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Author Topic: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread  (Read 3474 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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[Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« on: November 06, 2015, 06:47:19 PM »
Following from Xiagan's idea of the 'special month':

Quote
#nanowrimo special!

November is (inter)national novel writing month. To honor this, I'll propose something special for those who are willing:
You write your story in your submission post and everybody can see how the story develops.

What I'm imagining is something like this:
Nov 1st: Write the first 200 words of the story in a post and submit.
Nov 2nd-4th: no time, so nothing happens
Nov 5th: Modify post and add a fancy title and two sentences.
Nov 6th: Modify post and write another 300 words.
Nov 7th-18th: no time for writing
Nov 18th: New title because the old one sucked.
Nov 19th: rewrite the first scene, add another 100 words
Nov 20th: change title again and the name of the MC
Nov 21st: write the last part of the story
Nov 22nd: edit and tweak a bit
...

Some people (me included) were getting confused in the Submission Thread, between 'final' submissions and this 'under construction' experiment.

So this thread is for the NaNoWriMo Special.
When your story is finalised, then please move it to the Submission Thread.

(I'm copying your entries from the other thread: please feel free to use your own posts, then I'll delete mine.)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 06:52:16 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 06:51:31 PM »
@ClintACK's entry


And, I've got a title.  And a monster.  And a few ideas.

Spoiler for November 2nd:
Jörmungandr

Monster: the Midgard Serpent

Brainstorming:
If he's real, where would he (she?) lie?  He'd go under the polar ice cap in the North, then around either the tip of South America or Africa...  But why would it be a disaster if he let go of his tail?

What about a flat world where the Midgard Serpent surrounds the ocean, holding the water in.  If he ever lets go of his tail, the whole ocean will spill off the world.

Or do I want to go classic... a twisted retelling of Thor's fishing trip?

I wonder if this should be the month I subject you all to my truly atrocious (almost Vogon level) poetry... now what rhymes with Jörmungandr?   "You're fun, Xander."  Is Buffy appearing in this story?

Spoiler for November 5th:
Have some notion of a conspiracy to spill water out past the Serpent's tail, in order to change real estate values, or land-lock an enemy's navy, but nothing's really clicking.

Perhaps something like the Labour of Hercules where he takes over holding up the sky for Atlas for a short time.  What would it be like to be Atlas holding up the sky or Jormungandr holding in the sea?

Is some intrepid sailor/explorer discovering the Serpentwall at the edge of the sea and sailing around it to discover the head or tail?  What's *beyond* the Serpent if he manages to climb over?
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"There is no way to kill someone mercifully. (...) They may claim that their victims did not suffer. They lie. All they may truly say is that the victim's suffering was invisible to them." Robin Hobb ("Fool's Assassin")

Offline night_wrtr

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 07:18:12 PM »
So, I am going to try this whole create it before your eyes thing, but I am honestly not sure how this will go.

Warning, I will be putting spoilers in my thoughts, as I won't really know what will be in or out or changed or cut or whatever. So read at your own risk!

Pre-Writing:
(Entry: 11/5/15 9:38 am) - (Entry: 11/5/15 2:04 pm)
Spoiler for Hiden:
(Entry: 11/5/15 9:38 am)

All I have right now is my monster beast, which is called a Displacer Beast in D&D and a Coeurl from the novel The Voyage of The Space Beagle by A.E van Vogt.

Image of the beasty, which I have googled for inspiration:
Spoiler for Hiden:

And that is all I have for now.

(Entry: 11/5/15 10:54 am)
Ok, I've been reading everything about this beast that I can find. Lots of interesting things I can use to include in the story. Like eyes that always glow and that they have the ability to "displace" their image a few feet from where they really are, which makes them very hard to hit.

Interesting things to work with.

Story ideas already forming! I like the idea of a hunterish type (or maybe a soldier. Yes, I like the soldier idea) searching for the beast to make himself a cloak from its hide. Reminds me of the Warder's Cloak from Wheel of Time. A right of passage for a high level soldier who has reached a certain rank.

