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#17421 - 12/22/06 03:22 AM Candle in the Night
Tim Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
Well since this is a science fiction forum, I decided to put a collection of my story that I am currently writing. It is more mystical and romantic than science fiction, although it takes place on another planet. I know that all of you here will probably be critizing me left and right for this, and saying that I shouldn't be putting something tangent on this forum. And you might be right. But don't worry. There is not even a mention about God or creationsim or Jesus or anything.

If any of you -by some chance- like it, I will be writing more of it and I'll spare you from putting it on here, but it will be on my myspace

The figure glanced up at the shining white Orb. It looked as if someone had grabbed a pocket watch and cut it in half only to leave one of the parts to lay hanging in the sky. The Orb, as if it knew someone was spying on it, decided to hide. One-third of it visible. One-fourth visible. Gone. The only trace left as evidence for the Orb's existence was a dimly-shining blue-violet patch in the night sky, only visible to the trained eye.

The shadow of a man looked back to his work again from his observatory on his balcony.

What a wonder it is that man is given the heavens for discovery, the man whispered; only audible to the bird perched upon his table. He picked up his pen and wrote something on the crippled parchment laying in front of him.

The man looked at the lone candle whispering to him on his desk. How it appeared to tell him a secret, how it flickered furiously, how it gave his tunic a dim red-orange color. How did it do that? How a distorted image of him, although black, appeared on the wall behind him, that seemed to move at the exact time he moved, as if it was a thief determined to hide in the darkness.

Many things could be seen by the red and orange blur on the humble, wooden table. Pamphlets, spare ink, metallic instruments glinting in the dim light; shadows of some ghastly phenomenon not yet known or discovered. All of these things the figure pondered of; without looking, without breathing, without looking up, for some time. Until he could see again the faint illumination of the orb's fain luminous light being absorbed onto his paper.

He had felt it before it was visible. And he stepped out of his chair and onto his balcony. The entire Orb was finally visible.

What phenomenon was this? That although the light of the day was gone- where did it go during the night?- there was still a body for the night. Was it the same one? Many people had decided it was. The textbooks said that the school children read said it was. But it was a different size than the body for the day. The Orb was bigger, whiter, luminous; not illuminating. The great Light was illuminating; if it was looked into, it was rumored that everything would turn white. This the astronomer had pondered greatly. The man felt himself reach into his coat pocket and salvage an eyepiece. He held it to his eye; determined to investigate the dark secrets lost in the bright Orb.

The sunrise was complemented with specks of red, orange, and yellow. Little white balls of something were scattered across the horizon. A young, clean-shaven worker was busy picking off the cotton balls in the waxing sunlight. It wasn't until he accidentally dropped a handful of cotton when he realized. The balls of cotton in his hand looked so similar to the balls floating in the sky.

"Ralph, Ralph, look! I wonder if cotton are just pieces of those balls in the sky. Are they? Do ya know?"

The fellow worker looked at him for a second. He opened his mouth, and then shut it again, glancing at the sky. "Just get back to work, boy," he muttered, as he picked up a handful of the harvest.

The young worker went back to his work again. After a while he looked up and saw the white balls directly overhead of him. As he glanced around, he saw a shadow move on the balcony. The shadow moved into the light and the worker saw his master looking at him. Next to him stood some weird object that glinted in the first of the light. It was rumored that that object could see places far away as if you were actually there! But only a few of the laborers ever got to go in their lord's house who weren't the servants. And then the figure's eyes flickered back onto his desk.

Why was it that he was looking at me? came to the man's thoughts.

That night, the young man went for a walk, as it was his custom. He especially enjoyed it on nights where the Orb was a full circle, as it was this night. He saw the brilliant white light shining through the violet leaves of the trees. The only sound that could be heard was the faint thump of his heartbeat. A lone candle shining on the mansion's balcony. The trees whispering the dark secrets of the world to each other. What were those secrets, anyway?
And then the light from the candle was put out; put out or was being temporarily blocked. He looked. His master, absorbing the candle-light, was peering at him.

