Posted in The Going Ons Of Thegirlnamedjack's Life

The Scribe – Short Novella For A Contest

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’m entering a writing contest, and may be entering an art contest.  Both are local contests–however–I don’t yet feel confident enough to enter my art in an actual contest.  Who knows, maybe I would win and it’s just a mental thing holding me back.  But whenever I think about entering my art in an actual real-life contest, not just a contest on dA, it makes me really nervous.  :/  Also there are actual artists here in my hometown.  A lot more than writers it seems.

Now, onto the competition that I did enter.  The writing one.  The kids section has a money prize of fifty dollars for the winner, so that would be cool to win.  I mean, fifty dollars is quite a bit for me.  I’ve never won that much in anything…  Probably because I don’t ever enter contests.  😛

Wellll, anyways.  Here’s my entry!  I had a blast writing it, but the editing was a pain in the butt.  *Shrugs and tosses arms into the air*  Oh, and I guess this is the first time that I’ve shared an actual story of mine on here…  In a LONG time.  LOOOOTS of improvement since then.

The Scribe Illustration copy
Drawn by me in Photoshop CS3, please no stealing! And yes, I used my DeviantART username so that I can post it on dA too. 😉  Note to self:  Learn cursive.

A feeble flame flickered in the dark room, biting back shadows that wavered near the edge of the light. A small, clay bottle sat on a desk, a stained hand dipping a crooked quill again and again into the ink until well past midnight.

The Scribe hunched over, his tired eyes squinting in the dim light, examining the day’s work. It kept him up for hours past what he appreciated, and made his hands ache. But complaining wouldn’t change anything; no one paid much attention to him. Etching out the last word in a scrawl that he hoped wasn’t too lazy, he lay down his quill. This book was finished and he could move on to the next.

But not tonight,” he thought, stretching his arms over his head and massaging his hands. Finally he snuffed the lantern and made his way outside. The Scribe’s eyes soon adjusted to the dark as he walked down the trail to his shack. The sky was clear and a bright, full moon cast light across the grass and trees on either side of him. His eyes scanned the blanket of shimmering stars above, each one of them twinkling and glittering, making The Scribe smile.

He came to the end of the scrubby forest and stepped into a clearing. In the center stood his home; a small, wooden shack. He tumbled inside, hardly kicking off his shoes before he was snoring softly with a thin blanket bunched beneath his head.


This was an average night in the life of The Scribe. Day after day, night after night, he turned out pages of calligraphy. Book after book after book.

Sometimes he scribbled complaints in the margins of the volumes he scribed. Bits of his life hidden among the pages of history. No one ever said anything about these additions, and he suspected the other scribes did something similar.

Eventually the Scribe married and had children. They were his joy and would greet him at the end of long nights—assuming they were still awake. A lifetime passed, spent mostly at his desk, as both he and it grew more unsteady.


Wrinkled and balding, the now elderly figure sat at his desk. He sighed, setting his quill down. The most recent tome was finished, and he should start on the next. “But not tonight,” he thought, snuffing out the old lamp and feeling his way towards the door. The moon shone above him bright as ever, and he stared at the shimmering stars patterned across the sky. They danced in his blurred vision until his weary gaze dropped. With his coat wrapped around him and his lungs working hard to breathe the winter air, he shambled home.

Warm in bed, his heart slowing with every beat, he submitted to a well-earned rest.


The next day a new hand picked up the quill at the old desk.

A fresh sheet of parchment in front of him, The Scribe’s eldest son began to write.


I mostly draw and write but I have a side love for theatre as well. A few of my favorite pastimes are creating characters, role-playing and theorizing over my favorite series (whatever format they're in).

10 thoughts on “The Scribe – Short Novella For A Contest

  1. Excellent work. Nice story, beautiful imagery…. Who needs to do art when you can paint with words like that?

  2. Unusual subject, well written. I think you’d like reading Wm. Faulkner’s “The Bear” because he didn’t spell it out, either.

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