Author Archives: Oren

Eventful week, but not much fun.

I promise I’m not slacking already. It’s been an eventful week, as the title says. I’ve been planning a week long trip to Colorado, and that’s been so much fun (no, really, fun >.<).

I’m going to talk about something for a little bit tonight, as it’s therapeutic for me. Writing is so much easier for me to say something than it is to speak it.

Last Friday evening, my grandmother died. She had  a stroke, a pretty major one that completely toasted her whole right side. Apparently she had the stroke, and was not discovered for at least two hours. Because of that, her organs did not receive the oxygen they needed, and her body was unable to recover. The reason her death is so poignant is that she not only is my last remaining grandparent, but she is the only one I really know. Her last husband, the man I called grandpa, died when I was eleven (I’m now thirty-five). My biological grandfather remains a mystery. On my mother’s side, that grandmother died last year, but I have only met her twice in my entire life. Her husband, my grandfather, died when I was around three.

So, you see, this grandmother was the only one  I knew.

A couple of things about her death that bothered me. First, I had heard that she was still responsive and able to hear people when they spoke to her. She would squeeze my hand, and open her eyes (well, one of them) and look around. As I thought she could hear me, I spoke a few goodbyes to her. I wanted to believe she heard me. Later, as I left, something about that bugged me. She would do that little routine every time I spoke; the thought occurred to me that it may be an automatic reflex, and that she could not near me at all. Later, I talked to a nurse, and confirmed that suspicion. She was brain dead and gone long before I ever saw her. I can’t get that automatic action she did out of my head.

Second, when she finally died because of her organ shutdown, we were all there. I am familiar with ECG patterns, and I knew it was coming. Her heart stopped finally, and everyone stared at the monitor, waiting for it to come back. That bugged me a little, but the real thing that bothered me was that she had to stay on the respirator. So, she was still breathing, but dead. Oh that bugged me almost as much as the automatic response from earlier. The hospital can’t shut it off without a doctor to call time of death.

I’m pretty imaginative, and those two images just keep floating around in my head. It’ll take time, I know, but I’m stuck in a morbid merry-go-round in my head for a bit.

On a lighter note, my trip to Colorado starts tomorrow. 75 degrees instead of 110, it’s going to be great. Hopefully I can relax and get off that merry-go-round for a bit. I plan on finishing my current short story project, The Lawbringer ( the contest I’ve mentioned that requires a western), and doing some work on my first novel. It’ll be a good opportunity to have family time and just forget about the real world for a moment.

I’ll continue in a bit with my review opinions on the story in my previous post. Until then, have a great weekend!

Oren

Copyright © 2012 – Oren’s Realm – All Rights Reserved


Contest Entry #2 – Brotherhood

 

I had written this story for a prompt as well. Another prompt from A Song of Ice and Fire, this contest wanted a story that would explain something about the death of dragons. This was the next round after my previous entry, The Cyclic Ruse. Since I enjoyed how TCR turned out, I wanted to add on to the story somehow. Now, I still won this next round, but I feel this story failed a bit, as I had the world that TCR was set in fleshed out in my head, so I put in way too much backstory into this one. Deric, the brother that Venn mentions in here, is the warrior from TCR. I did not make it clear enough, and I learned a lesson: short stories should be independent of other stories, and a complete product with its own merits. I still like how it turned out overall, but I could’ve done better.

As done before, in another post I’ll discuss the reviews I received for this story.

Without further ado, here is Brotherhood.

This was the stupidest, most idiotic decision he had ever made. Sure, he wanted to prove himself, but trying to find the last of the dragons just to be considered a man was not the smartest idea.

Venn wrapped his fur and wool wraps tighter. It could not possibly get any colder, he thought. However, it would, if his brother failed. Deric, his oh-so-perfect humble brother, would be dead soon. The thought of his brother not being around to ruin his life was comforting. He should be at the castle now, if not already inside, trying to reset the endless winter churning from the Cyclic Orb.

The wrapped horse pushed forward, its head down. The gale was biting, with sudden gusts forcing the icy pinpricks of snow and sleet into the horse and rider. The previous mile had been wooded, and the wind, while still sharp, had been slowed by the skeletal forest. Now, a long flat stretch of land, with nothing to deflect the gusts, allowed the wind to reach its full speed, battering against the magician and his mount. All detail and shape of the land had vanished, and now only a white desolate desert surrounded him.

