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July Myst Writings Challenge

#1 User is offline   J'ohn 

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 03:01 PM

Let's thank Nisan for this (or so :)) month's challenge! :laugh:

Challenge: Write a story relating to the Myst series that revolves around a single small object, like a flower or coin.

Focus: Narration

Length: 900 words or less

Submission deadline: August 3rd, Midnight GMT

Additional guidelines: All entries must be your own original work, no plagiarism and should follow the tenets of MystCommunity's family rated language. WiP's (Works in Progress) are allowed if you would like to submit your work for feedback and suggestions prior to submitting your final entry. Please label all WIP's threads as: "July Challenge WiP"

Have fun! :)

SBS ;)
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#2 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 05:54 PM

Will you alert us promptly if our objects are too large? What's the threshold? :)

Autumn Winds

She shook her head. “I don’t want it any more. You can keep it.”

“What will your friends on Serenia say?”

“That I have wakened from the dream. That’s how they talk about the few Sisters who stopped visiting Dream, but I don’t care. I don’t like it there any more.”

“We could build things here. Perhaps finally a library of my own.”

“Shhh… There’ll be time.”

~

“Their deaths stopped the island from sinking. They saved the tree-dwellers.
Shif edh lo rof skngeth dna ngol os forever…must rest, sisherpe sleep… We had expected you to come sooner…” The old man lifted himself to his feet and touched each of the tree-dwellers gently on the head, then walked out.

~

The boys laugh and shove each other aside playfully as they try to catch a frog that keeps jumping ahead of them on the path up the small island.

~

They are building a boat, Sirrus pointing out at the horizon and talking excitedly. Achenar is more intent on his task, while the tree-dwellers move around, eager to help.

~

A man stands with a woman and two boys on the broken ship. They are talking, but I do not understand them. Then Sirrus appears, smiling. He begins to speak…

~

Achenar looks out at the horizon through the glass, then writes or draws something in a small notebook, tongue between his teeth in concentration. Then anger contorts his face and he tears the page out. It drifts downwards and is swallowed by the waters. Atrus gestures outwards patiently and then guides his son’s hand on a blank page.

~

When Atrus touches the right button, the lights around them come on and illuminate fish and turtles swimming just beyond the glass. Sirrus and Achenar stare, fascinated by the scene. Sirrus presses his face against the glass…

~

“Can I go to Aspermere sometime soon?” Achenar asks quietly. “I want to see if I can figure out how those work.”

“Once we’ve finished here,” Atrus replies. “We have to help these people first.”

“They say the sky will be blue again once the Black Ships are destroyed,” Sirrus says as he walks in. “I simply cannot wait to see that day.”

~

A dark sail vanishes on the horizon, and Achenar laughs with delight. Sirrus frowningly asks a question in a language I don’t understand, and the old man answers. Then Sirrus looks out at the ocean for a long time.

~

Lightning joins the towers and the sea. The threads search for one another, then they join and the skies become a display of beauty. Atrus smiles and puts his arms around Sirrus’ and Achenar’s shoulders. “I’m proud of you, my sons.”


“Tired of the heat, my friend?” Atrus asked, and I turned.

“Just revisiting old places,” I said.

He looked at the amulet curiously. “I know you’ve told me about that thing, but I still find it hard to believe. May I?”

“Of course.”

I handed it to him, and as he held it, he smiled, but it faded quickly. “They were just distracting me, of course. Trying to keep me involved here so I wouldn’t learn…” He gave it back. “Did you really enjoy seeing the past like this?”

“To tell the truth, no.”