(Entry: 11/5/15 12:46 pm)
Looks like this beasty is considered to originate in the Feywild. I like having the idea that the hunter would have to go into the fey to slay it. He should probably have a guide and some understanding of fey magic. This would give a whole new perspective to the Coeurl (i'm going to use this as its name, as Displacer Beast sounds meh). What other powers could I give it? I would like to make it more of a "Mighty Beast," so I might make it much bigger, which as part of the Feywild, wouldn't be an issue.

Well, it has happened. Story idea #2: What if it is more like a non-native species to the Feywild, which is now causing havoc in the Fey destroying magical forests and native species.  Fey would have their own magic to fight it, but perhaps the Coeurl absorbs magic as it destroys or consumes magical creatures, which now makes it stronger than the Fey can handle. (Maybe this causes it to grow to such an enormous size?) Should my POV character be a Fey, and show some magic vs the Coeurl? Or if not, who do the Fey turn to? A human warrior? Someone who knows how to fight magic without magic, since humans don't have any.

Good things to think about. I am happy with the way ideas are rolling around.

(Entry: 11/5/15 2:04 pm)
Oooo, it needs to be very smart. Can it communicate via telepathy? Blink dogs (dogs that can teleport short distances) hate them with a passion. Blink Dogs are not cool enough for me. So, maybe Blink Wolves. Our hunters will need these, like hounds on a fox.

Oh, and the Coeurl eats unicorns. Those bastards!


Some discovery writing and thoughts:
(Entry: 11/6/15 12:40 pm) - (Entry: 11/6/15 8:04 pm)
Spoiler for Hiden:
(Entry: 11/6/15 12:40 pm)

Whether it was your first time or hundredth, crossing the plain into the Feyworld turned your stomach. Vezz took a drink of teroux root tea from his canteen in hopes to fight the nausea. It worked most of the time.

“Okay?” Zora grabbed his shoulder with a firm grip. “You don’t look well. I thought you said this wasn’t your first time.”

Vezz frowned, stepping away from her reach. “I’m fine.” Maybe it was just him. Damn Fey could cross back and forth without a lick. He stood up straight, checking the contents of his pack and ignoring the slight spin to the world around him. “How long till we reach the city?”

“Two days,” she said, whistling a loud tune. A moment later two horses trotted into the open. One grey, the other black, each heavily muscled. They were already saddled and stopped a foot from Zora’s waiting hands. She grabbed the reins of the grey and handed them to Vezz. “This is Devious.”

His hand paused. “Devious?”

“Would you rather take Mankiller?” She said, pointing to the black mare.

Grunting, he took the reins of Devious and climbed into the saddle. Riding didn’t help his stomach much, but the teroux eventually did its job. The Feyworld was marvelous if you tookt he time to appreciate it. To most it was overwhelming with its brilliant colors splashed all over. Trees of bright blue with orange leaves, grass of yellow and purple. Hell, the shades of black were too numerous to count.

They crossed a river by bridge, which to human eyes, appeared to be invisible. He knew it wasn’t, but there were some colors only the Fey could see. Vezz wondered if the horses could see, or if they had grown immune to walking on air over the years. Horses back in the Deltland would shy away from water if it were too clear.

*****

I like this for an opening, but it might be too long to set up enough with the rest of the story. Still not sure what my plan is, but I have a lot of things to consider about the Coeurl.

Right now, I am wanting to have the POV character human, who is called in to deal with the troublesome beast. I definitely like the idea of the beast absorbing magic and gaining a higher intelligence level, which it uses to thwart the Fey attempts to defeat it.

I like the idea of having the beast already defeating Fey armies and hired swords, forcing the Fey to go to a last resort. A man with a questionable occupation of dragon slaying. If he could kill a dragon, long time friends of the Fey (at least in this story), then he could kill the Coeurl, right?

Just some thoughts. Like I said before, who knows if any of this makes it into the story. Then again, it could all end up just as I discover it. Joy of writing!  ;D

(Entry: 11/6/15 8:04pm)

A thought bubble about the ending surfaced a few minutes ago as I was driving home. I'll try to do some discovery writing again to feel the ending out soon.

