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Tande Writes
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ComradeTande
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Mar 2006


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Old Sep 22, 2012, 11:13 AM Local time: Sep 22, 2012, 10:13 AM #1 of 1
Tande Writes

Holy shit I haven't made a thread in like, forever. Anyway, felt that it was pertinent that I share writing. Feelings. Etc.

I write. Over the summer I took a creative writing class. Some of these are not very polished and need some editing, some of these I don't want to touch at all. Typically I'm terrible at sharing my writing, but alas, here's a big wall of text for you to read.

Oh. These are all short stories. Poetry is for lamewads. I'm influenced by an author that becomes rather obvious as soon as you read my writing. But I like fantasy...well, low-fantasy. We'll see.

RED
Spoiler:
My brother would read quite a bit in our shared bedroom, and at times he would read out loud. I never paid too much attention, and thus could never recall the exact details of a story. Except for one.

At one time, he lived in the same room that I did. Even though my parents had money falling out of their pockets, they aimed to raise their children properly, and part of being modest was the ability to share. The large family estate easily held all my siblings: Sigmund, the eldest, Zoey, my younger sister by seven years, and very much later there was Franny, who by the time I left for the academy in the capital, was only a toddler. With the building’s twenty bedrooms and expansive halls, the estate was my father’s and grandfather’s pride of how well the Glass family name boomed in the business. All my brothers and sisters were allowed rooms of their own, but they did not have a fraternal twin. and thus, my parents had placed my brother and I in the same room. This went on for about the first sixteen years of our life.

Theodore, or Teddy as many called him, had an obsession with books. He was never right in the head, though it certainly didn't mean he didn't have interesting perks about him. If anything, it made sure that he had very unique qualities. He could read by age four, and never could stare in the same direction as any other person in the room, including those painted and hung on the walls. Many a times the maids have had to reconfigure the setup of family photos along the stairs running up through the home, seeing as Teddy would at times lose glance and attention by the looks of Uncles, Aunts, and Grandparents painted and photographed. He took a tumble more than once going up the stairs towards our bedroom because of this.

Teddy's obsession in books gave him many troubles due to the fact he had difficulty telling fact from fiction. Upon delving into the books at the Payon library, he'd come back with tales about the Orc bard that fought dragons, or the flying metal birds that he swore he piloted in a past life. I, equally the same age minus about fifteen minutes, knew already that what he talked about was complete fiction, and was nothing to take seriously, but in entertainment. But as he explained these stories he would smile in glee and excitement, and speak of these characters as if they were real people with real feelings.

He sifted his way through the library’s collection quickly, and moved on to other books. Where he found books from, after he cleared out the library, was difficult to tell. These books came with no library marks, no plastic covers, but enough dog eared pages to make them frumpy and stick open awkwardly. I knew that even if I asked Teddy, he wouldn't respond truthfully. At least by this time he was strong enough to carry a large stack of books. Some he neglected to return to wherever he had gotten them. It was this time I noticed the smell of lilacs and vanilla about Teddy. A sweet, delicate smell that was nothing like the boy who held it. I remember finding the curious curls of long hair in our room, nothing like any of the maids or my family members had. The curls were long and red. The appearance of the hair had made me start to believe that there was a stowaway visitor that came and left ever so suddenly as I blinked. They must have came from an outside source.

The day he read me that story, he came home smelling of the flowers and musty aged vanilla, and if I think hard enough I can almost imagine seeing him with a tinge of blush about his face. He started off by asking me what my favorite color was.

“Blue. My favorite color is blue, Teddy.” I responded, irked that he had interrupted my moments to myself. It is sad that I cannot remember what I was doing then, but I can remember looking at him so carefully that I could taste the utter glee on his lips. He then opened his mouth, saying what little words I remember him saying that weren’t quotations, stories, or deranged, nonsensical mutterings.

“I like red.” He murmured softly, hand running along a leather bound volume, appreciating every dip and crack in the surface. He sat down on his bed, opened the book, and started to read out loud. When he finished, he turned to me, who at the time was busy with some sort of eight-year-old's business, and told me that I would remember it for forever, even beyond this life and even beyond the next. I snorted in some sort of response, as if arguing against it but not giving much effort to do so.

My eldest brother had planted the seed of becoming an alchemist in my mind early on. What little time we spent together was used to speak of scholarly things, even with our wide age differences. He claimed I had a knack for knowing materials and their properties, while I mentioned he was always gifted in his remembrance of history and speaking of men who had willed their way through royal lines to become nobility. He always wanted to be a member of the palace, which was proper for a Glass man. It was only perfect that he ended up on staff as one of the high guilds of Geffen, known for working directly with the King. When he left for the bigger city, I couldn’t help but feel much more lonely in my prospects. Sigmund’s leaving was celebrated by much of my family, while myself leaving for the capital’s academy went fairly unnoticed. I liked it that way. Mother simply gave me a sad look, and father a pat on the shoulder to encourage. Teddy was nowhere in sight.

He went on with his life, and so did I. He was some sort of wilted wallflower, slightly damaged but still trying to give off a radiance of life, and our parents noticed more when I left. While I went on to the academy and learned the ways of an alchemist, Teddy snuck out of our parent's home and went on his own adventures. Mother and father would complain that he would come back with packs of roasted-tobacco cigarettes and enough wine on his breath to curl your nose hairs. He always had a book tucked under an arm and a smile on his face with some sort of glee running through his veins.

“This isn't something a Glass man would do.” They'd say. “Theodore just wastes his life away.”

They'd claim I could do something about it. He'd listen to me. He was my brother, my twin, my other half. I began to detest the thought of leaving the academy just to deal with their troubles and wouldn't respond to my parent's begging. I had much more better things to do than sit down with Teddy and explain the ways of the world that he would simply ignore anyway. The letters that they sent to the academy in the capital through carrier pigeon went unanswered. I did not want to take responsibility for that type of burden: a man the same age as I (even older than me by a grand fifteen minutes), yet with no drive to do anything in his life. I was bettering the family name by becoming a business man, a scholar, and an alchemist, while he was breaking it down with his drunken rampages through town and claims of second life. Even his grandiose stories of the giant metal bird made it to the capital, as fellow students whispered behind my back of my other half’s wasted life.

I had to work harder to prove myself that I was the exact opposite from Teddy. That I was not cut from the same cloth. That Teddy was a washed out red cotton cloth only useful for washing windows while I was a brilliant blue silk that could awe even the queen. I spent my academy years proving that I was worth my weight in platinum, not just gold. To admit, this took a toll on me; both in spirit and mind.

I spent some time researching tonics and tinctures outside the typical Academy curriculum. I did no asking of teachers of how to deal with this problem, knowing from student whispering of the glorious nights of illegal activities that had helped them get through their studies for midterms and finals. It was rampant in the Academy, and I at once detested the thought of relying on such a thing, thinking of myself the better of many of my peers. I was a Glass man, I had needed no help. But the studies had worn me down by my fifth year, and through convincing of my flat-mate, I had bought into the popular, yet underground opinion of my fellow students. Tonics and tinctures, indeed, and the type to keep you up all night. Instead of casual green fairy houses where men such as Teddy would blissfully waste away their lives, I gave myself a chance to excel through my school works with the bitter taste of pure, driven snow on my gums. It was rather glorious at first in my young years, but it came with a high price as the months went by as I would wake at all hours and work on making more for the next day’s supplies. I sent home letters asking for more money for materials and school books, but never once mentioning their problems with Teddy. Slowly and slowly, my mother’s desperate letters about my brother seemed to stop, and instead were replaced by crisp bills and a mentioning of how my older brother was doing, how my little sister was finding herself a man, and how my youngest sister could speak and write in such fluency. My anger over my other half was satiated.

