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wandering_cirrus t1_j6hid80 wrote

(Part 1)

I remember the first time I met her. She was a little crybaby back then, small and hopeless and loud and near about the ugliest human I’d ever seen, what with all the snot and tears running down her red, swollen face.

I propped myself on a rock when I couldn’t take it anymore, pulling all the energy I could muster to take the least conspicuous form I could. Not that I could conjure up anything too ferocious this close to my source. I didn’t have enough energy. There was still a small chance she’d run screaming, but I suppose even that would work, since then she wouldn’t be my problem anymore.

“You’re getting my river salty,” I complained, leaning tiredly out of the water.

She turned towards me, forcing her sobs into gasps. But she couldn’t stop the steady stream of sorrow pouring out of her eyes. Even her words turned incomprehensible from the blubbering. Near as I could make out, she was worried about “him” killing her.

“And why is he going to kill you?” I sighed.

“Mother’s scarf,” she wailed. “Lost, hngh, river—”

I cocked my head. “Is it gold colored?” Something like that had washed downstream earlier.

She nodded, scrubbing at her tears. I transferred my senses to the rest of me. It wasn’t too far now, but my currents had carried it such that it was beyond the reach of one as small as herself. All of me was one, so pulling it into my newly formed fingers took merely a thought. I flung its drenched form at her.

“Now it’s back, and you can go away.”

For a moment, the crying stopped, the fabric twisting between her small fingers. She blinked at me. Flinched, as the tears blurring her gaze cleared, and she noticed I wasn’t a person.

Hnnnnnngh—!” Oh no, the crying was starting again!

“There, there,” I begged, panicking. “Don’t cry, you’ll give me a headache.” I spread my crystalline fingers wide, letting the drops rolling off my skin sprinkle the sunlight into rainbows. “See? I’m not scary, just a harmless little river spirit!” She didn’t need to know about the part of me where white water crashed heartlessly from heights, or my wide, lazy reaches near the sea that liked to swell with angry storms and slip over my banks. She didn’t need to know about the corpses I sometimes hid in my depths.

The rainbow worked like a charm. Blessed silence spilled across my waters as her hands reached up to catch the colored light.

And then, laughter. Golden, sun-bright. Bubbling like the spring at my headwaters.

I froze.

It was beautiful.

The child looked back at me, her smile spreading across her ugly, swollen, tear-stained face. She wiped the last of the tears and rose to her feet.

“Th-thank you Ms. River Spirit,” she whispered. “Mother always said I should thank people who helped me.” She clutched the scarf, bowed, and turned to leave. One small foot set down the path towards the nearest village.

And then suddenly, she was back at my side, flinging her arms around me and squeezing. For a moment, I forgot that I was miles upon miles of rock-channeled, untamed waves. I forgot that I was more than just a few buckets of water in the shape of a mortal. “My name is Katiya,” the little girl confided.

She let go. Scampered down the path that took her back to her world. And I was myself again, the whole of the wild River Andolin. The false mortal form I’d constructed slopped back into my depths.

She came back, that girl. Day after day, she ran back to the boulder by the side of the stream where we met, and she would do a task or lay on the grass by my banks, and she would talk to me. Little nothings about her day, about her father, about what her mother was like when she was alive. As she grew older, sometimes she would laugh at herself, wonder if I was even listening.

But I was listening.

She left one day after she’d stopped growing taller. She came down to my banks, travel bags slung across her shoulders.

“I’ve come to say goodbye, Annie,” she told me. Annie was what the villagers called me around these parts. I was quieter here, closer to my source, not anything to be associated with the terrors of infamous Andolin, and so Katiya had taken to calling me that, too. “I’ve told you how I’ve always wanted to be an adventurer before, right? Well, Old Man Barnes gave me his old map and his old knife yesterday, and I decided that this was it, you know? Now or never, as they say. I didn’t tell Da, since he’d throw a fit and lock me up for the next six months, but I thought I ought to at least let you know I was going.” She giggled. “I doubt you’ll miss me, but I’ll come back when I’m good and ready, and I’ll tell you all about it.”

And so she waved, and ran off on the other path, the path that took her away from me, away from home.

She was wrong.

I did miss her.

The days passed, much like they did before. But sometimes my consciousness would shift towards our boulder, and I would wonder when she was coming back. I didn’t see her feet on my banks, nor did I hear word of her from my tributaries, the weaker spirits under my protection. So I waited, and I hoped, and poison began to twist its talons into my depths.

It wasn’t normal poison, like the foul stench fools would sometimes throw into my waters near the cities of man—I never suffered those fools for long—but a spirit poison, a poison meant to eat at me, a poison meant to choke my soul and twist my mind. They didn’t think to start from my head, so I fervently spread myself to keep it from my tributaries. But it seeped into me. I started to lose more and more of myself in the bouts of formless pain, sourceless anger that spread from the darkness eating me alive.

In a moment of clarity, I caught one of the perpetrators, his foul work clutched in his hands.

I drowned him.

Drowned him, and spat him and his instruments from my currents at the door to a tower that held magic, betting that someone there could be my salvation.

And then there was nothing again, clarity like lonesome bubbles released from a drowning man’s lungs.

Clarity came back in a heave. The dying man was pulled onto land. I collapsed onto the grass, my mortal form gasping, hacking out gobs of blackness from within. I tasted blood in my waters, the blood that spawned the poison that almost killed me. The blood that now forced the poison to leave me.

I spat out the last of the poison, wiping my mouth with much more ease than I might otherwise have managed. I had gained some humanness, after all, watching Katiya for all those years.

I pulled myself upright, surveying the place my consciousness found itself. I was surrounded by several mortals in a clearing. Some armored ones dragged black-cloaked corpses away from my shores, some directed the black mucus I had expunged from myself into a fire with a wave of their hands.

And heaving for breath over the deadman whose blood I tasted upon awakening, the one who had slain my almost-killer, was Katiya.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6hinao wrote

(Part 2)

I laughed. She was alive. So strange that we should meet here. One of the magicians looked up at my laughter, bowed hurriedly. “Lady Andolin!” His greeting was a little too loud, trying a little too hard to hide the fear that seeped into his tone. Poor boy. He must have grown up on my floodplains.

In an instant, all heads in the clearing turned towards me. Dozens of heads bowed. I grabbed the back of Katiya’s armor, stopping her. “Oh no,” I rebuked. “Not you too. I can’t have my life-saver bowing to me, can I?”

Katiya glanced upwards, worried. There was no fear, though. She didn’t know the River Andolin beyond reputation. I pulled more of my consciousness in, tried to shed the rampaging energy that ran through me this close to the ocean, tried to smooth myself into the softer form Katiya remembered.

Her eyes widened. “Annie—?” I placed a finger on my lips, grinning. My other palm twisted around her wrist.

You may call on the Andolin when you are in need,” I whispered. The magic from inside me rustled, curled around her arm, and seeped beneath her skin. I released her, and a blue and green river spun where my fingers had clutched. “Can’t you come back sooner?” I complained even lower. “I’m bored.”

Her lips twitched, and I knew that sunlight-bright laugh wanted to burst out of her. But she held it in. She nodded.

“I am grateful for the Lady Andolin’s thanks,” she announced for the crowd.

“Brat,” I muttered under my breath. “Talking like a sugar-brained nobleman.” Her lip twitched again, and I couldn’t help but snort.

My eyes spread over the clearing again. “Your help is appreciated,” I told them all. “The Andolin does not forget.” I released my consciousness, dripped back into my banks, and prepared to soothe my tributaries.

More time must have passed, but I was less aware of Katiya’s absence in my busy-ness. Once my tributaries were sorted, I had to take care of the tower of magicians that had discovered my ill, had to make sure I ran as smoothly as possible for the sake of the lives that had been uprooted in my cursed anger.

Eventually, it had been enough time that I decided I could relax my vigilance, my forcefully good behavior. The people by my banks had rebuilt their lives. They could once again withstand the force of my normal whims.

