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inspiration C - Other Things We Like 05 - The Poets Lounge In the interests of posting *something*:
 
     
 
 
Author Topic: In the interests of posting *something*:
Ishamael
Throne of Decay
LVL: 777

posted 27 September 2004 10:02 PM      $post_id   Author's Homepage   Email Ishamael   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
So when we ran out of fiction, I busted er our in 2 days or so. Cue drunken stupor....



:: now ::

Lucia stumbled across the broken pillar, her sandal catching on a shattered edge. She tumbled to the ground, jagged bits of marble tearing through her cheek. She raised her head jerkily, and for an instant time seemed to slow. She saw a bead of blood arc gracefully to the dirt beneath her joining tears and sweat. She paused for an instant, mesmerized by the sight of her life draining into the parched soil. Only an instant. No sooner had she drawn a shuddering breath than the screams began again. She picked herself up, trying vainly to kick her useless sandal off as she stumbled into a vague semblance of a run.

She drew another painful breath and grabbed her chest, willing herself to go on. The city was a mosaic of muted greys and blacks, relieved only by the pooled crimson along the gutters, and spattered across everything. She began to cry again, wracking sobs that hindered her already slow pace. It was too much. She drew up against a broken wall which had once been a part of undoubtedly beautiful townhouse. Slowly sinking against the rock, she closed her eyes and waited for the end. Maybe she even hoped, just anything to end this, this semblance of a life. It wasn't even worth running anymore. The screams in the distance reached a new peak of frenzied desperation, and then abruptly cut off. Lucia waited for what seemed an eternity, but she heard nothing else. She didn't hear the measured tread of studded sandals, or the guttural tongue of the invaders. She listened, oh so carefully, but she didn't hear the sharp sound of metal slicing through air. She heard only her shallow, strained breaths, and the gentle patter of her blood upon the ground.

Finally, she raised her head from beneath her knees, and tiredly looked up at the sky. It was black of course; it had been black for days. Tinted red by a dying sun, the skies were choked with the soot and ash of a city aflame. In the distance she could make out a flickering inconstancy of orange, proof that something in this broken city could still burn. Lucia sighed, and drew a deep breath, spitting out the ash that seemed to be everywhere. She began to cough and couldn't stop for minutes as her exhaustion caught up with her. Her spit was black with soot, and the blackened red of dried blood. She knew it was more than the ash that was making her cough, much more. It was just really a question of what killed her first. Pulling herself to her feet with a groan, she stumbled around the wall and worked her way further inside the ruins.

She found herself a likely place, what seemed to have once been a solarium. Three of the walls still stood, although they seemed to have been pushed to the limits of modern engineering. No matter, she only needed one more night out of them. The opening looked out into the heart of the ruined house, and as near as she could make out, she was out of sight of the street. If they saw you, it meant death. Walking the streets was madness, and only when there was no other choice, when you had to run, was it worth taking to the broken cobblestones of the city.

Lucia sighed again, and looked around. They of course, had been here, they had found the occupants of the house at home – they had never fled. Not that there had been much time, but even then, most people simply locked the doors and prayed for salvation to come. And something had come, but it hadn't been salvation by any means. Perhaps it had been a long time in the coming, perhaps it had even been deserved, but it wasn't salvation. There were no corpses in the room, but apparently there had been. There was a coagulated pool of sticky blood in the corner, and the adjoining walls were stained not only with blood, but with almost invisible traces of a wheat-coloured substance reeking of consumption. Of course, that's what it was, but it was beyond Lucia to care now.

She laughed suddenly, and stopped just as quick, lest it give way to sobs. She couldn't afford to make any noise, the city was too quiet as it was. Except were they ‘held court'. There, the screams never stopped, only accompanied the crying and moans of the damned. The dead, they were the lucky. The dead couldn't feel anymore, the dead had already escaped. They seemed to have learned this lesson well. Far fewer of the hunted died outright anymore, no, they had a much worse price to pay. They lived, they suffered, and they bore witness to what had been done to them. Only then, were they granted the oblivion of death. And never gently.

Lucia tried her best to fix her ruined sandal, tying the topmost straps across the bottom ones, hoping it would hold well enough come dawn. Running with a broken sandal would be dangerous, but it would be even more dangerous to come up lame on something in the street when her life depended on it. The roads were blanketed with broken stone, pieces of bone and metal, and in places completely littered with the thousands of arrowheads that had descended upon the city.

