Writer’s Room: Introductions

I’m taking a break from the “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories this week to try something a bit different.

A lot of folks out there use HeroMachine to create visuals for stories they’re writing, so instead of showcasing your artistic abilities, now’s your chance to exhibit your writing. Take one paragraph (I was thinking the very first one, but if that doesn’t work for you then pick another) from a story you’re writing and put it in the comments below, along with the title (if known) and a one-sentence synopsis of what the story or novel is about. Think of it as the blurb they’d put as a teaser promo in a review magazine, along with that one paragraph as a writing sample.

Here’s one from me, from my long-unfinished novel “Exile”:

The twelve boys step from the black mouth of the alley with a swagger in their step, the bright lights of the glow stones making wicked gleams dance and leap on the tips of their daggers. I tense – there is something different about them, the scent of blood in the air like there has never been in any of our other encounters. They will not settle for bruises this time, or cruel words – they have hatred in their eyes and a hunger in their mouths that the small pains of the past will not satisfy. I have dealt with their unseen hands pushing me from behind when I pass and their feet tripping me in hallways for the past year, but from the set of Yasha’s shoulders he is intent on more than petty humiliations.

The back of my ears begin to sweat; something here is very, very wrong.

I haven’t looked at this stuff in years and the writing is pretty rough, but in the usual spirit of honesty I try to engender here, I’m sharing it anyway.

And I suppose the one-sentence synopsis would be “A young boy on a desert world ruled by a god who cares nothing for his subjects fights to reclaim his family’s honor.”

35 Responses to Writer’s Room: Introductions

  1. Captain Kicktar

    I have no paragraph, since I find it difficult to figure out the details, but if you look at @Kicktar on Twitter you’ll find various blurbs of things in the world I’m making.

  2. Long ago, before life even existed, our world was nothing more than a desolate plain of utter nothingness. There was no light, no darkness and no love, peace or tranquility. A rogue, uncontrollable Energy raged across the land like wildfires, destroying anything and everything in its path. Then, after an eternity of this existence, three beings appeared in the void. No one knows exactly where they came from, and it has been so long that they themselves have probably forgotten, but for some reason, these beings from another place were not destroyed by the rogue Energy like everything before them. Instead, they were changed by it. As power coursed through their veins, the Energy raced across their skin, branding them with shining tattoos that spiraled up their arms and across their faces. In that moment, the three sisters ceased to be ordinary beings, and became something more. They became something so powerful that their influence and legacy would be known for millennia. They became goddesses.

    In short, this is a paragraph from a short story I am writing, which details the creation of a world that was split in two by the third goddess to prevent her sisters from fighting one another.

  3. Yes! Finally! I get frustrated with the visual aspects of Heromachine, as I’m much more comfortable with words. I was going to share a part of one of my original works involving the teenage daughter of an alcoholic hero going on the lam with a dying, chainsmoking B-list villain. But he was cursing every other word and also needs some massive rewrites, since they are just a subplot of a much larger work.

    So, here is a D&D inspired world with a story summed up thusly: – A young, half-elf fighter’s apprentice is drawn in by, and subsequently stalked by, an insane and powerful sorcerer who eventually blackmails her into sex before a massive battle…by threatening to turn on her allies. –

    “Don’t you want to feel it?” The sorcerer called casually to her turned back, after she had walked a few steps away. Laelyn stopped despite herself and he continued. “That pull. The hum as it flows through your body, like tiny threads just waiting to be tugged.”

    She knew she shouldn’t listen to him spout such rubbish. The others were inside still, drinking their free ale and pouring over the complicated maps for the best entrance into the Wastelands. She had seen for herself that he was insane; her curiosity was satiated and her master would surely be wondering where she’d wandered off to…and yet, Laelyn had spent her entire life hearing of nothing it seemed, but this power so natural to her siblings and mother. So alien to her, in a world where such abilities were so commonplace. It wasn’t fair.

    “I can show you,” the man behind her offered, causing her to turn around and meet his upside-down grin with a look of uncertainty. She knew she should keep walking, go back inside, leave him here with the darkness and dead fish. Knew it was an unrecommended course of action to return to his side, joining him on the soft dirt as he faced her, upright and with an excited air about him. Like a child about to spill secrets. Horrible, filthy secrets. To Laelyn’s consternation, Rolando scooted himself so close to her that their boots were touching and leaned in much closer than she felt comfortable with. She could make out the bags under his blank white eyes; the faint smell of fire and ash from his dark clothes.

    (That was technically two paragraphs, but I’m just happy to have cut it down from four and some dialogue. I almost included the sorcerer’s POV section instead…but it was way, way too disturbing. It ends with the phrase, “He ate a frog and its soul for breakfast. It complained.”)

  4. The Doomed Pixel

    This is from a short story I am writing entitled “The Crimson Courier”.

