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onions
January 28th, 2006, 07:46 AM
A friend of mine posted this on another forum:


The challenge: make a mythical autobiography -- mythologized to any extent you want. Any extent that best symbolizes you and your life. That can mean an epic fantasy story. A science-fiction story. A comedy. Horror, even. Or all of these. All of the above. You can be as explicit or even as vague in some ways as you want. It is all up to you. As a guideline of sorts ... try perhaps one page. If you can do more, or less by all means.

It wasn't a writing forum, but the stories people posted were just amazing, and each one was wildly different from the others, in form as well as in content. The funniest was only five lines long and involved hitting people with dead fish.
Anyway, a fun excercise for anyone procrastinating when they actually should be writing. :)

I'll post my own underneath.

Greetings,
onions

onions
January 28th, 2006, 07:48 AM
That's the story I posted in response to the challenge.
I'm not sure this is even MY story. Maybe it is, a little.
Maybe I shall write five different ones, and they will all be a part of me.
At any rate it is full of spelling mistakes and word repetitions, but I hope you will take it as it was intended.

Hem the master scribe looks up as the girl enters the room and in this instant he knows that nothing will ever be the same again. And in the next he snorts and banishes the thought. The girl is simply dressed and plain, but there is something about her that says appearances may deceive. Perhaps it is the blankness of her gaze that fixes with unpleasant firmness on his face.
“What do you want?” he barks. But she only presses her lips together once.
“Well?”
“Work”, she says calmly. “I seek work.”
“As what? We need no housemaid.”
“I write.”
At this, Hem laughs. But he has not acquired a reputation for eccentricity for nothing.
“There”, he says, throwing her a ratty quill. “Write. Write something.”
The girl bites her lip. She takes the quill and sinks into a huddled posture over the workbench where she slowly, painfully inscribes a few choice glyphs.
Finally, she looks up: another gaze, painfully empty.
Hem inspects the work. His face darkens. “My name. How dare you write my name. Who told you it? What devil possessed you!”
He crumples the parchment in rage until his knuckles pale and then he changes his mind: He takes it and shreds it into pieces. He has his back to her but he can barely supress his shivers. There is little that can shock a man so as the syllables of his own secret name, inscribed in a flowing, broadstroked lines of beauty by an alien hand. How came these signs of power from this cramped figure before his bench? How came a woman to this power?
Hem turns and she stands there still, her face impassive. He says:
“Will you work for me?”
“Yes.”
“And you will serve me as your master?”
“Yes, master, I will.”
There is no hesitation. He would have heard it. And so Hem binds her with a contract, and the girl works for him.
Within a day, the entire city knows. His competitors snigger behind his back.
“Hem has finally lost his mind.” Then they visit his shop and they fall silent.
There’s never been so much traffic in the little shop as now and it grows steadily more. The girl is gifted and though no one wants to have his written correspondence cursed by a female hand, all want to see her write. The girl never complains. She turns out syllables, each one stranger, more twisted and more beautiful than the one before
One day, Hem can’t contain his questions any more. “Where do you come from? What did you do before? Why are you here?”
And the girl looks at him and smiles fondly. It clashes unpleasantly with the non-look in her eyes.
“I do not know”, she says, “is it important?”
Hem’s wife promises him that she will get the secret out of her, and she is marginally more successful.
“She was cursed”, reports Avia. “She can’t remember. But she says she has grown used to life now as it is.”
Indeed, Avia finds the girl to be a comfort. The eyes do not bother Avia, and the girl listens well, though her answers are often stranger than the signs she writes.
One day, Avia loses the milk-stone round her neck and grows fearsome.
“What will protect me from the tricks of the demons? This is the stone my mother gave me. I have no other.” She is quite distraught.
“Sometimes we must let things go so they can return to us”, says the girl. And as if she were a prophet, the stone returns. Avia finds it on her pillow when she awakes the next morning.
“How did you know?” Avia whispers. “Is it something you remember from before?”
But the girl just laughs.
“I watch and listen, that is all. There is nothing left inside me to get in the way, so I see more.”
A year has passed, and still the girl writes. Now women and even some men come to the shop to see her, to have her write. The men bring gifts of little wayside flowers whose colours bear coded meanings. But the girl does not care. She has become moody and when she is not silent, she talks too much, too sharply.
One day, an intruder comes. It is a blackbird that flies into the shop and rushes about in panic, knocking over scrolls and feathers and bottles of ink. Hem’s apprentice, Jesper grabs a bat and makes to go after the disruptive beast, but the girl screams.
“Leave him alone!”
Jesper stops. He hates the girl and so he leaves the room to complain elsewhere.
The bird flutters about. The girl reaches out with her hand and the bird lands on her wrist. Jet black eyes stare into hers and glitter.
“Are you done here?” says the bird.
“No”, says the girl. “I must write…”
The bird cocks his head and eyes a fallen piece of parchment.
“You’ve done it wrong”, he observes. The girl follows the gaze. And sure enough, there is something not quite right –
She picks up another blank. Her hand uncramps. Her shoulders loosen. The lines flow in intricate curlicues and waves of purplish black ink. For an hour, the blackbird sits upon her shoulder as she weaves her magic over the page. Finally, she looks up.
“Excuse me?” she asks politely.
“I said, what the devil do you think you’re doing there!” screams Hem now for the third time, quite incensed – no, quite overturned by something he has seen in her posture, in her smile and in her eyes. It scares him out of his wits.
“I am remembering”, says the girl simply. "Remembering a curse I laid." Her eyes are full of tears.
“The year is over. Our contract is ended.” She calls him once more by his full name as she did on that first day and Hem stands aghast, looking at the parchment before her.
“This sign –“ he says. “It is the sign –“
“Hush, do not say it.”
The girl, girl no more, now woman stands up and walks towards the door. Only once does she turn around to wave good bye. The bird on her shoulders bursts into song. And she is gone.
“A sorceress –“, Hem whispers, turning to his wife in his dismay.
“I know”, Avia says. “You have no eyes in your head, Hem.”

