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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread Hello

I've just joined. Because I need to start writing again and this tickled me with an idea.
But I struggle with short stories, they become long, long epics eventually.

Thanks

PS love everything Fantasy Faction ;D

January 22, 2018, 09:54:04 AM
3
Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here! Love this.

When I didn't know what to do with my (very unfinished) stories, I ended up poeming.

This is a dragon related one.

Enjoy ;D

Spoiler for Hiden:
Maligned

Much maligned am I.
In your ugly tales.
Your thoughtless myths,
Your endless  religions.
You pile the fetted mess of base human emotions,
Stinking and rotten
Upon my broad, bright shoulders
In a vain attempt to sully me.
For I am gold.
Glorious green.
Bright shining black.
Crimson sunset red.
For red in tooth and claw am I.
I refuse to accept your lies.

Much maligned am I
In diet.
So, I choose the freshest, sweetest bloom of youth.
Look to yourselves.
Look to the lamb that dances and prances
In the fresh green fields of Spring.
Then is gone.
There are no supermarket ready meals for such as I.
I pick my own from the wild and free,
No Linda McCartney veggie virgins for me.

Much maligned am I.
You try to push me into darkened corners.
Under the earth.
Behind the door.
You treat me like a child's boggie man
But I am more.
You think I am a Lambeth worm
Full of slime, spite and bubbling bile.
That can only defile the land where I slide.
You think me an evil, twisted monster,
Just existing for your heros to slay.
So that the darkness I embody
Can be kept at bay.
You think my shameful, endless death
Lights a candle against the Dark.
Think again, little ape.
I am the Dark...?

So Look at me!
I am glorious, standing tall in the shade of the glowing sun.
I am Magnificent.
Terrific, and terrifying.
Deadly, yet I shine.
As I spread my majestic wings to shade you from your small horizons
I am the mirror of your desires.
I run riot in your nightmares.
Without me, you have no dreams.
Look up at me and tremble.
I am dragon.

January 23, 2018, 11:10:45 AM
4
Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Submission Thread Renewal

Word count 1499
Twitter: @idledragon27

Spoiler for Hiden:
The creamy, grey-veined marble hallway of the Universal Coffee Emporium headquarters was meant to soothe her, but a bubble of resentment simmered under her breastbone. Here she was again, waiting for the renewal of her Coffee Emporium Decade Licence when others could pick up a half century licence without such pointless examination.

A being sat contently on the other end of the grey, cream-veined marble bench, resting long hands on knees. She watched them out of the corner of her eye for a moment then with a sigh, folded her legs underneath her for comfort.

The being coughed.

“These benches are not built with short legs in mind, no matter the species,” she explained.

“Sitting all hunched up is not very, professional,” the being replied.

“Neither is sitting with legs swinging like some infant, so I’d rather be comfortable. How I sit doesn’t reflect on my professionalism.” The being hummed under their breath as silence flooded the hallway.

“You here for your licence renewal?” she asked before it became uncomfortable.

“My second half century,” the being said proudly. “You?”

“Another decade for me.”

“Only a decade?” the being queried. “I’m sure I’ve seen you before.”

“Probably.” She tugged at her long, gold-embroidered waistcoat and rubbed her knees with her palms. “I’ve been in this trade a long time.”

“And you’re still on a Coffee Emporium Decade Licence?”

“The universe is like that sometimes,” she sighed.

The being tugged their own simple brown waistcoat and straightened the long pocketed brown apron in thought.

“I know you, you’re that human who keeps screwing stuff up. I don’t know why they let humans join. Wouldn’t know a decent cup of Joe if it hit them in the nadgers.”

She fumed inside but put her coffee selling face on to reply.

“Lots of species struggle with caffeine, but that’s our job, to find a level that works so the Universe can stay connected and continue to learn about itself.”

“You spout doctrine like an Assessor.”

“Did the exams,” she admitted with a shrug.

“And?”

“I discovered I enjoyed the day to day interaction of actually selling coffee and other caffeine based derivatives, rather than checking the overall balance in the Universe.”

