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Of Prose and Verse


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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Gentle Persons[/size][/font]

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[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] The Order of the Black Rose and the Rosular Kingdom are built on the principles of the Code of Chivalry and a respect for commitment, creativity and the pursuit of art as well as combat skills.[/font][/size]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] It has been the practice of the OBR to promote, salute and reward those who display creative arts. In the past we have sponsored many challenges of creativity but Digiterra has been turned of late to more militaristic Endeavour. Since there has not seemed a proper place for an opportunity with such strife afoot to celebrate the gentler arts we had withheld our normal contest of the arts. Since we have no idea when this may change we have decided that the right time is any time.[/font][/size]

[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] To this end we offer up this challenge to all nations the chance to quest for one of three rewards of 3mill for each of the three top works of literature so adjudged.[/font][/size]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Time frame: Submissions will be accepted until May 2[sup]nd[/sup] at 24:00 server time.[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Method of submission: Register and post your submission on our forum in the Challenge thread, post to us by PM on these forums. Post to us by PM on our forums.[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Judging: The Knights Council shall read through the submissions and bring forward for outside review the top 5 choices in each category. The winner shall be chosen by joint decision of these sources and the Rosular Kingdom. The winners shall be notified and there works posted for salute on May 15[sup]th[/sup]. The winners’ boon shall be receivable at the time of award or upon the end of hostilities if they are at war.[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Techniques: Prose or Verse (rhymed, blank or free)[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Categories: Epic, Lyric or Drama/Romance[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Length: Minimum 40 words, maximum 500.[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Desired effect: To provide a vision in words. We desire a complete story or notion of a vision.[/size][/font]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Unacceptable submissions: While we will accept any story of praise or achievement any submission that denigrates others, uses salacious or obscene language or displays a mean spirited portrayal will be viewed as missing mark. The idea is to elevate with your words. They may be sad or tragic but they must lift the spirit or touch the soul.[/size][/font]

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[size="3"][font="Times New Roman"] To all we wish the spirit of the muse may infuse your words.[/font][/size]

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Respectfully[/size][/font]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Dame Hime Themis [/size][/font]

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]For the Knights Council[/size][/font]



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[font="Book Antiqua"][i][center][b]The Call of the Void[/b]

Before the grandest idol, the penitent man kneels
His hope pouring
Libations to oblivion
For what sin can iron mask cure?
Stoic, it sits unblinking

Cycle and cycle
The penitent man to dust
Another man takes his place
Kneeling in grand primordial ritual
Stiff and unthinking
The penitent men see themselves
Idols in idols' reflection[/center][/i][/font]

EDIT: May change what I put here, but this is my best work I think.

Edited by AngolaThree
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[i]Ode To My Last Nuclear Missile[/i]

The rush to war is always met
With morale strong and caches deep
But o'er time both reserves are spent
At updates long bereft of sleep

As war drags on from days to weeks
And as the end of stockpiles near
I say a prayer, unclench my cheeks
And hit the button I hold most dear

One final time, a parting gift
For bitter and exalted foes
As this is not a time for thrift
No meekness in my final throes.

The screen reloads, a breath is caught
And a painful sight befalls mine eyes
My forty percent odds meant naught
...stupid !@#$@#$ SDIs.

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Here's my submission. It is speculative fiction written in vein of Lovecraft's own prose so if its disqualified, I do not take offense. It *does* tell a story though, just follow the narrative. The first three stanza' are from the narrator. The last stanza is from a follower of his.

[b]Alone

[/b][i]The myth is almost over,
To the temple we shall go,
I shall take you to Tygras,
Land of earth's first snow.

Three times we must knock,
On this mighty stone,
Through these ancient runes,
Lie the oldest bones.

Stay close behind,
Do not stray too far,
Dark is the path ahead,
Except under light of Mars.

But what is this that subtly slips,
Covering your brow in a veil of mist?
You told us you knew, were sure of the way
I cannot believe you led us astray.[/i]

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I'm a risk taker; a daredevil! Entry two, a purple prose short story under the pretext of "grass is greener".

[b]Altars of Dun[/b]

Through the gnarled trees of Dun the moonlight played, casting horned shapes on the suggestively uniform pits below. Disgusting they were for within them was a foul odor which crept up to a summit of black dirt and dry bone. The pits existed within the center of a relic whose great columns slept beneath moss and vine, among which lept strange creatures whose cries were devoid and sullen. The great columns arched and sank into the dirt, no longer supporting the monolithic altar which now lay defeated on the horizon, a testament to times long past.