“I think that is the way of it. Returning to pleasant memories would not make them better, even if the reality was as good as the memory. And it only makes the pain cut worse, sometimes. I prefer my memories and my dreams.” Atrus went past me to the balcony and looked out at the darkness in silence.
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#3 User is offline   Korora 

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 09:46 PM

reRúísényorox Cevenía(excerpt)

“…Rilte tégantavom bomanšú/Ga oenazo mot téganem zú/Xe can botégan šem b'fasí/Xe can botégan/Xe can botégan/Xe can botégan/Xe can botégan šem b'fasí

Tæsera Sorsal finished singing, did a glissando on each of the three sliders in turn, switched off her microphone, and raised the control chair for Sirrus' old lithophone. Meanwhile, the four musicians packed up their instruments and linked out and then linked to the base of the three-stop elevator, meaning to find out how they'd done. The playback was a small orange octohedron. They had placed it by the circuit breaker for the lithophone and set it to receive signals from each mike. Now they played it back. They had FINALLY got it right. And now they had enough songs for an album.

Tæsera took the playback and linked to the town of Kenengaro with the ornithophonist, Ço Ytramvar, and the drummer, Étrus Garo. They parted ways at the corner of Ríkú and Tinker.

The next morning, she didn't show up to jam session. The maral-obist Yúlía Salúnor went to her home to find out what was wrong.


“Salúnor found Tæsera Sorsal dead in her home this morning,” reported Telnava Jálædis Korman of the Guild of Maintainers. “The coroner says her head was bashed in. And the band reports a playback with the songs for their latest album stolen.”
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#4 User is offline   J'ohn 

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:48 PM

Recession
(A small note: this story will make more sense if you have read the Book of Atrus, and/or know a bit about the D'ni alphabet)

Something caught Aitrus’ eye amidst the rubble. Excited, he discarded his chisel and hammer and picked up the suspicious stone.

“I think that this will do,” he murmured to himself happily as he scrutinized it. It was a light blue agate, peppered with red veins, as large as a man’s thumb – a veritable mother lode in the eyes of a ten-year-old.

He heard a familiar child’s voice behind him. “Have you made any progress, Aitrus?”
Pretending that driving the specks of soil away was more interesting than anything Veovis had to say, Aitrus kept polishing the agate.

Not discouraged but the lack of attention, Veovis hopped into the hip-deep schizm in the rock where Aitrus had made the discovery. “Oh, you’ve found nice one,” he exclaimed. “I couldn’t find anything larger than nail-sized in my niche.” He pulled a mock despondent face.

“Master Galenis said that there were not many large samples left in this area anyway,” Aitrus replied coldly.

Hands clasped behind his back, Veovis leaned closer. “We could swap, you know,” he said in a lower voice.

“Or not.”

“I’ll make it worth your while,” Veovis insisted.

Aitrus turned to look at his classmate at last. Veovis was wearing a pale smile. “I’m sorry,” he said, evidently showing that he wasn’t, “but I’m not interested.” He turned back to his stone and brush.

Veovis frowned. “If that’s your final word…” he trailed off, cracking his knuckles.

“Is something wrong here?” Guildmaster Galenis’ voice suddenly boomed from a little distance behind them. Veovis made a slight bow, wearing a smile again. “Nothing of importance, Master,” he said in a mellow voice. “I was simply saying to Aitrus that he could come see my father’s gem collection any time he wanted.” He bowed again, then returned to his own spot in the stratum.

Meanwhile, Aitrus had finished polishing. He took a wooden box out of his breast pocket. It was twice as wide as his palm, and deep enough to seat the agate. He felt the decorative carvings with his hand before opening it. His name had been elaborately chiseled on the cover.

A gift from Tasera,” his father had told him in the morning, just before they had departed for the field trip, as he handed it to him. “It is made out of Ko’ah wood.

The box contained ten compartments, neither too large nor too small. Aitrus slid his finding into one of them, and it made a perfect fit. “The beginning of my collection,” he mused, and permitted himself a small grin.

Standing up from his crouching position, Aitrus caught a glimpse of another child secretly giving a shiny object to Veovis. Sighing, he wandered away to check how Ta’nernin was doing..

~*~

Gehn was sitting on Aitrus’ lap as they watched the sun rise out of the dune-laden horizon. Gehn could stand the light for a while more, but Aitrus was already wearing his goggles.

“Do you remember my agate collection, Gehn?” he started.

The younger one nodded. “I’ve seen it in Ko’ah. Grandmother Tasera said that you had gathered so many rocks that they did not fit into the house in D’ni anymore.”

