The Snake (My Submission, Part 1 of 2)

Hello, all. I’m trying to get into a creative writing course (finally!) at my university. I had to write a couple exercise pieces, so that’s what I’ll be sharing with you this weekend. Hopefully, after this chaotic week, I’ll be back on track. For now, here is a short prose piece.

A snake, slithering through grass, will refuse to cross a spider’s web.

The snake, in avoiding a web of lies, it may call itself the nobler. Only one lie cannot hurt, it says.

The snake starts with this thought, but eventually it grows. One utterance to cover another, then another, then another, and the serpent lengthens.

And once it gets too long, it might turn around and bump into itself. Game over.

But even so, a chain of deceit is more virtuous than a web.

Like the serpent, we find morality in our leaning tower of lies. We’re better than the spider, creating its network of tales and never getting caught. It’s okay to be a snake, getting caught is a form of honesty.

The serpent is the only noble creature.

Daniel Triumph.

Part 2 Here.

Alice and Finch Epilogue 2

What Happened to (Henry) Artus Zephophile

Artus moved up swiftly in the castle guard’s ranks. Soon, he became a member of the military, and later became a tactician for the army that fought in the Legendary Event. He was knighted, and became Sir Tact. Artus Hellion Zephophile, a high title for someone in their early twenties.

Shortly after his knighting, he decided to take advantage of the kingdom’s new freedom and access to the outside world, and so he joined a rock band and toured the world. Obviously, as a non-musician, he plays the easiest instruments, vocals and the bass.

He is on good terms with the guard, and hopes to return to their ranks in the future.

I’m not sure how much you’ll get this weekend, I’ve got a lot of homework, so I’ll be studying 😥

(Also, as you know, writing is a real pain in the a** while depressed, so… I’m sorry. I’ll do my best. On Monday.)

an internal and depressed discourse

This is a personal blog post, not a story 😮

and I think the worst part about being depressed is that you question your fundamentals.

Why am I in University? Why for English? Why not Biology? Why pursue something you know for a fact isn’t your ‘passion’? But wait, isn’t passion built by doing something you like over and over until it sticks? Until you get really good? Do I actually like English?

Why did I even take the English degree? Well, when I actually bother to plan, I write a pretty mean essay. And, it’s something I can do decently whilst depressed (or so I tell myself). Whereas anyone who’s been depressed knows that math, at the very least, becomes very troublesome for the mind, no matter how talented you once were with it.

Also, I really like storytelling. I’ve created, since the later parts of high school, a large narrative world.

But wait, just because I’ve been world building for four years doesn’t mean it’s good. There’s a stark lack of documentation. And plus, look, the world was originally built to be experienced through roleplay, not reading. But wait, there’s a lot here that’s changed, that works better as a narrative than an interactive experience… right?

But wait, none of that matters. I’ve always had issues with characters, and they’re what really matter to me. I feel like in an RP setting, I can’t really express the entirety of a character, I can’t step in their shoes. It’s because they’re underdeveloped, isn’t it. I need to work more on revision, on revisiting character and developing them. But how?

I’m bad, right now, at writing fiction, and I don’t really love it… but I like it enough to do it. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe I just need to learn, and let’s be real, YouTube makes for a thoroughly flawed teacher, especially when all the advice is given by people without credentials, whose work may or may not have any actual quality… How do you know it’s not the blind leading the blind?

Read their work? But I’m not a huge fan of reading, I mean, I read manga… but only sometimes.

That’s another peg against English as an area for study. I don’t really like reading all that much. Or maybe I’m just lazy? It’s hard to tell, because so far I’ve been an expert at avoiding the readings and not actually failing the courses. I… hope to change that and do the readings. Learn a bit about myself.

It’s very hard, to figure out what to do with myself, because, well, there’s no advice. And the only advice is wrong! Get a good paying job? And then what, torture yourself for the rest of your life as it slowly eats your soul?

I’ve realized that I’m very much an artist. My creativity right now is raw, altogether quite crappy. Worst of all, it’s inconsistent. I feel that… I should work more on the fundamentals of art. Writing? I need to learn more about structure and plotting, but especially on how to edit and rewrite.

When I look back, the only piece I really liked was Alice and Finch. So, I want to do the second draft of that as soon as possible. But beta readers…. don’t read. I feel like I’m editing in a bubble. But maybe it’s better that way? Maybe internalizing the mistakes as part of my overall structure is to be a signature of my writing? I don’t know. Maybe with enough revision, it’ll be great. But really, I need to get into the habit of revising. At that might come at the expense of blog post frequency, I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll post second drafts.

Or should I save it until I sell it? Should I self publish? Or perhaps, should I get an agent and go big? All the books that turned into movies, that actually got exposure to the masses were traditional, weren’t they? I don’t know. I’ll have to make a whole post on this debate, I’m still on the fence. I’m really thinking I should do both.