    The heavy pounding of machinery seemed to match the pounding inside Keith’s head. Every slam of a piston or churn of a gear had its own accompanying pulse in his forehead. The pain was excruciating. Wherever he was, he just lay for a while, hoping his massive headache would go away. He breathed slowly and deeply, and some of the pain started to go away. He gained enough willpower to open his eyes which, for the most part, didn’t do a whole lot for his visibility. Everything around him was blackness. He could see some points of light, burning lamps, off in the distance, and some shadows churning somewhat closer to him, but that was the extent of his visual intake. He heard some muttering not too far away. He lowered his head and hoped whoever was here hadn’t noticed the movement. His hoping was in vain, though. He heard the muttering get closer, and some footsteps approached him quickly. Soon, a large, muscular man dressed in slacks and suspenders came into view, his greasy button-up shirt rolled up at the sleeves. The mountain of a man stopped and looked down at Keith.

    “Finally, you are awake, yes?”

    This story is more or less a steampunk retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a young courier gets waylaid during one of his assignments and is kidnapped by a criminal organization.

  5. The Doomed Pixel

    Re-reading my submission, I realize it needs some proofreading and editing. This is a rough draft, obviously.

  6. Here’s an excerpt from the Prologue to “Within Shouting Distance”:
    The sun sank slowly behind the horizon, faint wisps of clouds chased each other across the sky, and every so often a tree would break the flat fields, sometimes a cluster of trees; but never anything that would hide more than a handful of rodents or a fox. The land had been cleared for farming generations ago. Flat plains spread as far as the eye could see, here and there the remains of a stone wall could be seen, where farmsteads used to be. Only two farm houses remained now; both on the same plot of land. Only one looked like a house. A small, plain house that stood against the changing times. The other looked more like a barracks, just a place for workers to take their leisure with a quick nap or get out of the sun. The nearby stable, a large, flat roofed building that housed many stalls, and the small smithy, tiny compared to most places a blacksmith set up shop—it only housed a forge used when repairs were needed quickly—were the only other buildings besides the three tall grain silos. Most folk lived in the city, a few miles away, and many were hired to work the land as day laborers. A stark contrast to years past.

    It’s the tale a Grandfather tells his granddaughter of how he met his wife and the adventures he had in the region of Eben while earning his Name: Stephen “Wolfhunter” deGaul.

  7. “My little sister was stole this morning by a monster.”

    “A monster? Did you see it? What sort of monster was it?”

    “I was home making candles. Lali was off playing in the woods. The children who were there said it was hairy and red, big as deer, shaped like a wolf but with no tail and a man’s face.”

    “Ah — go on.”

    The girl sighed. “I didn’t know what to do. There’s a rider going to Thornhill to tell the chieftain, and some other men went to hunt the thing before it took another child. They seen nothing, though. I give the priestess a loaf to read the bones and she didn’t come up with nothing. Even the midwife who’s got the Sight couldn’t tell what happened. But nobody knows what manner of thing it was — so maybe Lali’s still alive? I’d heard about the Ketts — you’re the last folks I could think of who could maybe help me. Nobody thought that a good idea. They said a wizard’s just as like behind this as anything else — begging your pardon, that’s what they said.”

    I said nothing at first, pondering what the girl had said about the kidnapping. This was not the first time I’d heard of such an occurrence.

    From Silver-Eyes, which I began writing — holy cow, almost 20 years ago. Anyway, it’s about Taydile Kett, a wizard with both human and fairy ancestry, who is hired by a young woman named Laissa to rescue her sister, and consists mostly of the journey they undertake in searching.

  8. Miles she had trudged, seeking vainly for a track, or a trail, or anything to suggest some source of help. Miles she had carried her little axe, gripping it so tightly through thickets and storms that she thought she might never release her grasp. She had wandered into impassable hills, and been forced to backtrack. She had nearly fallen into a river she hadn’t even known she was crossing, so deep was the snow that lay over the thin ice. Some places, the snow drifted as high as her hips, and it was all her muscles could do to carry her forward through it, with no food and little rest. Still she kept moving, not knowing whether there would still be a home to return to, even if she did find help.

    From Arnbrand’s Dottirs, which I am currently working on. It is a novelization of a little-known fairy tale called “The Black Bull of Norway,” in which a young woman seeking her fortune in the world (in my version, a young woman seeking help for her starving village) meets a talking bull who takes her on his own quest to defeat the magician who cursed him. They are accidentally separated, and the young woman spends several years trying to find her way back home.

  9. LIL ALONE

    The Last Will and Testament was scheduled to be read publicly in just a few minutes and the last stragglers of townspeople were squeezing their way into the lawyer’s crowded conference room.
    Such wide spread interest in this type of thing was unusual but it had been piqued, in this case, by a well chosen word or two casually dropped by the lawyer to the very few who had attended the funeral a few days earlier. The “leak” had quickly blown into a full fledged rumor that had grown uncontrollably as it spread all around town. The room was now filled with the expectant, the hopeful, the greedy, the amazed, the new would-be “old friends” and the just plain curious. On the surface, though, it was completely illogical that there should be any interest at all in this case.

