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DS- Chaos

The cockpit is rattled by a nearby explosion. A fraction of the chaos outside appears on the monitor. Muffled sounds of whistling shells and the crack of massive guns resonate throughout. Sweat droplets sparkle on the visor of my helmet, my breathing is heavy, and I fight to control the trembling of my hands on the joysticks.

They came out of nowhere. Mere hours after we lost contact with the moon, the massive fleet was breaking through the atmosphere. Of course, we were armed. The fleet situated the moon was a mere fraction of what was stationed on Earth. Our assailants’ arsenal rivalled if not surpassed the size of ours, but it’s our home we were defending, and we quickly grew desperate. The nukes soon started to rain upon the enemy. During the scramble, the order was “no mercy, whatever happens”.

All of the American fleet was upon them, and Europe’s vanguard was hours from the front line. The orbital fleet will start firing any second now. Meanwhile, we’re out here on the ground, to make sure these things don’t go anywhere. It’s not an easy fight, but one I’m determined to see through.

I launch my mech into the air, through the smoke and the chaos, take aim at the blurry shapes in the distance, and squeeze the trigger. My target explodes in a mix of metal, circuits and flesh. Whatever it is we’re fighting, they’re also using mechanized armours. Some of them seem to have four arms….

I land hard on the destroyed torso of another friendly mech, noticing the black edged hole through the cockpit. “Rest in peace, mate” My teeth are tense as I spit the words out.

A quick, repetitive beep resonates out of the console. The kinetic sensors. Something hits the left side of my mech, tipping me to the side. I turn my armour back to face my aggressor. A three eyed armour is walking towards me, a strange contraption in hand. He points it towards me, and the barrel starts to glow. A gun.

I press a button. The handle of my attack dagger slides from its sheath. I yank it out with my mech’s right arm, activate the rear thrusters, ejecting my valiant suit towards the enemy, and thrust my blade into the thing’s head. A flash of light erupts from the strange weapon’s barrel.

The next sight I see is the thing’s lights flicker and fail through the gaping hole in my cockpit plating, half of my vision obstructed, probably by my own blood. The right joystick my hand was holding is gone, replaced by a scorching combination of metal, fibre and flesh. The pain hasn’t hit me yet. I doubt it ever will. My body feels more and more numb as a dark liquid gathers on my pedals. What’s left of my vison blurs and goes dark.

……CHAOS-PANIC………..BATTLE-DESPERATE//666—————————//………………….

Sticking to my action/sci-fi/dystopian roots for this first foray into Speakeasy 2.0. Hope you guys liked it. Comments much appreciated!

 
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Posted by on 12 October 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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DS Speakeasy 179-Void

I’ve come to love the silence. Only out here in space can one enjoy such peace. Unfortunately, this peace was soon to be shattered. I had abandoned the unmanned resource satellites yesterday,  following the asteroid belt back to the colony. The empty void of space, the predictable, familiar mechanical hisses and clicks of my armoured suit were going to once again give way to the unpredictable chaos of the crowd, the overly natural environment, with its animals, and its trees, with branches trying to grab you, imposing themselves upon you. How could anyone like this? The colonies, they say, were built to provide a home for Earth’s growing population, attempting to reproduce a familiar environment in the process. If Earth is as noisy, chaotic, dirty, and unpredictable as the colony hub, then I’d much rather stick to spatial duties. Humans are horrible to be around. They’re all rude, and violent, and egocentric and….

… I need a break.

I cancelled out my mech’s velocity relative to the asteroid belt, put my helmet on, switched off the hydrogen core, and opened the hatch, letting myself float out into space, a mere cable holding me to the seat of my cockpit. The distant sun was illuminating the millions of rocks that composed the belt, the rays playing and dancing on the metal of my suit. I held my right hand in front of me. Four gloved fingers and a thumb were moving in my field of view. Deep breath. Why do I exist? Why are clones necessary to Humankind? They have too many people to start with, so why add more mouths to feed? Sure, we’re more adapted to 0-G environments, what with the fancy genetic augmentations and all, but why go through all the trouble of creating a new species? Why didn’t they just genetically modify some of their own people? Are they that lazy? Willing to create a new life form, just to avoid doing some dirty work?

