Short stories, Flash fiction, and Novel Excerpts

Posts Tagged ‘Historical Fiction’

Freedom

In Writing on January 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  

Journal: Day Three 

Bruises and scrapes cover my body.  My arm, thank God, is not broken.  I still do not know were I am, or even where the ship was headed.  Nevertheless, I have my life, and that is no small thing.  Chills rack my body intermittently; not an auspicious start to my journal, but it will have to do for now. 

Day Seven 

I am still weak from my fever, but the native’s have generously taken me in and seen to my comfort. 

Day Twelve 

The village is quiet.  Shadows dance across the huts, courting the orange glow of the bonfire.  Only twenty people survived the mysterious illness, the disease sweeping through them like wildfire.  Some died after a few hours, others lingered in agony for days before succumbing.  Hundreds of men, women, and children slain.  When the dead outnumbered the living, we cremated them. 

Most of the remaining natives shun me now.  The new Shaman rattles his bones at me whenever I pass and three young women sit on the ground outside my hut.  Our inability to communicate, as we do not speak the same language, hinders the human contact I am allowed.  Still, I must try. 

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

Journal: Day Twenty-One 

Forced at spear-point to climb aboard the small boat—with the same three young women who guarded my hut—we traveled to the next island.  Standing on the shore I looked back across the intervening ocean.  The funeral pyre threw incandescent fireflies into the night sky.  Ghostly figures ran through the village lighting the huts, burying the necropolis along with its people. 

Day Two-Hundred-One 

Milli, Nina, and Olivia now speak English well enough to explain why we were sent to this island.  It came as quite a shock to find out I am married and living on the Isle of the Gods.  Quite funny really, now that I look back on it; my heroic attempt to resist their continued advances turned out to be a waste of time these six months.  No doubt I will laugh for a very long time, after I stop crying.  The Incarrii view me as a God—the God of Death and Disease—born to a mortal shell.  The only way to save their people was to send me here with the chosen sacrifice, three virgin sisters; who do not believe me when I tell them I am not a God.  

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

Journal: Day Two-Hundred-Nine 

The girls will not leave me alone.  They badger me about completing my husbandly duties—ignoring my pleas and denials that we are not married.  Following me everywhere, giggling about the most innocuous things, and just making a general nuisance of themselves caused me to lose my temper six times already.  I must admit—if only to myself—that it is becoming harder a harder to resist them.  Sometimes I wonder why I do so at all.  There is no Mrs. Rodger Defoe back home and they are of proper age.  Is it because there are three of them?  I do not know anymore. 

Day Three-Hundred-Sixty-Six 

I am now—officially—a married man.  Last night my depression reached its peak.  I have now been on this God cursed rock for one year.  Trapped, surrounded by women, and condemned to death on this lonely Isle, I succumbed.  However, I also learned that I was not alone with my feelings.  For the past year I stood strong in my resistance of temptation.  My wives though, went through near constant rejection while I basked in my own self-congratulatory magnificence.  I need to earn their forgiveness. 

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

Journal: Day Three-Thousand-Six-Hundred-Ninety-one 

The people of the surrounding islands are thriving now.  Only the priests visit the Isle, but they always bring tribute—food and treasure—and taking away wisdom.  Ironic how, I the God of Death, now bestows posterity upon them.  

My children are healthy and happy, running up and down the beach, climbing and clamoring over rocks, soaking in the love of their mothers.  The new clergy wanted to take the young ones away, but I forbid them until the childe in question reaches twenty.  Raised and worshiped as Gods, my offspring have already spawned fascinating new legends. 

Robert, whom the high priest named Ra, is the Sun God.  His twin Sister Liz, renamed Isis, is the Goddess of Love and Fertility.  My youngest son Hugh recently named my successor, Hu, the God of Death. 

I have wealth.  I have power.  Multitudes adore me and praise my name.  My family is safe and they want for nothing.  My whim is law.  Nevertheless, my days are always clouded.  A shadow hangs over me; a pall covers my soul, and will until the day I die.  

I have everything a man could wish for, but freedom.

