Red as Coals, Black as Night excerpt

June 1, 2010
By OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch


She shivered in the relentless cold, arms hugging her slender, willowy form as she stared with her gem-like eyes into the dancing flames. Her graceful hands were held over the fire in a fruitless attempt to stave off the freezing night.

He, Jose, had no problem with the cold. Or at least, not much of one. His immense body produced enough heat to keep him relatively comfortable. Esa, on the other hand, was miserable. An idea to alleviate her discomfort occurred to him, but he was worried about how it would be received. He had almost decided not to mention it when her frame was suddenly racked by violent tremors. It looked as if her seemingly-fragile body was about to fall apart. That decided him.

“Esa,” he called to her, loud enough for her to hear, but not loud enough for any predators nearby to take notice of. When she looked up, questioningly, he patted the bare earth next to him as he sat and propped himself against a large spruce tree. She just blinked and looked confused. Either she didn’t understand his plan or didn’t want to. But when he repeated the motion, she came willingly enough. She sank onto the cold dirt elegantly, as if it were a throne and not filth and, copying his posture, reclined against the thick tree. However, she was still freezing. Her lovely lips were a dark blue, and her face and hands were turning a similar shade. So he opened his large, burly arms and easily enclosed her shoulders, pulling her closer to him. He did not do this because of any crude desires, but for a more practical reason. Jose hoped this would help her get warm.

At first she was stiff and tight in his arms, aloof and unyielding, but as his body heat passed to her and thawed out her iced-over bones, Esa gave an involuntary sigh of relief. Her rigid muscles relaxed and she leaned into his embrace, her head on his chest. Her tumbling, raven hair shifted in the breeze, and he caught Esa’s unique fragrance of dew, flowers, pine needles, and rich earth.

As Jose stared at her in awe, he couldn’t help but think how, despite all her talents, Esa would never be good at camouflage. In the dim night, the moon only a silver wisp in the sky, her skin shone like polished silver wire, lighting the small clearing. He, in contrast, completely melded with the shadows, save for his flaming eyes. But she did not recoil from his black touch, merely staying in his hold, not a whit afraid. Or at least not showing it.

Jose’s feelings were in turmoil. They were too strong and he was too confused to try to make sense of them. So he simply waited for them to cool and reorder themselves.

How long they stayed in that pose Jose never knew. It was Esa who finally broke the silence. She said quietly, “The night is late, and we must pack our things and go to bed. It will be an early start tomorrow.” Jose lifted his arms and patiently waited for her to get up, but she didn’t. “I think I’m too stiff to get up,” she admitted. Jose could almost feel her wry smile.

He tenderly grasped her upper arms and, careful not to squeeze to hard with his ham-fingers, lifted her to a stand. She wobbled for a second, then regained her usual poise. “Better?”

“Better,” she agreed.

Then she smiled at him. In the wan light, she was so glorious that, if he had been a human man, he would have been to stunned to speak. Shanese were made of sterner stuff, though, and he was capable of replying gruffly, ”Well, we’d better start.”

Esa started to gather the supplies that had been left out into a pile to be put away in the packs, but he stopped her. “You work on the defense,” he said. “I’ll do the rest.”

So while he put together and stowed away their supplies, and put out the smoldering fire, she sat down and concentrated. And the short tough grasses and shuffling ferns suddenly grew to extraordinary heights, forming the walls of a dome. Then the trees themselves swayed and shifted, until their formerly isolated branches were intertwined above Jose and Esa’s heads to form a thick, scratchy barrier. Esa herself sighed and rocked back on her heels, tired. Jose made sure to set her bedroll up before his, and she cast him a grateful look.

They both climbed into their ridiculously long bedrolls and closed their eyes, waiting for sleep. As they lay down, Jose looked over at her prone form and said gently, “Good night, Esa.”

The silence was so long that Jose thought she had succumbed when she suddenly whispered, in that unearthly voice that never failed to amaze him, “Good night, Jose.” A wonderful sense of peace enveloped him then, and he fell into an undisturbed, dreamless rest.


The author's comments:
This piece is an excerpt from something I'm writing, but it came to me and was too beautiful to lose. I wrote this when I was sad and upset, and it comforted me to right it. It makes me feel at peace just to read it.

