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Hors ligne Armathyx

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The Temple of Steel
« le: 16 novembre 2019 à 19:41:15 »
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A soft breeze whispered through the autumn trees, carrying with it its fiery leaves. A silhouette emerged in the distance. Its dark shade contrasted with the bright sunlight that pierced through the deciduous canopy. The silhouette slowly took the shape of a man as it approached, following its path without either haste or hesitation, as a feather following the course of a river. It suddenly came to a stop.

The young man stood still for a moment, his golden eyes staring down at something the wind had uncovered. As he crouched to take a closer look, his scarf got in the way. Its woollen texture caught a few leaves before he moved it out of the way. He eventually removed it from his neck, revealing his tired, yet curious, expression. The object on the ground was a white sheet of paper. Something about it looked unnatural: it was in pristine condition. If someone would’ve told him it had materialized right there and then, he would’ve believed it.

He flipped the sheet around. Its texture was unexpectedly slippery. It made little noise in contact with the leaves. A black and white drawing covered its other side: it depicted the ground view of someone walking atop an immense wall, perhaps a dam. Part of a ramp leading down to the foot of the wall could be seen in the bottom-right corner of the illustration. The young man stood up and ran his fingers across the edges of the sheet, mesmerized by the softness their sharp appearance concealed. Something about it felt familiar. Memories flew through his mind without him being able to grasp any of them. Had he seen this place before?

Nero sled the drawing into his fur jacket’s pocket. He didn’t feel it was yet time to return home from his morning walk. The sun shone blindingly bright: it was probably around midday. Perhaps a few more steps forward would clear his mind of dark thoughts. The feather resumed its course down the river.

The young man plunged further into the forest until he reached a sharp turn left. The path that laid ahead of him pierced its way out of the forest and onto open fields. Nero recognized the way back home. His feet ached from the long walk; his stomach craved for a warm meal. Just as he was about to continue toward the warm embrace of comfort, he stopped and hesitated.  It didn’t feel right. “I’m missing something,” he thought to himself. He turned around and let his eyes run left and right, taking in as much as they could from the scenery before him. Something caught his attention: a metallic object poking out of the thick layer of leaves, just beside the nearest tree.

Nero approached the object and kneeled to uncover it. The large piece of soft-edged metal seemed to be in perfect condition, showing no signs of damage or rust. Part of it was buried underground, making it difficult to tell how large it really was. He noticed a button on one of its sides, no larger than a thumbnail. Its socket was glowing in a faint blue light. “Something like this couldn’t have been abandoned here,” he thought to himself, taking a quick glance around to see if he was being observed. “No one.” Nero turned his attention back to the object. The blue light coming from beneath the button had disappeared. He frowned. Curious, he touched the metallic device and effortlessly slid his fingers across, hoping to feel another crease or opening. A strange feeling suddenly creped on him, crawling up his spine and drilling into his mind. His vision dimmed; his consciousness began fading away. still feeling his body but unable to control it. Nero struggled against it, standing up and glancing around for help, but his vision had gone completely dark. He attempted screaming but no sound emerged from his mouth. His body hit the ground painlessly. His mind drowned in nothingness.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve passed out. I woke up in this dark room just a moment ago. The last thing I remember was finding this strange device in the middle of the forest. I also remember finding a drawing hidden under the leaves, but it’s no longer in my pocket. I must’ve dropped it when I fainted. Perhaps I’ve been kidnapped and whoever dragged me here took it away. Perhaps I’d been dreaming. I can’t tell where I am, everything around me is pitch black except for two small, square windows on one of the walls.

I’ve looked through the windows and I can’t see anything outside but white fog. It turns out one of them was on a door. I didn’t realize it until I got closer and felt its hinges as I rested against it. It has a handle, but it seems to be locked shut. The only other way out of here would be through the darkness, but I’m afraid of losing my way in it. Perhaps the best choice would be to stay here for the moment.

