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#1 13/1/11 15:25

TheCreature
Member
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 15/12/09

Short story

Hey guys, I scratched out a two-page short story today.  Tell me what you think.

Victory by Insubordination

I looked up, squinting my eyes as the chilly breeze gusted through the valley, bringing with it the smell of decay. The moon was almost completely gone, leaving only a sliver to combat the darkness that descended around my companions, a ragtag group of soldiers from all walks of life. Our line is easily spotted, despite the dark, by the varied colors and designs of our clothing. Gypsies in their many colored wraps, knights wearing their armor, barbarians cloaked in fur against the cold, magi with their staffs and alchemical concoctions, hospitaliers in white, and a single ranger in his dark green garb.

Behind us lays the town of Hope, the last rebel stronghold to take an active stand against the tyrannical empires surrounding us. It’s a ruin, really, but we cling to it like barnacles cling to a ship’s hull. I don’t know why we stay, but I guess it could be chalked up to our lack of organization. We’re split into cliques, squabbling with each other until the enemy leads another offensive.

I roll my eyes at the thought. This is the first time we’ve ever led an attack, instead of merely reacting to one. But the line is on the move again, and so I pick up the pace, sweeping aside the olive folds of my cloak to reveal the large silver shield underneath, as I take my place to the right of my commander. We hesitate a moment at the edge of the mountain forest, and he shouts the final orders.

“Warriors, get your shields up and ready! Archers behind the shield wall! Don’t stop firing until you run out of arrows! Healers, behind the archers! Keep our warriors standing! Everyone! Forward!” He hefts his spear, and we make a short dash into the forest before our momentum is broken against the first waves of enemy soldiers.

I hold my shield steady, fending off deadly blows from clubs and swords alike as I stab with my hand-and-a-half sword. The trees shudder from the impacts of arrows, dropping brown leaves that clung stubborly against the wind. Even the ground shakes as we stomp back and forth across the carpet of leaves. A blue light flares up as someone throws a burning vial above my head, bursting violently on the chest of my opponent. I yell thanks, and move on, no time to check whether he heard me or not.

Suddenly, a cry goes up from the rear of our group, and I whirl to see a half-dozen attackers leap from the trees and cut down our meager rear guard. Quickly, I alert several of my companions to the danger, and we run through the woods to counter the ambush. The alchemists are taking action now, and flaming bottles are flung all around, leaving an acrid stench as the foul mixture burns. A few miss, leaving scorched marks on the ground and trees, but luckily the rain had dampened everything the previous night, so nothing caught fire.

We had only been fighting for a handful of minutes, and our numbers were already dwindling. We’re surrounded, and I run from place to place, thrusting my battered shield before the ceaseless attacks, and cutting down the enemy soldiers as quickly as possible. A cut got through, catching me on the side, and a healer somehow bandages it while I continue fighting. In response, I throw my own alchemic bottle into the night, splattering a black acid over the poor wretch, and he falls to the ground. Suddenly, a cry rises above the din, and I manage to make out the words.

“Retreat! Fall back to the town! Retreat!” I see the commander, standing tall above our remaining fighters, holding up a wounded comrade as they fight their way backwards out of the ambush. I glance to either side of me, at Terion, my unnoficial mentor, and Erik, a skilled alchemist.

“We can still win this.” Terion says. “We just need to get past this spot.”
Erik nods. “If the soldiers see the group leaving, they’ll either follow them or return to the tower.” I look back at the group as they hurriedly carry the wounded away, using shields as stretchers.

“Let’s finish this.” I growl. “For Hope.”

And we charge ahead, slashing and burning our way through the last vestiges of the ambush. Somehow, we break through the line, and fight our way onto the old path. It stretches through the woods, somehow resisting the trees’ advance. Old scorches mark ancient battles, and discarded weapons and lost coins can sometimes be found. We run past all these, fighting the few soldiers on patroll this far from the tower. I recieve several minor wounds, but Erik passes out a concoction that dulls the pain, and I wind strips of cloth around the worst cuts.