The Nightkeeper knows not for what the altar stood, for he is old and weak, attending only to the pits which he must always dig. And through constant midnight he saw it there, dreaming to one day visit it and observe the vast horizon which lies beyond. And from there the Souless played his viol, viewing the leaping creatures far below him in the densely rooted trees of Dun. How long he played, wishing to visit those relics and columns which dotted the landscape, and how long the Nightkeeper dreamt of visiting that altar.

And so each set out, keeping behind their instruments, on their own journeys. The Souless picked up the shovel and began to dig. The Nightkeeper wept as he sat down, playing the viol.

Edited by ThePainkiller
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[center]Jazz[/center]

Bourbon Street, the infamous center of the world’s greatest Mardi Gras party, second only to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. The narrow street is a crowded valley between the ancient shops on either side. Restaurants, clubs, and stores line it for miles; their doors open to the tourists, breathing gusts of invigorating, cool air from indoors. A gamut of culture can be seen and sampled: Haitian voodoo, Catholic relics, and most important—Jazz.

Sitting in front of a large restaurant are three, elderly, black men, wielding brass instruments that glittered like gold in the blazing, mid-July sun. The cracked, concrete sidewalk, pleading for a summer shower to quench its thirst, holds three cases—trumpet, saxophone, French horn—filled with dollars and cents. The men lift the instruments to their lips and an abrupt hush sweeps the crowd, the travelers eager with anticipation.

The untamed melodies of the Big Easy erupt from the horns, jolting the crowd and walls, shaking their foundations. As if from a blow of an unknown force, the crowd sways a moment before the ever changing rhythm is mimicked by the tapping of feet, clapping of hands, and joyous cheers. Up, down, left, right, the tune has no bounds. It goes wherever it wants, carried by the wind down to the French Market three blocks away and the Mississippi; it flies to the massive Saint Louis Cathedral overlooking Jackson Square, surrounded by panhandlers and palm readers.

All of their emotions—joy, hate, passion, sorrow, hope, despair—pour from the horns, armed with a tint of cockiness. In the everlasting home of the Saints, the men testify: each note is sin, penance, forgiveness. Cries of passion, low moans of pain, tethered together by the men’s wisdom and control. Hearts fling about in a tumultuous dance, under the spell of the saxophone’s seductive wails, the trumpet’s commanding beats, and the French horn’s steady tempo.

The three men command and control the crowd like kings. Without saying a word, they sing that which the travelers are too afraid to speak. For the commoners, to even whisper such untamed emotion is enough to shatter it into a thousand pieces. But, from the jazzmen, the frenzied feelings could set sail a thousand ships, fall the mightiest walls, and bring even the strongest men to their knees. Bliss or brimstone can flow from the golden horns on the impulses of the jazzmen.

Finally, the pace begins to slow. Very gently the music brings the fragile souls of its listeners back to earth, careful not to drop and break them. In a few moments, the music fades into nothing, disappearing back into the sounds of chatter, footsteps, and pouring drinks.

This is Jazz.

This is Life.

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[size="4"][font="Times New Roman"]Questing men along the way[/font][/size]

Questing men along the way
Graying sight envelopes night
Circling, wrapping, closing day
No longer clean, damning light
Fool’s Knowledge protect them all
Waltz of death or Shadow’s Ball

Enveloped, nimble, the shadows wake
For all our sake, the Earth doth quake
Lay your head yet not you lay
For all our sake choose not your sight
What bonds do mean to those who stay
Make not your choice with your sight

Questing men along the way
Leading way doth dark light
Astray can be the human sight
Peacefully distressed and beautiful lake
Facetious, falling, furious fate
Windows to life are yet opaque
Questing men, is it late?

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I hope you accept entries in musical form, for this one has an accompanying YouTube video of me performing the song.

- SAIL INTO THE SUN -

We were stranded, all alone
In an ocean far away from home
We were crazy, we were young
We decided to sail into the sun

Hold me, I can't do this on my own
You are everything, everything to me

We were foolish, nearly drowned
Save this little ship from going down
Feel your heartbeat, next to mine
As our lifeboat, sails toward the sky

Hold me, I can't do this on my own
You are everything, everything to me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH4EevitGrQ

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I already submitted this, but I guess I'll throw up some stuff I wrote in my spare time.