The magician wanted his brother to fail; he desired it, craved his brother’s failure. Then, they would see that Deric was not the honorable and valorous warrior they thought he was. His brother deserved his frozen death. The winter never ending would be worth it.

A sharp stabbing breeze cut through the magician’s wool mask, and the exposed skin burned around his eyes. He had prepared a warming spell, but he did not want to use it yet. It would be weak anyways, as the Cyclic Orb was in its blue winter mode; the magic it provided to the elemental magicians favored ice now, not fire. When the Orb reset, the masters of fire and flame would begin to gain strength, and the power that the elemental mages that controlled ice and cold would wane.

The Cyclic Orb’s origins were unknown, but its power held the kingdom of Alacion in a vicious grip. It was an undulating cycle. Elementalists would strive for more power; even as their strength matured and grew each season, although the threat of that season obliterating life was brutally apparent.

Venn did not care about any of Alacion’s political issues. He only cared about showing up his immaculate brother. The strong, muscular, yet quiet and business-like Deric was the favored one in the family. Even his brother’s looks rewarded favoritism. Venn’s thin body and intense mannerisms unnerved the family, and they shunned him however they could. When he had told them he was going to study elemental magic, they essentially disowned him.

It was entirely his brother’s fault.

So now, he had volunteered to find the last winter dragon. The dragons had been increasingly rarer as of late, and the weapon needed to reset the previous summer was forged barely in time. Alacion’s searchers had found a sun dragon to the south, dying of some sort of disease or illness, lying motionless in the shifting desert sands. The search for it had been long and tedious, and hope had almost been lost. All would have been destroyed in the fiery heat of summer if the searchers had failed. They extracted the barely burning sun coal from its belly, fortunately, before it died. When they sent word of its finding, the go-ahead to reset the summer form of the Orb was given.

That had been over eight months ago. Without the fiery coal or icy pearl in the dragons, the weapon used to combat the Cyclic Orb’s guardian could not be created. They would have the previous Orb’s power, but not the raw material for the blade. So, the seasons had been getting later and later, increasingly more intense as the delays lengthened the winter and summer cycles. The dragons had been plentiful, but now, they were almost if not completely gone.

These were terrible times. Nevertheless, Venn would find a winter dragon, and they would see he was just as capable as his brother was. He had to, but not for salvation. He would find it for himself. He would find the dragon and destroy it. Then all “warriors” like his brother would not have all honor reserved for themselves.

Deric would die in vain, and that was how the magician wanted it.

His horse reared suddenly, and Venn was launched off the mount. He had been lost in thought, letting the horse lead itself. The snow broke his fall, but the surface layer was frozen, and the impact was painful. The horse had been paying more attention than him, but not by much. It had caught sight of the approaching dragon only as it neared. The horse galloped away and vanished into the infinite whiteness.

That was that, the magician thought. There was no other choice for him now. He must confront the last dragon alone.

The dragon was not white, as he expected, but almost pitch black. It’s body was large, round and muscular, the four leathery legs driving it powerfully forward. The head was flat and broad, with frost tipped ridges lining the eyes and skull. Short spines snaked down its back to the end of its narrow rough tail, and they were all tipped with icy excrescence.

It seemed to not notice the horse or rider, and why it had not attacked him or the horse was startling. The gale and snow did not affect it, unsurprisingly, and it continued in its singular focus of moving forward.

Venn pulled out the scroll with the words he must speak if a dragon was sighted. It would warm the dragon, putting it into a type of hibernation. He was to then wait as the magic sent a beacon to the other searchers. Of course, the dragon would be dead by the time they arrived, but his part would be easy and done. His heart was racing, and he could feel it pound in his ears even through this wind. He held the paper carefully, but as he tried to bring it up for a closer read a sudden gust of wind grabbed the written words of magic, and it disappeared into the whiteness.

