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MangaHelpers Art Contest Week 35-36 ~ Short Stories - Mythology!
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the voting phase of MH's Art Contest Week 35-36 for the Short Stories category. Thank you to everyone who have taken the time to write and submit a tale for this contest! Make sure to pick the most captivating piece in your opinion. Now it's time to cast your vote in.
• Voting will automatically be closed on June 23rd, 2013 at 21:30 PM (-3 GMT).
• You may only vote once and for one of the submissions.
• Announcement of winners and next contest and new theme will be done as soon as possible after the voting period is over.
Quote:Entry 1: "Retrieving Mjolnir" by yukihime03
Loki almost burst out laughing when he saw Thor. However, seeing how Thor had glared daggers at him through the veil, he tried to contain himself.
“Well, Thor, you certainly make a striking bride.” Loki snickered.
Thor really wanted to tear through the frilly dress. Darn Heimdall. If it wasn’t for Mjolnir, he would have beat Heimdall senseless for suggesting this no matter what Odin said. Darn Freyja too. She was always so readily slept with any male when she wanted something, but she just had to refuse Thrym when his Mjolnir was at stake.
“Let’s go and get this over with soon!” Thor growled to Loki. Loki grinned outright at Thor’s words, but he complied.
Thor had never liked the trickster, but as Loki had volunteered to help him in his quest to retrieve Mjolnir, and dressed as a woman in his real form even though he could have transformed himself into a woman, Thor decided to bear Loki’s antics out of respect. Thor was still resentful though, since Loki looked better in dress than he did. I will be a laughing stock back in Asgard. I will never live this down!
Thor and Loki arrived safely at Jotunheim and the giants received them with courtesy. A grand feast was prepared in the great hall for the wedding, and it seemed all the giants in the realm were there for the festivity. They were talking and laughing and eating with great exuberance. Loki, however, had lost all his early cheeriness, and his face was grim. Thor supposed he was a bit intimated too by all the giants. However, not even intimidation could hamper his appetite, so he kept eating what was served in front of him. So far, no one sensed anything amiss.
Suddenly, Thrym turned to his right, facing his bride.
“Well, well, well. Look! The lovely Freyja had consumed a whole ox, eight salmons, and three large tankards of mead. How could a beautiful goddess such as Freyja eat so many?” He gave a pointed look to both Thor and Loki. Thor cursed himself. He looked at Loki and saw that Loki already thought of something.
“Err… Pardon me, o great Thrym. Actually, in her… eagerness to arrive here soon, my lady Freyja had not eaten anything for eight days. She ate so many just now so she could satisfy her hunger.” Loki spoke carefully.
“Is that so?” Thrym chuckled. “Well, I could not blame her to be so eager to sleep with me!” He bellowed. All the giants laughed with him. Thor could feel his anger rising.
All of a sudden without warning, Thrym turned at Thor and lifted his veil.
“I want to kiss my lovely bride.” Thrym said. Thor’s bearded face was now fully exposed in front of the giants. Thrym jerked back in astonishment. Loki started to look panicked.
“Why are her eyes burning red?!!” Thrym shouted in horror. Thor could not see his own eyes, but he knew they burned like fire. Loki pursed his lips.
“O great Thrym, my lady was so eager to see your majesty, that aside from not eating for eight days, she also did not sleep for eight days. That is why her eyes are so red.” Loki explained.
Thrym nodded. Huh, how easily fooled, Thor thought. A giantess—Thrym’s sister—suddenly spoke.
“If the goddess is so eager to marry my brother, she has to present her bridal gift first. I believe a gold ring will suffice.” The giantess sneered. Thor glanced at his fingers which were adorned by gold rings. Greedy.
“It does not matter!” Thrym shouted. “Let’s just get on with the wedding. Bring in the Mjolnir!” The giants cheered. Thor was ecstatic. Here it comes!
“Lay it down on my bride’s lap. It shall bless her while we are joined by hands with the goddess Var’s blessing.” Thrym instructed his servant. The servant put down Mjolnir in Thor’s lap. Finally! He grinned while he grabbed the Mjolnir and tore his dress.
“You shall pay for taking my weapon, giant!” He shouted as he charged at Thrym.
Loki could not stop grinning all the way back. “Well, it was messy, but it was really fun. Thrym believed everything I said! How foolish! I was more astounded by their stupidity of not noticing your beard though. When he suddenly lifted the veil, I thought we were done for! But then he was asking about the eyes instead. I almost laughed on the spot!” Loki burst out laughing.
“If you ever talk about my bride disguise just for laugh, I’ll hunt you and kill you.” Thor said threateningly. Loki sobered instantly.
