Author Topic: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!  (Read 3843 times)

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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2015, 12:22:03 am »
Interglacial

The sabertooth tigress lay in her den, flipping her tail side to side. She knew the cold. She could anticipate it. The bellowing wind in the evergreens, the snowpack beneath her paws…she knew those sounds like the rhythm of her heart. Her pulse had quickened that morning, for something new was happening, something strange about her world she had yet to understand. The light from the sun spilled into her den, making her squint and turn away. Worse, the snow began to fall in clumps over her den’s archway, splattering on the cold stone floor and seeping toward her warm dry pelt.

The sun was warming the floor of her den. As it ascended, her den began to become brighter, exposing her hideaway. She liked to hide, it was part of her. Now the sun was tearing that idea asunder, forcing her to face it and the changing world.

She sighed, squinting. She stood, her pelt suddenly making her skin twitch. The air began to warm with the sun, much faster than she was used to. She padded out of her den, and nearly slipped at the entrance. She was stunned. Never before had the earth refused to give way to her paws.

The river near her den was moving. She stared at it in wonder. Miniature ice floes rafted along, bumping into the dripping mudbanks. She had seen thaws before. Since she was a cub thaws meant spring, mating, and den seeking. Spring was not to arrive for another sixty sunrises. She knew this, for the rhythms of the season helped her hunt and mate. But now, with the sun blazing and the water flowing, she was not sure anymore.

She looked into the clearing near her den. Other animals were confused by the changing environment. Mastodons wandered in loosely clumped herds, the muddy soil impeding their progress. Some slipped and sank into the mud, crying piteously. The other den creatures—rodents—tested the new air with their noses, whiskers twitching. Most decided it better to stay in their dens. The sabertooth thought it a wise choice, as a pack of unruly jackals yelped and attempted to finish off a drowning mastodon calf nearby, eager for the chance of raw flesh. Several of the canines were trampled in the process. The sabertooth scented a large rogue male saber in the vicinity. He was wise to hide, waiting for his chance. She decided that was the best option, given the struggling mastodon herd. If they couldn’t make it in the new world, how could she?

A giant lake had formed several yards from her den. The sun was reflecting off it, its promise of fresh water and grasses too tempting to pass up. The mastodon herd marched toward it, some of its kin surrendering to the earth. They tried to drink. The sabertooth tilted her head, scenting the air.

The worst change was the air. It was heavy, difficult to breathe in, and smelled bizarre. It smelled wrong, the sabertooth had decided. She shivered, not from the cold.

The foolish mastodon calves went first, lured by the lake. Once separated from the adults, an advancing pack of dire wolves burst from the trees. Only…they began to cry out in a way she had never heard wolves cry before. Their packmates on land skittered back, whimpering. The ones lured by the mastodon carcasses gorged themselves, until a paw slipped…a tailtip got stuck…black mud covered them, its foul smell tainting the air…and their wails of terror gripped everything.

Silence. The mastodon herd stopped bellowing for their calves. The wolves had retreated. The sabertooth tigress watched in horrified fascination.

The dead were being eaten by the lake, as if the earth itself hungered. The dead bodies sat for a while on the surface, but the more the predatory victims struggled, the more the lake swallowed them.

The sabertooth watched the rogue male make his way to this awesome predator. Surely, he was paying it respect. Never before had he seen such an efficient killer, consuming both predator and prey. He padded toward it, head bowed low in submission.

The sabertooth tiger gave a feeble cry, as if he were mewling for his mother. His paw was ensconced in the black ooze of the lake. The more he tugged, the stickier it became, embedding in his fur. He managed to pull away, falling on his rump. He tried grooming his paw, but one whiff made him grimace, his fangs exposed. He wandered off, his pride wounded and paw forever changed.

The tigress watched from the trees near her den. The sun reached its zenith, then descended. Camels and horses became trapped, their desperate cries unheeded. Giant predatory birds leaped atop them, succumbing to the ooze beneath their last meals. The sun set at long last, the cool of the evening making her shiver gratefully. Unfortunately, the breeze brought the reek of death and the ooze together, making her ill.

She sought her den, her last refuge in this strange new place. She slipped and felt her shoulder snap. She gasped. Pain lanced through her as her teeth did prey. Her strong clavicle was broken, her paws useless.

She whimpered and winced, lay in a heap, her pelt absorbing the icy water from the unyielding stone floor. The pain numbed her. She couldn’t see the sun anymore, its warmth quickly leaving her den and her body. A new fire took its place, one of pain inside her, sapping her strength and courage as the lake its victims.

The noxious scent of the black mud filled her nose. She focused on it, and then the scent of the rejected male. He sat near her, nudged her gently. She shivered in shock. He showed her his ruined paw, which she noted was not only smeared in the mud but also had been broken in several places. It was as if he was saying, I am broken, too.

