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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

So it has been a while since I blogged (once again).  So, hopefully, no one is really following looking for new content.     I have been working on a manuscript lately and I’ve been plagued incessantly by writer’s block.  Then, while I wasn’t really thinking about, it started to fall into place.  So, in celebration of the end of a writers block, I give you an unedited (cuz I can) excerpt from the book.  Hope you enjoy it.

The first thing he noticed was the smoke.  The second was that he was getting better at this waking up from a KO than before.  The third was that it took longer for him to go down in a fight this time.  Probably due to all the fights he had been in recently.  The fourth thing he noticed was that he was alive.  Dirk looked up, eyes weighing heavy, crying to be closed.  The effects of the darts were still fighting against him but he tried to hold out.  His hands had been tied behind him, an arm on each side of the pole.  He felt the rope that held him.  It felt frayed, homemade.  He worked his hands back and forth, trying to loose himself.  Suddenly he heard a noise and looked up.  Through his misty vision, he saw a small child approach him from a flickering orange background that he soon discovered to be a large bonfire, the source of the smoke.  The child was about chin high to Dirk and his smile was comical if not for the blood dripping from the corner of his mouth.  Dirk felt a chill run down his back, the blood bringing back memories of Tsala.

A blade suddenly glinted in the firelight.  Dirk watched as the child switched it to his left hand and moved it in several different patterns.  Then he brought it to a stop a centimeter from Dirk’s face.  Dirk felt his eyes flinch but he quickly opened them again.  He saw the kid smile at his reaction, a not so nice smile, a smile that belonged to Lord of the Flies setting than anything else.

Dirk relaxed, letting his body hang from the pole he was bound to.  Then he remembered what Ismene had said about him melting the dagger.  Maybe he needed the motivation.  With that, two thoughts hit him.  One, Ismene had been with him.  Second, he felt like an idiot, trying to melt metal with his bare hands.  But he had remembered it from before slightly.

He looked to his right and saw a shadowy form on a pole similar to his.  He blinked several times, feeling the poison recede from his system like at the bar.  The person became clearer until he could see her face.  It was Ismene, like he thought.  He smiled.  She was breathing.  That was good.

He turned his attention back to the miscreant.  “Go ahead.  Use that knife.  What, are you scared?”

The kid smiled even more, his freakishly white teeth brilliant in the firelight.  “You would want the cold steel of Hades to run across your skin and loose your life?”

Dirk opened his mouth then stopped, surprise registering on his face.  “How do you speak my language?”

Creepy child lowered the blade and sat cross-legged beneath Dirk.  “I speak all languages and none.  All are my words, I have none.”

Dirk nodded.  “Sounds like…fun”

“It gets me places.  But I am curious.  I have never heard yours before.  What do you call it?”

Dirk looked at him.  “How about I tell you if you let me and my friends go?  How does that sound?”

Creepy child looked around.  “No, I cannot let you go.  He would not like that.”  He stepped up and reached out to scrape the sweat off of Dirk’s exposed shoulder with his knife.  “You are dirty though.  Oh well, nothing we can do about this.  I suppose you want to know why you are being held.”

Dirk looked at the kid.  He seemed perceptive for one so young.  “I think I understand the general picture.  You are using us for either sacrifices or hostages.  For the first, you would be sorely mistaken to let strong bodies like ours go unused where we could be useful for labor.  For the second, I have no money and neither does—“

“Do not waste your pitiful breath.  He has already decided your fate, something you cannot escape.  You will be used as a living sacrifice for god and he will grant us powers beyond belief.”

“You are sorely mistaken.  Your god does not exist.”

Dirk looked to the pole next to him and saw Ismene had awoken.  “Yes.  That would be wise.  Tell the one who is holding the knife that his deity does not exist.  This will solve our problem.”

Ismene coughed.  “I am only speaking truth to his people.  They need to hear it as do us all.”