I began to miss Katiya again. I had never understood a mortal’s sense of time, but I only hoped we could speak at least once more before she left this world.

A tug came in the navel of my sense of self. It pulled my waters into hands, my currents into limbs, and brought me back to where it came from. I appeared behind a woman—my Katiya. I blinked. Something felt odd. I pulled my hand up to check. It was skin-toned, not the usual translucence of water. “Oh,” I marveled as I wiggled my fingers, enjoying the feeling of muscles and bones sliding. “How novel!”

“Who are you?” A voice demanded.

I returned my gaze to the room. The voice came from a be-caped and be-crowned little man squatting on a golden chair. His eyes were narrow and dark. And directly in front of me, an armored person pressed a sword to the neck of a kneeling Katiya, her hands bound behind her back. Frost grew in my eyes.

I pressed a hand against her back. “Where is this, Katiya?”

“Credia,” she replied, softly. “Sorry to bother you.”

“Not at all.”

The fancy man rose to his feet angrily. “We demanded,” he spat, “to know who you are!”

I clicked my tongue. “The kingdom of Credia relies on the River Andolin for fishing, trade, and travel,” I mocked. “And you don’t even know my visage?” A harsh intake of breath hissed below me. A small trickle of blood dripped down Katiya’s neck. My frown deepened. I pushed the sword away, reminded it what it was, reminded it what I was, what all iron did before the onslaught of water and time.

The sword shriveled in my gaze, meek. The edge dulled, rusted before our eyes. The armored man staggered backwards, his now useless piece of ironmongery clattering to the floor.

Fear crept into the fancy man’s tone. “Who—who are you?”

I ignored him, pulling Katiya to her feet, freeing her hands. She stumbled, but my novel solid form easily caught her. “Is there anyone here you want to save?”

“…They were going to kill Da if I didn’t cooperate,” she murmured, fists tight. “This castle’s rotten through.”

I sneered. “I see.” I closed my eyes, ignored the growing cries and shouts from the fancy little man, from the armored man, and the growing squadron of others of his kind, and reached out, reached down.

A young spring slept beneath the castle. The original architects had presented her with gifts, comforted her into slumber, and used the waters to support the life of the castle inhabitants. She had always been softer than I. She was content with sleeping, with knowing that she was relied upon.

Gelna, I commanded. It’s time to wake up.

She stirred, started. The ground rumbled.

Gelna awoke.

Gelna awoke, and saw for herself what she now fed with her slumbering waters.

She roared with the rage that only an angry water spirit can funnel.

The foundations of the castle shook. I took Katiya in my arms and turned towards the noisy men who had surrounded us while my attention remained below and smiled.

“If you survive, I hope you can learn to recognize the spirits of the waterways you so cherish. After all, the River Andolin has never been known for forgiveness.”

I reveled in the panic that coated their faces as the first jets of water exploded from the floor.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6hiod2 wrote

(Part 3)

Gelna brought us to myself, keeping the chunks of castle rock and destruction away from our fragile bodies, and I soon found an abandoned mill on my shore. I pulled us out, amazed at the way my hair clung to my neck, the way cold coated my body.

But Katiya stared into nothing, shaking. I put my arms around her, a hug like the one she gave me so recently and so long ago. The sobs came. Wordless, from deep pain, so I held her as we crouched in the corner of an old, wooden house. From the remnant drops of water on her body, I could feel injuries. Some deep, some light. Old injuries she’d had the last time I saw her. New injuries that only just had scabs. I said nothing, only dried the remnants of the river from our clothes and waited for her to still.

After a long time, Katiya sniffed. “I want to go home.”

“Okay,” I agreed.

“I want to go home and see Da. I want to go home and never leave.”

Sadness lurked in her eyes. But also something else I knew from watching her. I hummed. “You’re nowhere near as old as Old Man Barnes was when he retired. You haven’t gone all the places you want to go yet.”

Katiya turned her head away. “If they’re going to hurt Da, it’s not worth it.”

I snorted. “Who says I’d allow your father to get hurt?”

She froze.

“He lives on my banks. Nothing along my shore happens without my knowledge.”


I sighed. “You saved my life, Katiya. The path you chose has brought far more things than evil to those you care for.”

Her shoulders tightened, a sign that the tears might come back. I patted her back. “I will bring you back home. Your father has been worried about you. And then when you’re good and ready, you can step out again on your own two feet and show me the world beyond the banks of the Andolin.”

Katiya’s brow furrowed. “Beyond the Andolin…?”

“It seems that a summoning gives me the added benefit of a solid form that I don’t have to hold together through pure strength of will. I don’t know how long it will last, but I mean to enjoy it to the limit. So…”

I rose to my feet, stretched, and offered Katiya a hand.

I smiled. “I’m counting on you, Katiya.”



Expert-Pomegranate-8 t1_j6hl4xi wrote

I read it all.I am undecided on how this makes me feel.

F**k, I'm gonna cry.


KJting98 t1_j6l15wr wrote

Hey stop, you're getting the river salty


Tehnomaag t1_j6iru95 wrote

That was amazingly good. And I don't say it lightly. Been reading fantasy and scify for over three decades and it was something that was fresh and damn well written.

For some reason it reminds me a bit of Willam Kings book Death's Angels with a bit of Joe Abercombie's Blade Itself mixed in although admittedly neither of these books was about river spirits. I suppose it's the emotion of reading this that reminds me of these books.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6ld1si wrote

Thank you!

And I don't think I've read those books. I'll have to add it to the list!


Kerinh t1_j6ie6uo wrote

:D thanks for the fun read! Sounds like their journey would be a fun adventure


wandering_cirrus t1_j6ldawy wrote

I'm glad you enjoyed! I imagine they both would have a lot of fun indeed! For all the fact that Annie/Andolin has been around for many human lifespans, she hasn't gotten much chance to explore, and is very excited to run around in a human body.


Kam_Solastor t1_j6iwkti wrote

It would definitely be an interesting tale of two adventurers, one a regular human, one the personification of a wide, raging river.


InfiniteZu t1_j6j35px wrote

This is why I love to lose myself in the printed word. You woke something in me just now. A kind of breathless joy and excitement and anticipation. Thank you


Cyneganders t1_j6j9ymg wrote

You just made me retire from the internet for the day, as everything else is misery and this was pure joy.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lf7ag wrote

Awww, I'm so glad you enjoyed my story!

(I hope it isn't a permanent retirement, there are so many good writers and lovely stories here on WritingPrompts! XD)


Cyneganders t1_j6nil5b wrote

Wasn't permanent, was just sick and tired of all the negativity online, and after you put a smile on my face I figured it was best to evacuate the negativity for a good night's sleep!


RyzenR10 t1_j6km001 wrote

Bro. Write a book, a series, just write and send it to me!


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lfj4d wrote

XD Well, I don't know if I have enough in me to write more about Andolin and Katiya, but if you want more of my words, you might like some of the things on my subreddit!


Aphor1st t1_j6klg1j wrote

I rarely ever save a story to read again later. This one I think I’ll treasure for a long time.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6le8ms wrote

I'm so glad you enjoyed! It makes me really happy to know that someone liked my stuff enough to read it again <3


jeffh4 t1_j6l0hp1 wrote


Any time an author can portray the thinking of a non-human in a fascinating way, I'm on board.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lfpyt wrote

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed!

I will admit, portraying non-human characters in a way that shows how Other they are while still making them relatable is one of the things I like to play with in my writing. It's awesome that you think I hit that this time!


