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Some Mettle for His Virility [2]



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Wed May 06, 2009 3:13 pm
mizz-iceberg says...



This is for Cal's Some Kind of Chorus Contest.

Word prompt: tragic hero

Song: Tom Petty --Learning to Fly






The desert sun blazed, blowing its hot breath on Adan’s back. He longed to peel his damp clothes off, sticky and smelly as every pore on his body oozed sweat. But, Galen’s words kept coming back to him. He had been trained well. Too well thought Adan. A sunburn is the worst burden in the desert, Galen had told him when Adan had set out. He licked his dry lips which were just as cracked as the hard ground underneath his feet. There was a burning desire for water. Head throbbing, and eyelids heavy, he trudged on.

The desert had been loose sandy in the beginning of his journey, now it was just hard dirt full of deep cracks running along in tendrils.

There was no escaping the sun now; he was open, exposed, nothing between him and the sun, not even a wisp of cloud. It was his own doing. Galen had warned him, You may not come out at all child. You are no man, go home. But Adan had insisted. He would come from the wasteland a man, a hero; he would become a champion. He would succeed where others had failed; he would show them. They would bow to him, and bring him dates and throw banquets in his honour. And he would finally marry Chara.

Chara, his beautiful Chara. He recalled the twilight he had spent with her among the date trees trying to convince her to let him go. She had clung to him, her doe eyes pleading him to stay.

“Your father will let me marry you, Chara. When I’m a hero everyone will give us their blessings. The King himself will bless us,” he had said with a soft dreamy look on his face. He imagined walking hand in hand with her through the streets of Atpross where all could see them united. She would be declared his wife, the wife of Adan. The wife of Adan the hero.

“Oh Adan, if you come back.” She pulled her hands back from him and frowned staring at her lap. “I’d rather this, Adan, than never see you again.”

“Chara I will come back, and I’ll marry you. I promise. We’ll be together again. All I have to do is cross the Erobus Desert. Many have done so before me.”

“And many more have died at the attempt,” she cried, throwing her hands in the air. “It is not a stroll through the gardens, Adan!”

“I know. I know.” He hushed her, pulling her warm body to his chest, wanting to stroke her soft hair, but she pulled back, her eyes angry.

“Chara, Galen says he’ll train me.”

“Galen is no god, and neither are you. You are a mortal,” She whispered. “You’re just a boy Adan,” She added softly, touching his cheek.

“Galen says he’ll train me,” he insisted. “He thinks I can do it.” Why couldn’t she believe in him? He would show her was no boy.

Frustrated, she had stood up. “Don’t you see? You will not come back!” she yelled. He tried to shush her, but she refused to quiet down.

“Chara, some one might hear us!” he had warned, reaching for her. She pulled away.

“I don’t care! Hear me through, Adan. If you take a single step into that desert, I shall never talk to you. And I won’t marry you. Even if you do come back!”

Then she turned around and strode off, leaving him with the last rays of the sun fading away, her words hanging heavily in the cool air. She would change her mind. So would her father. They would be married because he would be a hero, not the baker’s boy.



Adan’s thighs ached, the pain searing through as he took each step. Shielding his eyes from the cruel sun, Aden looked out toward the hazy horizon. There seemed no end to it, it just stretched on and on from all sides. A desolate barren land, void of any life except for Adan who stood at its centre. A dreadful hopelessness and loneliness crept into his chest, clutching at his stomach. What if there was no end? Would he finally succumb to the mightiness of the desert? What if he was lost? Maybe he wasn’t going the right way. Adan looked left and right, it all looked the same. Follow the North Star, Adan, Galen had told him. But where was the North Star when it was high day?



Adan’s breath came out slow and heavy, his chest heaving, sweat slowly dripping down his tanned forehead. It had been days now; he had lost count of just how many. There were about two tablespoons of water left in his water bag. He longed to let the water droplets down his dry throat, but he knew shouldn’t, he’d already drunk too much yesterday.

When you run out of water, know that you have four more days in the desert – that is if your pace is steady and you have been rationing your water like I’ve instructed. You should arrive at Kartan Port within the week. Those last four days are the main part of your journey, and the most perilous. Galen himself had travelled the Erobus Desert four times. And now he led the Academy for Heroes and Paladins, training and instructing them the science of combat and endurance. Adan had always wanted to attend it, but poor boys like him weren’t meant to be trained to become heroes. One had to be a noble to afford the Academy. This left the Erobus Desert as the only chance at heroism for Adan, and also his only chance for honour, recognition and the fair Chara.