The thought bubble: The Coeurl can reach into other creatures minds and eventually take control of them. The Blink Wolves can work at first because of their numbers. It takes a lot of concentration to take over another creature. If it can take over Fey creatures, why not the Fey?

Did the Coeurl already infect Fey minds? Was Vezz lured there for some reason? Looks like this story is turning into a Coeurl victory.


« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 01:15:00 AM by night_wrtr »

Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 01:42:01 AM »
okey dokey.

i'm totally excited to iterate my way through this story in front of everyone.  let's do this.

WARNING: reading the spoilers will completely ruin the twist ending.  just sayin'.


Spoiler for November 2, 2015, 9:00 am:
um, yeah.  i have no idea what i want to write about yet.  waiting for inspiration to strike.  all i know so far is that i want a sympathetic monster ala frankenstein.

Spoiler for November 2, 2015, 11:00 am:
okay.  i think a spark of an idea hit me on the drive into the office.

it's a beast.  (duh)  third-person close because i don't want to deal with describing fundamental things through a non-human mind.  that's prolly another story.

starts in a flashback where he's fighting a bear.  shows off his power and rage.  he's huge.  crushes and eats the bear for food.  then, he notices it was a mama bear.  he sees her cubs.

comes back to the present.  he's sad about killing and eating the mom.  (awwww... think of the children!)  it's winter.  cold.  barren.  he's been following a pack of wolves.  he's starving.

build a bit of sympathy around him as he tries to chase and eat some snow bunnies.  failsauce.

he's been getting in closer to the human places, tho that's dangerous.  they're mean.  he does like their cows tho.  they're delicious.  and he's so hungry.

he's wandering close, sees a wolf.  some build up.  salivating.  pounce!

cut to a woodcutter's (or something) shop in the woods.  a guy comes out wondering what is taking little junior so long to gather the firewood.  he should be warm enough because he was wearing...  duhn-duhn-duuuuhhhhhnnnnn....  a wolf skin.

massive howl of rage and anguish splits the air.  the dad looks up, fear in his eyes.  he starts running.

the end.


Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 01:42:47 AM »
WARNING: reading the spoilers will completely ruin the story for you.  just sayin'.

got the bracket-outline done!

Spoiler for November 6, 2015, 8:45 am:
# Mighty Beast

[It’s cold and wintry harsh.  He’s hungry.  We don’t know who ‘he’ is.]

[He pounces at a rabbit hole in the snow.  We don’t know it’s a rabbit hole yet — just a flicker of motion he jumps at.]

[Thinks back to the last time he ate.  It was an entire bear.  ‘He’ is obviously big.]

[Run through the fight.  It’s easy and brutal in favor of the beast.  He’s obviously powerful.  Nom, nom.]

[It was a mama bear.  Her cubs run out from the cave where they were hibernating.  Sadness.]

[They attack him.  He flees.]

[Back to present.  He continues tracking a pack of wolves.]

[More cold.  More starving.]

[He sees another rabbit bolt out of the corner of his eye.  ‘Aha!  That first thing was a rabbit!’  he’s still too slow.]

[Smells some cows on the wind.  People are near.  They’re dangerous.]

[Cows are delicious, tho.  And he’s hungry.  Maybe just a little closer.]

[Besides, the wolves are headed that way.  People hate wolves too.  Maybe they’ll distract the humans and he can run off with a cow or two.  ‘Wow, he’s really, really big!’  drop a false hint that he might save people from the wolves.]

[There’s a clearing.  A wolf rustling around a pile of sticks.]

[The wolf smells funny.  Will make a good snack.  Salivating.  Hungry.  MUST EAT!]

[Pounce!]

***

[We’re in a cottage now.  It’s been a while since little johnny brought in the firewood.  It’s cold.]

[Dad goes out to the shed where the firewood is stored.  It’s empty of firewood.  Johnny’s not there.]

[There are johnny tracks out the open gate heading towards the woods.  Thinks, ‘He should be warm enough.  He had his wolfskin on.’]