I sighed. My HUD indicated me that I wasn’t supposed to be back at the spaceport for another six hours. The colony was very close. I was surprised it couldn’t be seen yet. Without thinking it through any further, I turned towards the sun, and let the vague sense of heat drift me to sleep…

…until a metallic click against my visor woke me up. Something bright and golden was spinning slowly right in front of me. A bullet casing. Startled, I swiped it away with my hand, only to realize I was surrounded with the little golden metal tubes. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands, drifted all around me.

I felt my stomach drop. Something was horribly wrong. I returned to my mech, turned the main power on. It had been 1H since I last checked the time. Meanwhile, I had drifted closer to the colony, yet it was nowhere to be seen. My mech slowly burst to life. Screens turned on, engines revved, and electricity flowed. Music to my ears. After a few moments, the sensors went crazy. It seemed the asteroid belt was filled with huge chunks of metal and steel and organic matter where the colony should have been.

As I got closer, signs of battle became evident. Fragments of ships were drifting about, crushing asteroids in their wake. Mechs similar to mine were torn and lifeless, floating in the empty void of space. Soon, carcasses of skyscrapers and civilian homes floated about, dotting the sky with eerie images. As I got closer still, bodies started to appear. Some of them were disfigured, maimed and partially annihilated by the battle, but others were too well preserved, almost as if they were about to start moving again. Once I had reached what was supposed to be the heart of the colony, I had already seen horrors beyond count.

Where I stood, bits of plants, cars, buildings, and bodies were all too abundant. I stood there, wide eyed, looking at the still death that surrounded me, motionless, breathless. Something moved into my field of view. A tree. One of the elements of nature I had grown to resent, floating, leafless, through the remains of the colony. It was revolving slowly. After a few seconds, it had completed a semi rotation, revealing the woman whose body lay impaled by its branches…

 

//……………………………………DEATH//SPACE=SILENT::SCREAMS//………………………………………………..//

First post in a while. Here, a somewhat sociopathic space colonist comes back from a mission, only to find his/her home destroyed. Definitely not my usual character! Comments appreciated!

 
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Posted by on 16 September 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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New Life

Everything hurt. All the muscles in my body, my eyes, my head, my bones and something different, that was hurting too. My head was ringing and the light was too bright and the absence of noise too loud. I coughed as a tube was removed from my throat and out of my mouth and then I was breathing on my own. It was rebirth. Except that I didn’t remember the first one, or anything after it. There was an emptiness in my head, a big gaping hole where I felt there should be something, anything. 

I was lying on a table, that’s the first thing I noticed (after the light and the silence). It felt like tables shouldn’t be meant for lying on. But I wasn’t sure… I waited for something to happen. Nothing happened. So I got up. That’s when I noticed some of me looked a certain way and the rest looked different. Some of me was pale, pink and soft, some of that had hair, my head, my arm… the rest of me was different. My right arm was almost all silver, it started on my shoulder a bit then took up most of the space from my shoulder to my elbow, all of the space from my elbow to my wrist and the back of my hand and fingers (no doubt including partly inside my hand too). On my right leg it started on the knee and covered all the way down my leg including my foot; my left leg was entirely robotic and this went up my side and stretched halfway across my skinny, flat chest. I felt like I was burning. I didn’t know my body. I didn’t know who I was. I still don’t know who I was. 

Some panels swivelled out of the way to reveal a flat screen in the wall.
“HELLO ADAM” said the green writing.
Suddenly I remembered speech.
“Who are you?” I asked, not angrily but curiously.
“I AM DAWN” answered the wall.
“Who am I?”
The line flashed a while before writing “YOU ARE ADAM”
I never got more than that. Ever.
“Where am I?” Deciding that if I couldn’t know who I was I might as well know where, if I could get a good answer.
“YOU ARE SAFE”
Decidedly not I guessed (a good answer I mean, I didn’t doubt my safety much). Although I later learned that the place was in fact called SAFE, I don’t know if these are initials or just got caught up in the caps-lock that rules letters around there but I don’t much care for it. 

