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Thread: Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

  1. #1
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    Default Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

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    The Sculptor's Dream


    Workshop of Phidias, photo by Alun Salt, resized, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Keywords
    Ivory
    Sublime
    Create
    Turmoil
    Serene


    Rules - PLEASE READ
    • The title and picture are there simply for inspiration, you do not have to use them if you don't want to - besides the keywords everything else is up to you!
    • Each theme will have a number of keywords that have to be used in your submission. They can be used in any way, but please place these words in bold so they can easily be seen by the competition organiser(s).
    • When using the keywords you may change singular nouns into plurals and vice versa; and you may change the tenses of verbs. No other changes are permitted.
    • The submission must have a minimum of 200 words. The title counts towards this minimum, but footnotes, explanatory notes, and other supplementary texts do not. The submission must also have a maximum of 500 words INCLUDING all titles, footnotes etc.
    • The submission must be placed in a spoiler.
    • The submission period will last at least two weeks. If we have three entries after two weeks, voting will begin. The submission period may be extended at the discretion of the competition organiser(s).
    • If you are a contestant you are honour bound to not read other contestants' writings until you have submitted yours.
    • If your entry is found to be substantially similar to another entry your submission will be disqualified. This is at the discretion of the competition organiser(s).
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    • This thread is for submissions only. If you have any comments or questions then please post them in the commentary thread.
    • Please note that all rules including word count and key words will be strictly enforced. Rule breakers will be disqualified from the vote.


    AwardsEach winning story will receive 1 Writers' Study Competition point. This point will be added to the total number of points you have won from TotW and other Writers' Study competitions, and recorded in the Writers' Study Hall of Fame. When you have accumulated enough points, you will be awarded the appropriate Writers' Study Competition Medal.

    • 6 points - bronze medal
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

    Just finished polishing up my submission for this one. Hope everyone likes it!

    445 Words

    In a flash of blinding white and offensive violet he is there, standing on the long plain, the crimson skies above mercilessly showing the land the colors of its future. For now the setting is calm, almost serene, but a hint of blackness on the horizon intimates the coming of the storm. It will break before they do, and its rains will fail to wash away the filth of this day, taking with it nothing but this sublime moment beneath the blood-red sky.

    As he stands staring at the clouds and ravens, those harbingers of doom, the men rush past him. There are thousands, tightly packed with spears laid over shields, shoulder to shoulder, but not one so much as brushes his sleeve. Their serried ranks peel apart for an instant and then rejoin, a rock in the stream to be passed without incident and forgotten.

    His eyes still upturned, his gaze momentarily flickers as a piercing chorus of whistling demons arcs across the heavens. He follows them to their destination and sees in the distance the tumult and turmoil of mortal contest. Screams ring over the sound of brittle iron hungrily biting through leather and flesh, and as the din rises to a pitch a symphony of horns blasts over the plain.

    At the forefront of the enemy lines that treacherous fiend who was once called “friend” is shattering the lines of footmen, scattering them to the distant corners of the scarlet-soaked field, but slowly the long spears encircle him. A caged beast, he lashes out at any who stray within his grasp until finally, panting and exhausted atop his mound of death and glory, he falls to his knees. The long shafts have driven into him from every angle and a boy gingerly climbs the macabre mount with cold judgment in his eyes. He steps behind the traitor, pulls back his head, and drives a hallowed blade through his chest, the ornately carved ivory bursting forth and glistening with living rubies. With a cry fit to rend the heavens the boy withdraws his blade and kicks the corpse to the foot of the hill.

    And then, in a flash of blinding darkness and oppressive smoke he is back, sitting at his workbench. Before him lies a great tusk of the southern elephant, longer than a man and strong as fired oak. The sculptor twists it this way and that, searching for the faults and lines, unsure of whether it is wise to create such a thing. Then, slowly and with a heavy heart, he begins to file away the outer rind, to shape and mold it to a purpose not of its choosing.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

    SUBMISSION PERIOD EXTENDED FOR ONE WEEK

  4. #4

    Default Submission for TotW 282 - 474 Words

    Hello! Here's my submission for TotW 282 - 474 Words

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Duty First


    Lieutenant Reynolds removed his helmet and wiped his brow as he gaped in awe.

    Sublime,” he whispered as the sun glazed over his brass buttons.

    He turned and looked for his deputy amongst the throng of soldiers and African tribesmen.

    “Smith,” he called over the din of the natives' settlement. “Smith, come quick. Come and see this.”

    Smith appeared, his face flush as he panted. “I’ve looked everywhere, Lieutenant, but I think Fort William’s messenger is still yet to arrive.”

    “Never mind that, Smith. Just look at this.” Reynolds pointed his cane towards a small thatched temple. “Have you seen anything like it?”

    Smith shielded his eyes and squinted through the sunlight. “My word, it’s beautiful.”

    The building was no larger than a house and built from earth and wood. Embedded into its walls were ivory carvings, each crafted with fine precision. Reynolds and Smith smiled as they noted the depictions of the tribes' customs, their history and their religion.

    Smith pulled out his notebook and pencil.

    “There,” Reynolds said as he pointed to a charcoal image of figures dancing. “Sketch that first. I think it is an origins tale.”

    Smith began his sketch, then paused. “You were right, Sir,” he said as he looked to Reynolds. “We really could find proof these people are more than mere savages.”