SwanQueen420 t1_j6l0maj wrote

I just read this whole thing and can I just say this would be an amazing book!


wandering_cirrus t1_j6leog3 wrote

I don't know if there's enough in me to write a whole book about Andolin and Katiya, but I'm glad you liked enough that you'd read more. Thanks for reading!


queensara33 t1_j6l9de8 wrote

@wandering_cirrus do you mind if I borrow your river spirit idea? Not copy but the same concept? Something popped into my head I thought it could be interesting to explore with it having a lover.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6ldfja wrote

Go for it! Inspiration is very much free, and I can't wait to see what you do with it!


queensara33 t1_j6lhvl0 wrote

Haha, I'll have to dm you at some point then as I'll probably handwrite it first:)


FalconHalo t1_j6lpkey wrote

Hell of a read. I like how you write spirits.

Also: I ship them.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lvjq7 wrote

I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was definitely fun trying to figure out what would make Andolin's voice different from a normal human.


Spare_Personality591 t1_j6lxg0k wrote

It's been such a long time since I last disappeared so deeply into a story. So lovely, thank you for sharing.


e-mf-t t1_j6ogpjh wrote

This story made me cry. Thank you for the amazing tale.


Mr_E_Monkey t1_j6k15sm wrote

Magic doesn't exist. There's no such thing as summoning portals, elves, pixies, or supernatural contracts.

At least, that's what the doctors told me. They chalked it up to a dream, or some sort of subconscious hallucination when I hit my head. But then, they also told me that I was extremely lucky, and that people don't survive car accidents like that one. I didn't bother asking them to explain the small pouch full of gold coins in my pocket, the one that I was given in exchange for my help on the adventurer's quest, the coins with the seal of the Kingdom of Arsenjia.

No car crash or head trauma could explain that. It did offset my lost wages from my time in the hospital, and helped pay for my new car, though. The old one was a molten pile of scrap metal, and that was before the jaws of life cut me out of it. None of it added up. Well, the gold added up quite nicely, so I couldn't really complain. So what if the wizard in my dream said that accepting the gold meant that the little adventurer guy could summon me back to this world any time that he needed my assistance -- it was a fun dream, anyway. Sure sounded better than nightmares about the crash and my near-death experience. Big stupid trolls have nothing on an 18-wheeler losing control and sliding toward you on an icy highway, anyway.

Time passed, as it does. Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, then years. I graduated from college, and got a job, and thoughts of that awful day and that very odd dream became fewer and farther between. A 9-to-5 tends to take up a lot of your time and thoughts. Staying ahead of rent and utility bills does, too. But that's not to say that I didn't have a little bit of time for hobbies, here and there.

I had gotten into target shooting last year. I got some odd looks from some of my coworkers when I talked about it, but it wasn't a big deal. I had grown up in a small town, where everybody had a few guns, and the first day of deer season was practically a holiday. I wasn't ever really that interested, but a rash of violent crime in my neighborhood in the city had me thinking about it, and when a neighbor invited me to the shooting range to give it a try, I was hooked. I got a license, a pistol, and even a rifle that politicians liked to argue about.

In fact, I was at an outdoor range, getting ready to "punch holes in some paper," as the neighbor jokingly called it, when it happened again.

The "dream." But it was different, somehow.

I wasn't in the sleepy medieval-looking farming village full of friendly little cat-people. This time, I was in what looked like a palace. Polished stone floors, marble columns, elaborate candelabras, the works. The only thing that was familiar was the little adventurer. But this was wrong. He was surrounded by several...I'm not sure what you'd call them, goblins, maybe? One of them had a short sword up to the adventurer's neck.

"Danshi, what is going on here?"

He looked up at me, and I could see he was most definitely not having a good time. The swollen black eye and fat lip were pretty universally understandable. Still, he smiled, just a little, when he looked up and saw me. "John, I wasn't sure if you could still hear me, after all this time. I'm sorry if this is a bad time..."

This...didn't feel like a dream. Neither did the flood of memories that came rushing back to me. Stumbling through the dark, musty dungeon of Sovmal, the frigid mountain pass in Dorheim, hundreds of mosquito bites in the swamps of Gar'glan... No, this is real.

The goblin-like creatures noticed that their captive had a guest appear about this time. Whatever magic let me understand Danshi and his people didn't seem to work as well for these other creatures, unless they normally sounded like they talked with a mouth full of mud. For all I knew, maybe they did. I got the impression that one of them asked Danshi if he knew who I was, and the one with the fancier armor asked me what I wanted here. Or what was haunted beer? Probably the former.

I realized that somehow the summoning portal had brought my rifle and range bag through with me, so I shouldered my rifle, aimed at the ugly one with his sword at Danshi's throat, and said "I want you to release my friend. Now, or you die." It didn't sound very hero-like, but I was still coming to terms with this whole thing being apparently real, and fancy speeches hadn't crossed my mind.

Several of the other goblin creatures drew their swords, and I realized that if I didn't want my friend to die, and if I didn't want to get stabbed by an angry bunch of ugly goblin-looking things, talking wasn't going to solve this. So I did what made sense with the tools at hand. I lined up my sights on the first goblin's head, squeezed my trigger...

...and promptly realized why you wear hearing protection at the shooting range. Of course, the goblin on the receiving end would have learned why you don't want to stand down-range when somebody is shooting, if he hadn't been the target. His comrades were stunned, both due to the horrifically loud report of the rifle, and due to the fact that their friend became terminally open-minded.

For a brief moment, there was no hostility, no "my side" or "their side." We all just stood there, ears ringing, dumbstruck at the bloody stump that was the goblin's neck. Eventually, it was Danshi that spoke.

"Now, if you will allow us to leave, nobody else needs to be hurt. If you try to stop us, my wizard friend here," he gestured at me, "will have to do that again. And none of us want that, right?"

The goblins looked around at each other, then at us, and nodded. "Yes. Please leave." I think one of them wet himself. I know I felt like I might, but that probably wouldn't help our situation."

Several awkward moments later, Danshi and I were outside of the goblins' castle, walking along a well-worn dirt path toward the nearby hills. Wincing and rubbing his right ear, Danshi asked me "what in the seven hells was that?!"

I stopped. "Wow, uh, so this is going to take a lot of explanation. And I have a million questions of my own for you, but first," I said, scooping the little cat-man-warrior-thing up into a big hug, "it's so good to see you, buddy! Do you have any idea how much I missed you?"

No matter what this was, no matter what happened next, this was real enough for me, and I never wanted to leave again.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6li3s9 wrote

This was cute! I really like how you went with the idea of something fantastic (Danshi) summoning a human instead of a human summoning something fantastic. Good words!


Ox_of_Dox t1_j6iwunt wrote

I remember when I first made that godforsaken contract. It was in the middle of a cold, winter night, we were surrounded by bones and ash. She was running from Bilgewater, cloak blowing furiously in the wind. It would've been good for one of my paintings, if I had a canvas. A flurry of torches ran after her, straight to my cave. She ran towards my dark lair, not aware that I was there, watching her. The woman ran into me, her eyes turning from fear to outright horror. I covered the entrance of the cave with my wing, as she ran to escape. She shrieked. "Shush, you're not in danger." I scooped her up in my paw as the mob threw torches and shot at my wing from the outside. I moved further into the cave, letting the crowd in. The few unlucky souls who decided to venture further were met with a very toasty express ticket to hell. "Dragon! Retreat!" Fire started to spread to the dry grass as they threw their torches and ran. "Well, I guess you're stuck here for now." I whispered, as the inferno outside engulfed the entrance...


wandering_cirrus t1_j6li7ym wrote

This was interesting! It makes me wonder why the dragon originally decided to protect the woman.


elawesomo1000 t1_j6jbm65 wrote

White enveloped me blinding and deafening me to all. When suddenly shapes appeared all around. My eyes blinked furious trying to clear the lingering brightness from my sockets. The shapes became crystal clear. A plethora of well dressed men and women and a large stone room. Beautiful purple banners hung from the ceiling the pure white unicorn proudly placed near the bottom. "This is your speaker?" A commanding voiced erupted through the hall, I turned on my heel looking at the source of the voice. A man draped in purple garments and crown upon his head "wonderful" I thought to myself " Your defense is a drunk with a tankard still to his lips!" The man screamed now obviously angry, I spun around then to get an entire look of the room, faces shocked and curious surrounded me and then I saw it. Aidan my best friend of my whole life on his knees with a blade to his throat.

