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Arles of Astoria



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Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:56 am
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nogutsnoglory says...



A rundown barn, where eyes watch you from the walls and the grime-covered jars on the shelf are filled with magic dust.

A fantasy realm, penetrable only by chosen fairy rings.

A bedroom with shelves full of books and a broken window.

An untold story.

A self discovery.

Coming of age.

Being too young to understand that you should be very, very afraid.

Arles of Astoria dives into the mind of twelve year old Arles Octavian, a queer kid living in the outskirts of a not-quite-town, not-quite-city, who crowns themself monarch of the run-down barn behind their parent's house and the field and forest that lie beyond it. Obsessed with direction, rocks, and the subjects of their kingdom, Arles' journey encompasses the land of Astoria, the struggles of growing up, the creatures that haunt us all, and the realization that there is nothing like coming back home, and coming back to yourself.
Last edited by nogutsnoglory on Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  





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120 Reviews



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Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:56 pm
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nogutsnoglory says...



As Arles comes of age and grows into a queer young adult, the state of Astoria declines and creatures of all kinds come out of the shadows to bare their teeth. Astoria becomes attacked from within, and Arles' crown is threatened by outside forces and their own inner turmoil. As Astoria the Kingdom fights for its life and Arles tries to cope with discovering who they are, the question that haunts the mind of monarch and subjects alike remains: what lies in the dimensional mind of Arles Octavian?
  





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Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:02 am
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nogutsnoglory says...



"What does the God of your childhood look like?
A soft apparition pigeoned in the attic,

a wound eating you one year at a time?"

— Rachel McKibbens, from “outhouse,” published in Vinyl
  





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Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:53 pm
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BlueAfrica says...



I know I hadn't said anything yet and you're busy with Vomit, but I love this idea! It feels vaguely like a dark, queer Bridge to Terabithia. I feel like I probably have an even more apt comparison (where your story would still be the dark/queer comp), but Bridge to Terabithia is what's coming to mind for now. I'm a sucker for fantasy where it's kind of is-it-real-or-is-it-all-in-this-child's-imagination-or-maybe-it's-both and I'm curious to see if it's actually Arle's coming-of-age that sparks the turmoil in the kingdom!
  





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Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:39 am
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nogutsnoglory says...



To be honest, Bridge to Terabithia is actually pretty damn accurate, as far as the vibe I'm going for!
  





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Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:57 am
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nogutsnoglory says...



Part I:

Age twelve.

Arles is obsessed with rocks, directions and the broken window in their room. They are introduced to their Kingdom and their Throne.

Part II:

Age fifteen.

Arles is growing as a human, experiencing things like attraction and sexual desire for the first time. With their first queer sexual experience comes the first attack on Astoria.

Part III:

Age seventeen.

Something happens that causes Arles to spiral and Astoria starts to crumble. This is where everything goes; the battle; the creatures; the fear.
  





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Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:49 pm
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nogutsnoglory says...





First line:

"Arles stared down at their bloodied hand, their gaze drifting up to the now broken window with its remaining jagged glass."

Last line:

"Astoria would forever be theirs."
  





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Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:29 am
Awru says...



Spoiler! :
Is this a new form of torture by writers.We r not gonna tell them the whole just enough info that will make them crave for it and ultimately die of curiosity*evil laughter*
:wink: Live Your Story :wink:
  





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Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:09 pm
AtlasW says...



I love this so much! How do you come up with such beautiful projects?
“It is untrue
that bravery can be measured
by a lack of fear.
It takes guts to tremble.
It takes tremble to love.”
― Andrea Gibson




previously GodHatesMason, GodHatesShane
  





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Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:38 pm
nogutsnoglory says...



chapter one:

