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on 180 Roots

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Forum: It's... almost November!
Emy
0

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I've been planning for November since the first day of the month on some other writing forum. I'm going to be doing a fairtytale-like story. Hopefully. I tried to make it like that. There's tons of characters for some reason...
Forum: Short Story: Honor
Emy
2

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What an honor. She stood in the center of the great chamber as their coming of age ceremony began. Its walls opened up to a clear, dark sky in full light of the stars. Flat wisps of magic floated around her, falling in an out of focus. There was a ring of empty space around her but now when she looked at it, she only felt thoughtfulness. The ceremony was unique to every participant and she had not been told what to expect. But she remembered the secret that she had been told in hushed tones and hesitantly, began to smile. She was glad to be alone.

What an honor. The mists converged around her, sculpting themselves into a magnitude of different forms. The scenes moved before her in quick succession but somehow, each one was captured in crystal clarity within her memory. She could see people and animals and places that she had never seen before. She could see things that she had never even dared to dream of before. There were no more children around her, if they could even be called that anymore. It was their coming of age, after all.

What an honor. She watched curiously as the mist gathered together again, solidifying into something that she was only just beginning to recognize. Air and magic shaped itself into limbs and cloth and hair. Visible, distinguishing features began to form on its face. Color blossomed quickly, flowing in a cobweb pattern and staining through until the entire figure was painted. His eyes were green, she noticed but did not move. She waited for the transformation to finish. But she realized suddenly that it already had.

“Hello,” she said timidly, her voice sounding foreign and loud in her ears. It rang a little, like dripping water in a cave and while she might have thought that it was odd, her attention was held by the space behind the Archmage which remained serenely empty.

He smiled at her. “Hello,” he said. He had a nice voice, she decided.

They should comfortably in silence and when the seconds turned to minutes and then to what seemed like hours, she said louder with firmer conviction, “I don’t have a name.”

He looked at her with kindness and held out his hand to her. “Would you like one?”

She took it. It felt fully corporeal and warm. “Oh, could I?”

“But of course,” he said, beginning to led her somewhere in the mists that nobody else could see. “Everybody needs one and it is the least I can do.” He continued after a pensive pause, “Principality is long overdue for some serious changes in any case.”

“Can I help?” she asked without thinking. It felt right to her.

He smiled at her. “Wouldn’t you like an explanation first?”

She thought for a moment, even though she already knew the answer.

“No, sir,” she decided. “It’ll be my honor.”
Forum: Short Story: Honor
Emy
2

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What an honor, the eyes of the White Guard demanded of her as she entered one of the side rooms. It was empty and there was nothing for her to see but polished floors and bricked up windows. Unsettled, she left. The next room was much larger. It was a full library, every wall in her sight holding its full capacity of books. The odor was musky and not at all unpleasant. But there were so many guards and nobles glaring and staring at her as she simply stood on the threshold. They dared her to enter and she was frightened. The quiet whispers she heard as she fled left everything up to imagination.

What an honor. She heard the phrase in her head and was not surprised to hear it again, this time from a child. It was a young girl, well-educated and well-raised by her dress. Her wings were an attractive shade of grey that brought to mind ashes. That girl stared up at the wondrous stained-glass masterpiece covering the entire wall, her entire face bathed in its colored glow. But when she stood in that same spot as that girl, she felt chilled as the rainbows danced across her skin.

What an honor, their guide repeated again as he entered the room with the stained-glass. She listened to him then, uncomfortable with the setting. It was too closed, too falsely open. The glass was too large and imposing and not quite colorful enough. Her skin prickled with sudden dread and she knew by then that it had affected the rest of the group as well. She saw it by their pale faces. In a haze of fear, she all but ran to the door. The guards stopped her from leaving, but she stood with her back flat against the door in terror and it was enough.

What an honor. She heard their guide’s voice speaking about the demise of the Sorceress-Queen at the hand of the great Archmage. It was a story that everybody knew. It was a story that she despised. The Queen had been a Wingless, defeated in this very room. Even now, evil was drawn to the lingering remnants of her magic. The guide told them this and the entire room turned. She covered her face so that she would not see theirs. If the guards had not been there, she might have screamed. Hundreds of years and the people still bore the grudge.

What an honor, she thought bitterly as she stared up at the Archmage’s statue. Out of kindness, their guide had ordered the guards to leave her be. The knot of hate that had been so weak in keeping now reformed itself as she stood at the foot of the bane of her existence. She screamed at the dead man in her head, angry and confused and feeling like nothing by his immense presence that transcended even death and time. She gave him orders that he could have never fulfilled even in life. Purging hatred. Giving her wings. Taking away everybody else’s. She wanted everybody to be treated the same. She wanted her parents to love her the way that they might have. She wanted her name. Eventually, she sat down at his feet, lost and tired. She had been defeated by the silence of a statue.

What an honor. She tiredly stared up at that statue again, half-meaning the phrase now. It was, after all, better that the Sorceress had been destroyed. She grudgingly supposed that she could thank him for that. There was a sparkle of something high above her and she blinked, not trusting her eyes. While she stared up at the Archmage, he stared down at her. Distantly, she wondered if she were going insane. There was mist swirling in the edges of her vision but each time she turned her head, it shifted. It was oddly quiet now. But faintly, she thought that she could hear an old man’s rumbling voice. It sounded like it cared. She listened and when she could not listen anymore, she leaned against the stone and closed her eyes.
Forum: Short Story: Honor
Emy
2

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What an honor, an elderly man said to her one day in a small town. There was no hate in his eyes, no sympathy, no pity, no scorn. No clarity. He could not see her Winglessness. When he asked for her name, she could not answer. He hummed at her silence and invited her to stay for tea. He did not ask for her name again and she would never know whether it was out of consideration or indifference. Respect. Anger. Hate. She had fled before he could even retrieve the cups.

What an honor. The children that she traveled with were always watching her movements. Their stares were a constant presence. Occasionally, one brave child would dart up to her and quickly run hands over her back, causing her to shiver. Touch was a foreign sensation to her. The Winged never associated with her kind. Within a few days, neither would the other children.

What an honor. The guide they meet at the gates of the White Throne was very talkative. He had been born in some remote corner of the Principality, taken to the city by only the most convoluted twists of fate. He knew what it was like being an outsider but at the same time, he did not. Every fifth sentence was that dreaded phrase. He mingled well with the children and was much beloved but she noticed that he had never so much as glanced in her direction. Just as well. His people were outsiders but the Wingless were nobody.

What an honor. She was tired of that phrase. They were given a new guide, one not so talkative and smiling. This guide was ill-tempered and sneering. He tolerated all of them equally. When he spoke of honors, it was with obvious disinterest. He showed them the bright, sparkling sections of the inner city that were almost too clean to view. One day, they happened upon a rare beggar who had evaded the guards. Their guide snapped and sneered and roughly shooed the man away. But she had seen the glint of coins passing between their hands and when the guides changed, she was sorry.

What an honor. On the seventh day, they were taken to the White Throne itself. It was beautiful and standing at the base, she would have never known that it stopped short of the heavens. She had stood there for a while, watching and waiting. Her eyes traced the clean carvings in the stone. It was a magnificently detailed piece, depicting people from all parts of the Principality. She could pick out peasants and princes and merchants and beggars. There were northerners with intricate braided hairstyles and southerners with slim, delicate wings. She saw ancients raising their hands together in some ceremony. It looked and felt complete and perfect. After a while, she turned away and refused to look at it again.

What an honor, she heard again within the White Throne. It was meant with full sincerity this time but on the inside, she only felt emptiness. Their guide had changed to a young scholar in love with history. He spoke at great length about the massive statue of the Archmage standing in the middle of the chamber and talked and talked. He talked for a very long time. When she wandered away, nobody noticed.
Forum: Short Story: Honor
Emy
3

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I had a dream two years ago like this. Then I forgot it. Just today I found the idea in my old files and decided to write it. I think it took about two and a half hours, so I'm not so sure about quality. The ending was sort of odd. But I need to sleep, so... I think I'm content. (It seems like I need to break this down into parts, too. It's sort of long here, but it's only 2221 words.)

Looking back, it actually doesn't actually seem as decent for some reason.

Honor

What an honor. That hated phrase rang in her ears like the funeral bell and slid like oil on her lips as she uttered it with a fixed, waxen smile. The people looked at her with misplaced awe or worse, patronizing sympathy. She would rather that they look at her with their fullest disgust and contempt.

What an honor, she kept hearing. Every town was the same. The people, the faces, the reactions, yes. The reactions were the worst of all. And when they were of genuine happiness, of genuine sincerity, it was breaking. It was easier to hate something that hated back. She wanted to hate the people who cared without knowing her and found that she could not. The only appropriate response was to turn away.

What an honor for somebody of her nonexistence. When she walked, her steps were quick and rhythmic. Her feet did not drag on the ground. Her back was too straight. It was obvious from an instant that she was a Wingless and thus not even present within the social hierarchy. But now even she was making that sacred pilgrimage to the White Throne. Her coming of age would match that of the Winged, and the people would unknowingly hail it with just as much celebration.

What an honor, her mother had cooed in her ear as she stared at her faint reflection in a basin. Quick fingers fixed her hair with pins and ribbons that she had never worn before. Dressed in finery that she had never been allowed before, she mustered all of her resolve and tried and tried so hard to hold together that tight knot of rage. But it fell apart the moment she met her mother’s proud gaze and she lost the will to sustain it. She bowed her head and allowed her lovely Winged mother to crown her head with a wreath of sweetly scented flowers. She had failed even in her hate.

What an honor, her father told her with his hand resting on her shoulder. It was acknowledgement of a sort that she has never received before from him. There had been love before, yes, but almost always followed by sadness. Where there once had been distance, there now was joy. Relief even, that his poor Wingless daughter would at least be granted this one right possessed by all children. If only he would call her by name.

What an honor, her friends and fellow Wingless sneered. Envy and indignation burned in their eyes as she approached them that final time. The pins in her hair fell to the ground, noisily landing on the stones, and her ribbons were soiled in the dust. The flowers were trampled and ruined under many pairs of angry feet, their sickly sweet scent spoiling the air and stinging her eyes. She cried and the very next day, her mother fixed up her hair again. There were no more flowers.
Forum: Old Idea for a Poem: Tabula Rasa
Emy
2

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I'm not a poet. I'm really, really not. I'm terrible at poetry, actually. I don't even know why I try. But I had a somewhat interesting idea (that had sort of been with me since summer) so I wrote the poem anyways. Anyways, here's an example of why I should not be allowed to ever write poetry. I think it's decent. But it feels odd. And sort of off. So. I think it's decent but on the negative side.

(I sort of feel like I stole an idea from somewhere, though. I don't know if I really did or not. Sometimes your brain stores information and then coughs it up years later, making you think that it's your own idea. Um.)

Tabula Rasa

I raise my hand, my pen, my hopes
Against the unblemished slate
And bring to it my wants and dreams
Willing myself to write

I do not aim blindly for the stars
I know where I want to be
But for all my planning over years
The tabula rasa calls hauntingly back to me

So I try again (again) with a firmer hand
And build reality with far more care
But I (always) feel that tiny tremor of fear
(I know) That I will never quite get there
Forum: What you'd create about
Emy
3

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I lean a lot towards two opposing ideas, actually... On the one hand, I like killing off characters and putting the survivors through a whole lot. On the other hand, I actually want a happy ending and not put every character through the wringer. I usually switch of from idea from idea, but I'm less likely to write a lighter sort of story because it seems like it's easier to make Mary Sues that way.

(But I really do like happy stories. I'm just not a naturally happy person. I'm more of an indifferent person who leans more towards slightly negative feelings when I decide to stop being apathetic. So I have a very hard time writing those.)

There are a few things I have reservations about putting into stories these days. Most of them are actually conditional. I'm actually vaguely uncomfortable with most of them, but not quite uncomfortable enough to not write the in. And then sometimes when I put several ideas, the result really does make me uncomfortable enough to scrap it.

I don't really shy away from any ideas because of lack of experience. Because I figured that if I had to base everything I write on personal experience, I wouldn't have any story at all.

(Such a boring life...)
Forum: The Creative Forum and Obscenity
Emy
5

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Well, I'd say that being civil is very important, yes. Even though I think that most people above eleven are well aware of uh certain parts of language.

Personally, I think those certain parts of language are quite replaceable. And in most cases, it's a little annoying how overused they are. You don't really need them. And if you do want to use them, I don't see why you can't just put in a random asterisk to replace a letter. I think people will be able to fill in the blank on their own.

Also, I don't understand why this has to be a war between civility and freedom of expression. First off, this is a website, not America. Secondly... People do have a right to set certain restrictions on their own websites/companies/etc.

And I think that if you lift the restriction on the Creative forum, that could easily become a target for trolls when we get them. It's just easier to keep it as it is.
Forum: 20348
Emy
0

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Yeah, it's about writing novels. I think I'm going to write something similar to a fairy tale... Which is actually writing against type for me in a way seeing as I've always hated romances. Or rather, the generalization of them. Most romances are terrible, in my opinion..

This entry, however, was for a short story contest.
Forum: 20348
Emy
5

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Eh. This is an old contest entry I had on a writing forum. "Old" defined as... um. One month old. I thought it was good when I wrote it, but voters disagreed. I'm not sure whether or not it's because of the constraints of the word limit or just because it was bad. Probably both. People thought it was confusing, too.

