i've been meaning to make a short story dump thread for maybe some dumping? anyone wanna write and dump stories here and they can be bad it's ok
Once upon a time there was a boy named Sebastian.
Sebastian lived with his mom and dad in a house at the edge of a wood, amid a bunch of other houses similar to his, htough his house which was made of huge notched logs stacked in criss-cross patterns and holed out with magic for windows, this house which his father Sean owned had been built by his great great grandfather William and great great grandmother Eloise, and passed on down from them to Delton and his son Craig, and eventually one day it would be Sebastian's house, and he rather hated that idea because the house was old fashioned and he wanted to live closer to the library.
Sebastian's father was part of a group of men who specifically patrolled the town to keep it safe, as Sean said mostly because "He was so good with a bow" and his eyes would twinkle when he said it and you could tell he wasn't kidding or thought he wasn't. Sebastian knew his father was a good shot; he'd taught him to shoot and he still wasn't as good or fast as his father.
Because dad, grandpa, great grandpa and great-great grandma had all patrolled the fence in this area their house was beside the fence, and Sebastian was friends with other children of the town's watch who lived near him as well as children all the way down to the baking shops in the heart of Aeul, their home town on The Rever South.
Sebastian's mother worked as a professional craftsman at the copper shop and sold herbs she grew on the side. She was also quite a powerful witch. She was part of the watch as well, though a different kind than her great-grandma Eloise-in-law, from whom she was descended along a different family line and was her great great aunt once removed. Maria created spells which could detect non-human and non-mortal minds used to protect Sebastian's hometown.
Sebastian didn't much care for that either. Being the son of two such esteemed members of the town put a lot of pressure on him to perform. Which was why, though both his parents had taught him their crafts, he didn't really feel DRAWN to either ranger work nor magicks. He seemed to prefer reading, mostly.
To make matters worse, Sebastian had a special power and really didn't want to tell his parents about it, out of general embarrassment about how silly it seemed: He could sense when and where his presence might inspire good. At any time that he stopped and sat very still and thought quietly to himself, he could see/hear/smell/taste/feel a time and place and no matter how far away, he knew he could get there in time if he left immediately in that moment, and he knew he would encounter a problem which he would be able to possibly solve.
The problem was he wasn't always able to sovle the problem. Sometimes things were too difficlut, or he was too distracted or too slow, or something went wrong and he missed his chance to cause something good to happen. He didn't quite know how he knew he'd lost the moment, but it was a feeling, like a warm buzzing in his chest that would suddenly leave, and the sense of time and place would fade and leave him feeling a little light.
one day Sebastian was sitting in the back yard thinking quietly about how he might help someone and he just couldn't get comfortable. He kept having thoughts about the mountains and the trees and his favorite activities and the sky, and the nature of existence and the things he enjoyed eating, and it seemed he just couldn't get his mind to quiet for some reason.
So he got up and he went out into the grass behind his house, looking for adventure. He came upon a clearing before a forest. In the clearing bees and bugs buzzed through the warm air and Sebastian looked at his pack at his belt to make sure he'd brought a sandwich to enjoy in the forest beyond the clearing.
But as he walked through the clearing he suddenly felt a sense of eyes upon him. He stopped and held utterly still, listening and moving his eyes as slowly as he could to scan the horizon, paying attention to every detail.
Deer. There were at least five doe and two buck standing at the far edge of the clearing, staring directly at him. He was approaching them while they were eating, but they weren't afraid yet. Sebastian reached down into his pack and pulled out a large piece of lettuce. He walked calmly toward a doe, holding out the lettuce. She bowed as he put it on the ground, and as he backed away she ate the lettuce, slowly and unconcerned. The other deer turned and walked into the woods with the doe Sebastian had fed, and he kept moving toward the edge of the forest.
Without warning Sebastian went reeling down a gentle hill, getting rather sticker in the process. He stood and dusted his leather clothes clear of stickers and walked back up the hill to see what had tripped him so unexpectedly. It felt like... iron!
And so it was. A large iron chest with a complicated lock sat camouflaged by tall brown grass. It came to his knees and was large enough to perhaps hold a half barrel of water. Moreover, no matter how he tried to haul or drag or twist or budge the chest, it seemed magically bound to the stone of the hill, yet Sebastian's magic compass detected no spells, though that was hardly concrete proof in his esteem as the thing was possibly rather old and unreliable.
Sebastian was naturally curious, and so he said to himself, "I think I'll search for this key and find out what's inside this chest." He sat on the chest to think about it for a moment.
"Were this chest magically protected and bound, it would be part of some old structure. You don't just put your magic chest out in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps this is the foundation of an old castle or battlement, or other type of made structure." Sebastian's curiosity had led him to research many interesting things.
"Boxes don't just get magically sealed to a spot randomly, you want the lock to face the door. And the key can't be anywhere near the box." As he talked, Sebastian's mind itched with something that had been bothering him subconsciously; the birds had stopped singing. He turned his head to see a lioness stalking toward him. Sebastian turned slowly and pulled his steel sword from his belt. "i don't want to harm you, Lion."
