Thanks everyone for taking time to comment.
I've been struggling a bit recently with the writing, so it did me good to check in today and find your posts.
I enjoy reading the work that is posted up here and feel inspired to contribute.
Hello and The Ten Year Battle
Hello, I'm new to forums and hope I'm not intruding. I really enjoy reading what other people have written and noticed that you guys have a lot of great stories here. I'm writting the majority of the time and mostly just for fun. I wanted to really try for once and this is what I came up with. If you read, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy, and keep comming with those stories.
The clashing of blades and the clang of metal smashing against metal can’t drown out the heavy breaths of you and your opponents. Sweet drips down your face and body in rivers while you do your best to lift your soar and heavy arms. The air inside your armor is like a sauna, sucking your strength right out of you as if the grim reaper were trying to take your soul. Your energy is now relying on the fire of your blazing spirit. Nothing, not even the bruises that almost reach bone, can take your focus away from keeping your mind sharp and your spirit burning like a furnace. You are not just a mere soldier in this army. This army is at your command and for good reason. You are a warrior with few equals. Your blade swings through the air in surgical precision, cutting down enemy after enemy. The out come of this battle will not only affect you and your men but also the state you are trying to protect, its people, and the neighboring states as well. That’s why you are in command. You are the best your state has to offer.
Each division of the army feels as though it’s a part of your body. If you flex your arms the front line strengthens and begins fighting harder. If you flex your back the archers draw their arrows and when you release your muscles the arrows rain down and hit their targets. If you flex your calves the spearmen brace themselves for the coming Calvary. If you flex your thighs the calvary charges at full speed, knocking their opponents in to the next world.
You see the enemy’s formation, its movements and tactics.
You send your strong arm in, letting them rip their opponents to shreds, while your other arm presses forwards with support from the archers. The calvary is called into the battle from its ambush point to take their archers by surprise, then continues on to form a pinser with the left arm for the final strike. A few units of archers finish of their rivals, a large portion of the rest moves to aid the right arm in it’ furious assault as the rest take up with the pike men after a small unit of enemy calvary. And then the breaking point comes.
"THIS IS IT," you yell to your troop with love and compassion in your voice, "THIS IS THE MOMENT WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. SPILL THERE BLOOD, COAT THE GROUND WITH IT. LET THEIR BODIES BECOME A PART OF THIS LANDSCAPE!"
A battle cry of profound proportions howls from every man as thy strike. It starts at the same time, lasts for what seems on eternity, and then ends as your soldier’s moral boosts to an epic high. Their soldiers are paralyzed by so glorious a battle cry. You put your faith in your men and let your focus fall to your body. Every man that you can see is slain. Your movements are so swift that time seems to be at a stand still as you carve a line through your opponents and their once grand army. The rest of their attacking force and half of their defense force is crushed under the weight of the following an onslaught. The birds envy your speed on the ground as you make your way to their main camp.
Their commander steps out of his tent, oblivious to your arrival but her can no doubt hear the swift approach of your forces. He is dressed in a ceremonial suit of samurai armor, but it is easy to see that it is beyond fully functional. You are almost awe stricken by its beautiful design. The face mask is porcelain white and in the form of a smiling vampiric demon. The horns are polished and glisten in the sunlight. Sound is tuned down to a whisper as you focus onto your target. You know full well that your attack will not fail.
He turns just slightly to see you coming out of the corner of his eye but it is too late, for your blade has already released it's furry upon his mortal body. Joy fills your heart as your blade passes through flesh, then muscle and organs, and finally through his spine.
You come to a stop a few feet away.
"Finally I have you,” you say
He falls to the ground with his arm stretched out towards the sky, his fingers tensed as if ready to jet right into the center of his palm. You walk over to him and take off his mask only to reveal your own face. This comes as no surprise to you, but you wanted to see his face. He smiles and you envy his smile as you watch his soul drift towards the heavens like a piece of kelp in a warm ocean.
