Monday, August 19, 2013

A Bard's Telling

It's Hannah! Today I have a poem, or perhaps a legend or lore or ballad. I've been trying to think of the word for quite sometime. Perhaps an epic. For the past few days I've been calling it "A Bard's Telling".

It's dictated by Ohana Lost-tide, the scribe from this post, and tells the first part of the tale of the Dragon War (a battle in my second book).
From coast to coast of the darkened land
The swords were passed from hand to hand
And ferry the news to hall and home
The devils are arrived to roam
To kill and crush and raze and burn 

A demon-king beast and blight of doom
Will raze the earth beneath our moon
Songs of mourning as warriors die
Mothers wail and children cry
Breaking of day, horrors to light 

As angers awaken
And fury will flame
For young children taken
The killers to blame

A righteous blood-wrath 
Will every face pass
For demons who dare
To darken our path 
As children of light
Lift eyes to the moon
And pray to the Lord
To save us from ruin

The heads of the family
Rise up to the call
To join with the thousands
To fire and to fall

Mothers and wives
Cling to husband and child
Songs of lamentation
Ascending and wild

Mingle with fading voices
Of men whose hearts burn
For a family to whom
They will never return

“So pull back the bows,
And let up a prayer,
Release bolts of death
Winging into the air.
Let’s summon our hearts
Unfailingly brave,
Remember our comrades
Who went to the grave.

“This is our land;
It was won by fair blood
Of our ancestors grand,
Long returned to the dust.
And these are our children;
They will not see death.
We will stand by to guard them
To our final breath.

“So pull back the bowstring,
And send up a cry,
To our faithful God,
That He won’t let us die.
And summon your hearts
Unfailingly brave,
Forget not your comrades
Who went to the grave.

“And these are our lives; 
They will not be controlled
But by king and by God,
And hearts cannot be sold.
And this is a home,
Ere protected with love.
If you steal it away,
You can bet there’ll be blood.

“So raise up the shields,
And raise up a shout,
With cries strung with victory
Let courage ring out,
And summon a song
Unfailingly brave,
To honor our comrades 
Who went to the grave.”

I've had a bit of practice doing poems, but this may very well be the first that I finished without a modicum of ridiculousness. I may later put on some of the others I've done, if I judge them not too gory or insanely strange (really, I've rewritten Clementine as a story about a gluttonous daughter of a rich guy in London).
This was heavily inspired by what I remember from reading Beowulf, and I was careful not to turn flippant, because, after all, it's an epic about a battle, and while battles are often told to be full of glory, they're definitely very frightful and devastating. I was also inspired to write a melancholy narrative-like poem by songs like Misty Mountains (I like Stephen J. Anderson and Shaun Canon's version), Tale of The Tongues, Age of Aggression, and Age of Oppression from Skyrim (look up Malukah's version on Youtube!). I actually have a recording of me singing the last part of the poem to the tune of Age of Aggression - or Age of Oppression, not sure which -that I am not going to put on here (so please don't ask, you'll be disappointed).

So what do you think? I seriously love comments and feedback. Just don't ask for aforementioned recording.

Sosrin God ignt eht ceallian,
(To God be the Glory)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Snippets Of A Story

Here are some random snippets of different stories I've written. Most of them do not have titles.

7/24/12 - Creative Writing #21 - 
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. Sureshot answered it, and, of course, that was what got us in trouble. There’s a reason he’s called Sureshot and not Brain. 
At the time I was checking my rifle for the millionth time. Not because I was bored, although I was, but because I don’t ever want to be in situation where my gun stops working. 
Anyway, I heard the phone ring, which meant something new was coming. It’s a private line and it never rings unless someone has a job for us. There was a general rush for the phone and Sureshot got there first, which earned him a lot of nasty looks from the rest of the gang. He grinned, picked it up and immediately asked what the job was. I think he was trying to sound like he knew what he was doing. I glanced up at him, and I noticed he was pale. Paler than normal. The boy is never out in the sun. Not many of us are, but I’ve never met anyone lighter than Sureshot. He started stammering something about a wrong number. 
That got everyone’s attention. In the ten years we’ve worked here, we’ve never gotten a wrong number call. Our number’s too unique. There’s not another one like it in the world. We made sure. 
He hung up and Shadow swooped down on him, her words barely intelligible through her thick accent.

“Who was it?” She demanded.

