to see what we just unearthed at the latest dig.”

 

Peritus followed his friend into the next room, curious as to his discovery.  Peritus was many things, among them a reptilian biped, a member of the only sentient species currently living on the planet Earth, a founding member of the local scientific institute, and a paleontologist who studies prehistoric life.

 

The two reptilians entered the excavation room, where they found a collection of bones strewn across the table.  Peritus’s eyes went wide at the sight of them.  “You don’t me to tell me…”

 

Solum grinned.  “It’s a full skeleton, sir.”

 

“And it’s in such pristine condition too!” Peritus exclaimed.  “The bones have been perfectly preserved and fossilized; this is indeed a rare find.”

 

“Do you have any idea what it is?” Solum asked.  “We were able to figure out that it was a biped, and it has the skeletal structure of a mammal, but beyond that. . .”

 

“I believe I do know what this is,” Peritus said.  “You have found the remains of a homo-sapien, otherwise known as a human.”

 

“A human!” Solum repeated, his yellow eyes lighting up.  “That is indeed a rare find!  All the museums will want to showcase this.”

 

“Yes, a human,” Peritus repeated.  “While we’ve found plenty of remnants of the human civilization, we know precious little of their society.”

 

“Weren’t they taken out by an asteroid or something?” Solum asked.  “Sorry, my geologic history is a little rusty.  I seem to remember a mass extinction caused by a major collision.”

 

“No, you’re thinking of our dinosaur ancestors, who died off sixty-five million years before the humans,” Peritus explained.  “The humans were active in the late Pleistocene era, and evidence suggests that they spread into a worldwide civilization.  But there was ultimately another mass extinction, and the humans and many other mammals didn’t survive.  Only the small rodents remained of the mammalian empire, and the surviving reptiles once again rose to the top of the evolutionary ladder.  And, eventually, our species evolved from them, and we formed our own sophisticated society.”

 

“What took out the humans then?” Solum wondered.

 

“We don’t know for certain,” Peritus said.  “There is no evidence that an asteroid or comet was to blame.  Soil samples from the period suggest that there were excessive amounts of carbon-dioxide in the air, so perhaps volcanic activity was to blame.”

 

“What’s your theory?” Solum asked.  “I know you’ve researched on humans in the past.”

 

“They were quite a species,” Peritus said.  “From the few specimens we’ve uncovered, I know that they were far frailer than our reptilian brethren.  But they had opposable thumbs, like us, which allowed them to utilize tools, and from there they were able to build civilizations.  We’ve found remains of human buildings before, so we know that they were able to construct large structures.  And there’s even evidence that they developed agriculture as a means to sustain large populations in small geographic areas.”

 

“But if they were so good at building stuff, why did they vanish?” Solum asked.  “Surely they could’ve survived whatever natural disaster caused the mass extinction.”

 

“I have a theory,” Peritus said.  “Among the human artifacts we’ve recovered are many weapons, some which are quite deadly, even to reptilians.  The humans may have been a very war-like species.  If they were unwilling to work together, there’s the potential that they could have brought upon their very own extinction.  At the very least, fighting amongst themselves could’ve hindered them during the disaster of their time, and could explain why they are not here today.”  Peritus paused, and added, “But that is all mere speculation, since we have no solid evidence to tell what happened to them in their final days.”

 

“Impressive,” Solum said.  “I can’t believe you can piece that together by merely digging up old artifacts and looking at fossilized bones.”

 

“That’s all part of paleontology,” Peritus said with a toothy grin.  “There’s a story behind every bone; it’s our job to guess at what it is.”


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#10 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 10:34 PM

[11:31:07 PM] Josh Baltarc: done with a good half-hour to spare[11:31:24 PM] Josh Baltarc: I love finishing early!

 Member Name: BaltarcTheme: BonesWord Count: 419Story: High noon. Lovely time to take a stroll through a desert valley in the middle of the summer, no? (The answer, by the way, is yes. As in “yes, it’s not.”) Either way, though, that’s what I was doing. Huh? You want to know why I was doing something like that? Eh, well, fair question, I guess. Long story short, I was leading an archaeological team out here. We’d finally found something, our first lead in weeks, and – me being me – I wasn’t much in a mood to wait a minute longer than I had to to see this place for myself. And so here I was, gulping down my twentieth bottle of water in as many minutes as I scanned the landscape, my carefully trained eyes searching for anything significant they could find. The problem, though, is that careful training of the eyes doesn’t give you much of an advantage when there’s nothing to see but bones. Well, I guess there’s the sand, too, but I guess that’s not really important. Anyway, back to the bones. They were everywhere, layered thickly across the sand all the way to the canyon walls. Human remains crunched beneath my feet as I walked, bleached and brittle after centuries of baking in the desert sun. What is this place? I wondered, popping the cap off another water bottle as the contents of the previous one flooded out of my skin. Or what was it, rather? I came to a halt, glancing around again and still finding nothing of interest. A place of death, obviously. A place of a lot of death. But did the owners of these bones die here, or were they placed here? If the latter, then why? And either way, what killed them? I guess that’s one of the most thrilling parts my job – answering those questions. Figuring out the who, the what, the why and when and how. Taking whatever evidence we can collect and piecing it together, figuring out what makes sense, what doesn’t. A bit like breathing a faint breath into some of these bones and watching them grow back together, come back to life. The problem with that, though, is that to piece evidence together you have to have evidence in the first place. And instead of evidence, what we’ve got is an army of skeletons. I twisted open another water bottle, pouring a drop of it onto the ground. Within seconds it had vanished without a trace. It was gonna be a long day…

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#11 Offline Captain Caboose

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 10:45 PM

Member Name: Flaredrick: The Sniper

Theme: Bones

Word Count: 392

Story: Littered Bones

 

Littered Bones

 

When I looked out into the streets, I see bones. They littered the roads, trees, and even the water. The eyes of the skulls look at me, and say to me, “Help us.” It was a blur when the attack happened. They came out of nowhere.

 

All I remember was a shining blue light that stayed on for 10 seconds, and then it faded. The earth shook like a 9.5 magnitude earthquake, but no damage was done strangle to my building. As I walked out of the building to see what happened. That’s when I saw the shreds of clothes and piles of bones. What was strange is that, there was no blood or skin on them at all.

 

I felt like the only one that survived the attack. Bones continued to watch me as I walked down the road. The burning skies of dusk make the event almost eerie for me. Then I saw the return of the blue light off in the distance behind some fallen buildings. Their support beams can be seen sticking out, and the glass just shattered.

 

I made myself wonder if whatever did this is even of this world. Could it be that this is what happened in War of the Worlds, where people died in the streets like now, bodies without flesh to cover their brittle bones? I really didn’t want to know, but I must if it would make me feel much more at ease. So I continued to follow the path of littered bones on the streets, in search of the cause of the destruction around me.

 

As I got closer to the light, it shined brighter and more frequent than last time. My skin began to grow goose bumps, and the hair on my arms spiked up. My spine began to become cold as the Alaskan winter, and nerves began to tingle out of control. The light began to glow brighter and blink faster.

The more I got closer, I could see the light being emitted behind a wooden door. I place my hand on the doorknob and prepared to open it. When I swung open the door, a bright flash of white light struck me. I did not know if I died at all, but seeing that I was still in my bed, the bones were just a nightmare.


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#12 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 10:59 PM

Member Name: NuileTheme: BonesWord Count: 597Story: Nothing But Words

 

[font="'times new roman';"]“Sticks and stones may break my bones . . . but words will never hurt me . . .”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]You wanna bet?[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]Night. The moon glows dim and vague behind a looming foreground of smoky clouds. Street lamps lend what light they can, when they don’t flicker off. When they do, some superstitious factory-worker or the little girl who lives next door pick up speed with a gasp or a squeal.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]That’s when I strike.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]From the shadows behind my window I see them coming around the bend, I watch them come up the street, and then I hit the button. I’ve spent a lot of time wiring these street lamps.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I hear a muffled scream. I’ve had a lot of experience with this. I can tell by the voice it’s a girl in her late teens; nineteen is my guess. I smile to myself, leaping over the sill. Somehow, it’s always the most fun to do it to the women. They scream more often, when they’re not armed. Sometimes the men hit back—when they’re not armed.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I creep silently through the lightless dark. I can see her, though I give her no chance to see me. Not just yet. But I pick up a thick twig and snap it loudly, just for the fun of watching her freeze. I can see her tense from head to toe. She pauses, breathing frantically, mutters something to herself. “Just a cat” or something. Words. Nothing but words. She quickens her step, not quite running but getting close to it.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I jump out onto the path in front of her. She jumps, must be at least a foot in the air. She screams, takes a step back, hand over her heart.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]Why is it they’re always so frightened? Could it be the suddenness of my assault? Maybe the darkness of the night? Is it the mask, the cape, the black horns? Yeah, probably it’s the horns that do it. I might be a psycho in a Halloween costume, but on a dark, stormy night, I’m a dangerous psycho in a Halloween costume.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]“What—what the—”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I cut her off. “I’m going to kill you.”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]She faints right then and there. Words, nothing but words. But it does the job.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I laugh with sadistic glee as she falls; but then I hear a thud, and a sickening crunch. I kneel quickly beside her to look. Something isn’t right about the angle her arm sticks out at. Probably hitting the fire hydrant like that when she fell didn’t help. That never happened before. It wasn’t supposed t happen.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I feel her shoulder. Oh, there’s definitely something wrong here. No, no—is it broken? I hope not. It was just a harmless prank, I didn’t— Is there something wrong with her neck or am I imagining it? Oh, please God—[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]I pull the cell phone out of her pocket and dial 911. Terrible accident. Tripped over a fire hydrant, broke her neck I think. Is that possible? In a hoarse voice I give the address, and beg them to be quick about it.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]Helpless, I can only crouch behind a bush and watch over her until the ambulance arrives. [/font]

[font="'times new roman';"]The paramedics get her on the stretcher with expert delicacy, treating her as compassionately as if she were their own child. And all without a word.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]She’ll be safe now. Under the cover of my dear shadows, I slink guiltily back to the welcoming embrace of my lightless room.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"]Nothing like this ever happened before. It was always just a game.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman';"][font="'times new roman';"]Nothing but words.[/font][/font]


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When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .

 

tumblr_meb7408mTy1r4ejnio1_1280.gif

 

I know I am ready to start my voyage.

 

A Musing Author . . . Want to read my books?


#13 Offline Hubert

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 11:20 PM

Apologies for the delay didn't get home until 30 minutes ago, all 30 of which were spent quickly writing this.

 

Member Name: Toa Onarax

Theme: Bones

Word Count: 749

Story: The Bones Never Lie.

 

 

The old man quietly made his way through the crowd, his head constantly looking behind to make sure no one was following. He knew that getting caught in this place, of all possible places was a terrible idea. No man of a respectable standing visited the vagabond’s carnival, and yet here he was. He had taken every necessary precaution to make sure he would not be recognized, he had worn the most raggedy, used garments he could find. He had made sure that everything about him reeked filth; he did not want to be caught.