He grew bolder, lay next to her, watched over her during the night. Her pain lessened when she was totally still, a challenge for her. The tiger left in the morning, letting the sun warm her fur. He returned at night, with a small bird carcass as a gift. He kept her company for many sunsets, until spring properly returned. The last gift he left her was an untouched foal carcass at her den’s entrance. It was her biggest meal since damaging her chest. She stood weakly, dragged it to her corner, and turned her back to the sun as she ate.

She would never forget the times when the cold gave way to warmth, inside and out.
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2015, 10:23:10 am »
Very well done Iara. A sad story, but I imagine something like this has happened many many
times since life began.

In fact I believe  last summer while excavating an ancient glacially formed lake in the rocky
mountains. They discovered a huge number of animal bones buried in the mud. Many with no
signs of being killed by carnivors.

Ok here is a word you might have some fun with. "defenestration".  :D  If you wish to wait to
see if someone else has a word first, it's fine with me. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2015, 10:41:11 am »
I will work with defenestration. Glad you enjoyed the story!  (:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2015, 10:38:45 pm »
Defenestration

The little brown feathered dinosaur opened her bright green eyes.

She blinked, shook her head, and blinked again. A creeping chill raced down her spine from her neck to her tail tip.

Something is very wrong.

She remembered going to sleep that night in her nest on the ground, her head tucked under her wing, her body warmed by her feathers and the cycads she used to line her nest. She remembered the twinkling sea of stars overhead, the total darkness of true night. She also remembered feeling very much alone in the world, which saddened her as she departed for the world of dreams.

She did not like waking up out of her nest. She especially did not like the world in which she awoke.

She stood slowly, bobbing her head, taking in her bizarre surroundings. It was strangely bright, as if the sun were a permanent fixture in the sky, and yet there was no blue sky above her, only a strange gray thing that looked like a flat rock. She hissed, and jumped as the hiss faded into buzzing and then silence. She shook herself, fluffed her feathers. This has to be a dream, she reassured herself.

She stepped forward, noting the slick and cold tiles below her feet. It had an odd scent to it–one she could not place, but resembled shale or slate. The next thing she noticed was the opening created by a slightly ajar window. The sunlight poured through the clear glass panels and into the fluorescent lit room, beckoning her away from the nightmarish realm she awakened to. She nearly fell as she kept moving toward it, her balance thrown off by the slick tile floor. Regaining her composure, she focused on the window again.

A warm breeze buffeted her facial feathers. She tentatively poked her muzzle out the window’s opening, the scents of steel, concrete and human excrement overwhelming her. She felt dizzy as she looked down. The street beneath her was a ribbon, like a winding river filled with concrete. Her heart thundered in her chest as she surveyed the gray world around her, a world frozen in place, its buildings like the necks of sauropod skeletons twisted in the cruel sun, gasping for air.

A door behind her slammed. Angry voices, frustrated ramblings, fists slammed onto tables. Her heart picked up the pace, her head swam.

A hummingbird darted into the room, hovered around her. It trilled at her, its eyes alight with bliss. She was drawn to its bright colors, the greens and reds of her time.

Her foot had reached the ledge. She was standing on the sill now, fully exposed to the air and the sunlight that pierced the smog on the horizon.

She swung her tail as she balanced on the ledge. The sun was warm, the air thick. The hummingbird darted toward its nest, quick as a wink.

A panicked shout barely registered as she closed her bright green eyes. She spread her wings, her primaries twisting in the wind.

The air caught her body. It was suddenly cold as she picked up speed. She tried moving her wings, but she was going too fast. Tears filmed her eyes. She looked upward, twisted toward the sunlight. She gazed at it as the concrete rushed up to meet her…

A pair of bright green eyes snapped open in the depths of the night.

Background music: Demons by Imagine Dragons
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2015, 10:47:21 am »
A interesting story using the definition of the word "Defenestration" rather than the word
it's self. I like how you held the reader in suspense, then leave them with the realization it
was only a dream in the last line.

I haven't thought of a new word as of yet.  Perhaps someone else has one.  :orbunny:
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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2015, 07:19:16 pm »
Iara I found another word you might like to write about. "modicum" .  It refers to
something small. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2015, 11:49:00 pm »
Thank you again for your readership and participation, Old Rabbit! Much appreciated.  :D

Modicum is a neat word...now to write about it.  8)
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Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2015, 04:48:24 am »
...So... I kinda fell off the face of this thread, but I'm still alive!

I have a few things to say in response to something you mentioned at the end of one of your prior stories...

