Don’t Tread on Me.

Don’t tread on me.
I don’t much appreciate it.

Don’t tread on me,
I’d rather be alone.

Human shoes
Horse’s shoes
Tires and
Wheels

Can you not
Understand
How it all
Feels?

A Worker fixes a crack
A Worker changes a stone.

They think they are helping
But when they come back,
They’ll do the unspeakable,
Foot based attack!

Don’t tread on me.

Quite possibly the dumbest poem I’ve ever written, content wise. At the very least, I like the use of rhythm. I make it very clear that I’m an amateur at poetry.

Daniel Triumph.

P.S.

(Yes, this poem is about a complaining road, of all things. Judging by the presence of both horses and wheels (either car or bicycle), you could say it takes place around the late 1800s/ early 1900s.)

Who is Good Company? (A Dialogue)

“So, Jin, what do you think about hunting in the north?”

“I have no issue.”

“Really? I would have expected you to be against it.”

“Why?”

“Well, didn’t you grow up in the woods? Maybe you know some of the creatures that we hunt,” Salt was beginning to feel stupid but he continued, “as friends or something. Is that stupid to ask that?”

“I didn’t befriend any of the kinds of creatures you hunt.”

“Oh.”

“It is not stupid to ask if I have met the creatures of the woods. I did communicate with some of the others when I lived there.”

“But not the kind we eat?”

“You would know this if you lived in the wilderness. Prey does not generally make for good company. The most you can do with a bird or rabbit is to feed it. The do not have as high of a capacity for communicating.”

“Oh… I didn’t realize. But you said that you did make some friends with the creatures in the woods?”

“Yes. We N’Tariel are hunters. We need intelligence to catch our prey. The L’ynkos also hunters, thus, they also have intelligence.”

“L’ynkos? Wolf? Warg? You befriended a L’ynkos?”

“Not all of them, however, L’ynkos tended to be one of the better creatures for company.”

“Name! Tell me a name of your L’ynkos friends!”

“I cannot tell you a name; they do not address each other as we do. They instead know who is who by smell.”

“Well, how did you talk?”

“It took a lot of effort to create a way to communicate with another species. Similar to how you might try to talk to someone who speaks another language.”

“As we have in our travels! Now I understand why it’s so easy for you to get directions and information from foreigners. I’m guessing you figured it all out in the woods, of all places.”

“Pointing, either with the eyes or hands, as well as expressing emotion, are all fairly universal. You will find that with a L’ynkos, speech is extremely limited.”

“You must show me some time, how you talk with the L’ynkos.”

“Well… It is difficult if you are not a resident of the woods. They may even be less welcoming to me, I do not know their memory. And, also with more than one N’Tariel, threat of power comes into the meeting. A L’ynkos might run away.”

“Oh. Were there other intelligent predators you spoke, or rather, communicated with?”

“One of Däwngale’s, that is, Mother Nature’s spirits.”

“You spoke with a spirit?”

“Yes. A pond spirit. Only one was ever willing to speak to me. I assume it was because she was young. The rest returned to the water whenever I came around”

“Oh! You must have learned some amazing things from a spirit!”

“You must understand that even here there is a flaw.”

“But can’t a spirit talk, unlike a wolf?”

“Yes, a spirit can talk, but a spirit is,” Jin searched for the correct word, “lazy? No, perhaps, inexperienced? My L’ynkos friend and I could at least speak of hunting. Topics like, which prey tasted the best, or which made the stomach fullest. The pond spirit, the one I spoke to, had very limited experiences to speak on.”

“I thought that water spirits lived very long lives.”

“It is true, even this young one I encountered had lived many times my age, but still, she had not seen much. A pond is small and there is not a lot that happens near it. Water spirits also don’t have any habits or needs. She had nothing to draw from in conversation.”

“So your spirit friend could speak clearly, but not on many topics, and your L’ynkos friend could speak on interesting topics, but could not speak properly!”

“Yes, in so few words.”

“My! Was there no one you could talk to?”

“Well, once I exited the forest, and met you and the rest of the N’Tariel people…”

“So people are truly the best company?”

“Yes”

“Very well! I guess I can be satisfied just talking to neighbors, and those we meet outside the village.”

“Although…”

“Although?!”

“Well, a L’ynkos is far less likely to be deceitful. Even a spirit will tell you if they are withholding information.”

Salt laughed, “so there’s no good company for you?”

“Well, I would say that you are good company.”

“How kind!”

Daniel Triumph.

