View Full Version : A mirror in the desert...

Scott Perry
10-18-2005, 01:44 AM
I got this from a different set of forums I once posted on. A friend of mine started the thread with the following concept;

There is only one restraint in this exercise, at some point in time a mirror must be found in the desert, how it got there, why the person finding it was there, everything surrounding it is left to you, the writer. The mirror could be the major part of the stoy or it could be something simply in there, and passed by without much written about it.

I guess that's the excersize.


10-21-2005, 10:42 PM
Hmmm, need more info Sc00t. One sentence, ten words what? I like games that are fast to participate in. Is it like--

Once upon a time, in a hot blazing desert, Shazar fell off his camel, blinded in his right eye.
Next person adds a sentence and so on...
You may need a better hook to get them started.

10-22-2005, 02:28 AM
Scott- I'm not sure I understand. Could you give an example? Or the first sentence?

September skies
10-23-2005, 06:01 AM
Does each person write a separate story or are we all writing one story?

Scott Perry
10-23-2005, 08:08 PM
Yeah sorry itt ook so long.

You write your own story, and you have to include a mirror in the middle of the desert. Those are the only limitations. You're writers for crying out loud, shouldn't this be like... uber-easy to grasp? :p

September skies
10-28-2005, 03:13 AM
Has anyone found the mirror yet?

10-28-2005, 08:06 PM
Did Sc00t fall asleep?

Title: the red mirror

In the middle of the desert there was a great mirror. It was as tall as the pyramids. It had been left by strange beings, it was told. Shazar fell off his camel when the reflection from the mirror blinded him.

Shazar, a young boy who had just learned to ride, quickly got back on the camel. He was blinded in his right eye and it bothered him greatly. Even with this he was concerned about looking important. He tried to look around. He glimpsed the reflecton again. With his good eye, Shaz peered into the tall mirror. Inside he could see a foreign looking city, unlike anything he had ever seen on earth.

Vertigo gripped him as he looked deep into the heart of the red city. Streets, and sky alike were red. The people (people?) that walked around were red, all dressed in red. A young woman strolled by, looking at him like she could not really see him. He wondered if she were looking at herself in a mirror there. She put up a red hand and pushed back her red hair.

Suddenly Shazar was gripped with the need to destroy the mirror. He reached up to his saddle and took out his sword. Swinging it with his full force he hit the mirror on its ground level.

The air was rent with a screaming wail like he had never heard. The shatter was tremendous and rolled across the dunes in a shimmering echo. The force of it all knocked Shazar to his knees. He recovered slowly lowering his hands from his eyes.

His camel was red. He was red. The sand was red. All around was red everywhere. Shazar stood up and shook red sand and mirror shards out of his clothes. He rode his camel across the red dunes to his tent. No doubt it was red as well.

10-28-2005, 10:02 PM
The caravan was on its third day of the trek across the desert. They were returning to their post, Ahib leading the way. He was anxious to settle back in to what he considered home. The package should be arriving soon.

The sun was merciless and beat down on the men atop their noble steeds. The camels, saddled with the groupís supplies and containers of water, were effortlessly lumbering across the dunes; beasts of burden well-suited to endure the unforgiving climate and conditions of the Sahara.

To the east, a blinding reflection had caught Ahibís eye. He raised his right hand, signaling his army to stop. He dismounted and carefully walked over to his second-in-command, Ushar, ordering him investigate the mysterious light atop the bank. As his minion rode off, sand flying from the galloping hooves of his horse, Ahib soothed his parched throat with some of the remaining water rationed for his legion and motioned his men off their horses.

Ushar reached his destination before a minute had passed. He got off his horse, next to a disabled delivery truck, its engine hood open. A large mirror was sticking out of the sand next to the truck, a long crack streaming down the center. Lying directly behind it were the skeletal remains of a man. His bony fingers were holding a scrolled piece of paper. Ushar bent down and removed the document from his grip.

To Be Delivered To: Ahib

Military Commander

Army of the Sahara

Ushar stared at the piece of paper for a moment, gazed back down the hill, and with a sigh, mounted his horse for the long ride back.

10-28-2005, 11:32 PM
I liked my story so well I immediately added it to my blog with a photo of nature where everything is red. Fun! Thank you Sc00t!

September skies
10-29-2005, 10:13 AM
Sarah pushed through the crowd as she ran from the casino, tears streaming down her cheeks.

"Sarah, don't!" one of the card dealers ran after her. He tried to catch her but gamblers, oblivious to the scene, blocked him in.

Sarah never heard him. She jumped on a bus as the man reached the front of the building. He was too late, the bus was gone.

Sarah stood, her hand clutching the handrail as tourists watched her in fascination.

Who was this scantilly-dressed woman and why was she crying?

Only one man spoke up as he offered his seat.

"Miss? Are you alright?"

Sarah accepted the seat without making eye contact and without saying a word.