~Spanish Translations~
perdoneme…quien dar este te a mi-Pardon me....who gave this tea to me? (the word te should have an accent, to distinguish it from the command form of you in Spanish  :-[ )

I've found the US International Alternate keyboard layout from halfway down this page to be rather useful.  It treats your right Alt key as a special kind of Shift key for the purposes of typing uncommon characters.  Generally speaking, if you want to type a character with an accent, tilde, or similar, you hold the right Alt key while typing the corresponding punctuation key, then type the base character without holding the Alt key.  Below are some examples of what you can type:

Alt + ', a   ->   á
Alt + ', A   ->   Á
Alt + ^, e   ->   ê
Alt + ", I   ->   Ï
Alt + ~, n   ->   ñ
Alt + /   ->   ¿

I recommend this keyboard layout over the US International keyboard layout that comes with Windows because unlike that layout, this one doesn't interfere with everyday typing, including that which involves a lot of punctuation (a particularly useful trait for me, considering that I'm a programmer).

Also, a more correct Spanish translation for the English line provided here is "Perdóneme... ¿Quíen me dió este té?" (I poked a native Spanish speaker on the subject; he corrected a mistake that I had made in failing to make the sentence past tense when I tried to translate it myself).  Note both the past tense third person singular conjugation of dar as well as the indirect object that comes before the verb.


I have another phrase that I'd like to enqueue (after Old Rabbit's word).  Give "Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies." a shot.  If you don't recognize it, it's from a poem featured in the Inheritance cycle (Eragon and its sequels).
"Perfect normality is impossible.  Be unique!"
-- redyoshi49q




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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2015, 11:13:48 pm »
Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long since I last added to this post! I am still alive, just drowning in RL paperwork.  :-[

Old Rabbit, I will post your story (modicum) and RedYoshi yours based on the phrase you gave when I can.

Thanks for your patience and RedYoshi, thanks for the International Keyboard tips! I forgot the hotkeys, thank you so much!

~Iara
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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2015, 09:45:40 am »
Take all the time you need.  The RL rules us all.. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2015, 11:37:58 pm »
Modicum

The jaguar sat in a corner of the coffee shop, curled up in a leather chair, her iced jasmine tea latte on the table and a book in her paw. Her breathing was soft yet muffled, her vision less than clear as she read slowly.

“You don’t have a modicum of decency left, do you?” huffed the bespectacled blonde lion beside her, with his black coffee warm in his pawpads. His name badge hung askew across his broad chest, his button down shirt fresh pressed and clean, his mane neatly combed and styled.

“Nope.” The jaguar sipped the dregs of her iced tea through a purple straw, making a horrible churning sound that everyone winced to.

“What in the hell are you doing here, anyway?” he growled, pretending not to notice the curious stares.

“Drinking tea,” the jaguar responded, turning a page in her latest fantasy novel du jour, A Dance With Dragons. “What’s it look like?” She wiggled a bit in her seat, tossing her hair casually. Her name badge barely moved.

“It looks like a My Little Pony fanfic gone awry,” the lion hissed, blushing as some cute furries waltzed past, whispering and staring.

“You know what?” the jaguar suddenly stood, folding her arms. “I don’t have to take this from you!”

“What are you doing?! Are you crazy? You can’t just walk out there dressed like—like--!” The lion tried to stop her, tugging on her arm, but she backed up, turned away toward the door.

“Dressed like what?” she murmured, head down, voice sad.

“I mean, do you realize what you look like? What everyone at the conference will think?! They already think you’re crazy, this isn’t helping at all--!”

“I don’t care!” she huffed, lifting her chin. “I’m tired of caring about what everyone else thinks. I’m doing what makes me happy, for once. I didn’t ask for your help, thank you.”

“But! But!” the lion stammered as the jaguar pranced out the coffee shop door.

The jaguar wandered down the sunshine laden street, her horn and hooves a glimmering gold. Her pastel pink coat, neatly brushed, hid her natural spotted markings. Her mane and tail were an array of pinks, blues and yellows twirled in a cotton candy spinner, in stark contrast from her natural brunette locks. She marched along with purpose, A Dance With Dragons and illustrious science journals bundled in her totebag.

A gaggle of schoolcubs raced to her, enchanted, asking all kinds of questions in tiny voices. She smiled inside, but did not speak. Instead, she hugged them and waved goodbye.

Once she was inside the conference hall, the usual comings and goings and chit chat ceased. Some furries began to laugh, others stared in disbelief at the pastel unicorn trotting in their midst. She made her way to the bar and sat down, unable to see who was beside her.

“Some wine for my lady?” came a gentle warble, and she wiggled on her stool to get a good look at the stranger offering her the drink.

