Sunday, August 31, 2008
It is also hard to find good prompts! Some prompts are the classical 'prompts' like 'Write about a time you were sad.'
I hate those prompts. They aren't writing prompts. They are essay prompts.
I don't write about my past. I don't write about my future.
I write about worlds that no one knows, stories that will never be told. I write about what might have been, and what may be.
I don't care if people know a time I was sad. I care if they know my characters, and the tribulations that they face. I care about what they take from my stories.
A time when I was sad is not fun. It is boring. A time when a girl is thrown into another world is interesting.
Who wants to write about what they see, what they do? Who wants to read about lives just like your own?
Isn't it more interesting when you read of a person in a totally different place; a totally different life?
They say we dream to envision different alternatives to imagine what 'might have been'.
I write so I can see, touch, and feel what 'might have been', not just think of it. In my story, it isn't 'what might have been.' It is what's happening.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Anyho, this one isn't that bad, I could've kept writing...stupid time-limit. ~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~
(August 9 ’08)
Prompt: Go forth
Time: 15 min
“Go forth, my son. It is your time; it is your destiny.”
The words still hung clearly in my mind, the old voice, thick with both emotion and age sang in my head.
I had nodded to those words, my head bowed as a sign of compliance.
It was my time.
My littler sister was the hardest to walk away from. Her dark brown eyes gazed up at me, confusion muddling the innocence that shone forth.
“Why do you have to go, brother? I thought we were going fishing tomorrow…” Her soft, childlike voice spoke as one who had more age than she. She had tilted her head, her dark brown hair falling softly on her shoulders.
“Father will take you to the stream, little one.” I knelt down, forcing a smile to my face, using the nickname I had given her long ago. “I will see you.”
“How? I don’t understand.” Her words were more frantic as I turned to leave.
I hesitated before turning back to face her, pushing every tear away.
“I will be in your dreams, little one.”
Her eyes were not clear of her confusion, her mouth open to say more. I couldn’t let her do that though, I had to leave. Lingering behind was not good, I could miss my opportunity.
This was my time.
I brushed aside the memories, glancing quickly to the sky. Dark blue streaks raced across it, the bright sun was now slowly dieing on to the west. A new one would be born in the morning, following the ancient ritual that had been going ever since the dawn of time.
I too would be following an ancient ritual, one that I half wished I could do without. I was almost an adult, though, and I had to go through the rite of passage that every boy my age went through.
If, and only if, I came back, bearing the marks of the Wise ones, I would be accepted as an adult, and honored man, back home. If I failed, my family would not know me, and the tribe would shun me.
The thought of never seeing my little sister again was encouragement for me to face the passage, no matter how scared I was.
I suppose this is a good place to sleep tonight, I thought, gazing at the meadow I had found. It was small, but the tall grass was soft and comforting against my thighs. Soft, golden light filtered over me, and I could feel the pulse of nature surround me.
This was how it should be. I knew, I could feel it deep within me, resounding with certainty.
I did not do much before falling asleep. I needed no fire to warm me as the cold breath of the Vikarn had yet to sweep over our land. Pulling out some bread from my pack, I slowly chewed it. Closing my eyes, I could see our home. Right now, little Kayana would be getting ready to sleep. Mother would be cleaning everything in preparation for the new day. Father, well Father would be coming back from an elder meeting, his father weary from the long day.
I could not deny the longing that I felt for that scene. More than ever, I wanted to run back home, to bury my face in Mothers’ soft robe, to run through the streams with little Kayana, laughing as she fell down before falling down myself to make her happy.
That would not happen; I could not see home until after I had made the way through the passage. And then, once I finally got home, I would no longer be a child. Instead, I would be an adult, and would assume the responsibilities of one.
Once home, I would find a women, pretty and nice. We would settle down, not too far from my home. Together we would live, two as one, as it has always been. Mother would await the child, as she always did love children.
That life seemed years away from the warm dusk that now stole my thoughts. It was time to sleep; I would need all the rest I could get for the long walk tomorrow. I still had many miles to go before I found the passage.
