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Author Topic: The Terrible Tree  (Read 1140 times)
« on: September 08, 2009, 06:11:52 PM »

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D. Ein
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Last post-apocalyptic piece, I swear to god. =P

______________________________________

No sound flies through the scorched wasteland; even the wind that drives forth the lonely cloud-streaks of the metal sky makes hardly a noise as it sweeps up small clouds of dust. Savage shadows wait in frozen rage behind the slumped and collapsed skeletons of buildings, each more menacing than the last, all hiding from the old, impotent sun. Yet the lord of these lies by the delta of the black river, where the water never foams - it starvedly lashes out from beneath crooked roots, which keep shackled to the earth the last reminder of life: a warped, aged, terrible tree.

A lone symbol adorns the ancient bark, faintly reminiscent of a pentagram, yet with many more lines. They come together in vicious points, run together in unnaturally straight lines, fatten and fast without warning; not truly sketched, but rather traced against a bladed weapon. Five circular burns crown the points of the wicked sigil, and a great black halo of soot spreads outward with flame-like protrusions. None are aware of the existence of the symbol - for even those that enter the barren never make it to its dead heart, whereat grapples the earth the terrible tree.

The whole world fell to its knees at the nameless cataclysm. Despite the many years of recovery, none dare settle even the outskirts the thousand-mile circle on the east cost of the great continent. And, for an event so great, none know how the apocalypse occurred - perhaps the two skeletons by the tree (the ones clutching a metal-bound, though badly burned, book) know what lead up to it, and the ones several hundred miles away know what it looked like, but none have witnessed the entire event - none save for the terrible tree.
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Subject No. III VI +
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 06:24:05 PM »

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Pontos
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So i get this cataclysm was provoked by those two persons in a not-really-safe ritual?

Nice short about the outcome of a failed (Or successful?) spell, instead of the actual event Happy Fennec
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 06:37:46 PM »

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KaiAdin
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I know this is silly... but this somehow reminds me of that DnD "Locate City Bomb" Thing I heard about.., but on a larger/. deadlier scale.

It was a nice short story. I imagined all the scenes painted in some sort watercolourish way...
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 10:56:08 PM »

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Virmir
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Interesting.  Nice descriptions.  Guess I shouldn't go around carving stuff on gnarled trees! *hides book behind his back and shifts eyes*
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Gray Fox Virmir
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 04:25:56 PM »

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MHD
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AKA. Nuke, by magical means.

Nice descriptions.
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Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 07:06:29 PM »

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Lopez
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Awwwww, poor tree. I feel kind of sorry for it. It seems that this story is kind of written in the tree's point of view. ((I guess hanging around with US will have that effect on you...))

The tree was just used. It feels kind of guilty for what it did, and now feels terrible about itself. I would feel terrible, too, if I caused the apocalypse against my will.

But, then again, how many of us are trees? We allow ourselves to be used by others, not to cause a huge nuclear explosion, but to cause damage nonetheless. We usually just kind of accept it. In that way, we are worse than this terrible tree. At least it knows why it is terrible, but human beings don't reflect on themselves very much.

Therefore, as, you know, moving beings, we should not allow ourselves to be traced with magical inscriptions that cause nuclear explosions, since we can run away when people try to write them on us. Very nice. Though, perhaps for your next story you can write a heartwarming tale of a Chipmunk coming of age or something? Great work, I'll be waiting for the next one...

((...while I write the other review. IT WILL BE DONE.))
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...but that's just my opinion, so don't let it bother you too much!
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 09:43:18 AM »

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D. Ein
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I used the tree simply because trees are a subject of unhealthy fascination for me (though, despite this, I don't often put them into writing). Trees see generations come and go, they see all the changes to the world, and they couldn't care less about any of these things - they just exist and grow. People should be a little more like trees, then the world would be a better place.

Lopez: Your interpretation, as always, went much deeper than I intended - thank you for that - and it gave me more ideas for further pieces. My original intention was to showcase an act of humanity discovering magic and screwing themselves up with it, but I changed that about mid-way through the piece and didn't really know what the heck I was writing about. I'm glad there's a meaning in there somewhere, though. =)

I really don't know why I like writing post-apocalypse. A crippled rotting world is so much more interesting than a bloom-lit utopia... and creating new worlds is always very fun, but it's also a tremendous amount of work (as I learned while writing Bloodframe). Apocalypses provide you with a nice carte blanche in terms of background and serve as a great new playground for you to mess around in.
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Subject No. III VI +
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