Now that my eyes have adapted to the darkness, I’m beginning to see that there’s some sort of machinery just next to the door, along the wall. I’m not sure what any of it does, but I’ve found a lever. I don’t know what will happen if I pull it but staying here won’t solve my problems. I must get out of here. I was on my way of finding her again. I must find her. I have not seen her in a decade, and I feel that I have gotten so close now. I cannot give up. I will pull the lever.

Nothing happened. I was hoping the door would open, but it’s still locked. However, it just came to my realization that there’s a faint humming noise in the distance. If this place was truly empty and abandoned, it would’ve been dead silent. Perhaps I should locate the source of this sound. This sound… it isn’t a normal sound… not anything I have ever heard in my life. But there’s more to it. This room must be much larger than I thought. I figured it was small because I couldn’t see a thing, but I can’t see a thing because it is enormous. It’s terrifyingly big, and something’s there, humming. No, the silence is humming. I must get away from here, break this window, open this door. The darkness is getting to me. I need to find her before it gets to me. Is it too late?


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

A voice woke him up. Nero slowly opened his eyes, struggling as he adapted to the blinding daylight. A friendly face was staring at him, one he hadn’t seen in a while. It was a dog. The long, white fur that gave its head the shape of a heart and that flowed down its entire body made it hardly distinguishable from a wolf. “Long time no see,” Nero spoke to him just as it started trying to lick his face. His friend’s concern immediately took him miles away from the nightmare he’d just had. Nero sat up and stared at the scenery above them: the naked branches of the trees were taking root in the cloudy sky. “How’re you doing?” he asked. The dog tilted its head in response. “Want a treat?” His friend’s eyes suddenly flared up; it gave him a push with its paws, its tail wiggling. Nero stood up. “Let’s go…” he stopped short when he noticed that the metallic case was no longer beside him.

The dog walked away in the direction of the open field, then stopped and stared back at his friend, waiting for him to follow up. “I saw some kind of machine here,” the young man commented. He looked further but saw no trace of it anywhere. The dog called him twice, its bark snapping him out of his thoughts. He considered leaving. However, the idea of leaving that place without answers was tearing him up inside, grating his mind. “Give me a second,” he left the dog waiting, leaving it somewhat disappointed, but wiggling its tail nonetheless.

Keeping it waiting twisted his feelings, but he figured he’d be done there soon enough. He wasn’t its owner: the dog would eventually walk away. “I’ll just go around a tree or two and then leave.” He hesitated. “No,” the pressure got to him. He decided to go further than that. “The drawing” - it was still in his pocket. Perhaps the machine was also still around, somewhere. Nero began searching for it in a hurry, straying far off the path before he could realize it.

Despite his efforts, the metal case was nowhere to be found. The lost man leaned against a tree. It was time to let go. The dog had probably left by then, but if he hurried back he’d probably still find it again. He made a few steps forward. “Why?”, a sense of regret invaded him. One last look back would clear things up. Nero turned back, but saw nothing more than pure, endless darkness.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I found myself facing the door in the black room once more. I don’t remember having fainted this time. I don’t want to look back anymore. There is only darkness behind me. The machines don’t work. I just want to go through this door. I will break it open if I must. I will pull the handle. It’s moving.




*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The door closed shut behind him. He slowly raised his eyes to witness the scene before him but lowered them as soon as he caught a glimpse of the terror that stood before him: too much to take in. Everything was grey, everything had that same texture as the metallic case he’d found in the forest. Cold, hard, akin to polished steel. His entire body begged him to run away: his heart was pounding against his ribcage; his hands were shaking enough that he feared them ripping themselves off his arms.

Nero didn’t dare look to the right. He could see from the corner of his eye that it was all darkness. All he could tell was that there was some sort of ramp leading down into the pitch-black abyss. The left side was less terrifying: another ramp led down to a flat, light grey surface, stretching across an area of an unfathomable, cosmic scale. A bridge, or dam, stood before him. It shot through a gateway only a couple meters ahead and continued far into the metallic depths, splitting the two sides in perfect symmetry. At first it seemed endless, but with a bit of courage the resilient young man managed to catch a glimpse of something in the distance, at the very end of the bridge. It was so distant that it merely appeared to be a dot on the wall. The fear sapped him of his strength.
 