“But...”

“Some of us aren’t cut out for that level of wider knowledge.” The being looked at her, blinking three of their eyes in question.

“It did my head in,” she explained. “The whole of what we do, of what the universe is all about, is fine in the abstract. But to know, to really know...” She shook her head.

“So your still on a CEDL.”

“Doing the Assessor training gave me a different skill set, which means I’m often sent on reconnaissance to new planets.”

“Wow.”

She waved a hand. “Its not as fun as it sounds.”

“And you keep screwing it up,” the being replied with the sound of laughter in their voice.

She let her hand fall to her knee and swallowed. She couldn’t get angry with ignorant Coffee Emporium pod owners right outside the renewal office door.

“I don’t bollix it up,” she said.

“But, didn’t you destroy a planets socio-economic civilisation just recently?”

She turned her head to look at the being, all smart in their standard Universal Coffee Emporium uniform, and blinked back tears. “I only set it back a century or two,” she admitted. “Its all in my report.”

The being gulped.  “Sorry, but you are something of a legend. The human Coffee Emporium Master; and yet you make all these silly little entry level mistakes. I’m, curious.”

She stared at them.

“And anyway, reports are such dry affairs, even with the best brew. I sell coffee. I know what it can be like, so, tell me.”

She looked up at the high creamy, grey-veined walls and let them soothe her.

“I went down, looked around, decided they weren’t ready. Knocking their progress back by a couple of centuries was a fluke. I didn’t intend to, but on reflection it was a good idea.”

“And that tells me nothing the report wouldn’t,” barked the being.

She scooted round on her bottom and faced them. “We sell coffee,” she said quietly. “We know all sentient beings in this universe have caffeine or similar in their make-up and we balance this to their particular needs. Every species looks up at the stars, and wonders. And so the Universe learns.”

The being nodded.

“This species didn’t. They never looked up and wondered. And, they had no caffeine.”

The beings mouth fell open.

“But they had known it,” she continued. “They knew caffeine and they hated it. And if anything on that planet had once contained it, it had been eradicated.” She smoothed down her long waistcoat with shaking hands.

“I followed protocol, pretending to be from one of the smaller lands in a big population centre, my pod well disguised but they knew. They could smell it on me. It was like they could see it coming off my skin in waves. They were not happy. Caffeine was their devil, and I was its embodiment.”

“You got sent into that?” The being was shocked.

She shrugged. “They interrogated me. They attempted to condition me to the evils of caffeine. But their main method was purging. Draining me of every drop of caffeine they could.”

She raised hands to clutch at her head. “Headaches. Whole body headaches that wouldn’t end. Creasing me up into an animal ball of stabbing agony. I was blind, deaf, incoherent, I only wanted to stop the pain.”

“Didn’t...”

“When you get sent on reconnaissance, you are on your own. Utterly, unless you get back to your pod.”

The being nodded slowly. “Had they genetic sciences?”

“If they had, I would have been really screwed. I don’t recall much, but something clicked when they talked about a mutated crop they were destroying.”

“Clicked?”

“Returned to what ever sense I had left. The crop had been infected by caffeine. I was the source. I hallucinated I could be the means, the return of caffeine to that planet, but first, escape.”

“How did you?”

She swallowed, trying to slow down a suddenly racing heart. “I helped them purge me of every particle of caffeine they could find with their crude methods. I puked my insides out.”

“No caffeine, that could’ve killed you.”

“We humans are resilient creatures,” she smiled. “And their containment procedures were non-existent. I polluted their water supply, their soil, their every breath with my own caffeine laced essence. They quickly descended into a destructive frenzy against any one they could blame. They didn’t consider me as the source.”

“And...”

“I honestly don’t remember how I got back to my pod. I woke up, sucking a mouthful of Betelgeuse Robusta Roasted I had for those really awful days when you need a caffeine hit like an ore container.”

“Bit of an overkill as a pick-me-up.”

“I needed to get out of there. Their weapon sciences were extremely advanced, and they were bombing the hell out of any place they thought the caffeine devil might exist. Including where I’d hidden my pod.”

