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13 June 2004 @ 02:36 pm
No surrender, no retreat...just finish the battle, one way or the other *g*  
The latest chapter of the ongoing saga of Bimo vs. the great and horrible Force.Net's Fanfiction Archive:

I finally summed up the nerve to re-submit the improved version of Lost Saint, even though there's something about my initial reviewer's final comment, which tells me my litte Obi-Wan vignette is probably in for just another "we are terribly sorry but it was really close call" rejection.

Do I care? Well, sort of. I put a lot of work into the piece, as did several other amazingly kind and talented people. So, naturally, I'd love to see the result of these efforts posted at the pretty and popular showcase called TFN, instead of watching the vignette drown at Fanfiction.net, anonymous and ignored, between thousands of other publications of varying quality.

by Bimo

By his third year on Tatooine the sandstorms don't catch him by surprise anymore. He has learned to anticipate them before they even gather. It's the slight tingling in the air that heralds them and makes the fine hairs on his arms stand on edge.

From the rocky crag, Obi-Wan's gaze strays into the distance, over dunes and rubble stretching before him, all the way to the horizon. Once again, he listens to the silence, an eerie stillness that already carries the wailing and screeching of the wind. Then he starts the descent, swift and concentrated, carefully measuring every step, since the rubble is treacherous, full of loose gravel and hidden crevices. The last thing he needs is a broken ankle and several days out under the open sky until a group of Jawas finds him, sunburned and almost completely parched. He must be cautious. Persevere, stay healthy and keep a clear mind, not for himself but for Luke.

Despite its dangers, the desert seems like a friend, grim indeed, and demanding, but steadfast. When the ghosts of his past are gnawing on his sanity it is the desert which holds him in the here and now. Roaming through the barren lands soothes his wounds. Numbs. Heals. While he finishes the thought he smiles and almost recognises Qui-Gon's voice in it. Don't lose yourself in your fears, Padawan. Mind the moment.

He misses the sound of that name more than he can say. Padawan. So consoling, so gentle.

Upon his return to the hut, the first dusty eddies are already dancing. Cocoons of loose, hard grass slither over the rocky ground, rise and fall in the play of the freshening gusts. One of them follows Obi-Wan into the building. He crouches and examines the brittle netting of leaves and twigs. Rough. Withered. He could toss it into the fire later, or release it back into the desert in the morning. The latter, he thinks, and the quiet knowledge that this lesson – respect and fondness for even the slightest things - couldn't be learned from Qui-Gon, but only by way of war and exile, saddens him. This is how far you've come, Obi-Wan, searching for enlightenment and friendship in a meagre bundle of tinder.

In the darkness of his habitation, the hours are melting away. His body might be tired, but his mind is working overtime; flooded by scraps of memories that are passing him by, running free, in wild abandon. Some of them strike him as cruel, others as merely bizarre. He yearns to end the chaos, yearns for lucidity, for perfect peace. The Force is still in him and around him, but he doesn’t dare open up to it. Not yet. The last time he did it, he felt the other Jedi dying too distinctly. Small bright lights, adrift in the whispering flow of the universe, snuffed out and extinguished, flame after flame.

The anguish had almost overwhelmed his soul, then. One day and one night in which he had screamed into the desert, only one breath away from giving up. Peace. There is no death, only the Force. In that case, come, Force and take me. Push this human shell over the precipice. Devour me, my guilt, my pain and let it dissolve in you.

Maybe, he had to come this close to the abyss to realise that he is the one who has to linger, to guard and to keep the end of lights from becoming eternal darkness. To preserve hope for the generations to come. The very hope that had died with Anakin but was reborn in Luke.

For every star that fades, the cosmos gives us a new one, Padawan.

Wisdom that can't be measured in truth. Obi-Wan lies completely still, but in his heart he whispers these words, again and again like a mantra, until the words dispel the pictures and Qui-Gon's voice drowns out the wind.

My special thanks go to eretria for translating the original German version into English, kathyh for her kind and insightful feedback and quiller77 for being such an incredibly good and inspiring "second run" beta reader :-)
Current Mood: creativecreative, relieved
Current Music: Simon and Garfunkel; Homeward Bound
Karenquiller77 on June 13th, 2004 08:21 am (UTC)
Got my confirmation email from TFN today. Forgot who you where and told them 'no, I haven't beta'd that story'. *g* Kidding, of course. I would wish you good luck, but according to Obi-Wan, there's no such thing as luck. So ... may the Force be with you. ;-)
ps: About that first line on the eighth paragraph ... er, nothing. I just wanted to flirt with being maimed.
Kathyh: Kathyh Englishkathyh on June 13th, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
I think it's lovely and ought to be a dead cert for acceptance. Must be a really picky site.
Bimo: Obi_povbimo on June 16th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
Must be a really picky site.

Well, trying to get a story accepted into the TF.N archive is always a bit like playing the lottery.

While there are some basic requirements like proper spelling and grammar, good characterisations and storytelling, a lot of things also seem to depend on the individual reading tastes of the respective reviewers.

And these vary... *g*

Cavendishcavendish on June 13th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
Re: bah, the "overtime" methaphor still exists :-))
... just kidding, of course :-).

This really turned out beautifully. In fact more beautiful than I remembered it. :-) Has it changed since the last time I saw it or have I been too tired back then to value it the way it deserves :-)? Most likely, I did not have time to read it properly because you were staring at me all the time and impatiently waiting for an answer, thinking about it :-))

Part of why I like it so much is again because the overall topic, the emotion expressed in the story, goes far beyond the Star Wars Experience (Again, shame on me, I read it as a story about a person coming to terms with himself, coming to terms with his memories and longings, about a person who sees his ideals and self depictions change, and not as a SW story. This is just me of course, but that the man in called Obi Wan appears, not as unimportant, but as secondary to me. A suitable background, little more. ). "He yearns to end the chaos, yearns for lucidity, for perfect peace" is, imho, the central sentence in this respect. How even more true this kind of feeling rings in comparison to the memories of anguish in the ensuing paragraph. In fact, I think it can only be true, if based on the memories in the following.

And then, of course, and as always, the story is beautifully written. From the extremely visual second paragraph to the more and more methaphoric [the spell checker wants to change this into "motherfucker" but I refuse]use of night and landscape in the following, the imagery never lets me down. (apart from the overtime thing ;-)) ). And also the rhythm and sound add to the feelings expressed. The repetitions are just in place to make the stream of conscience bit sound right ... well, I think I have mentioned this already before :-).

Which makes me more than ever "yearn for" the story promised to me a long time ago :-)). THOU SHALT WRITE MORE ORIGINAL FICTION :-)).

And finally I would love to compare the English version to the German Original. Why not post this also, or at least a link?

Finally: My favorite sentences:

"Small bright lights, adrift in the whispering flow of the universe" because of the image, and "Wisdom that can't be measured in truth." because I need to think about this ;-))