I finally lowered the forgotten tankard from lips and swallowed my swollen cheeks of ale. I cleared my throat, " did you fall 'in love' with another hapless maidan Aidan?" I asked holding my cup at my side and slowly shaking my head. He shrugged and gave a nervous smirk, his way of saying " it's not my fault trouble always follows me." My eyes rolled as I looked to the king. " This man stands accused of bewitching and defiling my daughter!" The man roared fiercely, if I was a younger less experienced man I might have trembled. " Your highness" I began bowing as low as possible putting my free hand to my heart and my full hand aloft " I apologize for my sudden appearance and interruption of your trial but I have to ask, where exactly am I?" The rage upon the man's face shown as brightly as flame against a dark night

"You stranger are in the high court of Jethro the Fair King of the kingdom of Kirthdal! Now I order you to state who you are and how you came to be his defendant against his crimes!" I raised up after he finished and started him in the eyes making sure my cold resolve and indomitable will came to the forefront for him to see " I am Algus your highness and I was summoned because of these" I held up my hand to show my bland banded ring that wrapped around my right ring finger as I did so I walked over to Aidan hunched form and slowly pushed the blade away from him rose him to his feet and spun him to show a white ring in the same place on his same hand "they are summoning rings you see and we'll I was summoned" suddenly in that moment I remembered the accusations " I'm sorry did you say he charmed your daughter and I'm assuming you also believe he has made her with child yes? Well I can assure you, you couldn't cast any sort of charm, spell, ritual with a endless life and all the hidden knowledge of arcana" I lied trying to ease the king " and how are you so sure my daughter does not have his child growing within her how could you see so sure?"

"Well that's simple my dear king I enchanted him so that he cannot bare children" my smile grew wider Aidan screamed " you did w-" my hand shot to his mouth as I glared at him, in no small part explaining "there were to many close calls before and i wasn't going to have wind up in a situation like this, you should thank me for my forethought" the king was staring daggers as I looked back at him " how many I to believe any of this to me you look like a normal man dressed how you are and drinking as you were how am I to believe any of the words you say!" I looked down at myself and saw the robe " ahh yes hardly dressed for a court appearance I do apologize" I looked around the room and saw a servant girl I beckoned her over and gave her my tankard and bowed my head thanking her thoroughly " I realize my name must be unknown to you but I do go by a different more well known one" I stated as I snapped my fingers.

I felt the all to familiar sensation of my armor appearing around me concealing me in the black iron, the crowd gasped and I saw the anger leave the kings face as well as the color. " The... The... You are the black knight? The surge of Varkun, killer of king Horkar?" He trailed off his fear drowning the room as if they had seen the end of days upon them. I looked over in that moment and saw a young woman no older than Aidan himself looking in amazement excitement in her eyes as if to say " the stories are true!" I held out my and to her " dear princess if you would I would ask that you take my hand I wish to show your father the truth. She faltered a bit looking at her father then at me and slowly got up and ran down to me the excitement slowly burning back to life in her eyes " will you take me away with Aidan allow us to have a happily ever after?" She whispered her slight jitters like small fireworks in her body.

I frowned even though no one could see it. I was going to give Aidan a piece of my mind if this worked, " no my dear" I answered the armor slowly pulling away from my hand so I could feel her hand " I am going to show your father what happened between you to and then we will leave. And you will find a good man a better man to love you I am sure of it" she looked deeply saddened and put her hand mine " I know it is inopportune but I need you to remember the happiness you felt with my friend" a slow tear descended her cheek but she nodded and closed her eyes "

my dear king if you would please look" my fingers traced the symbols into the air as a tapestry of memory appeared above the princess and my head " I felt the emotion and saw the images in was pure and innocent affection it was mutual there was no wooing of even intercourse between the two when it was done I dawned my blade from the shadows and cut my best friends binds and pulled him to me by the collar of his shirt

"After all these years after everything we have been through after all those late nights and YOU decide to fall in love with a princess? You absolute fool!" I turned then in my fury ready to try and talk to the king when I saw him and the tear streaming down his face " I haven't seen a love like that since I was with my wife. I am sorry I doubted you my child and I am sorry I was to kill an innocent man forgive me both of you. I hear ya pass my judgement the accused is free to go but I forbade you from seeing my daughter" I grabbed Aidan before you could protest "

I thank you for your leniency my kind may you live long and rule even longer " and in a moment Aidan and I were teleported back to my study where I had been when he summoned me. " Alright it's done I saved you as you needed and now I want you to go. You are very lucky you weren't up to your usual tricks" " I love her Algus. I cannot depart from her and I will not be happy till she and I are together" I slammed my fists onto my desk " you lovesick fool how do you plan on doing that? Steeling her away? Running off to be chased till the end of your days by her father's men?" " I don't know Algus all I know is I love her and I won't rest till I am with her" I sighed my armor disappearing just like it had come "Fine. We will get you a Lordhood and go back for your beloved, they can't really deny a lord the hand of a lady noe can they?" his face brightened and he embarrassed me "Besides I need to get my favorite tankard back"


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lkpgj wrote

That last line was glorious. It was fun how the random drunkard turned out to be a powerful person. The punctuation was a little odd though, which did make your story kind of hard to read, but you still managed to get the plot and the funny bits across. Keep up the good work!


elawesomo1000 t1_j6lv1kw wrote

Thanks for the feedback, I wasn't planning for the story to be so long and sadly the longer I make a story the worse my punctuation gets.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lvxlv wrote

Yeah, writing longer things definitely is tiring, particularly if you're doing it in a single sitting or if the length of the story gets away from you (whistles while pointedly looking away from the multi-part monsters I've written in the past). It was definitely a good story though, and fun to read!


Deathpaloma t1_j6ja5b4 wrote

"Oh hi there Steve" he says calmly, whilst the sword is held against his neck.

"Hello Morgan, I see you have found yourself in a another picle". You try to act calm, as if you hadn't even noticed he hadn't called you in years.

"Guards!" You hear a voice comming from a throne on the other end of the room "take the intruder"

"Oh she is very pretty! You say with a lively voice What did you do this time?" Your voice going down to a more agressive tone.

"Uhm so... I kind of pissed off a goddess"

"A what?!" You sigh. As the dozen guards come your way with golden spears. Before any of them can touch you though you dissappear before their eyes and re appear sitting in the arm of the goddess's throne.

"ok, come on what did he do?" The woman seemes more annoyed than surprised with your presence and without reply she tries to stab you in the belly. You hold her blade firmly yet gracefully.

"Hey...cowboy calm down. I am much more of a counselor than a fighter, so let's not do that, as you are still holding her blade tween your hands you make it dissappear. Let's talk this out... did he try to steal from you? Did he kill anyone you loved? Anyone you hated and wanted to kill yourself?

"Worse!" She utters in a terrifying voice.

"He broke my heart"

"He what?" You say under your breath

"And now he must die"

"Oooh, wow... wait a minute there tigress. You can't kill him just cause the relationship didn't work".

"Look I get, sometimes you are in love and things don't work out, you feel heartbroken, like you can't go on without him, or that if you can't have him no one else can"

"Shut it"... you feel a gust of wind come over you and press you against the wall "you have holded this trial long enough, you friend must now die"

You try to dissappear, but your powers don't work...

(To be continued if I have time)


wandering_cirrus t1_j6llhn8 wrote

Ooo, a response in second person! Second person POV can be quite fun to explore. Good luck if you decide to continue!