He fell on his knee, looking away from the bridge. Closing his eyes, he tried to forget what he’d seen. However, it only brought to attention the haunting humming sound he’d heard before in the dark room. It was creeping on him in between each beat of his raging heart, approaching. He had to flee. He had to go left. It was the easiest option. Nero gathered his strength and pulled himself up, walking down the ramp alongside the wall of the dam.

His sense of space and time had been torn to pieces by the sheer immensity of the place he’d found himself in. He couldn’t tell how far he’d gone or how long it took him to reach the end of the ramp. But it was at the bottom that he felt a bit of relief for the first time since he’d gotten here. The humming was gone and there was nothing but a vast, open white surface before him. It was limited only by the dam and another distant wall at the end of the former. The towered into the bright, white sky like a mountain range marking the horizon. Nero took a few steps forward, taking pleasure in listening to the clanking of his footsteps on the metallic surface. It wasn’t as flat as it first appeared to be, waving ever so slightly. There seemed to be a large puddle in the distance. The desperate man followed in its direction.

It turned out to be nothing more than a mirage. But at least he couldn’t feel thirst or hunger anymore. Oddly, it relieved him.  But as he turned around, that relief came to be short-lived. Nero stood frozen for a moment, shocked by the scenery he was witnessing. It was the exact scene from the drawing he’d found in the forest: the dam, with its gateway and ramp. He reached for his pocket, but the drawing was no longer there. “I had that drawing, I’m sure it wasn’t just my imagination” he spoke to himself out loud. “There was a man crossing that bridge…” His words echoed throughout the eerie atmosphere. He spun around, desperately looking for clues: the empty, the ramp, the dam, the empty, the distant wall, the empty, the ramp. He noticed something from the corner of his eye: there, on the white surface of the empty. He’d seen something, perhaps a shadow. It was no longer in sight, but Nero could still feel its presence right where he thought he’d seen it. The lonely man was not alone. “I need to hide,” he panicked. He was in plain sight. The thing was observing him. There was only one reliable option: the shadows. He launched himself into a race back to the ramp and up to where he came from without looking back.

He once again felt a sensation of relief as he reached the bottom of the ramp. He felt unreachable, convinced that the sharp, flat-surfaced slope would work in his favour. The climb was nothing but a blur in his mind. He finished climbing in a matter of seconds. As though he’d just forgotten how long it really had been. However, he couldn’t stay there forever. The thing was coming after him. Nero glanced across the gateway once more, but renounced crossing it as it terrified him still. The vertiginous heights, the intangible danger looming from both sides of the dam, the darkness. It was all too much to bear. He caught yet another glimpse of a shadow on the left area: distant, but closer to the ramp. His time was running out. Nero briefly glanced to his right, still uncapable of staring straight at it. The horrors lurking in the darkness were still there, concealed. Paralyzingly staring at him. Lowering his head, the pale man dove into the shadow’s embrace, making his way down the ramp on the right.

The world around him shrunk into a small spherical prison as he became engulfed in the darkness. Crates, bags, danger signs and old colourless rag dolls littered the ramp; he kept walking forward, fearing what might be hidden inside of them. Unlike with the left ramp, he felt the passing of eternity with each step he took downward. Soundless, painful, but hidden away from the thing. Crates, bags, dolls, signs, more dolls, bags, signs, crates. Different shapes, different arrangements, piled up without any sense of order. It just went on and on over the regular surface. He went on and on for hours, perhaps for days, convinced that turning back would be a waste of time.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

After an agonizing descent into the abyss, he reached the bottom only to see more of the same crates and bags scattered around his limited sight. Nero hesitatingly continued forward; afraid he wouldn’t find his way back. “Who placed these here,” he thought to himself, “perhaps I will find someone. Another person, someone else must’ve gotten lost here, I cannot be the first… not if things look like this.”

