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Expanding the Charts

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Brendan Savem, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. (This is my first fiction, so I'd appreciate as much criticism as possible. And don't expect me to update this too often, it takes a while for an idea for a new chapter to pop in my head. That being said...)

    Chapter I/Prologue
    It was late spring in the Himalayas, torrential winds ravaged the rock, snow, and ice continually throughout the night despite it being the minority compared to what usually batters these mountains. Somewhere on the Lhotse face, there was a small cave hidden by snow. It seemed to be a regular part of the rock that had been there for centuries. Nevertheless, something new was going to happen there that night. Just before dawn, the rock in the back of the cave broke apart and a creature emerged to be greeted by the winds. It appeared to be a giant dog with a large lower jaw, a hide of chestnut color, blood red eyes, no tail, enormous muscles, and sharp thick claws to match. The creature stepped forward and sniffed the air, as if it was a boy trying a chocolate for the first time. The creature then looked behind him and said a few strange syllables accompanied by a few grunts. Four beasts of similar looks emerged and did the same with the air. The five creatures then stepped towards the entrance of the cave and could see that the sun had begun to rise. The winds almost stopped altogether as if to greet these newcomers, or to be more precise, old friends returning. As the first of their kind to see the sun and feel the wind in years, they all let loose a howl. It sounded like a lion imitating a wolf. The howl echoed around the mountain and began an avalanche three hundred feet above them. Barely noticing that something else was coming to say hello, the five animals started straight down the mountain. They accelerated faster and faster, until they were breaking supersonic speed and kept going. They were almost down the mountain when they reached their maximum speed, when friction became so great, it heated up the air around the beasts until it began to glow red, melting all the snow around it. They shot through the world famous Everest base camp and beyond. Until they cleared the snow and disappeared into the closest forest. Here, they stopped and relished some more of the planet's wonders.

    At ten' o' clock in a private mansion in Colorado, a man was sitting on a recliner enjoying a coffee and watching CNN news on his plasma TV. The top headline for that morning was known as 'mystery avalanche'.

    "Take it away Mei," the reporter at the desk said, then the news switched to live footage of the Himalayas.

    "This morning, at six twenty-three; local time, a huge avalanche occurred out of the blue on the Lhotse face and covered half of the base camp at the foot of the snow-zone. Three tourists and a Sherpa guide were killed, along twenty individuals injured. Although this may have been a natural avalanche, mountain experts are skeptical," Mei, the reporter explained. A Sherpa was talking from the edge of the displaced snow in his local tongue, and subtitles at the bottom of the screen translated him.

    "Avalanches like this one are almost never caused on their own; something has happened on that mountain and it could have been foolish climbers. If the avalanche were natural, we would have known it could happen a month in advance. These odd markings in the ground are a mystery, even to me. But it is no coincidence and could hide evidence to what happened this morning" the text displayed, the screen then returned to the reporter,

    "What the Sherpa means by odd markings is the five lines that appeared last night and now run through the camp," she explained, the screen showed one of these. A line of bare, black rock streaking across the camp and beyond, "The area where these lines appeared is covered in snow and ice all year round. Reasons for these lines to appear may be the melting of the snow and ice that once covered it. Scientists in the area are baffled and are informing colleagues around the globe to see if they could figure out what phenomena could have caused this incident. Investigations on the lines show that they go beyond the snow zone and somewhere near Dogalbitta. What happened then is yet to be confirmed," she continued. The report was brought to a close, but the man that once occupied the recliner had left, the coffee still steaming on a placemat.

    The man went straight to his study, opened a safe behind a stack of books on a shelf, and took out an old-fashioned, leather-bound book. He sat in the armchair across the room and opened the book to an area in the middle of the book. He read through the next twenty pages for about an hour, closed the book, and the beginnings of a smile appeared on his mouth, "Speed-hounds by the looks of it… it is time to finish your research great-great-grandfather" he whispered to himself, clutching the book close to his chest as if it was to make him the richest man to ever exist, and in a sense, it could.
     
    #1 Brendan Savem, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  2. (here we go with the next chapter, it's been a week since chapter I, so somewhat what I was aiming for)

    Chapter II
    "It feels good to be the first of our kind since we went underground to be on the surface." A speed-hound spoke as he rolled in a pile of leaves; his vocabulary was a series of syllables that made little sense to a human.

    "I do feel the same, but we aren't the first to come up here for a hundred centuries. To be accurate, we are the first to legally come up here" another speed-hound spoke; he was half sitting on a fallen tree scratching a rock with markings with one of his claws. "There was a female that came to the surface five generations before, about a century ago," he continued. The first one snorted, and in human, it would have been a 'pfft'.

