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Thread: WOW #5 - July 2016

  1. #1
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    WOW #5 - July 2016


        

    It's me again. Hate me, love me, I'm inseparable from your life. Well, at least inseparable from your activity in and involvement with the forum, but you wouldn't have the heart to tell me that the forum is not your life, right?

    For this round, on top of continuing the trend of accepting both poems and short stories, there's no word limit. Feel free to write as long as you want. While I'm not going to say no to long poems if you're inclined to write one, please be advised that brevity is part of what makes poetry poetic and that excessive lengths can diminish the point of writing a poem in the first place.

    As usual, all participants will get this award...


    ...but the winner will get this!



        

    I suppose it's more appropriate to call these "criteria", but referring to them as "rules" may help ensure that people pay attention to them. At least, I hope so. Anyway, the rules for WOW are pretty simple:

    1. Your entry can be EITHER a short story OR a poem.

    2. There is NO word limit. Write your story for as long or short as you deem necessary.

    3. No racism, religious topics, overly obscene depictions, animal/child abuse or other inflammatory topics.

    4. You can pick any title you like for your entry as long as it conforms with #3.

    5. Please post your finished entry wrapped within spoilers in this thread.


        

    The theme for this month's Weavers of Words shall be...


    This cute little toy with a potential payload of up to 4.75 megatons is codenamed "Peacekeeper".

    "FAITH IN HUMANITY"? IS THAT EDIBLE?

    "I expect nothing of man, and disown the race. The only folly is expecting what is never attained; man is most contemptible when compared with his own pretensions. It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to weep for him within."
    H.P. Lovecraft

    The themes we've had so far have always had a positive slant to them. The only exception is the first round, with the theme of "an imaginary journey", which is pretty neutral. The second had a theme of "wish"; the third "blessings"; and the fourth "friendship". It's probably easier and more common to write a story with a positive outlook, especially if you're fond of allegories, but I think doing a 180° turn every now and then isn't bad either.

    There's likely going to be additional challenge with this theme: it's one that has a high likelihood of conjuring up images of hot-button issues and controversial topics, the very kind that we're not allowing for reasons that I hope are obvious enough. But that's why we have restrictions. Telling people not to write about controversial topics when the theme is "blessings" is almost meaningless. Telling people not to write about the very real and omnipresent issues in real life that do make people hate each other when the topic is about hatred of humanity confers a challenge.

    You have to keep your entry from becoming a rant, an expository essay, an opinion piece, or anything similar. If it's a short story, it has to be a fiction (even if it's not entirely fictional) in nature and not reflect too much on real-world controversial issues (yes, I'm aware the image I use here probably makes you think otherwise, but that's an example by irony). Are you up to the challenge?

    Anyway, to clarify:


    The theme for WOW #5 is MISANTHROPY.
    You DON'T have to actually write a dark or negative story to conform with the theme!

    Personally, I find some fun in writing something unexpected and seemingly contrary to, but still conforms with, a certain theme or premise. If you're inclined to write something with a positive feel to it, you can. For example, you can write about someone's struggle for self-determination amidst a society that has marginalised them, or someone who came to be hateful and distrustful due to a bitter past (see an example) but gradually grows to see the beauty in life. Let's see how far your imaginative talents can take you. Best of luck to all participants!


    The deadline is on 31 JULY 2016.
    You MAY edit your entry submission post as many times as you please before the deadline.

    Please submit your entry before the deadline. If you're unsure about certain aspects of your draft entry, feel free to ask around in the discussion thread. You can have only ONE post in the entry submission thread, but you're not restricted from discussing the WOW as much as you want in the discussion thread. The deadline may be extended on our discretion if circumstances necessitate it, but it won't be shortened for no reason, so rest assured and don't rush. Take your time to make a masterpiece!


    This thread is only for ENTRIES!
    For discussions, questions and comments, please go to this thread instead.




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  4. #2
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    Re: WOW #5 - July 2016

    I present to you my indifference to the world!