Very well. He would do it the hard way. His mastery of heat was weak, but it should suffice. Venn could feel his hands shake, and he told himself it was just the intense cold. He shoved them under his arms and trudged after the dragon. At least it was moving slow. Venn’s magic would be too weak to harm it while it was moving. With the horse, it would have been possible, but now he must wait for a better opportunity. His head down, he followed the dark shape into the white nothingness. The trek was tedious, yet the wide body of the dragon pushed aside the snow readily. It continued to ignore him, and the magician took advantage of that by blocking the wind with the dragon’s bulk. Time had no meaning, as the wind, snow, and glaring whiteness had no beginning or end.

Eventually, the dragon did slow. Venn looked up from his numbing trudge. Gray stone had appeared from the starkness, and the dragon paused as it reached the rocky barrier. The magician prepared a quick spell; perhaps his chance to strike would be here, although he had little advantage. However, he paused as the dragon began to breathe on the stony wall. Layers and layers of frost formed on the stone, and a round portion became white as the landscape. After several minutes, the dragon stopped, and then pushed forward with its broad head. As if glass, the stone shattered, and a black edged maw opened into the stone face.

The dragon turned then, swifter than it had the entire trek, its tail sweeping aside a large amount of snow. The power of the beast was astounding, and Venn wondered at how he ever could have thought he could destroy it. The dragon’s sharp blue eyes stared directly at him, and the magician knew without a doubt that this was where he was going to die. He did not prepare a spell to combat it, as he now knew his weak attack would be fruitless.

However, the dragon did not attack him. It backed itself up to the cave it had created in the stone, and it lifted its tail to squat at the entrance. It shuddered, and powdery snow fell of its body as it shook. The dragon continued to stare at the magician with unnerving intelligence, and Venn could not move. After several moments, the strange intense scene ended, and the dragon dropped to the ground. The sudden rush of air forced snow and ice outward from the torso, and the magician was knocked to the ground.

Venn stood up slowly, pushing the powdery cold snow off as much as he could. The dragon appeared to be sleeping, although that seemed a strange thing for it to do. He warily approached the dragon’s inert form. Wind began to pile the disrupted snow on the far side of the dragon, and it made no effort to adjust or shift its position.

The magician stopped several feet from the head. Drifts had already begun to cover the dragon’s skull, and he could see no telltale signs of breathing from its wide nostrils.

The dragon was dead.

The magician glanced at the hole in the stone face. It had come here for a reason, and it had created the cavity for something specific. Venn wrapped his arms tight and trudged over to the cave, cautiously avoiding the wide clawed feet of the black icy beast.

The tail lay across the hole, blocking a large amount of the wind. The gale and snow made it hard to see into the shallow cave, and the tail did little to help. There was only one way to get a better view, and that was to climb the tail and enter.

Venn swallowed hard, then reached across the tail to grab an icy spine. It provided good leverage, and he clambered over the tail. He imagined the dragon waking up and launching him into the row of sharp points on its back, and he panicked at the last moment. The magician tripped and fell, the hard ground knocking the breath out of him.

He took a moment to calm down before sitting up. There was plenty of room for him, and he grudgingly admitted the tail blocking the entrance was actually welcome. Venn’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, and as they did, he noticed the egg.

It was brilliantly white, as white as the winter outside. It glistened from the reflections of light on its moist surface. That had been the dragon’s purpose. It needed a safe haven for its progeny. The magician stared at it, lost in amazement at the rarest of rare sites.

The magician looked up sharply as the wind abruptly died, and the frigid temperature immediately warmed several degrees. That meant his brother, the martyr and hero, was now dead.

Venn’s face tightened. He would not let his Deric’s victorious death become the glory of the family. He had his own glory, and it was time.

The magician stood, and wrapped his arms around the frozen egg. He recited words well familiar to him, and his arms burst into a light flame. The egg sizzled as the moist shell dried; as he reached the culmination of the spell’s embrace, a bright flash filled the cave, and the egg crumbled into fine ash.

Venn sat back heavily, and stared at the pile of still warm gray dust. Somehow, he did not feel glorious at all.

But now, no one would. Let the summer come, he thought.

 

Copyright © 2012 – Oren’s Realm – All Rights Reserved


Review of a review.

