Monday, March 1, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: prompt 2 (CTS) part 3


 An indeterminable time later, Saz nudged Garlyn awake. The room they were in was unlike anything that he'd seen before. He had no words to describe the substance it was made from, just that it was clean and hard, yet soft, and slightly cool to the touch. 

    Emlyn was the only one that was lying down on some kind of bench-like table high off the ground, and a whorl of weird devices spun around her, lights so bright they hurt his eyes could be seen.

    When he saw her, he stood up and kicked the others awake before making his way to her side; a creature that seemed to be made from particles of light floated by her side. He felt safe to assume that it was whatever had captured them.

    Saz looked around. He also noted that there seemed to be some kind of unmoving humanoid shapes encased in pod-like capsules. They were recessed into the walls and floating in some kind of fluid.

    Emlyn was glowing; he discovered that the light wasn't coming from an outside source but from within her.

    He moved closer, standing beside the being, but careful not to directly interfere in whatever it was doing. He could tell that Emlyn was in pain, and she might be in danger given that the rest of them had been resting to the side, and the being seemed a little chaotic while it worked over her.

    The others weren't quite so tactful; he grabbed Adan's arm; the oaf almost made the second mistake of the day. He nodded to Loring to help him hold him back. 

    Dolyn dashed up, trying to reach Emlyn despite Saz's warning, and a force gripped him and pinned him down. 
    
    "Saz, what's going on?" Garlyn asked, swiveling between his brother and his sister before just standing still.

    "I'm pretty sure that there's something wrong with Emlyn; if you didn't notice, the rest of us are unharmed, and we can move freely, despite being spiked earlier, which means that for the most part, whatever this is, it doesn't intend us any harm, at least not for the moment. 
    I think that whatever is happening at the moment might have something to do with Emlyn's condition. I suggest that we calm down, or as you can see, we will be restrained like Dolyn, and that won't do any of us any good." Saz said as he jerked a little on Adan's arm, "Did you hear me, Adan?"

    "Yeah, I heard you," Adan growled and shook off their restraining hands. Before going off to stand a little further away, but from where he could still watch Emlyn and be a little apart from his friends. He felt betrayed that they wouldn't just help her, and while he acknowledged the fact that Saz was just being logical, he didn't like it very much.

    "If you are all done, I would very much appreciate it if you could be still. The girl on the operating table's life very much depends on it. Also," he glanced at Saz, "he's correct. I don't intend to harm any of you at the moment."

    They all froze and turned to the creature that had been floating near Emlyn, then they all burst into a flurry of activity even though he'd just bade them to be quiet before Saz once again broke in with the voice of reason,

    "He just said if we don't stop, Em will die, you idiots!" The room silenced again, and he grabbed Garlyns arm and dragged him off to the corner away from the rest. "Gar, what do you think about this mess we seem to have found ourselves in?"

    Garlyn looked at his friends and relatives in various states of distress and shook his head; you're the smart one, what do you think. I know you said you don't think it plans to hurt us, but what exactly does it want with Emlyn? It went after her first, and it's still going after her."

    "That... I'm not sure either. I know for sure it is definitely trying to save her life."

    "What makes you so sure?"

    "That," Saz nodded his head slightly towards the entity, and Garlyn couldn't see anything different about the situation.

    He sighed, "sometimes, Garlyn, I wish you would focus on the whole picture. Emlyn is devouring something from that creature, and she is growing brighter, and he is growing dimmer. However, it looks like the situation isn't stable, and the creature is fighting to stabilize it. I'm not sure if it is trying to detach or what, but there is some kind of conflict between the two of them. I think that it's safe to say if it isn't resolved safely, Emlyn will die as it says."

There was a sharp whistling sound through the room, and the creature stumbled back, clasping its chest breathing heavily; it swept its gaze across the room. "We will speak shortly," then it vanished. 

    The bed on which Emlyn lay glowed brighter, enveloping itself in a bright light; they covered their eyes; when it cleared, a cocoon of leaves and bracken appeared in her place.

365 Day's Writing in the Void: prompt 2 (CTS) part 2

    Garlyn looked down at the thick black tar bubbling and writhing beneath their feet. "Oil!" He looked at the other boys, a spark of joy in his eyes.

    Saz looked down, a slight frown on his face, not quite as jubilant like the other boys,
    "Garlyn, I'm not sure this is oil."

    "What do you mean it ain't oil? Of course, it is. If it ain't oil, then what is it?" Dolyn piped in, supporting his brother.

