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i wanna read about some zombies! or necromancers. or whatever... [Apr. 9th, 2009|03:31 pm]

udjibbom
so, maybe everyone could just post what they've got so far and we could exchange comments or offer helpful criticism or whatever. keeping in mind, of course, that the work will still be considered "in progress."
 
on the other hand, i certainly know how easy it is to get busy and just not get shit done, so if that's the problem then i'll just shut up.
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the Undead assignment [Mar. 20th, 2009|04:59 pm]

udjibbom

Verbal Transcript 884-3A-12:
- file name -
“The Early, Inglorious Death of Hopfwe Klency”

[NARRATOR]: All I ever wanted was to live forever.

That doesn’t seem so terrible, does it?

And now, look at me – spending my last few minutes talking to a skull. Waiting for a foul-mouthed, green-skinned maniac to finish chopping down the door so he can put a horrifyingly painful but probably still unimaginative end to me.

[FX: A LOUD CRASH REVERBATES THROUGHOUT THE ROOM, FOLLOWED BY INDISTINCT MUTTERING AND A LOUD BARK OF LAUGHTER. THE CRASHING SOUNDS WILL REPEAT AT REGULAR INTERVALS, BECOMING SLIGHTLY LOUDER EACH TIME.]

How common.

At least…

[BRIEF PAUSE]

I hope it’s unimaginative. I don’t think I could handle something long and drawn out. Oh, shit – please, let it be unimaginative.

I can’t believe I’m actually wishing for a simple death…

-Sigh-

This was never part of the plan, you know. Oh, sure – “Dying a horrible death, Klency, it’s never part of the plan! Welcome to the club, old boy.” Har, har. But, no – I had it all worked out.

I was gonna be a lich, man. Live forever – eternal un-death, pinnacle of the undead. I’d finally have time, time enough at last, to figure out all the incantations and recipes and chord progressions, to see all the sights and do all the things I never had time to get around to while I was alive.

I was planning to build a clock, you know? An eleven-story, gravity-powered timepiece that could be seen for miles - and it would have looked gorgeous, too. Polished bronze spires, gargoyles of terrible mein… People would have traveled for days, just to say they’d seen Klency’s clock tower. Stained glass windows, great booming bells to announce the hour… it would have been phenomenal.

I’m not even 40 yet, dammit. Why was I so focused on dying right that I never took the time to live?
I’ll tell you why: because there’s just too much knowledge out there – once you start to scratch the surface, it becomes apparent, and so damn quickly, there’s just so very, very much to learn and appreciate and comprehend that no one, no matter how gifted or smart, could possibly cover it all in the few brief decades we’re given.

And I was gifted, make no mistake. Top of my class in the Academy of Thaumaturgic Sciences, classically trained cellist, fluent in nine languages – only four of them human! – and, I like to think, fun at parties.

Shit – I just realized I’ll never finish any of my paintings, either.

So how’d I end up here, cowering in a dank hidey-hole, waiting for my imminent demise?

-Sigh-

I got seduced by the money.

It isn’t cheap, becoming a lich, you know that – right? I mean, the alchemical treatments, the apparatus, setting yourself up with some kind of financial support network – who wants to spend life eternal constantly scraping by, hustling from one score to another? You’d never have time for any fun or research.

And the research! Man, you wouldn’t believe the amount of hunting you have to do for even the simplest clue about how to proceed with something like this. Maybe there’s a secret club out there for all the rich and connected necromancers to just go and look up whatever they want – sure: N’yraltop’s “Dusk Comes to Ryellheh” or hand-stitched copies of Gumb’s treatise on non-alkaloid tanning just laying around for the browsing, am I right?

Heh.

But for the rest of us, it’s nothing but searching, digging, fighting for even the slightest scrap of knowledge. You’d almost think there was some sort of concerted effort going on in hiding this knowledge, wouldn’t you? [BRIEF CHUCKLE.]

So, no: getting started isn’t easy – and, it involves greasing quite a number of palms. I had no idea – I mean, yeah: even in medical school, quality supplies came with a price tag. But it isn’t like most of what we were studying was illegal or anything.