The lioness growled but stopped, eyes locked on Sebastian's face... or neck? He didn't want to find out.
"I'm sorry I interrupted your hunt." He pulled a ham steak from his pack. "I was going to have a sandwich. How about this snack?" He tossed it to her and she picked it up and turned to leave. Sebastian waited a few minutes, watching her go, and thought quickly.
"Such a key wouldn't be worth my life. A hungry lion isn't something to face in the dark, either." He looked up to see the sun a mere hour from setting. He took three steps from the box to a lumpy bit of earth and dug his toe into the sod, keeping an eye on the tree line and calculating how long he could be safe here. "Well, unless I solve this quick, it's time to head back."
Sebastian stayed a few more minutes to show the lioness fearlessness and hopefully dissuade her form stalking him partway home. He didn't want to lead a hungry lioness past some of the farms near his house. "I'll head back in five or so minutes oh hello-"
The reason he said "Hello" was that he'd uncovered what appeared to be the door frame perhaps to the room the magic box had once been inside of, long ago. "Kros masonry is magical." he muttered, remembering something from a book he'd once read. He pushed back more sod and found a large block of stone with a circle carved into it.
"Um." Sebastian made a 'hook' with telekinesis and attached it to one side of the circle, pulling slightly. The circle of stone turned smoothly and dropped away into smoke revealing a stone staircase leading into a torch-lit tunnel.
Sebastian checked his pack and pulled his cape from it. "Bread and some cheese left, and the sling." The handle of the bag doubled as a weapon for self defense called a sling. By detaching the handle and whipping it a certain way one could fling a stone quite far and accurately with practice. Sebastian was quite naturally good at this, and practiced often when hunting for food himself.
He walked down below the ground and reached up with another hook, pulling the edge of the circle. With a poomm the stone returned, solid once more. It was a common way to keep non sentient creatures from getting into structures even today, though more rarely as the art was only partly understood. Safe from the lioness, Sebastian pushed down into the cave, cold air blowing into his face and making the heatless magical torches lighting the way billow and flash. They faded away behind him as he walked, as they do, and could be used to indicate the presence of other creatures. Well, non monsters, anyway.
Just as he'd had that thought the tunnel opened into a vast antechamber with no visible bottom. Above a vast black chasm hung a cage from a chain, and inside the cage Sebastian saw a monster.
He jumped back into the tunnel, hoping it hadn't seen him. He saw a key around its neck and that its extremities were beginning to calcify.
For that much calcification, he thought, this thing's been here for at least half a century, and it's going to be rather mad and perhaps quite bloodthirsty. Nobody knew why mosnters killed, nor what they ate as they never ate their victims, but they did not attack animals, only those, as was said, capable of choosing between right and wrong, though Sebastian wondered what kind of test there could be to determine that. He suddenly wondered if monsters could choose between right and wrong. They certainly were mysterious, sometimes killing and often not. In fact there were religions based around them, and some zealots and fools spent time with them to prove their blind faith or bravado.
"Bravado and bravery are different." Sebastian pulled his bread and cheese from the pack and munched on them. "Hey monster. Hey. You want out of there?"
The creature nodded. It had two red eyes above a wide mouth. When its mouth jittered open making a clacking sound like fine pottery banging a green glow emitted from its depth where a green glowing tongue hissing with acid flickered in a pool of glowing, boiling liquid. Its skin seemed to suck in the eyes and didn't seem to have a color or reflective property, just the ability to draw attention and hold it. It was mesmerizing. Sebastian shook his head and focused on its eyes with effort.
"I can let you out but you have to give me that key."
"No mortal would be so foolish. I would eat you because you'll be dead in a mere century anyway." Its voice was like the screaming of beetles in chorus and he wondered how the thing generated such a strange sound. "I have crystal hairs inside my neck which I rub together to imitate sounds.I used them to chrrrsshhrr ...I heard you thinking about giving me your cheese and bread, but you know I don't eat cheese or bread."
Sebastian was surprised by the speed of the creature's words. "Slow down," he inched back into the room, talking to the monster in a loud, clear voice. "You can read my mind?"
"As can you read the minds of others, as you must agree, though you might say I do it as a reflex rather than as a sslcksss like you just though of doing... a ssspell. Spells are the funniest thing your species does. Homo Sapien. Well, mostly, still, probably. I'd wager it's up for debate at the moment."
"You gamble?" Sebastian was feeling more and more hypnotized by the thing's skin.
"HEY!" The monster screamed and Sebastian jumped. "If I'm just going to mesmerize you into walking into that abyss, you'll never let me out and I'll never get you that key."
"R-right. Well." Sebastian looked around for something to climb up along the wall above the exit to the long tunnel. There was nothing, just a smooth empty ceiling meeting a smooth wall above his head. The whole chamber was maybe 8 meters below the ground and perhaps 40 meters across. The ceiling, a few meters above Sebastian's head, had a chain bolted into it from which the cage hung. Sebastian pulled the sling from his pack. "I have an idea. you'll have to take a chance."
