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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Suspense Technique #6: Snoopy May Be On To Something!

So far, our efforts to conjure up suspense have leaned mainly on things happening: characters in danger, something unknown or unexpected occurring, depriving our protagonist of his/her goal, etc. But suspense can be built in your descriptive elements as well. While Snoopy rarely got past his famous opening lines, I think even he understood that developing mood and atmosphere creates suspense.


Suspense Technique #6:
Mood and Atmosphere

Your goal is to describe things with a certain reader-response-emotion in mind. Foreboding, fear, anxiety, disquiet, anticipation, etc.--all ideally will keep your readers flipping the pages. This is why movies have soundtracks, right? Would Jaws have had you on the edge of your seat without "Duhhh, nuuuh, duh-nuh, duh-nuh?" And John Carpenter just about scared me out of my skin with his spine-tingling piano-key chiller in the movie Halloween.

But writers don't have the luxury of a soundtrack to put along with their words. Words are all you've got. Fortunately, words are more than enough to send the imagination spinning. An aside: this ability to use words to bring about an emotional response was one of the things that drew me to writing in the first place. I remember as a teenager reading Stephen King's Christine up in my bedroom and being scared to death. Now, Christine is about a deadly, demonic car…A CAR!! And there I was on the bed in my 2nd floor room--afraid of a car! What was Christine supposed to do…drive up the stairs and knock on my bedroom door?

Still, Mr. King created such a freaky atmosphere that I kept reading late into the night, and…I kept buying his books. To make a reader feel a certain emotion takes talent and skill--but more than anything it takes a willingness to experiment with language. Begin with the emotional atmosphere you are trying to develop. If it's fear, you could throw some dark, shadowy places into the scene. Maybe the hoot of an owl, the scrape of a blade on stone. Make it cold. Invoke as many of the senses as you can. If the mood is discomfort, make it hot, humid, and sticky. Let there be little gnats or mosquitoes buzzing around the protagonist's head.

Another mood-building trick is to make the most of end words (words that end lines, paragraphs, and pages. Here's why. The reader's eye lingers on the word at the end word of a line or paragraph for a few seconds while it does a return sweep (like an old typewriter drops down to the beginning of the new line). The reader's eyes linger even longer on the last word of a page because it takes the reader a moment or two to physically turn the page. The end word floats there in the reader's subconscious…where it paints a lovely mood!

Here's an example of Mood and Atmosphere from my next book, Isle of Swords:

Clouds gathered over Dominica, casting a pall on the stained glass window of the church in Misson. Brother Jerome, one of the monks who helped Father Espinosa care for Misson’s faithful, wiped the sweat from his brow and continued sweeping the stone walk that divided the graveyard behind the church. Father Espinosa, of course, had gone to help fight the fires that sprang up all around what remained of St. Pierre’s mill. And that left Brother Jerome alone in the graveyard. Not that he was afraid to be there alone. After all, Jerome was in the prime of manhood, strong and confident. And it was, in spite of the new cloud cover . . . daytime.

Brother Jerome stopped sweeping a moment and adjusted the collar of his brown robe. The stone walk before him stretched over a hill and followed the graveyard down into a semi-wooded hollow. Brother Jerome swallowed. Wisps of smoke had drifted down into the low-lying areas and now curled slowly around the skeletal trees, the ever-staring statues, and the looming monuments. “Ah! Ridiculous pagan superstition!” he scoffed aloud, finding the sound of his own voice a little bit comforting. “It is nothing. Smoke from a dozen little fires being put out.”

He continued sweeping, whistling a favorite hymn, as he worked his way over the hill and down into the hollow. It seemed to grow quieter as he descended. The gloom deepened as well as he worked his way down the stone walk that wound under the canopies of trees and ended near the shadow of the higher hills. Brother Jerome looked back up the hill to the church, which suddenly seemed a hundred miles away. Feeling as if someone were watching him, he spun around. But the only thing there was a stone angel. She guarded a grave site with outstretched wings. Her large blank eyes made Jerome shiver. Calm yourself! You’ve been down here a thousand times, he told himself.

Then, he heard a short scraping sound—like stone grating against stone. Brother Jerome wheeled around holding up his broom like a weapon. He looked at a large stone sarcophagus just ten feet away. The name engraved there identified the deceased as Jourdan Sebastian Prewitt. Born 1659. Died 1712. Dead only a few years, thought Jerome. The inscription along the side of the stone coffin was in Latin. Thanks to the expert teaching of Father Espinosa, Jerome could read Latin very well. Just this once, he wished he hadn’t been such a good student. The inscription read: Venio cum gladio de mortuis.

I come with sword from death. Jerome started to shake. He heard the scraping sound again. This time longer. And he noticed the slab lid of the sarcophagus had shifted. Then, he heard an otherworldly voice, spoken from far away and yet, still near.

“ . . . waited long enough,” said the voice, heavily accented in French. Jourdan Sebastian Prewitt, thought Brother Jerome. That is a Frenchman’s name!
The stone lid began to move. He could now see a dark gap where the slab had moved away. Tendrils of dust drifted out and curled like fingers around the sarcophagus. “Time to escape this foul tomb,” said the voice. “Time to rise . . .”

Now, it's your turn. Write an opening line, paragraph or two that
will really hook us using Mood and Atmosphere Post it here.

Once I have twenty or thirty of them, I'll have my veteran Quality Fiction Team {ie: my lovely wife and me} select a winner who will receive a signed copy of Isle of Swords OR
The Door Within Paperback with "Lost Chapters!"

Only two entries per person, so get crafting and submit them when they are ready!

99 comments:

everlastingscribe said...

I personally like Snoopy's letter back to the publisher after getting his rejection, I'll have to paraphrase:

"Dear Sir, you are suppose to buy my manuscript, publish it, and make me rich and famous. What is wrong with you?!"

Ah, mood. The lovely thing about mood is that readers ''fill in the blank'' I know I did with your snippet

"Feeling as if someone were watching him, he spun around. But the only thing there was a stone angel. She guarded a grave site with outstretched wings. Her large blank eyes made Jerome shiver."

I would shiver too, I don't like those half-eaten mossy angels with their blank, staring eyes and the wings stretched out as if they would take flight when you look away.

See? But you didn't know that about me, and yet you didn't have to describe the angel in detail because I ''filled in the blanks'' with my own memory.

This is going to be fun.

Josh said...

Its safe to say I have completed OGTs and am now ready to get back in the game. This is going to be fun. Also i think i killed on the writing part of the test just to let you know lol. ^_^ and everlastingscribe i have to say the empty eyed angels give me the creeps as well. brrrr.

everlastingscribe said...
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everlastingscribe said...

Ofcourse you killed on the writing part of the test! ;) I don't doubt it for a minute. Oh, btw Josh if you haven't already, go backtrack through the other challenges as we've had several new writers take sword, or rather pen iin hand, and have had a go at
Lord Batson's tossed gauntlets.

PatShand said...

The air seemed a bit too warm, a dash too soft, for the autumn season.
His black robes swishing lightly in the wind, Tranonite walked down the street. The blinding glare of a streetlight reflected in his poison green eyes. He cast a menacing scowl at the offending light, and it shattered on the spot, scaring away a raccoon that had been peering curiously from behind a bush. The shards of glass fell to the concrete, tinkling softly like a chime blowing in the wind.
Tranonite stopped in front of a house not unlike the others. Obscured by the shadows, he crept up to the window, hoping for a glance of the girl. No such luck. All the lights in the house were off, and even his glowing eyes couldn’t pierce the darkness.

Becky said...

Well, I don't have permission to copy it, but I suggest you check out Sally Apokedak's opening paragraph of Prisoners of the Throne. It's one of the best "setting creates suspense" pieces I know.

Becky

Josh said...

Indeed I have scribe and they were quite good, but with my strict study schedule I didn't have time to comment.

Wind crashed against the side of the old willow. Its branches thrashed about and its frail branches cracked. The tree cast a sickly groan in its uncanny struggle with the wind. Rain rushed through the black sky and pelted the ground, splashing icy drops of water on the willow's roots. It careened to the left, its trunk bending just beyond reach. Dirt spurred upward and long berried roots emerged from the muddy ground. The sky glowed an ere blue and thunder roared. A thick sent of pine radiated through the air. Around the willow the dense forest shook casting leaves and foliage into the air.

A dark figure stood at the edge of a jagged cliff overlooking the forest. His stature was stern and unrelenting. He wore a black cloaked that flowed off his back and streamed in the wind like a birds wings. Rain dripped off the hood, which was pulled tight around his head. A flash of lightning revealed his trance face, deep in concentration, yet lost in thought.


hope you like it. ^_^

PatShand said...

We are to submit our entries here as comments, right?

Josh said...

you are correct patshand and I look forward to reading your entry. ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Very nicely done, patshand. I like the foulness you added to the scene by having the air warm instead of being bitter cold.

PatShand said...

thank you everlastingscribe
and josh, my entry is above ;)

Amy Jane said...

Well, I'm not sure if this will fit your criteria since you seem to be about more description, but Here's mine, heavy on the dialogue.

The sunrise was too bright—to soon.

If I helped him, I truly don’t remember.” Anja felt the familiar stifling panic of yet again offending someone inadvertently. “I get these sick headaches—they absolutely take over my mind and I don’t know what is going on—”

"My son may be cunning,” the dark stranger said, looming over Anja, “but I don’t think he would have clouded your mind. That’s not his way. You must be trying to protect him.” The man’s otherwise handsome face twisted into a sneer. “Do you begin to understand how pathetic that makes you both look?”

Anja closed her eyes under the double onslaught of light and voice. Her head wasn’t altogether well, even yet.

Oh, don’t be sick! she begged her body, incoherently.

pixydust said...

Oh, fun! I wanna try too. I've always like creating a sinister environment in my writing.

I'll be back soon. :)

WayneThomasBatson said...

Pat, really strong word choice there. I can tell you used particular words to form the mood. Words like: black, poison, shards, blinding, etc. are the kinds of words that make the reader feel uneasy.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Josh, sweet lead in to this dark character. The willow instantly put an image in mind.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Amy, I'm not so sure you've developed the mood here, but you have done a wonderful job building suspense through mystery.

I'm definitely hooked. What's happening to Anja? Is she hiding something. Or is it the dark stranger? And, oh, btw, who is the stranger? Good stuff.

Aravis said...

Many great tales of adventure and intrigue find their beginnings in the middle of a dark and stormy night. Whoever wrote my story must have forgotten that part.

Perhaps it was fate that wanted my tale to begin so mundanely, to begin is such a way that I never could have seen it coming. Then when it would hit me in the face, it'd have a nice laugh before handing me the best and worst experiences of my life.

I hale from the Yakima Valley, known for its wine, fruit, and meth. The hills surrounding the valley were stained the color of coffee with heavy creme. Being outside made one thirst for water and the indoors, because of the heat and lack of things to do.