Dirk looked around and saw that Ismene was right.  More people had gathered for the ceremony.  He shook his head, feeling fear creep up into his mouth, a coppery taste.  He weighed the options and Ismene’s would not have been one he would have chosen.  Yet, he did realize the importance of sticking together.  This or nothing.  “So be it.  Yes,” he said, looking at the child, “Your god is imaginary.  He has no power.  He does not wish your sacrifice.”

“This is not something we can argue.  Your fate has been decided.”

A weak voice spoke from Dirk’s right.  “Our fates have been determined long before you were even born son.  There is nothing you can do to change that.”

“You shall see what we can do to your fate.”

A hush fell over the already quiet crowd.  The child went breathed in to speak again but stopped suddenly and spun around.  Through the crowd, Dirk could see six men, three on each side, bearing a large throne on their shoulders.  It was made from pure gold, reams of cloth seaming to flow from the seat, different colors melding into each other.  There were ornate carvings with pictures and glyphs that Dirk could not make out.

But it was not the throne that demanded attention.  It was the man atop it.  He was tall and huge.  Rolls of fat jiggled with ever movement of the men, of which there were few.  His hair was long and dark, silver strands weaved throughout.  His beard was massive, falling to his ample stomach.  His girth was such that Dirk wondered if he was able to remove himself from his chair.  One of his large hands rested by a palate of food resting on his stomach and the other held a large goblet.  The he spoke, his voice loud and reverberating into the night.

“Welcome to my home children.  Here you will be treated with exemplary care and concern.  Nothing will you lack, nothing will you want, nothing will you desire.  I will cause your cups to be overflowing and your tables to be ever stocked with fresh meat and wine.”  He lifted his goblet and, as if in example, drank.  A couple drops spilled onto one of his men servants and, with surprising agility, he leaned over and grabbed the man.  He clenched his throat and lifted him bodily from the ground, the man’s legs kicking in midair.  Then the servant fell to the earth, dead, strangled.  Dirk felt his heart stop.  Where the child was creepy, this man outright scared him.

The large man motioned into the crowd and another quickly took the place of the dead man.  “Like I was saying before my man stole my wine, I will grant you paradise.  All I ask is for one sacrifice.  Only one.  Choose among yourselves and the one chosen will be given to me to consume in heat and fire.”

Dirk felt a warm, sticky substance on his wrists and he realized he was bleeding from struggling against the rope.  This was bad, he knew that.  He looked into the fire, hoping it would be quick, whatever the outcome.  Suddenly, he smiled and, looking at Ismene, winked.  She looked at him, a quizzical look on her face.  He smiled.  “I am Gat’yun.  Watch me save you.”

Nathan had closed his eyes against the pain.  His left ankle was swollen and his mouth was dry.  He had passed out already but had come to around the time Dirk had.  He knew there were little options to consider.  Death was close.  If it was God’s will.  He opened his eyes and saw Dirk struggling, the blood dripping from the frayed rope.  He thought back to the story Hector had told him when they had brought this child in to care for.  A young child, barely a man, had taken on several bandits and had won.

Nathan had wondered at the strength there, his curiosity only raised by watching him handle himself in a local bar brawl he had happened to catch.  He looked to the heavens.  This was not something that was random or coincidence.  This was meant to be by God.  Nathan did not know what Dirk’s past was like, nor where he came from.  But the point was he was here now.  Here and now he was here bar nothing.  This was meant to be.  And he prayed.

The large man stopped talking and waited for a response.  Nathan lifted his head.  “You are—“

No one ever found out what he was.  The pole Dirk was on fell towards the fire.  It reached the flames and was doused instantly in fire.  As it fell though, it landed on a flaming log, flipping it into the air.  Nathan watched in amazement as Dirk leapt from his crouched position, reaching out for the flaming log.  Grabbing it in midair, he landed and switched his hold to a part that was not on fire.  He then turned to the throne.

