Fimbulvinter

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    Trevlac
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    Fimbulvinter

    Post by Trevlac on Wed May 20, 2009 8:01 pm

    Permeating the still evening air in the warm glow of the setting sun was a poisonous gas, reaching out with its tendrils and strangling a man on his knees. He had just taken nine steps away and his eyes bulged from their sockets. His immensely muscular arms writhed and flailed in pain, a sheen of sweat clearly visible upon his half-naked visage and body as lightning suddenly raged in the cloudless sky. The eyes rolled back into his head just as the green poisonous air around him roiled and smoked; his eyes fogged over and his teeth chattered as froth was expulsed from his lips. A great thud signaled the drop of a heavy stone weapon. The lightning suddenly stopped, and the man lay still, face-down on the hard earthen soil by the sea. A great sea animal was floating belly-up in the sea, pitifully bobbing and sinking just below the surface of the mirror-like waves. It was now twilight.

    Alex sat bolt upright in bed, the bleeding red sun casting a deep orange glow inside his room in the attic from the window. How could he have slept until evening yet again? His parents were starting to think he had a sleeping disorder, well his dad mostly; his mom though he had been doing drugs. Seventeen, never done anything wrong, and they still didn't trust him. It was a good thing it was the weekend this time when he slept in. Otherwise he would have missed school yet again and there was no telling what he'd be grounded from next. The thing was, he despised alarm clocks and so couldn't be bothered to set one. Tonight he'd have to, Monday was Finals for the whole school year and consequently the last day of school.

    But something wafted into Alex's mind as he lay in his bed in only underpants, sweating profusely. For a moment it seemed as though he was having a dream, a really cliche one. A really muscular guy with the same long blond hair as him had been poisoned and desperately tried to fight off dying before finally kicking the bucket. And there was that giant sea serpent. Pretty awesome dream, maybe he'd write a story about it on his internet forum later. Alex pulled on some jeans and a tee shirt and headed down the wooden steps to the family room. Typical, he thought as his father was watching television and his mother was surfing the internet on her laptop right next to him.

    They didn't say a word as Alex shambled into the kitchen and scrounged for food. His life was usually like that--unnoticed, uncared for. Hell, he hadn't had a girlfriend in three years. But like tonight, time seemed to just zoom past him and he sat around looking like a zombie with no hope for finding fresh delicious brains. The rest of that night he spent chatting online with people, talking about ridiculous stuff. He figured he wasn't going to sleep tonight so he wouldn't miss school tomorrow and flunk every final test. Mr. Reich had made it clear that even though German was an elective, he was expecting Alex to get a hundred percent on the test and had subsequently spent a lot of after school hours drilling words into his head. Alex hated learning languages, though Mr. Reich was pretty amazing.

    His opinion of Mr. Reich quickly changed after he took the test the following day. They weren't supposed to get their grades until they arrived by post in a week or so but Alex knew damn well he couldn't have gotten a C on that test let alone full credit. It was bullshit, but at least he wouldn't be there to see Mr. Reich's face--until next year anyway. But sometimes when you're thinking about the mundane day-to-day crap that happens in your life, something extraordinary happens and jolts you out of reality and into the world of speculation and fear. When a gleaming silver object whirled through the sky and struck deeply into a decaying log outside of school as Alex walked home, he peed a little. And he simultaneously jumped and fell back onto his ass, crushing his book bag and letting out a gasp.

    "What the fuck?" he cursed loudly. No one else was around. And suddenly here's a huge, sharp sword stuck in this dead tree log. Alex wanted to get as far away from someone throwing swords as possible and so he ran flat-out across the school's field, heading for home. Had he known an axe was going to lunge from the sky and attempt to impale him yet barely miss his head, he would have ran back into the school building. Suddenly, next to the double-bladed axe, materialized out of nothing a man wearing thick hides and a bear's fur. His meaty smell was only overpowered by the sense of insane strangeness that could only be achieved by an event such as this occurring. Alex screamed and ran back toward the building and at the same time the burly man hefted the axe from the earth and bellowed a war cry.

    He was charging, twirling the axe by its strap over his head and yelling with a set of iron lungs. Primal fear gripped Alex and in that moment, he did the only thing natural to someone who'd been as dedicated in fighting arts as him - he upended the great zweihander sword from the log and spun around. Apparently the berserking man didn't count on a young boy not only defending himself, but being able to pull such a mammoth blade from hard wood because in that instance, he'd been impaled by the blade through the stomach. It didn't kill him, which was the one thing that scared Alex the most. He let go of the hilt and jumped backward, tears streaming from his eyes. The psychotic man didn't take long to get over the pain and tried to bring the axe down onto Alex's head. He would have too if his arm didn't suddenly stop moving and grow ghostly white. Then at once, the rest of his body began to fog and grow little white hairs. Or so they seemed to be, until it was apparent that frost was accumulating on the berserking man's body. His bodily fluids were freezing, his extremities were quickly turning black so that bloodflow would be preserved at his vital organs. The raging man's eyes were just about popping out of his head when he suddenly did not move another muscle.

