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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Saga - PT The Lost Souls (OC vignette)--First Sentence Challenge response

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by leiamoody, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Title: The Lost Souls
    Author: leiamoody
    Characters: Anonymous OC
    Genre: Reflective vignette
    Summary: On the occasion of his natal day, a man takes the time to remember a lost ancestor.
    Notes: Written for the First Sentence Challenge.

    "The ship had been lost long before anyone present had even been born and yet it was still affecting them as if it had happened only yesterday."

    That was the opening line of an article written about the Merani Alsan. I don't think any of us ever really knew just what in the name of Deshu that journalist fellow was aiming for when he dropped out of the sky down onto our humble little world. There had been articles written before, certainly. Every couple of years, give or take a day, some nosy little sort would come from the Core Worlds, and start asking the same set of questions about the Old Girl, and how her loss affected the Towns. Funny, you know, how those educated types can be so bloody dense when it comes to the most obvious matters, right? Does it take that much imagination to feel what loss is like...the loss of 5,000 individuals, tell me, can you think about what that might feel like? Is that number too big for those intelligent morons who spend more time with their noses stuck in research journals and squinting at old holofiles in those fancy university libraries?

    No, I'll tell you what it feels like. But...you won't care. You can't, and no doubt never could even if you bothered to feel like you wanted to give it a try. Unless you've lost one of your own, too. Just like we did. Because this kind of loss isn't like the other kinds. Death by famine, war, disease, those are always called tragedies. But ships turning up missing...well, most people don't give much thought to that. "How dreadful...that ship went off course...or maybe it got hit by some stray comet taking a short cut...or they might have been hijacked by pirates somewhere out past The Sword's Edge...yes, sad, tragic, terrible loss for the families I bet...so, what's on the sports channels?" That's what most people think when they hear about ships disappearing. Space travel's probably become too common over the last few hundred years. Maybe that deadened beings' sympathies somehow. But it wasn't that long ago when a lot of planets still had oceangoing ships, and those got lost or went down, and they had poems and stories and epics written about them. Those ships never were forgotten. Their losses were felt...why is it any different now, when we've got ships sailing through space?

    The Merani Alsan went missing a hundred and ten years ago. She wasn't anything special...not the pride of an intersystem fleet. Not some sparkling new vessel built to be the fastest, most luxurious, most flashy, or anything like that. She was simply one of the standard liners that traveled across systems, taking passengers from one place to another in reasonably comfortable surroundings, with decent food and a good crew. Fourteen hundred men, women, humans, and aliens, all dedicated to their professions, whatever those happened to be.

    Most of that crew was from here. Including my great-grandfather, Artin Olizael: Third Officer, twenty-nine Standard years old. Left behind a newborn daughter and a wife he'd last seen five months before the ship disappeared. He just had enough time to feel the first kick from his unborn child, barely enough time to tell his wife that he loved her. But could all the words in the universe ever have been enough to fill the void she was going to feel for the rest of her life? How many words or gestures could take the place of a father that would never be there?

    G'mata Lillin used to sit down in front of the hearth on the anniversary (for lack of a better term...is there a word that can describe a day or a moment when a tragedy took place?) and sing the Hymn of the Lost Souls. It was written by the village bard one month after our world received the news. One of our old traditions the younger folk will say should be tossed aside, because it's just not right or proper to compose songs for the dead. Pyulsh. What's the best way to remember the dead? Say a few words out of some dusty religious book, throw some holy water on their vessels, then stick them in the ground under some monuments carved out of stone? How does that help the living to always remember the dead? It doesn't. What makes the living remember are words they can say or sing, or read or act out. Action creates feeling, and feeling makes memory come alive. We'll always need the old songs. Otherwise, we'll never remember what should not be forgotten.

    As you may notice, I'm rambling now...one sign that I am getting old. I passed Gritauf Artin's last living year two decades ago. In fact, we both share the same natal day, although separated by many, many years. After I'm given my various little gifts to commemorate my birth, we all gather around the family table and gaze upon his spare uniform that he always forgot to take with him when he headed out for the voyages. It had faded some over the years, a paler shade of navy compared to the deeper blue it was in the days when he was alive. But it was still something he had touched personally, and that is the best form of remembrance for our people besides songs. G'mata always wanted me to remember my ancestor. Among our kin, it was believed that to be born upon the same day as an esteemed ancestor meant that the child would carry some shreds of the ancestor's soul within them. So it was of the dearest importance to remind the second living kin of their first living kin.

    I resented this for many years. Youth does not take kindly to being reminded of others long gone, and especially does not like to be compared to those long past. In their foolishness, the young ones always believe they are unique. No one like them has ever existed before, or will ever exist again. Silly and stupid, that was my folly in those days. But it was part of growth, part of the normal life cycle of the thinking and alive ones. We all must pass through those funny years of childish arrogance and ignorance.

