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Old 09-11-2005, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
Drifting
 
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Location: Windy City
Writing Challenge # 35

We're still goin strong... welcome and hope you're ready for another week!



Your Challenge:

Think of something -- an object or an action -- that is ugly or repulsive. Describe this thing in such a way that the reader will either begin to see it as beautiful or will believe that the narrator truly believes it is beautiful. Do not resort to falsehood, though. One way to manage this is to adopt the voice of a narrator who thinks each repulsive aspect of your thing is sublime.





Good luck with the ideas... I can't wait to see what ideas get tossed in here ...
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
Illusionary
 
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Grandpa wasted away in his death, found with the spring thaw, eaten by nature in her hunger to green the leaves. These men of greatness dont exist anymore...he was the last that I know of. Father,Leader, power in the steel of his eyes. Those grinding orbs a victim of some small insects feeding needs. The leather of his skin , sandpaper that brushed my worries away with the grit of a hug, now pale and bloated with the thaw. Seems the human body is poorly adapted to freezing for a winter.
When I found his wisdom....two years ago I never thought he could die....never wanted to think it. The broken thing at the cliff bottom wasnt what he was to me, now this dressed up puppet in the wooden box stares out from sewn eyelids. In my mind, he is not gone, decayed.In my mind he is the hero in every book, and his teachings are inside my heart...so he cant be dead.
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Old 09-11-2005, 12:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
peekaboo
 
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Location: on the back, bitch
Unwashed strands of precious sterling
Fell from the brim of a tattered hat
Shoulders bent from the weight of years
Show under the folds of a dingy mack
Murmurings of the well to do daughter
Who gave up trying and now disowns
This woman of the street
This human without a home
I saw her eyes for a moment
And all i could think as I had
How beautiful she once must have been
And now, alone
How sad
We will never know how close we are
As we turn and avert our eyes
One voice away from madness
One step away from endless cries
Pretend they are less than we
How disgusting, how stupid, how insane
But behind each tattered mack
And unwashed hands and hair
Lie the untold tales of pain
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Last edited by ngdawg; 09-11-2005 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 09-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Montreal
To think he used to envy women, with their ability to create something that would have a will of its own. He is now part of this dynamic cycle. He lies awake at night, sinking deep within himself to feel it grow. Such joy it brings him! He treats it well, with each match he strikes, every breath he pulls and holds until it sings to him.

Such diligence it has, tempered with patience and his love.

Sometimes it rushes him to white porcelain and stains it red. It wants to come out and be with him, and he understands, but it's much better inside, isn't it. It's warm and safe there. He gives it everything and he would die for it, just as a mother would with her child. Each cough is a lullaby, a sweet whisper to his love, this thing he created.

He lights another cigarette and closes his eyes, smiling.
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Old 09-16-2005, 03:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
Drifting
 
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Location: Windy City
Sally stepped off the treadmill delicately, hanging onto the handlebar for support. She winced as she put first one foot, then the other back on the ground. Two steps, and she could sit down to survey the damage. Biting her lip in pain, she hobbled over in her 3" heels and sat down in relief. She grabbed the heel and slowly slid the shoe off her foot. Beautiful!

Three delicious blisters had formed on her left foot. Starting with her heel, she traced the raised puffy skin,chuckling gleefully while pressing somewhat firmly to watch the fluid in the blister move. She measured the blister and wrote it down in her journal - It'd grown 2mm today!

Moving her hands over the swollen red feet, she said to herself "I have the prettiest feet of anyone!" Her glance at the calendar told her it was Tuesday, which meant it was time to pop the blister on her big toe. Grabbing the needle she'd laid by the chair, she brought her foot near, breathing in the pungent aroma of sweaty feet and sighing in pleasure. Slowly she brought the needle closer, watching in anticipation of the Pop! that was soon to come. When the needle was just touching, she jabbed once quickly and shook her foot as the fluid began to drain. The liquid ran over her hand, and she waited for it to dry before setting her foot down.

Soon the other shoe was off, and as she ran her hands over the cracked, callous skin, the hanging edges of skin sent sensual shivers up her spine as her fingers passed over. If 20 minutes on the treadmill for four days could give her these kinds of results, tomorrow she was going to stay on for 30 minutes - Her pinkie blister was starting to reach record size, and she couldn't wait to see it as big as her thumb.
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
Heliotrope
 
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Location: A warm room
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Biter
To think he used to envy women, with their ability to create something that would have a will of its own. He is now part of this dynamic cycle. He lies awake at night, sinking deep within himself to feel it grow. Such joy it brings him! He treats it well, with each match he strikes, every breath he pulls and holds until it sings to him.

Such diligence it has, tempered with patience and his love.

Sometimes it rushes him to white porcelain and stains it red. It wants to come out and be with him, and he understands, but it's much better inside, isn't it. It's warm and safe there. He gives it everything and he would die for it, just as a mother would with her child. Each cough is a lullaby, a sweet whisper to his love, this thing he created.

