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Messages - Saint

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1
Angel's Cottage / Re: Where have you been?
« on: June 28, 2020, 11:09:27 PM »
I have no such excuses, I've just dropped off the face of the planet voluntarily.  I have been dabbling in visual novels in the interim, so maybe you'll see one  of those pop up soon.  Not too sure on that one since I'll basically have to upload it as an unsigned unverified program that you'd have to install to run.
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2
Fiction Factory / Re: We, three beautiful warriors.
« on: November 14, 2019, 05:59:20 PM »
Quite the world you're building there; I always enjoy seeing where these fantasy worlds go.  Look forward to C2!
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3
Ao Alley / Re: Tilt
« on: October 31, 2019, 06:08:39 PM »
Oooooh, getting darker.  We like a good dark'un, we does.

One peeve:

Quote
You shouldn't of waited up

shouldn't have

Other than that I look forward to the next instalment.
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4
Fiction Factory / Re: Blindside
« on: July 12, 2019, 01:00:25 PM »
This is coming along nicely.  The vagueness really lets our minds do the work, and whats there is very well described.
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5
Fiction Park / From the Ground Up
« on: July 03, 2019, 09:39:49 AM »
I thought I'd try a little experiment and see how far it goes.  I can't type much as I'm at work, but that's the beauty of this idea: For now, I don't need to.

I'm going to be writing an interactive story, and it will be interactive from the ground up.  What does that mean?  It means I'm starting with nothing.  What I want you guys to do is give me an element (or two or three) to incorporate in the story.  I'll try (where feasible) to use every element provided to get my first chapter up.

Elements can be things like characters, scenarios, themes, challenges, oh why am I explaining it to you, you're writers, you get it, right?

Try and keep it on the vaguer side so I can incorporate them together easier.  For example, "Character: a young boy on a journey" is much better than "You're Ash Ketchum from the town of palet, and you're ten years old and about to begin your pokemon journey with your trusty partner pikachu by your side, but when travelling through the Viridian forest, you're challenged by none other than Gary Oak, the grandson of Professor Oak, and your lifelong rival, who sends out his..."

:owlhr:

Chapter One - A Firm Grasp
Featuring: A one-legged woman, a lunar event, a long journey over water, an olden-style environment, and two different futuristic species

Coming soon:
Chapter Two
Featuring: Nothing... yet.
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6
Wizards Way / Re: A Tale of The Darkest Tome
« on: June 25, 2019, 12:27:38 PM »
4

The one thing you need to know about Fey is there’s always a more powerful Fey pulling their strings.  I could handle minor fey, but if I really wanted to get to the heart of this weird abduction tale, then it would almost certainly keep getting deeper.  I’d faced a lot of powerful creatures in my time, but nothing beyond my scope, that’s how I stayed alive.  I’ve lost a lot of good friends throughout the years because they let their egos get the better of them.  If this ordeal lead to a battle with a Greater Fey, then there was no way I was ever going survive it.

I milled on the options.  I could abandon the quest – hunting the monster wouldn’t bring anyone it had killed back, and the attacks were so sporadic that there was no immediate danger to anyone.  The reward was a good incentive, but I had no plans on taking it.  If I hunted this creature it would be to stop it from doing any further damage, reducing families to what I’d seen in that farmhouse.  Within that reasoning, I concluded that that wasn’t an option.  Under my honour as a paladin, I was definitely taking the youngwraith down.

All that remained was how I was to fight it.  I could take it alone, and hope beyond hope that it was a rogue agent not under any control, but I think even as I was debating that internally I knew that no Fey could operate like that for at least two decades without being hunted down by its own kind.  If I fought this creature, I’d be diving into a much bigger web than I’d like to handle on my own.  So I needed a team.  The problem was I didn’t know anyone stupid enough to join me.  I had some old adventuring companions I could probably get in touch with, but from what I’d heard most of them were either dead or had moved on to civilian life.