Dawnstorm
January 28th, 2006, 11:47 AM
My life began, as lives do, when I was little. It has not ended yet. I do not know when it will end, but I have it on authority that it will end with my head exploding. You see, since my life began the world inside expanded and the world outside contracted.

I used to crawl on the floor to find bottles the size of towers, shoes the size of sauce pans. Things were out of reach, intimidating me with their size, or comforting me with the same. It was strange. The world within was still small, a pulsing, heart-like thing, shapeless and silent. But the world without incroached and left it's mark, and things bubbled and boiled, and from the pulsing world inside life sprung.

A wise woman, I do not recall which world she inhabited, told me this:

"The world within will grow. Release it, lest it will grow too big for your head to contain. The world outside will batter it and mangle it, but the world within will fight back. To keep the integrity of your head, you need to confine the world within in words. You will not have many words for the world outside; you cannot spare them. The world withing will demand them, and if you do not comply, it will consume you, and the words you give to the world outside will be hollow and meaningless, and they will rebound and haunt you, like an echo. To the world outside give music, give colour, give carresses. But words are for the world within."

I heeded her words, for she was wise. I confined the world within in words and put them to pages. Those I hid in drawers, for words were for the world within, for none to see.

I met people in my life, and with hindsight I realise they must have wondered why I was so quiet. Oh, I gave them hollow words, every now and then, and the world within punished me with headaches and queasiness.

I gave the people little gifts, but they didn't want them and instead took things I would have kept to myself. I thought this was fair, for a gift unwanted is a gift wasted. But the more they took, the less I had for myself, and eventually I stopped giving out gifts.

The world within had grown dark and twisted. Oh, what monsters lurked behind my eyes! You are blessed not to know them. (But perhaps you have your own, and they are more terrible than mine could ever have been.)