Suddenly a great sound is heard. Hundreds of thousands of feet can be heard approaching from over the hill in front of you and your army. You, and a good number of your men, are on their knees, sweating and catching their breath. You look up to the crest of the hill to see a samurai in black armor. He is powerful; you can feel the force his body contains from where you stand. He raises his arm up gently, but with force at his finger tip, points directly at you. Then his army charges towards yours. They are all strong and very well trained. Your rag-tag band of men is at a disadvantage but yet you command them to form up.
“TO GLORY AND HONOR,” you say as you and your men charge towards certain death.
You and your men let out one more glorious battle cry, one last glorious battle cry.
“To battle” is where my thoughts must lie
If I think “to counsel”
Then my soul will surely scream and writhe
Wow. Has it really been that long since this thread was added to? I missed the final entry entirely. Must bookmark for reading later this weekend.
Searching must have felt rejected and left the forum. There is so much wrong with his manuscript that I won't go into it. But, it was an okay effort from a beginner. We all have to start somewhere.
i agree, edgar
i missed it the first time around and have just read it through
Despite the faulty grammar etc (and i can't talk, i know)
i found myself for a moment quite excited by the prospect of facing off
against a Samurai vampire...
if 'Searching' ever looks back here (and i doubt that will happen) hope he/she knows that being a story teller isn't just about polishing up the written word - it's also about weaving a spell - and i was wrapped (rapt) for a while there
"The face mask is porcelain white and in the form of a smiling vampiric demon. The horns are polished and glisten in the sunlight. Sound is tuned down to a whisper as you focus onto your target."
I find life a bit like that, these days
Hi, endy. I just saw your reply.
Hi Edgar - i just saw yours : )
If you don't want anything from The Rich Man, this is for you
"When I woz a boy, playing in gut'a dan Cheapside, there woz this o'man in a smart cut blazer, used to come aroun' and throw coins dan in fron'a us, like we were bleedin' street beggars or som'ink."
"Never take money from strangers!" The policeman visiting our school that year told us.
And we tried hard not to - because we didn't like to be bought. (As surprising as that may be).
We didn't savour the shame, which remained as a bad taste in our mouths, long after we'd eaten the last sugary chew, brought with The Rich Man's coins.
At first, we honestly took the money out of surprise.
Rich people generally make a rule of not noticing the less fortunate around them.
They slip from the back seats of gleaming cars into brightly lit doorways, without turning their heads " unless it's to acknowledge a camera.
So when The Rich Man first started throwing his coins around, we all thought, hell, he must be barmy… and we grabbed up those coins and we laughed all the way to the sweetshop.
We felt our greed, tucked down deep, like a small fire wanting to be stoked.
Later, when the surprise had worn off, it seemed polite to take his money…like you would if an old uncle you didn't know very well gave you some coins and told you not to spend them on sweets, or you'd end up like him (before doing something revolting yet kind of funny with his false teeth).
But after a while, if you saw The Rich Man coming, you tried to dodge into a doorway or cross over the road, because you didn't want to feel obliged to accept his charity; to have to be grateful; to be forced to smile.
In fact, you didn't want to touch the coins that came from his pockets.
I don't think we were entirely sure ourselves.
I just know that his 'appearances' were something no one mentioned at home to their parents, as if he were in fact, part phantom.
Personally, I hated the way he presumed to know me " how utterly confident he was that his gift would be accepted and with gratitude.
Yes " once, right at the beginning, I did accept sweets brought with The Rich Man's coins.
But that was before the bright novelty dissolved and certain questions formed themselves in dark places inside us.
Everyone called him The Rich Man right from the start. As in...
"Hey, you lot " it's The Rich Man…. Yeah, he's just turned up! Over by the park gates, come on."
Following which, some of us would hang back, while others charged over there, like Pete 'pork-chop' H. from the year above us - lumbering across the grass with the determination of a buffalo.
I watched The Rich Man from a distance, as you might watch a snake or a mean looking dog. There was something about him that disturbed me.
I spent a lot of time wondering what that might be.
A few of us later came to think of him as 'The Pied Piper'.
Not the musical fellow you might see in a pantomime, dressed in peasant garb and sporting a stupid hat, but a Pied Piper of the modern, capitalist world; just as addicted to money " just as ruthless - but in a land where corruption, ambition and greed are 'get on in the world' attributes and stealing money from the poor to elevate the rich is a lot easier than the other way around.
