sleepy_knees t1_jarms0e wrote

I just want to say, even though it may have been a conscious decision on the author's part in this instance, I'm so appreciative that you said this. I'm a very fledgeling writer, and I'm ignorant of most of the technical things that make for great writing. "Show, don't tell" is going in my "writing notes" book right now! Don't stop giving the positive feedback, because I know there are others like me who read these comments especially for these bits of advice!


sleepy_knees t1_jaf43nv wrote

Right?! I've been a longtime lurker. I love reading and seeing everyone's creative spins on things. I've always wanted to write but didn't know where to start. I decided "somewhere" is as good a place as any!


sleepy_knees t1_jadd45k wrote

I'm very new to writing and this is my very first post here. I'd love feedback, but please be kind! Thank you!

“Damn!” Jaxon cursed and ducked as his sledgehammer head snapped off and flew toward his face. The wood of the handle had cracked from the force of his last blow, wood splintering, the head crashing into a pile of scrap metal leaning against the wall. Jaxon pushed himself back up, careful not to lean on any equipment in the doing.

He was still getting used to his hugely muscular, new body after the fateful day that Sorcerer Jerome had stopped by. Jerome had needed a metal sconce fitted to the end of his staff to protect it from the eternal flame he wanted to install to “strike fear into the hearts of my enemies!” Jaxon enjoyed this task and approached it with enthusiasm. It was rare that he was able to design a work of such beauty. His typical customers were poor folk who could only afford the most basic of necessities, like cutlery and pans, though he kept more intricate pieces on display outside his shop in hopes of attracting more wealthy patrons. The piece he designed for the wizard curved up and around as if it and the flame would be locked in a timeless embrace. The mage was so impressed by Jaxon’s craftmanship that he blessed him with the strength of ten men so he would never grow weary in his work. However, Jaxon thought Jerome may not have considered the inconvenience that “the strength of ten men” could cause a blacksmith who was only used to the strength of one. This was the 12th hammer he’d broken in the weeks since the wizard’s visit.

He went to his tool cabinet to grab another, one of the many he’d spent a day making after breaking his 5th. He returned to the butcher knife he was working on without realizing that he’d cut himself in the accident. A single drop of blood fell onto the knife as the blow landed. A blast threw him across the room, extinguishing the lanterns and leaving only the forge for light.

“What in the blazes-“ he sputtered, coughing. He waved dust and smoke away from his face and his mouth dropped open as he saw a blue glimmer around his anvil. As it abated, he pushed himself back up and approached cautiously. The smithy was lit only by the glow of the forge now.

“Normally one would finish hammering and sharpening a blade before imbuing it with life.” A voice spoke from the darkness. He whipped his head around, looking for the speaker.

"Who's there?!"

“Don’t you know your own voice when you hear it? You gave me your own lifeblood, after all.”

“My own – what? Who are you? Show yourself!”

He heard a thunk and the blade he'd been working on stood upright in the firelight.

Jaxon stumbled backward, knocking over a counter, and denting an anvil thereby.

“Who… what are you? How do you speak?”

“Ah, well. Isn’t that the question? It seems you have some magic in your blood. Have you ever been cursed or… blessed? All magic has a price, my friend, didn’t you know?”

Ah. Jaxon’s head began to spin. After his third hammer broke, he’d started to wonder if his blessing might really be a curse, but he’d never really believed it. Now he was forced to consider what other ramifications might come from his association with Sorcerer Jerome. He had never known any magic wielders before and thought the gift to be just that. A gift.

“I thought the price was my work. I didn’t take his gold.” Jaxon was a man of few words and hadn’t asked many questions of the mage. He had never considered regret to be worth his time either. But now, he felt the full force of his mistake.

“Ha. Do you think a bauble is payment enough for a wizard’s spell? Jerome was no fool. There is no such thing as a ‘gift’ when it comes to magic. ‘Blessing’ is a word wizards use on fools. You are indebted to him. To be released only when he claims his payment or meets his end.”

Jaxon considered this. “What kind of payment?”

“Ah, yes. Well, he placed his magic in your blood, so it seems he has named his price already. The question is, what are you going to do about it?”

Jaxon was silent for a moment. Then he rose and gathered his tools and the assorted cutlery he’d already forged. He chose a knife, reopened the cut on his hand, and squeezed a drop of blood onto each blade, fork, spoon, and tong. Then, he lifted his hammer…

“I’m going to build an army.”