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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Chapter 9

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Number of posts : 147
Age : 36
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Registration date : 2009-03-26

PostSubject: Chapter 9   August 22nd 2009, 6:44 am

hello all, sorry I been away for so long but have been very busy with work and haven't actually wrote anything for ages as I come home knackered every day lol Well, I wrote this now, so am posting it up! Sorry if it lacks quality but I have been very unfocused. Am trying to get back into it all and am currently writing the next chapter, which will go up soon.


When Edna’s life was robbed by the Reptoes, the mysterious boy concealed himself behind a nearby bookstore, where he consequently remained during Alyssa’s performance with the flute.

He had enjoyed watching the old bitch die; there was something about untimely death that never failed to satisfy his hunger for destruction. Though she was aged somewhat, the letting of her blood and screams tantalised his needs for suffering nonetheless, and how his heart sang hearing the wench grieve for the withered bitch! Watching her escape the same end, however, had infuriated him deeply. Where did she find a Mushroom Flute anyhow? Of all the things! How did she come about one in Elemenphis, it’s nothing but grasslands and cursed woods! The way it is told in legend is that there exists only one flute in the whole of Gaia, and it was lost eons ago. There are others, of course, but they reside only in the Otherworld, but she couldn’t have been there, the men of Zarria ordered the entrance to be sealed many years ago, long before the bitch was even born. And yet, the chosen one had it on her possession the very day the demons come for her. How convenient. And to exacerbate things further, he showed his ugly face, the chosen’s guardian. Oh how he had to restrain himself from ripping off the cloak and revealing his true identity back at the entrance to Cobbington. Not to worry, the boy thought, they would both suffer eventually. And after all, he’d had some fun earlier, playing his little games with the girl. The summoning of those creepy, jelly-like dream terrors had worked like a charm. She’d thought she was losing her mind. And soon, she would. They all would. And the encore to this saga would be worthy of an apocalyptic applause.

It was now time to report back to his father, for he would be most intrigued, and not to mention irate, to hear of the day’s events.

The boy peered out from behind the bookstore. His black cloak, weighted by his weapon cleverly fixed to the interior, flittered beneath a refreshing summer breeze. The alleyway between the bookstore, and the Haberdashery, was lined to either side with empty crates and pallets, and looked out towards the marketplace, where folk were slowly gathering their wits, and hobbling around, wondering what on Gaia just happened. The dead littered the streets, mortality still seeping from wounds, people sobbing for lost loved ones. The girl was nowhere to be seen and neither was the old fool, so, satisfied nobody would disturb him he slid back behind the bookstore, and removed the cloak, letting it slump to the floor; the shaft of his sword jutting from the folds.

The boy gritted his teeth as his body began to swell. His bones made clicking noises as they grew, his slender, immature physique slowly warping, and then bulging into disfigurement as he aged. The soft sheen of his skin roughened, the soft fuzz coating his arms and legs morphed into thick, black tufts. The pain was great, but regaining his former strength: greater. Feeling his anatomy stretch and expand into fleet maturity was agonising, yet the disguise had been necessary to locate the girl. His clenched teeth, young and white, decayed into black and yellow dentures of a middle-aged man who had taken little, or no care of them. His hands and fingers, slim and almost feminine to the eye, bloated into ruggedness. The pain that came as a deep, unforgotten scar furrowed its way through his left eye almost derived a squeal from the transforming boy, yet he did all he could to subdue the cry. More scars creviced across his body, and his once innocent countenance became a physiognomy of hatred, as the young boy became a hideous, battle-worn man, clad in black hides.

He stretched his new body, and let out a sigh of regained comfort. The cloak of concealment had worked wonders, and he made a note to bring the loyal monks of Shaol a gift when his people were next in their lands. Around his neck hung an assortment of talismans, each shaped like crosses and orbs and medallions; all serving different and very useful purposes.

Sifting through them, he retrieved a gold medallion incused with a single, closed eye, and removed it from his neck, holding it out in his palms. The medallion took on a glow as the eye of Malberoth opened, and transmitted above the charm a holographic image of his father. His kin’s features were unwelcoming and sparkled with a malevolence born from a long lineage of cruelty. The men of Zarria were evil to their very roots, and those unfortunate enough to encounter them, realised that before long. His father proceeded to speak through the talisman. He said:

‘Hello Darius, I hope you have something worthwhile to tell me. I was in the middle of something, so this better be good news.’

Before Darius formed a response, a scream sounded throughout the talisman, and Darius’ father turned away. There was a muffled plea for mercy tailed by a cringe worthy crunching sound, and then the begging ceased entirely. His father turned back, flecks of blood now dotted his white beard.

‘Who was that, father? One of the Empath slaves maybe?’

‘Yes, it was. He failed to locate the Soul Eater so I had no further use for him. Time is pressing on, our moment is almost at hand, and still we do not have the vessel in our possession. But anyway, what tidings do you bring?’

‘I found the girl, father.’

