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Author Topic: Mikramurka Nights  (Read 109 times)

Korsavius

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Mikramurka Nights
« on: 21 Oct 2017, 13:00 »

Hey there stranger. Here is my sixth entry into the YC 119 Pod and Planet Fiction Contest. A competitor for the Very Short Fiction (750 words or less) sub-category while being entered into the 8,000 Suns category. Grab some hot chocolate and enjoy the read.

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Mikramurka Nights
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The icy breath of the midnight skies kissed Rodj’s bare cheeks. His frosty red scarf fluttered behind him as he sped away from the rusty metropolis. Ever the advocate for cheap and practical, he preferred a traditional motorbike as opposed to the excessive hoverbike. The echoes of the motor reverberated throughout the city outskirts. The echoes only intensified as he broke free from the grasp of the tribal metropolis and entered a relatively untouched rugged landscape. The road narrowed, and the mighty evergreens dusted with frost glinted the reflections of city lights behind him. For what seemed like a long drive, it was just him, his bike, and the sleepy Mikramurkan terrain.

His gaze remained focused on the snowy road ahead of him, but every now and then a flicker from the corner of his eye nabbed his attention - if only briefly. Up above, flickers of activated warp drives intertwined with the glittering stars. The panorama was softened because of the city’s light haze, but grew stronger as Rodj cruised further into quiet landscapes. Those flickers made him think of the stars, of what lay beyond the Mikramurka continent. He was a pilot. A good one according to the praise of his peers and instructors. But he didn’t like it. To him, home was here on Mikramurka. And he was content to remain, despite the occasional fancy to return to the stars.

Rodj finally reached the village of his family clan. Viktoft was a cozy village tucked between a winding creek and the hugging embrace of a steadfast mountain. It was a cold night. A layer of fluffy snow covered the sleeping mountain. The mountain also tucked itself in under an additional layer of even fluffier clouds. A perfect snuggle. Rodj stepped off his motorbike and walked along the crunchy snow. Wispy and fluffy clouds shimmered off the pale Matar moonlight. It was ample enough to guide his steps.

The door whisked open to allow the icy breath of the midnight skies to warm up against the crackling fireplace. Some of his family sat huddled against the warmth of the fire. The younglings were mostly distracted by the artificial glows of their handheld consoles, datapads, and other gadgets. As Rodj undressed and hung his winter clothing, a tall and slender family member approached him.

“Were you able to secure it?” The look in his eyes carried with it a somber eagerness.

Rodj rested his palm on the man’s shoulder. “It was difficult, but yes.” A feeling of relief swept over the man’s face. “Where is she?”

“Come”, replied his cousin. The two men walked upstairs. “We didn’t want the younger ones to know about her condition.” They cut around the corridors.

Rodj disguised a tone of shock and anger, “They don’t know anything about it? What about the real origins of our family?”

The cousin shook his head solemnly. They continued walking in silence.

They finally arrived at a lonely room. “It won’t be pretty, I should warn you”, mumbled the cousin. “She’s been convulsing and having seizures.”

“All the more reason to act swiftly.”

The cousin nodded and opened the door. The elderly woman, accompanied by a caretaker, writhed in her bed. The caretaker bathed a cloth in cool liquid. She strung out the excess water and placed it on the elderly woman’s forehead.

“Her fever has been escalating”, she said calmly. For her, this situation was something she’s had far too much experience in dealing with. “Do you have the vitoc?”

Rodj popped open the cannister he was carrying, and handed over the sample to the caretaker. She loaded the serum into an injector. Rodj stepped off to the side and gazed at the dying woman. Without looking to his cousin, he muttered, “how?”

The cousin sighed. “The village elders miscounted our reserves of vitoc. And Shakor’s minions keep bringing in slaves from the Empire without accounting for the fact that some of them are vitoxin-infected.” He crossed his arms and continued his retort, “The black market can only handle so much demand for the stuff...the price increases have been difficult to shoulder for us.”

The caretaker injected the serum into the elderly woman. “She will be alright.”

As Rodj stared at the elderly woman, he couldn’t help but notice the twinkle in her aging eyes. The more he transfixed on it, the stronger his urge grew to return to the stars and hopefully one day change this situation. One day.
« Last Edit: 23 Oct 2017, 05:15 by Korsavius »
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Character Profile - last updated 10.14.17

Lasairiona

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Re: Mikramurka Nights
« Reply #1 on: 23 Oct 2017, 01:04 »

Cool short, however, you use "the icy breath of the midnight skies" twice, first in the first paragraph, and again in the fourth. I would consider changing one of the descriptors to something more powerful :-) Also, "it was a cold night" is slightly unnecessary as based on description, we know it's a cold night.
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Korsavius

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Re: Mikramurka Nights
« Reply #2 on: 23 Oct 2017, 03:39 »

Cool short, however, you use "the icy breath of the midnight skies" twice, first in the first paragraph, and again in the fourth. I would consider changing one of the descriptors to something more powerful :-) Also, "it was a cold night" is slightly unnecessary as based on description, we know it's a cold night.
Thank you! :)

So here is a bit of internal thinking behind my word choices:

- I used the same phrase twice to introduce a sense of repetitiveness and familiarity. I wanted to keep the descriptor the same because introducing something new would detract from painting Mikramurka as a singular entity with a "single breath" so to speak.

- I used the phrase "it was cold" to try an emphasize that it was really damn cold. Yes, I paint the picture of it already being that, but I wanted to further stress just how damn cold it is on Mikramurka by actually stating it.

Hope that clears things up a bit. I guess my goals by using such wording were not achieved. I'm not a professional writer by any means so I guess sometimes these things escape me lol.
« Last Edit: 23 Oct 2017, 03:41 by Korsavius »
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Character Profile - last updated 10.14.17

Lasairiona

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Re: Mikramurka Nights
« Reply #3 on: 23 Oct 2017, 15:42 »

Sometimes, I can't switch off my editor brain. You have to look at it from a reading standpoint. If you were reading this aloud, it might work :-)
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