 

Looking ahead once more the old man saw the tent he was looking for. Checking behind himself once more, the old man quickly pulled back the curtains and slipped in. He sighed in relief when no one followed him in, only to be startled by the appearance of a woman right in front of him. She, no, the entire tent, reeked of incense. The old man’s sight, already failing from age, was being obscured by the smoke in the room.

 

“So,” the woman in front of him began, her voice soothing and hypnotic. It was as if she was a snake charmer and the old man was the snake. Of course many of the old man’s enemies wouldn’t hesitate to call him one anyway. “I see you finally arrived, our land’s great king has fallen as low as to visit a humble fortune teller like me.” Her words would indicate she was mocking him, but her voice seemed to praise him.

 

The revelation that she knew of his identity startled the old man, he take great care to conceal it from everyone, so how had she figured it out before he had even breathed a single word. However before he could question her, the woman interrupted him again.

 

“Do not be so alarmed,” she cooed as she circled over to a table, upon which rested a pile of bones. “After, did you not come here seeking my gifts? The bones foretold your arrival, is that not proof enough that I am no fraud.” The way she said the words the king almost felt as though she were laughing, as if this had occurred before, the thought did not please him.

 

“Uh yes,” the old king responded, “I suppose that is enough proof.” His voice indicated how rapidly he was trying to regain his authority, after all he was supposed to be the one in charge, not her. He was the king, he tried to reassure himself, even as the smoke and incense only seemed to swirl to grant more authority to fortune teller. “I must say I was skeptical of your abilities, but I have come for a single query, I wish to know the meaning of my dreams.”

 

Even as the king was about to relate his odd dreams to her, the woman began speaking. “Ah yes, your dream of ever rising mountain and an eagle that aspires to fly even higher. However the eagle can never surpass the mountain and every time just as it reaches the top a bolt from the heavens strikes it down. Yes,” she mused, as her hands began to circle above the pile of bones. “I can see it very clearly. Your dream has been consuming your nights. Let us see what the bones have to say about your fate.”

 

No sooner has she said the words, were the bones thrown into the air, the smoke and incense all swirling around the bones. However just as suddenly it was over, and the bones had fallen back to the table with a clang.

 

“I see. Your dreams are a culmination of your past, present and future. You are the eagle and the kingdoms of the world are the mountain. If you continue to follow this path of trying to surpass the unsurpassable, you will die.”

 

For a long moment a deathly silence hung over the room. The king’s eyes were wide and in shock, the room suddenly seemed like a vortex trying to swallow him.

 

Standing up, he spoke, his voice once more containing his full grandeur of royalty. “It seems, that I have wasted my time here. Good day.” With a pull of his ragged cloak, as if he was trying to channel the awe of a king’s billowing robes, he made for the curtain, just as the fortune teller’s final words reached him.

 

“Caution my king, the bones have foretold this and the bones never lie.”


Edited by Toa Onarax, Jun 29 2013 - 11:21 PM.

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#14 Offline Excelsior

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 11:22 PM

Member Name: Excelsior
Theme: Bones
Word Count: 603
Name: Dust to Dust
 
"Alan, I think I've discovered an ancient mass grave." 
Alan looked up from his book. His younger sister was standing before him, wearing a slightly disturbed expression and a bathing suit. 
"Really," he said. "So where was this? In our backyard? Or in the swimming pool parking lot?" 
Cecily rolled her eyes. "I'm serious, Alan. I was coming home by the bike trails, and I saw something white from the corner of my eye." Her voice dropped. "It was a finger poking out of the ground. 
"So I went closer, and I saw more white sticking out, here and there. It looked like - well, like a big pile of bones covered by a thin layer of dirt and lots of plants." 
Alan looked at her skeptically. "Really?" 
"Really." 
He swung his legs off the sofa and sat up, tossing his book down. "All right. Where is this, exactly?"--- 
Approximately fifteen minutes later, Alan was kneeling on the ground, examining the protruding finger. "Well, it's not as though I'm an expert on bones," he said, "but I'd say this is the genuine article." He frowned. "The question is, what are they doing here?" 
"Some sort of historical massacre, right? Or maybe a pre-pioneer tomb from an Indian civilization?" 
"But it isn't, Cessy," her brother responded. "Look at the dirt - it's freshly disturbed. And the plants-" he moved a few steps and pulled on a creeping vine. It came out of the ground at his first tug "-look, they're barely planted at all. Someone put them here just to cover up the fresh digging." 
"But that doesn't make sense!" Cecily protested. "I mean, I'm convinced, but why would someone be burying skeletons in the woods? Where would anyone get all these bones?" 
"I can tell you that," a new voice said. Alan and Cecily whipped around to face the edge of the clearing. 
A tall man wearing glasses stood there, smiling. He was wearing working clothes, and had one hand casually in his pocket; the other balanced a shovel on his shoulder. 
Alan glanced at his sister, and moved closer to her. "Did you bury them?" 
"Yes, I did. 
"I only buried them yesterday, actually. I knew it was a shoddy job - especially with that heavyrain last night - but I thought it was an acceptable risk for one day, until I could finish it properly." He frowned at them. "Apparently you defied the odds." 
"But...where did you get them? She was right; people don't normally need to hide bones. Bodies, yes, but by the time they're skeletons, bodies have usually been dead for quite a while." Alan really had no idea what to do. His thoughts were mostly What the heck is happening? and How do we get away? Until he came up with an answer to at least the second question, he figured heshould keep stalling. 
Besides, he was curious. 
"The key word there is 'usually'," the man replied. "To give you the short answer, I obtained the skeletons in the process of my experiments. I've been experimenting on ways to alter the aging rate of the human body." 
Alan's eyes widened and he heard Cecily inhale. Seriously? "Why?" 
"Why do you think?" the man replied impatiently. "Immortality, of course. 
"I haven't perfected it yet, but-" his eyes narrowed "-it's quite capable of having the reverse effect on you." His hand began to lift out of his pocket. 
So much for stalling. "RUN, CESS!" Alan cried. He threw himself at the man, trying to buy his sister time. 

He was bare bones before he could see if he'd succeeded.


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My writings:

The Toa Ekara - Visions A short story. Ga-Koro Mobs My entry for the LSO Comedies Contest. Team Extempore's entry for the LSO Epics Contest


#15 Online 55555

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 11:25 PM

Member Name: 55555
Theme: Bones
Word Count: 329
Name: Bones In Space

 

"Bones," the lookout reported numbly, "Crossed bones on a black flag."The captain's face hardened. It was the year 3177 AD, but the flag still meant the same thing. Pirates, in inter-stellar space.There had been reports of a rogue vessel trolling the spaceways between Alpha Centauri and Sol. The route was crucial to the war effort, and had implications far beyond the Alpha Centauri system."Sound battle stations."The captain rose from his chair and engaged his microphone. "Give me the enemy ship, lieutenant.""Yes sir."With a hiss of static the green light blinked on."This is Captain Throne of the SLS O'Kane. Unless you power down your weapon systems we will commence our attack.""This is Collestus of the free ship Enemiga. It has been awhile, old friend."The captain showed no reaction, but within his heart was in turmoil. Collestus was one of his mentors from the Royal Academy, and there wasn't a better ship-to-ship combat strategist in the fleet. There had been rumor that Rear Admiral Collestus had disappeared, but he had never connected them to the appearance of the Enemiga. Collestus a traitor... It was unbelievable."We will power down our weapon systems and surrender our ship to your prize crew. Opening main hatch now to receive your shuttle."Throne's eyes narrowed, and he smiled slightly. Treachery was always a safe strategy."Surrender received, Enemiga. Our shuttle will deploy shortly. Over and out."The captain gestured the first officer to his side."Load the shuttle craft with all the proton torpedos that it will hold, and a skeleton crew of our lowest grade ship livestock.""Yes Captain Thorne."The captain thought for a second. What if Collestus fired on the shuttle craft while it was still in the O'Kane's hold? The torpedoes would detonate in the explosion and the ship would be broken in half."Cancel the proton torpedoes and load the shuttle with magnetically activated Gauss bombs.""Yes Captain.""Game on, mentor."


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#16 Offline Takuaka: Toa of Time

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Posted Jun 29 2013 - 11:48 PM

Late, again. :P But here we are:

 

 

Member Name: Timaka: Toa of TimeTheme: BonesWord Count: 749Story: Dust and Stone

 

Waves of intense light and blistering heat crashed down over the landscape, forming a swelteringly dry atmosphere. Cacti and other plants were dotted across the hard-baked earth for miles around. A dirt road stretched into the horizon, at which point clouds of dust signified the coming of a fast-moving vehicle. As it neared it became more distinct, taking the shape of a white limousine.

 

Finally, it came to a stop at the crest of some uplands. The rear side-door opened and a pair of fancy black shoes stepped onto the ground. The shoes were accompanied by a pair of long beige pants and a jacket of the same color. The man's outfit was completed by a pair of sunglasses and a fedora that matched the jacket and pants.

 

An attendant exited the vehicle from closer to the front. "Right this way, Mr. Winston," said he. He took the lead as the two men started across the baked ground. An old cattle skull caught the attention of Mr. Winston not far off and he chuckled. Excitement built within him as they proceeded forward. His team had been hard at work for months on the project he had financed. He couldn't wait to see what they had discovered.

 

In the meantime, the heat bored through his outer clothing and burned through his skin. Already sweat was soaking his fancy beige suit. Every step became a chore for the man of mid-fifties. Once he nearly tripped over a rock, before the attendant steadied him. As he walked, Winston wondered about what he would soon see. He had refused that anyone should report any news to him before he had seen it for himself, though from the excitement they failed to conceal when informing him that their work was done, he knew it was something special.

 

His mind continued to wander, filled with images of worlds long lost and ageless wonders. Space and time stretched before his imagination. He wondered if there would ever be found any limit to human discovery. What more was out there, just waiting! By now they were nearing the edge of the upland, and their path turned downwards, and it was there that Mr. Nathaniel Winston stopped to rest. Briefly his eyes turned skyward, and he again wondered where human innovation would soon lead them. He shook his head and laughed. "It is a pleasant age to live in, Mr. Jurik, a pleasant age to live in."

 

The two men pressed on, the attendant steadying the older as they moved downhill. Finally they reached the place where a section of the hill had been stripped away, leaving a cliff-side. Down below, a team of archaeologists moved around a worksite, in the middle of which lay a good number of fossilized bones. The excavation work was complete, and the bones were placed more or less in the proper arrangement.

 

Winston stopped dead. His breath caught in his throat. Tears formed in his eyes. "A complete skeleton," he breathed. He laughed, overcome, and giddy with joy.

 

The lead archaeologist climbed around the cliff to meet him. "Mr. Winston!" he cried. "So glad to see you!" He was beaming brilliantly, his broad smile stretched from ear to ear. "A beautiful sight, isn't it?"

 

"Breath-taking."

 

The archaeologist laughed. "And you know what else? It's a completely new species! Never before been described! If I'm not mistaken it's of the family dromaeosauridae."

 

Mr. Winston positively glowed with satisfaction. "I see my investment was well spent."

 

"Indeed! In fact we've already decided on a name for it, sir. The Winstonosaurus."

