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Fiction Infinity Turtle - Short Story Comp Entries (the filing cabinet)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Infinity Turtle, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    Because for some reason I want to find my old short story pieces and I find it impossible (more so time consuming) to actually track them down, I've decided to hop on the band-wagon and make a thread to put them up on!

    Open to discuss though/planning/writing/proof-reading processes for these!


    (And feel free to pour adoration, praise and skaven sacrifices my way if you feel it's appropriate... :p)
     
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  2. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    July-August 2015 - Man vs Nature
    Ahhh yes... my first entry on LO... *Cringes slightly*

    Thought Process: I just wanted to be cool and contribute I went with the most basic and literal idea that came to mind. I also spent way to long trying to think of a cool name...


    The Lone Survivor


    Fog began wreathing around Eifrayne as he bashed through the jungle. Wiping sweat and grit from his eyes, he checked the blood soaked bandage on his arm that was slowly sliding down. He pulled it up and looked around to see if he had escaped his unseen attackers.

    His question was answered as a javelin wedged itself into a tree, inches from his face. His blistered feet screamed at him as he broke back into an agonizing run. This time he turned downhill, reasoning the fog would be thicker below. After a while, the steamy fog obscured most things further than a few feet away and his pursuers had finally lost him. He kept running for another few minutes before he felt safe enough to sit down on a fallen log and rested his throbbing feet.

    He was an unlikely adventurer. Most of his life had spent staying up late at night with his nose in a book. All odds were against him lasting longer than his companions, just as they had been against him joining Captain Alton on the jungle expedition. It was his unrelenting inquisitiveness that had got him into reading about adventures and which led him to take the next obvious step. He had abandoned his studies and joined up, a decision he now regretted deeply. He also regretted leading the other members of the crew to the abandoned city. He wished he and his friends had never laid eyes it.


    Eifrayne pushed through the jungle, with his good friend Arden Tanner, one of the young men who had joined the crew for the journey. Nyell, the other scout was only a few feet ahead, yet completely hidden by the thick jungle. He gave a gleeful shout of surprise and Eifrayne and Arden quickly rushed to catch up.

    The three of them had come in hope of gaining fame and fortune when they had joined Captain Alton’s expedition, but so far, the promise of riches had not fulfilled. So far they had found only trees, pillaged stone ruins and more trees.

    This was different. Massive stone blocks, inlaid with gold and precious stones had been layered to build a massive doorway into the outer wall of an amazing city. Vines and creepers were growing up the brickwork that made the wall, with carvings of different symbols and characters Eifrayne didn't understand. Two statues of what looked to Eifrayne like half lizard half men were perched on either side of the entrance, each holding a broad shield and heavy looking halberd. Each one so life like. They must have been there for a while because moss and vines were beginning to grow over their feet. Inside the main wall, much was concealed from sight, but roughly central to the whole city, towering over the building tops that jutted out over the wall, was a giant pyramid.

    On top of the pyramid was a small building with more carvings displayed on it. Four more statues stood outside the building each as intricately designed as the ones outside. The city looked old. Very old.

    "It must have housed an ancient civilisation. They must have worshipped some kind of man-lizard god." Eifrayne said, "Although they must have died out ages ago. No one could survive in this jungle for long." He continued in a matter of fact sounding voice. “It’s a whole new language! A new culture! And we’re the ones who discovered it! Look at all those carvings, we could learn so much more about the southern civilisations.”

    “What do you want to learn stuff for?” Arden stated blankly, “After this, we’ll be so rich you could buy all the books you want! Why, you could even pay someone to read them for you!”

    “Let stop talking about it, and get to filling our pockets. We’ll be living like kings soon,” Nyell stated eagerly.

    “We should tell Alton first, he won’t be happy if we take the gold for ourselves.” Arden pointed out, “It’s not like we can smuggle arm loads of gold back to camp without drawing attention to ourselves. Anyway, we could go back and get the others to bring the wagons. We’ll still be rich.”

    The trio agreed to head back to the rest of the crew and tell of their discovery.


    Eifrayne unwound the bloodied cloth from his arm to inspect the wound. The blood hadn't quite stopped flowing from the deep cut in his upper arm, and Eifrayne accepted it was going to leave one heck of a scar. He fixed is bandage up tightly and planned his next move. Escaping enemies is one thing, but surviving in the wild is another.

    The first thing that he would need was fresh water. Standing up, he covered the blood that he had left on the log and the scuff marks on the ground with the leaves that covered the jungle floor, hoping that his pursuers would not know that he had come this way. From now on, he would have to be more careful about covering his tracks. After making sure he had left no trace, Eifrayne quietly continued downhill.

    After walking for an hour or so, Eifrayne heard the trickle of water. Hurrying on, he came to the edge of a small stream that cut a path through the jungle. He crouched in the undergrowth before going to the water’s edge, in case other creatures might also be looking for a drink. Confident that nothing else was nearby, he slowly moved out of the bushes to the water. Once he was there, his secretive ceased as he greedily gulped mouthfuls of water. Once again, he untied his bandage. He rinsed out the cloth and gingerly splashed water on his wound. He gritted his teeth and it took all he had not to yell out in pain. When he had cleaned his wound as much as he could, he again tied the cloth to his arm and drank some more water. He washed his face and took off his shoes.