I’m struggling quite a bit with the whole dialogue thing in writing. I really like dialogue, but apparently good fiction doesn’t have a lot of it. In good fiction, it’s very to-the-point. I don’t know, I’ve always liked this natural feeling back and forth. Maybe it’s one of those things that is funner to write then to read?

I’d like to do an imitation of a Greek/Roman dialogue at some point, as Plato or Cicero have. That is, a big back and forth where characters speak on a topic in depth. Although, I’d need a topic with enough depth to handle it.

You can support me on Patreon, if you wish.

Starman Part 4 (Final)

Starman part 4. A lot can happen between adventures.

(<< First Part<Previous Part)

 

“I know what it is!” Chloe stood up, “I think I know what we need to feed the star in order to give him the energy he needs!’

By now the various villagers that had been listening to Chloe’s story returned to their responsibilities. Only Jan, Yaska, and the Starman remained around the dwindling fire. Now that the story had turned to discussion, the stood, forming a small circle around the dwindling fire.

“What did the hero give the star in my father’s legend?” Chloe asked.

Yaska half-frowned at Chloe, “you said it was just food and drink. We gave him food and drink on the mountain.”

“I know, but, like you said, it wasn’t star food.”

“Well then what is star food?”

Chloe smiled, “well, what is a star? Here’s a better question; the sun is a star, so what is the sun?”

Jan looked into the sky and stared at the sun. His Plainkind eyes adjusted and focused. After a few seconds, he looked away and rubbed his eyes.

“Well, it’s bright!” Jan laughed.

Chloe frowned.

Yaska said, “It is bright, and it gives off heat during the day.”

“Right, so…?” Chloe questioned.

“So, is the sun a fire?”

“Yes!”

“So stars are made of fire.”

“Right!” Chloe clapped her hands together, “Stars are made of fire.”

“So we need to figure out what feeds a fire, and feed it to the Starman.” Yaska concluded.

“Exactly.”

The Starman nodded.

Jan said, “So we have to feed him shrubs and brambles?” He looked at the pile of desert plants he had gathered for the night fire with confusion.

“If I needed to eat shrubs, I would have told you. I learned the word for that.” The Starman said.

Chloe laughed, “don’t worry, I’ll tell you! Stars don’t burn wood or shrubs, you can’t grow those things in the sky anyway. Instead they burn hydrogen.”

Yaska listened with interest, but Jan said, “They burn what?”

“Hydrogen. It’s invisible and flammable,” Chloe said, “and a star doesn’t really burn it. Instead, it causes a nuclear reaction that combines four hydrogen atoms into beryllium*. At least, that’s what the Sol-Metch researchers say. But really, they know more about fission than fusion.”

Jan said, “you completely lost me.”

Yaska said, “you mostly lost me. But more importantly, do you know where we can get hydrogen?”

Chloe smiled, “oh, it’s in water.”

Chloe picked her waterskin up from the ground, “you can separate the hydrogen from the rest of the compound by, ah,” Chloe frowned, “running an electric current through it.”

Jan and the Starman stared, but Yaska’s face showed deadened recognition, “an electric current? Is that not related to the a soul in Solune culture?”

“Ah, all of our nerves run on electric signals, so creating one outside of a body is…” Chloe trailed off and twiddled her thumbs, “ah, even if it wasn’t such a touch area, how would we even…”

Chloe gave up on her sentence. She had the the water, but she wasn’t sure how she could separate it, or even how.

The Starman looked from Yaska to Chloe, and then to Jan. He could see that Jan was unsure of what was going on, but was aware that this was some sort of road block.

The Starman said, “but, if we are to believe your story then does that not mean that, like the hero, I can just drink the water?”

Chloe’s eyes widened, she brightly said, “of course! Perhaps you can do it within you! Let’s at least give it a shot.”

She handed the skin to the Starman, who drank a bit. He said, “this is what I needed.”

To Chloe’s relief, the Starman finished only half the water. He said, “thank you, you were right, this is star food. I think I should return outside the village.”

The Starman started walking towards the place where he landed. The group followed. AS they walked, the sky began to get dark.

Chloe said, “it was quite interesting to meet a star, I would have liked to learn more about you.”

Yaska said, “well, perhaps he can stay.”

The Starman shook his head, “You are all quite friendly, but I prefer my own home.”

The Starman closed his eyes and began generating energy. His legs slowly morphed away. His body dropped and began to hover above the ground. Then the rest of his features began to lose their form and he, once again, became a ball of light. The star rose up just as other stars began to appear in the darkening sky.