Tribes Of The Earth - 
Deidre took a stance that she knew would be seen as aggressive to a wolf. Shoulders hunched, eyes wide open and teeth bared, she growled at him. With a deep bark that sounded like a roar to her, he bounded down the side of the cliff.
Stab him under the chin to save the pelt. She reminded herself in the few seconds before she had to act.
The wolf charged her fearlessly. Deidre’s hand tightened on the knife and she thrust forward and upward. And missed. Somehow, either it had slipped to the side or her aim was off, but she missed.
Throwing his full weight at her, paws on her chest, he knocked her to the ground. The knife went flying out of her hand and black spots danced in front of her eyes as she got the wind knocked out of her. The wolf opened his jaws and lunged for her throat. She had the presence of mind to throw her arm up and he bit down on it instead. There was a sharp crack and Deidre screamed in pain.

8/8/12 - Creative Writing #23 -
I stepped out into the hall. The air was considerably cooler out here than in my room, but my bare feet sunk into the deep carpet, and my long silky pants nearly covered my toes. My shoulders were even warmer under my heavy fur cloak.
It was blessedly quiet out here. No one was waiting to ply me with questions or demand explanations for my actions. I padded down the hallway, passing the doors of my associates, most of which had burly, armed men standing guard in front of them. They nodded to me as I passed, no doubt as instructed by their employers.
I winced inwardly, knowing that with so many eyes watching, my little escapade to the lobby would be the talk of the town tomorrow and would enrage my ambassador to no end. He seemed to think that the only politically correct thing for me to do was to hole myself up in my suite for days. I just wanted a little change of scenery.
As I turned the corner, a little girl came charging at me, looking back over her shoulder. Without time to dodge, I caught her a carefully as I could, though she still head-butted me in the stomach.

7/5/12 - Creative Writing #15 -
I sat perfectly silent, perfectly still. All around me, people, for that is the kindest way to describe the poor souls, scurried about... working I suppose. I don't pay much attention to them. They do what I pay them for and we don't bother each other. The Egyptian style yacht cut through the water silently, as I had ordered. I sat ramrod straight under the shaded canopy, watching each hut as we went past. All had their door shut, and from a few you could hear loud and strange cries. Everyone around me flinched periodically when we drew too close to one of the noisier ones. They weren't pleasant sounds, like coins clinking, or the snish of bills being printed, or the snigger of a lower mercenary that thinks he's just made a good deal. They were angry, bloodthirsty sounds, of creatures who were each more than capable of committing a massacre by their lonesome.

Aouthentica (Older Version) - 
Rienna sprinted up the stairs into the lounge. Usually, the lounge was filled with couches and tables and games. It even had its' own refrigerator stocked with sodas and other various snacks. All those things were still there today, but practically buried under suitcases, valises, and travel bags of all kind. 
"Good Grief! Cam, are you in here?" Rienna asked. 

"Yeah, I'm here." His voice came from deep within the recesses of the room. 

Rienna cringed as a stack of suitcases toppled to the ground with a crash. "Cam? Are you okay?" 

"I'm alright." He answered, picking his way through the leather mounds. "So, what can I do for you?" 

His auburn hair was the exact same shade as Cara's, and the two looked identical in every way possible. One of the few differences was that Cam was a few seconds older. 

"I need another saddlebag." She said, showing him the tear. 

Cam sighed. "Those are all the way on the other side of the room, Ri!" 

She smiled and set the bag down. "I'll help you."

At this, he smiled sheepishly. "No, I'll get it. That's what I'm here for." 

He turned and began restacking the fallen suitcases, adding, "Wish I wasn't, though." 

Perplexed, Rienna asked, "Where would you rather be?" 

"Getting ready to leave with the rest of you." He snorted. "It's going to be so boring here without all you guys. Especially you." 

"Aw. That's sweet."

 "But true." Rienna could hear the grin in his voice. "Everyone knows you're the source of all the fun and trouble around here." 

"I am not the source!" She exclaimed. "Trouble and fun come from all over the place. I just sort of... nudge it along."

The Very First Version Of Milliayn - 
This is very embarrassing to share. However, feel free to laugh. It IS rather funny. In a horrible sort of way.

Rienna walked toward her home looking forward to a nice long nap. Just as she opened her door a scream came from the corner to Andjrews gate. Rienna whirled around to see that the group of soldiers who had chased her had scaled the gate. Rienna sighed as she pulled out her incinerator. Within minutes all that was left of the soldiers was ashes. 

