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Author Topic: January Writing Challenge  (Read 6210 times)

Offline Overlord

January Writing Challenge
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:38:53 AM »
Writing Challenge

I have decided to run a monthly writing challenge.

Nothing huge and nothing too difficult... just a basic writing orientated task for those who want to practice their writing but need a bit of a push or a bit of an idea to motivate them into starting.

Basically, each month I will post a challenge and you can submit your entries. It can be a short story, it can be a first chapter or anything, it is completely up to you.

January's Challenge

This challenge is inspired by 'Mark C Newton' of; www.markcnewton.com (author of popular fantasy series; Legends of the Red Sun).

Firstly, read his blog post here: http://markcnewton.com/2011/01/04/photographs-as-inspiration-for-writing/

Basically what you need to do is look at the following two pairs of photos, pick one pair and then and put them together to make a story. The whole point is that the characters clash with the setting. You need to think about why the people in photo 1 are in the setting of photo 2... then simply start writing. I'm only looking for 500-1000 words but it can be as long as you like.

Pair 1





Pair 2





I look forward to seeing your entries. You can PM them me if you are shy or post them in this thread!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 10:59:33 AM by Overlord »
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline ganstream1

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 11:44:33 AM »
Here's mine cause I happened to be free at the moment.

Used Pair 2:

   The gargoyle sighed. His eyes mellow, his ears and nose pointing down. His lips gaping like something surprised him. "I knew I shouldn't have crossed the sea" he said. He wanted to plant his chin - but close his mouth first - to his palm but his hands are stuck to the ledge. A sudden burst of horn from below kicked his heart to a jump. “Stop freaking using your horn all of a sudden, shithead!” he said. He heard a soft coo and saw a small pigeon land next to him by the time he finished his sentence. "Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this place?" he glanced at the pigeon as if speaking to it as it cooed. “How can you stand this noisy place anyway?” he looked to the pigeon again as it pecks the dirt on the roof edge. The gargoyle sighed. “I knew I shouldn't have crossed the sea” he said again but the pigeon was already gone. “Fine. Leave me alone, don't bother a lonely gargoyle!” he watched the bird flee.

   The gargoyle turned his eyes to the busy road below. Yellow lining marched down the road, each honking different sounds of horns. People busied the sidewalks. Some holding bags of various colors, other holding nothing but their own hands. A large group of people move in straight line ushered by a lady in white shirt and purple skirt with matching purple barrette holding a small – also purple – flag. She smiled and wave at the group behind her to not break their line. A girl holding a red balloon held her mom's hand as they crossed the street. The neon and billboards sporting large tvs began playing music and advertisements. The gargoyle rolled his eyes.  

   “I wonder how the humans managed to live in a place like this” he said. A large black crow came near him and began pecking at his feet. “Oi! What the hell are you doing, stupid bird! Shoo!” said the gargoyle. The crow cawed at him, spreading its long wings in aggression. It pecked the gargoyle's forehead, much to his chagrin. “Stop that, stupid bird! Shoo!” he said. The bird flapped its wings and flew away, but not before leaving a mark on the top of the gargoyle's head. “Yeah! You think I won't recognize you! I'll get you for that!”. The crow caw again at the gargoyle. “Yeah! F to you too!” he said. He cursed his luck.

   “This city is wrong” said the gargoyle. He turned his head back to the group of people lining in front of the girl and trailed them until they disappeared into a boutique. “This place is wrong” he said again. He watched the moving lines of yellow cabs on the street below. “Why are they so obsess with yellow?” he looked to the sky at the V-shaped formation of the ducks above. “Look at them, even ducks can be beautiful, why can't the humans do the same?” the gargoyle let out a sigh. “And where's the haunted castle? The three little kids? The bats?” he turned his eyes to the fading orange glow setting behind glass spikes. His heart jumped. He wanted to smile, but his gaping mouth was set in stone. “Finally!” he said. Like a soft cold blanket, darkness spreads from the farthest horizon towards the place where the sun sets. The gargoyle lifts his now transformed body and stretched. “This place is boring” he said. “Maybe I should have taken south instead of west” he bend his knees and pushed himself up into the sky. He turned in every direction and finally settled towards the right of where the sun left. “Let's hope this time I get it right” he said and left the bustling city below.

