Creative Contest #11

First off–I’m not judging this contest. Lalaithiel is.
Second off–I’m going to try and enter this contest.
Third off–So is Josiah.
Fourth off–I can’t let him beat me.
Now the part you’re interested in.
As you know, I try to think of new ways to present topics for people to write about. Here’s my latest.
Watch this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76a_LNIYwE) and write a story based on anything you got out of it–whether the song, setting, story, lyrics, style of music…whatever you want. The word limit, for Lalaithiel’s sake, is 1500, but feel free to be anywhere below that. 150 is fine, if you can be that succinct.
Lalaithiel will be judging on Word Choice, Style, and Interestingness. You will not get points for following the music video or song (don’t just copy the story…give it your own twist) but you can get points subtracted if you’re way off topic. So if it’s abstract, just add a quick explanation so she doesn’t take points away.
Begin!
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31 thoughts on “Creative Contest #11

    • You’re Lalaithiel?? When did you start owning me without my knowledge? I’m just a little bit freaked out now….O__O

      • Uh, ever since you came to visit me. If a TPSer visits me, I officially own them. Which means I own the Taber girls, and all your brothers as well. xD

      • Can I just laugh for thirty seconds at this? Never mind, I already did. So Julie, if I ever manage to drive up to where you live (on a Learner’s Permit) without killing myself or getting arrested, you’ll own me too? o___o

  1. This looks really interesting. How much grace do we have in regard to word count (does it have to be exactly 1500, or by how many words can we overshoot it?)?

    • While the real decision is up to the judge, you can have a decent amount of grace. If you’re rambling, you’ll loose points in other areas, but if you’re really pounding a great ending home, I don’t see how you could lose on that. So go ahead and write whatever it takes!

      • Ah, ok. But I do believe that 2132 is a bit too much XD… So here’s mine at 1849.

        Len crouched beside the tree root, Amir beside him. They must have lost us. Leaning against the tree, he closed his eyes and listened, alert to the slightest noise. Nothing. The wind howled, shaking the trees above. Peeking past the tree, he perused the shadows for anything—friend or foe. He stepped onto the path, every muscle tense. No adversary revealed itself, not even the slightest sound echoed through the woods. Relaxing slightly, Len gestured to boy to come onto the path. “Okay, it’s safe—”A twig snapped.
        Spinning around, the knight’s knife found its way into his hand. An ogre crashed down upon him, its immense weight driving the dagger deep into its chest. Len collapsed, struggling to shove the beast off him. Finally, he reached his feet, only to face another assailant. It lunged forth, swinging a massive mace. The young knight sidestepped, knifing its hand. The brute roared, and, gripping the shaft of the mace, Len drove the butt into the villain’s face. The warrior shoved the monster forwards onto the two advancing behind, finishing them with the mace. Sheaving his dagger and dropping the mace, he drew his longsword and picked up the boy with the other hand, darting down the path at all speed.
        Bestial war cries, excited by pursuit, bellowed over the heavy, stale, air. He could hear them gaining, nearly to his heels, closing in on his sides. On he ran. The forest thinned out, turning into a barren, rocky wasteland. Throwing himself forward, Len chanced a glance backwards. There’s too many of them. The flat terrain revealed their overwhelming numbers. Despair gripped at his heart, swallowing his last reserves of hope. There’s no hope. The King’s probably dead, and we’re going to follow soon. No prince to take the throne, no Lionheart to champion the kingdom. Out of the corner of his eye, Len could see the prairie narrowing, forming into a cliff. Several meters across, lay the other side. Reaching the cliff, Len put down the boy, the Prince, and shoved the dagger into his hand.
        “Amir, get to the Towers. Try to find any humans you can… but don’t take any risks—stay alive. ” Without another word, Len hugged Amir, then lifted him again, tossing him across the chasm. The prince landed hard, but safely. Looking back, the boy tarried momentarily. But Len had already faced his pursuers, cutting down one, shoving another off the cliff. Swallowing hard, Amir turned and ran, following the edge in search of a way down. Tears streamed down his face, a knot in his stomach. As he finally found a path down, he heard ogres already on his trail. All he could do was survive.

        Len slashed and thrust, wielding his blade like a madman. Dancing the dance of death, the young Lionheart deftly slew all within his blade’s range. A duck, a lunge, a shove, a slash; dozens fell at his hand. But as great his skill, his strength, and his resolve, nothing could deter the unrelenting horde. Despite the countless slain, more came to take their place. Exhaustion took its toll, lowering his defense, primarily resulting only in minor cuts, bruises. Then a spear broke through his defense, imbedding into his left arm. With a surge of anger, he slew his assailant, and parried a strike from another behind. But all was in vain. The ogre broke through his defense, striking him in the head with the shaft of its axe. All went black.