The monster nodded. "Here's the key," he screeched, tossing it from his neck. Sebastian caught it in his pack and pulled the pack down to the floor, pulling the handle free and picking up a rock from the bottom fo the pack. He waved his hand over the rock and it started to drip with white mist, glowing slowly brighter and stargint to whine, soflty at first and then slowly louder and higher pitched. "What a sloppy way to do that." the monster commented as Sebastian loaded the rock into the sling and whipped it at the spot where the chain met the ceiling.
SNAP the sling broke from the force of his shot.
BOOM the rock exploded as it struck the bolt holding one side of the chain to a plate in the ceiling. The chain snapped and dropped the cage silently into the dark abyss below. "Thanksssssssss" the monster hissed into the darkness, then a long silence followed by a long, low, quiet rumble from far, far below and then nothing. Sebastian returned to the entrance to the castle ruins, popping the stone into place behind him and quickly crossing the hill to the box. As he pushed the key into the box and the lid clicked open the strangest laugh escaped from his lips.
The box was empty.
"Well I'll be a monkey's uncle." Sebastian laughed again and put his strapless broken bag into it, pulling his cloak tight and closing the box. "It'll be safe here for now," he laughed again and put the key in his pocket beside his sword. He turned and ran home and the next day he made a leather strap from the broken sling to wear the key around his neck.
Once upon a time, they all lived happily ever after.
I should have known then that things are never that simple.
For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. You know how these little tykes are, they love the shoes when they see them in the store, but then you get home and suddenly they hate them like it's the worst thing ever. Anyway, we picked these up at clearance (hard to afford so many shoes -- it's like he's a different shoe size every other day!) so all sales were final, and we need to make up the cash.
If you're interested (sorry, we're not willing to haggle on the price), you can get in touch at (555) 555-5555.
* It is NOT okay to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
a shrot stroy
A bannerman attempting to announce the Magus Vivien's arrival was roughly pushed aside by a woman wearing a cloak of grey simple cloth. In her aged hand a white scepter glittering with thousands of hues of colored specks chasing each other up and down its shaft in trails that spelled strange symbols and images tapped firmly onto the stone before King Frof.
"Frof you had better have a VERY gods damned reason for rousting an old wizard during her winter's rest. It is colder than the plane of ice outside your miserable pile of rubble."
Laughter from a corner teased a wry smile from her lips, her demeanor radiating calm confidence and wisdom. "What the hell do you want."
"Magus Vivien, how pleasant and so forth, please follow me to my chamber for a drink and a private chat before the official ceremony."
It was code for, I can't show anyone this, the ceremony is the cover for what I'm going to tell you. It wasn't even subtle code, for the Great Game of politics in the High Kingdom was well familiar with the practice, and openly so in all but the most official spaces. The silence in the room deafened for a moment before Vivien bowed and walked quickly in the lead. "I suppose you've some chilled wine." The emphasis on 'chilled' was subtle.
"Yes, I know, I know," several liveries followed and Vivien was shocked when the king continued without waiting for a closed door for someone to spy through.
"Well out with it man. What's the problem here?" Vivien didn't look scared, even now. The king breathed a sigh of relief at that, not even realizing how badly he'd needed this kind of counsellor for this kind of situation.
"Our mages have opened a portal to a world where..." He pushed open his chamber doors. An armored knight lay in a pool of blood, his armor riddled with holes as if from ballista of iron or dense wood, or many lances with perfect trajectory and force had penetrated his magically protected steel armor. Vivien could see the runes shattered as if by pure force and reassessed what she was looking at. "Alchemy?"
The king could only nod and flush. "Perhaps. It's been whispered to me and spoken aloud lately... but... what caliber of magick can do this?"
Alchemy, because it wasn't magick, it was something merely... very fast and very dense. Vivien pulled a bit of weave from her robe and dusted it into the air where it formed glasses she plucked from its vapors. "I see dense projectiles inside him."
"I have several of those." The king was holding small cylinders of lead, each with a pointy end, no more than an egle long and half as wide in diameter. Little... "Hay silos."
"They look like hay silos." Vivien picked one from the King's hand and waved her staff before it. It disintegrated into its constituent molecules. "It's mostly lead mixed with an alloyed combination of metals I can't identify... and several alchemical components used for explosions. I think this is a chemical reaction, a very high order of Alchemy, but technically not magical at all."
"What are you saying? This knight was killed traveling into a fissure that was accidentally created. It's not going to be easy to seal up."
"Whomever killed your knight knows extremely powerful ways to murder without magic, likely at range, far greater range than we can compensate for. A lancer's reach is no match for an arrow that travels straight from shooter to target. Nor a horse. Nor a dragon. Nor anything we use to wage war. Why was he killed?" She noticed the hole in his face. "Oh. No mind to read."
"Do you think they know magic at all?"
"If they do, they don't need it. They're already ahead of us in technology in that case. They likely would decimate your forces. Have you started raiding?"
The king looked down and properly ashamed.
"I trust you'll seal that rift. It's a shame to see a King make decisions they can't reverse to use their power to hurt others with unwise action. Don't let me down. There will be a punishment for this."