Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Monthly Writing Contest => [JAN 2019] Air => Topic started by: xiagan on January 01, 2019, 10:35:47 PM

Title: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 01, 2019, 10:35:47 PM
Air

(https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/intermediary/f/5524947d-48e2-4432-aa64-0cb7f9f4907a/d9jkw8z-27f82c07-f4c0-489e-b475-d86d717686df.jpg)
Diving Suit by SolFar (https://www.deviantart.com/solfar)

We had Fire and Water already, so here's another element. It's easy to see the power in those two elements. Air is more subtle and most of the time you don't think about it. A bit like your heart. It's seldom on your mind as long as it works as it should...

This prompt is open to fantasy and science fictional stories.


Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. Air has to play an important role in your story.
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 January 31st/February 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 (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/register/). 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.

Please post your entry here (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/(jan-2019)-air/(jan-2019)-air-submission-thread/new/#new).

Note: This thread is only for questions or discussing this month's writing contest. Good luck!
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Nora on January 02, 2019, 01:15:09 AM
I won water, and I don't think I was around for fire, so I feel some self inflicted pressure to make this a good one...
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jenny HJ on January 02, 2019, 07:45:21 AM
Oohh, I’m already looking forward to reading these and getting stuck in to writing one!
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Alex Hormann on January 04, 2019, 04:16:52 PM
I was one of the winners for Fire, so I might try and replicate that success with another story that's not quite as dark as my usual fare.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 09, 2019, 01:35:44 PM
Well I sat down to write something for Air, and this is what came out.
No air, and it's actually not even fantasy.

Claudio looked out the window of the back room of the shop. As a child he remembered thinking of this backwater town as the pinnacle civilization because the roofs were wooden, not thatch, because people walked on floorboards instead of dirt. How naive he had been! He touched the collar of his camouflage uniform absently. The military had taken him places he’d never imagined, why had it brought him back here, so close to his home?

“Claudio! Get away from that window and come celebrate!” Behind him, Raúl did another line of coke. The shopkeeper’s desk was a mess of white powder and stray papers, thanks to their altercation. Several kilos were stacked on one side of the desk, some of the packages splattered with the shopkeeper’s blood. “They may be Communists, but I will say this-- they make excellent cocaine.”

Claudio frowned as he looked at the shopkeeper, dead at the foot of his own desk.

“What’s wrong with you?” Raúl furrowed his brow. He swept his arm around the desk. “This is all ours now. We’ve taken over cocaine production in half of the Amazon. The rebels won’t last much longer. It’s almost like you’ve forgotten we’re winning.”

“I’m sorry Raúl,” Claudio put his hand on his best friend’s shoulder. Raúl had befriended him when he was first taken from his village. Shown him the ropes. Saved his life more than once. Taken him to lose his virginity with women who respected men with guns. Shown him how to take what was his: food, extra cash, someone’s watch or phone-- the privileges of being a military man. Had it really only been three years? It felt like an eternity, like another life. He was a different person now. He was seventeen. The military had made him a man.

Claudio’s thoughts were interrupted as the door burst open. In an instant his weapon was ready. A middle aged woman stood in the doorway, shock in her eyes. Claudio hoped she would flee, but instead she fell to her knees, touching the face of the murdered shopkeep. “Leo-- oh god, oh god-- Leo!” her face twisted in agony.

She looked up at the pair in rage. “You bastards! How could you? Pigs! He was an old man--” her words caught in her throat. “I-I know you….  You’re Kwa--”

Claudio pulled the trigger. She collapsed in a heap over her father, before he even realized what he had done.

Kwaru, she was going to say. His savage name, before Raúl gave him a proper Colombian one. Had he meant to kill her? His jaw set resolutely. He wasn’t Kwaru, he was Claudio.

Raúl patted his friend on the shoulder. “Now you’re learning! Rebel women will only make rebel babies.”

“Sh!” Claudio lifted his finger. The woman’s blood drained into the floorboards, with a slow and deliberate drip.  Floorboards did not drip. “There’s a cellar.” Houses here did not have cellars.

Raúl moved the elderly shopkeep with a solid kick.  “Fuck me-- there’s a trap door!”