Upon walking a short distance, he came to the side of a large metallic shelf filled with more colourless bags. The stooping man couldn’t tell how tall it was, still terrified of the idea of looking up into the darkness. But he could tell it was quite long, as he walked alongside it for a very long time without ever reaching its end. He eventually ventured in another direction, moving perpendicularly away from it, hoping to find something else. The varying and seemingly random size of crates, bags, rag dolls and signs would’ve kept his hopes up forever. “Surely I’ll find more clues about what this place truly is. Something different, like the shelves. Surely there will be something different again.”

He stopped. Something was wrong about the humming noise. Its pattern had changed. He’d been listening to it for so long that he noticed the change immediately. It was one of the few things he’d managed to grow accustomed to, and now that it had changed it felt as though his world was once again upside down. Something must’ve caused the change. The petrifying fear he’d nearly forgotten about returned in full force. The sound’s pattern changed yet again. And again. Nero ran back toward the shelf, jumping over the various objects on the metallic floor as he went. He tripped over one of the bags, spilling its contents which clanked as they hit the ground. But he spared no time to look back and see what there was. The noise suddenly quieted down as he reached the shelf. “The sound, it’s normal. Normal again,” he turned around and glanced into the darkness. No one. A relief. Nero sat on one of the crates and covered his face in his hands. His heart sank as he came to the realisation that he would never make it through this darkness. This area was no doubt as vast as its light counterpart on the other side of the dam: infinite. Cosmic. The hopeless man sobbed. “Finding clues here would be irrelevant,” he thought spontaneously, “they would be infinite. I would get lost before I could do anything.”

The humming noise startled him as it changed its pace again, except this time something even more terrifying followed suite. It was accompanied by the distant echo of a clanking noise. It reminded him of the sound he’d heard when he knocked the bag over earlier. But he couldn’t have been that far away. This could only be something else. The thing: it could only be it, it was still there, searching for him in the darkness. Nero got up and dashed away in a frenzy, following the shelf back to the dam. There was only one place left for him to go.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The exhausted man emerged from the shadows, reaching the top of the ramp without looking back.  Despite his feelings going numb from the traumatizing fear, the terror of looking to the darkness on his right still chilled him to the bone. The despair of looking left into infinity still siphoned away his sanity. The humming noise changed pace yet again. The clanking, the shadow, the thing, they were all closing in, cornering him. Nero turned to face the gateway, staring at the bridge beyond it. He stepped forward, approaching it, but crumbled from exhaustion. He closed his eyes, hoping to wake up back at the forest, free of this nightmare, following the dog back home.

“My friend,” Nero spoke to himself. He reached his hand out as far as he could on the flat surface of the bridge and pulled himself toward the gateway. He opened his eyes and reached out his other hand, crawling further. Then he pulled his torso up, rested his foot firmly on the ground and pulled himself up, despite the pain. One step forward, and another, and another, and he was in between the walls of the gateway. “I will follow you back home now,” he continued his sentence as he began steadily walking across the bridge.
« Modifié: 16 novembre 2019 à 21:18:40 par Armathyx »

Hors ligne derrierelemiroir

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Re : The Temple of Steel
« Réponse #1 le: 17 novembre 2019 à 20:31:06 »
Yo Arma  :D

Je commence par pinailler (mais déjà ton niveau d'anglais m'a impressionnée  :coeur:)

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It made little noise in contact with the leaves.
Du coup la feuille est encore par terre, c'est pour ça que tu parles des feuilles des arbres ?

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The young man stood up
chais pas pourquoi mais je trouverais plus joli si tu écrivais "straightened up"

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Nero sled

mmh ça fait bizarre que tout d'un coup on apprend son prénom

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fur jacket’s pocket
pas très joli ça

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The feather resumed its course down the river
je trouve pas ça nécessaire, parce que ça m'a fait tiquer au début, j'ai compris que c'était toujours de lui qu'on parlait seulement en relisant le début du texte

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The young man plunged further into the forest
pas fan de "plunge"

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The path that laid ahead of him pierced its way out of the forest and onto open fields
ptetre tu peux utiliser "wood" une fois, ou "trees" pour éviter la répétition de "forest"

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A strange feeling suddenly creped
crept ?

