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Kitsune Tsuki
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« on: March 31, 2007, 04:46:52 am »

Chapter 1

I'm being choked.  I want to get out of this city, this fake, choking city.  I want to go out, out into the plains.  The wild sweeping plains, the plains without metal.

"I'm such a romantic." I said out loud to myself.  I'm sure someone else heard me, but they didn't care.  Most people here don't care.  They just care about themselves and their own items.  I won't say I'm any different myself, but at least I realize my own greed.  I leaned on my elbows on a cold, metal wall.  I hated that feeling of steel, it penetrated my shirt sleeves.  Gazing across the clear, flat land that surrounded the city, I dreamt of what it would be like to be one of the nomads.  Though nomads were considered filth, and were treated poorly everytime a band of them came into the city, they always seemed happy.  They always had a smile on their faces, always care free and easy going.  They walked slowly, as if time held no meaning for them.  I wished I could be like that.

A bell rang, it's deep ring of resonating steel pierced my ears.  I hated that sound.  I had to go back to work.  I briskly walked to the steps, and went down them as quickly as possible.  I came to the bottom of the stairs, onto the metal sidewalk of a metal street.  The road and sidewalk were both equally crowded, filled with people trading and bartering various goods, all of them artificial.  I pushed my way forward through the crowds, constantly bumping into someone.  I finally arrived at my destination, store F1. 

I came in, went to my desk and sat down.  Both my chair and my desk were made of metal.  Again, I felt that cold feeling permeate through my clothing, chilling me.  I began to flip through the pile of papers on my desk, each paper having a 'different' furniture design.  Every idea was built on the same idea; use metal.  I hated this.  I don't even remember how I got this job, maybe it's because I was the only person with enough patience and sanity to tolerate working in this job longer then two years.  Most of my colleagues became merchants, or went to work for the City Core.  Those were the only two real jobs anymore.  In fact, my job is a division of the Core.  All our ideas are sent to them, they make the furniture and send it back to us to sell.

I took another look through the papers on my desk, looking to see if anything stuck out.  Nothing.  Everything was either a metal chair, metal table or metal something or another.  I threw all of the papers in the trash.  I hadn't started work again for no more then five minutes, but I already was restless.  I decided to get up and go take a walk.  Before I left, I leaned my head into my boss's room.

"Hey.  I'm taking a walk." I said, trying to avoid an extended conversation.  His room smelt of cigarettes and alcohol.  The air was thick and I hated breathing in that choking air.
"You just got here." he said in response, with a slight grunt.
"I'll work late."

He just grunted and returned to looking over some papers and chomping on a cigar.  I walked outside, through the crowds of merchants again.  I stopped for a moment after a couple minutes and looked up.  I saw the central tower of the city, the City Core building, the keystone of our city.  For it, we acquired all of our needs, our life substances.  It provides us our food, and building materials.  The building was made of shimmering, polished metal and pointing upwards so that you would be be blinded by the sun everytime you looked upon it.  I hated that building.

I continued down through the various levels of the city.  I lived and worked on the top level, which is the only one open to the sun and is the richest and most esteemed of all the levels of the city.  I went down through five other levels, each progressively getting worse and worse, containing less and less metal as I went down.  I came to the bottom floor, the seventh level.  There was very little metal here.  I felt relaxed and calm, that choking feeling was no more.  The street was simple compacted dirt, and the sidewalks were laid stone.  People were sparse here, most of those that were here were guards.  I began to walk around, looking at the little tents that served as stores on this floor.

As I turned the corner, I saw one of my favorite sights.  A nomad caravan.  A simple wooden wagon, covered by bright dyed cloth and filled with a people dressed in equally vivid clothing.  Children played with hand made dolls and the parents tried selling jewelry made from glass and dyed yarn.  The most pleasing part of this scene was that lack of any piece of metal.  I approached the caravan slowly, trying to get a better view of the intriguing lifestyle these free people lived.  I peered inside the wagon, seeing soft pillows that functioned as seats, with more pillows lining the edge.  It seemed so foreign to what I was use to, yet it looked like the most comfortable thing I had every seen.

I looked down at my watch.  Thirty minutes had already passed since I had left my office.  I figured I'd better head back now.  Heading back up the stairs, back to the first floor.  The moment I left the bottom floor, the familiar choking feeling came flooding back.  My throat was wrapped by the air, and  I already was missing the seventh floor.