Aitrus chuckled. “Can you reach into my cloak pocket?” he asked.

Gehn did so, and grasped a wooden box. He pulled it out and run his small fingers over its cover. Ai-t-r-u-s. Opening it, his saw his own eyes mirrored in the sole agate lying therein; light blue with red veins, its well-polished surface had gathered a fine layer of dust.

“My parents had given it to me when I was more or less your age,” Aitrus said. “You can use it in the field trip they’ll take you sooner or later – and for much more, if you want.” He paused to give out a low cough. “Your mother and I decided that neither of us can make a new one as sturdy and good-looking as this one, so you should have it. Consider it a family heirloom, like the rod Kerath used to tame the lizard.”

A pair of tears trickled down the child’s face. He felt a large hand gently clasp his shoulder.

“Gehn? Are you crying?”

He brushed his tears away with his sleeve. “No, father,” he replied. “The sun has risen too high and blinded me.” He put his goggles on.

~*~

Atrus gingerly held the small box in his hand. “It is… remarkable, father.”

Behind his desk, Gehn lit his pipe and puffed a tiny cloud of smoke. “My father had given me such a box when I was young, and his father to him. Consider it a family tradition. Of course I would normally give it to you before your first field trip as part of your D’ni education, but…” He made a slight twitch. “So much has changed over one generation.”

Atrus had opened the box and was looking at the well-polished agate, red veins in blue rock. He closed the box again and fingered the engraving on the cover. Atrus.

“And you custom-made this box for me with such workmanship, despite all your projects?” He felt his eyes water.

“Everything I do is for your sake, Atrus,” said Gehn, grinning benevolently.

Atrus noticed that his father’s teeth had begun to yellow.

SBS :)

PS: Due to the poor number of entries, I'll extend the deadline for a few days in order to give people some time to finish any dangling ones. ;)
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#5 User is offline   Aurélie 

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

J'ohn, thanks for making it possible for me to work through computer problems and get this in.

The Stealing Game

Sirrus hefted the stone, enjoying its weight. It filled his entire palm. His first conquest, his first treasure. Its blue glow had dulled entirely since the days of his youth, but that did not matter. It was...a symbol. He liked to think that, looking back on his past as he sometimes did. Yes, a symbol of his passage from a mere boy into a man.

It had come from Aranir, a quiet Age. An Age even Catherine agreed to visit often. There, Atrus relaxed enough to swim and play with his sons. He never tired of being in the lakewaters and sometimes bathed in them. Standing on the dock's wooden steps, he would lather himself until his face was covered in white foam. Then one of the two boys (usually Achenar) would dare to splash water on him. He would stop short, turn slowly round, and then grope after the culprit in an exaggerated pantomime of blindness. The boys would dart away through the water, shrieking with terror and delight.

One sultry afternoon, desperate to escape, Sirrus dove and sped away towards the bottom, all the while burning with resentment. Achenar always managed to get away. Suddenly, he saw the soft blue glow through the tangle of green growth. He was transfixed, but his lungs clamored for air, and, reluctantly, he surfaced.

He glanced around. Achenar was splashing around on the other side of the dock, the game forgotten, and his father was bathing in peace a short distance away. Reassured, Sirrus took a deep breath and went down again, and again, but he could never stay down long enough see it properly. He did notice that the light it emitted seemed to be spherical, and, more interestingly, that there were small dark creatures -- not quite fish -- circling it. After the fourth try, he surfaced near Atrus, who smiled at him.

"Father," Sirrus gasped, still taking in air, "did you know there are creatures on the bottom?"

"Why, no. What are they?" Atrus replied with interest. Perhaps too much interest. Something made Sirrus decide not to tell him.

"The same crustaceans we found in the shallows."

"Oh," said Atrus, visibly losing enthusiasm. "They're probably flexible enough to survive both environments. We should go in now, Sirrus; your brother's already drying off, and supper will be ready soon."