[u]Prayer
[/u]
[i]An estranged world collected
Collective in its inherent deceit
Conceited in ignorant arrogance
Asinine to the truth of our ways
Wayward the light always seemed
Teeming with jingoistic jealousy and envy
Envious of padded wallets and investments
Investing focus on monetary cleansing
Cleaned with glossy glamor
Glamorous and gorgeous the green gargoyles rise
Rising in a plume of paper wealth and numbers
Numerically fumbling fate
Fatefully deciding our destinies forward
Backward destinations are what we seek to be left
Rightfully born yet wrongfully dead
Ending with all eyes on two poles
Subtlety crumbling at the midpoint
Internally our souls and lives become nothing
Withering within an inferno of indifference
Apathetic to the insidious ignominy we press
Pushing toward lasting hegemony
Monarchy over our minds without protest
Rioting with no rhyme or reason
Thoughtlessness we allow ourselves to succumb
Knee-bent we can no longer look up
Falling favorably to those who have no worries
Scaring those who struggle
Fighting for their lives and right to exist
Disappearing under the Hell-stricken sun
Shining across the heaps of lost souls
Spirits gone astray and asunder
Down below when will we be received?
Can there be salvation?
Is redemption possible to ease the sins wrought
Worked upon by the swimming seas of shallowness?[/i]

[i]Oh blessed angels
Demigods whom aid the distraught and undeclared
Take my calloused hands and lead me away
Away from this universe and pain
Tactfully tearing me apart
Dividing my mind from sanity
Insanity has consumed everything
All is not well
Blissfully answer this prayer of prayers
This act of faith is all I have left.[/i]

[hr]

[u]The Window[/u]

[i]The window’s plane
In which we cry out
The inanity
The absurdity
The fallacy
The wrenching society that corrupts
Lost in all that it once sought
Heavenly grace never touched
A systematic plan that disrupts
Falling from grace
A teeming clock changing pace
With time standing still
Yet the winds of fate follow
Hunting the lone warrior
Who wields an armored will
Fighting vehemently
The !@#$%^&
The menace
The naivety
The man charges in faith
Blinded in futile dastard
Longing for a sampled world
Where godlessness was never wrought
A universe singular
Where life’s strings are taut
This myrmidon, lifeless
Breaking free of monotony
Calloused by the hegemony
A grimaced face he’ll render
But the shores of free will at his back
Driving him forward
Rather than asunder
As it blots the sun in night’s color black
Veiled in forlorn drapes
Wrapped willingly in senile making
As confusion dignifies our fates
In one munificent masquerade
Where the man’s ideals never satiate
Atop his life’s last plighted parade.
[/i]
[hr]

[u]Grown Men[/u]

[i]It’s absurd
When grown men take no action
Despite all violence incurred
Against the manufactured faction
They sit behind a steel visage
Blanketed in politics
As millions die by the real barrage
But of course grown men argue semantics.

A hail of fire and denial
Yet all the while
Grown men take no action
As the dead can no longer speak,
No longer on a bureaucratic file.

A thousand-word letter
That seldom brings something better
Those grown men always swiftly seek
Words that sternly speak
But alas to no avail
Diplomacy can never prevail.

Genocidal tears cross cheeks
Gravid fears freeze feet
Meanwhile,
Grown men take no action
Their image remains intact
Ailing children have no help to dial.

These men,
Supposedly grown men,
Take no action
Even in dawn’s final refraction
In the blood of apathy,
If only grown men had empathy.[/i]

[hr]

And this is just a short story (2,000 words so it's not within the confines for the competition of course). Just thought I'd share. :v:

[u]The Shallow Epiphany[/u]

Nostalgia was seldom seen within these four solemn walls. Baby blue plastered paint splashed the entirety of the room with waxed diamond-decorated tiles. A blank canvas sat above the three lonely strangers, as it seemed to lift into infinity. A young boy by the name of James stood paralyzed, his eyes consumed by solace, his body struck by regret. All the things left unsaid, undone, and unsought. He was nothing but a specter that quietly loomed over the dressings of a quaint hospital bed. His mother, bed-ridden and comatose, was laying in peaceful bliss as rays of light outlined James’ body across his mother’s girth.

The father, a middle aged man hardened by years of pain and misery, lingered in the corner’s shadowed veil. His longing eyes clung to the sun’s consult. His lips quivered in near confusion. He wore a distinguished face, pale and ashen, transfixed in mortification. “It’s… time to go,” he stammered as he pulled away from the solidarity he had found in the abyss.

