[re:] Prose of the Season #1~ Ekphrasis

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Cat~, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Cat~ Transformation

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    Welcome to the first new & improved Prose of the Season!
    [deadline for entries: May 4th]

    [re:] number one | E k p h r a s i s

    Rules:

    You must link to the piece of art/photography inspiring your story.
    Story must be at least 300 words.
    You may post reserving a spot, but come the deadline, either your entry is in the post or you're out.

    ~~~

    And one more thing: the winner of all PotS contests going forward will receive this wonderful pin (made by our graphics god, Llave).
    [​IMG]


    I expect masterfully crafted creations from you all, now get to it! Remember that this is a KHV contest though, so all site rules still apply. If you have any questions, feel free to peruse this thread or message me.
     
  2. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

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    Muse piece • The Beast (Too Bold)

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    The Laughing Hounds
    Horror • Thriller • Fantasy • Fable

    The only trace of civilization for miles around Anwud Forest is a little hamlet by the name of Blackburn. For many years the people of Blackburn could not eat their fill or sleep through the night, for each day the Laughing Hounds would devour all the game at the edges of the forest, and each night they would holler and whine 'til the first traces of sunrise. But Blackburn doesn't worry about that anymore, for the bold hunter Vyll put a stop to it.

    Vyll was the greatest hunter in Blackburn, and he would organize hunting parties to venture into the woods and chase off the Hounds. The hunters would take what game they could find, and return home to cheers and celebration—but this did not satisfy Vyll. "Even now we haven't enough food," he said, "and still the wretched beasts howl in the night."

    By day, Vyll lingered in the forest longer than any other hunter, and by night he would lay traps for the Hounds. Blackburn ate better than ever before, and the Hounds caught in Vyll's traps would be skinned, and their skins given to the hunters as prizes. Still, Vyll was not satisfied. "The fiends will persist 'til we root them out," he said. "But to do that, I must know how they think."

    No one saw Vyll sleep for many days and nights, even the hunters who took night shifts guarding the village. He would seclude himself in his workshop, devising new traps; or he would venture into the forest with the rising sun, and return at its setting with a king's feast; or he would simply stand and stare into the depths of Anwud, as if devising some grand strategy. Vyll waged a quiet war on the Hounds, in his mind and in the twilight, when no one watched the woods but he.

    Finally, one morning Blackburn awoke to find Vyll had vanished without a trace. The people searched high and low for their champion; but his workshop was empty, and the Hounds no longer whined from springing his traps. A fortnight went by, and still no sign of him. But the hunters fed the village in his absence, and the Hounds did not holler through the night. A tentative calm visited Blackburn—that of a soldier gone to a far-off battlefield, and the family awaiting his return.

    One night, without warning, the villagers awoke to an awful noise. The Laughing Hounds laughed fierce as ever, and now the sound seemed to surround the village. The hunters readied their weapons and stood forth, facing Anwud; but nothing came. Nothing but laughter. A sound so piercing it set the mightiest warriors of Blackburn to trembling. Suddenly, a second, fainter sound pushed through the din—a prolonged hush—and at this, the laughter faded as suddenly as it had begun.

    Blackburn did not make a sound, as though the entire village now held its breath. Moments later, a gust swept through the forest, the brush rustled, and all at once the Hounds burst forth in a frenzy, assaulting the hunters and ripping them to shreds. The laughter resurged, louder than ever, and mixed with the screams of the villagers as they were torn apart. The Hounds seemed to pour endlessly from the forest, like a great wave.

    And one body, scarred and bare, rose above the wave; one voice, growing from chuckle to cackle, rose above the chaos. Vyll stepped forth from the forest, his fingers and toes warped into claws, smeared with fresh blood. His smile tore the corners of his mouth, and jagged fangs flashed beneath stringy flesh. His hair flicked and twisted, itself like a beast gnashing its teeth. And he led the Hounds forth into Blackburn, 'til no screams persisted and no skin yet clung to bone.

