Mariça

Part One.

Marisa wandered around the sands near the northern mountains. She knew the Shriken, people who could fly, lived there. Maybe she would run into one. She looked up the mountain, and then into the sky. It was getting dark, so she decided to return to her village.

“Marisa, what did you catch?” Jan asked, “Yaska’s hunt wasn’t very big today, it might not be enough.”

Marisa frowned. “Ah well, I forgot about that. I was exploring.”

Jan’s smile faltered. He said, “well, next time keep the exploring for afterword.” He smiled again, “let’s see how far we can stretch what we have.”

This came up again at supper. First, the children were fed, then everyone else split what was left. It was a little less than usual.

Yaska said, “Marisa, this village has become large again.  That is why you were trained to be our second hunter.  I know that you have been doing it alone for only a few weeks, but if you do not attend your duties at all, you well never bring home food.”

Marisa finished her food and then stared into the fire.

“Marisa, if you continue to neglect, then we will find a new hunter. Jan will have to take your place in the mean time. He trained me. Or maybe you just need some re-training?”

“No I don’t need that. Don’t worry about it.”

The next day, Marisa went out hunting once more. She took her dart, the Plainkind throwing sword, and headed north. She searched the desert for her prey, the dinosaurs that Plainkind preferred to feed on.

As time passed and she surveyed the plains, Marisa allowed herself to wander further and further north, her route wilfully deviating towards the mountains.

“I’ve been searching for quite a while, I think I’ll take a break.”

Marisa walked along the base curiously. She reached a cave she hadn’t noticed before.

“If course, taking a break in the shade is a good idea,” she said.

Marisa stepped into the cave and sat down on a portion of the ground. She ate a bit of dried meat and looked around. The cave split off in many directions.

“I wonder if these lead anywhere, or if they just end,” she mused.

She scanned the cave with her eyes, as if looking for prey, and saw a trail of sand heading down one of the tunnels.

Marisa considered returning to explore it later, after she had gotten food for the village, but she convinced herself that the trail might be disturbed or that she may never find this cave again! Thus, she reasoned, she must explore the cave immediately.

Marisa stood and followed the sand trail deeper into the cave. After moving inwards a little ways, the tunnel opened up into a small, dimly lit cavern. Sunlight streamed in from a small hole in one of the walls. On the wall opposite the hole Marisa saw engravings. She saw, drawn into the walls, three simplified people.

Marisa clapped her hands together, “how exciting that I’ve found something! I knew that exploring wasn’t useless. I wonder what it means?”

She studied the engravings. The first person looked to be a Plainkind person. Then, the last one had wings, so it must be a Shriken. In between was a fearsome creature.

“It looks like a larger Plainkind that hasn’t taken care of herself,” Marisa mused, “these lines coming from the hands, are they nails? And this hair, it’s long and wild. I have never seen a creature like this.”

She looked between the three images, and then at the lines scrawled between them. She traced them with her finger, thinking.

“I wonder… is this, are these stages perhaps? Plainkind, then this in-between creature, and then—”

“A Shriken.”

The voice echoed across the cavern and Marisa’s hairs stood on end. She turned around and saw a woman standing in doorway. She was no taller than Marica, but she was older, and had large, leathery wings folded behind her back. She also looked much stronger than Marisa.

She asked, “Who are you?”

“I’m Marisa.”

“No, no, you are a Plainkind, you should not be here. And you saw this, you understood it. No, you should not be here!”

Marisa watched the Shriken woman’s face. She looked angry, but also something else. She looked worried.

“If you know about the cycle, you cannot leave.”

Part 1 > Part 2 >
Daniel Triumph.

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P.S.

There will be a couple more parts. I’m excited to work on this story, but I’m a little worried with how strange the plans are for it. We’ll see how it plays out.

Alexandre Jutt’s Journal

This is a writing I made way back in September. It’s exam season right now, and on top of that, I’m not being as productive as I would like to be. However, I am intent on keeping this blog going even during my hardest times, so here is a piece, almost not even a story, that I wrote a while back.

