The Trial: Revised

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by I. R. Shogun, May 24, 2006.

  1. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    I cannot rightly say what has afflicted my good friend in recent days. However it is obvious he did encounter something during that dig. He is an archaeologist in his middle thirties, I do not quite remember just how old, but until recent days he had been in very good shape, both physically and mentally. Since his return however he was scarcely recognizable as the same man he was before he left, if he truly is the same man in his own mind. I have spoken with him long on what he saw on his dig there in South America, and what he has said is clearly not the speech of a man who is all there. However I have taken it upon myself to write down his story for reasons I cannot fully myself explain.

    He says that he cannot fully remember the earlier part of his trip, or how he made it home, but only what took place in what he called the "horrible temple of blasphemy and nameless evil." He led a small group, between three and five other men accompanying him through the tunnels when they found it. "It was much larger than any temple we'd found above ground, so large it seemed impossible that it was fully beneath the ground, and it was unlike any that we'd seen in any other civilization. It was made of an odd green stone, it's form composed of bizarre angles that seemed impossible for a building to stand upon," he had said, "And yet there was space above it, we hadn't dug under a mountain of that I am most certain, but that was the only reasonable place such a structure could exist and have room around it still." He said that they hadn't though much of it, surely it was just their eyes playing tricks they thought, they were more concerned with the wealth and fame they would gain from this discovery. A civilization that until now no one knew existed! They decided there would be time to explore it later, as consulting one of the men's watch it was nearing nightfall and they wanted to alert the rest of the dig crew of what they'd found.

    They began to turn back when they heard voices further down in the tunnel. They knew they hadn't been followed by anyone else in the crew, so this was another amazing discovery. Was it possible that this temple was still inhabited? An underground civilization was something typical of science fiction tales, but hadn't been a very common thing as far as any of the group knew of in human civilization. It seemed possible my friend had supposed, there were many animals in these tunnels, and if they had been living down here long enough Darwin's theories declared they would have developed a means of seeing in the dark, or being able to detect objects in their path in a way similar to that of bats. So they waited for the voices further down to arrive, a temple was one thing, but a whole new civilization of men, still living as they had centuries ago was a discovery of greater magnitude than most archeologist's ever dared to even dream.

    After several moments of intense waiting the other people arrived. My friend wasn't able or wasn't willing to go into great detail in their description, but he did tell me they seemed oddly unlike any human's he'd seen. Their skin was surprisingly dark for never having seen sunlight as he supposed they wouldn't have, and their eyes appeared either permanently closed, or in a constant very tight squint, also they seemed completely hairless. Despite their lack of eyes they very clearly noticed my friend's group as they stopped, and in what was even more surprising than any discoveries thus far they spoke! Not some odd, foreign tongue that couldn't be deciphered, they spoke perfect unbroken English! They didn't say anything of names but they declared they were happy that my friend's group had come, and invited them to the temple, as they had arrived at the beginning of some great trial of some criminals of great misdeeds.

    My friend's group was so enraptured by their discoveries, and actually being invited to this temple by people that surely knew it and could act as guides for them that they immediately agreed. The strange subterranean men led them into the temple's large strange doors that like the temple were at strange and ridiculous angles no man had ever thought to build with. When they entered my friend and his group was astounded to find it lit as though they were under the sun above ground. Though upon inspecting the walls there seemed to be no source from which the light came.

    As they walked one of the men from beneath the earth spoke to them. He said that their people were descendants of the same civilization that had birthed the Aztecs and other tribes of this continent. He told them that when the other groups broke away from their mother nation they had forced it underground, to this location where it had been able to survive for all these hundreds of years. Of their ability to speak English he said nothing, but he spoke of a powerful being from beyond the stars who had come and built for them this temple, and given them protection from those tribes that would have found them, in exchange that they serve his whims for all their generations. My friend was unable to think of a logical explanation for this, but he assumed with the aid of other scientists and archaeologists they may be able to discover these people's means of building this astonishing temple.

    Through countless hallways and tunnels they wandered, so many that my friend took to examining the walls of the bizarre place that they wandered. Eventually he realized on every wall was the same set of hieroglyphics. From what little he could tell they told the story of this, "being from beyond the stars," their guides told them of. In the start a large mass of what he could only describe as "obscene things, not like any creature that had ever walked the earth" through forth from it's mass a second thing of equal obscenity and impossibility which drifted far from it and through countless ages apparently died and around it formed some mass baring uncanny similarity to views of earth visible on globes and maps. Then from the first blasphemy arouse a thing that "Seemed to have no definite shape, it simply, was." This new thing traveled through the void until finally it reached the second, long dead thing. It landed upon the second thing and through more ages it seemed to grow over it, awakening many other beings that had in ages since it's death landed upon the second thing and these things then left the second thing that was reborn and cleaned off with "fires unquenchable by any means known to man." There was more to it then that, but my friend would tell me no more.

