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Glimpses

by YellowSweater


The Mountain Man

He was a magic man. He lived in a little hovel on the mountain, where on hot summer nights he would blow smoke rings into the valley below. They lasted unnaturally long and glowed blue, sometimes pink. We in the village thought he was crazy. It was a well-known fact that only crazy people existed in a state of feral ecstasy: naked, wise, and alone.

As I was later to learn, magic was not an aberration, rather a manifestation of lucidity, a terrifying result of the active practice of being alive. The magic man on the mountain, with his smoke-rings and loincloth, was a god. And he was far more real than the golden abstraction we worshiped. That’s why no one ever made the climb, no one besides me that is.



To the Islands

As we rocked between the blue waves, we felt our salty skin slipping into the sunlit water, the effervescent past. The islands rose out of the hazy horizon like a storm. They punctured our consciousness. They were a harsh reminder of the present, breaking the timeless motion of the sea.

The rope burned my tired hands. I pulled the sail tight and whooped. The desperation I had felt at watching the summer wane, watching the light turn slanted and gold and holy, fell away and I was flying. The sky and sea were blue for the moment and that was enough.



Jungle Sunset

The jungle was verdant, virile, viral. To escape, I would scramble up a tree, limbs everywhere, wood and flesh becoming one. And I would swallow the sunset, filling my stomach with more life, more death, than I could contain.

It was through this evening ritual that I first learned how to breathe fire. Above the jungle canopy, I learned how to hold onto the day's languid warmth and turn it into a firey burst of passion, fighting passion. The world is more alive at night. The jungle hums itself to sleep. 


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Sat May 15, 2021 3:49 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Hmm...well...these are all some pretty interesting stories here. Each one was pretty unique but definitely very interesting to read in their own little ways. Well...more details down below.

Anyway let's get right to it,

He was a magic man. He lived in a little hovel on the mountain, where on hot summer nights he would blow smoke rings into the valley below. They lasted unnaturally long and glowed blue, sometimes pink. We in the village thought he was crazy. It was a well-known fact that only crazy people existed in a state of feral ecstasy: naked, wise, and alone.

As I was later to learn, magic was not an aberration, rather a manifestation of lucidity, a terrifying result of the active practice of being alive. The magic man on the mountain, with his smoke-rings and loincloth, was a god. And he was far more real than the golden abstraction we worshiped. That’s why no one ever made the climb, no one besides me that is.


Okay...well...that's a fun piece there...definitely covering quite a bit there in just that tiny paragraph. Showcasing the ignorance of a few people there and then their ideals about god...well...that was surprisingly deep there for a story that couldn't have been more than a couple hundred words at most. I liked that one quite a bit. Lots of magic on display as well...more backstory than you'd expect to have squeezed into a tiny story like that. All in all, that was great.

As we rocked between the blue waves, we felt our salty skin slipping into the sunlit water, the effervescent past. The islands rose out of the hazy horizon like a storm. They punctured our consciousness. They were a harsh reminder of the present, breaking the timeless motion of the sea.


Ooh...that is some really neat description there...it manages to capture quite a lot despite being so small...you can so easily imagine what this situation must be like. Just an overall wonderful job so far with the description and imagery throughout this piece.

The rope burned my tired hands. I pulled the sail tight and whooped. The desperation I had felt at watching the summer wane, watching the light turn slanted and gold and holy, fell away and I was flying. The sky and sea were blue for the moment and that was enough.


Oh dear...well...definitely capturing a sense of a long voyage there...I suppose. Not quite sure exactly what they're sailing towards, or where they're sailing but its a nice little snapshot of the situation that you would expect to find a person in if they were on a loong voyage on harsh seas that seemed neverending.

The jungle was verdant, virile, viral. To escape, I would scramble up a tree, limbs everywhere, wood and flesh becoming one. And I would swallow the sunset, filling my stomach with more life, more death, than I could contain.


Oh wow...that's some neat little alliteration right there...really pulling some attention to that paragraph straightaway and then the followup with just all the death and life...with sunsets...wow this story has been cranked right up to eleven there.

It was through this evening ritual that I first learned how to breathe fire. Above the jungle canopy, I learned how to hold onto the day's languid warmth and turn it into a firey burst of passion, fighting passion. The world is more alive at night. The jungle hums itself to sleep.


Well that's a powerful ending there...talking of a power discovered, then talking about the jungle as if it were a living thing..well...we've ended things off with quite a strong note here on this story.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall...this is a nice little collection of stories that you've got here. I liked all three of them and yeah...honestly...that's about all I've gotta say here. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you so much for your review! I love hearing your comments! I
'm glad you liked the stories!



