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As the Sand Rises


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Wow, it's been a long time since I've written anything. This is just a quick story I wrote for the latest FFFC. Hope you enjoy:


As the Sand Rises...

My name is Amahki, and I'm not like other Fa-Matoran. You see, I have a habit of getting lost. You'd think that with our internal compass, that wouldn't happen, but I manage it just fine. It's actually a subject of mockery in my little village.


That's why it's so surprising when one day I just felt like I knew where to go. I was in the middle of a delivery of some protodermis to a crafter on the other side of the village when I just felt this... tugging in my gut, like I needed to be somewhere. So, I did what I hoped was logical and ran with it. What I found was an old building that looked like it hadn't been used for decades; definitely not the crafter's home. Still, the tugging remained, drawing me ever closer to the collapsing doorway, though I began to feel an ominous aura emanating from that gaping hole.


Inside, barely revealed by the dim light streaking though the holes in the roof was two enormous protoglass bowls connected at the bases by a slender neck. Inside was almost a desert's worth of sand, slowly but surely spilling from the top into the bottom, and the top was nearly empty.


"It's called an hourglass."


The ancient voice startled me out of my scrutiny, and I dropped the protodermis I still held in my hands. "Oh, I'm sorry," I said as I slowly turned to see a wizened Fa-Turaga limping towards me. "I just felt... like I should be here."


His eyes sparkled at this. "You know, this isn't any normal hourglass. Read the inscription around the base."


I slowly walked up to the gargantuan stone cylinder set into the ground and saw faded lettering spelling out: As the sand rises, so shall I. As the sand falls, so shall you. "What does it mean?"


"Legends passed down to me through generations speak of a dark shadow that once visited this land. It threatened to wipe out our homes, but a single Toa managed to drive it back. Instead of destroying it, he offered the darkness a choice: they could continue fighting until one collapsed and was vanquished, or to show mercy and leave the village. The shadow chose to leave, but created this hourglass to count down its return."


"That must have been a brave and powerful Toa."


"It was a Toa of Light that drove the shadow back."


I gawked at that. "Surely it is only a legend then. No one has seen the Av-Toa for... forever, if they even exist."


"Oh, they're real alright. And it is only their power that can drive the shadow back again. Yet, it is you that has been chosen at this time."


"But... I can't save us," I stuttered. "You have the wrong person! I just... got lost, as I always do."


"What you may call coincidence, I call Destiny. It is your Duty to your people. Only through Unity can you fulfill it." He walked over to the hourglass and leaned against its polished surface. "Over the years, the Matoran have forgotten about this place, but not I. I have watched the sand fall for centuries, waiting for it to have finished its countdown, when the shadow will return to seek its revenge. Then, we will need a hero, a new Toa to defeat the darkness forever.


"The sand is nearly gone. It is time to find our hero. And it just so happens that you walked in at just this very moment."


I just froze. I could tell he depended on me, not just because of this "destiny," but because I was the only one here. I looked up to meet his eyes, just catching a glimpse of the last of the sand slowly pouring into the bottom.


Sparks danced along my armor as the very air wavered and became electrified. The hourglass vibrated and shattered with an earsplitting crack, spilling an ocean of sand as the dim room began to brighten. As suddenly as it began, the strange effects ended, only now a tall being stood in the midst of the spilled sand. Darkness seemed to emanate from him where light had been before. His deep red eyes seemed to radiate power and authority. It could only be a Makuta of old.


It was about this time that I managed to dig my way out of the sand and began brushing myself off to see the new arrival. I froze as his gaze seemed to penetrate me. I felt something smooth and hard slip into my hand from under the sand. I only had a chance to look down and see a glimmering stone when light filled my vision and I felt... changed. My body was lengthening, I began to feel power I didn't know I had, and my mind was filled with the buzz of an activating Kanohi. I looked down to see my new form as a Toa. And not just any Toa, but a Toa of Light.


"Impossible," the Makuta bellowed. "You are a Fa-Matoran!"


I laughed, enjoying my newfound power. "Well, then this won't hurt a bit."


As I quickly grasped the new element at my disposal, I realized how much sense this all made. I was always different, and now, they would all see. I will save my village, for a new Toa of Light had risen today.


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I loved this. I especially loved the opening lines. I like how you get right into the quirk of this character. I didn't find a single spelling/grammar error, so kudos to you there as well.


The "As the sand rises, so shall I" half of the inscription confuses me, though. I don't understand how the Makuta "rise/rose" with the sand. My only other complaint is that I found myself blissfully anticipating an epic battle, and then the story ended. >:( I guess wanting to read more from you isn't really a complaint. Amahki is a really interesting character. He seems like a mix of Krakua and Vakama. I hope you make a sequel, or more stories.

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
-- Turaga Nokama


Click here to visit my library!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm glad someone read this story and liked it then! I always say the artist is the harshest critic of their work (at least that is how it is for many people I know, including myself), so I was a bit worried it wouldn't do so well. I'm glad that I got Honorable Mention, and I hope I can go for placing next.


I've been really working on my characterization lately. I was trying to quickly establish enough of a character that he would be interesting later on.


For the "As the sand rises, so shall I," I meant to refer to how the lower glass of sand rises as the upper glass falls. I guess that the Makuta is rising as if from a millenia-long sleep (or absence would be more appropriate), as well as how his power is rising. It all just sounded so poetic when I was writing it, I didn't think much about it in practical terms. :P


I may write more about Amahki, because I thought the transition was way too fast. But I guess that is Flash Fiction for you. I mean, he went from a picked on Matoran to the hero of his village. Quite the change. And I would have put in the battle scene, except I was trying to get in the word limit this time. :D I have a real problem staying under 1000 words.


And if you want a battle scene, I'll need to finish Seared. I think it has a pretty cool battle near the end. You can see my library (in my sig) for more details.


So, thanks for reviewing it, and also thanks to the FFFC staff for giving me an Honorable Mention!

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