This, though – well, let’s just say that I wasn’t really prepared for some of the financial hurdles that lay before me, all right?

So I had to come up with a way to make some money and, after a while, inspiration struck.

See, by this time I was already studying the ambulatory corpse-forms, as we call them. I was well past the first hesitant mincing around the subject that they leave off with in the universities – they dance around the subject like it’s somehow socially unacceptable to study the dead.

And, I know, I know: it is. Everyone thinks it’s gross, or that there are “Some Things Man Was Not Meant To Know” or crap like that. It’s childish – knowledge is pure, it doesn’t have a moral weight to it. Knowing how to properly suture an incision isn’t any different if it’s done to save a life or stuff a trophy.

Besides which, this is fascinating stuff. Think about it: how can a corpse get up and shamble around? And I don’t mean in some abstract, philosophical way – the whole “Oh, gods, how can this be happening? – sob!”

No, I’m talking about the purely mechanical question of just how does a dead, un-respirating, unthinking pile of slowly decaying flesh actually manage to stand on it’s own two legs and stalk down prey?

In practice, of course, the obvious answer is that they don’t do it very well. Sure, fresh bodies are surprisingly quick because they’re no longer hampered by pain or fatigue but that’s pretty rare and doesn’t usually last past the onset of rigor – which, admittedly, is delayed in the case of ambulatory dead and doesn’t seem to last as long as the normal degradation process… but once the body starts to actively decompose, speed, balance, dexterity - all start to go right along with the musculature.

Their endurance is uncanny, though – if you could just quench that hunger and train them in a simple task like masonry, you could build a tower that would reach the moons. Oh, I had such plans…

[PAUSE]

Anyhow – it took me a while to figure this out because, obviously, I was starting from scratch given how difficult it is to find any quality academic research on this subject. Sometimes I wish the lich lords who’ve gone before weren’t such a bunch of… I don’t know, an old boy’s network, you know what I mean? It just seems like there’d be a real chance to advance this science if there was a little more free and open disclosure of methods and findings – man, how I vowed to do things differently, once I was dead.

So much for all that… -sigh- Where was I? Yeah, money.

See, I’d studied the vision question early on – I was fascinated by how most undead continue to see even after their actual eyeballs had decomposed. Studies have shown that they have almost no sense of smell or hearing – which is also interesting, given how much the tympanic membranes impact balance and the way zombies’ sort of shamble around. I guess that’s another mystery I won’t get a chance to look into…

But, yeah – the vision! I never really figured out why this happens, but it seems that the process of becoming undead confers a sort of darkness vision – it’s not one the same level as some of the non-human species but it’s definitely a heightened ability to see beyond the visible spectrum our eyes are normally attuned to. Without getting too technical, let’s just say they can see heat radiation – this accounts for both why they tend to lie dormant during daylight hours, as sunlight basically washes everything out in a dull white blur, and it explains the ease with which they’re able to track their prey through the dark – even without eyeballs, in some cases. It’s that spooky red glow in the pits of their eye-sockets, if you’ve seen it.

So, yeah – I was just fascinated by what that was all about, especially since it had some rather fascinating implications in my particular case: how long, exactly, would I be able to count on the same vision after making the change to lich-hood? What, if any, sort of complications does this heat-sensitive vision imply in terms of research? Ink doesn’t give off any sort of heat signature I’m aware of, so how do lich’s continue to study once their eyes have rotted out?

It would have been a lot easier if I could have just asked one…

[A LOUD CRASH ECHOES OFF THE WALLS]

Shit – he’s not gonna give up, is he?

Well, anyway – I had to research all this stuff on my own. And, in the course of looking at the whole eyeball conundrum, I figured out my remote viewing apparatus – there’s a lot of mystical mumbo-jum that is, frankly, over your head, so I won’t bother trying to explain it. But, trust me – it worked.

And, naturally, the obvious question is: Well, what possible good does that do anyone?