Aquariousity01 t1_j6k9efo wrote

It was some time ago that the hero and I came to terms. And they were to be in perpetuity. He could summon me at any time, however many times he had to. Just as long as he burned ancient tomes for me, so that they would end up in my domain, my library. I knew he was quite the capable warrior. He had only summoned me twice in the 13 years we've had our contract. The first was a few months his time afterwards. He and his party needed knowledge on an ancient spell that would disable the defenses of a necromancer's tomb. The second, was to save them from a group of dragons. This time was different. In the times prior to entering the portal, I could feel the lifelines of his friends, this time was only him. As the swirling of the portal came to an end, I saw a grand throne room, made of grey stone and decorated with blood red tapestries and a long, red carpet leading from the throne to the doors. The hero had a sword to his throat. He was badly beaten, one eye was swollen shut, black and bruised. Reaching out with my ancient magic, I knew that he'd lose it without my healing powers. His lip was cut, likely from being struck recently. And I could sense that he had numerous broken bones. He was shackled, hand and foot. I looked around to see frightend people and dutiful knights and soldiers, awaiting the order of the one sitting on the throne. I turned to face them, and could see the familial resemblance between the King and the hero. "Who are you, how dare you interrupt this trial?!" The King shouted. "What I am is a far better question, isn't it, my dear hero?" I responded, addressing my question to the man bound and beaten. With a flick of my hand, the knight holding the steel to his throat was turned into a dove, armor and all. As the other men advanced, a wave of my other hand held them in place. I touched my hero's face, healing his eye and all his other injuries with it. His shackles followed. He stood, rubbing his still sore wrists. "Thank you, my friend." "This I assume is the uncle you told me about oh so long ago?" "It is." "Ah, perfect." I walked up to the terror stricken king as cowered against his throne. "I will enjoy tortuing you for eternity." He screamed as the dark, shadowy tentacles burst from my body, wrapping around him as they pulled him into my domain. His crown delicately clinked on the floor, rolling to the feet of my hero. I burped once the former king stopped struggling and turned to my friend. "Thank you," he said after picking up the crown. "Of course." I smiled. "Don't be a stranger my dear, abd send me a few more books if possible, I've read my entire collection a countless times over."


wandering_cirrus t1_j6ljfxj wrote

The relationship between the hero and the demon(?) is quite interesting! One small thing to note is that I think this would probably be easier to read if you broke it up into paragraphs?

Also the idea of a hero sending a demon books quite amuses me.


Aquariousity01 t1_j6ljodt wrote

I did lol. Just forgot to double hit the enter button to make more space. But thanks for the feedback 😄


dimesquartersnickels t1_j6khr0f wrote

I had almost forgotten the sensation, like slipping between two immense silken couch cushions out of one environment and into another. The little wooden porch fronting my little wooden cabin had been warmed by the rising sun. Now, I stood barefoot on cold marble in a drafty, cavernous hall. Before me were two men I didn't recognize at first. One stood tall and gloating. The other, pressed up against a pillar as tall and thick as a spruce tree, was on his ass, panicked eyes fixed to mine, a rapier at his throat. But that look, those eyes. I knew him.

"Your pistols," the disadvantaged one rasped at me, "Where the hell are they?"

"Still hung up over my fireplace, as they've been some twenty odd years," I said slowly. I recognized the situation for the tinderbox that it was, and instinctively knew not to add any friction it didn't need. I sipped my tea, still warm. At last there could be no mistake: I knew that boy.

"What trick is this?" said the gloating one.

"You just hush now," I said, and returned my attention to my old friend. "Max, my boy. You finally got the whiskers you always wanted. Some of them at least."

Max touched the paltry beard on his chin, and I chuckled. The other one, a fancy sort, now that I'd had a minute to size him up, let his blade droop just a bit but didn't sheathe it.

"Of course I'm tickled that you'd still think of me after all these years, but why oh why did you have to call me during my morning routine?"

"Well I'm in quite the... the pickle, as you can see..."

Fancy boy flicked his blade at Max's face. "I'll do the talking here," he said. I threw my teacup, smashing it against his brow.

"Where I come from, 'hush' means one thing. I don't know what it means to you."

"You devil!" he cried, bleeding.

"I'm still holding the saucer. Put that toothpick away."

He did, and slunk away in a huff.

"Max, what did you do?"

"I... tried to do it without you. I thought I had it figured out. I did really well! I got a job in the service, I read the stoics, and I made a life. I thought I was done."


"But, they kept coming for me. One asshole or another, there was always someone trying to tear down what I'd built. I was only defending myself."

"And that guy is trying to kill you because of it?"

"Well, I also might've involved myself with his wife."

"Ah," I said.

"Believe me, I can deal with that on my own. It's messy, but it's actually relatively straightforward from my perspective. I was just hoping you could prevent me from getting my head chopped off. On that account, I feel we're square."

"I was just about to cook some eggs. You hungry?" I said.

"No, actually I think I need to puke."

"Fair in the eyes of God."

And then, the gloating one regained his courage. "I feel like I've humored this long enough."

By then, I felt the silk cushions of eternity calling my back. "Is there anything else you'd like me to do?"

"Kill this asshole."

"Like I said, I left my guns at home."

"Then whatever." Max shrugged.




wandering_cirrus t1_j6lldb7 wrote

Haha, the man goes through all the trouble of summoning someone, only for the summoning to not really have any effect at all. Fun story!


defying_logic16 t1_j6ljljy wrote

I feel the stone pathway solidify under my feet. If I am being technical, my feet were solidifying on it after I had been unceremoniously yanked from my kitchen thousands of miles and a dimension or two away from here. I glare bitterly at the jam covered knife in my hand; my sandwich had not made the journey. It would surely be soggy by the time I make it home.

With one last thought for my ruined lunch, I whirl around to see who had brought me and I bellow, “Who dares disturb me?”

Humans. Maybe a dozen. The tallest of their group barely reaches my knee, and yet they brandish their weapons at me. As if they could do damage. Most of them stare transfixed at my jam knife. I suppose to them, it could be a massive sword. In the low light, the strawberry goop does look somewhat threatening. None of that explains how they brought me here. I look around the group and my eyes settle near the middle. Her. She is kneeling between two tall men, each with a sword at her throat. When we make eye contact, she shrugs. I knew I would regret my pledge to keep her alive.

“What is the meaning of this?” I lurch towards the group and wave my knife in a dramatic arc. A large dallop of strawberry jam flings from it and flies towards the nearest humans. They dive out of the way with a scream. That’s dramatic; it’s only strawberry.

The first handful of humans runs down the corridor out of sight. I raise my arms above my head and yell, “Roar,” at a few more. They flee, dropping their weapons as they run. Now, only the two with swords remain.

One lifts his sword from her neck and points it at me. “We do not fear you, devil. We will never relinquish the Horn of Arth’ron to your hellish minion!”

They always go to devil. I mean, sure, I have red skin, horns, and cloven hooves, but really? That’s like calling all vampires ‘Dracula’. It’s just ignorant and rude and I have no tolerance for bigotry. I lean over, close to his face and whisper, “Boo!”

Both men drop their swords and sprint out of sight. I roll my eyes and look to the woman who is getting to her feet. “Really, Rebecca?”

“Sorry, Uncle Darkilith, but I heard I rumor about the Horn, and who am I to resist?” She was already behind me, opening an ornate box on an altar. “Besides, you promised.”

“When I married your aunt and said I would protect her family as if it was my own, I did not mean scaring humans so that her niece could rob them.”

“Right, I said sorry.” Becca wasn’t listening. She had the horn, ivory and covered in gems, and was already scoping her path out. “I thought I could get in and out without them noticing, but mortal danger summons you and all that. Tell Aunt Robin I said ‘Hi’.” She scaled the wall, waving as she disappeared through a high window.

With a final glare at the window, I pull my bathrobe around myself before materializing home.


SlayerRequiem t1_j6nrtrc wrote

The room was silent for a long moment.

It was impossible, and yet it had happened. Standing in the room beside a monster was something far worse. Though human enough in appearance, a sixteen-year-old girl with crimson hair, and crystal blue eyes. Ancient portraits of this creature were hung as warnings to all who would forget her.