Chara, he longed to hear her sweet voice, her cool soft fingers in his hands, her silky hair brushing his cheeks.

I’m coming Chara. I’m coming; just a few more days.

Adan’s feet hurt, the pain searing from his insteps up to his ankles. It burned with a different kind of heat, a quick sharp pain that pierced him every time he pressed a foot forward, his weight shifting from one foot to the other, both sore. Galen had told him his feet would give up long before he did. Each step felt as if he was lifting a heavy boulder, and Adan clenched his teeth at the struggle.

One step, just one more. There. Now one more. Good. One more, just one more. Getting closer. Each lift of the foot was an effort. He would crawl, then heave himself up and stagger forward, just to drop face down on to the hard dirt and taste the hot earth breathing against his mouth.


Two days from Kartan, Adan lay on the hot, caked ground, eyes closed, smiling at the sun. This felt good. A cool breeze blew kissing Adan’s face. Chara was here, he could smell her. She was smiling at him. He could feel her warm smile, her glowing eyes. He lay in her warm her lap, dreaming.

I love you Chara. Love, it wasn’t the right word. It was too cliché, he longed to explain exactly what he meant. But, she kept smiling; the warmth of her smile washed over him. Adan turned over. I’m going to stay right here Chara. Right here, in your lap. No more walking, Chara. She would stay here with him; she wasn’t going anywhere, neither was he. It was all over now, all over.





The Atprossians, who had travelled by river to Kartan, waited by the port for a certain hero. They had been told by Galen to expect one. After a week of much anticipation and festival preparations, they returned home disappointed, heads bowed, and eyes sad. Another lad had been lost to the great Erobus.

However, one young lady did not return to Atpross. She stood at the very edge of Kartan, just where the desert began. Her hero had promised he would meet her there.
Last edited by mizz-iceberg on Sat May 09, 2009 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that.
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Fri May 08, 2009 1:40 am
Antigone Cadmus says...



Hey, Mizz-iceberg! Here as requested! :wink:

No reviews yet? :(

Time to change that! :D

And yes... emoticons are amazing. :smt026

Your Review!

Okay, first of all, how did you want Adan to be spelled? Several times you spelled it with an "e", "Aden." Since this occur ed several times, I decided to tell you outright instead of pointing it out each time.

every pore in his body


Personally, I would make "in" of or on. In implies that they are inside his body. I don't know why, but in just bothered me. :wink:

He had been trained well, too well thought Aden.


This should be two sentences, with the thoughts in italics.

He had been trained well. To well, thought Adan(en?).

There was a burning desire for water, head throbbing, and eyelids heavy, he trudged on.


This should be two sentences, it doesn't work well as one. I also don't like "there was" -- it's far too ambiguous.

I would write:

He had a burning desire for water. Head throbbing, eyelids heavy, he trudged on.

The desert had been sandy in the beginning of his journey.


As opposed to what? Snowy? :wink:

This implies that the desert changed somehow, yet you don't tell us how.

Sand dunes provided shade and he would sit tight underneath their cover, close his eyes and dream.


Uhm, sand dunes don't provide shade... and they are impossible to sit under. They are giant mounds of sound, not peaks.
Take out this whole line, as it makes no sense.

Sorry, but I have a bad habit of beginning reviews at ten o' clock at night -- when I have to go to bed. Therefore, this review will be posted in two parts. Sorry!

:oops:

Hope this helped,
Antigone :wink:
Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
-Catullus, Carmen 85
  





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Fri May 08, 2009 2:42 am
mizz-iceberg says...



Thanks Antigone! I made those changed.

As for those sand dunes. I watched a movie once, where a group of people hid in the shadow of a large sweeping sand dune so that the people following them couldn't spot them from the distance.

But I still took out that sand dune part.

Thanks for your critique.

Waiting for part two. ^.^
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Sat May 09, 2009 1:47 pm
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Mars says...



Hi Zehra!

“We’ll be able to marry, Chara,” he had said

Your father will let me marry you, Chara.

She pulled her hands back from him and frowned, staring at her lap.

