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Song of Skye

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Song of Skye

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zhelir Darkfall on Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:28 pm

"Sing me a song
Of a lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?"


Her words came softly, sweetly, carried by the air currents which could never keep a secret. It was a strange tune; the words spoke of sorrow, yet the tune spoke of joy, and the mixture soothed Hax's ears as warm water soothed beaten hands.

He peered out from the shade of a rather sturdy oak tree, his half-closed eyes watching Jesse, his friend of old, but not really seeing her. He was lost in that beautiful sound, his mind dancing on the shores of some far off land. His mind's wanderings left him without notice of the sly, timid glances she slipped him as she only slipped to a boy that would not leave her mind, and her inability to see past the door that was the deep hazel of his eyes left her no way of knowing it was she he danced with in his dreams.

A thunderclap broke into his thoughts. For one brief moment, he saw her through the eyes of a man who had never met her; silhouetted against a sun just losing its battle with a mass of angry black clouds, her silvery-blond hair cast a shimmer that was almost water-like. Her dress rippled back in the high winds, pressing against her frame, its color lost to the brilliance of the premature sunset.

The sun was swallowed up, and his joy with it.

His blood ran thin and his heart seemed to freeze over, for the sun was gone and the clouds no longer seemed angry, but absolutely murderous. Somewhere deep within him, he knew that the clouds were a wicked sort of thing, and that they would take something near to his heart, something that would leave a gaping hole so large that the notion of feeling whole without it was utterly absurd.

They came for Jesse.

Suddenly, as though a dream he'd broken from, the sensation passed, leaving him only with a residual chill.

"Come on, Jess'. Let's head back." His voice was cool and level, same as it always was, yet a brief fault crossed her face; a mere moment of doubt and fear, before it vanished beneath a look of polite perplexity.

"Something wrong?" she asked, though she was already moving away from the outcropping she'd been upon.

"It's just getting late," he replied, using the massive oak to lift himself. Its brownish surface, older than either he or Jesse, scratched and scraped at his hands in his haste, but he paid it no mind.

Yet even as he turned inland, away from the coast, he knew something wasn't right; he had a sense of unease as though some demon lurked in the shadows, waiting to extract his innards.

"Hax..."

Her words were faint and, to say the least, alarming. Hax spun, locks of curly black hair momentarily obscuring his vision. His hand went for the knife at his waist; short, durable, an oak handle. In this moment of urgence, its reassuring weight was a thing of comfort.

Yet the blade never left its sheathe. Ice flooded his veins as, through the nightmarish gathering of clouds, a massive ship emerged. The hull, easily half-again the size of the largest naval craft he'd ever seen, was unbroken, yet had an unmistakably scarred look to it. Four titanic masts stood, sails filled, with a shorter mast between each. It moved at a speed suggesting that it was not moving under the influence of air alone.

It was heading straight for them.

Without conscious thought, Hax slipped in front of his friend, one fluid motion, his hand still on the hilt of his knife.

"Run, Jesse." His voice was even, cold.

"Not without you." Her voice returned, much to Hax's surprise, just as set.

He would have responded, perhaps giving her a cocky grin and a word of reassurance, but there wasn't time; at that moment, a dim red light formed from somewhere on the side of the craft, now large enough to fill a solid half of the skyline. There was no time to speak, to run, to pray; Hax knew this. There was only time for one thing.

With all the force his adrenaline-charged body could muster, he swung his free hand into Jesse's shoulder and, feeling the soft warmth of her skin, he pushed, hurtling her off to the side.

Even as he turned back toward the ship, the outcropping Jesse had previously occupied was reduced to a wall of shattered rock and dirt. He threw up his arm, his knife coming free with it in defense.

Before he was grazed by a single rock, he was launched backward by a wall of displaced air, his hand losing its purchase on the piece of wood and steel. He had one glimpse of Jesse, still airborne, thought away from the initial blast, and he was content he'd done all he could.

A searing pain erupted in his midsection -- pain so utterly consuming that it took every ounce of control he had to keep from screaming in mortal agony.

His gaze fell downward and his eyes filled with horror. Just above his waist, as well as just below his ribcage, a set of blood-slicked branches protruded, each looked to be roughly the size of a child's arm.

Yet the ride was not over. As he raised his head, his jaw already beginning to sag and leak blood, he just barely saw a glint of steel before his own knife was propelled into his ribcage. He looked frantically around for some sign of Jesse, but the world was already graying. He would have liked to see her one last time, but he had heard her song not too long ago, and that was good enough. His eyes drifted shut and his conscious thought ended, having enjoyed its last few moments pouring over memories of Jesse.
Last edited by Zhelir Darkfall on Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
STAVE: Commala-come-ki,
There's a time to live and one to die.
With your back against the final wall
Ya gotta let the bullets fly.

RESPONSE: Commala-come-ki!
Let the bullets fly!
Don't 'ee mourn for me, my lads
When it comes my day to die.

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Zhelir Darkfall
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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zhelir Darkfall on Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:30 pm

I'd like to thank whoever sent me that e-mail regarding the two typos. It's much appreciated.

As well, I'd thuroughly appreciate feedback. I'm really liking how this is going so far (I've got it up to four sections roughly this length, save for one relatively short one) and I'd like to know what ya'll think.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby MeiaGisborn on Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:44 pm

Bah, I know I've been slacking, just got a few promotions elsewhere and getting my school schedule in place. Shall be more active again, soon. Well at least in here. >_>

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Circ on Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:12 am

Thoughts

The concept was beautiful, although in some parts drowned out by over-description (albeit well-written). It made me think of the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps the Irish folksong in the beginning put my mind into that state, but it was a good state and a good beginning.

Grammatic

"For one brief moment, he saw he through the eyes of a man who had never met her ..."

Usage: greying is British while graying is American. Which did you intend?

'"Something wrong?" She asked'--the capitalized S is unnecessary; this is just something word processors are not sophisticated enough to check, yet, it appears. If it helps, write the dialogue using a comma at the end of the text in quotes, and then finish the sentence. Then go back and replace the comma with an explanation point of a question mark (not a period).

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:15 am

Is it coincidence that the short piece of verse at the start exactly fits the first few bars of the Skye Boat Song? Clearly they are not from that song as that is about the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie to Skye from the pursuing English. The tale does have a feel of Annabel Lee to it as Circ said though clearly since it is in prose rather than verse does not have the rhythm of the rhyme.
It contains good strong description that I do not see as over done, it sets the scene and helps to pull the reader in to the story which is difficult to achieve with such a short piece, I know I have never managed to suceed in doing that.
The end or the end that we see is shocking to a degree and leaves one wanting to know what happens to Jesse, where the mystery ship came from and more.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zhelir Darkfall on Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:35 am

Much appreciation for the feedback.

To answer a couple questions:

I intended the American version, "gray," though I often misspell it as the English version.

No, the opening song is not a coincidence; Skye Boat Song inspired this story, though it is not intended as an expansion on the song. I rather thought it fit well, and it plays an important part later in the story.

I have more already written, though I do not wish to post it until I have a decent point to leave off at.

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