Chapter 2

The rest of the day went by quickly and more or less uneventful.  I spent most of the day doodling, instead of doing real work.  I couldn't get my mind of that nomad family and their beautiful, comfortable wagon.  I decided to work through my lunch break so I wouldn't have to spend as much time working overtime.

As soon as I finished work, I dashed out of the office as quick as possible.  I remember around two o'clock that I had planned to have dinner with my parents.  Though my parents live close to where I live, on the top floor, it was rare that I saw them.  I didn't run to their house out of excitement, but rather out of fear of being rebuked by my mother.  She is normally a rather calm person, but is strict when it comes to being on time.  I remember once that she almost had a heart attack when she had to wait just ten minutes for the doctor to arrive.  This was in spite of the fact that she arrived ten minutes early for the appointment.

Dinner with my folks is normally a pretty routine thing.  My two sisters always talk about their jobs or whatever else is new with their lives.  However, they only do this with each other, excluding the whole family.  I don't mind it, as I could care less for their conversations, but it's more of a matter of manners.  My father always tries and talks sports with me, something I never held interest in, and my mother asks me if I've met any nice girls lately.  The latter question is very much  a double edged sword.  If I say I have, she goes all inqusition on me and asks me all these questions about her.  If I say no, she starts asking me if I wanted to date the daughter of one of her friends, or something.  I always try to avoid being asked that, or at the very least avoiding having to answer it.

Tonights dinner was pretty normal.  My sisters were talking about their jobs.  They both worked as secretaries at the City Core, and were talking about how to convince their bosses for more vacation and sick days.  My father was mindlessly blabbering about if I saw some big game last night and my mother was talking about how I would be the perfect match for our neighbors niece.  My mind slowly differented away from this, the talking turning into just ambiguous noise not unlike what can be heard in the streets of the first floor.  In fact, every floor.  Well, every floor except the bottom floor.  Suddenly, I noticed that choking feeling.  That feeling of the air being heavy and artificial.  Here in this large dining room, amongst four other people, I felt choked.  That feeling of longing for freedom from this artificial city returned, and I wish I could leave and go back down to the seventh floor.

I slept restlessly that night.  Even after dinner, after I left my parents home and returned to my own, that choking feeling remained.  It was agonizing, constantly rolling over and over again in my sleep.  Around five o'clock, I decided I couldn't sleep anymore.  Half conscience of what I was doing, I decided to go down to the seventh floor again.  I followed my steps back to where I was the previous day.  As I slowly approached the caravan I saw this morning, I noticed that there was still a small fire, and beside it sat a man, reading in the dim moonlight.

"Hello" I stammered quietly.

"Oh, hello there Stranger." he replied, his voice was soft.

"Are you a nomad?"

He looked around briefly. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I am." he said with a grin, "Would you like to sit down?"  He motioned towards a nearby cushion.  I  accepted his offer and sat.  The seat was more comfortable then I could have ever imagined!  It was soft and plush.  The warmth of the fire blew over me, and I felt very relaxed.

"So, what can I do for you?"

The man surprised me.  I hadn't forgotten he was there, but I hadn't expected to be questioned that.

"Oh, well, I couldn't sleep."

"I see." he paused for a moment, " Any reason why you can't sleep?"

I was hesitant to respond to this.  I wanted to talk to this man and tell everything, yet there was some unknown voice telling me not to.  Almost like my mother telling me not to talk to strangers.

"Well, I suppose if your uncomfortable talking about it, that's fine by me."  the nomad said, his voice filled with a soothing gentleness, "Maybe would you like  to talk about it later?" I didn't say anything back.  I looked down that the ground, still unsure whether to answer.

"Why are you a nomad?" I said, after a while to break the long silence.  The nomad lean his head upwards, and breathed deeply.

"Why?  Well, I really can't say why, but I'll try my best.  I suppose you should know I ain't from this city.  My own home city was none too different from this one here.  It had it's own levels and it's own artificial products. But, I didn't like any of it.  Everything was made of metal, and I felt no comfort in the metal.   I wanted to escape it all.  So, I left.  I told my family that I was leaving and left.  I joined this caravan and have been enjoying a natural life ever since."

"Why do you come back to cities?"

