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Fireflies
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

Fireflies

Part One


The old master looked down from his nostrils at the little boy who sat beneath him with his hands clutched around a scraped knee. The old man’s expression was one of disdain mixed with disappointment directed at the child. The boy’s knee was red and bloody and his pant leg torn and dirtied from the recent fall from the tolu tree he had attempted to climb. The boy held back tears but couldn’t keep from wincing. His face was red and his jaw clenched shut to stifle the sobs that bubbled up from his throat.

“Unbelievable,” the master shook his head side to side and shut his narrow brown eyes as he always did when he was ashamed of his young student, “You wish to become a master assassin one day, yes?”

“More…” the boy looked up at his master, still with a pained expression on his face but with nothing but determination in his pale blue eyes, “More than anything.”

“So you’ve said many times,” the master murmured while rubbing his bearded chin, “But do you really have the will necessary to accomplish such a miracle?” The master was in his later middle years with only a tiny patch of red amid a mass of white hair. The skin of his wrinkled face was tanned and leathery from a lifetime of exposure to the baking sun of Ruken VI and his brown eyes were perpetually squinted due to injuries he sustained that prevented him from opening them all the way. He dressed in the attire of a teshin monk: a brown tangzhuang with flared shoulders, gray bandages wrapped tightly around his arms and legs, and a pair of narrow toed boots on his feet. He was not a particularly large person but he nonetheless exuded an aura of strength.

In contrast to his master the boy exuded nothing more than immaturity and weakness. He was little older than ten and though he was tall for his age he otherwise looked rather unexceptional with short brown hair, pale blue eyes, soft white skin, and a wiry boyish frame. And like any boy his age he had trouble dealing with physical pain, the kind of pain he received from falling from the tolu tree. He wore plain brown pants and a white shirt along with a pair of shoes made from animal skins that granted excellent traction, but apparently not enough traction to keep from slipping on the tree branch.

“Why did you climb the tree in the first place?” the master asked while craning his head up at the huge tree that towered over them with its broad leaves and thick branches.

“I wanted to see the fireflies,” the boy explained. He pointed to the cloud of little iridescent lights that flitted around the tolu tree. The master grunted.

“You don’t need to climb a tree to see fireflies,” the master replied coldly, “The damn pests are everywhere, there’s some buzzing around your head right now.”

“But the best and biggest fireflies are up there!” the boy said.

“Are they now?” the master scoffed. At that moment a firefly buzzed across the master’s face only to be snatched from the air by the old man. For the old man catching bugs barehanded was child’s play. Without hesitation the graybeard crushed the miniscule insect between his fingers and killed the light, “So you like fireflies?” the master asked, tilting his head to one side. The boy nodded his head, “Well then…instead of your regular evening training regimen I have another task for you. One you might enjoy given your predilection for these little luminescent pests,” the master caught another firefly between his fingers and snuffed it out, “Your task will be to kill every last firefly within fifty meters of the house,” the master pointed to an old run-down building where he and the student lived.

It wasn’t much of a house, more of a hovel really. Its walls were made of wood that had turned gray from age and its ceiling was a composite of ancient gray clay shingles and dried straw patches. The small windows were covered with dust and the floorboards creaked even under slight pressure.

“Fifty meters?!” the boy exclaimed, taken aback by the request. His grasp of math wasn’t the best (he had never been to any formal schooling, he wasn’t even literate) but he had a small inkling of how many fireflies there could be in such a radius and how difficult killing them all would be.

“That’s correct, Kassok,” the master answered, “You have two hours to complete the task.”

“Two hours?!” Kassok exclaimed again.

“For questioning me you’ve just lost a half hour,” the master replied sternly.

“Bu--,” Kassok was about to protest when he realized that arguing would be fruitless.

