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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread Well after a couple years absent from the monthly comp I made a New Years resolution to myself that i’d Try and enter every month this year.  Will have to sit down and get writing!  :o
January 13, 2018, 12:17:04 AM
Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Submission Thread Rebirth Centre

So this is my first try at getting back into writing for the last few years, hoping to make it a regular thing.

Hopefully nothing offends, there is a swear in here somewhere though.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I woke up dead. 
I know I’m dead because the strange little man with feathered wings is telling me so.
“You are dead, Damian.” A cherubim grin is affixed to his small pinched face.  “My name is Alan, I am an Angel of the fifth circle of heaven” He pauses to ruffle his feathers dramatically, there’s a smile on my face now and not because I’m impressed, it belies a disdainful laugh at such a comic display of self importance.  He continues on without any outward display of chagrin, perhaps he thinks I really am impressed.  Maybe I should be. “and I will be processing your rebirth today.” From his tone I’m assuming I’m not his first death, not by a long shot and probably not even today.  “Do not worry about the memory loss it is quite normal at this stage, things should start coming back to you shortly.  Now, let me have a quick look at your stats…” The gold leaf scroll he began mumbling over flickered to life with information.  “First life.  Male, died mid-thirties” he paused, turning over the scroll and checking the back as his eyebrows climbed theatrically.  “Well it looks like you’ve been on hold in the system a very long time indeed.  Apologies for that.” his cherubim grin strained at the edges “But it’s not like you’re the son of God or anything, right?” The silence that answered ran on too long to be anything but uncomfortable. He shot a glance down at the scroll again, swiping quickly through its information.  The concern eased on his face as he found what he was looking for.  “Looks like you’ve been dead a week or so longer than him ahaha.  But lets try and get you a quick turn around whilst you’re here.” He continued.  “Ok off we go, please try to keep up and don’t wander off it’s difficult enough- Don’t touch that!” I pulled back sharply, shocked by the Angels strangled yell.
“Sorry, it’s just that. Well.  It’s floating?” An intricately patterned bronze orb hovered beside me, mirroring even my smallest movement.
“Yes well, they do tend to.” And without further explanation the little man was off again, leaving me to scramble in his wake with the strange orb following.
“Where are we going?” I managed to blurt out once I’d caught up.
“First is judgment, you need to have your soul weighed and its worth decanted into your orb.” We’d been walking at speed through empty white washed corridors but suddenly turned into a small room with ‘Rebirth Chamber 66’ stencilled above the doorway in flowing script.  “If you’d just step here” He indicated a stylised seven pointed star thats red paint stood out in stark contrast of the polished white marble floor, an arcane script running within each of its lines.  I tentatively obliged, muscles tensing.  “Excellent,” He plucked the orb from the air and handed me it “All done.” He said an instant later, peering at the orb.  “Not a saint but not the devil, ahaha” he said, laughing at his own joke “Plenty to play with here, lets get you setup for rebirth.  I believe bay six was most recently cleansed.”  He indicated a small bay against the wall, this one too had markings on the floor but these were far more intricate.

“So what will it be this time around, boy? Girl? Other?”
“Erm, Girl? I think.”
“Excellent choice.  You have a total of thirty-four orb value units, minus the humanity fee of ten, that leaves twenty-four to spend.  Please choose carefully it will have a major effect on your next life.” he handed me the small gold leaf scroll he had been carrying.  Illuminated Across its surface were twenty aspect names, each with a bar denoting a value between one and ninety-nine below it and below each bar was the number zero.  I pondered the options.
“Humanity fee?” I asked
“Er yes, you must have at least ten units to qualify for human rebirth.  Those for whom life was devoid of goodness and innocence may not make the minimum tally required for a next life here and must return as a lower life-form such as a dog or cat.” Gabriel leaned in, eyes dancing around the room conspiratorially “They say King Leopold returned as a worm.  Of course those with a high enough tally may return as a higher life-form if they so wish.” He continued nonchalantly.
“Higher life-forms?”
“Of course! This is not the only planet to be seeded with life, and obviously there are Dolphins and Pandas.”
I stared unseeing at the scroll, possibilities dancing across my imagination.
“If it helps quantify at all, Einstein spent all his points on intelligence.”
“How many points did he have to spend?”
In the end I spent ten on intelligence, five on physicality and scattered the rest amongst beauty, cunning, persona and health.  I may have spent more than a couple on luck.  I wasn’t going to waste precious numbers on things like empathy, artistry or humour.
“Ok and if we are all set I will begin the rebirth ritual, please under no circumstances step off the pattern.”
“What happens if I step off the pattern?”
“We do not actually know, you are just… gone.”  I mentally pinned my feet in place.  Then the sirens started.
“Shit.” Said the Angel

