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 "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition

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ArmchairOrrery
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PostSubject: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Sat May 17 2014, 02:06

Objectionable Content Warnings:
 

She stares at me with hate in her eyes.  I have never met an Eldarith child before.

I don’t think I ever was one myself.  I wasn’t when Eskar found me in the twisted ruins of my kabal’s estate – I’d just returned from running reconnaissance in the streets of Commorragh, my young body slick with the viscous fluid of the lubricator pipe I’d shimmied up to improve my vantage.  There was blood on his klaive, the blood of my kabal.  He smiled a crooked smile and turned the flat of the blade towards me.  Viscera smoked and crackled along the letters of the inscription: Pride before the Fall.

I did not flinch when he touched it to my cheek, evaporating flesh into a twisted mirror of the scar he wore across his own unhelmed face.  “You are mine now.”  It was the first time I tried to kill him.

I remember burning aspirant Tyrrog under the mirthless gaze of Khaine’s iron statue.  I tried to force Eskar into the fire.  He laughed.

I remember trailing behind his reaver, a bundle of flayed hands hooked to his hull beckoning me on.  My craft made the air scream as I pushed myself faster, faster, but he was laughing – always just out of reach – and we were upon our Craftworld cousins.

I remember deceiving him, sliding a hidden blade between his armor as we sparred.  He tightened and the weapon snapped from my fingers inches from his flesh, pinched between black armored plates.  He knocked me to the earth and I lay there, breathing raggedly.

I remember his laugh, sharp, curt.  I remember the final time it burbled up, a well of blood spilling from his ravaged face.  It was never more genuine.

“Why do you laugh?”  His body was a ruin, loops of torso threaded with tendons.  “I’ve won.”  I hauled him around, gazed into his weeping good eye.  “Why didn’t you kill me when you had the chance?”

“Why are we druchii?  When the chaos god came, how many fled, hid away in shame, built pretty cities to rot in?  Not us.  No god or mortal shall ever change our ways – we are the unending, the unyielding.”

“Pride,” I growled.  “From before the Fall.”

“No – after it.”  The look in his single eye was defiant, and I saw in the pupil my own reflection and I knew as I peeled the chunks of my new armor from his charred skin what he had done, how he had honed the blade that ended him.  He saw his handiwork and was, in the moment he fell, proud.

I have never met an Eldarith child before.

She stares at me with hate in her eyes, and she does not flinch when I press the crackling klaive into her cheek, evaporating flesh into a twisted mirror of my own scar.   One glyph shows clearly in her fused skin: Pride, it reads.  “You are mine now.”

It is the first time she tries to kill me.
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Salvarin
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Sat May 17 2014, 16:28

I enjoyed this story a great deal! The dialogue is fresh and interesting and the story set up is fun. Nice work.
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ArmchairOrrery
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Sat May 17 2014, 19:33

@Salvarin wrote:
a positive critique

Thanks very much!  The thing is EXACTLY 500 words, ha.  I think half the fun of the contest was just trying to cram a story into that word limit.  I'm not well-versed in flash fiction, so great practice as well.
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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Thu May 29 2014, 15:29

I'd love to read more, if more were to be written. Smile
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ArmchairOrrery
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Fri May 30 2014, 03:28

@Cakeaunoob wrote:
I'd love to read more, if more were to be written. Smile

Haha, you are too kind!
<-----Look, I'm blushing. Sadly I deleted my original when I trimmed up, but honestly I think this version is the best version - more concise, you know? Or do you mean I ought to write a follow-up?

I read your entry and I see we hit upon a similar theme. Smile Guess it's no surprise I enjoyed it!
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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Fri May 30 2014, 12:49

I was hoping for a follow-up.
And yes, I suppose we did hit quite a similar theme! Smile
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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Fri May 30 2014, 16:46

That's a pretty impressive piece mate, really enjoyed it and hope to read more from you in the future. Smile
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Fri May 30 2014, 19:52

I think that if I had read this before submitting my own, I wouldn't have bothered trying to compete against it. Good stuff.
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ArmchairOrrery
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Sat May 31 2014, 04:25

@Cakeaunoob wrote:
I was hoping for a follow-up.
@Vindicavi wrote:
hope to read more from you in the future.
That's gotta be the best compliment a writer can get. I'll have to come up with something as an apology to Cakeaunoob for accidentally ghosting your idea!

@Jimsolo wrote:
I think that if I had read this before submitting my own, I wouldn't have bothered trying to compete against it.
That is too funny - I had exactly the same thought after reading yours! I hope the judges don't read this, but I think your use of the prompt word was hella creative, and that's a primary point in this competition. People have trouble believing it from themselves, but you're damn good. Taking things from a perspective outside the DE themselves was a brilliant stroke.

And really, this is still anyone's game. I got my fingers crossed for a couple more entries before the deadline! Reading them has been a ton of fun.
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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Sat May 31 2014, 12:06

@ArmchairOrrery wrote:
I'll have to come up with something as an apology to Cakeaunoob for accidentally ghosting your idea!

Not a problem at all, Armchair. I enjoyed reading your story as much as I enjoyed writing my own. Smile
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: "Pride Goeth" - Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual Fiction Competition   Fri Jun 27 2014, 04:49

I covered a lot of thoughts in the PMs - let me just say again though that this is a wonderful piece and one of my absolute favorites in the competition.

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