“I’m going inside now,” the master said, turning his back on his student, “When I return an hour and a half later I sincerely hope there are no fireflies close to the house. Because if there are I’ll break your right leg.” Kassok didn’t know why he laughed at that moment, perhaps it was a nervous laugh born of discomfort and terror or perhaps Kassok really did think for a moment that his master was joking. Whatever the reason, Kassok did laugh and Kassok was punished for it. The master’s firm hand fell like a lightning bolt upon Kassok’s soft boyish face, knocking Kassok over and leaving a large throbbing red handprint across his left cheek.

“Do you think I am joking, boy?” the master asked. His eyes bored into Kassok’s own. His voice wasn’t raised (he never raised his voice) but it now communicated a much greater level of threat that wasn’t lost on young Kassok. A hurt and frightened Kassok shook his head feverishly in response, “Since we’ve known each other, have I ever once told a joke? Have I ever meant anything other than what I said?” Rather than raising his voice the old master lowered it, switching from an emotionless (and perhaps dry) monotone to a threatening whisper.

“N-no sir,” Kassok answered tremulously.

“Then why would you laugh?”

“I d-d-don’t k-k-know.”

“Just for that your time is down to an hour,” the master informed him while walking toward the house, “So hop to it.” Kassok wasted the first minute of his allotted time trembling like a frightened kitten with his back to the wet grass and his eyes staring up at the stars and the fireflies that circled beneath them. The fireflies that had once thrilled him with their joyous lights now served as reminders of the fate that awaited him should he fail in his task. With his scraped knee and sore cheek still throbbing Kassok pushed himself up from the ground and grabbed a nearby stick.

The stick was a long, straight branch with a few large dead leaves still hanging from it: an excellent swatter. The first hundred or so fireflies were easy pickings for Kassok and his improvised weapon. Kassok had nearly unparalleled hand-eye-coordination considering his young age and his senses were honed to the point that even if the fireflies weren’t lit up he could have still sensed them by the buzz of their wings.

With his stick in hand Kassok slew hundreds of the little bugs in the first ten minutes alone, indeed for a moment he thought he might finish the task with plenty of time to spare. And then he remembered the tolu tree. The stick slipped from Kassok’s clammy hands when he first scanned the swarm of fireflies that congregated around the upper branches of the tree. The master’s promise to break his leg should he fail now rang out in the forefront of his mind. With uncanny strength and fervor Kassok scrambled up the bare lower trunk of the tolu tree and after securing a handhold on the lowest branch pulled himself up.

The tolu branch was as slippery as ever and even idling was a balancing act. Apart from the fact that the tolu had next to no natural traction (made worse by the coating of dew from the recent rain-storm) the tree had other defenses against would-be-climbers. Among these defenses were the biting beetles that lived in tiny holes along the tree’s trunk, beetles that would pop out of their holes and bite anything that threatened their larvae, in this case the offender was Kassok’s hand. In the space of ten seconds Kassok was bitten seven times by a single beetle whose little sanctuary was disturbed by Kassok’s left thumb. Kassok winced and pulled his hand away from the beetle and nearly lost his balance in the process.

“Whoa!!” Kassok’s right heel slipped off the slippery branch and he would have plummeted had he not quickly shifted his weight toward the tree. Kassok’s body slammed into the trunk and his arms hugged the tolu, clinging on for dear life. Now adopting a different tactic Kassok began to shimmy up the tolu tree, something easier than balancing off the slippery branch. On the opposite side of the tolu Kassok’s hands were assaulted in multiple places by biting beetles but the young assassin in training refused to flinch as before.

The pain of being bitten by a beetle, he reminded himself, would be nothing compared to the pain of having his leg broken should he fail. Just as Kassok was pondering the myriad means by which his master could hypothetically break his leg (an assassin, even a neophyte assassin is something of an expert on such things) he caught sight of something just below his nose: the largest tolu beetle he had ever seen. Most tolu beetles were the tiny dull red bugs the size of a house fly with mandibles barely large enough to break soft skin.

This beetle was the size of Kassok’s thumb, bright purple, and had mandibles that could pierce a fingernail. With his body pressed tightly against the tree’s trunk his face was mere millimeters from the tree’s bark and now his lips were within inches of the little monster’s clattering mandibles. He had less than a second to make his move, any hesitation would lead to disaster and retreat was impossible.


