Tuesday, 9 August 2011

#7Virtues Blog Challenge: Diligence

Wednesday's story for Lady's Antimony's #7Virtues blog challenge.


The heat was unbearable. He tried to take a breath but his lungs seemed to burst within his rib cage and the air hissed in his throat. He was suffocating. Sweat streamed down his body, making his skin dangerously slick. Muscles burned with strain as he launched himself once more against the massive boulder, his shoulder slipping into the natural dent worn into the rock. His mind blazed with agony; every nerve ending echoing with the pain of his efforts. One more time. Perhaps this time it would work, this time Sisyphus would be free of Tartarus.

The boulder slipped.

If you have been following this blog at all, you will know that Sisyphus is the main character in a project I'm working on at the moment, the Sisyphus Diaries, which is a kind of 'getting to know you' exercise for what will hopefully be a mythological/fantasy book (currently being plotted). He's also the inspiration for an essay by Albert Camus, on man's futile search for meaning - so I'm in good company!

Take the Tour

The Heavenly Virtues have been a real challenge for all the writers taking part, but I can tell you that people have really risen to that challenge - and then some! Check out some amazing stories by following the links on Lady Antimony's blog.


Emilia Quill said...

I found your blog through the 7 virtues challenge, but you've got my attention.
Poor guy, so close but then the very last line... Love it, want to find out more about him, why is he in Tartarus in the first place and why does he have a chance or an illusion of chance at escape?

Unknown said...

I accidentally saw and read the very last line before I read the rest of the story, and that combined with the photo had me expecting him to be crushed to death!! :( :(
Happily that was NOT the case!

Lissa said...

Oh no! He's working so hard. That's such a pity. I hope he's OK!

Meg McNulty said...

@Lissa Ah he's OK - he just has do it again. And again. And again. For all eternity.

@Katherine this is one of the few that doesn't result in someone dying - mainly because he's already dead!

@Emilia Sisyphus channelled his muse through my tiptapping fingers to give a brief summary of his story in his own words. You can read it here: http://sisyphusdiaries.tumblr.com/originofthediaries It's the background to his diaries. It's fair to say he was a bad lad, but I love him because he was irrepressible, crafty and constantly cheated the gods. Sadly, being less than heroic, he gets overlooked a fair bit in the annals of legend.

Anonymous said...

Will he ever be free or will you just document all of his adventures of trying to be in your story? I love it!

Meg McNulty said...

He's going to get free in my story - or at least he's going to get given a chance of freedom, in order to do an evil task for the gods.

Cheerily, my research this evening was thinking about reasons civilisation could collapse in the Western World, because I've decided I want to set the Sisyphus novel in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world. I think it's cos of the riots!

So far I've come up with global pandemic, energy/water security war, nuclear war, comets, aliens, financial collapse... any more for any more?

Surfing said...

Love that he is so diligent that he has worn a mark in the boulder.

Meg McNulty said...

Yup he's been doing it for 3000 years or so!

Jayaly said...

Love this one. The last line is very simple but powerful.

David A Ludwig said...

For the post apocalyptic world my new story going up on my site starting Monday includes a world reclaimed by Nature (sorta like the Valley of the Wind by Studio Ghibli).

I totally missed that Sisyphus Diaries were still updating since I've only looked on the main page here, so I've got a lot to read to get caught back up!

Meg McNulty said...

@David that sounds really exciting. I love Nausicaa in the Valley of the Winds so I'm sold. I'm trying to brainstorm post-apocalyptic worlds with my brother (http://www.myspace.com/michaelclift/) at the moment. It's bizarrely fun for something that should, really, be quite depressing. But world building is one of the best things about writing isn't it? Whether creating worlds from the past, or worlds in the future or another time/space continuum.

He's thinking classics/sci fi post apocalyptic mash up and I'm liking it!