April 23, 2021, 08:56:31 AM

Author Topic: [Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Submission Thread  (Read 1294 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Submission Thread
« on: December 04, 2019, 09:25:16 PM »

Clock by etwoo

Being (too) late can be something absolutely awful or something extremely lucky, depending on the circumstances. This time we want stories where something isn't happening (to somebody) as it should because somebody was late for something because of reasons. Happy, sad, science fiction, fantasy, ... write what your story needs and your mind wants.


1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. The main character(s) must be too late for something.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-750 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys under the B.
Bonus rule: We consider voting in a contest you're taking part in a given. Others take time and effort to read the stories - you should do the same. A small community like ours lives from reciprocity and this contest needs stories as much as votes. 

If you want so submit your story anonymously you can do so by sending it in a personal message to @xiagan.

Entry will close December 31st/January 1st, 2019 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.
Submitting a story counts as published. The author retains all rights to their work.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline hexa

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Re: [Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Submission Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 11:37:51 PM »
148 words (poetry)

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Greek goddess Hera traveled to the abode of her daughter
"Athena, in Libya, a maiden boasts that the most beautiful is her

Hurry, before she is defiled by a god's lust"
Athena departed, in apprehension of witnessing a deed unjust

Alas, Athena arrived tardy to her Libyan temple
Her brother Poseidon had already violated the maiden's veil

Athena reproached Medusa for attracting him with her hubris
Then cursed her hair into several snakes' hiss

Thereafter, all men that gazed upon Medusa were petrified
She fled into seclusion, a place to hide

Until an ancient Titan awoke, threatening a kingdom with his menace
A hero named Perseus rose to the challenge he could face

Athena granted Perseus a mirrored shield
Perseus used it skillfully, and Medusa was killed

Perseus petrified the Titan with Medusa's head
A woman's hubris, the perfect weapon to fell a Titan dead

Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: [Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Submission Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2019, 03:26:12 PM »
Waiting for Him
1107 words

Spoiler for Hiden:

The hour is upon us. He comes! He comes!

My hands tremble as I write these words. The splashes of ink across my page are like oceans on a map. Deep and blue. Soaking through and staining the oak desk beneath. My hand writes not with the familiar coils of my schooling, but in a mad scrawl that even my eyes can scarcely decipher. Mad? Yes, mad. Mad is the word for this. For what I have become. Like the egg left to boil for too long, my mind has cracked. Cracked like the windows f this house. And through these cracks I see- I see- I see-

Him! I see Him! He comes!

I feel Him as much as see. The weight on my brain like a rock. Like a rook perched on my head, digging its claws into my scalp, eager to rip open my skull and fest on the succulent knowledge within. Lobes like worms do wriggle there. Thinking and shrinking away from the light. The things we see in dark places do this to us, do they not? Strange that the shroud of black night should expose such truths of creation. Yet there are strangers things out there. And in here. In this house beside me.

The clock strikes, though its hands are long since corroded away. Or rotted. Or scratched out be unheavenly claws. It has been so long now I cannot recall where they went. What became of them. Who it was who took them from this place. I live without time now. As He does. As He always has. It is better this way. Time, for all its vaunted wonders, is but a cage which traps us. The means by which ancient Babylon cast Tiamat into Chaos and wrapped the chains of civilisation around us all. Sixes and twelves and sixties. We take them for granted, but they are no more real than a dream. An arcane lie made real by belief.

A belief I no longer hold. Such lies are not for me. No! I see only truth. The truth that is in Him, and that is of Him. He is all that matters. All that has ever mattered. All that will matter. What is, was, and will be - these things are His alone, and together are Him!

I hear a cry? Is it Him? Could it be - But no. Alas, ‘tis but some some raven tapping at the door. At the window. My eyes meet his, orbs of bright black both. I wait for him to speak, but he does not. Poe revealed no secrets of speech there. The raven can but squawk. Shrill and animal and stupid. Then, with a flap of his night-dark wings, he is gone. Away into the waiting night. The darkness of clouds encroaching on the moonless sea of stars. A thousand cold eyes watching from on high. With envy or pity or disinterest I cannot say. I know only that they see what they should not. As ever they have.

It is by candle alone that I see. The last concession to my mortal frailties. A refuge from my own inability in His domain. The oils have dried in the lamps. The wood beside the fire is mossy and wet, not fit for burning. The candle calls to me with its flicking orange hand, beckoning me closer. The scent of burning tallow inflames my nose, a wisp of smoke rising lazily for the cracked-open window. Smoke alone can escape this house. The wax is but a melted stump, stuck fast to the desk at which I sit, pale fingers trickling over the rim and dripping splashes to the floor. It is soft to the touch, still warm. Malleable. The candle flickers once more. There is less life in this flame than even in the rest of this empty house.