[One of the cows lifts its head, smells the air and runs back to the barn.]

[Massive rage-howl splits the air.]

[Dad looks up, fear strikes his face, he starts running.]


Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 07:16:45 PM »
morning soccer game is out of the way.  (they won, 8-2)  the wife is out shopping.  the kids are playing minecraft.  i have about an hour for quiet writing time.

and, go!

Spoiler for Hiden:

oh, and of course, i've got this going in the background:
www.noisli.com/get_combo_by_link/WLN52PwZTjv2BaE
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 07:25:45 PM by m3mnoch »

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 08:43:30 PM »
stopping for lunch.  probably for the day.  family is reconvening.

filled in the outline.  'bout 1/3 done with the initial text.

Spoiler for Hiden:

# Mighty Beast

Sap swelled and snapped limbs as a harsh, wintry wind sheared through the treetops.  The morning sunlight reflected painfully off the drifts, but did little for warmth.  As she rested, clouds of steam surged from her lips, only to get swept aside by the next whistling gale.

Her stomach growled and there it was again.  The flick of movement.  The glint of a round eye.  The twitch of a whisker.

She leapt.  Snow and dirt erupted in a shower of debris.

Powder snow drifted in the wind as rocks and twigs rained down.  A brown, earthy scar marred the whiteness where her target had been.  Her stomach growled again.

There was no food.  There hadn’t been for days.  She needed meat.

She needed to find another bear.

The cave had been well-hidden and out of the wind, but that meant the snow was not able to pile in front of the entrance.  So she had found it.

The bear had roared and charged her instantly.  She had smiled and swatted it through the air to crash into a pine tree.  The bear had rolled to its feet, shaken, and stood on its hind legs for a second attack.  She had reached down and grabbed the animal’s skull in one massive paw and had torn it free.

She had fallen on the still-warm corpse with a ravenous hunger, tearing wolfishly at the flesh with two-foot fangs, most of the meat gone in seconds.

That was when she had heard the cubs.  The bear’s children had rushed her.  They had charged from the mouth of the cave where they had been hibernating, snarling to protect their mother.

Heart sinking, she had run.

In that moment, she could not have taken the cubs as wolves had taken hers.  Now, she was not as sure.  Given the choice between another day of cold starvation or devouring bear cubs, the mother in her feared finding another cave.

The wolves were different.  She longed to find the pack.  She’d been hunting them for half a moon.  She would feast, swift and ferocious, amongst them, alphas and cubs alike.

Stacks of bones and piles of fur, torn earth and shredded trees.  Violence and warmth would follow her vengeance.

Growls thundered from her empty stomach.  A gust of wind hurled a flurry of snow in her eyes.  Snorting, she shook her head and padded emptily on.

Eight heartbeats and she paused.

White fur flashed in the corner of her eye.  She roared and pounced.  Huge, sweeping claws ripped up the earth surrounding the rabbit hole.  She was not fast enough again.  Worse, hunger and weakness seemed to be making her even slower.

Another whipping gale froze through her.  This one, however, carried a new scent.  Cattle.

[Smells some cows on the wind.  People are near.  They’re dangerous.]

[Cows are delicious, tho.  And he’s hungry.  Maybe just a little closer.]

[Besides, the wolves are headed that way.  People hate wolves too.  Maybe they’ll distract them and he can run off with a cow or two.  ‘Wow, he’s really, really big!’]

[There’s a clearing.  A wolf rustling around a pile of sticks.]

[The wolf smells funny.  Will make a good snack.  Salivating.  Hungry.  MUST EAT!]

[Pounce!]

***

[We’re in a cottage now.  It’s been a while since little johnny brought in the firewood.  It’s cold.]

[Dad goes out to the shed where the firewood is stored.  It’s empty of firewood.  Johnny’s not there.]

[There are johnny tracks out the open gate heading towards the woods.  Thinks, ‘He should be warm enough.  He had his wolfskin on.’]

[One of the cows lifts its head, smells the air and runs back to the barn.]

[Massive rage-howl splits the air.]