    This is the opening of a new short story I will begin writing on my blog one new chapter every 10 days or so. It is about someone whose powers are ordinary rather than super but a hero just the same. Maybe you’ll enjoy an occasional change of pace comic book genre. This story will start soon as the current one wraps up. Thanks for the opportunity to plug it. Hope everyone enjoys it.

  10. Oh, fun! :D

    This is the opening scene from my unfinished 2008 National Novel Writing Month novel, Gems. It’s also one of the few of my scenes I’ve gotten around to illustrating with HM3 (picture here). Note the wordiness to boost the wordcount, and all the placeholder names. I actually did think up a real name for Azure and maybe even for Kid One awhile back, but I’ve forgotten them. :(

    Azure stepped out into the sunlight of the courtyard and sighed. Why did she have to follow the Master’s bratty kids around all day? It wasn’t fair that the nurse got a whole day off every week and she was expected to fill in for her. Well, maybe it was, in a convoluted sort of way. Getting time off was one of the advantages of being a free woman. Those who were free, no matter how lowly, got to have holidays while the slaves had to continue working. Thus was life.

    “Hey, girl!” Kid One yelled.

    Azure sighed. Slaves didn’t even get names, just “girl” or “boy.”

    “Yes, Miss?” she tried to sound pleasant, but she didn’t know why she bothered.

    “Play a game with us.” It wasn’t a request.

    “What would you like to play, Miss?”

    Kid One grinned that horrible, nasty, evil grin she got when she was about to inflict some new torture on a poor, helpless slave.

    “Let’s play Molligaths versus Frincas. Tolby, Mallium and I will be the Frincas, you be the Molligaths.”

    That didn’t sound too bad.

    “Alright. How do we start?”

    There was that grin again. All three of them had learned how to overburden slaves early.

    “Well,” Kid One was talking to her siblings now. Azure wasn’t even really there. “As Tutor Rose told me last week, everyone knows that the Molligaths had inferior weapons, numbers, brains, and guts to the Frincas, which is why we won. So I say we each should get a big stick, and, um, the girl should have one hand behind her back, because she’s bigger than us. Then we fight.”

    Great.

    The myth goes that ages ago, in an effort to protect the people of his empire, the great emperor Emperius and his magicians crafted twelve magical Gemstones. Each of these Gemstones would grant fantastic power to the person who swallowed it, turning him or her into a powerful, ageless being known as a Gem.

    When Azure, a young house-slave, is sent on an important errand for her master, she happens to find a large, flawless sapphire. At first, she thinks to sell the stone in order to buy her freedom, but once she inadvertently swallows the stone and learns that it is one of the “mythical” Twelve, she is thrust into a new struggle for freedom on a level she had never imagined.

  11. JInkieZoinks

    Synopsis;
    Christof Marius, An Inquisitor of Rome, is on the trail of a Warlock who is on a bloody trail through Eastern Europe as the Mongols sweep through Christendom. He comes across a young girl who could be the key to defeating his enemy.

    This excerpt is when Helga, the girl mentioned above, returns home immeadiatly after the razing of her village from which she had fled leading the surviving children.

    ….Where once her home had stood now there was nothing but smoking ruins and burned bodies. Crows fluttered among them, picking at the meat. The church had burned to the ground, and she saw a body impaled on a lance before it. It was beyond recognition, but she was sure it was Brother Augustus. Overwhelmed with shock, she staggered toward the apocalyptic scene. Ground churned into mud tugged at her ankles, trying to pull her down to hell to join the rest of her village, she fell forward her hands sinking into the mud to her elbows, on the edge of despair and her strength failing; she could barely use the sword as a makeshift crutch to pull herself upright with a grunt. Struggling onward she finally neared the ruin of the wall, her presence sending the crows noisily into the air, complaining at her intrusion. The smell of acrid smoke tinged her nose causing her to gag and tears to flow from her eyes; seeing what remained of the village left her with the cold realization that she was now alone and those children would look to her to keep them safe.

    Comments? :)

  12. From “The Story”
    Synopsis : A once powerful, just ruler must now wander the desolate earth on journey for justice and revenge.

    I am a wanderer, a nomad as it were. Why am I a nomad? There is a long and eventful story behind my current condition. Now to make things clearer to who so ever reads this, the world is not what it once was. All of the great nations, countries, empires, and civilizations of the world no longer exist. They were all destroyed as the result of many circumstances, none of which were unstoppable. Those with power are often arrogant, and think nothing can harm them. The powerful were wrong, what could happen did. War, famine, plague, all of the usual things that accompany an apocalypse happened. Unlike the prophecies of old, these events were not the sign of the end of the world. All of what happened was caused by the actions of man. Those who survived formed small cities, towns, and tiny civilizations amongst the barren wasteland. Some; however, chose not to settle in a civilization, but to wonder the barren world living for themselves, surviving however possible. I had that decision made for me.

