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Shadows


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#1 Offline The Otter

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Posted Mar 31 2012 - 10:02 PM

Another story? Really? I need to stop writing these. Ah well, they're fun.Cotan stepped up to the small rock, sitting atop it to watch the sunrise. He sighed happily, thinking about all the times he had been here before, laughing, sharing jokes and breakfast with his friends. If he thought for a moment, he could almost see them again.He smiled, though a hint of sadness tinged the gesture, and continued to view the sunrise.

* * *

Cotan turned away from the battle. After watching the sunrise, he had begun to walk through the tall-grasses of the plains where he and his charges resided. He hadn't expected a pack of Skakdi to jump up and attack him, though. These were no normal Skakdi, either. They were feral, barely more than the Muakas one might find stalking a dikapi or mahi through the plains.

"Ah, well," he muttered to himself, wiping clean the blade of his axe. "What happens happens. No way to stop it, really." He shook his head, continuing on back to the village, where one of his last friends lived. He smiled as he watched the Matoran farmers at work. They were always so happy just to get out and do something, he couldn't help but be happy for them.

He stepped through the walls of the small town, waving to the guards posted there. They smiled back, and raised their spears in greeting, as Cotan stepped into the small market. The Toa of Fire strode leisurely up to a small fruit stand, and pulled out a small bag of widgets.

"Good morning, Zhellek," he said to the Le-Matoran who was there, sleeping. The lazy Matoran started, and looked out from under his hat. He then smiled, pulling out a few fruit for Cotan to look at.

"You know what I always speak-say," Zhellek said. "Best fruit on the island, and nobody can cross-speak that." He smiled up at Cotan. "What are you going to buy, fire-spitter?"

Cotan smiled down at Zhellek. Time for the old game. "Well, that depends, good friend," Cotan said skeptically, looking down at the fruit on the table. He picked one up, and tapped it a few times. "I don't know why, but these fruit seem awfully similar to the ones from yesterday, don't you think?"

"My fruit are all grown from the same stock of trees, Cotan. Don't you think they'd look similar?" The Le-Matoran asked sarcastically, though his grin grew wider. "You can have a full basket, forty-five good-sized fruit, for sixty widgets."

"Sixty?" Cotan exclaimed, feigning astonishment. "I can't take such a high price for fruit such as these. I'll give you twenty widgets." He managed to keep a straight face as he spoke, compared to Zhellek.

"Twenty!" Zhellek said, throwing his hands in the air. "Twenty widgets, for fruit such as these? I can't believe you, Cotan, a Toa trying to rob a matoran blind..." Zhellek shook his head, before looking back up. "Fine, fine, if you want it that way, forty-five widgets. One for each fruit." He then raised his eyebrows when Cotan carried on.

"Forty-five?" Cotan said. "Forty-five widgets? I'd still say that's a ripoff, Zhellek, and you know it. Come down to forty and we'll have a deal." Cotan had already grabbed the fruit basket, leaving forty-five widgets on the table, just to tip his friend a bit.

"For-oh, fine, take it your way!" Zhellek yelled at the departing Toa of Fire, "But when I'm reduced to living on the streets, scraping trash out of a gutter just to live, you'll know who's to blame!" He then laughed slightly, turning over to the next customer by him as Cotan smiled.

* * *

Cotan stepped through the Koro, eating one of his fruit. He had dropped the rest off at his home, but he'd been kind of hungry, so he snacked on one of the things as he went to his friend's home. He loved oranges...couldn't get enough of them. Most other Toa thought this odd, but everybody had their quirks, so...

He smiled as he found himself in front of his friend's door. Then he looked around-he would have sworn he was still a few blocks away. "Odd..." he muttered, then he shrugged. He was getting on in age, close to where most Toa became Turaga. That probably explained his lapse in memory.

"Oi! Alshen!" He called, catching the Vortixx's attention. The tinkerer quickly ran and opened the door, ushering Cotan inside quickly. The Toa of Fire coughed once-the dust really was getting thicker in the house.

"Good, good, you came," the nervous Alshen said, wiping grease off of his hands with a small rag. "Please, sit, sit," as the Vortixx pulled out a chair for Cotan at the table.

"What's wrong with you today, Alshen?" Cotan laughed. "You certainly seem to be in an odd mood today, don't you?" He looked around at the walls. Everything appeared indistinct for a moment, before coming back into view. Must just be the dust clouding his eyes.

"Nothing, nothing," the Vortixx said quietly, looking nervously around the room. "Please, please, let us eat," he said after a moment, pulling out some fruits and vegetables.

* * *

Cotan grinned as he went to lay down in his bed-he'd had a long day, helping Alshen with his inventions. He couldn't even remember what he'd been working on all day, so engrossed was he in his work. He opened up his bedroom window, breathing some fresh air.

Then he stopped, feeling something touch his shoulder. He turned, but everything went hazy again. "What on earth?" He said groggily, feeling his limbs grow heavy. A Garai or a Toa of Gravity, most likely. His vision flickered into view, and he thought he saw a Toa he had known, named Vokil. He shrugged, turning around back towards his bed-

-Only to see a sword flash through him quickly, it's blood-stained tip punching out of his back armour. "That's for abandoning us," a familiar voice said, as Cotan looked up to the face. It was a heavily mangled Kakama, the purple colouration on it barely visible. Cotan gasped as he recognized who it was...Vokil, his second in command. His vision grew hazy again, as he slid backwards off his friend's sword.

