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{An Excerpt}

Posted on: November 18th, 2011 by Hannah Beasley 40 Comments

{I’m trying to decide on a title – it was originally A Day of Darkness and Not of Light, but that’s really long and somewhat clumsy. I’ve been thinking about naming it Ten Thousand Shall Fall or And the Earth Wept…thoughts?}

*Note – this is set in a medieval type world, and the people of the land are pagan, worshipping foreign gods. The Southern tribes, quiet and still for many years, are now gathering like a storm and come marching forward to do battle with the lands of the North. Joash and his mother live virtually alone in their part of Kearjath-Jearim, southern land on the border of Maakah, the land of the enemy southern tribes. Kearjath-Jearim, a once-noble nation, fell many years ago to the enemy, and part of it now belongs to them. It is without king and without many inhabitants.*

Joash arrived at the fortress a day later, having ridden hard and fast to reach the place of safety. A thick stone wall surrounded the fort, rising tall and gray out of the ground. High upon its turrets and walkways were soldiers dressed in the dark armor of Danram, swords sheathed at their sides. There came no noise from inside. All was still and quiet, as though the land was hushed in fear. The sun was rising in the East, its pale rays slipping across the hard walls of Anath. As Joash and his horse galloped the last half-mile to the broad gate, he saw the guards speaking with one another and shouting orders until the gate slowly began to open, admitting Joash and his exhausted horse. He was safe.

The men there confirmed his worst fears – the tribes of Maakah were moving on them. Yet when he told the leader then of his intent to return home and take his mother and friend, he was told he would not be allowed to. “It would be death to attempt such a thing,” Captain Grader said. “I am sorry. You will leave with a party of soldiers and other refugees for the safe haven of Ramath-Gilead. The news of the enemy must be given to the King.”

Black fear clouded Joash’s eyes as he clenched his teeth and replied, “Please, sir, let me go. I am a fast rider, I would be back in less than a day!”

“I will say no more,” the captain said, turning and walking away. Joash closed his eyes, his chest heaving as he thought of his mother, so loving and beautiful, left alone to the mercy of the dark enemy. Opening his eyes, he broke lose from the grasp of one of the soldiers and ran after the captain.

“Please!” he screamed, pounding along the upper wall of the fortress, trying to catch the man. Behind him he heard the heavy footsteps of the soldiers running after him. “Please! Don’t let them die! Please, I beg you! Let me go!” He felt strong arms grab him and force him to the ground, pining him still. “Let me go! Let me go! My mother, please!”

The captain turned to his aide. “Get this boy inside, quiet him down. The people need not hear this. There will be all too much slaughter – and there is nothing I can do.”

His screams muffled by hands covering his mouth, Joash was half carried, half dragged away as the sun of the second day rose in the sky.

————————————————

Night was closing in as Miriam stood at her doorway, watching the sun set. She caught sight of a figure running toward her. could it be be Joash? she wondered hopefully. No, it was Darren.

“Has he come?” Darren gasped when he reached her door.

“No, he has not.” Miriam turned quickly, hiding her face that the tears on it would not be seen. She did not yet know if Joash had even reached the fortress in safety.

“He should be back,” muttered the old man. “It’s been two days, the ride would not take him so long.”

So they waited, watching the final sunset and looking for Miriam’s son. And he did not return with the morning sun, but there did come a darkness, an eternal darkness that would not soon be gone.

Sorry for the long excerpt. =P I was having trouble finding something short that wouldn’t be totally confusing! =D Do you want to see more excerpts, or was one enough? =D


comments

40 Responses

  1. Eve says:

    I loved it!!! Your writing is amazing, and the story really engaging! :)

  2. Hannah says:

    Thanks Eve!! =D I’m so glad you liked it!! =D

  3. Rachel Hipps says:

    I like the title Ten Thousand Shall Fall. I think it sounds interesting. :) I like the way you write and the story sounds awesome!

  4. Hannah says:

    Thanks Rachel! =D

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  21. それと前髪を取る量が少ないと厚みが出ずスカスカして野暮ったい感じになりますので美容師さんと相談してくださいね☆

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  23. There is no inherent reason for an item of clothing, for example a skirt, to be considered feminine. Roland Barthes, in his book The Diseases of Costume, writes of theatrical dress as a kind of language in which the basic element is the sign (Lurie, 1992, p3). This statement can be expanded to include all elements of dress away from the theatre. If clothing is a sign therefore, it must be given a meaning and this meaning, as with all signs, is constructed. For example, society has identified the skirt as a signifier of femininity, which has been reinforced through repeated exposure (both through the media and on the street) to images of women in skirts and men in trousers. The fact that the gender signification of this garment has altered indicates that fashion, just like gender itself, is a social construction, with fashion items becoming loaded signs. If our appearance is an accumulation of signs then we each reveal something about ourselves through our choice of garments; clothing becomes a reflection of our identity. Whilst fashion does allow women to experiment with their image and different ways of portraying femininity, as something primarily constructed for the male gaze it still confines women to a choice between constructed female identities (Barnard, 1996, p140).

  24. Fashion can certainly be used to parody, subvert and deconstruct gender identities (particularly the feminine), however, in the mainstream, it can only ever reflect the social conscious behind it. If society is not ready for men to wear skirts, then skirts will not be bought by the majority of men. Whilst designers like Jean Paul Gaultier can attempt to deconstruct gender stereotypes through fashion, many of these subversions can still be read as supporting the distinction between gender identities. Fashion and dress is influenced by both the body itself and the range of signs that it refers to, making it difficult to determine where fashion ends and social consciousness begins.

  25. The ‘gaze’ plays a significant role in the maintenance of the male/female binary and as such the separation of gender identities. The ‘gaze’ (that is, the act of looking at and objectifying the opposite sex) is considered predominantly masculine, with many images of women in the media being constructed for the male audience (Barnard, 1996, p140). However when a man is the subject of the gaze the binary is not destroyed, as merely reversing the act of ‘looking’ and being ‘looked at’ does not alter the active/passive, male/female binary. These must be transcended in order to begin breaking down the distinction between gender identities (Barnard, 1996, p140). As such fashion, by encouraging the male gaze and helping to define masculine from feminine is supporting the male/female binary. Cross dressing is one way of making it especially clear that this male/female binary exists.

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