My high school adorned the top of a hill, giving anyone on it a somewhat flattering view of the surrounding orchards. I was leaning against the fence circumventing the track when I was wishing the wind would stop ruffling my hair. Why exactly I was there doesn't seem to matter now. In direct contrast to dark and stormy, it was indeed sunny and warm, save for the annoying wind, but that's expected whenever one drives up there. And it was not midnight. It was noon. And that's when everything started.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Aravis, the description is rich. I like the contrast with dark and storm. Contrast, but still a link to the mood of dark and stormy. I also appreciate the thirst motif going on. That could be VERY cool.

everlastingscribe said...

Josh, I love the "Dirt spurred upward and long berried roots emerged from the muddy ground." I could see it plain as plain in my mind-and I think when roots do that they look like unearthed bones. *brrr* Very goose-fleshing description. I am working on mine too :-D I'm the snail of the group it seems.

everlastingscribe said...

Aravis, that was a brilliant switch from ''dark and stormy'' to ''bright, warm and noon'' :-D Top-drawer stuff. Made me more sure of my own choice. Great stuff!

everlastingscribe said...

Amy Jane, very nicely done. More dialog than setting, but still very nicely done. I know I'm hooked! I want to know what happens!

amy said...

Wow guys - great stuff so far.

I have been a tad under the weather recently, but I am still going to do my best to create a sensory-rich environment in which to evoke strong mental and emotional feelings.

I'm hoping to creep people out a little. Hee hee... :)

amy said...
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amy said...
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WayneThomasBatson said...

Welcome back, Amy. Your entry definitely builds a mood. I'm disoriented at first, somewhat frightened, curious--all good things for a reader to feel.

Coupla suggestions:

1. Vary the kinds of introductory phrases you use. I noticed you begin a lot with "As she..." As she walked around the bend. As she opened her eyes--that kind of thing.

2. The other is try to use more active verbs. Passive verbs aren't as powerful. "She was blinded by the light." doesn't read as well as, "The light blinded her." Active verbs show the subject doing the action rather than being acted upon.

Just some thoughts. My editor's always zapping me for the same things.

amy said...

Okay - I'll revamp and resubmit. Excellent suggestions though. It's all a learning process.
:)

Anonymous said...

sorry, i guess i clicked on the wrong link to try and leave an entry. i email it to you, or at least what it would allow me to copy, through your shoutlife account, i hope it isn't too mangled. thank you sir,

t.

WayneThomasBatson said...

This is an entry from a newcomer to The Fellowship of the Pen: Tony
He had a little "fun" with trying to post on Blogger. Errr, been there, haven't we all? Anyway, welcome Tony and check out his stuff:

There's an old saying that goes," The early bird gets the worm", or something to that nature though i wonder who said it first. That was the thought that had captured bobby's thoughts that morning. to coin another old saying," hind sight is 20/20".
Now events of that morning exploded into what Bobby thought was reality up till now. "If old sayings and morals are supposed to help then why dont they ever reflect real life?" He thought even as sweat poured from his body like ice melting on hot asphalt and fear gripped him so tightly he wouldn't dare look left or right or breath..."it's just as likely the early worm gets eaten by the bird, isnt it?", and then he heard it again, only, this time he knew.

amy said...
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amy said...

Josh and Patshand,

Great job - I was creeped out. Trees are scary and so are guys with acid-green eyes. :)

Everyone,

Sorry my entry was so long. I had trouble condensing it. Hopefully it's not so long that you get bored.

I always welcome constructive criticism.

:)

Mark Goodyear said...

Wayne, you have one of my favorite blogs, and I've been away for too long. What a cool post. It drew me right in!

I loved Stephen King too--still do from time to time. It's good to hear you say that about Christine. For me it was Pet Cemetary. What a ridiculous plot, right? It's even a ridiculous title. But that book scares me every time.

Here's my entry, it's several paragraphs, but they are short:

I pushed against the lid of my box--my hands tingled as if my nerves were dulled by death.

I suppose the greater surprise is that I had nerves at all, that I had muscles to contract and a brain to have these thoughts.

I am dead.

I know this and I push against the lid anyway. It moves.

A brief burst of light cuts inside my box and the satin cushions around me shine. My black suit does not.

tbon100k said...

Thank you for reposting my entry for me, i think i have this figured out now. i'm pretty sure anyway...
I may have to repost though, it looks like some of what i wrote did not paste over. either way, i'll accept feed back on what is there, might lead me in another direction?? anyway, thanks again,

t.

tbon100k said...

oh, sorry... i'm the newcomer "tony" that you reposted for. guess i should have mentioned that before??

amy said...

Welcome to the Fellowship of the Pen!

We're a fun and supportive group.

I hope you have fun!
:P

Lady Dewhurst said...

Mine isn't really fantasy, but I thought I would post it here anyway. It is part of a book I am currently writing, and I would appriciate any feedback on it.

The cell was grimy and dark. The only furniture was a rickety table, on which, twice a day, meals were set, and an equally pathetic chair. The stone walls were slick with dirt, and smoke from the small lanp that hardly peirced the darkness. Hight on the wall, was a window, only large enough for a child to climb through, nonetheless covered by iron bars.

The single entrance to this dismal chamber was an oak door with metal plateing. Outside, the noise was nearly constant. At least two soldiers were always on duty in the guardroom, and more often than not, they were drunk.

Sitting on the lone chair, a girl ctared blankly at the walls of her prison. She was small, and delicately featured, but her skin was dull and lifeless. Her hair, that may once have been golden, was limp and dingy. The hands that were carefully folded in her lap, twiched occasionally, but other than this slight movement, one might have thought her a graven image. But if image she was, she would be an image depicting the most acute of sufferings, for behind that noble forehead, no conscience seemed to show.

Lady Dewhurst said...

Sorry, there are some spelling errors, and in the last sentance I meant to say Conscienceness.

tbon100k said...

So should i repost my humble attempt or do you have some feedback so i can repost with something that will be more up to par with what's been posted by others? there are a lot of really good pieces here.

everlastingscribe said...

Tony (think I got that right tbon100k) I really liked the bit you have " . .. as sweat poured from his body like ice melting on hot asphalt" Talk about showing suspense through description! Though I think the idea is to describe the setting to provoke that feeling of ''uh-ohhh, something's going to happen and that something's going to be bad" :-D At least that what I'm working on. I know, I'm roaring along like a herd of snails. I *AM* working on it.

lady dewhurst said...

Here's a more suspenceful one.


Feeling had long since forsaken her limbs. The blackness seemed to have swallowed her.

She had hardly a memory of who she was, or where she came from. It felt as though there had never been anything but the darkness. The darkness and the wind.

For the wind was constant, but unlike any that her vague memories would call normal. In gusts, it came. First blistering hot, then icy cold. Long ago, she thought that the wind might have been terribly painful, whatever that meant. Sometimes her brain would think things that no longer held any meaning.

Her hands and feet were tied to a chair, but that hardly bothered her any more. She did not recall what they were used for anyway.

At times, she would try to remember why she was here, and who she was, but that always made the wind seem more violent, and in the end she slipped back into the half concious aditude that made everything fade into nothing.

Suddenly she sat straight up. That sound! It seemed to rip through her. Even the wind had been perfectly silent, but now that awful noise broke the perfect quiet of the dark.

The wind tore at her flesh. Searing it into a sweat one second, only to freeze as ice the next.

Then, without further warning, a blazing light shone out straight in front of her. Her eyes burned like fire, and with a blood curdling scream, she fell back into the complete blackness.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Tony, I like what you're trying to do. And I LOVE the early worm gets eaten. It paints Tommy as a wormy character, and immediately suggests he's in deep kimshi. I'd frontload it. Use it instead of the Hindsight is 20/20. Then, develop the setting with moody, descriptive details.

Mark, cool. Yeah, that reads like a Stephen King meets George Romero type story. lol. Love the black suit. That's the kind of ironic language I like--very much a poetic mechanism.

And Lady D, cool language chops. I like the wind being a central player here. In a longer story, it could even become a motif. One minor thing: avoid using the word "seem" or any form of it: seems, seemed, etc. It's more powerful if you just say the thing versus it seemed like the thing. "The wind ripped through her," is better than "the wind seemed to rip through her." My. .02

Eve said...

I'm a bit late in posting this-but I wanna learn this technique too!

Here's my entry in mood creation:

The early summer sun beat down on the barnyard; the wooden doors of the barn reflected the heat. Not a breeze stirred the nearby trees. A wey-beast mooed mournfully in the barn.

The smell of wet, green manure rose from the bucket that Dari gingerly lifted over her head. She balanced the pail precariously on the top rail of the door, standing on tiptoe to do so.

“Careful!” advised Thom in a noisy whisper. Dari merely glanced over at Thom with a look of amusement in her dark brown eyes. Thom was eyeing the procedure with a critically. "Is this going to work?"

Dari just rolled her eyes and quietly said, "Trust me."

"I just don’t want it to turn out like the time we tried to convince Lans that the barn was on fire, or when you put rocks in his water skin.” Thom said. Dari licked her lips. Those tricks had backfired, leaving the two of them in a heap of trouble.

"It will be fine," she said, trying to sound reassuring.
Thom paced in front of the barn door, pausing to peer around the barn to view the mill entrance located further up the path.

Having completed the task, Dari and Thom stealthily hid behind a small knoll, covered with bushes, to await the results.

The afternoon heat radiated in waves. Dari and Thom laid back and soaked in the sun. The cicadas droned their high pitched song in the trees overhead. Dari began to doze just as the sound of voices floated their way.

Jolted awake, she and Thom peered through the branches to view the oncoming mayhem. Lans rounded the corner of the barn. Dari rubbed her hands in glee. Abruptly, Thom hissed in alarm. Giles was right behind Lans, carrying a bag of flour! Her joy vanished and left behind dread.

“…this is the last bag of fine flour for the Prefect. Deliver it with care, for he will be ill pleased as it is with it being tardy,” instructed Giles to Lans.

The pair had paused just outside the partially opened barn door. Dari held her breath. Giles shifted the heavy bag of flour that rested on his shoulders and bumped the door. Dari and Thom watched, mortified as the putrid contents of the jarred wooden pail splattered grossly onto Giles and the bag of flour. Time stood still. Lans wiped a splattered boot on the grass.

“Darissa!” roared her father with rage. He knew her too well. Making all haste and no noise, the culprits fled the scene.

amy said...

Okay - I've been debating something and need some advice. My first entry seems too long to me and it may give away more of the story than just the mood.

I'd like to trim it down, but am having trouble deciding where to cut it off. Help - please...

Eve said...

Amy,
I found these two phrases sounded repetitive:
"Slowly extending her arm further..." and "Alanna extended her hand in front of her..." Don't know if that will help or not.

I also felt that a few thought were repeated, just with different wording. Ie: Alanna blindly groped ...extending her arm ...Alanna extended her hand ...
Alanna’s hand grazed it...

But, it could be just me.

Mine is quite long as well-but because it's part of a longer story and the action is more spread out. Still-if it needs to be hacked away at, feel free to give me some ideas :)

"Uneasiness crawled over her skin and the darkness seemed to compress the humid air surrounding her."-great mood here. Love it!

Eve said...

Amy-I homeschool too!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Amy, not sure what you should cut, but I agree that maybe there's too much description here. Some readers are likely to skip large blocks like this. I reccommend a few well-placed passages. Look for some of your best moody imagery. Use those as anchors and let the story's actions and dialogue flow around them.

amy said...

