Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Dusty Glory of the Unedited

So in honor of Banned Book Week, I have decided to participate in The Rejectionist's little Uncontest thing.  In order to do this I must post a piece of unedited work from my journal, but in my journal's absence, (I have no idea where I put the stupid thing), I've decided to post parts of the original draft of Eldrei instead.

It was very interesting going back through this, I can tell you!  I just shake my head... I've learned so much since that first draft.  So without further ado, (and for your humorous enjoyment), I give you the original prologue of Eldrei in all its unedited, very purple raweness.

***

The night was chilled, the sky clear and dark cobalt with stars that glistened like studded jewels. A cold wind howled over the mountains; its many voices echoed through the crags and caverns in eerie moans. High above the mountains the single figure of a Pegasus flew silhouetted against the stars. Its silver-white color was muted in the darkness, the light of the moon dimly visible through its translucent wings. The wing feathers glistened like starlit rain beneath the silver light. If one listened, a strange song could be heard coming forth from its inhuman lips:

Eldrëi os Enin ûrn melnorë dest vaenr

Melnorë shïahn lïr ev im fïunr

Lïr esten rêdant os lïr esten vansrï

Ïnd im eliath ahstal lïr oglah ëahsrï

Esten ëahsrï ûrn shlenga ev eliath

Hwitr im ôlandrë; valla im fïunr cahlath

Cahlath tërh im myûrn tûr trahs emrï im fïun

Esten trûr ahstal drassa ûartahm lathëûn

Yërh ûrn ceiron trahs vahl ahsr ahtanï?(1)



The song continued, rising into the night: a heartrending lament, grieving the wrongs of the land. Below, the earth trembled, awakening to remember all of its loss, all the sorrows it had faced. Those who could understand the words cried unashamedly.

Higher than the Pegasus, up in the dome of the heavens themselves, stood a woman looking down on the earth far below. She was so fair that the brightest and most perfect sapphire ever mined was shamed at the sight of her deep blue eyes. Her hair fell in near liquid torrents of gold, shining like the sun itself with just the slightest gleam of moon rays woven in. Her lips, deep red, set against a fair and queenly complexion, might have been what inspired the rose to don such an elegant gown. Her robes, sparkling silver and aqua, shimmered with the light of stars. Indeed, the Lady was herself a star, the Queen of the stars no less, but her beauty was marred with worry that night as she looked down anxiously past her unshod feet to the land of Midgard far in the west, where a band of wanderers stumbled through an uninhabited, adverse wasteland. The only comfort to be drawn from the hostile earth came from the presence of a wide but shallow river slowly snaking its way across the land in a shimmering, meandering ribbon. But the presence of water had no visible affect on the land around.

Her intense gaze followed two small figures struggling to keep up at the end of the caravan. As the boy stumbled, the girl helped him to his feet. “Em hithrar valstor, esten frëar,”(2) she whispered into the darkness, nervously grasping the silver pendant strung about her neck.

As she gazed ceaselessly down on the land below, the sun crept up in the east, splaying his golden fingers to grasp the land in his embrace as the stars and moon began to fade away. And as the dawn crept over the hills in hues of peach and gold, the Pegasus flew east and disappeared from view in the rays of the rising sun.

*****

Down on the ground, not far from Ithin Renue — a large pillar of grey stone jutting up from the ground like a finger frozen in rock — there waited impatiently a coal-black horse. Its dark coat stood out against the bright sun like the shaded, clinging remnants of night, and its eyes glowed red like a dying flame. The rider on its back had a look that could send chills down even the bravest’s back. He held the reins tightly in a thin hand. Covered from head to toe in a cloak as black as death, the only thing that was quite visible was the sheath of a sword and the sword’s hilt sticking out of the cloak, both of which were the color of the darkest midnight. The sword blade, though hidden at the time, was a cruel and twisted thing, made of black steel like its owner. The blood drain was colored crimson, stained by the blood it’d spilt so many times before.