The next morning I awoke before the birth of the new sun. To my surprise, coldness had swept through the meadow when I was asleep. Pale white covered the grass, the foot prints of the Vikarn. I would need to hurry to complete the passage, gain the sign, and return home before the Vikarn struck our land with more strength.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Oh wow, a post that's not a prompt! =)
Anyhow, I just got back from a three hour guard (aka flag line) practice. It was long, hard, and at the end we learned a 'fun' new move. It involves a pop toss, which you bounce on your leg instead of catching it.
Bump it on the 'right' part of your leg, your thigh, and it turns red. Bump it accidentally a touch too low and suddenly you're jumping up and down, one hand pressed against your mouth.
It hit my kneecap.
Not only that, it hit my kneecap, twice. -wince- There's already a bruise forming...
Anyhow. Our instructor, in the beginning of the three hour practice, was getting tired/grumpy, so that was...nice.
Threats on running were common. Nice and subtle too-out of character for him.
He's a nice, but strict, guy who only wants the best. That doesn't stop him from cracking jokes during practice, though.
(August 5 ’08)
Prompt: Watch this time
Time: 15 min.
“Watch for now, soon enough it’ll be time for you to try.” My brothers voice was softer than usual, as he pulled the old wooden bow up, stretching his arm back.
With a sudden swiftness, the arrow flew from the bow, hitting the tree that had been the target. I knew that I would never be able to copy my brothers’ skill, but hoped that I would be able to master the bow enough to provide food for my family.
Aelkin was busy explaining how to pull the bow back, and I struggled to pay attention. My thoughts often wondered off, unable to keep away from thinking about the beautiful wilderness around us. Wind cut through the long grass, tickling me as they snaked around my legs. Before us stood the old forest, the trees older than any remembered. There had never been a time when these mighty trees were saplings, not even my great grandfather, eldest in the tribe, could recall such a time.
“Makiln, are you even listening?” Aelkin paused, turning his head to give me a stern look.
“Of course I am, brother,” I replied automatically before pausing. “Well, I’m trying that is.”
Aelkin gave a soft laugh. “Sister, try and keep your mind off of the wilderness for just some time. To use this bow is not an easy task, and I need you to concentrate.”
I nodded, resolving to pay more attention as Aelkin handed me the bow. My hands ran over the wood, smoothened by the many years. I had once asked my great grandfather where he had gotten it; he replied that it had been handed down to him from his grandfather.
Imagine how old! I thought, my eyes running over the intricate designs on the wood. Time had scorned it, the designs faded.
“Makiln, please try and pay attention!” With a start, I realized that Aelkin had been talking when I was examining the bow.
“Sorry, brother,” I replied, trying my hardest to look at him and not let my gaze dart off to the animal, an elk or something like it, that had just emerged from the forest. The animal was a good distance behind my brother, and my gaze momentarily slipped to it, watching as the majestic animal slowly started forward, its muzzle grazing the grass.
My brother didn’t seem to notice that my attention had slipped again. He pointed to a younger tree, one that was closer to us than the rest.
“That’s your target, sister. It is not a difficult shot, I think even you can hit it,” Aelkin grinned as he teased me.
I viewed the tree quickly, noting the smooth bark, and mentally picking out where I wanted the arrow to hit. Pulling the bow up, I stretched my arm back, feeling my muscles strain.
Come on, I silently urged myself; I carried three buckets from the stream to the house this morning! This isn’t near as bad as that; I can do better!
Pulling back with the rest of my strength, the bow wavered, before becoming still. Carefully, I view the tree, adjusting the bow so that I would hit my mark. Before Aelkin could complain that I had once again lost focus, I released the string, letting the arrow dart through the air.
The air made no sound as it flew towards the tree. When it struck the tree, the sound was nearly too soft for my ears to detect.
A wide grin spilt across my face as I saw that the arrow had flown tree, striking right where I wanted it to.
“Good job,” Aelkin said, as if he had been expecting me to hit the tree the whole time.“Thanks.” I couldn’t stop grinning, even as I made my way to the tree, yanking the arrow out of its flesh.
This is also my longest one. I got 926 words in 15 minutes!!
(June 24 ’08)
Prompt: The Darkest light
Time: 15 min.Words: 926
My cell was dank, and it smelled. It smelled quite bad, to tell the truth. Fortunately, I got used to the smell after awhile; being in one place for a long time can do that to you. I had even gotten use to the food, or lack there of I should say. What I could never get used to was the darkness. Every night, when the dim gray light outside of my cell vanished, I curled up in a small ball, counting the minutes until it came back. It became the bane of my existence, this light. It filtered through the barred window, all three inches of it, which cut through my wall, near the ceiling, too far up for me to even touch. Even so, the light from what I presumed to be a hallway outside of my cell, gave me some touch of ungodly hope.