The man waited patiently for the girl to speak as people -- most of them laughing, some of them drunk -- continued getting on and off the bus.

"I'm not getting off this bus until I know you're OK," the passenger attempted to talk to her but Sarah didn't notice. She stared out the window.

As the bus approached the end of the popular hotel strip, Sarah finally spoke.

"Thank you," she said softly to the stranger as she got up.

"I'll come with you."

"No. I'm fine. Please don't."

"Whatever it is. It can't be that bad," he said as he followed her off the bus.

Sarah shook her head and for a moment the man locked eyes with the beautiful stranger. He could see so much pain in her hazel eyes. He longed to push the brown strands of curly hair off her face and his heart ached as he watched her luscious lips tremble.

He touched her arm.

"Please don't go," the man pleaded but Sarah backed away, shaking her head.

He watched her and he longed to follow her. There was something innocent about her and he felt like he should protect her.

As the man continued to watch, Sarah broke into a run. The man followed. Faster and faster she ran until she felt herself fall face first into the sand.

"It's Ok, I'm here," the stranger managed to say as he struggled to catch his breath.

He helped her up and without saying a word, he held her in his arms.

He had never felt such soft skin. He closed his eyes, taking in the scent of her hair.

"Let's get you somewhere more comfortable," he said, offering her his handkerchief.

Sarah wiped the tears and sand off her face.

"OK," she finally said as she noticed the pain shooting through her ankle.

She reached to rub it when she saw something shiny in the sand and instinctively picked it up.

"Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?" she asked shyly as she opened a silver-plated compact exposing a mirror.

"No," he answered, as he watched her. "Never."

10-29-2005, 06:25 PM
That was good, Sept. interesting and moved fast. Would this exercise/character be a warm up for your NaNo novel?

10-30-2005, 06:35 AM
This is the fifth time I've tried to take part in this thread. I give up because every time I come in here, the only thing that goes through my head is this song:

A Horse With No Name

On the first part of the journey, I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things,
There were sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz and the sky, with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry but the air was full of sound
You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name,
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert, you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la

and I hope it's contagious! :tongue

September skies
10-30-2005, 08:44 AM
That was good, Sept. interesting and moved fast. Would this exercise/character be a warm up for your NaNo novel?

thanks Paint. I read your story about the red mirror (it was good) and it reminded me of my vacation this summer to Sedona (AZ) -- it was gorgeous, everything so red. I also went to Vegas.

So I just started in with Vegas and typed, having zero idea where it would take me. Once I got her in the desert, I just wanted to end it because I was so sleepy. <lol>

I guess it was a warm up. :)

11-04-2005, 06:21 PM
thanks Paint. I read your story about the red mirror (it was good) and it reminded me of my vacation this summer to Sedona (AZ) -- it was gorgeous, everything so red. I also went to Vegas.

So I just started in with Vegas and typed, having zero idea where it would take me. Once I got her in the desert, I just wanted to end it because I was so sleepy. <lol>

I guess it was a warm up. :)
September, this is absolutely lovely. I want more!

11-07-2005, 07:38 AM
OK. This prompt reminded me of something I'd been working on but have left on the back burner while I worked on my WIP and a few other things. So I figured - hell, why not? and wrote another verse with this prompt in mind.

To bring those of you who may read this up to par I'm gonna post the first two verses first.

And so the day came
when the road faded away
and all about me was skittering dust,

And in the windís sigh,
I heard the faint moans
of the souls whoíd once ventured thus.

But Iíd been born and bred,
and had once borne a crown,
in the cold shining cities above -

And Iíd wetted my sword
and my blood had been let
on the war-ravaged fields of love.

With a sigh and a kiss
to all Iíd once known,
and a nod to the maelstrom ahead,

I entered the desert -
my heart set and grim,
footsteps crunching the bones of the dead.

11-07-2005, 07:41 AM
Here's the second verse. the thread with them can be found here:

For three days I strode,
steadfast and upright,
fending off every blow of the sun.

Three nights I sat in
the dark alone, wrestling
with the memories of things I had done.

When the fourth day awoke
and the sun kissed my brow
and its hand swept aside the nightís gloom,

There before me they stood -
tall, silent, unyielding,
with sad eyes that spoke of my doom.

The liar, the gambler,
the beggar, the thief,
the man with a heart made of stone.

The warrior, the lover,
the wayfaring father,
the prince who had squandered his throne.

The student, the brother,
the lost, wayward son,
the teller with no tale to tell.

The dreamer, the builder,
the unheeding destroyer,
the poet with no soul to sell.

Like a wall made of
nightmares shrouded in flesh,
they stood silently barring my way.

We welcome you brother,
they sighed with one voice,
But we fear you must join us this day.

I bowed low in homage
to these men Iíd once known,
how long had they awaited me here?

Then I stepped forth and drew
my last love, Evertrue -
her gleam laying to rest all my fear.