 

The old man paused and reflected, touched. "No," he said finally. "That sounds terrible. You can come up with something better." He grinned.

 

The archaeologist chuckled, in relief, Winston thought. "Very well then." The two men sat gazing at the pile of bones for a minute longer.

 

"Alright, I've got it. How about the Fortiraptor, Mr. Winston?"

 

"Very good! Sounds much better! Of course you may want to learn more about the creature before making the final decision, but that works for me."

 

The archaeologist nodded and coughed, suddenly becoming awkward. Finally he lowered his voice and leaned over to Winston. "Sir, I'm afraid I have some bad news to report as well."

 

Mr. Winston was taken aback. "What is it, Gladstone?"

 

"Well, sir, you see. . ." He broke off for a moment.

 

Mr. Winston chuckled. "What is it, man? Spit it out."

 

"Sir, there was a murder in the camp last night."


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This is where I'm supposed to have a signature, right? Alright, then.


Timaka: Toa of Time


I have very neat hand-writing.


#17 Offline farmstink buttlass

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 12:03 AM

Aaaaaagh this stupid story might be running a few minutes late, hopefully it's okay. Member Name: dotcomTheme: BonesWord Count: 746Story: 

All Things Considered that was a Poorly Thought out Move from Ben Stiller’s Part.

 “This is so cool, like Night at the Museum, but on steroids.” “That doesn’t sound right. I think you need to have muscles for steroids to even work. Using them in this situation seems rather pointless.” “That is…you…you’re being such a characteristically obtuse tool right now it’s a wonder people don’t use you to draw circles.” “That is a terrible joke and nobody is going to get it.” “That just makes it funnier.” “If you say so.” “And what do you mean ‘nobody?’ Are you doing that thing where you subtly imply awareness of our existence being confined to fiction? That is so stupid. This is real life” “Are you seriously doing that thing where you ironically state that this is ‘real life’ despite all evidence to the contrary? That is such a modern day cliché. Hanging that lampshade is so obsolete.” “You just hung a lampshade on my lampshade. If I wasn’t not a cool dude I would say something like ‘Lampshadeception’ right now.” “…if it makes you feel any better, I think you’re pretty cool.” “…” “…” “Anyway, as I was saying, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. But with dinosaurs!” “That movie already had dinosaurs.” “No, it had one dinosaur.” “We also only have one dinosaur.” “What! That is terrible.” “How can you not know we only have one dinosaur.” “I was kind of busy. You know, running for my life. You insensitive foolwad.” “..you said it was cool.” “Irrelevant.” “How are we even having this conversation while running from a skeleton dinosaur through a trailer park? That seems really implausible.” “That is odd. But why are you describing our situation is so much non-detail?” “It doesn’t look like this story is ever going to start using prose.” “What.” “Like. All of it so far has been our witty discourse on Night at the Museum.” “I wouldn’t call that witty. Or discourse.” “…does this conversation even have any literary purpose within the story? It seems really pointless right now.” “I don’t think so. Not unless Ben Stiller shows up later on and uses some special powers to stop the dinosaur, and let’s be honest here, that seems unlikely.” “Why are we still talking about that movie. It wasn’t even that good.” “Walking skeleton!” “I’m pretty sure that movie didn’t invent that concept. There’s probably like an entire genre of walking lizard bones.” “Yes, but do any of them have Ben Stiller?” “I don’t know. Maybe. Who cares?”“Evidently, you do not.” “Now you get it. But also, we are literally being chased by a reanimated dinosaur skeleton. We could be lunch. So we really have bigger things to think about.” “I don’t know about being lunch. I don’t think he has any digesting muscles.” “Hey, it’s not polite to assume. It might be a lady skeleton.” “You’re right. Sorry, skeleton.” “Don’t apologize to the skeleton. It has to say sorry first, for chasing us.” “That sounds really petty. Besides, why wouWhooooooaaa what the heck is that.” “That appears to be a reanimated human skeleton.” “Is that…is that Ben Stiller?” “I’m pretty sure that is not Ben Stiller. He’s kind of alive at the moment.” “And now he’s running next to us.”“Yep.” “I think you’re right, prose would really help this story.” “Yeah I’m not even sure if you’re you at this moment. Whatever that means.” “I’m going to talk to him to see if he is Ben Stiller.” “…” “He says he is Ben Stiller’s subconscious museum guard, possessing the body of a plastic skeleton.” “That is…just…the stupidest thing ever written. This isn’t even a brick joke. It’s just a big stupid brick.” “Personally, I think bricks are awesome.” “Whatever, is there anything special about him to help us?” “Well, he can talk, and run. That’s pretty special, if you think about his being only a skeleton.” “…so no?” “So no.” “Why is he even here?” “I think he wants us to let the dinosaur eat us.” “What makes you think that?” “Well, he just said that.” “…I’m not doing that.” “I don’t think he’s giving us a choice. He just tore off his own arms and now….now he is tripping us.” “…Stop describing everything that happens.”

***

 “…this is stuuuuupiiiiiiid.” “Let’s be fair, that dinosaur wasn’t that well-kept. It’s not its fault it felt apart the second it tried to eat us.” “My whole life is a sham.” “Truth.”


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#18 Online 55555

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 01:04 AM

Theme #4:Posted ImageCharacter Story! Hooray! Use a character with the four traits described below to fuel your story for thisround.FemaleGeniusLoves the color blood orange.Carries a rock everywhere for some reason.Any interpretation is valid. Remember that this is an OTC theme, and your story must comply with the contest rules.Deadline: July 1st, 11:59 PM PST.Note that we are now running on PST, so that's about 3 AM EST.

- 55555

Edited by 55555, Jun 30 2013 - 01:36 AM.

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#19 Offline Legolover-361

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 07:52 AM

Member Name: Legolover-361Theme: Character StoryWord Count: 434Story: A Heart TornElizabeth always carried a pebble in her pocket. It was one of her quirks, she supposed. Her mom had beseeched her to throw it back into the woods or river, “where it belongs.”In Mom’s eyes, it was a weight on Elizabeth’s shoulders.In Elizabeth’s eyes, it was a good luck charm and perhaps the last vestige of her father’s life.Elizabeth had known her father had a bad heart by the tender age of seven. Situations weren’t much harder for her to solve than jigsaw puzzles: She had noticed the pills on Daddy’s bureau and the low-sodium foods he ate and casually asked Dad one night if his blood pressure would continue to rise if he didn’t take precautions.He had given her a what-did-your-mom-tell-you look and had said, “Yea- yes, Ellie. I’ll balloon up and explode if I don’t eat those foods!” He had puffed his cheeks for emphasis.“No, you won’t,” Elizabeth had said.He had paused abashedly before sobering. “And how would you know?”“I looked it up.”“Does your mom know?”“I guess — she could see me.”He had sighed. “Ellie, I’m fine, okay? As long as I follow a strict diet, I can live a life just like anyone else—”“I know that, Daddy.”Daddy had sighed again and turned on the TV.Traipsing along an impromptu path, little more than gaps in the underbrush widened by years of walks out here, Elizabeth took out the rock and admired its surface, worn smooth by years of rushing water. It gleamed faintly.The trees about her were tinted shades of sunset by autumn. The orange vista was calming to her whenever she found herself thinking of Dad.It was odd — on this very path, down near the river, Dad had died of a heart attack right after giving her the pebble she now held.She had been thirteen. She vaguely remembered screaming as he fell and running for the house, but it was blurry. Mostly, she remembered impressions: the humid air, the pounding of her footsteps, the feeling that the world was tipping under her as she had flung open the back door and called 911 before even telling her mother what was happening.But she had known Dad would be dead when she returned. She had told the 911 operator not that her Dad was dying but that he was dead. And he was.Even now, at seventeen, she felt alone.Her cell phone beeped. Mom had texted. Elizabeth looked up at the sky once more before turning back along the path, but she took her time.
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#20 Offline Velox

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 11:30 AM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]The Bones polls have been posted[/color][color=#000080;]! Sorry for the slight delay; please vote! [/color][/font]


Edited by Velox, Jun 30 2013 - 11:30 AM.

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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#21 Offline Little Miss Krahka

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 04:49 PM

Member Name:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:Verdana;font-size:12px;] Little Miss Krahka[/color]Theme:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:Verdana;font-size:12px;] Character Story[/color]Word Count:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:Verdana;font-size:12px;] 725[/color]Story:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:Verdana;font-size:12px;] The Elixir of Youth[/color]

 

The life of an alchemist was not for the weak of heart. But when it worked, when you could take a series of ingredients, focus it through the catalyst and burn it into that sweet-smelling blood orange elixir of youth, it was all worth it. 
 
Hanabelle had trained since she was a young girl, when she started on the alchemist’s path by cooking up explosive firepowder using her mother’s common cleaning powders, and burned down her house. She was kicked out of the village for it, but found by a master alchemist. She toiled under him as an apprentice until it was obvious that she outgrew him, that she was grasping concepts faster than he could , that she was making improvements on his formulas, she left him to make her fortune in the larger world, to find herbs and metals from all across the three continents. And when the King of Talisia asked her to become his court alchemist, well, how could she refuse his library? There she studied for the elusive elixir of youth, which alchemists from ages past had dreamed of finding.
 
And all the while she carried the same catalyst she made on the first day she was apprenticed to a proper alchemist. That was always the first thing an alchemist made, a catalyst, which appeared to be a small stone to uneducated eyes, which imbued the mundane of the natural world with the magic that made the alchemist’s trade possible.
 
And she had finally perfected it, the legendary elixir, the secret of immortality, here in her old age. The liquid bubbled and seethed and turned completely clear of all impurities when she dipped her catalyst into the muddy mixture by its chain. She knew all the old books, all her research, all her studies. It was by them that she knew she had reached her goal.
 
She took a sniff of it. It looked and smelled sweet as oranges and was the consistency of blood. But she now had to test it. She had no intention of testing it on herself. She had already tested on the rabbits she captured outside the castle, but it was difficult to tell the age of rabbits. But when they turned into small infant rabbits when she fed it to them in their water, she knew it was working. She’d have to get more tests to perfect it, but she had a good working start.
 
She asked for an audience with the king, and when she told him that she had found the elixir of youth, he was thrilled. He knew long ago not to be skeptical of her abilities. He promised to increase her funding tenfold. She walked away happy, wondering what new possibilities she could follow with all that money.
 
The next time she woke up to go to her laboratory, she found it locked and guarded.
 
“What is this madness?” she asked the guard “This is my lab! Get out before you spill something toxic in your eyes! You’re not even wearing proper protective gear!”
 
“Sorry ma’am,” the guard said. “King’s orders.”
 
The king came out of the laboratory, looking ten years younger, his grey hairs gone and his wrinkles smoothed out. “I had to try it for myself, you know, dear mistress alchemist.”
 
“You scum!” she said. “It’s not complete yet!”
 
“Your little discovery could make this kingdom a target,”  he said. “Word gets out, everyone’ll want it, and it belongs to the king. And besides, is that a way to talk to your king? If I wasn’t in such a generous mood I’d have your head chopped off right here for disrespect. But for now, your funding.”
 
“I don’t care about the funding! Only about my work!”
 