    "I'm just saying that I've read about oil, and from what I read, this seems to clean. Is all," Saz looked down at the substance, a bad feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.

    He knew there would have been dirt, grass, debris, and the substance itself would have been a brownish slime with a rainbow sheen seeping into the ground around the hole. It would have had a smell that could turn your stomach if you weren't used to it. Still, none of them had ever seen oil; they'd only heard about it. He could be wrong. He hoped he was wrong.

    Loring bumped his arm and shook his head; Saz sighed and looked at the others. He could tell that he'd have to put his theories on the back burner until they'd worked out whatever they'd wanted to say.

    Galyn looked around at his friends, his gaze focusing on Loring, "right then, what should we do with the money?"

    "I think we should help Loring first," Adan said; his quite even manner of speech belied the seriousness of what he'd said.

    "What? Why me?" Loring stammered his voice, unused to speech.

    The other boys nodded their heads; a few quiet "yes's" could be heard. Their faces somber, the jubilation of a moment ago gone.

***

    Emlyn looked down at the glossy black substance-free of impurities, and she had the overwhelming urge to touch it. She bit her knuckles and held back the desire; looking around at her brothers and their friends, she wouldn't want to get anyone into trouble.

    The urge to touch the glossy substance grew more intense, almost as if something were calling her to touch it, asking her, begging her. She shook her head.

    That can't be right. Emlyn thought, was she imagining things? It was like she could hear a voice. Emlyn wanted to look away. She felt the thick handle of her basket between her fingers, felt the dense fibers bite into her hand as she squeezed. She tried to turn her head to look at her brothers again, but this time it was as if something was stopping her.

    She couldn't move her head, couldn't move her body; her heart sped up. She wanted to call out but couldn't open her mouth; she could hear the boys and their chatter, but it was as if it was far away from her even though she knew they were only a few feet from her.

    Her hand reached out beyond her control and touched the thick oily substance, then she felt a sharp prick. It was as if time started again. She squeaked from the pain and dropped her basket before she realized that she couldn't pull her hand back; that part of the substance had anchored itself around her wrist like it was feeding off her. She felt a strange pull from deep within her body as if something long-dormant had found its first meal.

    Her already weak body was soon teetering from the strain, of drawing and draining, and trying to keep from being pulled even further towards the creature, for she realized now that this is what it was; it wasn't oil at all, but a monster of some kind.

***

    Adan was the first to realize that something was off with Emlyn. He'd heard her squeak. His eyes hardly left her for more than a minute, and in that minute, something had happened; Adan, unlike his usual quiet and stable self, sprinted towards her and grabbed hold of the thing on her wrist, ignoring Saz, who shouted out not to touch it. He had to get the damn thing off of her; he didn't care about the consequences.

    The rest of the boys followed suit behind him. He then felt a prick in the palm of his hand and a consciousness invade him that was foreign from his own. Nothing in his almost 16 years of life could have prepared him for this moment.

    Having captured two of them, the black mass writhed and seemed to lift from the ground. Loring stood a distance from the others, his body half turned away for half a second before he also joined in and tried to pull them free he knew that they would do it for him. They were his only real family, this mess of tumbling boys and knocked-kneed girl.

    The ones further back didn't have a chance to escape; the mass gave up all pretense of being an inanimate object, and spikes shot out, impaling each of the boys who hadn't willingly touched it. 

    It held them up in the air until all six teens formed a circle around it, then it slowly enveloped them until they were completely engulfed in the substance; it hardened into a glossy shell, now a silver sheen turned to black the world around trembled, and the kids vanished.

    The only evidence that they'd been there an over-turned basket of herbs scattered across the ground and the scuffle of booted feet.




Sunday, February 28, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: prompt 2 (CTS)

 Page 1 Complete The Story 


At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money. Our first choice was...

Brainstorm: 5m 6:30 am

What kind of setting do I what this set in? Sci-fi, western, fantasy, horror?

I keep thinking: at first, we thought that the black liquid was oil boy were we ever wrong, and then the deaths started. But then the last line of the prompt indicates that we are supposed to work on this list that they were making? But I'm not really interested in working on their list; if I do, that will place the story in the setting. 

The style of the prompt kind of indicates that these are people down on their luck; the fact that they are excited about oil suggests that we are in a time that is still using fossil fuels. We could go with a hybrid story in the past, but with a kind of twist on it that takes the characters into an out-of-the-ordinary environment. 