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jul 7th, 2010 01:04 AM
Omega Vision is currently offline Click here to Send Omega Vision a Private Message Find more posts by Omega Vision Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote Quick Quote
Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

Knowing what needed to be done Kassok’s jaw muscles went to work and his lips opened just in time to dodge the beetle’s closing mandibles. Before the beetle knew could open its fiendish mandibles again Kassok’s teeth clamped down on the space between its head and thorax. Kassok bit down and swiftly decapitated the little purple terror before it had a chance to bite his tongue. It was like biting a nut with the shell still on and severing the exoskeleton took a great deal of pressure. But once the bug was dead its fat body fell from Kassok’s lips and left a trail of green ooze on the boy’s lower lip while the beetle’s head released a small gush of the same ooze on the tip of Kassok’s tongue.

Resisting the urge to vomit took incredible willpower, more than any boy Kassok’s age should be expected to possess. But however he managed it Kassok did hold back the tide of liquid sickness welling in his throat. While tolu beetle larvae were coveted by birds, beasts, bugs, and (during times when harvests were poor) the people of Ruken VI the adult tolu beetle had no real predators. It wasn’t that tolu beetles were toxic or that their defenses were too formidable, it was because they were the foulest tasting beasties under the sun.

“Pth!!” Kassok spat out the beetle’s head and in an effort to wipe the taste from his tongue actually started to lick the comparatively less disgusting bark of the tolu tree. Kassok felt like crying, he felt like vomiting, he felt like running away. But his master would catch him if he ran. He always caught Kassok, no matter how well the boy hid or how long a head start he got. Kassok glanced up from his position on the tree trunk and spied the nearest overhanging branch which after some hesitation he reached out for.

Even with his feet wrapped tightly around the tolu tree he nearly fell down when his fingers slipped. But after a few more seconds of timidly hugging the tolu trunk Kassok reached for the branch again, this time he managed to firmly grasp it with both hands. It was touch and go all the way up but six minutes after he first scrambled up the tree’s lower trunk Kassok ascended to the very top. With his head poking above the canopy of broad leaves Kassok beheld the fireflies, the best and biggest fireflies. There were so many of them and they were so beautiful.

Kassok didn’t know if he could kill them all in time, he didn’t want to kill them all. He might have been training to become an assassin but that didn’t mean he believed in unnecessary destruction of life, especially life as wonderful as the fireflies. But his master’s promise still weighed heavily on his mind and soul, and he dared not disappoint the man. For the sake of his legs he needed to end these tiny treasures.

“Sorry little friends,” Kassok mumbled as his fist closed around several fireflies, “But it’s me or you.”

***********************


When the old master opened the creaking wooden door and stepped out onto the porch he couldn’t see any fireflies, not around the house and not around the tolu tree. What he did see was his young student lying in a heap on the cold, wet grass with his mouth opened and his eyes half closed like a beaten and exhausted draft animal. With his arms and legs spread-eagled and his chest heaving up and down he looked like he had just completed a marathon.

“Your time is up,” the old master proclaimed after stepping outside, “So far I like what I see,” he scratched his short gray beard, “But I wonder what the picture will be like on the other side of the house.” The master walked slowly around the small house to survey the surrounding property and check for any fireflies that might have been overlooked by his student. When he returned a short time later Kassok was worried by the glower the old man wore over his face.

“D-did I m-miss some fireflies?” Kassok asked, his stutter returning.

“No,” said the old man. Kassok breathed a sigh of relief. Then the old man held out a closed fist which opened in front of Kassok’s eyes to reveal a tiny green spark: a firefly, “You didn’t miss ‘some fireflies’, you missed one firefly.”

“One?” the little firefly flew from the old man’s palm and with it flew Kassok’s hope.

“It’s a shame, really,” the old man murmured, “A charitable man might excuse such a thing in appreciation of the effort given,” then he stooped low and placed a rough hand on Kassok’s right knee. The boy was too tired and too scared to make a move; all he could do was whimper, “Unfortunately for you, Kassok, I am not a charitable man.”