  13. From an as-yet untitled project regarding one of my superhero characters. This is still pretty early on in the origin, but the hero, Brian Hascovec (who would later become Fluke), has just had a horrible car accident, and thought himself to be as good as dead. Somewhere he had a vision that the Greek goddess Tyche had unlocked powers within him to be her avatar, but Brian believes his dying brain concocted the vision in its death throes. I’m dropping us in in media res while EMTs are cutting him out of his car, and Brian realized he’s not dying as quickly as he thought.

    A few minutes later, he was awakened again by the screech of twisting metal, as parts of his door were pulled back. Diffuse beams of light streamed into the car. Brian clenched his fists, and then remembered both arms were broken, so this shouldn’t have been possible. He pulled his arms up, and while there was some stiffness and soreness, the pain was mostly gone. Brian pulled back his sleeve and saw his arm was discolored with bruising, and he gingerly tested the arm with the fingers of his other hand. The bone was set clean, although tender. What was going on?
    He shifted his legs. They should have been fractured too, but they didn’t seem to be. He breathed in deeply, and started coughing as the dull ache set in. His ribs were sore, but not like before. His bones were resetting themselves. How was this possible? Again, Brian thought back to his vision, and it occurred to him it had to have happened before the crash if what was happening was actually possible.
    Brian was healing quickly because he had become superhuman. It was the only explanation.

    And, wow, the lead in to this took almost as long as the excerpt I wrote. I never can do things the easy way, can I?

  14. Excerpt from: “The Magic Fruit” (working title)

    Background: This is a fairy tale I’m penning based on a bedtime story I made up for my son. A couple and their young son live alone in the middle of a great forest. For years, the forest has provided them with everything they need, until one day there is suddenly nothing to eat. The mother and father begin to eat less and less so that their son can still eat a healthy amount of food, but they begin to starve. Worried, the boy goes out into the woods to seek help from the Spirit of the Forest.

    Paragraph(s):
    “A sudden warm breeze picked up, lifting the leaves from the forest floor in a small, playful whirlwind and gently ruffling the boy’s hair. A voice, deep and ancient, spoke from behind him.
    ‘Why do you call upon the spirit of this forest, the protector of all that dwell here?’
    The boy spun around in surprise, to find no one standing there. But then the voice came again, and the boy discovered its source. A tree, that had moments ago been like any other tree (it was the boy’s favorite climbing tree, in fact), had twisted and changed until it roughly resembled an old man. Its trunk formed a knotted, gnarled face; its branches became bony arms; its hanging moss made an unkempt beard. It leaned slowly toward him.
    ‘Speak up, boy. My time is short, and there are miles of forest to watch over. You are lucky I was nearby when you called to me. Now, out with it.'”

  15. Upon posting that, I realized that my attempt at indentation at the beginnings of paragraphs failed miserably. For the sake of easier reading, I’ll re-post with breaks in-between.

    “A sudden warm breeze picked up, lifting the leaves from the forest floor in a small, playful whirlwind and gently ruffling the boy’s hair. A voice, deep and ancient, spoke from behind him.

    ‘Why do you call upon the spirit of this forest, the protector of all that dwell here?’

    The boy spun around in surprise, to find no one standing there. But then the voice came again, and the boy discovered its source. A tree, that had moments ago been like any other tree (it was the boy’s favorite climbing tree, in fact), had twisted and changed until it roughly resembled an old man. Its trunk formed a knotted, gnarled face; its branches became bony arms; its hanging moss made an unkempt beard. It leaned slowly toward him.

    ‘Speak up, boy. My time is short, and there are miles of forest to watch over. You are lucky I was nearby when you called to me. Now, out with it.’”

  16. McKnight (the leader, aka Michael Alan Colt) takes Frank Marion aside and finally explains their connection.
    This will probably be in the 3rd or 4th issue of my comic once I get it illustrated and printed.

    “When you saw under Overlord’s mask,” McKnight inquired, “you paused for a bit, as if you knew him. Who is he to you?”

    “He’s my father. I thought he died in a plane crash in 1986,” replied Frank, “I guess that wasn’t the case.’

    “Do you remember back in Kuwait when I told you that my son had died the same way? His name was Alexander Colt, and he had three children, the oldest of whom was his only son. That would be you, Frank. I’m your grandfather, which is part of why we have always been so close.”

    “Then why were you never in my life before the Corps?”

    “Alex and I had a falling out back in ’74. He’d done a few things in Vietnam that I wasn’t okay with. I told him that until he changed his ways, we weren’t going to get along. The plane crash was the last I heard of him, but I had a feeling that he wasn’t dead. It wasn’t until that trial in ’95 that I absolutely knew it.”

    “But how would he have survived?”

    “Frank, after all of the battles you’ve been in where anyone else would have died, have you really not figure it out? We, the three of us are all immortal, just varying degrees of it. I mean, none of that Highlander “off with his head” crap. I mean, like legitimately, cannot die. Because he was second born of my children, he heals slower than we do. The gene pool kind of slims a little the more children you have.”

    “Okay, so just re-cap. My dad’s not dead, you’re my grandfather, despite not looking a day over 35 and we’re all immortal? Next you’ll tell me that Crimson Lightning dude is actually the son of Mercury.”

