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 Post subject: The Hero
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:53 am 
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Pokémon Legend
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This is a short story I wrote a couple of months ago. Decided to put it up here to see if I could get any comments and critiques.

It's written... differently than I usually write. I dunno. When the idea for the story came to me, I just felt the need to write it in the... would it be called the present tense as opposed to the past tense? I dunno, it's just different.

So, yeah. Comments and critiques greatly appriciated.

--

The mighty hero sits astride his powerful battle horse. The horse is a beautiful chestnut mare. It is muscular, and could obviously run far and fast for long periods of time.

The hero’s left hand, gloved in a fine metal gauntlet adorned with jewels, clasps a shield. Emblazoned on the shield is the mighty lion, the most majestic and powerful of all animals.

He is dressed in the most perfect armor that glistens in the noonday sun. There is not a single scratch upon the metal, as if it were just forged moments prior. Protruding from his shoulders is a majestic red cape, elegantly trimmed with a glorious gold lining.

The man himself is the picture of beauty. He is handsome, his young face not marred by any blemish. His perfect blonde hair is pushed neatly out of his face, falling just above his shoulders. His eyes are a bright blue. He is lightly tanned, and very muscular.

With a slight tap of his heels, the hero sets his horse in motion. The horse gallops forward, its rider perfectly synchronized with its movements. His red cape billows behind him, blowing in the wind like the fiery tail of the phoenix.

The horse gains speed, but the hero stays on effortlessly. Its hooves clatter almost musically as the horse and rider pound across the brick pathway as they dash through the town. Along with the sound of hooves on stone is the sound of villagers cheering for their hero. There is no doubt in their voices. Their hero will succeed.

The sound of voices slowly fades away as the loud sound of hooves on stone changes to a softer sound of hooves on dirt. The light of the sun seems to steadily decrease as the hero rides away. Not long later, the light of the sun is naught but a faint sliver through the ominous clouds. But, there is no fear on the hero’s face, only a determined expression.

There is an earsplitting roar, and the horse comes to a stop as the hero pulls on the reins. From the darkness emerges a horrible monster. It stands many hundreds of feet tall, and has multiple, hideous heads, all with eyes glowing a frightful red. Fire spews from many of the monster’s heads, but still the hero is unfazed. The monster has giant arms, both ending in massive hands with deadly, razor sharp claws. It stands upon two large legs with large talons on its feet.

The dark monster takes a step forward, the step causing the ground to tremble significantly. It lets out another blood-curling bellow as it faces the hero. Saliva drips from it’s many pointed teeth as it looks down hungrily at the hero.

The hero looks back up at the monster, not a trace of fright on his face. He reaches over to the finely decorated hilt at his side. With one fluid motion, he draws the sword from its scabbard. There is a metallic ring as the sword slides smoothly from its sheath, and the blade glistens in the faint sun as it is revealed from its covering.

He holds the sword above his head for the monster to witness. The shining blade was forged by a master smith, and the hilt is adorned with jewels. The blade is razor sharp, and has not a single scratch.

In the hero’s hand, the blade seems to emit a light of its own. There is flicker of hesitation in the monster’s many eyes for a brief moment, but then it is once again replaced with pure hatred for the hero. Once again, it shrieks at the hero, as if in one final attempt to make him retreat. The hero does no such thing.

With a slight movement of his heels, he again sets his horse galloping forward. Many pillars of fire shoot from the monster’s multiple mouths, attempting to swallow the horse and its rider in flame. The horse is one step ahead, however, and nimbly leaps out of the path of each blast of fire, the rider never once losing his balance.

Once he comes close enough, the hero raises his magnificent sword and slices at the monster. His sword slides easily through the monster’s body, as if her were merely slicing at air. The monster shrieks in agony, and redoubles its efforts to incinerate the man who is causing it such pain.

The hero was not to be stopped. He continues his attack, ducking and dodging the attacks from the monster all the way. Finally, the hero pulls back for a final charge to finish the beast. He sets his powerful horse galloping forward at an incredible speed, hunched over so that they might travel even faster. With a battle cry, the hero raises his sword to plunge it through the beast and finish the monster.

