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My short stories


I'll post here the three stories I wrote couple years ago for Paradise Lost (and another board, one of my gaming clan where I've been long before coming to Runboard) and hopefully sooner or later one that back then was left unfinished...



GHOST OF THE FOREST POND


   Like so many times before, I prepared for a night in the forest. I have walked this road for years, one way carrying all the goods I can fit in my pack, the other the money from those. And distances being as they are I would sleep in this forest most of times, unless some friendly wagon happened to go same direction to speed my travel.
   But such luck is rare and thus, as I told, I prepared for a night outdoors. Not that there were great preparations to do; after making a small fire and enjoying piece of sweet bread I'd saved for the moment, I merely moved a rock and couple of branches from an otherwise suitable spot and wrapped my cloak around me, with the pack under my head.


   My sleep is not easily disturbed. Hardly ever has anything woken me in this forest before sun was high - forcing me to hurry to make it home before the next night caught me on the road. But this time something made me come to senses in full darkness, despite being as tired as I always was of this journey.
   Whether it was the fact that the darkness of moonless night actually lacked from full or some feeling beyond our understanding and words, for some reason I was suddenly fully awake with eyes wide open. Yet I was still comfortably curled and in no way felt to have been upset by any means. While hours had clearly passed, I was feeling as if I hadn't been asleep at all; not tired but awake in the manner one is all day, instead of having just woken up as I was.


   Only a short moment had my head pondered those matters when I noticed the thing that may have robbed my sleep. There was a glow I could not identify, greenish light that could not come from sky nor any fire, save perhaps a lantern with colored glass. And further strangely it did not come from the road but deeper from the forest, where I've never heard anyone to live.
   Curious to see what could cause such illumination and who might be in forest at midnight, I got up to shake dirt from my cloak and grabbed my pack. I was about to walk towards the light swiftly - whoever was there, sneaking and spying would not be polite or show good intentions - but the unknown set weight on my mind and each step became slower and I peeked cautiously beyond each tree that blocked my view.


   Eventually I saw where the glow came, but this only increased my amazement. The source appeared to be in a forest pond, one that I now remembered having found on a hot summer several years ago. Putting my foot on a log at the edge of the water I peered down... and underwater the light started to take foggy human shape. Rising from seemingly deeper than the water could possibly be right next to dry ground, the shape moved its hand towards the surface and me. And when the fingers broke into air they ceased to be made of hazy light and became bone instead!
   Horrified, I took two slow steps backwards but couldn't remove my eyes from the surfacing being. And during that moment I saw her - while there was no logical means to conclude the age or sex of the skeleton, I somehow knew she was a young woman - rise standing. Only when she stepped on the log on which my own foot had been seconds ago, magic broke and terror and panic took over.
   I turned and charged away from the ghost. But hardly got anywhere as I ran into nearest tree, smashing my face rather violently on it. The impact dropped me on ground and made my eyes blur and head spin. Barely conscious I lied there and saw her walk to me. She leaned over kneeling and put a hand on my shoulder. I was paralyzed - whether by injury, fear or some magic of hers, I cannot tell. And then she put her skull on my chest, gently as a lover...


   Sun was high when I came to. As I was near the pond, the brightness was blinding. My head was still sore from the hit, but examining myself I found my body and soul otherwise intact. Shaking I got up rubbing my muscles and tried to get my bearings on where I was... and my eyes caught the log. Drawn, unable to resist, I moved to it and leaned to look into the water. But besides mossy bottom I saw only reflection of blue sky and my slightly bruised face. She was gone, having harmed me with nothing but fear, and I doubt even that was intentional. I think she was just lonely.
   More than anything in my life, even the memory of that meeting fills me with horror, but also certain kind of yearning. And that is the only reason I can give for why have I ever since, every time sleeping in this forest, done so near the pond. Even though I know deep inside that it will always remain dark.

---

Feb/5/2013, 20:38 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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I loved that one :)

---

Paradise Lost, we will pull you in


Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.
Feb/6/2013, 1:43 Link to this post Send PM to Justbec
 
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Re: My short stories


DEATH FOR LOVE

   My hands are covered in blood. Through haze I see her face, the most beautiful in the world even twisted in horror.

   It all began... I guess I've always loved her, as long as I can remember. First she was "the girl in the big house", it would be years before I heard her name. She did not go to school with rest of us, she had a private teacher. But on the other hand I saw her more often when we were children as she would sometimes play outside with her older brother. In later years she would rarely leave the house.

   Years went by and word "love" gained new meanings for me, but they all described my feelings for her. My dreams about being with her also got new forms, but there was as little as ever chances of making them real. She was of the better folk and myself a common worker. But reality of the situation wasn't enough to break my dreams, nor to quench my passions. It did however keep me quiet; no good would've come to anyone of telling anybody about my thoughts and feeling and dreams.