    The only trace of civilization for miles around Anwud Forest is a little hamlet by the name of Blackburn. For many years the people of Blackburn could not eat their fill or sleep through the night, for each day the Laughing Hounds would devour all the game at the edges of the forest, and each night they would holler and whine 'til the first traces of sunrise. But Blackburn doesn't worry about that anymore, for the bold hunter Vyll put a stop to it.

    After all, a corpse needn't eat nor sleep...
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  3. Hyuge ✧ [[ Fairy Queen ]]

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    Reserving a spot as well. Don't work on Tuesday so I'll actually have time to work on something.
     
  4. tamale Ice to see you!

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    [muse]


    The Traveler and the Devourer
    -
    If you would trespass here with mortal feet,
    Beware that you do not presume to take
    Your mere life granted; or destruction meet;
    For gods and monsters will your soul unmake.
    The warning has been giv’n; speak your last prayer—
    The forces here shall no blasphemer spare.
    -
    The Traveler’s worn crimson cloak flapped wildly in the howling wind. Lightning flashed meters away to the side, then violently arced in front of the Traveler and into a roiling cloud of smoke and ash. The Traveler clutched the cloak tighter, as if it would provide some protection from the primordial powers screaming all around.

    Ice stung the Traveler’s face through the cloak’s closely-drawn hood, and snow crunched underfoot. The earth itself soon began rumbling, and plumes of flame suddenly erupted from the earth in all directions. The combined sound of the earth, thunder, and wind was deafening.

    The Traveler stumbled as the cacophony grew, but continued to take step after step through the chaos. Step. Step. Step. Ste—

    FWOOM!

    The earth burst upwards and flame exploded beneath the Traveler’s feet. The Traveler barely had time to leap backwards (the word “leap” here being used very loosely) to escape being consumed; the crimson cloak was not so lucky.

    As the Traveler ripped the cloak off and futilely tried to stomp out the flame, a figure coalesced from the surrounding smoke and ash. “Well, well,” it smiled condescendingly. “You seem to be in quite the straits, young...oh?”

    The Traveler’s eyes widened, and she took a hasty step backwards, away from the figure.

    The ashen figure seemed caught somewhere between amusement and mild alarm. “So the trespasser is not only a child, but a woman! Have you even heard the warnings about this place? ‘If you would trespass here with mortal feet’, et cetera...?”

    “...‘The forces here shall no blasphemer spare’,” the Traveler recited quietly.

    “And what part, pray tell,” the figure leered, “of soul-unmaking and blasphemer-destroying makes you think that they will spare a foolish girl for trespassing in their land?”

    The Traveler looked at the figure warily. “I had to come.”

    “Well.” The figure scoffed. “Nobody here cares why. They just care that you’re here, and they want you out for disrespecting them.”

    “I can’t leave. I need to cross through.”

    If the figure had discernible eyes, they surely would have rolled in their sockets. “If you still think this is about you staying or leaving, perhaps it would be no real loss to anyone to have your soul unmade.”

    “What about your soul?” the Traveler suddenly asked.

    “Pardon?”

    “Would they take kindly to one of their own even tolerating my being here?”

    The figure barked a laugh. “Why should I worry about my soul? I am immortal, after all.”

    “Then why are you afraid?”

    This gave the figure pause. “...They hardly consider me ‘one of their own’ anymore,” he finally answered brusquely. “And that only complicates matters.” A pillar of flame exploded from the ground next to him, destroying half of his body. As soon as the fire dissipated, though, more ash and smoke swirled towards him, building the figure back. “They’re losing patience. I have a proposition for you, young...”

    “Call me Traveler,” she said.

    The figure seemed dubious of this choice of name, but made no comment on it. “Very well, Traveler—”

    “What am I to call you?”

    His cheshire grin was nearly audible. “You may call me Devourer.”

    Traveler took a step backwards. “Forgive me for being wary of making any sort of deal with someone called Devourer,” she replied. Lightning struck only meters behind her. “...But given the circumstances, I’m willing to hear you out,” she added hastily.