Finished with her sandal, she sighed for the thousandth time. She rubbed her palms into her burning eyes, and drew them away tainted red with blood, black with soot, and yellow with whatever it was that was leaking out her eyes. Her life, of course. What was left of it. She envied the dead, but couldn't bring herself to join them of her own accord. She made a half-hearted attempt to wipe the floor beneath her clean with her filthy tunic, and lay herself down, cradling her head on her cracked hands. In the distance, she could hear the screams begin again. They never stopped, but for tonight at least, they weren't hers. She closed her eyes with an effort, but splashed across the black of her mind was still the tainted sky. It would haunt her the rest of her life, best that it was measured only in days. Her eyes flew open again, and now true night had fallen. In the dismal ruins of the solarium, there was only blackness. Now perhaps, she could forget the truth. She welcomed the quiet night now, its comforting darkness and gentle veil. She tried to keep her eyes open as long as she could, to drink in the night, to savour the peace before the hated dawn. Soon enough though, she sank into an oblivion of her own, and drifted into memory.

:: before ::

Her head screamed with agony, and she was surrounded by uncomfortable warmth on all sides. She was dimly aware that she was cradling something, but she couldn't remember what. Something else, something inside her hurt, and it hurt badly. She whimpered quietly, and thought about how easy it would be just to let go.
Even now she could imagine it, it wouldn't be that hard to slip back into unconsciousness. Lucia thought about it for a moment, and the embracing darkness seemed so soft , so right. Somewhere in her fractured mind a solitary thought screamed out, but it only trickled down through her consciousness as a hoarse whisper.

“ Gally ”

Lucia opened her eyes. Staring almost straight up, she could nevertheless see the ruins of the great temples, starkly outlined against the burning sky. It should have been night now, but the broken city burned with an all-consuming rage, and titanic tongues of fire leapt into the sky. It hung low upon her, heavy with the soot and ash not just of wood, but of thousands of burning corspes. She could taste the blood in the air, a thick coppery taste that threatened to suffocate her. Above, the sky continued to blaze into new life as she saw what was left of the poor quarter go up in the distance. They couldn't afford stone, and soon the fire surged to a killing life, and the west was aglow as she had never imagined it could be. Tendrils of orange and red crept across the oppressing blanket of darkness, washing the city in an inconstant ochre glow.

She closed her eyes again, but the insistent whisper was still there. She tried to push it down into nothingness, but it wouldn't leave her. She began to see images, and suddenly she began to remember.

“ Gally ”

Lucia's eyes flew open as she realized what she was holding. She struggled up, her left hand slipping in something, and her right bringing Gally's unmoving body to her breast. She opned her mouth to scream, and then realized she could feel his small body labouring for breath against her. Lucia wiped his dirty face with her free hand, and was astonished to see the swath of crimson it left across his face. As her mind slowly began to reform, she looked around, slowly comrpehending what she was seeing. She heard someone break into tortured screaming in the distance, or at least that's what she thought. It might have been her.


*****

Finish it off, at dragonsworn fiction

edited by Ishamael on September 27th, 2004

Posts: 793 | ID: 7  |  Aligned: iniquity  |  House: decay
Ishamael
Throne of Decay
LVL: 777

posted 27 September 2004 10:09 PM      $post_id   Author's Homepage   Email Ishamael   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
:: now ::

She woke suddenly. There was no other way of waking, these last few days. She dimly remembered another life, when waking was a gentle transition, and she would slowly ease her way out of her dreams and into a reality of colours. The only reality was drawn in black and red now, and her only dreams were nightmares. There was no transition anymore. In one nightmare she slept, in the other she ran.

It took her a moment to remember where she was, and she reached for Gally, before remembrance came thundering back. She was alone, but at least he was safe. She could make out the ruins of the solarium she had slept in, as a dim light had intruded within. Without making a sound, she moved her head quietly. She saw a muted reflection on one of the inner walls, no doubt thrown off by a torch in the street. It wasn't the light that woke her though; it was the sound of horses. They were near then, only they had animals. At least, animals that weren't human. She didn't want to listen but she couldn't help herself. She strained her ears, and she could make out the faint sound of a civilized voice, broken by sobs and sniveling. She could see it now, she had a hundred times before. A man kneeling before them on their horses, his toga soiled and more pink now than anything. Snot and pus running down his face, as he fell to his knees in futility.