I didn't visit my parent's home again until late in the summer of my twenty-fifth year, fresh from graduation. With the trees of my parent's estate buzzing with the sound of cicadas, I marched up the steps to the front door and let myself in. I, at the time, commanded quite a bit of respect that, at my young age, was questionably deserved. A graduate, an alchemist, and above all things, a business man. Business in the capital required several things: a good, outward personality, and a good family name, for a gauge of trustworthiness. I was a very good business man, blessed with both of these things. My adventures through the looking glass had found quite a number of associates that were pleased to do business with me so long as I showed them a good time. This entailed more of my tonics and tinctures, which was easily produced through means I had now mastered. The nights of rambunctious journeys always came out more up than down for proving good faith with such men. The Glass family name had little problem to begin with, except for my brother, who by now my parents had attempted to close off in his own room, or at least I thought.

My mother and father were busy in their own business. Mother tending to my youngest sister and father to the work in his office. My siblings were going about their own business as well, Sigmund far off in Republic at one of the guilds there, Zoey with the so-called love of her life (or whatever a sixteen year old girl would lead herself to believe). I led myself around the home, debating what exactly to do. My steps echoed on the hardwood floors as I moved from room to room. From the piano room, to the front room, to the kitchen. The maids gave me no attention as I helped myself to an apple from a bowl on one of the countertops there. Hunger never was common in my body (perhaps a side effect of the dust), and idle moments of consuming like this were rare. I couldn’t help but think in my lonely moment that I was finally here and neither of my parents wanted to speak with me or congratulate me on my recent graduation. It was after taking a bite from the apple that I decided to stop in my old room, which was Teddy's as well. I thought that perhaps my brother was there, reading, cross-legged on his bed and murmuring to himself about an Orc’s battlements. I made my way up the stairs and opened the door to be barraged by the scent on vanilla and only to find that half of what used to belong in the room was gone. Teddy's books, his desk, his journals, his bed, his dresser...completely gone. My own bed, dresser, and desk sat in the left side of the room, once complex and busy but now balanced by the empty space on the other end.

I stood in the frame of the door for a few minutes, staring at the empty spaces where Teddy once had been. Where he knocked his head on the bed post and opened it up, bleeding all over the place, insisting that I don't tell anyone, only to be found by the maid hours later holding a pair of dirty pants to his head to soak up the bleeding. Where I found him one day with my shoebox of questionable magazines, staring down at the ladies on the glossy pages until he looked up to stare around me, not directly at me, and ask, “What are these women doing,” in a neutral tone of neither disgust or interest. Where he sat on his bed, legs crossed, book in lap, reading that one story out-loud as if it was the damn most important thing in the world, claiming, “You will remember this, Waker.” Just like how he remembered flying in that big metal bird until he crashed and felt water all around himself. Just like how I still remember the long strands of curls that I found about our room. I somewhat believe they were not as red as I remember them now.

I sat down on the bed I had very much outgrown, though felt the crinkle of paper underneath the covers. Standing back up, I reached under the covers to find a note written in Teddy's sloppy handwriting. It simply read, “GONE FISHING.” I remember that it smelled like tobacco, but there was something else there. Lilacs. Certainly such a sweet smell couldn’t linger very long in this room.

I'm not entirely sure exactly where he went. Mother and father wouldn't say, playing dumb as if they never heard his name before. Finally free of the weighed-down responsibility of a grown man who insisted on coming home talking of fictional cities in the far future and their comings and goings. When asked, the maid simply smiled at me when I asked her where Teddy had gone, whispering in a somewhat excited manner, “A girl with red curls took him.”
I had thought about looking for him, though I did not want to carry the burden of finding him. The whispers of my business associates about my brother’s escapades died down after a few years. Everyone forgot about Teddy. The man wasn’t anyone’s priority. Including me.