    After dangling his feet in the cool running water for a while, he decided it would be safer and more refreshing if he walked in the stream, where he would leave no foot prints. Eifrayne continued upstream and searched for his next vital requirement: shelter. He wouldn’t last long without shelter from the elements and a good, defensible hiding place.

    As he followed the stream, it snaked through several rocky outcrops. After a while, Eifrayne came across a large overhang between two boulders.

    Not knowing what beast might be living in the cave, Eifrayne approached cautiously. He picked up a stone to throw into the cave. Either there was something in there waiting to kill him, or there was nothing and he could use the cave for shelter.

    He gritted his teeth and threw the stone. Nothing happened. Exhaling, he stuck his head inside and inspected his new home. He now had a roof over his head and a hiding spot. It was close to a fresh water source, but he still needed food.

    As he had been wading through the stream, Eifrayne had noticed some small shoals of silver fish. He decided one might do as a meal. The only problem was, he didn’t have means to catch one.

    Then he remembered the javelin that had been thrown at him. If he could make a similar one, he might be able to spear a fish. Outside, Eifrayne found scattered piles of drift wood along the shore, and after searching for a while, he came across a long pole like stick. It was comfortable in hand and well balanced. This would do as his spear.

    He had rubbed the end of his stick on a coarse rock until he had filed it to a sharp point. Then he found a calm, deep pool filled with well sized fish. After many attempts, he managed to skewer a few to take back to the cave. He sat down in his new home, and was about to start preparing his meal, when he realized he had no way to make a fire. Eifrayne picked up one of the fish. It felt slimy and cold in his hands and he was glad no one else was there as he took a bite of the slimy flesh. He gagged but forced himself to swallow the disgusting mouthful. It wasn't very appealing, but he was going to be there for a while. Maybe even the rest of his life, which might be quite short with those ferocious lizard people out there, so he needed to get used to it.

    After a while, Eifrayne returned to the shore in search of more possibly useful items. Eventually realising there was nothing else on the stream bed within a safe distance to the cave, he decided to enter the jungle.

    He didn't go too far in, as the mist, which he previously thought as an aid in his escape, now prevented his ability to see attackers from far off like he could on the shore. A little way in, Eifrayne came across a sizeable, but flexible sapling. Thinking it could be used as a weapon, he found a sharp looking rock and beat the sapling off at the end. He carried it back to the shore, along with several vines, the image of a bow hanging in his mind as he walked through the fog.

    He started to pull the stringy bark of the sapling, even though it was getting too dark to see clearly. He planned to keep busying himself with his survival to prevent his thoughts from straying back to the massacre of the crew in front of the city.


    At the description of the city, the Captain decided that the next day they would all go explore the city. Eifrayne noticed more than one were looking extra thoughtful at the mention of the gold and gemstones.

    After packing supplies early the next morning, the group set out for the city. They trekked through the jungle, following the young scouts until they came to the city. As soon as they arrived the rest of the crew ran in different directions to find their own share of treasure.

    Eifrayne, Arden and Nyell stood right where they were. Something wasn't right. None could put their finger on it for a while, but when they realised what was different, it made the three of them feel sick. The statues had gone.
     
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  3. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    October-November 2015 - Spirit of Horror
    Trying to make something scary when you have to read it 20 times and analyse it isn't always easy...

    Thought Process: Again, I was new to the forum and spent the first two weeks bugging my dad for details about daemons and chaos yada yah (while also trying to keep him in the dark so that he'd read it and go "Wow!"... I'll pretend that it worked). I've always wanted to begin a story with "An ear-splitting scream echoed through the night", so I wrote that before even considering what a "plot" was. I wanted to write in first person to be able to convey the whole lying to your little sister thing in a way that wasn't to obvious... I don't think it worked... :shy: Also having recently watch Predator again and Primeval (a dinosaur sci-fi show <3) i decided that monsters that 'click' rather than roar are creepier. Being chased by something you can't see but you think you can hear... that will get your heart racing! (hopefully...)

    (Also spent waaaaaaaayyyyy to long on names again)


    Midnight Chase

    An ear-splitting scream echoed through the night. I shot up from my bed and flung the covers off as another shriek made its way to my ears.

    I followed my first instinct and ran to Shalease’s bedroom. I opened up the door to see an empty bed and began to panic. I heard sobbing from the closet and I opened it to find my six year old sister curled up in the corner. I pulled her into a tight hug and she calmed down. "Are you okay? Was it you that screamed?" I asked her.

    "It came from outside." She sobbed back. "I was scared so I hid in the closet." She started to cry again at the memory.

    "Shh. Come on, it's alright now." I whispered hugging her again. "Whatever it was is gone now."

    I was interrupted from my thoughts by Shalease's quiet voice. "Are you sure, Kriston?"

    "Yes. Yes I am." I said trying to sound confident. Actually I wasn’t sure, but I hoped the lie would help to calm her down.

    After tucking her back into bed, I silently closed her door and quietly made my way to the kitchen, where I took the fire poker from beside the fireplace. Holding it at the ready, I walked to the front door. I hesitated before turning the handle, then stepped outside into the unusually cold night.