So, one day, I stopped giving out gifts, and a strange thing happened. Not only did the people stop taking my things; they started giving me gifts of their own. Oh, it was delicious! For you see, they gave me gifts I did not want.

The world within turned into a carnival, and it was a dangerous time, for there were no words to contain all of it, and it grew and pushed against my head from within.

I could not bring myself to take things from others that they would have liked to keep for themselves. So I still had nothing. Some people realised this, and they realised that I did not want their gifts (though I had done my best to express my pleasure at them). They asked me, "What do you want?"

And I paused and wondered and realised, I did not know.

I had the world within.

So, one day I decided to show the hidden papers to the people, to reveal the world within, so they might understand. But they did not, and the world was angry.

This is now. The head-aches are fiercer than ever before, a carnival of carnivores behind my eyes. They gnaw at my brains, they dazzle my eyes with light shows, and I cannot put down words on paper, for I cannot see clearly, and I cannot concentrate. My fingers tremble. They cannot hold a pen.

These words you read are born of pain, and they are hollow, for my words belong to the world within. Very soon now my head will explode. And the world within will be free. What horrors will my corpse unleash upon the world?

onions
January 28th, 2006, 04:59 PM
*is scared*

That's going to make one hell of a mess all across the forum once it happens, Dawnstorm.

I really really like the penultimate paragraph and the "carnival of carnivores".

Dawnstorm
January 30th, 2006, 02:39 AM
*is scared*

That's going to make one hell of a mess all across the forum once it happens, Dawnstorm.

Who knows? Perhaps, the world outside will encroach, and all that remains is one ickle pearl? ;)


I really really like the penultimate paragraph and the "carnival of carnivores".

Why, thank you, Onions.

***

Thinking about it, you've written a coming-of-age story; and I've written a running from age story. :eek:

Expendable
January 30th, 2006, 03:20 AM
The world went away.

I jerked awake, finding myself caressing the rough bark of a pine tree like it was my lover. My right hand slipped down the trunk until it found the branch I was impaled on, the base of it wet with my own blood. I tried to scream but my shattered ribs wouldn't allow it.

The world went away again.

"...hear me?"
"Yes..."
"How do you feel?"
"Cold," I managed. "My stomach hurts."
"Try to follow the light with your eyes."

I blinked - and the world shifted to the right.

Now and then I'd hear voices, but the words they were speaking slipped past me. Then one day the world drifted back into focus.

The doctors and nurses wouldn't tell me what had happened in the crash. They left it to Nana. She walked up to my bed and slapped me, hard. Then she told me about Mom and Dad - and how it was my fault they died.

Then it was the doctors turn.

I learned that day what doctors can do with metal and plastic and tiny tiny wires. And what they couldn't undo. And all the while staring at the bits of me they 'd saved in glass jars filled with liquid.

My face was the least of their worries, they told me. They got confused when I told them no.

At first they blamed shock. Then all the surgery I'd have to go through. They wouldn't accept that I'd want to go on looking like that, instead of getting one of their fake plastic smiles to go with their fake plastic bodies. So began the sessions with smug psychatrists telling me how to feel - and never listening, while running the gauntlet of sympathetic looks and cruel little jokes.

So I had to find a new way to scream.

Darkin
January 30th, 2006, 07:58 AM
"I lost this one against one of them slimy green bastards." The hand that was offered to me as evidence was lacking the two outer fingers. What remained was a broken landscape of scars birthed of burns and bites.

"Never trust them greens. You gotta get them muzzled quick. An' cover their snouts. They spit that gunk outta their noses, hits yer, it'll burn the bones right outta yer hand"

The hunter's one remaining eye was bright and fearsome. I tried not to look at the other side of his face. It was a parchment stretched over bone. In places you could see his blackened teeth through the torn flesh of his cheek.

The serving wench thumped another round of drinks on the table. Hathar swiped his tankard away and took a long pull at it before belching thunderously ale dribbled out of the holes.