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jul 7th, 2010 01:04 AM
Omega Vision is currently offline Click here to Send Omega Vision a Private Message Find more posts by Omega Vision Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote Quick Quote
Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

Part Two

It didn’t take long for Kassok’s leg to heal. After day two he was walking with the aid of a pair of simple crutches which gave way to a single crutch after the end of the first week. Three weeks later Kassok was walking and standing unassisted, albeit at great discomfort. Two months in and he was able to run again, and run he did. Over the next three years Kassok attempted escape eleven times.

Ten times he was caught and given a serious thrashing. But on the eleventh attempt the old man’s right knee gave in just as he was reaching to grab the boy by his throat. Winded by the injury the old man could only look on as Kassok disappeared into the woods, running as if the devil himself were chasing him. Surprisingly enough the old man didn’t go looking for Kassok in the woods, he just limped back to his hovel and rubbed ointment on his hurt knee. He gave up on Kassok that day.

He had his reasons for abandoning Kassok as a pupil: the boy was too soft, too slow, and too conflicted. He let his emotions rule him and the only way he seemed capable of calling up his strength was by channeling his anger and hatred toward the old man. Such behavior was disgraceful. Any barbarian could throw a tantrum and kill someone but an assassin could lay waste to an entire army without any sort of attachment whatsoever. Kassok formed attachments to everyone and everything and this (in the old man’s eyes) made him weak. The old man didn’t have the patience to deal with the boy’s weakness any longer.

In the first few years following Kassok’s departure the old man tried to maintain his discipline but that proved difficult. Without Kassok to occupy his time (for better or worse) the old man had plenty of free time. At first he occupied himself by maintaining his dilapidated home and for a short time the old hovel actually looked like a respectable home. That didn’t last for long. To alleviate his boredom the old man started traveling into the town a few kilometers from his secluded home.

While in town he’d buy whatever supplies he needed as well as visit the tavern for a drink. He had plenty of money left over from his days as a freelance assassin, enough to last him for the rest of his life if he spent it wisely. As time went on though the quality of his purchases declined. What started as a nightly ritual of a single small drink every night turned to two drinks a night and then three. Seven years after Kassok’s escape the old man was drinking five drinks a night and burning through money fast.

It wasn’t long before the old man was spending more time at the tavern than he was in his own home. And the more time he spent in the tavern the less time he spent exercising. First the house fell to disrepair and then the old man’s body started to atrophy.

The old man was still in excellent shape for his age but nowhere near what he had been just a decade ago. His musculature was less-defined, his skin was increasingly wrinkled, and his hairline was receding. The little patch of red hair was gone, replaced by a bald spot. Ten years ago the old man could perform a hundred pushups without breaking a sweat.

Now he strained his muscles just doing thirty. It was on the eve of the ninth anniversary of Kassok’s flight that the old man was preparing for bed that he noticed that the fireflies had begun to buzz around and settle inside of his house. A large firefly settled on the old man’s bare chest and the old man (his senses slightly dulled by the lingering effects of alcohol) swiped at it. The fly easily escaped the swipe and buzzed away toward the small crack in the window that it had come through.

He grumbled at the state of disrepair of his little house and swore to himself that starting tomorrow he would get to fixing it up. It was the same promise he had made every night for the last three months.

“Damned fireflies,” the old man scratched his chest and set aside a small pewter pot that had held a modest amount of soup. Even after finishing the pot the old man was still hungry. He missed the days when he and the boy Kassok would trap fish and game. For all his shortcomings as a pupil the boy was a fine forager and he knew the locations of all the wild berry patches and he could climb up the cliffs to the south and pilfer bird eggs. The old man couldn’t find any berries in the forests surrounding his house and he was too lazy to attempt ascending the cliffs.

In his tiny house the old man was surrounded by relics of his past, rusted, worn, and covered in dust. Only his prized pair of chokutō with their dazzling blue zeltium blades seemed to resist the ravages of time. They rested on a shelf on the opposite end of the house from the bed, next to some old clay bowls and a small bag of coins, the last remnants of the old man’s once great reserve of money.