It’s a part of Alexandre Jutt’s journal, and I wrote it while I was a little off mentally, so it might come off as odd. Looking back, however, I found it to be rather engaging nonetheless.

Alexandre Jutt’s Journal

Eighth month, 3rd day.

Epinephrine

Epinephrine is the fight or flight hormone. Humans, when subjected to chronic loneliness, begin to release epinephrine and the hormone, left unchecked, will erode the body from the inside. It prevents the body from regeneration and inhibits the immune system. Is it your fault that you are lonely? Is it my fault that I am not lonely?

Is it true, even, that I am not lonely? Maybe I’m just deluding myself. Maybe, secretly, a secret even from myself, I am lonely. But I don’t think so. There’s a logic to it though, see, I don’t feel much different after the ordeal than before. Is it that I’m too distant from my own situation? Perhaps. I have been seen as ‘cold’ in the past, and not just by one person. But I am not lonely. Even when I was with my uncle, I felt like this about half the time. Even when I left, I felt like this about half the time. And even now I feel the same, about half the time. Exactly the same.

“And what do you feel?” He had asked. And I didn’t want to answer him.

I didn’t want to answer him, because the answer to his question was, “I feel almost nothing.”

But I did answer him. And, after all that happened, I am glad that I did.

Because after that I did research, a lot of research. I went to our private library, and then I went to the city’s public library, and finally to the University’s library.

And I learned what was happening. I learned all about the mind, about neurostudies, about biology and synapses, about the nervous system, about the third eye that was hidden deep within the core. I learned about a lot of things, but I don’t know what to do, about epinephrine.

For more on Jutt and Epinephrine, check this post out.

Daniel Triumph.

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Writing Update

This is an update on what I’m currently writing for fiction. Because I am still doing that.

I would say add that, despite opting out to a low-effort post here, I did actually start planning a short story (or chain of short stories). It’ll be a second draft of sorts for the incredibly odd WHAT WAS IT LIKE? THE FUTURE? A tale that anyone, even me, could tell got really weird, almost nonsensical near the end.

So far, it’s been almost entirely upheaved; even the main character is different. The things that are the same is, for now at least, the presence of the Shriken, and the fact that the main character did (in the next draft’s case learned) something that they should not have.

This second version will probably also be a little weird, but it will be intentional, as opposed to what happened in the first version. That is, I had pulled all kinds of strange theoretical musings on Yaska out of my brain, and put some them (I have a lot more) into the story just to move the plot along. The latter half of it was written in an intense rush, and thus the downsides of rushing are clear.

I’m really happy to be finally both planning and writing a second draft of something, two things I’ve been neglecting pretty much since the beginning of this blog. I’m probably going to be shifting the main character from Yaska to her friend Marisa, a character that has existed for a long time, but hasn’t often been written about. Especially not as a main character. She’s mentioned in Yaska’s Youth as a young child, and in other places in varying forms. I’ve drawn her a long time ago.

This is one from 2014, where I drew characters for a D&D campaign.

demons-edits.jpg

Both this and the featured image are drawings of older versions of Marisa/Mariça, and done nearly three years ago, so of course there will be differences when I write. That and I’m writing, not drawing.

Due to exams, I may not have time to write anything except for study notes until the 20th. As a result, I’ve queued up something I wrote a while back on Alexandre Jutt to be dropped around then. So, if my next post is not on Marisa (the new main character), that’s why. The one after should be though!!

I hope for the best, and I hope you like it when it’s done.

Daniel Triumph.

You can follow me:
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for art: DeviantArt and Instagram.

What were Judas Priest’s “Best Years”?

I’m kind of in a bad way right now, and it’s exam season. Despite this, I’m going to try to keep the ball rolling. Here’s a short piece on the different eras of one of my favourite bands, Judas Priest.

I think Judas Priest’s biggest time in the spotlight (definitely their biggest time for sales) was from British Steel (1980) up to Turbo (1986), at which point they got too commercial and then crashed with Ram it Down in 1988 (An album I still really like.) After that we got Painkiller (1991), but Halford must have still been interested in spiralling outward, because shortly after he exited the band and started a solo career. (Not on purpose, there was an issue with the label, but he really wanted to do solo work)

Back in the beginning, Rocka Rolla (1974) to around Stained Class (1978), they were considered by some to be a band with an experimental style. The kind of early metal that still mixed with the blues and was still called rock (check Dreamer Deceiver). The pinnacle of this sound, I think most would agree, was Stained Class. Afterwards Hell Bent for Leather dropped; the transition into the British Steel era.