    “Ummm . . . . yeah. He actually is a demigod. You know, just . . . for the record.”

  17. Myro, nicely done. I like the lead in to it as well, just long enough to give some insight, but not so much to reveal everything at once. Just saying who he is the avatar of, doesn’t necessarily tell what his powers would be, except for accelerated healing.

  18. Maniacmick, I like the idea for this, is there a timeline set for this? I mean is it a few hundred years after the present day or merely a few decades?

  19. Another original story I’ve been playing with, complete with crappy made-up fantasy names and a mish-mash of cultures and fashions. I wanted Starscream, by way of Jafar/Jasmine, court politics, and the Evil Empire side of a conflict.

    – After the recent death of the queen who had foiled his every plan, the impending death of her son, and with a war raging beyond the palace walls, a treacherous adviser of an aging king starts his own path to power through the recently eligible princess…but who is manipulating whom? –

    Turning with a clearly exasperated look from her fussing stepmother, Princess Kariden’s honey eyes, heavily lined in sweeping black, landed upon Raval, who had been watching the two females interactions out of the corner of his own. Then she gave a smile to him. Not vapid or childish, just a sudden bright grin, out of nowhere, that lifted her powdered cheeks and had the sort of shy, flirtatious air that was quite unmistakable. And incredibly out of place. Women didn’t normally give him looks like that, certainly not young girls. Any women he bothered with were bought or used for a mutual exchange of services and power, they were not the type to flirt and act coy. Not that he wasn’t at least mildly attractive, in a dark and lean type of way, he certainly liked to think so, but the princess had never paid him any mind before now. She had been merely a piece of background for the entire decade he’d spent in court. He despised children on principle. Had they ever even spoken more than a sentence to each other?

    As soon as it appeared, the smile had morphed into a quick, nervous bite of her painted bottom lip and turn of her head under the pretense of watching a newly arrived group of useless aristocrats. For the longest moment, Raval could not tear his gaze away from the girl, watching her bring a small, fidgeting hand to her hair, the muddy brown locks carefully and painstakingly arranged into a large pile of braids at the back, swept up for the first time so elaborately. Braids, the sign of royal standing. Tiny fingers casually pushing back the loose ones that framed her face, dropping quickly when the queen gave her a look of warning, moving after a few seconds to instead play with the heirloom string of precious gems around her throat. So young…so suddenly useful.

    Navigating court politics, judging and exploiting others moves, had become second-nature to Raval BéGion. Anything could be made to work in his favor, as long as he put forth the effort. This was no exception. He would be king before the summer was over. No doubt.

  20. I’m building an actual universe for stories, spanning past, modern, and future. The past stories will be set in the Mythical Age, thus the name…

    Story MYTHIC: Sword of ???
    Davithius the rogue prince, joined by his companions sets out to retrieve a mystical sword with the power to command an indestructible legion of skeletal warriors, from the grasp of an evil tyrant.

    [Section Unknown]
    The pale fade of moon light beams through the mossy cover of stone crumbling away from a freshly decaying tower. At its’ base, a stained courtyard overrun with battle, the cries of men, the clashing of steel, at its’ center, a red mist ever growing stronger with each fallen fills the night air, overwhelming, strangling, ripping at their insides. A shadowy figure lunges from high atop the tower just as it finds its’ final resting place among the dead. His left arm trails behind him as he lands on the tips of his toes, his knees hovering inches from the cold stone nipping beneath his palm. A shadowy figure no longer, no, the light of the moon has stripped that away, but his mystique remains, a stranger concealed within a blue cape fashioned as a robe, the only hint at his identity is a golden crest. A diagonally stripped shield adorned with a cross at its’ center, caught in a struggle between a lion and an eagle, a struggle between the king of beast and the king of fowl, as if two kingdoms warring for an ancient relic. Revealing himself to be young, about twenty five or so, brown eyed with a hint of black hair and a cleanly shaven goatee escaping from beneath his hood, his head slowly rises only to face charging enemies. A spin brings him quickly to his feet, twin short swords opposingly drawn. Ending in a stabbing motion one finds its’ self lodged deep within a nameless face, while the other carries over the failed man separating the head from a second. He feels the crunching of bones beneath the blade as he rips his sword from the man’s chest where moments ago it had stood as if a cross marking his grave. With the sheathing of his weapons he rushes along the war torn wall, cautiously adjusting his footing as more of it crumbles from beneath his feet. Two guards cautiously patrolling a watch tower turn to replace one another, the man leaps between them, allowing only an instant of confusion before the uncrossing of his arms, the release of two small throwing daggers brings about the beginning of their end. Three bodies fall from opposing sides of the tower, one rolls as it lands back on the stone wall surrounding the castle, releasing two more of the throwing daggers before four bodies in unison collide with the unforgiving ground. At the far end of the wall, amongst shards of what used to be a door stands a giant of a man, his axe glistening red, blood splatters drip from his bare chest. Waving it ferociously above his head, “My axe hungers!” he howls with a devilish grin from behind his scared lips revealed through an opening in the otherwise full covering of his leather mask. The cloaked man had already came this far, he wasn’t going back, he needed in the castle, he couldn’t just leave, and he knew the only way that was going to happen was through that huge axe. Shing* swords drawn he began charging the behemoth sparks flying as his swords dragged along the stone behind him…

    *The description of the character will change a bit, but for the most part, I’m pretty satisfied with this excerpt.