So you want to write a story

In Writing on January 11, 2010 at 1:16 am

So you want to write a story.  You’ve been reading for years and now you’re ready to take the next step.  You have something to say and want to ‘give it a go’, and why not?  First, learn the language, take classes or read how-to books.  Second, learn how to write, see number one.  Third, have something to say, something that comes, not just from the bottom of you heart, But from the deepest untouched part of your soul.  Got it?  Good, you can tell me how to do that.

If you’re just starting out, you really don’t need to worry about where it comes from.  What you need to do is write.  Do not be afraid to fail.  Do not be afraid to suck.  You will, we all do.  Just write.

Some things to keep in mind when trying to craft a story:

Showing cause & effect.  If your character does something, it should have some type of consequence.  Remember:  Every action has an equal and opposite re-action.

Compare and contrast to develop an idea.  Use other characters to show what may or may not work in your story.  (This Guy failed to accomplish something because…  While this Gal succeeded because she had the right idea.)

Use classification to a purpose.  Most people will tell you to stay away from cliché’s and archetypes, to come up with something original.  But why would you do that now?  You’re just practicing your writing, use what ever you want.  What you want to do is give it purpose.  If you use a cliché, make it work, sweat, and bleed in your story.  Have it earn its place in your writing.

I’ll leave it to you to decide the order of importance of:

Setting

Plot

Character

But these are the three main things you must have in any story.  Everything else follows naturally.

Things to describe:

Who, what, when, where, why, and how.  I’ve heard some say that this is only for journalistic writing, but that’s not true.  This goes for each character, each experience, and each world visited by your writing.  These are things we need to know.

Do not forget the five senses.  Touch, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste.  Often, new writers will miss these touches that can add so much to any piece of writing.  Don’t forget them, open up your world to us, make it unforgettable.

Choose and limit a subject.  Find out where you want to start, and where you want to end.

My interview @Stories without words

In Writing on January 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

My first interview! This is so cool! I’m probably way too excited about something like this, but I don’t care. Squeeee!

http://storieswithoutwords.wordpress.com/the-interviews/ben/

Freedom (part two)

In Writing on January 6, 2010 at 12:42 am

Journal: Day Twenty-One

Forced at spear-point to climb aboard the small boat—with the same three young women who guarded my hut—we traveled to the next island.  Standing on the shore I looked back across the intervening ocean.  The funeral pyre threw incandescent fireflies into the night sky.  Ghostly figures ran through the village lighting the huts, burying the necropolis along with its people.

Day Two-Hundred-One

Milli, Nina, and Olivia now speak English well enough to explain to me why we were sent to this island.  It came as quite a shock to find out I am married and living on the Isle of the Gods.  Quite funny really, now that I look back on it; my heroic attempt to resist their continued advances turned out to be a waste of time these six months.  No doubt I will laugh for a very long time, after I stop crying.  The Incarrii view me as a God—the God of Death and Disease—born to a mortal shell.  The only way to save their people was to send me here with the chosen sacrifice, three virgin sisters; who do not believe me when I tell them I am not a God.

Freedom (part one)

In Writing on January 6, 2010 at 12:40 am

Journal: Day Three

Bruises and scrapes cover my body.  My arm, thank God, is not broken.  I still do not know were I am, or even where the ship was headed.  Nevertheless, I have my life, and that is no small thing.  Chills rack my body intermittently; not an auspicious start to my journal, but it will have to do for now.

Day Seven

I am still weak from my fever, but the native’s have generously taken me in and seen to my comfort.

Day Twelve

The village is quiet.  Shadows dance across the huts, courting the orange glow of the bonfire.  Only twenty people survived the mysterious illness, the disease sweeping through them like wildfire.  Some died after a few hours, others lingered in agony for days before succumbing.  Hundreds of men, women, and children slain.  When the dead outnumbered the living we cremated them.

Most of the remaining natives shun me now.  The new Shaman rattles his bones at me whenever I pass and three young women sit on the ground outside my hut.  Our inability to communicate, as we do not speak the same language, hinders the human contact I am allowed.  Still, I must try.