The old man was about to stand up from his seat to inspect the blades up close when he heard the sound of someone or something knocking on his door.

“Who is it?” the old man barked out. He tried peering through the small dusty window to see if anyone were standing outside but the window was too dirty and he could see nothing. A few seconds of silence were followed by another round of light tapping, “Damn it, who is it?” the old man was answered by the sound of a wooden door being kicked apart.

‘Krrrakkkt!’ a shower of tiny wooden splinters forced the old man to shield his face with his left forearm while the broken door collapsed with a thud on the floorboards. A small cloud of dust tickled the old man’s feet and soft footsteps echoed in the room. When the old man looked up he was so taken aback by the image of the intruder that he stood up and rubbed his tired eyes. Standing before him was a tall man wearing the familiar garb of a teshin monk. The old man hadn’t worn the monk clothes in five years and seeing them worn by a young man brought to him a degree of nostalgia.

The man that stood over the remains of the broken door was a full head taller than the old man and though the garb of a teshin monk hid muscle well the old man’s expert eye could still make out the tell-tale curves of a true powerhouse. The young man’s features were difficult to make out in the low light though the old man could see a thick mane of brown hair and a pair of piercing blue eyes.

“Who…who are you?” the old man stammered. The younger man grunted something indistinct and shrugged his arms and shoulders.

“Guess, old man,” the young man replied in a voice utterly devoid of any kind of emotion. There was something familiar in the intruder’s voice and in his eyes.

“Kassok?” the old man asked in an unsure tone.

“Could be,” the young man replied nonchalantly.

“It is you!” the old man exclaimed as if thrilled, “After all these years,” the old man lifted his arms up and smiled widely. The smile drew a brief look of concern from Kassok, as did the smell of alcohol in his breath. The old man started laughing, a laugh that soon turned to a pained wheeze, “What…what are you doing here? What are you doing in those clothes?” the old man cautiously took a few steps in Kassok’s direction but maintained a safe distance of two and a half meters. Kassok’s face had changed tremendously in the last nine years, if there was one word to describe what it looked like now then that word would be ‘sharp’.

“I think you know what I’m doing in these clothes,” Kassok replied.

“So you made it to Tesh did you?” the old man chuckled, “My but you’ve gotten so big!”

“No thanks to you,” Kassok growled, “I can’t say I’ve missed this place much,” Kassok glared at a little firefly as it passed by his nose.

“Oh don’t be so ungrateful, boy,” the old man jibed, “If I hadn’t picked you up when you were a pup you’d have died in the slums of Koraak City. If I hadn’t toughened you up you’d have never survived on your own, you’d have never made it to Tesh.”

“Funny thing about Tesh,” Kassok began, “I asked about you, I asked the monks what they knew about you. I learned from them that you didn’t actually leave their order like I did, you were forced out.”

“A technicality,” the old man’s face hardened.

“Maybe so,” Kassok murmured, “It doesn’t matter either way. I just came here for those swords,” he gestured to the pair of blades.

“And you expect me to let you take them?” the old man asked, clenching his fists.

“If you’re smart you’ll stand aside,” Kassok said, turning his shoulder to the old man to face the blades.

“Those are mine!” the old man roared, charging at Kassok with both hands balled tightly into fists. Years ago Kassok had touched the swords and had received a beating for doing so. But things were different now and Kassok no longer feared the old man’s fists. The old man’s charge was halted when Kassok’s right boot slammed the former master’s left ribcage. The old man’s lungs were squeezed dry by the force of impact and his feet were lifted from the floorboards, “Uurrgk!” the old man’s side collided with the wooden wall with his right elbow absorbing most of the impact.


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jul 10th, 2010 10:37 PM
Omega Vision is currently offline Click here to Send Omega Vision a Private Message Find more posts by Omega Vision Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote Quick Quote
Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

“You’ve gotten so slow, old man,” Kassok said, regarding his old master with contempt and pity. The old man rubbed his sore ribs then spat.

