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Tales From The Blind
The MK2K Project
Last update: 03/30/2008
New Stuff: Posted the results from the 1000 Words V story contest.
(7/17/2005) A new story has been added to The MK2K Project -- Calming the Storm, by Ryx. Come see what Murikeer's up to in the world of the future... :)
(6/5/2005) A new MK story by yours truly, Picking up the Pieces, has now been added. In addition, the award emblems for 1000 Words IV contest winners have been added to their respective stories.
(3/12/2005) The results for the 1000 Words IV contest have now been posted!
(11/14/2004) Finally added the award emblems for the 1000 Words III contest winners. I'm sorry it took me so long, and I promise I won't let that happen again next time! Look for 1000 Words IV to begin very soon...
(11/11/2004) Total revamp of the site's layout. TBP and MK stories are now on their own separate pages.
(10/28/2004) There's another new story at The MK2K Project -- Troubled Minds, by yours truly. This is a pretty dark one, and definitely for grown-ups only, but I hope you enjoy it. I've also added Casualties, a TBP story by Hallan Mirayas. Have fun!
(10/24/2004) I've added a page for The MK2K Project, an anthology series I've been working on for about the last four years and which I've finally decided to bring out in the open. My first four stories in the setting are now online, with more forthcoming as my muse dictates. I'll be interested to see what everybody thinks of this little experiment...
"1000 Words" Story Contests
The last couple of years have seen several iterations of the "1000 Words" story contest. Here are the pages with the results from each:
1000 Words: The original. Six authors vie for the prize -- will it be the lady or the tiger? Oh, wait, it's both...
1000 Words II: A woman, a chalice of green flame, and a huge, frightful face looking over her shoulder. How did eleven different authors interpret this image? Have a look for yourself...
1000 Words III: Is it a cocoon? A statue? A decoy? And why does that woman have wings? See how our writers interpreted the third image in the 1000 Words series.
1000 Words IV: An alien-looking woman holds a human child in her arms. What does it mean? Check out what happens when fifteen different authors take a crack at this image -- the biggest 1000 Words contest yet!
These are stories that aren't part of the TBP, MK or MK2K shared universes. Most of them are sci-fi or fantasy stories with some transformation content, but I'll put up any story here that appeals to me.
About Foxes and Men by Copernicus -- This story won Cope an award in a writing contest during his absence from the List. Read it and it's easy to see why. Recommended.
At the End of Justice by Mystic -- A rich, powerful tale of a world where a mystical force has brought order to a land of chaos and strife. Unfortunately, the system is not as perfect as it might seem at first glance... (Second Place, 1000 Words II, February 2003)
Being a Patrolsentient by Michael Bard -- Kyros is the first centaur ever to join the Patrol, an elite police force charged with maintaining order in the Sol system -- and armed with the nuclear weapons to do so. Some tension is inevitable when peace is enforced at the barrel of a gun, but Kyros is less concerned with the politics than he is with the turmoil in his own soul. Is he really cut out to be a Patrolsentient? And what will it cost him to find out? (First Place, 1000 Words IV, February 2005)
Black Ops: Shadows by Raven Blackmane -- There's a war out there. It's a war that most people don't even have a clue is taking place. It's a war to protect humanity from the deepest, darkest, most terrifying threats that have ever stalked this planet: Aliens. Vampires. Werewolves. Evil Psis. Who's standing in the gap to protect the world from such horrors? Meet the Black Ops -- the roughest, toughest, most capable soldiers the human race has ever produced. They have to hold the line against the things that go bump in the night -- and keep you from finding out about it. Set in the world of GURPS: Black Ops, a roleplaying game from Steve Jackson Games, this story introduces us to a team of Ops, about to confront a supernatural enemy that will tax even the best soldiers in the world to their limits...
Breathing Exercises by Michael Bard -- By far the most unique of the entries received for the 1000 Words II contest. A young woman prepares for a strange rite of passage, one that she is more than a little reluctant to go through with... (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
The Camera Never Lies by Allen "Shockwave" Kitchen -- Marketers and spin doctors will always have a place in society -- even if society is taken over by man-eating alien monsters. The job just gets a bit harder, that's all. A twisted little study in black humor. (Third place-tie, 1000 Words IV, February 2005)
Dealing with the Faerie by Michael Bard -- A colony ship is a world in a bottle. Every single variable of its environment must be precisely regulated, or it will mean death for everyone aboard. Here, the captain of one such ship has learned that something unexpected is upsetting the balance of his little world -- but what will it cost to correct it? Another cool, powerful sci-fi story from the Bard. (First Place, 1000 Words III, January 2004)
Deus Ex Video by Ironhorse -- A group of players in an online roleplaying game find things getting a little too realistic. One of the funniest stories I've read in quite a while. (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
El Tesoro de las Sirenas by Indiana Jones -- An old archaeologist has disappeared in the Desierto de las Sirenas in New Mexico, and it's up to his former apprentice and his beautiful daughter to find him. As it turns out, they find a lot more than they expected... (First Place, Merfolk Contest 2000)
The Eyes of D'aar by Cubist -- A priestess prepares herself to take up the mantle of leadership ... and the secret burden that goes with it. (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
For Art's Sake by Cubist -- Definitely one of the most unique and creative entries I've ever seen in a 1000 Words contest. What happens when a race of hyperintellectual alien plants tries to make sense of the mystery of human religion? Possibly, something like this... (1000 Words IV Contest Entry, February 2005)
Force of Nature by Glory -- Everyone always knew Boris Allison was destined for something truly special -- that he would be one to do great things. They were right ... but not in the way they expected... (Second Place, 1000 Words III, January 2004)
Fractured Fairy Tale: Little Red Riding Hood by Otrstf (Dan) -- Ever wonder why the wolf could talk? Dan offers us an explanation of what really happened in this entertaining (and tongue-in-cheek) retelling of the classic fable.