So we keep fighting, and keep fighting until we reach an old rope bridge. Erik and I toss several heavy rock onto the bridge, to make sure the boards aren’t too far gone. Meanwhile, Terion holds the occasional soldier at bay with his shield and sword. We stand, and Erik runs across the bridge, waving back at me to follow him over. I turn to Terion to tell him, but he is slumped against the post. A sickly green pallor colors his face, and his fingers are loose on his sword.

“Poison.” He gasps. “I can’t feel my feet.” He motions for me to run ahead, not to bother with him, but I disagree.

“No way. You got this far, you can make it back.” I say as I heave him over my shoulder. Somehow I manage to run across the bridge, and set him down by Erik.

“He’s been poisoned. Help him.” I order, pulling my sword out again. “I’ll hold them off.” Erik nods, and I spin away, facing the newest wave of soldiers.

I slash and block, lunge and parry. I lose myself in the fight, gliding from step to step in a complicated dance. Then another blade joins mine, glinting darkly in the starlight. Terion limps beside me, his legs wrapped tightly in bandages and alchemic vials. Erik’s work seems to be counteracting the poison, but even my untrained eye can see that it’s going to take more than this to save Terion. We back up, tiring under the constant pressure of soldiers. But then Erik runs up, panting like a marathon runner.

“It’s finished.” He says. “The tower caught fire like tinderwood.”

I look, and see the smoke rising above the treetops. Terion sees it too, and at an unspoken signal, we all throw our last bottles at our enemies, and stumble into the woods while the smoke blinds them.
After long minutes, we reach the edge of town, and are greeted by our friends. It’s an odd meeting, there in the torchlight, with half of the rebels angry with us for disobeying orders, and the other half impressed that we finished the job by ourselves. I hand my battered weapons to the blacksmith, and he luts them in a cart to be repaired later. Then we head to the infirmary to get patched up, grinning triumphantly despite the pain.


The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.  Promoting the IRC and stuff for the RP: Rules Dice Map and RP

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#2 13/1/11 16:57

TOCS
Member
From: Denmark
Registered: 4/4/07

Re: Short story

You would be perfect for story developing in game industry. Though I didn't read it all, I see you've some writing skills. smile

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#3 13/1/11 18:58

TheCreature
Member
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 15/12/09

Re: Short story

Yeah, I enjoy writing.  Thanks for the thumbs-up.


The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.  Promoting the IRC and stuff for the RP: Rules Dice Map and RP

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#4 13/1/11 19:42

Lithium
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 17/10/08

Re: Short story

I miss those thumbs up i recount countless of times i got a thumbs down


Oni IRC | Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!

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#5 15/1/11 4:03

Sharoduinn
Member
From: UK
Registered: 8/6/10

Re: Short story

Where do you get your inspiration for all these stories? I couldn't write the same amount of the same quality in a hundred years hmm
You really should publish some books smile


"Sorry about the mess"

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#6 15/1/11 12:24

TheCreature
Member
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 15/12/09

Re: Short story

Well, this particular story is actually inspired by a scene from a LARP (Live Action Role Play) I attend.  And my inspiration comes from music, movies and books, usually.

As for the books, well, I've got a few in the works, but I don't really have enough patience to finish 'em.


The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.  Promoting the IRC and stuff for the RP: Rules Dice Map and RP

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#7 15/1/11 13:49

Mukade
Member
From: Ottawa, Ontario - Canada
Registered: 29/5/07

Re: Short story

The title reminds me of a scene from the book Brisingr


"He looks mean enough to tear my arm off and beat me to death with it. In fact, he looks mean enough to tear his OWN arm off and beat me to death with it."

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#8 15/1/11 17:27

TheCreature
Member
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 15/12/09

Re: Short story

It does, doesn't it... Oh, I wonder how that came to be...

Yeah, that scene was going through my head when I was trying to think of the title.


The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.  Promoting the IRC and stuff for the RP: Rules Dice Map and RP

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