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Posted by: Alexander Mar 23 2008, 01:12 PM

"Butter flies aaaand swoons like butterflies
Atop the sills from whence I tote my mind
And spill it out in candid ways unwise
That tend to bring proceedings to a grind
In steadfast looms of woozy clusters kept
By fingers that were born from colored naught,
But whereupon I dowsed myself then leapt
Away from all the nothings they had taught."


Drifting windy silence, solace to the words and words a solace.

"It's me," he said, liveliness in his musty voice.


"Tell me a story."

"I can't think of one."

"You can."


"Of lots of them."

He was right. Lots of them, golden pretty-smelling paper pages in my mind.

"Maybe. I'll try. Tell me why I can't open my eyes?"

"Nothing to see."

"Nothing interesting?"

"It's dark."

Nevermind. I felt relaxed all the same.

"I don't assume you're out to harm me or anything," I said.

"That's good. It means you're not naive."

Tick tock. Mild clock noise feet away.

"I was naive in thinking there was nothing to be naive about, then again, now wasn't I?"

"Not so much."

"You mean?"

But he hadn't an answer.

"I don't get excited easily," I said.

"Tell me a story," he asked.

"What kind of a story?"

"Not histrionic, but with cats."

My back hurt now from how it laid on the stone.

"There were once four cats."

"Whose cats?"

"The Emperor's," I said.


"Very cute cats. One was in love with a cat in love with another cat avidly in love with the cat in love with the first one."

"What colors?"

"White, blackwhite, silver, whiteblack, that order."


"No, they were in love with each other. Like, really in love."

"I don't understand."

"They were genderless cats. Gender wasn't a factor the way it is."

Nodded for effect.

"Sometimes you have love squares instead of triangles."

"What happened?"


I bended forwards apologetically.

"Sometimes you're too busy with the one you love to notice anyone loving you."

I wasn't hungry.

"Should I probably tell you how you got here?" he said.

"I didn't know there was anyone here."

"Yes, exactly."

"No one lives in ruins and places like these."

"So you're not naive then, or do you think you are?"

"I might as well be," I decided.

"I cursed you."

"Why?" I said.

Nothing said, until he said it.

"I'm just a person, and sometimes we are lonely. Tell me a story."

"You like poetry."

"I do."

"Oh. Words to croon to Deep Elves." I recalled. "And all the sighs you bring yourself to dream away
Won't let their beauty take you by the hand
When lovelessness consumes your heart
Because it's made you safe to never love."

I opened my eyes, and it wasn't so dark. There was an old Elf staring at me. I was a girl.

"Why did you curse me?"

"I came here to be alone not wanting to be alone. I wanted to listen to a silent story without the noise."

"Will you let me go?"



He wanted someone to listen to. But now I'd woken up, and was back to my old self, the self like other people's selves, that judges by who people are and not

by what they feel.

With that old saying that you know is true, that anyone can feel something, yet only few are something.

"What are your aspirations?" he asked.

"I don't have them. I have certainties."

"Which ones?"


"What do you dream of?"

"Dying young and successful."

"Why would you want to die young?"

"I don't want to inspire pity."

"Do you think every straight road goes down?"

"Every road goes down."

"Can't you get off the road and head into the woods and flowers?"

"Still pity."

"Go up on a hill somewhere? And stare and those who go down."

"Not interesting."

"Pity is relative, thus universal, so what does it matter to you?"

"Well, if you want, you can keep the one meant for me."


You'd think the gods would make life nicer, but they're as clueless as the lot of us, if not moreso.

No, actually, the gods are petty like little brat boys. Boys, they pick on you and act superior, and then, once they grow up, they start touching you without your permission and you're disgusted by whatever thoughts are floating in their stupid minds. But at least they don't kill. At worst, they find an expression of their need for superiority in torturing animals. But they don't kill, even though they would if they could. The gods are pettier than them.

"Take care, and remember what you told me when you were dreaming. They were your words."

There shouldn't be anyone living in an abandoned ruin, and it had better not be someone who came there to read poetry and prey on a little bit of someone else. Had there really had to be something there, fate should at least have had the decency to provide a creature to hack me to pieces meaninglessly, like they are said to tend to, because then my death, albeit inconspicuous, would be vaguely interesting to myself. Though it would really mean nothing to no one, because everyone dies in the end, and everyone has died since the dawn of time, and those who don't or take longer to die - they bring injury to insult. And magic is an exclusive club and a joke.

Fate proclaimed, though, that a few weeks later an adventurer had to come and kill the Elf. He's excused, because that's what adventurers do. They kill people, on command or out of fun, and every now and then they kill someone who really deserves it, and are hence proclaimed heroes.