Free by Doug Linger -- A beautiful little short about a boy's mysterious transformation, and the healing that follows it... for child and family alike.
Gloria by Raven Blackmane -- We write different stories, at different times, for different reasons. Sometimes it's for the joy of sharing a good story. Sometimes it's to get the reader to stop and think. Sometimes it's to continue a story that's already begun, so that the next, more interesting chapter can appear. And then there are the stories we write because they need to be written. This story, which I wrote between midnight and three A.M. one evening after listening to Rebecca St. James's rendition of Lord, You're Beautiful, most definitely fell into that latter category. I will say nothing more about it here, save this: the title is not the modern given name Gloria, but rather the Latin word for "glory". I hope it touches you as you read it, as it touched me when I wrote it.
Heterophenomenology with Werewolf by Greyflank -- Julia Vedder has a problem, and she's running out of therapists to talk to about it. Dr. King has some ideas about what to do with her, but she might be surprised if she knew his real goals... (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
King of India by Jacob Fox -- Sir Cecil Waterstone is the captain of a British regiment in India, and the master of all he surveys. Or so he thinks... (Third Place, 1000 Words Contest, May 2002)
Kira by Mystic -- A young woman gathers flowers in a lonely forest, blissfully unaware of the terrible battle that once took place on this ground ... or of the danger that still lurks here. (Third Place, 1000 Words III, January 2004)
A Knight to Remember by Kurt Cagle -- A new take on an old, old story, as seen through the eyes of the mermaid who took part in it. Easily one of the best mer stories currently available on the Internet, it's witty, enjoyable, and highly recommended.
Kyrean Life, Sort of by Mystic -- For a kyrean, Shaldea comes from an odd family: her adoptive aunt, Sarah, is a human, and married to the human ambassador to Kyrie. Having humans for relatives comes with its share of complications, but Shaldea gets more than she bargained for when she goes to pick up her baby cousin from the nearby spaceport... (Third place-tie, 1000 Words IV, February 2005)
The Lake by Raven Blackmane -- This was a story I wrote during a long evening flight from St. Louis to San Jose. I can't really say much about it without ruining the story, except that it's short. :-) This one is my tribute to Ray Bradbury, master of the short, eerie science fiction/fantasy/horror story. While I can't claim to equal his genius here, I'd like to think I've captured some of the flavor that makes his work so memorable. Enjoy.
The Last Dragon by Michael Bard -- The 1000 Words II Contest actually inspired two stories from Michael, but since he was only allowed to submit one, he chose Breathing Exercises and just posted this one on TSA-talk for everyone's amusement. (He also asked me to mention that this story was inspired both by the picture itself and by the titles of the other stories submitted for the contest.) While it doesn't have the unique flavor of the aforementioned story, I think it's well worth reading all the same, if for no other reason than the interesting twist at the end. :) Enjoy!
Lovers in Flux by Bill Kieffer -- Welcome to hell, a.k.a. Earth after the Flux. Think of it as sorta like the Martian Flu, only it struck everybody -- and nobody seems to be able to successfully have children. Maria Scolari is part of a team of scientists tasked with figuring out how to work around that, but she has problems of her own... (First Place, 1000 Words Contest, May 2002)
Master Made Me by Michael Bard -- Picture this: You wake up in a strange world, your memories lost, your body altered beyond recognition ... and the only other person around is a man who holds an unexplained power over your mind, heart, and emotions. What do you do? (Second Place, 1000 Words Contest, May 2002)
The Matrix: Reassignment by Radioactive Loner -- Set in the universe of the Sci-Fi movie The Matrix, this is the story of one individual who was picked out by the Machines at birth for a rather interesting experiment. Besides being a really good tale, this story is noteworthy because of its very effective use of the second-person mode of writing, which is rarely used (and even more rarely used well). I highly recommend it.