Spoiler! :
Arles stared down at their bloodied hand, their gaze drifting up to the now broken window with its remaining jagged glass.
The broken pieces had fallen outward, and were surely scattered on their mother's bush of roses that lined the east side of the house on the ground below. Arles stuck their head carefully out of the broken window to look, forgetting for a moment the excruciating pain in their hand. After a moment, they retracted their head and turned inwards again, walking calmly from their bedroom to the bathroom to retrieve the first aid kit.
A few minutes later they returned, hand bandaged with blood-soaked gauze. Their gaze returned to the window, where through the jagged glass they could see the old barn in the backyard, standing like a lone guard and towering over the field of overgrown grass, the grass that stretched for eons before giving away to a thick forest of pine trees. The barn seemed to whisper, a soft, gentle call that carried itself on the breeze of the cool Oregon fall, that slipped like ghosts into Arles' ears and stayed there, furling itself around their brain, taking hold, making itself at home. It beckoned them.
Arles pulled on their tennis shoes, tying them as best they could with basically one hand. They moved quietly to the vanity, looking themselves over in the mirror. Their hair was shaggy, too shaggy, and their hooded eyes seemed dead and cold, calculating and unforgiving. Arles knew they were right. They grabbed a baby blue hat from where it hung on the corner of the mirror and pulled it on, adjusting the snug fit out of habit. Satisfied, they grabbed their backpack - filled with a notebook, several pens, a flashlight, a blanket, their wallet, a steel water bottle and several granola bars - and headed downstairs.
"Arles?" the babysitter called, just as Arles put their hand on the doorknob of the back door. Arles didn't pause to answer, leaving the house silently and making their way to the barn out back.
It was small, an old, run-down thing, with clapboard siding, the gray paint peeling and revealing the grain of the wood underneath. The doors were rotting, unable to close like they used to. Broken glass littered the floor and Arles was careful to step gingerly, gazing upwards as they entered. Grime-covered, half-full jars lined the shelves on the wall, some of them broken - that’s probably where the glass on the floor came from - and it felt like the walls were watching them, like the barn itself was alive, an old, eldritch being. Arles shivered a bit as they stepped in further, turning to stare out at the field of grass from the open doorway.
An odd feeling came over them. They felt older, a lot older than their age of twelve years, and a heavy burden settled on their shoulders. This was their land, with its rolling field and its trees, and this barn their throne room, this barn their advisor. It guided them, whispered in their ear, pulled them in, placed the crown upon their head.
This is your kingdom, it said. You are its ruler. It is called Astoria.
Arles took several steps back, reeling. They blinked rapidly at the walls around them, on the verge of tears. They took off running, leaving the barn as fast as they could. They sprinted across the open field until they reached the forest, running blindly until they came upon a river running between the trees.
“What. The actual. Fuck.”
Arles leaned against one of the trees, gasping for air and clutching a stitch in their side. They had spoken without expecting a response, and therefore jumped when a voice answered:
“Ah. Our monarch has come of age.”
A lithe tiger emerged from between the trees, its skin taught across its ribcage, its smile wide enough to show off its incisors. It moved slowly, its steps sure and sound, its gaze fixed upon Arles.
Arles stared back at it for several moments before speaking. “There aren’t tigers in Oregon.”
“Ah,” the tiger said again, smiling even wider. “But this is not Oregon. This region is Astoria, and in Astoria, anything is possible.”
Arles continued to stare. Surely they must’ve hit their head, or maybe the jars in the barn held some old shrooms, some sort of fumes they could’ve gotten high off of. Something that would make this make sense.
The tiger laughed, a loud, hearty, throaty sound that made Arles jump again.
“Come, child. I’m Icarus, the royal advisor. I have been waiting for a very long time to meet you.”
Arles remained rooted where they were, even as Icarus turned and began to walk away. Their mind was racing, and their hands were shaking, and yet, after a moment, they found themselves following.
Creatures began to appear as Arles followed Icarus through the woods. Giant spiders, seven feet tall, and monkeys perched on tree branches, and Arles could have sworn they passed by a dragon. Dogs of all kinds, centaurs, and even a few human like creatures - elves, maybe, or vampires, flashing fangs at Arles as they and Icarus passed.
“Pay no mind to the subjects,” Icarus purred, tossing Arles a glance over his shoulder. “They may seem threatening, but really, they are enamored by our monarch.”
“You keep saying monarch,” Arles murmured, ducking to avoid a branch, “and I’m assuming you mean me. But I’m not the monarch of anything.”
Icarus turned around, arching an eyebrow at them. “On the contrary. You are the heir to Astoria, my child. It’s been outlined in the prophecy for millenia. You are our one true ruler.”
Arles stared. “I’m just a kid from Kentucky.”
Icarus smirked a bit, shaking his head as he began to amble along again. “You’ll grow into your role as ruler eventually.”
It was starting to get dark. Arles’ parents would be home soon, and if they weren’t at the house when their parents arrived, it wouldn’t end well.
“Where are we going?”
“We’re almost there,” Icarus replied, and in just a few short minutes they arrived at their destination.
“Wow,” Arles murmured.
Before them stood a large tree, larger than any of the ones around it, one that towered above the rest. At its middle was a hollow knot, which was glowing faintly.
“This is the life force of your Kingdom,” Icarus told them. “This is what keeps Astoria alive - we call it the House.”
“The House?”
“The House of Astoria.” Icarus nodded. “It must be protected at all costs. That’s your topmost duty.”
Arles stared, as and as they did so, something began to beat hard within their chest, right next to their heart. A warmth came over them, goosebumps rising on their skin. It was home. It spoke to him the same way the barn did - a gentle calling, a soft voice saying, “you are mine”.
Arles took several steps back, forcing themselves to look away. They dropped their gaze to the ground, breathing a bit fast.
“I have to get home,” they said after a moment. “My parents are going to be home soon.”
Icarus watched them for several moments before nodding, seeming pleased. “Follow me, your majesty.”


1,205 words.
  








“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”
— Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell