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Lizzie Brookes
June 18th, 2019, 04:39 PM
Hi,

I have revised both my short stories/micro fiction (depending on length) - please let me know what you think.


Ajun and Mendes

“All beings are born equal” was an indisputable truth among the twelve deities of the planet Utania, although ironically it was a statement subject to debate amongst the beings themselves. Beings were any form of sentient life which was not an animal, plant or deity. Beings comprised; elves, nekos, nymphs, parohumans, and many others. All beings were subject to the eternal laws of the universe. One of these laws was that all beings had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Another was that no being was permitted to discriminate against any other being for any reason whatsoever. Any being who broke these eternal laws suffered the wrath of the Gods.

Indeed, this was how the Delves came into being. Formerly regular elves, the Delves had become corrupted through their constant disregard of the universal laws of liberty and equality. In addition, they had become abhorrent to the Gods due to their pride, righteousness, and thirst for power and control. The corruption of the Delves manifested outwardly not only in their words and actions, but also in their appearance. Thomasina Kirk the former president of Aiwren, the lady who actually coined the phrase; “all beings are born equal”, believed that combining personal convictions with political decisions and forming groups which were overly rigid in their customs generally led to division, conflict, and all manner of other problems. However, these delusional Delves failed to see that their own behaviour was the cause of their transformation, instead projecting their own desires onto the Gods. The Delves almost revelled in their own corruption, imposing harsh restrictive rules and claiming that such rules were the will of the Gods. Naturally countries governed by the Delves and other such beings were the most subject to the wrath of the Gods in the form of earthquakes, floods, storms and even wars, yet these beings were blind to this very truth.

Mendes Gyasi, a famous ballet composer, and recognised classicist, was born and raised in the town of Serlacca, Asmor. His mother was a water nymph named Eralato, who had a brief relationship with a parohuman, Sesupti Gyasi. Despite being intelligent, and musically inclined, Mendes was obliged to seek a career in the civil service, due to the deficiency in opportunity for a musical career in Serlacca. Fortunately for Mendes, Kemera, the goddess of Art, Music and Culture, aware of his talent and destiny, descended to Utania in the form of a Conure parohuman. In this guise, she tutored Mendes for free under the name of Essena Petrovna, until he was able to attend a music school. Sadly for Mendes, he resided in a country governed by the Delves, meaning that he was compelled to conceal his romantic love for men to ensure his own safety.

It was well known both among Gods and mortals that Ajun, God of Life, Healing and Medicine fell in love with both men and women. According to legend, his most famous love affair was with the ballet composer Mendes. Ajun descended to Utania, taking the form of a Pionus parohuman; bronze skinned with long, straight, blue and white hair, and brilliant blue eyes. Upon encountering Ajun, Mendes was immediately struck by his outward appearance, later describing him in a letter to his brother as “a youth of stunning beauty”. Although there had been no time for conversation at this point, Mendes later learned that the man in whom he had a romantic interest was a servant by the name of Pushkin Kaphiri.

Ajun by the name of Pushkin frequented the places where Mendes was, eventually entering into a romantic relationship with the composer. As a God he was unable to offer marriage as marriage between Gods and mortals was against the rules, not to mention that the Delves prohibited same sex marriages in countries which they governed anyway. However, while the Delves prohibited same sex relationships out of pure prejudice, the Gods only disallowed long term relationships with mortals on the grounds that no mortal and God could meet on terms of equality due to the Gods possessing supernatural powers and immortality where the parohumans did not.

The Gods were aware of the relationship between Ajun and Mendes but love affairs between Gods and mortals were so commonplace that they naturally turned a blind eye to them. Besides any discomfort over a God becoming seriously involved with a mortal was generally overlooked as the Gods valued the happiness of one of their own over social conventions. Ajun concealed his divine identity from the beings, as well as taking care to conceal his relationship with Mendes from the Delves to ensure the safety of his lover. However, he did disclose his true identity to Mendes, who kept it a secret. Mendes later described Ajun as an “angelic creature, with whom (he) was more in love than ever”.