The rider’s hood was pulled far over his face to hide it from the light of the sun; what could be seen of his hands was but a shadow. The horse grunted impatiently and stamped a hoof to the ground. The rider turned and looked into the west where his sharp eyes saw, far off, the shimmering leaves of the golden tree as the early rays of the sun hit them—and farther than that, over the border of Nerovell, he saw the mountain rift of Kreshin rising up against the western horizon from the lands of Midgard like great ominous walls of some ancient time when the land was ruled by giants.

They stood and waited until midday, horse and rider, and finally a small figure could be seen coming toward them from the west. It was a sickly green, brownish-gray color and wore no clothes, nor had it fur or plumage of any kind. Its horrible, stretched-taut skin revealed its gaunt skeleton in a most grotesque manner. Its long tail, vaguely resembling a snake, flicked back and forth as it approached, just as a cat’s might. The creature walked on all fours with its extraordinarily long limbs moving it forward quickly. Its back was twisted and misshapen; its hands and feet, disproportionately large. Approaching the black horse, it fell beneath the gaze of the cloaked figure, wretchedly groveling at the horse’s hooves.

“They are now on their way easht to the Mountain Rift of Kreshin,” it said in a thin and tortured voice, hissing through its teeth. “It will not be long and you will have them in your grashp.”

The cloaked figure looked out over the western plain; a sneer of satisfaction escaped from its throat. In a hollow voice as cold as ice it spoke, clear loathe of the creature evident in its every word. “You're sure they're unaware of you?”

“They know not that we follow.”

“Good. Go then and keep track of their progress. I want to be notified as soon as they cross the border. They shall not get far.”

The scrawny being bowed its head low and touched it to the ground. Then it turned and raced westward as fast as it could go. The black horse grunted and the rider tightened his grip on the reins, letting out an evil chuckle as he thought of how easy his task was to be. Two small children were all that he was required to capture… two children and then the task was done. It seemed almost a joke. Surely his master couldn’t think this a difficult undertaking!

He drew out the sword and stared at the coal-black blade as he spoke absently to his horse. “This shall be effortless. All I need do is capture two witless, worthless babes and I shall be done—but what would he want with children?” He shrugged and resheathed his sword. That was not something he needed to be concerned about; let his master keep his reasons. He need only do as commanded.

Laughing darkly, he turned the horse east, galloping over the plains toward a forest some days’ ride away. It would take him only a matter of hours.

***
 
Wow... talk about "NOT NEEDED"!  Pretty much all of this has been completely taken out and worked into the story in some other way, and that poem thing has been completely redone as a prophesy.  Yeah... old and a bit embaressing... oh, but believe me; it gets better.  I just can't post this wonderful awfulness right now because of a contest I'm in... because, it has my character names in it, and that would mean people would know which entry is mine, which is forbidden... XD

6 comments:

Galadriel said...

Haaa...oh, if I was at home I could include an excerpt from my first story attempt which had a prolouge, a flashback, and a story within the flashback...maybe it's good I'm not home.
Were you trying to imitate Quenya with the strange-words.

Star-Dreamer said...

*lol* Oh the joys of those first drafts! In the first draft of my story I had a flashback that lasted somewhere around three pages... that's three pages of almost nothing but backstory! :D

Actually, I wasn't nessisarily trying to imitate Quenya, although Tolkien was my original inspiration in that area. I created several languages for that world (most of them still under construction) and that was an early version. It was so long ago that I can't even remember what it means, though I once had it all memorized.

*le-sigh* It's fun to look back... not to mention encouraging since now I can recognize my mistakes. :)

Jake said...

Nice! But I know what entry is yours anyway... XD

Star-Dreamer said...

Jake: And how would you know that? :D I've never posted part of that story on my blog before...

XD

Squeaks said...

After looking through them [the entries] I don't think I'd be able to tell which one was Nichole's...there are two that are very close and both could be considered your writing. ;) *evil laugh* but I know...I know which ones are who's! *chuckles and fades away*

Squeaks. lol

Star-Dreamer said...

Squeaks: lol! IDK... there are two on there that are very good... So good, in fact, they make me want to go back over my entry and tweak. But then, in my own defence, I hadn't even looked at that scene for a year an a half before this contest, so that's probably not such a bad idea... ;)