   “This place is boring”

   

« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 01:58:37 PM by ganstream1 »

Offline Overlord

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 12:53:41 PM »
I also used pair 2

The Gargoyle soared above the bustling city of Tokyo. This was the first time he had left the comfort of his wonderfully dark and dingy gothic cathedral. Looking up and spotting a suitable place to land, he tilted his wings slightly upright, exposing them to the winds resistance and allowing his momentum to gradually slow. By the time he reached the illuminated sign he was able to simply extend his talons and make a gentle landing.

He didn’t have what humans would refer to as ‘emotions’ so he could not as such appreciate what he was seeing but he did know that there was something special about this city. The level of light that radiated from multiple sources was fascinating. He had seen man-made illumination before, indeed from his perch on the Cathedral he saw ‘street lighting’ in the distance often. This though was something else. Buildings were illuminated with lighting that range in the colour spectrum from blue to green to pink, whilst others even more peculiar displayed moving pictures.

The multitude of people and the magnitude of the sound they made were new to him. He allowed his heavy, limestone head to drop slightly and he began to observe these mortal humans. The creatures all looked as if they had somewhere to be, often running or at very least walking at a rapid pace. Yellow vehicles were lined up behind one another in such a way that the humans on foot seemed to be making better progress. These vehicles made loud noises in what seemed like random unison. So loud were they that they rose above the bustle of the humans. Their lives were so busy, so full of needless tasks, needless machinery.

The Gargoyle thought about home. His life was so simple. He had been forged from stone over eight-hundred years ago with the sole purpose of protecting the Cathedral from harmful evil spirits. It was a role he enjoyed, although honestly... it was fairly uneventful. Evil spirits rarely approached a Church, and as much as he would like to take credit, it was not because of his presence.

Evil spirits were much more likely to visit locations where there has been great ‘evil’ that they could feed upon. Places where executions had taken place, areas on which great wars had been fought or even regions where slavery had been enforced.

The Gargoyle shook its head slowly, trying to forget his duties back home and remembering the reason for this journey. This journey was one of observation. He needed to learn the level of technology that humans had developed. Tokyo had been rumoured to have the highest level of technology in this Human Realm and from first appearance it looked to be a fair report.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 12:55:36 PM by Overlord »
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Darkfire

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 01:44:11 PM »
Also using Pair 2. :)

The humans of this place were… strange, the Gargoyle thought. All the better for me, he thought with a mental laugh. The sun would be setting soon, and he would be free to leave his perch, find his prey. He had fled to this place only because he was being hunted. Those of his beliefs were always hunted relentlessly. What reason could they have been made for, if not to prey on these foolish humans? The others thought they were to be protected. Endlessly, he had questioned where the sense was in that. Look what they had done to the world!

These humans had desecrated nature, built these massive, disgusting cities, glowing with bright lights and swallowed by noise. Why should he protect them?

The sun dipped below the horizon, and he felt himself begin to revert. When night fell, he was no longer a statue. He flexed his long, clawed fingers, his clutching toes, crooked his neck. Every time the sun went down, he felt so stiff. He looked down at the street below; it was still full of people, but they were all rushing toward the strange yellow things with wheels. Such strange contraptions these humans had devised.

After stretching a little more, to get feeling back into his every body part, the Gargoyle leapt from his perch, spreading his wings wide. He loved the night. There was always someone to prey on. The danger of being caught by those that sought only served to make the darkness all the more exhilarating. Soon, he found himself in a part of the city that wasn’t so loud and bright, where the buildings were plainer. He came to rest on the edge of one of them, crouching low and scanning the street below. Nobody. Patience, he told himself. Remember, patience is rewarded.

So, he waited, still as if the sun were at its peak. The sound of soft footsteps caught his attention. He turned to see a woman, dark hair hanging around her shoulders, with eyes that glinted in the moonlight, walking along the street, looking around nervously. “Perfect,” he whispered in his raspy, grating voice. He waited patiently until she was past him, and swooped, soaring mere inches over her head. The woman began to scream, but was cut off. She was gone. He smiled and clambered up the side of a building. He had sent her away, to a realm where there was only darkness. He fed on it. He fed on the energy, the force, of her life, so quickly taken out of existence. He lived for that sweet, sweet nectar. Ah, she was in love, he thought. The pain of her losing that was so sweet, so intoxicating. How could the others resist this? This was life. These humans were nothing but sport for them to hunt, surely.

His hunger satisfied for the moment, the Gargoyle took to the skies once more. After a while, the Gargoyle returned to his perch above that loud, noisy, disgusting street. He’d seen no sign of those hunting him tonight. That was good. Perhaps they had left him to it. The first rays of sunlight began to peek over the buildings to the east, and he felt his body begin to stiffen again. How he hated spending his days watching these vile humans.