  21. McKnight57 (17): Well, given that Brian’s future superhero name ends up being “Fluke,” and a quick search on Tyche reveals her Roman name is “Fortuna,” it’s actually not hard to assess that Brian is/will be unnaturally lucky, but the intention is to reveal.his powers gradually. And thanks for your comments.

  22. Myro, I just wasn’t fully aware of what Tyche was the Greek goddess of. As a kid I sort of focused on the few that I learned in school. After that was when I got into more of them. But either way, it looks like you know what you’re doing with the writing, the same way that you know how to design your characters.

  23. Stars

    “Hell is…”-No Exit

    Stars: once upon a time we compared them to lots of very pretty things, like diamonds or silver balls twinkling in the midnight sky or perhaps in a slightly more religious angle, Angels with very shiny wings.
    But rather upsettingly we later found out that instead of being all those very pretty and pleasant things, they were big burning balls of gases, which shoot off harmful rays, like the annoyed look of hungry man named Steven impatiently waiting for a table at his local fancy restaurant (which, oddly enough, was called Other People) even though half the tables are clearly empty, so why can’t they give him one of those instead of making him sit in a slightly uncomfortable chair, in the waiting area, playing a decidedly awkward game hang-man with his blind date, which isn’t going at all well.
    As you may have guessed by now, this is not a story about stars, but rather about a hungry man named Steven. Or to be more specific, Steven Thomas Gimbly; a man with a silly surname I am sure he was made fun of for having.
    He was Boring and Average. Indeed, Steven Gimbly was so Average and Boring that you have to say both with a capitol A and B. He had Average Job, he was of Average height, and had Average brown hair and he was in Average health and a Average home life as a child and lived in a Average Apartment for a Average rent. In fact, I think the only thing unaverage about Steven Gimbly was that he was so amazingly, totally, and completely Average. But that has nothing to do with anything.
    Steven Gimbly, now very annoyed by the fact he and his date whose name had once again escaped him, had been waiting for…Steven Gimbly checked his new digital watch (which was, of course, Nice and Average). Two hours? Steven Gimbly was much put off by now, and he stated as much to his date…Steven Gimbly look hurriedly at the palm of his hand. He’d had put his dates name there, Susan. Her name was Susan, and she was…well it doesn’t matter, as this story is not about Susan Ann Hart. So I leave to your imagination by simply saying that she was pretty.
    “Susan,” Steven Gimbly began. “I’m very put off by how long they’ve made us wait.” Susan looked up at Steven; she’d been trying to count the floor tiles and now she had lost track at 2036.5, the .5 was there because Susan had been halfway though counting two thousand and thirty seven when what’s-his-name had stated how put off he was
    “Whys that then?” she asked Steven Gimbly in a bored tone. She didn’t like what’s-his-name all that much, she knew she was way out of his league and this was more a favor for her brother anyhow. She might have liked him; if it wasn’t for the fact that what’s-his-name was so…Averagely Boring. Steven Gimbly looked at Susan tensely.
    “We’ve been here for hours! Just sitting here! Waiting in a goddamn empty restaurant! It’s driving me crazy! Mad! Bonkers! Off. My. Rocker!” Steven Gimbly pointed an Average angry finger at her.
    “Do you know what this is for me!? This would be my own Personal Hell! Stuck in an empty restaurant waiting for a table with a girl I don’t know and can only have awkward small talk with! Just repeating overandoverandoverandoverandov-”


    ….
    ……
    ………
    …………
    Darkness…
    But wait, what are those points of light in The Blackness;
    They’re Stars, I think…
    Stars…once upon a time we compared them to lots of very pretty things, like diamonds or silver balls twinkling in the midnight sky, or perhaps in a slightly more religious angle, Angels with very shiny wings. But rather upsettingly we later found out that instead of being all those very pretty and pleasant things, they were big burning balls of gases, which shoot off harmful rays, like the annoyed look of hungry man named Steven, impatiently waiting for a table at his local fancy restaurant…which oddly enough, was called Other People…

    *Yep. I wrote all that.*

  24. Synopsis: An interstellar empire finds itself on the defensive in a war against an another expansionist.

    —-

    General Meiner slowly paced back and forth in front of the tactical window. He clasped his hands behind him as he walked. He wanted his body language to deliberately call the room’s attention. His head tilted back as he stopped to look down his nose at a flashing red triangle. He glared and guffawed.

    Three years since the Security Council voted to enforce sanctions. Three years since he had declared a unilateral victory against the rogue Azurans. Now he found himself aboard an aerospace destroyer defending the homeworld. The bright red triangle seared his eyes. It was a laser piercing the twilight of his storied career.

