27 July 2012

You Shall Not Pass = Don't Let That?

I recently took up a challenge to write a fantasy flash fiction using the following prompt:

Go to Badtranslator.
In the first box, type in "You shall not pass"
For the translator, select Bing (Microsoft Translator)
For the number of translations, select 18.
Check the box that says Random Language Order.
Click Translate.
Now, take the translated phrase and write a 400-1,500 word story using your result as the first line.  Here's the trick: Your story must not include any T's, except for the line taken from Bad Translator.

This was probably the most difficult writing challenge I've taken on yet. The most difficult part for me was getting to the minimum 400 words without using the letter t. When I followed the above directions, Bad Translator spit out the phrase: "Don't let that." My story is below.

“Don’t let that fall,” David warned, eyeing his slave sharply.
Ignoring him, Karel slid his burden carefully off of his silver salver, placing his showy ice carving on a marble slab for display. Humans were always so anxious, especially regarding Elmedanin--or Elves as Humans called Karel’s people. Karel briefly pondered dumping his heavy carving on David’s head; however, discipline for Elves who killed or even injured Humans was very severe, and he grudgingly reconsidered.
“Looks a smidgen lopsided.” David inclined his head, his hands on his hips, imperiously eyeballing Karel’s work.
Karel laboriously levelled his carving, envisioning David frozen inside, enclosed in ice forever, and he smiled. Many Humans wrongly assumed Elves were never angry or aggressive, and never experienced any dark feelings. Elmedanin could be as warlike as any Human; however, usually chose peace. Accordingly, Humans had easily conquered and enslaved Elmedanin who calmly acquiesced. Foolishness, really; peace was all well and good only if you had no enemies.
David nodded, smiling. “Much nicer.” He glanced down and, seeing his chrono, gasped. “Our company will be here soon!” Imperiously signalling Karel, he spun and marched down his gravelled garden walkway. “Make sure all is ready,” he called over his shoulder as he rushed inside his lavish mansion, probably planning which apparel he would wear for maximum impression on his company who would also plan wardrobes accordingly.
Karel sighed; unlike many Elmedanin here, he could remember life before Humans, and he cherished his memories. Life was simpler before Humans invaded, conquering and enslaving, using a magic no Elmedanin had ever seen or imagined, a magic Humans called “science.” Before Humans came, Karel had been free; he had owned his own life. Many Elmedanin had been born slaves, or enslaved young so had no memories of freedom.
However, some Elmedanin had never been enslaved and lived free as before. He would as well. Unobserved now, he slipped a phial from his sleeve and dripped a few drops of a colourless liquid in a silver amphora brim-full of heady Alseni wine. Nassi blossom essence had no flavour or odour, and would never be recognized by Human medical examiners. Nassi blossom essence had only one drawback: severe drunkenness and occasionally unconsciousness. Karel would have ample leisure--his escape would be easy.
Soon, he would be free: free of Humans and Human caprices; free of chains real or symbolic. He would own his own life once again.

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