Offline Arthum

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 01:54:34 PM »
I do like the challenge so I chose this pair ;) Seemed more of a challenge :D

Pair number 1.

The year is 2452, three young sisters named Tayla, Selia and Cecilia live with their parents in the city of New York. Tayla being the oldest one takes care of her sisters while their parents are aways. She is fifteen years old and learns at home, Selia is only nine years old and Cecilia is the youngest of the three aged only two and a half year.
The day ended and a really cold winter night fell when Tayla decided to put here sisters to their beds. But she found a pretty interesting book which she wants to read, but little does she know that the book will change their whole lives.

She decides to read the book before her sisters will go to bed and she reads it as a bedtime story. It turns out to be a magic book, containing old forgotten spells. Black magic which can easily kill somebody is now in the hands of a little girl. She reads one wrong spell and the three of them get sucked inside a portal. A blue swirling portal leading to another dimension with living and true magic filling the air.

They wake up to the cries of Cecilia, Tayla looks around picking up the youngest sister as she is the first one to wake up to her cries. She is terrified but tries not to show it.
-Where are we Tayla?
She looks down and smiles to Selia gently patting her on the head.
-I don't know Selia, this is just too strange to me to comprehend.
Cecilia stops crying and looks at something in the distance, pointing to it with a faint grunt like sound coming from her mouth.
Both Tayla and Selia look over there and see a large shape in the darkness.

Not knowing what it is Selia pulls down her hat to try and hide in it, thinking the strange shape will go away. Cecilia hides her head in the arms of Tayla, which in turn grabs her glasses and puts them slightly higher not wanting them to fall off. She notices the big building which is to their left, an old moss covered building with thick black clouds above their heads. A bat quickly flies past them and they all start screaming and the shape disappears suddenly.

Tayla looks at the building once again and she notices that it has a slight resemblance to the old US capitol. The walls are cracked and covered with moss and some vines. They heard a strange howling noise coming from the darkness to the south. The moon light shone through the dark ominous clouds showing them a faint shadow. A wolf like shape, but larger and more sinister looking than a regular wolf. Both Tayla and Selia stood there looking at it terrified and speechless. Only Celia started crying loudly from fear. Both girls started running with Tayla holding the youngest one of them firmly in her hands. The dark shape started running after them.

The strange creature was gaining up to them getting closer and closer. It made bark like sounds and they already could feel its breath on their backs. But suddenly they got behind a thick wall of small trees which were strong enough to stop the strange creature for some time. They got the upper hand and once again got some distance between them.
-What did I read in that strange old book to make this happen.
Tayla started speaking to herself trying to remember the last words she read thinking that she knew what she had to do to get back home. She remembered those words and as soon as she did she heard the trees breaking.

The creature once again howled and Tayla said the words hastily and the three of them once again got sucked by the blue swirling portal. This time they woke up back home all dirty with small scratches from the branches they run past in that strange forest.
-We have to hide this book. Nobody can read it again, it is nothing good for us.
Tayla spoke looking at the old book laying on her desk, open on the spell which sent the three of them to that strange and dangerous place.
But first she put her sisters to their beds and washed herself and got back to her room. She wanted to hide the book but she found that she was too much attracted to that feeling of power over time and space. And instead of hiding the book she started studying it, trying to memorize as many spells as possible before going to bed. She did it without knowing what each spell would do as she planed to try them some other day.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 11:26:46 AM by Arthum »

Offline Hawthorn

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 07:52:24 PM »
Using Pair 2:

“What the …? Dave, did you see that?”

“What? I didn’t see anything. C’mon, there’s a free cab.” He leans from the kerb into the roaring traffic, holding his arm aloft to summon the driver.

“No, no, wait. I saw something – it was right here, by my bag, but then it ran off. I think it was… I don’t know what it was. You sure you didn’t see it?”

“Honey, it was probably a rat – these alleys are crawling with them. Don’t sweat it. Taxi! Taxi!”

“No, it wasn’t no rat. It was bigger, and it had … I think it had a horn. On its head.”

Dave isn’t listening. The first cab has been swept by, lost in the current of motorised humanity, but he has spotted another and is waving frantically to catch the driver’s attention. It crosses two lanes of traffic to reach him, causing a blockage in the flow and a mighty blaring of horns. It glides to a halt by the kerb and Dave opens the door.

