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August 2, 2013
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He staggered to the ruins, soaked with sweat. Blood dripped into his eyes in crimson rivulets. It was over. He was home now. Fatigue and nostalgia meshed together in a haze of memories and reality. The thick clouds above him blurring and molding together into a dreary gray sky matched his mood.

How long had it been since he had seen this place: Weeks, months, ages? He ran his hand over the remains of a house wall. The craggy mortar and soft moss beneath his fingers seemed strange. Had this been his home? The toppled chimney behind him was growing a wild garden in the fireplace. Was this really home?

It had been a long journey, there and back again. He had fought and even loved it at times. He had the scars to prove it. He squeezed his arm tighter. More blood seeped through his fingers. The last battle that plagued him was finally over. Disapproval was the only thing that had spared him. The dense air popped his ears, muffling everything but his thoughts.

He ground his teeth at the memory. How stupid had he been to not predict a rogue ambush?

He had let the prospect of being so close to home drop his defenses and war trained instincts like a fresh recruit. The sharp blow to his head left him fumbling for his senses and his blade. His skull was still throbbing from the fresh wound.

When the stranger saw his sheath emblazoned with his company’s insignia and rank. The optimistic assault turned to calm malice.

The rogue spat then put up their knife before vanishing into the hazy shadows off the roadside.

The sting of shame from a highwayman was like being tossed into a wasp’s nest. In a way, the stranger denied him the a well-earned death. Life was cruel and Death had become an odd comfort in his time.

Plip. A raindrop landed on his arm. He jerked back at the cold tap.

He shook the memories from his mind. Blood seeped and clung to his shirt then ran down his arm. His return was far from the joyous welcoming throng or the spiteful glares or stones and chicken’s blood being thrown his way. His greeting was solitude. After trials, battles, doubts, and horrors to last him more than a lifetime’s worth; silence and rest were perfect salutations. More drops fell around him a soft applause of watery hands.  

Was it worth it? Was this all he had to show for, to prove, this tiny, shambled hamlet around him? He slumped down. Blood clouded his eyes again. He swiped it away. The conglomeration of forgotten homes stood like sentry of guards around him. He scanned the remnants around him, He recalled scattered faces of friends, families, his family, to protect their memories, life and hardships with none but him to remember it. Others had survived, fled to other villages, only he dared to return here.

The breeze ruffled his hair before a gentle kiss of rain washed over him.  The pelt of water seeped into every garment giving refreshment. He smiled at the irony of the unspoken welcome. He closed his eyes, giving exhaustion a chance to retreat from the invigorating hospitality. The wind tugged his soaked shirt and vest with childlike eagerness to be noticed. Yeah, it was worth it, He was home. Tomorrow could wait for a proper welcome. This was all that mattered now. It was worth it.
A story to accompany :icondragonsong12: 's picture fav.me/d1emqlt Here's hoping you enjoy. For some reason upon seeing this I was drawn in by the juxtaposition of the expression and mood the piece offered. I didn't feel like the young man was a lone warrior or mercenary for hire, but a soldier having returned home with a little worse for wear with an intimacy of doubts and a kinship to death that seems to be known only to comrades in arms. Yet there is this spark of reassurance that really drew my inspiration.

3-31-14
Holy moley! I am a day late to notice this, but I never expected this to ever occur. Thank you so much for the DD! Also thank you to OHiNeedTea and GrimFace242 for the suggestion and feature! and the rest of you for your amazing comments!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-03-30
:iconfreshmonkeys:
freshmonkeys Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
this is well written. Describing the raindrops as applause was great.