And all he left for me was the story I can still tell word-for-word, from memory:

“Duke Mu of Chin said to Po Lo: “You are now advanced in years. Is there any member of your family whom I could employ to look for the horses in your stead?” Po Lo replied: “A good horse can be picked out by its general build and appearance. But the superlative horse—one that raises no dust and leaves no tracks—is something evanescent and fleeting, elusive as thin air. My sons can tell a good horse when they see one, but they cannot tell a superlative horse. I have a friend, however, Chiu-fang Kao, a hawker, who in things appertaining to horses is nowise my inferior. Pray see him.”
Duke Mu did so, and subsequently dispatched him on the quest for a steed. Three months later, Kao returned with the news that he had found one. “What kind of a horse is it?” asked the Duke. “Oh, it is a dun coloured mare,” was the reply. However, the animal turned out to be a coal-black stallion! Much displeased, the Duke sent for Po Lo. “That friend of yours cannot even distinguish a beast’s colour or sex! What on earth can he know about horses?” Po Lo heaved a sigh of satisfaction. “Has he really got as far as that?” he cried. “Ah, then he is worth ten thousand of me put together. What Kao keeps in view is the spiritual mechanism. In making sure of the essential, he forgets the homely details. So clever a judge of horses is Kao, that he has it in him to judge something better than horses.”
When the horse arrived, it turned out indeed to be a superlative animal. “
( Taoist story taken from JD Salinger's “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”)

All I know is that business has been good since.

A monologue I was assigned during that class:
Spoiler:

Lights up on a drab looking young (maybe mid 20s?) MAN. He holds a hand to his chin. There’s never a smile not on his face. This man is more than a man, after all. He holds an air of superiority all about him. This man…this man thinks he’s some kind of god. If possible, this man may or may not have an old fashion lute strung around his shoulders.

PERSI: They never really tell you how your hundredth year goes, or even the thousandth. But regardless, does it even matter? Either way you have to go through it. I mean, that’s if you don’t find yourself at some end of some pointy metal stick. But for that to happen…for that to happen…well, you didn’t deserve to live that long, did you?

But let me tell you one thing. Women…women are a harsh, cold mystery regardless of the times. That is what I’ve learned through the years. Call it…advice.

No…no…let me make that one –story- so that it sticks with you better. About the capital. Yes. The capital. Well, I do mean the old capital, the grand capital. Prontera has its knights, Geffen has its mages, but Glastheim…Glastheim…the old capital had both and then some. Glastheim had what one could call a circle. Ah, yes, a circle of mages. Fancy geometry, yes? Well, regardless, I believe they went by the name ‘The Cyrus Circle’.

Blood mages. Of course it was fine with the authorities oh-so long ago. Nowadays if you so slightly murmur something along the lines of ‘blood’ and ‘magic’ in the same sentence you’d have your head taken off your neck with one fell swoop of an axe.

Oh yes. The story. I apologize! I tend to lose myself in the moment.

If you hadn’t caught it yet…yes, yes, I’m an indeed a member of this geometry circle what-have-you, and I indeed dealt with the spell to make myself ageless. But let’s keep this between you and me…All it takes is a little sacrifice in both time and human life, and ta-da, you’re this ageless demigod with a habit of running from a lot of sharp objects wielded by people who just. Don’t. Understand. I do suppose I had done the spell back In the times of Glastheim, under the watchful eye of that woman.

The heartless woman in this story is both in the past and now. You see, I have an apprentice that reminds me greatly of her. A spitting image. A thousand years difference, yet she still has the same thin eyes and olive skin of the islands far off. The same straight hair she tries ever-so-desperately to give volume to, the same….ah yes, well, I think you catch my idea, yes?

Regardless, when I joined the Circle, I met her. Cham, a lovely lady with a sneer always strewn about her face and a separate agenda from everyone else. There were seven of us at the time, though I was just a simple apprentice, learning the ways and will of this and that. Cham, my dear, was one of the older members. I’m not entirely sure how old she was back then, though quite honestly it didn’t matter.