“I know.” Loki smiled mysteriously. Thor could not trust him, but he let it go for now. Their journey back to Asgard was full of victorious and contented feelings.
Quote:Entry 2: "Barrow Lover" by Beatrice
It is the National Gallery of Ireland situated in the center of Dublin, a Gallery with a collection of 14,000 Artworks including highlights created by names none other than Pablo Picasso,Claude Monet or Edgar Degas.
Lee had always been an avid admirer of the various works showcased here after all, one can say this admiration flows within his blood.
He had visited this Gallery often before due to this very admiration as much as it pained him as he himself knew all he can truly do is stare at the canvases.
While he inherited the love for art it is an entire different matter when it comes to practical work.
But today he has not visited the Gallery to admire the works, it is the reveal of a work with a mystery....
159 years earlier
On the southside of the city center, as good as everyone has heard or at least encountered a certain person called Sean, a man in his mid twenties wearing a constant tired expression and partially appearing like some sort of....Zombie at times.
Sleep Depravity isn't healthy but what shall one do when being plagued by an obsession?
Day in, and day out working to craft something of note, yet failing and failing miserably, the sole thing keeping him going being the love for art.
At least it was...until he encountered the person that would change his life.
It's a day like any other for Sean, inside his cheap and worn down little house one would think a robbery took place when looking at the mess.
Sitting on a wooden stool he seems to have painted a work yet, "seeming" doesn't always equate to actuality.
His desperation made his hand move practically by itself without a real image in his mind.
Dropping his head, he decided to just leave it be for now and decided to head out to grasp some air.
As he walked through the streets of Dublin, he saw a building in construction, his eyes set onto it, he was caught by surprise due to a gentle voice from beside him.
"Are you interested in Art?"
It was a woman he had never met before to his surprise.He knew the area and it's people well...not by name but that was a face he saw for the first time,
and wouldn't forget.Her auburn hair was pulled back in buns and curls were let loose one the side of her face and Sean was captivated by those eyes like the ocean.
Ultimately, he was shy by nature so it didn't really help that a pretty woman talks to him.
"More...or less.I-I try!" Unable to look into her eyes he felt tense.
"What means "I try"?" She replied with a wondering expression.
"Well I paint..."
"Ah, well this may be a lucky opportunity." She said cheerfully.
"They're building an Art Gallery, you were staring at it.
"Yes, you said you paint?Perhaps one day a work of yours is shown here."
"I really doubt that..."
Silence between the two broke in, and Sean couldn't help but keep looking at the future Gallery.Something...is drawing him....
"Let me see!" A voice cheerfully bursted out.
"Huh!?" Surprised by that, Sean stared into her face....and he noticed that himself quickly looking away.
"Your paintings I mean, I wanna see them.Please?"
Sean didn't know himself why he answered the way he did, just like the Gallery, it is like a weird force.
"Oh I'm Chloda by the way!"
Heading off to the house the two conversed over several topics around Art, a topic which at least wakes Sean up to some extend.
Sean said in a gloomy manner "I'm sorry it's a mess in here..."
"An Artist isn't expected to be a clean...."
As Sean opened the door Chloda gulped.
"Never mind that hehe" she said giggling and almost stormed into the house taking a look at the canvas set.
"What are you painting here?" She asked interested.
"If only I knew...."
"I paint and paint...yet without an Image to go by..."
Wondering to herself, Chloda smiled mischievously,took and chair and sat down and in a near declaration.
Sean was at a loss yet, this force struck him, unable to resist he just took his brush and began painting on a new Canvas.
As before, Sean's hand seems to move by itself yet, an image was clear in his mind....
Lee remembers that story well, yet as well as the tragedy behind it.
Sean and Chloda came closer to another and became Lovers but with that Sean began acting odd, witnesses say they heard him talk to himself at times, mentioning the name Chloda.
In the end, his insanity took over and he took his own life....
Sean was deemed as crazy as not one person had ever seen this "Chloda" yet she is right here right in front of Lee.
Staring at him, appearing with the beauty of an fairy, Sean's Chloda forever captured inside that Canvas, the only evidence of her existence or Sean's delusion.
He named the Painting "Leanan Sídhe".
As he stared at the painting, it felt as if something within him is responding and at that moment Lee was called by a female voice.
"Are you interested in Art?"
the Leanan Sídhe is a mythical being belonging to the Aos Sí race, comparable to a fairies or elves.
Her name refers can refer to lover,sweetheart or barrow.
She grants a person artistic inspiration as well give that person her wholehearted love, yet she is more vampiric and is told to live in a kind of parallel universe, an invisible world coexisting with ours.