“I’d rather this, Adan, than never see you again.”

“Chara, I will come back, and I’ll marry you. I promise.

“And many more have died at the attempt,” she cried, throwing her hands in the air. “It is not a stroll through the gardens, Adan!”

You are a mortal,” she whispered. “You’re just a boy Adan,” she added softly, touching his cheek.

“Galen says he’ll train me,” he had insisted. “He thinks I can do it.” Why couldn’t she believe in him? He would show them (It's a bit odd that you go from referring to her specifically to them. I'd replace this with her or at the very least say all of them.) he was no boy.

“Don’t you see? You will not come back!” she had yelled.

“Chara, someone might come (I think hear would be better here)!” he had warned, reaching for her. She pulled away.

“I don’t care! Hear me through, Adan.

void of any life except for Adan who stood at its centre.

What if there was no end? Would the desert to be his final end? (I don't like the repetition of end here - maybe replace the second one?)

he’d already drunk too much yesterday.

This left the Erobus Desert as [s]being[/s] the only chance at heroism for Adan, and also his only chance for honour, recognition and the fair Chara.

Chara, he longed to hear her sweet voice, her cool, soft fingers

Galen had told him his feet would give up long before he did.

Each step felt as if he was lifting a heavy boulder,

He would crawl, then heave himself up and stagger forward,

taste the hot earth breathing into (Er...breathing into doesn't sound right. Perhaps breathing against or just replace this verb altogether. That said, lovely imagery here!) his mouth.

Two days from Kartan, Adan lay on the hot, caked ground, eyes closed, smiling at the sun.

The Atprossians, who had travelled by river to Kartan,


Also, one more nitpick. When you're writing a flashback, like the scene between Adan and Chara in the beginning, only the first and last verbs should be in the past perfect tense [had + verb] and everything in the middle should be in the simple perfect tense [verb + -ed].

Eg - He recalled the twilight he had spent with her among the date trees trying to convince her to let him go. She had clung to him, her doe eyes pleading him to stay.

Then she had turned around and strode off, leaving him with the last rays of the sun fading away,


So that's your first and last of the flashback, but I noticed you had some verbs in the middle in the past perfect tense, when they should be in the simple past tense. Verbs are confusing though, so I hope that made sense.

Whoa. Okay. So, if you couldn't tell from all of that, please please please make sure you watch out for commas and dialogue grammar and typos and other stuff like that! Mistakes make a good story hard to read.

That said, this was good. I liked it a lot, I loved Adan's flaw (pride/arrogance?) and how he was determined to finish - I really got a sense of his character, and the ending was sad and well-written. Also liked the society you set up, even if we don't learn too much about it. The sole suggestion I have (besides grammar) is to shorten the conversation between Chara and Adan. It ends up with them saying the same thing over and over, and it gets boring, and I think you could cut a lot of it out.

Good work! PM me if you have any questions.
-Mars
'life tastes sweeter when it's wrapped in poetry'
-the wombats


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Sat May 09, 2009 2:44 pm
mizz-iceberg says...



You rock, Mars! I made all the changes you suggested. Thank you so much for looking through the story and being so helpful. ^_^


-Zehra
I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that.
--Ellen DeGeneres
  





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Sun May 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Antigone Cadmus says...



Back!

Meh. Mars has taken most of my nit-picks, and since most of your problems in here were repeated, I'll give you an overall. I find they can be just as (or more) helpful.

Dialogue Tags

Check the rules for them. You can find an article about them in the Knowledge Base. It looked liked you wern't really sure what kind of punctuation to use in your dialogue.

Also, don't be afraid to use the word "said." It's been proven that the brain tends to skip over words like "said" and "the" -- so don't worry about using it too much.

It bothers me when people change the dialogue tag each time. To me it makes the writing very choppy.
You use far too many tags: She yelled, he responded, she cried, he laughed. It's okay to have a variety, but don't overdo it.

Tenses

Stay consistant!
You switch from past perfect (also known as pluperfect) to perfect.
Past perfect is when you add a "had" before something -- "I had said."
As compared to perfect -- "I said," or "I have said."

See?

When you flip around tenses, it makes your writing choppy. It also made it hard to tell when Adan was having a flashback or something. :wink:
Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
-Catullus, Carmen 85
  








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