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  • taraskelt 12:06 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hey everyone, NaNoWriMo is mere hours away, and I hope that we can all welcome in the month as a group, and begin our stories as a result! Looking forward to more activity in Querk and so much writing and coffee and exhaustion that I feel like I’m going to collapse, but my fingers are burning for a keyboard and my mind racing, so it will be worth it. See you all soon!

  • withkeylymes 6:02 pm on October 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: burning food, character study, , OWL, practice, uncommonly burning food, world study   

    An Uncommon Method of Burning Food 

    My eyes were those of owls as I watched my guardian work with the open flame before us; the animal of lore, that is, as Owl’s own eyes were forced into the cynical slant that he appraised the world with. I had never before seen anyone within the world cooking; all those that I knew were too young, and worse than that, fire was dangerous. Not only did it work as a beacon, alerting your location as well as the location of food to anyone nearby, but the pollutants left over from The Rapture worked their unpredictable magic upon the flames, twisting their shape and changing their colour. Before us, the fire flicked blue on Owl’s right, and the dancing element cast his canvas-grey eyes the colour of passion.

    “Never anywhere but on the shore, do you understand?” asked that sodden voice, laced with the deep lilt that only maturity could bring. His eyes flicked to mind, and a curt nod was the response I was expected, the response that I gave. It did not stop the goosebumps that crept up my forearms, stinging slightly as coarse wool rubbed against them; being pinned with that stare could stop anyone in their tracks, and didn’t fail to stop my heart out of the queerest mixture of fear and admiration. “If you must abandon your meal without hesitation, the water will consume it posthaste. If you do not, you risk killing whomever is unlucky enough to be beneath the houses that catch fire from carelessness within the city’s streets, and you do not want to be responsible for the death of another. It is also the only place wherein–”

    As always, the Fog had crept close without warning, and Owl was the one who felt it, the grey in his eyes surely being the proof that he was her child. Owl, child of the City and the Fog within it. My arm was in his in a moment, legs struggling to keep up with the leggy gait of the adult, careless to any struggle I may face, as he would always tell me that it was mine alone to bear, as his were his. Once more off of the sand, we perched, watching the fog roll in from the riling waves of the bay, the overflow of the ocean. His gloved finger stretched forward, angling toward the fire that we had built, now being torn asunder by the violent wind.

    The moment the Fog hit the flame, it sizzled, briefly, as water hitting a coal, before the gases within it came to life. The fire crackled and snapped as though it was filled with flaking, decayed wood, spitting sparks in all directions around it. The flame grew, devouring the Fog like a voracious beast, overtaking the sand, biting and snapping at every surface that the fog touched, a violent woosh of a sound signaling each movement. It grew beyond measure, tears invading my eyes and fear, my heart, looking toward Owl only to find him as blank a slate as always, forehead creased as he watched the creature grow with an age-old spite. I had of course been mistaken; never could Owl be the child of City, as he was far too busy being the archenemy, posing with his hands shoved deep into the bowels of his filled pockets, illuminated all by the orange glow of the flames.

    It was over as quickly as it began, a hiss preluding the very air detonating in front of us. Flames curled outward in thick columns, smoke billowing upward as the first heat I’d felt in so long washed over us at the speed of the wind, leaving the beach void and barren. After the passionate embrace of fire and water, the beach seemed drab and dull beyond the flicker of fire, and my eyes turned again to my leader.

    “Look again,” he murmured, voice carrying a weight that I recognized. When my sight returned to the site that we had been sitting about, there was not a thing remaining. No wood, no pot, no food, simply charred remnants of a visitor once inhabiting the ground, the sand about it melted to glass.

    “Only by the shore, Lye.”

    Unable to pull a single fractured word from my constricted, terrified throat, I could only express my agreement with a series of rapid, very assured nods of the head.

  • theinkling 7:57 pm on October 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Diti and Hema

    This is another character pairing that I’m growing very fond of, and I thought I could maybe discuss it.

    Hindu mythology says that the Devas — demigods — and the Asuras — demons — each came from two women. The mother of the devas was Aditi. The mother of the asuras is Diti. (Diti means chaos, Aditi means “resolution of chaos”)

    When the Devas took the elixir of immortality after the churning of Vishnu’s ocean, they fed some to their mother. Aditi, agonizing over the decision, fed some to Diti. She and her sister were dear to each other, though Aditi’s frivolity often annoyed Diti. Diti, now immortal, now gets to watch her mortal sons die — and each generation of descendants. She grows to hate her sister for cursing her to see these generations die. What she really wants is to be killed

    Hema’s weapon, given to her by the goddess Parvati, is the only thing that can kill Diti. When Hema visits the underworld, she goes to see Diti, as Diti has the point of access to the Heavens and a way to rescue Nilam. Diti says she will help her get to heaven and conquer death in the process so that she can go to Amaravati without harming herself.

    Hema and Diti are joined by the grief they feel for their children. They bond over motherhood, a common and intangibly powerful connection that give them unintended power and consequence. They get to know each other, and Hema feels unable to kill Diti when they’ve grown to love and respect each other so much. And those quiet scenes where they talk and grow to understand each other, while death hangs over their head, constitute some of the favorite scenes I have to write.

  • Zekkass 2:21 pm on September 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    For the prompt of ‘a cat is haunted by a ghost’.

    Warning: This is not a nice story. Violence against animals.

    It kills the first of them. It croutches over the litter, paw raised, and treats them like mice. Broken backs, strength in its paw, and it spares none. It smiles as it kills.

    There’s howling from behind. Angry, loud howling. A paw on its back, teeth in its neck. Growling. It closes its eyes and waits to die, shaking in sudden fear. It knows what is coming.

    Abruptly the paw is gone, and it relaxes, expecting it to be over. Wasn’t so bad. It can leave now. But then there is pain in its legs, and it yowls in pain, drags itself away from the litter with broken legs.

    It looks back at its attacker, expecting to see a wolf, a dog, a beast with fangs and a paw the size of a mountain, expecting to see what pinned it, but no –

    Just the litter’s dam, with death and grief in her eyes.

  • theinkling 2:20 pm on September 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conceptualizing   

    This is also a summary of my favorite scene of my upcoming NaNo novel, Adrishta. It may not make any sense at all; it comes somewhere deep within the novel — and I got excited because I’m using a character I used to write about extensively a few years ago — but I had a lot of fun writing it.


    Hema and Mani, from Timepass.
    Finally meeting.

    They meet in the airport, and Hema is drenched with sweat from an uncomfortable flight. She still looks young, even though she is worried. It’s that vulnerability, that wretched loneliness. She’s unused to being back in India, her Telugu is very rusty. She’s holding a battered suitcase with a change of clothes because that’s all she can manage. Every waking moment is occupied with thinking about her daughter, the diamond token from Parvati buried in her blouse piece between her breasts. She feels the guilt pierce her throughout, because she thinks about her nephew, Mani, as someone she neglected. She knows that even though she never got along with her sister, estrangement from her nephew is unforgivable.

    But Hema, still shaking, leaves the Hyderabad airport and, waiting for her in the dark, is Mani. Mani is tall — six feet three inches — and has a rounded face and a  sturdy, youthful body.(He’s not lanky, is what I mean; his black t-shirt hangs on him just so, and the beginnings of powerful arms. He is only eighteen after all.) It is at least thirty five degrees celsius outside, and Hema is unused to that kind of heat, but when she sets eyes on her nephew, she walks up to him and says her name. Just Hema. And Mani holds her hand. Grips it, not shaking it. There is that inexplicable connection, because they are bound by a common loss. But that shake means her mind is no longer so fragmented. She no longer thinks about the past. There is only love, and fear for what will come ahead.

