Week Seven [Weekly Writing Challenges] Read 1070 times

Krystal Itzume

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Week Seven [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:15:33 pm »
This one is going up a bit early because things are chaotic and I want to make sure it gets up "on time".

Theme of themes: Monologue or Soliloquy

Words to use: Asinine, River, Decimate

Length: No length, but keep it mostly dialogue. 

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Week Seven [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 02:30:24 am »
The paper was thrown across the room in a fit of anger, just as a brunette man strode into the room. “Is he trying to start a war?” The question was not directed at the newcomer, but to a man in a red tunic.

“He knows you won’t go to war with him,”
the lounging one answered, looking just as cross, “It would be asinine to do so. He has the people’s support. He just wants you to surrender.”

“Are we discussing Antonius again?”
The brunette asked, pausing on the Egyptian rug in the center of the room. The blonde man collapsed back into his chair and pushed his long fingers back through his hair.

“Who else?”
The lounging one asked. “Do you know what he’s done now, Gaius?”

Maecenas offered a smirk,
“I haven’t the faintest idea. Do tell, Marcus.”

It wasn’t Agrippa who answered,
“That bastard has made it clear he intends to divide Rome between Caesarion and his twins with Cleopatra, on top of the fact he refuses to sell us any grain.”

“There was a man in the forum who was denouncing Gaius,”
a motion to the blonde, “for eating songbirds and oysters daily while the people starve.”

A muttered,
“I miss Cicero,” escaped the blonde.

Maecenas laughed as he heard those words,
“You do not need Cicero to get out of this mess. Don’t you see? Antonius has positioned himself perfectly for us!” Gaius’s hand fell from his face and he arched a brow at his friend, while Agrippa canted his head. “Oh, you poor fools, you don’t see it at all, do you? It’s simple, really. I knew that eventually, something like this would happen. I saw the way our Antonius looked at Cleopatra when he was last in Rome with her. I’ve been planning for this day.”

“I don’t understand,”
Gaius Caesar admitted.

“Nor do I,”
Marcus Agrippa echoed.

Gaius Maecenas laughed,
“What was it, almost ten years hence that I told you to have Antonius marry your sister, Octavia? Ah, I knew it then, and it was why I told you to do that. Antonius has no sense of loyalty, he is a man ruled by his passions, and we have trapped him! We can be rid of him at long last, if you just listen to me,” Maecenas walked forward and put both of his hands on Gaius’s Caesar’s desk. “Step one is to reach out to our dear friend Lepidus in Africa, and demand his soldiers and his grain. He won’t deny us, for the last time he tried that, his army turned on him. We can begin preparations in this way. Our next step, then, is to target Cleopatra.”

Maecenas’s eyes were alight with mischief long-sense plotted,
“The Roman people love Antonius, but they hate Cleopatra. Is she not the seductress of Caesar, an enchantress who desires our destruction, a Queen! Oh, a Queen, how foul a word here, and one who pretends to be the Goddess Isis. Are her morals not questionable?”

The brows of Caesar furrowed. Maecenas continued,
“My dear boy, the people will not go to war with Antonius, but they will go to war against Cleopatra. Declaim her in the forum, make her intentions clear to the people. Speak of how it is she who wishes to divide Rome and enslave us to her monarchial desires. Speak of how she has led dear Antonius astray with her feminine wiles, away from his loving and devoted wife, Octavia. Speak of her humiliation and continued love of Antonius—nay, first send Octavia to him!”

His hands lifted from the desk as he looked to Agrippa,
“Send her to beg Antonius to return to her, and let her be humiliated.”

Gaius Caesar rose, anger flaring in his eyes at the mere thought of humiliating his sister in such a way, but Maecenas lifted a finger and he remained silent,
“For she will be humiliated, and your case against Cleopatra will be evident. She has bewitched Antonius, and in fact, unmanned him. Made him un-Roman. Your sister will return with word of how Antonius has changed, and so you will grieve over your friend. You will speak of how Antonius blackens his eyes like a Catamite whore, and how he dares to wear purple as if he were a King. You will curse Cleopatra, and you will mourn Antonius. You will make a plea for him to return to Rome, to his wife, before you declare war on Cleopatra.”

Agrippa began to smile then, catching on to the logic Maecenas was working with.
“Antonius will not heed us. He is drunk on Egypt, drunk on power, and drunk on his own delusions of grandeur. He will not imagine the Roman people will support you, but they will. So, he will fight with Cleopatra, and we will decimate the both of them.”

Maecenas observed how Gaius’s posture began to relax, though he swore for a moment he saw some sincere sorrow there.
“Antonius shall be a traitor to Rome. We can have his body thrown into the Tiber river. Then we’ll execute the brat, Caesarion, and have your sister, dear, perfect matron of Rome, adopt Antonius’s children by Cleopatra and raise them as her own. The people will stand behind you in your grief, and they will support you as they supported your father when he was in a similar position, when Pompey Magnus betrayed him,” Maecenas’s smile softened, became sincere, “That will leave you, my friend, the unchallenged ruler of Rome. We will have peace, at long last. Your father’s will shall be completed.”