“West New York,” he says to the driver, but then he realises that his companion is still standing on the sidewalk, staring back into the alley. “Teresa, are you coming or what?”

Her brow furrows. “Yeah, I...” she murmurs, and shakes her head fractionally. “It wasn’t no rat, Dave. I dunno what it was, but it wasn’t no rat.”

“Probably a fox, then, or a stray dog. Honey, come on – get in the cab, will ya?”

Teresa stares for another few seconds, narrowing her eyes as she peers into the gloom and stink of the alley. Then, reluctantly, she shrugs slightly and turns away, gathering up her shopping bags and sliding into the cab behind Dave. Her face glows white against the window, still peering and trying to work out what she saw as the vehicle pulls out into the unbroken flow of traffic.

Truth be told, I don’t know what I am either, but Teresa is right – I’m no rat. I eat them sometimes, when I can’t get anything else, but they’re nasty dirty creatures, without any wit or grace to redeem them from their miserable scurrying existence. I prefer birds – their meat is lighter somehow, less polluted by the city’s miasma – but they’re harder to catch.

Best of all is when I can get the meat that humans prepare for themselves; that’s what I was doing by Teresa’s shopping bag, trying to pilfer the packet of burgers that was hidden inside. Mostly, though, I live on their leavings and the small creatures I can corner and strangle, their bones cracking and creaking as I squeeze their small lives out of existence.

I don’t even know how I got here, except that I was here before the humans. I used to roam further than I do now in search of prey; my territory stretched across many square miles of wilderness, but now I have no need to wander far. Human wastefulness is prodigious, and I feast on their gluttony and the vermin that live in the darkened alleys with me.

There are no others like me and I take care to keep myself hidden, but the humans know of me – I have often found my likeness on their rooftops, guarding their gutters and watching over their sleepless city. Statues of creatures like me – some with wings, some with tails, some with horns like mine, but all made of stone, dead and lifeless and unable to appreciate the sweet juicy savour of a freshly killed pigeon. I know this; I have offered my kills to them, many times, but they never awaken.

As Teresa’s cab is lost in the swirling tide of vehicles my green eyes pulse once with a glow of regret as I consider the meal that I have lost. I retreat further into the alley, turning away from the brightly-lit Manhattan shopping street; the night is my time, and I shall wait for full dark before I venture out of the enclosing shadows again. Not that this place ever sleeps, not really, but then, neither do I. I watch, I eat their food, I kill their vermin, and I endure. I shall be here when they are gone, and maybe then, in the silence of absence and loss, my stone brethren will awaken and I shall no longer be alone.

Hawthorn
http://cretaegus.wordpress.com/



Offline Dan D Jones

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 08:31:12 PM »
Ophelia adjusted her glasses and looked around the room.  It was brightly lit, filled with gleaming stainless steel and glass.  Stoppered flasks of unidentified liquids, colored the primary hues of the rainbow, tugged at her attention like the eye-spots of a butterfly's wing.  The faint odor of chemicals and ozone permeated the air.  The feel of the place was so at odds with the dark, Gothic exterior of the abandoned building that for a moment she felt disoriented, as though the unlocked side door had been a portal warping time and space rather than a simple entryway.

Gabby plopped herself on the floor at Ophelia's feet.  Her hair, pulled back into a tight, vertical tuft, shook as she giggled.  Tess tugged at the fringed tie-strings of her pink, knitted cap, pulling it down until it all but concealed her eyes.

"I don't like this," she told Ophelia.  "This is ... weird."

Ophelia shrugged.  "This whole world is weird," she replied.  "Everything's out of whack here.  Why is this any stranger than anything else we've dealt with?"

Tess shook her head.  "I don't know.  It just is.  It doesn't feel right."

Ophelia knew better than to dismiss Tess' feelings as mere jitters, but there was little she could do about the intuition now.  It wasn't as if they had any choice in being here, and she was already as vigilant as possible.  

"So what do we do now?" Gabby asked from her position on the floor.  She was leaning forward, both palms pressed flat against the concrete, staring at a steel door inset into the far wall.

Ophelia scuffed the soles of her scarlet sneakers against the floor.  She could feel nothing through the thick rubber.  She wondered if Gabby was having any more luck but didn't ask.  If she were, Gabby would speak up.

"I guess we wait," she said after a moment.  "I mean, what else can we do?"

Tess grinned.  "We could trash the place."