    Finally they came to a grand hall, filled with many more like the men who'd led them there. These many others stared upon the group with "eyes I could not glance, but I could sense, their hatred tearing a hole in my very form. And in the head of the hall there was a great mass of stone, fashioned like some hideous mockery of a judge’s bench in the world above. And there sat a man, nothing like these creatures save that his skin was dark. He looked to be a son of Egypt, and his aura was unclean. His eyes were clearly fixed upon us, and his face was set in a grin filled with contempt and malice. It was then that I realized just who these terrible criminals were. When the man spoke his voice boomed with power beyond my comprehension, and it seemed to reverberate through out countless eons, washing over us in a wind that nearly stole from me my footing. He called out my name, and the names of the men who'd accompanied me from the surface, and without him saying any more than our names we were knocked down by the men who'd brought us into the temple, and they dragged us up until their entire abhorrent race sat behind us, and only the man of Egypt, clad in silken white robes sat before us.

    "He stared down at us and said, 'You are charged with the invading and attempted destruction of this temple, built by me for these people, how is it that you plea?' 'Not guilty!' I cried, 'We didn't know of this place, and we wanted only to understand this place and these people!' The man of Egypt merely laughed at this, 'Understand? I know how your people will come to understand these servants of mine! You will kill them all and raid this temple, taking it's many relics and records, then after recording it you will leave this place, a shell of it's history to be destroyed by the ages! I find you all guilty of attempted genocide, and hereby sentence you all to death!' 'You cannot do that!' I cried, to this the Egyptian responded in outrage, his booming voice growing louder as he seemed to grow and change. 'I cannot? Human, do you begin to fathom to whom you speak? I have witnessed your species existence from it's very beginning!'

    "As he began to change to people of the temple quickly filed out, I could tell by the sudden pounding of feet behind us, this sound was very faint compared to that terrifying being before us' voice as he continued, 'And I will see it's bitter end! Do you think your kind would have come this far on it’s own? In the beginning they were little more then insects, all of your history and advancement has been by my design! If not for me your kind would have collapsed under it’s own incompetence eons ago! You speak to no mortal human!' By this point he was no longer human, he was easily above twenty feet tall, he had grown wings, horribly contorted and twisted and feathered as though to mock the angels present in so many of man's religions, and a terrible odor filled the air, my god he smelled of burning flesh! His face had become likened to some demon whose terror is beyond my knowledge of language to even begin to describe! I was unable to look upon his form for my eyes wouldn't lower from that awful face!

    "Still on he continued, though I was scarcely able to understand him as I realized he was Satan, and I had led the men with me into the depths of hell! But it was worse then that, what I remember him saying revealed I had not achieved so merciful an end, 'You think me some being created of man? You think man could describe what I am? Human, I gave man his language, and I know no word within it is I, for I am that of many faces and names, I am the crawling chaos! I am Nyarlathotep!' I do not remember what happened then, but I remember fleeing, none of those horrid eyeless people stopped me, and none of my companions accompanied me, I dare not think what became of them. And as I looked back I was followed by that terrible man, no, that terrible thing. It was followed by some mist that consumed all in its wake. I ran through the camp of other diggers, never stopping to warn them of the approaching doom. Then I was back here. I tell you this because my time is short, for I fear that he closes in on me even now. I cannot tell you where that place was, and records of the dig will soon grow cold as I think the entire dig team must have been obliterated."

    It would seem to any sane reader that something was clearly wrong with my friend, as no right thinking mind could conceive such a bizarre and unreal tale. This is how I felt when first I read this story. However I feel as though I may be wrong in making such assumptions, as he seems to grow more hysterical each day, almost as though that great thing he wrote of truly is drawing near. I suppose I shall find out in due time just how true this tale is...
     
  2. Dephere

    Dephere New Member

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    Hey I.R., nice to see someone coming in. I'll be as honest and helpful as possible....remember the HELPFUL part... :littlethi

    You have two options here, you can write it like this: "...recent days; however, " or like this: "...recent days. However,"...but you do need the break in there.

    I don't like repetition, especially if it doesn't serve a purpose, so I would change one of these. The chioce is ultimately yours, but I strongly suggest changing one. And I'm not too good with writing in the present, so this might be wrong, but shouldn't "had" be "has"...*shrugs*

    Set this off with commas on both ends and maybe think about getting rid of it. You used "however" just before this and the sentence makes perfect sense without it.

    Isn't needed, just gets in the way.