    I started to walk down the muddied cobblestone road, the occasional torch flickering a dim light over the village street, but I stopped when a foul smell hit my nose. I scrunched up my face in disgust and took another step and my shoes squelched as I stood in what I assumed and hoped was mud. I looked down at my feet and saw the full moon reflecting in the dark puddle. I took a step backwards and cringed as I heard another squelch.

    I turned and looked down to see our neighbour, Miss Marigold, or some of her. I gagged at the sight of her upper body sitting on the cobblestone, her entrails emptied onto the street, trailing to her waist and legs. I picked up a torch from the wall of a nearby store and looked around at the scattered bloodied limbs and pools of foul liquid around the path. Who could have done this? Or more importantly, what could have done this?

    I turned suddenly as I heard a sound coming from the store behind me. I swung the poker and waved the torch around, trying to see thing that had made the noise. I couldn't make out much from the dim light I had, but in the shadows I saw a pair of bloodshot eyes staring into mine, the pupils no more than a sliver. The crimson red irises seemed to be forcing an unrelenting stream of hate and rage towards me.

    A voice sounded from the back of the store, “Miss Marigold? Is that you?” A man’s voice asked. The shadow turned and disappeared and another blood curdling scream rung through night.

    As soon as its gaze left mine, I sprinted back to the house. We needed to leave. It was no longer safe here. I flung the door open and raced to Shalease's room to find her asleep again. I rushed up to her and shook her.

    "Shalease! Wake up!" I whispered.

    She stirred and sat up and gave me a puzzled expression. "What's wrong?" She asked rubbing her eyes.

    "Pack right now. We have to leave tonight. The town isn't safe."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I saw a-" I paused. I would have to tell her the truth at some point. “I saw a daemon.”

    "But if it's a daemon, won't the Seraphon save us?" Shalease asked optimistically.

    "What? No, those are just fairy tales. I told you that reading those stories was bad. Now back to packing."

    "But-"

    "No buts, we are leaving tonight." I interrupted her, walking out of the room.

    Shalease joined me a little while later I and picked up the poker again and swung her bag over one shoulder.

    "Come on Shalease. We're leaving now." I say beckoning her towards the door.

    "Where will we go, Kristin?" Shalease looked up at me as she walked towards the door.

    "We'll head for the woods, there may be a place where we can stay until the danger has passed.”

    I opened the door to the moonlit street once more and picked up Shalease as I stepped outside. “Look at the stars, Shalease.” I said trying to distract her from Miss Marigold, who was still scattered about the street. “They say the Seraphon come from there, way up in the sky. They probably have better things to do than come here…” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

    We had been walking for quite a while and the forest was in sight when I heard Shalease say my name.

    "Yeah?" I said not, slowing down.

    "What is that?" She asked in a fearful tone.

    I turned to see what she was looking at and saw glowing red eyes in the darkness. As I continued walking backwards, a shadow flitted to the other side of the street, staying behind the wagons and barrels, out of sight. Something that big shouldn’t be able to move that fast.

    I turned around and ran. There was a clattering from behind as the daemon sped up as well. I knew it was much faster than me, but I had a head start and could maybe climb a tree or hide if we made it to the forest edge.

    Shalease held me tightly and I realised I was slowing down because of her weight, but I pushed on. I was almost at the tree line when I heard a roar right in front of me. I stopped as a massive, muscular shape stormed out of the forest. A giant reptile, the size of an ogre. It gave another roar before throwing itself at the daemon.

    I heard Shalease gasp as more reptilian forms came from the forest. "It's the Seraphon!" She whispered and I realised it could be the only possible explanation.

    We stopped in the shadows of the trees and I put Shalease on the ground and hid behind a tree. We watched the scene unfold in front of our eyes.

    The larger Seraphon was fighting the daemon while the others, the size of a large man, raced from the trees swung their weapons at the daemon when able to avoid the its tearing claws and teeth. The daemon was to fast though and was just a shadow darting around, tearing at the giant reptile. It roared in pain and frustration, desperately trying to lay a hit on its lighting fast foe. The daemon dragged its claws across the Seraphon’s throat, slicing open the flesh and the great reptile fell to the ground, dead.

    The daemon was looking around at the remaining Seraphon then to the woods. It scanned the tree line until its eyes locked with mine. While it was glaring, the reptiles attacked it, but it refocused and dodged them, only receiving the occasional blow from a sword or halberd.

    I started to back away, but the daemon noticed and jumped over the attacking Seraphon and raced towards us. I turned and sprinted through the forest, pulling Shalease behind me.

    "Why is it chasing us?" Shalease asked, clinging to my hand.

    "I don't know. Maybe it doesn't want to be seen. It wants no human witnesses…" I panted.

    I could hear the daemon racing through the undergrowth behind us. I saw a big tree and quickly darted behind it pressing myself and Shalease in the bark, holding my breath. Shalease looked like she was about to cry, but held in her tears in an attempt to stay quiet.

    I heard the daemon's footsteps continue along until they slowed and the started coming back towards us. I grabbed Shalease and quietly made my way to the other side of the tree as the footsteps stopped where we had been moments before. There was a little hollow in the tree and we sat there quietly waiting.