He lights another cigarette and closes his eyes, smiling.

This is one of the most repulsive pieces of short fiction I have read in a long time. Congratulations!

It sort of reminds me of Margaret Atwood's Hairball
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Denver
47 Ronin

While this story is embellished by my own imagination, it is strongly seated in the facts that surround Japanese politics and contains facts researched by me between 5:00 and 8:00 on 9/16/05. I have no knowledge of the subject, so the beginning and ending may have no bearing, but when i read the topic for the writing challenge it was the first thing that popped into my head so i researched eonoug to write what i think is an ok piece. I find it fascinating and hope that you enjoy the snippet.

Sivlertiger

p.s. Ignore the spelling and grammatical errors (or at least take them with a grain of salt).. as this is all off-the-cuff.. thx.

--------------------------------------------------------

Shishumo woke refreshed on this spring morning. He beleived that the night would be restless and that his sleep would be ridden with nightmares trying to rob him of his precious little time. The sun that shone through the slats in is window dressing rested across the central table just past the center piece marking the time to be about noon by his observations.

He raised from his sleeping roll andfolded it cleanly and tied it closed with the twine before placing it in the corner. He went to his shelves and whtidrew on of his fundoshi that he wrapped around his waits and tied into place before donning his ceremonial kimono. He walked to the door and stepped out, slipping his waraji onto his feet. It was a clear day, and there was no mud that might require the use of his geta. He went to his wall and removed his wakizaashi from the mounting and paced it with it's sheath in his belt at his left hip with the blade edge facing up. He then removed his Katana and placed it on the belt as well securing them firmly in place. Now with his Diasho in place he could walk proudly from his home. These marked him plainly as Samurai and he bore the title with the utmost respect.

As he had expected his kaishakunin was waiting for him at his door fully dressed in his ceremonial kimono and set of Daisho as well. Shishumo greeted his comrade softly. "Welcome Idishuya to my home and may the spirits be with you today." It was the first time Shishumo had regretted saying those words. Idishuya raised from his kneeling position at the front steps and fell into stride with Shishumo.

Idiyusha spoke humbly as they walked. "Are you ready for the ritual?"

"Im a prepared to do what must be done" Shishumo replied.

With that the silent procession continued with its meager participaints. Thier destination was the Sengaku-ji temple that lie on the distant ridges at the base of the mountains roughly 4 miles from his home.

Shishumo recalled the events that had led to this day and thought that his life had been well lived and was honored to be given the privelage of performing this ceremony in the temple courtyard, one of the largest open areas within the temple well known for its beautiful architecture and rich history.

The remainder of the 4 mile walk was quiet as they both humbly walked the distance at a brisk pace. At the temple they were greeted by Shishumo and Idiyusha's wives as well as the local governing council. He and Idiyusha were the last of the remaining Ronin Samurai. These Samurai had been without thier leader Asano Takumi-no-Kami Nadanori for over a year now as he had been punished for offending a visiting diplomat in preparation for a visit from the envoys of Emperor Higashiyama.

As Shishumo and Idiyusha were highly revered in the group of Rogue Samurai they had been chosen not only as the kaishakunin for each and every serving Samurai, but they would serve as kaishakunin for each other during the ritual today. While it had never been practice for any Samurai to perform the seppuku ritual that coincided with another cermony both of the remaining Ronin felt that this was the only way to ensure that the ceremonies could be complete to thier own satisfaction.

The proud warriors stepped into the courtyard and saw the satin covered pillows that lie in wait for them. Each of them solemnly walked over to thier respective positions and kneeled in quiet contemplation. After a few short prayers they each in turn addressed thier wives and kissed them solidly before stepping back to the pillows. They then kneeled in a bow of respect for the elders gathered as witnesses and recieved curt bows with drawn faces that were already mourning for the passage of the last of the Ronin.

With the complation of the formalities they were free to begin the ceremony. The Samurai bowed in unison to each other and then kneeled on the pillows facing each other. They had discussed what must be done and agreed that it must be done in unison to retain the honor of the ritual.

Both of them removed thier wakizaashi from thier sheaths. The ring of steel sliding out of the protective coverings gave the entire crowd a chill to thier very bone. Samurai never drew thier swords out of battle out of respect, and no samurai removed thier wakizaashi.. thier very soul incarnate in this world.. without due cause. The warriors worked with precision movements that mirrored each other flawlessly. The grace of thier movements paid homage to thier years of training and showed thier true skill with the blades, thier bodies and thier minds. As the warriros watched each other time slowed.

They regarded each other with honor and comfort as they were both able to have thier seppukku performed by a cormade in arms as well as having the honor of assiting the other with thier ritual. The fact that they were the only remaining Ronin only served to increase the reverence with which they were able to perform this.