I could post a bill in the tavern, but from what the barkeep had told me last night, there weren’t many in this town or possibly even the neighbouring towns who could handle the calibre I’d be expecting to fight.  I stuck the bill up anyway, thoroughly expecting disappointment, and if we skip forward a week in the story, that’s all I got.  I sat in the bar every night nursing a drink, trying desperately to think of attack plans.  Nobody so much as checked the board, let alone noticed my request.  I began to learn the daily life of the tavern; the most abundant customers by far were the two town guard shifts.  Each had four men, clad in full plate armour, and as the shifts changed on the town perimeter, so did they in the bar.  The guards were better security for the bar than they were for the town.

There were a few regulars, local workers mainly, and almost no visitors whatsoever.  That came with the territory, I guess; being so close to a Tome, this place would normally be a heavily populated thoroughfare, but since that was The Darkest Tome, the only people in this province were the people who’d chosen to live here.  After a week, I knew everyone here.  That’s why I was so very surprised when at one o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, hours before the usuals would enter on their way out of work, the door burst open with almost enough force to break the hinges.  The guards looked up and reached for their weapons, but before they touch them, they each stopped, clutching instead at the ball of water which had enveloped their heads.  No-one else challenged the three people who stepped in.

The first was a huge creature, red and scaly, with a snout that stretched longer than any other dragonborn I’ve seen, and horribly retched teeth sticking out from it.  Behind him was a creature that looked similar, but her scales were green, she was very well kept, and she was half of the dragonborn’s size.  This wasn’t the first time that I’d seen a kobold, but it would become the first time I’d interact with one.  Finally, bringing up the rear, hands outstretched and clearly the source of the spell, was whatn I assumed at the time to be a human spellcaster, but I would eventually learn was actually a water genassi.  Her crystalline blue hair seemed to literally flow from her head, her skin looked soft but cold, and she wore a beautiful dark blue robe with silver stitching.

The dragonborn stopped at the guard table as the woman dropped the spell, freeing the men.

“Where is Gaelnor Starscriber?” he demanded.  “We would speak with him and we would do it now.”

That was me, and I stood gingerly from my seat, but the bartender – whose name eludes me after all these years even though I got on with him quite well – put down a glass and cleared his throat.

“He doesn’t live in this town, perhaps you should get your locales in line before you charge into the next bar.”  This clearly annoyed the dragonborn very much, but as if this experience wasn’t confusing enough already, before he had any time to react, there was a gut-rending roar from outside.

“It found us already?!” the woman exclaimed.  The dragonborn shot the barkeep the most vicious look he could, then turned for the door, grabbing the kobold by the collar of her trenchcoat as he left.  The woman followed her out, looking flustered, and the bartender, the town guards, and the other two patrons turned to look at me as if to demand an explanation.  I wished I could give them one, but I was as baffled as they were, and when the roar rang out again, I unsheathed Broshilda and stepped for the door.

What greeted me was a scene I’d seen once before but I never imagined I’d see again.  In the middle of the cobbled street was a huge bear-like creature.  It stood three feet taller than the tallest grizzly I’d seen, but instead of the soft and rounded features, it had harsh brown scales, jutting into sharp angles and spikes.  It stood bipedally on strong looking legs which ended in filthy-looking paws, which looked out of place on a creature without fur.  Four more paws were on the end of arms that looked just as muscular, just as inclined to tear flesh from bone.

The creature was a lizardbear, and up until this point, I was the only person across The Seven Tomes who’d ever defeated one.  Of course, nowadays everyone knows they terrorize the Hurricane Woods on the western edge of High Tome, but back then, nobody had ever faced one and lived long enough to tell anyone about it.  I was lucky enough to have caught it’s secret though.