    I heard the Seraphon were nearby, their deep, throaty growls were a contrast to almost silent daemon. It made a hissing noise that receded to a series of clicks as it moved slowly around the tree, closer and closer. I pushed Shalease behind me and pressed us both back into the hollow. A clawed hand reached around and scratched the bark near my face. I could hear it sniffing the air.

    Just as it was rounding the tree to face us, I heard the rumbling snarl of the Seraphon as they burst through the trees and launched themselves at the daemon. It let out a frustrated shriek and took on the reptilian warriors. I picked up Shalease once more and dodged the flailing weapons until I could sprint off again. As I was running the sounds of a fighting behind us receded and the first pink light of dawn hit the tree tops. I couldn’t run any further.

    “Are we safe now?” asked Shalease.

    “Yes, one solitary daemon couldn’t fight off that many Seraphon.”

    We slumped to the ground and caught our breaths.

    “Kriston?”

    “Yeah?”

    “What is that sound?” she asked as the faint hissing and clicking from ahead reached my ears.
     
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  4. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Skar-Veteran

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Is that it? Blimey, that’s short! :p;)
     
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  5. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    April-May 2018 - Beast and Master
    Trying to be edgy and creative and ultimately failing...

    Thought Process: After going through a lot of potential ideas, I settled on the one that unsettled me the most and hoped that I would be able to transfer that feeling of dread, captivity and ewww-iness into my writing. However, one thing that was not made clear in this story (perhaps because I did not decide for myself...) was whether Brenn was actually possessed, or if he had just strayed a little to close to crazy town. My personal immediate thought was that he had just gone crazy. Coping with ending someones life, disposing of the body and getting on a ship and leaving your home would probably alter your trauma/sanity/normal balance. I knew I had to involve Lizardmen, and I thought it would only be right if Brenn died in the end because... death...? I just had the image in my brain of some skink or saurus just going down for a long walk on the beach and then suddenly there's a crazy mammalian creature stumbling around-bleeding on the previously pristine sand, mind you. All in all I wanted to convey that ultimately us lesser beings a beasts that are one step away from losing control and yet we are also our own masters and we control the leash. It is finding the balance and control that is important.


    The Beast Within

    Tap

    Tap

    Tap

    Brenn balled his hands into fists, his knuckles turning white as he squeezed them tighter.

    Tap

    Tap-

    THUNK

    He ignored the immediate pain as his skull collided with the solid wood of the hold.

    THUNK

    It was better than the incessant tapping in his mind. The tugging; the whispering; the voices.

    The urges.

    THUNK

    He tasted blood as he bit into his lip. Chapped and dry from the salty sea breeze. The metallic taste and the stinging grounded him. Pain was a leash he could tie himself too.

    Footsteps sounded on the other side of the door and Brenn froze. He pushed himself into the shadows, praying silently that he would remain undiscovered.

    As the footsteps faded again he cursed under his breath and laughed to himself. A wretched sound and nothing short of mirthless. What god would listen to him now?

    He had spent most of his small pouch of coins to gain entrance to the ship, no questions asked. He didn’t know where he was going, and he didn’t particularly care. It would take him far away from his old home, far from his memories of his last few days spent there. Unfortunately not far enough.

    He had killed someone.

    >>:-:<<

    Brenn walked down the starlit street of the town. It wasn’t a large town, often finding itself omitted from maps and memories, but the townsfolk didn’t worry. They were content with their quiet, farm led lives. Everyone knew everyone. Life was blissfully ordinary.

    Putting a hand to his throbbing forehead, Brenn continued on his way. “Headache” would be an understatement. His steps had echoed off the cold cobblestone of the road, the laughter and shouting from the tavern had faded into the background. He swore quietly and colourfully to himself. A fool. He was a fool.

    The small bag of money felt worryingly light. A night at the tavern offered winnings, but seemed to only deliver loses. Brenn glance slightly over his shoulder to the sound of footsteps. A clanking of coins.

    Brenn tried to pretend he hadn’t noticed, but the footsteps appeared and an arm was slung over his shoulder.

    “No hard feelings, right?” A toothy grin. Eyes that held boastful glee.

    >>:-:<<

    That had been weeks ago. Months perhaps. Brenn had no interest in keeping track of time anymore.

    It had been messy, not entirely painless and an accident.

    Punches turned to a beating which lead to broken ribs and glossy eyes.

    An accident. Definitely.

    Stupid.

    Worth it.

    THUNK

    There it was again. The voice. It sounded familiar. It echoed from the very core of him. A voice he’d heard somewhere before…

    He’d rushed to the docks half a mile from the town, paying a merchant more than what was necessary to board a ship and stay below deck. He had tried not to think too hard as he handed over the leather pouch full of coins. He hoped the merchant wouldn’t notice his bloody knuckles, though when gold was involved, human curiosity often found other things to do.

    Stupid. Foolish. Horrible.

    Exhilarating.

    THUNK

    Fun.

    He stopped as more footsteps rushed passed. A few heart beats later another set followed. Shouts began to sound far above through the ceiling. Something was wrong.

    Carefully sliding off his sorry excuse for a bed, Brenn sidled his way to the door of the store room. The boat rocked gently underneath his feet as he pressed his ear against the door. More footsteps, more shouts. Very wrong.

    I hope there’s blood.