James, ever-so obedient and quiet, leaned toward his mother’s softened forehead, pushed aside the bionic contraptions attached to her, and let his youthful lips press hard against her. He missed her so much… he missed the way things were two years prior, when his mother was infused with life.

His mind hovered for a moment as it supported the weight of the world. A tear slid down his soft cheek as his face retreated into a shroud of darkness. Memories ensued. The garden his father and mother had worked so hard on for years radiated in the sun’s vibrant light as puffy clouds sailed overhead. Daisies reflected beauty, mountain laurels stood high and proud, and tiger lilies boasted perfection. The monotonous world was shattered with the pulsing energy emanating from the garden’s gentle petals. It truly was the Garden of Eden.

But that was two long, strenuous years ago. Five minutes from the hospital the gray sedan James and his father drove pulled up into the driveway. The flowers that were once vivacious and vibrant no longer sang beautiful melodies or etudes. No, they slumped in fatigue, abused by months of negligence and disarray. His father hadn’t tended to the garden for a long time now. Once upon a time it had flaunted soothing petals, James thought. Now they were withering away in the bellicose regime of time… wilting in the daunting stature of despair. His eyes couldn’t stand the sight and deflected his view to the house’s entrance.

Robert, James’ father, loved his wife of fifteen years and couldn’t stand seeing the sight of her withering body. As James trudged up the stairs to his personal abode, Robert wrapped his fingers around a photo of Hailie, his wife, and flipped it face down. He couldn’t bear the mere image of her eternal suffering. He calmly checked his Rolex watch and half-heartedly smiled. “James, we’re having company tonight. Favio, the sales clerk I work with, is coming over for dinner.”

James wasn’t listening. Nothing could penetrate the steel aras that had shielded his eyes and ears. The air within his lungs compressed and forced its way out as his stomach caved in with the contours of a deformed mattress.

“Why?” he murmured. Fingers began clasping his head as the drapes of light caved in around him. He felt helpless, crippled, stripped of any opportunity to be saved. To see his mother in such a state of medical disassembly haunted every moment of his nightmares, and polluted even the purest of dreams. It just doesn’t make sense, he thought. What did she do to deserve this? Of all things she should have been saved by the grace of shear willpower! Alas this illness plagued not only her, but also everything in the world. No, that can’t be. Her husband and son still loved her. A father’s love and devotion to his wife is pure. Unbreakable. Indestructible. At least she still had the virtues of marriage.

James’ eyes peered out the half-shaded window and cringed at the sight of the garden. Work was becoming much more time consuming, that he understood, but his mother should always be a priority. Confused and slightly bewildered he shrugged the idea off and promptly exited not his room, but his mother’s.

He barely made it thirty feet until he collapsed into the comfort of his own bed. Without hesitation his weary lids succumbed to the mental fatigue as the celestial earth welcomed him with open arms.

Robert, on the other hand, could not sleep. His body was reaming as his hands caressed the ground beef that sifted through his dexterous fingers. There was indeed a task at hand that required his full attention. It really was no problem for him, though, because it heightened the pleasure that swirled in his mind. Cooking disrupted the reminder of his wife’s grievous conditions. It was his getaway from reality. Food doesn’t judge. It doesn’t sneer. It doesn’t scarcely leave in the middle of the night and become untouchable. No, it was simply something to be consumed; no strings attached, and certainly no complicated relationships to follow.

Moments flew by, seconds stepped onward, minutes marched to a quickened cadence, and an hour snuck by with time to spare. A knock shattered the trance that had consumed Robert. “James! Wake up you dolt! Our guest is here!” There was a peculiar look in his face as he approached the door. Adrenaline exasperated his blood as his heart began beating on his chest in an attempt to escape.

James, groggy from his short-lived nap, rolled out of his sheets and cursed. Time stopped as he straightened his posture and fixed his hair. “I really don’t like this Favio guy, but… I just don’t know why,” he curiously whispered as he practically threw himself down the flight of stairs. These thoughts couldn’t be simply cast asunder, but he did anyways. He had to play the role of a perfect teenage son now.

It was all a blur for him however. He sold himself as a well-mannered boy, greeting Favio with the utmost respect and sat down at the dinner table. This Favio character was nothing short of mysterious, however. His attire boasted the story of a rich and arrogant !@#$%^&, but his face was softened by compassion and empathy.

Robert couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of his son acting civil. A wave of fear suddenly chilled his spine. He wondered if… no, it wouldn’t matter. He’d understand, or at least he hoped. In apprehension he seated Favio and then parked himself at the end of the table.