Rienna pulled out her messenger and sent a message to Jrew: 

We need an incinerator beam for the top of the gate. 
I had to destroy some of Villen soldiers. 
That reminds me, send 
the cleaning crew to “404 Incineration Place.” 

By the way I want you to know I'm willing to be the first one 
to try the transporter. 
I don't think we should risk the time machine, most of us are affected by 
Villen's life, even by the things he did when he was young. If it wasn't for 
Villen some of us wouldn't even be born. 


Rienna walked to her house, incinerated the trash, poured herself a drink, and wrote herself a note to message Myck and tell him about the meeting. then she walked into her room for a long, long nap. 

I've linked up with Katie Sabelko's Snippets of Story!

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On the Run (continued)

Hey-dee-hi, hi-dee-ho! C'est moi, that side-sleeper, back-sleeper, stomach-sleeper, pillow-armer, fortress-sleeper, crash-lander conundrum, Hannah!
Yes, few will understand, and yes, that is a sort of a sorry title up there. I couldn't think of a better one on the spur of the moment. If I ever continue this story I'll see if I can't get a bit more creative. In any case, here's the second part of that blurb I promised.

The impact drove the breath from her, and her dagger bounced out of her hand. She was left on her back,

stunned, unarmed, and in pain.
Through the haze, Sofie saw three blurred figures approaching. One swore in a male voice, struggling to reload the crossbow.
“I won’t miss this time,” he snarled at his companion, pulling the string back.
Sofie forced herself to roll upright. She got on her feet as the crossbow clicked behind her.
“Got it,” the man muttered, raising it to eye level.
Breaking her pact not to look back, Sofie gazed straight at the man, backing against the net in fear. The moonlight glinted off the tip of the bolt. There seemed to be some gel-like substance coating the head.
Poison, Sofie’s subconscious guessed.
The man pulled the trigger, though Sofie didn’t remember hearing a sound. The bolt buried itself in her shoulder, deep in the muscle, flinging her backwards against the net. The woven trap under Sofie bore her smoothly to the ground. She lay there, unmoving, as the light flickered out in her mind.

Colter Serek had been waiting in his tree. So far no one had found him there, and he could keep an eye on the hunter’s activities unnoticed.
He had been sitting in the same position for the last hour, maybe longer. His legs were asleep. The only things that moved were his eyes - darting back and forth, taking in every movement and detail - and his fingers, drumming on his knee, only pausing when anything alive came into view.
Colter heard the tell-tale swish-swish of someone running through the woods. His fingers froze in mid-air.
A hundred-plus yards from the base of his tree, Colter saw a figure bounding over trees and branches with hardly a sound. The person didn’t slow as they sped toward the net-fence. Colter couldn’t help but wince as they ran into it at top speed and were flung backward onto the ground.
The figure recovered quickly, jumping to their feet. They looked around at the fence, then began to dig down at the base of the netting, squirming underneath the fence moments later.
He frowned. Who would go into the Hunter’s Haunt intentionally?
A moment later, the answer to his question came up panting along the same path the first person had arrived on. They stopped when they reached the net, obviously familiar with the trap. It looked like a big man, from what Colter could see. The man went along the length of the fence someways, then slipped in through a hidden entrance.
Colter switched back to the first figure in time to see them break cover and dart over to the opposite fence line.
Inwardly, he sighed. It would have been safer to stay among the old barrels.
He watched as the old cabin’s door opened. Three people came out, a lantern in hand. The person digging at the fence froze. Then they jumped up, clawing at the net like a wild animal and trying to climb out.
One of the hunters fired a bolt at the figure, dropping them to the ground. He started to load another bolt, and Colter was surprised to see the figure jump up again and turn to face them. The hunter fired again. The figure fell back against the net, then slipped to the ground.
Colter saw the hunters kick the body, but it didn’t move again. Finally the one with the crossbow bent over and snapped off the now-useless shaft of the old bolt. The three hunters went back into their cabin, leaving the body sprawled on the ground.
Colter closed his eyes. So passes another victim, he thought.
A light mist began to fall. Colter raised a palm to the gentle rain and sighed. He stretched his legs and climbed down from the tree, landing silently on the ground.
Time to go home.
He turned to trudge away, then cast a final glance back at the fallen figure. In his culture, it was a grave dishonor to leave a body unburied. Letting a fallen person decay in the open was the ultimate insult.
Colter let out a breath. He might as well bury them, whoever they were.