A rectangle of panels to my left danced away as a drawer slid out and DAWN (I’m not entirely sure if these are initials either, for all I know Adam might be ADAM and be initials too) explained:
“THESE ARE CLOTHES… YOU MUST WEAR THEM”
There was white underwear (labeled “male” inside), baggy white cotton trousers (also labeled “male”) and a thin white t-shirt with long sleeves (“male”) which said ADAM neatly in red on the left. On the side of the drawer was a white watch with a black screen looking like a miniature DAWN and labeled ADAM on the bracelet. For the moment it only showed the time but something told me that wasn’t the only thing it did.

Once I had dressed the wall lit up again saying “THIS IS YOUR ROOM. COME BACK” and with that a door revealed itself behind more scurrying panels. Perplexed by that last message I momentarily forgot my pain and tried to walk, crashing into floor. The table beside me started sinking through the it and beneath me a bed came up. White, like everything.
“YOU ARE UNSTABLE” specified the informative wall, a little too late. 

• • •

My name is Adam, I am the perfect man, I can do jobs no-one else can, I now work for the American secret services and defence; not the CIA – the other one, the one people either cannot name or have been sworn to secrecy about, I work with my teammate Eve who, unlike me, remembers her past and will do anything to avenge the deaths she has seen. Together, we’re an ugly sight. But we’re the best you’ll ever find (if you do find us). We live SAFE. No-one could even get close to finding us in that maze of moving panels. And so, we’re pretty much invincible. Pretty damn proud of it too!…

* * *

Far off in the distance just outside the picture a woman cries out in the ruins of her city, looking for her son. His body was never found. 

………………………………………..tataratataterrificreturnofthecreaturewhohibernatesinsummerandjustdestroyedthemoodsheputyouin………………………… :/

I’m back! Yay! I have finally returned from the faraway places I went (which weren’t really that far by the way) to this thing of yeahwrite and caught up on a lot of stuff!
Ok so I had something I wanted to try this week. But that was before I saw the prompts. Absolutely not compatible with my idea! So I might try next week. In the meantime though I wrote this! I kind of ran out of time so instead of a proper story you can have a cyborg, I hope that works too. Shame on me for being late 😦

I’m glad to be back though and I’m looking forward to reading your amazing work 😀

 
10 Comments

Posted by on 27 August 2014 in Banzaï, Speakeasy

 

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DS YW176- Desolation

Everything hurt. It seemed every nerve in my body felt like the best way to hurry me back to consciousness was to scream pain at my brain. The cockpit was mostly intact, but the sheer strength of the impact is what got me. As I looked to my right, I notice my peripheral monitor was shattered. At least that explained why the right side of my body was covered in blood. Shrapnel is the bane of mechanised armour.

Heartbeat- slow. Pilot has regained consciousness.

I grunted as I sat back in my seat. No time to waste. I brought a status report of my mech up on the screen. Looks like I wasn’t the only one in bad shape. Hydraulics for the right leg were badly damaged, perhaps beyond repair. The left arm was basically torn off. Thrusters won’t be able to reach maximum efficiency. At least there were no leaks. Thank god there were no leaks.

As far as weapons went, my rifle was god knows where, my assault knives forgotten in the armoury during the scramble, and my magnum was low on ammo. The only weapons that were still fully operational were the wrist mounted light machine guns. Talk about firepower. I turned on the main camera, grabbed the joysticks, and powered my robotic armoured suit back to life. I felt my eyes widen, as the rest of my body froze in a mix of surprise and terror. Suddenly, I wished I hadn’t turned the camera on. To say the moon base was annihilated would have been an understatement. Those bastards took a whole chunk of the moon with them. All that was left of the sprawling military complex was a couple floating rocks. In the lunar sky, cadavers of ships where slowly drifting down to the surface. Hundreds, if not thousands of destroyed mechs lay on the surface, lifeless. A quick glimpse at the comms told me I had lost the signal of all my squad, including Commander Carter, as well as mission HQ. The sensors couldn’t pick up a friendly signal for hundreds of kilometre. I had been very lucky.

Heartbeat- normal. Pilot focused.