“And your work has done great things. But it belongs to me. It always has. Now, I suggest keeping quiet about your little discovery and maybe I’ll let you have some of it.”
 
“Never! You’ll regret this, I swear!”
 
She left that night with nothing but her catalyst and the money he gave her, not knowing where she was to go, now that her greatest work had been stolen from her.
 
But nothing brought joy to Hanabelle’s heart like hearing that the court was in a tizzy, now that the king who had reigned without an heir was now inexplicably an infant babe.

 


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Had to be me. Someone else could've gotten it wrong.


#22 Offline farmstink buttlass

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 07:49 PM

Member Name: dotcom

Theme: Character Story

Word Count: 431

Story:

 

Days of Strife

 

My name is Story.

 

It is a strange name. At least, that’s what my friends say. Or maybe what’s strange is that I have a name. That’s never been clear to me.

 

What is clear is that my life is currently pretty terrible.

 

My father, Reality, has explained that this is natural—to me, at least—and that it will continue for as long as I live, which, he says, will be a very long time. Father has always been rather blunt.

 

My mother is Imagination, and she tells me that one day things will be different, that in time my life will change, become more interesting, more complex, different. She never says it will be easier.

 

But it’s hard, living as I am.

 

Every day I go through all these odd phases. I’ve never known why I go through them, but it’s been happening since my birth. Mother, always on the lookout for things new and novel, gives them names.

 

First the “introduction” occurs. Physically it’s the easiest to go through, but it is the slowest, least exciting of all. Mentally I start out too sluggish to carry on my own. Typically it doesn’t take very long, as I slowly gain more and more of my faculties.

 

After that I leave my home for some time and make new friends. Maybe they’re new friends each day or maybe I just forget them at the end, but every day has me met with strangers. My mother calls this the “rising action,” but I think she’s just teasing. I don’t enjoy it much at all. It’s always very tense for me, and I worry to make everything as perfect as possible.

 

The “climax” follows. Invariably, some of my friends will clash, with each other, sometimes even me, my family…

 

Physically this struggle manifests within me as well. My mother calls this “internal conflict,” because she’s just like that.

 

This climax is always resolved, but not always well. Sometimes one of us will be victorious, leaving some parties in defeat. Sometimes we will all, bitterly, leave each other at a stalemate. Rare is the day when we all walk away happy.

 

After the climax comes the resolution, when I regress to a state similar to the introduction. However, this time I have to reflect on what happened before, and it pains me greatly. I wake the next day with no memories of the past, save for the knowledge that it caused me great pain.

 

Every day, I wake in fear.

 

My name is Story, and my life is a wreck.


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#23 Offline xccj

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Posted Jun 30 2013 - 09:39 PM

Member Name: xccj

Theme: Character Story

Word Count: 714

Story:  Poetic Assistance

 

 

He runs down the street

The ground pounds his feet

He pushes on without a prayer

Shadows are complete

My revenge is sweet

As I watch him sink into despair

 

My heart he had broke

Swept away like smoke

When the sky is colored blood orange

The devil hath spoke

My love I revoke

As I chase him and…

 

Malinda paused, and dipped the top of her pen in her mouth as she thought up her next rhyme.  She was stumped at how to continue, and looked up at her colleague across the desk.  “Penny, I need your help with this poem.”

 

Penny set down her textbook.  “Shouldn’t you be studying for our exams tomorrow?” she asked.

 

“What exams should I be studying for, exactly?” Malinda asked, bored.

 

“Well, there’s World History. . .”

 

“I remember all the facts already,” Malinda said with a shrug.

 

“And there’s Advanced Mathematics. . .”

 

“I’ve aced all the assignments, so that shouldn’t be an issue.”

 

“And aren’t you also taking Molecular Physics?”

 

“That class was a bad choice,” Malinda admitted.  “I was hoping the professor would have something challenging for us to study, and instead he just covered all the basics.”

 

Penny shook her head.  “I don’t know how you do it,” she said.  “And if you’re such a genius, why are you bothering with poetry?”

 

“Art knows no genius!” Malinda exclaimed.  “Besides, this is for my personal growth and a way to sooth my soul. . .”

 

“Oh, you’re writing angry poems about your exes again, I see,” Penny said with a yawn.  “Very well, I’ll take a look at it.”

 

She accepted the piece of paper from Malinda and looked the poem over.  “Gee, this is rather dark,” she said.  “What did this guy do to you?”

 

“He insulted my stone,” Malinda said simply.

 

“What?” Penny asked, perplexed.

 

Malinda lifted her necklace, which had a dull opal attached to the end of it.  “He said that this stone wasn’t very pretty, and now he shall suffer the wrath of my vengeance!”

 

“Look, I know you’re attached to that family heirloom, but you don’t have to go all berserk on him just because. . .” Penny started, but fell silent at the look on Malinda’s face.  Quickly changing the subject, she asked, “So, what about this poem do you need help with?”

 

“I am stuck on the last line,” Malinda explained.  “I cannot seem to find an adequate rhyme that could describe the horrors that I wish to inflict upon him.”

 

Penny looked down the line.  “But that’s because you need to make it rhyme with orange.  Nothing rhymes with orange!”

 

“The word ‘nothing’ does not rhyme with orange at all,” Malinda pointed out.

 

“That’s not what I meant,” Penny said, shaking her head.  “It’s just. . . orange is almost an impossible word to find a rhyme for, unless you’re willing to make something up.”

 

“Preposterous, there must be something.”

 

“Why not change the wording up a bit?” Penny suggested.  “Like blood red instead of blood orange.  Red is much easier to find rhymes for.”

 

“No, it has to be blood orange!” Malinda insisted.  “It is a very particular color which directly conveys the mood and tone of the poem.”

 

“Okay, okay, calm down,” Penny said.  She paused for a moment to think, and then said, “Perhaps you can switch the words around.  Instead of ‘When the sky is colored blood orange’ you could say ‘When blood orange colors up the sky.’  That way, you can keep the color reference, but get the rhyme off an easier word.”

 

“That is good thinking,” Malinda mused.  “But I still need three syllables for my last line that rhyme with sky.  Ah hah, I got it!”

 

And she scribbled down on the paper, “. . .make him die.”

 

Penny frowned as she read it.  “That’s morbid!  It makes this poem even darker.  Do you really want him to die just for insulting your stone?”

 

“Well, die emotionally speaking, of course,” Malinda clarified.  “After all, if he can’t appreciate the beauty of my stone, then he’s dead inside already.”  She nodded at her friend.  “Thank you very much for your assistance.”

 

“Well, I might not be a super genius like you,” Penny said.  “But I’m still an English Major.”


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b-bolin-03.jpg


#24 Offline Space: Ocean of Awe

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 09:51 AM

Hey, she sounds just like me! Just kidding. She'd have to be a super genius to come close :P.Seeing that I missed all the previous ones, I really hope I can write something...=)
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"Baby, in the final analyses, love is power. That's where the power's at."


#25 Offline Naina

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 01:34 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Member Name:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-size:12px;] Naina[/color]Theme:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-size:12px;] Character Story[/color]Word Count:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-size:12px;] 748[/color]Story:[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-size:12px;] [/color][/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Laughing, Beatrice ran into the forest after her parents. Finally a holiday from research studies. Plus, she was proud to see the forests her work had helped save.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Then Beatrice stopped short as she lost sight of her parents. And caught sight of another girl glowering at her.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The girl’s hair flew about her face, dried mud and sunburns caked her arms and her clothes were ragged. The overall contrast between her and Beatrice’s immaculate hair, skin and clothes was stark. Pity welled up in Beatrice’s eyes for an impoverished girl – for such she assumed the interloper to be.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]She was about to offer some little charity when the girl spoke.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“What are you doing in my forest?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Your forest?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Yes, mine. You don’t live here.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Beatrice drew herself up – she had every right to be there. More than this ragamuffin did anyway.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“No, but you- what’s your name?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Serafina. You’re Beatrice, I assume.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“How did you know?” Beatrice gaped.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Serafina shook her head impatiently. “Your parents woke the whole forest calling your name. Typical city-dwellers, coming and disturbing our peace.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Disturbing?” Beatrice spluttered. “We just saved your forest.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“From what?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“The men in the village were going to cut it down for wood and the paper mill wanted to plant pine trees instead.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Serafina laughed. “So city-dwellers ‘saved’ a forest from other city-dwellers. Brilliant people, cutting a rainforest down for paper.” The mockery in her voice was obvious.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“We’re not all like that!” Beatrice felt rather defensive. “I just spent months working on cheap, cellulose-free paper. I’m an environmentalist.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Those people who come asking us to sign bits of paper saying the government isn’t doing enough for rainforests?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Well, yeah, those are environmentalists too.” Beatrice bit her lip – it was obvious Serafina considered the term a poor recommendation. The girl turned her back and began playing with a dark orange stone that she carried in her pocket.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Hey, that’s a nice stone.” Beatrice pulled a similar one from her pocket. “Where’d you find it?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Serafina shrugged. “Mountains. Was following a loro. You?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“I, uh, bought this one. It reminded me of my cat’s eyes.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“You have a cat? How do you keep him?” Finally, Beatrice thought, as a glimmer of respect came into the other girl’s eyes.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Oh, it’s not hard at all.” Beatrice pulled a photo from her wallet.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Oh. That cat. The small one. I thought you meant a puma.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Beatrice laughed. “You can’t keep a puma in a city. Why do you carry the rock?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Colour like Hawk eyes. Most magnificent beast of prey there is. King of the skies.” Serafina sighed with admiration, looking at a bird circling far above. “What wouldn’t I give to fly like that...”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Me too. The forest must look so amazing up there, so colourful and bright.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“You like it here?” Serafina’s voice held a note of surprise.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Of course. It’s so pure and beautiful.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Serafina glanced at the other girl and laughed slightly. “You’re different from the others. They were so busy talking about climate change and some such, I wondered if they’d ever looked at the forest they said they were protecting. I guess you’re alright.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Beatrice brightened at her words. Clearly this uneducated girl didn’t understand environmental science. Here was a chance for her to teach her.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“You don’t know what climate change is?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Never needed to. I know how to find anything in this forest without book learning.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Yes, but you see-“[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Beatrice spoke for five minutes, explaining about climate change and its dangers to the rainforest (the only part Serafina seemed to listen to).[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"] “So it could flood if the outsiders cut more trees. No. I won’t let that happen.” Serafina’s eyes glittered dangerously.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“You can’t stop it yourself. That’s why the environmentalists are working to save the planet.” Pride suffused Beatrice’s voice.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Give me a break!” Serafina laughed. “You’re not saving the planet.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Excuse me?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“This climate change? It’ll kill city-dwellers first, because you don’t have trees. You’re only saving yourselves from a problem you created.”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“No, we didn’t, well, industrialization did but it was necessary for world economy. You wouldn’t understand the money involved, you’re just a village-”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Can you eat money?”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The question silenced Beatrice. The scales fell from her eyes with the exceptional clarity of Serafina’s question, cutting through  familiar political rhetoric.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Beatrice!”[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Beatrice started, seeing her parents in the distance. She rushed forward. Then the brilliant girl stopped, looking back at the uneducated Serafina with respect at last.[/font]