We became quite connected, her and I. I’m not quite sure how I caught her eye, but ever since the day the old man introduced me to the other five, she had kept herself close to me. As a friend, that is. I see you snickering, ah yes. You must think it was rather sexual? Let me tell you this, my dear viewer, sex is a quite disgusting…quite boring act after several centuries. And even before then, it seemed like Cham was disinterested in it. Me, being my young and virile self was quite annoying in my drive, but it died off very quickly after the simple laughter she gave me when I suggested it. Making love, she would say, was all very fun the first few times with a person, but soon afterwards it became dry and boring. She laughed at the idea of any man trying to convince her otherwise. Perhaps so many had failed in their conquests…including me. It was quite frustrating, you see, for a young man to be denied so easily simply because he had failed to capture her attention the first few romps. But I can quite understand, after living so long and seeing what she meant.

SHE was the one to guide me through the ageless spell, but neglected to tell me the effects. You see, it takes blood, yes, but as I said before, it takes time. Quite a bit of time. A whole month. Oh? What’s that you ask? Why? What do you do in that month?

After casting the spell, the user is sent into a state that would be considered death, if not for the lack of rot. You get blue in the lips and whatever places that blood settles, and you simply…well, you’re simply dead. It’s a wondiferious time, considering while your body is in its catatonic state your mind is sent through the most delirious dreams. And they’re no walk in the park dreams, or even the peaceful falling through the sky…oh, no. It’s actually very quite horrific. Abominations haunt you through your sleep, tugging at every heart string and every horror filled nightmare. The worst part is dying a thousand deaths and having to go through them all. All the pain, misery, oh, and not even one person as company, unless you could the nightmares in your head as company. And in this state…it could feel like forever. Time matters not to the restless dreamer, I’m afraid. It almost becomes like…it’s more reality than the body laying breathlessly that is…or once was yours.

My dreams matter not, but Cham’s…she told me she dreamt of a flower field. This may seem odd after what I had just explained to you, and perhaps you wonder if she were deathly allergic or some other crazy happening. In fact, no. You see, Cham dedicated herself to magics that were based around the growth of plants and vines and what-have-you, and in her dreams she found herself drawn and quartered by the vines of roses, eaten alive by marigolds with teeth that sink into flesh so much so let’s ignore the vaginadentata jokes I am clearly missing out on. A whole month of this! The nightmares. Not the toothed lady parts.

I doubt she told anyone else about this.

But back to the story. Cham guided me through this spell, and I was asleep for a full month. She had one of the larger, more manlier members pick me up and take me to my room, where she tucked me in and locked the door behind her as she left.

Me, oh, my, I seem to forget to tell all. You see, the spell, the spell has sort of a side effect. If the user is interrupted during their sleep, they can move and respond on their own. At some moments in history they are known to sleep walk. I suppose it’s more of a death walk, yes, but interestingly enough, these unconscious walks seem to always end with drawing blood whether it be their own or whoever seemed to stumble upon them.

My dear Cham was forgetful or seemed to neglect this information entirely, and visited me halfway through the month. I’ve no idea either, considering her lack of love for me in both the physical and personality sense, but perhaps it was the love for our friendship. Our companionship. Perhaps she was lonely.

So of course, in my dead sleep I woke and attacked the woman without a single live thought in my head. The others would tell me this story, though only after several hundreds of years had passed. I was told by particularly the large man who had the muscles to take me upstairs in the first place. He said she screamed and screamed and when he came to the room she was covered in red, and I slumped onto the floor bleeding like a holey plastic bag filled with cherry syrup. Blood, oh yes, blood, the one thing I had taken to become just as I wanted, but now I was spilling my own. Very much appropriate, yes? Twas lucky that my condition that has caused this also prevented my death…death, and in the end I was patched up by magic.

She had stabbed me, the bitch had stabbed me and neglected to tell me this very important detail. Scars that I always wondered and debated having!