[Dad looks up, fear strikes his face, he starts running.]




Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 09:21:30 PM »
oh, and of course, i've got this going in the background:
www.noisli.com/get_combo_by_link/WLN52PwZTjv2BaE
Really?
That helps you concentrate??? :o
wow - the world is a big different place ;D
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!
"There is no way to kill someone mercifully. (...) They may claim that their victims did not suffer. They lie. All they may truly say is that the victim's suffering was invisible to them." Robin Hobb ("Fool's Assassin")

Offline Mr.J

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 09:34:57 PM »
oh, and of course, i've got this going in the background:
www.noisli.com/get_combo_by_link/WLN52PwZTjv2BaE
Really?
That helps you concentrate??? :o
wow - the world is a big different place ;D
Ooh that is cool, not seen that sort of thing done as neatly as that before. Thanks for the recommendation. :D Also this will be my only contribution to this thread as I'm already done *skips away smugly* *realises story will get least votes, cries*

Offline night_wrtr

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 12:53:39 AM »
Did a little more discovery writing:

Spoiler for Hiden:
This is the journey to the Coeurl's den, where the showdown will happen. (Notes for the ending and my wrap up plan at the bottom)

****************

"What's wrong with you, Bnule?" Zenna said.

The Fey huffed, kicking his heels into the unicorn.

Zenna sighed, watching him go ahead of the group. "He hasn't been the same since the first encounter. Always frowning, eyes dark, like he hates everything."

"Well," Vezz said, "There is something about the battlefield that changes men. Though we fight an animal here, it's still a battlefield. I've seen what happens to a man when they lose friends. If what you said was true, about him being the only survivor, then he's seen things he will never forget. Things you won't understand. Things that rip out your heart and replace it with ice. It leaves you numb to the rest of the world."

She stared at him then, eyes thoughtful. "Speaking from experience, then?"

Vezz looked away from her. "Something like that."

The Wolves slowed, then skidded to a halt. The unicorns landed, thier hooves finally digging into the dirt like a normal horse. Bnule was still nowhere in sight. The wolves glanced at each other, then broke away in different directions. They were spreading out.

"We're close," Zenna said. They walked thier unicorns forward into a thick tangle of trees, pushing through limbs and leaves. They entered a clearing that should’nt have been there. A wide clearing, at that. Thick trunks lay splintered along the ground, some with large chunks of dirt ripped up, exposing their roots.

He had seen dragons make less destruction than this.

"There."

Vezz followed Zenna's gaze to the left where the path ran over a hill. Bnule sat on his unicorn, staring over the other end.

The unicorns lept once, floating toward the hill, then landed next to Bnule. The leap was over a hundred yards and the impact was like sitting on a pillow. Vezz grimaced. Unnatural things.


*****************
A few notes:

A long day of cutting wood  and wrestling with the kids has worn me out, so this will be all I do for now, but I will leave a few thoughts about my plan for this beasty fight.

I want to show the Coeurl's displacement ability, its tentacle spikes, and its elusiveness - I can't forget its green eyes creeping out of the dark cave. A unicorn will be eaten, telepathy will be used, and these Blink Wolves are about to get effed up. Vezz will get his hands dirty and do a lot of damage in the fight one-on-one.

The final ending where the story will conclude involves betrayal and a poisoned arrow. Mwahahaha.

Never trust a Fey, even when they bring gifts.

Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 01:53:06 PM »
oh, and of course, i've got this going in the background:
www.noisli.com/get_combo_by_link/WLN52PwZTjv2BaE
Really?
That helps you concentrate??? :o
wow - the world is a big different place ;D
Ooh that is cool, not seen that sort of thing done as neatly as that before. Thanks for the recommendation. :D Also this will be my only contribution to this thread as I'm already done *skips away smugly* *realises story will get least votes, cries*

wanna see something else from my arsenal of cool?
https://archive.org/details/Sounds_of_Nature_Collection

oh, and don't fret about winning.  this is my 6th-ish entry.  i've yet to even place top 10, i believe.  so, whatevs.  the reason to practice still feels good.

