“So, did you sign up?” he asked me with a cocky grin.
“Yes. I wanted to thank you again for giving me the honor and privilege to train with you,” I bowed to him to show my respect. “I assure you that our weeks of training will not go to waste.”
Never one for formalities, I heard his chuckle and felt his firm hand on my shoulder. “Don’t worry about it bud, just do your best in the arena and watch for the openings I showed you.”
Standing up straight, the overwhelming sense of kinship for my sparring partner made it easy for me to smile back at him. “I promise to give it my all. Especially if we end up in a fight together.”
He removed his light grip on my shoulder and leaned his head back with a hearty laugh. “That’s the first time I ever heard you sound competitive, Isamu,” he proclaimed, his laughter dying down. “I won’t hold back either. Now get in there and show your first opponent who’s boss!” He gave me his patented thumbs up and humorous American grin.
I nodded and basked in his positive energy before entering the arena for my first ranked match in the Trials of Steel Fighting Circuit.
Thirty days before the tournament.
Hi, it’s Susan again, and I feel like I’m either really lucky or going insane. As we both know, I like to shoot people to relieve stress. By shooting people, I mean shooting in Cry of Vigilance. Even writing it down sounds weird to me since I really detest violence in real life. But hey, it floats my boat. Anyway, since going to college, I know I have been slacking off way too much with classes. I can’t help it. My CoV team got into the tournament bracket and they depend on me. I mean at first, I was excited about it (as you might remember from my previous entry), but now it’s causing way too many problems. My stress relief is my stress and it’s annoying as hell! My roommate Becka isn’t helping with her constant nagging about me skipping classes. Sorry, I ramble when I get excited. On to the insane part.
As I’ve done research on the craft, I have come across numerous articles about the technical end of it, but rarely have I found something pertaining to the writer’s mentality. The only exception I’ve found is when talking about why you want to write. Because why someone picks up a craft is one of the most important things about actually doing said craft.
To give an example, let me explain why I choose to write. I made a promise to myself to put a story out in the world. Didn’t have to be good, didn’t have to be popular, just to have it out there and have someone enjoy it. Sounds pretty basic, a little dreamy, but it’s what pushed me through a lot of my creative endeavors. I would elaborate and go deep into my own backstory, but I realize that it really covers only “I drew, I role played” rinse and repeat. Therefore, I will spare you the details and just get to the actual reason.
"Dr. Nathaniel Gloken?" a young voice asked, disturbing him and his studies. He stood up to peer at the short figure on the other side of his desk. The buckball style hat he saw read “Shuster’s Delivery Service” and sat on top of a toothy grin.
"Nathan will do, how may I assist you?" He raised an eyebrow and tried his best to put on a pleasant smile for the young satyr who had addressed him.
"Package for ya, sir," the boy stated, lifting a very thick, plastic-sealed envelope over his head. It looked as if it contained at least two dictionaries. Nathan paused, thinking about how the satyr was able to lift it up with such ease.
"Oh, must be George’s annual budget for the university. You can set it down right there." Nathan tried to hide his distaste at the prospect of seeing how little his department’s funds would be next year. He motioned to the far side of his desk in front of him with a grimace.
Nathan looked back down at his work and sighed, resting his elbow on the desk and the connecting palm against his forehead. Hearing a tiny cough, he peered next to him to find that not only had the satyr placed the package where he suggested, but he had also come around to Nathan’s side of the desk. His hands were behind his back and he looked up at the ceiling while whistling, as if waiting for something.
New “The Other Side Of The Screen” story uploaded. Here is a taste ^^b, link at the bottom.
Press A for Morality
"Mr. Jingles, it says here you have a condition that needs to be addressed." The stuffy middle-aged man behind the desk peered out over the resume to Mr. Jingles. "Care to explain?"
Mr. Jingles took a moment to remember which one of his many “conditions” came to mind when he wrote that on his resume. “My fear of copy machines,” he said with an innocent grin.
"Fear of copy machines?" The would-be employer took off his glasses and stared at Mr. Jingles with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes." Mr. Jingles took a deep breath as he prepared to tell the tale. "You see, Mr. Dickens, one year I was visiting my cousin and we went to these tar pits. There was a clown there juggling…"
Mr. Dickens leaned forward over the desk at the long pause.
"He…he tripped and fell into the tar pit," Mr. Jingles cringed and looked as if he wanted to cry. "The final honks of his nose, as his body sank into the blackened depths, haunt my nightmares still to this very day!"
"Wait." Mr. Dickens’ leaned back in his chair with a look of disbelief. "You’re telling me that a clown falling into a tar pit is why you’re afraid of copy machines?"
"Yes sir," Mr. Jingles said with a sniffle.
"Because, sir, the black ink reminds me of the tar pit."
"But, your resume is printed…"
Mr. Jingles leaned over and pointed at the ink, “It’s hard to tell, but the ink is actually dark green.”
Putting down the resume, Mr. Dickens took off his glasses and rubbed the imprints they left behind on his nose. He exhaled slowly and pointed to the door. “We need someone who isn’t afraid of copy machines.”
"Thank you for your time. Oh, is there any chance I can have that back? Some guys broke into my house and stole my computer with the saved version." He offered his hand out and accepted the papers from Mr. Dickens who looked as if he was still recovering.
The first “Tales of Koldesa” story! I hope you enjoy it!
The Legend of Jolin
By J.R. Brabson
Year: 832 A.P.
