Bard’s Intrusion


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.

Enjoy. Maybe.

 

Bard’s Intrusion

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.

 

Favorite Poems


Favorite Poems

by Adam Huddleston

 

Some time back, I wrote a blog concerning poetry. It discussed the benefits of writing poetry for the average author. As I reread it, I noticed that I failed to mention a few of my favorite poems. Since poetry is a very subjective art form, these particular verses may fail to “float your boat” but, to each their own.

In no particular order: “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost, “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, “The Wreck of the Hesperus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, and “Two Dead Boys” a nonsensical poem by an unknown author.

I suggest giving these poems a read, and if you don’t care for them, keep exploring the wide world of poetry until you find some that you do.

Happy writing (and reading)!

 

Literary Terms


Literary Terms

by Adam Huddleston

 

Many weeks, the subject of my blog involves literary terms or devices. You may wonder, “Does Adam possess that great of an inventory of knowledge that he can spout out definitions and examples of these topics?”

I say, “Nay.” Allow me to impart the sources of my weekly knowledge.

Two excellent websites: www.literarydevices.net and www.literary-devices.com are full of excellent definitions and examples. Although the lists may not be exhaustive, for my intents and purposes, they definitely suffice. I hope these resources will help you in your craft.

Happy writing!

Writing Prompts


Writing Prompts

by Adam Huddleston

 

As writers, we sometimes suffer that dreaded phenomenon known as, gasp, writers block. One of the best ways of breaking through that block is to work on a project outside of the main piece that you are trying to finish. It’s funny, but sometimes just getting the words flowing is enough to help you with your main work. But where, pray tell, do you get ideas quickly and conveniently? I’ve found a great resource!

The forum website reddit.com is a very valuable tool. There is a metric ton of subreddits that you can “subscribe” to and converse with folks from around the world about any number of topics. The resource of which I speak is the /r/WritingPrompts site. It is constantly being updated and you can reply with your work, or submit your own prompt. Most are sci-fi/fantasy related, but almost all are entertaining in some way.

Happy writing!

Current Reading Material


Current Reading Material

by Adam Huddleston

 

I’ve nothing too deep (or intellectually stimulating for that matter) this week. I’m just letting ya’ll know what I’m currently reading.

My bookmark currently rests about a quarter of the way through the second novel in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy; Finders Keepers. I finished the first novel Mr. Mercedes awhile back and have the final book, End of Watch sitting on my bedside table. I’m also making my way (slowly) through the graphic novel Watchmen.

What wonderfully written works are you reading?

Inspirations


Inspirations

by Adam Huddleston

 

“Where do you get your ideas?”

It’s a question asked to authors of all shapes and sizes, levels of fame, and years of experience. The answers are as varied as the individuals being queried. If I may take a moment to surmise, I believe that most of the answers amount to the same thing: observation of the world around us.

Several of my story ideas, from themes to opening lines, originated from something my kids or wife said. I take those little quips and extrapolate them into something bigger and better. For example, one of the many stories that are in development (a particularly nasty from of writer’s purgatory), concerns an android whose battery is dying. The inspiration arose when my young daughter was reminded that daddy’s phone battery was low. I took the simple statement and ran with it.

The same offspring recently began explaining to me that a tiny door resided under her bed. Said door opened to a magical world. Suffice it to say, I jumped on the opportunity to encourage her to write down everything she saw, smelled, heard, tasted, or felt. The way I see it, the earlier I can instill a sense of wonder and love of literature in a child, the better that baby’s life could be.

So, if you are a writer, I repeat my question.

“Where do you get your ideas?”

Food for Thought


Food for Thought

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week, I wanted to pose to you a simple question: What are the benefits (if any) of traditional paper-based literature over electronic?

You thought I was gonna blog about food, didn’t you?

Now, coming from a life-long lover of books, I can tell you what I prefer. To me, there is just something warm and inviting about actual paper. Paper books (both new and used) have their own scent. I would venture to guess that most book-a-holics can recall cuddling up in a comfortable chair and opening the pages of their newly found treasure. The smooth texture of the paper and its sound as the pages turn brings back memories. Also, you never have to worry about the battery dying on your traditionally formatted tomes.

I will admit though that electronic books (or e-books) do have some benefits. The most obvious is the amount of data that can be stored in a very limited space. A library that once used to fill an entire room can now be downloaded onto a device the size of a postcard (which is another antiquity the young folk may not be familiar with).   E-books also allow access to your library quicker. A few finger-swipes and you can purchase literature that you used to have to travel to a store to buy.

What do you think? Paper vs. Virtual? The debate will rage on…for a while at least.

More Flash Fiction


More Flash Fiction

by Adam Huddleston

 

Last week, I revisited my authorial roots and presented a very elementary flash fiction story. This week I thought, Why not try it again? If you’re interested, you can play along. The mandatory words are: galactic, vase, intrepid, morose, and final.

Although Terrell’s galactic ship was fast, the flight from Morris-1 to the icy moon of Gatak long. During the wait, the pilot and his saucy wife had plenty of time to argue.

“If you hadn’t stopped for a drink two planets back, we would have been there by now!”

Terrell looked down morosely at the floor between his boots and sighed. Even intrepid explorers like Terrell Gaines were subject to ridicule. He glanced at a vase perched on a nearby table. This was the final straw.

One more complaint and he’d turn that from an ornament to an urn.

Wow, that turned out darker than I expected, but, that’s how writing goes sometimes.

Have a Happy New Year!

Example of Flash Fiction


Example of Flash Fiction

by Adam Huddleston

 

Years ago, I was a moderator for a flash fiction website. That site was deactivated some time back but there is still a warm place in my heart for that story style. We participated in a monthly competition where a set of words were given that had to be used in the tale. The catch was that the story could be no longer than one-hundred words, but should contain a beginning, middle, and ending. Here is a very quick and basic example:

  1. Cat
  2. House
  3. Dog
  4. Mouse
  5. Kill

A warm sun crested the horizon, waking Serenity, the Harrison family’s cat. His first mission was to traverse the house for his food bowl, taking care to avoid the moronic dog. Once his belly was full, he partook in another lengthy nap. When he felt sufficiently rested, the tabby began his quest for his true arch-nemesis; the dreaded field mouse. After an exhaustive search, Serenity rounded a corner and spotted the fiend. It was now that the cat contradicted his given name, and pounced for the kill. As the sun set, Serenity nestled into his bed, belly full.