The evening progressed like any other dinner with a guest would, and James simply didn’t have the attention span to stay afloat. Filled by the beef patties that were practically inhaled he excused himself and scurried back up to his room. He saw his father’s disappointed eyes as he wandered away, almost as if he had to tell him something. He brushed it aside and set his sights on one thing: music.

James wheeled the volume knob, feeling its sophisticated plastic model. Music came to life as it blared out of enormous speakers. The sweet and tender tone of classical masterpieces lurched into his ear canal. Master instrumentalists, he thought as he slumped into his lumbar-support chair.

Time had other plans for this young boy, however. As quickly as the music began to illuminate the room his mind wandered off into a contemplative sleep. His mind truly was betrothed to the dream world as he lay there. Fate pressed forward as hours crept by. An eternity had passed until he had awoken to a particularly peculiar noise not heard often within the household.

“What the…” James questioned himself as he pulled himself from his resting place. Clumps of hair hung wildly from his scalp as he tirelessly shot a glance at the clock. One o’ clock… in the morning. Favio should have left over four to five hours ago. Could these… no. James’ face slowly churned from fatigued to worried to confused to irate. There is no way… not now. Impossible! It just must be the television! The sounds were definitely coming from his father’s room as he slowly inched down the hallway. Another woman in mother’s bed!

James’ heart began to pound against his chest as the veins in his neck began to protrude. An inferno of anathema intensified as it engulfed his entire soul. How could his father do this? He didn’t plan on being nonchalant. His palms pressed against the mahogany door and shoved with all of his might. Pain seared his body.

There, lying in his parents’ bed was his father and another entity. James couldn’t contain himself. His scream pierced the passionate mood of the scene as his finger flipped the light switch revealing the others’ identity. Robert tried to conceal his apparent lover, but failed.

“Fa—Fav—Favio?!” James stammered as his body convulsed in shock. Robert’s mouth began moving, but James paid him no mind. There was a heavenly force controlling his body now. Down the stairs, through the front door… it all flashed through his eyes in an instant until he found himself in the garden tearing up the dying plants.

Half naked and distressed, Robert appeared in the light on the stoop. “James! What are you doing?!”

James’ eyes were filled with a burning rage. He felt betrayed. Deceived. Cornered. Bewildered. Scared. Confused. Distraught. The thoughts that ran through his mind were malicious. Forgiveness would not appear that night. “How… how could you… you prick!” he shouted as his hands uprooted flower after flower.

Robert didn’t know what to say. His life literally turned upside down as Favio tip-toed halfway down the stairs in grave concern. “I was going to tell you James! I just… didn’t know how to break it to you!”

James couldn’t help but glare. “What about mom, huh!?” he cracked as he began to restrain himself from destroying the garden even more. “This garden… was for you and mom. And you killed it! You killed everything! You… you were supposed to love mom! And this? What the Hell is all of this!? You’re frigging gay? Why the Hell didn’t you tell me? Why did you lie to me!?” His rage slowly diminished into sorrow as his voice began to succumb to the deep depression that began consuming his heart and mind.

“I do love your mom… but today… when I took her off of life support. There—” James didn’t let him finish. His throat couldn’t even formulate a single articulation. It was almost as if someone had cut his tongue out and began strangling him.

“Shut up,” James curtly stated. With a voice so cold and straight, Robert had no choice but to comply. James pulled himself up from the earth… the earth where his mother had put so much labor into harvesting. In one hand he held a flower and the other a weed. With teeth clenched he gripped both plants. In one hand he held his mother’s innocence and in the other his father’s criminality. Quickly the weed slammed against the walkway as he turned and walked toward the edge of the road. The streetlights broke the dissident blanket of darkness as he stepped forward with each foot. The flower in his fist attracted his eyes’ glance as it became more and more visible in the light. Eyelids sealed shut. Heart stopped. Mind closed. In a gradual moment his eyes reopened. They were no longer loving and naïve. No, they were dark, fierce, hopeless, and cynical.

The bell of the flower was the only thing bridging his soul to sanity, and now he felt free from it. His palm tightened and crushed the flower entirely, flattening it to pieces as its withered petals gracefully fell to the earth. Love, he thought, is for the betrayers. He shot a glance back at his father who was on his knees hysterical. There is no such thing as love, he continued. He never loved Hailie. He never loved James. In one last elegy the darkness of the night abducted the young boy’s soul as the streetlight flashed out of existence. The flower petals simply washed away in the breeze as the shards of a broken heart scattered into the street...

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