Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Land Between the Mountains

Posted: April 25, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Uncategorized

mt-lemmon-with-tree

The air was dry and the dust clung to her boots. Only one ridge away, the land between the mountains stretched into the distance: green, silent, empty.

There was nothing alive there. No birds in the sky, no snakes in the grass. Just death.

She checked her pack. All her gear was there, though the water was running low.

As if water was her biggest concern.

Nobody knew what lurked in the land between the mountains. Nobody had ever made it across to the other side to say.

But she’d give it her best shot. The truth was waiting.


Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Jan Wayne Fields for providing the prompt photo!

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the-last-jedi-landscape-poster

Hi. I liked The Last Jedi.

If you did not like The Last Jedi, that’s cool. It’s got its issues. There’s issues with pacing and scenes that don’t need as much screentime, and I’m undecided about the character of Rose and that, uh, thing she does to Finn which made him angry. I’m not gonna stand here and tell you it’s a flawless movie impervious to any and all criticism.

But it’s impervious to some of the criticisms lobbed at it.

 

There are legitimate arguments to be made about the failures of The Last Jedi, and then there is the pseudo-intellectual nonsense encouraged by profesional nitpicks like Cinemasins and the Plinkett reviews. These lines of thinking make no logical sense as criticism, and those who believe them often attempt to intellectualize the nonsense by ascribing what they see as a fancy literary term: Plot hole.

A number of “plot holes” I have seen people claim The Last Jedi has include:

Why didn’t the Resistance or First Order think of kamikaze attacks before?

Poe’s rogue mission failed so it had no purpose in the plot!

Bombs wouldn’t fall out of ships because there’s no gravity in space!

How did the codebreaker know the shuttles were fleeing to Crait?

How did Poe figure out how to kill a Dreadnought?

A plot hole, as defined by TV Tropes is this:

Plot Holes are those gaps in a story where things happen without a logical reason.

And the different kinds of plot holes are:

  • Characters suddenly having knowledge that was never passed to them, or vice versa; characters not knowing something they knew last week, or something that anyone in their position must know.
  • An event does not logically follow from what has gone before.
  • An event occurring that other events in the work simply do not allow.

So plot holes are a problem in the internal logic of the story.

Physics/science inconsistencies are not plot holes. Or else Alderaan exploding with sound despite no sound existing in space is a plot hole.

A hanging plot thread is not a plot hole. Regardless, Poe’s rogue mission failing is critical to the story The Last Jedi is telling. It’s not a hanging thread as people seem to think, it’s the whole point of the movie that Poe fails.

Holdo ramming her ship into Snoke’s is the logical conclusion to her arc given the situation she was in. The internal logic of the story flows perfectly. Asking why no one did it before is as unproductive as asking why no one thought to trip an AT-AT before Hoth.

After I saw the movie, I thought the Codebreaker knowing the shuttles had escaped to Crait was a plot hole. It fulfills the first bullet point, with the “hole” in the story’s logic being that he had no way of knowing that plan was happening. J.A. Prentice then reminded me that the codebreaker heard the conversation between Finn and Poe where Poe relayed Holdo’s escape plan, and that’s how he figured it out.

Poe knowing how to kill a Dreadnought may seem to fall under that first bullet point, but it was never established that he did not know. On the contrary, it’s safe to say a veteran pilot and Resistance soldier would know the weaknesses and strengths of the opponent’s fleet. Again, plot holes are about the story’s internal logic. Fighter pilot + war veteran probably equals knowledge on the enemy’s biggest ships. I mean, how the hell did the Rebels in IV get the plans to the Death Star? That was never explained! Plot hole! Plot hole! Give us a god-awful snoozefest movie to explain, we’re too dumb to understand!

 

 

 

icicles-dale-rogerson

Pale icicles hung from leafless branches as Breda stood in the woods, wrapped in a grey cloak, eyes fixed upon the tower window. She saw the flare of a candle, bright as the first star.

Words rushed through her head, memories falling like snowflakes.

“It can’t be. I’m promised to another.”

She remembered the tears glistening on her love’s cheek, remembered the hurt in those leaf-green eyes.

Now all she had was candlelight, dim in the falling winter night.

“No,” she whispered. “This isn’t the end.”

And she stepped out from the woods, towards the castle, towards the light.


Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Dale Rogerson for the prompt photo!

photo-20171016163112319

A gloved hand brushed against pink paint. White chalk dust came away on Victoria’s fingers. Scrawled upon the wall was a smiley face: so crude a child of five could have drawn it. Next to it were a series of lines, like tally marks.

She had seen them before: at the school, at the houses, under the bridge.

“Come on,” Sergeant Brodie grabbed her hand. “We have three missing girls to find.”

Victoria smiled. “And I found them.”

“They drew that?” Brodie looked at the face.

“It’s a symbol,” Victoria said. “Marking meeting places. Safe houses. It’s how they’re communicating to each other.”

“The kidnappers?”

Victoria shook her head. “There are no kidnappers. They ran away. And not just them. It’s a network of runaways and forgotten people, all watching out for each other.” She looked at Brodie. “It’s almost a shame we have to bring them back.”


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Grant-Sud for providing the prompt photo!

 

tltweek88

The page is always blank to start with: stark white like a snowfield, ink dripping from the pen like ash. Then you start to write and it just flows, flows like a river, winding, twisting, so fast you can barely lift your pen from the page and all the words and sentences jumble together.

How long does it take you to realize that they aren’t your words – and how long until you realize that you can’t stop?


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Kira auf der Hiede for the prompt photo!

smallpox-hospital-roger-bultot

In the ruins of the hall, the mad king kept his court. His tapestries were crawling ivy, his musicians cawing crows. He sat upon a throne of skull and stone, his sunken eyes glowering at his subjects: foxes and badgers and feral cats, a snarling court of white-toothed beasts.

Nobody came here, not anymore. He was sealed away with his madness, only old bones for company. Sometimes they whispered in the dark, telling him the secrets of the dead.

Each morning, he stood at the gate, watching golden light spread over the hills, never able to take that first step.


Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Roger Bulltot for providing the prompt photo!

 

closet-shower-2

Light shone out across the dark room, coming from the bathroom door.

Funny, Keeley thought, I was sure I’d turned it off.

Footsteps tapped on the tile. Humming rose up – off-key Sinatra.

Keeley tensed, every muscle becoming rigid, the hairs on her neck standing on end. She grabbed a lamp and crept towards the door, the power cable trailing behind like a tail.

With a deep breath, she turned the corner, lamp held high, heart pounding.

A man was standing there, a toothbrush in his mouth. He blinked, then sighed.

“This isn’t my house, is it?”


Word Count: 96

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and providing the prompt photo!