A loud bang echoed through the stagecoach, waking me up with a jump. The top of my head hit the low roof of the interior with a thud and a shock of pain. Rubbing my head, I looked around quickly seeing only my sister, Kollarn, sitting across from me. She had her eyebrow raised and a stack of papers in her lap, she was just as confused as I was.
"Ow… What happened?" I asked her.
"Your guess is as good as mine, Jolin."
I turned to the window and moved the blinds out of the way; not keeping in mind the sun would blind me. The light made me squint at first but my vision started to clear after a few seconds. What replaced the horrible blotches from the sun was nothing but orange dirt and a few patches of dried up plants that went on until the end of the horizon. I saw the same thing for the past two weeks since coming into the Harshlands.
"Just dirt here," I peered in again with a disappointed look on my face and saw my sister peeking her head out the other side.
"Same, no disturbances that I can see that would warrant a gun shot. Just a mountain range," she said back to me with a smile of relief.
"Hey driver!” I yelled up to the front of the coach to the grizzled old man that we hired to be our driver. "Why are you wasting ammo?"
"Just greeting tha locals," I heard him yell back.
"You mean we’re almost at our destination?” Kollarn shouted from her side.
"Almost, but dis here is harpy territory and dey were the locals before us," the driver responded with another gunshot.
We both sat back down on their seats. I grinned in excitement and kept my window shade wide open. My older sister’s complexion went down a tone lighter as she closed her shade.
"Harpies? Did you hear that Kol? Maybe we might see some dragons too!” I said eagerly.
"Yeah, real great," her voice was less than enthusiastic.
"I think I’ll make that my new goal," I said while rubbing my hands together and added it to my mental checklist of things to do.
"What? Just see a harpy or a dragon? In all of your eighteen years of existence, I have never heard you give yourself such a basic goal. Usually it’s more along the lines of hog tying some creature or something more asinine," she exhaled slowly and rolled her eyes.
"Well I’m taking your advice and starting off small this time," I stated with a grin. Almost being arrested for trying to tie up a City Official who told me he was an escape artist in a previous life, promoted the lecture that brought that idea.
"Yes, yes, sure. We’ll see how that changes by the end of the day," she smirked. If I were smarter then, I would have questioned why she was smirking.
A few minutes had passed and I saw Kol yawn. I closed my shade and looked to her; she seemed to be fighting the urge to sleep. I smirked, letting my mind fill with thoughts of harpies and Dragons, while Kol rubbed her eyes and looked down to the documents in front of her. We both felt the stagecoach start to slow down, rocking our bodies as it came to a stop. Sitting up at attention, we looked to each other. Our hearts pounded against our chests, I wanted some excitement with harpies, and I think she was just nervous about meeting her boss. The door next to me creaked open and before us stood a tall elf with a rough demeanor and I guess what most would consider a pleasant smile. Behind him were the sounds of many voices and activity that caught my attention more than anything.
"You must be Jolin and Kollarn," the elf said to us. He moved to the side and kept the door open for us to exit.
We nodded to him slowly with blank expressions; hearing all the commotion outside felt a bit surreal at the time. Kollarn passed by me as the elf assisted her getting out. I followed suit on my own and stepped out onto the dull orange ground. From left to right, there was one long row of various sized buildings lined one after the other. Each one seemed to supply a different necessity for life or work from supply houses to recreation. I couldn’t help but stare in amazement as various beings of all different sizes and colors were coming in and out of the buildings and along the roads. Even though I was from the city, the sheer amount of people in one area all working on a single goal left me dazed. As I stared, I didn’t pay any mind to Kol and the elf as they were probably greeting each other. The flow of people left me feeling like I was in a hypnotic trance and soon I found myself following it like a sand lemming following the herd over a cliff.
"Hey boy!" a yell came snapping me back to reality. I turned around and saw the elf motioning up to the luggage on top of the stagecoach, "That stuff ain’t comin down on its own."
"Oh, what? Sorry I got distracted," I said with a sheepish grin.
"Distracted?" the elf laughed. "There’s no getting distracted when there is work to be done. If you wanna get anywhere around here you have to work for it."
Looking to my sister, I saw her nod to the elf with a coy smile on her face, wanting me to say something. I realized why she smirked at me back earlier. I said the first thing that came to mind.
"I didn’t expect to be working immediately," I blurted out as I walked towards the stagecoach, passing my sister who rolled her eyes and groaned.
"Watch out, Thale, you might be trying to get his attention a lot," Kollarn said. So that was his name. "I’m going to leave you two to get more acquainted while I show my new designs of the Elevating Surface Service Device to the man in charge."
"Wait," Thale said, turning to her with a raised eyebrow and a smile that made him look like he was on the verge of laughing. "The what?"
Kollarn stared at him and placed her hand on her hip. “The Elevating Surface Service Device,” she exhaled loudly and I saw her look down at the ground. “The thing I’ve been sending you designs for, to get people down the cliffs?”
"Oh sorry Miss, we’ve just been calling it the elevator," Thale rubbed the back of his neck and chuckled with a grin.
"Elevator? I like that!” I laughed before I picked up the first piece of luggage. It was a lot easier to remember then what she called that thing.
"Just great. I am surrounded by Harpies and an army of people that think like my brother," Kollarn scoffed and walked off into the crowd, leaving me with Thale, who had a list of things for me to do after the luggage was gathered.