Our Pied Piper was rolling in it.
Drowning in it.
Bored with it.
He approached children not with a magic flute " but with a magic number.
1, 5, 10, 20, 50,
The colour of his money (or his victims) wasn't important to him.
First reference to the Hamlin village rat-catcher came in school " from Joanne M. - following an ear-splitting scream, which rang out midway through what had (up until then) been a mundane RE lesson.
We'd been discussing The Rich Man in quiet tones for about half an hour, when Mr F. (marking books at his desk) muttered at us across the room, "Shut-up at the back, for goodness sake."
After which we fell silent, thinking about The Rich Man and what he was really up to. What he wanted.
Joanne sat with her chin cupped in one hand, dreamily colouring in a drawing of a beggar sitting on the steps of a rich man's palace, with dogs licking his wounds " a story from the bible which ends with the poor man going to heaven and the rich man to hell.
In my best-mate Sean's picture, his fat, rich man was sitting behind a long table at banquet, with a dagger and fork in his hands, staring saucer eyed at a massive pile of mashed potatoes, complete with half buried sausages sticking up out of it at various angles, all covered in bright streams of tomato sauce.
The rich man's tongue hung down one side of his chin and he was grinning.
I saw this and started to laugh, when Joanne squealed directly into my ear, making me slam a hand to the side of my head, yelling in surprise.
She took no notice of me.
"Oh my God!" She said, standing up slowly, her eyes raised towards the ceiling, her hands held up in front of her face, as if she were framing the image that had come into her mind.
Tim, who sat opposite her, fell back in his chair, like he was afraid she would suddenly start sprouting snakes out the top of her head.
She had the attention of everyone in the room and I noticed how quiet the school was. I could hear a bird singing outside the window.
Mr F. stood up, removing his reading glasses; no doubt pondering the possibility that he was about to witness some religious phenomena.
"Oh my God!" Joanne said again, looking around our table, and shaking me by the shoulder as if she hadn't already got my full attention.
"He's the Pied Piper!" She shrieked. "That's it!"
I heard the class groan and go back to what they were doing; but Joanne wasn't interested in them. Those sitting around our table were all who were important to her at that moment.
She searched our faces for reaction, already confident we would see it her way and we did.
"Hey, hey yeah… yeah, the Pied Piper."
"Yeeeeeeeeeeah!!!!!" Everyone chorused, liking it.
"Oh shut-up back there!" Mr F. said.
I'm sure if you had asked any of us that day - Why the 'Pied Piper'? - We would have been hard pushed to give you a sensible answer.
All we knew for sure was that despite the money, we somehow felt deceived, manipulated, bribed
… almost hypnotised by him.
When he threw down the coins it was with utter surety.
We were forced to dance to his tune. Money could do that to us… to any of us… at any time.
Money made fools of people. The evidence of that was everywhere we looked.
It could make us into fools.
It could even make some of us his puppets.
His power was in his money.
It was like a cheat. Not really his own.
The reasons he spooked each of us individually were personal and different, but pride was an issue for all who chose to stay away from him, because it seemed as if he was, in some intrinsic way, insulting people's hard working families.
Also, the images we'd all seen the year before, of stick thin, half-ghosts dying of starvation in Ethiopia (1) had something to do with it (for some of us at least).
With our TV Robin Hood-influenced (2), playground-rules mentality (and growing up in the type of places where it's not safe to use the concrete stairwells at night) we were sympathetic to anyone who was dying because the rest of the world… the rich and powerful… chose not to give a ****.
How much silver does it really take to sell your soul to the devil, we wondered.
Yeah, we were only children, nine and ten years old, but we'd seen enough to know there is something evil about letting people die of starvation. It's like the Nazis did to the Jews in those camps.
Not that I knew words like 'grotesque' " but I understood how hard it can be to fall asleep at night when there is no food in your stomach and when I tried to imagine the pain of that multiplied by hundreds and matched it to the sunken-eyed look of dying Africans, it make me feel sick.
