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Balta's Flash Fiction Compilation

Flash Fiction Contest Compilation

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#1 Offline Baltarc

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Posted May 29 2012 - 07:29 PM

Well, I wasn't going to make one of these, but I need a topic for them to be reviewed by the SSCC. So. Aqui los están.VisionsShadow of the WindI stood on the lip of the crater, gazing down into the unfathomable darkness of its immeasurable depths. We were here. We had done it. A smile forming on my mask, I looked up, turning to my companions.But of the three, only one was present – Quintus. The sunlight glinted off his green armor, but something about the way it reflected was...wrong. I looked into his face, which bore a peculiar expression, a satisfied sort of smile that I couldn’t quite place. “Where are the others, Quintus?” I asked. My heart rate rose rapidly, though I wasn’t quite sure why.The world spun. I felt like I was hanging upside down for a split second and then as if I was falling and then-I stepped back in horror. In Quintus’ place hovered a dark form, a roiling mass of pure shadow. From its depths came a terrible sound – laughter, laughter in Quintus’ voice, the same laugh I had come to know so well from the easygoing Le-Toa. “You have done well, my friend.” The words echoed in my mind, the words in my friend’s voice, but not his voice. I got the feeling I should run, but my feet didn’t seem to want to listen. The mass of shadow seethed, a violent ripple passing through it, and a bolt of its substance flew from it, impossibly fast, and struck me in the chest-My eyes snapped open. I was breathing heavily, my heart racing. Quintus stood over me, a worried expression on his face. “You all right, man?” he asked. I nodded slowly. “Well, if you’re sure...” he shrugged. “Get some sleep. There’s still a few hours ‘til your watch.”I wanted to take his advice – badly. I was tired, extremely tired, and we had a long day tomorrow. But instead I rose. “Nah, that’s all right. I’ll take it from here.”Quintus looked at me curiously, then shrugged again. “If you say so.” Within a few moments, he was sound asleep.I gazed out over the clearing, looking upon the sleeping forms of my companions. The dream...could it really have been just that? My gaze fell upon Jotham. He had warned me, privately, of course, about taking Quintus with us. Maybe my imagination was just catching up with me, and I was subconsciously inventing things based on his warning?Yes. Yes, that must have been it. I sat back against the tree, settling myself in a comfortable position, preparing for the long wait ‘til morning.Legends of Lhii - This is the original version. 828 words.InstinctA ring of six torches, flickering in the darkness, encircles the group of Ta-Matoran, casting wavering pools of light upon the pit of sand at their center. The excited conversation of moments before has faded, and all eyes are fixed upon the hunched being leaning on his staff at one end of the slightly elliptical pit.Turaga Vakama taps his staff on the ground once, and the flames of the torches fal to glowing embers. He reaches into a small pouch at his side, withdrawing a single stone and casting it into the pit. The Matoran cannot see the details of the stone in the darkness, but they know it well. The Turaga’s ancient voice rings through the group, every word clear despite the softness of his tone. “You have heard many times the legends of Lhii, the greatest lavasurfer Ta-Koro has ever known.” Vakama pauses, and the Matoran wait expectantly. “But surfing is not all he was known for...”

