October 8, 2009

A shot of story...

Here is one of the exercises that I did at the writing group.  Like the other bits posted here, this was based on prompts and done in 15 minutes (less the time it takes to look nervously around the room and swear at all the people who are already writing).  For this one, I pulled two prompts: "Fantasy Story" and "Write something that involves a big miscommunication."

by Alexander Newcombe

Orlan knelt in the vast meditation chamber of the Beneficent One's temple.  The thick carpet cushioned his old legs.  He sighed once and began reaching his spirit out to the Perfect Force, the manifestation of his deity in the heavens.  In his many years of study at the temple, Orlan had found that the clarity he acquired in meditation to be the greatest reward of his dedication to his god.

He rolled his mind methodically through the day.  As he recalled the obnoxious chattering of the initiates over lunch, a burning flash erupted inside him.  His eyes felt as if they were plunged into the sun.  He cried out and pitched sideways, blind from the heat and light.

Agonizing moments passed, and then he felt calmer, though he could still feel his body writhing and screaming at some indeterminate distance.  A voice shook from the light inside him, "Hero of the golden trials, you have braved much to reach this holy stone.  As the ancient compact states, you may now receive my consul.  Do you wish to have it?"

"Yes," came Orlan's fevered reply, "tell me lord."

The voice reached a tooth-shaking volume in his head, "You must find the red serpent, then loose it upon your friends.  Watch for a stick of oak in a forest of ash, it will guide you truely.  Your fate will be decided in combat, as you wished, though against an enemy you cannot fathom."

Orlan sat, digesting the words of his god, but could not make sense of it.  "What was that?"

"You cannot question your future Doraldan."

"I'm not Doraldan."  He was dazed.

The pain and light faded slightly, "What?" said the voice.

"My name is Orlan.  Your servant, Beneficent One, a student of the Perfect Force."

"This isn't good."

"Why was I given this prophecy?  I don't understand your will my lord."

"Stop that.  I am not your lord."  The voice still resonated with shocking power, but it went on unsteadily, "You've done something terrible, human."

Now Orlan was frustrated and suspected trickery.  "No, I was just praying.  You got in my way."

"Ah no.  I was divining the future, reading the very fabric of the universe.  You crudely intercepted the message in some way."

"You don't know that.  You're grasping for excuses.  Just like those children at the table this afternoon, never accepting responsibility.  Listen, have you ever done this before?"

"Yes!"  The voice boomed at its full strength again.  "Since before man crawled on his belly from the sea."

The force of the reply sunk Orlan down to the floor again.  "Fine, well I will delay my meditations until midnight.  Will that work for you?"

"I can't redeliver the prophecy, Orlan.  Only one person on the earth can hold such knowledge."

"Well great.  Not very useful to me is it?"

"Perhaps, but if it is not given to Doraldan, he will die."

"Hey, I'm not going to do your work for you."  The light faded from his body as he called after the unseen voice.  It seems no one is willing to put in a little real work these days, thought Orlan as he shuffled to bed.

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