Well, hell – if they can figure out a way to turn a skull like you [RATTLING SOUND] into a recording device that’ll immortalize my words for future scholars to study, there’s got to be some use to a cheap, reliable remote-viewing device, right?

Even if it only works with dead bodies.

First of all, it answered a lot of my questions about vision-after-death: turns out you –can- read, provided the use of a cold light source – candle-light will work in a pinch, if you have enough of them spread out, far enough away, in a pattern that provides more of a diffuse glow rather than point illumination.

But sunlight, campfires, stuff like that? No good. What’s perfect, actually, are magical forms of illumination – pretty much any of the illusionary light spells will work perfectly in this regard and, I gotta tell you: I was really looking forward to digging into the question of how any prep school simpleton with the ability to concentrate and master a couple simple gestures can generate light without heat – I mean, energy is energy, right? It’s a fascinating question with a lot of implications I doubt you’ve ever considered but, well… I suppose we both know how far I’m going to get on that question.

But, yeah: how does this make me money? It took me a long time to figure out and, judging by the increased frequency of those axe-blows, I think I’m gonna have to pick up the pace if I want to get this explanation out there for anyone else to learn from.
I started up a sort of haunted house for rich people – they pay their loot, I give them a pair of spectacles linked up to one of my undead minions and they get to watch from inside the skull of the monster as it hunts down some helpless, unwitting fool.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I’ve heard all the complaints before, believe me. “How could you do that to innocent people?” It’s horrible, I’m awful, it’s disgusting, yeah, okay, objections duly noted.

But you know what? Most of those people weren’t going to do anything important with their lives anyhow. I am… or was, at any rate. And if trapping a couple useless nobodies in a boarded up mansion with some undead monsters who are going to hunt them down and eat them for the entertainment of some very rich and connected patrons who will help me achieve my genuinely important goals is “evil” or “mean” or just not very nice…

Well, guilty. You got m-

[THE LOUDEST CRASH YET.]

[NARRATOR YELPS IN SURPRISE.]

[NEW VOICE] Looks like I got you now, scrawny.

[NARRATOR] Stay back, you! Or I’ll… I’ll…

[NEW VOICE LAUGHS] You’ll what? You cast all your spells at me while I was chasing you – I counted – and I kept up the noise and the threats while I was busting my way in here so you wouldn’t have the peace and quiet you needed to study up any more.

[NARRATOR] You… counted my spells?

[NEW VOICE] This isn’t my first turkey hunt, dumbass.

[NARRATOR] What.. what do you want from me? I’ve got mone-

[NEW VOICE] Save it. I’ll look for whatever money there is once I’ve settled your hash. You’ve only got one thing I want and that’s information. You tell me what I want to know and you could crawl out of here with enough fingers to wipe yourself.

[NARRATOR] Cuh-cuh… crawl?

[NEW VOICE] Yeah – your legs are coming off to show how serious I am. Plus, you got me kind of worked up and I’m not very reasonable when you get me worked up. [CHUCKLE]

[NARRATOR] Ha. Hah. Oh – okay. I get it – you’re just joking around wi- WAIT, NO!

[ANGUISHED SCREAMS AND INDETERMINATE SOUNDS BEGIN, CONTINUING FOR SOME MINUTES.]

[NEW VOICE, OVER THE SOUND OF SOBBING] –sigh- That’s never as easy as it looks, is it? If you’d kept squirming, I never would have got those tourniquets on. Keep it up and I’ll poke out the other eye, too. [CHUCKLE] But maybe you can train one of your damn skeletons to pull you around and lend you his eyes, right?

Now – you’re ready to answer some questions. And please note: I’m telling you, not asking you.

[NARRATOR] Whu-whu-whu-ttt-ttt-t.T!T!T! dooooo y-y-yeww-

[NEW VOICE] Ugh, stop. Shut up. Here’s what I want to know: there was a girl who disappeared four nights ago. The thugs who took her told me they delivered her to you before I took care of them – you hired pretty decent help, I’ll give you that.
But I’m here to find that girl. So, wher-

[THE SOUND OF THE NARRATOR LAUGHING HAS SLOWLY BEEN BUILDING UNTIL IT DROWNS OUT OTHER DIALOUGE.]

