Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Magic Pencil Creative Writing Contest

Since I haven't posted for long, I decided to search through my earlier creations (since I have no recent ones due to lack of time) and stumbled upon my entry to the Magic Pencil Creative Writing Contest from two years ago, which got me first place in the county. The tale had to have been based on a painting entitled Snow White by Angela Barrett (the one posted) and had to be no longer then 1000 words. Well, I used elements from Magic: The Gathering and it had 996 words + 3 words in the title. Here's the story:

Touch of Nature

All was silent in that peaceful night. The darkness of the forest eagerly engulfed the spirits lurking within it, and caressed all living creature in a delightful harmony. The entire meadow bloomed with joy at the touch of the moonbeams on the smiling canopies up above. The slow breeze easily moved along the trunks of trees and crevices of rocks and embalmed everything in the scent of oak. Animals all around, from the smallest squirrels playfully gathering their acorns, to the fiercest of wolves gathering to nourish themselves, fed upon this crystalline fluid of freshness, which invigorated all those that tasted it.

Deep within this silence, a young girl lay in the heart of the wood. For three days she had been searching the forest for a way out, not knowing that all this time she had only been driving deeper into nature. Even her crying stopped at the presence of the caressing night. She now slept in the middle of the meadow, the soft moss comforting her. She was not in the forest anymore; she was as far away from it, as the forest was from the outside world. She roamed freely through her own dreamlands, hoping the forest might go away by the time she woke up, and she could once again see her family. She dreamt of this, and she smiled while dreaming. She imagined herself back at the cottage; she saw her father carrying her on his back, and she saw her mother kissing her on the forehead with a sunlit smile. She imagined all her friends and all the times she had had so much fun playing with them. And while she kept on dreaming, she was unaware of those gathering in the meadow around her…

Tonight was the forty-seventh full moon of the year, and all the spirits of the wood gathered to discuss about the intrusion of this human girl in the sanctity of the forest. And so, the eldest of spirits was first to arrive; a great glow appeared in the meadow and all the winds were drawn to it and all the trees bowed their branches to its command. And from this glow sprouted flowers and beauty, and everything close to it started to bloom. Rivers sprang forth from its bowels and all the animals smiled upon seeing it. And the glow took the shape of creation… and this was Genesis.

Then, the trees united their trunks, and from them came the second spirit. Moss spread and algae from ponds gathered in a single place. And in that place, every living thing found power and might. And it gave a great sound that was heard throughout the forest, and all that heard it shuddered. And everything green, the trees, the moss, the leaves, the grass, united at the call of this spirit. And all of these took the shape of a boar as huge as the sky, and under its feet, the ground shook… and this was Growth.

Then, light flooded nature at the arrival of the third spirit. The moon exploded and filled the meadow with a drunken glitter. The stars gathered to sing at the presence of light in the darkness. And flowers also gathered to give their oath to this third spirit so great and bright. And luminous creatures, guided by fireflies span around the magical white shower. And from all this luminance stepped out a glowing purple light in the shape of a woman… and this was Beauty.

And then, the meadow was filled with the stench of death, for the fourth spirit was to arrive. Corpses started to move and black ink coloured the crystalline ponds. Misery came and filled the living creatures gathered around the meadow. From the crevices of rocks and from holes in the ground, dirt and mud and ooze gathered in a black symphony of disgust. And all sorts of horrible things, ghastly smells and nauseating sights melded together and approached the meadow. And all these took no shape, but formed a single body: a sickening hue, a walking pile of ooze… and this was Filth.

And they all danced around the young human girl, which was completely oblivious to the magical workings of nature around her. And so, faced with a hard decision, the spirits started their meeting…

‘What shall happen to the human?’ asked Genesis, its voice sounding powerfully throughout the woods.
‘She must be destroyed!’ yelled Filth.
‘She is an impediment to the good of the forest!’ howled Growth.
‘No!’ interrupted Beauty. ‘Look at her. She is a mere child. There is no wrong in this world that she can cause us’.
‘She bears the seed of evil. Within her burst the flames that drive all humankind. She is the razor of the chainsaw!’ screamed Filth in a revolted manner.
‘Her mind houses none of these thoughts. Please, listen to me’, begged Beauty. ‘You do not understand her. She has long passed Genesis, forgotten her birth. She has not yet seen Growth, as the rock sees not the wind. She is untouched by Filth, as is the sky by the ants. But her heart is of the purest, and her soul is filled with Beauty. I can feel myself vibrating through her every thought. I guarantee she will do no harm to us. Please, let her live…’
‘So be it’, decided Genesis.