Thanks Eve and Wayne!

I think I'll rework the entire entry and see what I can condense and trim to create mood without too much depth or repeated description. You guys did help, keep an eye out for the reworked version.

Eve - yay for homeschoolers! I love it! This was our first year (3rd grade) and it's been the biggest blessing to our family.

amy said...

Okay - here's attempt #2 of my first entry:

----------------------------------

Leaving the safety of the surrounding forest, Alanna slowly walked further into the utter darkness of the cave. The thick air smelled of damp earth, like a freshly tilled garden after a heavy rain. With each step, the rocky cave floor crunched and crackled beneath her boots. The weak light emanating from the entrance faded into endless blackness and completely disappeared as Alanna rounded a sloping left-hand curve.

She was now forced to navigate the descending underground passage by touch and sound alone. Uneasiness crawled over her skin and the darkness seemed to compress the humid air surrounding her. Alanna lightly grazed her hand over the jagged cave wall as she walked, in an attempt to maintain a sense of orientation. Hearing a distant sound, she stopped for a moment and held her breath to listen. Only the faint trickle of water met Alanna’s ears.

The trickle soon grew into a small flow, and large icy drops fell on her head and slid down her neck and back. Alanna shivered, although she could not tell if it was from the falling temperature or from the unsettling feeling that she was being watched.

---------------------------------

So - is this better? I need your input and constructive criticism, please.

Thanks! :)

Eve said...

Amy-Awesome second entry. I think this is the one! Bravo!

This is my third year homeschooling and we have decided (Lord willing) to do it all the way through.

Keep up the great work (in both fields :)

amy said...

Eve - I seriously can't imagine going back to traditional schooling at this point. My daughter has blossomed in the homeschool environment. She's already asked me how long she can be homeschooled. So our plan is the same - go all the way!

You should email me: more2live4@gmail.com

We'll chat. :)

And thanks for the input.

Eve said...

Totally right-there's no going back.
I got your email and will get in touch. Thanks!

tbon100k said...

Something on this day however would quietly and gently tear through his memory so suddenly that to deny the events of “that” day would be impossible. And it would all start with a smell. He remembered that smell, but couldn't place it. It certainly wasn't something he knew as the normal smell of his home. But the memory of that smell was ripping through the years and layers of denial and rationalizing that had held back reality. It was almost as though he could “feel” the scent oozing over his whole body and soaking him to the bone. He couldn't place where he knew it from or what it's significance was but the longer he pondered where it could possibly be coming from the more tightly the uncertainty of it began to grip him. He was almost in a state of panic when he heard what could only certainly be the cause of his current state, and then he knew. The air around him seemed to freeze in place so completely that breathing became near impossible. There was only one sound he could hear, but he didn't need to, He could feel his heart beating in his chest, the blood coursing through his veins as though in a race, or an attempt to escape what was commng. He couldn't feel the floor or the table he was sitting next to and leaning on, the memory had finally burst through and was free at last to ravage his mind playing through his head like a school kid running around on a playground with a chainsaw. It was as though nothing else in the world existed except this scent and the thought that he had suppressed for so long, but no longer. He couldn't run, He couldn't scream, all he could do was sit and stare down the hall to the figure walking slowly towards the kitchen where he sat. The figure of what he knew someday he would have to face, or that would someday face him with the same cold amusement that took over him that day 30 years ago. Each footstep toward him fell ever so lightly and yet seemed to pound in his chest. He had tried to convince himself for so long that he couldn't possibly be the monster who could do something so inhuman, so beastly... but the monster was real, the beast was in his house, and there was no escape from what he did, or from the fate smiling at him from the hallway door to the kitchen. All Bobby could say was,”cup of coffee?”

tbon100k said...

sorry, i took another stab at it, didn't realize it was so long.

Eve said...

Long, shmong! We all have at least one long one. I loved your use of words in this entry-very expressive.

Kel said...

Here's my entry:

The day dawned bleak and dreary. A slow, constant drizzle covered the city. The morning rush hour traffic slugged through the streets and over the expressways, as if the cars could barely fight their way through the drizzle. Inside a downtown hotel lobby, a man paced impatiently back and forth in front of the sliding doors waiting for a taxi cab to pull up outside. Professionally dressed in a dark grey suit, he was of average height, forty-ish in age, with blond hair and blue or grey eyes, depending on the day.

Today the laugh lines around his eyes and mouth were creased into a frown, and he glanced repeatedly at his wristwatch. Just as he turned to seek out the concierge for the third time, a bright yellow taxi lit up the glass front of the hotel. Muttering under his breath, the man picked up his black bag and moved quickly out the door into the drizzle. Getting into the cab, he barked his destination before the cab driver could greet him.

Ten minutes later, the taxi pulled up in front of the Harris Office Building; the man paid the driver and stepped out onto the awning-covered sidewalk. Out of the corner of his left eye, the man noticed a peculiar old man walking towards him. Not wanting to delay any longer, the younger man stepped toward the office building’s entrance.

“Excuse me, sir, are you James Holloway?” the old man asked.

The man looked distracted. “What?”

“Is your name James C. Holloway?”

“Who are you?” the man asked as he took a closer look at the old person who stood between him and his intended destination.

The old man wore a faded tweed jacket that appeared to have been patched several times. His trousers were a dull mud color and were in need of a good washing and pressing. His closely cut hair ruffled in the wind, and his ears were red from the cold. He was clean shaven and, for the most part, presentable. The most arresting aspect of the man was his eyes, which sparkled brilliantly in the dreary surroundings.

“It doesn’t matter who I am,” the old man continued, “it is only important that I find James C. Holloway.”

“I am James C. Holloway,” replied the younger man.

After a slight pause in which the curious old man straightened himself and cleared his throat, he said: “James C. Holloway, I have been given the task of delivering an extremely important and fragile package to you.” The old man tightly clutched a small brown paper lunch bag in his right hand. He held the bag out to James. “This package is to be given to your eldest daughter, Brita Gwendolyn. Never let it out of your sight; hand it to her personally. No one else.” The man thrust the bag into James’s left hand, which involuntarily accepted it.

“How do you know my daughter’s name?” demanded James.

“It doesn’t matter how I know who Brit is,” the old man answered. “It is only important that I deliver this package to James C. Holloway to be personally handed to his eldest daughter.”

“How – “

“Brit will know what to do, she has been long awaited,” the old man interrupted. “My work here is finished.”

Before James could respond, the old man vanished, leaving him standing on a crowded, wet downtown Chicago street holding a crumpled, brown paper lunch bag.

Merrie Destefano said...

Hi! Mine isn't quite as moody as some of the wonderful things the other bloggers have already posted, but I wanted to play anyway . . .

I snuggled back under the covers, closed my eyes tight. For just one more minute I wanted to hold onto the dream, the remembrance of all things bright and beautiful. I wanted to pretend that the sun was going to shine and that I would see my mother again, hear her laugh, see her smile. But my fragile bubble of peace didn’t last for more than a few seconds. I could hear coarse laughter out in the courtyard, knew that the knuckle-dragging scumbags now surrounded the crumbling shell that used to be my home. Our home. Still I couldn’t open my eyes. Couldn’t bear to see her body on the floor again. Flesh gnawed down to bone, a visitation of maggots, a demonic painting of blood and gore. I covered my nose and mouth with one hand. The air hung heavy, as if the entire world needed to be washed of the stench. I knew it would hit me, smack in the chest, as soon as I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. Black numbing depression. I knew that the skies hung heavy with soot from burning bodies; I knew that my town had been sold into slavery and soon I would have a high price to pay; but for now, all I could think about was the skeleton on the floor, the sculpture of white bone and cartilage that used to know all of my secrets, that used to comfort me when I was afraid. All I could think about was opening my eyes and taking my first breath.

j.c. said...

I've got one coming! Josh

j.c. said...

Well, here you go!
-----------------------
Slowly, with great pains, Sandress followed the chains that were pulling him along. Cries of anguish pierced his ears, and he knew that those last sorrowful few left not enslaved were passing away slowly, miserably. He dared not look up for fear of what he would see, but the smell of death filled his nostrils and smoke stung his eyes so that he shed tears. He heard another sound now, sobbing, a child’s sobbing. Looking up, he saw two thin and scrawny children next to a dead woman’s body. A boy and girl. The girl, who was the one crying, looked only four years old, while the boy looked ten. The boy was trying to calm her, saying, “It will be all right, Miranda, it’ll be all right.”
The girl kept crying, “She’s dead, Momma’s dead! Dead, dead, dead! She’s never coming back!” The boy kept a brave face, even as the soldiers grabbed them and pulled them away from each other. The little girl was put next to Sandress, still crying for her mother. Remembering his own little girl, who had at the beginning of the war, he grabbed her hand and whispered, “You’ll see your brother again, don’t worry. I’ll protect you.” He stood erect once again and looked out at the death and misery all around. It weighted his heart like lead, and sorrow pierced his soul. But somehow, having the little girl depending on him, fully trusting him to protect her, gave him a reason to stay alive. And he knew that, somehow, he really would get out of the sadness and despair. And he noticed a feeling that he had not had in a long time… hope.

Kitty said...

Hi!! I'm new! Here's my story for the contest:


Sweat pored down the back of the young warrior, Pierce. He could her screams, the noise was deafening. He was getting close, and he knew it. Raising his sword to attack form, he went around the corner. There waiting for him was the seven headed dragon guarding the prize, his mother. The beauty of the seven headed dragon was so majestic,and more magnificent than any treasure Pierce had ever seen. Its voice, calming and marvelous, it made Pierce loosen his grip on his sword.

“Yes, my young warrior, you have come at last. Come join me we will be great together, everyone will bow and worship us.”

Pierce frowned and tightened his grip on his sword, “Eidon is the only one worthy of such things!”

The dragon screamed and turned into a hideous black dragon, “Don’t say that name!”

Fire burst from his mouth headed toward Pierce. Pierce just in time escaped the ghastly death. Now with no hesitation he attacked the incoming dragon. The fight seemed to last for hours, the dragon had lost two heads, and Pierce had lots of blood. The dragon still strong, but Pierce felt his strength failing him. Now he stood cornered by the dragon, his weapon far from grasp. The dragon launched an attack, but instead of feeling the heat of its fire, Pierce felt cold steal sink into him. The dragon was replaced by his father, wickedly smiling, as he drove the sword deeper into him. With his last breath of air, Pierce screamed, “NO!!!”

Pierce awoke up to find himself on the cold stone floor of his room, he had fallen out of his bed. He was covered with perspiration, and was still shaking with terror. He slowly rose to his feet, and went to the cool waters of the Perilous Islands, it seemed like the only consolation Pierce had. Slipping into the frigid water made Pierce stop shaking, and for awhile it gave him some peace. But no sooner had he felt better did the curse of the dream came in his mind again. He was angry and bewildered at the same time. The dream was becoming a weekly visitor now, and he was beginning to believe it would come true. He knew he had to find its evil maker, for he knew this was no common dream, this was one of an warlock who knew his secrets, and a warlock that could be the last piece of the puzzle. The warlock Pierce needed to find and kill.

Kitty said...

