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Rebirth

Toa Canister FFFC Flash Fiction

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 23 2013 - 05:55 PM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Rebirth[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]An explosion of light, a shockwave of heat, pain that roared through bones and muscles alike, fire that coursed through the veins, and a dull throb of otherworldly pain, resounding in your tormented soul, as it was ripped from your body and subjected to ablution in the cold, biting wind of the realm of judgment. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Rebirth.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]As she lay on the sand, as she took her first breath, the frosty air filling her lungs, she could only gasp, between quivering breaths that did nothing to soothe the burning desire for oxygen.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The beach, with its cruel, cold waves that lapped incessantly at her unprotected form, an endless sea of crushed glass as she stared at it from her position on the white sand, eyes burning from contact with the saline crystals that surrounded her, crystals that attached to her shining armour and supple skin, unwilling to leave of be brushed off. As she lied on the sand, she noticed that it was cool, almost icy, an amazing revelation to her, for the sensation of sensory stimulation was a pleasant, but fading memory, a memory that she was amazed to have witnessed twice. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She need to stand; Feeling wasn’t enough. She wanted to see this sea of crushed glass from above, she wanted to laugh, to scream, to cry, anything to hear the sound of her own voice, and she wanted to find something to eat, to indulge in both tasting food, and absorbing the aromas she found herself dearly missing.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She managed to rise to her knees. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]As she screamed in agony, slamming her palms on the yielding sand, spine arched and mouth open as the prolonged shriek of pain continued, she felt her muscules rippling with energy, her bones shrieking in agony as they were charged with unseen power, and veins aflame with a roar of pure ferocity.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]It seemed she wasn’t ready to stand. Remaining on her knees, hands shaking as she breathed, every slow inhale accompanied by a spasm of pain, and every exhale forcing scorching air through her throat with a whine of pain and a gasp of anguish.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Yet, even as her own body cried out for mercy, as her fortitude failed her, her mind continued with renewed resolve, and her soul soared with determination. As her muscules squealed in agony, as her head pounding as if it was bursting, and as her skeleton seemed to disintegrate, she began to rise, striving to stand as her body seemed to liquefy.  [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The pain subsided instantly. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She had risen. It could hardly be believed; the act of putting all of her weight on two feet seemed like a task entirely impossible to her. And yet she was standing, master of her body, statuesque in her erect posture. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The beach looked much different from above, the infinity of being at eye-level with what appeared to be a sea of crushed glass suddenly replaced with a bird’s-eye view of a large, but far from sea-esque bank of sand, circling a forest floor, which, as she discovered when she craned her neck skyward, lead to a mountain of grey and white, snow-capped, and seeming to reach above the clouds themselves. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Still stunned in disbelief, she rotated, her legs shaky as she turned, equally amazed by the truly infinite ocean. That was when it caught her eye, the ugly, unnaturally shiny object. Silver, and longer than she was tall, the cylinder, for that was its shape, save for the half-sphere vertical extremities, was in sharp contrast to the surrounding environment in every way possible.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Crouching down to its height, she laid her hand on the metal, unpleasantly surprised by the lifeless cold that greeted her. Yet, as she stared at it, thoughts and emotions swelled up inside her. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Is this from whence I came? Is this the womb that gave me life? [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She had faint memories of things long past, but this unnatural, painfully shiny object met all of the criteria she could apply to judge an object to be what had given her birth. And these memories, of faces and locations, of friendly words, heated arguments, and a strange thing that she wanted to call love, but thought it too harsh and cruel to be named so kindly, could they possibly be more than dreams, ideas that she had created before her birth, on this sea of crushed glass that wasn’t a sea, and not made of glass?[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]I have been born for the first time, and I have been reborn.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The logical impossibility entranced her, as she stroked the lifeless cylinder, and thought of the all too lively memories that fluttered in the tempest of her mind. But as she dwelled on birth and rebirth, she found no answers. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Standing, she gave a last look at the cylinder on the sand, slowly being surrounded by water as the tide rose, and she felt oddly touched, as if she was staring at a loved one’s corpse, or the result of unfathomable destruction. [/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]More frightened than moved by the suddenly arising feeling of sorrow and heart ache, she turned from the cylinder, blinking in confusing as she felt tears streaming from her eyes. As she strode into the forest, leaving the cylindrical canister behind on the sand, tears continued to flow, but were now accompanied by a flow of memories.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Her mind clearing, names connected with faces and locations, the reasons for arguments and the meanings of friendly words were found, and the reason for her unwillingness to name love its quixotically given title was discovered. As she blinked in surprise, letting the flow of memories sink into her consciousness, only a single thought filled her mind.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Rebirth.[/font]
 
