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Messages - wakarimasen

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1
[OCT 2016] Corpses / Re: [Oct 2016] - Corpses - Discussion Thread
« on: October 03, 2016, 11:33:55 AM »
I'm sure this will be a fun one, not grave at all. But as I've got myself a new WIP I'm going to committ to that instead. I'll swing by and vote still, but with limited time I really want to knuckle down to the long form for a while..

(unless I have a sudden moment of frustration and then I'll knock out a flash fiction stylee thing... but no promises)

knock 'em dead people...

2
Writers' Corner / Re: Publisher / Agent recommends
« on: September 27, 2016, 12:38:12 PM »
If anyone is doing the whole agent thing - I found this list a little old, but really useful if you're overwhelmed with where to start in UK childrens fiction

https://loutreleaven.com/2012/01/30/uk-literary-agents-for-childrens-books/

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[SEP 2016] Pirates! / Re: [Sep 2016] - Pirates! - Discussion Thread
« on: September 26, 2016, 02:34:22 PM »
Sail away, sail away, sail awaaaaay



(that's a goat on the far right)  :)

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[SEP 2016] Pirates! / Re: [Sep 2016] - Pirates! - Submission Thread
« on: September 26, 2016, 02:25:47 PM »
Comin' aboard at 1498 words... arrrr

Pirats

@badDayHappenin
Spoiler for Hiden:

“Look at the way he's tied that off. Sloppy that is. First decent swell and that'll come loose.”
“Aye. Amateur. It's a bloody disgrace, we need more ex-navy boys I tell ya. This latest bunch are going to get us killed.”
“Are you two bilge rats whining again?”
Hexus and Nexus turned their beady eyes up to the Captain.
“Bilge? Who are you calling bilge? We're bloody thoroughbreds we are. You won't catch us living in stinking bilge water.”
“Be fair though brother, we might pop down there for a snack.”
“Oh yeah, maybe for a snack.”
The Captain shook her head.
“You two are disgusting.”
Hexus sniffled at her boot.
“Dining options are limited at sea Cap. We are what we are.”
“What you are is more of a liability than these greenhorns we've picked up. If they hear you talking, or see me gabbling with you, they'll jump ship at the first port. I don't have time to train new ones. The moon's full in three days and we've got too far to go.”
“Right. Keep it on the low round the kids. Got it Cap!”
Nexus flicked his scaly tail round in a mocking salute. The captain sighed and stomped off to berate  her recent recruits on their knots.
“She's getting' a bit tense eh?
“Lot riding on this, brother mine. For us too. Maybe we should be taking it a bit more seriously.”
“I'm taking it serious enough Nex. Still not sure it's a great idea anyway. I mean, what does she need with a bloody great sea beast that tells the future? We pretty much pack the same skills but in a handy sized and elegantly furred package.”
“Oh we're sleek, no doubt. But remember The Viceroy's Delight? We got her in the right place but the bastards almost sank us. Made a god awful mess of half our lads.”
Hexus smoothed his whiskers and nodded happily.
“Guts everywhere. That was a tasty day alright.”
His brother grunted agreement and they shared a wistful moment of remembrance.
“Good times...still, if the Cap'n had press ganged a betentacled behemoth then it would've been a different story.”
“One in which we'd 've missed out on a good meal.” Hexus twitched.
“Food isn't everything Hex. Thing is. I can't help but think that with such a beastie on side, our value to the Captain will be somewhat reduced.”
Nexus thought for a second.
“That's a bloody good point. Don't seem likely she'll keep our spirits bound too. Be too tirin' having to focus on three of us.”
The boat rocked sharply on the swell, sending the pair skittering across the poop deck. A coil of rope stopped their slide and they scrabbled up to a higher perch. They could see the Captain stalking back their way.
“What do we do?” Nexus asked his twin.
“Well. We're the ones tellin' her the way to the rocks....” Their tails wound together and they began to plot.


The jagged weapons of warring clouds struck across the storm. Mountainous waves heaved up the jealous ocean. The ship scaled the straining peaks without choice, drawn inexorably to the summit by elemental force. A rope lashed wheel and Captain together against the fury, commander and vessel made one. Around her neck clung the rats. Tails spiralled tight, claws dug into braided epaulettes. Their eyes were burning rubies, the only fires that still held on the deck.

“Fools! You've doomed us!” Howled the captain into the gale. The spirits bound in the creatures' flesh hissed back in her mind.

This is nothing, we have sailed worse.

“Idiot spirits. Such a storm in the open sea we could survive. Here, near the reefs...” She screamed as the wheel tried to tear away from her again. “Why didn't you warn me? Why?”

We did not think such a challenge would defeat you. We sought merely to delay.