      Spoiler: The Demon's Playground 
    At the dark valley of demise where wrenched filth of vile human waste are cast away, a wealth of sinners descend down upon the underworld's open gates like boulders in a hailstorm. Insignificant humans desperately stampeding over their fellow comrades as they hopelessly battle one another to reach the sacred realm.

    A clutter of humans here and there still hanging by a tiny thread for dear life from the fiery inferno. The undying look of despair brandished evermore as the guards of the underworld ever so swift, claw back their sad pathetic attempts of escape. Humans dragged from the collar, some by the hair and many mundanely kicked back into the blazing inferno.

    The Demon Lord perched uninterested on his throne looks on indifferently with one arm rested and his face nestled on the other. With a tiresome expression the demon lord looks over to the underworld's grave keeper. Death a darkened hollow stood expressionless and motionless, noticing the Demon Lord's lack of enthusiasm suddenly makes a snide remark to rouse the Lord's interest.

    “My evil lord, lately it has been raining suicidal maniacs and preachers. I may have also witnessed some informal votes and political agendas fall down that blasted hole. Perhaps we could pass on a word or two onto their deities to beseech these scum with more enlightenment".

    “My goodness gracious, must you speak such blasphemy!” the Demon Lord interjects as he lifts himself from his throne crafted of sinister blood and bone.

    "It's agonising enough you make all within the realm address you as 'evil' lord" Death begrudgingly grumbles to itself.

    “Silence at once! Alas 'tis but time I make do” the Demon Lord exclaims, “I now have all the more reason to rendezvous with my insignificant other”.

    With all his depravity, the Demon Lord deviously makes his way towards the exit portal beyond his throne room.

    “Watch over the realm Death” the Demon Lord chuckles with disturbing menace.
    Death could only watch and breath an exasperated sigh as the ruler in the realm of the underworld makes his cunning escape. With haste the Demon Lord proceeds upwards the spiral steps that lead to the sacred realm, making an abhorrent grand entrance by kicking down the outlandishly decorated doors to the sacred land as he finally reached the pedestal.

    “Oh my bleeding damnation! Where in bloody righteousness are you?!” the Demon Lord protests loudly as he quietly gasps for breath from the unnecessary display of strength. The blossoming Evanescence in the sacred realm withering from the parade of hellfire left behind by the Demon Lord as he made his way further into the sacred realm.

    “Demon Lord you dishonorable bastard! how dare you burn the new buds of Evanescence growing within the sacred realm” The Deity announces with great all mightiness.
    “My virtuous one , I have actually come to gift you with one of my many sonnets. Why! Would you be preaching at me with all your ludicrous. Shame on you!" the Demon Lord wails pretentiously like a devious harlot.

    “Quit your nonsense” The Deity commanded.

    Whimsically the Demon Lord seemingly not objecting seats himself beside the Deity of the realm. Swinging his legs and whistling a random tune like a child the Demon remarks “For all things that encompasses all purity and innocence. You sure like your coffee bitter!” spitting out the sacred brew of coffee unto the Evanesance in disgust.

    “Life is not all that is pure, there will always be an abundance of bitter things. Like my criticism of you for example, nevertheless define what is right or wrong?” the Deity’s proclamation brings about a gust of cold wind.

    "Sure is cold in here.. I feel that my rigamortis might actually kick in any minute.” The Demon Lord shivers with disagreement at the Deity’s judgement. He continued “All the happenings in the underworld you should be wary, are most inadvertently your doing.”

    For the most of eternity the Demon Lord spent his time within the playground of the sacred realm. Just as dusk came dawn the Demon Lord excused himself nonchalantly after what seemed like a lifetime and made his way to the passage back to the underworld.

    “Demon Lord, did you perhaps come here to rid the Evanescence that bloom within this place. As you know, those that bloom here are the only ones bright enough to leave the underworld from your grasp?” the Deity questioned vaguely.

    “Perhaps I did, perhaps I did not. Those ghastly blossoms they warrant only one true place would they not?” With his brazen rhetoric the Demon Lord made his departure from the sacred realm.
    Last edited by srebro; July 6th, 2016 at 09:27 AM.