[NARRATOR] Huh-huh-HAH! Heh-HOHO-HOOO. Hah-heh-Whu-whu-what cuh-cuh-color whu-was her huh-HAHA-huh-huh-hair? Heh-heh-GAH…

[NEW VOICE] She had red hair, you useless bastard – how many people did you run through this shithole? Red hair -  long red hair.

[NARRATOR, SHRIEKING WITH LAUGHTER] HAH! HAH! HOOO-HOOO-HOOO-Who? Duh-duh-DOOOOO?! Yuh-YOU? TH-TH-TH-TH-INK UH-UH-I’ve? BUH-UH-ENNN TAh-ah-ah-ahK-ING? TO-OO-OO-OO? OOO-OO-AH-HAH-HA-

[NEW VOICE GROWLS AND ALL RECORDING CEASES]


Recording on file, School of Thaumaturgic Studies: 884-3A-12
 

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(no subject) [Feb. 5th, 2009|02:50 pm]

sobriquet42
Let's resurrect this baby!!! I summon you writers of PROSEDUCTIVE!

assignment - the Undead

Due - March 20th

Write!
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I'm gonna do the assignment [May. 2nd, 2008|11:57 pm]

sabonai
but I might have to do it on Sunday. I think hadjare deserves a big round of applause for getting hers in by the deadline!
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Writing Exercise: Why Crows Hassle Hawks [Apr. 30th, 2008|10:52 pm]

hadjare
Incident Report for Case#1976-883651

Incident Type: Robbery
Incident Date: 4/23/1983
Address:     432 Sunnybrook Lane

Suspect (s):
Perpetrator #1 is described as male, Native American around 6' tall and 250 lbs living next door.

Details:

On Sunday afternoon at 8:30PM, Dells Dam police responded to the report of a robbery at the residence of J. Crow, deceased. Mrs. Crow said she believes the perpetrator is her neighbor, D. Hawkens, who broke into their trailer sometime in the afternoon while the family was attending the funeral services of her husband.  She alleges that J. Hawkens stole $1587 dollars that had been donated by friends and family in memory of Mr. Crow.  

Detectives are investigating a set of footprints leading from the trailer adjacent to the  victim's residence. Family members indicated that the set of footprints leading to the back door were not there prior to the funeral services.
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Folklore [Apr. 8th, 2008|02:08 pm]

hadjare
Hey everyone! It's been ages. Lets do something about that eh?  I thought of a great little writing exercise that has been milling around in my head for awhile.  It's perfect for those of us just getting back into the swing of things because it will get your imagination going...or at least a little jump start.  I thought of this while I watching a resident hawk get hassled for the umpteenth time by a gang of unruly crows -- they are relentless. I started to wonder....

For this, you can write a full story, a children's story, a folk tale (aka very simply put),  just answer the explanation -- anything you want.  Let's have this due by  the end of the month, so May 1st.

Folklore Exercise:  Why do crows gang up and harass hawks?
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Quandary [Aug. 19th, 2007|10:20 pm]

merteuil
[mood |guiltyguilty]

Proseducers, I have been the wettest of noodles since Baby Day. While I could toy with these writing assignments slowly over the next few months, I don't feel able to keep up with thoughtful reading and constructive comments. I don't know if members and moderators feel it is fair for me to stay on as a lurker and occasional poster. I would be glad to stay, but I will also understand if you don't feel it's fair.
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August Writing Exercise [Aug. 3rd, 2007|01:08 pm]

hadjare

Okay, you saw this one coming, I am sure.  Take one of your briliant ideas that you came up with last month, and start working on it. The length does not matter, nor does having a a complete story.  What we are looking for here is a beginning (or a middle or an end -- it's up to you what part of it you want to write) to making your idea come to life.   This can include anything from a character bio sketch, a brief outline of what happens, the beginning scene, the end scene, some dialogue...anything that would be part of your complete story.

