Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dragon Rises. (This one's a biggy!!)

Ok. I've been practising more with poetry and here's an attempt at integrating a proper story within a poem. It's still pretty feeble by all accounts but about thrice as long (be warned, 90-ish lines) and twice as nice - I hope! Ooh, and watch out for the little not-totally-related-but-kinda-relevant piccy I've drawn.

Five times I heard the noise.It scared to death
My family and me until I had
To go outside. Damp and so cold, the still
Air left a taste of fear upon my tongue.
Alone, I walked towards the place where cries
And screams were coming from. A haunted house
Would be easy compared to this, but still
I walked. Beyond the mire, beside the road
And to the great and mighty mound that where
They say a king or knight lies deep within.
I'm told a tiresome bloody fight did kill
Him long ago that fateful night. And while
I thought about the king I felt the ground
Stir once or twice beneath my feet. The sound
Came soon after the quake - a horrid scream
Again. I shuddered not from cold but fright.
And then the mound exploded like a bomb.
But through the maelstrom something moved -
A light that flashed so bright my eyes went blind.
I heard the mud landing in front of me
And then the screams began again. This time
They were too loud - so deafening - I had
To put my hands over my ears to stop
The noise. My sight returned, the sounds then stopped
And there, before my eyes, was all I feared.
Out of a myth the dragon flew. But really,
Could this deception be the truth? It smelt
And sounded real. Gazing upon the beast
I saw the steel over its skin - the moon
Light was reflecting, dazzling me - more machine
Than creature I suspected. On the beast,
Holding the reins, I saw the man. He wore
A helmet made of steel. I could not see
His eyes, but thought he could not be quite human.
I think I shuddered when the mighty knight
Spoke in a voice so cold and clear. He said,
'A thousand years I've lain within, waiting for
The dragon to awake. And now I'll claim
My prize. It seems that times have changed since last
I gazed upon this land.' He spied a plane
Flying above. 'This kingdom shall be mine.'
'It won't be yours,' I answered back. 'The world
Has changed but we're much stronger now.' He laughed
And then the dragon flew up to the plane
And moments later fireballs rained above.
The dragon landed on the ground ahead
And reared its blood soaked head for me to see.
'I think Old G'ray'th is still in prime condition.
You'll be my servant for my bidding and...
Your family will die at any sign
Of slight betrayal.' I thought about the knight's
Harsh words. I couldn't run - I had no choice.
But an idea entered my head. I said,
'I'll be your slave but for a price. I want
To rule this country too. You give me power,
I'll loyally serve.' The knight then laughed aloud.
'There's strength in you. You'll make a knight one day,
But now you have a price to pay - in blood.
Give me your hand. The dragon's teeth must pierce
It twice. And then you'll swear an oath to serve me.
'The teeth were sharp and ripped my hand, like scorching
Flames had ignited through my skin and bones.
A surge of power had then coursed my veins and
I saw the knight for what he truly was -
This otherworldly thing can't rule the world!
I had to stop him there and then or else.
My hand still bloody, hurting, I then ripped
The tooth from G'ray'th's wide jaw.
It screamed a horrid scream and lurched about
The earth. The knight then jumped off from his perch
And faced me with a deathly stare. 'You'll die!
'He said with bitter scorn. 'You first!' I answered.
I thrust the tooth towards his frame. He shielded
My chance attack and threw his sword at me.
I then replied again, 'Your time has passed.
Leave now or die. A simple choice, I think.'
'Never!' he said - his final words. I thrust
The tooth again and cut him in the chest.
He staggered back and forth in pain and fell
Upon the mound that kept him safe for years -
The dragon too lay on that ground. The mound
Then closed up tight with them inside, perhaps
A thousand years might be enough and then
He'll rise again. I slowly walked back home
That morning - mind was drifting everywhere.
I never spoke about it before this time.
But every now and then I feel this urge
To fly above the city streets and soar
High in the clouds. But worst of all...
I want to rule and bite and burn these things
I live amongst. The urge has never gone.
And so these words are all that I have left.
My mind's conflicted by what's right or wrong.
This dragon's tooth shall finish my life best.

So, that's your two cents. All in all, I'd give it a grand old score of 6/10, let down by a rather weak ending and that rubbish picture of mine (OMG... What was I thinking? I had to use 3 different paint programs to make it!) What do you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I decided to have a go at animation and knocked up a simple one for the title picture for the site with a will-o'-the-wisp floating amongst the trees. I was surprised to learn that jack o' lanterns originally, or at least much earlier than their pumpkin origins, meant will-o'-the-wisps. It's amazing how the meanings of things change with different cultures.
Anyway we've been getting lots of sudden heavy storms recently, like something out of a disaster movie. And while watching out of the windows at work I became distracted by the plight of mother duck and her ducklings as they sheltered from the storm and some of the ducklings got stranded for a while, and at one point even faced off against a heron. As a programmer I was interested to observe their behaviour and as a story teller you could take anything that happened yesterday and create a little children's story from it.
Still, I think I'd rather stick with will-o'-the-wisps for now than a day in the life of mother duck.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A blog, a poem and a moonlit howling.

This being my first blog post, I should probably say something about myself and the kind of things I’m going to write…

I’m a video games programmer by day and an aspiring novelist by night. I'd love to see my stuff published one day in one form or another. For now, I’m content to write short stories and explore the medium of the written word. I enjoy science fiction, horror and humour, and those are the kinds of things I aim to write - well, not so much the humour as I’m not really a funny person!

Anyway, on with the blogging. I’ve recently been reading The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry and have found myself enjoying it more than I expected. So here’s a really awful attempt at some non rhyming iambic pentameter that I wrote just now:

While lying in my bed at night, I dreamt
A ghostly face was close. I screamed but did
Not wake. Instead I found a sleeping fear,
And paralysed I waited for the thing
To leave. It watched with curiosity
At me as dream-like sweat fell from my face
Onto the soft pillow that lay below
My sleeping form. An hour in dream time passed.
And then without a hint of what would be
The ghostly face departed from this place.
An instant passed and then I woke to find
A darkened room. I heard another noise
Beyond the door like scratching by a claw.
I tried to bring my frozen self to life
But still unmoving I could not arise.
I saw shadows appear beneath the door.
A trick of light or maybe something more?
The only thing that I could do was wait
And hope I’d locked the door. One, two, three, four,
Five, six… I counted till my mind awoke.
I moved. At last, awake! I jumped onto
My feet, turned on the light and breathed a sigh
Of glad relief. ‘It’s just a dream,’ I said
Aloud. And now for me to go to sleep…

There you go. And as you can see, I’m definitely no poet laureate in the making!

Oh, almost forgot! I've been playing around with the templates and drew the little picture at the top of the blog. What do you think? Well, it's work in progress and I was just playing around with a new paint program to see what I could come up with. I actually think it's quite fitting for the poem that I wrote. Anyway, here's most of the image all by itself in case I ever change my template:

See you soon...