She stifled a gasp. It was a dragon, a beautiful red and gold dragon, with amber eyes and a toothy grin, offering her a drink! How could a unicorn refuse a dragon?

“Absolutely, my fine fellow,” the jaguar winked beneath her unicorn’s teal blue eyes, their square pupils reflecting the fluorescent lighting.

“Two it is, then,” he grunted, his amber eyes reflecting the bar before them, the black patches beneath hiding his bright green and ochre gaze.

“Your scales are marvelous,” the unicorn complimented the dragon. It was wise to compliment a dragon, lest his wrath was incurred. Dragons were known for burning furries and bridges.

“Mmh, thank you, it took a while to get them polished,” he imbibed the wine without a second thought.

The scales on the dragon were unique, for a suit. They were individually sewn into the body, a difficult task that cost far more than necessary. But then again, if one wanted realism, one had to spend a little more than expected.

“So uh…the conference is off to a good start,” the unicorn began nervously, pawing her multicolored tail with her golden hooves.

“Yes, it is,” the dragon nodded. “More attendees this year than last. I suspect that’s due to dropping the fees.”

“A wise move, for a certainty,” the unicorn agreed. A dragon’s hoard was his prized possession, after all.

“Tell me true,” the dragon swirled the wine in his glass, “how are things with you?”

“They are going well,” the unicorn sipped her wine slowly. “And with you?”

“Eh, yes, they are going well also.” He stretched, his wings flapping with the movement. “I am off to watch some talks. It was good to see you, little dove.”

“I’m a unicorn,” she snorted.

The fur grinned beneath his guise. “Very well. It was good to see you, my little unicorn.”

“Thank you,” she lifted her chin. She raised her glass. “Send the community my regards.”

The dragon bowed dramatically. “Of course, my lady.”

Background music: Rains of Castamere-Peter Hollens-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4dc0OjFAw8&list=UUgITW_70LNZFkNna7VsXbuQ
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 11:39:57 pm by Iara Warriorfeather »
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2015, 08:36:57 am »
A interesting story Iara, and a cool twist for a furry story too.

Along with a good use of the word. "Modicum" 


I will see if I can come up with another word. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2015, 05:03:46 pm »
Thank you kindly, Old Rabbit! :)

RedYoshi, your phrase is next!

After that...I am open for suggestions once again! *rotates wrists and primaries in anticipation*
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2015, 08:07:41 am »
Here is another word. "Derivatives"  Not that unusual, but should be interesting to use
in a story. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2015, 11:20:37 pm »
Beware the Whispers...

Iara found herself in a nest that was not her own. Instead she was in a den lined with dried pine needles and ochre fur. A musky scent clogged her nostrils in the damp dawn air.

Iara wandered out of the den, fluffing her plumage and preening nervously. “Hello? Is…anyone here?”

He lay on a warm rock nearby, watching her move into the sunlight strewn clearing. His tailtip twitched.

A Microraptor chirruped at Iara as it scurried up a nearby tree. Iara blinked, stunned, for its chirrup hissed, You do not belong here. Iara had never heard the Microraptor speak before; they usually chattered amongst themselves in a jittery dialect only they understood.

Another avian, a Confuciusornithid, rattled its beak at her. Its cry seemed to hiss, You are weak.

Weak! Weak! Weak! several Confuciusornis repeated, their wings beating in a flurry as they moved about the canopy.

Iara shook herself from nose to tailfan. “This is getting a little weird…”

You’re the weird one, a sunning lizard’s eyes seemed to retort. Iara squinted at the basking brat. The lizard stuck its tongue out, tasting the air.

His velvet pawpads pressed into the dirt, silencing his movement through the underbrush as he made his way into the clearing.

“I really should be going, then…” Iara began to back away, toward the path that headed into the forest enclave she called home.

Good! Leave us alone, a turtle grunted as she stumbled across its shell. You clumsy fool!

Iara grunted, startled by the fall. She shut her eyes tight as she slowly stood up. A frog in a puddle behind her croaked, Dumb! Dumb!

Iara opened her eyes, finding herself nose to nose with a jaguar. She squealed, skittered backward, flashing her primaries outward as she nearly fell again.

“Oh, gods, please don’t eat me!” she shivered, crouching into her sleeping position, her wings outstretched rather than tucked inward.

The jaguar only stepped toward her, his brilliant green eyes flecked with ochre, like his fur. His talisman, a single blue Archaeopteryx feather, swung in the light on its chain, its fibers iridescent one moment and dull the next.

Iara’s eyes dilated and contracted in turns as she panicked. So this is how I die, she thought, her mind whispering to her in pure terror as the jaguar advanced steadily.

“Beware the whispers, hijita, for they whisper lies.”