Yaska tried to see which star he would become, but through the dusk and the shimmering atmosphere, it was hard to tell. Jan departed shortly after to make sure the village had a fire, and Chloe and Yaska were left alone, watching.

“Did you see which star he was?” Yaska said.

Chloe said, “it’s hard to tell. To be honest, I don’t really know the locations of stars. They’re hard to see in the Solune Kingdom too, so we don’t really engage in mapping them.”

“Oh. He was a little strange. Silent. Perhaps he did not particularly enjoy our company.”

“He must have had some reason for wanting to get home. For all we know, that could be the reason. Maybe stars just think differently than us.”

Chloe shrugged and sat on the sand. Yaska sat next to her.

“I wonder,” Yaska said, “If that star in your story wanted to stay.”

“Well, my father says he did. I guess, like us, stars have differences too.”

Yaska considered her words. She thought about Chloe’s father. She had met him, the Solune King, before. He was said to be immortal.

Yaska said, “was your father the hero from the story?”

Chloe turned her head and smiled, “I think so. He told me that the star might return at some point.”

“It is just afraid of taking the form of someone influential again? Or getting attacked?”

“Yeah.”Chloe continued, “Hey, let’s go visit the fire. Maybe Jan will have a new story for us.”

“Or maybe you could give us another.” Yaska smiled.

They both smiled, and returned to the village.

That’s all I got.
<< First Part<Previous Part – Something Else >

Daniel Triumph.

Footnote:
*The Sol-Metch researchers are incorrect about this. In basic terms, s star will fuse two hydrogen atoms into a helium, and then later will fuse two helium atoms into beryllium. The Sol-Metch and Solune scientific communities have not yet discovered helium, and so at the moment they assume that hydrogen either fuses by threes into lithium, or by fours into beryllium.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Starman Part 3

Starman part 3. (Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska, Jan, the Starman, and Chloe stood just inside the desert village, near Yaska’s house.

“This is the Starman,” Yaska said.

Chloe considered him. She looked at his face, and his form. The face looked similar to Jan’s, but less cheerful.

She said, “you know, Yaska, I doubted your letter, but… I can tell that something with this Starman is off. I need to prove it to myself.”

“What do you mean by off?” Jan asked.

“Yaska, can you get me one of your shirts? No, not the one you’re wearing right now.”

Yaska shrugged. Shortly after, she returned from her small stone hut with a shirt. Chloe took the shirt and offered it to the Starman, who put it on.

Chloe asked, “does it fit?”

“It fits exactly,” he said.

Yaska’s eyes widened, but Jan remained confused.

He asked, “what’s this about?”

Chloe addressed the Starman, “You look like a man, but you’re not, are you. You just copied what’s around you in order to give yourself shape.”

“I’m still lost.” Jan said.

Yaska looked at the Starman. Her shirt fit the creature far better than Jan’s did.

“Well, I am not lost,” Yaska said, “when he landed, the first person he met was me. He was just a ball of light, and then he took on my shape. Jan, do you remember when he first came to the village?”

“It had no face…”

Jan’s expression became passive. Chloe and Yaska both noticed that, without Jan’s constant grin, they really did look identical.

Yaska’s face became stern. She said, “it came from the sky and imitated my body. It came to the village and imitated Jan’s face. Then, it came to our campfire and imitated our language. What does it want, blending in with us so?”

She accusingly pointed a clawed finger at the Starman, “is getting home truly your only goal?”

Silence overcame the group. The Starman stared, searching his limited vocabulary for words with to explain himself.

Chloe’s mumbling eventually broke in, “…imitation, returning to the sky… he truly is a star, isn’t he? I didn’t think that the legend was true.”

Jan said, “what legend?”

The Starman said, “tell us, please.”

Some of the villagers had gathered around Jan’s fire, anticipating the story from the outsider, Chloe.

“My father told me it was long ago, I always assumed two or three thousand years. A star fell from the sky. It was unlike a dead shooting star. It was alive, and it landed on the planet. The ancient people encountered it, and came to fear it.

“The first person to find it was a great hero. The star took the shape of the hero. It was uncanny for the people, to see this false form of the hero. The accused it of being a demon, and captured it out of fear.

“The hero feared for the star. The star had done nothing wrong, but would likely be charged will all forms of frivolity, and the ancient people would decide to kill it. Standing around the star’s cage, and surrounded by his people, the hero decided to take a risk to save the star.