Hope that shouldn’t exist in these types of situations. Hope that perhaps they wouldn’t take me to what I had dubbed as room 101. I’m not entirely sure why I called it room 101, perhaps my mind was groping for an earlier time, a time where I read books, a time where no stress existed. A time so early that it was beginning to vanish, the memories stolen by the darkness of my surroundings. I hated this, and fought it savagely, each day making it a goal to relive some memory, so dusty it was nigh forgotten, to remind me that there was life besides this.
Life besides my cell seemed pretty unlikely, and I was wont to simply throw the idea, the hope out. The only reason I did not do this was that the memories were my only light in this place, the only real one anyway. That’s why I liked the grey, smoggy light so much; it was the embodiment of my hope. I’m sure they didn’t know, I’m sure that I hadn’t given it away one trip to 101. I was sure because the light was still there. If I had told them, they would have done everything to take away any shred of hope that I processed.
There was a rattling outside my cell or cage as I liked to think of it, and I perked up, slowly pushing myself into a sitting position. My arms hurt strangely, and I looked down, surprised when I saw the skin had been tattooed from wrist to shoulder by bruises. More than surprised I was scared. Scared that I didn’t remember when that had happened scared that I was losing my soul and mind here.
That is what they wanted, after all. They wanted you to become soulless, to lose any reason for your existence, to make you want to end it all. What they were so scared of was people like me. People who were still alive, their spirit not completely broken.
A small flap opened, and a dingy tray was thrown in, the contents splayed out against the grimy floor. Quickly, I leapt forward, rescuing the crust of bread and watery soup like thing the best I could. It was rare to get food, and I could lose none. Not if I wanted to survive, that is.
I knew that I should save the food, and I put half the bit of stale bread back on the tray for latter. The rest, though, I lost self-control and devoured on spot. I hadn’t eaten in who knows how long, time was nonexistent here, my days controlled by the flow of dim light through the bars. What I did know, though, was that it had been awhile since my last ‘meal’. Long enough for me to feel weaker than usual, long enough to make the walk, no more than a few steps, from wall to wall hard.
I had long ago ceased in feeling real ‘hunger’. The want had become nothing more than background, blending in with my environment. I could not remember a time when I did not feel this hungry, no matter how hard I tried.
I could remember people, faces, but everything was started to blur. My memory would not last much longer, and I would soon know nothing but my cell and time here.
That’s what they wanted, really. I fought against them with every fiber of my being, but it was no use. They were strong.
There was a larger rattling on my wall, and I let lose a small yelp, knowing what was going to happen. My body began to shake as I watched the door open, invisible until it moved. A man, clothed in dark clothing with a hood over his face bent down, wrenching me from my spot. I cried out, but suddenly began silent as he drug me down the hall. I never remembered much of this hall, oddly, my memory blank with the fear of the impending pain.
He stopped suddenly, and tossed me into a concrete cell, much like my own. Another man was already waiting there, and a plain table stood in the middle.
“Please…” My voice was horse from lack of use, and my pitiful plea wrung my heart. I hadn’t always been like this, you know. Hadn’t always been willing to do anything to save myself from the pain. Time here had changed me, though. And not for the better.I brought up my hands in a futile effort to protect myself as the blows started to pour on me, pounding my mind until it retreated into the darkness once again.
(June 15 ’08)
Prompt: Scream but only where no one will worry about you.
Time: 15 min.
I always traveled here, to my safe spot, to the little haven I had created, when I felt like the world was crashing down around me. When my little brother had bothered me until the point of breaking, when my parents seemed to never stop yelling-I came here. Here is where I sought refuge; here is where I could relax. I could cry, here all alone, and no one would hear. Strangely enough, that it what I wanted. I wanted to be alone.
I had just arrived in my haven, sneaking off the path, under the bushes until I reached it, when I heard the footsteps. There weren’t much, but were loud enough for me to discern them, too loud for any animal. My heart leapt in my throat as I worried that someone might find me. I came here to escape, and wanted nothing more than to be alone. All alone.