His voice shattered her thoughts just then, and she began to regain composure. “What?” she squeaked, panting.

Die! Die! Die! A flock of Microraptor chattered as they made their way through the trees.

The jaguar sat before her, his breath calm and slow. “Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies.”

“But…but everything around me…I don’t feel accepted…”

The jaguar paced as he spoke, his voice ringing through the clearing. “Those are the voices within, tearing you down. They are the whispers you hear when you doubt yourself. Dispel them. Beware of them. They are lies. You are not who you think you are, when you are afraid. You are strong, strong, strong! Honor your strength! Be proud in who you are, despite your fears and your doubts. Let them fade with the mist in the sun! Beware the whispers, for they whisper lies.”

Iara closed her eyes as the jaguar stepped even closer to her, one of his eyes locking on her as he snuck past, inches away. She opened one eye, wincing.

The jaguar had vanished. The frog leaped out of the puddle, its croaks cheerful. The Microraptor chased one another up tree trunks, chittering greetings to her. The turtle she nearly stepped on continued its slow pace, determined to get back to its pond. The lizard had already scurried off in search of food.

“Remember this lesson, and all that I have taught you,” the jaguar’s voice echoed from a distance away, somewhere behind her, in the depths of the rainforest. “All is never as it seems.”
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2015, 09:10:29 am »
Another short story to be proud of Iara.. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2015, 12:28:02 pm »
Another short story to be proud of Iara.. :orbunny:

 :-[ Thank you! I will interpret Derivatives asap.  (:
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2015, 07:48:45 am »
Your welcome Iara.  I have a few more words as you have time. :orbunny:
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2015, 09:03:32 pm »
Finally! Here is Derivative

The professor tapped the board with his pointer, chalk dust drifting lazily to the floor. It was a warm spring afternoon, nearing the end of a long semester.

He droned on, "Let's say we have a curve, like so." He began to draw a graph on the chalkboard, tilting his head to the side to prevent his muzzle from getting in the path of his curve. His dark scales glimmered slightly in the sun, but he was as black as night, nearly blending into chalkboard itself. His toothy grin was permanent, but his tone was lackluster, as ever.

The students yawned, restlessly wiggling in their seats. The desks were small, old hand-me-downs from other prestigious universities in the city. One student, a jaguaress, kept gazing out the window, daydreaming. She doodled a heart with wings in the upper right corner of her notebook as the professor continued.

"We can measure the slope of the curve by calculating the difference between two points on it. These are fixed points. Their position does not change; they are linked by the slope. This particular curve has a positive slope."

The professor scribbled some equations on the board, calculating the slope of the curve. Several students dutifully copied his writing, but most were staring at their iPhones or chatting amongst themselves. The professor's hearing loss was a boon to most in his class.

The jaguaress added the equations to her paper when a paper crane fluttered to her desk. She looked around suspiciously, fearing a high school-esque prank.

A group of hunky jags and tigers were in the corner, discussing their next big frat party. Thin, preppy vixens snarled and giggled derisively as she looked their way. Definitely not from them.

"Now this slope we just calculated is an average--it is not the slope of the curve at a specific point. In fact, it is impossible to calculate this!"

A tortoise was struggling to keep up with the professor's writing. A capybara snorted and frowned, chewing loudly on a handful of Cheetos. Definitely not them, either.

"In order to find the slope of a curve at a specific point, we must derive it--calculate the derivative. A derviative is a change in slope between two specific points, until they reach zero."

A male jaguar sat two seats away from the jaguaress. He was engrossed in a bird guide tucked into his textbook, but kept glancing her way once in a while. She raised an eyebrow at him and he smiled shyly.

She noticed the origami paper underneath his books, the same the crane was made from.

"Dulcinea?" the professor called on the jaguaress, to her horror. Startled, she nearly dropped the delicate paper crane off her book.

"Yes, sir?" the jaguaress cleared her throat, trying not to pay attention to the giggles behind her.

"Can you calculate the derivative of x squared?" The professor shuffled toward her, holding out a nub of white chalk.

Everyone stared. Dulcinea straightened her skirt and took the chalk gently.

"Well, we start with the slope formula, delta y over delta x...delta y is the function of x added to delta x...minus the function of x."

Some students began to stop staring at their iPhones. A few pricked their ears as she spoke, writing so everyone could see. She spoke loudly but clearly, her smooth voice filling the room and silencing her fellow classmates.

"If the function of x is x squared...we substitute it into the original equation...and complete the square...simplifying, we get...2x plus delta x...and as delta x becomes zero...the derivative of x squared is 2x."

"Excellent!" the professor beamed. Dulcinea turned around. The students were paying attention, waiting for her next move.