I probably could make it better. Maybe. But I'm sort of working on an outline for NaNoWriMo. I think maybe I can actually make it past five pages now. Motivation is good!

Yes.

Genre: Fiction

Experiment 20348-HA7-I3

Sex: Male

Age: Eight Years

Origin: Sector Forty-Five, District Three

Genetic code derived from the Base 3052-TA1-I3

The following recording was captured at 17:04 on day 135, 1293.

The lighting is bright and blindingly so. The most obvious figure in the frame is a young boy with blond hair. The color of his eyes is hidden by shadows. He leans against the wall, his expression absent.

(He is the picture of health, which the overseers mark with approval. It signifies will to live.)

It is clear that 20348 is not alone. He turns suddenly at something out side of the frame. The camera is too far away to place his exact expression, but something dark is certainly lurking there. The moment is a blink-and-miss. His features snap into something more open and childlike. But he is surely swaying gently back and forth, as indicated by the shadows shifting around him.

(It is noted as an entrancing, interesting habit. The overseers remember to encourage it.)

A timid spot of shade hovers at the edge of the frame. After a while, a young girl comes into view. Her back is to the camera. Instead of her face, the frame captures a smooth, unblemished scalp. She is not the star of the video. She is little more than decoration.

(Overseers later identify her as 20475-TA3-I1. She is a failure. Her loss is regarded as an inevitable event.)

20348 shifts, the tangle of shadows whirling around him. His eyes are wide enough to be caught by the camera. It is easy to assume that they are wide with childishness.

(The overseers are pleased that it is something else entirely.)

The girl approaches with obvious, sickening softness. She shrinks from his shadows as he starts to slowly meet her halfway. In a moment that the frame almost did not catch, she turns her head towards the camera. There is a flash of uncertainty on her face before she turns back.

20348 is smiling now. The camera manages to catch a certain degree of its intensity. It is bright and warm and soft. Hard white teeth flash in the light. It is easy to be so taken into the charming picture of a handsome young boy that you miss the awkward play of dark and light at his feet.

(Beautiful, his main overseer remarks with pride. The rest agree and do not deny her this worthy satisfaction.)

With trained clumsiness and a shy attitude, 20348 reaches for the girl’s shoulder. His expression is momentary crestfallen as she ducks back but she soon is lured back by his confusion. She steps forward. 20348 smiles with lots of teeth. His hand rests at the base of her neck.

In the next moment, there is blood and one person standing when just a moment earlier there were two.

(In slow motion, it becomes easy to see how 20348 shoves the girl down and steps back a single pace. He kicks her in the face, both times with precise measures of violence. Autopsy shows that she had already died by the time he steps away.)

20348 walks towards the camera. His smile is truly radiant.

(He is noted as a success.)

End recording

History: 20348 is the seventh derivative of 3052, who was also pronounced a success. Her genetic coding was determined to be a perfect sequence for the Hidden Agression Variant 7 (HA7), although she herself was not placed under that program due to a clerical error. Nevertheless, despite her success with the combination of the True Affection Variant 1 (TA1) and Isolation Factor 3 (I3), it was decided that it would be a tremendous loss of research potential to subject her derivatives to the same program. 20348 is one of four of 3052’s derivatives currently in the HA7 program and one of five to be in the I3 program. In total, 3052 has eleven derivatives.

(The HA7 program is aimed specifically at developing violent tendencies within individuals while maintaining an attractive and mild façade.)

(The I3 program involves placing an individual under such a state of isolation that he or she has absolutely no contact with his or her base, fellow derivatives, or any other experiment combination at all outside of attended observations.)

Behavior: From a young age, 20348 has been noted as very thorough and dutiful in following instructions given to him by the overseers while showing first friendliness and then aggression towards other experiments during observations. He is unable to form coherent sentences at the time, but it has been observed that he shows complete understanding of the language itself when it is spoken to him. His reading skills are above his age level. Left alone, he is observed as drawing quite detailed and complex pictures. They are lines and random shapes, yet they appear to hold some sentimental value to him. He is quite protective of them. His creativity is also clear in his violence. He has thus far eliminated forty-eight other experiments, both failures and successes, all of it done in distinctively different manners. Never has he failed to maintain a sunny desposition.

Diet: 20348 has since birth been fed by IV, in hopes that this would help to slightly increase his rate of development. What goes into the IV, however, is an entirely different and well-classified matter that is out of most first degree overseers’ clearance.
Conclusion: While 20348 will never be seriously considered for mass reproduction in the general populace, overseers are delighted by his progress and see a certain future for his genetic coding in the military.