Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Martians Emerge

Tara Tyler is having her 300+ Follower Celebration by letting us post brief blurbs about our works in progress.  I did so for my reimagining of The War of the Worlds.  Of course, you’ll get a larger excerpt below.  (Keep in mind, it’s Victorian-ish in style.) 

The Martians are just emerging from their cylinder.  I’ve flipped the main character to female. 

The whole creature heaved and pulsated convulsively, its oily skin resembling some great fungus on a rotting log in a dank forest.  The quivering of its mouth and the heaving of its body were only matched by the curling and uncurling of its tentacles.  The great mass of them, on either side of its mouth, brought the term “Gorgon” to mind, rather than “Martian.”  But there was a deliberation to the movement of its tentacles, and a vital intensity to the immense eyes as it observed us and the surroundings that conveyed a nastiness of spirit.  A tentacle rose in the air, swaying, then it pointed at me.  Cold sweat broke out on my brow, and I was overcome with disgust and dread. 

Slowly, the monstrous thing slid over the edge of the cylinder like a clump of wet snow toppling off an eave when sufficiently melted.  It thudded like a great mass of leather in the pit.  The most peculiar, thick cry finally emanated from it.  Then another of these creatures appeared, glistening, crawling forward like the first. 

I turned and ran.  


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Oh the atmosphere you set with creative use of adjectives is quite riveting.

Mark Murata said...

Thank you. The general wisdom all over the internet is to be sparing of adjectives and adverbs in one's sentences. That's true for the first one or two sentences of a story. After that, they can be used judiciously to good effect. I should do a post on that someday.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Yikes. I'd turn and run, too. Fungus on a rotting log. . . and quivering. Eeek. : )


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