    He slammed his forehead into the door and winced at the pain. He could hear that… Thing inside him growling quietly to itself- purring. Razor sharp fangs, forked tongue- and that voice…

    He gently opened the door and stepped into the hall, turning towards the ladder at the far end of it. He took the rungs three at a time and slipped onto the main deck. Keeping to the shadows, he gazed around in the faint light of the moon and stars. He wouldn’t have to try hard to stay hidden given the frenzy on deck.

    Searching for the source of the panic, his eyes turned east where the horizon had started turning strained sort of pink. He narrowed his eyes at the once smooth line where sky meets sea. Land.

    Land that, with the wind behind them, was rapidly approaching.

    He felt the thing inside him snicker quietly to itself. A sound that was far from pleasant. Crew men had worked to lower most of the sails and were working to bring down the rest. Brenn was shoved back into reality when one of the voyagers, whether crew or merchant or just a traveller, Brenn didn’t know, grabbed his arms and tugged him along to a rope were a few other men were gathered. Whatever the man was shouting over the din, Brenn didn’t understand a word of it, but he joined the others in pulling on the rope. He had no idea what he was doing or how he could possibly be helping the situation. He was just thankful that the uproar had lent him invisibility.

    Brenn glanced again to the east, directly in form of the bow. Though still a fair way off, in the growing light he could now make out the real danger. The boat began to rock more violently as they drew nearer. Waves crashed and tumbled over one another as if fighting each other to reach the shore, separated only by the great expanse of a reef reaching out to shelter the now closer length of beach.

    Brenn heard the crack first, then he was thrown from the rope and the men he had been standing with. He swivelled to try and land on something that wasn’t his face and found the hard deck with his palms and chest. Clenching his teeth he tried to scramble into an upright position but found himself helplessly clawing at the smooth worn wood as the world began to turn.

    There was a mighty creaking as the boat began to tip. Its keel had been wedged against the reef so the swells pushed the vessel until it stood parallel to the shore. Waves buffeted the side and water rushed in below deck.

    He heard a scream close by. He realised it was himself. That voice- his voice…

    Brenn closed his eyes as the world went to hell.

    >>:-:<<

    There was sand everywhere. Sand and salt and water. The sound of crashing waves. The hiss on the sand. The stinging pain of warm sea water finding cuts and scrapes left by the coral.

    Everything blurred as Brenn dragged himself up the gritty beach, the push and pull of the waves slowing his ascent. He heard gulls and rolled onto his back to see them circling high above.

    The sun was nearing the centre of the sky, beating down on him.

    Looking out to sea, he could only make out a scattering of flotsam and a flock of gulls picking through for their next meal.

    Hauling himself to his feet, Brenn bit down on the collar of his shirt to try and block the scream that was building in his throat. Pain. Pain everywhere. He glanced down at a wedge of wood that had imbedded itself in his thigh. Blood seeped out from the wound. He took off his torn shirt and wrapped it tightly above the wound. Gritting his teeth he tugged out the piece of wood.

    Stupid.

    Use it.

    He blocked out the pain, turning it into a tingling throb at the back of his mind.

    A distraction.

    Focus.

    He gazed further down the beach and saw another figure. It lifted its hands and waved at him. Brenn only stared back. The figure approached. Limping. Injured.

    Weak.

    “You made it out too? I’ve been looking for other survivors…” The figure was a middle aged man. Drenched with sea water and dripping down one arm, with a distinct metallic scent… blood.

    The newcomer’s voice faded into the ringing in his ears. He felt his hand tighten around the piece of wood, still soaked in his blood.

    He stared blankly ahead. The other man’s mouth moved. A few moments later in his mind he registered the words: “Are you okay?”

    Brenn took a step closer. The man took a step back.

    Fear. You can taste it.

    That voice- his voice, he realised. It commanded him. He was merely a puppet, a creature of obedience.

    The other man didn’t get a chance to cry out before his throat was stabbed again and again and again with that splinter of driftwood.

    Weak. He deserved it.

    Blood soaked into the white sand and Brenn collapsed beside the twitching corpse. He didn’t hear the quiet footfalls on the beach. He didn’t feel the vibrations through the sand as something approached. He only looked up when he heard the hiss of breath from a few paces further up shore. Springing to his feet, Brenn brandished the small stake and whirled on the scaly creature behind him.

    Bloodshot, salt stung eyes met golden glowing ones and Brenn smiled grimly as the spear went through his chest.

    Foolish.

    Worth it.
     
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  6. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    January-February 2018 - The Power of Music
    "Imagery, dear Watson!"

    Thought Process: This story was based on a few basic rules/laws
    - Music comes from a source
    However, is the sound the source? Is it immediately music once it leaves the instrument and all who here it here and judge it the same? Or is it within the ears and mind of the listener that noises become a song?
    - Skinks are curious

    Not the they are driven by curiosity and ask all the "why" questions, but as they are more intelligent they are likely to think about the fact that things happen because something else has happened - cause and effect. Also they would be smart enough to know that you don't have to destroy the entire camp to grab the instrument. (I know there would be differing opinions on the intelligence of various Lizardmen, but for this story, this is what I was going for)
    Therefore... The skink would know there was music as he could hear it, and he would know it comes from the mandolin/lute/thingjig, but things that would be most likely lost to him would be what makes it music and therefore how to recreate it.
    In this story I really wanted to focus on imagery and paint a picture with sounds, sights and smells. Making every subject of sentences and paragraphs, whether living or dead, a force and a piece of the ultimate picture. This is why dialogue was not favourable in this piece and why there was a thesaurus in use!