Hi! Here I am again...I heard you could post 2 stories per contest...so here I am trying again...



The only sound heard down the gloomy corridor was the sound of a scullery slave’s footsteps making the wooden floor creek. Sweet ran down her back, she shivered. I can do this. I can do this. She kept saying to herself. Salma gulped hard, she was now in front of her master’s door. Without warning, the door creaked open. Her body tensed as her grasp of the tray of food tightened. She saw her knuckles turn white. Then she heard a deep voice, it almost sounded inhuman, “Come in, doll.” Salma made herself breathed; she had not realized that she had been holding her breath. As she entered, hot fumes hit her face, stinging her eyes. Drawing nearer, she saw her master seated behind his desk, which was clustered with ancient scrolls, books, and colorful potions. Her master spoke again, “Put that over there on the table.” He motioned to the little side table that was near the fire place. She immediately quickened her pace; she had no wish to stay longer than she had already. She had on foot out of the room, when abruptly her master called, “Wait…”
Salma froze, she clench her teeth and turned around. She voice trembled, “Yes, master. Do you wish for some thing else?”
“Yes, come here.”

Justin B. said...

A thin,murky mist settled around the surrounding pine tree woods. Subtle rustles of grass, created by the habitat's numerous small critters, filled the air every few minutes. Though other than that, no other sound was heard.

"Macreba, Come!," a whisper awoke the blond haired elf to a start. His pure,blue eyes scanned the trees around him. Yet there appeared to be no one. So he settled himself back into his hammock to sleep. "MACREBA,JEULE IS DYING,"the same voice screamed again. Macreba, quickly threw his blanket off of him and quickly grabbed his blue tunic and quickly slid it on then with his right hand, he grabbed his dagger and ran into the woods.

Never had he run faster, for fear stirred every thought that came to him. His heart slammed against his chest, his hands clammy, Macreba ran towards to where he though the sound was coming from. If anyone was around they would probably found it humorous, that such a frail, skinny blond haired elf would even be out in the night carrying a weapon. For Macreba looked no more than a frail corpse with long, wavy blonde hair that was tied back in a pony tail.

"Come out you Xulshin, I'm not afraid! Eat my heart, I dare you! For I know Boaz is watching and as long as I have faith in him,you will never reach my heart. Your hunger for the hearts of a pure elf will be unquenched once again,"Macreba yelled, trying to feign confidence, even though his body shook with fear. Macreba raised his dagger, awaiting the dark elf's attack. Yet all that came was a rustle of wind, and the voice of a singing maiden singing
Macreba felt inner peace as the voice filled him and quenched and removed any doubt or fear he previously had.

When you are lost, and the way seems unclear, Sometimes you feel as though you want to quit. The darkening voice inside your head tells you that your master does not love you anymore. That he has given up. You should do the same. Yet even in the midst of darkness, there lies a light that if one who desires it will see it and be healed

Macreba's eyes watered. The voice rung through his ears, singing the passage repeatedly. Visions passed by his eyes. All the events that he has committed. The killings, the self torture, the doubt, and the hate. everything that at the time that seemed justified, now sickened him. He felt covered with murk. All he wanted was to be washed away and be made a new. He slowly closed his eyes, and darkness filled in. But the desire in his heart, allowed him to see the thin ray of light. the light that in the song that promised healing, the thing which for his whole life has centered around. This was the answer to all his emptiness

Pais Charos said...

This one looks like fun - but I can't come up with anything.

Luke Lyons said...

The moons freakish light danced along the Dwinduines fog laden river banks. Izlandia couldn’t move… she couldn’t breath… She couldn’t make a single noise.
“CAW CAW!!!!” The sound of a crow screeching in terror as it flew into the distance lurched Izlandia from her position behind a large rock. Fear shown brightly in her eyes as she franticly glanced around for the men who had been following her.
“Snap!” a twig broke in the woods behind her. She twisted and looked into the deep darkness that engulfed the trees. She saw nothing but mist flowing from the river. She took a sigh of relief as she looked for another place of cover. Lightning flashed in the distance as a storm began to approach. Something was coming… and it wasn’t anything good.

Amy Browning said...

Well - it's a bit late, but here's my second entry for this one:

Kell slowly made his way along the seemingly deserted passage toward the throne room. Moonlight filtered through the narrow mullioned windows slicing the darkness that hung heavily throughout the castle. Every footstep Kell took seemed to echo in the still midnight air. Armed with only a hunting knife, he was no match for the patrolling guardsmen. His only chance for success lay in a stealthy approach to the chamber of the sleeping beast.

Kell’s breath caught in his chest as metal feet marched across flagged stone in the distance. Hand trembling, he tightened his grip on the knife. He was caught mid-step and his suspended stance cramped his leg muscles. Just as the burning became overwhelmingly painful, the footsteps faded into the distance.

He exhaled and closed his eyes briefly, thankful that he’d remained undetected. Kell pressed his body flat against the cold stone wall and edged his way around a corner. Now, only a hundred feet more and he’d reach the den of Baldamir’s evil creature, the Dragormanoste.

Once more, Kell froze with terror. A deep, rumbling vibration filled the corridor and bathed him with icy sweat. The beast had awoken and was calling to its master.

Lystar said...

Hi! *blushes* So I finally figured out where the contest listings were, and wanted to submit. :p And so I'm new here. Anyways...here's Entry #1...

Thunder crackled; the fact that it sounded like a purring kitten compared to a roaring lion told that it was still far out. As the cold wind picked up, those who had come for some fun in the Atlantic grabbed their towels and beach umbrellas. The water gently lapping at the sand grew more ferocious; waves rose high the ocean. By the time the first lightning was seen many had abandoned the beach. The wind grew colder and packed more force; the few stragglers struggled to carry kites. When the first drops fell only one lone figure remained, shielding her eyes against the buffeting sand.

The storm amplified her own emotions, as well as allowing dark thoughts to show their malevolent faces. Mariam was past caring about herself. Defiantly she stood, glaring up at the sky only to gasp. A light grey color stretched into the horizon, seeming to glow. For that moment as she stared into the sky their was silence. The sea might have been as smooth as glass. The thunder was muted, and the wind stopped gusting. Even the rain seemed to be frozen in the air.

maskedknight said...

Christian screamed as she fell. She reached toward the last bit of light, quickly fading. She shrieked, “You can’t do this to me!” She heard nothing, and fell silent. Christian felt a wave of despair wash over her. After falling deeper and deeper, farther and farther from home, Christian simply closed her eyes, and gave up. She knew that if she hit anything at the speed she was falling, she would break every bone in her body. Then suddenly, as if she had hit some sort of brakes, she slowed at actually screeched to a halt. Christian opened her eyes at the noise, and looked about her. She saw nothing, not even herself, it was too dark. She felt her body, and the space surrounding her, and there was nothing to have made the noise. She was trying to roll over when, ever so slowly, she started the float down. She landed on something soft, and started to sink. She tried to move, to get up and off the marshmallow-like substance. She felt the cold claw of terror grip her as she discovered that she could no longer move any part of her body except her eyes. Christian’s eyes stung, for she could not blink. She saw that she had begun to sink faster. She tried to scream, but could not, as something hard and bony gripped her shirt and tugged her deeper into the substance that she was already sinking into. She felt the substance close over her, and felt it cover her mouth. Pain shot through her as the substance touched her eyes. Her mouth was enveloped in the strange matter, and she found it hard to breath. Her mouth was stuck slightly open, and she gasped for air. The necessary parts of her body seemed to be working, but she could not longer breathe. She gulped, and no air came. Instead, her mouth was filled with the terrible substance that was suffocating her. It tasted bitter, and she loathed it. She sank deeper and deeper. Was she to go down forever, until she died?

Shelby said...

Hi...I'm new to the contest, but I'm going to take a whack at this one...looks like fun. Might take a couple days, but I'm excited anyway. Will be back when I get my entry or entries together.

Kayla said...

As black rain-filled cloud moved to cover the sun from shining down on the flat earth, Kira looked over at Marc in desperation. Marc saw this but chose to ignore it. They would have to press on; rain or no rain. As a large roll of thunder signaled the beginning of the storm, any hope the two travelers had fell with the downpour rain.
Before long, neither of them could see anything. Marc peered through the rain, hoping to see some sort of a shelter; anything would do at this moment. However, here on the plains, there was no sign of anything that would protect them from the rain that threatened to freeze them. Almost instantly, mud began to encase their feet making every step agonizingly slow.
“We're never going to make it.” Kira whimpered.
Marc opened his mouth to say something encouraging to the poor woman; to try and get her to see the silver lining on the dark clouds that loomed overhead. As he looked over at Kira though, her clothes tattered, and now caked with mud, he slowly closed his mouth. She was right. They would never make it.

Anonymous said...

hi! I'm new. Just wanted to try out the contest. Lots of good stuff here!
“Larboard stern ahoy!”
“What is it, sailor?” a fellow seaman answered.
“I heard sumthin’! Thought I did, leastways”
“Do you know what it was?”
“Can’t say for sure, sir!” was the reply.
Terodan had good eyesight. He hurried over to the stern and stared hard into the mist. His eyes probed the blanket of white for anything, a form, an outline, a shape hiding in the mist. There! The most vague of a shadow of something large and black flickered in the empty, milky haze. Sails? He stared hard, trying to catch another glimpse. He shut his eyes, then looked once more, just to be sure that his eyes weren’t deceiving him. It was gone, however; it had vanished like a phantom on a breeze. Perhaps he had only imagined it. But his instincts denied it. No. Something was out there.
An older, fellow Parenian warrior called Flurgin with brown hair and sharp, green eyes came to stand alongside Terodan. He watched Terodan’s brow furrow as the younger man peered into the bleak mist. Flurgin followed his friend’s gaze but saw nothing. “What is it, Terodan? Did you see something?”
Terodan’s answer was uncertain. “I thought I did for a second. It looked like a sail, but it’s tricky in this fog. I don’t see it now.”
“We had best tell the captain,” spoke up a sailor behind them, and he clattered below deck.
The once calm atmosphere was now bustling as warriors prepared to do battle if necessary. Swords were sharpened, quivers of arrows were shouldered, bows were strung, boot-shod feet thudded across the deck. The king was immediately awakened. The gathering parted as he and the captain approached. Captain Surfbreeze was a fine sea captain. His face was rough, his features chiseled by years of facing the harsh winds that swept the ocean. He was dressed simply, not one to bother himself with the trimmings and frills of a uniform. Arathian’s royal cape trailed behind him in his swiftness. He was still buckling on his sword belt as he came and stood by the rail. Both the sea captain and the king had an unmistakable air of command about them.
Sailors saluted as Surfbreeze passed, while the king received a respectful bow from all as he came to stand alongside Terodan. “You saw something, Terodan?”
“Yes, my lor-”
“Arathian will do.”
“Yes…Arathian. Though it was only a brief moment, I thought I saw a shape of some sort.”
Arathian glanced over at Terodan’s companion. “Did you see it, Flurgin?”
“No sir,” the man replied.
Briskett was standing behind them. “Ghost ships of pirates, I tell ye,” he whispered, “sailin’ wherever they please, preyin’ on the innocents, tryin’ to ease their aching spirits.”
Surfbreeze rebuked him with an icy glare. “Brisket, this is not the time for one of your ghost stories.”
Arathian studied the fog for a long while, not saying anything. The crew kept silent, allowing the king to sense for any smell, sight, or sound that might mean they were in danger. Terodan watched Arathian’s dark blue eyes as they searched, he and Flurgin both standing at attention. At last, Arathian sighed regretfully. He had seen nothing either. “Well Terodan, you did the right thing. You and Flurgin had best return to your posts.”
“Thank you, sir-Arathian,” said Terodan, catching himself. He nodded curtly and departed with Brisket behind him. Arathian began to follow them.
However, something, a sudden impulse caused him to remain at the stern rail. His suspicions were aroused. The king remained there for a long while. He sharpened his senses as much as he could. He saw nothing but grayish white, milky vapor before him. He smelled nothing but the salt-tainted, misty air. He heard the noise of the ship slightly rising and falling on the swells, and--then he heard something else. Faint but drawing nearer with every passing moment: a drumbeat, and a deep, steady swishing noise of oars pulling through water. Suddenly Arathian sprang into action and called out, “Captain Surfbreeze, tell the drummer to set the rowers at full speed! Someone’s heading straight for us!”