“What’s that siren for?”
“Probably nothing to worry about, the angelic hoard will soon mop up any incursion by the Fallen.”
“The Fallen?”
“Yes fallen angels, you know, that old story about lucifer and his… associates”
“This sounds serious, maybe we should take a look-“
“You cannot leave the pattern!”
“Right, yes…”
“Hello Alan.”  Her tone was lascivious bordering even more on the scandalous for having been directed at the Angel.  Alan froze, face draining of colour as a beautiful woman walked somehow snake like into the room, she was alluring but I sensed terribly dangerous too.  The feathers on her back were slicked and black and were unruffled by the breeze. 
“Anathema” Alan whispered.
She smiled at the sound of her name “Oh Alan, I’ve missed you too.”
I realised she was an angel too, but there was something wrong, she was clearly one of the Fallen.
She turned to me “Hello beautiful one.  I have a gift from your father.”  From beneath midnight wings she presented me with another orb of power.  This one differed from my own, it was a polished Silver and where my own was covered with beautifully intricate carvings, this was smooth, though its shine was tarnished.  Not having been expecting to be receiving gifts from fallen angels I instinctively reached out and took the orb in my hand.  As I did the gold leaf scroll in the other began flashing.  Raising the scroll to my face I nearly dropped the orb in shock as I saw what was happening.  Every aspect bar was quickly filling to maximum.
It was at this moment that my memory finally made good on its promised reappearance.  “Oh! I’m that Damian.”  Then there was a pop and everything disappeared as the rebirth ritual completed.

January 31, 2018, 09:36:43 AM
Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread
Quote from: ScarletBea link=topic=11149.msg182371#msg182371 date=1517386046member

Edit: yay, @ryanmcgowan submitted a story, so now it's only +2 for 3 votes!

Almost never made it! Glad I did!

January 31, 2018, 12:02:22 PM
Re: The Watch - new Discworld show goes into production! For me ‘the watch’ was always synonymous with the old London style of policing, I do fancy a gritty British Vimes.  Stephen Dillane (Played Stannis Beratheon - Game of thrones) is too perfect for this role!
November 11, 2018, 07:03:32 AM
Re: The Watch - new Discworld show goes into production! I could totally see Jason Isaacs doing a good turn as Vimes actually!

For me though it’s all gonna be made or lost on which ‘recently disqualified from the human race’ person plays corporal Nobby Nobbs

November 12, 2018, 11:19:14 PM
Re: What to do about the writing contest? I’m a seafarer and have only a few close friends and not such a wide social circle.  What attracted me was the possibility of joining a writing community, feedback, critique and the chance to explore writing with with others on the same journey, all be it at different stages.
I love the writing contests though I’m not always inspired by the subjects, it’s already been suggested but I thought I’d help double down on the possibility of the writers voting for the monthly subject.

Otherwise I tend to miss submission dates quite often as I’m out at sea for 6 weeks at a time without internet access, it’s quite specific to me I know, but knowing more than a month ahead of time what the subjects will be would help me submit more often (more than the handful of times I’ve managed in the last six years 😂😂 )

I also agree with shortening the voting time, this would also mean we could give/receive critiques sooner without influencing votes, it can be a long wait from submission to feedback otherwise.

Lastly I’d just like to say that though I don’t post often and yes I’m also bad at remembering to vote, I have always enjoyed lurking and dropping in and out of the submissions page to have a read every month when we pass close enough to land to catch a few bars of reception.  I’d really like to see the competition continue.

A lot of good suggestions from everyone, maybe we could start a writers Facebook group to update and encourage people to write each month?

February 08, 2020, 04:26:55 PM
Re: What to do about the writing contest? Right! I will 100% have an entry completed for this months! *Sets mind to it*

March 02, 2020, 12:39:23 PM
Re: Good audiobooks (recommendations wanted!) @Magnus Hedén i’ve got Audible as I travel a lot for work, so an audio book is great in cars, airplanes, even when working so i’m hands free.

Recently I listened to the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff which I really enjoyed, also Brandon Sanderson’s ‘the storm light saga’ series I very well narrated.

May 03, 2020, 05:36:55 PM