My eyes wide with worry, I silently flattened myself on the pine-needle floor, gazing out from underneath the bushes. In my narrow line of vision, I was able to see white, beat up sneakers. The sneakers paused, and then continued on, beating a straight line to my hiding spot.
What do I do? I frantically ran through my options. If I stayed here, the owners of the sneakers would find me; and if I ran the person would see me.
I can’t let him find my place, I thought, knowing how it would defile the serenity of the place if another person was to stumble upon it. Getting up to a crouch, I stayed there, frozen with indecision. Suddenly, I stood, straightening to my full height.
I don’t know why I did this; it was as if my name had been called, the syllables still hanging clearly in the wind. When I stood, my eyes were able to see through the pine trees lower branches, and make out the figure that stood on the other side. He, for that was the gender of the figure, stood with his back to me, and for a second my heart jumped at the possibility that he wouldn’t come any closer. Long black hair swirled about as he did an about face, startling me with the suddenness.
Tan skin road flawlessly over his face and the dark hair fell softly, almost covering one dark eye. I was paralyzed by the gaze that seemed to bore through the needles, straight to my eyes. Strangely, I felt little fear of this boy, as if deep down I knew he meant no harm. Slowly, I pushed the branches away, and left my little haven to see him clearer.
“Who…who are you?” I asked him, my voice stopping for a second. My mind ran over the kids at school, and realized that I had not seen him there, though I felt certain that I had seen him somewhere.
His eyes took my by surprise, as I saw the anger that had been within them drain away, leaving only curiosity.
“Why do you want to know?” He asked, as if the idea of me simply wondering was foreign to him.
“I…don’t know…perhaps, because I just know I’ve met you before, but I can’t seem to think of your name,” I stuttered, my shyness showing.
A hint of a smile crept up on his face, but his eyes remained guarded.“You don’t know me. I didn’t even live around here that is until recently.” His voice was rough; the uncultured accent in it enough for me to believe his words.
(June 10 ’08)
Prompt: Thunder from the trees
Time: 15 min.
Great rolls of thunder shook my forest. Looking over my shoulder, I saw the dark wall of clouds approach faster than I had expected. Closing my eyes briefly, I hung my head. How did I ever get into this mess anyway? It was just to be a simple walk in the forest. Only I had to wander off the path, like every cliché story about people getting lost. Since it was my own fault, I had no one else to be angry with.
Pushing aside my thoughts, I concentrated on what needed to be done. Didn’t they always say that when you’re lost you should stop moving?
Check, I mentally made the list, stopping right in my tracks. This went against every instinct that screamed to run from the oncoming storm. No matter what logic told me-that I could never outrun the storm-I still fought the impulse to run, to dash away to some safe place. Problem is, there was no ‘safe’ place.
I suppose I need to find a place to ride the storm out, I thought, quickly scanning the surrounding area.
There! Right there, nestled among old pine trees were the tall-tell signs of the mouth of a small cave. Granted, it looked rather small from here, but right now I had not many other options. Breaking into a jog, I headed towards the opening. Coming closer, I realized that while it was by no means spacious, it was big enough to suit my needs just fine.I hesitated slightly before going in, not sure what to expect in the cave. Praying that there wouldn’t be many bugs-which was a long shot-I brushed aside the pine branches, bent over, and entered the cave. The temperature didn’t drop dramatically, like I had expected, but the change from the dark, but still lit outside into the dark cave big. A strong wind pushed me forward, and I rushed farther into the cave, where the outside wind dropped suddenly. Dripping sounds were heard from my right, and by the little light that came through the mouth of the cave, I saw a little pond, the size undeterminable because it simply faded into darkness, not too far from where I was standing.
(June 08 ’08)
Prompt: Nothing’s gonna change
Time: 15 min.
“Nothing will ever change, don’t you get that?!” My older sister’s voice was loud and mean. If I hadn’t known her better, I would have thought she was drunk.
“You will grow up here, surrounded by this…”she struggled for words as she angrily kicked some trash that was lying on the carpet which looked dark enough to be called black-even though the original color had been tan.
“This-junk, and you will grow up just like us, just like the rest of us trash in the park. Don’t you get that?!” Tears were now streaming down her face as the angry-tinted red checks reflected the glossy glow to my eyes. I did my best to ignore her words, no matter how much truth rang in them. Moving my eyes to the dirty carpet, I slowly pulled my hand up to my face, feeling the welt that was starting to rise.
