Monday, January 23, 2012

Spookymilk Survivor X: Struggling With Decline

Last week, Vogons lost another member. This distressing turn of events was brought to you by JG (R.I.P.). Moving on...

This week, the concept was a struggle with decline. Make a story where the protagonist is having issues with declining... something. Could be physical, could be mental, could be metaphysical - doesn't matter. So long as somebody's struggling with the fact that something isn't what it was.

Here's mine.

I have seen so much in my time.

I’ve witnessed countless civilizations rise and fall. I’ve seen the far reaches of what a million generations deemed the edges of existence, and light years beyond them. I’ve watched creation itself burst forth with sights to glorious to imagine, only to wither and die when its season was through.

That was in eternity past. It’s been so long since the warmth that I can scarcely remember it. All that remains now is darkness and a cold that permeates everything. There is nothing left to see, and my seemingly eternal life has finally been spent.

It is finally time.

Gathering what precious little energy I have left, I prepare myself. My death will be the gateway to the birth of a new creation.

“Let there be light.”

And here's the judges' critiques...

K: I love the twist, and the length, I think, for this story is correct. However, because this week was so damned strong, an incredibly clever premise that’s over quickly just can’t hold up to some of the emotional resonance we’ve had to this point. 2

DK: I’m not going to say it’s too short, cause it’s not. It sells what it sets out to sell in an effective amount of space, but it doesn’t really draw me into its protagonist or the circumstances like a lot of the others here do. 2

I'm shocked that I got twos. I really thought I was getting worse than that for this one. I think this is my worst submission of the year. I liked the concept, but tinkering around with it all week, I couldn't find a way to make it resonate. DK isn't wrong here, there's no draw, no reason for the reader to care one way or the other. It's all concept and the twist at the end.

Regarding the twist, I do like the ending. "Let there be light", regardless of your religious beliefs, just has a perfect flow to it. It's the perfect way to open a book (in this case by closing the book to eternity past). I just wish that I would've found a way to make the rest of it a worthy lead-in.

Vogons didn't quite Vogon (we came close, though), but we won't lose anyone this week, so we get to party, anyway.

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