The large man was staring in awe.  Dirk faltered, as if he was unsure of what to do next.  That was the worst thing he could have done.  The king stood on his throne, his men to fall to their knees, and he stepped to the ground.

“I have offered you life and you spit in my face.  You will regret this.”  With speed that left the dead servant in its shadow, he closed the distance between him and Dirk and grabbed at him.  Dirk dodged even quicker but snagged his torn shirt in the hands of the king.  He was spun around by the larger man who threw him to the ground.  The king then reached down and grabbed him by his throat, lifting him above the crowd.  Dirk’s feet struggled against the air as had the servant before him.  Suddenly, he seemed to find invisible purchase and pushed against the king.

The king kept his balance, a frown forming on his face.  Then he smiled as Dirk began to go limp.  He started to let Dirk fall to the ground but stopped when Dirk opened his eyes once more.  “Pride goes before the fall.”  And he plunged the flaming log into the king’s face.  The large man howled and brushed it away with a mighty swipe.

“You fool.  You pitiful mortal human.  You dare assault a god?  Die.”

Dirk was thrown into the surrounding woods with a loud shout of pain.  Nathan followed him with his eyes and winced as he heard him fall to the ground.  Then he watched as the king followed him into the forest.

Dirk pushed himself up and, smiling, waited for the king to reach him.  He had decided to let the big man make the first move.

“You have no idea what you have done.”  The King’s voice was loud and booming.  But when he reached Dirk, he lowered it.  “Do you know who I am?”

“No.  But I think you are going to tell me.”

He cursed in Greek, a word Dirk had only just learned from the sailors.  “I am the god of this world.  You, who are not even worthy to lick my boot, are to be my slaves.  This was my world and you have stumbled into it uninvited.  Now I will kill you for daring to touch me.”

Dirk shrugged, feeling his muscles bunch up.  “You can try.”  He heard his voice shake, fear evident.

“Brave words for a stupid kid.”  The king reached around to his side and pulled out a small metal disk the size and shape of a coin.  Then he reached to his other side but only pulled out an empty sheath.  A look of confusion swept over his features as he looked at the leather sheath.  “Where is my dagger?”

Dirk smiled and, as he stood, plunged the King’s dagger he had taken into his large chest.  Then he took it out and plunged again.  The king screamed with pain and Dirk felt fire burn his chest as the king touched him with a fiery hand.  Their faces were close together and Dirk’s heart stopped as he saw the King’s eyes turn a deep black.  Then the dark forest erupted with fire as the King died, engulfing Dirk in a strange energy.  Dirk started to black out but forced himself to stay awake.  He had to save Ismene.

He ran into the clearing, chaos ensuing after the late King’s subjects saw him, blood covering his hands, start to untie the captives.  Nathan stumbled off the pole, rubbing his hands and limping towards Jonah, who was starting to come to.  “Come Jonah, we have to leave.  We have to escape.”

Jonah mumbled something but stood when freed.  He started to help others to vacate the area.  Dirk held off the crowd, brandishing a large sword he had taken off the King, waving it at those getting too close to him and the others.  It was not until Ismene called out to him that all were free that he turned and made his way with the others to the shore.

*****

     Dirk leaned against a tree and vomited, the combination of blood, death, and smoke catching up with him.  He looked at his hands, once strong back there, now weak and shaking.  He felt his chest, where the king had burnt him, and felt small bumps.  He winced, not wanting to look at it.  The blood on his wrists was drying, crusting over into scar tissue.  He fell to his knees as more bile came up into his mouth.  He pounded the sand, sick and angry.  He hated throwing up.  I’m only 17.  why do I have to go through this.  I can’t do this.  Look at me.  I’m puking all over, making a fool of myself.  He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, something he would not have done weeks ago back home, and crawled to lie down.  He could feel his mouth, dry and sticky, the stomach acid making his teeth raw.  The after taste lingered in the back of his throat and he started to dry heave.  He felt mucus and tears all over his face so he took his shirt and tried to wipe it.

