Saga Quotations Challenge story - Shmi, Anakin and that Jedi - Replies 8/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by geo3, Aug 29, 2005.

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  1. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    Title: ?The Prodigal Son?
    Author: Geo3
    Timeline: Saga Canon Embellishment
    Genre: Short Story
    Characters: Shmi, Anakin, Qui, OC
    Summary: How does a mother let her child go?
    Challenge Quote: #52. Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. -- Marian Edelman


    Author?s note:
    I?ve used the spelling ?Ani? throughout this story, rather than the ?Annie? of the official literature, because I like it better.





    The Prodigal Son



    For Shmi Skywalker, the best time of every day was the early evening.

    This was her ?breathing out? time, the time when the long, slow inhalation of the day ? head up, shoulders tense, eyes wary ? finally could be released. Back in the shelter of her home, she could let go of the outward gesture of the expanding breath, at last allowing her body and spirit to sink softly into her secret, patient center. There, in her heart, she opened a space. She cradled this space inside of herself while she washed and changed her clothing and became the person she really was. She held this heart space open while she carefully prepared the evening?s meal. She breathed out until the world outside contracted and disappeared. She created a refuge. And she waited.

    The best part of the best part of every day was the time when the peace she?d made was shattered by the explosion of energy that came in through her door every evening and made its way straight for her. Knees and feet scrabbled in her lap so that he could reach her neck. Small, grubby arms circled it as they clutched her briefly ? too briefly, sometimes. Now that he was older it was rare that she got more than a cursory kiss.

    He flowed into the space she had made for him. Filled it. She could feel him settle down a little and begin to exhale.

    ?Hi, Mom!?

    Every day in the best part of the best part of the day, she received the same greeting. And every day she answered him in the same way, so that each day had its rhythm and its order.

    ?I?m so happy to see you, Ani. Come tell me about your day.?

    The cycle was complete. He had gone out, and he had returned. He was her heart, she was his home.

    After that, Shmi rarely had to say much of anything for a long time, because his day, like all of Anakin?s days, would have been crammed full of things that had interested and engaged him. She had only to take him by the shoulders and push him gently toward the washbasin while he told her about bargains and trades, star pilots and ships. She served their simple evening meal while he talked about friends and foes, struggles and schemes. After their meal the flow of chatter would end, and he would leave her to go work on his latest obsession, whatever it might be.

    Often Shmi went out onto the roof to drink in the sweet night air, now that the day?s dust had settled. It was quiet, except for the night sounds that drifted over from the neighbors and from the desert just beyond. Shmi liked to sit on her bench the dark, and think about the way the world looked through the bright blue eyes of a young boy ? eyes that were so unlike hers.

    My son.

    Shmi often tested the words in her mind, willing them to be true.

    My own.

    And yet was unlike anyone she had ever known.

    However quietly she crept out to her roof, old Kimi next door always knew when Shmi was outside. ?Can I come up, Shmi?? she would beg from around the corner in her old woman?s singsong. ?Come up for a chat?? Shmi would help her to climb the few steep stairs, and then she would make sure there was enough room for Kimi?s broad, soft form beside her on the single low bench. There was never a question of Shmi walking down the steps to Kimi?s hut. Kimi knew that, as long as Anakin was home, Shmi would not leave her dwelling.

    ?Oh, it was a hot one today,? Kimi would begin, as always, fanning herself in memory of the stifling heat of midday, although the night air was much cooler. ?Hot enough to blow an ember, I swear.
  2. Anakins_Force Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 4


    Anakin frowned and played idly with one of the tools on his table, turning it over and over in his fingers. ?Watto asked me to collect some money that some traders owed him.?

    ?What?? The word came out as a wail. ?He has you collecting debts for him now? You?re only nine years old!? Debt collecting was a task most often carried out by the kind of half-grown young thugs who relished creating trouble. It was, more often than not, an invitation to a fight, and not the kind of fight that took place between children.

    Anakin shrugged. ?He said?he said I might as well get used to it.?


    Poor Anakin--he was used by everyone--Watto, the Jedi, the Sith. Except for Shmi, she loved him enough to let him go.