Shie lives her life on the life of their partner, wasting it away resulting in madness and an early death.
A Gaelic muse seeking and giving her entire love for a price, yet while is true love she is restless will not LET their partner live a long life, along with that and their appearant invisibility has granted her the nickname of a malignant phantom.
Quote:Entry 3: "Odin, Gungnir and Sleipnir" by FaustXIII
After Huginn and Muninn told Odin that if he wants to bring back Baldr his son to life he must go to Helheim in Niflheim. Odin who wanted to bring back Frigga and Nanna's smile and end their suffering and mourning followed what his ravens told him. And so Odin together with his horse, Sleipnir ventured to Helheim, home of the dead.
Odin reached Vanaheim. There he met a dying Vanir. The Vanir asked Odin to give him one leg of his horse, sleipnir. Odin used his spear, Gungnir to cut one leg of his horse. Odin gave it to the dying Vanir. The Vanir ate the leg and he become healthy again. As exchange for the leg the Vanir predicted Odin's future. "Go back to Asgard and abandon your travel for you may not comeback if you continue." the Vanir said. Odin ignored the Vanir's words and continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who loss one leg.
Odin reached Alfheim. Gullinburtsi, Freyr's boar's golden bristles are losing light. Freyr asked Odin to give him one leg of his horse, sleipnir. Odin using his spear cut another leg. Odin gave it to Freyr. Freyr fed Gullinburtsi the sleipnir's leg and the boar's golden bristles gleamed like the sun again. As exchange for the leg Freyr gave Odin his ship, Skidbladnir. The ship is so huge that it can easily carry all of the gods of Asgard. The ship can also be folded and carried easily. Odin accepted the folded ship and continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who now loss two of its legs.
Odin reached the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge and went to Midgard. In a village in Midgard, Odin met villagers that are starving. Their village was attacked and ransacked by Frost Giants. Odin cut another leg of Sleipnir and fed it to the hungry villagers. The villagers thank Odin and gave him a whetstone. Odin left the Village and promised that he will protect them from Frost Giants. Odin continued his jouney riding Sleipnir, who now loss three of its legs.
Odin reached Jotunheim, home of the giants. Odin killed every Frost Giants he met along the way. Because of that his spear, Gungnir became worned out. Odin used the whetstone that the villagers gave him and Gungnir's sharpness came back. Odin went to Mimir's well of wisdom to have another drink. Odin sacrificed one of Sleipnir's legs. Odin continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who now loss half of its legs.
Odin reached Svartalfheim, home of the dark elves. The dark elves murky underground are collapsing, because of that sunlight came bursting to the murky underground where they live and turn some of the dark elves into stone. One of the dark elf, a mare asked Odin to help them. The mare promised Odin that they will not cause troubles and nightmares again if Odin will help them. Odin helped them and gave them one of his sleipnir's legs. The dark elves used the sleipnir's hoof to fix their home. Odin left and make sure that the dark elves will be true to their promise. Odin continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who now loss five of its legs.
Odin reached Nidavellir, home of the dwarves. The dwarves were the once who made and gave Odin his spear, Gungnir and many other weapons of the gods of Asgard. Odin realized that he did not give anything to dwarves in exchange for his spear. And so he gave one of Sleipnir's legs to their king, Hreidmar. Hreidmar decided to cook the leg's flesh and use the bone to forge a new weapon. Odin left Nidavellir after paying his debt. Odin continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who now loss six of its legs.
Odin reached Muspelheim, the land of fire. Surt saw Odin and warned him that he will attack Asgard at Ragnarok, the end of the world. To prevent Ragnarok, Odin decided to fight Surt. Surt fought using his flaming sword while Odin used his spear Gungnir. Odin successfully defeated Surt. His spear was melted in exchange. Odin used Surt's flaming sword and cut one of the remaining legs of sleipnir. Odin used the blood from the leg to extinguish the land of fire. Odin continued his journey riding Sleipnir, who now loss seven of its legs.
Odin at last reached Niflheim. As the world tree Yggdrasil grew up into the sky, it stretched one of its three large roots far into Niflheim, and drew water from the spring Hvergelmir. The dragon Nidhug was not around. Odin noticed that the root became short and is now unable to reach the water from Hvergelmir spring. Odin cut the remaining leg of Sleipnir connected it to the root so the root will be able to reach the spring again. Sleipnir died and Odin forgot the purpose of his journey. Odin walk through the misty, cold, and dark land of Niflheim hoping to remember the purpose of his journey. Odin reached Helheim. Odin met Hel. Hel immediately ask Odin if he wants her to bring Baldr to life. Odin remembered the purpose of his journey. Hel demanded Odin's Gungnir and Sleipnir. But Odin already loss them. Odin told Hel about how he loss his spear and his horse. Hel was touched by Odin's story and granted Odin's wish with no demands. Odin thanked Hel and immediately went back home riding Skidbladnir, the ship that Freyr gave him. Baldr came back to life. Frigga' and Nanna's smile came back and they live happily ever after.