Back from a grand weekend lake trip, and back to the grindstone of work and writing. As I mentioned previously, I had a single review for The Cyclic Ruse on WDC and I wanted to discuss how I felt about it. This reviewer is A E Wilcox on WDC, and we are members of the same Fantasy group on the site. She is quite talented and I was honored to receive a review by her.

 So, here goes. Ms. Wilcox’s comments are italicized, mine are in bold.

General Comments ~This is a very short story with an extremely simple plot and it is packed full of wonderfully vivid descriptions.

I immediately felt pleased with this opening statement. Admittedly, this story was quite simple, but Ms. Wilcox stating I have “wonderfully vivid descriptions” was a compliment.

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Along with the cycles of extreme winters and summer, the repeating refrain of “winter is coming”, this story seems to be heavily influenced by George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. Was this theme a contest prompt? I ask because there is no author’s note at the beginning to say. As a piece of fan-fiction, though, it does certainly have its merits.

This confusion was mentioned by another reader to me in an email; since then, I’ve added an Author’s Note. It sucks, in my opinion, that I have to add one, but I don’t want plagiarism or accusations thereof to rear it’s ugly head, so I thought it best to clarify.

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I think it would have been nice if you could have given, at least, your protagonist a name. It is important to do this because it would give the character more solidity and would help the reader to better connect with him. In the first paragraph you have only indicated the protagonist’s gender and then only in the last sentence –
“The faint words echoed off the icy columns. Its subtle yet forceful whisper reverberated around the rime-encrusted iron throne. The words lingered on the ice-lined walls and slid forlornly into the silence of the ancient throne room. The orb he sought rested on the throne, its pale blue form vibrant and ethereal.”

It is always better, in any story, to get the reader to connect with the protagonist as soon as possible, preferably in the first sentence. You could solve this be re-arranging the paragraph, for example – A subtle yet forceful whisper reverberated around Soandso (the protagonist’s name). The faint words echoed off the icy columns, lingered in the ice-lined walls ans slid forlornly into the silence of the ancient throne room. The orb he sought rested on the rime-encrusted iron throne.

Now, I certainly agree with her about a character needing to connect ASAP with the reader, and I realize my flaw in the story. My original intent was to have an anonymous character. I deliberately avoided giving him a name, to accentuate the fact that he was JUST another warrior in the same cycle, over and over again. I didn’t really pull it off, it seems, because if Ms. Wilcox did not catch it, than most would not either. I’ve fixed this in other stories later, and made the characters have more, well, character.

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Characters ~

In such a short space it is extremely difficult to create a well rounded character. It would have been nice to know whether the protagonist had chosen himself or had been picked by someone else to perform the duty of ending winter and why. What is it about this particular warrior which makes him fit for the purpose?

As stated in my previous paragraph, I was unclear and vague in my attempt to show the anonymity of the character correctly.

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You have chosen to write this with a distant third person point of view. Again, this is a personal view, but I think with a short story the writer should get the reader closer to the action. I therefore think that maybe you should have gone with a close third person p.o.v. This would have allowed you to show the reader the workings of your protagonist’s mind, and made for a deeper story.

Related to the previous, as well, I chose distant third person to have the reader NOT see the inner workings of the warrior, as he was intended to be anonymous and one of many.

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Scene/Setting/World-building ~

As previously mentioned, you do have some very good imagery in the story. I like these passages particularly –

“The vaporous shades coalesced into a single form, the outline of a man; at least, a sort of man. Its solidifying limbs were clear, as clear as fresh ice, thick with frozen life. Its torso became smooth and slick, the vapors not quite solid inside, writhing internally with a life of their own.”

– and –

“The vaporous shades were silent. The emptiness of the tomb-like throne room was oppressive as the warrior stood exhausted, breathing heavily. The light from the bluish-white orb resting on the plain iron throne grew visibly brighter, and the warrior gazed deeply at its new light.”
Made me feel quite good, thanks Ms. Wilcox, I tried hard overall. I’m glad she liked those passages.
 
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However there is one place where I thought your world-building was rather too vague –

The kingdom had forged the sword of the sun during the high heat of summer,

At the risk of sounding pedantic, I would say that a kingdom (an abstact, or collective noun) could not in itself forge a sword. would not some swordsmith or other presumably have been given the task by the reigning monarch?