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I will lay me down


#26 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 03:10 PM

[font="'times new roman', serif;"]:kaukau: [color=rgb(0,0,255);]Name: Jean Valjean[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,255);]Theme: Character Story[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,255);]Word Count: 750[/color][/font]

[font="'times new roman', serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,255);]Story: Avoiding That Awkward Moment[/color][/font]

 

 

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje was born in the Netherlands and moved over to America when she was eleven.  She never truly felt at home there until she went to Dordt College, with its strong Dutch heritage.  When people found out where she came from, and that she spoke fluent Dutch, they treated her like royalty.  She was their golden girl, their goddess.  Everybody loved her.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Those were good times.  Her only regret was that she let it get to her head when she was a freshman, since she lost her focus on academics.  Still – good times.  She didn’t think she could have been such a good student in the following years if it wasn’t for how loved she felt.  And she earned a triple-major, so she knew it made a difference.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]She was finishing up on her doctorate in engineering now, feeling as sharp as ever.  Many people called her a genius, though she didn’t like that description.  It didn’t feel right.  She had struggled in high school, and her success came from hard work.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje sat at a library table pouring over her notes, trying to figure out her latest project.  She was almost literally looking at rocket science, and it was beyond her, no matter how hard she worked.  She clenched her short blond hair with her hands, taking out her stress and trying to focus, but regardless of catharsis she couldn’t think far enough outside of the box to solve seemingly unsolvable problems.  Sometimes genius needed a little help.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]She thought back to her Dordt friends.  Who would understand this stuff?  None of her friends went into her particular focus.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje called Carol.  “Hey, how are you doing?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Antje?  Antje!  It’s been forever!”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Yeah, you bet,” said Antje.  “Carol, I have a question.  What do you know about jet engines?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“I haven’t the slightest – but hey, since we’re talking, did you get my wedding invitation?  It’s next week and you haven’t responded!”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje raised an eyebrow.  Carol was getting married?  It seemed like everyone she knew was getting married nowadays.  Meanwhile, she was twenty-five and had still never dated.  “I might have,” she said. [/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Well, you’re invited,” said Carol.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“I won’t have the time.  Sorry.  This doctorate is a monster.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Well Jack is coming, and he’s super-busy, more than you.  If he can come, then you can come.  And I know you so much better than him, so it would mean a lot to me if you came to the wedding!”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Jack?  Jack who?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Jack Zilver!”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Oh.  Antje knew him all too well.  Back when she was a freshman, he was a senior and had just come back from a junior semester in the Netherlands.  He spoke with her in Dutch for an hour every day to stay fluent, but she could tell he liked her.  She liked him back, but they only had one year together, and then he went and joined the Air Force and never had time for the outside world ever since.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“And he was an engineering major, too.  He works on airplanes, so if there’s anyone qualified to help you, it’s him.  Just come, Antje.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje bit her lip.  Suddenly she wanted to go even less.  Jack was the only person she had ever really had feelings for, and she didn’t want those to reemerge after all these years.  That would be a heck of a way to appear needy.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]She packed up her blueprints and headed home.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Moeder!” she cried.  “Waar is uw verlovingsring?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]One week later, Antje attended Carol’s wedding wearing a blood orange dress.  After the ceremony, Carol went into the crowd and pulled out Jack, easily distinguishable in his captain’s uniform, and introduced him to Antje before leaving them along together.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Hello, Jack.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“It’s John, now.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje flinched.  That was a very handsome name.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“How about I just call you Captain?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“For you I can just be ‘Mister.’”  It was then that he noticed the ring around her finger.  “You’re engaged?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Yes.  He couldn’t make it, but he’s a wonderful man.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“That’s awkward, considering that Carol just made a very obvious attempt to set us up.  You’d think she would have noticed if you were carrying an expensive rock around your finger.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“No, I was looking for someone to help me with my engineering doctorate.”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]“Will I be calling you ‘Doctor’ from now on?”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Antje clasped her hands behind her back.  She didn’t like the sound of that – not when it came from him.  “No, you can call me ‘Mrs.’”[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]Someday.[/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"]24601[/font]


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#27 Offline Emissary

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 07:55 PM

Member Name: Dreadheart

Theme: Character Story

Word Count: 401

Story: Unusual

 

 

A lone figure buries a cardboard box two feet underground. Contents include Mr. Slithers, the family garter snake. An unusual pet for an unusual girl.
 
***
 
Work. Papers are strewn around a girl’s bedroom; articles, photocopies of textbook pages. A hunk of alabaster sits on a wooden desk. Symbols are painted across the walls, all in orange, finger-applied paint strokes. One of those aforementioned papers details how orange represents illumination in Buddhism. Illumination -- the highest state of perfection. 
 
Plus, orange goes with just about everything. Win-win scenario.
 
Enter: a discussion around a dinner table, participants including an unusual girl and an unusual girl’s parents. Questions fly like musket balls -- wild, messy, inaccurate -- regarding her newfound obsession--
 
Not an obsession; a science project.
 
What about?
 
Geology and stuff.
 
Oh. Good for you, darling.
 
 
Silence and rapid-fire clinks of metal and ceramic follow.
 
 
Mom? Dad?
 
Hmm?
 
Can I please get a rock hammer for my birthday?
 
***
 
Chips of alabaster chase each other down to the floor, abandoning their mother stone to reveal legs, arms, a head, a torso--
 
Hammer meets fault line.
 
Fault line wins.
 
Chunks of alabaster fly through the air in a cloud of dust and frustration.
 
Bugger.
 
Stephen King made it look so easy.
 
***
 
Science class. Meticulously crisp notes written on the board, blood-orange symbols scribbled in the notebook. A faceless alabaster figurine watches the unusual girl, head bent down as if in disappointment at her lack of attentiveness.
 
Its mocking nature begs for destruction.
 
The perfection found in crooked lines and jagged edges save it.
 
***
 
I’m not crazy.
 
No one’s saying your crazy, dear.
 
Then why are you taking me to a psychologist?
 
***
 
High noon; the perfect time for a little alchemy.
 
Figurine at the ready, standing straight in the center of the desk.
 
Orange, finger-painted sigils circling its feet.
 
Let’s do this.
 
***
 
Science fair. Papers are sorted neatly on a backboard. Symbols are painted neatly between the white sheets. An alabaster figurine takes center stage. An unusual girl in a lab coat stands just to the side, repressing an excited grin as the first group of students approach, eyeing the display with deeply-ingrained skepticism. 
 
Instructions are given: wave to the figurine. 
 
Snickers slink through the air, and eyes roll to the tops of their sockets -- the girl is patient.
Someone gestures to the figurine.
 
It gestures back.

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#28 Offline The Phantom Terror

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 10:48 PM

Name: Phantom Terror

Word Count: 357

Topic: Character Story

 

Kylie was a genius, yes. But she was always taken as just another dumb blonde. She saw the nature of rocks, and how they were related to Blood-Oranges (Blood-Orange is her favorite color, so why not her favorite fruit?). When you look past the obvious, everything is connected. Especially rocks and Blood-Oranges. Kylie always carried her favorite rock, Bob, around with her for no apparent reason. She h He was just so smooth, and a little soft, and he also tasted a little like Blood-Orange when you licked him. He was also tinted a little orange-ish, rather than gray. "Oh, Bob, I love you. You're the perfect rock." Kylie said. "Are you the offspring of a Blood-Orange and a regular, everyday rock?" She asked as she sat him down onto a picnic table.

 

"Why yes, I am." A voice said.

 

"Wait, Bob, you talk?" Kylie said.

 

"Well of course I talk, you talk to me, why can't I talk to you?" The voice said, a stifled giggle was heard shortly after.

 

"I've been talking to you for hours and you never talked back." Kylie said.

 

"Oh come on." The voice said. "How thick are you?" Kylie's old frienemy, Katy, said as she stood up from under the table. "Bob is just a Blood-Orange that was painted gray." Katy said as she ground Bob underfoot. "I just proved that you're not a genius, you're just another dumb blonde." Katy said as she walked away laughing.

 

Kylie was now in tears, after being insulted and fooled, what else was she to do?

 

"Kylie..." A voice moaned.

 

"Stop making fun of me, Katy." Kylie said, upset.

 

"I'm... Not... Katy... I'm Bob..." The voice moaned again.

 

Kylie looked around, but no one was in hearing range. She had to believe that it really was Bob who was talking.

 

"Don't believe what others say to you... You really are a genius..." Bob said on his final note.

 

With her self-esteem replenished, Kylie walked back to her flat and found another Blood-Orange to talk to. And even though it didn't talk back to Kylie, it mouthed off to Katy whenever Kylie saw her.


Edited by Phantom Terror, Jul 01 2013 - 10:49 PM.

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#29 Offline badabababa obesity

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 11:21 PM

Going extra small tonight. Not feeling it.

 

Member name: Shuhei Hisagi

Word count: 192

Theme: Character Story

 

Andrew had always been short-tempered towards his little brother.
 
But this time, the seven year old had run away. He supposed he could've seen it coming- the tension had been growing in the past month or two since their dad had left. Then again, Daniel hadn't displayed this kind of behavior in the past. 
 
Andrew climbed into the car and headed off towards the next block where Daniel would probably be. He remembered last week when he yelled at him, telling him to go away and not come back. Evidently, his wish had been granted.
 
Another block, no Daniel. Andrew stopped, stepping out. "Danny! Danny!" There was no sign of the little boy. He stepped a little further, turning the street. "Danny! Danny!" Still no sign of him.
 
Andrew sat down on a nearby park bench. He vowed at that moment that if he saw Daniel again, he would treat him right. He sat there for what felt like days before he heard a voice.
 
"Andrew!" he whipped his head around to see his brother standing there.
 
"I want to go home now."
 
Maybe they had all grown in character that night.

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So pay me more AuRon.