    The Instrument


    A thin trail of smoke spiralled faintly from the once blazing campfire, rising slowly into the pink predawn light. Around the dying coals there was a faint snoring; the newcomers splayed about on the leaf litter, closed off to the world wrapped in the calm of sleep. The light began to play on the ground around the camp, the bird filled canopy failing to block out every ray.


    Eerie birdsong began to fill the dense tropical forest, receiving replies from miles away. The creatures of the night returned to their homes, watching carefully for any signs of danger before tucking a head underwing or curling up in a nest of leaves.


    A slim clawed hand gripped the neck of the small, stringed instrument, hoisting it up and away from the quiet campsite. The Skink carefully picked its way back through the thick jungle, his feet barely touching the ground as he skilfully skipped through the greenery.


    Reaching what he believed to be a safe distance, the Skink scanned the smooth wood with a suspicious gaze before flipping the object over and shaking it vigorously. Placing it down atop a rotting log, he sat across from it and waited.


    Nothing.


    He continued to stare at it, unblinking and unfazed.


    Still nothing.


    The Skink hissed in annoyance narrowed his eyes at the instrument. He quietly approached and gently pulled at one of the strings with a scaled finger.


    *TWANG*


    He leapt back, letting out a surprised squeal. The string continued to vibrate for a while longer, the noise fading to a faint buzz and then to silence.


    Taking a step back towards it, he reached out again and plucked at a different string. It seemed somehow... 'higher' than the last and seemed to fade sooner.


    It didn't sound like it had when the warmblood easily ran his hands along the strings, pulling and plucking at different intervals. The strange song that filled the skinks head as he observed the small camp continued to play through his mind long after he had left.


    Surely only magic could occupy the mind in such a way? A sort of spell that would control your thoughts and actions, perhaps.


    No matter how evil it may be, the Skink knew he had to hear it again.


    >:-:<


    The man sang in a way that reminded the Skink of the bastilodons. Their bellowing cries would ring out through the night in a sorrowful beautiful sort of way. He wasn't entirely sure what the word 'beautiful' meant, but it seemed an appropriate context.


    The humans voice was higher and sweeter; it flitted easily through the words of the song with a sense of familiarity. His fingers plucking and strumming at the strings with a sense of rhythm and order.


    Order was good, it meant control and simplicity. Perhaps is wasn't the correct adjective to use, then, as it also seemed complex and free, like the colourful birds that patrolled the jungle's canopy.


    The Skink easily picked up the speed and regularity of the tune and found his tail unconsciously twitching at the music, his foot tapping the peaty earth. His focus solely on the sound bouncing around his skull, he only realised he had bumped the branch beside him when the sweet melody came to an abrupt halt.


    The small lizard men's eyes refocused and he silently slid back into the darkness of the jungle.


    >:-:<


    Turning his attention back to the object at hand, he picked it up and crouched on the log, grasping the instrument to his chest as the human had done. He strummed a hand over the hole in the wood, pulling at the strings.


    He recoiled in disgust at the untuned mess of noise that erupted from the thing in his hands, hissing and muttering quietly to himself.


    Again.


    He tried again holding the neck tightly. A short, blunt sound briefly occurred before again fading away into silence without a trace.


    Gently the Skink placed the instrument back on the log, again studying it. Where was the music coming from? Not the horrible twang of the strings, but the sweet quiet melody he had heard the previous night.


    Where did the magic come from?


    How could it be held in such a simple wooden object?


    Grabbing the neck of the instrument, the Skink smashed it onto the side of a tree, waiting for some... 'thing' to explode from the shards of wood and the tangled wires. He held his spear at the scraps and pieces, poking and jabbing at different splinters, waiting for anything to happen.


    After a moments consideration, He straightened up and scampered through the trees back to the temple, confused and frustrated at his futile venture.


    The birds continued to call through the trees, the greenery hiding them from sight.


    On the ground, a little Skink picking its way through the leaf litter, began to tap a rhythm, tucked safely away in his own head, a magic in its own right; making one act in the strangest of manners; with complexity and grace, purpose and freedom.
     
  7. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    July-August 2018 - Food and Drink
    I've ruined horror, poetry, suspense... why not comedy as well?

    Thought process: Honestly, I have no idea what I did. This is he way I tend to write naturally - writing things as they come to mind no matter how improbably and stupid, if my brain goes on a tangent that may or may not be funny, It's going in! I knew I wanted to do a list of ingredients, but my main concern was the word limit. I wanted it to feel full, but not stuffed (yay, food jokes!). I'd like to thinkn I accomplished the right balance of flavours in this story. I wrote this all in one go nonstop while on holidays, only really thinking about the first scene, and then printed it off and put it in my pocket. Intending to give it to my brother to read while we went for a walk, I later decided that was a terrible idea, because it probably wasn't very good, and explained the entire thing verbally instead... because that makes sense... Given the fact he laughed a bit and didn't end up throwing up or convulsing on the ground, it couldn't be compleeeeetely terrible, right? I then waited until a couple days before it was due and proof read it, because PROCRASTINATION!