    1st bold: Again with the "however". I would get rid of it, it's not needed, but if you want it, then stick a comma in after it.

    2nd bold: Switch the position of the words, otherwise the syntax doesn't work.

    Titles need to be capitalized.

    No apostrophe, those are only used for the contraction of "it is" and I think "it has".

    I assume the first one is supposed to be "thought" and if it is, then you might want to get rid of the second occurence.

    This litte bit seems awkward and you might want to re word it.

    No apostrophe.

    No apostrophe.

    I'm really happy to see that you described them, often times that's what writers forget to include and this was a nice way to let us see them.

    This definitely needs to be broken up with commas. I don't usually edit commas, so I'll let Tit get to the more in depth punctuation, but I can tell you right now this is going to need some. I noticed a few other sentences too.

    Should be "were". I actually liked this simile, but I think the "above ground" kinf of diluted its impact or effectiveness.

    lol...repetition again. :D

    Wow, I'm not sure what to do with this sentence. It needs lots and lots of help....I'd say just scrap it and try again, but maybe Tit can offer you some sort of medium.

    Not too sure what you meant here, because "blasphemy" is a verbal thing or written I guess, but it's not something physical, so I don't see how something could "arise" from it. Maybe you might want to clarify your intentions in that sentence.

    Using "thing" once is a "no no" in my book, but using it five times?! That's blasphemy! ;) Use descriptions, not generalizations. It makes it very hard for us to picture a "thing", it's your job as a writer to find a way to capture this "thing" in words.

    Oh, and the "it's" doesn't need an apostrophe.

    YES! That was some of your best writing right there, it was clean and had some great phrasing. That was a very nice little segment.

    No apostrophes...

    No apostrophe...

    Ditto...I'm not going to point the few remaining ones out, you should get the idea by now. lol.

    Okay....whew, that took a while.

    I pointed out a lot, but it was all in my attempt to be helpful. You're not a bad writer, but you have a huge problem with apostrophes, possessive or otherwise, and a huge problem with punctuation, commas in particular. No matter how great the story line, it must be pleasant for your reader to go through and I can guarantee that it won't be without the proper punctuation. Your only other problem, besides punctuation, is with odd wording. Sometimes you seem to through in an extra "the" or "to" or "even"....that's an easy fix though.

    A couple spots of your writing seemed to shine, but those were overshadowed by the lack of shine elsewhere. This just needs a lot of editting. You need to go through with a very harsh eye. The story line is very interesting and intriguing, although the whole lost temple thing has been done many times, it still got me interested. Just keep at it until you have a refined version.

    I hope that helped and that you take this in stride.
     
  3. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Yeah, I've had the punctuation problem for some time, and I figured it needed some work, why else would I post it in a helpful criticism area after all? I've done most of the revisions you pointed out. My plan is to finish polishing this before next school year. That way I can enter it in my school literary arts magazine.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2006
  4. Dephere

    Dephere New Member

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    Hey awesome....good luck with that and if you re-write some things and want to run it by me again before you submit, then let me know. I'd only be too happy to go through it.

    Oh and Tit would be the one to go through to get all the commas taken care of. She should be back here in the next couple of days.
     
  5. Nizati

    Nizati ShadowDagger

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    HEY IR! As Dephere seems to be the king and master of grammar and punctuation, I’ll only critique the story itself.

    I want to start off by saying, interesting story! If you put a lot of effort into it, it would make a great short novel, especially if it was completely in the point-of-view of the explorer himself… which brings me to another point…. Have you ever heard of the short novel called The Heart of Darkness? If you have, I’m guessing you got a lot of ideas from it, if not…. Well… you should (or, at least the Cole’s Notes from it, as the story itself is a bit of a yawner).

    Eitherwho, the plot and themes of Heart of Darkness follow your story dangerously closely…. Except it lacks fantasy of any form and doesn’t have a giant Satan-like being. Therefore, with a few adjustments, this still could be a unique and very cool novel.

    In case you never heard of Heart of Darkness here’s a brief synopsis:

    It’s the turn of the century and the English are trying their hardest to civilize South Africa. Unfortunately, the Africans aren’t going down easy and are resorting to guerilla warfare to save their way of life. The story centers around an English man who has just been hired to drive a tugboat up one of the many African rivers. The farther he goes into “the heart of darkness” aka Africa, the more horrors he sees… on both sides: Africans spearing passengers and making shrunken heads… English people killing, torturing, and enslaving the Africans. With no logic in sight, the poor guy finds himself not knowing which side is more barbaric, and he himself struggles to keep his own sanity.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  6. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Never heard of it, this story was based off of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos where Nyarlathotep is a major character.