She heard the next sound before it hit her ears, a wet thud, and a scream.

She saw the blunted and chipped axe falling, it's dark blade stained with fresh blood. It always came down quickly, and barely seemed to slow as it bit into the limb of its victim. It was always a limb, everything else was too fast. It would continue its stroke, leaving an almost beautifully spaced trail as the perfectly formed droplets of blood took flight from its arc. The weapon would come to a rest after the stroke, and the finely scattered trail would become a pool, which would find its way to a river. The new streets of the city, paved in the most priceless of stones.

She almost believed she could hear the quiet thump, over the screaming and laughing. The screaming became desperate, and she tried to shut out the sounds, but she couldn't shut out the vivid strokes of remembrance screeching across her eyelids and through her body. She felt the muted sizzle followed by the sickening stench of burning flesh. The flat thud of meat hitting stone, and the disconcerting pause before the metallic hiss of chains, or the rougher sound of rope. Then always laughter, and the sound of horses. And always her crying, softly. So softly no one ever heard, except for her. And the city, of course. The city was a symphony of tears. At least Gally had escaped it, at least he was free.

She sat there quietly for a few minutes, considering. Was it safer, she wondered, to stay here, or perhaps to move on? Night may be comforting, but it was never safe. She wasn't allowed the luxury of fire, and the moivng through the fallen city was a thousand times more dangerous in the dark. Lucia considered it for a moment. There was really no reason to move, they hadn't seen her. If anything, it was best to stay here. Having found one citizen in the area, would they really expect another so close? Would they really care? Or would they assume he wasn't alone? Lucia figured it was most likely the latter. She decided to stay in the ruined solarium regardless. Besides, maybe she wanted to be found. It would end this travesty of a hunt once and for all. And of course, Lucia had her own weapon, far more deadly than any of theirs. She coughed once, and spit between her teeth. Yes, let them come. She wouldn't be the only one to die. Almost smiling, she let sleep find her again.



*****

Finish it off, at
dragonsworn fiction

Posts: 793 | ID: 7  |  Aligned: iniquity  |  House: decay
Mordeth
Lord of Flies
LVL: 601
posted 30 September 2004 03:20 PM      $post_id   Email Mordeth   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
I promise I will read this soon, but it is damn long and I just don't have that kind of spare time at work right now... but I do have time to post messages like this because I type decently fast...


You only truly lose when winning becomes more important than playing.


Posts: 409 | ID: 61  |  Aligned: iniquity  |  House: Decay
Mordeth
Lord of Flies
LVL: 601
posted 30 September 2004 04:42 PM      $post_id   Email Mordeth   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
Ok, I took a quick break so I could read your story. I loved it, but I have a few questions. Is it part of a book your writing? If so where can I find a copy? Is the story related to any standing works by other authors? And last but not least, do you have any more of the story that I can read right now?


You only truly lose when winning becomes more important than playing.


Posts: 409 | ID: 61  |  Aligned: iniquity  |  House: Decay
Drizzt Do'Urden
Lord Tranquility
LVL: 701

posted 01 October 2004 11:17 AM      $post_id   Author's Homepage   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
quote ::

[originally posted by Mordeth]:
Ok, I took a quick break so I could read your story. I loved it, but I have a few questions. Is it part of a book your writing? If so where can I find a copy? Is the story related to any standing works by other authors? And last but not least, do you have any more of the story that I can read right now?


Hey Ishy, I think he likes it


I make a new vow, one weighed in experience and proclaimed with my eyes open: I will not raise my scimitars except in defense: in defense of my principles, of my life, or of others who cannot defend themselves. I will not do battle to further the causes of false prophets, to further the treasures of kings, or to avenge my own injured pride.


Posts: 475 | ID: 41  |  Aligned: divinity  |  House: Serenity
Ishamael
Throne of Decay
LVL: 777

posted 01 October 2004 02:23 PM      $post_id   Author's Homepage   Email Ishamael   Send New Private Message    Reply With Quote 
Hey, thanks for the nice comments mordeth ;)

No, it's just a short story that was written cause we didn't have enough fiction at dragonsworn. It's posted in it's entirety on the website...

Ish

Posts: 793 | ID: 7  |  Aligned: iniquity  |  House: decay