    “Indeed,” Reynolds said as he nodded and tapped his cane to his chin. “With this evidence, we can show no ‘enlightenment’ is needed here. Now the Crown will have to create a new policy towards the tribes.”

    Reynolds closed his eyes and breathed in the smell of earth and herbs as a bird hopped over the temple’s thatch. “These lands are a beauty, Smith. More serene than any English countryside, I’d say.”

    “Yes, sir,” Smith said as he tugged his collar and resumed his sketch. “If a little too hot at times.”

    “Lieutenant Reynolds,” a messenger called from the crowd behind them.

    “Ah, private,” Lieutenant Reynolds said as they saluted one another. “Good to see you are alive and well. Your dally had us quite worried.”

    “Apologies,” the messenger said as he brushed clean his tunic. “Turmoil struck Fort William last night when the natives launched a raid.”

    “A raid, you say?” Reynolds frowned. “That is dire news.”

    “Indeed, sir. And I had to wait whilst Commander Baker issued you new orders.”

    The messenger clapped his heels together and handed Reynolds a telegram.

    Reynolds opened the envelope and read the letter. His jaw clenched and he shook his head.

    “Smith,” he said without turning. “Stop your sketching, Smith.”

    “Stop?” Smith asked as he looked up.

    “We’ve received new orders. The tribes have raided Fort William and we are instructed to raze this settlement.”

    “Raze?” Smith lowered his hands. “What about the temple here?”

    “Duty first, Smith,” Reynolds said with a sigh. “Burn it.”


  5. #5
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

    After some abscence from the TotW scene, here I am again with more vigour than in previous weeks. Hopefully some of you will enjoy this one.

    TotW 282: The Sculptor's Dream - 339 words
    He looked up from his parchments to the construction site. The foundations had just been laid but already he could see the grand structure they were building. A temple the likes noone had ever seen before. On the parchments before him was drawn a sketch of a grand statue to the God of Turmoil. He had drawn it himself and had brought it before the Council of Seven, the rulers of the realm. They had immediatly approved of the design and commisioned him to begin his work at once. Turmoil had given life to everything and was worshipped the most by the people. A God to fear and love.

    To create a symbol in his honour was like a dream come true. He was provisioned with the finest materials from sublime marble, to ivory, gold, copper and serene silver. This would be the greatest accomplishment in his life. He felt like a small child again, excited and invigorated in his old age was not something that happened a lot to him anymore. As he grabbed his chisel and hammer he did not feel the pain in his wrists and his knees did not creak as much as they used to when bent. Today was a perfect day it seemed.

    As he wanted to put his tools to use on the salmoncoloured stone he could see the statue completed in his mind's eye. With its ruby eyes and its golden hair surrounding a troubled face which looked simultaniously joyful and saddened. A seemingly knowing half smile touched its lips, which expressed amusement and sorrow, as if to say he had seen the past and the future. A little bent over and leaning on a staff of silver with an ivory headpiece in the shape of a swirling cloud, he looked old in spite of his young appearance slim of waist and fair of face. The staff was held in its left hand while flames of copper sprout from its right. A moment the magnificent image stirred.


    Then the sculptor woke.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 282: The Sculptor's Dream - SUBMISSION THREAD

    Been trying to get back into creative writing recently, so I thought I would give this a go. Really pushed the word count to the limit at 494 words.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The sun beat down on us as we rode along the road. Usually I didn’t mind our weekly trips to the market. However, we were experiencing the hottest Summer of my lifetime and having spent an afternoon selling wares in the midday sun, all I wanted to do was reach the shelter of my home. I raised my wineskin to my mouth, but all I got for my efforts was a trickle of warm water.
    “Father I’m exhausted. Can’t we stop in the shade for a break?” I asked.
    “Don’t know what you are complaining about, Beth is doing all the work. Although I suppose she could use a brake.” My father responded referring to the mule, with far more affection than he would ever show for me. He paused thoughtfully. “Tell you what. Do you see those ruins off to the left. They will provide shade and next to them there is a stream that Beth can drink from.”
    I groaned as the ruins were located some distance off the path, and I had to endure the turmoil of riding the cart through the undergrowth. The stones sent the cart bouncing painfully up and down.
    I had seen the ruins at a distance hundred of times, but it was only as I neared them that I appreciated the true splendor of them.
    “These ruins are magnificent.” I said hopping down from the cart as we arrived at them. Forgetting the stream I took out my sketch book.
    Father just shrugged untying Beth from the cart and headed over to the water.
    I set off into the ruins doing my best to commit everything to memory. The place was so serene, the only noise coming from crickets chirping. As I soaked up the atmosphere I felt at peace. The ruins turned out to be much larger than they appeared from the road. They seemed to belong to a massive building, larger than any I had ever seen. I wandered from room to room looking at the astounding architecture.
    Suddenly I stopped. Before me was an ivory statue that although worn was simply sublime. It depicted a beautiful woman, probably some long forgotten goddess. I heard my father calling in the distance. Ignoring him I began to sketch the statue.
    However, a distressing thought struck me. A master sculptor had once toiled for weeks or even months to create this work of art. It could have been the crowning jewel of a distinguished career. Yet now it lay forgotten. The poignance of this thought almost made me toss away my sketchbook. If art this outstanding could be forgotten with time, what chance would any of my art stand. Yet the statue was still standing here. Wasn’t I admiring it, and so long as one person in the world is getting enjoyment out of something does that not justify its existence?
    Father called again, and I ran to find him. Clutching my sketchbook close to me.
    The game.

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