“There’s a soft patch under it’s left rib,” I called.  The three adventurers were approaching the beast in a semicircle, closing down the distance slowly until the girl drew a rapier from her sheathe which appeared to be made entirely of sapphire, and summoned forth the same spell that she used to incapacitate the guards.  It barely encased the lizardbear’s head for a second before he shook his head, scattering the water instantly.  The kobold was next, pulling a crossbow from his pack and firing off a bolt which was deftly dodged.  I noticed two bolts already embedded between scales from where they’d clearly been fighting it before.  The dragonborn took an oversized warhammer from his back and made a swing for the ribcage, which would have shattered had it hit, but one of four arms caught the weapon and stopped the swing cold.

In a second’s reaction, the two paws of the other side slashed out for the dragonborn, knocking him back and tossing the warhammer aside.  Instantly, the bear was ontop of the dragonborn, mauling what openings were there to strike. I saw my opening and charged in, sword high, as the creature raised a paw to slash, and swung for the sweet spot underneath the left ribcage.  And my sword hit hard scale.

Now I know what I did wrong, but you have to consider back then that not only had I only ever defeated one of these things, but also that that kill was the only one recorded at the point.  The one I killed was male, and male lizardbears have the single soft spot I’d announced.  Female lizardbears had no such weak spot.

There was a brief moment where it stared me down, and I could swear it smiled the tiniest of wry smiles as it raised a claw.

I couldn’t move away in time, and my heart stopped as it struck me… but bounced off.  I backed away slightly and noticed the wizard lowering her rapier – that explained that.

“There is no soft patch,” I gasped out once my mortality was confirmed again.

The kobold loaded another bolt into her crossbow and fired, this one hitting it straight in the neck.  The lizard bear stopped, and by stopped I mean completely, as if

[Finish me later, maybe reconsider the DnD fighting style.]



I really don't like this chapter but every time I revisit it it just seems to get worse.  Heavy feedback required, please be brutal, as this is a real stopping point for me.  The fight seems unnatural and the allies showing up out of the blue, while extremely plausible in DnD, just doesn't lend itself well to written prose.
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7
Public Plaza / Re: Apologies
« on: June 01, 2019, 05:33:03 PM »
New Overlord will be in touch. We always anticipated this day but never expected it. Welcome back old chum, we kept The Writers Slump stocked, go grab a cold one.
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8
Welcome Hall / Re: Say Hello! :)
« on: June 01, 2019, 04:46:53 PM »
:whaaa: So many questions, so few thumbs...
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9
Phoenix Chronicles / Re: ~Foundation: Introduction~
« on: February 14, 2019, 07:45:48 PM »
I've already pointed out the grammar to fix in person, so you can get that.  As for the scene, I'm always really impressed with your characterisation, and feel like there's a perfect mix of guilt and denial in this.
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10
Wizards Way / A Tale of The Darkest Tome
« on: October 28, 2018, 07:16:48 PM »
“I will tell you a tale, adventurers.  A tale of Dungeons and a tale of Dragons.”

The kobold stared at the old man.  He clearly did not want to indulge.  The sorceress beside him, however, was looking on with admiration.

“I see your companion wants to hear me out.  They say mistakes are the best teacher, but why make them yourself when I can impart you mine?”

The kobold remained silent, but his sorceress friend had already dropped a gold piece down between them.  The bar around them all was quiet, but any moment now the work day would end and the tables would fill up with exasperated dwarves from the mines and forges.  Surely this pathetic old man would harrass one of them and be out of their hands.

“One gold piece each,” he persisted. “I will not tell my tale to those who don’t want to hear it.”

The sorceress placed another gold piece down, but the old man pushed it away.

“He must pay.”

The kobold growled.

“Very well.  I shall leave,” the old man proclaimed, turning his back to the pair’s table.  “I’m sure someone else will buy the tale of how I took the lost treasure from the dead hands of a dragonborn soldier.”

He waited.  The sound of gold hitting the table echoed.  He turned.

“Tell me, adventurers: Have you ever heard of The Darkest Tome?”