I'd remove the backstory. It's good to keep the reader guessing, and it interrupts the flow of the scene. If this were part of a longer story you could add it in later or hint at it. Well done nonetheless.
Reply
:iconraze-two:
Raze-Two Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is a beautifully written piece, one which I can only hope to replicate.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much. I am certain that with practice, perseverance and a keen eye you can write just as wonderful piece.
Reply
:iconraze-two:
Raze-Two Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :D
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
no problem. Keep writing and grab a story you are passionate to tell.
Reply
:iconerfdog10:
erfdog10 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I find that this piece is really impressive. The detail is evident, and the story well-written. I would only say that the sentence length could use a bit more variation in certain places -- however, you definitely make this writing style work, so it's really just an observation. Nice job on this!
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for your comments and observation. I'm just completely blown away right now. but I do see your point on varying sentence lengths. I'm just happy to hear that you found it worthwhile and enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconerfdog10:
erfdog10 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! I would be blown away too, so I don't blame you.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. This was the best surprise I have gotten in a while.
Reply
:iconwolvenmage:
Wolvenmage Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
Reading this feels... it makes me feel like I'm there. Like the story is what's happening to me, it's that relatable. It's rare to find something that can do that...
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Seeing your comment is an absolute pleasure to read. Thank you so much I am just swelling to the gills with pride that I managed to put a reader like you into my words.
Reply
:iconwolvenmage:
Wolvenmage Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
Please, I must say thank you. It takes a truly gifted writer to create that feeling. Just stumbling across it was a stroke of pure luck and joy. Thank you for writing it! ^^ I write myself, but even trying to place myself there, in my own work, isn't always successful. I only wish I had your beautiful gift. I look forward to other writings from you.
Reply
:iconflyofdragon:
FlyofDragon Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. When I read this, I was completely swept up in the story and I could really see it. Then I went and I looked at the picture and I think you really nailed it in terms of the character. He feels like a melancholy but almost romantic (with the rain) kind of guy. And the imagery was just...wow.

Well done you! A truly well deserved DD :)
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm happy to hear that you found yourself wrapped up in this. I hope you enjoyed the illustration also. Thank you for the congratulations.
Reply
:icontheastrologist:
TheAstrologist Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
Very beautiful. :icongiveflowerplz: It was a very emotional story and an absolute pleasure to read. I liked it a lot. :heart:
Congratulations on the DD!! :woohoo: :dance: :hooray: :party::happybounce:

Well done, keep up the good work. :clap:
-Elizabeth :huggle:
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I plan to do some more work soon. Thank you for the encouragement and congratulations.
Reply
:iconmorticia-lynne:
Morticia-Lynne Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Student Writer
Gorgeously emotional piece! I love the sudden split from the feels to be attacked by the random guy, then continuing back to the peaceful depressiveness. I have no idea why everyone is complaining about it being purple (I literally had to google it because it was such a unique term to me), it breaks and splits as a real dying man's thoughts would. You can't keep clear-headed when you're gushing gallons of blood.
This picture truly tells a story in full that many entire books never could, stunning work!
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:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. for the review and I appreciate your thoughts on it. I loved putting in small details so the piece has more life. the backstory was the hardest part of this. since I didn't want to detract from the sad tranquility too much but I wanted to explain how and why he got injured. You have made my day with your comment. Thank you so much.
Reply
:iconmorticia-lynne:
Morticia-Lynne Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Student Writer
Sorry for late response,
It's no problem, you did a marvelous job!
You explained it in a perfect manor, it was truly no problem.
Have an awesome day :)
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You too. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
Reply
:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014   Writer
Congrats on the DD!
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
thank you. I was quite confused by the onslaught of comments until I saw this, but yeah, thank you. I am blown away.
Reply
:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014   Writer
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Indeed. It was a welcome surprise to say the least.
Reply
:iconkaritbb:
KariTBB Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Personally, I don't find this too purple, I like emotional, descriptive writings :)
Either way: Really loved this one. I can see all the time and effort you put into it and it was really worth it :clap:
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm glad you admire the dedication that went into this piece. I had quite some trouble balancing the description, tone and pacing with this piece, but I am so elated to hear from you and others that my work was worth a good read.
Reply
:iconthemitmit:
TheMitmit Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Student Writer
He staggered to the ruins soaked with sweat.
Without a comma, this makes me think the ruins are sweating.

How long had it been since he had seen this place; Weeks, months, ages? 
This should be a colon.

It had been a long journey; He had fought and even loved it at times, there and back again. 
I would remove the semicolon and make it two sentences. It's good to avoid using them at all costs, as they create long, clunky sentence structures.