When Halford left after Painkiller, the band died. There was no Judas Priest from 1992-1995. It was during those exact years that Halford’s solo band Fight ran. Other ex-Priest members weren’t slouching either. Scott Travis actually joined Fight, and Tiptonn recorded material that would later become Baptizm of Fire (1997) and Edge of the World (2006). It was around then that the band decided to get back together. They had everyone except for a singer, (Halford would move on to 2wo in 1994 and then “Halford” in 1999) so they started auditioning. One day Scott Travis found someone who had a crazy vocal range, and even knew how to perform all the Priest classics.

And thus, in 1996, the so called “Ripper era” was born. With Halford gone, Glenn Tipton took the reins (I think) as the leader. A year later Jugulator came out, and it was a little intense, but it made sense after Painkiller. Demolition (2001) was probably the biggest black sheep of the Judas Priest discography, but I have a theory about that. K.K. Downing wrote a lot less of the songs on it (5/13), which meant that Glenn Tipton penned 60% of the album without him. And compare it to Batptizm of Fire! They sound very similar. With Tim Owens as the vocalist it’s true that Priest sounded different, but it wasn’t because of him. It was because the writing team of Halford, K.K., and Tipton, went from 3 to 2, and then almost to 1. (This may have been the beginning of the end for K.K.)

Since Halford returned in 2003, I feel like the band has looking back and trying to figure themselves out. Angel of Retribution (2004) was highly retrospective, referencing a lot of older songs and styles, while adding a new touch. Released in 2008, Nostradamus was an experimental step in an interesting direction. I think with a bit more editing and research it could have been great, but it comes off a little longwinded. Redeemer of Souls, like Retribution, feels like a look back, but also a look forward with songs like, “The Beginning of the End” and “Going Down in Flames”.

The new album, Firepower, looks highly energetic. It sounds like a fusion of Halford’s Resurrection, Jugulator, and Angel of Retribution. They aren’t messing around this time around. Although it’s hard to tell with a 15 second clip, I feel like they’re returning to a more natural direction.

For me, their best years are modern Priest. I like to see what they have been doing most recently, and I want to make the best of the newer albums while the band is still kicking. When Ian Hill was asked what his favourite was, he said, “Ask anybody that, I always say ‘the last album’.” Hill explains proudly, “Which at that moment in time it is the new album. Just because we’ve spent so much time on it, you know? But it is” (Macek). This sense of pride In the end, the “best era” for Judas Priest should be the one that matches your own tastes best. And don’t be afraid to check them all out from time to time as well.


Works Cited

Macek, J.C. “‘We’re All Fans’: An Interview with Judas Priest’s Ian Hill.” PopMatters, PopMatters, 1 June 2017, www.popmatters.com/193529-were-all-fans-an-interview-with-judas-priests-ian-hill-2495529544.html.

Judas Priest has been one of my favourite bands since around August of 2014 when Redeemer of Souls came out to . I listened to them pretty seriously until around early 2017. I still listen to them here and there, but my main band at the moment is Falling Up.

Daniel Triumph.

P. S.

I do have another story in mind, but it’s going to take a bit of work. Hopefully I get it out later this week.

Bare Handed

Jason Arson walked through the streets, sliding leather gloves onto his fingers as he went. The reason Jason wore gloves was so that he could distance himself from any actions he made while wearing them. It was a single degree of separation, but for him it was enough.

He was twenty minutes behind his schedule, and it made him agitated. He was still ten minutes ahead, his schedules were very early, but it still put him out of his element. He had less time to hand anything unexpected or unwanted. He had considered breaking into a run or light jog, but either of these would make him stand out. Right now, he needed to blend.