:owlhr:

Sit back, readers, and enjoy.  This will be my NaNo story this year, so expect it to die out anywhere between 2,000 and 20,000 words, depending on how enticing Black Ops 4, Spyro the Dragon, and Fallout 76 are.
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11
Ao Alley / Re: Tilt
« on: October 13, 2018, 10:28:18 AM »
Some good images in this piece.  I enjoyed this little teaser and will definitely hang around for the rest.  :thumb:
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12
Phoenix Chronicles / Re: ~Foundation: Introduction~
« on: July 22, 2018, 11:18:24 PM »
I see some potential here; I really must find some sort of sitting apparatus.
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13
Saint's Workshop / I give up. My ideas suck. Can I borrow yours?
« on: May 25, 2018, 12:50:29 PM »
So I want to get back into writing again, likely for the thirtieth time, I’ve honestly stopped counting my failed re-entry attempts.  I think so far I can only really blame the story ideas I’ve had just not following through in my mind, and therefore the lack of motivation to continue these stories is then outweighed by things like Call of Duty and Pokemon.  Add work and general adulting to that pot of demotivation and you’ve got a real contender for the title of “Least Productive Individual of the Year.”

Enough of the sob story.  Your turn.

This thread is for one purpose and one purpose only, to get me back into writing. Since I don’t have any ideas that I quantify as usable, I’m drafting your assistance. I want to write a series of shorts based on the ideas of much cleverer, much more intuitive individuals than myself, and I think there’s a good pool of people on this forum who fit that description.

Your challenge then, is to give me a good short story to write, using the following form:

Code: [Select]
Premise:

Genre:

Setting:

Main Character Name:

Interesting twist the main character will have to face:

Optional Challenge:

For example:

Code: [Select]
Premise: MC has to enlist in a secret service style organisation to protect his girlfriend from an unknown threat.

Genre: SciFi

Setting: The City in The Sky

Main Character Name: Darius

Interesting twist the main character will have to face: Crippled Hand

Optional Challenge: Include a tentacle monster

I will give myself one month from the time your prompt is submitted to write a short fitting the description given.  I reserve the right to tweak the prompt but will try to do this minimally and only to give myself some headroom if I hit a wall.

:owlhr:

Nic, I swear if your prompt includes the word Romance in any shape, I will join all of your Monster Hunter World quests just to ramp up the difficulty, then intentionally faint three times as soon as I see the monster nearing critical health.
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14
Saint's Workshop / The Moving Door Part 1
« on: December 13, 2017, 08:19:49 PM »
Oddity Two – The Moving Door. - Monday September 17th 2007

Part 1

I won’t bore you with the details of how I tried to make people believe me about the float.  In fact, after a few years even I began to doubt myself.  Suffice to say  I learned not to mention it after my mom suggested I ‘talk to someone’ about my delusions.  Instead, I’ll skip forward in time to the next strange thing I noticed.  I’m not taking you to the first time I saw it, however; I’m taking you to the third.  The first time, you see, I didn’t realise anything was off about it.  It was just a pretty cool looking door.
 
The second time was a neat coincidence.  What are the odds a door that strange looking would be chosen by two different people?
 
The third time, however, I began to realise it was following me…

It wasn’t an easily mistakable door, so it’s not like I saw it when I thought I didn’t.  It was slightly thinner and lower than a normal door  by perhaps four or five inches.  An adult could walk through it without banging their head but every time I see it I get the impression that it’s designed for a child or perhaps a teenager.  The wood was a warm, rich, expensive-looking brown, which seemed older than possible.  It would belong in your wealthy great-grandparents’ house if it weren't for the sigils.

Five sigils, about the width of your palm, were centred on the door in a pentagon, each connected to the other four by a carefully bevelled line.  The sigils were five different colours in a shallow glass dome, no more than an inch out from the wood.  Inside each dome was a texture that looked like a starry night sky, but the glass covering it was vibrantly coloured, and walking past gave the illusion that the contents were moving.