“For a kid, you are a beast, a lion.”

Dirk looked up and saw Nathan limping towards him across the sandy shore.

Peace,

Bill

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“What is Your Passion?”

Usually when you meet someone, at least here in America, you go through the customary conversations.  “Hello, nice to meet you.”  “Likewise.  How are you?”  Something to that effect.  Well, a year or so back, I met this guy, a leader of a church college group, and his first words after hello were “What is your passion?”

Going through highschool, there were kids who knew what they wanted to do in life and kids who had no idea.  I had no idea.  I knew what i liked (writing, talking, discussing bible stuff).  but I had no idea what I would do when I got out into the “Real World”.  7 years later, I am only a little closer.  I have experience a lot of life, been places, met people, and done a lot.  But I still don’t know what I want to do.

So, when this guy asked me the question, I was taken aback.  I had no idea.  I finally answered writing but is that really my passion?  I enjoy writing, although its been hard for a while now.  Mega writer’s block.  In fact every word on this blog is painful to draw out.  But it is still my passion.  I am always in close access to a pen and some scrap of paper, or my phone with its handy note function.

Hopefully this will one day fit into “what I want to do with my life”.  Or maybe it will always remain a hobby, an escape, an outlet.  Who knows.

What is your passion?

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I opened my eyes and saw the apple I had placed on the night stand by my bed.  It was sitting there, innocent and calm, its juicy voice silent for now.  Its skin reflected the rays of the sun coming through the window.  The rays that were instrumental in awaking my closed iris’.  The apple’s imperfect sphere allowed it to remain motionless but I could see its future of being taken and deformed by a single bite imminent, though my stomach called for yellow yolk and whiny whites.  It was not wanted, the apple.  Therefore, it was defective.  An apples purpose was to be eaten.  Yet it was not to be so.  This apple was too perfect in its lopsided stance, its loud redness.  What was to be done with this malignant fruit then?  Should i dispose of it?  How would that keep at bay its nefarious designs on this world?  Would it help at all?  Or would an unsuspecting soul retrieve it for its perfection?  Is it my place to say?  No.  So I let it stay there, mocking me in its perfect inability to fulfill its purpose.  It did give me pause though.  If its purpose was to go into the night unseen and untouched and uneaten and it was perfect, then how much better would I fare?  Could I fare at all with such odds?  This world in all its brokenness and cruelty would deny me my destiny and I would be happy with it.  The apple was not complaining so neither could I.  Besides, I needed another hit, for the one I had taken was wearing off.  The white powder is so bright against the red.  But wait!  The apple fell.  I’m picking it up and its…plastic…

[Disclaimer: I am not on drugs nor am I crazy (to the best of my knowledge).  This is merely an experiment in writing.]

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On Writing…

So, here at last is my post on writing.  I feel as if everyone who has picked up a pen (what’s that?) or pressed a lettered key has probably either written on the subject of writing or will write on said subject.  That being said, read (if you are so inclined to) this piece on writing by George Orwell.

What is writing for me?  It is an outlet.  It allows those things in my head a place to express themselves with a posterity that blurting them out into the air does not afford.  It allows them the freedom that my head cannot quite provide.

It is also an environment where I can take thoughts, ideas, problems, etc and work them together in order to form a solution.  Many a problem has been solved in my life by scrawling down abstract word pictures and fitting them together.

It is also a virtual time-machine.  With the collection of my writing over the years, I can “travel back” and see who I was, where I was, and how far I have come from there.  My problems now as an adult are far different than my problems as a child (who do I ask to a freshman homecoming as opposed to where do I look for a career?)

In the later part of Orwell’s text, I noticed how he commented on the political nature of writing.  All writing has a bias and an agenda of sorts (here, it is merely how writing is beneficial, to which some will disagree).  Some argue that writing does not have to have an agenda.  I argue, and have argued, contrarywise.

Gad has gifted me as a writer.  My passion is writing.  This is what I do.

Peace

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