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Chapter 8
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Chapter 8  

The story so far: Robbie is a boy with an overactive imagination. He can talk to the ghost of his dead brother, but his parents are distressed when he reveals this fact to them. His brother's ghost, in order to console Robbie, offers to transport him to a different world where people will appreciate his imagination. Robbie wakes up in a different world, sure enough, but it isn't as wonderful as he expected. There is only barren terrain and faraway industrial towns. Then he notices a large figure approaching, which turns out to be a man he befriends, and who, in place of his name 'Citizen 103', he calls Jack. Robbie and Jack descend towards one of the towns, where they encounter a guard. Fortunately, they distract him and evade him, and then decide to visit Jack's farm. On the journey there, Jack divulges his admiration for his grandfather, who appears to have been a man of some importance. Jack's farm turns out to be a small shack with a tiny plotland. Once Jack gets some papers there, which he uses to prove to a factory boss that he has completed his work for that day, they drive back to town in an old motorcycle. When they approach the factory, they are again confronted by someone, except this time, the woman who confronts them, Citizen 2, seems to be someone powerful. She orders Jack away into the factory and commands Robbie to follow her into a certain room, where Robbie meets Citizen 1, otherwise known as Bill. Bill demonstrates to Robbie that he can create a bird simply by visualizing it, which he does. Robbie is wonder-struck by this strange power and demands to know more, and Bill offers his assistance. Bill helps Robbie control the world around him with his imagination- he even learns how to sprout wings and fly. Bill leads Robbie to a church where he amasses treasures taken from the populace. He explains that this world lost its imagination long ago, and that its people have no capacity of creativeness. That's why Robbie is so important; he does have imagination, and a lot of it. However, Robbie is betrayed; Bill intends to use Robbie's imagination as a source of fuel to run his factory. Bill traps Robbie with handcuffs that limit his ablities, and then Citizen 2 leads him to a strange room which contains a machine. In this room, there is a girl strapped to a machine already, and the machine seems to be devouring her imagination. Fortunately, the machine malfunctions, and Citizen 2 must find someone to fix it. She gives Robbie enough time to think of an escape plan, however, and he manages to reverse the flow of imagination through a hose attached to the valve. He blasts his enemies as they come back, and liberates the girl, Noemie, in the process, although they cannot understand each other because she is French. Jack aids in their escape from the factory after turning traitor to Bill and re-evaluating his grand-father's principles. The kids must decide how to continue their escape. They return to Jack's parked moped and try to drive away from the town; unfortunately, Robbie is not an experienced moped driver, and the kids end up crashing in front of a museum after they are shot at by pinched-nosed Thomas, though neither child is hurt. As Robbie and Noemie run through the museum (a temple of falsities, as it turns out) searching for a tool to rid themselves of Thomas, that very man quickly tracks them down, approaching ever closer. Fortunately, the kids manage to create a distraction and then trap Thomas in a museum room. As they leave the museum, they are taken captive by members of The Resistance, a group which has sworn to destroy Bill. The leader of this resistance is Jack's grandfather; however, he proves unwilling to trust Robbie, and assigns him a task...

Chapter 8

The night, once more. The longer the boy stayed in this world, the more the darkness enveloped him. Daytime had passed while he was shut up within the resistance's hideout. They had given him a task and set him free; at least, freedom in doing as they wished. They had taken precautions, of course. They held Noemie as hostage, and had assigned a gristly, dour character to guide Robbie and simultaneously act as his shadow. There exist no shadows, however, at nighttime, only prowling, unseen demons of the soul. Shadows are futile; only light can scare the evil spirits away. The resistance might have chosen Noemie, the shining, innocent girl, as a better protective measure than the grim, muscular Alfonse.