Ophelia sighed.  "Not a good idea.  There's no telling what half this crap is."  She indicated the stoppered flasks.  "That stuff might explode or poison us.  Besides, we're trying to get on this guy's good side."

Tess snorted.  "Yeah, blackmail and extortion.  That's how you get on somebody's good side."

Ophelia opened her mouth to respond but was interrupted by Gabby.

"Someone's coming!"

"Just one?" Ophelia asked.

Gabby pressed her palms harder against the floor.  "I think so.  Hard to get a good reading through this stuff.  Like trying to see through fog."

The door in the far wall opened and a man walked through.  He wore a dark business suit and carried a briefcase.  He came to an abrupt halt as he spotted the three girls.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded.

Gabby stood up and Ophelia stepped forward.  "Hi, Mr. March.  I'm Ophelia.  This is Gabby and Tess."

March's eyes narrowed and his lips thinned.  "You?  You're the three threatening me?  You're kids!"

"I'm sorry.  We didn't want to blackmail you.  But you refused to talk to us and you're the only black magician we could locate."  The last sentence came out more plaintive that she'd wished and she bit her lip.  She needed to deal from a position of strength and sounding like a scared little girl would undermine that.

"What makes you think I'm a black magician?"

Ophelia sighed.  "We know.  Just like we knew the location of your lab.  Leave it at that.  Besides, if you weren't then threatening to reveal you as one wouldn't have got you here."

"If you believe I'm a black magician, then you should also believe that threatening me is a very dangerous thing to do."

"We do.  We didn't have a choice."

March studied them for a moment.  "How much are you asking for?"

"What?" Ophelia asked, puzzled, then shook her head.  "Oh, no.  We don't want money.  We need you to cast a spell."

"A spell."

Ophelia nodded.  "We need you to open a portal to Faerie."

March's eyes widened.  "A portal to Faerie?  Are you mad?  Have you been watching too many animated movies?  Do you think Tinkerbell is going to come out and sprinkle some fairy dust on you and you'll all fly away and be happy ever after?"

Ophelia shook her head.  "No.  We know what we're asking.  And it can be a one-way portal.  Here to there.  It's a low power spell, easy to cast.  You won't even break a sweat.  And no chance of anything escaping."

March crossed his arms.  "One way.  So you either want to send something there or ..." he paused.  "You plan to go through yourself."

Ophelia nodded.  "You cast the spell, we go through.  We're out of your hair and no chance to double-cross you."

"And what makes you think I'm the type of person who'd send three little girls to their death?  You have no idea what it's like in Faerie.  What is it you think you'll find over there?"

Ophelia took a deep breath and removed her glasses.  Without the spell bound into their frame, her eyes were huge, showing bright yellow irises split by dark, vertical pupils.  Tess pulled off her knitted cap, revealing the horns that curled back from her brow and over her ears.  Gabby pulled the scarlet binding from her hair.  Freed from the restraint, her hair fell to frame her face and the antennae it had concealed sprang upright.

"Please, Mr. March," Ophelia said.  "We just want to go home."
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 09:18:24 PM by DDJones »

Offline shigzeo

Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 10:12:29 AM »
Might as well write this about the first pair. Was supposed to finish a couple of reviews. Bugger.

“Well, the worst of it’s over - at least we can count on that.” Said Raddy.

Lebby glanced sidelong at her optimistic friend and rolled her eyes. “How do we know the worst is over, huh, Raddy?”

“Well, for starters,” started Raddy, “the bats have all disappeared. I mean there were dozens of them all screeching around bat-like and fluttering, and now they’re gone. It was positively frightening for a few minutes.”

Raddy paused, and squinted around. The dry sound of billowing leather crinkled suddenly in their ears and then went silent.

“Personally,” said Raddy somewhat shakily, “the flight part - all that swooping and climbing - was dizzying. But now, they’re g-gone.” She said, looking behind her. “If that doesn’t inspire confidence, I don’t know what will.”

“Hmm, I don’t know,” mused Lebby with her nose in the air. “I smell evil. Since when’s bats ever been trustworthy? Bats start the dirty work and their friends finish it. Them vile creatures come and go at the worst times like diarrhoea.”

“Their friends?”

“Vampires and werewolves and principals, and witches and stuff. They all send bats on evil errands. I don’t feel good here. It’s too dark accept for right here.” Said Lebby darting her finger back and forth between them.

True enough, Raddy and Lebby stood close around a small ball of light. Around them was as pitch as a fork.