I think the purple prose has already been mentioned-it got better as the piece went along, but it was still present. It all read very archaic, rather than like modern prose. Try to simplify your sentence structures (avoid lots of commas). Don't opt for a more obscure word when a plain one will do. This will make your writing more modern, and let the emotions of your character shine through more. 

I didn't quite understand his peace at the end. It wasn't what I was expecting, it seemed a bit rushed to me. I would have thought his emotions at the end would be more...mixed? 

Overall, I liked the subject matter, and the emotions were good. However, I felt it was too short. I didn't quite get a sense of what was going on in this character's head. I feel it could be expanded on. 



Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for your critique.

I have applied your suggestions of the comma and the colon.

I intended some parts to read clunky because as the illustration suggests some people tend to ramble or have disjointed thoughts when in an intense state. And I'm glad you found the tone to be archaic! That's what I was wanting the reader to notice that this is a different time/place by the wording.

I understand the purple prose is a problem (you're lucky you didn't read the first two revisions)and yes it drives me batty also rereading through it. I still revise, edit and rewrite portions without detracting from the tone when I feel I have found the words.

Again, thank you for your time and critique I appreciate it.
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:iconthemitmit:
TheMitmit Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Student Writer
You're welcome. 
Reply
:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
It's very good. There's some places where it gets just a bit too purple and some sentences could have been shorter/clearer. Also there's a few misused semicolons, but that's about it.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the critique feedback I appreciate it. If you have the time could you point out where the writing gets too purple and the misused semicolons? I'd like to know how to avoid these errors and mistakes in the future.
Reply
:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
The first sentence although good, is a bit long/confusing. I think something like this "He staggered to the ruins soaked with sweat. Crimson rivulets of blood dripped into his eyes." would work better. I would even go further. Your face is made to shield you from liquid getting into your eyes unless it's literally pouring. If you want me to get the image blood is literally in his eyeballs, then it works great, if you mean it's dripping down his face than put that, not eyes or, "dripped by his eyes." / "from his eyebrows."

As for purple prose. You don't have excessive amounts, so you're good. You just have the occasional simile/metaphor that just doesn't really flow well. Too many in one piece and it can feel purple. One example: "Reality and nostalgia blurred together like the clouds above him." There's several problems here. First, reality/nostalgia. I'm assuming you want to convey his memories are blurring with reality? But then nostalgia is a feeling not the actual memories. Then, "like the clouds above him." It's really hard to say why some similes do/don't work. Here I think the problem is that you're comparing something vague to something vague. You're not comparing his memories to something the reader is familiar with (water swirling down a drain, for example). Unless the element in the story is pre-established, it's hard to compared things to it. I've come across this problem many times, as the writers, to us, it is familiar, remember, to the reader, it isn't. So just an example of what it could be rephrased to and still keep the meaning (I hope) "Nostalgia clouded his mind. Reality blurred and twisted like water swirling down a drain." Not sure if it would be appropriate to use drains... but that was my attempt.

"The rogue’s ambush; how stupid had he been?" was one semicolon. Best guide on semi-colons ever: theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolo…

Hope that helps you see better what I'm getting at. They're not huge mistakes, but it's like it needs that final round of editing. Maybe put the piece away for a while then look back at it a few weeks later with fresh eyes.
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:iconsonamyfan362:
SonAmyFan362 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional Writer

You're very talented, my friend. I love the way you use omnitopias, like "Plip." to indicate the moment when a rain drop lands.

 

I also like some of the expressions you use, such as "The breeze ruffled his hair before a gentle kiss of rain washed over him." .

 

Your work has really caught my attention, and I hope you continue to write, eh.

Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I normally write short poems, haiku and the like. I am trying to expand on my story-telling. I appreciate your encouragement and kind words.
Reply
:iconneomerlin:
neomerlin Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Student Writer
Nicely emotive and a good use of descriptive language. But perhaps a bit too purple at times.

I actually wasn't sure what was happening at times. 
"...crimson rivulets dripping into his eyes" Just assume that I'm an idiot. People tell me that's easy to do. What are these crimson rivulets? Hair dye? Blood? Creaming soda? It's not made clear. I'm not taking the piss, it was just never clear. Always err on the side of clarity. Descriptions are rarely a good substitute for saying what you're describing.