Upon first emerging from the hideout, the night impregnated Robbie with hope, because the marshes were twinkling with the reflection of the stars as if lights were playing upon a field of black tar. The resistance abided in hut-like hideouts throughout a series of islets in the middle of the marshes, which, in fact, were of such great extension and water height, that they could be considered a swamp. Few trees inhabited this swamp, as if only the smallest vegetation would deign itself to live in the mire. The boy wondered how the rebels found the means to survive in a place such as this.

Robbie and Alfonse had mounted a creaking skiff, and the resistance agent had launched the small boat by means of resolute, rhythmical thrusts. Robbie, of course, conserved his handcuffs, and watched hypnotically as the paddles sunk into the black tar and then swung into the air again, creating ripples of water that collided against the boat's hull. Thoughts of revenge still danced in Robbie's head, but as with the paddling, it became an involuntary action, now mechanically, not fervently anticipated.

A long hour had passed by; Alfonse began grunting due to his physical effort, and the splashing ripples of water, like a clock ticking, drove Robbie into an incomprehensible state of anxiety. The night no longer seemed friendly.

Neither was the town, for now it was soaked with the weary steps of sentinels, pacing from street to street, circulating the home's of their neighbors time and again. Now the light from their swinging oil lamps, highlighted by the black pitch sky, offered Robbie no hope. Instead, they burned like small, spontaneous fires of revenge in his heart. Robbie and Alfonse's objective was the church, and their task, to redistribute the church's treasures to their original owners. The priest, already at the location, would wait for them and open the door.

They disembarked half-a-mile away from the nearest lamplight. Alfonse nudged the boy so that he would quit the boat, and Robbie was forced to stand knee dip in the swamp water. It was surprisingly warm, though the wind made his feet cold again as soon as he climbed onto the muddy shore. Now trees surrounded them, extending in small protuberances around the water. Nocturnal birds flitted through the trees and small scavengers sped over leaves and twigs which rustled under their tiny feet. Some trees contained berries and weird fruit; perhaps the resistance fed itself on these and the small animals.

Alfonse hoisted out a bulky duffel bag from the skiff before abandoning the vessel. Robbie thought to ask what it contained, but for the first time, he controlled his natural impetuousness. In the madness of his quest, he attained a certain degree of self- control.

They crept through the soggy terrain, brushing aside gnarled roots that protruded from the crumbled soft earth and that felt around the air in search of aliment in a springy, unwieldy sort of way. Progressively, the earth became more compact, and the shrubbery less waterlogged. Finally they emerged into sight of the church, though they remained concealed within the plant life; a mere four-hundred meters distance separated them from their objective, and yet it appeared unapproachable, due to the formation of a barbed wire fence around the streets which gave birth to the town, and due to the mean-looking guard standing in a diminutive, hastily erected guard tower. Pinch-nosed Thomas.

The guard tower, one among many that encircled the town, appeared in the midst of the barbed wire periodically, and afforded the guard with an advantage of height, as well as a place to hide from gunfire.

Over the guard tower hovered the enormous branches of an old oak, whose trunk was positioned a few paces from Robbie, isolated from the other vegetation, like a stalwart combatant prevailing before the spread of the industrialized town. Beneath two fair-sized rocks midway to the barbed wire was visible an undulation in the earth; apparently, some rivulet of water from the swamp had found its way to the spot, creating a stretch of soft soil. The loamy substance could probably be shaped into something. Even nearer to the guard tower, lay a semi-formed ditch. Somebody had attempted the digging of an entire ditch, but at some point had abandoned the idea. The rest of the terrain was covered in tall grass; though it was not tall enough to conceal a human, it was dry enough to ensure the spread of a fire.

"What are we gonna do now?" wail-whispered Robbie. Alfonse, the shadow, spoke for the first time that night.

"I have more than one plan." He muttered huskily.

"Wow." Robbie had almost given up hope for any solutions.

"One: we can take out the guard, for I am armed and have many tools. This could or could not alert the others to our presence. Two: we could attempt a disguise. Three: we could employ a distraction. Most likely, this would involve coordination with our associate inside town. Four... well, I'm still thinking."