Thwick, thwick, thwick, plink. The rock skipped across the water, sending ripples across the peaceful surface of the bay. Lhii glanced down and selected another rock, about the size of his hand, about half the width of his finger. In a well-practiced motion he drew back his arm and sent the stone flying with a flick of his wrist. Lhii liked it here, alone, in this peaceful bay, hidden from the outside world by the cliffs rising up on all sides, impassable save for a single trail of which Lhii alone knew. Out here he could think, something he never had the time or space for back in Ta-Koro. He chose another rock. Threw it. Thwick, thwick, thwick, plink.Crunch.Crunch? Lhii turned casually at the sound, mostly worried that he had been discovered and would have to find another hideout. But to his relief, no one was there. With a shrug, he chose another rock. Threw it. Thwick, thwick, thwick, plink.CRUNCH.Now that he hadn’t imagined. Lhii turned again and stood, grabbing his lavaboard as he did so. Someone – or something – was there, and he didn’t want to meet it unprepared. Cautiously, Lhii made his way for the narrow staircase of sorts that was a natural feature of the rock. An upward glance revealed nothing (not that he had expected it to), so he began to climb.He was about halfway up when he heard it again – CRUNCH! But it was followed by another sound, a muffled sort of cry, as though for help. Lhii quickened his pace.By the time he reached the top, the muffled cry was no longer muffled, nor was it a cry – it was a full-on scream. The crunches, too, were no longer crunches, but powerful reverberations Lhii could feel through the rock at his feet. A large formation of rock sat atop the ridge, and he dashed around it without second thought – he was moving on instinct now.The scene would have struck fear into any Matoran’s heart, and Lhii was no exception. A Muaka in mottled grey-and-brown armor stood before him, massive, the largest he had seen. It crouched menacingly, a snarl upon its maw, ready to pounce – but not on him. The Rahi took no notice of Lhii, intent as it was on the Ga-Matoran backed against the wall of rock, cowering in fear. Her screams had died; fear lodging all sound back in her throat.Lhii was afraid, yes. But this did not stop him. His pace never slowed as he dashed for the Rahi. Diving forward, he planted his lavaboard on the ground, and pushing off it into a perfect aerial roll landed on the beast’s back. The Muaka’s attention was on him now as it lunged back and forth, attempting to shake him off. But Lhii hung on.Lhii was positioned atop the Muaka’s neck at this point. In a swift motion, he split apart the two blades that made up his lavaboard and slammed the butt of one of them into the Rahi’s temple several times. It was a blow that would have crumpled a lesser Rahi instantaneously, but the Muaka barely seemed affected. Lhii looked down into its eyes and saw the expression he had hoped never to see again – the look of a creature driven to madness by the Makuta. There was but one way to end this.Lhii dropped the blade in his left hand and grabbed the edge of a plate of armor. As the Muaka skidded to a halt, Lhii let himself fall, slipping sideways off the Rahi’s neck, still holding tightly to its armor. An upward thrust, the flash of the blade in the sunlight-And everything was still. With a long, wistful glance at the body of the slain Rahi, Lhii retrieved his blades. Cleaned them. Formed them again into his lavaboard.He offered his hand to the Ga-Matoran as she rose unsteadily to her feet. Wordlessly, the two began the long trek back to Ga-Koro.Flight - Yeah, it sucks. I know.I Didn't Sign Up for ThisThe moment I stepped off the elevator to Le-Koro I knew something was wrong. The place, simply put, seemed abandoned – the usually lively Le-Matoran were nowhere to be seen; instead of their singing voices, the only sound was the whistle of the wind. All that remained to suggest they’d ever been there was a single flute, haphazardly discarded at the center of the square.I bent over and picked the instrument up, examining it. I lifted it to my lips, played a few notes-The Koro sprung to life, dozens of Matoran leaping from hiding places, regarding me curiously. Well, that was odd. At least-A droning hum filled the air, growing louder by the second, cutting off any chance at conversation. Turning, I saw what looked to be dark clouds billowing up in the distance, approaching rapidly. There was a flurry of movement as the Le-Matoran jumped to action, racing off in all directions. Some ran to the edge of the platform and – leaped off!?Dark forms swooped up from beneath the platform of the village – it took me a few moments to realize that these were Gukko, the Matoran’s mounts. I chuckled softly. Well, those vineswingers could try their crazy stunts if they wanted.One Matoran had remained behind, calling for my attention. I quickly ran over to him. Kongu, he said his name was. Evidently the Turaga had been taken by Nui-Rama, and the oversized bugs were now attacking the rest of them.“Good luck, then,” I said. “I wish I could help, but-”Kongu’s face broke into a grin. “Excellent, my friend! I myself am in want-need of a second!”It took me a moment to realize what he meant. “Ohh, no,” I protested. In my mind, Ta-Matoran belonged firmly planted on the ground. The air was for Matoran of that element.Kongu, however, would not be deterred. He whistled for his own mount and threw me atop it despite my protests – he was surprisingly strong for a Matoran of his build. “C’mon, firespitter!” he cried. “You can throw a disc, right?”“Well...yes.”“Well then, throw them! It’s no different than doing it from the ground, unless by ‘different’ you mean ‘better’.” He grinned wildly, and a smile involuntarily broke on my face as well. His enthusiasm was infectious.And then we were charging for the edge of the platform and leaping off and-Flying.In an instant, all my doubts evaporated – the sensation of flight, of soaring above the lowly earth...there is nothing like it.

Edited by Βalta, Jun 01 2012 - 02:05 PM.

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#2 Offline Zarayna

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Posted Jun 02 2012 - 09:08 PM

Official SSCC review!All right, first let me put it this way: through no fault of your own, I was a little confused about backstory because, obviously, there's not much you can put in over the course of 400-600 words. Nonetheless, It was understandable even on its own.The theme it touches is common: distrust. You don't really know much about Quintus, but you can't help but distrust him a little. Is he a traitor or isn't he? The dream/vision is classic, but even still there's that element of uncertainty.Next, the plot. It was very simple, and in fact more of a fragment of plot than anything else. Nonetheless, it was understandable.The writing style is one I have no problem with: it's not terrible, although it's not extremely outstanding. It's good, understandable, and easy to read.I could not find any spelling errors, so that section is cut out.Overall, Shadow of the Wind was an enjoyable read, as short as it was. I wish you luck in the contest(s).
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