    The last few tears left in Shmi?s body leaked silently down her face. ?He never was mine to begin with,? she said forlornly, while the very core of her being drained slowly away into the hot, harsh, indifferent desert air of a planet that didn?t matter.

    Until?.
    _

    ?Mom??


    This was so touching. You really caputred Shmi's spirit and the sense of loss she felt at raising Anakin as a slave instead of a regular boy. And this piece had a heavy sadness to it that was perfect for the situation. I really don't have the words to express it!
  3. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    This story was exquisite, but this line reached out and grabbed me as it is Anakin and Padme, defined. :eek:

    Only with Ani, who clearly adored her, did she become at all girlish and natural. They seemed to cling together for comfort, the young people, in the midst of the chaos the Jedi wrought

    Brilliant work, geo and so poignant and sad. The ending was so sad, but perfect and the the vignette itself should be held up as a character study of Anakin. In other words, great job!!!! @};- =D=
  4. Aiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 4
    Wonderful! It was beautifully written, straight from the heart, well done!
  5. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    This was quite wonderful. Loved the way the timeline just flowed as Shmi tried raise her child in such an environment. Loved the tenderness with which she showed to Anakin even when she knew she could not have him with her forever. Loved the scene with Shmi and Qui-Gon talking about the Temple and how he treated her as an equal.

    Loved, loved, loved the last scene. It was the perfect ending to this.

    Beautifully done. Bravo. =D=
  6. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    Gorgeous! And for the me the line that stood out was: The cycle was complete. He had gone out, and he had returned. He was her heart, she was his home. As a mother, I could completely relate to that sentiment! =D=
  7. GunraysLawyer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 4
    All I can say is....



    BRAVO
  8. gauss1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 1
    This story made me cry, it was so heartbreaking and yet wonderful.

    I don't have any comments to make on a specific part of the story, because there wasn't one single section that stood out. Rather, the entire story flowed seamlessly - I felt completely immersed in Shmi's world and could easily visualize the sand and the heat and the deep love that she had. Every little detail rang true and added to the richness of their world. Absolutely wonderful!
  9. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Yay! Posted!

    Of course it's lovely and very thought provoking... [face_love]
  10. KELIA Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 6
    =D= Well done. This story was perfect. You really captured Shmi's heart and soul.

    bravo! =D= =D= =D=
  11. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Wonderful vignette! =D=

    I especially liked the way you weaved in the roots of the fears that would later be Anakin's undoing. It really goes how much work the Jedi would have had to do - or, how much Anakin had to unlearn - to change his fate. :(

    Almost makes you wonder if Plageuis or Sidious really did influence the midichlorians to create life on a cruel distant world like Tatooine... [face_thinking]
  12. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    Thank you for your very kind responses!

    anakins_force Poor Anakin--he was used by everyone--Watto, the Jedi, the Sith. Except for Shmi, she loved him enough to let him go.

    I?ve always thought so, just as I really do believe in the old adage, ?if you love them, let them go...?

    This was so touching. You really captured Shmi's spirit and the sense of loss she felt at raising Anakin as a slave instead of a regular boy. And this piece had a heavy sadness to it that was perfect for the situation. I really don't have the words to express it!

    I?m so glad that you enjoyed it!

    rhonderoo This story was exquisite, but this line reached out and grabbed me as it is Anakin and Padmé, defined. ?Only with Ani, who clearly adored her, did she become at all girlish and natural. They seemed to cling together for comfort, the young people, in the midst of the chaos the Jedi wrought.

    Thanks very much, Rhon. I?m delighted that you think so.

    Brilliant work, geo and so poignant and sad. The ending was so sad, but perfect and the vignette itself should be held up as a character study of Anakin. In other words, great job!!!!


    Wow! Again, thanks! I guess that, in terms of fanfic, studying Anakin?s character is what I do most of the time. I find it endlessly interesting.

    Aiel Wonderful! It was beautifully written, straight from the heart, well done!

    Thank you!

    dianethx This was quite wonderful. Loved the way the timeline just flowed as Shmi tried raise her child in such an environment. Loved the tenderness with which she showed to Anakin even when she knew she could not have him with her forever. Loved the scene with Shmi and Qui-Gon talking about the Temple and how he treated her as an equal. ? Loved, loved, loved the last scene. It was the perfect ending to this...Beautifully done. Bravo.