For a few of us, The Rich Man having more money than he obviously needed… (enough to throw around) was symbolic of a great hypocrisy.
We understood hypocrisy " even if we didn't know the word to describe it. The adult world was full of it.
"Share nicely." Was the most hilarious hypocrisy of all.
We didn't want to be used to salve a rich man's greedy conscience.
We didn't want rich people buying us off.
We wanted to feel good about ourselves and the world around us.
How could we do that when children just like us were being left to die with empty, swollen bellies and flies crawling over their eyes?
Put simply, we thought the rich were evil.
One day I was sitting on a park bench minding my own business when suddenly a handful of coins hit the ground between my feet.
They glittered like… well, like silver.
I looked up to see The Rich Man standing, watching me closely. Waiting for something.
What did he want? Why was he doing this?
What was he hoping to buy?
What did he want me to do? Perform for him? Jump up and down? Fall on my knees to grab up the money?
What was I meant to say? Oh wow! Thanks mister… thanks SO much…
If that was what he was waiting for… I couldn't do it.
"You be happy now," he said, and I thought he sounded a bit like The Penguin out of Batman. He sounded reasonable. That was the scariest part I think, because he didn't feel reasonable. If you know what I mean.
When I didn't move or speak, he gestured to the coins.
"You can buy yourself a special treat…on me."
I still didn't respond.
Actually, I couldn't, because I didn't have the adult words or actions necessary to express myself adequately.
(Sticking up two fingers and yelling, "**** you, you capitalist prick," was still about….I dunno, ten years away.)
It also occurred to me that money didn't seem to have brought him any happiness. He just seemed like a lonely old geezer to me. Maybe he thought he was buying friendship… but even then, as a child, I could have told him he wasn't.
He give me a small frown, his eyes narrowing.
It occurred to me that perhaps he'd never witnessed a 'poor' kid refrain from throwing himself on the ground at his feet to snatch up the coins like a half starved dog tossed a few scraps, before.
I didn't move at all. I just stared at him.
Across the park some little girls laughed and called to each another.
I saw his pale eyes flick across in their direction before he gave me a last look of distain and turned abruptly away.
I watched him go. His shadow trailing him across the grass.
My heart raced, frightened - but still, I crouched down and my hand swept the ground.
Picking up the heaviest coin, I took a few steps away from the bench- like a sprinter rising up out of his blocks.
Suddenly I was running across the grass, coming up behind The Rich Man fast, whipping my hand back and releasing the coin over-arm, as hard as I could, my feet leaving the ground, shouting:
"**** YOUR MONEY!!!"
The coin flew through the space between us with biblical precision, glinting once as it flipped over.
The Rich Man turned just in the nick of time and caught it… snatched it right out of the air, grinning.
If he hadn't, it would have smashed straight through his smile, knocking out his teeth.
In that quick snap of his fingers, I realised he was the devil.
But then I felt the coin still there in my hand.
He was just a man, standing, staring back at me.
I'd wanted to throw the coin at his head. I'd even envisioned doing it - but something had stopped me and I was glad.
I realised I was trembling with anger.
The Rich Man was waiting, obviously surprised by my shout, which still echoed around the park.
For a few seconds nothing happened. We stood under a blue sky and listened to the echo fade.
There was a vast stillness in the air. Even the little girls had fallen silent.
I walked towards him.
"I don't want this," I said, realising it was true and tossing the coin down at his feet. "Keep it."
I didn't wait to see if he picked it up. I didn't care at all.
I turned and walked away.
I was glad I hadn't smashed out his teeth…but I was REALLY glad I didn't have those coins clasped like a junkie's pills in my hand. Their slimy metal smell staining my palm long after they had tumbled through the fat fingers of the sweet shop lady and into her till.
Relieved, I strolled out of the park and down the street.
After a while, my heart returned to its normal rhythm.
I felt my step lighten and my fists uncurl.
A smile began to stretch across my face.
Walking away from that rich man's money, was like…
"Like freedom." I whispered, taking my hands out of my empty pockets and laughing at nothing at all.
Unexpectedly, NOT having the money felt like the greatest gift ever.
