*CliveBarker starts us off with the Prologue for Odyssey II and selects the submissions for the final books. The ultimate creative challenge to produce the ultimate deviantART book.
All Guided with the Spectral Hand of Clive Barker.
Every Friday Lit submissions for the current chapter close - Chosen chapter revealed on the following Monday.
Every Monday Artwork submissions for the previously published chapter close - Chosen Artwork revealed that following Friday.
Filmmaking/Animation and Poetry Submissions related to the developing story accepted throughout the 60 day Odyssey II Project and will be used in the multimedia version of the book or in a book trailer. (No third party content including music allowed).
Poems needed for the beginning, middle, and end of our tale.
We will publish a Multimedia book version and a Hardcover book version in 2013.
his was the second time Paul had come to London. The first time, he was seventeen. He'd stood in Victoria Station and felt more alive than he ever had in his life; back then, some woman had caught his eye and smiled. It was like the city had laid back and opened its legs for him. He'd felt welcomed by her. He'd even debated following the woman home and getting it on with her. But the etiquette was still new to him, so rather than risk looking foolish, he shifted himself in his underwear to get comfortable and went to his hostel instead.
Now, he was thirty, and there was no winking woman at the station, so he made his way straight to the Underground. It was very crowded. He got on the Piccadilly Line and sat down by a red-haired man in a brown bomber jacket.
After about a minute, the red-haired man moved his head in a peculiar way. Paul saw this out of the corner of his eye. The man's head was nodding small, fast nods. Paul didn't look straight at the man, but rather at his own feet. He was tired. Too tired to move, but in his periphery, he could see that the nods were getting bigger.
Paul glanced up, and saw the man's reflection in the window opposite. Against the reflection and the black tunnel wall Paul saw the man's head twisting about, and his limbs thrashing. He didn't know what to do. A woman on the seat opposite Paul was staring at him as though he was looking at the red-headed man judgmentally, and ought to be ashamed of himself. Paul felt his cheeks flare with embarrassment.
Somebody said, "He's having a fit."
The woman opposite said, "He's an epileptic!"
Paul turned to see that the man's eyeballs were rolled up under his lids. His skin was a ghastly sick-pink color. And then the epileptic redheaded man keeled over on to Paul's lap. Paul was now sitting there with this fully-grown man jerking and gnashing across him. God, he felt such an idiot.
Down the carriage, somebody had got up and was taking off his belt. What was this? An epileptic and an exhibitionist in one carriage. The guy was folding his belt on itself. He came down the carriage. The woman opposite got up.
I'm going to put it between his teeth so he doesn't swallow his tongue
"I'm going to put it between his teeth so he doesn't swallow his tongue," the man said to Paul. "Don't move, I'll deal with it.
Paul sat there under his weight of spasmodic flesh and bone thinking he wouldn't have been able to move even if he wanted to.
"Oh, thank God," said the woman. "It's not a bad fit."
There was no need for the belt. The redheaded man was coming around, the fit over almost as fast as he'd gone in to it. Paul wondered what the bad ones were like.
The people on the Underground were trying to get the redheaded man upright, but he wanted to stay lying down. He was clutching Paul's legs like they were his only serenity. But the woman managed to uncurl the fingers, and sit him upright.
"Are you alright now?" she said. The other guy was putting his belt back on.
"Yeah, I'm okay. I'm okay," the guy was saying.
He had his eyes closed. He looked ghastly. The train slowed as they approached the station. The redheaded man opened his eyes. He looked at the woman.
"Thank you," he said.
Paul felt like a shit for not being more useful. The guy was clearly feeling bad.
"Is this your stop?" said the woman.
"It doesn't matter," the redheaded man said. "I just want to get off."
"It's my stop," said Paul.
The train came into the station, and stopped. The guy got up.
"You okay?" asked Paul.
The guy didn't answer. They got off the train together.
"You want to get a cup of coffee or something?" said Paul. "I'll get you something if you like."
"No," said the redheaded man, and walked off into the crowd without looking once at Paul.
As welcomes went, it wasn't warm.
It wasn't until later, in his room, that Paul found the little vomit stain on his trousers...
It wasn't until later, in his room, that Paul found the little vomit stain on his trousers...
The chapter and illustration chosen every Monday(Lit) and Friday(Artwork) and then published will serve as the foundation for deviant writers and artists to base their submissions for the story's next chapter continuation.
After each published chapter and illustration there will be a "prompt" to suggest what might need to be revealed in the next chapter.
Artwork submissions should reflect the chapter previously published. Artwork must be submitted as a JPG or PNG file and be available at 300 dpi. Yes, any art that illuminates the story is accepted, including photography. Creativity rules! (Ice sculptures are a bit of a problem – you'll have to photograph them. Please don't ship them to us.)
Lit Submissions are limited to 400 words. The 400 word limitation does not mean you will be "disqualified" for submitting 420 words! We read all submissions.
Poetry, Line Art and Film/Animation can reflect any chapter, from the beginning, middle to the end and can be any length. Poetry, Line Art and Film/Animation must be submitted by December 24, 2012. Information for submitting film can be found here.