Runic Blade

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Re: Week Seven [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 10:46:54 pm »
Subject: Sales Pitch for Death
Location: Cemeteries, Inc. Sales Office
Date: September 18th, 2017 A.D.

A thin man with graying hair wrapped his bony fingers over the front of a podium.  Cobalt blue eyes glowed with intensity beneath his hairy brows.  Flowers were arranged around the podium and next to the podium was an open casket.  A wreath laid in the empty casket.  The fresh cut flowers gave off a sweet scent, so intense that it was almost sickening.

The man leered at the assembled audience.  He smiled broadly, much like a used car salesman, except that several of his teeth were missing and the remaining ones were stained yellow.

“Friends”, he said, his voice booming from two tall speakers set at either side of the chamber.  “I come today to speak to you about a topic that few people spend time pondering, but I have made my life's work.  Yes, you heard me right, my life's work is the promotion of death.”

He laughed at his own joke.  The people in the audience were silent.

The man continued his speech.

“Much maligned has been Death!  Many personify death as a kind of skeletal figure, like the Grim Reaper for instance.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.”

The man steepled his hands in front of his chin and paused momentarily.

“Have you ever considered the real opportunities presented by death?  I mean, seriously, have you actually sat down and considered what opportunities await you at the end of the river of life?  Folks, let me assure you that Cemeteries, Incorporated – my employer – has a final offer that you can't refuse.  Let me fill you in on the details of this incredible one-time offer:

Cemeteries, Inc has some of the best bone-yards in America.  For instance, consider the large number of premier  burial sites we have available.  With our company, one can choose a burial as grand as one wishes...”

The lights in the room dimmed and the man clicked a remote, which activated an overhead projector.  An image of a large rectangular sarcophagus surrounded by green grass and tall pines appeared on the screen behind the man.  An imposing iron fence with spikes on it encompassed the tomb.

“This is one we call the the 'Big Boy.'  It is for all those folks out there who haven't made much of an impact in life.  Yes, perhaps this is you.  You are just an ordinary Joe, completely unremarkable in ever way.  No one notices you in a crowd.  Friends forget to return your calls and your children never visit.  You worked an ordinary job for a completely forgettable company.  Perhaps you were a computer programmer or an accountant.

Does this sound like you?  Well then, why not surprise 'em all by going out with a bang?!!

Yes, your life might have been commonplace, sure...!  But your grave can be a testament to the secret badass you've really been all along.  I'm not joking here, friends: why not have the biggest, baddest grave in the graveyard?!  I'm talking about that one monument that everyone looks at with envy, or perhaps even loathing.

Let me tell you folks, nothing makes an impact like a humongous tombstone!  Heck, why not buy several plots?  One for your wife, a few for your kids... perhaps I could even interest you in one or two for the grandchildren?”

The man clicked his remote and the projector advanced to the next image.

“Folks, check out this obelisk!  It looks like a giant dick emerging from the ground, doesn't it?  The Washington Monument is a wuss compared to it!  We offer them in all sizes, ranging from 3 feet to 35 feet tall.  This is the Cadillac Escalade of tombstones!”

The man smiled broadly.  His once pale visage was now flush with blood.  His enthusiasm for the subject was apparent.

“But, wait, you say, bigger is better, and I want some bling too?!

Well, don't just stand around idly while old age decimates you.  Get out your wallets and purses now, because you've never seen anything like this before!”

He clicked again on his remote and a translucent figure hovering over a headstone appeared.

“Is that a GHOST??!”  The salesman grinned broadly.  “Your relatives will be shitting their pants when this appears in front of them!  But... I'll let you in on a little secret brought to us by the miracle of technology – that is actually a hologram, not a ghost!

Amazingly, as part of this incredible limited time offer, you will receive a full body scan which will then be holographically projected above your tombstone on whatever schedule you wish.”

The salesman gave a slow, knowing wink to the audience.  “What a way to shock the kiddies on Halloween, eh?”

“But wait, there's more!

Do you have a favorite song?  Something you find yourself whistling now and then?  Perhaps Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven?  Or perhaps, for the County music fan, Ghost Riders in the Sky?”

The salesman rattled a thick sheaf of papers in his hand.

“If you sign our Burial Contract today, I'll even throw in a motion-activated song recording.  Yes, you heard that right!  A free song!

How does it work, you ask?  Well, it's simple: we install an infrared motion sensor on your headstone.  Whenever anyone passes the memorial, it will automatically start playing your favorite song.  If the hologram doesn't get their attention, then the music blasting out of your tomb is sure to knock their socks off!”

The lights in the room brightened and the salesman took a deep breath.

“I know, one or two of you might be doubtful.  You might worry that your friends and family will think that my proposal is asinine.  But, goddammit, this is America.  And as an American you have a right to a memorial as big and all-encompassing as your personality demands.  I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't accept any less than the best, because here at Cemeteries, Incorporated, our motto is 'The Corpse Is Always Right.'

We live and die by that promise and I guarantee that by making an initial down payment and signing our contract, you will have a funeral that no one will ever forget!”

The audience applauded and a few whistles and hurrahs were heard.  The graying people lined up with their walkers, wheelchairs, and canes.  All of them were eager to sign the burial contract and pledge the minimum down payment.  The sale, after all, was ending in only 24 hours.