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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: 500 X 210 Flames Reply with quote


Hi everyone. Here's the next prompt. Please be patient if it doesn't show up right away. The image storage site I had been using seems to have disappeared. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

God bless,
shadowlight
with God all things are possible

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Cautare (WC 500) Reply with quote

Here's my offering for the prompt. I look forward to seeing everyone else's.
God bless,
shadowlight



Căutare (WC 500)
© Marlicia Fernandez 4-6-13



“Who died and left you in charge?” Karo’s green eyes flashed in the shadows, almost like a cat’s. “We need to keep going, not stand around waiting for some sort of Divine sign. It doesn’t work that way, Bo.”

Bowen sighed. The tilt of his sister’s chin and the light in her eyes meant trouble if she didn’t get the right answers. “You didn’t used to feel that way, Kayree.”

“That was then,” Karo snapped. “Things have changed. And stop calling me Kayree. I’m not a child anymore.”

He shifted his hold on his staff. “What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know. It’s just…” Her expression softened. “It hasn’t been easy for you to be both mom and dad, has it?”

“It’s had its challenges, but I’m not complaining” Bowen glanced at their surroundings. “You’ve got good instincts, but you’re young and headstrong. You don’t think things through.”

Karo strode to the cliff edge. The White Water River churned far below. “And you think too much, brother of mine. If we don’t get to Golas soon we’ll be too late.”

“I know.” Bowen shaded his eyes against the summer sun setting in a blood-red sky. “But rushing in unprepared won’t do anyone any good, least of all those we’ve come to help. And we need the sword.”

“Waiting makes me feel useless.” Karo plopped onto a nearby boulder and leaned forward. “And it won’t help us find the sword. If it exists.”

He crouched beside her. “Not nearly as useless as you’d be if you’re captured. Or dead. We don’t have any weapons to speak of…unless you count our staffs and hunting knives. We need that blade.” The fading rays of sunlight flashed on something below. Something metal. Bowen pulled his sister to her feet. “Come on.”

“What is it?” She grabbed her walking stick hurried to keep up. “Where are we going?”

“There’s something down there and I want to see what it is.” He pulled a small lantern from his pack and shouldered his bag. “Do you have the fire sticks?”

She nodded. “In my sack with the other lantern.”

“Good. We may need them later. Now stick close to me. The trail is treacherous and whatever it is I saw is a fair distance along it.” They picked their way along the winding trail. Below them, the water roared. Above them the sky darkened. Bowen lit his lantern. “It should be around here somewhere.”

The path widened until they could walk two abreast. Karo stumbled. “Shine your light here, Bo. My foot caught on something.”

Bowen swung the lantern where she indicated and whistled low. “Look at the hilt on that blade. It looks like Căutare” He handed his sister the light and grabbed the weapon, holding it high. The blade burst into flame, shooting in the direction the river flowed. “Still don’t believe in Divine signs?”

“Maybe, but I’ll believe more if it finds us safe passage, or better yet, a strong boat.”

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Last edited by shadowlight on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harry
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liked it Marlicia. Good flow of dialect with a strong relationship between the siblings. They are obviously "used" to each other. There is nothing before and nothing after the piece to make it a story, so in your usual style you leave us hungering for a clue as to what it's all about. The name "Cautare" is a strange sort of teaser. Who is it? What is it? Who is it? The relationship to the picture is not clear.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
Liked it Marlicia. Good flow of dialect with a strong relationship between the siblings. They are obviously "used" to each other. There is nothing before and nothing after the piece to make it a story, so in your usual style you leave us hungering for a clue as to what it's all about. The name "Cautare" is a strange sort of teaser. Who is it? What is it? Who is it? The relationship to the picture is not clear.


Hi Harry,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this for me and for your kind words. As always, I really appreciate it. The siblings are definitely used to each other. Bowen brought his sister up. I think there's about 7 years difference between them. Cuatare is the Romanian (I think) word for Quest and the name of the sword. The sword is some sort of guide/aid in what must be done. I'm not sure in what way yet. Hopefully they'll tell me-although it is pointing the way with the flame as a beginning. Hmmm....