Thier twin wakizaashi arced in tight circles to rest in front of thier abdomen and paused momentarily. With thier reflexes honed after thier time in service together they were in perfect unision as they plunged the tip of the blade deep within thier abdomen's just near the right kidney. Both men expected to see just a hint of what had juts happened in each other's eyes. Instead they both saw the stern resolve of the one man they respected more than any other as the blades were pulled in a horizontal slash that continued through thier stomach's severing the major organs and cutting easliy with thier razor sharp edges through intesting and sinew alike.

With a quick sharp turn to bring the edge of the blade upward then continued thier mortal strikes up through thier stomach's and severed thier lower esophagus and bisexted thier lungs. With the fine weapons they held the cuts were so fine that thier bodies hade not even began to bleed before thier full incisions were complete from kidney to sternum.

Shishumo dropped the wakizaashi as he saw Idishuya had also done. He reached for his Katana that had served him for so long, ignoring the pain that seared through his body. With the Katana fully clearing the sheath he held it upright with one hand just of tot he right side of his body juts parallel to the highest incision made with the other half of his daisho. His mirrored twin stood ready with his blade as well.

Shishumo looked upon Idishuya, his abdomen beginning to stain with the life giving blood that would soon render him lifeless in time, and saw his equal. A man who respected honor above all else and was making the ultimate sacrafice of his soul to pay homage to his peers and dispatched master. He had seen how precise the cuts that Idishuya made were and imagined that his must have appeared similar. While he knew that the damage that had been caused was mortal, and that they would be completing the ritual soon, he could not help but respect this man for having the same honor as he.

Both soldiers gracefully arced thier blades outward in a swinging gate with enough strength to ensure that the bade would continue fron the initial strike with enough force to completely sever the head of the condemned. This was the way it must be, to do any less would be to defile the memory and honor of this noble Samurai and his peer.

The council stood in awe as they watched the samurai perform this grisly ritual. It happened fast that they had little time to react. The men were swinging thier blades with eloquence and it was nearly complete. The blades rushed in and made contact with flesh. within a split second both bodies fell lifeless to the floor as thier heads fell silently upon the pillows where the bodies had just stood.

The reverence shown and the precision of the ritual left them speechless. To these members and the wives of these men, it was the perfect proof of honor and faith that these men were able to perform as they did. No emotion, no reaction, and raw power harnessed one last time.

History has recorded that politically these men died with no honor for the disgraceful act of murdering the official that had punished thier Master by forcing him to either endure dishonor or perform the same ritual that these men had jut completed. But all Ronin, and in fact all Samurai, remember these deaths with great honor and respect the tradition of the Samurai that were known as the 47 Ronin.

--------------------------------------------------------
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
Non-smokers die everyday
 
Location: Montreal
Ah yes... after living in Japan for 2 years, I've heard of this event: 47 ronin assaulted a castle and killed the dignitary therein to avenge the death of their own daimyo (lord). In feudal Japan, all samurai were expected to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) when their daimyo died (naturally or otherwise). The fact that these 47 men acted briefly as ronin before performing their sacred duty is what made the story famous, although the version I was taught ended with the 47 ronin killing themselves without help immidiately after killing the dignitary.

Also, samurai and ronin alike usually used their katana to kill themselves. Since the blade was too long to be held by the handle, they wrapped a cloth around the blade several times. Honored samurai were assisted by another, who would chop their head off after the disembowelment, while ronin were usually left to bleed to death (which didn't take long anyway), due to their shame.

Sorry to ramble like this, but I love Japanese culture! One thing, though, how can both men cut the other's head off at the same time? Wouldn't they block each other's sword halfway through?
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Denver
well .. I did say it was imagined .. and the history of the deaths of the Ronin was all changed by me to accomodate the story. While the smaller Blade was actually used to commit he initial cuts of the ritual, another Samurai was required to remove the head of the Samurai performing thier ritual. The final gesture of the dying samurai was to extend his neck in order to offer a clean cut to the assisting party.

The other question .. about the head chopping.. well. I tried to include that both men understood the force required to carry the Katana from inital cut to full removal and that they had exterted it ..

also .. to address that I would like to point out that the Katana used by samurai were astoundingly sharp and could likely, with the proper amont of force .. continue throught the neck just by the lateral motion of the swing.

other than that I appreciate your feedback .. and laugh that you didnt rip me apart further as I have NO information other than the research I performed tonight . I havd never heard of Ronin, seppukku or this political issue prior to tonight.

Sivlertiger

Last edited by silvertiger; 09-16-2005 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Montreal
No, no... I wasn't trying to rip into you, silvertiger! In fact, the only problem I had with your story was the simultaneous head chopping. If both sword were drawn and swung at the same time, both blades would parry each other, since they're going towards each other. I can see how the force used could be carried on... but it just doesn't sit right with me. Anyway, I'm glad to see someone take interest in Japanese culture, especially the story of the 47 ronin. It's one of the best example of the bushido code.
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