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    Re: WOW #5 - July 2016

    Misanthrophy... not just a belief, a way of life.

    Sensei Ro

    977 words

      Spoiler: Sensei Ro 
    Sensei Ro



    “Hai! Hai! Hai!”

    As Sensei Ro approached the training grounds of his dojo, he heard his senior apprentice, Tan, leading the students in their morning exercises. Excellent! Today’s lesson will be quite instructional.

    Sensei Ro was a true master of the martial arts. He was the top student in his old master’s dojo. None of his fellow students had come close to his level. Ro won every contest and competition he entered, won every battle he ever faced. Ro had never been defeated… ever. Ro was, very probably, the greatest martial artist of the era. And, in the course of time, as he grew older, he opened his own dojo. The Dojo of Master Ro was the most prestigious in all the land, his students, the best.

    As Sensei Ro entered the dojo, he snapped his fingers. Training stopped; the students lined up, Tan in the middle. Sensei looked closely at his students, his eyes fixing on his apprentice.

    “Apprentice Tan, there are scars on your face.”

    “Yes Sensei. I was out in the village running an errand, when I saw a gang of bandits robbing a woman in a dark alley. They were armed, and the woman was crying and begging for her life. I confronted them, disarmed them, and defeated them. I let them leave, carrying their wounded with them.”

    “Were they so good that they were able to injure you? Perhaps I should have them join my dojo.”

    “No Sensei, the bandits were unable to touch me. I beat them easily, without harm to myself.”

    Ro cocked his head.

    Tan blushed. “After the bandits fled, I tried to help the woman up. She screamed, and scratched my face. Her nails were long, and gouged me. She then ran away.”

    Some in the class gasped, others giggled, but most tried to keep a straight face.

    Sensei Ro gave the smallest of frowns. “Kneel, apprentice, and reflect on the event.”

    Then, the Sensei addressed his students. “Class, why do we train?”

    The class chorused, “Sensei, we train to become stronger, and to develop discipline.”

    “Why do you wish to become stronger? Why do you need discipline?”

    “Because people act on their worst instincts and are usually uncivilized. We must be prepared to deal with them, if they act against us.”

    “That is correct, students. People act on their instincts; they do not think. If they want something, they take it. If they fear or envy someone, they attack them. We need strength to overcome others. We need discipline to overcome our own negative emotions, leaving us able to think and act rationally.”

    “Yes, Sensei! Thank you, Sensei!”

    “We will now take a short break, so that you may meditate on today’s lesson. Apprentice Tan, stand. Walk with me.”

    Sensei Ro left the training grounds, Tan respectfully behind him. They walked to the old peach tree, where the Master bade his apprentice to sit with him. He nodded to Tan, and waved his hand toward him.

    “Master, it was exactly as you teach us. The bandits were easy to understand. Like others, they were greedy for money, and too lazy to work for an honest day’s wages. But the woman surprised me. I thought she would be grateful, not hostile.”

    “That, my apprentice, is the heart of human behavior. People usually show gratitude because they want something. Everything people do can be ascribed to wanting something. A man works because he wants possessions. A woman marries a man because she wants security. A child clings to parents for food and protection. The word love is often used, but without possessions, security, food, protection… well, see where love leads.”

    Tan nodded his head slowly. “So the woman…”

    “You had served your purpose to her by saving her. She was angry and scared, so she lashed out at you. Tell me Tan, does this incident make you hate people?”

    “No Master. But I will not be caught by surprise again. I will be watching people much more closely.”

    “That is good, Tan. We must not hate people. They cannot help acting according to their negative nature; it is just how people are. That is why I focus so much on discipline. We must never act in hatred, or we become no better than the people below us. Do you understand?”

    “Yes, Sensei Ro.”

    “One last thing, Tan. Your desire to save a stranger is commendable. I would never discourage that. But do not do it expecting reward, or even gratitude, or you will find yourself disappointed. Do what you do for your own reasons, not for your expectations.”

    “Yes, Master. This has been a lesson I will never forget.”

    “Good. Finish the students’ morning training. I will be in my office.”