Quote:Entry 4: "Dido's Lament" by riki
“The gods had commanded me to leave this place and head to Italy, where my people can settle to make a new kingdom. I have no choice but to obey the gods.”
A sleepless Dido replayed Aeneas’s words over and over again as she laid on her bed. Why did he have to go? Aren’t they married? However, that Trojan claimed that without the performance of an official ceremony, their union was not so. Desperate, she had sent her sister, Anna, to remind him that she didn’t send any aid to his enemies when Troy was under sieged and to beg him to stay in Carthage a little longer until the weather was perfect to sail but to no avail. He refused to listen to her pleas and continued to prepare to depart to Italy.
Several thoughts spanning from languishing love to bitter hate ran through her mind, causing her to endless fretting. How could he do this to her? Did he truly love her like he claimed or was it just a foil to take away her honor? Were his tales of exploits mere fabrications to impress her? Her reputation with her people had been ruined because they now despised her for neglecting her duties. Did he know that she had rejected marriage with the neighboring Nubian princes? Most likely now though, they are furious that she rejected their advances and instead professed her love to a wandering Trojan instead, which increased the risk of war. Which would be dangerous as her kingdom was still weak. Should she depart with him and his men to Italy then? But why should she abandon her people to travel with strangers? Or should she have them join her as well? But why should her selfish reasons be the force to move them again from their roots?
The last thought distressed her most though. She had broken her vow to her late husband, Sychaeus who was killed by her brother, in which she promised to never marry again. How could she face him in the afterlife? The dawn disrupted her train of thought and she got up from her bed to prepare for the ceremony being held today. Looking out from her tower, she was dismayed at what saw beyond the horizon. Ships with full sails were sailing off into the distance, which would mean Aeneas and his men had set sail in the middle of the night. Full of anguish, she cried out, “Should I allow him to make my country a mockery for our hospitality? Quick, grab your weapons and go after them! Wait, what am I thinking? Have I gone mad? If only I had burned down his camp when I had a chance!
“Oh, gods, listen to my plea! If that accursed one has reached the shores of Italy, as destined by Jupiter, let him suffer and die before his time! Let hatred toward his descendants fill mine so that no peace will be between them! Allow an unknown avenger rise from my ashes and hunt those Trojan settlers down with swords and fire! My descendants and his will fight for eternity!”
When she was finished, she walked out of her bedroom with a great sense of purpose and calmly told her late husband’s nurse, Barce, “Tell my sister to prepare for the ceremony. I wish to finish it and light the pyre so that ungrateful Trojan leader can see the flames.” The old woman immediately obeyed and set off without noticing the hidden grief inside Dido’s heart. Without any hesitation, the poor queen rushed into the inner courtyard, where the tall pyre was set up. While her sister and servants believed that she was preparing a ritual to get rid of the memories of her lover by burning all of his belongings, it was actually for a far more sinister reason. Climbing on it, she unsheathed his sword and looked at his clothes and the bed which they once shared.
Sorrow renewed, she threw herself upon it and wept as she said her final prayer, “Oh, Fate, take my spirit and release me from this grief! I have fulfilled my destiny dictated by Fortune and have built a beautiful city. I have avenged my husband’s death but yet… I wished that those Trojans had never landed on my shore! Even though I will die unavenged, I will gladly accept my death. Just allow that hateful Trojan see the fire from my funeral pyre and know of what he did!”
As she said those words, she fell upon the sword amidst her servants’ cries. Her warm blood covered her soft hands. Soon wails and cries filled the city as words spread of her suicide. A dying Dido lie on the bed as she writhed in pain. Suddenly she heard her despairing sister cry, “Why did you do this to me, foolish sister? Tricking me to build your funeral pyre! Are you going to abandon me too? It would be better if I die alongside you! Now your people are without a leader and surely doomed! How can we survive? Let me tend to your wounds.”
She felt Anna cradle her so she tried to open her heavy eyelids to look at her beloved sister one last time but couldn’t. She then tried to lift herself up three times but failed. As she searched for Heaven’s comforting light, she found it and sighed. Then she heard Iris, Juno’s messenger, said solemnly, “I have accepted your offering to Pluto and will set your spirit free from your body.” As soon as she heard those words, Dido felt her soul relinquish from her body and disappeared into the breeze.