"Um...that's all, I guess." Dulcinea blushed, her fur standing on end. She hastily took her seat. She was tempted to groom her facial fur, but ended up chewing her lip instead.

"So class, does everyone understand how derivatives work?"

The male jaguar tossed a paper airplane onto Dulcinea's desk.

"Open it after class," he mouthed to her as the professor ended his lecture.

Everyone filtered out of the room, including the jaguar who noticed Dulcinea. He winked at her in passing. She waited until the room was empty to unfold the plane and read the note.

Derivative-where once there was one, now there are two
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2015, 10:38:05 am »
That was well done Iara.  I like how you worked several characters into your
story. I always like your female lead characters too. They are intelligent
caring individuals. 

Okay I have a new word. In case your wondering where I get my words. I have been
reading a few books by Arther C. Clarke lately, and when I see a good one I try to jot it
down.

The word is "Concierge" :orbunny:



« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 10:44:41 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2015, 07:51:01 pm »
Thank you yet again Old Rabbit! You're keeping this post alive; for that I am grateful to you, lagomorph. :D

I love Arthur C. Clarke! I read 2001 and 3001 several times; he's one of my all time favorite authors. I also enjoy traveling and hotels, so we shall see what happens with Concierge. :)
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2015, 10:06:03 am »
Glad to help you my feathered friend.  :) Hopefully others will give you a word or
two in the future.

I have read the series of 2001 through 3001. Also several others. I am reading the
Rama series right now. I have always been a big fan of science fiction, and Mr Clarke
is one of my favorite authors too.  :orbunny:



« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 10:08:26 am by Old Rabbit »
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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2015, 01:58:32 am »
I'm not going to lie, I absolutely adore your stories!
Keep up the stupendous work! :)
May I suggest a word?
Pandemonium perhaps?

I'm looking forward to see "concierge" !
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 04:14:45 am by WhiteAkitaKeiko »
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2015, 09:08:38 am »
Concierge

Iara was startled from a dreamless sleep, her neck jerking off her shoulders and into the muggy night sky. A sizeable raccoon next to her managed to knock over a filthy trash bin, spewing its contents into the gutter and the nearby homeless shelters of U-Haul boxes and human odds and ends. Her lids began to shut involuntarily, but the raccoon’s noisy foraging kept her bright green eyes open.

She sighed. So far this new world was dreary and lonely. She preened constantly, disgusted by the thin air and its bizarre contents. She gasped for air some nights, coughed most days. The pigeons, her only living kin aside from the occasional hawk or swirl of finches in a bush, kept her company, cooing and feeding near her talons.

The humans, as she learned they preferred to call themselves, were even less welcoming than the environment. They reveled in their own packs, keeping to themselves and staring at square boxes with blue lights. They moved quickly, barely registering her presence. She wondered if she was an apparition, a ghost from a past too distant to ever hope to return to.

Home. That is what she needed to find. She remembered being in her nest of pine needles and cycad fronds, warm and cozy…and then she awoke in this strange place, where nothing was familiar and every turn held a horrible mechanical nightmare.

Every step she took made her legs ache. The air was stifling. Even the stars were different, and blocked by the cloudy haze she was sure was from some vast mechanical mountain, pumping its toxins into the sky.

She managed to flee down a few dingy alleyways by night—ones humans avoided, much to her relief—and often found herself in the company of funny fluffy creatures, not unlike larger versions of the burrowers she used to eat once in a while. The fluffy ones were mean, hissing as she approached, hunkering down and nibbling on some bit of plastic, desperate to get nutrients from the desolate world they inhabited. She pitied them, and then reflected on her own situation.

One day, she saw something through a human box. Her own kind, a dead one, but a friend, nevertheless. She stumbled across it while she took refuge in a green area—one of the few pieces of the world she knew. The trees were different but provided ample shade from the heat of the sun, and the bushes were comfortable enough to crouch in. She occasionally snacked on a hapless bird or rat, and if she got really lucky, some human tidbits, but her hunger ate at her, begged her to return home.

She snuck closer to the human box, keeping to the shrubs that surrounded it. It was midday, and the sun was too much for her. She was very thirsty, and very tired, but seeing the familiar outline of a lost soul like her made her skin prickle and plumage rise.

She dared to raise her head above the bushes.

Several lumps in the ground made a pathway toward the human box. Inside that box was her friend. She had to get inside, and not be seen. She didn’t know if humans hunted and ate creatures like her, but she thought it best she didn’t find out.

She took in several breaths, her chest shuddering quickly with the effort. She was glad she could get extra air into her body—she had no idea how the humans around her could survive in it.

She hunkered down to the ground, creeping slowly. She held her wings tight to her sides, kept her tail level, and bobbed her head slightly. Every muscle began to tense as she approached the edge of her refuge in the bushes. The shadows of the humans blocked the sun as they strode past, their voices loud and harsh.