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 03:16:38 PM »
But I'm competitive in some ways.  ;)

I know it's a fun competition that's good practice, I have enjoyed doing my 2 entries so far. :D

Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 04:00:50 PM »
just finished the literal, laying down of first text.  i haven't even read through it, much less gone back and fixed any verb tenses or spelling errors or anything.

i'm going to let this sit, i think, and then tackle the rest of it later.  right now, i need to switch gears back to rainn chapter 10!

maybe i'll percolate on a proper title in the back of my head.

Spoiler for Hiden:

one of my favorite things about writing is finding out how the twist at the end lays into the rest of the story.

for example, this morning, i had plans to lay down the trail of "maybe in the end, she saves some humans/men/children from wolves".  especially since i've been working at making her sympathetic.

writing through it, i discovered if i shifted a bit of the 'meanwhile, at the cottage' scene around, and was shifty about the odd smell of the wolf she eats (by making it emanate from beneath the wolfskin), i could make it seem like she was whacking a wolf who had already preyed on the boy -- not the boy himself.

so, that means, right up until the couple sentences or so, you think she's being helpful, tragic hero-like.  not, 'oh, she just ate somebodies kid'.

---

Mighty Beast
Sap swelled and snapped limbs as a harsh, wintry wind sheared through the treetops.  The morning sunlight reflected painfully off the drifts, but did little for warmth.  As she rested, clouds of steam surged from her lips, only to get swept aside by the next whistling gale.

Her stomach growled and there it was again.  The flick of movement.  The glint of a round eye.  The twitch of a whisker.

She leapt.  Snow and dirt erupted in a shower of debris.

Powder snow drifted in the wind as rocks and twigs rained down.  A brown, earthy scar marred the whiteness where her target had been.  Her stomach growled again.

There was no food.  There hadn’t been for days.  She needed meat.

She needed to find another bear.

The cave had been well-hidden and out of the wind, but that meant the snow was not able to pile in front of the entrance.  So she had found it.

The bear had roared and charged her instantly.  She had smiled and swatted it through the air to crash into a pine tree.  The bear had rolled to its feet, shaken, and stood on its hind legs for a second attack.  She had reached down and grabbed the animal’s skull in one massive paw and had torn it free.

She had fallen on the still-warm corpse with a ravenous hunger, tearing wolfishly at the flesh with fangs the length of the bear’s forearms.  Most of the meat had disappeared in seconds.

That was when she had heard the cubs.  The bear’s children had rushed her.  They had charged from the mouth of the cave where they had been hibernating, snarling to protect their mother.

Heart sinking, she had run.

In that moment, she could not have taken the cubs as wolves had taken hers.  Now, she was not as sure.  Given the choice between another day of cold starvation or devouring bear cubs, the mother in her feared finding another cave.

The wolves were different.  She longed to find the pack.  She’d been hunting them for half a moon.  She would feast, swift and ferocious, amongst them, alphas and cubs alike.

Stacks of bones and piles of fur, torn earth and shredded trees.  Violence and warmth would follow her vengeance.

Growls thundered from her empty stomach.  A gust of wind hurled a flurry of snow in her eyes.  Snorting, she shook her head and padded emptily on.

Eight heartbeats and she paused.

White fur flashed in the corner of her eye.  She roared and pounced.  Huge, sweeping claws ripped up the earth surrounding the rabbit hole.  She was not quick enough again.  While nothing could pace with her in an open run, the darting speed required to spear a rabbit with her claw was beyond her.  She was too large.  Worse, hunger and weakness seemed to be making her even slower.

Another whipping gale froze through her.  This one, however, carried a new scent.  Cattle.  That meant a man-village was nearby.

Men were dangerous.  Far more so than wolves.

Even a pack of wolves was easy meat for her.  A pack of men, however, would destroy her.  They were unending hordes of biting razors and sharp sticks.  There was a reason she had lived as long as she had — She avoided men.

But, she was so hungry.