[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]And, as she stood, the soft, dewy moss of the jungle floor wetting her bare feet, her mind seized by the emotional upheaval of a life she had forgotten, she realized it was so.        [/font]

Edited by Replicant, Apr 02 2013 - 04:24 PM.

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#2 Offline Mel

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Posted Mar 31 2013 - 12:57 PM

Official Short Stories Critic's Club Review

 

I remember glancing across this before when I was looking at the entries for the SSCC contest.  I'm a fan of little vignettes like these; I think they especially suite flash fiction.  I liked that you went back to the natural beginning of the Bionicle canon.  I liked some of the later years better, but there's nothing more iconic than the Toa Mata's canisters washing ashore.

 

You took a very difficult writing style here.  A formal voice can have real impact if done right, but it tends to get bogged down in a lot of unnecessary words.  The key here is the formal style is a matter of choosing what words to include, not how many.  I think your fic would greatly benefit if you made the language a bit more economical.  I'll just put up some examples, but you should really go over the whole thing.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]An explosion of light, a shockwave of heat, searing  and pain that roared through bones and muscules alike, fire that coursed through the veins, and a dull, drumbeat-esque throb of otherworldly pain resounding in your screaming, tormented soul, as it was ripped from your body and subjected to ablution in the cold, biting wind of a the realm of judgment and torment. [/font]

 

Mucules should be "muscles".  This is a very long fragment.  While I am not completely against fragments, they work best when they are short and sweet.  I've crossed out some of the language that I thought was unnecessary.  You will notice that most of the words I chose were adjectives.  In general, you should never use an adjective unless you have to.  Leave them out when verbs or nouns can convey the scene or emotion on their own.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about he second person used in this introduction.  Maybe you could switch it to third person, like the rest of this fic?

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The beach, with its cruel, cold waves that lapped incessantly at her unprotected form, an endless sea of crushed glass as she stared at it from her position on the white sand, eyes burning from contact with the saline crystals that surrounded her, crystals that attached to her shining armour and supple skin, unwilling to leave of be brushed off.[/font]

 

Here's another fragment that I think could easily be changed into a full sentence.  (I like the metaphor of the sea of crushed glass; it's very evocative.  The modified sentences(s) would look something like this.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]From her position, she stared out at an endless sea of crushed glass, her eyes burning from contact with the saline crystals that surrounded her and clung to her armor and skin.  She could not brush them off, and the cold waves lapped cruelly at her unprotected form.[/font]

 

Still contains a bit too many commas for my liking, but that's your style, not mine.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The pain stopped, subsiding instantly. [/font]

 

Should be "The pain subsided instantly."  You don't need to say the same thing twice.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]She had faint memories of things long past, but this unnatural, painfully shiny object agreed met with all of the criteria she could apply to judge an object to be the thing that what had given her birth. [/font]

 

This is okay for the most part, but the ending is a little confusing.

 

Overall, I like how you insert the idea that originally coming ashore was very painful for the Toa Mata, but I feel you were to wrapped up in the method of telling and didn't let the beauty of the idea shine through.  However, with some cleaning up and re-writing I think that this could truly be something amazing.  Keep working on it.


Edited by Yukiko, Apr 18 2013 - 10:40 PM.

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#3 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 31 2013 - 07:05 PM

I agree this needs a lot of work, plenty of errors to solve and sentences to rework. Thanks for pointing out a few specific examples, it will certainly help when searching for other problems.

 

I have no excuse for this story's rushed form, I'm just glad you liked the idea behind it. 


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