Valerie Comer said...

Hey, I didn't know this was still open! So here is the beginning of my opening scene:

Taifa stared at the towering water fountain, half-convinced it sensed her presence. Someone watched her, she felt certain. She turned slowly around, but no one was there, not even Juemat who had set the meeting place. Cold stone walls rose around the plaza, hiding the temple and the palace from view.

No eyes.

The fountain pulsed out a rapid tempo, though it might have been her heart that sped up. How she hated this place, this center of the goddess Majai's power. She shouldn't linger here, not when she had so much to hide.

How had Juemat talked her into this? Where was he?

A gurgle caught her attention; the pendulum in the fountain's clock swung and tipped water into the fifth cylinder.

Late.

No breeze circulated in the courtyard, no birds or insects fluttered by. Taifa knew flowers bloomed beyond the wall in the king's conservatory, but no scent reached her here. She wondered if her sister reclined in the glass-enclosed room, whether her new habuu, the prince, made her laugh or if she already regretted the decision to become one of his women.

None of the royal benefits were worth it to Taifa's mind. But wasn't it just as dangerous for her to see Juemat, one admittedly high in the goddess' esteem, a friend of the prince, even a runner for the king himself?

Where was he?

Christian_Fantasy_Adict said...

Well, here it goes. This an attempt of a thirteen year old who doesn't have much experience, but still loves to write.

BAM! The explosion sliced through the silence that consumed the small alleyway. The piece of brick that had been blasted off the building fell and sat right next to twenty-three year old Tyler. His eyes shot to the area where the half-ton slab of brick had been wrenched from the building which it had clung to for over fifty years. The gaping hole in the side of the building now showed dozens of gleaming yellow eyes boring down onto him. Eerily, the sky darkened and what light remained in the ruins of downtown Chicago winked out.
He clicked on his flashlight and he perceived beings like which had not been perceived by humans. He glimpsed cold clammy skin which was gray in color. Their eyes seemed to wink out as the light fell upon them. They hissed and howled at the light. Two more explosions rang out and pandemonium reigned. Pieces of stone, wood, and concrete plummeted to the ground. A brick grazed his leg and blood started to flow. He let out a terrified scream as even more eyes glared down at him. He aimed his light at another hole, but this time he saw a single arrow rush down. He leaped to the side and looked at the arrow. As soon as the white light fell on it, the projectile leaped into the air and struck the bulb of his flashlight. The glass shattered. Some pierced his skin and sent horrible jolts rippling through his body.
Adrenaline started to flow and self-preservation instincts kicked in. He made a mad dash for the closest way into the open streets that he could see. He cursed himself for taking this horrible shortcut. BAM! BAM! BAM! Three more explosions fired in quick succession and debris blocked his exit. He tried to distinguish another exit, but to no avail, the darkness had completely enshrouded the great network alleyways in this part of the city.
He heard a soft sound, and then felt a sharp pain in his right arm. He itched, scratched, slapped, and used every method he could to get it to go away, but he couldn’t. Suddenly, the world flamed with light. It was not an ordinary light though because it had a strong greenish and partly yellow tint to it. He glanced into a small mirror that was on one of the buildings. The panic he had felt earlier at seeing all those hideous yellow eyes gazing down on him before and still were was nothing compared the terror that consumed him now. His eyes were yellow and his skin was turning gray. He studied his right arm and he saw a small dart in it. In this dart was a liquid substance that had just finished flowing into his blood stream. Realization finally dawned on him, he was becoming on of them!
He saw some of them climb down the buildings head first and they began coming at him. He could now see them in the full. They were bipedal and had two arms. They had long sharp finger nails that protruded from six-fingered hands. He broke out in a dead run. One of these beings jumped out in front of him and without thinking, he placed his hands on it and it violently exploded. He reached an exit and dashed toward. Before he got there he realized they could just follow him and eventually do whatever they wanted to do with him. He placed his hands on one of buildings planning to do as they had done and fill the area with debris so they couldn’t follow him. He couldn’t even get the blast to penetrate the bricks. Despair and apprehension filled him at the same time. The only reason they had been able to create such explosions is that many of them were placing their hands on the buildings. He turned to face the horde pursuing him, but by then it was too late. He was pinned to the ground by dozens of slimy hands.
He heard a voice yell out, “Take him below.” A large hole opened in the ground and that was all he remembered.

The Lion Hearted said...

Hi, I'm kinda new, and I have a coupls of questions. #1: Can anyone enter this contest? and #2: Is this where I put my entry? Thanks!

Shelby said...

Hi--me again--when I said my entry might take a couple of days, I had no idea how long I was going to wrestle with it. I think my entry is too long, but I am going to post it and ask you all to tell me what I might cut out. I have a serious problem with condensing things...lol. I think there is too much description, but please, any help I can get would be great. Thanks!

Oh, btw, Chirstian_Fantasy_Adict, I'm thirteen too! It's great to see someone my age here!

Shelby

Shelby said...

I wanted to post my entry...but I'm in the computer lab at my school, and there's only ten minutes of class left...I'm going to try to get it on here, but most likely, I'll have to wait until tomorrow...Oh, well---maybe I can condense my entry a little by then.

Shelby

Shelby said...

Ok, I finally got access to the Internet again, here's my entry...I condensed it a little, but I don't know if it's still too long or not...

Anyway, here it is...

Honor slipped through the streets of the darkened capital kingdom. Dressed in black, he blended well with the many shadows that shrouded the land. The night had come too quickly, forcing Honor to finish his reconnaissance of the city early.
As he walked through the deserted city, Honor noticed just how quiet it was. It was so silent that his every movement echoed. His breath, his cloak billowing behind him, his quickening footsteps-- all sounded loud enough for the whole kingdom to hear.
Pulling his cloak closer around him against the cold, Honor crept through the main square, glancing at the castle to the north. It once had been beautiful, but now was broken, and like everything else that night, merely a jagged shadow. Smothering black smoke issued forth from the castle, curling lazily into the sky, blotting out the moon and stars, killing the last trace of beauty in the scarred land. Honor looked away and kept walking.
Only a few steps later, Honor was overwhelmed by the strange but unmistakable feeling that he was being watched. He stopped and pressed himself against a building, looking for enemies.
"Good sorrow, am I being tracked?" he wondered.
Honor's gloved hand strayed to the hilt of his sword as icy fingers of fear began to trace a wild pattern up and down his spine.
"Honor..." came a long, drawn out whisper.
Honor flinched. The malevolent voice sounded nearby. It was a shock, this sudden breaking of silence.
"Honor of Intaivah..."
"Be quiet!" Honor hissed. "This is foolish; I'm imagining things." He shook his head. "I am talking to a nonexistent person."
Hot wind suddenly blasted Honor's face, a strong contrast to the cold night.
"Think you that I am nonexist?" the voice said angrily, though still whispering. The wind died, and silence reigned again.
Honor shuddered. The voice sounded disembodied, dead. He broke into a run, looking to escape the city and the terrible, haunting voice.
He was almost to the city gate when he halted involuntarily. Honor tried to move, but found that something was holding him still.
"Let me go!" Honor screamed. He thought he must look insane, screaming at nothing, but he didn't care. He just wanted to get away.
Honor heard chilling laughter, followed by, "...you cannot get away from me..."
Fear again danced along Honor's back. He cried out as unbearable pain suddenly shot through his whold body. His thoughts clouded, and everything went dark, like the night around him.
-----------------------------------

Well, there you have it. Please tell me what you think!
Thanks!!

The Lion Hearted said...

Okay, well, here's my entry:

Minra shuddered at the sudden darkness. Hadn't it just been light out a minute ago? Well, he thought, such thing are common in the kingdom these days.

Hoping not to be seen by the Brotherhood, he lept out from behind the ruined pillar he was crouched under. Minra didn't hesistate to break out in a mad run for the only safe haven, the house of Aggish. He focused on running:
One two one two one two...

Suddenly, he heard a rough screeching. The Brotherhood! he thought. They have at last found me. He steps quickened, as did his pulse:
One-two-one-two-one-two-one...

The house of Aggish was only one hundred yards before him. Minra felt a heavy presence in his mind. "You will NOT get away this time, runt," it said angrily.

Minra shuddered. His mind cried, "I need rest! I need food!" He shooed such thoughts away. The Brotherhood's men came closer, their wraith-like float becoming faster.
Onetwoonetwoonetwoonetwo...

Aggish's house was but four yards away, but Minra knew the Brotherhood was closer. The darkness of the Brotherhood surrounded his backside. Will I make it? he thought, not daring to stare back at the darkness.

Minra could see Aggish waiting for him at the doorway now. His steps grew heavy, and the Brotherhood laughed. "You will not make it. You will again join us, as did the rest of the kingdom. Aggish is not there; he is in your imagination."
One-two-one-two-one...
His steps grew heavey as he felt himself give in to the dark Brotherhood.

Minra's last thought was, Good-bye Aggish. Farewell, all that is noble.

The Lion Hearted said...

Well, thanks guys. I hope you enjoy it!

Patrick said...