"Well, as much as I hate to admit it, we can't live entirely without the cities.  But, we only stay here on the bottom level.  Here, the city is still fairly natural, without interference from the lifeless metals."  I pondered for a minute on his statement.  I knew he meant lifeless on a more abstract level, but I never thought of anything that is an animal or a plant as living before.

There was a long moment of silence, the two of us just lost in our thoughts.  Eventually the nomad stood up, stretching his arms out wide and yawning.

"Well, it's starting to get early.  Might want to start making breakfast.  Woulda like to stay?" he said, smiling.  He face, covered in a wide, toothy grin, showed no remebrance of the solemn conversation we just had.  It was relaxing.

"Sure, why not?" I replied, grinning as well.

Chapter 3
I had never seen nomad family before, and I was rather surprised by it.  The man who I was talking to was the father of 3 different children, two boys and a girl.  They all seemed scared at first of me, but as soon as their father told me I was his friend, they immediately opened up.  They began asking questions, some were petty, like what my favorite color was, but others had some more depths, like what life in the city was like.  They were very happy and cheerful.  Later on, I did see some other nomad children, all of whom were equally cheerful.

The breakfast they made was unlike anything I had ever seen.  It was a sort of soup or stew.  It was filled with fruits, each bite containing juicy morsels.  I asked what was in it, only to learn it was made from extremely expensive foods, like apples.  When I asked how they got such exotic fruits, they told me they grow naturally on the plains.

After eating and talking with all the different nomads, many of whom were astounded to see a city dweller eating with them, I said good bye, and returned to the top floor.  As soon as I began climbing the stairs I felt that choking feeling, but it was not like before.  It felt alive, or at least sentient.  I could feel that cold artificial air wrap around my neck and force itself down my throat.  It knew I didn't want to breath it, and it forced itself upon me.  I breath short quick breaths, trying to get rid of this feeling.  I returned as quickly as possible to my apartment, hoping to catch a little bit of shut eye before work. 

About 40 minutes later, after a short nap and shower, I walked to work, the air still wrapping itself around me, like a vile serpent.  I tried to distract myself from the feeling, listening to the idle chatter of the merchants.  One was trying to sell apples at an outrageous price.  I grinned smugly as I passed him.

I walked into my office, as sat down.  My throat felt sore and dry.  I picked up a stack of paper, looked at one concept drawing and threw it in the trash.  I put my head down, facing a mirror on the wall.  The air was becoming harder and harder to ignore.  I knew I needed to try and escape.  I got up to leave, trying to find real, gentle air, when my boss barked at me.  He asked me where I was going, to which I replied by just waving my hand at him.

I walked to the edge of the city, in hopes of feeling the real wind on my face.  I closed my eyes and breathed deep.  The choking feeling still lingered, but here it was tolerable.  I wish I could stay here, where the air is clean and natural.  I stood there for a couple minutes.  Long, silent, peaceful minutes.  The serene silence was broken with the arrival of one of my two sisters.  She came here to get a smoke.  I just sighed.  She stood beside me, facing with the beautiful green plains to her back.

Lost creative juice.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2007, 03:42:21 am by Akriel » Report Spam   Logged

In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead

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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2007, 12:11:57 pm »

You wrote that the 'god' PRODUCES the needs. Shouldn't it provide for the needs?

I see you're going for a dystopian future, perhaps with some Half-life  2(the tower) and  Star Wars (Multilayered city)?

I do like the idea of the hero as a furniture designer.
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2007, 09:36:03 pm »

You wrote that the 'god' PRODUCES the needs. Shouldn't it provide for the needs?
Ah, right, right.  I'll fix it later.

Quote
I see you're going for a dystopian future, perhaps with some Half-life  2(the tower) and  Star Wars (Multilayered city)?
It's not quite dystopian.  But the narrator doesn't like it.  It's just his view.  It's not so much the future, as it's a different planet.  I haven't set the exact level of technology yet, so how advance they are might fluctuate.

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I do like the idea of the hero as a furniture designer.
Heh, it just struck me last night as I was writing.