I should put some ice on that, I thought, but made no move. Sure, I was almost certain that Mark wouldn’t be back until late this night, when he was drunk, but I could not be certain, and did not want to risk igniting his anger again. A soft movement of white, standing out completely from the dirty floor, caught my eye. From my vantage point on the floor, only the scribble of my favorite teacher was seen.
So this is what started it all, I thought, feeling too tired and too weighted down from my tender age.
“Are you even listening?” The anger had mostly emptied from my sister’s voice, and I heard only the broken spirit left within the girl. She had been like me once, I know that now. She never told me, but others had. She had been smart. She had wondered-like I had. And she knew the consequences.I could feel no anger toward her, no matter how loud or mean her words. She was just trying to protect me, that’s all. She wasn’t like Mark, no not at all. My sister didn’t come home at midnight, drunk with a new ‘girlfriend’. No, she was the only one in our little broken up ‘family’-oh how naive the word-that worked, a hard, low wage job that scraped some food together for us. She was the glue to this whole mess, the mess that was my existence.
(Oct. 14 ’07)
Prompt: Dead Tree
Time: 15 min.
The tree should’ve been cut down a long time ago, thought Zelda, her pure blue eyes peering at the dead structure. She was only half way through her trek through the woods, and she had planned to stop here for a brief rest. Her lithe body carefully picked out a way to the tree, the long blond hair gently moving with the breeze.
Briefly, she wondered what her twin sister, Zora, was up to right now. Zora had chosen to stay behind, and catch up on the spells that she couldn’t get. Practice and practice, that’s what the teacher had advised and Zora, had taken that to heart.
Zelda was brought back to the present by a loud sound; a squirrel had scampered down one of the dead tree branches. Grabbing a small flower that was used by the Eladelif family for generations as both a sign of their linage and their skill to make music, Zelda carefully brought it up to her ruby lips, blowing ever so gently. She was rewarded by the soft sound made only by that flower.
Zelda was the 15th generation of the Eladelif family, the royal musicians, and was the first girl to carry on the gift of wild music since her great-great-great-great grandmother. Her sister Zora had tried, and tried, to coax a sound out of nature, but it just would not heed her will, not like Zelda could.
As she sat down, with her back against the old tree, she brushed her long hair behind her pointed ears, pierced three times, two showing what family she had been born into, and the third one showed that she was a wilderness musician.
Softly, she played out a simple melody, enticing a Bardif bird to join in, adding to her hollow reed-like sound with its piercing high call. The two sounds melted together, joining as one, sending the harmony rising to the heavens, from which all gifts were given, as Zelda’s mother had once told her. She didn’t know how long she played, for her time had no meaning. Eventually, though, she knew that she would have to go on, finish the trek and reach home in time for the evening meal. Perhaps, if she hurried, she could help her sister Zora with her magic.Zelda slowly got up, reluctantly dropping the flower to the ground from which she had found it. Dust to dust, she thought absently as the Bardif bird flew off, the sunlight glittering off its bright feathers.
(Oct. 13 ’07)
Time: 10 min.
They keep telling me I’m lucky. Lucky for being abducted. Abducted by aliens. Lucky. Sometimes, I wonder what lucky is, what it really is. The onboard computer is only too happy to tell me that lucky is, in exact words, “producing or resulting in good by chance”. How?! How can I be ‘lucky’, lucky to be torn away from my family, taken away from everything I know and love?
Is that lucky? In my mind, it’s bad luck. They concentrate on all the things I’ll see, and learn. They say that I was chosen picked out from everyone else because of my ‘potential’. They say I have the potential to be a great engineer.
I, of course, refused to help them. At this, they were surprised. They don’t look like aliens to tell the truth. They look like humans, some of them, though, do in fact look a little like your typical alien-like the ones you see on Star Trek.
Oh, how I miss simple things like Star Trek! Watching it, with my family, listening to the tales of a far off time, never imagining I would become part of that time. The aliens are…advanced to say the least-their machines remind me so much of the sci-fi machines, born out of imagination on Star Trek.
Their engine can take you faster than we could ever think. They, of course, have artificial gravity, and, I must admit, this keeps sticking-it looks like