I threw my mech into combat speed, pushing what was left of the thrusters to their limit. Unable to achieve flight, I found myself leaping from crater to crater, some of them eons old, some very recent. I was headed for the equatorial comms relay. Earth had to know something had attacked us, clearly with the intent of leaving no survivors. They had taken us by surprise, and had the ability to do so again. The distance to cross was phenomenal, but despite missing some thrust, space armours were fast. The sophisticated inertial dampeners and the genetic modifications I had received at birth easily allowed me to surpass sonic speed, without turning me into a milkshake.

Heartbeat- fast. Adrenaline levels rising

The situation didn’t improve though. As I got further away from the battle field, the sky began to clear. The Earth was piercing the horizon. My sensors were able to extend their reach, no longer impeded by the leftovers of the battle. Quickly, my radar started to send alerts to me. I was picking up a number of large heat sources between me and the Earth. I focused my sensors on it. The image appeared on my screen. My blood froze in my veins.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands of huge ships doted the sky, their silhouette invisible without a filter. They were headed to earth at battle speed. Their architecture wasn’t earth-like. They could not have been built under the constraints of gravity. This wasn’t a rebellion from the colonies. No. This was a full-fledged invasion force.

Heartbroken.

:…………………………….WEAPONS//warfare…………EMOTIONS//driver.of.will…………………..::

Man what a great summer. It’s good to be back, though. To start the school year off with a bang, here is a quick sci-fi piece, stepping away from the action heavy pieces and trying something a bit more on the descriptive end of the spectrum. Hope you enjoyed! Comments, criticism, random thoughts, and advice is welcome!

 
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Posted by on 25 August 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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DragonSpark Speakeasy 169- Isolation

She woke up to a dull, grey, lifeless sky. It was as if the sun refused to cast its warm light upon the inhabitants of the quarantine zone. As for the birds, they’d been the first source of food to expire. How long had it been since the army had set up the particle field? Months? Years? It felt like eternity to her.

“Think of the devil!” She spat, as two white ships flew overhead, their hydrogen fusion core spiting neon blue flames from the reactors, looking for an excuse to drop fire and death upon the already broken remnants of a glorious city. She got up from the mattress, letting the two devils fly away. If she were to look in a mirror, she would see a face covered with dirt, dust and soot, she would see a girl dressed in a ragtag armour of leather and steel. Before the quarantine, she had been unsatisfied with her looks. It was the only thing she regretted. Now however, looks were meaningless. What mattered was strength, cunning, and food. Always food. After the appearance of the particle field, stores were raided. Then, birds were shot. The sewer rats were becoming rarer and rarer lately. Soon, people will stop caring what animal the meat comes from. “Good thing I’m skinnier than most!” She declared out loud, then laughed despite herself. Was she going crazy? Probably. She stepped out of the sewer pipe that housed her small home, and out into what used to be the city’s canal. Before her was a valley of concrete, rust, and broken glass. Several colons of black smoke rose to meet the grey sky.

The army said they created the field to keep a pandemic in check. Thing is, there never was a pandemic. She knew the real motives were political, but couldn’t be bothered to know the details. She had more important things to do. She left politics to those with too much time on their hands.

She headed downriver, battle knife strapped to her back, hoping to find rats. Three kilometres and two decomposing dead bodies later, she found another sewer pipe. She stepped into the darkness, allowing her eyes to get used to the obscurity. She drew out the battle knife. Her steps were slow, steady, and quiet. Her breathing was controlled and deep. All her senses were alert, waiting for the slightest sound, the slightest shift in the air, the smallest of movements. The field had turned her into an efficient killing machine. After what seemed like a long time spent walking in the sewers, she heard a distant sound, like a distant beep. She froze. Where did it come from? What was it? Silence and darkness were the only answers she got. Did she imagine it? The possibility seemed more and more likely when beep! There it was again. A regular sound. She followed it until it lead her to a locked door. What to do? Someone might be waiting behind that door with a gun. Or it might be a food stash. Or a weapon stash. She put her right ear on the door and listened. No sound came from inside. No footsteps, no breathing, nothing apart from the increasingly ominous beep. She took a deep breath, backed away from the door, and slammed her shoulder back into the obstacle. It didn’t budge. After three attempts, she felt the top hinge crack. After five, the door was giving in. On the eighth shoulder slam, she fell into a bright room, screaming briefly, the door falling beneath her. After the dust settled and her eyes adapted to the sudden light, she finally found the source of the beep.