I began to run, suddenly joyful, like I'd just escaped a major catastrophe.
I looked up at the sun and saw a small bird on a wire watching me and I gave a whistle.
I decided I would go and see if any of my friends were playing in the tree-house we'd built, in the long grass behind the power station.
It was Friday and no more school for two days.
Fish an' chips t'night for tea.
1) Over 20 years have past since Live Aid and the crisis in Ethiopia. I wish I could tell you that children are no longer dying of starvation there, but that would not be true.
2) Richard Carpenter's UK television series (mid 80s) Robin of Sherwood
All characters are pure fiction
A last story for the campfire - with warm thanks
It kept me on the edge of my seat, endy. You are a marvelous writer.
thank you Edgar, for reading this and for your response.
I wrote it as an expression of grief - although i doubt that is evident.
It wasn't even evident to me at the time i wrote it.
I was angry when i first put the bones of it together and when i fleshed it out i tried to turn that anger into beauty.
i think symbolism is a powerful thing and i would like if i can, in this unfair world, to contribute something towards 'spiritual' hopes - rather than material ones.
Or something like that....
tonight is Roman Halloween - as apposed to the Celtic, which is at the beginning of November
happy Halloween here at the campfire - sending you a Celtic recipe
At the heart of the celtic otherworld is an apple tree. Legends say that the reason the first people arrived in Ireland from the west was news of the apple tree of life being here. Ducking for apples is a re-enactment of crossing the sea for that magic apple tree.
Baking them in foil in your hearth coated in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg is good too and then taken from the hearth with a hazel or rowan stick to eat your apple from. This is said to bless you with the healing flame of Brighid to protect you from the snake.
Oh, before you light your fire fetch three stones from the nearest natural water source to where you live, a stream, brook, bubbling well, each for your mind, body and spirit. Circle them in your hearth to get hot, and that is where you place your apple. As you eat your hot, spicy, sticky apple and as it warms you inside say a quiet prayer for guidance or solution to problems, and somehow, before the apple is fully eaten, a solution will be brought to you. A wonderful way to Kindle The Celtic Spirit.
Following Celtic Ways
Ramblings and reviews by John Willmott
Anyone got a ghosty story? I'll be back tonight to see if there's any tall tales flying around...
We are all on different times - for me right now it's 09:29 on the morning of 31st -Halloween - I'll be back tonight - although i have no ghosty story myself and hope to hear one!
well, i had a go at writing something - and half way through, something else took over...
Halloween Ghost Poem
And out of the midnight mist
Came young Tom Garret, pissed
Homeward from the late night pub
With the Halloween moon trailing above
Down winding lane through darkest trees
Chased by whining wind and autumn leaves
When suddenly on the road ahead
A fearful sight that stopped him dead
A ghostly apparition glowed
His heart sped up, his poor brain slowed
A shiver ran right through his being
As he tried to understand what it was he was seeing
A woman in white with flowing hair
Above the ground and hovering there
Undulating tentacle lights
She was a terrifying, beautiful sight
"Tom," she whispered, "Come to me."
And birds flew -from the tops of the tall pine trees
"Tom," she whispered, "Take me home to ya bed."
And he felt blood drain from his trembling legs
Then bleep bleep bleep - his mobile phone
His poor young wife left home alone
"Where the HELL are you, Tom?!"
He looked up, and the ghost was gone
When Tom crawled into bed that night
He grabbed his wife and hugged her tight
"You saved me, love," he happy said
But his wife was cold and her eyes were red
"Tom," she whispered, "you came to me."
And he switched on the lamp for her face to see
"Tom," she growled, "Welcome home."
And back on the road, he screamed into the phone.
Endymion 31st Oct 2008
Got to say - it's a bit creepy out here on my own
Oh well, throw another log on the fire
Those apples smell good...
Only 7:30 pm here... already very dark.... bats.... rustling undergrowth....crackling fire.... chill air.... stars ... wow...stars
2;46 PM here, endy. The day is young.
I've got jacket potatoes cooking, beers cooling in the stream
I've got spicy apples and my guitar
It's very peaceful
I may kip off at some point - but hey wake me up if you come back