For drawing? Well, I think we can all accept that my art isn’t amazing. Some of it worse than others. Most frustrating is that I can’t seem to draw what I want all of the time. Sometimes what I draw becomes complete garbage, and feel like I’ve lost the talent entirely, by neglecting it.

Take this pair for example, both drawings of the same character, Yaska. On the left is the one I drew first. It was all wrong. Quality aside, it just wasn’t the correct face. The Plainkind isn’t Yaska. On the right is a much better drawing, at the very least more accurate. But I can’t get Yaska to look like Yaska every time, and it’s frustrating. I don’t know how people do it, but my guess is that it’s a good handle on the fundamentals.

So, I have a lot of work to do between the two arts, but then time’s an issue.

Even depressed, and questioning everything, being unable to figure out what’s best for me, I have a semblance for what “the dream” is. It’s that I can just explore art, take those readings or performances to heart, and then write off of it.

I just got back from a public literary reading at my university. I wasn’t a huge fan of all of the poetry, but I really liked some of it. The reading inspired me to write this post, that I need to write. I need to learn.

I need to learn about the fundamentals, and about revision.

Specifically, the fundamentals of visual arts, and the planning and revision process of writing.

Walking to the library, I thought about this, the dream. If I could dedicate all my time to experiencing art, and then making art… that’s the dream! The inhibitors are time, time to learn both writing and drawing to my fullest potential, and money. But, both are overcome if I manage to generate a livable income doing them.

So maybe English is the right path? Or maybe history? Because as much as I like Biology, it’s tangential to art. I can do that through independent research… hopefully. (Or marry someone who’s taken biology, I joke to myself.)

At the moment, it is simply vital that I improve. Oh, and figure out what the hell to major! (Looks tentatively at History.)

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph), although you might want to wait until I’ve improved, huh? 🙂

I should outline The Solune Prince in more depth, so that it’s a better read for everyone.

Alice and Finch Epilogue 1

What Happened to Alice “Jessica” May Däwngale

The third floor was finished by the time Alice had moved in, and the entire royal family’s rooms had been moved up with it, to keep away from the noise of the first floor. The second floor was now half guard’s quarters and half guest rooms. Between both was Alice’s room.

Alice learned all she needed from Chloe to get her secondary diploma. Afterwards, the two girls studied history and bloodlines together, without any sort of curriculum. After Lex left, Alice started training to become a guard.

Once the year had passed the guard Captain retired, and Natasha took her place, transferring from the Castle guard to the City guard. Alice joined soon after, and slowly befriended literally the entire city. Alice and Finch worked together for a few months, but he left soon after to follow his own goal of going to school.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE? THE FUTURE?

“WHAT WAS IT LIKE? THE FUTURE.”

“I could see myself, lifting things that I could not touch.”

“COULD NOT TOUCH?”

“Yes, I could move things that were far away, I could… control matter as I pleased. It was… frightening.”

“YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN ONE, AND YET YOU HAVE STOLEN THE POWER.”

“The… the power?”

yaska-pen-e1506059008713.jpg

“YOU ARE THE CURSED ONE, YOU ARE THE DEVIL. WE MUST KILL YOU. WE MUST KILL YOU SO THAT THE CHOSEN CAN TAKE YOUR POWER. YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN!”

“Kill me? What? What… what if I am the CHOSEN?” She said.

The Shriken Elder’s face became fierce. It was a look that Yaska was used to. All the Shriken people were the same in this respect. They had three pronged pupils, many long, sharp molars, and a they could pull back their cheeks to let their jaws open wider.

That is what the Elder was doing. He bared his teeth, and brandished his claws. His giant leathery wings unfurled, and he swept himself forward.

Yaska was knocked to the ground. She stood and clawed at the man, but nothing happened. His skin was hard as stone. She drew her sword from the clasp on her back and cut across. The man did not flinch, he simply walked towards her slowly.

“Why are you attacking me?”

The Elder said, “YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN, BUT YOU WILL HAVE THE POWER. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED, YOU HAVE TAKEN IT.”

A young woman appeared in doorway holding a Plainkind medical knife.

Yaska stepped away from him, backpedaling until her back was to the wall. she looked left and right. She saw a square hole, a window.

The Elder was slow, Yaska knew it was because he was cursed, and suffered from grinding bones in both knees. He would get over it in a few years, the Plainkind did were immune to chronic illness. But for now, the man edged towards her, death in his eyes.

Yaska turned left and dived out of the window, a hole. She opened her wings and dropped to the ground with grace, plummeting. This place, this ancient Shriken temple, was built into the mountain that overlooked the Plainkind desert, the rolling hills of sand and its inhabitants, the Plainkind and the dinosaurs. They were all Plainkind, even the Shriken, but they liked to pretend they were better.

From within the building, the Elder shrieked. The sound cut the air, travelling hundreds of kilocubits.

This is mountain where they watched the youth survive.

Yaska could see them, the Shriken people, heeding the Elder’s call. They soared through the sky towards the mountain.

“Oh no…”

Yaska didn’t know what she was going to do. She didn’t think she could take out an entire settlement’s worth of them.