  • Zekkass 7:29 am on September 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: preview   

    Because NaNoWriMo is coming up, and because the chat is active, I wrote a little preview from my upcoming novel. Dunno if I’ll use this exactly in it, and it’s set halfway through, but anyways…

    …ruined world. He stares. The second the word was out he knew something would happen, but this – his memory is still hazy on exactly what happened, and he has the feeling he blinked and missed it, but –

    There is no world.

    There is ruin, spread out before him. There is ruined, rusted metal spread in every direction, grinding together and surging as the water – was the ocean filled with these wrecks – as the water moves and sways with the tides. There is an endless shriek in the air as infinite pieces of metal are ground and dragged against each other, and he covers his ears as he looks. He sees the remnants of a car, of buildings, but Earth never had this much metal, this metal ocean is too vast for everything humanity made to fill it. And yet it’s filled, and if this –

    What has he done to the world by giving her that name?

  • taraskelt 7:27 am on September 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hello everyone, and welcome back as we draw ever-closer to National Novel Writing Month!

  • taraskelt 7:24 am on September 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Beginning scene concept for Leeder’s Grain 

    I can imagine this scene at the beginning, where Mollith is sitting on a jutting rock where
    the forest descends and diminishes into the fields of corn that are the beginning of the
    village limits. She's lying flat on her stomach and walking her fingers across the surface
    of the rock, bored. A small little pixie, about the size of her thumbnail, dances along
    after her fingers, and climbs up, spiderlike, to sit in her palm as she opens it.
    In this scene, Mollith is introduced, and we also will show how faeries are abhorred, feared,
    and rejected by how she hides the small creature (carefully), to prevent discovery. She is
    shown again, once she's run through the fields and disappeared into cornrows to escape
    discovery, the fairy clinging to the fabric of her shirtsleeve, as she runs to the edge of
    the cornfield and releases the small creature near the edge, just over the edge of the barren,
    scarred land of charcoal and fired remains that exists in a half-circle around the village
    limits, cutting it off from the forest. For a good forty feet charred ground stretches before
    an enormous, lush yet forboding wood. 
    She stops just at the edge, looking over the charred ground. The fairy, small pin-sized eyes
    wide, looks out over the charred land and clings to Mollith's thumb. If she crosses and touches
    down on the burnt, damaged land between here and the wood she will die; she needs to be returned
    to the patch of moss where she and others like her live, some distance in, but she is small and
    was carried over by the wind.
    Mollith has never crossed over into the wood before, but this time, to preserve this little life,
    it's a necessary risk; small faeries have always sought her out, and most have been kind. She tries
    her best to return that small kindness when the chance is given. Taking a deep gulp of air and
    swallowing the lump in her throat, she sets off at a mad run across the charred landscape and into
    the thick greenery of the forest.
  • Zekkass 4:11 am on March 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    we used to be family 

    [Notes: Okay – I wrote this after several weeks of no writing at all, so pardon any roughness, and to boot it’s fanfic. Specifically it’s Supernatural fanfic, an AU of season five, and mostly what you need to know I’ll summarize like so:

    a) Angels can be trapped in rings of fire – specifically, rings of burning holy oil. Also they’re walking around on Earth in human vessels.

    b) Gabriel skipped out of Heaven after Lucifer fell / other stuff went down, he’s been in hiding from angels and worked out a deal with Loki for use of his form/role as witness protection. Hence the norse references.

    c) Raphael’s…rather determined to get this Apocalypse ongoing so Michael can defeat Lucifer and they can get Paradise going, nevermind what the other pantheons want.

    d) In the episode I’m AUing off of, Raphael was trapped in a fire-ring and left there, so I’m having Gabriel find him before he’s freed later.

    And with that you should be good to go!]

    He can’t help but think of himself as a moth, and he can’t help but think of all the reasons he shouldn’t be here.

    He’s helpless to resist the urge that brings him here, though, and so here Gabriel is: standing before a ring of fire, listening to the rain fall outside as he watches his brother stand as still as a statue in the center of the fire.