Now when I say the door followed me, I don’t mean like there one minute, gone the next.  I mean it was a permanent feature in almost every building I’ve ever had to spend long amounts of time in.  The first time I saw it was in the basement of my first house.  It wasn’t hinged, just a door that had once, according to my dad, separated the living room and the stairs to the first floor.  They hadn’t really liked it when they moved in, so it got taken down and stored down there, never to be thought of again.

The second place I found it was my primary school.  Don’t worry, we’ll be returning there at some time later in my tale, but for now, we’ll simply glaze over it and say that the door lead into the caretaker’s cupboard.  As I mentioned, it was just a weird co-incidence to me at that point.

When I began secondary school, I found the third one.  It was for the science department’s chemical storage room, which was off-limits to students for very obvious reasons.  Now it was starting to become strange.  Not this-town-is-fucked-up strange, like  a murderous wolf that might have been a float or a car or not existed, but definitely hey-that’s-pretty-freaky strange.  It got worse, however, on the day Narcissa and I tried to open it.
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15
Saint's Workshop / The Big Bad Wolf Part 2
« on: December 05, 2017, 08:12:18 PM »
Part 2

As it came over the hill, I remember a feeling of pure terror chilling me through much further than the already cold October climate.  A huge black wolf, twice the size of the other floats, seemed to pounce into view, teeth bared and snarling.  I looked beside me to Sam, who was staring straight at it.

“Whoah!  That is so cool!” he declared.  I didn’t think so.  It was an impressive feat, that was for sure, but the sinister nature of the whole thing threw me.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.

I stood up to get a better view.

Nothing surrounded the float.  All of the others had quite the crowd around them who’d gathered to follow the parade, but not the wolf, almost as if it should never have been there.  That was the impression I got as I looked it up and down.  The limbs moved independently of each other, the tail curled up aggressively behind it, and even the lips seems to quiver as he growled.

I was fixated on this float, but looking back to Sam, I could see his gaze was already waning to the others.

“Mrs. Lebanon’s class did the tree, right?  That looks pretty lame.”

I wasn’t really listening to him.  I stared the wolf in the eyes, which seemed to stare right back at me.  The float turned.  It began to move towards me.  I remember wanting to move, but being rooted to the spot until:

“HELP!”

That’s when I saw her, walking in front of the wolf.  The car supporting it was driving at only a few miles per hour, barely enough to move her if it hit her, but that’s not the feeling I remember.  The memories I have of what I saw and the memories I have of what I felt were worlds apart: Even though I saw no danger, I remember knowing this girl was about to die.

She calmly walked towards me, and I heard her screams.

I walked towards her to find out what was the problem, but I felt my lungs pounding inside my chest.

The float was a little off course, so I remember the panic so, so vividly.

I reached the girl’s side and took her hand, guiding her away from the float.

She collapsed on top of me, her hands were bloody, her eyes were red, and she was covered in sweat as the wolf bounded past, snapping at her legs.  His teeth sunk in, and the girl screamed out so ferociously that all fear drained from me.  I had to pretect her.  I kicked the wolf’s snout as hard as I could and he squealed and turned his attention on me.

...Wait.  None of that happened.  Did it?

I don’t remember any of that.

Until I think about it…  But… Yes.  Yes that happened.

Was it actually a float?  Are my memories trying to trick me out here?  Has it finally happened, have I gone insane?

I’m trying to think of the rest of the events, but I can’t.  That passage, small as it is, is all that comes to me.

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but now I know that I have to finish this story.

I have to find out what really happened.

Sam was nowhere to be seen, but I think I remember talking to the girl.  Her name was Narcissa.  She had dark hair back then, and wore a t-shirt and jeans.  I look down in my memory and the jeans are intact.  The float which had veered towards us had marooned onto the grass near where Sam and I had been sitting.  No, it was gone.  It never crashed.  It was never there.