The terror of the Blood Moon's appearance had all but the most fearless recoil. Hushed whispers filled the air next, and yet nothing happened. The girl yawned and glanced around at those gathered.

"Well, I suppose this should feel familiar...but I think..." The girl blinked owlishly, before looking down at the adventurer with a blade to his neck. He was the chosen hero, why would he be forced to his knees?

"Oh. Oh! I see what happened. Hahaha. She sent me to her place! Sorry, I wasn't paying attention when she asked me to come." The red-haired girl was laughing to herself, as one of the King's aides addressed her.

"Oh, bringer of Darkness, child of chaos. This creature has been duly tried for the crime of heresy under the Lord of Justice's mantle. The punishment is death. Do you mean to interfere?"

The aide recoiled when her eyes focused know him, and with an utterly blank expression, she replied.

"Sure. Anything for my baby sister's first contractor."

Whispers again filled the hall. Some wondered why the blade had not been drawn against the Adventurer's throat.

"You would dare to challenge the God of Justice? In his Cathedral?"

The girl's expression shifted to one of excitement.

"Oh, he can try it if he likes. I haven't killed a God in ages," with a small flourish, the girl pointed to the sword carrier, and the room was horrified as he twitched, shivered, and writhed in place, only his sword arm moving until it was placed to his own throat. "Be a good boy and stay, all right?"

The Blood Moon hopped down the steps to sit beside the kneeling man.

"Sorry to butt in. But it was probably to save you a headache. That girl doesn't know the idea of restraint, and when you called in danger she likely panicked. So, since you called, I assume you don't want to die?"

Blinking slowly at the girl's words she merely nodded in response.

"Oh, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Yuri, Yuri Bludvayne, but I prefer to just go by Yuri. Some have called me the Crimson Moon, Blood Goddess, and the Origin of Vampires. Still, I prefer simple old Yuri."

If any had planned to stop her, none stepped forward now. Who had this boy made a contract with to summon this thing in their stead?

The Hero remained silent, but in his eyes, he spoke volumes.

"Hmm. It seems a curse of silence was put on you. Impressive you managed to call out to us like this..." with a snap of her fingers the magic crumbled. Symbols and words flowed from his throat and into the air. All settling above the aide's head.

He rubbed his throat, as feeling returned for the first time in days.

Yuri, however, was attempting to deduce something before stifling a nervous giggle.

"Usually this would be when the mysterious, beautiful Yuri deduces the secrets, and cunning plans of the court...but...I am actually preeeeety stupid," she exclaimed with a tension-breaking laugh. It made several of those gathered begin to wonder...if this was the Blood Moon at all. Or merely a trickster in her place.

The sudden laughter of the fallen hero once again brought the room to silence.

"You are just like that silver-haired maiden. Impulsive, powerful, and a complete idiot."

Yuri gave a toothy grin.

"That's us! Tons and tons of power, but we aren't exactly considered the brightest of our kind. If you'd like though, I could ask for someone far smarter to help."

"Enough of this madness, trickst-" The aide began, however, he was cut off by his screams. Dozens of sores tore themselves open, as his blood flowed freely from his body. Floating and arranging itself into a message.

'I hate being interrupted.'

Without even looking his way, the aide was drained of every droplet of his blood and collapsed into a dried husk. Any words of reprisal died at that moment.

"Do you want to go?"

"No. These...people...killed my friends, imprisoned me, and held a mock trial all to sully their memory..."

"You consorted with demons and demi-humans! Monsters! You are tainted! You have to face your punishment!" The trembling swordsman declared, his blade still firmly to his own throat.

"Ah, what an old cliché." Yuri clicked her tongue in annoyance, before standing up to address the gathered people.

"The King, Cardinal...whatever position the man on that throne had, hired the guy, and his friends, to solve some terrible problem. Demon Kings, Ancient Horror, whatever it was. Then once it was dealt with they got scared, or angry. Invited them back, and then basically told them for the crime of being good people, they would die so that the kingdom had peace."

The Adventurer was shocked.

"You said you were stupid, Lady Yuri."

Yuri smiled and looked at the hero.

"Still don't like to be interrupted~ but you get a pass. Besides, I have seen this play out so many isn't intellect to see a pattern after all this time."

Standing for the first time, and towering over the petite Blood Moon.

"So what do we do, Lady Yuri?"

"Oh, I already told them. I am going to commit a bit of regicide now."

The guards and the lord who sat upon the throne had only a moment to panic, attempt to protect themselves, and fail. Even if the hero wanted, he could not have had the time to stop her.

It was far more agony than the aide had suffered. All she had done is slightly change their blood. Now their bodies burned from within, as screams and howls of agony gripped them.

"What have you done, demon!?"

The executioner was the only one untouched.

"I turned parts of their blood into acid. Just enough to burn away at their body slowly. It will take hours for them to die, eyes boiling, brain searing, heart tearing itself-" She was excited, her eyes now a glowing purple color but the hero placed a hand on her shoulder.

"While I will not defend them, nor ask for forgiveness for them. They do not deserve torture. Please, end it."

Yuri paused, looked at his hand, and back to him.

"I am not a fan of men touching me so casually, but again I make an exception," she proclaimed before snapping her fingers. In an instant all who had been screaming and writhing died. It was quick, quiet, and horrible.

"What was that?"

Yuri just looked at the executioner.

"Don't ask, you won't like the answer." Her gaze flicked over the Hero. "Come on, let's go. I take you to my sister, she'll want to hear more stories."

"Ah, very well Lady Yuri."

The crowd parted as the pair walked out. He had to admit he was very much concerned about exactly what had happened.

"Oh, I don't remember catching your name," Yuri mentioned as they reached the gate to the outside courtyard, the crowd watching fearfully from around them.

"Ah, I apologize. My name is Vlad, a pleasure lady Yuri."

That made Yuri laugh as well.

"My father's name was Vlad. How funny."

In a flash of crimson, the pair disappeared. Leaving many eyes to return to the executioner, who remained. The only member of the court to remain.

"Chaos Child indeed," he whispered as shouts and screams filled the chamber hall. The executioner was consumed as rage, fear, and greed descended upon him.


aurathegodbody t1_j6jh5mw wrote

{p o em )


Sword to neck, face bloodied, like what in the fawk.

This time last year he was a goddamn champion

Now look at this bum.

I mean I kept tabs,

(Mainly at bars)

But last time I peeked in on this guy

He was ragdolling people

Claiming conqueror and all that

He couldn’t see me,

I wouldn’t allow myself to be visible

Until just the right moment.

The monarch or the knight whoever it was

Was yelling in his mother tongue

Something about something about an affair

I laughed couldn’t help it

This guy would summon me when his tool

Couldn’t stay in the shed

I had to wait a little while longer

The power of the transfer would only work

When ironically he was inches away spiritually from death

One second left....

And Bang!

I transferred him to three weeks ago.

To the exact time when he was about to commit the treason

Hopefully he makes the right choice.

And Off to another bar I go....


wandering_cirrus t1_j6llkoc wrote

It's fun that you decided to do a poem response! Also the narrator's tough love attitude is quite funny. Thanks for writing!


aurathegodbody t1_j6llwpm wrote

It’s funny because when I wrote it I thought short and sweet would do it more justice for how the narration of it was going to go.

Tbh I didn’t know all the way that it was going to tie in properly but it did towards the end.

But all’s well that ends well I guess #thanks4reading


wetnoodle13 t1_j6kqov8 wrote

As I stood with my fingers brushing the back of my beloved adventurer's neck, I thought of how silly my last words to him were. How silly...


A common misconception about cockroaches is that they can survive a nuclear bomb. I always thought it was silly how the can of Raid in my garage could be stronger than an atomic force. I was told that when the bomb hit, almost everything was eradicated. Everything but the few hundred people working in the mines, the Raid, and the cockroaches.

