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 The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition

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Salvarin
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PostSubject: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 18:09

Objectionable Content Warnings:
 

The blade slides smoothly under the brined flesh. Azaric separates fat, skin and muscle cleanly from the mon-keigh under his knife. She moans in delightful agony as he continues his work. She is unable to move, her body paralyzed by the drugs he has been injecting into her for days now, but the pain she feels is heightened to unimagined levels.

Her flesh is sunkissed and supple. Perfect for the boots he prepares for his lord. Azaric is a masterful cordwainer (shoemaker) whose art was perfected over a millennia. He uses the flesh of the lesser races to craft exquisite shoes of all styles. He knows just how to prepare the leather while the host animal is still alive.

From the captured he picks the ones with the most pride in their eyes. Those who even after seeing the terror of Commorragh, keep confidence in their survival. Azaric chooses the prideful ones because their flesh yields the best results. Their screams bleed into his work, giving the undeniable air of despair. He, like all his kind, know the pride his victims feel is a shallow emotion reserved for the lesser, barely sentient, races. A lesson he delights in showing his subjects over the many weeks in which he turns their skin to leather while he impregnates them with fear and shame.  

Pride is naught but a pale shadow when compared to the overwhelming transcendence from the clear scream of terror in the heat of a raid; from the ruination visible in the eyes of the captured; from the sweet taste of blood misted into the air; or even from the perfect stitch.

Azaric holds the square of flesh cut from the mon-keigh’s inner thigh in his hand. He marvels at what his skill has wrought. She watches, paralyzed eyes unblinking, as he examines a piece of her. The salted solution she soaks in laps at her raw thigh sending vibrations of pain up through her body and escaping from her lips.  

On a table nearby is her severed foot, broken and twisted into a new form. The cordwainer drapes her flesh over the foot and stitches it into place. The mon-keigh’s bare breasts rise and fall more rapidly. The paralytic drugs begin to wane. She can wiggle her fingers. Freedom begins to return to her remaining limbs as the monster crafts a boot from her skin.

She can move. A knife is within reach. The cordwainer continues to work. Her body aches and her muscles feel atrophied as she escapes from the soaking solution. She steadies herself with a hand on the tub. Her heart burns. As her last act she desires to kill the monster for her emperor, for her ruined body, for her stolen pride. She raises the blade to strike.

Azaric turns to her, a gleam in his eye, and his translator speaks, “How thoughtful to bring the knife. We have so much work to do.”


Last edited by Salvarin on Thu Jun 05 2014, 20:53; edited 7 times in total
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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 19:26

Wonderfully dark mate, gotta say this captures the discomfort surrounding the haemonculi pretty well.
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Salvarin
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 19:33

@Vindicavi wrote:
Wonderfully dark mate, gotta say this captures the discomfort surrounding the haemonculi pretty well.

Thank you! I am glad the idea of him being a haemonculus was apparent enough.
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Anterzhul
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 22:23

Really like the creativity and darkness of the idea, just a few points:
Paragraph 1: she moans ... his work. Her body paralyzed from the drugs.....
I think the period should be a comma(seems more logical), and change from to by.

Paragraph 4: For is not pride...
I think you missed a word here.


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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 22:41

@Anterzhul wrote:
Paragraph 4: For is not pride...
I think you missed a word here.

I don't think so. English is a ridiculous language and this does make sense in its sentence.
EDIT: Re-read the sentence; the phrase you highlighted needs a question mark at the end of the sentence for it to make sense, but the sentence used is a bit too long for it to happen.
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Salvarin
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 23:25

@Anterzhul wrote:
Really like the creativity and darkness of the idea, just a few points:
Paragraph 1: she moans ... his work. Her body paralyzed from the drugs.....  
I think the period should be a comma(seems more logical), and change from to by.

Paragraph 4: For is not pride...
I think you missed a word here.


Thank you for the input! I am going to make some changes.
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Salvarin
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Mon May 12 2014, 23:27

@Cakeaunoob wrote:
@Anterzhul wrote:
Paragraph 4: For is not pride...
I think you missed a word here.

I don't think so. English is a ridiculous language and this does make sense in its sentence.
EDIT: Re-read the sentence; the phrase you highlighted needs a question mark at the end of the sentence for it to make sense, but the sentence used is a bit too long for it to happen.

The question, at least the way I intended it, is rhetorical and in most grammar sites I have visited they do not require a question mark.


Thank you for your input!

EDIT: After thinking over your concerns about it requiring a question mark, I decided to change the sentence to try and make the idea more clear.
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Tue May 13 2014, 08:33

Definitely a solid piece! I don't even have any suggestions. I was worried about halfway through that no conflict was going to emerge, but you took me all the way out to Mordor and then brought me right back to the Shire. Great stuff!
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ArmchairOrrery
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Sat May 17 2014, 19:48

Thought I'd return the favor and give yours a look-see, hope you don't mind!

This is very atmospheric and you nailed the um, graphical aspect to the proverbial boot.  Great opener, sets the tone perfectly and puts the reader in mind of what the captured mon-keigh is feeling.  The bit about "fat, skin and muscle" really carves the image into the mind.

What I most appreciated was the way you stitched in the sexual metaphor of the piece, "impregnate" with fear, "moans" of pain etc.  The thing I really like in most short fiction is cleverness, and you've shown it here with admirable subtlety.

I'll nitpick one thing, since I believe we'll be partially judged on grammar:

@Salvarin wrote:
Pride is naught, but a pale shadow

I don't think a comma is required there?  Otherwise, nice one.  And I got to learn a new word!
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Salvarin
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Sat May 17 2014, 23:45

@ArmchairOrrery wrote:
Thought I'd return the favor and give yours a look-see, hope you don't mind!



I'll nitpick one thing, since I believe we'll be partially judged on grammar:

@Salvarin wrote:
Pride is naught, but a pale shadow

I don't think a comma is required there?  Otherwise, nice one.  And I got to learn a new word!

Thank you! I didn't catch the ',' and appreciate you pointing it out.
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Unorthodoxy
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Wed Jun 11 2014, 01:00

If I was her I'd jhave used the knife on myself.

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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Wed Jun 11 2014, 14:20

@Unorthodoxy wrote:
If I was her I'd jhave used the knife on myself.
Agreed.
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: The Cordwainer - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition    Fri Jun 27 2014, 04:48

There are just an array of wonderful little touches here and it really pulls the piece together beautifully. The sexual undertone, the examination of a simple job in Commoragh (an aspect of the DE that I *love* exploring) and even just a lot of the description. This is horror at its finest.

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