I'm really glad you enjoyed this--and I apologize for leaving you hanging, again, LOL. I'm a baaadd writer. Surprised)

You're comments have been most encouraging and motivating. Thank you. I can't wait to see your story. Smile

God bless, my friend.
Marlicia
with God all things are possible

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Harry
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Hot Hand

Harry Buschman


I wasn't going to fold with a hand like that. It had great possibilities. Mind you, I had to draw two cards to an inside straight ... don't get me wrong, it can be done but the strain shows on your face, when you sit under the bright light with the faint glow of nervous perspiration on your brow that you don't dare wipe away. But then again, that's why we play poker, isn't it? If you've got a hot hand it'll carry you through ... most of the time anyway.

You try staring down the guy across the table, hoping your bravado will make him blink quickly and turn away – something like the way you did when you played defensive tackle for Westbury High School. But this guy in front of me is cool. He stares you down ... you gotta hold 'em, or fold 'em. What's more important, he came in with two guys from Hoboken who look like they eat raw meat. You're breathing through your mouth now, holding your lips together so it doesn't look like you are.

That's how it was with me and "Lucky" Pitzoritta that final night. His two gorillas had dropped out. Lucky liked it that way. He rarely showed his hand ... his gorillas never called him. They didn't dare, and as he shifted his cigar to the other side of his mouth, (somewhat in the style of Edward G. Robinson) I could tell he wasn't going to show me his cards either.

The two cards I drew miraculously fit my hand like a glove, and at any other poker table I would have played the straight for all it was worth. But eyeball to eyeball with Lucky across the table was a different story - possibly, somehow Lucky and his gorillas sensed I had a winning hand and one of the two unbuttoned his jacket to reveal the blue-black side arm strapped to his belt. Rocky folded his pudgy hands over his cards and announced in a gravelly voice that he'd play the ones he had. He obviously expected me to throw in my hand and say, "Well, that's it for me. I guess it's just not my night."

Well, hot hand or not, I did just that ... otherwise I wouldn't be alive to tell you this story.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a fun read, Harry. Being a poker pro can have it's drawbacks, it seems, especially when you're dealing with what looks like some sort of high-rolling, powerful hoodlum (mob boss?). Maybe the guy was smart to fold, but I can't help but wonder if he won't come back someday and deal with the man like "Slim" dealt with "Jim" in Jim Croce's song about the pool shark. Loved the setting and the personalities. I could almost see Edgar G. Robinson (love him, BTW), fat cigar and all. Thanks for posting this. I've missed reading your work.

God bless, my friend,
Marlicia
with God all things are possible

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: The Sword of The Phoenix Reply with quote

This is greater than 500 words, but this was the lowest I could pare it down and keep some semblance of a story (552 words). Please don't filet me! I'll try to do better next time. First time I've written something not involved with the shared story for months!

God Bless,

Tahlia

_____________________________________________________________

The Sword of The Phoenix

Orlin's fingers brushed the hilt, tingling at the touch.

Pecant peeked behind them. "We're going to get in trouble."

Orlin dragged a stone bench closer to the pedestal holding the sword. "Only if we get caught." He climbed onto the bench and gripped the hilt firmly. "And we aren't going to get caught."

Pecant licked his lips. "Of course we aren't. Because no one's keeping an eye on the Sword of the Phoenix." He shook his head. "I don't know why I let you talk me into these things."

Orlin didn't respond.

Pecant crept closer. "What does it feel like?"

"Power. Glory. Honor." Orlin smiled dreamily. He set his mouth. "I'm going to pick it up."

"It's longer than your leg! How're you going to pick it up?"

Orlin frowned.

Pecant coughed. "Can I touch it when you're done?"

Orlin smirked.

"Just touch it. I don't want to get in trouble for dropping it."

"I'm not going to drop it." Orlin lifted the sword with both hands.

"You are going to put it down, however."

The sword clattered to the floor.

"Whoa there, boy." A strong arm steadied Orlin.

Orlin stared up into twinkling dark eyes. "Master of the Guard."

The eyes sobered under Orlin's gaze. "Not anymore," he corrected, gently. "That position now belongs to one more worthy of the title."

Orlin looked down at the sword. The light no longer danced along its lines now that it lay disgraced on the floor.