I can't wait to see what you guys write and get started on this myself.  :D

Due August 28th.

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ideas [Jul. 31st, 2007|10:07 pm]

sabonai
1. I never got past the first page of a story I was writing about an alcoholic named Jack. I knew how it was going to start, with a very pathetic scene and him smashing his head against the medicine cabinet mirror and crying to his reflection, and then I knew it would flash back, but I just never kept going with it.

2. I had another similar scenario where a girl wakes up in the morning doing the usual sort of sad stuff involving finding a reburn and being disgusted with herself until the phone rings and the name on the caller id makes her freeze in place, watching the phone, swallowing hard... It would be an old friend who she had fallen out with, and then it would go back to when they met, and actually at one point I thought I would somehow bring ol' Jack into this story.

3. There was this greasy spoon in Appleton called Damrow's, which isn't there anymore. I always thought I would write a story involving Damrow's and it's inhabitants. It was like...timeless. It was dark and smoky with mustard yellow formica tables and wooden booths lined the sides. It was long and narrow and reminded me of a train. Every booth contained ONE single miserable person, each with their own mental illness and tragic tale. Every day they came, for the crappy service or the familiarity, the sense of belonging SOMEWHERE, the comfort of the always and forever 58c bottomless cup of coffee... I did write that story about the man named LaVerne who was missing fingers, who used to be a pianist...

4. My grandpa told me a story about his sister that stuck with me. She got married very young and had a baby, and her husband who was a projectionist at a movie theatre died from a heart attack at the age of 19. The baby cried for 7 years. Eventually people took up a collection and sent her to see this specialist in California who discovered a brain tumor that had been causing unimaginable pain this childs whole life. He performed successful surgery, so the story goes, but the child died from the shock of not being in pain anymore. At least that's how I heard it.

5. A recurring dream, well not recurring but...a dream that involved the same nonexistant house. It was on Prospect Ave in Appleton where there is a fork in the road, and it is right in between two houses, where the dream house was. Now after reading Harry Potter, I think it must be a magical house.. Anyway, I had three dreams about it and it was very evil. The first dream I was walking along with a small boy who was sort of all knowing, like if God was in the body of a pale, white haired, blue eyed boy who didn't appear more than five years old. He was explaining things to me when he stopped before the house and told me never to cross there alone, and that this house was built by death and unimaginable evil. The next dream was a few months later and I found myself walking along, dum de dooo...and uh-oh, here I am in front of the house! ALONE! And I can feel it sucking at me and I can barely make out a bony witch like image in the little window... The third dream I was moving into this fantastic house that my friends found, and we were hauling our stuff in through the back which faced the fox river and there was a street back there with a path leading up to the house. Anyway, of course, I realized when I went out the front that here we were, moving right in to the house of evil. There was a room halfway between the basement and the first floor and I could feel that it was...full of death.

6. When I had cats I wanted to write stories about them because I sat around thinking about their personalities so much and their relationship to eachother. Of course, cats are kind of like dreams, no one really cares about anyone elses... (except for me)
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July Exercise: Six Ideas [Jul. 27th, 2007|12:26 pm]

hadjare

Story Ideas:

1. What if I found a way to communicate with a woman who lived 1000 years before me, who would she be? How did she live? Where did she live? How are we communicating?

2.  Why does that woman at the Jennifer bus stop sweep the sidewalks and shovel the show in her bare feet?

3.  My Mom once told me about a story she heard about someone being able to see the future or an alternate dimension through their peripheral vision. I would like to explore that idea and make it my own.

4. Write a short, describing a family/person's struggle with deciding whether or not they will get the 'mark of the beast.'  What is the mark? What are the factors in this decision? What do the end up doing?

5. A day in the life of a woman 20 years after the Apocalypse.

6. If you had total recall -- would you be happier because you remember all the joyful times in perfect detail? Or would you be sadder because you relieve all the grief and sorrow that you have ever lived and been through? Would you have a better job? Good wife? Be successful?  Would being able to remember what you did the second week of third grade have any impact on your decisions now? Do people like you?

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