"Never question anything", screamed our hometown slogan on electronic billboards above the palace, the hum of the electricity so strong I could feel the hairs on his neck softly grasping at my fingers. The brakes of vehicles screeching in my ears, the snapping of the surveillance cameras coming off the billboards, the chatter of the bots whisking in and out of view, yet all of that was drowned out by the guilt echoing through my head. When we signed our life contracts, his swearing him to a life of conquesting adventure for the Empire, and mine to become a workerbot sworn to protect him against the cockroaches, I never thought this was how it would end.

At some point in time, the Empire decided that safety was in pairs, not numbers. They implemented a buddy system for life, with one partner carrying out deeds to advance the rebuilding of society, and the other remaining to labor and defend their assigned buddy from the cockroaches. It had only been 5 years since Gideon and I signed our contracts. The Wardens warned us not to pair up with someone you knew, especially someone you cared about, but we had promised each other since we were just kids quizzing each other on cockroach anatomy and the Beliefs of the Empire that we would always be best friends. To us, that meant that we were each other's safety in this world, and so of course it only made sense to pair.

But we were just kids then, and the pact we made all those years ago seems so silly now. Back then, "protecting" Gideon meant standing up to the kids who made fun of him for caring so much about the problems of our society, or letting him sleepover and cry in my bunker when he had dreams about his real parents coming to find him. We were just kids back then.


The cockroach soldier was gracious enough to give me this time to stand by him before he took his body to his leader to eat, although we both know he was long gone from this world by the time I arrived from his summons. "It isn't the cockroach's fault, this is just a war that the grunts of both sides were forced into fighting", I tell myself. But that reasoning pales in comparison to the anger I feel. I should have been here sooner. Maybe if I had been here sooner, Gideon would still be alive, and I would be the one on my knees thanking the heavens that he is okay, and we could both unsheath our swords and take on the world together again.

"How silly..." I remember telling him as we signed those fated contracts, and were subsequently separated into our designated job assignments. The contract that we are by law forced to remain on our persons at all times as to never forget who our lives really belong to. The contract that remains in my jacket pocket now.

I let my fingers graze across Gideon's neck once last time and, looking into the cameras of the electronic billboards above us, then I tear my contract apart.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6llt72 wrote

Ooooo, this is an interesting take on the prompt! I'm not sure how the narrator was supposed to protect his friend from the cockroaches, but this is definitely a cool idea! Good words!


DragonEyeNinja t1_j6jmzkj wrote

The lighter sparks, and the cigarette lights up in my mouth. A soon-to-be dead man kneels in front of me, an obsidian man holding a blade to his neck.

There are no words for two minutes. None need to be said. A short conversation of glances between the myself, the obsidian man, and the dead man. Each calculating risks and rewards.

I accidentally breathe out a puff of smoke in the obsidian man's face, which enrages him. He takes a swing at me, but is swiftly knocked prone by the dead man. I haven't even moved an inch. Before the obsidian man can react, there is a sword plunged through his heart.

My cigarette extinguishes on his lavish armor and I walk home.


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lme9b wrote

Your description of the main character sort of made me think of John Constantine. This vignette definitely raises a lot of questions. Like, who is the obsidian man? What relationship does the main character have with the soon-to-be-dead man?


Cha0sSpiral t1_j6ljpnq wrote

It had been years.

Being trapped in the Silver City is not all that heinous and even the thought "trapped" is an embellishment.

It is a place of Beautiful, Unending, Unchanging Perfect. And that is mind-numbing. I remember a quote from someone I once knew; "it is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven." It has taken an Eternity for me to realize the truth to those words. Perfection is not evil, but it is suffocating. Thats why Humans being able to choose, allowed to experience fills me with jealousy. I am unable to change my nature, existence or residence. Except for very narrow exceptions.

This Boon grants My Human My Radiant Protection when they wish to summon Me. In Return, I may experience life in the physical realm for brief moments, that are eternities of change and new experiences and happiness.

This is the thought that comes to Me in the sliver of time before being Called and Becoming.

I Become part of the Physical and take in the room, narrow and dark. Unsurprising, given how My Human, who gives Me all I could want, glimpses into Being, enjoys experiencing dangerous situations. Of course, I do not dissuade My Human from such a life, adventuring and the fearful dilemmas My Human puts himself into necessitates Me Being. So I do not complain.

This time is different. I hear an awful, visceral shrieking sound, feel a strange sensation in my throat and My eyes. But that is nothing compared to the fire in My chest. I realize I has screamed, My....My throat was raw with the effort of shrieking, tears prickling at the corner of My eyes, threatening to bleed out. I feel another sensation, another burning in my lower abdomen, and another, still I shriek. I finally remember to Unbecome....but can't, my wings burn and soon, just where my wings were burn.

I see one last thing, one last Change before passing into the Void. My Human, receiving a pouch, and walk away without looking at me


wandering_cirrus t1_j6lmspq wrote

Oh my, that ending was unexpected. Crazy how the human who'd been protected by the narrating entity decided to betray them just for money.


Fantastic-Nose-1442 t1_j6mepou wrote


A summoning is never a pleasant experience. Never. It starts with a slip, a tug, not so much physical, more like vertigo I'd say, your inner ear rocking like you're on the open sea. It's kind of a special feeling.

Then, suddenly, you're in two places at once, your mind, your body, your very spirit itself duplicated for a single fleeting moment in time. But then that moment is actually outside of time, and the duality is not clean. There's a... a rending, of sorts, a splitting strain, an impossible burden of your meta-and-physical presence being in two places at once. A paradox, an impossibility.

Then the magic of the summons properly takes effect and WHAM! You're in a new location as if you'd always been. It really screws with your head.

All of this to say, I don't dole out summons glyphs lightly. In fact, I try not to give them out period. They are ALWAYS BAD. Which is what makes this current moment so bad. I mean, the moment has been happening for a damn long time now. So long, actually, that I almost feel like I'm that blighted rock again. How can this one moment take so bleeding long that I'm reminded of MILLENNIA of solitude and darkness and wet dirt?

Woah now, hold up man. That was several cycles ago, don't get carried away now. Actually, that was... dozens of cycles ago. When did I start getting put into humanoid bodies again?


"-to me!"

Wait... is that? I barely caught the last words of that, but I'll be damned if I don't know that voice. That godsforsaken voice!

Do you know how many summons glyphs I've handed out? Four. FOUR! One guy I know - gods he's a special case, full blown nut job that one - he's given out dozens, at least! I also know a faeling, one the ahh, the um... gah, you know the type, short, rail thin, backwards knees with the bug-like shell and eyes? She's given out three hundred and thirty three, and the numbers always have to match so she's spent the last century picking the next one hundred and eleven people she'll give glyphs to so she can dole them out in one fell swoop.


Me, on the other hand, four. Only four. Because the first person I gave one to truly made me regret, and the other three I gave out in desperation and delirium. Ol' big shot number 1 summoned me for anything and everything. It near broke me, Mr Returner, Soul of a Hundred Lives. Thus I turned to the sweet release of narcotics and hallucinogens, and when that only encouraged my abuser further, I discovered a wondrous quirk of summoning that I've kept close to my chest ever since. You can't be summoned twice.

So, still fueled by the most magic of mushrooms and inhaling leaf so delightful and smooth you'd have thought it was from the White Wizard and the shire itself, I set out to find others worthy of my glyphs. Sadly, somewhere between the second and third glyphs I found myself run afoul of the dreaded nose-beers and BAM! BAM! Four glyphs handed out with absolutely zero idea of who they ended up with. I do, however, know with complete certainty, that they've never once been used. In more than five centuries. While the second I gave out has been used once.

To show a three year old Gnoll how to tie his shoes. A gnoll. Who has paws for feet. Shoes. On paws. Suffice to say the little pup tore through them in less than five steps.

Though the smile on that pudgy, ugly, Hyena-man face was both terrifying and beautiful to behold. He was so damn proud of himself, aaand I gotta admit, I was pretty chuffed too. However, he then called me his imaginary friend and said that because he'd made his wish we'd never see each other again and yep. Never seen him again.