    Thanks, Diane! I?m especially pleased that you approve of the appearance of the Big Guy?;)

    VaderVR64 Gorgeous! And for me the line that stood out was: The cycle was complete. He had gone out, and he had returned. He was her heart, she was his home. As a mother, I could completely relate to that sentiment!

    As you?ve divined, that line comes straight out of a mother?s heart! I?ve raised two boys of my own.

    GunraysLawyer All I can say is.... BRAVO

    Thank you, o pithy one!

    gauss1 This story made me cry, it was so heartbreaking and yet wonderful.
    I don't have any comments to make on a specific part of the story, because there wasn't one single section that stood out. Rather, the entire story flowed seamlessly - I felt completely immersed in Shmi's world and could easily visualize the sand and the heat and the deep love that she had. Every little detail rang true and added to the richness of their world. Absolutely wonderful!


    I?m very happy that you enjoyed it, and that it moved you!

    DarthBreezy Yay! Posted! Of course it's lovely and very thought provoking...

    Thanks!

    Kelia Well done. This story was perfect. You really captured Shmi's heart and soul. bravo!

    Thanks for that, and for taking the time to say so!

    Darth_Lex Wonderful vignette! ?I especially liked the way you weaved in the roots of the fears that would later be Anakin's undoing. It really goes how much work the Jedi would have had to do - or, how much Anakin had to unlearn - to change his fate.

    Thank you! We just keep circling around those old questions, don?t we ? did the Jedi really know what they were dealing with? Would it have changed anything if they did? Would it have made a difference had Jinn lived? Good discussions, all. Hooray for Star Wars!

    Almost makes you wonder if Plageuis or Sidious really did influence the midichlorians to create life on a cruel distant world like Tatooine...

    Interesting question. From a certain point of view, Anakin?s experiences as a child were no different than those of countless other children. The difference betwe
  13. Darth_Null Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Nature vs. Nurture?

    First, wonderful story. It captures the essence of Shmi, and touches on Anakin's strong influences that have accompanied him since before birth.

    Next, on the nature vs. nurture question, there can be no redemption without a fall, no good without evil. Anakin's destiny was to transform the evil in him into something good so that he could act in a "right way." One can only transform that which one knows, and one can only know that which one owns (paraphrasing Goethe . . .). If this last sentence is true, then Anakin had to become evil. Without evil he would not have redeemed the Force. Therefore, nature would have both his evil and good tendencies. You captured well how the good was nurtured, imprinted so that it would reach deep into the self and never be lost no matter what took place later on in life. Implanted and nurtured by Shmi. It is also striking that it is Shmi, the instrument of the good, who serves as the inspiration to Anakin's dark side, prompted by her death. Further nurturing, of course, would come from Palpatine but without Shmi, Anakin's dark and light sides would not have surfaced.

    Shmi was too a "chosen one" to nurture the good, and to inspire the dark . . .

    It is not nature vs. nurture, it is nature and nurture.
  14. remote_light Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Geo,

    What a wonderful work! I enjoy reading it. And I printed it out, so that I can read it again and again.[:D]

    First, thanks again for your great work. I am so glad that you wrote an Anakin story when he was very young. And I like the ending (actually, I like the whole story). It was very touching that Shmi died in Anakin's arm, you waved in the ATOC seemlessly. Secondly, I have a question for you? When I read the story Children of Circumstances, I was a little surprised that Anakin severed the training bond between him and Obi-Wan. Since I have been following your Anakin's saga for a while, I wish you could share with us your story of the ATOC or your thoughts what had happened between Anakin met Padem ten years later and Shmi died. And I hope I will find the answer to my question. I really, really love COC, but I feel there are many question unanswered before it. Coud you please think about it? I am waiting[face_praying]
  15. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    More replies! I thought this thread had sunk into oblivion!

    Darth_Null Nature vs. Nurture?

    First, wonderful story. It captures the essence of Shmi, and touches on Anakin's strong influences that have accompanied him since before birth.


