Random Image Exercise 2

5939694-lg 5950036-md 7301932-md 7657418-lg Temple Of Heaven, Bejing - China by Tim J

He had journeyed long and he was weary and soon his journey would be at an end.

Yet even still, after all he had done for her, after all he had endured, she would not look at him. None of them would. He had traveled to the ends of the earth and beyond. He had seen things fit for no man’s eyes, done things fit for no man’s soul, all for them, and still they would not look at him. He was was one of them, he had proven it time and time again, yet still they shunned him, happy only to take his services. Still they sent him away promising acceptance should he be successful and still, after years of absence and even more years of servitude he was a stranger to them.

So it was now. The masters called him from his chambers and met him in the great hall. They looked over him from their high seats, never looking directly at him.

“Your next trial is to return the spirit of the temple to its home here,” the grand-master said with a dispassionate voice.

He almost laughed out loud.The spirit of the temple was a bird. A bird that existed only in stories. How was he to bring back a legend? How was he supposed to create act from fiction? He almost screamed. When can I take my rightful place? Have I not earned what I came here for? Am I to be your errand boy forever? It would not have been the first time he made such an outburst , it would not even be the twentieth, but nothing ever came of such displays. The masters had spoken. So he bowed his head and took his leave.

She was there in the temple courtyard as always, draped in red and meditating. He lingered only a moment watching her from behind then he crossed the grass and exited through the heavy doors of the enclosure. Even when he was in front of her, her back was turned towards him. He fought back the rage that such isolation brought. Descending the steps, he found himself at the threshold of the desert which enveloped the temple. He entered it without hesitation eager to be rid of the place. He wandered. He wandered until his throat was dry and his lips were peeling and he could not see for the fluid in his eyes had retreated. He wandered the desert until his back was ready to burst into flame from the sun’s heat. He wandered until he came upon an impossibility, until he found a rushing waterfall with no possible source in the surrounding desert. He wandered until he was able to look upon his goal in the flesh.

Perched in a nest on a rock jutting out of the falls was the temple’s spirit. The bird’s plumage was impossibly dark save for a tuft of shimmering emerald feathers on its crest. At first he smiled joyously to look upon it, but then he wailed for here was no way to capture his prize even though ti was in sight. This was the master’s plan. This was how it always was. He sank to his knees and sobbed.

The bird never moved from its perch and despite the years he by the waterfall he could never reach it, or ensnare it or coax it from its nest. This time he was truly defeated. The masters had won. He sank inside himself and let his body sink into the cool waters of the waterfall’s pool. Then, just as he was about to release all of his pain a hand pulled him from the water. The sensation was like being born again, he gasped hard at the new air. It gave him strength. He opened his eyes and there she was, red robes soaked through, staring him directly in the eye. With one leap he snatched the bird from its perch.


This one took a few hours to compose over the course of two days. Compared to my previous effort with this exercise I am not as pleased with the result. Maybe there is some story in what I have written but I cannot really make out much from what I have here. It seems fairly unstructured grammatically and thematically. I can honestly say that I felt this as I was composing the original story. It is something that I will keep in mind with future endeavors and who knows, maybe this will become something more in the future.

For anybody reading this, I would love some feedback or advice (could just be a typo that I missed or a grammatical rule that I misused). Or if you know any exercises I could try I would greatly appreciate it.

Cheers.

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