I add some more to the story, only a couple paragraphs though.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 12:34:38 pm »

We have beginning of kind here. Our nameless character is discontent with his life and dreams of somewhere else. Nothing unusual there, but other things are worthy of attention. The fact that everything is made of metal would suggest that other resources like wood or stone (concrete) are not readily available. A lack of plastic and other post industrial material would indicate a society from before that level of technology but the large quantity of metal building would then not be possible. Also our characters job sounds like an everyday job from today. 
Now this god thing is another thing to have a look up. The way the character talks about it I would believe that other cities have there own. Also it is implied to be alive. So what is it? A actual god? Or something more mundane that is called god because of what it dose/is.
I am interested where this is going to go. I am guessing at this but something is big is going to happen to the character so that he either has to leave the city and join some nomads or that he can not leave even if he wants to. Maybe some corruption/problem with the god/city core.

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The building was made of shimmering, polished metal and pointing upwards so that you would be be blinded by the sun everytime you looked upon it.

One to many ‘be’s in there.

Hope that helped.


Edit: just read the new bit. the description of the nomads looks good and is a good contrast to all the metal of the city
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 02:30:19 am »

Add some more.

Tau Worlock:  Alot of your questions I do intend to answer, but I really don't want to give away some of the plot I have planned.  So, hold onto your questions for now.  They really strike at key elements of the plot.

EDIT:  Added somemore.  I'm really unhappy with the dialogue.  It started out well, but it really ran away from my plans pretty quickly.  I feel like it's resolving the conflict before it's really gotten off.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 05:42:40 am by Antiphon » Report Spam   Logged

In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 10:20:14 am »

Add some more.

Tau Worlock:  Alot of your questions I do intend to answer, but I really don't want to give away some of the plot I have planned.  So, hold onto your questions for now.  They really strike at key elements of the plot.
That’s ok, asking questions is just my way to understand and get to grips with a story. Think of them as more of a mental note as what I expect to find out as I continue reading.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 01:32:37 am »

I like this very much. The guy's phobia of metal (yeah, that's what I'll call it for now Wink) gets the conflict underway smoothly and painlessly. The description of the city is really nice, especially the family. I would say that at this point the only thing lacking is a little characterisation of the 'hero' himself. I mean, we know he doesn't like metal. We know all about his work, his family, his environment. We know he isn't happy. But we really don't get a sense of who he is. When his mum asks him if he's met any nice girls lately - is he the kind who meets nice girls all the time? If he is, would he lie about meeting nice girls? How does he feel about his sisters (and the way they're trying to scam their bosses Wink)?
I know I'm going 'all inquisition' on you, but I reckon a few little touches on the main character's... well, character would make him a little more round.

Quote
EDIT:  Added somemore.  I'm really unhappy with the dialogue.  It started out well, but it really ran away from my plans pretty quickly.  I feel like it's resolving the conflict before it's really gotten off.
The dialogue seems natural to me, as long as you allow the nomad a very wise, unprejudiced sort of personality. Maybe if he was a little wary of the city person until the choking thing came up. Just my two cents.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2007, 02:35:23 am »

See, I didn't want him, the nomad, to act so mysticly.  That's why I didn't like the dialogue.  Well, I wanted him to be wise, but not to seem as if he knew what was happening to the main character.  I feel like he's too obviously guiding the storyline.  Also, with the nomad, I wanted him to seem very open and welcoming to the character.

I also have some plans for a secondary conflict, between the main character and the City Core.  My problem is I needed a reason for the hero, who I need to give a name at some point, to leave the nomads and head back.  Though I'm sure I could work something in.

Speaking of naming the hero, I agree I don't describe him that much.  I kind of like it this way, adds a layer of ambiguity to the character.  Alas, I do see the need to add some more depth to him.  I really want him to seem like a standard person, or at least on the outside.  But, standard can be viewed in many different ways.  I may use other settings to describe what he's like more.  I am personally very pleased with how I described his family just by using that one setting.  But, now I'm rambling.

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How does he feel about his sisters (and the way they're trying to scam their bosses Wink)?
Was hoping someone might pick up on that joke.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2007, 09:39:19 am »

The conversation seems ok, maybe add in a few more lines just before "Do you get that choking feeling?". Something so that we know a bit more about the nomad so that he seams less mystical. Maybe offering our character something to drink, a bit to eat or something like that.
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 12:45:51 pm »

I really like the concept you're sketching here. Smiley  You can almost feel that urge to get away as quickly as possible  from the full-metal society our protagonist hates so much. Him being a furniture designer is quite refreshing btw, makes it easier to identify with him. As Tau Worlock already inquired about, the 'God' in the City Core is an element that brings up a lot of questions (which is of course good for a story!), and I'm curious about where this will all lead. The nomads deep down have a rustic ambiance to them, I like it. As for the layered-city idea, it is reminiscent of Coruscant... but instead of getting more and more dark/corrupt/dangerous the lower you get, it seems to get more 'natural' and free. Interesting. Smiley

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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 05:05:06 am »

Changed the conversation and extended it alittle.  Happier with it, but out of creative juices for now.