    The Security Forces had lost tens of thousands under his command. Civilian casualties were eight-fold those of his warriors. The Council ordered him to the front. The enemy had pushed him into the ditch. The blood red triangle blinked as if Death were laughing.

    —-

    More here:

    http://members.cox.net/freethespam/shootthemoon.shtml

  25. He saw the punch coming too late. It rocked his head back against the back of his seat, giving him whiplash. Then a gun barrel was shoved in his face. “Go on, say that again. I dare you.”

    With his one good eye, he looked down the barrel, past the wickedly sharp curved blade fixed to the underside of the pistol and all the way along its length to the cold, sharklike stare of the young woman seated in front of him.

    “I dare you,” she repeated.

    This is an excerpt from a G.I.Joe fan fiction story I’m writing called “Vicious Circles.” It’s from Chapter 2: “The Snake Strikes,” in which a small elite group of Cobras – Firefly, Munitia and Blackout, otherwise known as the Hierachy of Infiltration, Stealth and Sabotage (HISS) – are en route to the Joe HQ in Utah on a fact finding mission, and run into trouble after flying into Turkish airspace.

    The man in question is Blackout, who had just made an offensive comment about the Turkish, provoking Munitia into punching him in the face.

    The plot is that the Joes have received a letter from a General Edward Strong, Director of a Special Forces unit codenamed S.K. Omega, advising them that they, as well as local and international armed forces and law enforcement agencies, have co-opted into helping to stop a new terrorist organisation called Virus.

    There is one small problem, however: the Joes are currently operating inside Cobra territory on a sensitive mission to rescue Sgt Slaughter, made even more so by the fact that Cobra has gone legit and that Cobra Island has been recognised by the UN as a separate nation… There is more to it than that, but that’s what the whole story is centred on.

  26. This is more than one paragraph, but it’s dialogue, so it kind of had to be. :) This is the opening scene from an X-Men fanfic I’m writing, set in a future post-apocalyptic USA, called ‘Doctor X’s Traveling Emporium.

    ———–

    South Carolina, June 2091

    The line of wagons trundled slowly down the dirt road. It was summer in the South, and the heat pounded like a hammer across the anvil of the desolate, baking land. The horses’ hooves and the wagon wheels sent up clouds of dust which hung in the air like grimy curtains. No breeze stirred the dust, and it coated the sweat-slicked face of Scott Summers as he gave the reins a half-hearted snap.

    “God damn, it’s hot,” said Scott, wiping the sweat away from his single eye.

    Charles Xavier, sitting next to Scott on the buckboard seat, grinned. “Ah, but it’s a dry heat, Scott my boy.” He whistled tunelessly, drumming his fingers on his thighs.

    Scott glanced at him sourly. “This isn’t one of your more brilliant ideas, Doc. It’s miserable down South even in the winter; this time of year it’s like hell on earth.”

    Xavier’s grin faded. “Not like we had much choice. Ever since the Kingdom of Norfolk started its purges, the North hasn’t been safe for the likes of you and me.”

    “Well… couldn’t we have, shit, I dunno, gone inland? Like up to the Blue Ridge? We coulda taken some of those old mountain roads north and avoided those bastards and their petty little pure humans only enclave.”

    “Not a good idea. No, not at all. Some disturbing rumors have been coming out of the Blue Ridge for the last year or three. Increased bandit activity, cannibals, rogue mutants, worse things. Jean’s confirmed some of it with her auguries.”

    Scott sighed. He knew all of this already, but the heat had put him in a foul mood and he had to grouse at someone, even if he realized the route they followed was the only one open to them. “It ain’t right, Doc. Just ain’t fucking right. We never did anything to the pure-breds. Shit, we live on their table scraps. We ain’t no threat.”

    Xavier’s gaunt face stared at Scott somberly. “Life isn’t fair, boy. Never has been, never will be.”

  27. Me, Myself & I

    It is difficult to sum up a whole story with just a single paragraph. Regardless, I included one here but also included a link to the whole story for anyone interested in reading it further.

    Two other boys entered the from Mariel’s room and they sat quietly beside Bjorn. After a moment the taller of the two boys spoke softly, “You were there when they killed Danica weren’t you?” Bjorn could not help but be surprised at how direct Angus’ question was. Looking up he began to reply but choked up as tears began to well in his eyes. After regaining his composure he replied, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Angus was not one to give up so easily and pressed further, “I know its hard Bjorn. We just want to know what happened to our sister.” Angered by Angus’s persistence Bjorn shot back, “She wasn’t your sister, she was mine! I told you . . .” The shorter of the two boys began to cry and dropped his face into his hands, “She was my sister too.” is all he said. Bjorn’s anger diffused and he placed his scarred hand on his younger brother’s shoulder, “Yes she was Boon, yes she was.” Bjorn turned to Angus who was now also angry and continued, “I’m sorry Angus, I did not mean it that way. Of course Danica was your sister; at least in any way that matters.” Then Bjorn stood upright with a sense of resolve, “Well, if I’m going to tell the story, I don’t want to keep repeating myself so we may as well get the others together as well”.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6781672/A%20Very%20Personal%20Loss.doc

    Unlike many others here, I was not writing a full story. It was only a chapter really about a childhood experience of one of my characters. This character actually; most have likely seen this already.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6781672/MMI-BjornNew.png
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6781672/MMI-Illuminated.wmv

  28. Atomic Punk (24): Is that the same story you adapted and based your Robin Hood entries on?

  29. @The Imp: I love that idea! Of course, I’m a sucker for inventive (though faithful) AUs. Where are you posting it?