Here I was trying to show the kingdom as a whole was united to create the sword to defeat the guardian. I should have been more clear, but I was limited by word count. I’ve taken steps in future stories to not assume the reader understands what I understand; meaning, only I as the author have the most complete picture. I need to let the reader see the picture without having to guess or make giant intuitive leaps.

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Grammar/Mechanics/Dialogue

I am pleased to say that I didn’t find any errors with spellings or grammar. I can’t comment on the dialogue because in this story there wasn’t any.

All in all it was a short, yet entertaining read, although I do think it could stand being fleshed out by re-working it to show the action from the close third person point of view.

Spelling and Grammar I take pride in, although I’m currently working on Passive Voice and excessive comma usage.

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Overall, I feel it was a favorable review from an intelligent and talented writer, and I appreciated her honest criticism and compliments. I wish I had received more reviews, as just one doesn’t allow a full range of input from different opinions and preferences, but Ms. Wilcox’s will do for now.

Thanks for reading.

Oren

Copyright © 2012 – Oren’s Realm – All Rights Reserved


Weekend engaged.

Well, I was going to follow up the last post with the review I received and how I felt about it, but I actually forgot I was heading out of town this weekend, so I’ll do it when I get back.

Some minor updates in my writing exploits. First, I bought a Folding Keyboard for when I’m out. I use my iPhone so often it’s become a great tool without needing a full tablet. When it comes in I’ll yammer a bit about it.

The second little thing was on WDC. I entered a contest recently with the stipulation that I would refrain from doing any more until I finished some chapters in my current project. Well, the two individuals that each led a separate contest I participated in started a new contest. Intrigued, I read the prompt: solve a crime, have a blind character, and must be a pirate, western, or martial art theme. Very interesting.

So guess what my crazy self is going to do…all of the above! Muahaha! I’ll post updates.

See you next time.

Oren

Copyright © 2012 – Oren’s Realm – All Rights Reserved


Contest Entry #1 – The Cyclic Ruse

Tonight I’m going to post my first full short story; I don’t feel the Dialogue 500 one counts, as it was kinda gimmicky with just dialogue. The contest creator is a fan of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, so the prompt was “Use ‘Winter is coming’ in your submission.” Of course that phrase is well known, but I wanted to use it well in an original way. I feel I did a pretty good job of integration while keeping the whole setting unrelated to Martin’s series. In fact, I’ve begun development of a novel skeleton based on this short story. I’m looking forward to it, after I finish my current novel (which I’ll talk about in a future post).  Tomorrow, I will post the review and discuss how I felt about it.

This story won first place in the round I participated in.

Without further ado, here is: The Cyclic Ruse

winter is coming…

The faint words echoed off the icy columns. Its subtle yet forceful whisper reverberated around the rime-encrusted iron throne. The words lingered on the ice-lined walls and slid forlornly into the silence of the ancient throne room. The orb he sought rested on the throne, its pale blue form vibrant and ethereal.

The warrior shivered, an unfamiliar feeling to him. The cursed castle was now just a glacial tomb, the remnants of life rising in vaporous forms. Faint and hollow faces appeared at the edges of the fog-like vapor, silently echoing the simple message spoken before. He could fight these, but they were inconsequential; the sword of the sun would decimate their number, but they would reform and overwhelm him. It would be better to wait for the guardian.

winter is coming…

The chorus spoke louder, no longer a whisper. The warrior stepped back, the chill of the room reaching under his armor. Icy rivulets of sweat trickled down his back, the touch of cold fear threatening to break him.

The vaporous shades coalesced into a single form, the outline of a man; at least, a sort of man. Its solidifying limbs were clear, as clear as fresh ice, thick with frozen life. Its torso became smooth and slick, the vapors not quite solid inside, writhing internally with a life of their own.

winter is coming….

The voice was single now, repeating its prophetic sentence. The warrior stood frozen, not in a literal icy sense; although he now thought that frigid oblivion would be a blessing. There was no turning back. The object of his venture into the barren grave of a castle lay mere yards behind the chilly manifestation. Despite the terror cascading through him, he must complete his objective. He had no choice.

The warrior stepped forward, raising the sun sword up and back, the tower shield firmly held straight and true. Many comrades had perished in their quest for the creation of this sword, and they would finally rest easy in the frozen depths of hell as he vindicated their sacrifice.