Although Mendes never revealed his lovers’ divine identity, neither he nor Ajun were completely successful in concealing their relationship from the Delves indefinitely. Rumours also spread through Serlacca that the famous composer was romantically involved with a God. Ajun was powerless to combat the homophobia that was prevalent in Serlacca, nor could he or any other God change anything that was fated. However, determined to rescue his lover from imprisonment, torture and discrimination, Ajun transformed him into a beautiful black swan, before returning to the skies of Utania.

Werewolves and Lycans

Lupians were humanoids who possessed the traits of wolves, which included; enhanced physical strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and agility. Enhanced vision and hearing were also among their abilities. Following many centuries of evolution, the descendants of the Lupians segregated into two different groups; the werewolves and the lycans. Although both groups possessed the traits of their ancestors as well as regenerative and tracking abilities, the werewolves developed a sensitivity to the moonlight, causing them to involuntarily switch from their human form to their wolf form when standing in the moonlight. The lycans however were able to switch from human to wolf and vice versa at will.

While the werewolves were for the most part humanoids who suffered from an unwanted and incurable affliction as the result of their genetic make-up, and possessed the wisdom and benevolence of their Lupian ancestors, the lycans were much smarter and possessed undesirable personality traits such as deceitfulness and manipulation. Many lycans were Machiavellian, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, psychopathic or sociopathic. Several were charming, charismatic and intelligent yet also ruthless and bigoted. While the werewolves attempted to manage their condition by avoiding moon rays and taking medication to ensure that in the event of becoming wolves, they kept their sanity, the lycans revelled in their ability to transform, using their powers to claim ownership of other beings and assert their own superiority over all beings.

Werewolves were susceptible to silver and vulnerable to death if any silver object were to pierce them in the head or heart regardless of whether they were in human or wolf form. Lycans however needed have their spines severed from their bodies in order to die but since most beings and even the Gods were averse to needless violence and cruelty, this tended to be avoided wherever possible. Lycans who committed crimes tended to be imprisoned instead of being given a death penalty so they lived unless they died in battle or were killed in self-defence. The confidence, charisma and intelligence of the lycans made them successful in the army, law or business and especially in love. Both lycans and werewolves freely mingled with parohumans, humanoids, elves and nekos, and even had brief relationships with nymphs though both Gods and lycans avoided one another like the plague.

According to history, the sixteenth century saw the formation, development and rise of the Lycan Imperium; the name given to a “worldwide system of dependencies and colonies” as it was described in one of Utania’s most famous encyclopaedias. These colonies were under the sovereignty of the continent Oswana. The Lycans, a brutal and warlike species, obtained several of its colonies by conquest. Towards the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the control which the Oswana crown possessed over its colonies were in the areas of trade and shipping for the most part. Typically the lycans tended to exploit their colonies as a source for the necessary raw materials Oswana needed to obtain. In the 1830s, however the werewolves rebelled against their lycan counterparts, resulting in the forced abolition of slavery in Oswana’s dominions.

Despite the small victory achieved by the werewolves, the power of the lycans grew during the nineteenth century. Authoritarianism was forced on all lycan colonies including the continent Anea, colonized by the lycans in 1860, and ruled by Oswana for over 200 years. The power of the Lycan Imperium was finally broken in 1948 following a major civil war where the werewolves emerged victorious. The Liberali Party came to power, its leader, Richard Halsec becoming the first werewolf Prime Minister. Richard Halsec, born in the town of Anamis, Oswana on February 22nd 1904, was the son of Dannan Halsec, a werewolf and Aliza Halsec, a Cockatiel parohuman.

Described as energetic, ambitious and passionate, Halsec was famous for his liberal idealism, and seen as an “apostle of liberty” and an “inspirational symbol”. He had been known to be well versed in Mathematics, Geography, Greek, Latin, and Literature. An obsessive student, he combined an active career in politics with “a periodic seclusion in his own private haven”, a home he had himself constructed. He fervently shared his ideals with Thomasina Kirk, seeking connection and common ground, as well as diplomatic relations with Aiwren. Upon coming to power, Richard Halsec immediately made reparation for the actions of the lycans by transferring power with Anea gaining its independence in May 1948,

Unfortunately the destructive actions of the lycans could not be completely undone and a cruel law banning same sex relationships remained in place for decades in Anea, despite Halsec repealing this law in his own country.