    Thank you! "Influences that have accompanied him since before birth..." I see you are taking the largest possible view here!

    It is not nature vs. nurture, it is nature and nurture.

    This is such a fascinating analysis! It gives me much food for thought. I wish it wren't buried on this thread. Thank you!

    remote_light Geo,

    What a wonderful work! I enjoy reading it. And I printed it out, so that I can read it again and again.


    Thank you so much!

    First, thanks again for your great work. I am so glad that you wrote an Anakin story when he was very young. And I like the ending (actually, I like the whole story). It was very touching that Shmi died in Anakin's arm, you waved in the ATOC seemlessly.

    Thanks, it was my intention to stay true to the films - I only wanted to explore Shmi and Anakin's early life a little, along with the early indications of Anakin's nature.

    Secondly, I have a question for you? When I read the story Children of Circumstances, I was a little surprised that Anakin severed the training bond between him and Obi-Wan. Since I have been following your Anakin's saga for a while, I wish you could share with us your story of the ATOC or your thoughts what had happened between Anakin met Padem ten years later and Shmi died. And I hope I will find the answer to my question. I really, really love COC, but I feel there are many question unanswered before it. Coud you please think about it? I am waiting praying

    When I originally wrote "Children of Circumstance," I based it on what we already knew from AOTC, so I never really thought that there was a different story there. But I see what you mean - there are elements in COC, like the cutting of that bond, that go beyond the film, and presuppose that other events, too, have taken place. I gather that's the story you would like me to write? Well, once I have finished that epic I'm working on, I don't see any reason not to re-visit ealier times once more, and to sketch out a few missing scenes. I just need to finish "Ring of Fire" first, OK?

    Thanks very much for asking! I am honored by your faith in me.
  16. Elana Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2005
    star 2
    What a beautiful story. I love Shmi, and your characterizations of her and Anakin were just perfect. I'm glad this got bumped so I got the chance to see it.
  17. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a note, Elana. It was great to hear from you.
  18. karebear214 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 4
  19. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    *bows humbly* My apologies for taking so long to post this reply. On an upside, I'll be giving this wonderful story a bump! :D

    On to the review!

    Before I do my quoting thing, I just wanted to say that this: There are very few really amazing writers on these threads. There are lots of popular writers, but few truly strike a true note with every word they write. You are definitely one of those writers. This vignette is a beautiful example of that. Every word is wonderfully crafted and smoothly integrated into the piece, like strands of thread in a fantastic tapestry. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

    I?ve used the spelling ?Ani? throughout this story, rather than the ?Annie? of the official literature, because I like it better.

    You and me both!!

    The best part of the best part of every day was the time when the peace she?d made was shattered by the explosion of energy that came in through her door every evening and made its way straight for her.

    I have an eight-year old boy. I found this to be just a wonderfully authentic thing for her to say.

    ?Why did P?aat pick on Kittster??

    ?Just because,? Anakin would murmur. ?Just to show that he?s powerful.?

    ?And is he powerful??

    ?He is when people are scared of him.? A little pride would creep into his voice. ?I?m not.?

    ?So you felt you had to step in.?

    ??Course I did, Mom. Kittster is my friend.? His blue eyes would open again, and see directly into her heart. ?Don?t worry. I?m all right.?


    I loved this moment! It perfectly sums up Anakin's greatest strengths (and some of his weakness, as well). Beautiful!

    ?Well, Ani, this is the same thing. Eventually, people die. Especially when they?re old.?

    The silence grew deeper and darker. Shmi waited.

    ?I didn?t want her to die,? Anakin muttered angrily after a while.


    This is a lesson he never truly learned...

    Thanks so much for this wonderful piece, Geo3. I was genuinely moved when I read it. I look forward to reading more. =D=
  20. ladylaurel18 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005
    star 4
    Oh my, the ending of this beauty hurt.

    Everything had a wonderful bittersweetness to it, a picture of rosy hopes for a dark future. Wonder, truth, honor. Yes, the Temple had that. The Senate that it resided so close to did not. And Qui-Gon never lived to train Anakin. And, and...

    *sighs*

    I love Shmi. And awkward, human Qui-Gon. As beautifully written as always, Geo.
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