A bond between father and son can sometimes be empowered by the father’s approval of his son’s achievements. Darius had always had to compete for his father’s love and respect with his brother, Jared, who was always the better of things. All of his life he’d lived in his shadow. His brother was the better fighter, the better seer, the better tracker. But his brother was dead, and now it was Darius’ time for recognition. Had he not become a great fighter, and a learned tracker? Had he not acquired other talents now, talents his cursed brother couldn’t hope to match? And now, watching his father’s cruel eyes light up, he might even receive a taste of that bond once favoured only to Jared.

‘Excellent work Darius,’ he said, grinning. ‘There may be hope for you yet. We took women from Senstone; they will make a worthy prize for such wonderful news. You may take your pick when you arrive back in the Serubian Wastes. Take whoever you want and make it painful. So, I take it the girl’s dead?’

Darius hesitated, knowing that taste would now turn bitter, and be replaced with a verbal onslaught. ‘No, father, the girl lives still. The Reptoe were defeated.’ He lowered his head in shame.

His father seemed to grimace at his words, but before he spoke, Darius heard somebody hail him through the orb. ‘Master Vyrium, sir, one of the slaves has found something. I think you should come right away.’

Vyrium nodded, and then turned his attentions back to Darius. ‘So, you have failed me yet again. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t kill you the last time this happened. You’re a waste of space, Darius, a piffling son indeed you turned out to be. I wish you had taken Jared’s place in death.’

‘But father, Jared-’

‘Silence, you pitiful fool. Now, you’ll enlighten me with your explanation, and you’d better make it quick, for I have other pressing issues to attend to.’ Vyrium’s voice oozed with an amalgam of chagrin and contempt.

Hearing such words spoken by his father always stung Darius deeply. He felt like a failure, and always had done. Ever since he was a child he was treated like a runt. Though he could never voice his feelings, he was glad Jared was no more. Darius’ time would come. He just hoped it was sooner rather than later. ‘It wasn’t my fault father. The girl had a flute, the mushroom flute, of all the things. I don’t know how she came about it, or even how she knew to play it. But she did. The Reptoes were useless afterwards, and-’

‘I know what the flute does you imbecile!’ Vyrium snapped, causing Darius to flinch in fear. ‘You had an army of demons, and the Cloak of Concealment at your disposal and you couldn’t kill one young girl? Flute or not Darius, you are a failure.’

‘I’m sorry, father.’

‘Oh do shut up. Now, what about him, was he there, the bitch’s guardian?’

‘Yes, he was there. He and the girl have left the village. I saw where they went and will follow them once I’m done here. He’s going to pay dearly for what he did to my eye, I will see to that, father.’

Vyrium’s expression took on a mock tint and his eyes relaxed and found Darius in a way one might find a boasting child. ‘You think you can defeat him? Let’s hope you mean it this time, for he will surely make a fool of you if you don’t. He’s stronger than you, and highly skilled with a sword. You were lucky to live the last time you two met in battle.’

‘It sounds like you fear him yourself, father,’ Darius retorted, knowing full well he would have been better to keep his cursed mouth shut.

‘You dare speak of fear to me? I who have led the men of Zarria into countless battles and emerged victorious? I, who have commanded the armies of Wryneck long before you were even born to this cursed world? How dare you speak to me of fear? I fear not his skill, but I am not blind to it either. He killed my son and shall pay the price. Now listen to me Darius, and you had better heed my words, for I shall say this only once. The girl must die, for when Wryneck returns he will be most displeased to learn of your failure in killing a simple child. And foremost, he will not be comforted to learn he will have to locate and destroy her himself. If that girl is not dead by nightfall, I will personally order the Reptoes to skin you alive.’

‘I swear father, she’ll die by my sword, and that old fool along with her. They will not escape death twice in one day.’

‘Good. Now, I had already anticipated your failure, and took the liberty of sending another shipload of Reptoes to Elemenphis. They would have already left the shores and be making for Cobbington. They will be there before nightfall. When they do, you will make your move then, and only then. I will not have another costly error, Darius. Leave them to believe they have escaped peril for the time being. Prove to me, Darius, that you’re not a worthless rodent!’

Darius was angered by his father’s remarks, but instead of saying something he would later regret, he simply nodded, and loosened his grip on the talisman, shutting it off. Thoughts raced through his deranged mind as to the methods of their deaths. However he would kill them, they would know and wed suffering. He’d like to watch the old fool watch as he maimed the girl, maybe he would ravage her in front of her guardian’s eyes, and lust in her terror. He’d already decided he wouldn’t wait for the Reptoes before he made his move. No, he wanted to kill them now, and make his father proud.

Darius easily picked up their trail that led into the Broadheart Wood.
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PostSubject: Reply   August 22nd 2009, 7:15 am

You handled the section well. I always consider these chapters wasted, as I knew the child was the trouble, I knew he would continue to be trouble, and I knew that more minions would be coming. Still, there is some pleasure in knowing that you are right, and it does help make the story more substantial by showing more than simply what little the main characters experience.

Okay, that was interesting. Glad to see you back at writing. I am about to go pull 12 hours of labor myself, so I know how draining it can be. Have to rise above however, and I am glad to see you doing it.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Chapter 9
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