The guardian of ice had formed a gaping maw now. Its mouth, if it could be called one, was lined with thousands of icicle-like teeth, and it salivated a congealing frost beneath its stalagmite feet. It towered above the warrior, stretching its glacial mass as it flexed its newly formed limbs.

winter is coming…

The chorus had returned with its whisper, and new foggy apparitions formed along the edges of the chamber.

The warrior took another stride forward. The guardian noticed him now, and forcefully blasted a gale of sleet at him. He was ready for this, and he hunkered behind the tower shield and waited for the blizzard to finish. His long and tedious study of the rituals required had paid off; he was prepared for this guardian.

As the guardian finished its torrent, the warrior stood fast and charged. The guardian swung its fist powerfully at him, and the warrior slashed downward with the sword of the sun. As if it was still vapor, the fist of the guardian fell to the ground and shattered. A surge of confidence filled the warrior and he pulled back his shield to a more offensive stance. Lunging forward, the warrior slashed across the leg, hoping to cripple the glacial monstrosity.

The guardian predicted his attack and moved back its leg. The warrior had hoped it would be unintelligent, but apparently it possessed some modicum of strategy. As it moved back, it swung its undamaged arm at the warrior swiftly. He was able to turn and absorb the impact with the shield, but it flung him across the chamber. He slid into a column, raining shards of ice down from its frost-covered surface. A spasm of pain erupted across his back; but he retained control of his limbs, so he concluded that it was not a paralyzing injury, fortunately.

winter is coming…

The chorus of vapors repeated their distracting sentence. He was well aware of the meaning of their declaration. The bite of brutal life-ending winter could only be halted by this cycling combat. The kingdom had forged the sword of the sun during the high heat of summer, completing the necessary trial to end the scorching heat. The orb ahead had fueled the intense summer, providing the heat required for the sword; it had regenerated when defeated as its polar opposite: the bitter chill of winter. The seasons would worsen until the orb was quenched with the tool made from its opposite essence.

The warrior felt a twinge of despair. The battle he fought would not be the end, only the beginning of more suffering, despite the immediate respite from the orb’s torment. Everyone knew it, and the fate of being chosen to reset the orbs was a singular honor. After he died, they would add his name to the songs they sang during the brief months of spring and autumn. Small comfort, he thought. Glory was not his goal, only salvation of those he loved.

The guardian waited for him. He stood up slowly and stretched his tormented back; sharp cramps caused the warrior to wince noticeably. Nevertheless, he had a job to do. The warrior picked up his tower shield, flexed his sword arm, and advanced again.

winter is coming…

He did not hesitate this time. The warrior bellowed his fury as he ran directly at the guardian. It could sense the conviction in the warrior, or perhaps it knew the warrior had finally accepted his role. The guardian spread its maw wide and gushed a new torrent of slick ice and sleet, some of it condensing tighter into hail. He blocked the assault partially with his shield, but a portion of the gale struck his sword arm. The sun sword kept his glove and vambrace thawed, but his elbow had frozen solid. He cried out in pain, as his skin was now fused to the gambeson underneath his steel.

His shoulder still worked, though. The warrior collided with the leg of the abomination, pushing it off balance and forcing it to stagger one step back. The warrior did not relent. He slashed outward with his sword arm, pivoting his torso to compensate for the loss of flexibility in his elbow. The sun sword severed the leg readily, and the glacial beast fell.

As the guardian landed, the warrior dodged its flailing limb and thrust the sun sword as well as he was able into its gaping maw. It bit down with its icicle teeth, but they had no physical force. He had defeated the orb’s guardian and it dissolved into a wet chilly fog.

The vaporous shades were silent. The emptiness of the tomb-like throne room was oppressive as the warrior stood exhausted, breathing heavily. The light from the bluish-white orb resting on the plain iron throne grew visibly brighter, and the warrior gazed deeply at its new light.

winter is coming…

The words came from his own lips. He still had a task to complete; it was not yet over. Tossing aside the useless shield, the warrior walked to the throne wearily. The orb’s intensity did not lessen, and he sensed it had an awareness; at least, it was aware of him.