    Devourer stretched a hand out. “Permit me to enter your body—no, not like that!—and perhaps we stand a chance together of leaving this forsaken land alive.”

    “And how long would you be with me?”

    The earth shook more violently. “We can hammer out the details when we’re somewhere more safe,” he growled impatiently. “But for now, let’s say ‘as long as I am needed’, shall we?”

    “I will have complete control of myself?”

    “Yes, yes! Hurry and decide!”

    Traveler hesitated. The wind picked up, and the temperature dropped several degrees. “I accept,” she agreed, grasping Devourer’s hand.

    At that instant, the elements all collided where the two stood, violently erupting together.

    All was still for a moment. Then out of the explosion walked Traveler, unscathed by the attack, but winded nonetheless. She felt a burning sensation in her left hand and forearm, and inspecting them, found them blackened, dotted with glowing red-orange flecks. “Wh...what...”

    A side effect of our union, Devourer’s voice echoed in her mind. And not wholly unhelpful, I might add. You see?

    A bolt of lightning streaked towards Traveler, yet she found herself calm, unmoving. Without willing it, her left arm swung at the incoming bolt, tugged it from the sky, and hurled it into a crevasse just opening to swallow her. The crevasse immediately snapped shut, trembling. That should stop the earth from attempting to take us for some time, Devourer noted smugly. Let us make haste, Traveler. We may be able to hold these forces off for a short while, but I assure you, it will not be pleasant.

    “Noted,” Traveler muttered. She started to reach down for her discarded cloak, but then stopped. Well? Devourer snapped.

    Traveler carefully plucked the ragged red cloak from the ground...then flung it into a flame roaring upwards. “Let’s go.”

    The forces here would spare no blasphemer. But first, they’d have to catch her.

    -fin-
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  5. Shuhbooty moon child

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    A spot for me as well! ~
     
  6. Rissy Queen of the Clouds

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    Reserving a spot because tale_wind dared me to enter this.
     
  7. Jiku Neon Kingdom Keeper

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    It'd be a lot easier/possible to take this whole thing even marginally seriously if it didn't have such a ridiculous name, you know.
     
  8. Cat~ Transformation

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    Just a friendly little reminder that it's been two weeks since the start of this bad boy.

    Also a shameless advertisement for the companion contest to PotS, PanS! The new one's just gone up, and all you poetry geeks should get a real kick out of it. It's right over here.
     
  9. tamale Ice to see you!

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    So when they're done, we just post our entries in this thread?
     
  10. Cat~ Transformation

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    Yep. Just edit it into the post you used to reserve your spot and you'll be good to go.
     
  11. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

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    :< Please tell me everyone else has their drafts and they're just revising 'til deadline

    C'mon y'all I don't wanna win by default
     
  12. tamale Ice to see you!

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    Yep, still working on mine.
     
  13. Cat~ Transformation

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    @. : tale_wind @Rissy @Senpai @h y u g e

    Just a friendly reminder that today is the last day to upload your entries. If you need a small extension, tell me now so I can keep it fair for everyone.
    also, May the 4th be with you and all that junk
     
  14. tamale Ice to see you!

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    If I don't have it done later today for whatever reason, I'll likely have it in tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday.
     
  15. Hyuge ✧ [[ Fairy Queen ]]

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    For some reason I kept thinking it was the 7th. I'll just have to drop out of this round. Haven't had time to get properly started.
     
  16. Cat~ Transformation

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    Deadline has been extended to May 6th.

    You've still got some time if you need it.
     
  17. tamale Ice to see you!

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    Done. Entry added.
     
  18. Shuhbooty moon child

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    I missed itttt. Oh well, I wasn't prepared myself either its been along time since I've written something out of the ordinary. Can't wait for this months though. D:
     
  19. Jiku Neon Kingdom Keeper

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    It would also be easier/possible to take this seriously if you could keep a reasonable handle on deadlines.
     
  20. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

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    That was a little uncalled for. Deadline was for submissions, not voting or anything else; it was never promised we'd have them right away. Plus I figured she was holding out hope for more submissions since only two people followed through.