    It’s oddly peaceful, for a moment: the rain is the only sound, and the fire is the only movement.

    Then understanding flashes across Raphael’s eyes, and fear strikes at Gabriel when Raphael moves, surging forward, voice rising with fury, and sheer instinctual terror makes Gabriel step back.

    But Raphael stops at the line of the fire, and then he looks nothing more than human, and weary.

    “…Raphael.” Gabriel greets, then falls into silence when Raphael raises his eyes to meet his own.

    Raphael doesn’t need to say anything to make Gabriel understand that he is angry, he is tired, he is without hope and that Gabriel can’t change anything.

    For a moment Gabriel has nothing to say.

    “You shouldn’t be here.” Raphael says.

    “It’s the other way around, actually,” Gabriel says, and he is grateful for the Trickster, for learning how to talk back when all of his basic instincts are to be quiet and obey.

    Millennia of denying those instincts hasn’t made them vanish, after all, and the presence of another angel makes it harder to deny them.

    (After all these years – is Raphael higher in the hierarchy than he is, now? If he took back his role, would he still have rank to pull?)

    “Lucifer is walking,” Raphael says. “The vessels are alive. It’s time we were down here.”

    “It’s not,” Gabriel says, and is all too aware of how the only thing between him and Raphael is that fire.

    “Traitor,” Raphael says after a long moment, the venom fresh in his voice. “I should strike you down.”

    “We used to be family, you know,” is all Gabriel can say.

    “You aren’t my brother,” Raphael says, every inch of him discarding weariness for fury. “You are a – ”

    “Coward, traitor, not worthy to be an angel, tainted – did I miss anything?”

    “You should be dead.”

    “I’m not.”

    “I’m going to fix that.”

    “Not when you’re trapped like that you’re not.”

    They’re silent again, and Gabriel has to fight with himself not to show fear, or shame – he cast all that aside when he claimed the first sacrifice to Loki as his own.

    He reminds himself of this, and he reminds himself of the promises he made to Odin, to Kali, to the assembled Aesir when they realized that Loki didn’t have wings…

    “I’m not going to help you, Raphael,” Gabriel says at last. “Or try to repent or do anything to get myself back in Heaven’s good graces. So feel free to be angry at me.”

    He moves closer to the circle, staring death – his brother – in the face.

    “I’m going to stop this. I don’t want an apocalypse, and no one else on Earth does. You’d know that if you lived here.”

    He spits on the ground, and walks out, ignoring whatever Raphael says in response, listening to the rain instead.

  • taraskelt 1:32 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Older Dreams 

    She’d felt it coming on, the panic as she sat, fingers tapping against the surface of the desk, flexing in and out as if to leave behind scratches in their wake. Her dull nails made a weak, grating noise that wasn’t quite as horriffic as nails on a chalkboard, but was close.

    She could feel it rising, that sharp, violent urge to run, to scream, to just burst with the feeling of it all as she found herself suddenly aware…too aware, really, of her body, of her small little existence in the world that meant nothing, that was always silent, empty, alone.
    She could hear the crashing of desks as she bolted from her chair and ran into the hallway, collapsing against the wall with a weak shudder. He wasn’t there. Not this time. There were no classmates’ eyes following her from the room, no desks tipping as he stumbled after her and collapsed at her side, arms curled around her small form. There was no comfort. No smell of dried oranges and sawdust, no warmth of his breath on her cheek.
    It was cold. She didn’t know how long she sat there on the floor, staring up at the ceiling as she hugged her knees and counted tiles, waiting for something that would never come. Hours passed, and the light outside the window changed.
    Slowly, she stood. Bones cracked and popped as she stretched and walked to the window. The sun was setting on the opposite side, indiscernable save for the burst of colors it cast from behind her, over the few clouds above, lighting them with a haze of golden-pink and orange.
    An odd color for winter, she thought.


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