Where is He? He promised He would come!

The ink is all but gone now, and I have had to seek a fresh supply. Those oceans of blue are now tainted by reefs of crimson coral. New blotches stain my work like a child’s roses. Ugly and stubborn, denying my efforts to rub them out. A shadow passes over the room, and it takes me a moment to realise it is the drooping of my own eyes. I have been here so long now. The candle is all but dead. Soon I may follow. But I know it will be worth it. To gaze upon Him one time. A life of prayer and struggle. All to bear witness to His arrival. This is all the rewards I ask for.

I sit in darkness now. The last light of the candle is gone. I can feel the wet ink beneath my fingertips, but I can no longer see the words I write. Cannot tell if my hands obey my mind. Perhaps what I write is not what I think. Perhaps these words take on a life of their own, unwitnessed by mortal eyes.

Where is He? Lord, why do you forsake me? I feel myself slipping. Fading into darkness. The blankness of the beyond. Is this His will? Must I be one final sacrifice in His name? If that is my lot then so be it. There is nothing else left for me. The world I leave left me so very long ago. Even if I were to return, it would not accept me. Could not. The paths are lost, my route forgotten. I could wander a lifetime more and never get back to what I left behind. There is only onward. There is only downward. Into the waiting deeps. Beyond the flesh, beyond the mind, beyond the soul, beyond even time and creation itself. He will take me to His bosom and hold me one first and last time before we all fade away.

Please. There is nothing left to write with. Nothing left to write. Nothing left to say but a wordless, pities begging howl. I waited for Him, and He did not come. Was I wrong? Was it all for nothing? No. No! I cannot believe his. Cannot accept that this is all for nought. There was a mistake. Somewhere. There must have been.

The clock! The clock is wrong. He will be here soon enough. I need only hold on to myself a little while longer. Though my hands are cold and my eyes blind. Though my legs are dead beneath me and the rest of my body eager to follow. I will wait. I will aways wait for Him.

He will come! He will come. He will

Blog: https://atboundarysedge.com

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Offline bdcharles

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Re: [Dec 2019] - Tardiness - Submission Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2020, 02:18:41 PM »

Zantran Flow In The Zantran Glow

Spoiler for "Zantran Flow In The Zantran Glow (mild language warning)":

Inelegant Tardiest Time, Act 3, Season 7, Subsection 42b, Clause xi (subpart 22f-version5.4C), 374 words
Working Title: “Zantran Flow In The Zantran Glow” (inconsp.)

Zantran flow in the Zantran glow, our ways are very tardy
And though we know what the Zantrans know and our warriors are hardy
We like to kick our feet up on the mythic blades of grasses
While bambus-creeps and other peeps do wipe our very arses.

Zantran flow in the Zantran glow, we quite cannot be bothered
Not because we’re lazy but we’ve got books to be authored
We’re busy turning circles in the slipstreams of the mind
We stick our dreams in covers and each back to back we bind

It’s fair to say we spend our time debating out a typeface
Serif or not, a dash or dot, and where to put that whitespace
Our kerning is a mystery sought by the darkest mages
Whose powers’d shrink should e’er they sink their noses in our pages

The comma’s our most dreaded pause, the cause of all our battles
Once a hero spliced the thing, & killed off all our cattle
They say a far land birthed it, one fair city, name of Oxford
But its misuse is word abuse, a cutter who can’t drop wood.

Zantran flow in the Zantran glow, our muses are the best
Though it’s not advisable to put that to the test
They get inside your head you see, 'til soon you can’t get rid,
And they’ll take all the credit, for what you said you did.

So we say –
Inelegant tardiest time, delimit the shape of the day
When are you coming to mine? We have two dozen patterns of play
A criminal number of words, in a hell of a book to get through
Inelegant tardiest time, what would you like us to do?

Irreverent tardiest rhyme, spin us a fairytale soft
We’ll scribe it on, line against line, that elegant kingdom so fair
And speak of an elfqueen so fine, that even destiny coughed,
Irreverent tardiest rhyme, and spluttered to come up for air

So –

Zantrans grow but the Zantrans show
What you would you have us be
Smith, or cutter, weaponeer,
Or something new to see.

Zantrans know what the Zantrans know,
Though they’re a different breed,
And a Zantran goes, where a Zantran goes –
To each, their hour of need.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 02:20:33 PM by bdcharles »
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