    The sublimating frost around his body smelled like wet concrete and was drier than a desert. Alex recoiled at the insanity of it all. A flying sword, a flying axe, a vanishing saxon trying to kill him, a sudden freeze. He was hallucinating. Now he knew why the young kids in books always attributed their new magical powers to hallucinations, because reality didn't allow for things like this to happen. Reality also didn't allow for Mr. Reich to be standing behind Alex with his eyes closed, arm outstretched, chanting in what sounded like Old High German and wearing burgundy velvet robes with copper stitchings. He looked as though he had just gotten back from the Renaissance Fair as one of those cosplayer kinds of people. His short graying-black hair and thorny beard proved unmistakably that it was him though.

    Mr. Reich opened his eyes and glared at Alex sternly as though he knew how badly the boy had done on his test. Then he said simply, "That was the poorest excuse for a defense I've ever seen." Alex looked dumbfounded. He didn't even acknowledge any of the crazy shit that had just happened, he just scolded me for not being able to take out a raging psycho murderer with a sword that looked half my weight. Alex said nothing, it wasn't real yet. He just laid on the crab grass, waiting for something else. And explanation or something. "The All Father sends you a blade to defend yourself with and this is how you repay him, child?" Mr. Reich spat. He clicked his tongue, "Disgraceful...disrespectful."

    Alex couldn't hold anything in anymore and he piped up, "Fuck you man, where do you get off pulling this disappointed teacher bullshit when I just got attacked by a raging lunatic?" the indignity of it all was starting to make Alex angry instead of frightened. He wanted to throttle that stern face that stared back at him unconvinced that Alex would ever amount to anything. Mr. Reich let out the sigh of ages, the largest sigh Alex had ever heard and mumbled only, "Oh it figures they wouldn't tell you." and put his hands in his pockets. Alex shouted back at him "God dammit, don't you dare start with this ambiguous adult speech bullshit. Tell me straight out what's going on right now, Reich." it felt good to demand something from his teacher for once. He felt like he was owed an explanation for this crap.

    As if Mr. Reich didn't seem to mind the insults, anger, and cursing, he merely batted Alex's words away with a wave of his hand. Mr. Reich stepped forward and reached out a hand for an introduction, "Harbard Reich" he said almost as if Alex were a stranger, his grayish beard picking up in the wind. Alex did only what came natural and shook his hand. Reich continued, "Yes, a proper introduction now. I do know that you are more precisely called Axel Richter." Alex cringed at the correct usage of his first name.
    "I hate that name, sir. Just Alex, never Axel. It sounds like an old car part." said Alex. Reich let out a booming laugh and grabbed his robed belly as he did so. "An old car part, well then if that's the way you see yourself, I don't know why the All Father should come to your aid at all." Reich was still chuckling a little. It wasn't even that funny.

    Alex continued to wait. If he waited silently long enough, Reich was bound to offer some explanation for this whole situation. He finally stopped laughing and looked up at Alex, "So I assume you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow dear boy?" his face was now grave. Adults always did that when something horrible was on their minds. "Tomorrow, Alex. A son of mine will die. He and his mother both had a dream of his death and it will happen tomorrow. You realize that there have been three winters in a row that stretched into the summer, yes?" Alex caught the last sentence for sure. Freaky weather wasn't new to the north but three winters in a row was pushing it. There had even been apocalyptic books written by capitalist pig authors looking to make a buck and monger fear. But why was Reich's son dying of any importance?

    Alex twiddled his thumbs a bit and as sympathetically as possible, said "I'm sorry to hear your son is in the hospital Mr. Reich. But could you please tell me why...how any of this happened today?" Alex ended on a pleading note. The reality of the situation was just sinking in. It wasn't going away, he hadn't woken up and everything still seemed pretty real. Harbard Reich seemed to contemplate it for ages until he finally smacked his lips open and declared, "You are a hero, boy. You and many others will go to battle at the end of this winter. The forces against you will be stopping at nothing to prevent your valuable self from entering this war."

    Ready to believe anything at this point, Alex didn't even scoff. He asked for another explanation. Harbard waved it away and said only, "We need to get you trained. Pick up that sword again." In the next hour, which felt like years to Alex, he fought savagely against Mr. Reich who used the berserker's axe against Alex's sword. He was obviously going easy on Alex but at every swing, the boy couldn't help but think the blade was getting lighter. For something a hand and a half wide, and almost his height, it was incredibly easy to swing considering he had almost no muscular tone. As the blade danced and sparks flew from the two weapons, Alex let his mind reel with what was happening. There would be a war, he was a hero, Mr. Reich's son would die tomorrow. Something about this very long winter season was coming into play. What was going on? Every answer birthed new questions. But the one that burned in his mind was Who exactly would want to kill me? After all, he was just some underachieving high school kid with a really bad attitude.