11-07-2005, 07:44 AM
OK, here's the new part I just did tonight:

When the sad deed was done I fell to my knees,
alone in the fading of light.
Heavier of heart, of mind and of soul
I paid vigil all through the night

The horned moon held court to a skyful of stars and
the sun gloried in its cruel reign,
But I saw them not for I kept my eyes blind
to all but my self-chosen pain.

To remain for too long in the desert is death,
yet days passed me and still I lingered.
For what chance has a man who is battered of heart,
bruised of mind and broken-fingered?

Alone in myself, I was caught unawares
By the ravenís swift, furious descent.
Iíd been lost in the visions that played through my mind
Of a bright life ill-used and mis-spent.

It pecked with a fury, loud caws piercing through me,
stinging deeply as if they were jeers.
Its claws raked deep furrows in my sun-roughened cheeks,
ebon wings beat about my deaf ears.

Then quicker than thought, leaving blood, pain and tears,
it returned to the skies up above.
Left in its wake, a bittersweet memory
As sharp and as deadly as love.

In the sand there before me, the gift it had borne,
A gold mirror both shining and true.
I thought, in the distance, a call came both faint and
as strong as my memories of you.

I stood and beheld the dead wasteland around me
As the mirror shone bright in the sun.
Though I feared to look in, I now knew that I must
For my journey was not yet doneÖ

11-13-2005, 11:29 AM
In the desert, the sun shines an awful lot.
Edward pushed his hat back and squinted up at the sky repeating his thoughts aloud to himself. 'An awful lot...'
The blue of the sky was painfully bright, filtering away to a white kind of glare around the sun and boring straight through to the back of Edward's eyes. He tugged the peak of his hat down again and bit his lip. Surely the sand couldn't stretch on for much further without bringing him to some kind of watering hole.
His mind drifted like an anchorless dinghey back to the last time he had seen more than a few drops of water collected into one place.
He shfted his feet on the sand, and sighed. Then he touched the side of his resting desert-dragon. "Come on Ahmid, let's get going."
The red and black creature lumbered to its feet and waited patiently for him to mount, it huge spiked head moving slowly from side to side.
Edward grabbed the leathery edges of his saddle and pulled himself up, metally cursing the person who had first thought of clipping desert-dragon's wings to make them easier to ride.
"If you had been able to fly, old man, we'd have been there days ago," he said, patting the things neck. "Come on. Gee up."
The pure and undiluted idiocy of saying gee up to the ten foot long monstrocity rankled at the back of his mind as Ahmid started moving towards the next row of sand dunes.
Exactly what had he got himself into this time?
From up ahead, something caught the sun and reflected it baqck at the sky in a irritated sort of way. The glinting caught Edwards eyes, and he could feel his breath catching way back in his throat.
"Hmmm... water, do you think, Ahmid?" His voice cracked three or four times and he scowled. In the past few weeks, he had forgotten much of his training , but not that of never letting your voice betray your emotions. A swear word hovered on the tip of his tongue, but was forced back just in time. It would never do to let Ahmid pick up any swear words. The keeper might not take back a foul-mouthed dragon.
The thought of having to keep Ahmid with him for the rest of his life, not to mention the two hundred Yalum bill, stopped Edward from saying anything for quite a long time.
More than long enough for Ahmid to lumber over the brow of the dune and slow to a stop at the spot from where the glinting had been coming.
Edward slipped down from his saddle, and winced as his thigh came is sudden contact with one of Ahmid's spines.
"Fra-" he stopped short and gritted his teeth, thinking nasty thoughts as loudly as he could.
Then he scanned the sands in front of him. There was no water, but that did not come as much of a shock. After fifty such dunes and fifty such discoveries of waterless far sides of said dunes, he had become rather jaded.
But the glinting did interest him. It jarred his vision again, and he followed the dancing light until he saw a silvery edge of - something lying in the sand.
He bent down, and Ahmid chose that particular moment to nuzzle him in the behind affectionately.
A desert dragon's affectionate nudges are - forceful to say the least, and Edward found himself flat on his face ion the sand.
"Pfft - AHMID!!!" He spat granules out of his mouth and scrabbled around for his glasses. Ah. His fingers closed around both the delicate frame opf his spectacles (which had broken a long time ago, but he kept for reasons of sentimentality) and something else.
He sat up. In his hands was a shiny blue-edged mirror.
For a moment Edward fought against the feeling rising in his chest. Then he laughed.
"I'm rich!" The yell broke from his lips as he carefully cradled the precious item in his fingers. "I'm rich, rich, rich, rich, rich!"

11-28-2005, 02:15 AM
Yeah sorry itt ook so long.

You write your own story, and you have to include a mirror in the middle of the desert. Those are the only limitations. You're writers for crying out loud, shouldn't this be like... uber-easy to grasp? :p

i got it! :banana: :Clap:

12-13-2005, 06:14 AM
Go look under "Share Your Work" for mine! It can out longer than I expected.