He had to move quietly, and slowly. If the hunters saw him, it was all over. The dirt under his feet was turning to mud, and he knelt next to the fence, careful not to slip.
Unsheathing his dagger, he slit the netting and went into the Hunter’s Haunt, walking as lightly as the elves of legend.
Crouching next to the fallen body, Colter was shocked to see the long hair and delicate features. Even among the blood and dirt, he could tell that it was a girl. Probably younger than him by a few years. He felt a surge of anger against the hunters. Their cruelty had reached an all-time low.
Gritting his teeth, Colter sheathed his dagger and took the girl’s arm. He pressed two fingers to the inside of her wrist.
No pulse, he thought grimly. He muttered something under his breath about the lineage of the hunters.
Colter’s eyes widened. There was a pulse, faint, but steady. Quickly he put a hand above the girl’s nose and mouth, where he could feel her breath on his skin.
She was alive.

Sofie was having a nightmare. She was lying on an infirmary table. It was cold under her back.
As she lay there, a stylus appeared over her head. It was the kind you wrote with, only it looked metal. No one was holding it, but it floated down and stabbed into her shoulder.
Instant pain flooded her body. She tried to scream and pull away, but something was holding her down, and her voice seemed to have deserted her.
In her shoulder the stylus twisted and dug around, tearing the muscle. Then on it’s own accord, it burst into flame.
Sofie’s hand was loose; she clawed at her shoulder. Her insides were on fire. The flame spread onto her left hand, shooting down her fingers, devouring her as easily as dry paper.

She jerked awake with a gasp. The fire in her arm had died away. It was just throbbing dully now.
Sofie looked around. Where am I? At first, she was dazed from sleep, but then she realized she really didn’t recognize her surroundings. It looked like she was in some shelter, a temporary outdoor construction. The ground was cold against her back, bringing the image of the infirmary table to her mind again.
Someone knelt a few feet away, their back to her.
Without thinking, Sofie sat up, grabbing for her dagger.
Immediately, the fire reignited in her shoulder, her fingers closed over empty air. Her dagger was gone. The effort made her arm feel like it was being torn from its socket.
The kneeling person turned and saw Sofie, catching her before she fell back again, hurriedly clamping a hand over her mouth.
“Don’t scream,” he hissed.
Sofie’s eyes grew big. He - because she realized it was a boy - lowered her back down to the ground, and after a warning look, took his hand off her mouth.
She didn’t scream, or make any noise, so he turned back to whatever he had been doing. Sofie watched him. Whoever he was, he didn’t look much older than her. A little older, definitely, maybe seventeen. He had dark hair, cut a bit long, but it was brushed out of his eyes, which were as dark as his hair. His skin was a pale brown, like one of his parents had had dark skin, but the other hadn’t.
“What am I doing here?” she whispered, suddenly noticing how dry her throat was.
The boy turned, handing  her a glass of water. He propped her up and helped her drink. “I saw what happened to you in Hunter’s Haunt.”
“In what?”
“That fenced-in place. Haven’t you heard of it?”
Sofie shook her head. “And you got me out?” she asked hesitantly.


Well, that's all I've got. What do you think? And also, don't forget to check out this Pinterest board, and pick a numbered picture for us to do a creative writing on!

Sosrin God ignt eht ceallian,
(To God be the Glory)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Prodigal Blogger Returns (AKA, Hannah's Back)

Long time, no see, me mateys! 'tis I, the bold and blue, slightly crazed and true Hannah. How be thou?

It's been a long, long, long, long, long time since I last posted. A grand total of... what, 65 days? Well, I am taking a short break from my hermitage, since I was flipping through one of my old notebooks recently and found a presentable snippet from a story I began sometime ago.
This is part one, since it was so long. I do not really know anything of the background of the story. It was inspired by a nerve-wracking dream I had, and I didn't much bother to flesh out the whole tale, just started writing (well, I spent a good twenty minutes picking out character names, but anyway).


Sofie’s heart was pounding so hard she would later wonder how only a few layers of skin, bones and muscle could keep it in place.
At the moment, all she could think was, Run!