The next morning, Sirrus was prepared. Awake in bed, he had practiced holding his breath, counting. He continued to test himself late into the morning, starting in the shallows and moving further out, timing himself calmly and methodically. Sometimes his nose would begin to bleed when he surfaced. The sight of his own blood unsettled him in a way that was surprising to him Yet the draw of the mysterious sphere was strong.

On the third day, he succeeded, reaching the hidden spot with plenty of breath to spare. He was ecstatic, bursting with pride, but he allowed himself only a few moments to glory in his achievements. Curiosity, and something more, something he could not quite name, consumed him.

Their bodies tensed as he drew nearer, and they pulsed outwards as one in an unmistakably threatening pose. Sirrus didn't like the look of their slim, spiny outlines. They were obviously guarding the sphere of cool blue light. Begone! he thought, waving them away with a sweeping gesture of his hand. The creatures remained immobile, and he felt the flesh of his hand tear upon a spine. Their relationship thus established, Sirrus began to plot his next move.

After several trips down it became clear that the creatures depended on the sphere for energy. He floated a short distance away, watching as the creatures became paler and paler, almost translucent, and then drifted backward to press themselves against the center of the sphere of light -- a surface that was, after all, solid and finite. And as his knowledge grew, so too did his hunger to posses such a thing.

On the fifth day, he secured a pair of his father's work gloves and descended a final time. Again the creatures tensed, and again they attacked him, but the gloves withstood it all. More pressing was the task of dislodging the stone from its nest of sand, rock, and weeds. He worked frantically but could not wrest it free, his hands caged in the gloves. The moment he doffed them, the creatures battered themselves against his hands. It hurt, and Sirrus wondered if there were some poison the creatures could secrete at will. Yet he kept on, and at last he felt the stone shake loose. He sped upward, cradling it against his chest.

He, Sirrus, had won. And so it did not matter that with each day the blue glow lessened under his pillow, or that when he went down again, the creatures were no more than translucent ghosts tangled in the green, green grass of the lake.
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#6 User is offline   LoboDiabloLoneWolf 

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 11:56 AM

Extract of an AU fanfiction in the works
Notes; After Myst IV Revelation
The Stranger is female
I realise that Achenar might be out of character, but this is just the impression I got from him in Revelation.


You…you…YOU GIANT GOAT!

Sitting on a dry log on the edge of the swamp in the Haven Age, the Stranger watched a pair of Zeftyr gracefully walking across the scattering of rocks, and the logs that connected them as they grazed on the marsh grasses. Behind her was the lake and Achenar’s hut where the oldest of Atrus’ sons was working on something or other, she could hear the faint hammering from here if she listened.

The Stranger turned back to her own project, tongue in cheek as she concentrated on the sheet of paper on her lap. On it, was the beginnings of a sketch of one of the Zeftyr, the pencil hovered over the page as she considered, then she carefully pressed the nib to the paper and continued to draw, glancing up now and then to look at the tall herbivores. Over the past few weeks, Achenar had been teaching her to sketch and now the Stranger was determined to come up with something that proved what she’d learnt.

However, things weren’t going exactly to plan as said the little pile of papers that were being weighted down with a rock, failed attempts… They weren’t particularly bad sketches, in fact some of them were very good, but to the Stranger, they lacked…something… Something that Achenar seemed to effortlessly – which was extremely annoying actually – capture in his own pieces. His sketches and paintings always had something in them that made them look alive and the Stranger’s attempts in comparison looked flat and dead.

Giving a growl of frustration the Stranger put yet another page of paper under the rock paperweight as it too lacked the life she was trying so hard weave into the pencil lines. In a rare show of temper, she threw the pencil down beside her and allowed the blank pages to scatter, she dropped her head into her hands and rubbed her temples as she sat in the explosion of paper…

“Having a hard time?” said a voice. The Stranger dropped one hand and looked over her shoulder, regarding the oldest of the two brothers with one eye.

“And you say that because…?” Achenar looked vaguely amused,

“There’s paper everywhere…” the Stranger looked around at the pages scattered on the floor,

“No kidding…” she muttered,

“Oo, moody.” Achenar came and squatted down on his haunches beside the Stranger. “Come on then, tell me what’s rotting your pages?”