"Dragon huntin' ain't for fools. You get lucky and fin' one of them grand-daddy Reds. Well yer fit to retire. Components you can harvest outta one of them, Gos' knows could buy yer own Dukedom with the proceeeds."

"But they are yr hottest fire breathers," with a grunt Hathar pulled up the stained cuff of his filthy trousers. A dull knocking sound came from the shiny wood of his missing leg.

"Red's fire that'll burn the flesh and bones right off yer. Only thing that saved me that time was a shield.

Blue's you never tackle in the lair. They breathe gas that makes you see things. By the time you done following your fantasy yer dragon dung. Seen it happen once. Ol' Mathie got a shot of the gas, walked right up to this big lady blue, bowed to her all courtly like and then started dancin' with it like he were some kind court fop. Didn't impress the dragon none. She nipped his sozzled head off like it were a sweet treat.

Blacks, now they are pure evil bastards. They will try and ambush you, or pretend they are asleep. Like to hire in mercs too. Goblins and Usha Dwarves. Get them to rig traps and the like. A simple slap of a claw on a certain stone, and the door drops down behind yer. Then they just play with you till yer screaming for death. Best way to tackle a Black, is with one of those halfpint fellas. Tell 'em theres treasure and thieving needs doing. Chances are you can fill yer pockets and get out while the Black is showing him 'es own gut ropes."

I had heard enough. The mutilated body sitting across from me was the legendary Dragon Slayer, Harath. The legends and stories never said he was an old half blind drunkard with more parts missing than still attached. I realised then that I did not have the heart for dragon slaying. I thanked Harath for his time, and left sufficient coin on the table to slake his thirst for a few days.

Stepping out of the inn and into the afternoon sun, I shivered slightly and turned towards home. Perhaps the life of a scribe was not going to be so dull as I had previously thought...

Hieroglyph
January 30th, 2006, 12:40 PM
In the dark amidst whipping winds and cold, wet invisible claws I plummeted and struck the tent roof. My mother tells me she screamed. Thus did I come to this world.
I grew and I didnt always know what I liked. I grew teeth and that I didnt like. I grew to like mothers' embrace. I grew to know that I liked it. Then I knew I didnt like it when I was left in the lap of a non-mum. It was my turn to scream. Thus did I start tortoise learning.
I was given a big big tortoise to go to school upon. Everything slowed down. Life crawled when I learned what I didnt think I wanted to know. Sometimes I flourished my magic in school. And the non-mums would exclaim, 'Oh, come show the rest what you can do!'
I would sit on the floor with others that looked like me and I could show them a magic only before the eyes of a non-mum. My tortoise I forgot about at times. That was magic, too. I learned about magics without being taught. You know its a magic if it comes from within.
I climbed back on my tortoise and went home.
I forgot my tortoise in the garden. And the next day it disappeared. I rushed around everywhere looking for tortoise. But no! I soon forgot I lost tortoise. I found a hare. We chased everywhere. Sometimes hare and me had two days outside. Sometimes hare and me had days and days...
Then tortoise appeared. And those others that were like me had bigger teeth and sharper nails. I learned to use magic to defend myself. Sometimes the magic went *pop* and I would get smiles and tinkles instead of scratches and bites. And hare would flash across the room and tortoise would bump under me.
...
Half of this and half of that. And magics in-between.
...
Long long afterwards, I found a dragon to ride.

gibran
January 31st, 2006, 12:27 AM
The warriors with wings exist no more.
The little elves;peace,equality and justice lie burried deep in the earth where once beautiful rose buds used to exhale the perfume of heaven!
We have fighters now who fight for the corpses long gone.
The devil with horns,namely "I" rules the strand of history called "today";it is this devil that our fighters fight for and against.
The warriors with wings exist no more.

onions
January 31st, 2006, 07:35 AM
Those are fantastic.

Thanks a lot for sharing those stories. I loved reading them and I really appreciate it.

Darkin, your's made me smile. All these different horrible dragons...