This is not a "contest" in the sense of rules and tricks determining "winners". It's simply that the whole point of the exercise is to see who can put the "most" into the "least"! So submitting a Dune-length chapter, or a 20 page illustration, while possibly brilliant, doesn't serve the purposes of this project. Write what, as the writer, you know is just right. If one less line of text will dilute something that is magic, then – don't delete that one line!
Yes, multiple submissions for a single chapter are acceptable. If you have more than one great idea as to where to take the story, or more than one idea for a chapter's illustration, bring it on!
There will be a poem chosen to reflect the beginning, middle and end of our tale. Poems are selected at the end of the project and can be submitted up until then. There may be more chosen as we proceed, judging by the amazing submissions form last year.
Remember, this creation is not (just) about the most professional, most polished syntax and prose, nor the best command of vocabulary or grammar, nor the most extraordinary technical skill in illustration. All great things, to be sure, but: We are looking for that evocative, resonant, epiphanous something, expressed in an imagery powerful enough to transcend the limited word-count or a single page of illustration – the short straight-right Gina Carano knockout punch that ends a fight quicker than a dozen weaker, though visually-pleasing and crowd-wowing haymakers. Narrative Haikus that spark up the brain, warm up the heart, and make a lasting phytocrystalized imprint on the ghostly artistic soul.
A Shower and a Change"Ah, damn. God damn."
The stain was small, no larger than a coin. It fell near his right hip, nestled in the dip between crotch and thigh. Still, it was nauseating. Paul stripped off the trousers and walked to the sink, hoping the sliver of hotel soap would take out the spot.
He began running the hot water and paused, staring at the vomit. Resisting the urge to gag, he grazed his fingers over the stain. It was purely liquid and slick like dish soap, but the sickly brown could only be vomit. He slowly raised his hand to his face and sniffed his fingers. Nothing. It seemed, for a moment, odorless. But no, he suddenly caught a faint
The Host With the MostPaul staggered out into the early morning fog like a drunkard.
He hunched into the raised lapels of this too-thin jacket and wandered away from the hotel, disoriented, shivering--panic gnawing at his gut like a cannibal. "I need help," he thought, "but where?" The nearest hospital was the obvious answer, but the thought of what the doctors would do filled his mind with images of hospital beds with straps, extended isolation with no answers and needles piercing his flesh.
The mass on his thigh was growing--that was certain. Paul could feel it writhing and pushing against his flesh as he walked.
Skin Glowing From Within Lysanna felt a sudden change in her breathing, and knew than that something had happened to her Progeny. Though the organism was still very small, she shared a psychic link with it that would remain as it transferred from host to host. When the growth cycle was complete, the bond she had with the tiny bit of life would be severed as it emerged from the host with its own consciousness.
She looked in the mirror at her gaunt face, the colors of her life force faded and barely moving under the surface of her tightly stretched, translucent skin. Her time in this world was diminishing and with every dying moment she hoped that her progeny woul
Dreams of the DeepPaul's whole world was spinning. The Proxitol made it incredibly difficult for him to think clearly. Maya? Yes, her name was Maya. She had told him it would only be a few days, that the thing inside would dissolve. She'd been wrong, and she'd been surprised that she'd been wrong, not that it mattered. Resting his head against the cool porcelain of the toilet in the cell he called a room, Paul
could almost laugh about how this all seemed like some ridiculous dream. But the pain, the disorientation, and the feeling of...something inside...assured him it was anything but.
The growth had started spreading again, but it was different this tim
Techno-Colored PsychosisPaul's eyes came into focus just as Maya walked into the room, but something was different about her. Her face looked sunken and her eyes seemed glazed and black. The whole of the roomed looked as though it was changing color, flipping from one monochromatic scheme to a neon rainbow and back again. Paul began to pant and panic as she drew near him, he'd never been so terrified. He crawled away into the corner of the room, shivering, barely catching his breath, twisting his head back and forth as he flinched at every shadow.
“Paul? What's wro-” Maya 's jaw dropped at the sight of Paul's transformation.
Large glossy scales crept u
Odyssey II Chp VI: Something Worse than NobodyPart of his foremost tentacle spun across the room, followed by a trail of shimmering black ichor. Maya’s blade brought a paradox to his senses. His injured limb accepted the cold steel. It felt right when she cut him, as if his flesh knew it was being purified. At the same time, pain screamed through him, reeling from the touch of the metal, causing what remained of the tentacle to spasm.
A seizure. The memory of the subway surfaced, and for a moment he wasn’t in the room anymore. He clung to those little flashes of memory, grasped at every word he remembered in order to keep his mind working, to keep himself. The creature shari
A Man Reborn
Somewhere, Lysanna clawed at the shards of mirror, using the last of her strength to send the message. The words came to Tal'shen as needling pain, piercing her mind. "Forget them," her mother said. "Go now and do as I've created you to do!"
Tal'shen felt her mother die. It did not matter. There was no feeling of attachment; only the drive to carry out her purpose. Growing still, her monstrous form filled the room. She shot two massive tentacles upwards, rending a large hole in the ceiling. Outside, she blinked in the fog. London, that was the name of this city, wasn't it? A good a place as any to begin.
