Cerulean Threads-Midnight

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Cerulean Threads-Midnight

Postby Cerulean » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:19 pm

Hello there!

For the past few years, I have been working on a short story. After a bit of polishing (and having it edited by Blood Lord (thank you again c: )), I feel that I am (finally) ready to present my finished work.

I originally believed that this would be the last story that I would write for a while, however inspiration has hit me once again. So, upon completion, I will be posting those tales here for you to enjoy. The majority (if not all) will be short stories. The title (of this thread) is subject to change until I can find something that sounds better.

So stick around and let me spin a colorful yarn (ha) for you guys. The first one, is a tale that goes by the name of "The Choice". It is meant to be a monologue. Enjoy c:

The Choice

Once again, I have been presented the most ludicrous of choices. In the one hand they place food. In the other, I am offered warmth. So what shall I choose?

(laughs) I remember a time when there was no need for such a frivolous choice. I could have my cake and eat it too. But no, times have unfortunately changed for the worse, especially with the many new constricting laws that have been passed. When I try to eat now, a federal case is made about it. When I try to keep warm, they say that I’m not sane. Is it wrong of me to sleep with the warmth of newspaper at night? Is it wrong of me to scavenge food from a dumpster? Oh! How I can remember the days with which I could enjoy both a roaring fire and a nice meal. I remember the days when I had something to look forward to when I get up in the morning. But now it is all just a distant memory that shall soon completely be erased from my mind.

(Stomach growls) I see that my stomach is answering my question for me, then food it is!

(A breeze blows) Brrr!! My flesh tells a different story. Oh woe is me! Why must I make a decision that not even my own body is willing to make?!

(Shouting is heard) What! They dare try to deny me my only other right of speech? This is the least they could grant me! Regardless of how loud my voice rises! They have taken my sight and freedom, but they shall not have my voice too!

(Fades to black) where am i? (laughs) that is a silly question, of course I am still here and I still haven’t made a choice. Hunger must have made me weak.(reaches to stomach) but what is this? I cannot feel my hands either? A decision must be made soon I see. Food, if it is warm, it should keep me warm and full throughout the week! But if it is cold, it would surely make my numbness worse. Warmth, if it is not scorching, should help me to easily forget my hunger at least for a few days. But if the temperature is not right, then I shall be lusting after yet another meal. Should a man choose to starve or should he choose to freeze?! Which is the manlier way to die?! My eyes have died since long ago from having nothing remarkable to look at. All I see is a vast nothingness that seems to stretch on to eternity. I refuse to sacrifice any more of my freedom, I have made my decision! (Calls to someone waiting outside)

(A Person enters the room and begins to speak) I have learned, that while I may not understand what this being is speaking of, I only need to nod and smile at the appropriate moments, of which these fools will surely believe me. The utterance of one phrase is all that is necessary to seal the deal.

Yes I have made my choice. (The person nods in approval, and then proceeds to make preparations for both warmth and nourishment).

These poor innocent fools sincerely believe that I am in the wrong, that I am the one who should be persecuted. All the good I have done all the help that I have given, and for what? Nothing. My words have fallen on deaf ears, and no one understands my actions. I should show them once more, in the only way I know how. In the only way that matters.

(Gets up, proceeds to ram person into the flames that the person had been stoking.)
I have chosen both; you will hinder me no longer! (Proceeds to take a bite)

YES! This is the meal that I have been craving since they stole my freedom! The warmth, the taste, all of it is exquisite and it is mine! (As I attempt to enjoy my very warm meal, I feel the sudden onset of sleep overtake me. As I come to, I hear the ever present voice once more.)

What is your choice?

Once again…I am presented with the most ludicrous of choices.
Last edited by Cerulean on Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cerulean Yarn

Postby Guardian » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:48 pm

As I said in the PM, what I really liked about this was the ambiguity of it, the lack of detail of the setting or the character, aside from being hungry. That made it fun to read this little short because I could transport this into nearly any universe or fictional setting of mine and it would work.

My personal favorite is using the voice of John de Lancie when reading this.

And no problem, Cerulean.
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Re: Cerulean Yarn

Postby Tuor » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:05 am

Personally, the lack of physical setting at all made it very hard for me to read. The diction also seemed really stilted to me, it wasn't believable as a real person talking. There were also some parts where tenses seemed to change, or the words seemed awkward or not to make sense, but only a couple.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: Cerulean Yarn

Postby Cerulean » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:00 am

Thanks for the comments guys!