   And so I waited for more years, expecting things to solve themselves somehow for better or worse. Something had to happen sooner or later. And that something was news or her engagement.
   A simple, almost everyday rumor hit my life with the power of thunderbolt. Day I had waited and feared so long had come. I could not act right on that moment, I would spend days agonizing on my helplessness. Eventually despair gave way to resolve.
   I would go to see her, to tell everything and plea her to marry me instead of him.

   I waited for evening so that their servants would've left and I could encounter her alone. I had seen her parents leave - likely to invite relatives to her wedding - and her brother had left for studies last year. Cleaning and sweeping my sunday clothes I tried to make myself as handsome as I could. Dad was already sleeping as he'd go to work earlier than me. That was fine with me, I didn't care to explain him where I was going.
   So I walked to that big house, which had even been expanded by quarter since my childhood, and gathering all my courage I stepped through the elaborate gate. On the door I froze for few seconds, one last time hesitating, but I grabbed the knocker before I might run away.
   And after longest seconds of my life the door opened and she stood in front of me, closer than we had ever been. And I started talking. I told her who I was - in case she didn't know - and how I'd always admired and loved her. I swore my eternal loyalty and love, to do anything I possibly could if she only chose me.
   She listened. Without a word she waited me to state all of my business. But when she answered I found that had been because she had been brought up to behave properly and not interrupt others rather than for her being impressed by my words. "Why on earth should I marry you?" she asked. "You are penniless compared to myself. You have looks no better than dozen other boys from your street, not that I would marry any of them either. And you obviously don't have any skill in courting or charming a lady."
   She put her hand on door to close it. "And most of all, as you know my marriage is already settled. Now go away, you silly little beggar" she said with a little laughter.

   I held my face emotionless as the door closed on me. I walked sternly to the gate, slamming it bit too hard, and few steps from there I would burst to both run and tears. I did not stop before reaching home. There I got hold of myself, for most part, and entered prepared to the possibility that dad had for some reason waken, but that was not the case.
   I removed my jacket and sat down. The sparkling laughter that I had dreamed of hearing all my life now rang in my head like a church bell. Her words stabbed from all sides. Hundreds of regrets, speculations and "what ifs" battered my mind - many of which had weakened my defenses along previous days. But it was the memory of her laughing that broke me.
   By some twist of fate dad had left his toolkit on bench. The knife was last piece of puzzle that had build in the dark corners of my mind. No longer myself, I took the blade. I stood up and watched it glint for a moment. And then my feet were carrying me back to that big house.

   "Now wha..." she started before seeing my grinning face. After few scared steps back she noticed the knife. "You're mad!" she screamed and turned to run upstairs. I followed with long leaps and as she had reached her room I was in time to block her from closing the door. I pushed and she fell, the door swung open. She turned to crawl and get up, only to realize she had been driven to last corner and there was nowhere to escape.
   She could only stand there and feebly raise hands for some cover. Now stepping calmer - in action if not in thought - I moved towards her and turned the knife in my hand, now holding in blade down. For a moment time stopped as I loomed over her, ready to strike. And then, like a clock hand making its move, action returned and the knife started descending.
   But during that simple act a decisive change happened. Seeing her unmatched features, I was suddenly myself again. And again I was in control of that hand and weapon... enough to give it a new target. The knife entered my chest.

   As my blood and life leave me, I am strangely comforted by the thought that I die to save the woman I loved. Even from my own madness.

---

Feb/23/2013, 21:34 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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You should look for a site where you can publish these and get paid for them Kaunisto.
Feb/24/2013, 7:05 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
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I agree!

---

Paradise Lost, we will pull you in


Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.
Feb/24/2013, 16:21 Link to this post Send PM to Justbec
 
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Yep!

---
Anything Goes
Feb/25/2013, 12:39 Link to this post Send PM to Petal Alderin
 
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Re: My short stories


BATTLEFIELD

   It was the worst kind of battle. Two evenly matched armies, mixed from soldiers, knights, mercenaries, peasants, even barbarians. Whoever they'd been able to gather in hopes of gaining slightest advantage. In truth either side might have done better leaving some folks home. With such mixtures almost any tactical maneuvers were impossible and it became difficult to hold command over your troops at all.
   And so it was all mindless slaughter since the armies met. Only strategies for commanders to use was the choice of when to send in cavalry. And that succeeded in nothing but slightly swaying momentum first for one side and then the other.
   The beating of weapons on shields and each others went quiet only occasionally when volleys of arrows fell upon combatants. With lines long broken and forgotten only a bird could have told where to fire and only hit enemies and thus the deadly rain cared not of one's allegiance. But some time into the encounter there would be no more reason to raise your eyes as few men of both armies had moved through other's ground and assaulted defenceless archers, slaying or routing them quickly.

