Sunday, September 23, 2012

Been so long I almost forgot.

Got convinced to do a short story competition. Not really into small stories but this was my attempt. Opinions?


Wyllym stalked through the forest with the grace of a jungle cat and enough fear to keep him wary. Every shadow was a bandit; every sound an enemy about to attack. His heart beat so loudly he was sure the gods could hear. His skin was clammy, sweaty. Barely out of his teens, Wy...
llym was no great warrior. He was born to poor parents and only taken in by Sir Theklis as charity. Tonight he was determined to prove his worth.
The wind blew through his hair, echoing the words of the old, blind man that had given him the aged parchment in his hands. Once again Wyllym looked down at the crude drawing. The old man’s words haunted his footsteps. “All of the answers you seek await you at the end of this path. Your fears, dreams and desires are all there waiting for you to claim them, but you can only have one. Choose the correct door and unending bliss will be yours. Choose wrongly and certain doom will claim you.”
Wyllym frowned, suddenly afraid. He’d overlooked the blind man’s warnings, so eager to become the man he deserved to be. Now, so close to the end, he began to regret his hasty choices. The haunting echo of the moon showered down, illuminating the forest floor. Shadows from clouds pockmarked the land. Treetops swayed gently, their branches scraping against each other in an angry symphony. The call of a giant owl warned all trespassers beware.
Wyllym glanced at the map again. Using the roughly drawn terrain features as a guide, he scanned the surrounding forest and was surprised to find himself standing at the edge of a perfect circle cut into the foliage. A faint red glow clung to the ground. Wyllym froze. What little courage he had faltered and it was all he could do not to turn and run. There was a supernatural air about the circle and he was right to fear. Places like this shouldn’t exist. Crows ringed the trees, watching his every move, judging. Taking a deep breath, Wyllym stepped into the circle.
Flares of electricity surged through his body. His muscles twitched. Tears streaked down his face. A small trickle of blood crept from his nostril. Wyllym shook off the effects and walked to the center of the circle where three aged, wooden doors stood. The choices, he breathed. His heart began to beat faster. Questions came to life. What do I really want? He glanced up at the ring of crows.
“I can be anything. I can be rich, happy, powerful. A king!” he shouted.
The crows stared down in silence. Reaching out, Wyllym tentatively wrapped his hand around the doorknob on the right. An unspeakable foulness vibrated from the door, beckoning him with wicked temptations. Wyllym’s heart churned. He was suddenly ashamed of his thoughts. His hand dropped and he stepped back.
Wyllym studied the doors, more conscious of his decision. Was greed the doom the blind man spoke of? Possibly, at least it made sense. Wyllym searched his heart for answers, fearful of what his mind might produce. He closed his eyes and let Fate decide. Wyllym reached out again and felt his hand encircle another doorknob. Turning, he gave the door a quick push. A rush of air nearly knocked him to the ground. The crows burst into flight, black feathers drifting down in a hail of caws as the mighty birds sped away.
Wyllym reluctantly opened his eyes and saw his own reflection staring back at him from a full sized silver mirror. The reflection was different somehow. He studied the lines, the angles. It was more mature, stronger and exuding confidence. It was the man he desperately wanted to become. The image smiled them and slowly changed into a golden light. Wyllym stared wide eyed as the light melted into a small beam and plunged into his chest, rendering him unconscious.
When he awoke he felt different. Wyllym slowly got to his feet and looked back at the mirror. This time the image he saw was his own reflection. He wanted to laugh or cry. All of this time and he had finally found the one thing that he’d lacked: courage. Wyllym turned and headed back towards the village, a new man capable of overcoming anything life threw against him. So it was he failed to see the blind man leaning against a nearby tree, smiling.