On a technical note, dialogue needs a line break when someone begins talking. Even if it's in flash backs. Even if they're the first one to talk. Line break.

That was the other part I didn't understand. Was this rogue he was drawing a sword on there or was he flasing back to it? Is that why he was bleeding? Is that the memory making him grind his teeth?

There are just examples. It's a strong piece, over all. It certainly isn't bad. It reads well but it could do with more clarity in what is happening. I'm too confused to see what is happening in my mind's eye.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the critique and pointing out the lack of clarity here. I really appreciate you pointing out the trouble areas. I was going off a picture as reference for this piece. I could have used a preview picture or an illustration to aid the storytelling. But I do see your point in using clear concise language for description.

I completely forgot about the dialogue break. Thank you for pointing that out.

I will at least rewrite the flashback. I wasn't happy with it but I felt
like I needed to give an explanation of how or why he got in his condition. I will see about rewriting other parts to be more defined and reduce some of the purpleness.
Reply
:iconpeacelovemangoes:
PeaceLoveMangoes Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay, this was very good!  The descriptions were incredible, especially the first few paragraphs, and then at the end again. 

The flashbacks were very interesting--you make it just vague enough to not be too detailed, but you give us enough information so we actually know what's going on.  :)  Again, details: very excellent. 

This may sound strange, but I really like the paragraph lengths.  The first is short, concise, and then leads into a few longer ones.  Right in the middle, there's a break with another short, three-sentence paragraph, and then again at the end.  (I hope you get what I mean by that.) 

There were a few grammatical errors: 

"He slumped down blood was clouding his eyes again."  I'd add a comma in there, or maybe make it into two sentences. 

"...scanned the remnants around him, He recalled scattered..." Replace the comma with a period. 

"The pelt of water seeped into every garment giving refreshment."  I'd maybe add a comma after "garment" and also change "pelt" to pellets?  (That last bit was just a suggestion, you don't have to change any words you don't want to.) 

All in all, very gripping and descriptive and emotional.  Fantastic! 
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:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the critique. I figured there were a few grammatical errors that I couldn't see. Thank you for pointing them out. I'm glad you liked the work. I am blown away to hear so much positive and critical responses from it. Thank you for taking your time to type out your feedback. I do appreciate it.
Reply
:iconisengim:
Isengim Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, Padawan; very good. You are learning.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. Glad to hear it meets your approval. Was there anything in specific that caught your eye?
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:iconscarecrowlover:
Scarecrowlover Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"Soaked with sweat and crimson rivulets dripping into his eyes." This is when I knew I was getting into something good. I must be honest, I took the time to read the whole thing before I fed my desire to look at the drawing that inspired you, and I must say, you did a wonderful job at depicting the scene, although I sensed yours to be much darker. I respect how you managed to make a scene which was essentially the scene of a bleeding man who sits in the rain, and made it riveting. I must say though, my favorite part was when you wrote "The pelt of water seeped into every garment giving refreshment." That imagery is so incredibly vivid, and it really makes that water seem more of a refreshing refuge, as opposed to a murky resting place.
As an an aspiring writer myself, I salute you.
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
wow, Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. I'm also glad to hear you enjoyed it also.
Reply
:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What fascinates me about this is that you took this in a direction I never would have thought of - which is honestly exactly what I was hoping to see. :D It really re contextualizes the original picture, and it's like I'm looking at it all over again!

You have a real gift for expressing mood and emotion. I was fully immersed into this in the first couple of lines. Somber and melancholy, but optimistic in the end. I love it!
Reply
:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm glad to know you liked my interpretation of your work and how it turned out. The posturing, expressions and details you put into your art are a gift as well, I love when all the elements harmonize in a picture and you do it beautifully. I really wanted to incorporate the storm and rain as much as I could since it's a big part of the picture as the character.

Looking through the comments of your piece you can tell your sister that this guy now has a story. ;)
Reply
:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, I will have to pass it on to her. Thanks so much! I think you captured a lot here!
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:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
cool, I hope she likes this too. I expect a report of her feedback if you can. jk, kinda. Thank you for your words of satisfaction.
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