Feedback Friday – Syzygy

Fantastic news! It’s time for Feedback Friday!

Feedback Fridays is that wonderful time of the week when I read over your submissions and let you know what I think. It’s a really great way to get another set of eyes on your work.

Want to participate? Look over the “Writing Prompts Wednesdays” posts and find something that speaks to you. It can be a piece of flash fiction, a scene or thought inspired by the prompt. You can use it to spark a simple exercise for your current WIP.

Send me up to 500 words at TickledInkBlog@gmail.com , and you’ll probably get featured! Keep those submissions coming! We love seeing them.

Let’s get to this week’s submission!

 

THE PROMPT:

Syzygy: noun. An alignment of celestial bodies.

 

THE PIECE:

An excerpt by: Logan Gion

Mars didn’t want to align. Was it his fault that the Cryptospora Cult of Dubuque, Iowa, had gotten themselves involved with the FBI and needed a celestial escape plan? No. He would approach them in his own damn time at his own pace. Besides, Jupiter and Neptune were meeting up in a month or two, why did it have to be now?

Honestly, he was probably brought in for his “warlike” reputation–a misnomer, by the way. Rome was just like, “Hey, you’re red. We’ll use you for our war god! Red bad! Red mean! You war god now.” Mars was actually a gentle soul, though. Sure, he may not wear his water on his surface like Earth does, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some waiting below the surface, waiting to be discovered.

Frankly, Mars was mad. How presumptuous of those Debuquians! Did they have any idea how many meteorites he’d been pummelled with in the past million years? Of course not. Because they didn’t ask. They just wanted. And wanted and wanted and wanted.

This may have been the thought process that led to Mars’ brusque response when he did meet up with Jupiter and Saturn for The Syzygy.

“What do you propose we do, Mars?” Jupiter inquired in an attempted Masterpiece Theater tone, desperately trying to pass his blobular oafishness off as sagacity.

“Fuckin’ annihilate ‘em.” Mars snarled.

Jupiter’s red blotch flared. “And you, Saturn?”

He didn’t need to ask. For one, Saturn could not speak; for another, Saturn was chaos incarnate. His cosmic scream was all the confirmation Jupiter needed. The celestial hyper beam of death rocketed through the three of them, and the Cryptospora Cult of Dubuque, Iowa, vanished (though local ecologists noted an abnormal spike in the Boreal Chorus Frog population later that year).

As the ritual concluded, Jupiter rotated to Mars. “I’m glad we were able to count on you, Mars. Your usual aggressive tack was the right choice.”

“Usual?” Mars grumbled, his tectonic plates shifting and shuddering. “I’ll have you know that I’ve mellowed out quite a bit since I last saw you.”

Jupiter’s dreamsicle layers rippled into a smirk. “You came round, though.”

 

THE FEEDBACK:

This is such a fun take on the prompt. I’m a fan of anthropomorphizing in general, but I’m not sure I’ve read it on a planetary level before. There’s a certain iconic sci fi novel with a happy planet on its cover that comes to mind though!

I love the specificity of the cult name. It makes it feel more plausible, especially given the relative geographical proximity of the place in question! (Of course, that won’t be the case for everyone, but it’s great when it happens.) It does leave the reader wondering why this specific cult’s activities warranted the plants to obey. What makes them special?

I’m having a little bit of trouble tracking who Mars is as a character. It’s not entirely clear whether he’s an unreliable narrator or if he just objects to his reputation in general. He says his reputation for being “war like” is not deserved, but then the very first thing he says is well – quite hostile! Some of his assertions about the origins of his name smack of misrepresentation and it pulls the reader from the illusion. Perhaps if we understood more of his thought process it would be easier to relate.

The descriptions of planets are really delightful! I especially love the dreamsicle, of course! There are descriptors that don’t flow well though, such as the string of descriptors; blobular, oafishness, and sagacity. All of them in a row feels extremely forced.

There’s something quite intriguing about this piece and I’d love to see a finished project!

Great work!

-AC/R

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