    Ah, I'm rambling again...perhaps it is time to conclude this small narrative for now. It is dawn, on the natal day of my forty-ninth year. I haven't yet been to bed, as I felt possessed by these random thoughts, and needed to record them in some fashion. Again, the power of words in the act of remembrance.

    We will celebrate this latest passing day of my life, as always. But we will also remember this as the same day of my first living kin, my ancestor, my gritauf...as it should be.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  2. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Wow! :eek: VERY impressive. You have a unique and engaging style. I liked it. :D


    No, I?ll tell you what it feels like. But?you won?t care. You can?t, and no doubt never could even if you bothered to feel like you wanted to give it a try. Unless you?ve lost one of your own, too. Just like we did. Because this kind of loss isn?t like the other kinds. Death by famine, war, disease, those are always called tragedies. But ships turning up missing?well, most people don?t give much thought to that. ?How dreadful?that ship went off course?or maybe it got hit by some stray comet taking a short cut?or they might have been hijacked by pirates somewhere out past The Sword?s Edge?yes, sad, tragic, terrible loss for the families I bet?so, what?s on the sports channels?? That?s what most people think when they hear about ships disappearing. Space travel?s probably become too common over the last few hundred years. Maybe that deadened beings? sympathies somehow. But it wasn?t that long ago when a lot of planets still had oceangoing ships, and those got lost or went down, and they had poems and stories and epics written about them. Those ships never were forgotten. Their losses were felt?why is it any different now, when we?ve got ships sailing through space?

    Loved your narrator, and I would like to see more of this character. Hint, hint...

    =D=

     
  3. CodyMonKenobi

    CodyMonKenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2001
    =D= Wow, that was very impressive. Your style is nonconventional, and you make it very easy to sympatize with the story tellers feelings. This was a masterfully done fic.
     
  4. Kissa

    Kissa Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2006
    I always love it when you write a new sentence.[face_love][:D]

    And this one was no exception. I loved you narrator.:D
     
  5. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    VaderLVR64 --Hey, thanks! :D

    As for seeing more of the character...well, who knows? I didn't consciously intend on using him more than once. But when I started getting into the story, I realized this man has a certain kind of history that could bear further exposition. I'll have to see what comes up.

    CodyMonKenobi --Also thanks. The style is unconventional only because it belongs to an unconventional POV of the author's. :p
    But the reason why the reader can sympathize with the narrator probably has to do with the fact that it's not hard to imagine being in this guy's position.
    Having a family member or ancestor that died in some kind of historical event creates a trauma within a family history that can last far longer than anyone who ever knew that person was alive. It's like a dark thread interwoven into the fabric of the family's quilt.

    Kissa--Thanks, and [:D]back.
     
  6. BrentusofGath

    BrentusofGath Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Funny, you know, how those educated types can be so bloody dense when it comes to the most obvious matters, right? Does it take that much imagination to feel what loss is like...the loss of 5,000 individuals, tell me, can you think about what that might feel like? Is that number too big for those intelligent morons who spend more time with their noses stuck in research journals and squinting at old holofiles in those fancy university libraries?

    I absolutely LOVE sarcasm! Beautifully written, it's like poetry to me.

    I'll bet I can guess what inspired this fic. ;) I like it alot.
     
  7. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    Youth does not take kindly to being reminded of others long gone, and especially does not like to be compared to those long past. In their foolishness, the young ones always believe they are unique. No one like them has ever existed before, or will ever exist again.

    Hmmm, most profound! Very nicely done response to the challenge.
     
  8. JediNemesis

    JediNemesis Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2003
    I came across this entirely by accident, but after glancing across the first couple of sentences I couldn't just let it alone. A wonderfully captured narrative voice and a very original setting. Great work [:D]
     
  9. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    ?How dreadful?that ship went off course?or maybe it got hit by some stray comet taking a short cut?or they might have been hijacked by pirates somewhere out past The Sword?s Edge?yes, sad, tragic, terrible loss for the families I bet?so, what?s on the sports channels??

    Loved that line because it's so true. :(

    What makes the living remember are words they can say or sing, or read or act out. Action creates feeling, and feeling makes memory come alive. We?ll always need the old songs. Otherwise, we?ll never remember what should not be forgotten.

    I really liked this because it reminds me of epic poems. The way the narrator speaks of the old songs, it's easy to see his people in that kind of setting, passing down an oral tradition. The way you wrote this really hooked me. =D=
     
  10. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2005
    This is wonderful! Just loved it and so well written.

    Bravo! =D=