“The hero gave a great laugh, and then pointed to the cage, ‘you fools, you have captured the wrong person, for I am the star, and he is the true hero!’

“The star was cunning. It said, ‘I am indeed your noble hero, please free me!’

“The hero gave the star a secret smile, and then ran. Half the ancient people pursued, and the other half hastened to free the person they thought was their hero. The star was yet still cunning, it said, ‘I will chase down the imposter! Leave it to me!’ And it gave chase. The two heroes ran about the city, each claiming to be chasing the other.

“The hero, that is, the true hero, stopped at his house to rest. He hid, and watched through his doorway. The city calmed. The star was still wandering about, but he assured everyone that he had chased the imposter out of the city. In truth, he was still searching, but without frenzy. He walked around, fearful at the civilization before him, fearful of getting caught.

“Finally, the star noticed the hero in his doorway, beckoning. The star approached, and the hero pulled him inside. The hero fed the star, and told him to journey out of the city and return to his home. The star told him, ‘I need energy,’ so the hero fed him, and gave him drink.

“The star left the city, under the guise of the hero, and returned to the skies. They say that the star still looks down on the hero in thanks, and that the hero still looks up as well.

“Supposedly, it’s the hero that passed this story down to his children, and to the next generation.” Chloe finished.

Yaska, usually stoic, had become quite surprised.

Jan said, “are you the same star?!”

“No.” The Starman said.

Chloe grinned, “so, if the legend is true, and my father says it is, all we have to do is feed the star!”

Yaska shook her head, “I apologize, but we already tried. It did not work, he said that our food was not star food.”

Chloe looked from Yaska to the Starman. She considered Yaska’s words for a long time. Their food is not star food. The hero’s food was. Did that mean that the problem was that Plainkind food specifically was not star food? What was different about what the Plainkind ate, compared to what the hero ate? And then Chloe remembered the odd quirk in Plainkind diet the separated them from nearly every other race.

“I know what it is!”

Sorry, guess it’ll be four parts instead of three!
<Previous Part – Next Part>

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Notes and Plans – The Solune Prince

The Solune Prince chapters I’ve completed are… kind of meh.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a reader, I might think: This series is kind of boring. And it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. And if it is, it’s going there very slowly. There situations and characters seem a little lacking. Some of these chapters go nowhere, or add nothing to the story. And why did it take so long to get here?

These are pretty serious concerns, right? I mean, it’s been 20 chapters and not much has happened. If the average chapter is 1000 words (and it’s actually a little more), then that means I’m 20 000 words in and I’m still only at the beginning.

It’s overwhelming. I feel like I’ve sort of shotgun-vomited and pantsed myself into a narrative about nothing, filled with boring characters, and then insulted the reader by adding a “first draft disclaimer.” I mean, maybe I should actually put a little more effort into making my pieces of a high enough quality that I don’t feel the need for disclaimers.

I was at a point where I was almost ready to throw up my hands and drop the serial altogether.

That’s what I was thinking.

And then, on the way to the library, I listened to Falter.

See, that song was one of the biggest inspirational pieces for The Solune Prince, and hearing it again, I remembered a lot of what I was feeling back when I started. I decided to return to The Solune Prince project for sure after that, but with a different mentality.

1111179-e1507961900933.jpg

To practice, to learn, to improve.

This is a first draft, I’m sure there are a lot of people who write a first draft by the seat of their pants, read it over, and then think, “man this is awful.” And, that’s what I’m thinking. It’s pretty awful! But that’s okay, because it’s a first draft. A second draft can (and if it’s got glaring faults, should) be drastically different than the first.

I’m not going to go back and fix the first twenty (geez, twenty?) scenes until I’m done though. I’m not even going to try to fix every single problem I’ve had with those scenes going forward.

I’m just going to focus on one thing at a time, and this time, it’s planning. So, I’m going to do a lot more work planning the rest of the Solune Prince. You know, it was going somewhere, I just kept getting into tangents, and hopefully with a plan, I can avoid that.

In addition, outlining will allow me to know a little bit better where each scene is going, and what it’s trying to do. I may end up with less frequent, but higher quality scenes as a result of planning. Maybe I’ll even outline individual scenes, I don’t really know.

I actually drew out a basic outline before writing this. It looks like I’ve got seven acts to go. Seven acts to get my act together haha. I’ll work on the outline a bit more before posting another scene.

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

P.S.

On a side note, I really need to update my categories.