#30 Offline Takuaka: Toa of Time

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Posted Jul 01 2013 - 11:30 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Member Name: Timaka: Toa of TimeTheme: Character StoryWord Count: 716Story: Uthina[/font]

 

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]A young woman stood high in a tree upon a wooden platform built upon a thick branch. Her red-orange hair waved in the slight breeze. Her stocky frame was covered with an animal skin dress of similar color to her tresses, with intermittent black stripes.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]Off in the distance, the sun was setting, casting a plethora of similitude colors that radiated across the heavens. Clouds of pinks and heliotropes drew sluggishly across the vista, in no particular hurry to get anywhere. A small herd of mammoths ambled along across the horizon.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]The woman slid her hand into a fold in her dress, her fingers lightly enfolding a small stone in their warm embrace. She did this habitually, just to be sure it was still there. Her father, Tiberius, had given her this stone two years ago, just before he had set off on a long journey.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]"Uthina," he had said. "Our people need to find a new home, but we can't all go traipsing off at once. A few of the other men and myself are off to find this home, and while I'm gone I need you to be brave, to take care of your mother and younger brothers. Here, I want you to have this, so you will never forget to keep watch for our return." He had smiled at her and handed her a small stone, even as the tears were streaming down her face.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]Uthina now withdrew the stone from the fold for a moment to look at it. It was dark ocher in color, like a stone cast right out of the impact of a sunset, and its ovoid surface was perfectly smooth and symmetrical, though tendrils of various shades of the staple color ran in veins and streaks that criss-crossed across its surface. Somehow just looking at it made her feel warm and safe. When she was feeling particularly imaginative, she would think of it as an egg and wonder what kind of terrible beast had lain it.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]Ever since her father had left, she had often come to this tree of hers, where she would tinker with her materials and keep watch for his return. Other watchmen were posted farther on, but she had promised her father she would watch, and she intended to keep her promise. Since then the color of the stone had been her favorite of all hues. It was the color of her dress, it was the color of the ferocious striped cat. It was the color of her hair, of the sunset, of her precious stone. It was the color of her father's smile.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]She gently set the stone back into its fold and returned her gaze to the sunset. Then suddenly her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. A streaking ball of fire was flying high in the sky, heading towards the soil. She watched, motionless, mesmerized. When it landed it made a noise like thunder, and up into the air spread a great fiery cloud. The color of the cloud seemed to speak to her, calling her by name.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]When the smoke and dust settled, a big hole was left in the ground, and her insatiable curiosity was piqued. Turning from the wooden platform, she stepped onto a smaller one and pulled a lever. A system of ropes and pulleys activated and the platform lowered many feet to the ground. There she stepped off and ran past much of her collection of oddments and inventions, from a wooden wheel to a stick-and-rope device she called a fish-catcher, and out into the grass.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]On she went, until she finally reached the hole. It formed a broad crater, and at the bottom sat a great silver rock. She marveled at the rock, a perfect symmetrical circle. Its surface was almost completely smooth, sparkling and reflecting in the fading light, more like the surface of a pond than a great rock. In the center protruded a smaller stone, like a great shimmering orange gemstone. With a gasp she retrieved her own small stone. They were nearly the same color, except the gemstone was of a solid color, whereas hers was veined.[/font]

 

[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]She started when the great gem suddenly twitched and moved, and a cloud of reddish smoke rose from it as something emerged. . .[/font]


Edited by Takuaka: Toa of Time, Jul 01 2013 - 11:32 PM.

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Timaka: Toa of Time


I have very neat hand-writing.


#31 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 12:36 AM

Member Name: NuileTheme: Character StoryWord Count: 733

Story: The Wishing Rock

 

[font="arial;"]When I saw the girl sitting at Wishing Point, gazing out over the valley, I didn't think much of it right away.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Then the girl made a jerking movement, flinging something from the outcropping. I paused to watch, curious. She picked up another stone and threw it. Soon she was tearing up piles of pebbles and dirt and hurling them over the precipice. Finally she gave up, fell to her knees, and began crying.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I stepped off the path, blending into the dense branches of a pinewood. Half of me wanted to let her be; the other half couldn’t turn away and leave her like that.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I watched, and she did nothing. It was one of the pebbles that did it. It flew suddenly back up over the precipice and landed beside the girl, glowing red.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]It glowed brighter, then stopped. A pool of dark, reddish-orange liquid bled from the rock, pooling on the ground beside the girl. She jumped up, backed away, staring in disbelief as a human woman began to rise from the pool. She was clad in coppery robes that cascaded from her shoulders like a waterfall of fabric. A jeweled turban concealed her hair.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Yes, mistress?" she droned.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl's mouth hung open, but no sound escaped it.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"You have wishes, mistress?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl gasped, "You're--a--a genie?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"A genius," the woman corrected. "There is a difference."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"And you'll give me three wishes?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Correct."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Well--I--"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Come, you were wishing yourself silly moments ago. I have not all day."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I wish for--a dog?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Her hearts' greatest desires at her fingertips--and she wishes for a dog! By her tone, however, I guessed she was only testing the water.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The genius nodded. "Granted."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl looked around. "… Where?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Patience! It will come. Your next wish?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl squeaked, "I--I wish my mother were alive."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Now we were getting to it.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I cannot bring the dead back, my child," said the genius irritably.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Oh--I--I'm sorry …"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Your next wish?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"There are so many things … A friend?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The simple, childish desperation of this request twisted my heart.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I cannot grant what you have already."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"But--but I--"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Broaden your mind and you will see what you do not realize you have. Your next wish?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I wish for a boyfriend!"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I cannot alter such things as are destined to be."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl hesitated. "You--you really grant wishes?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I do."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl shuffled her feet. "I wish my big sister didn't have cancer."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The genius eyed the girl. "Are you certain?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Of course!"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I am sorry. I cannot grant a wish that is destined to be."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl looked up. "You mean--she'll be all right?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Your sister's cancer will not last much longer, my child. I--" The genius hesitated, as if her next words were foreign to her. "I am truly sorry."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl hugged her shoulders. Voice shaking, she said, "I wish someone would help me!"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I cannot grant what you have already." The genius put a hand on the girl's shoulder. There was a new compassion in her flat tone. "You want help, my child. Let me give you this: You have all the help you need if you look for it." She straightened and went on monotonically, "Your next wish, mistress."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The girl looked out over the valley. What she was thinking, I couldn't imagine. Probably the same as me, wondering what the genius meant by what she said. It was a long time before the girl spoke again.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"I only have one more."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]The genius said indifferently, "If that is your wish."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Yes it is."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"Will you watch the sunset with me?"[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]There was a pause. The girl, her face unreadable, gazed up into the eyes of the expressionless genius. Finally, the woman spoke.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]"If it is as you wish."[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]They sat together and watched until the final rays of the sun had faded into the starlit night sky. With the sun's last ray, the genius disappeared. Silently the girl picked up the colorless pebble, put it in her pocket, rose, and left.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I followed at an inconspicuous distance until I had seen her safely home. I lingered on the sidewalk across the street, watching her front door, until a tired-looking, poorly-fed puppy padded up to the door and pawed at it, whimpering. I turned and walked away.[/font]


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When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .

 

tumblr_meb7408mTy1r4ejnio1_1280.gif

 

I know I am ready to start my voyage.

 

A Musing Author . . . Want to read my books?


#32 Offline Baltarc

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 12:40 AM

[font="georgia, serif;"]She never truly felt at home there until she went to Dordt College[/font]

dordt is for dorks/calvin familyanyway uhMember Name: BaltarcTheme: Character StoryWord Count: 750Story: "Oranges in a Thunderstorm"

 

I was… oh, I don’t know, eight years old, maybe, kind of a weird kid, didn’t have many friends. It was midway through summer; the few kids my age I got along with were out of town. I was bored, really bored – couldn’t think of anything worth doing inside, and it was way too hot to do anything out in the sun. I figured I might as well head into the woods behind my house, see if I could find anything interesting, a deer, maybe, or a creek or a pond I didn’t know about. The woods went back quite a ways, see; you could spend every afternoon out there for a decade and still find new stuff each day.

 

I grabbed a couple granola bars and a bottle of water and walked off, wandering aimlessly until I found a neat little waterfall sort of thing. I sat there for a while, watching it, and eventually decided to follow it upstream for a while. Somehow, I made it to a road cutting through the trees.

 

The road was narrow, but it was paved, paved with cobblestones, anyway. I started down the it, curious to see where it would lead, and I glanced up at the sky as I did so. It was darkening; storm clouds were gathering above. It would be raining before too long.

 

I’d been on the road a while, never seeing anything but trees and the same cobblestone path, when I realized how hungry I was. I’d finished off my last granola bar a good hour ago already, and trekking through the woods was taking up a lot of energy. What with the rain and the hunger, I was just thinking it would be a good idea to turn around and head back when a dark building loomed into view, a house that was really more a mansion than a simple house. It was on a cliff, and behind it, I could see the ocean churning in the building storm.

 

I walked forward, a bit apprehensively, I guess, but my eight-year-old mind was more concerned with getting indoors before the rain began in earnest (and maybe getting some food in the process) than the potential danger.

 

It wasn’t until I’d banged the wolf-head-shaped knocker against the door a couple times that I remembered the stories the other kids told about the house at the edge of the sea, the house where the witch lived. The witch who cast magic with some weird rock and—

 

The door creaked open, and, well, not that I knew much about witches, but the woman who stood there didn’t seem much like one. I don’t really remember much of what she looked like – she was young, I guess, and pretty. She did have a rock in her hand, I noticed, but it didn’t look very magic to me – just an ordinary chunk of granite.

 

She smiled down at me, somewhat amused. “How’d you get all the way out here, huh?”

 

“I, uh— I walked,” I stammered, more confused than anything. She wanted to know how I’d gotten here, but not my name?

 

“Walked, huh.” She laughed softly, though I wasn’t sure what was so funny. She shook her head. “Never mind. You probably want to get out of the rain, yeah? It’s not looking pretty out there.” As if on cue, a bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, chased a half-second later by an angry roar of thunder. I didn’t need much more invitation than that. “Hungry, too, I bet? Uh, here. Have one of these.” She grabbed an orange out of a bowl resting on a shelf just inside the house and tossed it to me.

 

She turned and walked off, a bit of a weird thing to do when you’ve got a guest, but I didn’t think much of it. I followed, peeling the orange as I did so. Suddenly I stopped – the fruit’s flesh was a deep, dark red. She turned, seeing my surprise, and laughed again. “What are they saying about me these days – the oranges are red from the blood of my victims or something?” I blinked. Actually, I had heard that. “It’s their natural color,” she continued, “and a rather nice color, at that. A genetic mutation.”

 

I cautiously popped a wedge of the orange in my mouth. Tasted fine. The rest of the fruit was gone in seconds. She smiled, pointing a thumb at another bowl of the oranges. “Help yourself.”

 

I did so.


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#33 Offline Hubert

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 01:39 AM

Member Name: Toa Onarax

Theme: Character Story

Word Count: 750

Story: "My Little Angel"

 

It was days like these I always missed him the most. My father had always been by my side, always calling me his little Angel and while I couldn’t quite rationalize why someone would believe in something like Angels, I must admit it felt good.

 

We’d come down to our spot on the beach, skipping pebbles along the water, it had always been our little thing, and he’d always beaten me at it. I’d always try and calculate the best angle to throw with, and he’d always beat me, just by throwing it without a care in the world. Whenever I got frustrated, he’d always laugh and say.

 

“My little Angel, brains are good and all, but sometimes you just need a little fate and a little gut.”

 

This of course would only serve to make me angrier and I’d call him a fool, but even still we both cherished our time together. Even as the sun began to set, we’d only sit there marveling as the sky and sea turned a shade of blood orange. Under the beautiful, fading rays of sunlight, we’d slowly begin our walk back home, along the way my father would brag to anyone he knew about how his little girl was the most precious thing in the world.

 

Back then I’d feel mortified, what kind nincompoop has to brag about someone else so much, however now all I could do was tightly clutch a pebble, much like the ones we used to throw, and cry at the memory. Why’d you have to leave me dad.

 

The night it happened a storm was supposed to be coming our way; I had gotten fed up with the constant bullying at school, the kids always calling me out for being smarter than them. So I ran, I ran to our special spot and cried my heart out, I never wanted to go back, what was the point of me being smarter than everyone else if it only brought me so much pain.