As I’m telling you this story, the details are changing in my mind.  This is what always happens.  Whatever I tell anyone, it's different every time.  I’ve never had it fluctuate so strongly within one sole telling of it though.  It’s definitely never been that… vivid.

One thing I know definitely happened.  I met Narcissa that day.  That day was a good day.  Nothing bad happened that day.

And yet the other thing I definitely remember.  No matter how many times I tell the story and how varied it gets, there’s one common element in all of them.

Narcissa looked at me, directly into my eyes.  I normally don’t like eye contact.  Until that point, I’d been a timid little boy.  This experience changed me.  I gained confidence.  I grew bold.  I was calmed by those grey eyes.  “I think you just saved my life,” she whispered.
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16
Role play / Re: RP: Silent Night, Unholy Night
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:40:37 PM »
The ring tightened on his finger as he approached. He's still not been able to successfully track down the set of eight he used to own, but he'd spent months labouring over the one he currently wore.  It was based largely on the rings which offered him the powers of light and shadow, and he'd been working with the rift at the core of New Tome City to imbue it with as much power as he could siphon.  Without the pure refined inspiration of Old Tome, though, it was but a fraction of what he once commanded.

The light core of the ring detested this place, and the dark core seethed with anticipation.

The landscape was barren. This place was near an abandoned Inspiratium mine of Old Tome, and used to thrive with wildlife and vegetation. When it fell, though, the land became bare, the zombies contained below the floor were only indication of any inhabitance whatsoever.  Now there was a large crater, presumably where Mr Cringle's sleigh broke through.

There were two zombies on the surface, and Saint and Phoenix stared down at them from their perch atop the cliff that overlooked the landscape.

"How many do you think got out?" Phoenix asked.

"We'll worry about that another time. The seals Nic, Ovey and I put in place must have weakened with the fall of the city, but only a powerful magical force should have been able to break them."

"Like Santa's magic sleigh?"

"Exactly."

"Present problems first, though..." Saint decided, drawing back a bolt of light and taking aim at one zombie.

He loosed it, almost knocking himself back from the force, having not practiced much on living (or unliving) creatures.  Beside him, a similar bolt of ice shot out, and both contacted with their targets. Phoenix's zombie shattered like it had been frozen solid and smashed with a mallet, and Saint's was consumed by light, leaving only a pile of limbs.

"Ladies first," Saint insisted.

Phoenix flew down, mumbling something about a little girl and "showing him who'll" something-or-other.
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17
Role play / RP: Silent Night, Unholy Night
« on: December 02, 2017, 02:25:44 PM »
Due to the face that this needs to be finished by Christmas, I'm revoking the dont-post-twice-in-a-row rule. Wait afew hours but if there's no interest, knock yourself out.

The story so far:
-Phoenix wakes Saint to alert him that Santa's sleigh has crashed in outer third quadrant, a place where the zombies of a previous RP were banished.
-Saint and Phoenix investigate the crash site, killing off the first two of many and venturing into the cavern.

:owlhr:

The halls were decked, the chimney wasn’t bare, and all through Saint's Workshop, not a creature was stirring.

Until the sky exploded.

Saint woke, then rolled over, scratched himself, and went back to sleep.

Some minutes later, a knock came at the door. Saint ignored it the first six times, but the seventh knocked the door from the hinges, and in strode a furious creature, the like of which even Saint, with all of his power, couldn’t bare to face.
Fire and ice consumed the creature’s soul, eyes glowing in fury.

“All right, all right, I get it. I’ll get up,” he groaned, and slumped out of bed into some sort of immobile blob.

“You didn’t hear the BOOM?!” Phoenix screamed, still furious. Saint yawned.

“Yeah but I was dreaming about ferrets. There was a whole basket full of ferrets. They were adorable, you should have seen it. I figured one of you would go investigate and wake me if it was important.”

“Its your shift!” Phoenix snapped.

“And was I wrong? You’re here to wake me after you investigated aren’t you?”

“...”

“So what exploded?”

You could kill demons with the stare Phoenix was emitting.