Elizabeth crouched in the shadow of an archway; the stone corridor of the old manor was cloaked in darkness. A dank gloom pervaded the passageway, and its chill seeped through her clothes. All was still and quiet. “It’s almost time,” Elizabeth thought, glancing at her glowing watch dial.
Dommm! Dommm! Dommm! Each sepulchral chime reverberated through the passage as a clock somewhere in the hallway tolled the hour. Then silence settled once more as she strained to discern any disruption in the stillness. There! Softly, a mournful melody drifted down the corridor and lingered in her ears. Rising quietly to her feet, Elizabeth peered around the column.
Far down the passage, a lantern’s gleam cast a warm glow onto the cold, gray walls. Its bearer stepped from a side passage, her pale and drawn face a solemn mask. Her vibrant, blue eyes were wells of grief, the last remnants of a beauty and happiness long lost. Her long, flowing hair and white gown seemed tossed in a slight breeze, yet all was still in this dismal hallway. With the lantern dispelling the shadows before her, the maiden turned down the passage away from Elizabeth. Stepping gingerly into the corridor, Elizabeth followed.
Following the lantern’s glow as she stole down the hallway, Elizabeth passed numerous shut doors and curious side passageways. Suits of armor lined either side of the hall. These sentinels of the past brooded over the corridor -- their chestplates, weapons, and helms flashing momentarily as the lantern passed. As she was led deeper into the manor’s depths, Elizabeth could tell that she was entering what remained of the ruined, more ancient wing of the manor. The flickering light of the lantern cast fleeting shadows upon fallen columns and crumbling archways. Piles of stone rubble and splintered oaken joists littered the passageway. Elizabeth’s feet crunched the dirt and gravel as she walked and brushed against fragments of tile and debris.
“What does she seek in this place?” Elizabeth mused as she ducked under a fallen beam of timber. A set of several steps led up to a landing and onward to a chamber beyond. As the maiden paused before the entrance, she turned to face Elizabeth and stretched out her hand. Elizabeth gasped. The lantern’s flame bathed part of the maiden’s figure in yellow light and shrouded the other in shadows. Where the light struck all was well, but where shadow fell, the maiden’s body was like transparent glass. Elizabeth stepped backward as the maiden beckoned.
“Do not fear me,Elizabeth!” She spoke, her voice soft and laced with sorrow. Her imploring eyes gleamed with saphiric fire, her pained face a hybrid of flesh and glass.
“Save me from this agony! Save me from this wilderness of woe!” she beckoned once more, and Elizabeth rushed to seize her hand. They touched for an instant. Suddenly, horror wreathed Elizabeth’s face as a jagged, translucent blade struck through the maiden’s chest and withdrew. Haunting screams echoed through the passageway, and the lantern crashed to the floor in a flurry of fire and glass. The maiden’s figure dissipated into vapor and became no more.
“No!” Elizabeth wailed, sinking to her knees as tears gushed forth and sobs shook her being. She cried for a while, allowing the sorrow that filled her heart to flow out. Amidst her tears, Elizabeth saw the doorway before her. Pale moonlight streamed through the opening, and impulsively Elizabeth rose up and walked through into a ruined chamber. Whatever ceiling and exterior walls had previously existed had long had inhabited the piles of rubble on the periphery of the room. Grass and weeds poked through the cracked floor tiles. The stone in the room appeared blackened, as if it had been charred in a fire long ago. In the chamber’s center lay a flat, rectangular stone slab. Ancient runes and engravings adorned its surface. An exquisite silver chalice and a broken fragment of the sword occupied the slab. Like the chalice, the sword hilt was wrought of beautiful silver and its blade of blackened steel. Elizabeth slowly turned about the room. Since much of the chamber was open to the sky, she could gaze across the mist-shrouded moors to the horizon. There, a brilliant half moon gleamed above the forest. Its rays bathed the ruined desolation about her in a pale twilight.
A whispered voice spoke in her ear, causing her to whirl around. Elizabeth stared into the shadows of the only remaining standing wall. She discerned a man dressed in a dark suit, reminiscent of an Anglican priest. He stepped into the moonlight and was instantly transfigured into a figure cloaked in a black, tattered and ragged priest’s vestment. She felt his intense glower emanating from beneath his cowl; the breeze fingered his crimson stole. She retreated as he stepped toward her. Raising his hand, the black sword flew to his grasp. With the jagged blade outstretched toward his prey, he forced her backward, step by step to the stone slab. Moonlight struck the blade, and it radiated a lurid gleam, almost as if it abhorred the light’s pure radiance. Elizabeth’s eyes widened in horror. Her thoughts reeled in confusion, unable to fathom if this apparition was friend or fiend. “What do you want from me?”
The phantom grated the sword’s edge across the stone tiles, igniting a cascade of sparks. He nodded his head slightly at her. “Just a trifle, lass…your soul!”

Kayla said...

Racing north, Dar’s feet thudded quietly on the hard forest floor, each step taking him closer to his goal. As if they did not agree with the man’s purpose, the tree branches seemed to reach out to snare him and stop his progress. They groaned as they moved back and forth in the wind that was quickly gaining speed. In the dark sky above, no light of hope could be seen from the heavenly bodies. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning pierced through the sky.

Upon seeing this, Dar paused to listen for the thunder he knew would come soon after; his heart pounding loudly in his chest. The howling wind, which had been a welcomed relief moment before, had stopped. Silence resounded throughout the entire forest. Even the fierce pounding of his heart had receded to no more than a whisper. Then it came.

As the low roll of thundered coursed through the air, the heavens opened up and poured out heavy raindrops upon the parched earth. Grimacing at the realization that his situation had just gotten worse, Dar pressed onward as his clothes became soaked by the rain. Each step now became tedious as once solid ground quickly turned into mud.

A bolt of lightning illuminated the world as Dar rounded a bend in the path. The split second of light was enough to make Dar freeze; for in the middle of the road was another man. The man’s form filled the whole road so that Dar was certain he would not be able to escape even if he had tried.

While the man walked forward with a small smile on his face, Dar tried to hide his dismay. Unsheathing his sword, the man slowly began to circle around his prey.

“Fool.” He said snarling. ““Did you think you could escape the prince?” he asked, taunting Dar. “Did you think that you could flee from the Gricknat Knights? You know as well as I that the Gricknat Knights never fail; we always complete our mission.”

“And what is your mission this time, Maydor?” Dar asked calmly.

Upon hearing his name, a look of surprise quickly crossed Maydor’s face. Quickly regaining his composure, he raised his sword up to Dar’s chest and said, “To bring you back to Indu or kill you if you resist. But I am a generous man. Show me your passport and I will allow you to continue your without further trouble.” Maydor said, his eyes narrowing as he waited for Dar to challenge this request.

To his surprise, Dar reached into the folds of his tunic and produced a small scroll tied with a crimson ribbon. Seeing this, he quickly sheathed his sword and snatched the scroll from Dar’s hand. As Maydor untied the scroll, he let the crimson ribbon fall to the muddy ground below. As the lightning flashed in the sky,
Maydor could only read a few words at a time. When he did piece the first few sentences together, though, his mouth turned dry. It had been many years since he had seen these words, but he remembered them all to well. The blood in his veins began to boil as he clutched the parchment in his hand. Turning to Dar with menace in his voice, he said, “Who is this king who has sent you?”

“He is the King of Kings, higher than any other who may rule.” Dar said, looking Maydor directly in the eye.

“Do you profess treason?” Maydor asked, his nostrils flaring.

“Of course not.”

“Then why do you speak of a king when our country is ruled by the gracious Prince Xamar?”

Dropping his gaze, Dar said nothing. Looking at the scroll in his hand, Maydor spoke again, his voice like ice.

“These words, they are the words of your ancestors. Did you actually believe it would be enough to convince me to let you go on your way?”

“That is what I had hoped.” Dar said simply.

“Then today your hope shall be crushed.” Maydor said with a growl.
Throwing the scroll to the ground, he crushed it; his heel driving the parchment deeper and deeper into the mud.

Maydor leaned in towards his captive as he said in a voice that was both sharp and quiet, “You thought your King had found a safe way for you to leave, and yet here you are, still in Gricknat.” He laughed slightly as he took a step back and looked at his captive. “It is almost a pity that you would come so far and yet not leave the Prince’s realm. Now do you come with me, or shall I send you to your death?”

“To go back to Indu would be death in and of its self. No, I will not return. I will press on as long as I am able.”

“Then you have proclaimed death upon yourself now. But am a reasonable man,” Maydor said with a mocking tone in his voice as he drew his sword from his sheath and pointed it at Dar’s chest. “I will allow you a moment to speak your mind, perhaps even change it if
you wish to do so.”

With his hair matted and soaked from the rain, Dar raised his head up and looked Maydor straight in the eye. He smiled slightly and spoke in a whisper that seemed to resound throughout the whole forest. “I go to the True Kingdom to trade my death for glory.”

“No!” Maydor yelled lunging forward as if to stop the words before they could escape. In his rash move, however, he had plunged his ever positioned sword into Dar’s chest.

A small wave of shock washed over Dar’s face, but it was quickly replaced with the appearance of peace. With the last of his energy, Dar hoarsely whispered to Maydor, “Farewell my old friend,”

He then tilted his head backwards towards the sky and with a voice full of power and serenity he said, “To you my King, I come.” As the last breath of life left Dar’s body, he crumpled to the damp earth.

The Lion Hearted said...

Okay, I get 2 tries, right? Here it goes again...

"Bitter, bitter, O daughter of Dragon! Your death is grievous to you and not I, for you pass into the dark valleys.

"How bitter and dark, O daughter of Dragon! To wander the valleys for eternity, to suffer forever, never knowing love, always feeling pain.

"O daughter of Dragon! Your fate is not mine! I belong to a different master. And I rejoice!"

Melissa Rose said...

He didn’t need to turn around. His ears told him all too plainly what was coming. The roaring sound of his hunter was the unmistakable indicator of everything that had ever disrupted his life. To him the deafening wing beats that displaced measureless quantities of air represented nothing less than the screams of thousands of ruined families. Innocent victims, all ravaged and shoved aside to make way for it to move forward toward the completion of its own destructive goals.

It was hopeless to even try, wasn’t it?

Sand from the surrounding dunes began to churn around him into a rising mass and his shoulders slumped in defeat as he closed his eyes in anticipation of the sealing of his grainy tomb. The long-expected shadow hovered above him with undulating noise, blotting out the dispassionate sun.

Melissa Rose said...

Lighting crackled behind her, flinging sharp shadows across her path and causing Calbeg to surge forward beneath her with a speed that Delya could not help but find exhilarating.

She bent low over the horse’s steaming neck to avoid the thick, mace-like boughs that jutted out into her path at the bend in the narrow forest road. Then she closed her eyes and started counting…one-two-three…two-two-three…three-two-three…four-two-three…five-two-three…six-two-three…seven-two-three…eight-two-three…Eight strides before she snapped her eyes open and soared over the mottled green and grey trunk of the forest’s most recent dead.

The lightning thrust its spiky fingers through the forest again but this time Calbeg twisted away from the path enough to knock Delya’s leg into a thick fir tree. In that same split second she saw the terror in his wild eyes and realized too late that she was in trouble.

The wooden sword she had brandished less than an hour ago before mischievous children who tried to stay out too late on Halloween night fell from her grip when she saw the long wicked curve of steel held by the other rider. His dark mantle hung from his shoulders with all of the weight of despair and blackness as deep as an endless pit. His horse, which might as well have been a throne, was pale, far too pale and unbelievably thin in comparison to Delya’s own snowy mount.

Out of the impossible mist that crept forth from the contorted root systems that bridged the leaf-littered trail also emerged a host of ghastly figures. They crouched low to the ground with legs bowed and ready to spring up and forever sweep one’s sight away with their elongated claws. The half-formed features leering at her finally broke the spell that had frozen her thoughts and another tsunami of panic struck her as she found she could not move away from the horrific scene. The mist had spread toward her and clung there, enveloping her with its paralyzing power. She looked down and saw it swirl around Calbeg’s legs, binding his hooves to the ground like tar.