The two lifted the latch, and Raúl drew his flashlight.  Wooden stairs descended down to darkness.  Crouched into a prowl, the two made their way down the stairs, weapons drawn.

Three children huddled together, muffling their sobs in each other’s shirts.  Three children and one guerilla. Lanky and short, the rebels fatigues fit loosely. He was probably thirteen at the most. He wielded the rifle clumbsily, shaking as he pointed it at the two soldiers.

“Drop your weapon!” Claudio commanded.

The boy just stood there, dumbfounded, staring at Claudio’s face.

“I said drop it!”

The boy didn’t move.  His eyes were wide, and his jaw slack. The rifle shaking even more. Was he going to shoot?

With a bang, Claudio ended the boy’s confusion.  The children screamed as the rebel’s chest exploded. The shot to the heart had sprayed bone and blood on the wall. The guerrilla slumped lifelessly against the red mess.

“That’s enough!” Raúl commanded.

Their sobs continued, if more subdued.

“Learn this lesson, if you want to live,” Raúl continued. “Rebellion ends only in death. Be glad you got this warning.”

One of the children came forward. He must have been nine. “It’s your fault he joined.”

Raúl snorted. Claudio had seen him kill children before. “My fault?” Raúl asked in amusement.

“You take people,” the child said angrily, “From the villages. The children that can’t run fast enough from your trucks. He only joined because you took his older brother.”

Claudio frowned. He studied the dead rebel’s face. The contours of his jaw. The shape of his eyes. Tried to imagine what he would have looked like three years ago.

Raúl hefted his gun and pointed it at the child. “Like I said, rebel mothers make rebel babies.”

The child continued: “Kill me if you want. Just don’t take me like you took Kwaru.”

Claudio’s blood ran cold. “Raul, that’s enough.”

“What do you mean, that's enough?”

Claudio’s eyes never left his dead brother’s face. “There’s no need." Claudio's voice was emotionless. Factual. "Like you said, we’re winning.”
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Cell18 on January 09, 2019, 05:51:43 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed just writing last month.  Needed something to focus on and the Gift theme was one I could not avoid!

Just finished rough draft of this months!  Should be up soon.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: JMack on January 09, 2019, 11:52:58 PM
@J.R. Darewood: Maybe you need to write about the real world, though I’m not sure you or we could take the pain.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jenny HJ on January 10, 2019, 07:17:19 PM
I have an idea :-) just need to work the kinks out of it.  I think it may be slightly more sci-fi than fantasy at the moment. But working on that!
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: JMack on January 10, 2019, 07:37:38 PM
I have an idea :-) just need to work the kinks out of it.  I think it may be slightly more sci-fi than fantasy at the moment. But working on that!

SF is totally acceptable.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 15, 2019, 02:59:37 AM
Well I sat down to write something for Air, and this is what came out.
No air, and it's actually not even fantasy.

Claudio looked out the window of the back room of the shop. As a child he remembered thinking of this backwater town as the pinnacle civilization because the roofs were wooden, not thatch, because people walked on floorboards instead of dirt. How naive he had been! He touched the collar of his camouflage uniform absently. The military had taken him places he’d never imagined, why had it brought him back here, so close to his home?

“Claudio! Get away from that window and come celebrate!” Behind him, Raúl did another line of coke. The shopkeeper’s desk was a mess of white powder and stray papers, thanks to their altercation. Several kilos were stacked on one side of the desk, some of the packages splattered with the shopkeeper’s blood. “They may be Communists, but I will say this-- they make excellent cocaine.”

Claudio frowned as he looked at the shopkeeper, dead at the foot of his own desk.

“What’s wrong with you?” Raúl furrowed his brow. He swept his arm around the desk. “This is all ours now. We’ve taken over cocaine production in half of the Amazon. The rebels won’t last much longer. It’s almost like you’ve forgotten we’re winning.”

“I’m sorry Raúl,” Claudio put his hand on his best friend’s shoulder. Raúl had befriended him when he was first taken from his village. Shown him the ropes. Saved his life more than once. Taken him to lose his virginity with women who respected men with guns. Shown him how to take what was his: food, extra cash, someone’s watch or phone-- the privileges of being a military man. Had it really only been three years? It felt like an eternity, like another life. He was a different person now. He was seventeen. The military had made him a man.