 

Then I had felt a hand at my shoulder, my dad’s grinning face was looking down at me. His smile was so warm that night, yet his eyes were filled with a deep sadness at seeing his little Angel crying like this. “Your mother’s been crying her heart out dear. Won’t you come home already?”

 

I only shook my head, muttering about not ever wanting to go back anywhere, that everywhere was terrible. Still my dad only laughed and asked if that included our special spot. The words hit me, deeper than I could have imagined, and I replied that in that case I’d stay here.

 

Once again he laughed and said, “Angel, you’re a smart girl, smarter than your old man. Do the math; if the world is so big, what are the odds that the only good place in this whole big world exists only here? Pretty darn lousy I’d say, of course I’m no genius, but I’d think you’d agree.”

 

He then lifted my sobbing face out of my arms and knelt down in front of me so our eyes met. “Now look, the world can be scary place at times and yes there are some bad people out there, but for every bad person there’s a hundred good people out there waiting to be met, so do your old man a favor and keep your head up high to find them. After all Angels like you came from above, not below.”

 

Sure I found his words irrational at the time, but they managed to cheer me up a bit. So when he asked if I was ready to go home I just nodded my head, unfortunately that was when the storm decided to rear its ugly head. My dad picked me into his two arms and ran as fast as he could towards a nearby shelter, throwing me in and then, my tears began to flow freely down my face as the memories came back, he knew there wasn’t enough time to get in, so he, well, he... shut the door.

 

That was the last time I saw him, and even then he’d been grinning like a maniac. That next morning I awoke to find the storm had died down. The moment my mind started working I rushed out the door, but all I found were some pebbles my dad used to carry when we came to the beach. I’m sorry dad, I’ll hold my head up high from now on.


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#34 Offline SonicBOOM XS

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 02:00 AM

Name: SonicBOOM XS

Theme: Character Story

Word Count: 750

Story: My Hero

 

I still keep Dwayne the Rock in my pocket. Even when I give speeches or read out reports, his form makes a little bulge in my pants, announcing his existence to all who see me. His aura forms a shield around me which no hurtful words nor thoughts can penetrate, and his mere presence scares away any potential threats. He is my Guardian, my Champion, my Knight on a white steed.

 

Every day, I wake up with him on my bedside table, his Watchful Eye having protected me while the night slipped by. Every day, I put him in my pocket and roam the world without fear or hesitation, knowing that I'm able to conquer any foe with him by my side. Every day, I read with him, write with him, discover with him, laugh with him. And every day, when it's time to go to bed, I put him on my bedside table and let him dutifully stand guard for the eight hours I slumber.

 

It's been routine for as many years as I can remember, albeit not one I'd risk breaking. I still remember, quite vividly in fact, the day that he first arrived to my rescue. Without him, I doubt I could ever have become the young woman I am today.

 

I was five when it happened. See, regardless of what anyone tells you, genius children do end up isolated moreso than the average child. Even gifted, but not genius, children are able to make friends faster than we are. It's Psychology 101. I took that in 6th grade.

 

Anyways, I was this little, isolated five year old girl who just so happened to be “blessed” with the sort of IQ that would make anyone jealous. And like any other genius, I was sitting alone on the playground, minding my own business. Back then I had no one to comfort me, nothing to hold and gain happiness from. I was tiny, shy, and envied.

 

Not a very good combination.

 

My schoolmates also happened to be a bit ruder than your average people. For instance, they formed a clique under the leadership of the boy called Leroy, but whom I referred to as “Savage”. And in this clique, there was a rule that if you stumbled upon anyone wearing orange, you'd make them regret it.

 

As per the course, I wore orange. Not only that, but I adore orange. It's my favorite color. I wouldn't mind having orange everywhere I went. Even the labs I work in need some form of orange in them.

 

And lo and behold, the boy to walk past this poor creature was none other than Savage. Oh, I remember his defining details. The jam smeared across his face, the disgusting food stains on his shirt, his putrid smell and flabby elements, and that sneer. Oh that sneer.

 

I'd already been harassed by this monster before. Multiple times. Not only in class, where I was relatively safe, but also whenever his mother brought him over. Ironic, isn't it? Best friends gave birth to mortal enemies. Their relationship was so opposite ours, it sometimes made me laugh.

 

But he never had to beat me down because I wore orange. Or rather, he couldn't; I usually had some protector around when I did wear that color.

 

That moment, I didn't.

 

“HEY LAURA. DID THE LITTLE BABY NOT HAVE ANY FRIENDS?”

 

Typical lame insults. I let them fly.

 

“LAURA I SAID SOMETHING. YOU KNOW THE RULES ABOUT WEARING ORANGE?”

 

I could feel it coming on. He beat me down before, twice. Both times, I cried. I cried. I still feel the tracks those tears made on my face.

 

“GUESS WHAT LAURA? ORANGE IS STUPID! AND WE DON'T LIKE STUPID PEOPLE!”

 

I looked around for someone, anyone, to save me.

 

And there he was. My knight in shining armor. Dwayne.

 

Savage ran at me, full speed. But as David slew Goliath, so too did Dwayne defeat Savage.

 

The monster fell, tripped over my hero. His face hit the ground, and I heard a crack or two. The monster was slain.

 

Well, figuratively. Savage erupted into tears and started to cry. Cry. Harder than I ever cried.

 

I kept him for company, but I only named him once I found the proper name. My dad always went on about how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was an amazing wrestler. And so I knighted my rock Dwayne.

 

And so far, he has never failed to protect his princess.

 


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Undergoing Renovations...


#35 Offline Velox

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 02:25 AM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;font-size:18px;]Theme #6:[/color][/font] 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;]Posted Image[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;]The Mask[/color][/font] 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;]Any interpretation is valid. Remember that this is an OTC theme, and your story must comply with the contest rules.[/color]Deadline:[color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;] July 3rd, 11:59 PM PST.[/color][/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);text-align:center;]Also: The Character Story Polls have been posted! Please vote![/color][/font]


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"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender


#36 Offline Excelsior

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 02:42 AM

Sorry this is so late.

 

Member Name: Excelsior

Theme: Character Story

Words: 749

Story: My Teacher

 

[font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);]Mistress Alethea is dead. My teacher is dead.[/color][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]I don't know how old I was the day I first met her, though I know I was very young.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"] I remember it was a very wet[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"] day[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"], and that I had a particular need for another blood orange. That meant stealing it at the marketplace.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]I was edging away from the orange vendor's stall, clutching my prize, when I felt two hands grasp my shoulders. I tried to wrench away, but she held on and turned me to face her.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Give me that orange, little girl."[/color][/font][/font] [font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Her voice was firm, but not ungentle. She had a thoughtful, intelligent face[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"].[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Not that I cared then. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"I won't!" I hissed, struggling wildly. "I need it!"[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She frowned, obviously seeing my sincerity. "Shall we make a deal, then, child? I will buy it and give the fruit to you. I am content with the peel."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"But the rind is the part I want!" I protested. "It's the best shade there is for my experiments."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Her face changed. "Do you mean to tell me you conduct color-based alchemical experiments? You're a street child, and you can't be more than six.[/color][/font][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"What is your name?"[/color][/font][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Blood Orange," I said warily, "because I use so many of them."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]I didn't trust her, but she was the first person I had ever spoken to who showed knowledge of alchemy. And [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]I craved [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]knowledge.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"What's yours?"[/color][/font][/font]
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She smiled. "[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Alchemical [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Mistress Alethea Hartwin."[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Next day, I became her apprentice.[/color][/font][/font]
---
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Some days after, she called me to her side. "Orange?"[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Yes, teacher?" I loved having a qualified instructor, even if not all her time was spent teaching me. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She had explained my first day that she spent time in a private workshop - off-limits to me - engaged in dangerous experiments.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She smiled slightly at my promptness. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"I think you ought to have a real name, child. Do you agree?"[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Yes!"[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"I was thinking Kathy, perhaps. Katherine's a good name."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"I like that, teacher."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She laughed. "Very well...Kathy."[/color][/font][/font]---[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Over four years after that, we [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]had multiple orders from customers,[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"] as well as Mistress Alethea's private research. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]The orders weren't nearly as interesting, being standard alchemy, but they were time-consuming. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"] I decided to do one myself.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Some hours later, I had succeeded. [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"] I called my teacher [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]and showed my results to her.[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Her eyebrows rose at my work "Kathy...I believe you're a genius."---[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Exactly eight years after I had become Mistress Alethea's apprentice, I [/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]had a question to ask her.[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Good morning, Mistress Alethea."[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Good morning, Kathy." She smiled. "What would you like to do today?"[/color][/font][/font] 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]It was traditional on this anniversary that I could ask for whatever I wanted.[/color][/font][/font]I inhaled deeply. "Mistress...may I see your secret project?

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Please, teacher ! I'm fourteen-ish now, old enough to be a full apprentice. And you know I've helped with all the parts you've let me see. I'm intelligent enough to help, teacher."[/color][/font][/font][font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She sighed. "Katherine, do you have any idea what this 'project' is?"[/color][/font][/font]

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Yes, teacher. I've helped you enough to put together some pieces. It's...some sort of Stone, isn't it?"[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She looked taken aback. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Yes, it is a Stone."It has taken generations to bring it this far, and it's still incomplete. When it's finished, it will have unimaginable powers. Even now, it's extremely dangerous." She met my eyes."And extremely dangerous to be associated with."[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"If you were willing, teacher, then I am too."[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]She smiled proudly. "Good girl."---[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Some months after that day, we were both in the private workplace. It was the most fascinating work I had ever done. When I had seen the Stone for the first time, it was a jagged lump of varicolored minerals, but I could see the outlines of its potential.[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Teacher, look!" I called to her. "I've bypassed the limitations of the quartz that you were worrying about."[/color][/font][/font] 
"Well done, child."
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]---[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]Over twelve years after I met Mistress Alethea, we were eating dinner when we heard a commotion in the street. We looked out the window and saw a group of soldiers marching toward our house.[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Kathy," she said, "I heard a rumor in the marketplace that makes me fear the worst. This is what I want you to do.[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]"Go into the workroom, take the Stone, and put it around your neck. Don't come in here again unless I tell you to, and if things look bad, go out the trapdoor exit and get away."---[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]One day after they killed my teacher, I write this in a deserted alley. The Stone is in its pouch around my neck, where I shall keep it always.[/color][/font][/font] 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="'arial narrow', sans-serif;"]I am Katherine Blood Orange, and my teacher Alethea Hartwin's death shall not be vain.[/color][/font][/font]

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Posted Image

My writings:

The Toa Ekara - Visions A short story. Ga-Koro Mobs My entry for the LSO Comedies Contest. Team Extempore's entry for the LSO Epics Contest


#37 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 10:59 PM

Member Name: Nuile

Theme: The Mask

Word Count: 283

Story: The Jester

 

 

[font="arial;"]I wear this mask to hide my name,[/font]

[font="arial;"]Cover my face, cover my shame.[/font]

[font="arial;"]This painted grin, burden it's been;[/font]