The tattered sails whipped about, crazed by the wind. The captain saw another of her crew swatted from the deck by the unfastened canvas. She took a hand from the wheel and tore Nexus from his perch, stripping his tail free of his brother's.

“Delay?” Was all she could manage to scream. The rodent squeaked, her grip crushing it's ribs as she brought it close to her rain soaked face.

“We was worried Cap'n.” The rat struggled. “We didn' know what you was intending. We thought you meant to replace my brother and me.”

The throw caught the rat spirit off by surprise. It landed on the few cannonballs that remained in their brass monkey. Most had splashed over the gunwales. A few had smashed the ankles of the first mate, hours before. On the Captains shoulder Hexus began to protest.

“We're sorry we didn' think about the reefs. We can find a way through them for you. We can..”

She fought to maintain their ascent. In only a few more seconds they crested the top and below them a flash of lightning showed hell laid bare. The wave had inhaled the sea, revealing it's submerged teeth. Bright coral and jagged rock promised no mercy. The waters rushing to recover them offered no escape.

Rage and fear swallowed the Captain and the storm swallowed her ship.


Small natural towers pierced the glassy sea, offering rare waypoints for the giant seabirds atop them. Their cries mixed with the hammering of the bosun's work from the main deck. The Captain clasped his hands tightly behind his back and oversaw the repairs with characteristic stoicism. In reality his legs felt weak from hours in the swell, his voice was hoarse from competing with the wind and his soul felt like praising the almighty for their deliverance. At least, he reflected, they had caught the storm in the open seas and managed to ride it clear.

“Wreckage!” Came a shout from the crow's nest. The Captain locked up, the bright sun etching the lookout into his vision. He blinked and followed to the point indicated.

“Brings us three points larboard Lieutenant. Let's investigate. Men at the sides!” The Captains voice protested at being raised, but it worked well enough to send crew to the edges of the deck. “Look for survivors!”

The storm had drained all energy from the wind and currents. It took twenty minutes to enter the main debris field. Parts of a vessel floated past, a gentle display of ruin. One of the watchers shouted an alarm and the first mate jogged to the side, then back, climbing breathlessly to the poop deck.

“Figurehead sir! Looks like the Maiden of Hades.”

“Erincall's ship? Are you sure?”

“I've never seen it myself, sir, but a couple of the lads have and it fits the descriptions.”

“Well, well. So the sea witch was finally caught.” He straightened. “I daresay her end was kinder than what His Majesty's courts would have provided. Any survivors?”

“None but a single rat on some flotsam, just passing now.”

“Well, we have plenty of those.” He raised his voice again. “A guinea to the man who can put a musket ball in that rat!”

There were cries of delight as several sailors ran for their weapons. A few marines began powdering the pistols they always carried. The Captain smiled. It was worth a coin to take their minds off the night before.

“The legend was she could never be caught. Always one step ahead.” The first mate said as he took up station next the Captain, adopting an identical pose.

“Superstition Lewis. Nothing but superstition. There are no goblins guiding these pirate scum, just their own dark greed.”

“As you say sir. Would now be a good time sir, what with the mizzen repairs almost done. To open the sealed orders? We are, after all, at the appointed rocks with the full moon due to rise tonight.”

The Captain nodded but did not reach for the waxed leather folio in his jacket. He was not a superstitious man. He knew because he reminded himself so every morning he was afloat. He was not easily shaken. He knew because he slept well every night he was afloat. So why he dreaded opening the strange letter, from the even stranger envoy, he could not say.

“Let us ensure all the repairs are made first, Lewis. Repairs first. Orders second.”

A cheer went up amongst the plumes of powder smoke and a smiling man was cajoled toward the officers by his ship mates. The Captain looked over the side. A bloody rat was smeared across a broken plank, bobbing gently by.

The Captain reached for his coin purse. He was not a superstitious man, but he was a cautious one.

He would open the orders in private and make his own decision.


5
That's good enough for me... and never feel obliged to read and vote Bea. If it's not fun then stop doing it. I for one would never be offended.

(That's assuming I get you vote of course, if not then I'll be seething pot of righteous indignation)  ;)

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Writers' Corner / Publisher / Agent recommends
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:15:41 PM »
Hey Folks.

So I've got a sci-fi novel, aimed at 8-12 year olds (so its circa 60k words), aimed primarily at girls. I've sent it to one or two places and had some very pleasant rejections. I was going to wander off and do something else but I had a moment yesterday where I thought  "That's not fair to the story". So I would like any suggestions folks have for publishers or agents they've heard of who might specialise in such "young sci-fi". I feel like machine gunning all and sundry with it, then I'll be satisfied I've done right by the manuscipt.

Anyone have any thoughts?