EDIT:  Added some more.  Now I'm pretty happy with it.  It sets up the future conflict I have planned, but still resolves much of what I wanted resolved at this point.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 11:07:37 am »

Quote
I know he provides us with materials for all our needs, but how does he do it?

Again I broke the long period of silence. "What is God?  What does he do?"
Good, he is starting to ask questions. And questions to which the reader (well me at least) want to know the answer. The new bit reads good, except

Quote
"Well, I suppose if your uncomfortable talking about it, that's fine by me."  the nomad said, his voice filled with a soothing gentleness, "Maybe would you like  to talk about it later?" I didn't say anything back.  I looked down that the ground, still unsure whether to answer.
The "Well, I suppose if your uncomfortable talking about it, that's fine by me." Line reads mystic to me not the line itself but the situation where it is. I think it would be better if you had an extended silence in which the nomad dose something normal like butting a kettle on or cutting a slice of bread. Then have out ‘hero’ ask ‘why are you a nomad?’
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2007, 08:49:16 am »

Hi, just read it. So far it is a great story line .
At the end of chapter 1 you have put 'every' when I think you mean ever and at the beginning of chapter 2 you have put 'more or less uneventful' which doesn't quite read right, it should either be uneventfully or you need to add in the word was so it reads 'was more or less uneventful'. Those were the only spelling/grammar problems I picked up on.

As for the story, great - as i have already said - I like the metal-phobia, and the normal job with the affluent boss just makes him seem more like a normal person. Interesting city structure, I can't wait to learn more about their 'God'.
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2007, 02:53:55 am »

Yo, major re-write.  I cut out the god element of the story, had some issues with it.  I also finished it.  I went back to my main roots, of a guy trying to escape society.  I admit I think it's rushed, but I really wanted to finish it.  I may go back and expand and extend the ending.  Till, then I'm content with it.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2007, 09:44:25 am »

So he is of to join the nomads, lets find out if life on the plain is as idyllic as they sound.
One bit read a bit odd to me, when he is talking to his sister before going to join the nomads. If the sister would not care much for him then why talk to him? also the rest of the conversation reads like a bad plot devise and not a conversation. My suggestion would be to have no conversation, instead have the sister simply leave, at that point he realises that the city is no longer his home. This would work better I believe.
Maybe have the sister throw the cigarette end over the railing or whatever, he then watches it fall and come to the above conclusion.

Any way keep writing.
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2007, 03:28:44 am »

So he is of to join the nomads, lets find out if life on the plain is as idyllic as they sound.
Nope.  The point is that's the end.  He leaves, he's happy about it, and he's free.  That was my intended ending from the beginning.

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One bit read a bit odd to me, when he is talking to his sister before going to join the nomads. If the sister would not care much for him then why talk to him? also the rest of the conversation reads like a bad plot devise and not a conversation. My suggestion would be to have no conversation, instead have the sister simply leave, at that point he realises that the city is no longer his home. This would work better I believe.
I know it's bad.  Again, I wanted to finish it, and I rushed, making it turn out very mediocre.  I definately want to go back and redo it.
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Maybe have the sister throw the cigarette end over the railing or whatever, he then watches it fall and come to the above conclusion.

Any way keep writing.
I'll see if I can work it in.  It's a nice idea.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
Kitsune Tsuki
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2007, 03:44:08 am »

Almost completed redid the 3rd chapter.  I didn't finish all of it, but am very happy with it.  Much more then the first time.
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In a poll of Columbia\'s grad school of journalism, 57% believe in ESP, 57% in dowsing, 47% in the ability to read a person aura, and 25 believe in the lost continent of Atlantis

To the River Red, across the ochre steppe
A thousand fathers killed,
A thousand virgin daughters spread with swords still wet,
With swords still wet with the blood of their dead
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