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Sat May 15, 2021 8:56 am
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi YellowSweater,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Let's start with your first story:

I love how you can write such an interesting and deep story in so few sentences. You did a good job of splitting the two paragraphs, referring more to the background of the plot and the magic man in the first one and shifting the perspective more to the first person narrator in the next one.
This gives a good connection and also the possibility to have a kind of "insight" that I felt while reading. The character works against the other characters, and moves to action. He is, so to speak, against the others, who are narrow-minded, to go to the magic man, and to visit him. There is something very philosophical about the text.

As I was later to learn, magic was not an aberration, rather a manifestation of lucidity, a terrifying result of the active practice of being alive.


Even though I didn't understand it completely for the first time, I liked the description. It has a certain tension and fascination about it, and combined with the idea of the magic man, I can conclude that this man (along with the narrator who travels to him) is the only one who is truly "alive."

The second story:

Compared to the first story, this text seems very poetic and uplifting. It has something of the good humour about it, combined with a touch of mystery. I like how you portray the sea as the past, and the islands as something breaking through that time.

Again, the second part here is a little different from the first, in that you turn the "we" into an "I", which is an interesting change of perspective for me. Although I don't have a direct interpretation for the second half, I can say that it comes across in a tone of relief and yet unease. It seems to me as if the narrator has achieved something that few will and yet I have faith as if the narrator is breaking through the barriers between life and death. A very lyrical text with a lot of meaning.

The third story:

The jungle was verdant, virile, viral.


I like the way you start with alliteration here, which is like the beginning of a play.

For the first paragraph, I felt a bit like it was being described from the perspective of a bird or an animal hunting other animals. The first paragraph also talks about "would", a way to escape, which to me, in terms of the story, gives the impression that the narrator wants to escape and yet is bound and cannot escape.

I love the second paragraph as an interpretation, how you make the comparison between escaping and staying.

The world is more alive at night. The jungle hums itself to sleep.


The second sentence in particular has a very strong effect on the rest of the text through its metaphors, as it seems like a link to life in an unexplored area.

I found the transition between the sentences a little too hurried. It seems as if something is missing in between. Apart from that, I can't find fault with anything.

The three texts are very good in their own right. They have a good structure and read smoothly. I like how you try to include lots of different adjectives to make them more vivid.
I didn't think if there was a connection between the three texts, but I think that would be too much of a good thing. :D
In summary, these were three very great, poetic texts, with an exciting allegory. I can't directly say now which of the three I liked best. :D

Have fun with the writing!

Mailice






Thank you so much for the review! You highlighted some of my favorite parts:) Yeah, I feel like it would be fun to try to draw some sort of connection between the stories, whether it be philosophical or textual. Maybe I'll continue it!!!



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Fri May 14, 2021 6:38 pm
SoullessGinger wrote a review...



Hello! SoullessGinger here for a review! :)
First of all, I absolutely love lyrical prose, and these are beautiful examples of that. This triplet is so profound and wonderfully fantastical. Okay, let's get started!

It was a well-known fact that only crazy people existed in a state of feral ecstasy: naked, wise, and alone.


I absolutely LOVE this section in the Magic Man. I feel like it's satirical of this idea that seeking a primal form of happiness is equivalent to insanity. And I love our narrator's little character development situation, and their discovery of the truth about magic.

This section
As I was later to learn, magic was not an aberration, rather a manifestation of lucidity, a terrifying result of the active practice of being alive.


is another that I really love, because even if we aren't referring to literal magic, choosing to be an active participant in life rather than letting life happen to you is like magic, in the way it frees us from a colorless existence.

I love the Islands section, it has the flavor of youth in it. It feels like a beach trip, so of course, I love it! You seem to create a pattern in that section, beginning with "the effervescent past", and then "a harsh reminder of the present", which I appreciate. However, you don't finish it out with an analogy to the future, which I think would take that section to the next level.

I think my favorite section, however, is Jungle Sunset. I'm not sure if you meant it that way, but it feels like a dragon is narrating! It's such a fun and interesting idea. And the vocabulary! Amazing! Plus, I'm a sucker for alliteration, so I enjoyed
verdant, virile, viral.


Overall: I loved it so much, beautifully written. As for overall feedback, the only thing I can say is that the nature theme is not consistent. You have the Islands, and then Jungle Sunset, and then the outlier, Magic Man. Perhaps Mountain Man, or Mountain Hermit, something along those lines would stick to that theme. But I thoroughly enjoyed this, and look forward to reading more of your writing!

Much love,
SoullessGinger

P.S. Remember, choose what you think was helpful and nothing else, and keep writing because this was great!






Ooh! I totally agree about the title! And I love the idea of tying the future back into the island piece. I think it would round it out! Thank you so much for the review!




Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
— Charles Mingus