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This article has 45 comments.


on Oct. 26 2010 at 8:04 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks:)          

on Aug. 26 2010 at 6:52 am
NeverCaredForKool-Aid GOLD, Elkridge, Maryland
13 articles 0 photos 531 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't believe in hell but I believe in my parent's couch-- Watsky

Ok this was just really cute!!!  I also like your descriptions at the beginning.

on Aug. 25 2010 at 9:01 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Haha but it'll take a while to get accepted. I think I posted it in the writing forum though...

AsIAm PLATINUM said...
on Aug. 25 2010 at 8:54 pm
AsIAm PLATINUM, Somewhere, North Carolina
48 articles 3 photos 608 comments

Favorite Quote:
"According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. (Generally those who don't have to do it. Politicians and writers spring to mind.) I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking." — Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate)

Yay! ~AsIAm

on Aug. 25 2010 at 8:51 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like my work:D And don't worry, I don't intend to stop, lol. In fact I just submitted a new story today.

AsIAm PLATINUM said...
on Aug. 25 2010 at 8:38 pm
AsIAm PLATINUM, Somewhere, North Carolina
48 articles 3 photos 608 comments

Favorite Quote:
"According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. (Generally those who don't have to do it. Politicians and writers spring to mind.) I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking." — Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate)

The good:  Where to start!  The description is perfect, giving a clear picture without making my brain want to explode.  Which is a complement, because at nine thirty at night, when I'm reading something for the second time, my brain is very prone to explosions.  I loved Jose's emotions - it was really cute how unsure he seemed about feeling tender feelings, you could tell he was hardened.  Overall, it was amazing.

The Bad:  It's over!  But, worst of all, this is the harshest I can be but that's all I can say.  Scary good, if that can be a fault.

The Random:  If you ever stop writing, I will seriously die.  You rock socks!

~AsIAm


on Aug. 8 2010 at 12:17 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks! :D

on Aug. 6 2010 at 12:34 pm
abster55 BRONZE, Wilmette, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats jelly beans.” -Ronald Reagan

This was great! I loved it, you held my attention well throughout the piece. Keep up the good work with the rest of the novel!

on Jul. 27 2010 at 6:39 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks!  And it'll make more sense once you read the first chapter.

on Jul. 27 2010 at 6:27 pm
FashionGuru DIAMOND, Manhattan, New York
55 articles 0 photos 92 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't do fashion, I am fashion." -Coco Chanel

I love it! But i don't understand what they are....? Are they like avatars? Ha idkkk but i'd love to know! I'll read the rest, i promise. And thanks so much for reading my stuff. 

on Jul. 14 2010 at 5:32 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks:)This piece was written not only for the novel, but to make me happy.

reesha SILVER said...
on Jul. 14 2010 at 1:54 pm
reesha SILVER, Rawalpindi, Other
6 articles 15 photos 124 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
Walt Disney

"Hakuna Matata!"
Lion King

"The British policy was 'unite and conquer'. But I say 'unite and conquer'."
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea)

Awwwww, that's kind of cute!! =P

on Jul. 12 2010 at 4:10 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Haha yeah, I couldn't do that:)And as you can see, he's more than just friendly to her.

on Jul. 12 2010 at 12:31 pm
sunnyhunny PLATINUM, Litchfield, New Hampshire
22 articles 3 photos 329 comments

Favorite Quote:
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
-Ghandi

:) I'm so glad that Jose decided not to kill her.

on Jul. 9 2010 at 6:42 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks!  I'm sure you were a bit confused, since this was from the middle of my novel, but I'm glad you liked it.

on Jul. 9 2010 at 2:17 pm
cHicKEnWaNg1 SILVER, Marietta, Georgia
9 articles 1 photo 100 comments

Favorite Quote:
It aint no thang but a chicken wang

it was definatly attention grabing but i did get lost in some spots and i really liked it

on Jul. 8 2010 at 8:55 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks!  Lol, hope I continue to succeed:D

on Jul. 8 2010 at 8:39 pm
Just.A.Dream SILVER, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 431 comments

Favorite Quote:
Part of the J7X team. :)

Good job! You haven't failed to get me bored yet! (That's a huge accomplishment, trust me.) This is a very engaging story, can't wait to read more!

on Jun. 28 2010 at 7:32 am
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thanks!  Glad you like it:)

on Jun. 28 2010 at 7:31 am
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1754 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Thank you!:)


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