All the while the deathly silhouette remained unmoving at the head of his gaunt company.

Erevir said...

She turned both ways, looking for any sign of a way out. There was nothing but absolute darkness. But then, seeing some sort of curtain before her in a flash of light, she reached out to touch it, to pull it back.

As her hand made contact with the curtain, millions of things flashed before her eyes: things she’d done (and not all of them good), a vast chasm of darkness, a hill with three lowercase ts on it, blood, a man’s noble eyes, and a flash of light. She suddenly realized that her hand was still touching the curtain, and jerked it back with a gasp. She took several paces backwards, but the shadows licked around her like flames, so she quickly stepped forward.

One of the images was still burning in her mind: the man’s eyes. There was something about them, something familiar…
She shuddered. Whether those eyes reflecting something like pain or grief or joy or all at once, she couldn’t tell. She tried not to think of them or the strange visions she’d seen.

The curtain must go down, she thought. The thing behind it has answers. She glanced backwards, toward the Shadows, and gripped the hilt of her sword. I’ve come too far to back down, despite anything frightening.
She drew her old, rusty sword. Yelling a battle cry, she swung her sword at the curtain; it didn’t come down. The sword merely glanced off of the curtain, as if it were a metal, and broke her blade.

Gritting her teeth, she put the top of the broken sword in her scabbard. “Should I touch it again?” she wondered aloud. She turned toward the Shadows and screamed, “What should I do? Do you have any answers?!”

Suddenly, she heard a loud ripping sound, like paper being torn, but much, much louder. She pivoted on her heel to see the curtain torn in two, and light pouring out from the crack. She immediately out up her hand to shield her eyes and vaguely heard the Shadows hiss.

“Do you not know that the veil has already been torn?” said a whispering voice, almost inaudible.

“Is there sunlight out there?” she asked, not hearing the question. It had been so long since she’d last seen the sun. She didn’t dare make a move, though. Somehow she knew this was no ordinary light.

“No,” the voice answered. She jumped, hearing it. It was loud, deep, and sounded very powerful. “And yes, I have answers. Stay in the light, child. Do not stray into the Shadows again.” Now she thought the voice sounded gentle.

Cocking her head, she replied, “Can you answer my questions? An…acquaintance told me you had answers.”

The voice laughed and the light seemed to vibrate with it. “Ask, child.”

She shuddered and plunged in. “Why am I here?”

“Everyone who comes here comes with a purpose.”

“What is mine?”
The voice paused. “You will soon find out.”

“I’ve heard answers like that too many times,” she whispered, dropping to the floor. She sat there as the tears rolled down her thin, worn cheeks. She didn’t even try to stop them as she had so many times before. Instead she covered her face with her hands, sobbing. "I have come so far, and you give me no answer."

The light swirled around her and warmed her skin sympathetically, lovingly.

“I want to go home!” she cried into her hands.

“You will, child. I promise that you will go home before you die,” the voice said.

“And what kind of an oath is that?!” she screamed at it, putting her hands down for a moment. But the light blinded her, so she put them back up.

“You have my word. You will not die before you see your homeland again.”

She wiped her tears. “And what power do you have over anything like that?”

“Look in your hand, child.”
Glancing down, she saw a piece of wood. It was shaped like a lowercase t, and rough. She thought it had somewhat of a red tinge to it, but couldn’t be sure. The light darkened a little.

“Okay, what’s this?”

The voice didn’t answer. Abruptly, she felt a searing, burning pain shoot up her arm from the hand in which she held the piece of wood. She looked down to see gaping holes of rotting flesh in her arm. Screaming, she grasped her hand and gripped the piece of wood tightly. The disease spread rapidly to the rest of her body and she yelled even more.

“Help me!” she screamed at the light. “What is this?! Help me!!” She knelt slowly, bowing her head. She gritted her teeth at the pain and whispered, “Please, whoever you are, help me.”

The piece of wood in her hand burned what skin was left on her palm, so she impulsively dropped it. It shattered into a million pieces and flew at her. She quickly put up her hands to block her face, but instead of hard splinters of wood, a warm, thick liquid splashed her arms and everywhere on her body.

She slowly lowered them after realizing she hadn’t been hit with the pieces of wood, and looked at the liquid in the now dim light. Blood. Tilting her head in puzzlement, she shook her arm. It wasn’t the blood that scared her—for she had seen much blood in her life—but what was happening: the disease was disappearing as the blood washed over it. The infection’s searing pain slowly receded and the blood dripped away.

Looking at her hands, she saw that they were pure white, and glowing. With her blood-cleansed eyes, she could look into the light and not be harmed. Now the light’s brightness had returned and she peered into the rays.

“What…happened?”

As she looked into the light, she saw a man. She couldn’t discern his features, but she knew he was the source of the voice. The man walked over to her.

“This is my story,” he said, coming ever closer. “This is the reason I went to your homeland. This is what you will proclaim to the Victims of the Shadows.

“You will go and tell them all that you have seen. Some will listen and believe, and others will not. Some Victims will be scared of you because of your glowing skin, and some will taunt you. But the reason you go is for the few who will believe you. If only one believes, then your mission was worthwhile.

“I, too, have gone into the Shadows. I will always be there for you, though you will not see me. I will help you and keep you strong. Do not be afraid.”

The man stood right in front of her now, and she was not terrified as she had once been. “But I don’t understand!” she cried.

He smiled. “No one understands completely, but I will tell you what you need to know. Here.”

The man had a sword in his hand, and offered it up to her as if he was her servant, kneeling. Cocking her head at his peculiarities, she took the new, shiny weapon. It was perfectly weighted and inlaid with a single diamond on the hilt. She unsheathed her old sword and put the new one in; perfect fit.

“Thank you, sir. I needed a new sword…but why do you kneel?” she asked as the man got up.

“I once came to serve, as you will soon know, but now it is your turn to serve me.

“Right now, that sword may look exactly like what it is, a sword, but in the darkness it will look like a book.”

“A book?”

“Yes, a book. It has more power than you may know. You will learn and grow and come to know me from that book.

"You knew me before, but you fled from me. I knew you from the dawn of time, yet you resisted. I have loved you, yet you defied my presence. Will you go?”

She looked into the man’s eyes, and saw the truth. She saw a love so unimaginable, she felt like weeping, dancing, and laughing all at the same time. It swelled in her and made her skin glow. She knew this man from her childhood days, and knew what her response would be.

Kneeling she said, “Yes, I will go.”

The man embraced her like a father. “Then go, child. Never give up, for I will be with you.” And suddenly, with those words ringing in her ears, all became dark.

Roheryn said...

The young girl stood, the warm rain falling from the sky, soaking her to the skin. A cool wind blew, bringing chills into her wet skin. The darkness stretched away, down into the depths of the statue from the opening in its base. With a sigh, she stepped in, wringing her sopping braid out on the crumbling steps before letting it thump down against her back. The passageway smelled of mold and its warm dampness clung to her chilled skin. The warmth in the air dried the water from her skin, but as she descended deeper the stone halls became colder and the chills returned. Taking a deep breath she realized the smell of mold had disappeared but ahead of her, a light appeared. It broke the darkness suddenly as the girl came around a turn in the staircase and in its dim glow stood an unweathered, wooden door.

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

It was dark, not pitch dark but still dark, and this was somehow worse. The moon cast an eerie light over the places not shadowed by smoke. The smoke rose from the many volcanoes in the area. They also contributed their eerie light to the scene. Warm, but piercing wind picked up, disturbing the ashes that covered the whole region. But the creepiest thing about this place was Mount Grag. It's western face had the distinct features of a skull. Red light poured out of it's eyes, and a lava flow oozed from it' mouth. It made you feel like you were being watched. Still, this region was not called the Land That Hates for nothing, it had a knack for killing any life. There were no insects, no monsters, nothing. The moons eerie glow revealed a skeleton lying on the ground. The light gave it a pale gray color. The skull looked like it was laughing, mocking anyone who entered the land.

Ardian said...

The dark, dark tunnel opened up before Elentir's eyes. Taking one look back at the warm light outside the tunnel, he set in, continuing his quest.

The blackness of the tunnel was so much that Elentir could not make out a thing. Squinting, he thought he could see something for a moment, but then he relaxed his eyes as he realized it was nothing.

Continuing on down the dark tunnel was the bravest thing he had ever done. He needed to find something; something that might save a land.

Suddenly, the cave was filled with light, blinding Elentir. He panicked for a moment, then opened his eyes.

He wished he had never opened them, for two red, glowing eyes were coming towards him. He could make out the shape of something long and thin. The eyes were soon right next to him, and he yelled as there was a noise of hissing, hissing like as of one-thousand snakes. Then there was a blinding flash again, and then Elentir saw something out of his worst nightmare...

It was a huge serpent, and the flashing light was from the fact that the snake was fiery and bright. Its body was like a long, scaly branch ignited with flame. Its tongue, too, was like a fire, and its eyes were emerald and piercing. The serpent was so bright that when Elentir had opened his eyes after the blinding flash, he had become startled and yelled as he fell to the floor.

The serpent hissed again, and Elentir yelled and covered his ears, but no noise that he made drowned the serpent out. As it hissed, four legs came onto its body, and its body became shorter and larger, and then two wings came out of the darkness and attached themselves to the serpent. Elentir yelled as the thing dashed towards him, then launched itself into the air, and breathed down upon him. Elentir yelled once more as bright sparks filled the dark around him and the flames shot all around him. The last thing he saw was the serpent, or rather Dragon, flying far above him.

Ardian said...

By the way Erevir great story.

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

The wraith crept silently forward in a crouched position, it's arms stretched out before it. It's presence made the whole room seem twisted, distorted by his evilness. Out of the sleeves of his cloak stretched two skeletal hands. The area under his hood seemed to emanate darkness, and emptiness. Two red lights hovered where his eyes should have been. The room was pitch black, except for one spot where the moon cast light through the window onto the floor. Although he dreaded crossing it, he knew he would have to in order to reach the bed. He crept forward, cringing as he entered the light. There was a sizzling noise, and he drew his hands into his cloak with a hiss. As he reached the bed, he began to stand up. A moment later a scream erupted from the room.

Ardian said...

The tall figure was dressed in a dark cloak and a hood that covered his forehead. He stalked through the tall plants that covered the forest, his feet hardly making sound as he did so.

Aritir watched the darkly clothed figure from behind some bushes. Aritir was looking at him intently, as if he knew him from somewhere. The figure had come very close to him now, and Aritir suddenly yelled and sprang out in front of him.

Aritir stared into the other's face as they both drew their swords. His eyes were red, with a sort of insane look in them, and he stood tall over Aritir. The red eyes glared down at Aritir. A wicked-looking sword had come out, with notches in it, and the sword was colored black.

The cloaked figure's face turned from a grim one to one with a smile on it. "I have long waited for this moment."

The voice echoed around in the woods. Aritir finished drawing his sword and ran forward at his opponent. The other merely slashed at him, and Aritir jumped back, avoiding the blow, and tripping in the process. The figure pointed his sword Aritir's throat.

"You fail in coming here to try and stop me. Before the end, your father will weep and beg for life at my feet!" Then he began to laugh. "You will all die!"