What kind of people are we talking about here? I've gone over my time limit, and I'm stuck on semantics. I'm thinking brothers, or friends, some kind of close-knit community. They tried to go home, but then they discovered that they were lost, and found out that they weren't in Kansas anymore, Toto... should there be an animal? Or should the liquid do something to them? Change them in some way? Something has to happen to shock them out of their excitement when discovering that it isn't oil. 

So I guess that I can work on some of their choices; they could be farm boys, depression era? Would they need money? A better place to live depending on how close they were to their families, they would want to set them up better, if there any sickness in the family, they would want money to get the family member better. Woohoo, I know what I'm going to do. Hehe, I like the black sauce that can solve their problem but not in the way they expect, but at what cost? Is it recruiting them for something, or is it devouring them to feed itself? I think that I'm going to make them not so many men, but younger, that way they wouldn't know the smell of oil. Once you've smelled raw oil, you wouldn't make a mistake in that smell. Maybe their sister takes along with them this one time because she's feeling well enough that day. 

They decide to explore something that they had been told to stay out of, and they find a thick oil-like substance bubbling up from the ground. The boys start chatting exactly when suddenly they hear a shriek from behind them, and they turn, and the little girl is entangled in black vines. It wasn't a pool of oil at all but something else; they go closer to get the girl out, and first, one boy and then another gets captured they substances seeps into their body, changing them and activating a system that says it can help them achieve what they wanted for their families. Still, in exchange, they have to help it save its dying planet from destruction. If they didn't agree, it would use their soul energy to fuel itself to find someone who would agree to help, so the kids having no choice agreed. 

The system said that they could return when the job was done, but the kids didn't know if they really believed what the creature was saying. 

So I think they wanted to save their mother's life and fix the farm to be self-sufficient. Maybe something is wrong with the dad? and I think that they were with a friend from the neighboring farm and his bother and another friend, basically a pack of boys that ran around together. And the sister of one of them. Maybe make it five boys and a girl have two of them be brothers and three be from the other nearby six kids. Ranging from fifteen to thirteen, I think the sister was thirteen. 

Though the prompt does indicate that the characters were likely older, if the time period is right, we can have younger characters that sound older. At least that's my thoughts on the matter. 

Well, I've been at this for over 2hrs on my five minutes, but at the moment, I don't care because at least I'm working; it's 9: am.

Fenlon village

1 Emlyn 13, 2 Garlyn 16, 3 Dolyn 14, 4 Adan 15 almost 16, 5 Loring 15, 6 Saz 15 

1. Emlyn is a thirteen-year-old girl who has been weak since young she likes to study plants in hopes that she can find something that will help her get well. Her father supports her endeavors which is why she's out traipsing through the woods on one of her good days collecting herbs, not to mention he can sell some of them in town. Her mother disapproves a lady doesn't spend all her time traipsing through the woods with the boys. 

Although they aren't genital stock, they have a farm to run, and Emlyn already doesn't pull enough of her own weight. She could at least be at home, taking in some sewing from town to cover some of the cost to raise her. Emlyn feels the family's pressure keenly, then she keeps quiet and does her duty even when she would rather be boisterous. 

2. Garlyn is the oldest of the Lyn family boys. He's 16. He has the most to do and doesn't often get time away from the fields anymore. Other than on a day like today when he can go hunting and is responsible for looking after his younger sister while she looks for herbs that can help the family with a little income and also treat her illness and maybe that of their mother. Who, though much isn't said, they know isn't well off. 

3. Dolyn is 14, a bit of a scamp, and mischievous, but serious when it comes to working.  He helps out his brother and father in the fields and his mother and sister when there's a need, given both are in poor health. 

The family has considered hiring a woman to help out, unsure if I will include that in the story or not, or maybe they've adopted in? It was common in the time period to hire help and have live-in help.

4. Adan blacksmith's son, He's almost 16 learning the trade, stout steady, and has the temper to match.  He's a good guy, and he's calm and placid, but when he is roused, there isn't much that can stop him from taking down what's in his way. He's incredibly protective of Emlyn though not many people seem to notice it. Perhaps Garlyn does because he's his best friend and Saz. After all, Saz is a smart ass that pays way too much attention to everything.

5. Loring is a quiet 15-year-old, and you never quite know what he is thinking. The others know that there's trouble in that home and just try and support him as best that they can. He's angry. He buckles down and does his chores, and he slips out every chance he gets; he's more likely to be found at Saz, or Garlyn, or Adan than at his own table for supper, or even in the woods, and no one really knows if he goes home when he leaves them, they just know he's always got a new bruise on his cheek, and his mother is hollow-eyed. He's often in the woods hunting for something or asking questions of the older men around town, learning what he can from them; he even tags around Emlyn occasionally when she's gathering plants watching and learning. 

