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Beyond - Legends Ashes to Ashes - OC Revolution Challenge Response

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ink.Knight, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Ink.Knight

    Ink.Knight Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Here's my response to the 'Family' challenge over on the OC Revolution. As promised there, it's a very sad piece detailing the day everything changed for my characters. As a note, none of the stories I've posted for these two are in any kind of chronological order, this one technically takes place at some undefined time between 'Festival of the Long Night' and 'Reintegration'.

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    Everything was in ruins, dark and scorched by whatever had destroyed the isolated community. The ashes were soggy from the constant rain of the last couple of days, the same rain that had driven Jake and Darra to cut their hunting trip short and head home. Only to find their homes gone. There was nothing left of the familiar buildings or people who had occupied this space. And they'd walked through the remains of the bonfire circle at the center of town with heavy hearts, feet leading them inexorably onwards towards the houses they'd grown up in. The neighboring structures had collapsed, though being on the edge of town meant they were a little less charred than most. There was a lump in Jake's throat as he came to a stop, watching Darra take several more halting steps forward before stopping as well.

    Then she was moving, hauling at the blackened remains of her home to see what lay underneath. What they found made Jake's eyes burn with tears he knew he couldn't afford to shed at the moment, because a keening sound was leaving Darra as she sank to her knees beside her brother's body. Golden-blonde hair was covered in soot, darkening it to a dull copper underneath the initial coating. And his body, lanky with the untamed growth of adolescence, was twisted in a way no living form could be.

    Darra pulled the cold, limp form into her lap, eyes oddly dry as that sound of grief and mourning finally broke and shuddered into silence. Then the tears came, in huge body-wracking sobs as she bent over Danail's broken form. Jake slowly knelt beside her, closing the boy's sightless green eyes and stroking is soot-blackened hair off his pale face. His other hand rested on Darra's back, warm and heavy between her shoulder blades as she cried and his own tears began to fall silently down his face.

    Eventually their tears ebbed, though the grief and shock gripped them as strongly as ever. That was when Jake's mind turned to who might have done this, knowing Darra was in no state to do so. As far as he knew he could think of no reason for anyone to want to destroy this place so completely. Or at all. They were a peaceful, isolated community often dismissed for being old-fashioned in their beliefs and lifestyles. There was no one he could come up with who would go to the trouble of doing this. Not that he knew about every possible extremist group in the galaxy, what with his education having been geared towards the practical rather than things the children were unlikely to ever run into. But he did know one thing, they couldn't stay here.

    "We have to go Darra. Whoever did this, they might come back." He spoke softly, not wanting to startle her, and breathed a sigh of relief when she didn't protest. It wasn't a great sign as to her mental state but it was better than what he'd expected. He knew her demands for retaliation would come soon enough, but for now getting them both to safety fell on him. So he helped her to her feet, not protesting when she struggled to lift Danail's body as well but just taking it from her. The least they could do was bury him properly. He may have only been Darra's brother by blood, but he was Jake's family too. After a long moment where the two of them took in the ruins of their homes they set off back into the forest, fading into the trees as the last living residents of their home. As a family of two lost teens who needed each other now more than ever.
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Absolutely heart-wrenching and very excellent response to the challenge. It sets a poignant frame for "Festival" knowing that came before and a heightened sense of relief for "Re-Integration." =D=
     
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    What a moment for Darra, and for Jake—not just the first sight of the ruined village and of Danail's remains, but also the moment their mutual sympathy and empathy make them an all-new family unit. Thanks for sharing this very poignant vignette; I've been curious to know more about this moment ever since I first read about your characters. @};-
     
  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A great response to the challenge with your very likeable characters
     
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  5. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    First off, great work on the descriptions, especially the ruins of their village. You did quite well on the characters, making them believable for far more than what you've allowed us as readers to see.
     