Inside, Maya coug
Odyssey II Ch.8 Entry: BrethrenMaya wore confusion on her face.
Paul had always been short with words; this time would be no different.
"I know everything now."
Maya watched as he floated upwards through the hole in the ceiling.
There was no time to tell her what he had seen. What it was like to die while psychically connected to another being and how, in that moment, the mind-soul rides that tether like a roller coaster searching for the end of the track. That he rode that tether through the mind of Tal'shen and then into its mother, witnessing their lives, truths and stories.
No time to explain that he knew her race, perhaps better than her. That for millennia these
Community Projects>Projects & Clubs>Odyssey Project>Clive Barker
* LITERATURE submission must be submitted by 5PM PST on its closing date.
** ARTWORK submission must be submitted by 11:59PM PST on its closing date.
So many writers and artists from around the world contributed amazing gifts of their wildest imaginations, collaborating with each other and offering suggestions and encouragement to each other in the friendly Odyssey environment.
The true spirit of the deviantART community was on full display, with moments of elevation provided by helpful angels’ wings far outnumbering the moments of snark and cynicism. There are still glitches technical and human in the Odyssey Project, but this is a dA “show” that will definitely go on – so long as talented arts “deviants” with spiritual leaders like *CliveBarker are willing to use their time and effort to pioneer new roads into creativity in the emerging Internet powered narrative.
In the end it was ~BillBlogins, a regular contributor to both Odyssey competitions, who was able to somehow, employing an economy of words that nonetheless achieved a fine dreamlike flow, pull together all the dangling threads of the intergalactic takeover tale concocted by our chain of writers and then let Paul convincingly save humanity on Earth – only to then debark into the cosmos to save other worlds. Wonderful for what had to be done in so few paragraphs.
And Paul, after having been a tortured victim throughout so much of the story, was finally able to redeem his protagonist’s role and go out a real hero. The use of sound vibration warfare was just what was needed to elevate this horror-science fiction thriller into the incredibly memorable.
London CallingPaul's Journal (February 28)
One-hundred and eighty three days from vomit on my pants to the fall of civilization. John Dryden once said, "...mighty things from small beginnings grow." Yeah, no shit.
There were more entities than we thought, hidden in other cities on other continents, and they all rose together in that terrible final struggle to fight us for control. I was wrong to think I was strong enough to stop them. I was so wrong.
At dawn, on the one-hundred eighty-fourth day of the war, all I can see from the roof of the House of Commons is the apocalypse. Across the Thames, the London Eye looms over the riverbank l
Odyssey II - Chapter 8: The Oroboros Wassail
Have you ever seen sound?
There's a condition named for it: Synesthesia. The ability to hear and at the same time SEE what is, or might, be there.
Paul was experiencing something similar to that right now. Each word that had poured our of Maya's mouth had rung a bell in his mind. One that pulsed with all the colours of the void, similar to a violently organic oilslick that danced and twitched and wrapped around the edges of his consciousness.
It was how he'd been woven back together, the very sinew of those kaleidoscopic utterances stitched into his body now.
The word was being strangled by those tendrils. Tal'Shen was the final spin
Nightmare Virus"I trust you." Maya said inching closer to Paul.
Paul lowered to the ground and hugged Maya tightly in a loving embrace.
"Everything is going to be ok now."
Maya then collapsed on to the floor and her body shook in violent spasms.
Maya's mouth peeled open like a sack of dead flesh. She exhaled a dying moan as her body melted like candle wax boiling into a red stump of slimey flesh that seared through the floorboards like sulphuric acid.
The windows began to fog and the room walls blackened like hot cigarrette butts as the sound of demonic bull-like grunts warped any dillusions of victory Paul had into unholy nightmarish madness
The Mandala Turns"Are you sure about this?", Maya muttered as they made their way over rooftops on a helicopter Maya was "borrowing."
"Yes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I have to get closer to her." His voice seemed... deeper, and it carried a strange resonance to it that distracted her. She shook her head to clear the cobwebs and pointed. "Thar she blows, as the saying goes." Up ahead, illuminated by the city lights, was Tal'shen. Her form was huge and amorphous, a gelatinous mesh of pieces of that seemed to belong to the menagerie of the deep sea. The skin was a murky grey that crackled with bolts of rainbow colored lightning and gigantic tentacles l
End Times Paul lay in bed listening to the radio, still shivering from the battle weeks before.
He remembered his pursuit of Tal'shen, but on reflection it had been less of a chase and more of an allowance to follow her, perhaps she had known that Paul had the seed to defeat her.
Despite his brave words to Maya, he was not truly purged of the beast. A small sliver of unnatural life lay trapped around his spine. Paul kept it for a reason, knowing the link, no matter how tenuous, would be the key to sooth the abomination.
Tal'shen had waited for him in a side street, one of London's many capillaries that litter her maps.
She could not speak
Read Chapter 8 Literature Winner for Artwork Inspiration
|More Journal Entries|