He's got several smaller siblings that he takes his catches home for dressed out, he brings back food that he's learned how to gather back for. Still, he never eats any of it himself, he earns the money that he gets from the plants he's sold that Emlyn taught him and gives it back to his family, but sometimes one provider is never enough with a father like his.  

6. Saz is way too smart to be a farmer's son, and everyone knows it. He's 15, But he keeps it to himself and still helps out around the farm because he respects his old man; he just wishes that there was something that he could do to both help his old man solve the problems on their farm and pursue his own dreams.

I think there are two other children in the Saz family, but they are younger; one might be a girl, maybe twin girls? Could he be the only son?

Loring is the oldest boy, but it wouldn't matter, his dads a drunk, bearly takes care of the farm, spends all their money gambling and the farms in debt, they might lose it if it weren't for Loring holding things together the last few years which has made his father even more resentful. 

His mother doesn't have the heart in her to be grateful because she gets knocked around too much and is always pregnant or losing a baby. 

I think they would agree to help Loring, and then they would try to sort out their own families. Still, essentially the first choice about what to do with the money would be to get a doctor in to deal with Emlyn's condition and to see what was really going on with their mum, and saz would try and figure out a solution that would make both him and his father happy. I think his issue is that the twins killed his mother so that even if he wants to leave, he couldn't unless he hooked his dad up with a wife that could give him a son that would help with the farm and being that he is the firstborn son he's shackled with that, but he wants to go to school and learn things. 

Adan is the only one who really doesn't have anything going wrong with his family, but he is smitten with a girl... He would probably want to help his dad expand his shop, and there might be something going on with the shop that he isn't aware of because men back then were tight-lipped about things that were bothering them. 

He's not the only son, but he's his dad's right hand, so he wouldn't want to leave based on his personality. I think he would be the most staunch one. Garlyn as well, they are both similar in temperament that way. 

I think the system will make some kind of doppelgangers for the kids or erase them from the memories. 

I'm not sure what to do, really it's almost ten at night, and I'm right knackered. my whole body hurts, and I still haven't figured out what to write. I think I have the kids down what's going on around them and some of their motivations, but that really isn't the point of this challenge... 

I'll likely post what I've got and continue what is on this prompt tomorrow because there isn't any sense in doing all this work and not finishing it out. since I know very well if I try a new prompt tomorrow, I'll be back here at ten tomorrow night saying the same thing. 

Right then, so my plan for this story is to take it up to the point when the kids leave the village. I might carry it on past that at some point depends on if I'm interested in it or not. As this is supposed to be a short story exercise, I'm not sure what to do. Since I think I've worked myself into the plot of another novel...:( 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: prompt 1 (WTS)


This prompt comes from the cover of the book.

Write the story: Time Travel.

Include the following in your story:

*seven *constellation *guitar *shipwreck *fury

not sure what to do with seven, shipwreck? Starship? Light glinting off a metal hull on a sandy beach, angry kicking, cursing dirty rag, and slinging a wrench giving a report.

Constellation some kind of star chart? Unexplored part of space? Hired? Were they on the job and hit something, and now they don't know where they are? They see a constellation no one has ever seen before on their map, but now they've wrecked and don't know what to do?

Are there seven of them, or were there seven of them, and now there aren't anymore? Does someone play the guitar? It might be useful to pass the time, so now we need a crew to deal with this shipwreck marooned on a planet they don't know where the hell they are or where they've been; oh, I forgot about the time travel that might be fun maybe it's not that it isn't a constellation that they haven't seen it's that it is from a when that is no longer there. 

Did something happen that destroyed part of the solar system... earth. That might be fun. Marooned in the sea on earth. In a broken starship, they need to fix it, and a pirate ship sails by, or some nonsensical thing like that to liven up the mood. 

So, seven crew are they all people, or at least humanoid...?

Not sure this is sort of fun. I can picture a guy with a greasy face, kind of young silver hair, a little angry but not really showing it more annoyed than anything. He doesn't like to be bothered chuck his wrench into the tool chest mostly because someone else in the crew is up in his face and arguing about how long the repairs will take. Him saying that it will take until they can work out how to make a replacement meant for whatever part in the engine is broken. The captain is a little more level-headed. 

A little scampy scout of a creature loopy braids pigtail baggy clothes pouches and various bags strapped to her with different equipment needed to scout like binoculars type deals.