Thanks,

Lizzie

Bard_Daniel
June 19th, 2019, 08:30 PM
Hi Lizzie,

So, my gripe with this is that they're not based in fiction style. These are telling a series of events that happened. You don't *show* anything. There's no dialogue, essential description, and the character development that happens when you make a scene real. Instead, it reads as a transcript or summary of things that had happened. For this reason, I could not really get into it. The ideas, and plot-line, seem to be in place, but there's no storytelling behind this that distinguishes a piece of flash-fiction or micro-fiction. Instead, it is-- as mentioned, a description of things that have happened put together. I would suggest maybe trying to make the pieces more like a story, *show* more rather than simply stating things that happened in order. That could bring your pieces to life because, as it stands, they did not do it for me.

Just my amateur two cents! Keep on writing!

Lizzie Brookes
June 19th, 2019, 11:44 PM
Thanks for the feedback - I don't find it easy to write dialogue but I will do what I can.

Lizzie Brookes
June 21st, 2019, 12:08 AM
Is this version better?


Werewolves and Lycans

The chime of the Big Ben awakened Richard Halsec as he slumbered in his comfortable single bed in Number 10 Granite Lane. He immediately leapt out of bed, despite it being Sunday. He walked towards the window and for a few minutes admired the silvery grey curtains. Just because he was susceptible to silver and vulnerable to death if any silver object were to pierce him in the head or the heart, this did not mean that he did not admire silver as a colour. Besides, he knew curtains would never harm him. He slowly opened them, allowing the summer sunshine to stream in. Richard made his bed and then went into the bathroom.

Turning on the tap, he took the water in his cupped hands, massaging the sleep out of his face. He remembered that Arthur Conan Doyle had described his detective Sherlock Holmes scooping up the fresh water and making an entire ritual of face washing, Once his morning rituals were complete, he changed into a pristine grey suit and checked his reflection. Good he thought casually. He picked up a kettle and a packet of apple tea, his usual morning beverage. He had been sorry to leave his parents at home but he knew that if they all moved into Number 10, there wouldn’t be anyone to look after their own house. It was a house he himself had constructed, gifted as he was in architecture.

Richard Halsec had been born in the town of Anamis, Oswana on February 22nd 1904. He was the son of Dannan Halsec, a werewolf and Aliza Halsec, a Cockatiel parohuman. Richard started. The apple tea was far too hot at the first sip. He had absentmindedly picked it up and tasted it and it had burnt his tongue. Putting it aside for a few minutes, he decided to get out his mat and do some meditation. He concentrated, clearing his mind of al thought. After about 5 minutes, the beverage had cooled somewhat and he was able to enjoy it. As he drank, his eyes drifted to his bookshelves; Greek, Latin, Literature, Geography, Mathematics. These had been the subjects he studied as he was growing up. His eye fell upon the seven volume Encyclopedia Britannica. Becoming nostalgic all of a sudden, he finished his tea, left his cup to soak in the sink, and brought one of the volumes to his desk. He looked up his ancestors in the contents and turned to the correct page. The entry ran thus;

Lupians were humanoids who possessed the traits of wolves. These include; enhanced physical strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and agility. Enhanced vision and hearing were also among their abilities. Following many centuries of evolution, the descendants of the Lupians segregated into two different groups; the werewolves and the lycans. Although both groups possess the traits of their ancestors as well as regenerative and tracking abilities, the werewolves developed a sensitivity to the moonlight. This causes them to switch involuntarily from their human form to their wolf form whenever they stand in the moonlight. The lycans however can switch from human to wolf and vice versa at will.

