Ninety Degrees of Fortune Pt. 3 – 5

4 02 2010

The next 3 installments continue along the same six-sentence constraint as the previous 2.

Pt.3: Excommunication

Above the heads of the trembling guards blocking his path, Raverus saw the shanty village where the former Inlanders had taken up residence. The villagers–his wife among them–were gathered behind the Guardsmen to witness what threatened to be quite a spectacle.

As Chief Watchman of the Three Genies, Raverus was proudly famed for his superhuman might and inhuman mercilessness. But seeing his own soldiers amassed in ad hoc armor–slate and cookware mostly–and all of the fearful faces of the villagers–his friends days before–so enfeebled him that his hand dove limply from his sword with the gravity of the pit in his stomach.

He raised his hands in the air and offered a truce, but they would field no compromise and forgive no fault. Without their standard armor and weaponry, he could’ve fought them all and won, they knew it too, but their traitorous revolt had drained him of his fight, for now.

Pt.4: The Prostrate

Rendered virtually naked by his sudden expulsion from the camp, Raverus wandered the chill desert night until he found himself surrounded by the men riding on what had very recently been his soldiers’ horses, armed with weapons from the Emperor’s arsenal–his arsenal.

“The Emperor wishes to see you,” said the man wearing Raverus’ helmet, as the others inched toward their captive with the business end of their weapons, emphasizing that the invitation was not optional.

When they arrived at the palace, Raverus in shackles and his sword absconded by the guards, the young Emperor rushed to the warrior and wrapped his arms around his knees. The boy Emperor rambled on excitedly about something to do with famine, questions about the land, the structures, the weapons; the Outland dialect was very choppy and Raverus struggled to follow.

His astonishment at the young man’s blind, ignorant gumption–to even imagine Raverus would consider helping the thieving little snot or his people–melted into
rage as he assembled the facts: these soldiers who had brought him in hadn’t eaten in several days. Raverus swiped his sword from the hunger-stricken guardsman and claimed the heads of the closest three men, ensuring that its skill had not been diminished by captivity. He aimed his blade at the Emperor for several moments before choosing to save himself the trouble; these people were suffering plenty.

Part 5: Enemy to Your Enemy

Raverus had been a celebrity in the Inlands; the Chief Watchman of the palace was the man charged with the proud duty of defending the Emperor’s sacred artifacts, namely the Three Genies. And for his failure to fulfill that honor, his own people, banished from their kingdom into the Outlands, had banished him from their makeshift village.

The Emperor had reached the throne through a tunnel of good intentions and idealism, with one single wish, but looking back from the seat he could see no light. His people were as unfamiliar with the conditions of the Inlands as Raverus’ people were those of the Outlands, and in a very short time Inland and Outland would all be the same: dead as the dirt.

A change must bring them together, thought the man with no land, as his fingers massaged the handle of his sword with a brilliantly terrible suggestion. Raverus had often boasted that it would take two of the Outlanders’ armies to defeat him; now, he would create the opportunity to test that theory.


Not Pictured

7 01 2010
Intro: I feel it necessary to post the pic that inspired this exercise. Guess that’s sort of a disclaimer. Shame on me. This one’s 300 words, can you hack it?

pic found through the random pic generator
FYI, there is some screwed up stuff out there, r.sine at your own risk

Jocelyn had introduced four of the hottest artists in the country over the past two years. She was known, to put it mildly.

Not that an art promoter, even a highly-influential one, would be particularly “credible” in all circles, but she wasn’t a nut either. Still, she knew that artsy types were theoretically given to bouts of eccentricity; if she weren’t thought to be insane, then it would have been suspected that she had done some bad drugs, or gotten trapped in the spell of a dream or some other such nonsense.

She smiled at him. As she did, she recalled a guy she’d dumped because he vehemently believed in Bigfoot–she had told him “commitment issues,” but it was the Bigfoot thing. Now, she was having her umpteenth meeting with an alien.

His body was perhaps too long and slender but otherwise could pass as human, if not topped with a hammer-like, leathery black head.

They couldn’t talk, of course, but art can leap that hurdle. In their first encounter she was convinced it was a dream. She had slept in the gallery, not uncommon before a big show, and awoke to find Ernie (that’s as close as she could get to the sound he made when gesturing to himself) and a few others exploring the exhibits, examining each work with due appreciation.

Ernie was the only to return. He was an artist, it turned out. Once he felt safe enough to share, she was mesmerized by his skill. He expressed himself unlike any other painter she’d ever seen.

The visions, the emotions he conveyed…

If she were to show the world, to share these works, they would be relentless in their pursuit of the painter. She couldn’t do that. No way. The world wasn’t ready for this beauty.