    >>:- Essence of Lustria -:<<

    Phorexx sniffed the viscous grey liquid. Nostrils twitching, he took in the earthy stench of death and decay, recoiling as a rancid smelling bubble burst on the surface.

    “I don’t get it…”

    “You’re not supposed to ‘get it’, you’re supposed to drink it!”

    Phorexx’ eyes flicked up and met the blue flecked gaze of his friend, perched on the other side of the flask. The so called “drink” emitting an offensive smell that reminded Phorexx of bastilidon.

    “It looks like it came from an extinct spawning pool; where did you find it?” the skink shuffled his hands on the flask.

    Toohii snorted and turned his attention back to the drink. “You don’t just ‘find’ this stuff. It’s a work of art.”

    The skink rolled his eyes. Lizardmen don’t know much about art, but even the average kroxigor would have more of a clue about it than the saurus seated across from him. As far as Phorexx was concerned, art should not cause extreme nausea. “It looks like something Fosstr would make in the kitchens.” Phorexx pictured the gangly chameleon skink. “Whatever he does in there cannot be considered art.”

    “Hey, you know it’s not easy to make decent drinks. This little beauty took me three hours.” Toohii smiled proudly as the drink made a suspicious plarp noise.

    Phorexx paused and looked at the saurus. “Honestly, Toohii, I could’ve made that in my sleep. I’m more concerned a bastilidon may have, however.”

    “Could you make something better? Not likely. You willing to bet?” Toohii held out a hand and Phorexx clasped it firmly, “you have until sundown. Loser drinks that.” He nodded to the flask of grey-brown liquid.

    Phorexx’ mouth twisted up at the corners, “We’ll let the chief priest decide.”

    Toohii’s drink gave another joyous gurgle.

    “It’s on.”

    >>-:-<<
    Flaming Guava Juice from the Swamplands of Krxlet

    >>-:-<<


    Phorexx nodded to his newly acquired chameleon skink companion through the red haze of the swamplands of Krxlet. The small green reptile unfastened an object from his belt – a set of panpipes – and started up a lilting tune.

    Squinting in the gloom, Phorexx could make out the clump of small green shrubs he was looking for. Smooth green fruit clung to the drooping branches of the flaming guava trees, swinging in the half-light. The chameleon skink followed Phorexx as he picked his way through the peaty swamp, the lullaby continuing to flow effortlessly from his panpipes.

    Phorexx tried to ignore the scorch marks on trees and the occasional white bone that jutted up from the ground as they approached the grove. The green plants swung gently in time with the music, quietly rustling in the dull gloom.

    Pulling a sharp flint from his satchel, Phorexx reached for the nearest of the plants, inches from his claws. Swiftly and as gently as possible, he sliced through the stem of the nearest cluster of fruit, dropping the bunch quietly into his satchel. He was painfully aware that one false move would cause the fruit to explode, making short work of the strange duo. The two lizardmen began to back away step by step until –CRACK!

    Beside Phorexx, the chameleon skink froze and lifted his foot from the shattered twig, panpipes halted mid-note. As the music came to an abrupt stop, the spell was broken and the flaming guava plants assumed a defensive position. Sensing intruders in their peaty home, the plants began to spurt flames in all directions, their fiery fronds reaching after the fleeing lizardmen.

    Phorexx tumbled through the trees, clawing his way out of range. He skidded to a halt as the oppressive heat lessened, turning to see what had become of his companion. He narrowed his eyes, scanning the swampy ground and moss covered trees. He turned his head slightly to the side, picking up a faint whistling noise. The whistling grew louder and Phorexx leapt out of the way as a smouldering set of panpipes flew past his head, narrowly missing him.

    He fled the swamplands without looking back.


    >>-:-<<
    Poison dart frog venom from the Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.

    >>-:-<<


    The quiet chirping of insects and small animals filled the humid Lustrian air. Phorexx stepped carefully over fallen logs and small vine like plants that crept across the leaf littered floor, making his way through the sun dappled jungle. The skink put a claw to his mouth signalling to the rest of the party to remain silent.

    The small band was mostly comprised of bored skinks and chameleon skinks with nothing better to do other than following the seemingly insane skink through the Lustrian jungle on a treasure hunt. Towards the back, however, lumbered Krltunn. Phorexx winced as the kroxigor hit another tree with his massive swinging tail, sending leaves spiralling down on the mismatched party.

    Before long, Phorexx held up a fist, signalling the company to halt. They were close.

    Pushing leaves back from his path, Phorexx crept the last few steps to the gargantuan slumbering bodies of the Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.

    He took out a small glass vile and a short stick from his satchel. He approached one of the sleeping behemoths, its slimy skin rising and falling with its breaths. Stick held out in one hand, Phorexx gently swiped the warty skin and plonked the stick into the vial, poison end down.

    As the small crowd “oohed” and “aahed”, Phorexx rolled his yes and returned the vial to its home in his satchel. To his dismay, Krltunn, clearly missing the subtle aspect of the group’s applause, started to clap very enthusiastically and very loudly.

    Phorexx turned and sprinted from the clearing, followed by the faster thinking skinks, leaving a very confused kroxigor and the now awake and not particularly happy, Giant Lustrian Dart Frogs.