But I forgive her in every sense besides her labyrinth like way of thinking, which is very much typical for the fairer sex. It’s simply not their fault, even if she were in the same league as I as a member of the Cyrus Circle, she still very clearly was not one to simply…think. I did not bring it up to her, oh no. I would get my revenge a few hundred years later with the fall of Glastheim. I left the capital like so many others, running from the undead masses that were attacking the fortress. But before I left…

I killed every last one of those blood mages. They blame the fall of Glastheim on blood magic, and yet fail to notice that the fall was caused by the mass exodus of so many frightened knights and other sol- oh? How do you kill a blood mage?

Oh, just like any other person. I am not immortal, no, I am ageless. If I prick my finger, I simply bleed like any other mortal. But, you must remember, I am a blood mage.

We bleed like any other.

Though, you may wonder and fear for the life of my apprentice, the one that holds a similarity to my dear Cham. Oh no, if anything I absolutely adore the woman so long as she holds back the will to stab me in my sleep. And she always huffs at me in that young sort of enticing way, when you know her frustrations are as deep as those blue eyes…

Times do not change, do they?

((He laughs, perhaps waits a few seconds, and then walks off stage))
A story we were given only about ten minutes to write, and minor details we had to have. Over all, one of my favorite exercises we did that semester.

Spoiler:

In her mind, she wasn't entirely alone. The babbling brook besides the walking path was more than enough company, and she even went as far as having a conversation with it. She spoke about the troubles in her life. Men. The animals of the farm. Her mother's insistent prying into her private life. Katelynn had half a mind to leave the farm and head towards the big cities, she told the water. Find something better than tugging on cow's teats for half the day, the other half spent with calloused hands and a butter churn. The stream wouldn't respond, no, but maybe she liked it for that.

She had been far too much in her own mind to notice the man farther down the path. By the time he was straight in front of her by three feet, she snapped out of it and jumped, halfway through a story about the chickens clucking about.

The man found this rather entertaining, though Katelynn's shattered surprise only made her fume as red as her hair. When she finally looked over him, her expression changed to a slight disgust.

He was tall, lanky, and required a haircut. The smell that came off of him made i quite obvious he was some kind of a drifter. None the less, he seemed to be happy besides his poor exterior.

Katelynn gave a haughty frown and turned away from him. Small town hospitality wasn't for the type of men her mother warned her about.

"Is there something on my face?" The man asked. Katelynn eyed him for a moment, shook her head, and started to walk away. The man turned to watch her go, opening his mouth to say something, but was cut off by a shriek from the woman.

She had lost her footing on the path and took a tumble into the brook. Her heel must have gotten stuck in some sort of pot hole, and as she fell a surge of pain ran up her leg. She rushed to get back up, only to tumble into the water again.

The man chuckled and shook his head. "I was going to warn you about that, miss."

"A little late, isn't it?" She said through gritted teeth. The man shrugged and offered her a hand, though paused when he realized she had twisted her ankle. Without even a single word, he reached to scoop her up in his arms.

She was hauled up and tried to keep herself from slapping the man. He just gave a persistent smile and asked, "Where to?"

Katelynn swallowed her pride and pointed down the road from where she came. The man started off down the road without another question.

Katelynn kept quiet, and the man did the same. Though the forest would not. She could hear the howling of wolves nearby and instinctively began to worry about the animals back home.

Without warning, a large black wolf came barreling across the path. The man stayed quiet, but Katelynn gasped. The creature paused and gave them a look long enough to show the prize in its mouth: a chicken.

The man chuckled as the wolf ran off. Katelynn frowned and huffed out, "Its not funny. That was probably one of mine."

"Why do you care? You spoke like you hated them."

Her face burned. Embarrassed, the walk home would be silent again.

When they made it to the farm, he took her to the two story home and set her carefully down. He gave her a smile and then a wave, turning to leave.

He was stopped by Katelynn's burly man of a father. Without a word, the wanderer sunk a hand in his cloak and pulled out a leather satchel, depositing it into the father's hand.

"For your chicken." And the man was gone, leaving, as the sounds of howling wolves could be heard far off.


Jam it back in, in the dark.
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