The man lifted Orlin's head. "Orlin, isn’t it?"

Orlin swallowed. "Yes, sir." He looked away. "Are you going to tell my father, sir?"

"For a boy's curiosity? Not likely." The man sat down on the bench. "Why did you come here, Orlin?"

Orlin slid down onto the seat. Pecant nudged his shoulder. Pecant was still with him at least.

"I wanted to touch the Sword of the Phoenix, sir; to feel like a real knight."

The man's lips twisted, but his eyes didn't join in the smile. "Shiny weapons don't make a real knight." He lifted the Sword of the Phoenix and touched the hilt to Orlin's chest. "This does." He tapped it lightly on Pecant's head. "And this."

"I don't understand."

The man drew a new weapon. "This is my sword."

"But, sir, it's so ordinary."

"The best weapons are." The man stroked the weapon. "They are forged under the flame of adversity and fear and yet come out the stronger." The bronze blade dully reflected the man's smile back at them. "This was my father's sword. He died protecting the crown and the innocent lives that depended upon him. It has done so much more than this…" he tapped the bright sword resting on his leg, "display piece."

"But it's the Sword of the Phoenix, sir. A gift to the royal house from the Wanderers-from-afar."

"And it's a beautiful piece. But not so beautiful as this." The man sheathed his sword reverently. "But you are not alone in the misconception, Orlin. Much is the pity."

He shook himself and returned the sword to its place. Unlike Orlin, he lifted the piece easily. "Come. We will speak no more of this." He turned and the boys could once more see the humor in his eyes. "Although I would advise against any further night excursions of this sort."
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Psychoreader
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Cautare (WC 500) Reply with quote

You have some interesting characters here, Mom. There's definitely more of this story be told. And one is left wondering about the significance of Căutare... and what it will come to mean for these siblings.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: re: The Hot Hand Reply with quote

Harry, I love this story. I forgot how well you are able to paint a picture with just a few words. I was there with your character breathing in the smoke and desperation. It was a moment in time, but I got to experience it with him. And I thank you for that.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the way you begin ... "this is greater than 500 words." Not longer. An editor might be put off by that. Not me, I know you better than that. 500 words is not an insignificant number, you can do a lot with it if you make a few concessions. Time is precious, don't try to develop character analysis and personality traits in too many people, see them through the eyes of one protagonist. I think this is part of a longer work you've had time to develop; a scene, and as such it can't have a beginning, a middle and an end in the normal literary sense.
Your characters are beautiful. Bravado and adolescent curiosity and hero worship, played against old age, experience and tragedy. I'd say go for the long haul.
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry --

Thanks for your comments. It's so hard to pick & choose what must stay and what must go. It's a skill I'm still striving to learn. I tend to be wordy, I'm afraid. I love the sound of words almost as much as, if not more than, the message I'm striving to convey.

This piece was very rough, and I probably could have cut down on excess verbiage by sticking to one POV. Thank you.

I'm glad you like the characters. I'll have to throw them in a grab bag to be pulled out later if I need them. Maybe they will agree to share with me their full stories one day. Only time will tell...
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a poem by Browning, (how erudite of me) that illustrates your love of the sound of words ...

Meeting at Night by Robert Browning

The gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry,

What a lovely, visual poem; I've never read it before. I'm glad I waited until I was more awake to read it! I read it over twice and could really experience the scene.

What an artistic piece of writing.

Thanks for sharing!

God Bless,

Tahlia
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Heidi
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: writings Reply with quote

Hey first off sorry for not posting in forever. I just realized I haven't posted anything since before New Year's! Been dealing with some family stuff but I'm going to start writing more. I haven't read the other two yet but Psychoreader's was good. I could certainly see this going further it's no wonder you had trouble paring it down Wink I want to know more about the guard he seems like an interesting character. I will post something on this one just not sure what yet. Still trying to get inspired.
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Heidi
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: My turn Reply with quote

Okay I think I have an idea now. I don't know whether it will be any good as I'm still a bit rusty.