“I’ll show you slow!” the old man came at Kassok with renewed fury but Kassok’s assessment of his speed was correct. Every single kick, jab, elbow, or haymaker the old man sent Kassok’s way was evaded or blocked. After thirty seconds of banal sparring Kassok tired of the little game and caught the old man’s face with a backhand slap, a slap that drew blood and knocked a tooth loose. Fueled by frustration and desperation the old man lashed out with a clumsy haymaker which Kassok deftly caught mid-swing.

“I can’t believe I ever feared you,” Kassok scoffed just as he squeezed down on the old man’s right fist. Finger bones snapped and flesh was squeezed to pulp as if the old man had stuffed his hand into an industrial tomato presser.
“…please…ugh,” the old man fell to his knee and tried in vain to wrest his hand away from his ex-student’s grip, “Please don’t kill me!” Kassok’s grip relaxed around the old man’s pulverized hand and the younger man actually drew away from him.

“Kill you?” Kassok’s lips curled expressing utter contempt, “No old man, I didn’t come here to kill you. Dying by my hand would be too good a death for you. I’ll let you rot away in this dusty old hovel,” Kassok turned his back on the sobbing old man with the crushed right hand and turned his attention to the pair of swords that appeared to gleam even in the low light. Kassok paused for a moment and stared at the blades before actually removing them from their shelf, “A damn shame that blades as fine as these should have to sit in a dung heap like this,” Kassok spotted a tiny firefly darting past him and in a flash sliced through the air with one of his gleaming blades. The blade cleaved the little insect’s wings but did not actually kill the animal so clean and precise was the stroke. Kassok actually cracked a tiny smile when he saw the fly fall to the floor, “Yes these will do fine.”

“You can have the swords, Kassok,” said the old man in between sobs.

“I wasn’t aware I ever asked your permission old man, but in any case I appreciate your acquiescence,” Kassok said dryly. Without taking another look back at the old man Kassok began to slowly walk toward the door. A few fireflies buzzed around Kassok’s face provoking a slight scowl, “I really hate those damned fireflies.”


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jul 10th, 2010 10:37 PM
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Noban
Member

Gender: Unspecified
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

You impress me... because, unlike the majority of forums out there that include a tiny subsection for posting short stories, the writers here, such as yourself, are actually good.

This story is pretty well-written, and having surfed as much internets as I have, I must say I am shocked.


__________________

http://pimpjuice1337.blogspot.com/

Old Post Jul 14th, 2010 12:17 AM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Noban
You impress me... because, unlike the majority of forums out there that include a tiny subsection for posting short stories, the writers here, such as yourself, are actually good.

This story is pretty well-written, and having surfed as much internets as I have, I must say I am shocked.

Thanks. big grin

I write short stories like this one in between bigger projects. My dream is to be a novelist/comic book writer.


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jul 15th, 2010 01:16 AM
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Mindship
Snap out of it.

Gender: Male
Location: Supersurfing

Good story. The beginning drew me in, and the story flowed. My only criticism (a small one) is that I would've liked a heftier pay-off at the end. I did get how you were tying it in to the beginning, it just didn't have (for me) the same weight as the rest of the story.

Good effort, though. May I suggest perhaps fine-tuning the ending and then submitting this story for publication. I really liked the character interaction, especially in the beginning.


__________________

Shinier than a speeding bullet.

Old Post Nov 12th, 2010 12:07 PM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Mindship
Good story. The beginning drew me in, and the story flowed. My only criticism (a small one) is that I would've liked a heftier pay-off at the end. I did get how you were tying it in to the beginning, it just didn't have (for me) the same weight as the rest of the story.

Good effort, though. May I suggest perhaps fine-tuning the ending and then submitting this story for publication. I really liked the character interaction, especially in the beginning.

Hey thanks a bunch.

Yeah the ending did lose some of the impact, I noticed that. I can't remember why, but I do remember losing my focus when I was writing the second part.


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Feb 12th, 2011 08:51 PM
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