Soon the dew of morning filled all the silent meadow, and when the sunbeams kissed her face she opened her lucky eyes to see in front of her the wood, the whispers of the river, the freshness of the dawn. And beside her stood a pack of wolves, beautiful as the silver strands of silk woven into a warm web. And they ran, and she followed them, not knowing why, not knowing where, until she reached the clearing and saw her parents’ cottage. And she looked back, and tears filled her eyes, and she felt the touch of nature, deep within her heart.


tibi masterofalltime said...

she later came to be know as the mighty sorceress Lady and burned down the forest to build the forterss of Char on top of the land...but that is a different story...

tibi masterofalltime said...

well, all this made me want a short piece of fiction too. (106 words + no title)

so, here you go (it took me almost 10 minutes):

2002, Tokyo University Grounds

After several failed attempts, the student Gendo Ikari finally works up the courage to ask out his classmate Yui for a date:

Gendo: “So, will you please go out with me, can’t you see we’re made for each other!”
Yui: “Leave me be Ikari-kun, you say this to every girl ! ”
Gendo: “But I love you so much…”
Yui: “Just HOW much do you love me, Ikari-kun?”
Gendo: “Well…I would bring on the Apocalypse and destroy human kind in it’s current form just so I could be with you !!”
Yui:”Sheesh Ikari-kun, don’t lie to me!”

The rest is history…

fischflosse said...

So I'm guessing you posted this story for one of two reasons: 1. standing ovations; 2. personal opinions/criticism. Guess which one I'm going to choose :D.

I like: the symbolism. Always liked it, always told you I liked it.

I don't like: the introduction, in particular. Because of the description where I just can't hear your personal voice. It's like you're playing with words, instead of sending a message. That Literature term comes to mind: anticalofilie... I'd like to see that from you.

That's it, in a nutshell. And now a question. They say every writing has a character who is an image of the author. Not a spitting image, but an image nonetheless. So in this writing, which character do you relate to? Or to put it another way, in case of an adaptation, which character would you like to play?

Syra said...

Yeah I remember "Touch of Nature".. and I also remember all the fuss I went through when having to print it so it could be sent; thanks for all the support with that.

I should post mine as well.. :P just kidding; I only ended up second and, uhm, neither of us attended that prize-camp thing as far as I remember.

Either way, it was a very productive period, for me at least, with all those relationships.. there was loads to write about ;).

tibi masterofalltime said...

fischflosse wins for being a smartass (10 points awarded) :p

bet her mom had a smooth forehead !

(this is a very offensive kilngon insult, you know!?)

Viki Rosenzveig said...

I think you can get a message through even if you use just descriptions. I believe the lyrism of the introductory paragraph is fitting.

And about that character... I'm the one that didn't fit into the story because of the word-limit. I had an additional spirit, which I sadly had to remove after counting the words.

fischflosse said...

Hey, tibi or whatever your name is, was I talking to you? Did I give a (rather offensive and ungrounded) opinion on your posts? No? Well then mind your own business.

tibi masterofalltime said...

yes, you did give a rather offensive and ungrounded (please spare me your childish idealism & patriotism) reply to one of my friend's posts and to mine as well - but on a different thread.

and i do think that you were trying to be a smartass; descriptive prose does have its uses even though it doesn't convey an idea or a message (balzac, tolkien and lovecraft are just some of the writers that make extensive use of it)

fischflosse said...

I am sorry if my posts seemed offensive, but I was using the tone that others had used before me. As to the "ungrounded" accusation, I think I put down my arguments quite clearly.

I have nothing against description in general, only against those descriptions that seem out of place or written in an unnatural style. Some writers tend to use descriptions as excuses for figures-of-speech exercises. It's one thing to present the surroundings as a character in the story would, and quite another to think to yourself... "Hm... ok, I'm the writer and I need to start by setting the scene. I'll say a nice thing about the moon, another nice thing about the smells/birds/grass whatever. See what original epithets or metaphors I can come up with this time."

It is just my personal opinion that this doesn't really work well. But it is a matter of personal taste, I suppose. In this we can all be right.