"I'm...I don't know." Robbie had a headache. It was as if the effects of the handcuffs were returning as the night and the stressful, unending situation robbed him of vigor. "You pick, please."

"Naturally." responded Alfonse.
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:54 pm    Post subject:  

A good chapter there, D. Posted exactly as I was going through Fantasy and catching up. Well timed! :D

Okay, no bright ideas spring to mind, but the two interesting things in this chapter to me are the ease at which the soil can be dug and shaped, and what (besides arms) might be in Alfonse's duffel bag.

Someone has already had a go at digging a ditch, so I wonder whether they can dig under the fence? With the grass there, they should have some cover, and maybe Alfonse has something in his bag that can be used as a digging implement.
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject:  

Beat the guy over the head with a shovel and stuff him in the bag.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8809
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:06 am    Post subject:  

Woo. I found this chapter rather hard going at times, I own. I know you like your descriptions D, but there's description and description. I was wondering when the story was going to start! ;) The whole chapter was a short journey from the base to the town wall! :P

I dunno, maybe I've forgotten the last chapter, but it also feels like we've missed something here. It's probably just me tho.

Anyway, all that rambling has made me impatient. Take out the guard! Do it! Do it now!

[edit]

Quote: conserved his handcuffs,

He was saving them? Or making them into jelly? (jam). :?
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Guest






Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject:  

Nice chapter D-lotus, I really can't read the first part of the story its too cramped, green is my fav colour jippee! What is the shortest that you may post c'ren? Will give a reasonable post soon.
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Mother Goose



Joined: 09 May 2004
Posts: 511
Location: Connecticut

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject:  

Could they drop down into the guard tower from the branches of the oak tree whose trunk conveniently sits a few steps from Robbie? That way they could neutralize Thomas without attracting unwanted attention, and assuming the guard post has an exit to both sides of the barbed wire fence, they're through!
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: Woo. I found this chapter rather hard going at times, I own. I know you like your descriptions D, but there's description and description. I was wondering when the story was going to start! The whole chapter was a short journey from the base to the town wall!

I dunno, maybe I've forgotten the last chapter, but it also feels like we've missed something here. It's probably just me tho.

Yes, this was a rather short chapter, but stories have to follow logical causes and effects, and it seemed unrealistic to me that Bill would not take precautions, or give the appearance of them. Besides, in my mind, stories are not only about the results, but also the means. What was hard going? What description in particular was it that bothered you?

What you might have missed is that I began telling the story in a retrospective fashion; the rowboat and the trek through the swamp was more a proximate past action, though the tense often fools you into thinking it was occuring in the present. In any case, the style doesn't really affect the storyline too much. They get off the islet, onto a boat, and towards the town. Pretty simple stuff, though I integrated some metaphorical concepts and presented clues about the character's inclinations in between some descriptions.
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject:  

Chapter now polling!

Sorry to hurry you, but I was hoping I might get some work done on the next chapter this weekend.

Happy Voting. :D
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Guest






Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject:  

Sorry D-lotus I made a tie! The first and second option is fighting now. I chose the first one, maybe they can knock out the gaurd dig the hole and then they can excape when he wakes up. So the second option it is. Sorry I accidentally voted the first option, knock him out dig the hole take a key and run inside.
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject:  

Poll Closed.

How do Robbie and Alfonse get into town?
They take advantage of the ditch under the fence and dig through to the other side.
33% [ 2 ]
They knock out the guard by descending upon him from the overhead tree branches.
66% [ 4 ]
They start a grass-fire as a distraction, then sneak past the guards.
0% [ 0 ]

Total Votes : 6
Who Voted: Chinaren, Christalnightshade, D-Lotus, Mother Goose, Smee, Traveller

New chapter coming up. :)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8809
Location: http://www.NeilHartleyBooks.com

Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject:  

D has sponsored a Great Comment! medal for that one Z, to add to your growing collection. Congrats! :D
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