@BL I had to YouTube him to see what you meant. His voice is actually very close to the voice I imagined when writing this story. If his voice were slightly deeper, then it would be perfect.

@Tuor Originally, I did have a setting in mind when I started to write this story. However, it was hamfisted into the story at the end, so I removed it. Plus it became less of a monologue after I started to add in more characters to explain what happened to the main character. I'll have to do more research before I attempt something like this again.

   The original concept was that of a man of vast riches who began to suffer from delusions of grandeur (The person then proceeds commit a series of crimes that get him thrown into a mental ward (which was the original setting of this piece)). The choice was actually meant to be a question asked by his therapists who are referring to whether or not he believed his way was the correct way. However, afterward I saw an opportunity to leave the story more open ended. Is he really in a mental ward? Is this all occurring in his mind (Hallucination)? Is there really a conspiracy? I wanted to create that sort of atmosphere. Or at least that was the intent.   

My intent was to make the person who delivers the monologue come across as pompous, however I completely understand why it came across as stilted and unrealistic. I appreciate the feedback and thank you for it. I'll be sure to take note of your criticisms so that I can make improvements in all my future shorts c:
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Re: Cerulean Yarn

Postby Tuor » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:01 am

I wound up assuming he was homeless, haha
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: Cerulean Yarn

Postby Cerulean » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:18 am

The newspaper and dumpster right?    It was meant to be a symbolic reference to the crimes he committed before he was admitted into the hospital (in the original concept). Murder led to cannibalism, which then ended with the main character using the skin (newspaper) of his victims as clothing. He'd often set his victims houses (dumpsters) on fire as well. I'm starting to think that I may have gotten the inspiration for his craziness from Silence of the Lambs (even though I at most only read a summary of it)....    Hahaha...I probably should have changed that portion of it since it would cause some confusion....oops ^_^;
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Re: Cerulean Threads

Postby Cerulean » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:17 am

As one story winds down, another unravels, from The Choice to Midnight, ye shall travel
I think that this is going to be my entry (993 words (phew)). It was a pleasant challenge (and admittedly a bit aggravating) to try to get this story to fit within 1000 words. So here's my latest story entitled Midnight.
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A belfry chimes melancholically as midnight strikes. Thunderous hooves and blood curdling shrieks echo throughout the forest air. In the midst of this chaos, two individuals can be seen standing over a long dead corpse in the light of a full moon.

[A Few hours earlier]

There was a mixture of both excitement and unease floating throughout the air. After years of hostility between the tribes that reside within Azure Forest, the leaders had decided to host a festival. The largest and most well-guarded agricultural area, Azure Plains, was chosen as the location for the festivities. Security would be the same that night as any other, with the exception of a new guard named Hale.

Usually the honor of becoming a guard was a right reserved only for men. However, Hale’s tenacity left a great impression on the leaders, so they made an exception for her. She’d been standing post ever since the ruling yesterday. It is for this reason that Hale decided to go rest for the festivities that were soon to be upon them.

Fortunately her home was close, so she could return to work at the earliest convenience. She didn’t want to miss out on the great opportunity afforded to her, and understood that failure was not an option. As she approached her home, she noticed someone wandering outside of it. As Hale approached the stranger, she noticed that he was wearing the royal mask. It even had the legendary half crest. It was traditional, in the land of Blue, for all the royals to shield their faces from the common people. However forest folk were considered lower than common people. Outside of scrolls, no one who lived in the forest had ever seen a lord in person. So for a royal to have ventured into the forest, Hale felt that something must have been wrong.

“Milord is there something that you need assistance with?” asked Hale as she entered a deep bow.

“Yes, my caravan came under attack while traveling between villages. It is of the utmost urgency that I reach the castle as soon as possible. Perchance you could find the guard who resides within this home?”

“Aye, that would be me”

“Is that so? Then would you be willing to escort me back to the castle?”

“Aye milord, it would be my honor. However, I must insist that you take residence within my home until nightfall.”

Hale began to explain that tonight was the night of their first harvest festival. Every tribe member would assist in harvesting the produce and then feasting upon it. They would also take the opportunity to mourn those that had fallen in combat shortly before eating as grace. However this in and of itself was a risk due to the longstanding hostilities between tribes. In an effort to dissuade any outbreaks of violence, the leaders demanded that every tribe member wear a disguise of some sort. The outfit itself didn’t matter, but the mask that accompanied it was mandatory. Everyone would be wearing masks similar to that of the royals. This decision was made in an attempt to have the mask symbolize not only their unity as a people, but also act as a representation of their loyalty to the kingdom. Hale walked towards the door of her home.