* * *

Cotan awoke with a start, and looked up at the sky. It was about noon, just the time he should head back to the village. He shook his head, cleared his mind, and began the trek back. He found himself rubbing his stomach, though he didn't really know why.


Edited by Kal Grochi, Mar 31 2012 - 10:02 PM.

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#2 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 01 2012 - 11:07 PM

Wow, that was a really strange story. At first, this story felt kinda lame, just an ordinary day in the life of a Toa. But then you suddenly threw in the twist, and it made me realize all the dreamlike qualities this story has. It's too ordinary for it to be real. Too good to be true. But then there was the betrayal - I think it was. I almost feel that the dream was a subconscious warning; that just as the events of the dream were too good to be true, so it his relationship to Vokil in real life. So, you've done a good job here. Keep it up!
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#3 Offline The Otter

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Posted Apr 01 2012 - 11:57 PM

Wow, that was a really strange story. At first, this story felt kinda lame, just an ordinary day in the life of a Toa. But then you suddenly threw in the twist, and it made me realize all the dreamlike qualities this story has. It's too ordinary for it to be real. Too good to be true.

That's the sort of thing I was going for, actually. Normal day in the life of a Toa. Then the twist, and you notice that he's had these odd memory lapses, where he doesn't really know what's happened. Everything is so normal, so ordinary. He never even knows he's dreaming.

But then there was the betrayal - I think it was. I almost feel that the dream was a subconscious warning; that just as the events of the dream were too good to be true, so it his relationship to Vokil in real life.

It's actually supposed to be almost like his guilt, really. How he feels that it was because of him that Vokil and the others died, as noted up when he first comes to the rock.

So, you've done a good job here. Keep it up!

Thank you very much!Oh, and thanks for making it so that I don't have to go to the SSCC just to get myself one review. I should have kept lurking here and writing, but it seems that people forgot about me after I left.

Edited by Kal Grochi, Apr 01 2012 - 11:58 PM.

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#4 Offline Velox

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Posted Apr 15 2012 - 03:46 AM

Official SSCC Review; apologies for the lateness.Interesting idea you have here. You were able to pull off the dream idea quite well: things always seem normal in a dream, but then after you realize it's not real, and how there were gaps in the story, so I thought it was cool how he noticed the gap in time, yet wrote it off as something completely natural -- completely real. Usually I'd start rambling on about how you didn't develop the character, but the fact is...you shouldn't have, so it was good that you didn't. After all, this is a dream, and dreams don't have characterization, unfortunately, lol. The descriptions were well done -- there weren't many in-depth descriptions, but because this is a dream, that is good. One thing I would have to criticize though would be his "death" -- there was no emotional impact from it, most likely due to the fact that you were unable to develop his character and it was a little rushed. Still, I would have liked to have been able to be more affected by it, which would make the dream seem more realistic and therefore make the twist at the end even greater. Speaking of the twist, very well done in that regard. While there were hints to suggest that this wasn't just a normal story, it still seemed normal enough to not give anything away, only to give doubts and create questions in the reader's mind. The last thing I'll mention before nitpicking is the title: I have to wonder why you chose Shadows as the title. I suppose you possibly meant that this dream is his "shadow" in a way -- that is, it's him, but at the same time isn't him. Which is actually cool: the title makes you think about it. Though, it also would have been cool to have a little more relation to the title; to incorporate it more into the story.And now, just a little nitpicking:

He hadn't expected a pack of Skakdi to jump up and attack him, though. These were no normal Skakdi, either.

Both these sentences just sounded odd. They sound unnatural for description; it sounds as though someone was speaking that, rather than having it be part of the actual story.

"Ah, well," he muttered to himself, wiping clean the blade of his axe.

I think you should heave featured some of the fight. Or even just adding something like "...muttered to himself after killing the last one, wiping clean the blade of his axe." would improve it, I think.

Most other Toa thought this odd, but everybody had their quirks, so...

Again the "so..." is something someone would say, not really for the actual story.

Then he looked around-he would have sworn he was still a few blocks away.

I would make the dash a double dash (--) to differentiate it from a hyphen; just makes it easier to read.

"Oi! Alshen!" He called, catching the Vortixx's attention.

"He" should be uncapitalized.

"Please, sit, sit," as the Vortixx pulled out a chair for Cotan at the table.

The comma between "sit" and the quotation mark should be a period, the "as" should be deleted, and the "the" before Vortixx should then be capitalized. Or you could just change it to: "...sit," the Vortixx said as he pulled...

"What on earth?" He said groggily, feeling his limbs grow heavy.

"He" should be uncapitalized.---I apologize if I didn't explain things well in my nitpickings...it's quite late and I'm tired, haha. But I just pointed out all the things that sounded odd, even if I didn't exactly explain why well. =PGood job again with this.Posted Image

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





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