Richard sighed. While the Lycans were distant cousins of his as they shared the same ancestors, they could not be more different. He was a humanoid who suffered from an unwanted and incurable affliction as the result of his genetic make-up. The lycans on the other hand. Richard shuddered. Could a race of more Machiavellian, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, psychopathic or sociopathic beings than the lycans ever exist? The werewolves had inherited and still possessed the wisdom and benevolence of their Lupian ancestors. They attempted to manage their condition by avoiding moon rays and taking medication to ensure that in the event of becoming wolves, they kept their sanity. The lycans however…Richard gave another shiver….charming, charismatic and intelligent as they were, they were poisoned at the heart by ruthlessness and bigotry.

Still, thought Richard, he was averse to needless violence and cruelty. So too were most beings and even the Utanian Gods. This was why lycans were imprisoned rather than sentenced to death in the event that they committed a crime. He turned back to the contents page and looked up the Lycan Imperium. The entry ran thus;

According to history, the sixteenth century saw the formation, development and rise of the Lycan Imperium; the name given to a “worldwide system of dependencies and colonies”. These colonies were under the sovereignty of the continent Oswana. The Lycans, a brutal and warlike species, obtained several of its colonies by conquest. Towards the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the control which the Oswana crown possessed over its colonies were in the areas of trade and shipping for the most part. Typically the lycans tended to exploit their colonies as a source for the necessary raw materials Oswana needed to obtain. In the 1830s, however the werewolves rebelled against their lycan counterparts, resulting in the forced abolition of slavery in Oswana’s dominions. Despite the small victory achieved by the werewolves, the power of the lycans grew during the nineteenth century. Authoritarianism was forced on all lycan colonies including the continent Anea, colonized by the lycans in 1860, and ruled by Oswana for over 200 years. The power of the Lycan Imperium was finally broken in 1948 following a major civil war where the werewolves emerged victorious.

Richard looked up sharply. He remembered. He had been there. The lycans revelling in their ability to transform, using their powers to claim ownership of other beings and assert their own superiority over all beings. He closed his eyes as he remembered fellow werewolves falling to the ground after being pierced in the head or the heart by any silver object. Even the severing of the lycan spines caused Richard some uneasiness. He certainly did not desire any fellow being to die, but in this case the lycans had only themselves to blame. Besides any tyranny had to be broken whatever the price. Richard remembered that immediately after the civil war had ended, he and several other of his fellow werewolves had been hospitalised for a few months, struggling with Post traumatic Stress Disorder. Still, he sighed, that was all past now.

Richard read on;

The Liberali Party came to power, its leader, Richard Halsec becoming the first werewolf Prime Minister. Described as energetic, ambitious and passionate, Halsec is famous for his liberal idealism, and seen as an “apostle of liberty” and an “inspirational symbol”. Upon coming to power, Richard Halsec immediately made reparation for the actions of the lycans by transferring power with Anea gaining its independence on 17th July 1948. Unfortunately the destructive actions of the lycans could not be completely undone and a cruel law banning same sex relationships remained in place for decades in Anea, despite Halsec repealing this law in his own country.

Richard stopped reading and closed the book. He got up, rubbing his neck. This always happened. Every time he sat at his desk and read he gave himself neckache. Putting the book away carefully, he went to his medical file and got out the exercises his doctor had given him. Once his neck and shoulder pain had eased somewhat, he decided to go for a walk. He first checked his post. Amongst other letters was a letter from Thomasina Kirk, president of Aiwren. He slit open the envelope and read it eagerly before putting it safely away in his desk. Part of his duty as the Oswana Prime Minister was to form diplomatic relations with Aiwren but in the process he had forged a deep personal friendship with the president as they shared the same ideals.

Walking briskly in the warm summer sunshine, Richard noticed a grasshopper. Carefully, he avoided treading on it, taking a nearby leaf, and then setting it carefully among a nearby row of Poplar trees. Halsec then noticed a blind man attempting to cross a road and helped him across.

“Thank you kindly Sir”.

Richard squeezed his shoulder and let him go. Walking further, the melodious notes of a guitar sounded. Richard noticed the guitarist was a poor man wearing rough clothing. A round hat with some money in it was in front of him to which Richard immediately contributed.

“Thank you”.

Richard smiled and walked on.