With the strength from one quiet cow, taken under the moon, she could finally catch and devour the pack of arctic wolves she’d been chasing all these long days.  The men would never know.  If she found any cattle, she promised herself she’d wait until nightfall before she moved in and started plucking up cows.

She thrust her snout skyward.  What luck!  The man-village, the cattle, and the wolves were all in the direction of the rising sun.  She might even catch a wolf or two prowling around the man-village, and if she came upon a fat cow lost in the fields, she would snatch it up as she ran.

A rumble rolled from her belly up through her throat.  Yes, cows were delicious.

Looking around at the destroyed rabbit holes, she scoffed and rustled the trees.  Then she stood, confident, and started loping, the morning sun in her eyes.

After a league or two, the scent grew stronger and she slowed her pace.  She was now hunting.  Quietly.  Carefully.  The wolves must not know she was upon them.

Ahead, she spotted a small clearing.  The facing sun reflected off the snow and it was difficult to see the wolf moving about, rustling in a pile of small sticks.  It was probably nosing around in a rabbit den.  Hopefully, the wolf would catch the rabbit — That meant a double meal for her.

She crept forward.

There were no other wolves in sight.  This one was alone, but knew others were close.  She found their scent blowing through the trees.  A long string of drool dangled its way from her jaw to the ground below.

She was getting closer.

When this one darted, she would concentrate and follow only this one.  Once she gulped it down, then she would pick another from the pack and run it down.  Then another, and another, and another.  She would not be distracted when they scattered.

Her stomach rumbled.  The wolf’s head popped up. 

There was a strange smell coming from beneath the wolf.  It was about to dart.  She didn’t have time to ponder whatever prey the wolf had taken down.

She pounced, jaws snapping the wolf in half.

***

The fireplace flames in the cottage burned low and the outside chill seized that moment to creep in to Adax’s fingers.  He wondered what was taking his son so long to bring in more firewood.

Irritated, he stood and stretched, working the imprint of the wooden chair from his bones.  He looked at the empty hanging peg by the door, grunted and wrapped the blanket closer, bracing for the cold outside.

Adax stepped across the threshold and out into the snow.  There was a fierce wind blowing and the blanket did little to guard against the biting cold.  He followed Dav’s tracks in the snow from under the eaves and out to the small shed where they stored the firewood.

It was empty.

There was neither firewood, nor his son, Dav.  Worry niggled in the back of Adax’s mind.  He pulled the blanket tighter and followed the small bootprints past the fence surrounding the cowshed.

As he walked, one of the milk cows nibbling the last of the shoots surrounding a fencepost, lifted its head in the air.  It snorted, whined, and trotted back to the safety of the shed.

Adax was worried.  Steeling himself, he started jogging alongside the boy’s tracks leading to the nearby woods where they typically harvested their firewood.

“That boy should know better than to head out here in the cold.”  He tried to replace the growing fear with anger.  “So help me, if he’s gone and ruined my good cloak, I’m going to have his hide for my next one.”  At least he’ll be warm, wrapped in the wolfskin.

A tree-shaking roar echoed with furious anger through their little valley.  Adax covered his ears but still felt the rage-filled rumble deep in his own chest.  After three heartbeats, it was followed by a wailing howl, long, slow, and mournful.  The sadness drowned the shrieking wind before slowly dying along Dav’s tracks.

Adax’s face twisted with aprehension.  His stomach dropped out.  He flung the blanket to the side.

Adax ran.

He wished he’d brought his axe, but whatever horror he was about to face, his own teeth and knuckles would have to suffice.


Offline night_wrtr

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2015, 07:23:24 PM »
But I'm competitive in some ways.  ;)

I know it's a fun competition that's good practice, I have enjoyed doing my 2 entries so far. :D
Me too, but I brought home a goose egg last month...so...

Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Nov 2015] - Mighty Beasts - Under Construction Thread
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2015, 07:35:40 PM »
alrighty.

i made a voice/style/editing pass through it, changed the title to "winter regrets", and gave it to the wife to read.  she didn't have any issues with it, so i'll be posting it when i get a chance.

... and that's basically what each month looks like, front-to-back for me.

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