    >>-:-<<
    A carnosaur egg from the nest of a carnosaur.

    >>-:-<<


    The crowd that had been following Phorexx around that day had disappeared. He wasn’t surprised at his solitude, however, as he crept towards the heart of the jungle. The birdsong had faded into silence as the lone skink picked his way towards his destination.

    Phorexx peered through the last few feet of foliage at the edge of a clearing. Sunlight breached the thick canopy and shone down on the massive red and golden form of the carnosaur. Her body heaved and her nostrils flared with each inhalation and exhalation.

    There had been a slim chance the great beast would be away hunting, leaving the nest open and unprotected, but since when was anyone ever that lucky?

    Just as Phorexx was about to jump from the bushes and do something incredibly stupid, a figure burst from the undergrowth on the other side of the clearing hollering and roaring.

    Phorexx effectively face palmed as Krltunn came to a screeching stop as he realised where he was. The kroxigor had frog shaped bite marks covering his body, but seemed more or less uninjured… for now.

    Huge golden eyes flew open and zeroed in on the frozen kroxigor. Krltunn snapped out of his daze and Phorexx watched him bolt into the jungle, the female carnosaur snapping at his heels.

    The nest deserted, Phorexx climbed over the edge and selected one of the eggs from the clutch. Wrapping it in a cloth, he gently placed it in his satchel and hurriedly returned home.

    >>-:-<<
    Ixti grubs from literally any rotting log

    >>-:-<<


    Phorexx sighed as he approached the rotten log, a small pouch in his hand. The crowd had reappeared and double in size. Phorexx took a deep breath and kicked the log over. Surely it was impossible to be killed while collecting Ixti grubs, of all things.

    The skink knelt beside the upturned log, nostrils twitching at the musty earth smell. The small – by Lustrian standards- wriggling grubs writhed and rolled in the rotting wood and dirt, their pale bodies bending and contorting in unsettling ways. The skink carefully picked the fattest and the healthiest ones of the lot, dropping each squirming grub into the pouch.

    Letting out an exasperated huff, he adjusted his satchel. All this for a stupid drink? Then Phorexx thought of the suspiciously gurgling mass that Toohii had created. It’s worth it… Phorexx sighed to himself as he backed away from the log. A low warning growl thrummed through his ears. Probably

    Most animals are known to get most aggressive when separated from their offspring. However, as Phorexx took another step away from the snarling creature before him, he felt like whoever claimed that should be given slap in the face and then be re-educated by being placed between a razordon and its lunch.

    The crowd had fallen silent, no doubt waiting for the razordon to sink its teeth into Phorexx giving them time to escape. Phorexx decided that, although he would rather become a razordon chew toy than be forced to drink whatever Toohii created, he would rather not die today given all he’d been through. He reached his hand into his satchel and carefully retrieved one of the flaming guavas.

    The razordon, its eyes having disconcertingly moved from the ixti grubs to Phorexx’ throat, tensed, ready to lunge. As its muscled bunched to spring, Phorexx hurled the fruit at its feet. The was a dull sizzle then a satisfying pop before the razordon was engulfed in a flash of flames and smoke.

    >>-:-<<

    “High Priest Korona, we present to you the contestants,” one of the chameleon skink kitchen hands announced to the twitching old priest, “Phorexx the skink and Toohii the saurus warrior.”

    The Priest absentmindedly waved a hand for the competition to commence, looking an awful lot like someone with better things to do. The crowd, however, cheered loudly and enthusiastically waving their arms in the air.

    Phorexx brought forth his colourful creation in an elegant glass vial, hissing and fizzing in the Lustrian heat. Beside him, Toohii presented his flask of much. The liquid gave an energetic pfft, no doubt sensing the importance of the situation.

    Chief Priest Korona, having screwed up his face at Toohii’s drink, turned to take a sip from Phorexx’ vial. As he drew the fizzing substance to his lips, a skull shattering roar burst from the jungle.

    The crowd parted as a bedraggled Krltunn stumbled into the temple city, bleeding and battered.

    “I’ve done it!” he cried, “I lost her!”

    The crowd was silent, the kroxigor gasped heavily for breath Toohii raised a non-existent eyebrow at Phorexx who had frozen to the spot.

    And the jungle replied.

    Another roar echoed through the city and from the trees crashed an extremely ticked off looking carnosaur. The city flew into an uproar, skinks scrabbling to get away from the gates and temple guards rushed back to their abandoned posts Chief Priest Korona rolled his eyes in a ‘not again’ kind of way and began to descent the dais.

    Phorexx knew what he had to do.

    Turning to Toohii, he grabbed his friend’s flask from his hands and hurled it with all his might at the carnsaur. The globular liquid gave a final slurrrp of happiness before it disappeared into the gaping maw of the carnosuar.

    The carnosaur stopped from a moment, her expression of rage quickly transforming into one of severe discomfort. Though he could have imagined it, Phorexx swore her face turned slightly green as the great beast clamped her mouth shut and ran back into the trees for some privacy.

    The collective intake of breath from the thousands of lizardmen exploded into thunderous applause, filling the city. He had done it, he had saved himself from whatever the hell it was that Toohii had created.
     
  8. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Nice job on all of these stories!

    I particularly liked "The Instrument" the most.
     

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