The next part was a blur. The master gestured to the worker -that he remembered- telling him to come up. How he got there still remained a mystery.

The first thing the young man noticed was the many books scattered throughout the room. Some in the vernacular, some in a language he'd seen before yet not proficient in, most in a language that looked more like pictures than script. And then his lord spoke.

"The night is almost spent. What brings up a worker at this hour?"

The worker didn't know quite what to say; in all his years of living on the plantation, he had never once seen his lord talk to one of the workers personally. "Well, I'm always up this late; walking..." was all that could come out.

"I know." the wise man said, and paced the room. "For I see you each and every night; looking, listening." He looked at the clean-shaven young man. "What is your name?"

"Well in my native tongue it is Gispa," he said.

In the dim light protruding from the candle, the young man could see his master nod. "I have seen you before; pondering. Interpreting the meaning of something. Daydreaming. Asking yourself questions."

To this the young man named Gispa nodded.

"For I am of the same mindset."

The young man looked up at his master and behind him saw that the moon had gotten brighter. There was enough light outside for it to pass as a gloomy day. The Orb stood smiling on the two people radiantly. The rest of the room was illuminated, letting Gispa get a good look at the metallic instruments. But the evanescent moment faded as quickly as it had come, and the night was back to its dark self again. The master stood looking towards the sky, facing opposite the worker. "What is this?" he whispered; not clear whether he was talking to himself or asking the worker a question.

The candle stood as a sentinel to the night, giving a crooked reflection of the two men that was always moving. To the right, to the left, up, or down. Lambent and flickering, never bringing a steady reflection. Even as the two figures lay perfectly still, their reflection lay traveling about the walls. For what is this light? This invisible -was it a person? a place? a thing? or was it visible?- arrangement of particles that illuminated even the darkest secrets of the night, just as Truth penetrates the soul.

#17427 - 12/22/06 09:08 AM Re: Candle in the Night [Re: Tim]
Kate Offline

Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 334
Thanks Tim, Love your style! Not sure about the segue though and it's a tad short on sci fi content, but hey, it's gotta be the best piece of writing in this forum!



#17436 - 12/22/06 10:24 PM Re: Candle in the Night [Re: Kate]
TheFallibleFiend Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
There are parts that seem clumsy to me, but generally I think you have a good ear for language. Do you read your stories aloud to yourself?

You should continue writing in college. Also, you should consider joining a writing club. There's a word for them - can't think of it at the moment - maybe "writer's group" or something like that.

I also write on occasion:

One chapter of a novel I'll never finish:

Edited by TheFallibleFiend (12/22/06 10:26 PM)

#17437 - 12/22/06 11:36 PM Re: Candle in the Night [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Tim Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
Thanks, yeah, it is not as much science-fiction as it is mystical, although there will be many science fiction things later on in the story
It has many qualities of the Romantic writing style, I think, *if i say so myself*
but i like using figurative language and imagery
Now this is only the first little snippit of it
If you want to know, later -this might spoil it- there is an expedition to colonize the Orb (which is what we would consider the moon)
it will be science-fictionish and yet mystical and yet even ambiguous.
Do any of you want me to write any more?
And yes, TFF, I admit: it is clumsy at times, this is only my third rewrite, so there's still more things that i have to clear up on it
but thanks

#17439 - 12/22/06 11:48 PM Re: Candle in the Night [Re: Tim]
TheFallibleFiend Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
Sometimes I'll write sort of stream-of-unconsciousness, as it were. Other times, I'll create a sort of flow-chart, or just start describing some person I want to write about. Writing is a bit like exploring.

#17501 - 12/27/06 10:14 PM Re: Candle in the Night [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
dr_rocket Offline

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Hi Tim,

I like my fiction more sciencey (is that a word?), but that's just my personal taste.

Story tellers, Homer to Heinlein, have always had an important role in all of our societies. Stories inspire, inform, amuse and so on. This is true for the shaping of individual character as well as entire societies. I would encourage you to keep at it.

Dr. R.


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