Aritir yelled, raised his sword and started to get up, but the figure slashed at him again, and he fell down, wounded. As his opponent saw his opponent prepare to kill him, Aritir looked past the darkly cloaked figure. The figure caught his gaze and turned.

A brightly garbed man stood before them both, his sword shining as brightly as himself.

The darkly cloaked figure started to shiver and then it seemed he crumpled and shriveled.

Aritir looked up in awe at the bright man. His hair was golden and his eyes were blue, and his face was gentle yet warlike. He motioned to Aritir with his hand and said, "Follow me!"

Aritir did not know why, but he followed him. For some reason he felt that he could trust this man.
***
Aritir's path led him to a beautiful place full of streams and flowers and mountains, and upon the peaks of the mountains was snow. The place was a meadow inside a huge valley, and it was never dark with rain clouds but always bright with the sun's light.

"My name is Dantar, and I believe that your name is Aritir, is it not?" said the man Aritir had followed.

Aritir nodded his head. "Yes, that it my name. How did you know it?"

Dantar nodded to a house of wood. "This is my home. Once we are inside, I shall tell you all."

Sword Warrior said...

Here is my entry. Please let me know what you think!


Coal black clouds boiled from the West and into the once peaceful and serene skies of the land of Derad. All life seemed to be sucked into an unknown and dark void as the storm approached. The plants of the ground were withering, the trees of the fields were drooping, and the crops were failing. As the storm approached, lightening started to flash and thunder rolled over the hilly lands, letting every man know of its approach.

Sitting on top of a large hill lay a magnificent castle. Its black towers seemed to be reaching for the heavens, dwarfing the tall walls surrounding the castle; it lay above a small peasant village. Adding to the eerie setting was a black mass slowly moving from the East. It was a quivering horde and was moving over the land and towards the town and its castle.

As the rain started to fall from the sky, soldiers standing on the walls came to attention. Looking and feeling nervous, they watched the storm and the enemy move forward. One man looked down at the peasant village, the streets empty because the peasants had retreated back to their homes for safety from the storm... but their safe dwelling would not last long.

While the land's doom swiftly drew closer, one man lay alone in the bottom of a slimy and stench-filled dungeon cell. He was an innocent man thrown in prison for a crime he had not committed.

Chained by his arms to the wall, he was a miserable sight. Cuts and bruises covered his filthy and battered figure. Black hair matted with blood covered his head. His brown eyes stared into space in the darkness of his prison.

As he hung hopelessly on the wall, his ears perked up when he heard rumbling outside, and then the sound of marching drawing closer. Breaking into a cold sweat, he started to tug on his bonds. The man knew exactly what the danger was and knew also how to stop it before it swallowed the land completely. Straining his muscles, he pulled hard and then lifted his head and roared, "Ahhh!"

His arms were burning from the attempt to escape. Pulling harder, he tried, but with no sucess. The chains would not budge.

Dropping his head, he started to sob, his tears splashing onto the cold, stone floor. Then, with all his might, he drew forth all the strength he had left and yanked harder. Yelling in pain, he tried desperately to break free by pulling the chains with his arms and pushing off the wall with his legs. His effort was rewarded a minute later when the chains broke with a loud "Snap!".

The man fell hard onto the prison floor. Picking his weary body up, he moved quickly to the cell entrance. His path was blocked by a barred door. Crying out in anguish, the man quickly dashed about his cell, trying to find a way out, but with no success. Fear pierced him like a white hot needle as he heard sounds of battle begin above.

As the land was plunged into its doom, the man in the dungeon sat in a corner of his cell, sobbing. His home-land was being destroyed, and he could do nothing, even though he knew exactly what would halt the enemy and vanquish it. Derad was dying and nothing could stop the enemy from sending Derad into utter and complete destruction!


Derad is pronounced (Deh-rod)

Sword Warrior said...

I agree with Ardian. Great post Erevir!

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

Good story sword warrior. Very suspenseful!

Ardian said...

Hey Sword Warrior,
I agree with OnTheStraightAndNarrow that you have a good story and that it is very suspenseful, but... are you sure you aren't writing a book?

Sword Warrior said...

Ardian,
What do you mean? Is the post too long? Or do you mean, am I taking it as an excerpt from a story I'm writing?

Ardian said...

I mean, are you writing a story?

Sword Warrior said...

Ardian,
No, I just made it up on the spot for this contest... but one day, if I can make the rest of the plot, I might make it into a story!

Sword Warrior

Sword Warrior said...

Here's my 2nd entry

-----

5 minutes! Or was it 3, or maybe even 1!... whatever the case, Joseph knew he had little time left before the wave of terror would be unleashed. Trapped in a musty, underground labyrinth, he had long since lost track of everything, including his sense of direction.

Cold sweat poured in large drops from every part of Joseph's body as he raced through the dimly lit tunnels. The hair on his neck was standing on end, refusing to go down. He could sense something very evil and dark, trying to will everything good dead and vanquished.

Joseph's shaky hands drew the sword at his side as he crept down a narrow tunnel. The dreadful and overpowering smell of something rotting stifled his sense of smell. Joseph looked ahead, seeing nothing but utter darkness. Adrenaline surged through his body, tensing him up as he quickly changed direction, and headed back the way he had come.

He reached a forked tunnel and chose the left hand one. Creeping forward, he refused to breathe. Everything then went as silent as a closed tomb. Except for the slapping of his boots on the thin layer of dirty water covering the floor, everything was ominously quiet. Then, as if it had never existed, all light suddenly disappeared. Joseph stopped dead in his tracks, then listened as a soft sound reached his ears, slowly climbing in pitch. It sounded to him like the beat of a drum and was getting louder and louder.

Bu boom! Bu boom! Bu boom!
BU BOOM! BU BOOM! BU BOOM!
BU BOOM!! BU BOOM!! BU BOOM!!

A chill came over Joseph as his mind screamed STOP!!! The sound did not stop and only continued to get louder. Joseph crouched down, trying to get himself under control. The beating then receded and disappeared.

Suddenly, out of the darkness, a shape blacker than the most empty void seemed to cover the tunnel with its evil. Joseph went limp as it spoke in a low, guttural, and eerie moaning voice, "Hsss... free to kill..."

lijialefw said...

To a nail, lost a war.(wow gold) In a particular press to see(wow power leveling) such a foreign Minyan: In order to (wow gold)receive a nail, we have lost a Mati Tie In order to(wow power leveling) get a piece of Mati Tie, we have lost a Pi Junma In order to get(wow gold) a Pijun Ma, we (wow power leveling)have lost a(wow gold) jockey; To be a jockey, we lost a war victory. This is the first (Rolex)under general Minyan At(World of Warcraft gold) first glance, but careful consideration, you(wow power leveling) will find that it contains a layer of the important essence of life: learn to give up, have a maturity. To a Mati Tie and eventually lead to (wow gold)lose a war, this is not know how early to give up the consequences.
Wise said: two disadvantages of the value comes light, the right to( World of Warcraft gold)
choose the two-phase benefit. A folder to be the tail of the gecko already know how to give up the tail, the preservation of(wow power leveling) life, let alone we are full of (power leveling)the wisdom of mankind? » ! In everyone's life, always (powerleveling)have in the face of choice, a choice, there is bound to give up, we have to learn is to( power leveling)pay a painful price, to give up local interests and preserve the overall interests. In chess, there are not "abandoning single-car" this trick? » As the saying goes: not old, not new. Sometimes, even (power leveling)the most precious things to know in good time to give up. When you( powerleveling)graduated from junior high school, in the face of a sincere friendship, you(powerleveling )will Yiyibushe. But think back, and only bid farewell to middle school, high school usher in a(rs gold )new life, can meet new friends. The recent shift is not on this? » Finally, a celebrity's life motto In( gold wow)conclusion:
Life is like theater, everyone is their own lives in the only director. Only Institute of choice, people will know how to give up the Chewu life, Xiaokan life, the life Habitat has Seasky.

Cirtolthiel said...

I have had this for some time and I hope I got the whole idea right. Another good thing to help you write different moods, though, is to listen to a song that has that same feeling to it. That way, you are a bit inspired. All right, here it goes.

Amy held tightly to the railing with her hand. She could see just a hint of light from the upstairs hallway so she took a deep breath and climbed the staircase. She stepped out in the upstairs hallway and turned to see if anyone was there. No signs of anyone. She turned to face the door to her room when a creak above her ceased all thoughts of movement from her mind. Not daring to move, she closed her eyes, terrified of what would happen next. It would be foolish to stay here in one spot, but her legs would not obey her thoughts of running.

Crash! The attic door swung down and the ladder fell to the ground. Amy stood there, staring, as a dark red figure, the color of blood, jumped out of the square in the ceiling. A dark billowing cloud followed it, and from what Amy could tell, was whispering to the thing. The red figures’ back was to her and clearly took no notice that it was being watched. The thing was clearly not human, for it had a long black tail with a tan colored point. Fresh blood dripped from the sharp tip. Instead of hands, it had long claws like a dragons and curved talons, the same color as its tail. Horns protruded from a bald head and turned upwards. A demon. That was the first impression Amy got when she saw it. A feeling of dread seeped into Amy’s heart. She suddenly felt as if everything had chilled, but not the chill of winter. It was the chill that accompanies death; walks by its side. Death seemed to be in the room at that very moment, as if this creature was its servant. Amy let out a slight gasp as the creature turned to face her, and as soon as it saw her, she knew no more.

Philus Theo said...

I know this contest is over but I thought I would still post my own comment.
Kaleb held the torch up in effort to light the dark, underground, stone passage. He couldn't tell, but in the dim light the brick of the walls seemed blue. "This is strange, how could the walls be blue? It isn't paint, it feels like stone." Kaleb thought. His companion, a boy his own age with ivory skin and blonde hair, asked, "When will this tunnel end? The King couldn't have led us in here to get lost." His pale skinned friend's blue eyes had a hopeless look. Kaleb answered, "The King wouldn't have made us knights for no reason, he has a plan to get us out of here. Er, um, well to get us to the destination he has planned." His companion stopped and said, "Thanks Kaleb, I should never have doubted our King. May you both forgive my lack of courage." "Hey, I'm not any braver than you, were I not holding the torch, my hands would be shaking. Try hold your swords, it may help." Kaleb finished with a wry smile. The other smiled back and for the first time since they entered the tunnel they were at peace. Both were silent as they continued down the underground road. "By the way, is it me, or are the walls blue?" Kaleb wondered.
"Well, you are not seeing things, they are blue. The Captain said that in these mountains there is blue granite." Kaleb had a feeling of loss at the mention of the Captain, but he knew not why. In fact, he didn't even know why they were in this tunnel. Just that they needed to get to the end of it to do something.
"Stop, what was that?!" Kaleb whispered, looking behind them. He knew that he had heard something behind them in the passage. His companion spun around and asked, "What, what did you hear?" Kaleb shrugged and put a finger to his lips. Neither said a word, but listened intently. Suddenly, both boys gasped and looked at each other wide-eyed. At the moment Kaleb looked much like his Glimpse friend, with the blood drained for his face. They had both heard it, the sound of gruff voices and heavy boots on stone. The knights in dark armor had found them, they ran for their lives.