He knew what he had to do, but he paused. Would ending the cycle by not destroying the orb be so bad? Would not an endless winter be preferable to a cycle of oppressive extremes? He could then live, if not a warm life then at least a longer life than now.

No. It must be this way. It had been this way for centuries. He was too weak-minded to solve this puzzle of seasonal extremes. Let the next warrior save the world. He had only to end the bitter winter. Glory was not his place.

The warrior thrust the sun sword into the orb, and immediately the fiery essence of the sword absorbed into the blue orb. The orb ignited, pulsating with incendiary force, and his blade withered into ash. Blue icy essence filled the handle, and as the orb grew brighter with new flames, he threw the handle into the air and recited the return spell; it vanished with the crisp sound of ice breaking. Hopefully it made it to the kingdom; he had no way to be sure.

The warrior tried to pull away from the increasing inferno, but the vaporous shades from the edges of the chamber had come behind him, preventing escape. He could not retreat and he closed his eyes as the brightness grew intolerable. He felt his armor begin to melt and he screamed as the metal burned through his gambeson and into his soul. The vaporous shades wrapped around him and ignited as well. Engulfed, the pain swept his awareness into oblivion.

The concept of time became meaningless. Yet, the pain lessened gradually. The chamber’s icy scene had disappeared, and the deep desert sands of the floor became evident to him. Confused, the warrior gazed down at himself and saw flames, flames in the form of a man. The orb, now a dull red, lay on the throne behind him.

Then, he understood. He would be the guardian now. The full nature of the curse became apparent. The cycle would never end, as the tormented people fueled the orb each season. The kingdom itself maintained the cycle of bitter extremes. He had no way to explain to them their error.

But that was not his problem any more.

Summer is coming, he whispered.

Copyright © 2012 – Oren’s Realm – All Rights Reserved


Hello and welcome!

Welcome to Oren’s Realm! Yes, I know, a bit cheesy, but if you knew me in person, I’m all about cheesy.

I wanted to create a place I could write about things in the world that strike my fancy, and share some writing with the world. I came to the conclusion, with some advice from good friends, that maybe an online blog would be a great way to keep writing and maybe learn a few things or three. So, here I am, with a nifty free WordPress site!

I am a 34-year-old male, married, with a beautiful 3-year-old daughter. I’m hoping that I can inspire my daughter through my writing, and when she gets old enough, perhaps she’ll share my love of reading and writing. I currently live in the great state of Oklahoma. I have two dogs: Slugger, a puffball of a grumpy yet affectionate pomeranian, and Heidi, a deep dark brindle boxer. Heidi is sweet and playful, and a treat to have around. Slugger is well, just Slugger.

I enjoy reading. I am working on George R. R. Martin’s books (isn’t everyone? lol). I really enjoy structured and well thought out fantasy, and even a good sci-fi, books. Robert Jordon’s Wheel of Time series is phenomenal, if a tad long (and I mean looooonnngg). Piers Anthony is a strong favorite of mine. Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality books, seven total, are a great read. They blend Science Fiction and Fantasy amazingly well, and I’d like to try something similar, a hybrid world of machine’s and magic, without going steampunk.

I am currently a member on www.writing.com, a rather nice writing website with a substantial amount of participation world-wide. My original intent on joining WDC (writing DOT com) was to participate in some discussions with like-minded writers and share feedback. I discovered that they had some contests, and so I checked out a few that sounded interesting. The first contest I discovered was the Dialogue 500; the purpose of this particular contest was to write using ONLY dialogue. No “he said” “she said” or exposition, just dialogue. This intrigued me. The current month’s prompt was create a story in only dialogue where two best friend’s friendship is destroyed. A prompt is used for contests, it seemed, to keep the entries new and original, and not pulled out and dusted off from a hidden moldy portfolio. So, I entered. Here is my entry: Unexpected Snack. Now, with that entry being the first thing I’ve written outside of minor ramblings, I think I did pretty darn good. I’m still waiting on the results for that contest, but I’m actually confident I’ll place, if not win.

I have lots of thoughts and a few stories I’m going to share here, but I’m going to stop for now. I look forward to some discussion, as visitors increase; and, I hope you enjoyed this little read. Make sure to check out my entry!

Oren

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