The Myth of Arial by A. Newton -- A very cool myth about a demon who discovers human kindness. Not as detailed as I might have liked, but very neat nonetheless. (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
None So Alone by Raven Blackmane -- The first version of this story was written in about three hours ... from eleven at night to two in the morning. It has since gone through some changes, expansions and improvements, and I have reached the point where I believe any further modification would deaden the story's impact. In any case, I hereby present it for your examination. (Author's Note: I should take this opportunity to acknowledge my debt to two men whom I hold in high esteem. The first, J. Michael Straczynski, inspired this story through an interview in the Wizard Magazine Fathom Special, wherein he discussed his comic book maxi-series, Rising Stars -- which is very good, by the way, and which I highly recommend to my readers. The second, Phil Geusz, provided me with invaluable feedback on the story's first version, even going so far as to contribute a couple of paragraphs to its expansion. And since I get the question so often, I'll answer it here: No, I don't plan on writing a sequel. :-)
Please Forgive My Anal-Retentiveness by BlueNight -- There is a disease that occasionally infects the TSA mailing list, a dread epidemic that steals the light and joy of all who suffer its assault. I speak, of course, of transformation nit-picking. Fortunately, there is a cure: unabashed silliness. BlueNight demonstrates the proper use of this wonder drug through this clever and amusing little short.
Poolside View by Nels Lindberg -- This is one of those stories that's best left being described as little as possible, so that the reader has the pleasure of figuring out for him/herself what's going on. Suffice it to say that this is a delightful look at a day in the life of a mermaid, through the eyes of a rather unusual observer. (Second Place-tie, Merfolk Contest 2000)
Quest for the Dragon's Heart by Volk-Oboroten' -- Volk wrote his contest entry in its entirety in the last 24 hours before the deadline, thanks to a heavy snowfall that pretty much buried his entire neighborhood. Travel with us now to the land of Euskadi, where a poor nomad is sent out on a journey to save his world from an evil dragon ... or die trying. (1000 Words II Contest Entry, February 2003)
Returning Home by Michael Bard -- Anita is a brilliant young physicist working on a top-secret military project: the Planck's Gate, a dimensional portal that will allow travel to parallel universes. Unfortunately, while Anita herself created the system of math that the gate is based on, her superiors ignore her advice on how to operate the thing, triggering a terrible accident. Now Anita finds herself stranded on a strange new world -- not just light-years, but whole realities distant from Earth. Can she find a way home again? (Second Place-tie, Merfolk Contest 2000)
Silent Bells by Charles Matthias -- Samuel and David are two brothers united by love and divided by faith. Samuel, the priest, sought comfort in the church after their parents' death; David, on the other hand, pushed away from God, immersing himself in his studies as an English professor specializing in folklore. Still, Samuel always felt that the bond between them would remain strong -- until one day, when a mysterious woman came into David's life... (Second Place, 1000 Words IV, February 2005)
Song of Dead Suns by Deranged Kitsune -- In the far future, two spacefaring traders -- one human, one not -- ponder the legacies of extinct civilizations. Everything passes with time; who will remember our works when we are gone? A thoughtful little vignette set in a quite nifty sci-fi world, which I hope Kitsune will return to in future writings.
Vicki by Kim Metzger -- Don't let the name fool you: this is a most definitely male (and most definitely talented) author, and this very enjoyable tale showcases his talents quite nicely. Here Kim relates the story of Victoria Nash, a highly modern young woman from an upper-class family in turn-of-the-century Boston. Her father is good friends with an Irish nobleman, Lord Broderick -- and unfortunately, Broderick's (utterly unpleasant) son Nate has taken notice of Vicki. He is committed to winning her hand in marriage, with or without her consent; fortunately, Vicki gains a quite unexpected and unusual ally in her efforts to stay out of Nate's unsavory clutches...
To Walk With Shadows by Xepher -- A lush and intricate tale of a cruel line of rulers in a mythical desert land ... and the young woman who brought about their downfall. (Third Place, 1000 Words II, February 2003)
A Writer Writes, Always by Corey Moore -- A beautiful and well-written analogy for the process of creative writing. Warm, sweet, and -- dare I say it? -- poignant. Highly recommended.
The Wild by Ryx -- A remarkable, moving story of a young woman from a primitive and magical tribe who comes into contact with one of the mundanes from the civilized world ... and what happens to her as a result. Great work from our resident skunk. (First Place, 1000 Words II, February 2003)
Will of the Goddess by Michael Bard -- A word of warning, first off: This is not a happy story. It is, however, an exceedingly well-written and (for me) moving one, and one of the best pieces of writing I've seen on the list recently. In a world of sorcery and mythology, a brilliant old magician finds himself trapped in a cave facing the sea -- with an unconscious, wounded sirene for company. The mage knows that the beautiful, deadly creature will surely kill him when it awakens ... but is there more to this situation than there first appears to be? An excellent first offering by TSA-newcomer Michael Bard, and highly recommended.
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