    "And just when I thought you had no more odd tales left Porix, that is the most ridiculous story I have ever heard!" he said, "If you want me to think that's real, you would need some proof"

    "If you came to the last charter meeting Poplain, you would know that the rumor is true." A third speed-hound who was originally sleeping on a large rock answered.

    "And how is it true, might I ask?" Poplain asked, hearing it from someone different has made him skeptical about his beliefs.

    "You can ask Lunarick when he returns" a fourth one answered, this one has been helping the second speed-hound with the stone scratching. "And I think that's him coming right now"

    Poplain looked in the general direction where his friends were looking and saw a naked boy that looked like a seventeen year old with green eyes come through the bushes, his movements were rather odd. "HUMAN!" he roared in surprise, he tried to leap at the human in a sudden act of confusion and surprise. However, he was tackled and pinned by the fourth speed-hound.

    "I guess the others didn't tell you Poplain" the boy spoke, in the speed-hound tongue. Poplain could only stare in surprise. In addition, before his very eyes, the boy went under a change. His knees buckled forward, his hair disappeared into his head and his skin became hard and chestnut colored, his musculature almost tripled, his fingernails grew longer and thicker until they became claws, and the last change was when he closed his green eyes and opened them to show that they became bloodshot. In the space of seven seconds, the boy became a speed-hound. "It's much easier to show rather than tell." Lunarick commented,

    "Your ancestor… mated with a human…?" Poplain stammered, it was the only conclusion he could come up with.

    "That appears to be the case, it never showed up in my bloodline up until now" Lunarick answered, then turned to the one that was on top of Poplain, "Blacier, I scouted the outskirts of the forest, and there's human encampment around the entire area, I would suggest we move now when it's not too dark" he stated.

    "Then we should be heading off, our best course of action to finish this chart would be to start around the edges, we will head for the sea" Blacier ordered, he then began to walk into the forest, quickly speeding up until he was going at breakneck speeds, the other speed-hounds followed him. They rushed out of the forest in no time and were heading towards the horizon, aiming for the ocean.


    "That appears to be the case, it never showed up in my bloodline up until now" Lunarick answered, then turned to the one that was on top of Poplain, "Blacier, I scouted the outskirts of the forest, and there's human encampment around the entire area, I would suggest we move now when it's not too dark" he stated.

    "Then we should be heading off, our best course of action to finish this chart would be to start around the edges, we will head for the sea" Blacier ordered, he then began to walk into the forest, quickly speeding up until he was going at breakneck speeds, the other speed-hounds followed him. They rushed out of the forest in no time and was heading towards the horizon, aiming for the ocean.
     
    #2 Brendan Savem, Nov 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  3. This is really interesting stuff. And well-written, too. More! But harsh editor that I am (Yoshimitsu27 will attest), I can't help but point out a few things that bothered me:

    (1) The first paragraph is a giant. Our eyes are lazy and hate having to slog through that much text at once. You're otherwise so good about indenting, creating paragraphs of varied and eye-pleasing sizes, that it seems a little beneath you to have this massive clunker spearheading your story. Consider breaking it up.

    (2) "Did the same with the air"... I'm sure you already sense how weak that phrasing is. Any number of simple yet superior wordings suggest themselves. "Sniffed the air likewise", even, would do.

    (3) "Opened the book to an area in the middle of the book" -- again. Clumsy construction. "Opened the book about halfway through" or some such would be better.

    (4) "It feels good to be the first of our kind since we went underground to be on the surface." That's really really stilted and awkward. Looks innocuous enough on paper (or on screen), but you can't actually imagine someone saying that out loud, can you? Of course, it's not a human talking, and I think you were legitimately trying to portray the speed-hounds' speech as being inhumanly formal. All the same, you should probably give us a line or two of dialogue to get us used to their style of talking before "It feels good...", so that line will make us think "Right, okay, that's how they talk" and not "Man, that is some awkward writing".

    (5) "A naked boy that looked like a seventeen year old with green eyes"... Another bit that makes me uneasy. Consider an alternative such as "a green-eyed naked boy, perhaps seventeen years old".

    (6) I don't really understand Lunarick's situation. He's only just now discovered that he has human heritage, based on the fact that he's recently started mutating into a human from time to time? So... why isn't he more disturbed by this? If I found out that my great-grandpa committed bestiality back in the old country and now I was a weregoat, I'd be pretty taken aback. And if Lunarick has already had enough time to discover this and come to terms with it and be comfortable with it, then how has Poplain not already heard about it?

    But enough from me. Please, go on.
     

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