    Master and apprentice bowed respectfully to each other, and left the peach tree.

    As Sensei Ro walked to his office, he thought, This has, indeed, been an excellent lesson for Tan. With proper training, he will someday become a master. But all training is not to be found in a dojo. One must also be trained in the real world.

    The actors in his little lesson played their parts perfectly. Ro could not count on the timing of a random robbery taking place as Tan walked by on his errand, an errand the Sensei had set him on, so he made sure a robbery would be there for sure. The ruffians and the woman were well paid for their trouble, and had already left the province. The woman was splendid! She did her part perfectly! Now Tan was developing a proper understanding of the people he would have to deal with in the real world. A fine lesson indeed… the same one Ro’s master had taught him so many years ago.

    The barest hint of a smile escaped from Sensei Ro’s lips, as he entered his office.

  6. #4
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    Re: WOW #5 - July 2016

      Spoiler: My Story 
    It has been so long. What had we been fighting for? Those dreams of glory, of saving the world. I can barely recall the youthful naivety that had driven us down this path. Let's see... How did it go? They had called us the chosen ones, although I doubt it was more than luck of the draw. What did we even call this? There were so many names which described these powers. I know it isn't very creative, but personally, I just called this magic. It is something generic enough to cover all of these occurrences.

    I tried to keep my powers hidden, preferring not to attract too much attention. However, this wasn't the case for all of those gifted. Some wanted to profit from their abilities, which is actually understandable, but a few nutcases went as far as attempting to take over the world. An especially powerful bunch actually managed to start a cult and take control of a few countries. That riled up quite a few others and we undertook the task of removing them from this world.

    We were trying to help a world which reciprocated our kindness with distrust and scorn. Ironically, our hopes of acceptance were more likely to become reality within the cult. Perhaps a different kind of acceptance, but at least they wouldn't glare with such burning hatred and disgust. Sadly, this mindset drew a few of our own into their cult. If only the simpletons protesting on the street were aware of their influence.

    We continued the war. Allied countries provided less aid with each passing month, not that conventional tactics had proven to be of any worth. Sure a bullet through the head would kill most of us, but that is also the first thing that anyone would think to protect themselves against. Frankly, the war stagnated when we each grew accustomed to the abilities of the other. Of course there were potential trump cards we had yet to play. The issue was how well our hand would fare against their own and what side effects they would leave.

    They didn't exactly leave us time to debate over tea and sweets. The situation escalated quite rapidly and soon the country became a smoldering mess. When playing at that scale, each move requires a counter of at least the same magnitude and overflow is hard to contain. Contingency plans can only account for so much and our resources dwindle faster than we could replenish. We were forced to act while we still could.

    We has sorely misjudged the effect of our final play. The outcome revealed just how little we knew of our powers. In a way, we accomplished exactly what we had set out to do. The cult and those connected no longer exists. In fact, the cult had never existed... or at least, not to this world. Nothing related to this magic had ever existed, except for us. Why had the nine of us been left untouched? We really have no idea. Maybe it was from our involvement in the final spell, but not all of us had actually participated.

    Whatever the case, we thought it best to keep our powers secret this time around. I'm sure there are more unpleasant fools that would have history repeat itself. Do they really have nothing better to do with their lives? Amusingly enough, changing the label of secret to story allows me to tell this whenever I want. After all, what kind of person would it take to believe this truth? Common sense dictates that this is but a simple tale.
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    Re: WOW #5 - July 2016


        

    I won't be doing the current judging system for a short time so there won't be any commentary(at least for a while), we will just announce the winner. The task of sorting the entries in order of preference proved to be anything but trivial. All six entries had their own style and approach, each differing from the others, necessitating a careful read to grasp all the nuances. Tastes will always differ and a consensus in what constitutes 'good' writing may only be as widely accepted as the influence of the group of people agreeing on said consensus. Accordingly, mine isn't an assessment devoid of sways and biases. Still, a winner must be chosen; a list of preferred entries I shall write. Even though I'm going to try to put it simple and short.



        



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