“That saying is so daft.” The Stranger said mutinously, Achenar sighed and rolled his eyes, the Stranger was so obstinate some times, especially when she was in a mood. He found a clear, dry space and sat down beside the Stranger and looked at her, elbows on knees, hands dangling.

“So are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” there was a pause, and then the Stranger flapped an irritated hand at the paper under the rock,

“I just…just,” she made an annoyed sound, then burst out, “I just can’t do it!” Achenar meanwhile had picked up the rock paperweight and was looking at the discarded drawings. He looked up at her,

“These are good.” The Stranger gave him a Look,

“Don’t be cute, they’re terrible! They’re so lifeless!” she made an aggravated noise and sulked, leaning her cheek on her fist. Achenar came and sat beside her again, looking at her.

“You’ve never just given up on anything before…” he said quietly, “Even when it got hard.”

“Well I’m giving up on this!” Achenar sighed,

“You’re still learning, you can’t be good at everything straight away.” He watched her intently, the Stranger didn’t answer except for a grudging noise of agreement. “Look now, just try again,” when she didn’t move he gently caught her chin in one hand and made her look at him. “You’ll get it, just keep trying.” The Stranger heaved a sigh and nodded, she got up and gathered the scattered pages and the pencil, plonking back down beside Achenar when she’d retrieved all the paper. She glanced at him, he nodded his head slightly in encouragement and she began to draw. After a moment his hand gently closed over hers,

“Don’t be so tense, don’t force it…just let it flow out of you…” the Stranger looked at him for a moment, then nodded. Achenar took back his hand and watched the Stranger begin again, a visible difference in her body language. She wasn’t as tense and the pencil moved smoothly across the paper.

After a few minutes the pencil left the page and the Stranger studied the sketch. On it was a drawing of a Zeftyr, standing up straight while chewing on a mouthful of vegetation, it was well portioned and the animal was balanced correctly, but more then that, it had that living quality that she’d been trying so hard to achieve. She grinned at Achenar, eyes shining as she waved it triumphantly.

A little way away, the younger of the pair of Zeftyr looked up, chewing on his mouthful of marsh grass as he curiously watched the two people, the smaller female looking excited about something…and waving an rather tasty looking page of paper…

The Stranger set the paper down and gave Achenar a friendly hug, which he returned, smiling faintly at her childish glee. It was only a drawing after all, but it made her happy that she’d achieved something and that was really all that mattered. They were interrupted however when they heard a Zeftyr snort right next to them. The pair sprang apart and looked up quickly as the large animal regarded them curiously; it was chewing on something…something creamy coloured that looked just like…

“Well someone really liked it…” chuckled Achenar, the Stranger on the other hand gave a wordless yell of frustration and scrambled to her feet. Unfortunately the Zeftyr had already gone, along with the drawing it had eaten…

“You…you…YOU GIANT GOAT!” the Stranger yelled after it, lobbing a pebble, “I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON IT!” Achenar watched her as she stormed back to the log and plonked heavily down on it, muttering. He didn’t say anything for a long moment, then, trying to keep the humour from his voice said;

“It least one of us enjoyed it.” the Stranger glared at him,

“Oh be quiet.” She muttered, Achenar bit the inside of his cheek and tried to look sympathetic but couldn’t quite keep the amusement from his eyes. The Stranger sighed in a defeated sort of way and said miserably;

“Oh go on, just laugh…” The amusement left Achenar’s expression,

“Why would I laugh?” the Stranger looked at him squarely,

“You’re telling me you don’t want too?” she asked in a ‘yeah-like-I-believe-that ’ tone. Achenar slung and arm around her shoulders and squeezed her gently,

“You’ll do another one, one that’s even better, promise.” The Stranger sighed and leaned her head on his shoulder,

“If you say so…” she muttered in a tired voice. There was a silence, then;

“You have to admit…it was funny…”

“Put a sock in it…” but her voice held no venom, she couldn’t be bothered. Besides, she didn’t really mean it anyway.

Achenar chuckled.

~ ;) Lobo Diablo :)
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