“Each individual Emporium Device can stand a fairly big explosion.”

“They blasted themselves back two centuries,” she explained. “I wasn’t taking any chances.”

“So...”

“I sent the emergency retrieval beacon, UCE brought me back, patched me up and debriefed me. Its all in the report. Now I’m having to wait for my renewal. You know, its funny. I’ve never seen another being waiting for a licence at the same time..”

The wide metal doors in the wall opposite opened, stalling her words as an Assessor walked out.

“Nayr Kim Durand?”

“Yes?” she breathed.

“Here is your CEDL. Sign here, and here, and your hand please.”

She stood quietly as the sub-dermal chip in her wrist was read, updated, wrote her name and accepted the computer paper with her licence on it in silence.

“On behalf of the Universal Coffee Emporium, we thank you for your frank retelling of the Thine 137 incident. And your, personal sacrifice. Reports can be so dry, can’t they.” With a bow, the Assessor left, leaving her staring at nothing.

She rounded on the being on the bench. “You in your regulation uniform with your regulation words and your...”

“Sorry,” the being replied with an attempt at a grin. “They needed to check. And you are very good at giving regulation answers at debriefings.”

“You want to know?” she muttered looking down at the page in her trembling hands. “You want to know the truth?” She breathed in and stood upright, looking the being in the eyes.

“The truth is, coffee has always been my life, before I even suspected the Universal Coffee Emporium existed. Keeping the caffeine balance of the sentient Universe is natural for me. But after this, I can do nothing but sell. My own caffeine balance is screwed.”

The being gasped in horror.

“Yes,” she said quietly. “I can never drink another cup of coffee again.”

January 27, 2018, 01:25:54 PM
6
Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Discussion Thread Story posted.

Gods, short stories are hard!

I look forward to all the other entries.

January 27, 2018, 01:27:42 PM
2
Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
We're Gonna
Spoiler for Hiden:
We've come a long way, and we've walked some hard paths,
We've shouldered some burdens, and had some good laughs.
We did what we had to, and done some good things,
We've won some blue ribbons, and won some brass rings.

We met some good people and seen some good days,
But we all know the ball gets played where it lays.

Mistakes yes we made them, though we did our best,
And tears yes we cried them, and took time to rest.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

The way was not easy, the choices unclear,
The wolves they pursued us, and so did our fears.
We were cut by the sharp things, the road was not straight,
We were bruised by the hard things, and sometimes lost our way.

Sometimes we wandered, afar and alone,
And found our friends scattered, and ourselves far from home.

Because the truth of the matter, wherever you stand,
Is that this world is a rough one, so we do what we can.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.

We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

We learned some tough lessons, and we've faced some hard truths,
We paid hard dues just to get here, and our payin' aint through.
We aint got all the answers, but we all know the stakes,
So we're gonna keep rollin', and we'll do what it takes.

We don't know the future, or how this all ends,
Or if we shall ever, all meet here again.
But tonight we're together, so this place is home,
May this moment stay with you, wherever you roam.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep goin', and we're gonna keep tryin',
We're gonna keep livin', and we're gonna keep dyin'.

No matter the times, 'tween this day and that,
And no matter the weather, or the place where you're at,
Know that we'll toast you, 'cause you were our friend,
And honor your mem'ry, when your days find their end.

So here's to the best of us, from the last to the first,
And here's to the best in us, and whoever dies first.

I want to sing this in a pub somewhere,
With the ale flowing
and the bitter tears that salts our smiles
and makes them shine the brighter.
Bright against the night.

January 28, 2018, 01:13:48 PM
5
Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread Can I say congratulations to everyone who entered this. All your stories were amazing, and I felt I learnt alot from your different writing styles and different takes on what the theme meant to you.
I did vote, but I struggled to pick as they were all good.
Thank you for spending the time to read mine.
I've missed February but will be back with something for March.
Short stories are sooooooo hard! ;D

March 02, 2018, 09:17:51 AM
1