Posted by: Alexander Mar 23 2008, 01:12 PM

This too will be reopened after the closing date.

Please remember, don't post as yourself but login to the guest or guest2 account, password = chorrol

Posted by: guest Mar 24 2008, 12:32 AM

Please read it slowly.

Posted by: guest Mar 24 2008, 02:07 AM

I wasn't sure what this was supposed to be, at first.

It turned out to be some sort of social commentary, where a hermit spell-charms (?) visitors of his dungeon in order to elicit stories from them.

"Butter flies aaaand swoons like butterflies
Atop the sills from whence I tote my mind
And spill it out in candid ways unwise
That tend to bring proceedings to a grind
In steadfast looms of woozy clusters kept
By fingers that were born from colored naught,
But whereupon I dowsed myself then leapt
Away from all the nothings they had taught."

Translation: "Blah blah blah, insert butter flying like butterflies, I went emo during high school so I hid in a dungeon." (Notice "but whereupon I dowsed myself then leapt away from all the nothings they had taught" -> "I was like them but then I gave up").

The dialogue thinks it has some sort of dry wit. Sometimes it's cute (the cats bit is pointless, but still). Sometimes it's plain wrong.

"Sometimes you're too busy with the one you love to notice anyone loving you."

I wasn't hungry.

? Hungry? Where did that come from?

Nothing said, until he said it.

Right, he said nothing. Until he said something. Why is our time being wasted?

Basically. Dudette goes into dungeon, tells dude a few nonsensical things that sound syrupy, wakes up and turns into a materialistic ho again, and then regrets that the guy died a few weeks later.

At least the other entries were stories of some sort, even if they just involved people killing other people. (Which I think this one pokes fun at, i.e. He's excused, because that's what adventurers do. But killing things is fun. Don't like it, find something else to play.)

Posted by: guest2 Mar 24 2008, 05:12 AM

Hmm... I feel some compulsion to defend this piece, thought I do not think that I can really do so coherently. But reason should always be slave to the passions, someone [Hume, actually] once said, so it is with passion I go.

I like the feeling created. I suppose one could say that I am sucker for a mood, and for clever use of language, however flawed the sum may be. I enjoy the mood here, the language, the feel. It reminds me of... a muggy, misty morning in the Smokies. (Note: Trey's not the only one who knows something about the Smokies, a'ight?)

That said, the epilogue at the end did not do so much for me as the more free-associative work. My overall feeling is that this piece would benefit from expansion, with some actual story/exposition/something solid to lead into the more formless part. I dunno, I envision something where the dream-stuffs end up becoming a repeated motif that holds together/bridges a larger piece.

Posted by: guest2 Mar 24 2008, 08:45 AM

My money is on this one. No questions asked.

Basically, it is about all the important issues we hide from - loneliness we deny to ourselves ("I came here to be alone not wanting to be alone"), love and empathy we fail to recognize around us ("Sometimes you're too busy with the one you love to notice anyone loving you."), and morals that get broken and bent everywhere around us ("the gods are petty like little brat boys"). Masterwork of poetry in prose.

I KNOW that the person who wrote this might not agree hat this is a masterwork, but screw that. I am guilty of reading it fast and noticing only what I want to see. But I will re-read it. Slowly.

Posted by: guest Mar 24 2008, 10:56 AM

It held me well enough to get to the end though I'm not sure I wholly undrestood it other than the most basic plot. Though I did get individual bits I'm afraid the cats referance, and some of the sudden transitions confused me.

Only other thing is that the dialouge had no setting so hung unsupported though that might have been intentional. It complelled me to finish though so good stuff.

Posted by: guest Mar 24 2008, 06:45 PM

Someone has been reading too much Neil Gaiman. This is interesting. The writer is a poet, not a story teller, but there is a story in there.

I think it's very Zen, but I'm not sure if I get it all I'm not stupid, but some of this went far over my head. I liked the mood it created, but then certain bits didn't follow on from the line of questioning. I understand what the writer was trying to achieve because I've written like this before I did almost an entire book with just the dialogue first, no description, just two people bouncing lots of questions off each other. It's like a game of questions (like from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or Waiting for Godot). Is the writer a drama student? Too many non sequiturs to be able to follow everything that is going on.

It didn't bother me that there wasn't too much description, because I don't think the story was about that, but a little could have helped make the tale more accessible to others.

I did like this I liked the story of the cats, but I didn't like how some of it was worded. Many of the sentences didn't make sense, poet again. The cat story could have been extended so that it made more sense. Perhaps I was waiting for the story to really start like the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, who remembers the bit at the beginning? I thought the poem at the start didn't lead onto the rest of the story.