Claudio’s thoughts were interrupted as the door burst open. In an instant his weapon was ready. A middle aged woman stood in the doorway, shock in her eyes. Claudio hoped she would flee, but instead she fell to her knees, touching the face of the murdered shopkeep. “Leo-- oh god, oh god-- Leo!” her face twisted in agony.

She looked up at the pair in rage. “You bastards! How could you? Pigs! He was an old man--” her words caught in her throat. “I-I know you….  You’re Kwa--”

Claudio pulled the trigger. She collapsed in a heap over her father, before he even realized what he had done.

Kwaru, she was going to say. His savage name, before Raúl gave him a proper Colombian one. Had he meant to kill her? His jaw set resolutely. He wasn’t Kwaru, he was Claudio.

Raúl patted his friend on the shoulder. “Now you’re learning! Rebel women will only make rebel babies.”

“Sh!” Claudio lifted his finger. The woman’s blood drained into the floorboards, with a slow and deliberate drip.  Floorboards did not drip. “There’s a cellar.” Houses here did not have cellars.

Raúl moved the elderly shopkeep with a solid kick.  “Fuck me-- there’s a trap door!”

The two lifted the latch, and Raúl drew his flashlight.  Wooden stairs descended down to darkness.  Crouched into a prowl, the two made their way down the stairs, weapons drawn.

Three children huddled together, muffling their sobs in each other’s shirts.  Three children and one guerilla. Lanky and short, the rebels fatigues fit loosely. He was probably thirteen at the most. He wielded the rifle clumbsily, shaking as he pointed it at the two soldiers.

“Drop your weapon!” Claudio commanded.

The boy just stood there, dumbfounded, staring at Claudio’s face.

“I said drop it!”

The boy didn’t move.  His eyes were wide, and his jaw slack. The rifle shaking even more. Was he going to shoot?

With a bang, Claudio ended the boy’s confusion.  The children screamed as the rebel’s chest exploded. The shot to the heart had sprayed bone and blood on the wall. The guerrilla slumped lifelessly against the red mess.

“That’s enough!” Raúl commanded.

Their sobs continued, if more subdued.

“Learn this lesson, if you want to live,” Raúl continued. “Rebellion ends only in death. Be glad you got this warning.”

One of the children came forward. He must have been nine. “It’s your fault he joined.”

Raúl snorted. Claudio had seen him kill children before. “My fault?” Raúl asked in amusement.

“You take people,” the child said angrily, “From the villages. The children that can’t run fast enough from your trucks. He only joined because you took his older brother.”

Raúl hefted his gun and pointed it at the child. “Like I said, rebel mothers make rebel babies.”

Claudio frowned. He studied the dead rebel’s face. The contours of his jaw. The shape of his eyes. Tried to imagine what he would have looked like three years ago.

The child continued: “Kill me if you want. Just don’t take me like you took Kwaru.”

Claudio’s blood ran cold. “Raul, that’s enough.”

“What do you mean, that's enough?”

Claudio’s eyes never left his dead brother’s face. “There’s no need." Claudio's voice was emotionless. Factual. "Like you said, we’re winning.”

Wow. It hurts cause it's so real. I imagine so many similar stories in so many places  :'(

Shame we don't have a contest for randoms stories for the month  :o

In the mean time I am pretty much clutching at air in want of finding an idea I like enough to actually write so far this month.

I have a few, and if need be I'll grind one of those out. But I'd prefer better than that  :-\
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: ryanmcgowan on January 17, 2019, 04:42:41 PM
I’m finally back home where I belong.

This week I’ll be locking myself in a little wooden cabin sandwiched between mountains the banks of Loch Tay with nothing but a fine whiskey and writing time on my hands, bring on this weeks submission  :)

Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 19, 2019, 05:04:56 AM
Air is a really challenging theme.
Can next month be PNR erotica? I feel like that would be much easier.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Slaykomimi on January 19, 2019, 10:05:03 AM
Air is a really challenging theme.
Can next month be PNR erotica? I feel like that would be much easier.

good recommendation, would want that too.