Jason had grown his hair and beard specifically so that no one would recognise him. So far it was working because the townspeople didn’t, especially since he no longer wore the uniform of a guard. Those that knew him best and might see through the disguise were in the castle. He knew he should feel safe about remaining anonymous in the crowd, but he felt as if he had forgotten something.

He turned a corner and saw it at the end of the street. The building with the item he was looking for. He looked at the sundial in the centre of the intersection. He was still behind, but he still had some time. He would sneak into the front door of the building just as the back door was being locked, and then hide as the owner locked up the front and left. Then he would find the paper bag, and unlock one of the doors, and leave. When Jason left, he would have to leave the building unlocked, since he had no key. That wouldn’t be an issue depending on how valuable the item inside the bag was.

Jason walked down the street towards the building and then he noticed someone. He recognized one of the faces. Why, was it a castle guard he knew? But they should all be on duty right now. He looked at the person’s face. It was a younger woman. No, he knew her for a different reason. This was one of the construction workers who had helped renovate the castle when had worked there.

He imagined what she would say if she recognized him. She would ask him what happened, she would ask him why he left. She would say that she was going to tell everyone that he was still in town. That he had just grown a beard, and to look out for him on the streets. To say hi, or something. Jason shook his head. She would ruin everything. He swiftly turned around before anyone noticed him, and took a detour. This was why he liked to be early.

When he finally got  to the building, he figured that he had no more than a few minutes. Could couldn’t seen anyone inside, but the door was still open. He figured that they must have gone to lock up the back, so he rushed inside and looked around. Where was the paper bag? He looked around the cabinets of syrups. He was confused, syrups used to be considered medicine, until people found out that they weren’t very healthy, that they just made a person feel good. Sort of. Syrups were now just used for intoxication. Jason sighed, and then saw the paper bag on a side counter. He walked over and grabbed it, then immediately realized his mistake.

He had messed up the order and grabbed the bag before the owner had left.

A man rounded the corner of the shop, just as Jason guessed would happen. Jason didn’t freeze, his instincts knew that that would look more suspicious. Instead, he continued picking up the paper bag, and then looked at the man, as if he belonged here, as if this was normal behaviour. And, thanks to ingrained social cues, the man believed it.

“That’s a new drink. I haven’t made a place for it on the shelves yet.”

On the shelves? Jason looked inside the paper bag. It was a bottle of syrups. He assumed that he had grabbed the wrong bag. This couldn’t be what he had been sent to take. He looked around for another bag, but there were none. This was what he had been sent to steal? Of all things, a bottle of syrups?

“Yep, it’s not a very expensive one, but it is our newest product. You can buy it if you like.”

Jason considered putting the bag down, and saying no, then exiting and coming back later to take it. That wouldn’t work, he would immediately be assumed to be the thief! And what then, if the guard was looking for his description? They would know both his trimmed and full grown faces! He couldn’t grow more beard. Jason thought for a moment, and then he knew what to do.

He put the bottle and the bag on the table.

“How much?” He asked.

The owner said, “twelve Solune.”

Jason nodded. He took his gloves off, put them in his jacket pocket, and took his coin pouch out of it. With his bare hands, he paid the man and took the bag with the bottle of syrups and walked out of the shop. He headed back to where he started. As he walked, he considered having a smug conversation with the leader about how he ended up getting the bag, what was actually in it in the first place.

Writing this one was actually a real struggle. I haven’t written anything outside of essays in the last ten days (I technically wrote four last week, although two were shorter philosophy essays for an exam). Sunchaser was written on the 23rd, and it’s the 3rd now, so it’s really been a while. (You should check Sunchaser out, it’s cool).

Anyway, my mind was blank. I thought about writing another chapter of the Solune Prince, but I’m really still not sure what to do about that series. So, I looked through the music on my computer for inspiration. I looked at a Calvin Harris album that I haven’t listened to in over a year, (his lyrics are kind of shallow), and found Slow Acid. It reminded me of the one preview I wrote with Jason Arson way back, and so here we are. (And Jason’s back story has been expanded upon since that one piece. Although the surround project has since been mostly abandoned.)

Anyway, hope you enjoyed it,

Daniel Triumph.

You can follow me:
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