7
Voted. No time for mini crits this month (I'm sure anyone who remembers them will be miiiiightly dissapointed ;)

Kudos to the newcomers... strong entries there...

8
Well... either they're just trying to give you some positive vibes 'cos they know lifes tough at the moment and your smile is saying. "Thankyou, I know you mean well."

ooorrrrrr

They know about a pirate related bounty scheme in your area and can't contain their excitement at the chance to inform on you and claim their reward. In which case you smile is saying, "You'll swing from the bow sprit  if you try that backstabbing nonsense lubber"

9
I tell ya... you go away for a few months and don't read a few threads, then you get back and it's BAM! LIfe - right between the eyes with both barrells.

Bea - I feel like I have a backlog of positive vibes I should have sent your way. I'll be sure inform the universe to forward them to you with alacrity!

Much much love. Now get some wax on that dome and cosplay Picard dammit!


10
I hear ya @m3mnoch ... makes me nervous though.

"I've got a short story done and in great... wait... it's quiet... too quiet."

11
Really happy to be putting something in, had forgot how much I enjoyed doing this.
So, at 1470 words, here is my offering..

Elixir

@badDayHappenin
Spoiler for Hiden:

The deck lurched downward as a stabiliser tore off. Merovech grabbed the tarnished rail with his spare hand and laughed. Scrabbling to find their footing, the two women scowled back.

"Oh come on!" He shouted above tortured groans of the ship. "You must see the irony here. We're all about to die over an elixir that promises eternal life."

Bracing her feet against an ornate girder, Jeren wobbled to a halt.

"Give us the flask, Merovech. This isn't the time for your insanity."
She checked her friend, crouched against another metal rib that vaulted the control room.
"Can you take him from there?"

Molia's hair spilled around her face, as red as the flames licking the outside of the glass bulkheads. She shook her head. Merovech tucked the steel flask into the sash at his waist.

"I love that you two are just as ruthless as I thought!" He grinned and pulled himself closer to the console. "It's just so..." He searched for the word with an excited shiver. "...diabolical!"

Somewhere, something very important exploded from its moorings and the whole ship rolled.The violent turn threw all three from their perches.

Molia caught the worst of the floor's reassignment to wall. She fell the shortest distance but with a sharp twist. She cracked her head against the girder and fell ragged, thought extinguished in a bloody instant. Jeren smacked into the glass beside her, scrabbling toward her friend as Merovech joined them with a whoop, landing heavily on his shoulder.

The assassin cradled her friend, ignoring the forest a thousand feet below. She tapped a bloody cheek and whispered the red head's name. Merovech dragged himself to them, eyes fixed on the sparking ruin of the console above.

"If that thing drops we're fucked." He looked down through the glass wall at the fast approaching ground. "Ah. Actually, we're properly fucked anyway. Nice job girls."

"Piss off Merovech. We never expected you to get airborne. This was supposed to blow before it got off the ground." Jeren did not turn from her friend.

"Typical. Even when I exceed expectations I still end up getting dropped in the shit." He looked thoughtfully down. "And this shit has a particularly high drop. Is she alright?"

The question caught Jeren off guard, finally turning her attention.
"What the fuck do you care?"

Merovech tutted, then shrugged.
"I don't. He does."

Jeren spat. "You fucking psycho. Which one is it now?"

"Me." Merovech's face softened, his brown eyes turning blue.

"The Monk? Oh that's just great." Jeren shook her head. "No offence, but you've never been much use to anyone."

"You are much like my companions in that regard. They too discount the usefulness of compassion. I doubt this will change their minds, but perhaps it may change yours."

Merovech pulled the canister from his waist and slid it along the glass, a mild smile spreading in his grey streaked beard. Jeren snatched at it with disbelief.

"I believe there is enough in there for two measures. I do not believe your partner will last long without hers. I doubt you will last much longer without the other." He looked significantly at the slowly spinning slopes.

Jeren hastily unscrewed the flask and lifted it to her friend. The other woman stirred immediately. Before Merovech could change his minds Jeren slugged back the rest of the flask and tossed it away.

"NO!" Merovech stood, eyes blazing to green. "You stupid bastard!"

Both women scampered back, pulling at weapons in their tunics. What remained of the ship rocked with another explosion, returning Merovech to his hands and knees. When he looked up, green had been replaced by brown and he was chuckling.

"Wow." He sat back, gobsmacked. "I'll never hear the end of that. I'm going to want to kill me for the rest of our days. Or day might be more accurate."

Neither woman relaxed their hands on hidden blades.  Molia lent in to her friend.

"We need to jump. I don't know how good this stuff is, but I don't want to our first test to be dropping a hundred tons of skyship onto ourselves."

Merovech nodded. "She has a point Jeren. You'd best be quick. It's been a singular and somewhat final pleasure ladies." He tried to bow whilst sitting cross-legged.