She froze as a wet substance landed with a loud plop on the ground by the edge of the bushes.  The fluid oozed toward her foot. Too paralyzed with fear to move, she then winced and jerked her head sharply as the shriek of a human infant rattled her bones. The humans stopped to comfort the wailing young one, and Iara saw her chance to run past them, up the edge of the lumpy path.

Iara tensed, focused on the outline of her kin. She then opened her wings to the sides, twisting her wrists to allow her primaries to flare out, catching the air. She lunged forward, her legs stretching as far as they could, her muscles tense and taut. Her tailfan acted as a rudder as she deftly dodged human legs, keeping within their shadows. She bounded up one lump at a time. The lumps seemed endless, and she opened her mouth, her thin tongue cooling her blood as she kept up her reckless rush.

Her wings brushed past the humans, but no response from them reassured her. She finally found respite from the cruel sun, hopping weakly up the last lump to the outermost edge of the box, where shadows were cast from the columns.

She hunkered down in a dark corner of a column, glad of the shade. She saw the humans continue their walk down the lumps, chatting away as if she didn’t exist. She was glad none were hungry.

She then tilted her head to the side. The box was so bright! She wondered why—it wasn’t bright before, and now it was as if another sun was beating off its surface…as if…it was made of water? But how could it be made of water? Iara shook herself involuntarily. Humans loved their odd boxes, that much was certain.

She darted to and fro, wondering how she could reach her friend inside the box. The fact that her friend was dead was a macabre realization, and worse still considering it wasn’t on the ground but standing as if its flesh was stripped clean while alive. None of that mattered; Iara was determined to find a way home, and she felt this was it.

She waited. She watched the sun dip lower in the sky. She watched the shadows of the humans get longer, and less of them came out of the box. She then noticed a pattern she neglected to see before—each time a human went into the box, part of it made a hole. Each time a human went out, they went through the hole. Iara then realized—this was not just a box, it was a cave! A den for her dead friend! Perhaps they were grieving it, but Iara had no time for philosophy—she watched the box open and close…open and close…open….

Iara squawked and darted for the opening, past a human’s legs and into the cool den. The den closed behind her.

She found herself staring at not one, but two dead friends locked in mortal combat, as they would have done in life. She thought it bizarre, and called to them, despite knowing that bones never replied to one’s voice.

She ran in circles around the pair, dodging humans as she went, nearly slipping on the flat cold stone below her.

She then stopped, her head spinning. She glanced about, desperate to find a way home.

Another box blocked her path, and a human sat behind it, entranced by his tiny blue screened box as most were. He was chatting with another human, a female, and the way he puffed out his chest and preened told Iara some kind of courtship ritual was going on. She grunted, rolled her eyes. Now is not the time to mate! she felt like chiding the humans. Now is the time to send me home!

The box was black and had white symbols on it. The human had a silver thing on his chest, probably to show off its puffiness to any available female. Iara judged the distance between the floor and the top of the box and scrunched down as much as possible.

She leaped up, her wings spread wide for balance, her tailfan curled up as she landed on the black box.

In the meantime, the humans conversed.

“I’m a concierge,” the male explained to the female. His bright blue coloration reflected his status.

“Uh huh,” the female muttered, absorbed in her blue screened box. “What’s that?” Playing uninterested was an excellent tactic for vying for male attention. Iara tilted her head, watching the exchange between the humans, unable to understand their odd dialect, but amused by the ritual all the same.

“I can make sure you get where you need to go,” the male leaned in closer to the female. He lowered the volume of his voice, deepening it, “And I can hook you up with the hottest spots in town.”

Iara bobbed her head at the change in tone. She had never heard humans deliberately do so before. It must be some sort of mating call, she decided. She hopped closer to the pair.

“I’ve already got a date tonight,” the female demurred. The male seemed hurt but didn’t express his rejection by assuming a submissive posture. Instead, he became more aggressive, which surprised Iara.

“I can get you the MUSE tix for free, if you want,” the male went on. Iara was impressed by his persistence. Surely the female would be swayed by now, and then she could get on to the real business of getting home.

“I dunno…maybe…maybe some other time.” The female human turned away, lured by the rest of her bachelorette pack that lingered near yet another opening in the box.

The male sat behind the black box, clearly upset. Iara flapped her wings and chirruped, as if to get the human’s attention. But the human only stared glumly at his box with the blue screen.

I need to get home! she insisted, opening her jaws and trilling, beating her wings loudly. The human behind the black box paid her no mind, only yawned and moved his thumbs across the screen.

Iara slowly realized the human could not see her. He couldn’t see her! How could she ever get back to her nest now?

