Friday, February 11, 2011

The Gray Knight

*My first real attempt at a fantasy sword fight :) If you comment on this piece, please be honest. If you didn’t like it, just say so. You don’t have to try and find the one redeeming factor in this piece to make a comment. Tell me it sucks and I should hang myself, it’s the greatest story every, or anything in-between. Just be honest if you comment.

The knight in gray armor stumbled backwards into a small patch of purple flowers, crushing them.
May the great spirits forgive me. He bowed his head, briefly, before raising his sword once again. The man standing in front of him did the same.

Steadying his position, the knight advanced forward, and within moments they were engaged in combat.

The knight took long swings, and when the man blocked, the powerful blows shook his balance. But the quickness of the man countered those attacks, and the knight soon found himself stumbling backwards again, this time missing the flowers.

Standing apart, the man and the knight took a moment to rest and catch their breath. As the man’s
breathing slowed, he looked back up at the knight with red eyes aglow, causing the knight to step backwards. The man raised his arms into the air and dark clouds began to circle above him with blue spirits descending from the sky, sending bolts of lightning up and down his sword.

The knight lifted up his visor then knelt down next to the flowers. “This is what you want?” the knight said with his deep, confident voice.

The man stepped back with his right foot and put both hands on the hilt of his sword.

“Alright. If this is what you really want.” The knight rose up, gesturing towards the heavens. Then, out of the ground came a small army of red spirits, and his sword started glowing with flames occasionally leaping out from the tip.

Both holding their swords, they launched themselves at each other once more. Once their swords clashed, a loud boom shook the meadow, ripping the color right out of the grass and flowers. They now fought on a rocky outcropping with no other life around.

The knight swung his sword, but he did not use the strength in his arms; it was the strength in his spirit that did the work. His teeth smashed together, grinding away the surface as he dug deep within, pulling out each last bit of his will power. Each swing he took, left him breathless, but he kept finding the will to continue.

The man’s eyes showed a similar strain, and the bright red that glowed so fierce was now nothing more than a optical whimper.
He’s tiring. If only I can keep this up. The knight swung once more, striking the man’s sword. The man stumbled backwards, and the knight could see the man loosen his grip on the sword. He had nothing left.

The knight, feeling victory, tapped the last corpuscle of power left within him and raised his sword up high. He stood there, watching his foe for a moment, then brought the sword down towards the man’s neck.

But before it could strike its target, the man raised his sword up and deflected the blow.

No. It couldn’t be! How could he still have any strength left
? The knight dropped his sword and both he and the man fell to their knees, unable to stand.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Joy of the Fountain Pen

I'm really excited today, because I got in two new fountain pens. They are both Lami Safari's with a F and EF nib. Why am I so excited that I'm writing a blog post about this? Because my old fountain pen died because I thought I could be smart and fix the tines

Anyways, I have been without a trusty fountain pen for a couple weeks now, so I've been doing all my writing on the computer. "But Michael," you would say, "why don't you just use a ballpoint." To which I would respond. "Ick!"

For my readers (all 3 of you) who have not had the joy of using a fountain pen, I encourage you all to get one. They write so smooth and requite so little pressure to make a line come out that it's just a beautiful thing. Then when you go back to a ballpoint, it just makes me want to throw the pen against the wall.

And because these pens are so fun to write with, I find I do a lot more of my drafting on paper instead of on a computer. And this actually, I think, has a great benefit to a writer. When you work on paper, you most likely write slower then you type. Or at least I do. So instead of cranking out 3000 words an hour, I'm forced to put the brakes on and think about what I'm doing. Plus it's just a different feeling, and I think I even tap into a different subconscious when working with paper vs. the machine.

Another benefit, is that you can easily curl up on the couch under a blanket with your notebook and brand new fountain pen and have at it. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace (me, not so much) it can be even better.

So I highly recommend fountain pens for all writers, if only to make the handwriting portion of our work more fun so we do it more often.

I leave you with pictures of my two babies!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Blindside

*If you comment on this piece, please be honest. If you didn’t like it, just say so. You don’t have to try and find the one redeeming factor in this piece to make a comment. Tell me it sucks and I should hang myself, it’s the greatest story every, or anything in-between. Just be honest if you comment.

The freshly cut grass had already stained Jarrod’s new, white cleats before the huddle even broke. The bigger — not bigger because of muscle mass, but at this stage in their careers, just the fat kids — waddled up to the line. Alex casually walked up to the center with an air of confidence — no, confidence was not quite it. It was cockyness. Alex was the cockiest kid on the team, and for a reason. He was taller, stronger, faster, and as far as the game was concerned; he was smarter.

Across the line of scrimmage, the Freshman Boys ‘B’ Team of Dwight D. Eisenhower High School stood ready. The looked looked mean and hungry, glaring at Jarrod with hateful eyes. Their faces were obscured just enough by the thick, black facemasks that they looked almost inhuman — like the orcs from Lord of the Rings.

Jarrod’s left leg began shaking as he stood behind Alex.

Be strong. Jarrod thought. I have one job to do, and I need to do it. I need to be brave.

Alex looked back towards Jarrod and shouted, “Omaha 6! Omaha 6!”

Jarrod nodded as he watched the tight end — another one of those fat kids, but not fat enough for the line — shift across the formation to the left side. He dug his cleats into the ground, getting ready to spring into action. Alex ducked back under the center and started calling out the snap. “Hut, hut…Hut!”

Exploding out of his stance, Jarrod ran off to his left, looking for Alex to come running along side him. But when he looked up, Alex had dropped back into the pocket to pass.

Jarrod stopped.

One of the linebackers had run around the line and was headed straight for Alex. Powerless to help, Jarrod watched as Alex was crushed from his blindside; the crown of the other boy’s helmet smashed right into Alex’s earhole, making a snapping sound that echoed across the small football stadium.

Alex plummeted to the ground, but not before he dropped the ball. The linebacker picked it up, running it in for a touchdown.

Jarrod walked over to see if Alex was alright — hits like that made Jarrod squeamish about this game — but at least he was moving. His eyes were open when he got there, staring at Jarrod. Omaha 6. I’m suppose to protect the blindside.

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