The Sword of Exile
By Heidi Yang

"You're not going to go looking for that thing are you?" Dan asked.
"Why not?" Emily asked smiling. "What do we have to lose?"
"Wait, you want me to go with you?" Dan asked blinking. "No way, you're on own with this one."
"Come on Dan, what are you going to do?" Emily teased. "Run back to the academy?"
"Maybe."
"They aren't going to help you." Emily said her brown eyes serious. She picked up the corner of his red jacket. "You were with me when everything happened. You're just as responsible as I was."
"I'll say I was persuaded by you." Dan said frowning. "If I say I tried to stop you they will take me back."
"Yeah right." Emily laughed. She skipped away her brown hair bouncing. "Come on just help me look for the sword." She shaded her eyes looking over the land. The hills were green and a small river ran through them. "Besides you know no matter you say it won't make any difference." Dan sighed, he pulled at a lock of his black hair. "Why do you always have to be right?" he asked glaring at Emily. He got up and followed Emily down the cliff.

The sky was darkening when they reached the bottom. "Come on I heard it's in this cave." Emily said as she shined her lantern into a small opening.
"I don't know, isn't that just part of the legend?"
"Maybe, do you have any better ideas?"
"No not really." Dan said with a sigh as he followed Emily into the cave. He could already imagine what creatures lurked in here. It got bigger the further they went in. "Hey what's that?" Dan said pointing to a speck of light hovering near them.
"What is it?"
"I think there's a path over there." Dan said squinting.
"Hmm, I think I see it." Emily shaded her eyes.
"Might as well go this way." Dan said as he started down the path. He stopped. "Don't tell me you're scared now?"
"No of course not." Emily replied stepping towards him. "I just wanted to make sure you weren't pulling my leg."
"That's something you would do. Are you coming or not?"
"Yeah I'm coming." They walked further into the cave. Dan was relieved when no bats scattered near them as they walked. Suddenly Emily stopped. She narrowed her eyes. "Could it really be that simple?" she whispered. Dan glanced in the direction Emily was facing. "What do you see?"
"I think, I think it's the sword."
"Really?"
"Well what do you call that?" Emily asked pointing at a the sword. It was resting on a small stone.
"I can't believe we found it." Dan said poking the sword gingerly.
"I know, it seems to easy. I wonder if this isn't just something a villager left here. It looks so ordinary." Suddenly the sword burst into flame.
"I wouldn't call that ordinary." Dan said nervously.
"I guess that settles it." Emily said with a smile. "We found the Sword of Exile."
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Heidi
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: other stories Reply with quote

I read the other two stories. I needed a bit more inspiration so I read Shadowlight's first. I liked your characters a lot, it would be interesting to see them when they were a bit older. Harry your work was great as usual. I think you're the only one of us who didn't go with some sort of fantasy theme Wink I could see these guys playing poker. I think the main character might come back for revenge later though what form that would take I'm not sure.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: My turn Reply with quote

Heidi --

Good to see you back! I'm interested in seeing what's up with the Sword of Exile and am very happy to see you stretching those writing muscles again.

Is there more of a story here or is it still kicking around in there?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: writings Reply with quote

Heidi --

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you're interested in my guard; I'm interested in him too. I'll have to see if he's willing to tell me more of his story or if I'll have to wheedle him a bit. I wonder if he likes cookies... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: stories Reply with quote

Glad to see you liked my story. I'm currently reading a trilogy that kind of put me in the mood to write that it's called The Chaos Walking trilogy and even though it's written for kids it's still pretty good. I think it may also have been influenced by watching the anime Soul Eater. As for whether there is more to it I don't know. I've been busy with another story that I'm working on. If I get stuck on that one or get it done I may have to come back to this one.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tahlia,

I commented on this one in WVU, so I won't do it again here. Still like it and still want to see where it's going.

God bless,
Mom
with God all things are possible

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good lesson here, Heidi. The truth is always a letdown, isn't it? When the secret of the trick is known, the magician turns out to be a fraud. After the election everthing is downhill ...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heidi,

It's good to see you posting again. This was a fun read and I wonder what is going to happen next. What kind of trouble did they get into that Dan can't go back to the academy, no matter what? The sword is intriguing. I'd like to know more about it and why it is called "The Sword of Exile". This has potential and I'd like to see you do more with it.

Thank you for the kind words regarding my little snippet. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

God bless,
shadowlight
with God all things are possible

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