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  6. Ink.Knight

    Ink.Knight Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Thank you, I was definitely going for heart-wrenching or something like it. :) I'm also glad it helps bridge the gap between who they were in Festival and who they end up being in Reintegration, even if only by a little bit.

    Yeah I knew as soon as I saw the challenge what I was going to do with it. These two end up being a very tight-knit unit by the time the GA survey team shows up a few years later, and I figured this was the perfect time to show the beginnings of that.

    Thank you!

    Thanks a ton. I've been working very hard on the old 'show don't tell' form of writing, as I tend to want to spill every detail out which often bogs down the story. It's good to know that I managed to find a sort of balance with that this time around.

    You know it's funny but in the past Darra was always my main character, the one who's perspective I wrote from. But as of late Jake's been a lot easier to access, and he seems to make for a very good narrator for their story.
     
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, a fellow ace writer? Yay! Whatever your profile may say at the moment - please, don't leave. We're not obliged to follow anybody's rules nor justify our actions, the same way they don't justify theirs, full stop. [face_peace]

    I'm thinking of Claude Campaigne's Adieu mes quinze ans and other French books about children and teens dealing with the horrors of WWII or its aftermath, the demons chasing them and your short story has a very similar vibe. It also has something in common with something more common for my part of the world - ex-Yugoslavian stories about people whose lives were suddenly changed when either the Nazis or one of the right-wing guerilla groups attacked them. In such stories, these people always end up joining the partisans and doing something good, but initially, there was just pain and loss, described in a way similar to what I read here.

    Golden-blonde hair was covered in soot, darkening it to a dull copper underneath the initial coating. And his body, lanky with the untamed growth of adolescence, was twisted in a way no living form could be.

    This is itself worthy of a warning, but if it was toned down or described in any other way, there would not be the effect

    Poor little Danail. The scene where Jake closes his eyes was just...too brutal. :(

    After a long moment where the two of them took in the ruins of their homes they set off back into the forest, fading into the trees as the last living residents of their home. As a family of two lost teens who needed each other now more than ever.

    From black and grey to green - even with everybody else gone, this signifies that there is hope. They're alive and they will carry the torch of both their memories and their culture, as well as serve as the witnesses if necessary.

    To sum it up in three words: this was brilliant.

    ...

    May I request that you post about Darra and Jake in the OC Index Thread at some point? I would like to know more about them and I'm sure I am not the only one. I would also like to know more about Naliv I and the events that led up to this tragedy. This thread is awesome for fan-created worlds, languages, species, traditions and the like.
     
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  8. Rau_Fang

    Rau_Fang Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Jake and Darra nooo - your story about the loss of family is really visceral and heart-wrenching. I loved getting sucked back into their world - I'm excited seeing their character arch develop! Can't wait for the next one.
     
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  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Wow. I remember that you said in a previous discussion that Jake and Darra were people who had lost everything but each other, but I didn't expect you to actually write the scene where they did. This is just a terribly sad piece and it's so well-written, it says so much in so few words -- your work on the "show don't tell" form of writing has clearly paid off =D=

    I certainly hope we get to see more of these two in the future (which I believe I already said in a comment on your previous vignette :p ) but I understand that transferring to paper/keyboard the story of two characters that you've built in your head is a loooong process. Meanwhile, to add to the homework Ewok Poet gave you, may I also recommend that you start listing your stories in the Prolific Writers' Index? It's a good place for readers to keep track of what their favourite writers have posted :)
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Just reread this, and wanted to say that I really appreciate how much you manage to pack so much about your two main characters, their inner states, and their relationship to each other, into such a concise vignette format. Mighty fine work. =D=
     
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  11. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Nice response to the challenge - the loss experienced is palpable as the two characters find that they are the only family each other has left.
     
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  12. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    This is amazingly effective in just a few paragraphs. The horror of finding Darra's brother's body is conveyed really well and the reader feels their dawning realization that everything they knew is just... gone. That they may never know or understand why. And the way that they now must rely on each other to survive alone is an interesting take on the "family" theme.
     
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