        Len awoke with a start. Ropes burned into his skin, tying him to a sturdy high branch. Suspended a couple feet above the ground, the tendons in his arms and shoulders cried out, straining to stay together. A crow drifted overhead, swiftly turning as it circled down. As it became level with Len, it attempted to land on his face. With a last surge of strength, Len kicked it, knocking the foul fowl to the ground. Picking itself up, it fluttered to another tree, watching him intently.
        “I’m not dead yet!” He muttered to himself, grimacing at the pain in his arms. But despair quickly snuffed out his resolve. I failed. Here I am, the Lionheart, the King’s champion and protector, leader of the armies and protector of the realm, strung up for the birds, my King lost, my prince wandering futilely through a land overrun. I’m the youngest man to become the Lionheart, and I’m the first one to fail. I’m a disgrace, a failure, a— he paused as a slight breeze wafted by, barely noticeable, moving his dark brown bangs. Wind? Len’s head darted up, puzzled eyes gazing towards the source of the wind. Then he saw it.

        It only took the Ogres a few minutes to capture Amir. The young prince did manage to stab one in the hand, only to receive a harsh kick to the face. When he awoke, the vile beasts had placed him in a cage while they fought over his royal robe. Amir’s face fell into his hands and sobbed. It’s over. Len’s dead—there’s no way he could have survived that fight. Or he’s captured, but that’s no better. They’re going to kill me, or put me on display at home, a slave, living mockery to what once was a powerful kingdom. There’s nothing lef— Something warm touched him on the cheek, leaving a pleasant, tingling sensation. A form floated before his eyes, a glowing mass of light. Its contour shifted as it playfully drifted around his head, sometimes almost like a hare, other times a dove. An aura emanated from it, echoing one sound, one word: love. The knot in Amir’s stomach vanished, replaced by an inexplicable sense of peace. A soothing, fatherly voice sounded in his head. Don’t give up, King of Idel. You must go to the tower. Suddenly, Amir found himself running, following the Light-creature along the crest of a hill, hardly a few hundred meters from where his cage had been. Before the Ogres could gain any ground on him, Amir could already see the towers. Pushing himself as hard as he could, the prince finally reached the gates, left open when its guards fled their posts. Darting to the gate’s mechanism, he pushed the winch as hard as he could, but it wouldn’t budge. Suddenly, his fingers began to tingle, a warm essence weighing down on them. The gates closed.

        Len’s eyes widened as he perceived a form before him. A shape of golden light, manifest, yet with weight, drifted towards him, spectral in its impossible nature. What in Miguslainn… Appearing small, yet pertaining the weight of a thousand worlds; frail, but stronger than the mightiest warrior. It danced closer, at some points almost transparent, the paradox of energy meshed with physical presence, quickly reaching Len. In his mind, he heard a voice, a voice of magnificence and power unbearable to the human soul, yet of love and kindness beyond the comprehension of any other creature.
        Do not lose hope, or forget who it’s in. For all that occurs, occurs under my steady hand. Come, Lionheart Knight, save this realm.
        The form zipped away into the dark forest, and Len suddenly stood on the ground, unbound, his wounds healed. I… I… Then, his mind snapped back to focus, and the Lionheart darted off after the Light. Sprinting on, never pausing, he hardly noticed as the terrain changed, sloping up into rocky mountains. His eyes set on the Light that led him, only one thought echoing through his mind: Save the King. He rushed onward, following the trail as it curved around the mountain. The path abruptly ended, staring over a deep chasm. A hundred meters across the abyss lay the other side, out of reach. Memories of his last stand filled Len’s mind, his hand instinctively reaching for the sword that wasn’t there. The Light floated near the other side, watching him. Immediately, he knew what to do. Focusing his eyes on the Light, the Lionheart leapt.
        Len flailed through the air, at first soaring before arching downwards. A scream parted from his lips as he plunged, but suddenly his descent halted. A hand, stronger than any imaginable, clasped around him. Before he knew it, he stood at the other ledge, the Light floating over his shoulder. Grinning, he darted forward, but froze as the ground audibly shook. That’s no ogre…
        Len apprehensively turned, wishing again for his sword. Before him, on the other side of the ledge, was a black dragon. Towering above the knight, the beast’s crimson eyes gleamed maliciously. Beating its wings, it hovered, and, opening its mouth wide, spewed forth an inescapable firestorm. Len shrank back, his arms uselessly shielding him from the blazing inferno. But the fire never reached him. In the last moment, the Light darted into the flames, absorbing the heat and pushing it back. As it forced the flames towards its sender, the dragon suddenly lurched forward, swallowing the Light. Then the monster fell, crashing down into the rocks far below. He gave his life to save mine. Len’s quest suddenly popped back into his mind. Save the King. Accelerating, the knight broke out of the forest, climbing onto a ridge, overlooking the surrounding land. Off across the valley, on the opposing ridge, was the king.
        Valiantly fending off a band of ogres, the king stood his ground, only two footmen at his side. Before Len’s mind registered the information, he had already sprinted half the distance, scampering up the crest to his king. Coming up behind the ogres, Len lifted a massive stone and lobbed it onto the back of the closest. The beast fell with a grunt, and then the knight seized its spear. Joining the king and his last followers, the Lionheart fell upon the Ogres, wielding his spear like a natural extension of his limbs. Then an arrow struck the king.
        Len’s cry echoed above the others, filling the ears of all beings for miles. Instantly spotting the murderer, an archer on the other side of the hill, the spear flew from his hands, striking the monster. Falling to his knees, he cradled his sovereign’s head in his lap, searching for any signs of life. It’s hopeless. The Light, whatever it was, brought me here to just to see my king die, with no hope at all. He gave me a quest, and I failed. I— a memory struck him. He told me to save this realm… My—my hope was in the king… But what about the One who rescued me from death, who gave his life to save me from that dragon. He gave his life for me. I won’t stop until I finish this quest. His eyes, still wet, drifted up, resting on a tower off in the distance. The tower, built as the original palace when the first King and his Lionheart freed the lands from the Ogres, stood as a symbol of freedom: the kingdom’s sovereignty. For a moment, in a high window, a light flickered. In his heart, Len recognized it. The Light.