“No one will be able to recognize you. We will make our departure shortly before midnight” Hale remarked as she opened the door to her home.

[A few minutes before midnight]

As midnight approached, Hale put the finishing touches on the young lord’s disguise for the night. The only thing left untouched being his mask. With the preparations complete, the duo set out into the forest with only the light of the moon to guide them on their relatively short walk to the outskirts of the forest.

After walking a short distance, a silhouette on the ground catches Hale’s eye as they proceed forward.

“I believe that is one of our attackers. Perhaps it is a sign that my guards survived after all” chimed the lord.

Hale nodded, all the while keeping her eyes trained on the corpse.

As they approach the edge of the forest, Hale stopped.

“I can only accompany you this far I’m afraid”

The lord nodded his thanks before Hale quickly rushed off to her post.

The lord stood there, watching as Hale’s silhouette quickly disappeared into the night. After a few moments pass, he returned to the location of the corpse.

“What is it that you’re after?” called a voice from the darkness

The lord looked around to discover Hale standing across from him.

“Is that anyway to speak to a lord?”

“A lord who lacks the royal crest on his mask?”

Hale walked towards the corpse and removed his mask. She pointed to the full crest on the side of the mask, and explained that it only became full when hit with moonlight.

“You’re far more observant than I’d give a grunt such as yourself credit for”

The imposter proceeded to remove his mask and introduce himself.

“My name is Alistair and I’m looking for an answer”

“You killed all those people to find an ANSWER!? What was the question!?”

“Now, now I’m not THAT cruel. I did leave one alive and my question involved the reaction the royal army would have to your little festival of sorts after the lord’s death.”

Realization dawned on Hale as the town’s belfry began to chime. The unmistakable sound of horses’ hooves could be heard rushing towards the festival. Arrows could be heard whistling through the air with blood curdling screams following shortly thereafter.

“You’ll wind up dead as well” seethed a furious Hale.

“Wouldn’t be a Day of the Dead if I survived now would it?” snarked Alistair.

As these words left his mouth, the thunderous sound of horse’s hooves could be heard quickly approaching their location, followed shortly by the sound of whistling arrows.
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Last edited by Cerulean on Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cerulean Threads-Midnight

Postby Sig Skellington » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:08 am

Hmm... I like it, though I'm not sure if it ties into the theme completely. Story-wise, though, it sounds great, and I only saw just a few punctuation errors. Nothing that really hurts your entry though. Good job, Cer.
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Re: Cerulean Threads-Midnight

Postby Thy Obsessive Freak » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:16 pm

Ooh quite a twist. Also have to echo Sigment Kurosai, I have no idea what to make of the theme. Far as I know, it's just a female guard, helps out a stranger and then bam twist. Maybe if you hinted this in some more that he was an imposer or left in some idea that there was still tension (Yes even though they just had a ceasefire, we should know, but never hurts to add in this hint), but then you probably did and I've just been too slow to pick it up. But it was clever none the less and the ending certainly made up.
I feel the story would've been better if it was told 1st person over 3rd, even though I'm a 3rd person fan. As usually when it comes to me, there were some words that could've been cut, these were the biggest.

Hale simply nods at this What at, it would've been better if you had said 'Hale nodded'
Hale stopped walking. We already get the oppression Hale stopped, so you don't need walking.

I think you need more practice at word cutting when it comes to action. Action doesn't need very many words, but you can get away with it at times. That's my opinion anyways, but good entry.
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Re: Cerulean Threads-Midnight

Postby Cerulean » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:32 pm

In the process of shortening this, I removed a couple sentences that would have made the theme make sense...oops ^_^; despite that error though, still had fun writing this.

@Thy_Obsessive_Freak Hmm first person huh? I started to use first person perspective in the original drafts of this story, but ended up switching to third person in an attempt to cut down on a few occurrences, plus it ended up being a bit more dialogue heavy than I was comfortable. Just shows that I need a lot more practice when it comes to writing.

Oh you're right about the action. I'll just edit that really quick.

Thanks guys for the comments and feedback. I appreciate it, and I'm glad that you liked the story c:
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Re: Cerulean Threads-Midnight

Postby Sig Skellington » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:43 pm

I'm just glad that this contest is bringing out everyone's creative side. Even people who've barely visited the Lit Section are participating.
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