   So we fought and we maimed and we killed. And as the sun moved slowly above, we took blows and we were wounded and we died. And whatever politics had brought us here, that had nothing to do with what happened now. You struck the other man simply because he was trying to do the same.
   It seemed to continue forever. Eventually there were half less men standing on that battlefield than had walked there, but still the remaining nobles and commanders - their losses had been by now almost the same as everyone else's - tried to rally remaining troops. Some group would sound a battlecry and charge forth, striking down another dozen enemies before their strength and courage was spend again.

   I had for long survived with lesser scratches and bruises, but I noticed my luck had abandoned me. Me and my three comrades. The damned amateurs next to us had moved too far and suddenly we were surrounded by ten enemies. They weren't experienced and we were able to wound badly or kill half of them as they attacked from all directions, but two of my friends fell also. And no matter how well we'd cover each other's back, you can only hold against so many opponents.
   As proved a mace hitting under my sword arm, breaking several ribs. I fell on my knee, barely able to keep my weapon. I yet raised my shield to stop a fatal blow from one enemy, but the one who'd already broken my side struck again. My helmet flew and flash of pain send me on my face to the bloody grass...

   Little later one side, having lost their braver leaders, called retreat. Because a band of their mercenary archers had escaped enemy and now regrouped, they were able to cover the retreat and as the other army was in no better shape, their commanders did not wish to risk a trap and counter attack and signaled their men to leave field as well. But not even a quarter of each army returned to its camp as the sky started to change from blue to colors more befitting the scene under it.

   My eyes would open to a view both beautiful and horrifying beyond description. All over the field there were luminous armor-clad women, angelic but radiating terrible power. And every now and then they would stop by a fallen and he would rise to join her... but not his mortal form, only an ethereal spirit that I was sure to be the soul priests spoke about. Where they went I could not tell. There one moment stood man and woman, though clearly neither a mortal human, and the next there was air as empty as it had all along been around them.
   Unable to move or act I beheld this unearthly sight. These could only be the valkyries of whom myths and legends tell, the gatherers and guides of the glorious dead. Now that I saw them myself, more than ever I wondered the great questions. What were they, where did they come from and where did they go, or the ones who followed them? What power had set them to their grim work?
   Those questions made way to more immediate ones. How... why can I see them? Am I dead, or dying? Will one of those angels of death come to me? That last question was only one to which I got clear and undeniable answer as one of the warrior maidens did indeed move to my direction and stopped beside me. A gesture of her hand made me rise as I had seen others rise, but I did not seem to leave my body behind. I did not see it, nor did I feel like a spirit but still a man of flesh, though my pains were not with me.
   She made a strange face. It may have been displeasure, surprise or puzzlement. Whatever her meaning, she repeated the hand gesture and all of the field of destruction started to fade to empty whiteness. Upset by the sudden change, I stepped away from her and by reflex pointed at her with the sword that had never left my hand. "No!" I cried. "I do not wish to go and will fight you with whatever strength I have!"
   Her features now turned to reflect something between fear and great sadness, followed by what I can only describe as understanding resolve. The whiteness became the battlefield again, but with that light disappeared both spirits of the dead and the valkyries, including one that had come for me.

   Sun was already down, but darkness of night hadn't yet come. I was standing where I had fallen, holding my sword. My pains returned, but determined I remained standing. Leaning to my weapon I started to limp towards our camp. There those few who knew me greeted me with amazed joy and helped me to the tents of the wounded.
   In the morning we were told the battle would not continue. Whatever reasons leaders had had for this conflict, they'd resolved them despite armies coming to a draw.

   I am a soldier. The sword is the only tool I can use. So that battle was not my last. I have been on battlefields I care not count. I have never again seen the angelic creatures. But I know that one day, on some unknown field, my strength will fail me... and she will be waiting for me. And I will follow her into the white.

---

Mar/21/2013, 20:21 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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Re: My short stories


That's beautiful, Kaunisto. You will not be given a high rank in the afterlife unless you die in battle. I don't believe in fate but with all the boards in Cyberia, can someone please explain how I landed here?
Mar/21/2013, 22:28 Link to this post Send PM to echt
 
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Awesome

---

Paradise Lost, we will pull you in


Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.
Mar/22/2013, 14:21 Link to this post Send PM to Justbec
 
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Re: My short stories


I have a sudden inspiration for writing.

I did a little Batman fan fiction. Since Rogue's has a place for such stuff, ]I posted it there.


Something else here in future, possibly...

---

Sep/11/2015, 19:44 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 


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