“And it’s not just me that feels weird, either. Siggy is awful quiet and that’s not normal. She’s always going on about some cosmetic, or boy, or plan, or other. Siggy, hey, what do you think? Is the worst over?” Asked Lebby into the darkness at their feet.

Siggy, shorter than the other two (and cleverly hiding the fact by hunching in the dust), puffed at her fringe which had tangled into her adolescent eyebrows again. One of these days, gosh darnit, she thought. One of these days, I’ll just pluck you all out. Besides, no badass hunter ever bothered with eyebrows, did they?

“Siggy?”

Siggy jerked her head up. Lebby and Raddy squinted down at her, their eyes quivering like biers. Fitting, thought Siggy.

“Siggy! wake up!” shouted Lebby.

“I heard you. I heard you, okay?”

“Right, so what do you think?”

“I most certainly will pluck them out. Just look at this!” She jumped to her feet and pushed back her fringe so the other two could get a good look. “I just can never fix them. No self-respecting hunter should have to deal with eyebrows. Think of all the greats-”

“Aaaah!” screamed Lebby over her own hammering footsteps that led angrily away - but not too far - into the darkness that poked at them from all sides. “Leave it to Siggy to get all bumbly off-topic when we ask a real question!”

“She’s just confused, isn’t she? No reason to get upset.” Raddy patted Siggy’s shoulder. “You’re alright, right, Siggy?”

“Her ears aren’t alright.” quipped Lebby from the pitch. “Get a gosh-darn maid to clean those dusty pantries in the side of your head, Siggy. I’ve had enough!”

“Don’t mind her, Siggy. She’s always getting mad at someone. No good will come of that attitude, I think. Still, I’ll admit that I’m also kinda waiting to her what you say, too. So, what is it? Is the worst over?”

Siggy put a finger to her lips and whispered “Shhhh.” through tightly ground teeth.

Lebby’s footsteps, which had been angrily crunching stones and kicking dust, had gone silent. Her ‘curse Siggy, this, curse Siggy, that’ cursing had stopped, too.

“Lebby?” called Raddy, “Lebby?”

Nothing.

“Lebby?”

Her words dropped off into the darkness.

“Maybe she went to the bathroom. She always sneaks away to pee.” said Raddy

“No,” answered Siggy.

“No what? No she didn’t go to the bathroom?”

“No, she didn’t go to the bathroom.”

Raddy blinked. Siggy was silent. Her fringe still bothered her. She blew it again away from her eyebrows.

“That isn’t funny, Siggy. Not funny at all!”

Somewhere behind them, came a gurgling sound, and loud pops and crunches followed a stifled scream.

Siggy smiled. “Well, Lebby sure isn’t laughing.”
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 10:26:28 AM by shigzeo »
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AJZaethe

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Re: January Writing Challenge
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 07:45:10 PM »
Using Pair 2  (sorry for the length)

Title - A Child's Thought

"They have been woken, my liege."  The black hooded figure said at the door way.