The iron leaves and scrollwork that decorated the ship's visible skeleton provided plenty of purchase for keen climbers and none could be keener than the two women that were fleeing for their lives. Jenen had shot through the hatch toward the escape kite in seconds. Molia paused at its mouth and looked back at Merovech.

"Come with us."

"Ah, Mol. I don't think so." He waved his hand dismissively. "That kite is only meant for one so, as it is, you two are in for a heavy landing. Without the potion I'd never make it anyway."

He regarded her for a second, curled like a spooked forest fox about to dive for the safety of its den.

"Seriously. Go. You're forgiven. At least by me, but if you stick around much longer I can't guarantee I won't try and shoot you." He pulled a thick nosed pistol from it's holster and laid it on his lap. The red fox bolted.

Merovech sat calmly on the glass, watching the world turn in a way it should not. He tossed the gun aside and smiled.


Jenen watched the plume of smoke on the distant hill. The skyship had come down almost straight, not carving much of a gully to its grave. Unlike their escape kite, which had dragged them through a mile of branches, steadfastly refusing to break anything but their bones. She could feel her legs knitting together now, it tickled.

"He really was a mad bastard." Molia guessed her thoughts.

"Completely. I kind of liked him."

"Me too. Why do you think he did it?"

"Fuck knows. Like you say.... a mad bastard. At first I thought he had switched the flask, like he did with the necklace back in that casino."

Molia barked a laugh at the memory.
"Shit that was good. The look on that fat bitch's face."

"Yeah. It was nice getting one over on her for a change. Let's hope she thinks we all died in the ship. Then we won't have to keep looking over our shoulders."

"Mmmm. He didn't though. Switch it I mean." Molia was serious again.

"No he didn't."

The crashed skyship had failed to inflame the damp autumn forest, but it was still a mighty blaze. The two sat together as their bodies rejuvenated, watching the mechanical funeral pyre.

"Mad bastard." Jenen repeated.


If any forest foxes had been brave enough to inspect the edges of the twisted wreckage, they might have seen tendons striking like cobras at a burnt mound. Threads of bone fired like boarding lines then drew tight scattered pieces of corpse, thickening to their purpose before the cobras enclosed them. Gradually the shape of a man began to rise from the scorched floor. If that was not enough to set any creature to flight they may have heard his muttered conversation.

"The Abbot will not be happy with us, creating two more immortals....
Screw him, he lost his sense of humour a dozen centuries ago, some of us still like to have a little fun....
You call this fun? I swear, when we get out of this I'm going to find a bar and get so drunk you two fall asleep, then I'm going kick the shit out of someone....
Well, I'm all in for the getting drunk part, after that you can do what you like....
Why harm the innocent? I am surprised that you do not approve of our rash actions....
Why would I....?
I think he means that those girls were good fun in the drunken punch up stakes. It's a bit of a shock you don't appreciate their ascendance....
I suppose. They were quite handy when we got cornered by the Duke's men. Yeah, I guess they could be fun to have a long for the ride...
It is a long ride, brother. All company becomes welcome eventually, during eternity....
That's why we keep ending up back at the temple....
Our next visit may be a while, as I say, the Abbot will not be happy with our choices....
And as I said, screw him. He sent us to close down the fountain and we did. He didn't say anything about destroying any elixir it might have already produced....
Probably thought we'd just destroy everything as usual. I would've if you'd given me a chance...
Good job we didn't then. Now... "

The figure trod uncertainly forward, testing new formed feet.

"...let's find that bar and get drunk."




12
ha... kind of wished I'd seen that sooner, just for the challenge @ScarletBea

13
...tentatively they drank the bubbling ichor, one by one. For a moment nothing happened but then there was a crash of thunder and from a cloud of smoke Wakarimasen appeared.

"Hey kids. I'm back. Miss me?"

---

Lot's changed this year... I'm now a full time dad having done a role swap with the missus. This sounds like a great topic to brush off the ink and quill for and try and get back into some writing...

14
Monthly Writing Contest / Re: The best story of 2015 - Vote now!
« on: April 27, 2016, 02:41:17 PM »
hey kids - just wandering past and stuck some votes in.
Sorry I've not been about much lately, it's been a crazy time of it. Plus my good lady has asked for book 3 for christmas of the dragons stories I write for her. Given my limited time I doubt I'll be able to get that down and do the monthly comps... but you never know, the right theme might tempt me out into the light.

Anyway.. much digital love to y'all...

15
Fantasy-Faction's 2013 Anthology / Re: Guns and Dragons… It's a-comin'
« on: February 19, 2016, 10:31:22 AM »
yay.

(that's all really. still looking forward to taking a crack at this if its possible)

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