Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Prompt, One

The rider approached his mount, pale in the first rays of dawn. He slung the bag of bolts around the beast’s neck, resting it so his hand was only an instant’s reach away from his deadly cargo. He mounted the steed and drew a deep breath, tasting the morning mist, sweet with the promise of a good day’s battle. Turning the beast, he rocketed down the lane.

Rider and steed cut through the mist like a finely-honed knife through flesh. He spotted his first target, drew, and launched his missile in one fluid motion, the target destroyed before realization struck. Any sound the target made was swallowed by the fog. The rider never even looked around, his eyes not on the last victim, but the next target. He raced between his enemies, dealing death in a blur of motion, his aim unerring, his weapons devastating. They collapsed all around him, helpless to stop his onslaught. The rider laughed aloud, his blood warming to the carnage.

He turned a corner, and as the mist began to lift, he saw his targets appearing before him, lining the streets as though awaiting the kiss of his weapons. Tall guardsmen, stout clergymen, clusters of merchants, all fell before him, equals in death by his hands. He raced along, and death followed in his wake.

A rumbling growl drew the rider’s attention from his task. He turned and caught a glimpse of the source. A hellhound! One of his enemies must have let it loose for a dawn patrol. The rider drove his mount harder, hoping to evade the hellbeast. No good! The monster was closing on him, nipping at his mount’s well-shod heels. The rider sighed, not panicking, but knowing what must be done. He reached into his quiver and drew a bolt.

He could feel the beast’s breath at his feet…

The rider swung down with flat of the bolt, striking across the hellhound’s snout and in one smooth movement threw the bolt directly into the heart of the hellhound’s domain. The beast immediately lost interest in the rider and tore off after the bolt, in a futile attempt to stop the inevitable. The rider heard the bolt strike home as he forced his steed faster. A wicked grin grossed his face, as he knew the death would be blamed on the hellhound.

Looking down into the quiver, the rider saw only a few bolts remaining. With this realization, he suddenly felt tired. It was almost time to end his day’s run. It was a good run, with many foes struck down, and a hellbeast easily thwarted. He threw his remaining bolts, striking their targets with the casual arrogance only a true master could display. Finally he was down to one last bolt. And just in time. He approached his enemy’s stronghold warily, eyes roaming the defenses, ready to move instantly if he felt their weapons being brought to bear against him. Nothing. He sneered, slowing his mount, taking the time to savor this final throw. They would never see it strike. He hefted the bolt, drew back, and let fly.

And missed.

Astonished, the rider nearly fell off his mount. The bolt brushed by the intended target and shattered against the main gate, fragments blasting everywhere. And suddenly, the gate was thrown open and the lord of the fortress stormed out, still in his bedclothes. His clawed hand swept down and gathered the fragments of the missile, as though to throw them back at the rider. The rider tensed, knowing his very survival would depend on what happened in the next instant.

“Hey kid! Watch where you throw the damn newspaper! You almost smashed my flowerpot!”

“Sorry mister!” the rider shouted as he pedaled away. Not sorry at all. Tomorrow, he wouldn’t miss…

So yeah, I decided to try something a little different this time around. I had a picture or two almost worth posting, but I'd been kicking around the idea of putting up some writing, rather than just more pictures. My niece told me about this great concept for assisting in writing: Prompts. Essentially, they're nothing more than a word, or set of words, or sentences meant to spark your mind into a creative writing exercise. A prompt, if you will. I was doing a little bit of research, trying to find something that would give me a good start towards a fun story (Emily set the bar very high with the story she'd made from the prompts she was given). I'd been through about 10 or 15 sites, covering a range of words/sentences/topics, and I'd found a great line of poetry that was to be used to generate the story. I was working on that (it'll come along shortly, I hope) when my subconscious stepped forward with another item I'd seen early on: "Rider". While I was thinking on the poem, I ended up coming up with a completely different idea for the word "Rider". And as usual with my ideas, whichever one gets further along wins. This one was pretty much done by the time I started typing. If I wanted, I could tell you about the recurring ideas I've had in my writing, going back to grade school, of "the fantastic in the mundane", something along the lines of making the everyday extraordinary, or the juxtaposition of the two, but I won't. You probably already get the idea.

Anyway, hope you liked the story. With luck, this will be a semi-recurring feature of the blog.
Speaking of blogs, please check out, OddVoodoo,my friend Joe's blog. We've talked about putting up blogs for ages now, and he's FINALLY done it. Joe's work with Photoshop makes my scribblings look like the work of a monkey with a crayon, but without thumbs. Try it, you'll like it!

Also, Ivy was jealous of Scout, and so demanded equal time:

That's it. No more cat posts for a while. Honest.

Music: "Cemeteries of London" - Coldplay

1 comment:

joe said...

Just read the story...fan-friggin-tastic bro!!