She turned around and bounded back onto the cold stone floor. She then spied more of her friends, all dead, from the corner of her eye.

Before she took one step toward the new opening, a larger human strode toward the human behind the black box. This was a male, very showy. Iara decided he was an alpha, given his advanced age and colorful plumage. She scrunched down behind the leg of the herbivore, curiously watching their exchange.

“Hey, hey you!” the alpha male barked at the male behind the black box.

“Yeah—“ the other male absentmindedly blurted.

“I need to arrange a ride tonight to the gala, and I need it now.” The alpha was serious. Iara saw a muscle in his jaw twitch. She wondered if humans snapped their jaws in agitation like she did.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m on it,” the other male mumbled, too absorbed in his tiny box. The alpha suddenly grabbed the other male’s box. Iara’s eyes widened. Definitely a challenge in territory! She decided this exchange was more interesting than the mating ritual.

“Listen up, idiot,” the alpha snarled at the stunned male, who finally and reluctantly made eye contact with the alpha. “Don’t fool around with me. Don’t you realize who you’re talking to?”

“Oh, crap! Sir, I’m so sorry, I—“ The male realized his error and scrambled to get his paperwork in order.

The alpha thrust the box back toward the male. The alpha then turned on his heel, heading toward the opening Iara wanted to see.

Iara chirruped, tilting her head at the alpha. She was startled when the alpha paused mid stride.

The alpha male human turned back, looked around as if he had heard something. To him, it sounded like a bird.

“Hey,” he gently stopped another human in blue, this time a female. Iara found it interesting that males and females, once they had reached a certain status in this pack, were the same color. “Is there a finch in here?”

“No, sir…one did get in earlier downstairs, but we had the janitorial staff shoo it out.”

“Huh,” he mused. He smiled at the female and she took her leave. He then resumed his walk toward the opening.

Iara blinked. Did this human hear me? Am I invisible to all but this one? Perhaps I can be seen after all!

Iara followed the alpha male human, careful to keep her distance. Her dead kindred were all around her, and she paused. She flapped her wings and chattered a mourning dirge. If my kind are gone…how can I get home? Is this my new home? Am I to die here too?

The alpha male human definitely heard the familiar snap of wings, the fluted call of a bird. He stopped dead in his tracks and turned toward Iara.

“I swear, if there is a bird in here, someone’s head is gonna roll…this is the last thing I need to deal with…”

He stopped in front of her. His polished shoes reflected the odd light in the box. Iara skittered backward, hunkering under a bench’s shadows.

She breathed roughly, hoping the alpha male would not get a hunger pang and try to grab her. To her dismay, the human bent down, staring under the bench carefully.

Iara shut her eyes so that her eyeshine would not betray her presence. She scrunched her body as small as she could, sweeping her tailfan against her body and folding her wings as tightly as she could. Please don’t see me, please…I just want to go home…

The alpha male human’s large hand moved toward her…Iara held her breath, terrified….and snagged a dust bunny under the bench.

“Gah,” the human grunted in disgust at his prize. “This place needs to be cleaned a lot more often…”

To Iara’s great relief, he walked away, in a hurry to whatever destination was deeper in this box. She noted the sky outside was dark once more.

I need out of here, she thought. She ran toward the opening she went into earlier that day to get inside the box…and the opening was gone!

Iara wilted on the cold stone floor. She felt the tears spring to her eyes. Perhaps I am dead, like them…perhaps I am but a ghost, seeking a home I will never see again…

…and then the concierge made an opening in the box.

Iara gathered the last of her strength, and ran for the opening, half bounding, half flying. She rushed past the humans walking toward the door. One, a female human, paused. She could have sworn she felt the brush of feathers on her legs…

Iara was relieved to have escaped the box. She wearily bounded down the lumpy path and headed toward the green space. She found a dead rat and tore it to pieces. She swallowed some dingy water from a puddle in the gutter along with the pigeons. They cooed at her, their melodies far away and yet familiar. Iara curled up under the bushes, and fell into a restless sleep, hoping she would one day wake up in her own nest, in her own time once again.
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Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Iara's Writing Corner-Prompt Challenge!
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2015, 10:19:19 pm »
I read through your latest stories.  I think you nailed the mood for my prior phrase, and your story on "derivative" spoke to my inner math geek (while you tripped up on rather minor details, I'm too pleased about the thorough and otherwise accurate description of a mathematical derivative's definition to care).

I'd like to enqueue a word that's inspired from a game that I've been marginally obsessed about recently, in which the will to keep going is literally the power to undo your own end (a pun presumably intended by the creator).  I'd like to enqueue the word "determination".
"Perfect normality is impossible.  Be unique!"
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