The sword tip strikes the beast, and it seems victory is at hand. But, instead, the tip does not enter into the monster’s flesh, it merely bounces backwards. The force of the charge being rebounded sends the hero flying backwards from his saddle. He lets out a shout as he soars through the air, and strikes the ground. He tumbles, rolling through the dirt, both sword and shield lost as he struggles to stop himself.

He continues bounding through the dirt, and dust flies up into the air. Finally, he stops rolling, and just lies there, coughing furiously.

The dust settles, and there lies the peasant boy. Still coughing, he gets to his knees, nursing his new bruises. Tears stream from his bloodshot eyes, the water traveling down his cheeks doing little to clean his dirty face. His nose is crooked, a result have being broken many times and never healing properly. His hair may have been blonde at one time, but now it is covered with dirt and is a horrid mess.

He is dressed in brown rags that do little to protect him from the biting cold. His small cape is not magnificent, but a small, tattered, colorless piece of cloth.

Near him is a tree, no longer a frightful monster. To the side of the tree stands a gray horse. It stands there, nonchalantly eating grass. It is getting on in years and is unable to reach the speeds it could in its prime.

Nearby a broken stick lies on the ground. It had snapped in two when the feeble stick met with the sturdy trunk of the tree.

With a wince, the peasant boy gets to his feet to pick up the small stick off the ground. He takes the small twig and gives it a few swings. Thrust, backhand, forehand. Moves he had practiced over and over again.

Once again, the peasant boy closes his eyes.

And he is the hero.

_________________
May the Triforce be with you.
"To love another person is to see the face of God." ~ Victor Hugo
"Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid." ~ William Ernest Henley
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 Post subject: Re: The Hero
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Combusken
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I like the idea of it and how you tried to experiment with writing in present tense. I've never been really used to the idea of present tense in stories, so that might have thrown me off a bit.

My only real complaint would have to be your usage of 'a' or 'the'. For example, where you say "His eyes are a bright blue.", I would put "His eyes are bright blue." ...not that what you put isn't acceptable, but it gets a bit repetitive reading the constant "a"s and "the"s.

Also, when you say "as the horse and rider"...
'The horse' has an article in front of it, so I'd assume 'rider' should as well. So it should be "as the horse and his rider" or just take them all out as "as horse and rider".

And on another note, "the most perfect" sounds redundant. xD I'd probably say "He is dressed in perfect armor..." or something along those lines.

I might be going through this a bit too much and sounding really picky but I only bother when I actually like the writing. :x There's nothing wrong with your writing so don't take this probing the wrong way. xD

One thing I've noticed is basically redundancy in various ways. "The sound of voices slowly fades away as the loud sound of hooves on stone changes to a softer sound..."
Notice how many times you use the word 'sound'? Maybe if you cut it down a little or replaced them with synonyms it wouldn't sound so awkward. A few examples being:
"The voices slowly fade away as the loud sound of hooves on stone softens to that of hooves on dirt."
or
"The roar of voices slowly fades away as the harsh sound of hooves on stone...", etc.

Again this happens with "The light of the sun seems to..." and "...the light of the sun is naught..." in just two sentences.

Just by going through your short story, you'll probably notice a lot of similar redundancy. (My use of the word 'redundant' is getting pretty redundant... but I digress.) This is something a lot of my teachers have complained about, so recently I'm probably noticing it a lot more in things I read.

I guess that sums up most of my comments. Good job and I'd like to see some of your other writings, perhaps in a style you're more comfortable with. :3

Edit:
One more note that I have to always remind myself and various writers: Watch the commas. x3

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 Post subject: Re: The Hero
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:41 pm 
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Pokémon Legend
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Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:33 pm
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Thanks. :D I appriciate all of your comments.

Yes, I totally understand what you mean by repeating the same word several times. I try my best to use different words, but of course there are a few times when I slip up :P. I need a broader vocabulary...

Thanks again :)

_________________
May the Triforce be with you.
"To love another person is to see the face of God." ~ Victor Hugo
"Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid." ~ William Ernest Henley
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