EXERCISE Picture challenge #2: Together

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by redblood, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. INFO: They say that a picture can tell a thousand words. How many can you find?

    Each week a new image will be posted, and your challenge will be to write whatever the image inspires you to write. It can be anything as long as it relates to the picture. A plot, a scene, a short story, a poem, a character, etc. You can write as much or as little as you wish. It's not the length that matters, it's what you put into it. There is no time limit to these challenges, so feel free to jump in at any time.

  2. We'll walk into the night, my dear, along a path of frozen light. And when the cold wind steals my breath away, I'll walk alone no more.
    #2 Nemaisare, Dec 14, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  3. [Stage Play: Set the scene, cue the dialogue, close scene.]


    Abathid Province, northern wastes. The young woman, Émile, had left her family with a group of adventurers. A novice magician, she quickly found that adventuring was a hard and sometimes lonely life, and is reeling after the death of her mentor. The only thing he left her was a note to travel alone to the northern wastes, a single, simple sentence followed.

    "Follow your light to wisdom, let no chains of life hold you back."

    As she stood alone in the field of ice and snow, with the frost-bitten mists swirling around, she soon enough discovered she was not quite so alone as she had thought she was.


    "Pretty, non?"
    "Who are you?"
    "Isn't that a funny question."
    "Are you going to answer?"
    "I am."
    "Well what?"
    "Are you going to answer?"
    "Answer what?"
    "Who are you?"
    "I am."
    "That still isn't clear!"
    "It is."
    "How so?"
    "Who are you, madam?"
    "That is a name, assigned by others. Not who you are."
    "I am a magician."
    "That is a profession, not who you are."
    "I am a woman, of the kingdom of Adriana..."
    "Your sexual characteristics and place of birth are not who you are, they are facts about your life, and nothing more."
    "What if I was a patriot?"
    "Then you would be a puppet to drawn lines on a map."
    "It's more than that!"
    "Is it?"
    "You still haven't answered my question."
    "How can I answer what you cannot? I am. Anything beyond this is irrelevant."
    "Because I am, and nothing else."
    "Look... Whatever, wind. I came here to seek an answer to another question."
    "Follow your light to wisdom, let no chains hold you back. What is this?"
    "It is a metaphor."
    "Cheeky answer. What does the metaphor mean?"
    "It means to follow your curiosity, and to let nothing in the past prevent this."
    "... I already do this, though. I'm confused. Why would these be the last words for my mentor?"
    "Obviously he saw an error in your ways that you did not."
    "Such as?"
    "Who are you?"
    "I am..."
    "... I... Huh."
    "You are not a nationality, a flag, a profession, or a name given by others. You are not a colour, nor a sex. You are only defined by what you allow, the constraints on what you can see are yours alone to circumvent."
    "I don't understand, how would these things get in my way of curiosity?"
    "By not allowing you to inquire and assimilate opposition, to see things from different eyes. You are a wizard, certainly, but how can you properly help your warrior without understanding his views?"
    "I couldn't. I need to know what a warrior can do so I can properly help him or her in their tasks with magic."
    "Now, how will you understand the position of an enemy of the state, if you are a patriot that defines your existence by drawn squiggles on a map? How can you see the world through the eyes of those who appear different, if you see yourself as a female, or of your colour? If you identify yourself with the outside labels of others, how can you expect to understand that which is, rather than that which you think is?"
    "But I am a woman. I'm proud of being a woman!"
    "Certainly, and I am proud to be an incorporeal ancient spirit, but I know this is merely a trait of mine. Being a woman is not your identity, it's a trait."
    "Yes! The same goes for being a wizard, of course, and your nationality, and even your name. These are just descriptions of you, none of these make up the whole of you. None of these should get in your way to curiosity, of learning, of understanding, of exploring other things, creatures, ideas..."
    "... Heh..."

    "Did you tell my mentor this too, once?"
    "Of course. He was an astute if somewhat brazen student."
    "Can you tell me about him while we look at the bright dots in the sky?"
    "Of course. It all started when his mentor died, and sent him here at the meagre age of twenty three..."

    [Dialogue end]

    I figure after that, Émile spends the night there, with the spirit ever by her side. There's hints of warmth and care, but for some reason from that image I didn't conjure imagery of a romantic couple, I felt instead something more familial, like a parental relationship. As though she's holding onto someone who is gone, but not in the remorseful "my lover is dead" kind of manner, in the accepting "my parental figure is gone but a piece of him/her lives on in me".
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  4. "Funny running into you here." The woman hugged her knees to her chest and tilted her head so she would be gazing at the stars. She could see his shadow, but she felt no warmth. "We used to play here when we were kids, do you remember?"

    The spirit nodded his head.

    "We'd go running past sand dunes with our wooden swords—you always wanted to be an adventurer."

    "And for a time, we were the greatest adventurers in Sol." He placed a hand on her shoulder, even though he knew she would not feel it at all. "We were partners. Anna, do you remember all the quests we went on? All the bandits we had bested and all the beasts we had slain? We were always a force to be reckoned with."

    Memories of dank dungeons and moonlit harbors made Anna laugh. "We dreamed of becoming dragon slayers."

    "We were young and ambitious."

    "We were, but we were also the greatest adventurers in Sol."

    "Indeed we were," he mumbled.

    "It feels like a lifetime ago."

    "You're right," he sighed. "I miss being an adventurer."

    A strange look flashed across Anna's face, and for a moment, she looked like she was about to cry.

    Daniel, I miss you. She bit back a frown and laughed. "Yeah, I miss those days too."
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