At first there was no response, then there was a echo of a book being closed roughly.  The man, at the only source of light within the study, turned in his chair toward the black hooded figure.  "Thank you."  Was all he said and sighed turning away from the already closed door and looked out the window before him.  There was nothing much outside the windows, just darkness, just the same that surrounded himself.  That would change soon.  Again.

~~~~~~~

A knock came at the door.  Maggie didn't need to pull them any closer, her two younger siblings Eva and Jean, instinctively shrunk into to her chest.

"Shh.  Its o.k., stay quiet."  She whispered to them, trying to calm them down just as her own heart was attempting to beat out of her chest.  She clung to them tighter, if that were actually possible.  "Hello?"  A voice emanated from the door.  

Jean, the youngest, began sobbing.

"Shh.  Shh."  Maggie shook her arm in an attempt to keep her sister from giving them away any further, but she was just as terrified and nearly on the brink of wailing her self.  Another knock.  She was becoming desperate; she looked around frantically for a way out, but there was only darkness, except fro what light crept in around the edges of door.  There was musky smell in the air, like that of old moldy books.  Perhaps they were in a library, but Maggie didn't care where they were as long as she could get them out alive.  

As noted when they first woke up to a man in a black hood setting them down, there was no sign of an exit, save for that door again, which had been proven to be locked. There was no way out.
There was a scrape of something metallic entering the door's lock and series of clicks sounded, followed by another knock.  The door slowly began to swing open on ancient hinges.

The light of a weak dawn poured in, revealing the room to be a small nursery filled with a few baby furnishings and couple of bookshelves of fairytale bed time stories; Maggie and her sisters paid no attention to the room, their attention was solely on the door.

"Hello?  Are you in there?"  A head began to peek through the lighted doorway.

Eva and Jean both began sobbing loudly into Maggie's chest.  Maggie didn't bother trying to quiet them; she just held onto her sisters as hard as she could and stared at the door in a trance beyond tears.

The head alone came through, and the door halted.  The face was firm, years of stress had taken its toll leaving deep worry lines everywhere.  The black eyes were sharp with experience, unwanted experience.  Though, Maggie did not see that, she only saw the face value of a hard man, and she could do nothing.

But she missed something else mixed with the unwanted experience in his eyes of a face of deep worries.  Hope shined in his eyes, upon seeing the children; as if they were themselves the dawn of a new day.  And in his perspective, he was not to far off.

The man did not move the door any further open, he only kept his head there and he smiled, an expression his face was not used to making against the deep lines of his face and absorbing black eyes.  "Please.  Excuse me.  I didn't mean to scare you."  He said his smile deepening.  

Maggie only tried shrinking back into the wall.

"Uh.  I am Dr...I am Malloch."  He said raising his hand from behind the door.

"Please.  I am not going to hurt you."  That gripped Malloch's heart for a second.  He opened the door slowly as he lowered himself down to their level, squatting in the doorway.  "Are you hungry?  I can feed you something."

Maggie only shook her head and did not speak, her sisters finally looked at Malloch that spoke to them, the remnants of their sobs still hiccuping out of them, and just stared.  

"Well, then.  What are your names?"  Malloch asked.

Maggie looked Malloch over and sighed, looking a little more relaxed.  Though she still held onto her sisters.  "I-I...am Maggie.  And..."  She paused looking down at her sisters, who were becoming tense again.  "These are my two younger sisters.  Eva,"  Maggie lifter her right arm indicating which she was, "and Jean, our youngest."  She moved her left arm.  

"I am more than pleased to me-"

"Where are mommy and daddy!"  Eva shouted out loud.  

Maggie brought Eva up to her chest again.  "Shh.  Its ok."  She looked at Malloch in the eye, the red finally fading from her own eyes, "They passed away, a long time ago.  But Eva...she doesn't always grasp everything...she always bounces back and forth in knowing and unknowing of our parents passing."

"I am sorry."   He was sorry for their loss, but in his eyes, a greater hope shined in hearing of Eva's loss of grip on reality.  "Please, come with me.  I want to show you my home."  Malloch began walking before the girls had time to even think about it.  

"He is scary.  I don't like him."  Eva said watching the doorway, as if it were a maw of some untamed beast.

"I'm scared, too."  Was all Jean said.

Maggie shook her head and kissed Jean on her head.  "Come on.  We are his guests and we can't be rude.  Mom and dad wouldn't be happy if were rude."

Together they ventured out of the room, Maggie guiding them holding their hands tightly, and turned down same direction Malloch had turned down the hall.  There he waited for them at the end.  Patiently waiting.  He smiled when he saw them.  When they caught up with him, he lead them down and down into the depths of his home.

It was huge and windowless, but after a while, Maggie realized that there were windows; it was just so dark out, that the black walls hid the windows.  The darkness almost seemed flat and without depth, though Maggie didn't understand the darkness's flat features, beyond thinking it strange.  

Their tour ended in a large room, filled with countless candles and the walls covered in countless books, there were scattered tables, covered in papers and books and pens.  There were a couple of plates of food left on some of the tables.  Some half eaten or just rotting where they sat.  But one particular table was cleared off and then topped with paints and paper and what looked to be hot chocolate.  