  30. @Myro: Good memory! No, my Robin Hood entries were based on Mechwarrior story that I wrote in junior high. “Shoot the Moon” was the setting for my GURPS space opera campaign. The players were commandos and saboteurs. Fazra Rohn and Trent Henderson were NPCs who flew the team into the hot zones.

    I’m liking these rough drafts. Just don’t try to read them as one story. Gets a little confusing…

    It’s still “Heck” Week. I’ll stop back in tomorrow to give some feedback. ;9

  31. @Violet: There’s an earlier version posted here:

    http://counter-factual.net/upload/showthread.php?t=2271

    that I may or may not keep and simply update. I haven’t worked on it forever, but I figured the content was the most germane to this site. :D

    (PS: you’ll have to register at that forum to read.)

  32. I did suggest this earlier, but I don’t quite have anything ready… Embarassing…

  33. American Legends

    It was some time in the 1990’s that a secret government agency Known as the Trust changed the world.It all started when they captured a supervillian called Power Mind, the world’s most powerful psychic being.He once was a hero during the last great war.Then he was known as Professor Power of the Danger Brigade.Sometime in the 80’s his view of the world changed as did his attitude and he became Power Mind.Now he’s at a secret underground Trust headquarters.In a coma like state, within a tube of liquid connected to every computer and machine in the compound.One such machine has wiped the entire world’s memories of Power Mind and people like him.The Trust decided the world was better off with out Superheroes & their Villians.Even if one was to think they remember something of them it can all be explained away as an old comic book they remember that the Trust publish under the American Legends imprint.That is until today.

    ” Superheroes have existed in our world but we were made to forget them until the return the greatest one of all Champion.”

    This is a massive story I’ve been working on , on & off of for years with mine & 4 other people’s characters.

  34. I’m working on a story based on my Oblivion character. I’m literally just following the plot of the game, but adjusting it for dramatic purposes. Here’s the opening section:

    How long has it been? Months? Years? How long have I been trapped in this festering rat’s den of a prison? It isn’t so much being indoors that bothers me – my condition kept me inside for a good portion of my young life, and even though I’ve outgrown the worst of it, I will forever prefer the shade. No, what grieves me most is the lack of space. Nowhere to run, nothing to fight. I keep myself in shape as best I can – pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, anything I have room for – but it isn’t enough. I can feel my body decaying around me, my strength and reflexes leaching away into the surrounding stone.

    Why am I here? I don’t remember. Some petty thieving charge, perhaps a bar fight. Does it matter? I’m here, and I doubt I’ll ever be allowed out. I can hear the wind outside, the light ruffling of trees. I can’t see the trees; the window is too far off the ground. When I first arrived, when my arms were still strong, I would hang onto the bars in the window and look out at the water, wanting to run, to swim, to *move*. My elvin affinity for nature, already weakened by my Dunmer blood, was further dampened by a youth spent indoors – but no elves, regardless of race or upbringing, do well in captivity. Outdoors or in, I need to *move*!

    Stop it. No use teasing myself. The Imperials show little enough mercy to prisoners of their own race; a Dunmer, and a freak to boot… No. I’m a prisoner, and I’m going to die in here. I’ve accepted that. Captivity really isn’t that bad, once you get used to it. The stone sleeping shelf is surprisingly comfortable, worn smooth by the bodies of countless prisoners over the years. I receive two meals a day, and a blanket in the winter. My clothes are warm, if less than silk-smooth, and I don’t even notice the iron manacles anymore. Honest, I don’t. I roll over onto my stomach, blocking out what little sunlight the window lets in, and go back to sleep.

  35. Sutter_Kaine

    BLACK GOAT OF THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD

    “The Little Yellow Bear paused and sniffed the cool night air. Up till now the trail had wound through quiet meadows and gently sloping hills where visibility was high and the likelihood of an ambush low. But now he was approaching the edge of the Wood, where strange things had taken up residence since the night of that terrible storm, the night when everything changed. He would have to be careful at this point. The sun wasn’t down yet and while they didn’t seem to like the daylight so much, he had no reason to believe he wasn’t being watched.”

    Elements from H.P. Lovecraft’s “Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” slowly begin to infiltrate Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood, symbolizing the ever-changing landscape within a child’s imagination as they begin the transition to adolescence and their interests turn to less innocent things…

    The rest of the story can be found here, in case anyone is interested:

    http://jpratt114946.home.comcast.net/~jpratt114946/myfilelocker/stories/index.htm