        I don’t think much explanation is needed to show its relation to the vid, but to make sure, I basically took some Biblical parallels from the video (I’m pretty sure the parallels were not intentional and mostly interpretational, but they still work *shrugs*), particularly the themes of not giving up when times are dark and trusting God regardless. I interpreted the dragon-creature scene as sort of like Christ’s sacrifice for us, in the end using the light in the tower to symbolize the resurrection. So, yeah… I probably should of emphasized the sacrifice a bit more, but I didn’t feel comfortable with having so many words (overshooting by 350? Ok. By 500? I think that’s pushing it). Anyways…

      • Great job! The word count was fine, and I understood the parallels to the Bible. Thanks for entering! =)

  2. My entry–entitled: King and Lionheart
    It is 1473 words long. Enjoy!

    They walked hand in hand from the city’s gates, neither turning to look back as the battered and fire-ravaged doors closed behind them.

    A Man and a Woman—dressed in layered maroon clothes the color of blood. The color of sacrifice…and love.

    The ash-gray morn was not quiet. Hundreds of mechanical behemoths, spiked and armored, creaked and sputtered as their driver’s looked through weapon sights at the couple. Black smoke rose, bringing the choking sky to earth. Unshaven men, armored in leather and steel plates, moved from around the hulking mechanic behemoths to watch.

    The pair, the Man and the Woman, walked straight through the battlefield before the city. The remains of the blue and gold constructs of their nation lay smashed underfoot. They had been no match for the black iron and cold steel of the invaders.

    From the sky, an eerie hum arose—as the hundreds of drab war-balloons started their engines and drew back from the blue city lights. The price had been paid.

    Hand in hand, flesh on flesh, the two walked towards their enemies. Their eyes, both the same deep blue, held as they stopped near the two largest of the invaders’ behemoths.

    Turning away from the fearsome and vicious bestial faces that crowed the war machines, the Man reached to wipe a tear from the Woman’s eye…but his hand never reached her face. The encompassing warmth of each others’ presence was suddenly breached as they were pulled apart. The Man thrown harshly to a thick and filthy cage, the Woman subdued by a cruel iron collar forced around her throat.

    Now the two acted, fighting and screaming, dirtying their red robes. The Woman strained on her leash, fighting to reach the Man as the behemoths began to disperse, returning to where they had come from—each of the invading tribes moving in a different direction. The Man reached his hand through the bars, straining to cross the impossible distance. The cage shook and rattled as he threw his body against it again and again…but it was immovable.

    The bars had no pain or indignity to force on him—but a final sight, the sight of the pain in his love’s eyes as she was beaten and forced from him, was a burning shaft of agony and rage to his chest.

    And the two were borne away into the wilderness, until the city’s blue lights finally disappeared from vision.

    The Woman lay on her back, her arm trailing in a puddle of dirty water, at the bottom of the pit. Her captors had had the decency to lower her down into her prison, but they had had little more than that.

    They had taken so much from her. Her life, family, her naivety…

    There were other things than what she had known inside her city—things she had not needed to know. But they had made it sweeter—the thing they hadn’t taken. Her love.