Before her was a large, white, rectangular box. On top of the box were two dials with two key slots. In between the dials was a screen, with a timer. On the flank of box facing her was the army’s crest. Next to it was a set of symbol she recognised from her university’s physics course. Nuclear hazard. Explosive content. She had found a nuke. A big nuke, by the looks of it.

Panic rose in her. This thing will turn the city into a crater! Even if she survived the initial blast, the radiation would put her down in a matter of weeks. Thoughts of death and suffering flowed through her mind until a new kind of thought emerged.

What happens if you detonate a nuke next to a particle field?

……….SOME…..m…e…n….JuStWanNaWaTcHtHeWoRlD…..🔥……………crazy:dots…

So I remember reading some awesome post-apocalypse posts a few weeks back, and I remember making a mental note to try my hand at it eventually. Except I also made a mental note to redo sci-fi, because I wasn’t satisfied with my first  attempt, so I figured “let’s do both!” Dunno if the whole thing blends well, but it was fun to write.

Fun fact: Adrift was my first contribution to this blog, and this here is my tenth, but also the first I post with my own Gravatar (Instead of BW posting it for me), and, as you all know, the last before the Speakeasy’s summer break, so I guess this post is a little special to me. It’s a testimony to the progress I’ve made as a writer and a person, partly thanks to the SpeakEasy.

B00kWorm, thanks for dragging me into this gin joint!

As always, your comments and opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

 
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Posted by on 6 July 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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Speakeasy 162 – What is Death?

Until the day I die I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. The way they stared on without feeling as the bullets came out of their porcelain hands. I will never forget the way they killed my body to capture my soul. But they’ll kill that too soon enough, and then I really will die. The only thing that matters now is the time I have between now and then.. Because the human instinct is to survive, that’s what they’re counting on with this. I just hope they’ve underestimated it, although now that I think about it, it’s highly doubtful. I know I have to bide my time, I’ll only get one chance.
I hate them so much, the people doing this to us. I hate them for putting me in this white, synthetic body. Plastic and reinforced, the new thought police: perfect, because they are without thought, they can never betray.
They bring us here, from the darkest part of town where men live in the ignorance of life itself. Except they could never know that I had not lived there all my life. They tell us this is the year 1984, it’s a joke but I read, and I understand only too well what it means.
The dark places where they found us and the likes of us will be the first to go, then they will slowly enslave the working classes, building their way up so well that no one will realise before it’s too late. I know how these things work:
I used to be deep in politics and the deeper I went, the more trouble got into. The world we live in now is far from what you’d think. There are layers upon layers of corruption, manipulation plots and manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres in all levels and more as you go higher up the ranks. Of course once I discovered that I tried to restore a democratic and honest government but that wasn’t happening and I was slowly starting to attract unwanted attention. So I retreated into the shadows, where no one would come looking… Until now.
They brought us in, they taught us how to read, they taught us how to fight. Then they immobilised us and put our brains inside these machines: cleverly put together as to resemble human movement as accurately as possible but with a few… upgrades… like the bullets that can be shot through our hands though for now it’s just empty rounds. They need human brains that already know how to move to be able to keep up with the intricate design. We have to be inside.
I’m in a big room in a rather small complex, there are bedrooms (because maybe the one inconvenient thing is that though the body doesn’t need to rest, the mind does) and there is a place with chargers for our bodies and sustenance for our brains which come in cartridges that last a week. The last place is a training ground where we have to remember how to fight and get better at it.

I’ve been here for three months now, a monotonous silence with nothing but us. Actually there is a painting, of a man, hung up high on the wall where no one can reach it, even with the “super jump” as I like to call it. A man from long ago, looking down at us disapprovingly. He keeps looking down with that same unwavering stare, guarded by two feisty little hairy beings. He called us dangerous. He taunted our maimed souls: “look what you have become”. And we lower our heads, furiously mute and helpless. Because we cannot talk.