1) Captian (Gavin Ang m), Hard dark eyes could convey any emotions with the briefest of looks. Dark hair a little long, that just hung in his eyes, and an iron will that pulled him and a few friends up from their boots to become a decent small team that ran missions for something and made a decent living, and if they kept it up, they would soon have enough money to upgrade to a bigger operation. Which they had been working towards for several months. 

2) Mechanic (Aiden Fuse m), hard-eyed, soft-hearted depending on the person as long as you aren't Barret he and the cap go back as far as you can go back, both of them are young but have a glint in their eyes you don't want to mess with if you can help it. I don't really know their story. In fact, I shouldn't even be here since I'm not part of the crew, just some poor tag along that got dragged into this adventure. Though you can't really call me a person either, we'll get to what I am later in the story, back to the character run down. 

 3) Scout (Nef Marwin f) this little scamp is a bit young, a bit of a  scrapper, and crawled into the cargo held one day and basically told the cap that he was going to be her boss, he tossed her out on more than on occasion, and a couple of planets later she was still there, so he gave up and took her on. Befuddled on how she kept turning up, no one knows nor asks anymore, but she has kept us out of a few scraps by her scouting, trap disarming, and seemed to have a six sense on when something isn't right like what happened this morning too bad by the time she warned us it was already too late. 

4) Mercenary /warrior (Barret Ueng m), Can you be a jerk and a good guy at the same time? Well, if you can, Barret is your guy; his gruff mouth has an opinion on everything and doesn't know when to shut his trap. But he's good at his job, which is watching your back, so you don't have to. musclehead

5) pilot (Merrick Bog m) thin whip of a man serious and studious when he isn't at the wheel of the ship. He's studying to make something of himself always has a fact about something, but he keeps most of them to himself unless he thinks it will help the situation; otherwise, he knows that it will cause disharmony in the ranks, and he likes to follow the rules, this flyboy is an ace at his job, and he knows it. Still, he doesn't let it go to his head like others in his profession. He has a little crush on Winter but isn't sure how to let her know. So, he just studies harder. He's a good guy. 

6 Doctor (Kiya Siy f), The medical officer on the ship, I think she wheres goth boots. Serious/ flirty depending on the mood. She's one of those that's hard to write because I have her in my head, but it's hard to describe her on paper. Tough as nails don't take no shit, but because she has to take no shit. She has to make sure your ass will get off that stretcher alive. she has to deal with dudes two times three times her weight class trying to toss her around out of their minds in pain while she's trying to do her best to stitch them back up again. She saw some things she'd rather not see again, got tossed around by the system, and ended up at this place on the back end of the drifts. In the far end of known space, hoping against hope that no one she knows ever finds her again, not because she's ever done anything bad, but because she did one too many good things. 

7 Tech (Winter Dia f) winter is white with an electrode that looks like a gem embedded in the center of her forehead. I can't figure out right now if she is bald or if she has long hair, or if she is androgynous. or sexy she's kind of ethereal at the moment. But gentle this character is very much there, but she's very white with blue undertones, and I get the feeling that she's cold, but it's not that she doesn't feel it's that she doesn't know how to express her feelings, so it seems cold. 

But she is very attached to her crew, but she would rather that they didn't know that and just handle them with the facts. So that she could just get on with her day. She spends most of her time hooked into the ship's AI, dealing with the navigation system and making space jumps and communications and anything that has to do with the ship's tech. (maybe she has a computer virus for a pet?)



So, in the end, you have a group of seven misfits on the back end of known space, just making the bare minimum to get by.  They're all young enough to still have a spark of hope in their eyes even though they're old enough to know better and have come from places that should have beaten it out of them. Still, their captain is just the kind of guy to give them that kind of spark again, and he's made enough to set them up after this to get them a bigger ship and set their business up a little better so that they can get higher more crew and grow. They are excited. That is until I showed up. Drifting in my endless slumber, a god that should have been left asleep since our planet was destroyed eons ago... a fury that crashed into them and sent their ship into a constellation that had long since been silenced in the universe. 

Okay, you guys, so the exercise was not really a fail, but not really a success today. It's almost four pm, and I've been doing the outline all day. I don't count it as a failure because I have an anthology that I need a ship story for, so I will use this as the outline for that story. I might post the rough draft of that tomorrow; who knows, but here is what I did with the story prompt from the front cover in a few hours of scribble scratch. I came up with the characters' concept, some brief back story, and apparently a sleeping god...