Sofie didn’t know what on earth was going on. Just that two men were chasing her, she had no idea where she was, and somewhere along the way she had lost Tryne. Where her sister was now, she didn’t know, but for the moment, it seemed that one of the men chasing after her had disappeared. Only the big one was left.
She was grateful for her dark clothing that blended into the woods in the semi-twilight. Unfortunately, the other man was also wearing some sort of camouflage, and she only knew where he was half the time. For a big man, he was pretty quiet.

Sofie’s boots skidded as she burst out of the woods. There was a small country road separating her from the next patch of forest. She was faced with the split-second decision of following the road or diving into the woods.
Cover, her brain said. She jumped into motion and crossed the dusty road, jumping over an overturned tree to get deep into the woods. She stopped, hunkered down and watched to see if the big man would turn up.
She was not disappointed. Hardly ten seconds later, before her heart had a chance to slow down to a less painful pace, a hulking figure skidded out of the woods. His shoes kicked up a cloud of dust as he stopped. He took a brief glance up and down the road, then barreled straight across the road toward her hiding place.
Sofie’s brain threw up a half-dozen curse words to fit the predicament, none of which she wasted breath on. She jumped up, on the run again.
There was no way she could outrun this man. The stitch in her side was hampering her breathing. Trickery was the only way to escape, but she was completely unfamiliar with this neck of the woods and the half-mile of trees that had proceeded it.
Dodging around a cluster of oaks and plowing through a thorn patch, Sofie ignored the pain from the odd branches slapping her in the face. Or the inch-long thorns tearing bloody gashes into her legs.

Suddenly she ran into something elastic, slamming into it full-force, It stopped her momentum easily, flinging her onto her backside.
Sofie shook her head, dazed, and looked up to see a net, like a fishing net, stretching up above her head. It was nearly invisible in the dark.
She scrambled to her feet. Had the two men set it earlier to trap her? It looked old, and through the mist, in the dark, it stretched as far as she could see in both directions.
Sofie heard branches snapping behind her, and without pausing to glance back, began to dig under the net. Her formerly well-manicured nails filled with dirt, but she barely noticed. Her fingers pushed under the net and she was grabbing the woven, pushing herself underneath.
She was out.
Or in, she realized, looking around. There was an old building nearby and several large barrels stacked beside it. Sofie squashed herself behind the barrels for temporary cover.
The net had seemed to be a fence of some sort - to keep something in, or out. She pressed herself against the rough wall of the building. This hiding place wouldn’t last long.
Casting a look around, she saw another net-fence not ten yards away. She dashed across the yard and started to dig, but got an unpleasant surprise as a beam of light hit her from behind, casting her shadow several feet in front of her.
A moment later, there was the familiar crank and click sound of a crossbow being loaded.

The past couple days of being chased had taught Sofie a few things. One was that you couldn’t look back. It was safer to always assume that the hunters were right behind you. Looking back wasted valuable escape time, and if you happened to see what you were up against, it usually scared the chutzpah out of you.
So instead of facing whatever it was behind her, Sofie decided to do something unexpected. Probably ineffective, but it might buy her a few more hours of life.
Already crouching, Sofie tensed her leg muscles and jumped straight up. She grabbed the net and started to climb. If she couldn’t go under, she’d go over. It’s harder to hit a moving target, after all.
Sofie’s hand tangled in the net, and she could hear shouting down below. But she just yanked her hands free, one at a time.
I’m almost at the top, she thought, preparing to swing a leg over the net and drop to the ground.
Her head snagged on something overhead, and she looked up.
In the moonlight, she could see a second net - stretching overhead like a roof. Or a lid on a jar.
No. No, no, I’m trapped! 
Heart beating wildly, Sofie twined her left fingers in the net and grabbed her dagger, slicing at the netting.
Just a hole that’s big enough! Give me time, she pleaded.
Something whistled past her ear, and not a second later, fire seemed to spread though her left hand. The one that she need to hang on with. Sofie almost fell, but the netting caught around her wrist and she dangled for a moment.
Her left hand was all pain, and through a haze she saw a crossbow bolt sticking in it. All the way through. The netting couldn’t support her any more. The fibers slipped over her wrist, snapped the wooden bolt out of her hand, and let her fall to the ground.


What think you? I am wondering if it would be worth the trouble to go any deeper. Feedback is fantastaboulistic. Or well-appreciated, at least. I have a second part to put up later, once I've finished typing it down and doing a tiny bit of editing.
Au revoir!

Sosrin God ignt eht ceallian,
(To God be the Glory)