“Santa's sleigh just crashed into the other third quadrant.”

“The same outer third quadrant we put the-“

“-of course the same outer third quadrant we banished the remaining zombie hordes to!”

“...Someone should probably go get him out.”

Phoenix stared him down.

“Fine, I’ll go.”
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18
Saint's Workshop / The Big Bad Wolf Part 1
« on: November 29, 2017, 08:44:29 AM »
Oddity One – The Big Bad Wolf. - Saturday October 13th 2001

Part 1

After that intro, I suppose there’s only one place I can start.  That day in October, two months after my seventh birthday.  I should preface this a little first, though.  I live in a pretty small town, the everybody-knows-everybody, only-one-school, nothing-could-ever-go-wrong-in-our-community kind of small town.  You know, the ones that end up on CSI or Law and Order when inevitably someone that everybody knows shoots up the only school, leaving all the inhabitants devastated because something went wrong.  I’m getting ahead of myself here.  By the way, that doesn't happen.  At least not in this story, I promise – we have much better gun control in England.  The point I’m trying to make is that it wasn’t out of the ordinary for seven-year-old me and my best friend Sam Twining to ride our bikes around the town with no supervision.

To say it was cold would be an understatement.  It didn’t help that the wind beat into my fingers as it shot past the handlebars, but I didn’t want to stop because I was seven, having fun and didn’t have to be home for a few more hours.  I stopped anyway, if only to nurse my fingers into some degree of warmth before something hit them and they shattered into a million icy pieces.

“If you’d brought gloves like your mom said,” gloated Sam, a know-it-all grin cutting his face in half, “We’d have already found the perfect spot.”  I could count how many teeth were missing.  (Five, if you were curious.)

“Shut up Momma’s Boy.”

“Don’t care, I have gloves and you don’t.”

We bickered for a while, but it didn’t take much hand-rubbing for the topic to shift a few times and then I was ready to go.  We’d gone about three quarters of the way along our planned route – the same route as the town’s namesake parade was due to take in just a few hours time. 

Don’t worry, I’ll explain that for you, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of another place having anything similar.  Once a year, the whole town would get together and hold what it liked to call our namesake parade.  Literally no-one in the town could tell you honestly why we held it or why it was called that, but it had become a deep part of our tradition and like it or not, it came back every year.  The most prevailant story was that our town actually began as two neighbouring towns and one day someone in one half stole a donkey from someone in the other half.  He rode it across the border and a mob followed, but they all had so much fun chasing him down that the two sides forgot their differences and united.  Adults tell that story to kids as a freindship-can-fix-all-woes kind of thing, I guess.

There were always three floats prepared by the school as class projects, and then there was always one by the town’s local artist which outshone the paper mache and poster paint by miles.  He spends almost all year on it.  I shouldn’t go into too much detail on that just now because he’s important later.  For now, just remember the name William Newman.  When he shows up further down the story, feel free to shout “A-ha! I remember him, he’s apparently important!”  His float leads three or four others along the same route every year, and volunteers from the community follow along and shake charity buckets at you until you throw in whatever coppers you have to hand and join in with the procession.  The whole thing ends up in the high street where the local businesses have a ‘carnival,’ though calling it that would be like calling a ravenous tiger ‘kitty.’  It was a collection of market stalls with games, goods, and terribly prepared food.  I hope you were paying attention throughout that, because the parade features a few times in this tale too.  It’s not as important as William Newman will be, but if you really want, everytime it shows up you can still exclaim something anyway.

Most people would either join the parade as it passes near their house or just go straight to the high street and wait for it to arrive there.  That year, Sam and I had decided to give the  a miss and just watch the parade, which was why we were out searching for the perfect spot to watch it pass from.

We’d picked out a few spots already, but we’d eventually decide on the one we were about to pass.  That would be the place my life changed.