    He was gone from her—possibly forever. The invaders had demanded a sacrifice, she had been chosen. He had gone with her, knowing that he, too, would lose all. Even her—but he had not let her go alone.

    Him who loved her…her prince, her king.

    As she lay, exhausted and worn, a warmth spread over her, like a rippling fire moving up her body. In the darkness of night she closed her eyes.

    And saw the red glow of light from behind her eyelids.

    There was something before her. Series’ of sparks flashed before her, spinning and whirling to form a disjointed shape. Some kind of leaping, prancing spirit. It danced above her, flitting as if chasing its own tail, then stopping, as if questioning her.

    The Woman reached out to touch it, her arm weak and limp. The thing exploded into light, racing up and down her body, then reforming as fast as it had broken.

    And the Woman stood, new strength filling her. She felt eyes on her, comforting, loving eyes. The eyes of the Man. He was calling to her.

    The Woman surveyed the rugged and sharp walls of the pit, then her smooth hands, the hands he loved to hold and caress. She placed a hand on the wall, gripping it. The wet stone slid and cut her palm. Blood welled up, the rivulets running down her arm and soaking her remaining dry sleeve. She gripped harder, digging the wound deep and pushing herself to the next level of the wall. Hand over hand, foot over foot she climbed the wall of the pit.

    When she finally emerged, pulling herself over the lip of the hole, darkness still reigned. She lay on the rim, gasping, holding her wounded hands to her chest to slow the flow of blood.

    And the beast—whatever it was—flitted before her. It jumped in one direction, then returned to her. Over and over, flying low over the ground, illuminating the path.

    Wearily the Woman stood, clenching her fists. She followed the light as shouts erupted behind her, never looking back.

    The Man sat crosslegged in his tiny prison, defiant. His limbs were shaking from the blows that had rained down on him from fists and weapon butts, but he stubbornly held them still, unwilling to give in, unwilling to show weakness.

    His eyes were almost swollen shut, the puffy flesh and bruises on his face and skull obscuring his vision and blurring his thoughts.

    But the Man never questioned his action. He was here for her—and for her he could take any beating, any abuse. They—his captors—had said more was coming. He was ready.

    She had tried to go alone—so bravely. But hadn’t been able to let her go—not like that. She had wanted him to live his life, to find something, someone, else. To be all he could be…without her.

    But all he could be was defined in her—she had saved him from himself. Given him something to look up to, to strive for. A person that asked nothing from him but offered so much in return. Something he had to be worthy of. The Woman.

    It was night. His torturers had retired for night, leaving a single man at the campfire on watch. The rest of the invading tribes had already dispersed—to where he did not know or care.

    He felt his mind slipping, turning to self-pity and regret. Fighting it, he closed his eyes, imagining the way she smiled, the way she held his hand. She was stronger than he. The Man knew he didn’t deserve it…but she loved him.

    Warmth spread as a golden light flashed over him. He opened his eyes, expecting some new kind of torment. But the fire that flashed before him in roils of light was not hot—it seemed to playfully roll over his skin like weightless water.

    It was unlike anything he had ever seen—but he was not afraid. Somehow, the creature, the light, was him. He let it run over his fingers. He felt suddenly strengthened, heartened. Like a roaring lion at the peak of the hunt.

    Moments later he was gone from the invaders’ camp, racing over the ground crumpled by the invaders’ war machines. The ground was rutted and uneven—torn by the spiked wheels and claws of the behemoths. But he sprinted over the mud, leaping with frenzied speed in the night, following the light.

    The camp behind him came alive, soldiers swiftly donning armor and weapons to charge after the escaping fugitive. Few noticed the cage—its door ripped off, its bars bent.

    They met on the field before the city—just before dawn. The blue lights were still strong and the sky above the city was clear.

    She reached for his hands and he took hers in his, holding them gently, kissing the deep cuts and scrapes.

    He choked on a tear as he saw the damage her flight had down to her—she wiped the tear from his cheek and held his bruised and mutilated face in her bloodied hands, staring into his eyes.

    “You are,” she said, “my handsome, worthy king.”

    He met hers now—seeing the defiance, the resolution in them. The dark golden-brown passion, the savagery—a lion’s eyes. “And you are my brave lionheart.”

    They embraced and kissed—a long, slow kiss of passion and violence and innocence. The sparks above their heads whirled and intertwined, spinning faster and faster in a glorious cloud of light.

    As the invaders reached the couple, arms raised to strike them down, the sparks flashed—exploding in all directions. Dust broiled and shot out in a wave, obscuring all from sight.

    High above shrouded field, two light slowed and joined into one. And then, for the first time since time began, there was a moment of peace.

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