Aynway, I discarded about 2 or 3 story ideas allready and start to run out of time to think about, but I am sure I will manage to write something decent about this topic  :D
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: OnlyOneHighlander on January 20, 2019, 11:13:22 AM
New year, new theme, new socks from mum for Christmas, let's do this.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on January 20, 2019, 08:36:50 PM
Can next month be PNR erotica? I feel like that would be much easier.
Sorry, we're not doing themes twice. :-/
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Slaykomimi on January 20, 2019, 11:19:02 PM
Can next month be PNR erotica? I feel like that would be much easier.
Sorry, we're not doing themes twice. :-/

We already had erotic short stories? When was that? just for research of course.
I would love to write an erotic story for a contest. I think that is a very hard topic to balance in storytelling I think, many tales have either no erotics or even love, or the complete opposite and the story is full of sex and nothing else. I guess most writers are too scared to mess it up and just try to ignore it.

Anyway. 10 days to go and I already discarded 2 drafts, the next one I write will (hopefully) be the one I will post for this months contest.

Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 21, 2019, 06:18:47 AM
Got there in the end! Like you Slay I discarded a fair few ideas, one I even wrote a few hundred words on  :o

In the end I went with possibly the most ridiculous idea of them all. May not be to everyone's taste  ;D :P
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jenny HJ on January 22, 2019, 09:43:30 PM
i'm finally underway. i think i am going to be a bit of a pushing it late entry this month. 500 words in and it appears i have space spiders.....
 yup you read that right.  ;D
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: idledragon27 on January 26, 2019, 08:13:04 PM
I promised myself last year to keep this up, and only managed January. Although that one story did spawn several more.

Not sure its a short story now, just a chapter in a larger one :-\

Oh well, here I go again with another year, and another attempt at short stories... ;D
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: JMack on January 28, 2019, 01:14:13 AM
Still trying to get this done. New idea tonight. I like the premise, but don’t really have a plot yet.   >:(
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jenny HJ on January 28, 2019, 08:22:50 PM
I think i’m Done. I think i’m going to sleep on it and re-read one last time in the morning before I post it. 
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 29, 2019, 02:03:21 AM


FUS-RO-DAH!

Okay that's it. I'm done with my story. Let's just adjust the minimum word limits accordingly.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on January 31, 2019, 10:07:18 PM
Oh yay, 10 stories!
Just one more, to give us 3 votes? Let me know and I can wait a day :)
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 31, 2019, 11:04:51 PM
Oh yay, 10 stories!
Just one more, to give us 3 votes? Let me know and I can wait a day :)

@JMack Are you gonna pull something off this month? I'm rooting for you!!
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: JMack on February 01, 2019, 12:42:06 AM
@ScarletBea, how much time can I have?
I had (yet another) new idea last night while reading a biography of Napoleon.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on February 01, 2019, 08:01:05 AM
Hmmm maybe all of today your time? Closing around lunchtime/afternoon tomorrow UK time?
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 01, 2019, 08:26:45 AM
It *is* the weekend... I mean you could go thru Monday if you were feeling generous...
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on February 01, 2019, 08:51:33 AM
I could... but then wouldn't those that slaved to get it done during the month be annoyed at me?
I give 2 extra days then, whole of Friday and Saturday.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: xiagan on February 01, 2019, 09:53:41 AM
Of course Jmack is entering something. He hasn't taken a month off in years. ;)
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on February 01, 2019, 10:35:01 AM
Oh I fully trust @JMack to write a great story in 1.5 day ;D

(I hadn't noticed he hadn't submitted yet, I never really look properly until the month ends)
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: JMack on February 01, 2019, 12:39:51 PM
Not one month since Nov 2014!
Okay. I’ll give the old college try.
Thanks, all.
Title: Re: [Jan 2019] - AIR - Discussion Thread
Post by: Jenny HJ on February 10, 2019, 02:53:34 PM
Apology to readers of mine!!!

It’s my own fault for not checking the pasted version. I checked and double grammar checked my file, before I pasted it in. It appears that the forum has done a weird formatting thing and replaced new lines/paragraphs with question marks, twice. It doesn’t look like that in any other version I saved.

That will teach me to check it after posting in future!!  I wanted to avoid tinkering with it.