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his consciousness began fading away
to fade away ?

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still feeling his body but unable to control it
il manque quelque chose ici

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His mind drowned in nothingness.
into

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I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve passed out. I woke up in this dark room just a moment ago. The last thing I remember was finding this strange device in the middle of the forest. I also remember finding a drawing hidden under the leaves, but it’s no longer in my pocket. I must’ve dropped it when I fainted. Perhaps I’ve been kidnapped and whoever dragged me here took it away. Perhaps I’d been dreaming. I can’t tell where I am, everything around me is pitch black except for two small, square windows on one of the walls.
toute cette partie, je la mettrais en italique, ou autre, pour marquer la différence qu'on se trouve dans sa tête à présent (enfin, même si c'est très clair hein  :mrgreen:)

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It turns out one of them was on a door
ça c'est pas très clair. Une des fenêtres est sur une porte ?J'aurais plutôt mis "was a door"

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but I can’t see a thing because it is enormous.
:coeur:

Bon, tout le passage où il se parle à lui-même, je le trouve un peu plus rigide, tu pourrais peut-être rendre son dialogue interne un peu plus vivant, genre langage parlé ?

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white fur that gave its head the shape of a heart
un peu maladroit ça

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Nero stood up
il s'est déjà levé quelques lignes plus haut  :D (inception ?)

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He considered leaving. However, the idea of leaving that place without answers was tearing him up inside, grating his mind. “Give me a second,” he left the dog waiting, leaving
répétition de "leaving"

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that he feared them ripping themselves off his arms.
ça aussi ça pourrait être mieux dit

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A bridge, or dam, stood before him.
:aah: :aah:
Spoiler
[close]

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His sense of space and time had been torn to pieces by the sheer immensity of the place he’d found himself in.
:coeur: :coeur: (par contre "he'd found himself in" ça peut partir je trouve)

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The towered into the bright
They ?

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Nero took a few steps forward, taking pleasure in listening
ça jure un peu ici qu'il y prenne du plaisir, alors qu'il a peur, qu'il est désespéré

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It was the exact scene from the drawing he’d found in the forest: the dam, with its gateway and ramp
BOOM CRASH BOOM ça fait dans ma tête (rho ça m'énerve presque que je connaissais déjà l'histoire, je trouve ça tellement cool)

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the empty,
the emptyness ?

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He stopped. Something was wrong about the humming noise. Its pattern had changed. He’d been listening to it for so long that he noticed the change immediately. It was one of the few things he’d managed to grow accustomed to, and now that it had changed it felt as though his world was once again upside down. Something must’ve caused the change
répétition de change

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infinite. Cosmic.
:coeur:

Bon en général, j'aime beaucoup beaucoup l'histoire, mais ça tu le savais déjà. Je suis pas sûre d'avoir compris la fin par contre
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[close]

Je trouve que c'est bien raconté au niveau du rythme du suspens. Ton niveau d'anglais est bon mais je trouve l'écriture quand même un peu crispée, saccadée ; ça m'a aussi un peu empêchée de bien m'immerger. Du coup je me demande, vas-tu écrire une version française ? Ça te permettra aussi de recueillir plus d'avis je pense, si ça t'intéresse :)

En tout cas c'était cool de lire ce texte, tu devrais y joindre ton dessin !

« Modifié: 17 novembre 2019 à 20:32:45 par derrierelemiroir »
"[...] alors le seul fait d'être au monde
  remplissait l'horizon jusqu'aux bords"
  Nicolas Bouvier

Hors ligne Armathyx

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Re : The Temple of Steel
« Réponse #2 le: 19 novembre 2019 à 23:26:51 »
Merci pour ton commentaire dlm!

J'ai corrigé la plupart de ces erreurs (pas encore mis à jour sur le fofo) sauf pour:


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His mind drowned in nothingness.

into

J'aurai dit "dove in nothingness" mais "drown in nothingness", comme on dit aussi "drown in water".

Je penserai à joindre le dessin!

 


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