Only this one. Numero uno. Probably one of my top five, maybe even top three biggest muck-ups across more than a hundred different incarnations.

Geezus. How the hell did I ever think that SHE was a-

"HELLO!?" Number 1 yelled. Right into my ear.

"Gah!" I staggered back, almost slipping as the shout tore me from my thoughts. Whoops. How long had I just been standing there?

"How nice of you to join us," she said, voice dripping sarcasm. "Finally."

"Hey Gatekeeper?" I called out to the empty shadows of the vaulted ceiling above. "Any chance for a reroll?"

Number 1 sighed, far too exaggeratedly, before starting to speak again. How can just a voice give me near as much trauma as Granny Meng's brew? That stuff is designed to scrub a soul clean for reincarnation, yet this voice is just as bad. Maybe worse. And whoops, I should probably listen to what the witch was saying.

"-see, they've got me by the balls and you're the best way out. A Summoner should always be protected by her summons, and as you were my first, you can have the honours of going out in a blaze of glory first."

I just stared at the woman, wide eyed, until my eyes hurt and I had to blink. I barely even noticed the three blades held against her neck and the thin lines of blood that ran from them as she fidgeted and moved, nor the rich tapestries, gilded paintings and the dozen other signs of a royal court. I didn't even look at the red faced king, or emperor or whatever, as the weight of Number 1's words settled in my mind.

Or rather, blew my mind.

"You have no idea do you?"


Fantastic-Nose-1442 t1_j6mesba wrote


"You have no idea do you?" I asked.

Number 1 cocked her head to the side and gave me a puzzled look, she herself barely noticing the fresh blood dribbling down her neck. Three blades meant any movement would cut, and she was fidgeteding like she'd just hit the nose-beers herself. Though, sadly, she was full send ADHD and never once thought it was something to work on or control, only embrace.

Not that she knew what those four letters meant, no one on this world did.

"You actually don't." I was stunned. Genuinely. Though I guess I shouldn't be, she had been twelve, maybe thirteen when I gave her the glyph. Starved, beaten, slaved and possibly worse, she'd been half feral when I'd chanced upon the wagon train that held her captive. Too young and too traumatised.

I laughed. I couldn't help it. All this time and she had no idea.

"Guards!" The King, er, Emperor... the Kingperor said with a casual, dismissive wave. "Remove the summons already and bring her to me."

"What are you laughing at asshole?" She demanded, her eyes never once leaving my face.

I laughed even harder. This crazy wench had summoned me more times than I'd had different lives, she'd called me to fight, to solve her petty squabbles or to beat someone who'd beaten her. I'd stolen, intimidated, coerced, I'd hunted and cooked, I'd even hand stitched patches into her clothes.

And this entire time she had no idea who or what I actually was.

"Ah-hah-haaa! Oh man, sorry little one, that's just too much," I finally managed to say.

"Oi, you shitty summons, I'm the master here!" Number 1 yelled. I want to say screamed, but it wasn't screaming, not yet. And she wasn't anywhere near girly enough for that anyhow. Roared would be more accurate. "I give the orders, me, Eslyn Dar! You, the summons, follow the orders, same as usual. Now help get me out of here!"

I laughed again. I couldn't help it. It was too good, and I was a little too broken by now. One hundred and... ten, or was it eleven? One hundred and eleven different lives, and then this crazy bitch summoned me hundreds of times, fracturing an already strained psyche. So I laughed, and enjoyed the hilarity I found in the situation. Worst was that I was glad the summons hadn't hurt at all, like, at all.


Eslyn and I both turned to look at the Kingperor, who was so red he was almost purple. His eyes were bloodshot and spittle flecked his lips and chin. The pudgy man looked apoplectic with rage.

"Hoo-boy, woo-sah my rotund friend, woo-sah!" I tried to sound calming, but mirth colored my tone and I could barely keep my hands steady as I patted at the air.

Eslyn on the other hand, took a different approach. "Shut up, beefcake."

I actually giggled at that. I'd taught her that one. And a lot of the insults she used that just confused everyone on her homeworld.


Three blades moved before the words has finished leaving the kingperors mouth and Eslyn shrieked. Full on screamed. Like she always did when she genuinely thought she might die.

Clang, clang-ang!

I don't think I'd actually stopped laughing since I started, just barely managing to get my words out, but now in the silence that billowed out in the wake of the ring of steel on stone, my laughter bounced around the wide vaulted chamber with quite dramatic effect.

"Eh!?" Eslyn flicked one eye open and peered around, then gasped in shock and squealed in delight - just like she used to do as a kid - when she saw all three men staring at the bleeding stumps where their forearms used to be. "Eat a bag of dicks, stumpy boys!"

"M-m-my men, what... what did you DO TO MY MEN!?" Kingperor started with a scared stutter, that progressed into a scared shriek. One to rival Eslyn's. Impressive. "GUARDS!"

The sound of armored feet began to echo down the halls leading into the room and Eslyn turned panicked eyes on me again, once again ignoring the now handless men who fell back toward the walls.

"GUARDS!" The Kingperor screamed again, his voice shrill and cracking.

"Oi, Kami," Eslyn said, her voice much smaller now. I giggled again. "The laughter is getting weird now. He's about to bring hundreds of soldiers in here and then we're screwed!"

The name she'd used was from one of my favourite worlds, one so devoid of magic I wondered if I'd finally found a way to cheat reincarnation. Sadly it didn't, but it's lack of magic made it fascinatingly diverse in so many unique ways. Such as their folklore, mythology and the bizarre, almost fanatic and fetishist ways subgroups of cultures embellished and twisted said culture. I'd told her it because to a twelve year old, I may as well have been God, yet here she was, still treating me like a regular old summoned pet Axehound.


"GUARDS!" The Kingperor screamed again as dozens of heavily armored figures began spilling into the chamber. "KILL TH-"

His voice cut off so abruptly that even the soldiers still pouring in turned to look and find out why.

Clang-thud, thud-thud.

First the crown, then his knees, then finally the Kingperors head hit the marble stone floors moments before his body did too.

Clap. Giggle. Clap. Giggle. Clap.

"Well, Eslyn, you little rascal." I slung an arm over her shoulder as she stared wide eyed at me. Wider than I'd ever seen her stare, it looked like her eyes might genuinely fall right our of her face if her eyelids retreated any further. I could barely see them as it was. "Let's get out of here shall we?"

"But-" she began, one hand raised to point at the half crazed, half stunned royal guard.

Then one exploded. The concussive force blew his neighbours aside and several cried out in pain and disorientation.

"But-" Eslyn tried again.

Bang! Cla-clang, thud-thud! Bang! Bang!

"What?" My laughter seemed to have stopped, which was good, but the wide, manic smile I saw reflected in the girls eyes told me it had just retreated. The laughter didn't need to be free at the moment, not when realisation was dawning in those same glassy eyes. "No time for your oldest pal?"

Bang! Ba-bang! BangBangBangBangBangBang!

I felt like I was Rambo, or Carl, or Jon Lajoie.

Cool guys don't look at explosions.

"I'm hungry," I felt my grin get wider as we walked out of the throne room. Eslyn shook, her skin pale and clammy. "You?"

I wonder where the kitchens are?

Time for some more laughter.

And food.


Toadsage16 t1_j6nzvj0 wrote

Maybe im half asleep but I don't get whats going on. I read and enjoyed both parts but whats the secret?


Fantastic-Nose-1442 t1_j6o0kqk wrote

She thinks he's a basic mob, a simple creature to do her bidding, only at the end does she start to realise she's spent years summoning an actual person, and someone more powerful than she can fathom


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Nat20cha t1_j6i2qiu wrote

If anyone likes the above prompt, and is interested, there is a meditative solo rpg called Bear "where the player takes on the role of patron to a lone adventurer in another world, on another plane."