Sam rode ahead.  The route so far had been mostly residential streets with the odd main road, but at this point it opened out into the town’s main throughfare into the high street.  The road wrapped around a small green with the town’s larger, more extravagant houses on the other side.  There were some trees scattered and in a few years time there’d be some playground equipment installed when a new member of the council wanted to make a good impression on parents.  For now though, it was a pretty drab area of grass, but it had undoubtedly the best view of the longest section of the route.

On the edge of the green, Sam set down his bike.  We’d found our spot.

I don’t remember much of what we did for the next hour or two, sitting on the grass.  My hands weren’t as cold without the wind pelting them, so Sam didn’t mock me any more on that.  For as far back as I can remember, I’ve known Sam, and even today he’s barely changed from that seven year old boy I used to know.  He has the same toothy grin, same told-you-so attitude, same strong natural leadership, and the same murky blonde hair, although he changes up the style every few years.  We probably told stories, we used to love that.  There was one of his I liked about his big brother trying to impress a girl by doing a trick on his BMX which ended with a broken nose and, as Sam told it, ‘an explosion of blood like a firework trail.’

It was when the sun was beginning to set that the parade pulled up into our sightline and whatever we were talking about muted itself.  William’s float came first, and what a beauty it was.  This year he’d prepared a chinese dragon, wrapping its humungous tail over itself so intricately that you’d swear by looking at it that it was a million feet long.  It seemed to be entirely woven, probably over a wire frame to give it shape, from a thread that seemed to be a brilliant and powerful fiery red, a harsh and luminous icy blue, and the most expensive gold, all at the same time.

Behind that came the regular three.  Lucklustre, juvenile, and very obviously not designed by a professional who dedicates his entire year to the craft.  There was a set of drama masks, you know the ones, one happy and one sad. Second came what I think was supposed to be two boys fighting; underneath was the text “NO BULLYING.” Behind that was a big Christmas tree that looked more like an upside down ice cream cone.  And then...

This is the point where I need you to believe me.  I tried for many years to convince people, but I was always written off.  I “definitely didn’t see it” they’ll tell me.  I was “too young to remember” is another popular one.  My favourite denial so far has to be “Are you sure you could even count properly, I mean, come on, you were just seven...”

Were you paying attention when I was explaining the parade?  Every year there are four floats; William’s one followed by three others.  Well I’ve only ever made two people believe what I’m about to tell you.

This year, for just thirty seconds, there was a fifth.
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19
Saint's Workshop / DWP 29/05
« on: May 29, 2017, 02:00:36 PM »
Dialogue prompt.
   "Your home is a wreck, you could have at least cleaned the bathroom."
   "Had I known I was going to have guests at three o'clock in the morning, I'm sure I would have."


It was dark. Far too dark to be answering the bloody door.  Why his mother had decided to invite herself around at such an ungodly hour was beyond him, but family was family, so he let her in. What harm could she do?

"Your home is a wreck, you could have at least cleaned the bathroom."

"Had I known I was going to have guests at three o'clock in the morning, I'm sure I would have."

"Don't sass your mother."

"Don't sass my flat, you don't live here." She visibly recoiled when I said that.

Silence. Silence was never good. She stared down at the floor, just like he used to do when she told him off. That's when he saw it, illuminated in the dull light still being given item the bathroom. There was a bruise on her cheek, and it was a lot more vibrant than they usually were.

She turned back to the door.

"You're right, I don't live here. I'm sorry, I have no right-"

"-what's wrong?" He cut her in before she could monologue. "Whats so important at this hour?"

"I'm leaving him. I was hoping I could stay here."

"You'd better take my bedroom," he said without a second thought. "It's the only clean room in the flat."

She smiled, just slightly.
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20
Saint's Workshop / Saint does the Daily Writing Prompts.
« on: May 29, 2017, 01:31:05 PM »
I need to get back into writing, so pretty much what the title says. I'll try to do this daily, even if it's just 100 words, and most days it likely will be. The aim is to remotivate myself to work again.
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