By now I can see that most have already become exactly what they wanted us to be. I think some of them believe this is hell.We have no means of communicating. Now I know, they weren’t going to kill us… that was never going to work, they want to drive us so mad that they won’t even need to kill us, over time we will all become the mindless creatures we saw when we first got here, and that’s when I saw, in a flash of lucidity, that I was never getting out of here “alive”, so to say. And so like that, I give up.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 20 May 2014 in Banzaï, Speakeasy

 

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DragonSpark – Adrift

« So are you game? » The crack of a radio communication followed the crisp feminine voice that pronounced the interrogation.
Drops of sweat were floating in his helmet. Earth was bellow, Space was behind.
“You have strange ways of asking me if I’m willing to put this ship and the life of everyone in it on the line”.
“Even if we do explode in a blur of shrapnel and death, it’s a lot better than a slow agony while being adrift in space, a few thousand miles from the surface!” She was getting frustrated. Everyone was on edge.
Saying the situation was extreme would be an understatement. Language was no longer a tool quite capable of describing it. The Synergy was a military transport ship patrolling Earth’s orbit. It was a prototype. Clearly the design was flawed. One of the nuclear fusion engines had failed. The crew ejected the core before detonation. Half the ship was vaporized. The other half was now floating around earth’s orbit, its captain walking around the surface along with some survivors, looking for anything useful. Life support had failed. Comms were down. The orbit seemed stable, but it was unpredictable, unable to reach quickly. Rescue was impossible. In two hours maximum, not an atom of oxygen would be left on this glorified flying piece of junk. And now the captain’s second in command was asking him if he was willing to attempt reentry.
“Our chances of success are almost negligible. We have nukes onboard. If we miss the Atlantic, half of South Africa will either be wiped off the map or contaminated for at least 900 years, and that’s IF we even make it down there! The heat of reentry just might detonate them above the surface! If that happens, radiation might kill people in the Middle East!”
“This ship is made of the most resistant alloy known to man!”
“We have a gaping hole in the back!”
“Can’t we purge the nukes out here!?”
“Right and leave nuclear bombs just floating in an unstable orbit? If that doesn’t start World War IV, we’ll still get executed in court martial! Besides, half of them are buried behind a wall of rubble made of the most resistant alloy known to man!”
A short silence followed. Getting mad would bring them nowhere. The woman spoke up.
“Listen, we have 1400 survivors, most of them with a family to return to. If we act quickly, we’ll never even make it near the coast.”
Her plan was simple. Detonate the bombs they still had access to far away enough from the ship so as not to cause any damage, but close enough to push them into Earth’s gravity. The flanks and hull of the vessel were intact, and reentry was possible if they could control the massive structure with the still functional auxiliary thrusters. The crew could hide in the bunkers, away from the intense heat. The command room was also isolated. The armory where part of the nukes were was hit by the shockwave of the initial blast and multiple leaks where made in the isolation. Furthermore, that room was blocked by a pile of rubble and could not be moved by hand. If temperature in that room rose too high, the ship and all those within it would become smithereens. The same would happen if the ship crashed on land. However water could short circuit the trigger and activates the safety mechanism, putting the bomb on lockdown, preventing any detonation.
“We might even be able to land somewhat safely if we deploy the wings and guide the ship with those!” She added.
After an hour of reflection while he went back inside and took off his suit, the captain walked into the command room.
“I’m game.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

So Dragonspark is my illustrator friend I talked briefly about in my last post; I challenged him to try writing a text for the speakeasy and this is what he came up with 🙂 (he also came up with a title and a cool name along with the suggestion I try writing steampunk that he would be willing to illustrate).
This is the first time he actually wrote a story (in English because he did one in French for a project) and I applaud him for letting me put it on my blog where accomplished writers follow me and (usually when there’s a link to it) comment on my posts.
Dragonspark you have no idea what I’m dragging you into 😉

Above is the unedited, untouched post that started it all for me. This was written in a day when I didn’t have a Gravatar, when I didn’t know anybody at YeahWrite, and, for that matter, when I didn’t quite know how to write. Was that really a few months ago? Feels like forever… This post holds a special place in my heart, so it will stay as is. I’m plopping this at the end to give you guys a little context. Feel free to leave thoughts, questions, criticism, and anything else in the comment section below. It’s always a pleasure reading those!

 

 
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Posted by on 8 May 2014 in Dragonspark

 

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