"Please.  Make yourself at home."  Malloch gestured to the table.

"Come on its o.k. he is just being nice."  Maggie brought her sisters to the table and they sat.

"I brought these out for you to paint with, take your mind off of this morning."  Malloch looked out one of the windows.  "And some hot chocolate to get you going."  Malloch smiled and took one of the paintbrushes and dipped it in red and poked a bloch onto the paper in front of Jean and made  a sound of falling rain. "Bloop!"  He smiled and walked away to his own table where h began writing at once.

Maggie smiled encouragingly to her sisters, though Jean had already taken up the paintbrush Malloch used and began covering her paper in bloches saying "bloop" each and every time and then laughing.  Eva looked at the paintbrushes and took up a yellowish color onto it from the collection of paints, and began painting two figures.  It didn't take much to guess what or who she would be drawing.  She missed mom and dad the most of the three.  Maggie looked down at her own paper and began painting a sky and flowers.

Some time had passed and Maggie and her sisters had already finished their hot chocolate, her stomach was beginning to rumble, she was finally hungry.  She was looking up at her sisters, about to ask if they were also hungry and ready to take up Malloch's offer, she saw the black hooded man appear silently behind Eva and Jean.  He raised both his hands, each holding a cloth and reached for her sisters.  Just as she was about to scream a cloth came over her mouth and she knew no more after a couple of breaths.

Everything whirled in her head.  Voices filled the blurs of colors.  She didn't know what was going on.  After a few minutes, her hearing began to sharpen.

"No, she is much too old.  She has passed the time of true childhood creativity."  Malloch's voice sounded in her head.  "The other two, however, are perfect.  I feel that Eva is the most promising.  Her art was beyond creative, even though it was centered around her parents."

"You think so?  Well, we should have her Mantled, first, then."  Another voice came in.  "What should we do with-"  His voice stopped.  "She is coming too."

Maggie felt a cloth put over her face again.

Time was lost, again.  And it was her sight that came back first, this time, but everything came in waves. She was in and out of her body.  She would be awake for a few moments seeing and then black again, and then awake.  She couldn't understand much of what they were saying.  Mostly mumbling, she remembered seeing a machine coming down from the ceiling though, and going over a table that looked to bare Eva.  

Black.

Colors.  Bright violent colors.  There was screaming.  Lots of it.  She looked up from her own table.  Eva was screaming, the machine was over her, and holding parts of what looked to be a body against her.  Maggie tried screaming, but all that would come out was a whimper.  The violent colors shifted again.  Maggie looked towards them, the very direction Eva was facing.  Outside the window the world was coming to life.  Lights and a sky and trees were visible.  They grew rapidly and died away.

Black.

Maggie felt as if she were having a nightmare.  It looked and felt like it.  She opened and closed her eyes, she didn't know how many times.  But the last nightmare she had...Eva was dead.  The violent colors were gone.  And Malloch screamed out, as if frustrated and angry.  Maggie didn't want to think or feel anything.  She didn't resist anymore.  She let herself fall back asleep.

Black

Time passed again.  She didn't know what was real or not.  But she remembered hearing Malloch call for Jean.  Maggie sobbed with strangled whimpers.  She passed out repeatedly over the next torrents of screams.  Screams that assaulted her.  Screams that assaulted her in her dreams.  Lights beat against her closed eyelids.

Finally, she could take it no more.  She fought back.  She stood and walked over to the machine.  Groggy and light headed.  Malloch stood over Jean's body, sobbing.  Her gut wrenched, but she was distant from her body.  She wanted to sob, but she was dried up.  

"Why...?"  Was all she could get out, and then collapsed leaning on a table next to her.

Malloch looked at her with red eyes, and even deeper lines than before.  He looked away at the window and walked over to a chair and stayed facing the window.  "I had found him.  I had found him.  For all of our existence he had left us behind.  But when I saw him, I knew why.  

"Fickle like a child.  Never really understanding what he was doing."  He sobbed momentarily.  "He was just as innocent as the child he looked.  He came with me.  To my home.  I didn't know I could hurt him.  I mean.  Of all the songs dedicated to his strength and power, something as simple as me could not so much as phase him.  Right?"  Malloch put his head into his hands.  

"I don't understa..."  Maggie couldn't finish her sentence, her words muddling up in her dry mouth.

"After he died.  Everything seemed and looked o.k., but I knew it would be horrible.  At first you couldn't tell, but then when they started to disappear in clumps, you couldn't ignore it.  The stars in the sky began to fade away.  The sun blacked out, and the sky with it.  Soon the lands started to collapse into nothing.  I did my best to collect as many children as I could.  I knew there was only one way to fix this.  But I didn't know how.  I just knew that children, like your sisters would be the key to saving us.  

"Perhaps it was his dying wish, perhaps it was gift to me, in knowing the answer.  But so far, I have only come close with a whole mess of almosts.  The world needs a child's mind.  A replacement"   Malloch paused and walked over to Jean's body at the table.  He stroked the body parts of the little boy attached to the machine that pressed them against Jean.  "The crumbling stopped here, at my home.  I'm pretty sure it is because of him."

"I don.."  Maggie tried again.

Malloch looked her in the eyes.  "I killed God."
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 11:15:17 PM by AJZaethe »