The title only seems to refer to the beginning and not the overall story, which I thought was about an elf that liked stories.

I think the ending lost it and because the situation became more solid, and past tense, it stopped the prose dead for me. I understand what was supposed to happen at the end to round it off, but that part was too rushed and in a different style from the rest which spoilt it for me. To sum up, beautiful dialogue, but lacking in description and ending a let down. 3rd place for me.

Posted by: guest2 Mar 24 2008, 10:31 PM

Heh. Yeah, I wrote this one... laugh.gif

I'm sorry I made it so ambiguous. It's the kind of story where even reading too much into things won't be enough, so I'll guess I'll explain it a bit.

Every person in the story is a part of myself, and of people from real life. Some bits of dialogue are actually taken verbatim from real life. Also, I made every line mean something, even if it doesn't seem like it does. bluewizardsmile.gif

It's a sad story, though. Much like real life.

Butter flies aaaand swoons like butterflies

This is the most important line. It's inspired by the one I used to love so very much, who said I was going to be her butterfly forever, and I said she was my flower who'd never let me fade away, and that it was the other way around too! (I was her flower too. biggrin.gif)

But in the end it wasn't to be. sad.gif The promise of butterflies turned into flying butter that went splat.

The old Elf in the story is the part of me that was once so full of dreams and hopes, but that was pushed into a cellar somewhere in the end. To just stay somewhere in the darkness and cling onto memories. He's what remains of childish dreams when they are swept up by the world.

The girl in the story is a distant memory of the person I loved. Let me explain.

It's been a while, but I still think of my love all of the time... I often find myself in bed alone just saying words like "my pretty bunny... the prettiest bunny in the world," because that's another thing that I used to call her. To her, though, I am a stranger now, a stranger she "doesn't like at all," and all the beautiful words she used to say, like "I would rather die than ever stop loving you," and so on. They're just nothing now. Like she said herself, "love is just dust in the wind."

So as the girl in the story is an amalgamation of different aspects of different times of that person, it would not have been fair for her not to be distant towards the Elf.

And what the girl says is just what comes into her mind. She says little, but what she says is "just never, ever, ever forget about love."

The real person taught me how to dream and love. But that random poem directed to the Dwemer is the only figment of the lingers of the hopes she breathed in me. Just a few elusive words not even directed to the Elf himself, but... they mean something.

Does this make sense? I hope it does. mellow.gif

The Elf agreeing with her is like holding her hand in the darkness. Like the real person was going to hold my hand through whatever darkness there was going to be, the darker the tighter.

"Why did you curse me?". That means, in real life terms... "Why did you bring back a piece of me? Why do you remember me?".

"I came here to be alone not wanting to be alone. I wanted to listen to a silent story without the noise." Those words are him talking to himself. They sound strange, but that's what he wants. He still has his dreams, he knows they'll never come true, but he brings them back sometimes so he's not alone.

I would have described the place he lives in, but it didn't feel like it... mattered so much.

When the girl wakes up is when no one is holding my hand any longer. And that total shift of attitude is just what happens when "only the strong survive"... And you ask yourself, "wait, how did this happen?". And it just did.

The girl in the story, besides being an echo of a memory, is also a reflection of the others who grow cold because it is the only route you can take.

And then I have to ask myself: do I become like that? Do I forget that self of mine that's broken and renew myself and disbelieve all of the things that make up my beliefs?

Or do I just stay there, and wait? And die? Die inside.

In real life, I did tell her. "I've been walking around the city. I've been looking for a building to jump off of, because I just can't live without you."

And to her, I had somehow become a stranger by that point. But she said she would die too if I died.

She wouldn't.

The adventurer that comes around and kills the Elf embodies life, and the natural way of things. Why? Because life doesn't wait for you or your dreams.

Being an adventurer is the typical role that you, the player, assume in the TES world, and an analogy to whatever role is typically assumed by people in life.

I said she wouldn't die if I died, but she would feel sorry. And that's what the ending is about, after all.

Ultimately, the girl herself is a self of mine, too. The adventurer is a self of mine too.

And there are other bits that... I haven't explained. Little things like "Tick tock. Mild clock noise feet away," which signifies not so much the presence of a clock as the passage of time that is still not yet so far away, because it's "mild."

And I didn't mean to waste time with "Nothing said, until he said it," like a former poster said. Those words, redundant as they are, were meant to show a realization of sorts of the Elf's.

There would be more to explain... but it's probably not worth it.

I'm sorry if you didn't like it. I'm not a good writer. If you liked it, thank you. If you did not... Thank you still. smile.gif

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