This week, I’m presenting a short story I wrote after choosing a writing prompt from reddit.com. It’s very rough, and the ending is quite weak, but I’m pretty sure it’ll work for a children’s story for my kids.
by Adam Huddleston
Bard took a moment to gather his strength, then ran straight at the wooden door. It shattered inwards in a shower of splinters and bolts. The warrior rolled along the stone floor and sprang to his feet, raising his sword skyward. He opened his mouth to scream the triumphant monologue he had been preparing for years now, but stopped short.
The giant beast before him, the bane of their kingdom since the death of the last great hero, stood hunched over, pointing a skeletal finger at another identical creature.
“You listen to me, Borok! Your mom and I have been over this with you. We don’t want you attacking and plundering with those Kirnee boys. They’re horrible influences, son, especially for a youngling like you!”
“Da-ad,” the smaller beast whined. “They’re not that bad. Just the other night-“
Bard cleared his throat and the two creatures spun around and glared wide-eyed at their intruder.
“Uh, I’m sorry to disturb you two,” the human said. “Is there any chance that we could battle to the death right now?”
The two creatures looked at each other than back at the warrior. The taller beast looked down and shook his deformed head.
“Yeah, well, about that Bard, I’m really sorry. Is there any way we could push this to next week. The “fam” and I are kinda having issues right now…you know how it is.”
“No, Blortok, I don’t. You ate them all, remember?”
Blortok raised his head and laughed.
“That’s right! I totally forgot about that! If it makes you feel better, they were pretty tasty.”
Bard sighed. “No, you moronic heap of filth. That doesn’t make me feel better. And I really don’t want to postpone this. I’ve been journeying for a long, long time to get here. I mean, what am I supposed to do for a week, sit around here watching ya’ll argue?”
“I know, I know. It’s just that-“
“Ah, c’mon Dad,” the son interjected. “Just fight him. Don’t be such a scaredy-chicken!”
Blortok turned around and frowned at his son.
“Stay outta this, boy,” he said.
“Look,” Bard began. “I don’t mean to butt in here, but maybe your son is right. It won’t take very long, I’ll dispatch you quickly, and then everything will be fine!”
Blortok rolled his yellow eyes.
“Oh, whatever, Bard! You’re honestly going to stand there and claim that you can defeat me. Me? In combat?”
The human thought for a moment before responding.
“Well, yeah…I guess. I mean, I am the savior of mankind and all…”
“Alright,” the monster said. “Alright. If that’s what you think, let’s do this.”
Bard held his sword up and slid into his familiar battle stance.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Just what do you think you’re doing?”
“What do you mean?”
Bartok shook his head. “We aren’t fighting in here! I’ll spill your juices all over the place…and do you have any idea how hard it is to get human blood out of a carpet?”
Bard looked at the ground then back up and rolled his eyes. “Ugh! Fine! I’ll meet you outside.”
The battle-hardened pair filed out of the room and walked to a grassy clearing a stone’s throw from the monster’s house. They stood several yards away from one another and crouched into fighting positions.
“Ready when you are, Bortok.”
“I was born ready,” the beast responded.
Bard rolled his eyes again and charged. He pulled his sword back, ready to swing in a wide arc. Bortok bore his sharp fangs, preparing to drive them into the warrior’s muscular flesh. Just as they were about to land their massive blows, a tremendous shriek came from the monster’s house.
A huge creature, even larger than Bortok, plummeted out of the front door of the home.
“Bortok Bartholomew Slaverpot! What are you doing!”
The two combatants stopped in mid-strike and turned to the giant being. Before they could respond, it stomped over to Bortok and smacked him on the back of the head.
“Sorry honey,” Bartok said. “It’s his fault! He talked me into it!”
Both warrior and beast looked at the ground and kicked at the dirt.
“I don’t care who did what,” Bartok’s wife responded. “I’m sick and tired of all the fighting! You’ve got a son that needs a good talking-to inside, and here you are, dancing around with some scrawny human! You two shake hands and make up. After that-“she looked at Bard, “you get on outta here before I show you some real fighting.”
“Heeey,” Bard whined. “I’m not that scrawny.”
Bartok’s wife took a threatening step toward him.
“Yes ma’am. I’ll be on my way.”
The two fighters’ faces turned red as they slunk over to one another and shook hands. Without saying a word, Bard turned and mounted the horse that had been tied to a nearby tree. He spurred the steed and sat tall in the saddle as it sauntered off into the distance.
When the warrior had disappeared over a hill, Bartok turned to his wife and put a wart-covered arm around her shoulder.
“Thank you, Fugbunch. And I’m sorry. I promise never to fight a human again without your say-so.”
The two creatures clasped hands and walked side-by-side back to their home.