She turned around to see if she could find refuge back in the mountain. The stone door was sealed.

Yaska ran to it and started knocking, her fist creating deep seated cracks in gate. She frantically looked around. The Shriken were getting close. Where was the elder? He had not followed her. Who was in the crowd?

She saw someone flying in front of them, it was her sister, Reyla. What, was she coming for the kill as well?

The first of the Shriken landed. She looked around and saw her sister’s back.

“Run!” Reyla shouted. She drew a ten foot wooden pole and began beating her companions with it.

Yaska beat her way through the door and turned back. Reyla had subdued three or four of them, Yaska couldn’t tell.

“Go! Do not worry about me. The would not kill another Shiken. Are you the CHOSEN ONE?”

“No, they want to kill me because I stole the CHOSEN’S powers!”

“What nonsense. Now go!” Reyla pushed her stick against a group of attackers and stepped forward. She walked, shoving more and more against the dull blade, and then she swung. The wood strained, but Reyla successfully managed to fling a small group of her attackers into the air.

Yaska spun and ran into the temple and was confronted with a wide open stadium, and was immediately confronted with the Elder. She looked around, her eyes cutting the dark environment. She saw the hall that followed the mountain’s circumference and dashed, pulling her wings out a touch. Her gait was one step above a run, maintaining a glide by launching herself forward with each stride.

The entire temple was black, because the Plainkind could see in the dark. Various limbs and bladed weapons crashed through the wall, they were locating her by her vibrations. Most of them missed, but Yaska also collected a few scrapes and cuts from the odd sword.

Yaska ran down the claustrophobic tube for three, then four strides before she was confronted by another person, the woman with the knife.

“Ah, wait!” Yaska skidded to a stop, her clawed feet digging into the stone.

“No, we are done waiting, you will stop now.”

Yaska was thrust into the wall. The Elder’s hands made a pair of holes through the stone behind her, and Yaska was caught in his hold. She was held around the waist by the Elder, and pinned by the shoulder by the woman.

She said, “The knife,” and then handed it over.

The man punched a hole for his head with his off hand, and Yaska squirmed beneath the woman’s pin.

“What are you?” Yaska looked around. The attacks from outside had stopped, and she wondered if it was due to her capture, or if perhaps Reyla had defeated them all.

The Elder forced his torso through the wall, and stone crumbled around him.

“No!” Yaska moved her shoulders. The woman dug her fingers in until she drew blood.

“Yes. It is what must be done.”

“No!”

The Elder stabbed the knife into Yaska’s left thigh, and then slowly drew it up her body. It cut deep, deep past the nerves. For the most part, Yaska did not feel much. He cut upward, nicking her ribs as he went, cutting the upper edge of her right breast, and then up the shoulder.

Yaska looked down and watched as the think line of pink slowly turned red.

The Elder began cutting around the shoulder and down her back.

“No!”

Yaska’s heart began to pump faster, and for a few beats blood squirted out of the long incision. She gritted her teeth and forcibly pulled the laceration shut by the sinews.

“No!”

Her eyes glowed red, and she looked into the maroon eyes of the woman.

“NO!”

Yaska pulled free of both holds and grabbed the young woman’s face in her hand. She slammed her head into the outer wall, cracking it along it’s length. And the she did it again, and the poor woman was thrust into the hot desert air. She was no longer concious. Yaska’s wound was still oozing, but it greatly inhibited by the sheer force of her clenching muscles.

“YOU MUST DIE FOR THE GREATER GOOD!” The Elder said.

Yaska spun to face him, “THE GREATER GOOD WILL BE THE DOWNFALL OF CIVILIZATION.”

The Elder’s expression became fierce; murderous. He stepped forward and thrust the sword into Yaska’s heart.

One pump emptied the organ of it’s blood. It splattered across the elder’s torso. Yaska stared, eyes wide open.

“YOU CANNOT KILL…” Yaska spoke, as though in another language. Words came out, as if she was speaking in tongues. “YOU CANNOT KILL THAT WHICH IS ETERNAL.”

She took his hand and stabbed him with the knife. The Elder stood in shock, his own hand, his own knife piercing his chest. Then elder the died in shock.

Then, Yaska fell on top of him.

 

Shortly after Reyla found her.

“Wah!” She turned her sister over and looked at the wound.

It had healed, leaving a long scar running across Yaska’s body. The woman woke up, her head pounding.

“Reyla… did we kill the thief?”

“Kill?”

Yaska’s eyes opened. She looked around.

“Are you okay, sister?”

“You are my sister then?” Yaska said.

“Yes, do you not remember?”

“I only remember dying. I remember language, and I remember all my knowledge but… I don’t remember any people.”

Reyla embraced her sister. “Once more you have abandoned me… Don’t worry Yaska. I will take care of you.”

It’s strange but true.

Yaska goes on to relive her childhood in the village. As we know, she also loses her wings, and her sister, but all that happens… much later.

Daniel Triumph.