Second challenge of the fourth campaign: The Cry of Gulls



By now you know the rules, but i'll post them again just in case. As always, head over to Rach Writes to see the full post (and to vote for me, I am #9)

Do one or more of the following:

Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words) ✔
Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words) ✔
Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts ✔
Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words "pear", "spoon", or "droplet".

For added difficulty/challenge:

Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be) ✔
Write in a genre that is not your own ✔
Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I'll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.) ✔

So here is my entry:

***

In a city ravaged by war a soldier finds love in the arms of the enemy -- Gulnar, a POW translator frees Mitch's heart from despair, and in return, he frees her from the confines of prison. As they flee the advancing army Mitch once swore to serve, a child in the ruins draws them both back into the chaos.

Can love keep them together when war takes away the one child they hoped to save?

The Cry of Gulls is a 170,000 War novel


The Fire Sermon.

We found Rahim scavenging amongst the garbage like a sea bird -- a lost victim of the war and we the heroes come to rescue him when we could not even save his city.

But then the landmine -- a moment caught in time, like a dancer in a strobe light or a single frame trimmed from the larger film, gathering dust on the cutting floor.

I wake in the sea, and pull myself coughing back beside Gulnar, whose leg is weeping blood while above us the broken bridge shudders one last time.

Love is an energy we cannot see, Gulnar insists, and I had almost believed her -- could almost see it still when she explained it again: twisting and golden, linking us all together like bugs caught in some giant spider's web.

All I know is that in my dream Rahim is running still -- always running -- away from the war to catch a ball forever out of reach.


Death by water

In the ruins of the bridge I woke,
Too numb to feel the fear.
In the ruins of the bridge you spoke
Words I could not hear.

Footsteps on the cobbled stones
echoing towards me
then the footfall on that one loose stone
to be swallowed by the sea.

You spoke again of love
In a language I could not speak
You told me it was above
all the weapons of the weak.

You lied and said he lives in us,
a smile etched in forever
Your lie has left and so will I
For dead is dead forever.

***

And there you have it folks... I hope you all leave whatever feedback you care to share. It was a little harder than I thought not writing in SF -- I kept wanting to add robots.


P.S -- anyone know where I stole my titles from?

T.B.

--

About me.

Comments

  1. Really enjoyed your take on this challenge and the poem Death by water is absolutely magnificent.

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    1. Thanks Siv, I haven't written a poem for over 7 years... I felt like a teenager again.

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  2. Excellent entry! Really great imagery and story. (Although, a robot or two would be fun too, haha!)

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  3. Wow, two entries? Well done. I'm still trying to understand the challlenge!

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    1. It was a a challenging challenge to say the least. I think it would have been harder had I stuck to my usual Genre though. The prompts seem to lend themselves to a more melodramatic theme.

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  4. Stunning stuff! Beautiful but with a sense of tragedy... This gets a "Like" from me :-)

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    1. Thanks Rachel, I was hoping for tragic but would even have settled for depressing.

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  5. Great entries. Was your brain wore out after? I only did two of them and had to go lay down.*grin*

    The poem is my fave. Considering I don't usually care a whole bunch for poetry, I thought you would like to know that.

    I also had difficulty writing outside of my favored fantasy genre. I wanted to add some magic and almost did a couple of times.

    I liked the imagery in the short piece, but I had to re-read the whole thing twice to get past the long descriptions of that imagery to what actually happened to the characters. Probably just me. I do like your style though. Way to go.

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    1. I was lucky Sabrina, I had a little time last night (now that we have finished watching Downton Abbey) and so inspired by the loss of war, once I began it all came rather quickly.

      And I do like that you liked the poem. I would never willingly choose to write one, but sometimes it is good to be pushed outside your safe places. I think that is what I like best about these Rach challenges.

      And thanks for your feedback on the obscure imagery. I was channeling Iain Banks "the bridge" for that, but I could have made it more clear had I broken each part up into more than one sentence -- but rules are there to be obeyed.

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  6. very different! great pieces all!

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  7. I totally voted for you! That was spectacular!! Really, really great. The imagery was amazing and I'm so envious of anyone who pull off honest-to-God poetry. I'm a new follower and entry #5. Great job!!!!

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    1. By "honest-to-god" I assume you mean that my poem actually rhymes. And thank-you -- I appreciate the compliment.

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  8. LOVED the poetry!! Amazing job--really, I LOVED the first stanza!

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    1. The first stanza is my favourite too -- and it took me the longest to get right.

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  9. Totally thought this *was* SF until you mentioned it wasn't. I mean, I totally thought Gulnar was an alien name. I must be too much of a geek.

    You blew me away with these entries. They're all tied together and awesome, I love how Gulnar's idea of love came up in each of them.

    #38

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    1. Ha! my wife said the same thing. I was going for arabic names... I even googled "common female arabic names" and Gulnar was like the 5th or 6th on the list. by then I already had my title, so the link with Gulnar and 'Gulls' was too good a fragment of synchronicity to overlook.

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  10. Great entry. Lovely imagery and very original.
    Kudos. = )
    Melissa Maygrove #14

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  11. Love the poem and this line:

    while above us the broken bridge shudders one last time.

    And lol to not adding robots. :)

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    1. i tell you it was harder than I though. I kept wanting to make the golden energy a tangible magic field.

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  12. Wonderful poem. I love the rhythm!

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  13. Loved the poem! and how you used the child and the ball in the story - not much to critique here :D
    Sue #48

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  14. I absolutely loved the poem. Wow! I felt the bridge shudder as I read. You did such a wonderful job.

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  15. Great entries, particularly the poem. Well done.

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    1. The 12 year old boy-angst in me rears its pimply head. I only hope I can keep him under control this time.

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  16. This is stirring stuff. The Cry of Gulls sounds like it would be an epic for sure. Great use of the prompts - I feel connected to all three characters already.

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  17. Well done! It feels like there is a complete narrative behind these three pieces.

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    1. Believe me, I have many more SF trilogies to write before I attempt a modern War novel set in Afghanistan.

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  18. Brilliant writing. Loved loved loved Death by Water!

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    1. And no one has yet got the reference to the poems I stole my titles from!

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  19. Death by Water is a very sad poem! Very emotionally packed, very much liked it!

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    1. I hope people get that the "twist ending" is the fact that love does not win.

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  20. I don't normally like poetry, but I LOVED yours. Then I read it was the first one you've done in seven years. I couldn't believe it! It was beautiful. Great hook for the story too. All around great job.

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    1. And I shall never ever show to the light of day the poem from 7 years ago. So don't even ask.

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  21. Nice job. I liked the SF elements.

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    1. Oh no! I can't escape the shadow of my prime genre.

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  22. Wow. Written like a true professional.

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    1. If by that you mean it was written late at night with a glass of merlot whilst putting off the writing of my next WIP then yes, it was written like a true professional.

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  23. Really enjoyed the flash fiction!

    #46

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  24. Hi! Wanted to let you know that your entry has been shortlisted to move onto Stage Two. Congrats!

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  25. Wow, look at you hitting so many different parts of the challenge! I am in awe! I liked your pitch particularly.

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