Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Journey

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Georgia Koch

Alone in the inky darkness I fear there are no passengers tonight.  It had been a day of gloomy promise and now the boat stands grounded under the light of the stars.

For centuries have I steered it through the foul stench of ash, excrement, blood and the pall of the burning flesh.  The sides caked with vomit as they realise that there is no going back. 

I hear reluctant steps treading towards the craft.  He stands at the edge unwilling to get in but I ask for my fare, a mere coin, mine to row past the dreaded hound.
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Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

This week I am at the Jaipur Literature Festival soaking in the atmosphere and pretending to be a writer.  Have already seen some great talks and am looking forward to more.

17 comments :

  1. Dear Subroto,

    Poor Charon. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it. I like the POV in this. Nicely done and you're not pretending to be a writer. You are a writer. There! Remember that.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks Rochelle I am glad you liked it. And thank you for the vote of support too. I guess at times I am plagued by self doubts and whether what I write is adequate to be counted as a writer. I suppose the only solution to that would be to write more :-)

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    2. I can relate, Subroto. At present I'm slow to get around to reading and commenting because my agent thinks she might be close to selling my first novel. I'd promised her the sequel a couple of years ago but got waylaid and sidetracked several months back in the editing process. So for the past two weeks I've been hard at it with a friend who's proving to be wonderful editor. At this moment that I'm writing I'm riddled with self-doubt. The only solution I know is to keep at it and purpose to learn as much as you can.

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    3. Thanks for sharing that Rochelle. I find those words inspiring.

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  2. Okay, I loved this. Here's the thing, though. "The underworld has a price on entry," says you mistrust either yourself or your readers. By that I mean you either think you haven't adequately conveyed the underworld (You conveyed it beautifully!) or you don't trust your readers to be smart enough to know what you're talking about (and I can't recommend assuming your readers are uninformed). If you need to plant an extra clue, a reference to Hades would have sufficed. Instead, you spelled out too much in that last line. Subtlety is your friend, as is confidence in yourself and your readers. Okay, now go back to the beginning where I said I loved this piece because I really do!

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    1. P.S. As a general rule, I only nitpick on pieces I love, so please take the above as a compliment!

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    2. Dear Lisa thank you for your detailed response, I am really glad that you took the time out to comment. I had seven words left and I did opt for the direct hint but after thinking about what you've said, I did decide to do an edit. I think it works and hopefully provides that bit of subtlety too.

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  3. Very well done. No pretence there. :)

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    1. Thanks Sandra, glad you liked it.

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  4. I like your atmospheric tale.

    The one thing humans have in common is that we all, one day, have to pay that ferryman. You'd think we'd be a bit more sympathetic towards one another, wouldn't you?

    I liked "gloomy promise" - wonderfully contradictory and there are many days like that, weather-wise.

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    1. True, being sympathetic towards each other is a lesson we all need to learn. Thank you for reading and commenting Ann.

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  5. This is extremely well written. I also enjoyed reading the comments. Writing is just like any other craft--we grow as we go. I look back on pieces I wrote 3 or 4 years ago and grimace at the errors, and I have no doubt that 3 or 4 years down road I'll look back at what I'm writing today and see areas for improvement.
    Going to writers conferences has really helped me, not only from listening to the speakers, but also by networking with other writers. But what really made a difference in my life was joining a critique group. It takes thick skin because people are going to point out all of your "baby's" flaws. From what I've read, your writing is very strong and I expect it to get even better as you continue to grow in the craft.

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    1. Thank you Russell for those words. I absolutely agree with you that "we grow as we go". These 100 words penned each week are helping me a lot more than just sitting and waiting for inspiration.

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  6. I think this is my favorite among the Charon stories this week.. Hope you had a great visit at the literature festival

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    1. Thanks Björn, I am glad you liked my story. I had the time of my life at the literature festival and would definitely go again.

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  7. Good story, Subroto. Whatever you do, don't give up on your writing. The description is very good. I'm glad you enjoyed the festival. You are a writer and author. You write and that means you're an author. You produce written stories. You don't have to pretend because you "are". Well done. :) --- Suzanne

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    1. Thank you for that vote of confidence and the kind words Suzanne. I am glad you liked the story too.

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