    It was night fall by the time his body finally gave in and fell to the ground. Harbard grinned up from the other side of a mangled axe blade. "Four years of training in four hours. Amazing work, Axel Richter. Maybe the All Father didn't waste his energy on you." he mused. Alex hated that name but was too tired to say anything. He really had four years worth of training? That was entirely too easy. Nothing ever came easy to Alex in his life. Why sword fighting? Was it true that he was supposed to be a hero? He'd believe anything at this point, after what happened today. Alex always did feel like he didn't fit in the world and consequently tried to stay away from it as much as possible. He had no idea who this All Father was, but as far as Alex could see, all he did was hurl a huge sword at him. He didn't really help him at all. Not like Mr. Reich who just spent the last eternity helping his sword forms.

    It was more strange to Alex that he had just practiced blade fighting at school with Mr. Reich than the insane events of the previous few hours. Before Alex could think anything else, Harbard Reich said "That'll be all for now. You'll be fine tomorrow. But if you'll excuse me, I'm going home to take care of my horses with my son one last time." His voice didn't falter but Alex could swear he saw Reich's eyes get shinier. He couldn't imagine what his parents would do if they knew he'd die tomorrow. They'd be hysterical and try to lock him inside the house. They'd probably go so far as to make every person, animal, and object in existence promise never to harm me.

    "Except mistletoe." Reich mumbled as he slumped away behind the school building. "Except mistletoe..."


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    Re: Fimbulvinter

    Post by Ordin on Wed May 20, 2009 10:50 pm

    Trevlac wrote:Permeating the still evening air in the warm glow of the setting sun was a poisonous gas, reaching out with its tendrils and strangling a man on his knees.

    this sentence feels forced and run-on. you're trying to explain too much all at once. you shouldn't use the opening for plot development, just for setting the scene. the structure is a little awkward and could probably work better as two.

    He had just taken nine steps away and his eyes bulged from their sockets.
    as i reader i don't care how many steps it was. it could've been nine or nine hundred before he croaked. what a reader wants when someone is dying are emotions or grotesque descriptions.

    His immensely muscular arms writhed and flailed in pain,
    don't tell me things like this, show me. 'veins strained against spongy flesh as he lashed the ground in searing pain'. my example's not perfect, but it draws a reader in a little more.

    a sheen of sweat clearly visible upon his half-naked visage
    okay, not bad...keep going...
    and body
    ooh, so fucking close. you almost had me.

    as lightning suddenly raged in the cloudless sky. The eyes rolled back into his head just as the green poisonous air around him roiled and smoked; his eyes fogged over and his teeth chattered as froth was expulsed from his lips. A great thud signaled the drop of a heavy stone weapon. The lightning suddenly stopped, and the man lay still, face-down on the hard earthen soil by the sea. A great sea animal was floating belly-up in the sea, pitifully bobbing and sinking just below the surface of the mirror-like waves. It was now twilight.

    over explains, uses too many words to say nothing, full of cliche settings and an over abundence of "the man lay on the soil by the sea a sea animal was floating dead in the sea puking in the sea"

    Alex sat bolt upright in bed, the bleeding red sun casting a deep orange glow inside his room in the attic from the window. How could he have slept until evening yet again? His parents were starting to think he had a sleeping disorder, well his dad mostly; his mom though he had been doing drugs. Seventeen, never done anything wrong, and they still didn't trust him. It was a good thing it was the weekend this time when he slept in. Otherwise he would have missed school yet again and there was no telling what he'd be grounded from next. The thing was, he despised alarm clocks and so couldn't be bothered to set one. Tonight he'd have to, Monday was Finals for the whole school year and consequently the last day of school.
    I DON'T LIKE CLOCKS.

    I don't care anymore about doing this.


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    Re: Fimbulvinter

    Post by Trevlac on Thu May 21, 2009 2:00 pm

    But...but...nine steps...Thor...Jormungandr...


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    Re: Fimbulvinter

    Post by Toothpick on Sat May 23, 2009 12:57 pm

    A german teacher named......Mister Reich?

    God fucking dammit, Davis. You're better than this level of inane, fan fictiony tripe...
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    Re: Fimbulvinter

    Post by Trevlac on Sat May 23, 2009 2:41 pm

    Yeah I shouldn't have made him the German teacher. I shouldn't have WRITTEN this.


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    Re: Fimbulvinter

    Post by Ordin on Sat May 23, 2009 8:10 pm

    I shouldn't have READ this.


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