[font="arial;"]A laughing glance, cover my pain.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I laugh and dance, I joke, I sing,[/font]

[font="arial;"]For peasant low, for queen, for king;[/font]

[font="arial;"]I make you smile, and all the while,[/font]

[font="arial;"]Deep in my heart, my soul crying.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I show the world a merry face,[/font]

[font="arial;"]I spread good cheer all round the place:[/font]

[font="arial;"]Ever after, behind my laughter,[/font]

[font="arial;"]Behind this mask, sulks sad disgrace.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Long years ago, I had nothing,[/font]

[font="arial;"]No paint, no lies to force a grin;[/font]

[font="arial;"]I walked for miles, wore joyous smiles,[/font]

[font="arial;"]Now that's all lost, slain by my sin.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Who knew a chain could be so weak?[/font]

[font="arial;"]One small blunder, my joy could take?[/font]

[font="arial;"]Hard to believe, that I should grieve,[/font]

[font="arial;"]For all this time, for one mistake.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]One word let slip invokes a curse.[/font]

[font="arial;"]A desperate try tightens the noose.[/font]

[font="arial;"]For the stars sailing, all else failing,[/font]

[font="arial;"]All demons, worms, and fears let loose.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Buried beneath earth damp and cold,[/font]

[font="arial;"]Those eyes once bright, that heart once bold:[/font]

[font="arial;"]The remnants of my long-lost love;[/font]

[font="arial;"]Now laid to rest like pirate's gold.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]Of joy and grief I've been bereft,[/font]

[font="arial;"]A hopeless void, an empty cleft.[/font]

[font="arial;"]I've danced and twirled, made laugh the world,[/font]

[font="arial;"]But in my heart there's nothing left.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I wear this mask to hide my tears.[/font]

[font="arial;"]The sun is gone, shadows are here:[/font]

[font="arial;"]This painted grin, burden it's been;[/font]

[font="arial;"]My sad heart can still offer cheer.[/font]

 

[font="arial;"]I wear this mask to play a fool:[/font]

[font="arial;"]A puppet and a broken tool . . .[/font]

[font="arial;"]Though I am dead, joy I can spread;[/font]

[font="arial;"]And make this world less dark, less cruel.[/font]


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When I know I can't live without a pen and paper, when I know writing is as necessary to me as breathing . . .

 

tumblr_meb7408mTy1r4ejnio1_1280.gif

 

I know I am ready to start my voyage.

 

A Musing Author . . . Want to read my books?


#38 Offline farmstink buttlass

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Posted Jul 02 2013 - 11:54 PM

Member Name: dotcom

Theme: The Mask

Word Count: 298

Story:

 

Simple

 

It’s really quite simple.

 

More than anything else, people fear what they don’t understand.

 

Everyone hates not knowing. Everyone wants to feel like they’re in control, like they know why everything happens, what everyone else thinks, why everyone else thinks what they think.

 

What they don’t understand, they rationalize away in simple terms. Everything has an explanation. Everything is perfectly rational when you give it some thought, really.

 

So why do I do what I do? It’s perfectly simple, perfectly rational, when you give it some thought.

 

Surely I was traumatized as a child. Surely I witnessed some heinous act of violence, from which I could not recover. Surely I come from a terrible, abusive family situation. Surely I’ve suffered countless losses. Surely I am a victim in some way, and I only lash out because I’m lonely and lost.

 

Surely, beneath this mask of violence and joyful hatred, I am a perfectly nice person.

 

Perfectly rational.

 

Perfectly simple.

 

Just one of many, a victim of circumstance.

 

And it’s true. So long as it’s convenient, they are right. I only mask my inner, placid, peaceful self out of fear and desperation. My mask is not physical, but a fabricated feeling of loathing, a false, if overwhelming, desire to see every last thing in ruins and every last person in pieces.

 

But, it’s perfectly rational.

 

It’s perfectly simple, when you think about it.

 

It isn’t my fault. I don’t want it. I definitely do not enjoy it.

 

But here’s a question.

 

When you give it some thought.

 

Who is behind the biggest mask? Those that hide their fear and their lack of understanding behind half-hearted explanations and rationalizations, or I, who wear my feelings on my sleeve?

 

The answer is quite simple, once you give it some thought.


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#39 Offline Little Miss Krahka

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Posted Jul 03 2013 - 08:50 AM

[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Member Name: Little Miss Krahka[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Theme: The Mask[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Word Count: 701[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'times new roman', times, serif;text-align:center;]Story: Masks of a Sith[/color]

 

 

Kleskizhae took deep breaths as he put on his helmet, preparing for the coming battle.

 

“Why do you wear that mask?” Aeziya, his Twi’lek lover asked him.

 

The voculator of his mask gave him what he thought was an intimidating monotone. “Don’t want anyone to ruin this pretty face.”

 

She snorted. “Right, what a shame that’d be. Bigger shame you have to hide it.” There was a fine line between sarcasm and a compliment in there. That’s what Kleskizhae liked about her. She was always willing to speak her mind. She hid behind no masks.

 

She gave him a kiss on the cheek of his helmet as they leaped down to the landing zone, with Kleskizhae’s red lightsaber blazing and Aeziya’s pistols ready and aimed. The battlefield was almost empty, they had come for clean up after a larger battle, to make sure that the Jedi Master leading the attack on Ilum was dead, and there were few better Jedi killers than Darth Kleskizhae and the infamous mercenary, Aeziya.

 

Master Illius was a Miraluka, and a veteran of many battles. She’d been on the Empire’s most wanted list since the Battle of Balmorra, and in numerous battles since then, had won victory for the Republic. That was unacceptable. She had to be eliminated.

 

The battlefield was a mass of bodies, unidentifiable save for the white armor of the Republic, the black armor of the Empire, the brown robes of the Jedi and the black robes of the Sith. But Kleskizhae sensed that a powerful presence in the Force still lingered.

 

Illius stood over the body of a Jedi, one of her comrades, and the body of a Sith, who presumably was the one who killed the Jedi.

 

Kleskizhae pointed his lightsaber at her, getting into stance to prepare to strike. “One last chance, Illius. Surrender or be destroyed.”

 

She smiled without looking up. “Not often a Sith offers a chance at mercy. What would happen to me if I surrendered, I wonder, what would happen to me? Would you send me to Imperial Intelligence? Would you try to break me?” She looked up at him. “You’re an odd one. I can see it in every swirl of your aura. You try to mask it, but the Light is with you.” 

“Nonsense,” Kleskizhae spat. “I’m a Sith.” 

“There’s more to this than Sith and Jedi. This is a battle of balance in the Force. I’d like to counter your offer. You can take off that mask and come with me, where you will be safe. Those with compassion don’t last long in the Empire.” 

“So that you’d have me murdered? Or worse, made a Jedi? Aeziya, let’s kill this Jedi and be done with it.” 

Aeziya smiled. “Taking out chatty Jedi? Always a pleasure.” 

“Fine then,” she said, drawing her green lightsaber. “Someday that mask will come off, and I won’t be able to help you then. I only hope that I will be the only one who can see your true self.”

 

She was injured, and despite her power, she was no match for one of the Empire’s best lightsabers, much less the Empire’s best shot.

After the battle, Kleskizhae took off his helmet and sighed.

 

“Something wrong?” Aeziya said, placing her hand on his now exposed face. “We killed a Jedi, we get paid. You don’t actually believe her, do you?”

 

“I . . . I don’t know. They say Miraluka can see your alignment in the Force, attunement to the Light or the Dark side of the Force. You don’t suppose I use the Light side like a Jedi?”

 

“That’s a bunch of nonsense and you know it. Light side, dark side, who cares? I wouldn’t be with you if you were a typical Sith. And I’d definitely never be with you if you were a Jedi. All that matters is that we’re alive and she isn’t.” 

Kleskizhae smiled. “I suppose you’re right.” But inside he worried. She didn’t understand Sith politics, not the way he did. There were days when he felt like he was wearing more masks with his fellow Sith than he did on the battlefield. And they served the same purpose. Protection. Survival. Saving his pretty, pretty face.


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Had to be me. Someone else could've gotten it wrong.


#40 Offline Naina

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Posted Jul 03 2013 - 01:44 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=rgb(0,0,0);text-align:center;]Member Name: Naina[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);text-align:center;]Theme: The Mask[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);text-align:center;]Word Count: 582[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);text-align:center;]Story:[/color][/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The monotonous drone of marching sentries fills the air. I crouch in a dark corner as I wait for them to pass. Not impatiently, no, I cannot afford impatience. A little haste and the whole operation could be ruined.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Perhaps I should introduce myself. I’m a spy and saboteur. My name is not important and you don’t need to know my affiliations. All you need to know is that this base contains the deadliest weapon in the enemy’s arsenal and we need to blow it sky high. If we can do that, this cold war will finally be at an end, the Antarctic will be restored to its natural beauty and the world will be saved. You know the drill.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]It’s a tricky job. The sentries here shoot on sight and their weapons are specially modified lasers, designed to first freeze and after a few shots, kill. And if I get rustled out, my team has no chance. Yeah, I have a team. No, I don’t need to mention where the rest of them are.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Being a spy is complicated. You constantly have to maintain a mask behind which you hide your emotions, your ambitions - your very personality. As the leader, you cannot show the slightest doubt to your teammates, who rely on your judgment.  You have to be perfectly impassive and suppress any internal turmoil when you do what’s necessary.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Fortunately, most agencies prefer their operatives to stun rather than kill. Equally efficient and fewer legal ramifications.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Quickly, I shoot the two sentries in my path, leaving them frozen for five minutes.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I advance towards the inner chambers, creeping from shadows like a lynx stalking its prey.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]The door has a clever mechanism. It requires another operative in a separate location to operate a switch, which in turn can only be accessed by the cooperation of two other agents. All of whom are in danger of being detected by guards who will trap them and sound the alarm.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]That’s why they choose us. We’re one of the most trained and cohesive teams in the agency. We’ve been working together for over ten years, well before this war even began. My agents are stationed right where they should be, so well-disciplined it’s like our team has a hive mind. I barely need to use the radio to signal Radia.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]There, you see? She’s got the door. The epitome of a well-trained operative.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Silently, I slink forward and am about to finish wiring the explosives when-[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Go Dash! Wooohoo, we finished the game!”[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Where on earth did that come from?[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I look up at the ceiling and then straight out, at the wall opposite. No, I don’t believe it.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]I, Dash, leader of the Alpha team, cannot be made a fool of like this.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]This entire set-up, the fortress, the mission – it’s all an illusion, a form of entertainment for these untrained youth. My actions and this scenario form the veneer, the professional mask of espionage for a simple action computer game. Spy games evidently hold considerable glamour.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]There are two children on a computer, treating me as a simple puppet. They tug their controls like a marionette’s strings. Whatever happened to free will?[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Helplessly, to my immense frustration, I wire the detonator and leave the room. Safely outside of the fortress, I hit the button.[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Kaboom. The fortress is gone, the Artic is safe and two children have won their video game. And all that it took was my disillusioned dignity.[/font]


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~KH~

Posted Image

I'll take your part

When darkness comes

And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down





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